Woody Debris

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Woody Debris
High Water Steelhead
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Woody Debris
If you are a drift boater, a tree spanning the river could be a real nightmare. The worst scenario is that you get caught by surprise and actually hit the tree with your boat. Then all kinds of unpleasant things can happen, like injuries or even death. Or you see the tree in time and are only inconvenienced for several hours or several days as you try to figure out a way to get your heavy boat over the top of, or around the end of the tree. Problems escalate when you realize that your only place to anchor the boat is a flood plain gravel bar and the weather and resultant water levels are unpredictable and you better not leave your boat for an extended period of time because it might not be there when you get back. That's when you hope a qualified guy with a chain saw shows up to fix the problem. Well that's not the way it worked for us. I brought the guy with
Your worst nightmare...
Bill Doran to the rescue... Tough work...
Tension leaves the log and it sinks... Sawing through the submerged log...
You can get through now...
the saw with me. His name is Bill Doran. Bill has worked at Oxbow Park for many years. (Yes, Oxbow is on the Sandy River where we facilitate the Sandy River Spey Clave each May.) Because of news passed through the grapevine, we already knew there was a tree across the river and its probable location. We made a passable exit around one end of the tree. The river was too muddy to fish.

Tips For High-Water Steelhead

Winter steelhead are here! No lack of water in our rivers west of the Cascades so far this winter. Quite the opposite has been true. Torrential rains have pounded the Pacific Northwest and most of our rivers have been out of shape much of the time.  However, during the little windows between storms, pretty fair fishing has been available.  Even though all local hatchery stocks are taken from indigenous wild fish, which are supposed to be spring spawners, there have been hatchery fish available early this winter.  These could be

optimistic signs that we might have good runs this winter.  The long term weather forecast is that this winter will be warmer and wetter than usual, which means that our local rivers will be high most of the time.  This can work to your advantage if you are a fly angler.
Just remember, if the river isn't high water now, it soon will be. It's that time of year!

Here Are 5-Keys To Success:

Pick Your Spots:
Forget about the spots you fished when the river was low.  You will now be fishing in places that were much too slow and shallow.  These are normally inside curves near the tail of a run.
Wade Shallow:
In high water steelhead often hug the willows or even travel through them.  Wade with your backside touching the willows. Wade carefully.
Fish Close:
Since most of the fish will follow the edge of the river, there is no need to fish long casts.  Balance your tackle accordingly.  Short heavy heads are often the answer.  Long bullet shaped D-Loops are not an advantage as they can get tangled in the willows.
Fish Slow:
In extreme high water, fishing spots will often be fairly small.  Move slowly and fish carefully.
Fish Big:
When the water is colored with silt because of high water, big flies are easier for fish to see.  The best flies are often 2 1/2" to 4" long and an inch and diameter when wet.  Black & blue, purple and hot pink and orange combinations are proven.  Dress some of your flies with liberal amounts of flash.  There is no need for fine leaders in this game.  Fifteen pound test is average.

Metal Head Christmas Party & Annual Winter Steelhead Clinic
December 13, Saturday, 9:00am-4:00pm
Offering these programs for your pleasure...
Winter Steelhead Fly fishing 101... Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing 101
By: Mark Bachmann
10:00-11:00 a.m.

This is our new, continually evolving PowerPoint presentation which is given to our Winter Steelhead School students as an orientation and instructional program.
Choosing The Right Spey Line
By: George Cook
11:00- noon

George has fished from the Arctic nearly to the Antarctic. He is the definitive expert on spey lines in North America. His program will bring you up to date on the latest theory and practice of two-hand fishing.
Choosing The Right Spey Line
Winter Steelhead Secrets To Success Winter Steelhead Secrets To Success
By: Josh Linn
 1:30-2:00 p.m.

A PowerPoint presentation which further explains tackle and fly selection as well as the nuances of finding fish and refinements of presentations that gets them hooked up and puts them on the beach.
Fly Fishing For Kings
Eric Nuefeld
2:00-2:30 p.m.

After working in Alaska with Eric this summer, Josh calls him a guides' guide. "You just have to see him at work to realize how good he is". We can hardly wait to see Eric's program on catching giant king salmon with flies.

Outcast Steelheader-18
Tested by professional fly fishing guides...

The first part of this article was written in January.
This is just an up-date on how I feel about the same boat near the end of its first year of use.
"There's a new boat in town", is the way they'd say it down in Texas.
"Up-graded the guide company fleet by adding a new Outcast Steelheader-18.  Disposed of old inflatable fleet completely," might be the way they would explain it in down-town Portland.
Most likely the way we would describe it in Welches would be, "Wore out the green boat in seven seasons, scrapped it out and hauled it to the dump. The new Outcast Steelheader-18 was conceptualized, drafted, ordered, delivered and assembled.  Today we explored 25 river-miles of a flooding local river with it.  The river was too high in water level to be effectively fished with a fly rod, but it was perfect for testing my new boat.  This boat draws much less water than the old one and may prove to be even better than I had expected. It has larger diameter pontoons than the old boat, but they are the same length.  The frame weighs 1/3rd of the old one.  The anchor system, oar towers and storage lockers are all superior to the old boat.  Passengers will ride side by side in this boat.  As with anything new, there is some tweaking to be done.  New parts are still arriving.

A happy fly fishing guide with a new boat...

This boat is built with an extra margin for comfort and safety, even in gnarly water. (Pictured January 2008).

One year later
After sitting from May to November under a tarp, my Outcast Steelheader-18 lost no air from the pontoons.
Remarkable as it may sound, I put my big Outcast away for the summer months about May 25. It was left on the trailer and covered with a nylon tarp. Today, November 15, I removed the tarp and prepared the boat for the fall/winter season on the local rivers. There was the usual dust and dirt accumulation to be washed off, and the oar locks were lubricated, but that was all I had to do. After sitting for 5-months the pontoons were still rock-hard. This boat has spent many days on the water, supporting many happy anglers. So far it has exceeded all expectations and is one of the best investments I have ever made. MB   Check out the latest news on Outcast Boats.

C.F. Burkheimer rods now come with free lines.

Kerry Burkheimer and his crew build very fine graphite fly rods at his plant, located in Washougal, Washington.  Studying under and collaborating with legendary rod designer Russ Peak in the 1980's, Kerry quickly became known as producer of elegantly crafted, high performance fly rods.  Little by little Kerry has increased the production of his small factory.  We can now offer his nine most sought after models.  These rods are built by hand and are in much demand. Production is limited.
Every rod on this page is in stock.
More Information on Burkheimer Production.

Now you can get a matching High-Performance Line of your choice for free,
when purchasing a new C.F. Burkheimer rod. You choose the line type of your choice.  The appropriate size will be chosen by our professional staff.  You must click a button to get the deal.  Call 1-800-266-3971 for advise if you need help selecting a line.

Item Description Price To Top
FREE-LINE-1 Free Rio Gold, fresh water fly line with any C.F. Burkheimer Single Hand Rod #3-#8, purchased before December 31, 2008 $FREE SALE ENDED
FREE-LINE-2 Free Royal Wulff Bermuda Triangle Taper, saltwater fly line with any C.F. Burkheimer SW rod #8-#12, purchased before December 31, 2008 $FREE SALE ENDED
FREE-LINE-3 Free Rio Skagit Line without tips, Spey line with any C.F. Burkheimer Two Hand Rod #7-#9, purchased before December 31, 2008 $FREE SALE ENDED
Because we bought a good supply early, we can offer 2008 prices through December 31, even though 2009 prices went into effect September 15.

Below are the two most popular Burky's for 2008       Click for the full selection!

CF 7127-4

Length: 12' 7"    Line: # 7    Pieces: 4


Description:  Newest lightweight steelhead rod in a four piece design. Medium fast, crisp progressive action. Soon to be a favorite with many summer steelheaders.
Rod weight: 6.6 Ounces
Item   Length Line Wt. Price To Top
CF7127-4 C.F. Burkheimer Fly Rod 12 ft. 7 in. 7 $850 SALE ENDED

CF 8134-4

Length: 13' 4"    Line: #8     Pieces: 4


Description:  This rod could be called a Scandinavian design and while it might have great appeal to Scandinavian salmon fishers, it is pure Burkheimer.  Crisp and powerful, this fast action rod develops tremendous line speed, but is easy to time.  It will perform best with heads weighing 500-650 grains. One of the most popular rods for 2007-2008 seasons!
Rod weight: 8  Ounces
Item   Length Line Wt. Price To Top
CF8134-4 C.F. Burkheimer Fly Rod 13 ft. 4 in. 8 $850 SALE ENDED

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Fish long & prosper,
Mark & Patty