Black Friday Begins Today, B.C. Steelhead Adventure, Winter Steelhead Schools, Shooting Lines

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Black Friday Starts Monday Morning @!!!!
Black Friday Starts Monday Morning @!!!!
Black Friday Starts Monday Morning @!!!!


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*Unbroken dozens are of the same fly, same size, and same color (NO MIX MATCHING)
*No flies listed in the Winter Steelhead Fly Directory are eligible for the discount. As stated above, they have already been marked down.
Sale limited to stock on hand. Sale ends 11/27/15 at mid-night!
B.C. Steelhead Adventure - Part 1 of 3
By: JC (John Christensen)
The plane landed on a rainy Tarmac in steelhead paradise, Smithers, British Columbia. On the way to the small town of Houston BC, two angling companions would join me for the next two weeks, Darcy Bacha and Eric Jackson. I have fished many a day with Darcy but have never had the chance to fish with Eric and was looking forward to the experience. Darcy had told me stories of their fishing adventures, and I was confident it would be a good fit.
Darcy and Eric had been on the river that day, and after meeting up, we headed to the famous Morice River. They had been there for several days and had established everything in camp, including sleeping accommodations. After settling in around the fire, having some dinner and listening to what their day had produced, we made plans for the next morning’s float.

We woke up to a beautiful calm foggy morning, made some coffee and breakfast and watched all our neighbors scramble for their boats, waders and rods and off they went into the fog. My companions assured me that we could take our time, so after loading up the boats we headed up the Morice River road. Logging trucks are very active on this road, two way radios are encouraged to keep communication between the loggers and public vehicles.
Each logging road has a designated frequency, with kilometer markers at set locations, so depending on what road you’re on, you set your radio to that frequency to keep in contact with the trucks coming up or down.

We reached our launch point without any casualties, put the boats into the water and headed down the river. I chose to fish my Beulah 7129-4 Onyx with a Beulah Elixir 450gr Scandi shooting head, 14’ poly leader and my own rendition of a moose hair skater. Having fished this set up on a lot of local rivers near home in Oregon, this set up was chosen with confidence. I did not travel all this way to fish one of the most productive dry fly Steelhead Rivers in the world with a Skagit line, sink tip and a huge intruder fly. It was going to be dry flies all day every day for me.

The first run we pulled into, Darcy went through with his skater and had no takers. Eric followed through with a tip and landed a beautiful 10 pound buck. Great way to start off the morning, but I wanted some dry fly action. The next three runs we fished with no takers.
We reached the fourth piece of water and Darcy put three casts into the run, and about halfway through the swing I watched his skater get completely toilet-bowled. The fish completely missed his fly. Darcy reeled up his line and checked his fly. Everything looked in order.

These Morice fish are so aggressive that even if they get hooked and come undone you can often rest them for about ten minutes and they will usually come back with vengeance.

With that being said, Darcy started about 5 steps above where he boiled the fish. Three casts in his fly literally gets murdered by what looked to be the same fish that had toyed with his fly before. She made a blistering run down stream, stopped, and made another run to the middle of the river, followed by two consecutive jumps. Then the happy angler brought the fish in above him and tailed it like a seasoned vet. We stood over her gazing at a gorgeous 8 pound doe that rivaled some of the prettiest steelhead I had ever seen. One fish to the hand, great company, and life was good.

After that, the boats were pulled over on a run where Darcy had had good success with in the past few days. He said the fish had been holding around an overhanging snag, that protruded from a high bank about 50 yards below where we parked our boats.  The depth and speed of the water was a perfect walking speed pace, ideal for skating dry flies. I make my cast, a nice snake roll of about sixty feet, let my fly pick up a little speed and start its swing down and across. My heart is racing at this point with the anticipation of hooking my first Morice Steelhead. Three quarters of the way through the swing it happened. A huge boil, then my loop comes tight, and I trout set the steelhead!  After swinging flies for steelhead for a long time and I know better than anybody about "trout setting" a swung fly-it just doesn’t work! Then the humiliation sets in. The fish was rested for a long good while. Successive presentations were to no avail.

  The day had brought a total of 6 fish to the surface and 3 were landed, a good day to be on the river with good friends.
  The Morice River was listed as the 6th most endangered river in British Columbia due to the proposed Enbridge Pipeline. The Morice joins the Bulkley River near the town of Houston, and forms one of the most productive rivers in BC for salmon and steelhead. However, the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline is proposed to run along the Morice and its tributaries for 60 Kilometers (37 miles) with a crossing of the Morice at Kilometer 50 (31 mile) southwest of Houston. The Morice produces 30 percent of the Chinook salmon in the entire Skeena system, as well as important sockeye and Coho spawning habitat. In my opinion this pipeline is bad news and threatens one of the best steelhead factories left in the entire world.

  During the next three days, we would venture higher up the Morice to get away from some of the crowds floating lower on the system. We would see the effects of the proposed pipeline first hand on our last morning float on the upper Morice at the Morice River Bridge. This is where The First Nations Unist’ot’en camp is at. This camp is highly strategic. The territory lies directly in the path mapped out for the proposed pipelines. Most people who approach the blocked bridge are warned that consent is required before river boundary can be crossed. This is to detour any of the pipeline trespassers. The people we talked to at the camp were very friendly, and were very accommodating in letting us launch our boats from the bridge.
  Our last day on the Morice we made a long float. This paid off for us as we were the only boats on the river that day, minus the two guide jet boats from Frontier Far West Lodge, but they were no threat to us. We hooked 7 fish between the 3 of us and landed 5. The biggest fish being a beautiful bright doe that weighed in at about 9 lb’s.
  The Morice is a river I will be coming back to for a long time. Great camping areas, great river access and boat launches, excellent fish and friendly people just to top it off.
   In British Columbia Non Residents cannot fish on the weekends. On a positive note, it gives fisherman time to get shopping done for the next week as well as some of the other necessary items that need to be taken care of. Also gives a day to move to different rivers or locations. With that being said, it was the weekend and we packed up camp and headed for town. After completing things that needed to be done in town, we headed for the famed water of the Kispiox River north of the town of New Hazelton.

Winter Steelhead Schools - The Perfect Gifts
Open Dates: December 17-18, January 14-15, February 18-19. Space is limited and filling.
Shooting Lines
Airflo Floating Miracle Braid OPST Shooting Line Scientific Anglers Braided PE
Airflo Ridge Shooting Line RIO SlickShooter Varivas Airs
Frog Hair Shooting Line Scientific Anglers Mono SL Thoughts About Shooting Lines
A Brief History of Shooting Lines
By: Mark Bachmann

Jim Green introduced monofilament as a running/shooting line for distance fly casting in 1946 at the Golden Gate Casting Club-that revolutionized fly casting. Suddenly, fly casters could reach what before were unobtainable distances, because the small diameter monofilament greatly reduced friction between itself and the rod guides. These shooting lines were attached to high density shooting heads.  Lines of this design are still used today by such legendary distance casters as 13 time World Champion, Steve Rajeff.  As a matter of fact, monofilament is still the choice as shooting line for the majority of tournament distance casters today.  Monofilament does have one problem however, after it has been wound on a reel for a while it tends to take on the shape of the reel spool, and to coil much like the Slinky kids toy-this is called memory. In the early 1960's, Amnesia shooting line was developed by the Sunset company.  It was was developed specifically as shooting line, and could be stretched to instantly lose all memory, which greatly reduced the possibility of tangles. This shooting line remained popular for more than forty years. Amnesia is not currently available, but monofilament shooting lines are still evolving.  RIO SlickShooter with its oval cross section is very popular. Frog Hair Shooting Line is bombarded with gamma rays during manufacturing to make it slicker and more tangle free. Hollow monofilement floats and not only reduces friction in your rod guides, but also reduces friction when contacting the water. The newest friction cutting shooting line is Varivas Airs, a monofilament line which has a ridged exterior caused by six hollow interior air chambers. It is incredibly slick and could add many feet to your casts-but watch our for tangles. Hollow mono tends to kink when it tangles and needs to be replaced often. The newest mono shooting line from OPST, called Lazar Line, is gaining popularity. Lazar Line is tough, slick, and comes in four sizes. Tangle-free, braided, monofilament shooting lines have also found favor. We've tested Airflo Floating Miracle Braid extensively. This is a braided monofilament, which has a core. Theoretically, because the braided line has intermittent contact with your rod guides, it reduces friction more than lines which have constant contact with the guides.
Shooting heads and shooting lines quickly migrated from the tournament scene to fishing water.  Anglers found that they could cast much farther with this new system. Suddenly, shooting heads were available in many different densities from high floating to deep sinking.  Anglers took these new lines to large rivers for salmon & steelhead, and to the saltwater or anywhere long casts were needed.  The Cortland Line Company introduced fine diameter coated fly lines, which became popular as shooting lines with anglers during the 1970's.  Larry Schoenborn, while he owned  Larry's Sport Centers, sold hundreds of these lines in the Portland, Oregon area between 1973 and 1980.  These coated fly line type shooting lines remain popular today, having been proven by hundreds of anglers, multiplied by hundreds of days of on the water. Another new shooting line, that has friction reducing ridges on its surface, is the Airflo Ridge Shooting Line. This line is more supple than monofilament, and handles really well. Since the friction reducing ridges run lengthwise of the line, they are pretty easy on your hands. 
Many fly fishers using two-hand rods have switched to shooting head type fly lines, and there is much discussion about which shooting lines work best in that environment. All of the shooting lines mentioned above are adaptable to steelhead/salmon rivers. The interchangeability of shooting head Spey lines, allows an angler to instantly adapt to changing weather/water conditions without carrying extra reel spools.

As you can see, there are a wide variety of materials available. Designs are constantly evolving, and competition between companies is fierce. We're always experimenting and because of it-we're always on the cutting edge.

Every shooting line on this page has been thoroughly tested by our staff for multiple weeks on the water. After all, beyond acquiring better casting skills, reducing friction during the shoot is one of the easiest ways to achieve greater casting distance; for this reason monofilament shooting lines are pretty much universal in the distance casting tournament game. Many experienced steelheaders that use shooting heads, also use monofilament shooting lines as well, because monofilament is very durable, comparatively inexpensive, and creates the least amount of friction. Monofilament, especially perfectly round monofilament, is easiest on the hands where a lot of stripping is being done. As with all things, monofilament shooting lines sometimes have their down-sides as well. Solid monofilament is heavier than water, and therefore it sinks. Sinking can be an asset when you are working a reef with a fast sinking shooting head, but it is not an asset when you are wading a steelhead stream and trying to control coils that are trailing in your back-wash. Hollow monofilament, such as Varivas Airs or Scientific Anglers Mono SL, float because they are lighter than water. Hollow monofilament has more memory during cold weather than solid mono, such as Frog Hair, which has the least amount of memory of any monofilament shooting line we have found. There is a strong case that oval monofilament such as RIO SlickShooter creates less friction in the rod guides than does round monofilament. Monofilament can be hard to hang onto when your hands are wet or cold, and can really drive you nuts if your hands are both wet and cold.
Coated Fly Line Shooting Lines, and Hollow Braided Monofilament Shooting Lines, are both easier to hang onto than monofilament shooting lines. They tend to have less memory in cold weather too, so they are more predictable when controlling loops during the stripping process. Because they do create more friction than monofilament, they tend to be meaner to your hands. A saltwater trip can wear some serious grooves in your fingers. Most Spey outfits for beginners come equipped with a fly-line shooting line, because it is easier for beginning anglers to see and to control. Airflo Ridge Shooting Lines are superb. Airflo Ridge 30-pound is the easiest to see against most backgrounds.
Hollow braided monofilament polyethylene shooting lines, such as Airflo Floating Miracle Braid, and Scientific Anglers Braided PE, have the least amount of memory of any type of shooting lines. They are also very lightweight, so they float very high, and are extremely easy to hold off the water when you need to fish over the top of an unruly current tongue. These braided lines, are extremely easy to hang onto when your hands are wet and cold. This makes casting easier, because the release becomes more predictable, than any line that wants to slip out of your fingers.
I regularly use all of the shooting lines described within this article, and have pretty much relegated monofilament shooting lines to summer fishing with Scandi heads or saltwater trips. Hollow braided polyethylene shooting lines are currently favored for winter Skagit-Head work.

Airflo Floating Miracle Shooting Braid
Recently upgraded with a solid core and is harder, slicker, smoother finish. One of the best overall shooting/running line for cold-water fishing with Spey shooting heads, is Airflo Miracle Floating Shooting Braid. It's incredibly light so it shoots a long way, has NO memory, floats, and doesn't tangle very often. This is a great line to use in combination with Skagit and Scandinavian heads.  Some anglers are even cutting the stock shooting lines from mid-length heads and replacing them with Miracle Braid because it gives superior performance.
This is a super easy line for installing Spey Swivels in the shooting line itself. Ask about this special service.
Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
MBRAID50G Airflo Miracle Braid Shooting Line 30-Pound Test 50-Yards Yellow $29.95
Airflo Ridge Shooting Lines, Pre-looped
Running lines have fast become a staple in fly anglers gear bags. The advantages of using interchangeable heads with different running lines are irrefutable--and whether you're using one or two hand rods, choosing the right running line is just as important as selecting the head. Airflo offers a wide array of running line options so you can use your heads wherever you may go.
The perfect compliment to any shooting head, Ridge technology comes to the fore on Airflo's running lines. Reduced surface friction not only increases distance, but also helps reduce tangles - loose coils of line slide over each other easily to eliminate snarl ups. A low stretch Power Core and an oversized "Flexi Loop" complete what is Airflo's #1 selling running line.
Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
RXSRLFT Airflo Ridge Running Line, Floating, Freshwater 20-pound
90-feet Fluorescent
RXSRLFS Airflo Ridge Running Line, Floating, Freshwater 30-pound
90-feet Fluorescent
RXSRLIS Airflo Ridge Running Line, Intermediate, Freshwater and Saltwater 30-pound
90-feet Translucent
Aqua Blue
RXSRLBF Airflo Ridge Running Line, Floating, Extreme Topical, Saltwater 30-pound
90-feet Light
RXSRLTP Airflo Ridge Running Line, Floating, Extreme Topical, Saltwater 50-pound
90-feet Light
Frog Hair Shooting Line
Frog Hair's proven "Molecularly Altered" shooting lines offer all of the casting qualities the big water angler desires. Frog Hair's exclusive process builds-in flexibility and virtually eliminates coil memory, which produces lines that will shoot further and handle easier than any other monofilament running/shooting lines. Frog Hair Shooting Lines have the "slickness" needed to achieve greater distances. This processing also helps prevent kinking and allows the line to lay in soft, loose coils that literally "shoot like a bullet" through the rod guides. In the larger diameters, stripping is also easier, more controlled, and provides more secure hook-sets.  Many shooting/running lines must be presoaked the night before and kept wet right up until fishing time to help make them more flexible. But not Frog Hair! Frog Hair's proprietary manufacturing process eliminates this bothersome step to ensure greater suppleness and more flexibility throughout the line.  At home in both fresh and saltwater.
44-yard spools.
Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
FFHSL-13 Frog Hair Shooting Line .019"
40-pound test
44-yards Fluorescent
FFHSL-10 Frog Hair Shooting Line 022"
50-pound test
44-yards Red $12.95
FFHSL-11 Frog Hair Shooting Line 024"
58-pound test
44-yards Fluorescent
FFHSL-12 Frog Hair Shooting Line 030"
88-pound test
44-yards Fluorescent
OPST Lazar Shooting Line
OPST's Pure Skagit Lazar Line is the slickest running line out there. This is the line for those of us who love to launch a cast, sit back, maybe eat a sandwich while the line rushes out of the guides and pulls line off the reel as it comes tight. Lazar Line is hydrophobic, extremely durable, consistent over a broad range of temperatures, and virtually impervious to memory. It features a slight, calculated stretch that allows for extremely sleek and strong knots. This stuff will rock with your Scandi head as well. We searched far and wide for the perfect running line and knew we could do better than what was out there. Pure Skagit Lazar Line is quickly becoming the favorite running line of fishermen all over the world. Find out why. OPST Lazer Line has been thoroughly tested and perfected by Ed Ward and Jerry French. If you are into the Skagit scene, you know those are a couple of names you can trust.


Tony Barnes: "OSPT LAZER LINE is very durable. I used mine for about 6-months before finally having to trim a small part because of wear. Tough, tough stuff."

John Christensen: "OSPT LAZER LINE has literally no memory, either in hot or cold weather. Kinks occur seldom, and when they do this line straightens easily."

Mike Varga: "OSPT LAZER LINE is very slick. It reduces friction in the rod guides while casting or playing fish."

OPST Shooting Lines are gaining popularity with Spey folks throughout their range. Saltwater anglers like OPST too! OPST is the right shooting lines for any application where monofilament is preferred.

Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
RL-01 Olympic Penninsula Skagit Tactics SP Lazar Line 25-pound 50M Chartreuse $31.95
RL-02 Olympic Penninsula Skagit Tactics SP Lazar Line 30-pound 50M Chartreuse $31.95
RL-03 Olympic Penninsula Skagit Tactics SP Lazar Line 35-pound 50M Chartreuse $31.95
RL-04 Olympic Penninsula Skagit Tactics SP Lazar Line 40-pound 50M Chartreuse $31.95
RIO SlickShooter
A super hard, slick finish oval-shaped nylon shooting line.  Has no memory after being stretched before fishing each day.  Has an extremely low coefficient of friction for long distance casts.
Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
20489 RIO SlickShooter 25-pound
.012" X .022"
155'/35.1M Blue $15.95
20490 RIO SlickShooter 35-pound
.014" X .026"
155'/35.1M Orange $15.95
20494 RIO SlickShooter 44-pound
.016" X .030"
155'/35.1M Red $15.95
20491 RIO SlickShooter 50-pound
.017" X .030"
155'/35.1M Green $15.95
Scientific Anglers Mono SL
Limited to supply on hand! Currently this line is not available from the manufacturer.
Remarkable technology produces monofilament nylon that is hollow, but which retains a round configuration under extreme stress. In cross-section Mono SL is hollow, but partitioned into six separate compartments. Mono SL is lighter in weight than water, and therefore it floats. This may be the most friction free shooting line available. Because of the lightweight Mono SL barely touches the rod guides, and coiled loops come off the water cleanly. We first saw this shooting line in the hands of Spey Casting Wizard, Steve Choate, who was able to reach parts of the Sandy River which had never been touched by a fly before. Slick and easy on your hands
Mono SL Specifications:
Color: Transparent Orange
Length: 150'/45.7m
Size: .021" - 36-pound test
Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
982765 Scientific Anglers Mono SL Shooting Line .021"
  Transparent Orange $34.95
Scientific Anglers Braided PE
This is the finest grade of hollow braided polyethylene rope. It is smoother than any competitive brand of braided shooting line we've found. Braided PE has virtually no memory, even in the coldest conditions you will encounter while fly fishing. PE is comparatively easy on your hands. It floats and is a favorite with Spey and surf fishermen because it remains tangle free. It is easy to hang on to and shoots long distances.

Braided PE Specifications:
Color: Orange
Length: 150'/45.7m
Size: .032" - 29-pound test
Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
113793 Scientific Anglers Braided PE .032"
150' Orange $34.95
Varivas Airs
The VARIVAS® Shooting Line has become very popular with distance casters and steelhead/salmon anglers who want to reach our farther. Simply stated, AIRS reduces friction while running through your guides. You will instantly notice the difference between this and any other shooting line we are aware of. The secret is the eight air chambers that run lengthwise inside the line, which gives AIRS its floatation, and also gives it a slightly ridged cross-section on the outside for less contact with rod guide surfaces. Varivas AIRS remains supple even in winter cold water conditions for tangle-free performance. You will have to stretch it as it comes off the reel spool and then it remains straight for that casting period. Ideal for Scandinavian and Skagit style shooting heads. Hi-viz yellow for great visibility. Supplied in 100m spools (approximately 110 yards)
Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
VSL-024 Varivas Airs Shooting Line 24-pound, .016 110-yards Yellow $39.95
VSL-030 Varivas Airs Shooting Line 30-pound, .019 110-yards Yellow $39.95
VSL-036 Varivas Airs Shooting Line 36-pound, .021 110-yards Yellow $39.95
VSL-047 Varivas Airs Shooting Line 47-pound, .027 110-yards Yellow $39.95

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