Christmas Shopping For Fly Fishers

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Catching Steelhead
Spey Outfit
Simms G4 Jacket
Dress Like A Steelheader

Christmas Shopping For Fly Fishers
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Happy Holidays !!!

Catching Winter Steelhead …top ten secrets to success…
...if you asked the masters, this is what they would tell you.

Need A Steelhead School? Click

1. Be where the fish are
Steelhead runs are very cyclic. One year a river might be loaded with fish and the next year it might be marginal. Use the Internet, but also use the telephone.  Call for information.

2. Choose the right guide.
Take some time to interview your prospective guide. There are a lot of different personalities out there. There are also a lot of different experience levels too. Take time to get acquainted with your guide before you book a trip.

3. Keep your fly in the water.
Practice casting and presentation continually while you are fishing. Every cast counts.  Learn to be efficient. Your fly will only catch fish when it is in the water and has the best chance when presented properly.

4. Check for wind knots & abrasions in your leader.
Keep track of your terminal tackle. Many fish are lost to wind knots and abraded leaders. Remember that you are playing in the fast lane. Anything that can break will break.

5. Keep your hook sharp.
Carry a file. Any time your hook touches the bottom of the river, check the point. Use your file. Many strikes are missed because the hook is dull. Diamond Hook File

6. Stay on the move.
The more water you cover - the more fish you cover - the more biters you cover - the more fish you put on the beach...simple as that.

7. Be alert.
The more fish you see the more fish you catch. Wear Polarized glasses.

8. Be prepared.
Do your research. Check your gear before you start your trip. Be organized.

9. Be comfortable.
Have the right clothing for the conditions you might encounter. Nothing ruins a trip quicker than leaky waders, etc.

10. Be relentless
Be relentless - Be relentless - Be relentless - Be relentless - Be relentless - Be relentless - Be relentless -

Good Luck !!!

Deer Creek Steelhead Spey Outfit
Outfit Includes:
TFO 13' 7/8 Dear Creek Rod with case, TFO Prism 9/11 Reel, Rio 460-grain AFS Head, Rio PowerFlex Core Shooting Line, 12' Rio Steelhead Leader, plus 100 yd. #30 Micron backing. It is rigged for chasing summer steelhead on the Deschutes River. To fish a sinking tip line, you will need to purchase a Skagit (Scandi Compact or Skagit Flight) head 500-550 grains and 9'-13' of T-11. This is a smoking hot deal on a great outfit.
Be sure to click which hand you prefer to wind the reel with.
Item Description Price To Top
TF 7/8 130 4 DC OUTFIT Deer Creek Steelhead Outfit Includes- TFO 13' 7/8 Dear Creek Rod with case, TFO Prism 9/11 Reel, Rio 460-grain AFS Head, Rio PowerFlex Core Shooting Line, 12' Rio Steelhead Leader, plus 100 yd. #30 Micron backing. $559.95 SALE ENDED

Simms G4 Jacket

Josh Linn

G4 Pro Jacket     Gunmetal
The next generation in rain jackets - the G4 Pro Jacket is Simms most technical jacket and features GORE-TEX® Pro Shell fabric for incredible performance and durability.

  • 3-layer GORE-TEX® Pro Shell fabric is exceptionally lightweight and offers the ultimate in breathability, durability and extended comfort.

  • Heavier nylon face fabric in shoulders for additional durability and lighter weight nylon face fabric in body for packability

  • Bellowed chest pockets with hook & loop closure under storm flap

  • Center-front zipper and 2 zippered chest pockets feature YKK® water-resistant zippers with anti-corrosion sliders

  • Patented built-in retractors and tippet pockets featuring Schoeller®-dynamic stretch fabric

  • The only rain jacket in the Simms line to include pit zips - offering additional ventilation

  • Quick-drying, microfleece-lined hand warmer pockets & adjustable, breathable stretch cuffs

  • Lightweight adjustable storm hood offers superior coverage & protection

  • Large back pocket with vertical water-resistant YKK® zipper

Simms G4 Pro Jacket now in gunmetal

Our Tests In The Field

Over 100 rainy-days on the water since October 2007 conclude that this is a very waterproof, wind proof, durable, practical garment.

Guide Tested by The Fly Fishing Shop.

You might think that $479.95 is a lot of money to pay for a jacket until you get caught in a hard, cold rain with no place to get undercover.
Item Description Size Price To Top
OGG1095220 Simms G4 Pro Jacket, Gunmetal Small $479.95 SALE ENDED
OGG1095230 Simms G4 Pro Jacket, Gunmetal Medium $479.95 SALE ENDED
OGG1095240 Simms G4 Pro Jacket, Gunmetal Large $479.95 SALE ENDED
OGG1095250 Simms G4 Pro Jacket, Gunmetal X-Large $479.95 SALE ENDED
OGG1095260 Simms G4 Pro Jacket, Gunmetal XX-Large $479.95 SALE ENDED

Dress Like a Veteran Steelheader
How you dress will make as much difference to your success in winter steelheading as your choice of tackle.  Pictured below are some men who spend a lot of time searching for big steelhead during wet/cold weather.  Anglers who catch fish like these don't have the time or an inclination to use any but the most practical gear.  "We know, because it all came from The Fly Fishing Shop."

Winter steelhead weather can mean rain and lots of it. 
The word "rain" turns most people off because they associated it with discomfort. However, rainy days don't have to be uncomfortable 
if you dress properly. 
Many rainy days can be beautiful.
Everything is washed and clean. Rain softens the edges of the landscape. It dampens sound and a rainy day on the river can be one of personal intimacy. But the best reason to fish in the rain is that steelhead are more aggressive on cloud-cover days.
If you dress correctly, you can be comfortable, even during long days in cold, wet weather. If you don't dress correctly, you can get cold & wet.  As you lose thermal energy, your motor skills will suffer.  Warm muscles perform better than cold ones.  Dress to keep yourself warm and dry.  Keeping your skin surface free from dampness is one of the biggest keys to staying warm.  
Many people think that preparing for rain only means the addition of a rain coat and chest high waders.
The selection of these items is very important, but what you wear under this outer layer is also very important.  Any moisture trapped within your clothing will conduct heat away.  This means that you not only have to keep the rain out, but your clothing also has to have the ability to disperse your own perspiration.  When dressing for cold or wet weather fishing dress from the inside out.
The layer of clothing next to your skin is the one you will feel all day.

Layer your clothing to stay warm...

Maximum perspiration zones are your arm pits, groin and feet.  All these areas need special clothing.  Your inner layer should be made from synthetic material for maximum comfort.  It should be soft and designed to wick moisture away from your skin.
Never wear cotton clothing under your waders.
Cotton retains moisture and has very little insulation value when damp.  It also becomes a medium for fungal infections.  The organisms that cause infections such a jock itch and athletes foot can not live in synthetic fabrics.  Synthetic materials tend to  "pass-through", rather than "retain" moisture from perspiration.   Nylon, acrylic and polyester do not retain as much moisture as cotton or silk. Wool is the only natural fiber that will keep you as warm as synthetics. However wool is more expensive and often less durable.

 Dressing with layers of Synthetic material can further customize the wicking of moisture away from your body.  A layer of Simms WaderWick™ Underwear next to your skin with a layer of Simms WaderWick™ Fleece over it can keep you roasty-toasty during what would otherwise be inhospitable climatic conditions. Pay special attention to the layers that cover your legs and feet. These extremities are the ones that will be immersed in cold water.  When water temperatures are below 50-degrees double layering is recommended.  Water temperatures below 40-degrees demand heavier double-layering. Two layers of fleece or even three layers are recommended when the water is in the 30's.

Pay special attention to your socks. Water runs down hill and some of your body perspiration will collect at your feet. This happens much less with breathable waders, but is still a factor, especially if you are hiking between pools.  There is no way for wader feet to breathe inside your wading shoes.  Wader feet are still made from insulating, but non-breathable neoprene.
We like thick wool/nylon blend socks that have a knitted loop pile on the inside which gives them the capacity to retain a lot of loft, even with the squeezing pressure of your waders around them. They act as a reservoir for migrant perspiration but help keep it away from your skin.  
Of this type, Outdoor Socks by Fox River are the best we've tested.  They are knee length so provide another layer of insulation for the lower leg.  Remember, all socks are made from knitted yarns which tend to wash-out as you launder them, thereby loosing loft and insulating qualities.  Replace them often for maximum comfort.  

Your outer layer is your first layer of defense.
It must be water-proof, but it too must be able to dispel any moisture that might collect inside it.  This is accomplished by a special membrane sandwiched between two layers of protective fabric.  This membrane is porous so it can breathe.  The pores are of a diameter that allow smaller gaseous molecules to escape, but will not allow larger liquid molecules to enter.  Non-breathable waders and rain jackets have all but disappeared 
from the steelhead fly fishing scene in favor of newer technology fabrics such as:  Gore-Tex.

Because of a revolutionary immersion technology from W.L. Gore & Associates, Gore-Tex keeps water from getting in, yet is very breathable, even when completely submerged and allows sweat and moisture to escape. This keeps your skin dry and helps you retain your body heat. Gore-Tex does not stretch, but the articulated knee design employed in Simms G3 Guide Waders allows a streamlined fit with full mobility of the angler.  A good fitting pair of waders should mold to your body and give you the most streamlined configuration you can have. This lessens water drag in the currents and makes wading less difficult.  Waders with bent knees enable a closer fit than straight legged waders.  For durability multi-layer construction is nearly mandatory from the crotch down.  Five-layer construction co-developed by W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. and Simms was designed specifically for use in fishing waders.  Simms/Gore-Tex®

 waders feature this laminate which results in the most puncture-resistant, most durable, most technologically-advanced breathable waders you can purchase.

Wading shoes serve three purposes; to protect your feet and enhance your balance and traction. High top leather or man-made leather wading shoes give better support and last longer per dollar spent, than their cheaper canvas counterparts. Felt soles with silicone carbide studs are the best traction you can have on all kinds of bottom structure. Some guides object to having studded shoes in their pretty boats. If yours is that way, get a different guide. Fly-casting, like many other athletic events, depends on good traction.  A selection of proven wading shoes can be found here.

Be sure that your wading shoes fit for maximum support, but have enough room so as not to impair your circulation. Always wear your waders and full under garments when fitting a new pair of wading shoes. Our favorite wading shoes are Simms Guide Boots Korkers Wading Shoes with Omnitrax interchangeable soles may be the most advance angling footwear available. These wading shoes allow you to change soles to fit any environment. Remember all of your casting and wading performance starts with the bottom of your feet. If you are slipping and sliding, you can't cast very well and you're bound to get wet and cold.

Boot foot waders are gaining popularity with some of the Northwest's most experienced steelheaders. Simms will ad BootFoots to any of the their new breathable waders. You can order BootFoots added to G3 and G4 Pro waders from us online. There is a 4 to 6-week wait as all BootFoot waders are custom made. We highly recommend adding Simms Hard Bite Boot Studs  to any Boot Foots with felt soles. Studs can not be added to lug sole boot foot waders.

Your wading jacket forms the roof over all your innerwear. It must have a weatherproof parka hood. A wading jacket must be impenetrable to rain by keeping water from coming through the fabric shell and must also be designed to keep water from running down your neck or up your sleeves. A jacket that is rain proof is also wind proof. If the outer shell material will allow perspiration to pass through without allowing rain water to get in, you can remain comfortable in about any kind of weather you will encounter during productive steelhead fishing.

We have worn every generation of Simms Guide Jacket since they were first introduced. They just keep getting better and better. The G4 Pro Jacket has proven itself to the most demanding anglers and has held up against the most demanding conditions. It's made from 3-layer GORE-TEX® Pro Shell fabric, which offers the ultimate in breathability, durability and extended comfort. The Simms G3 Jacket is also proven in harsh conditions and costs about $50 less.

  Since your jacket is the outer most shell, it is the most convenient place to carry your gear. Few avid winter steelheaders wear fishing vests. A vest worn on the outside of your jacket gets wet. A vest worn inside your vest is hard to get at. Besides, you don't have to carry that much gear.

For a whole day of steelhead fly fishing, all I carry are: (besides my rod & reel) 1. A lanyard with a leader clipper, hook file, and nail knot-tying tube. 2. (1) Medium size box of flies. 3. Zippered wallet to carry Skagit tips and leaders. 4. Leader dispenser with 10, 15 and 25 pound test hard, abrasion resistant leader material. All of this gear will easily fit in the breast pockets of a properly designed wading jacket. If these breast pockets are equipped with D-rings you can attach your tool lanyard and then drop the tools into the pocket where they can't get tangled in your fly line.

Don't forget to consider your hands. Neoprene gloves are great for cold weather, especially if you are rowing.  Both slit-finger and fingerless gloves are appropriate at times. Our latest tests confirm that Simms WindStopper® Half-finger gloves are very comfortable & practical for fishing.

The Fly Fishing Shop HOME. The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

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Fish long & prosper,
Mark, Patty & Crew