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Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays
Catching Steelhead
Used Guide Gear
Indian John

A Toast To Julie
Longer Tips
All pictures are Mouse-over.

Happy Holidays

Catching Steelhead …top ten secrets to success…
...if you asked the masters, this is what they would tell you.
Hook-up !!!
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. Run timing with in a specific year will also vary with weather, water and ocean conditions. Use the internet and telephone to find up-to-date information.  Develop a circle of friends, experts & tackle industry people to call for information.

2. Choosing the right guide.
A good steelhead guide is more than a fish-finder. 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.  It also has the best chance of connecting with a fish when presented at the right speed & depth.

4. Check for wind knots & abrasions in your leader.
This is a constant process. Keep track of your terminal tackle. Many fish have been lost to wind knots and abraded leaders. An over-hand knot in your leader can reduce the strength of your tippet by more than half. 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 have been missed because the hook was dull. 

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.

8. Be prepared.
Do your research. The amount of gear you carry for a boat trip will be much different than that carried for a hiking trip. Check all 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 or forgetting your raincoat, etc.

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

Good Luck !!!

Landed & Released !!!


Used gear from a good guide! Used fly fishing tackle = Cheap!

Indian John's Island ??
Indian John around 1890.

Deep in the Sandy River canyon between the Old Man's Hole and the House Hole is a wooded gravel-bar island named after Indian John. For the last 40-years, I wondered who Indian John might have been, and am still not sure.  But, an article in the September 2006 Portland Magazine caught my eye.  This is what the inset in the picture says (in brief):
Indian John (??-1893)
Chinook Chief
Settlers in 1890s Portland knew him as "Indian John", an ancient Chinook elder who entertained with early Oregon legends. John told of meeting Lewis and Clark near the mouth of the Sandy River in 1805, then would show admirers his dearest possession: a small silver spoon, one of several gifts from the explorers. Sheriff Penumbra Kelly, who had known John from childhood, told the Oregonian newspaper that at the time of his passing, the chief was at least 125 years old.
Anyone who can add more to the story; it would be greatly appreciated. 

A Toast To Julie
We got this picture & comments sent to us by email...love to see couples enjoying fly fishing together.

Julie first big steely...

Hi All,
Wife Julie’s first chromer … just your basic ‘four handed buck’. What a beginning!!
Thanks for your great service!
Ed Phelan

Longer Sinking Spey Line Tips For WindCutter Spey Lines.
Longer tips can get the fly deeper.

Rio's WindCutter is still the most popular winter steelhead spey ling.  There are several reasons why. The WindCutter design has the right head length to make it easy to cast with the widest variety of spey rods and casting skill levels. It is a highly adaptable fly line that may be lengthened or shortened because it has two loop to loop connections in the belly and multiple accessories that can be adapted to it.  Windcuttters come with (5) 15' tips and two mid-sections in the box.  Some very astute winter anglers have discovered that the WindCutter is even more versatile if  you add some longer sinking tips to your bag of tricks. Longer sinking tips will often penetrate deeper into the water and allow for special applications not well covered by shorter tips. A wider selection of tips can make you more versatile and productive.   Normally the front two sections are removed from the WindCutter and any tip longer thatn 15' is attached to the rear loop.  Since the stock two sections that you are removing are each approximately 15' long, about 30' will be removed from the head of your fly line.  This will leave the rear portion of the head which including rear taper is 22'.  Most tips that you will use are normally much shorter than the portion of the fly line that you have removed.  These tips can range in length from 16' to 24'.  This will result in an overall head of a much shorter length than the stock item.  On the average it will also be somewhat lighter in weight.  However the longer length of the sinking portion of the line will allow deeper penetration into the water.  Head and fly line configurations of this nature can also be also be very handy for fishing under overhanging limbs or anywhere where a shortened back cast is needed. 

Rio Big Boy Sinking Tips
Caught with a sinking tip.

The RIO Big Boy Series of 24' density-compensated  tips are handy in the 200 grain & 300 grain sizes for eight and nine weight rods.  The 400 grain tip is useable on most ten weight rods.  This is true for both single and double hand fly rods.  Longer tips get deeper than standard length tips under many circumstances.  Big Boy tips are density compensated so they tend to sink progressively faster toward the end that has the fly attached to it.  Therefore it is not advisable to trim them.

*4 Item Size Description Price To Top
RIO20472 150 gr. RIO 24', Big Boy Density Compensated  tip $36

RIO20473 200 gr. RIO 24', Big Boy Density Compensated  tip $36

RIO20474 300 gr. RIO 24', Big BoyDensity Compensated  tip $36

RIO20475 400 gr. RIO 24', Big Boy Density Compensated  tip $36

RIO20476 500 gr. RIO 24', Big Boy Density Compensated tip $36

RIO20477 600 gr. RIO 24', Big Boy Density Compensated tip $36

Rio T-14

Caught from deep water with a long sinking tip.

Customized sinking tips can easily be made from Rio T-14 Salmon Trolling line.  This extra fast sinking tungsten impregnated line is gaining popularity for use as raw material in making sinking tips and shooting heads.  T-14 comes in a roll and can be cut to any length.  The most popular application is with the "spey rod steelheaders set" who use T-14 to build customized sinking tips for the Rio WindCutter fly line.  If tips of more than 16' are being used, the front two sections are removed from the WindCutter and a T-14 sinking tip is attached to the rear loop.  Most popular T-14 tip lengths are 16' to 22'.  

Another advantage you will have when using T-14 is the ability to fine tune the casting weight of your line to fit each particular spey rod.    
 Item Size Description Price To Top
RIO20441 T-14. Rio, 30', T-14 with 3 braided loops, may be cut to length, 14 grains per foot, 8" to 9" per second sink rate $14.95

The following table shows the weight of the combined tip and mid-sections of 
WindCutter Spey Lines.
7-8-9 = 280 grains
8-9-10 = 300 grains
9-10-11 = 335 grains

The following table shows the weight of the most popular lengths of tips made from T-14.
16' = 224 grains 20' = 280 grains
18' = 252 grains 22' = 308 grains

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

1(800) 266-3971

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Fish long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann, Patty Barnes


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