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Summer Spey Schools
First Signs Of Spring
Stone Fly Nymphs
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Travis Johnson Wins
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The First Signs of Spring
By: Matt Sherman
The familiar sound of the train coming down the tracks is as sure a sign that the seasons have shifted as the warm spring sunshine that beat down on the two of us. The morning air is crisp, and the anticipation of noses breaking the surface to gulp tiny dry flies was the topic of conversation as we made our way upriver. It was quiet, the crowds that this fishery is infamous for had not yet arrived making this time of year one of my favorite to explore new water with old friends. After rigging up we enter a familiar riffle. Before beginning to fish I must say I looked around, felt the sun on my face, listened to that tell tale sound of noisy steel rolling down the tracks, and exclaimed “it’s good to be back.”
|The first riffle produced several fish. We were lucky enough to have a few really cool new toys at our disposal that day. The Sage One 590-4 loaded, and unloaded effortlessly, with a skilled hand directing its every movement. JC cast upstream with a dry/dropper combination and picked off a couple of hungry redsides, who took the dropper with plenty of enthusiasm. Like the scenery and serenity of the river itself, the fish who roam beneath the foam and surface chop are hard to stay away from for any length of time. Colorful, aerial, acrobatic, the list of adjectives with which I could describe these Deschutes redsides may be longer than this article itself. The smile on JC’s face was unmistakable, having lived in both Oregon and Idaho in his adult life, it was pretty clear to me that he had made his way back home. Catching wild trout under the sunshine of an Oregon spring day is hard to beat, and I could tell with the first few casts that we were in for a fun day.|
We were doing a bit of “work” that day as well, if you could call it that. Mark was nice enough to put his G. Loomis NRX 1085-4 in my hand for the day so JC and I traded off between that and the Sage One throughout the day, comparing notes as the afternoon wore on. Let’s be honest, they are both high performance pieces of equipment with little to no negative aspects of any kind. There are some comparisons and contrasts, but even the most discerning trout angler would be happy to have either. In a perfect world, maybe one would own both! They both have a high propensity to create line speed. Light in hand is an understatement, both rods combine modern technologies to form the lightest, yet strongest rods found on the market today. Sage’s konnetic technology helps to direct the fly line in the exact direction in which the rod tip travels. Watching JC cast with exact precision made this apparent, whether a skilled angler or a novice this is truly a development of modern technology that will improve even the best fly caster’s game.
|I’ve written articles in the past concerning many of the great species we chase in the great state of Oregon. Often times they are focused on that ocean going leviathan that encompasses our thoughts and free time for much of the year. On this particular Monday afternoon, JC and I were quickly reminded of our backgrounds and fishing lives up until now. Listening to the trains go by, watching mule deer roam the hillsides and sitting amongst the tall green grass that grows along the banks of this legendary body of water, I felt at peace. I felt ready, excited, and most of all I felt like the luckiest person on earth looking forward to yet another summer on the river. Sometimes in life it is hard to sit back and realize just how lucky we are, today was not one of those examples. Today, my heart was full of joy, I felt alive.|
|FFS Stone Nymph, Brown||Little Black Sloan|
|FFS Stone Nymph, Golden||Jimmy Legs|
|Double Bead Peacock Stone||Kaufmann Stone, Golden|
|Double Bead Black Stone||NEW! Speculator, Brown|
|NEW! Improved Rubber Leg Stone, Black||NEW! Speculator, Golden|
|NEW! Improved Rubber Leg Stone, Golden||Yellow Sally|
|Stoneflies are a small, but diverse family of insects that are adapted to well oxygenated streams and rivers. Stonefly nymphs have fixed gills that can only extract oxygen in moving water. If trapped in still water they die quickly. Most stoneflies crawl out of the water to hatch. The normal procedure is for nymphs to migrate to shore to hatch.|
Real and fake Golden Stonefly Nymphs
|This migration activity is attractive to trout, grayling and whitefish. Some smaller species do hatch mid river at the waters surface much like mayflies do. Nymphs of several giant stone flies live in our rivers for up to three years before they hatch into winged adults. They are available to trout in several sizes, nearly year round. As the nymphs grow they must take ever larger territory.|
A giant Salmonfly Nymph is about ready to hatch. Note that the orange adult is showing through the exoskeleton of the nymph.
|The redistribution of territory usually happens in mass with many insects changing territory at the same time. This is called a behavioral drift. The largest behavioral drift cycles of these stone fly nymphs occur mid-September through May. These mass movements of insects occur during the twilight of early morning and late evening. During these periods nymphs move down stream. Many are exposed to the currents and swept along out of control. Trout key on these vulnerable morsels. You should carry patterns in several different weights to cover different water depths and speeds. The flies listed below will cover all of the subsurface "giant stone fly" nymph activity. There are patterns such as the Little Golden Stone which cover many smaller species as well.|
Several weeks before the hatch, nymphs of most species of stone flies, including the giant ones such as salmon flies and golden stones will start to migrate to staging areas along the banks. No other occurrence in our rivers produces a feeding frenzy like a migration of big stone fly nymphs. Even the largest trout find it hard to refuse a big stone fly nymph fished deep along the bottom. The peak of this activity is the last two weeks before the hatch
|starts and the first week after the hatch
Illustration above copied from: Guide To Aquatic Trout Food by Dave Whitlock, which is one of the most authoritative guides to stream entomology.
|02-0530-04||Improved Rubber Leg Stone, Black||4||3 for $7.50|
|02-0530-06||Improved Rubber Leg Stone, Black||6||3 for $7.50|
|02-0540-08||Improved Rubber Leg Stone, Golden||8||3 for $7.50|
This is a deadly fly, especially when the water is off-color during spring run-off. The long, slim rubber legs crawl and swim in the currents. The reflective mylar back alternately flashes to disclose the fly's presence and then camouflages it by reflecting the colors of the surroundings, making this fly a real tease.
|NSF045||Speculator, Brown||6||3 for $7.50|
|NSF047||Speculator, Golden||8||3 for $7.50|
Stone Fly Nymph, Dark Brown
After reading "Nymph Fishing for Larger Trout" by Charlie Brooks we decided to try some heavy weighted Stone Fly Nymphs tied in-the-round. This method makes the nymph look the same whether up side down or right side up. This fly has been a success since 1975. Heavy weighted.
|11000-02||FFS Stone Fly Nymph, Dark Brown||2||3 for $5.85|
|11000-04||FFS Stone Fly Nymph, Dark Brown||4||3 for $5.85|
|11000-06||FFS Stone Fly Nymph, Dark Brown||6||3 for $5.85|
|11000-08||FFS Stone Fly Nymph, Dark Brown||8||3 for $5.85|
|11000-10||FFS Stone Fly Nymph, Dark Brown||10||3 for $5.85|
Bead Head Yellow Sally
Donít let the name fool you. This is a Yellow Sally nymph that is hard to beat in May, June and July. The bonus plan is that Kyleís B.H. Yellow Sally works great all spring, summer and fall as a micro Golden Stone nymph.
|02002012||Kyle's Bead Head Yellow Sally Nymph||12||3 for $5.85|
|02002014||Kyle's Bead Head Yellow Sally Nymph||14||3 for $5.85|
Stone Fly Nymph, Golden
Like all other insects stoneflies must shed their exoskeletons in order to grow. Some species of stoneflies turn from dappled brown shades to gold color for a period after this process. This brightly colored nymph pattern is very effective during high water periods when newly transformed nymphs are being washed from the gravel. Heavy weighted.
|11500-06||FFS Stone Fly Nymph, Golden||6||3 for $5.85|
|11500-08||FFS Stone Fly Nymph, Golden||8||3 for $5.85|
|11500-10||FFS Stone Fly Nymph, Golden||10||3 for $5.85|
|Speckle Leg Double Bead Peacock Stonefly Nymph|
|If you fish the Deschutes River, nearly any time of year, this is a must have fly. Resides like it and so do steelhead.|
|02-0125-04||Speckle Leg Double Bead Peacock Stonefly Nymph||4||3 for $7.50|
|02-0125-06||Speckle Leg Double Bead Peacock Stonefly Nymph||6||3 for $7.50|
|02-0125-08||Speckle Leg Double Bead Peacock Stonefly Nymph||8||3 for $7.50|
|Speckle Leg Double Bead Stonefly Nymph, Black|
|Giant Salmon flies are normally a three year life cycle. During most of their lives these insects crawl around on the bottom of the river devouring vegetable matter. They are black in color with few markings of other colors. However, years ago, some anglers noted that the addition of white legs made large black nymphs more effective. That is how the Girdle Bug fly became famous. In certain colors of water the striped legs probably show up better and are easier for trout to see.|
|02-0110-04||Speckle Leg Double Bead Stonefly Nymph, Black||4||3 for $7.50|
|02-0110-06||Speckle Leg Double Bead Stonefly Nymph, Black||6||3 for $7.50|
|Double Bead Pearl-Back Stonefly Nymph|
|This is a deadly fly, especially when used in high, off colored water.|
|03165-06||Double Bead Pearl-Back Stonefly Nymph||6||3 for $8.85|
|Jimmy Legs Stonefly Nymph, Brown|
|The longer Salmonflies remain in the same skin, the more algae grows on the outside of them, giving them an olive cast.|
|NSF0089||Jimmy Legs Stonefly Nymph, Brown||4||3 for $7.50|
Golden stoneflies hatch during the latter part of spring run-off in most watersheds. They are an important food source for trout during much of the year, but are most important Just before and during the hatch. Golden stonefly nymphs are usually dirty brownish gold in color. These flies are very heavy weighted.
|14270||Kaufmann Stone, Golden||8||3 for $7.00|
This winter stonefly nymph pattern was designed by David Sloan. It represents the small species of winter emerging stoneflies and also the smaller instars of a salmonfly nymph, which may take more than one season to reach full size. This makes the Little Black Sloan a good bet any time of year during low light conditions, when stonefly nymphs are likely to be mixed into the behavioral drift cycles.
|19192||Little Black Sloan||14||3 for $6.75|
|19193||Little Black Sloan||16||3 for $6.75|
key to success is "understanding". You can never know
Understanding the organisms that trout feed on is one of the keys to catching trout.
DAVE WHITLOCK'S GUIDE TO AQUATIC TROUT FOOD
is great reference material for the trout fisher.
Check out our special deal.
|RIO Indicator II Line|
|The Indicator II line
has been designed to cast indicator rigs with ease –
whether for trout or steelhead. The thick diameter, high floating
easy viz tip and short front taper easily turns over the largest
of indicators, while the ultra long head is easy to mend and
control the fly at long range. RIO’s acclaimed DualTone
load locating system makes it simple for anglers to find the
ideal casting area of the fly line. It is the perfect line
for fishing indicator rigs.
|6-20205||RIO Indicator II Fly Line||WF4F||$74.95|
|6-20206||RIO Indicator II Fly Line||WF5F||$74.95|
|6-20207||RIO Indicator II Fly Line||WF6F||$74.95|
|6-20208||RIO Indicator II Fly Line||WF7F||$74.95|
|6-20209||RIO Indicator II Fly Line||WF8F||$74.95|
Czech Nymph Leader
Developed by Andy Burk, the Umpqua Czech Nymph leaders makes Czech Nymph rigging easy. This three fly leader with two droppers will have you fishing multiple weighted nymphs easily and effectively. Hand tied Power Pro Leader with a larva lace loop and stainless steel tippet ring rigged with two droppers for fishing a three fly cast.
The incredibly strong Power Pro main line reduces water drag and also loss of flies.
This leader is not a gimmick. In many ways it is revolutionary.
Andy Burk's Czech Nymph Leader
|8.5' - 4X||$12.99|
|Travis Johnson Wins Big At Spey-O-Rama|
|The Jimmy Green Spey-O-Rama World Championship is the most prestigious event in the world of Spey Distance Casting. Travis Johnson took command early by breaking his own world record (187') during the Qualification Event on Saturday, April 12. The new record in the 15'2" rod class is 198'. Then Travis went on to crush the competition on Sunday, April 13 with a score of 698, beating the nearest score by 50 points. Travis, who works at The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches, Oregon, is an expert in fishing flies, a steelhead/salmon/trout guide and a rod and fly line designer. Travis designed the rod and line he won with.|
|Finals - Sunday, April 13|
|Caster||Left side||Right side|
|Left Snake||Left Single||Right Snake||Right Single||Total||Longest|
|Qualification - April 12|
|Caster||Left side||Right side|
|Left Snake||Left Single||Right Snake||Right Single||Total||Longest|
P.O. Box 368
- 67296 East Hwy 26
Welches, Oregon 97067, USA
Voice: (503) 622-4607 or 1(800) 266-3971 FAX: (503) 622-5490
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We have been in business since April 21, 1981.