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A Tip on Tips, and a Line on Lines

A fresh chrome winter steelhead taken on a full floating Skagit and light tip, directly behind someone fishing a multi-density Skagit line

Well my winter steelhead season is not done but we are well past the half way mark. I watched a lot of fishing for winter steelhead over the past 4 months. Saw some thing and made notes about the things I saw. On top of that I always keep a running tally of the fish and some stats the surround that’s the fish hooked. I would like to share my finding with you.

Meaty buck taken in shallow water on a light tip and floating skagit

Let start with what I see as a full time steelhead guide. I see that most anglers try to show up with and be the most prepared they can, this is very appreciated. Most of them have rods less than 2 years old and the news years model of lines, I would say 80% of them almost make it a point. I also see a wider selection in most anglers sink tip wallets. A range of T-11 to T-17 and sprinkle in a T-8 or old type 3. All good things to have.

Now here is where I see people either uneducated or not fully understanding what they are trying to accomplish. The new wave of Skagit lines seems to be multi-density lines where the front portion of the actual Skagit head sinks and then gets progressively lighter and at some point as you go back down the line reverts into a floating line. The sinking portion of these lines is anywhere from 8-15’. Now I have zero problems with these lines, I have more problems with how they are applied.

Knowing more about the rivers you fish in regards to flow and fishable pieces of water.

Now this is where I want to help you as anglers. I want to help you to understand the need and use of these types of lines. The thought process in using and purchasing theses types of lines is to either get deeper or slow the fly down by getting more sinking material below the quick surface current. Now on the river I guide deep is a relatively term. But if you want depth on the urban rivers of the greater PDX area then in my opinion you need be very selective of the runs you fish with very heavy tips and flies. On the other hand if your goal is to get the fly speed as slow as possible. Here is where is have seen the anglers gone a bit off. If your a guy who is after a slower fly then you can’t fish the same tip as if you are trying to get the fly deep. So if you want deep have a tip for that, if you want slow have a tip for that. It you want deep and slow…. have a piece of water for that!! With a line that sinks the tip below the surface current if you use the same tip you would on your floating Skagit line your most likely going to be too deep. For the sake of your next line purchase… have a plan for what your trying to accomplish with the equipment your buy.

Now the stats… 7 steelhead landed on floating Skagit lines behind their fishing partner using multi-density lines. On average the heavier setup lots 3 more flies a day… and I believe these lines can be an effective part of an anglers arsenal. But use them with a purpose!! Have fun and get on the water!!!

Master Class Spey Camp

Fishing a Mid Belly line on a fine summer day on the Deschutes.

Well I have finally put together a steelhead fishing and deep instructional Spey Camp. I call it a camp only because your not at home but will be based in more a lodge style setting. Day floats on the lower Deschutes river will be a solid mix of steelhead Angling and intermediate/advances instruction. The dates are July 26-28.

A group of anglers getting one on one instruction to become better anglers and casters

The day will begin with a quick but large breakfast spread that should even provide something for the most difficult breakfast goers. The hop in the truck for a short drive to the ramp and off chasing steelhead. Fishing will be the focus until the lunch break.

Fresh July fish are awesome!!!!

After lunch we will focus on building new casting techniques to match each caster in the group. Where it is gaining anchor control of distance, tighter loops, or fishing more types of water. It will be covered in the 3 days on the water.

My box is full and ready.

After the fishing and instruction we will head back to the lodge for some appetizers and drinks with a guest speaker/tier then dinner and rest. So we can be up and ready again to get after it again in the morning.

Kicking ass in 2018!!!

5 spots is all I am going to allow in the class. So that everyone can get what they want out of the class for Angling and Casting. If anyone has interest shoot me an email about signing up for this class. Thanks and let’s get you on the water!!

Finally!! The Spey Booklet is on line for sale

spey-cast-instruction-bookle

This detailed booklet will help Spey casters of any level to better understand the principles of modern Spey casting.

Sorry for the wait, my Spey fishing and casting friends and community. The Spey booklet is now online, in a hard copy and a downloadable PDF will be up shortly as well. here is the link to the page http://speyfishingoregon.com/product/spey-casting-booklet-travis-johnson/ Enjoy

Placing your energy on working hard at anything will always pay out!!!

On to the current Steelhead news. The Deschutes Steelhead fishing has been about the same since we began guiding back in July. Fish hard with an open mind and your chin up and you will find a fish a day. The year of low numbers is not the worst thing as anglers we could have. The ability to go fishing still is present, closed to angling could be way worse. By going fishing you show respect for the rivers that Steelhead live in. By not going you might save a few dollars, but those dollars we put into the love of steelhead are just as important to the communities and the people that have made the chasing of Steelhead their lives. Just food for thought, i know we all care for these fish, hope everyone is getting out on the water!! Thanks