Steelhead Destinations
Fly Tying
Lake Reports
Bauer Reels
Why we love our lakes
Sandy Watershed

(continued from 08/14 The Fly Fishing Shop Insider)
Journey to the Forbidden Land  (Part-2)
A three part series about Kamchatka wilderness adventure - 
by Mark Bachmann

That doesn't mean that the fishing on the Zhuponova was always easy for us.  Steelhead are still steelhead and they have their moods.  Besides it was spring and run-off time.  The river turned muddy the second day of our trip and was in and out the whole stay. 

...a Russian steely

However, luck came to me in spades.  I drew  Ed Rice and John Randolph as roommates.  These guys have fished the world and their guidance was priceless. The group was divided into fishing teams.  My guide was Guy Fullheart and fishing partners were Al Corrado and Henry Creators.  Together we made a very compatible team.  Ed Rice showed me the black and white smolt pattern, which proved to be the killer pattern when fished deep and slow. Water temperatures ranged from 33-35 degrees.  Watercolor

...jet boat...    To Top

ranged from dark brown to light brown in the main river.  However Guy had the plan that beat the odds.  We took a jet boat from camp each morning and fished below the mouths of several large, clear tributaries.  Here the water would be clear enough to fish for several hundred yards.  With the water temperature so low you had to fish very carefully because the fish didn't want to move very far for 
...catch & release...

your fly.  The saving grace was that there were a lot of fish in these spots and we caught quite a few.  My average for the trip was seven fish landed per day.  These fish averaged between five and ten pounds with the largest estimated at fourteen pounds, not an Earth shattering record, but enough to keep me grinning the whole trip. 

The Zhuponova fish were designated not as steelhead, but as coastal rainbows.  This is because at the time the Russian Red Book had Kamchatka steelhead listed as endangered and therefore off limits to fishing.  So they changed the name of these fish so we could legally fish for them. There is little doubt that these rainbows have a sea run life style.  Whether they are true steelhead or not is a debate for biologists.  They looked and acted like steelhead to me.  There were few large fish in the Zhuponova when we were there with average size was  

...average 25"-30"...

very much what an angler would expect in the Deschutes, 25" to 30".  All fishing was with barbless flies and all fish were released.  On the sixth day we loaded three

15' Avon rafts into the helicopter and flew about 30 miles upstream from camp.  That day we floated a tea colored tributary called the Right Fork of the Zhuponova.  It is a low gradient, fine gravel stream about 100' feet wide.  The edges of the stream are deeper that the middle.  It was wadeable almost everywhere, even in high flows.  For unbroken miles the bottom was terraced with redds from spawning fish.  There had to have been literally thousands of steelhead that had spawned there.  Judging from the looks of the bottom we were behind the peak of the spawn and still we must have floated over several thousand fish that were still spawning.  It makes you wonder if our home rivers looked like this when they were this pristine?  We caught some of these fish.  Really, you couldn't miss.  However most of the guys felt it unsporting to molest them. 
(to be continued in 08/28 FFS Insider)


RIO Windcutter Spey Lines now come with four changeable tips. The full compliment of Windcutters can be found here.

Exclusive to "Insider" readers; the next three buyers of Windcutter Spey Lines 
will receive a Climax Steelhead leader attached free to each tip.
That is a $15 Value for the purchase of a Windcutter set with (4) tips.
Offer expires 9/1/00.  Limit (1 set) per person.  Just tell us you saw this offer in the "Insider".


Salmon Smolt
Hook: Tiemco 9394, 4X, nickel, #2-#6
Thread: red 3/0
Lateral Flash: silver Flashabou
Body: none
Back: black buck tail
Belly: White buck tail
Eyes: small reflective stick-on, gold w/black pupil 
Instructions: Tie in ten strands of silver flashabou near the eye of the hook.  Tie in black buck tail on top and white buck tail on bottom, both forward over the eye. Return red thread to about 1/2" behind eye. pull back top back tail & tie off then bottom buck tail & tie off.  The reversed buck tail forms the head and the red thread the gills.  Epoxy the head and add eyes. Epoxy again.

White Clouser Minnow
Hook: Tiemco 800S, stainless, #2-#6
Thread: white 3/0
Eyes: small lead eyes, yellow with black pupil
Back: white buck tail
Flash: mixed pearl Krystal Flash and silver  
Belly: white flashabou
Head: white
Note: This easy to tie fly was John Randolph's favorite on the Zhuponova.  It has proven to be a great pattern where ever predatory fish feed on bait fish in both fresh and saltwater.

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Local Fly Fishing & Conservation Clubs that deserve your support. 

Clackamas Fly Fishers Clackamas River TU
Clark-Skamania Flyfishers Stone Fly Maidens

If you had to give up your fly fishing vacation because Montana and the Rocky Mountain States are without water and their rivers are closed for conservation reasons, consider that Oregon river flows are above the ten year average and our fishing is great.  
If you would like to read a  detailed Deschutes River Fishing Report, click here.

Up-to-Date  INFORMATION on Local Lakes at a glance.
Scroll this table for instant information. Click the links for more information.
Our Lakes Information Section is constantly evolving.  Be sure to check often for up-dates.  
Want some lake fly fishing instruction?
  Try a Guided Pontoon Boat Trip!
Water temperatures in all of the lakes is starting to drop slowly.
Action is picking up.

Badger Lake Last stocked 8/21, fishing good, Callibaetis, ants, caddis
Barnes Butte Lake Superb top water fishing for both trout and bass.
Chickahominy Reservoir Last stocked 5/29, many small fish, few large fish.
Clear Lake Last stocked 5/29, some big trout, water getting low.
Crane Prairie Reservoir Improving, fish scattered, damsels, Callibaetis, leeches etc.
Davis Lake Great Callibaetis hatches, fishing good. Bass hit poppers.
East Lake Last stocked 7/24, some large trout, many small trout, good.
Frog Lake Last stocked 6/12, big brood trout, wooly buggers, ants, Callibaetis.
Grindstone Lakes closed until the fall season
Harriet Lake Last stocked 8/21, good hatches, can be crowed
Hosmer Lake  Last stocked 5/29, Caddis, Callibaetis & damsels, fishing good.
Laurence Lake Road closed. 3 mile hike.                                              To Top
Lost Lake Last stocked 7/03, terrestrials, caddis, Callibaetis.
Mann Lake Midges & Callibaetis.                                                     
Olallie Lake Last stocked 7/17
Pine Hollow Reservoir Last stocked 5/08, fishing fair, water warm.                                    
Rock Creek Reservoir Last stocked 6/12, trout & bass fishing fair, water low & warm.
Roslyn Lake Last stocked 7/31, fishing good. Hex hatch.
Timothy Lake Last stocked 6/05, fishing good, terrestrials, Callibaetis, Baetis.
Trillium Lake Last stocked 8/21, fishing very good.
Wickiup Reservoir some big Brown Trout on streamers, getting better, still spotty.

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Large Arbor Reels have many advantages. They retrieve line faster when a fish is running at you. The spool turns slower when a fish is running away from you. The drag pressure changes less when fish make long runs.  
Check out Bauer Large Arbor Fly Reels.

Exclusive to "Insider" readers; the next three buyers of a Bauer "M" Series Reel will receive a Scientific Anglers Ultra 3 floating fly line ($46.95 Value) for FREE! 
Offer expires 9/1/00.  Limit (1) per person.  Just tell us you saw this offer in the "Insider".

**(continued from 08/14 The Fly Fishing Shop Insider)
Why We Love the Mount Hood Lakes  (Change is good, but not all of the time) 
A Lake Fly Fishing Guide lets you on the inside.                                                                  To Top

The overhead sun continues to radiate its warmth, although a freshening breeze keeps the air temperature almost pleasant.  Without conscious thought you slowly haul your sinking line to the surface, snip off the green damsel and replace it with  a number ten black woolly booger.  It seems as if some things never change. Your old float tube shares its dust gathering  duties with other unused treasures at home on the garage wall, long since replaced by the pontoon boat you relax in now.  Surrounded by gear bags, ice chest behind the seat, anchor system and net laying close at hand, you begin to cast that damn heavy line and reflect on the changes in the meandering path that brought you here.  This Lake is still breath-taking, the same as it was the first time you waded out from the shore in tennis shoes, with that old Cortland rod and mismatched line, ready to master this fly fishing thing, ready to go one-on-one with monster trout.  A slow grin appears as you remember that lonely six inch trout (but every inch a fighter!), but, even more, you remember that day as a good one, the first of many good days spent on the water.  Some things just never seem to change. 

Countless hours of researching gear and pouring over the latest publications, offering opinions to other fishermen about things which you had no clue.  Stopping by the fly shop whenever you had the chance, soaking up every word and filing it away for future comparison with the few things that you had already learned.  Never once being overly concerned with how much you may or may not really know about fly fishing, just simply enjoying the process of gathering small pieces of knowledge, assimilating each one with your own experience, the sum total of which changes each day that you open the door to that room in your mind that you keep these things, this "Fly Fishing".
How many winter hours have you set at the tying vice, dressing all manner of insect imitations, drawing upon years of experience handling gossamer wisps of material in search of the "perfect fly" , knowing that it does not exist, but dreaming anyway?  

Going all the way back to that first time you set a hook in a vice. That first fly you ever tied.  The incredible thrill of actually catching a fish on a fly that you tied.  A rush that you marvel at every time you feel a fish take a fly created by your hand.

There is no stopping that smile now.  That first fly was a Woolly Bugger, a black one at that.

Some things just never change......

J. Morgan Jones

Sandy River Fishery Information Bank

Daily Fishing Report

Watershed Over-view
Sandy River Book
Biology Etc. 
Watershed Council Web Site

If you would like to read past "Insiders", click Archives

Your commentary is always welcome.  Drop us a line: 

  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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