Ice In The Guides, G. Loomis Max 3L Jacket, Simms WindStopperHalf-finger Gloves
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Ice In The Guides
G. Loomis Max 3L Jacket
Fly Tying Party
it's too tough
out there to catch steelhead when there is ice floating down the river?
As I watch the beautiful eight pound hen steelhead slip back into the icy depths of the river all I can do is sit on a rock, look around, and think “now that was a great day!” As we pack up for the day, high fives are shared, big smiles are worn by all, and even my dog Ranger seems to be smiling behind the ice sickles that have formed over half of his pearly white coat. When I think of a day of steelhead fishing, there are often more adjectives than I can come up with to describe my day on the river, but on this day, I think even the dictionary was short of words to portray this one. Having shared the day with great company, ice bergs in the river, Chukar Partridge in the air, and a couple of beautiful fish, it just may be one of the best days I have ever spent on a river.
|The John Day River on New Years Day...ice flows.|
As the day began, we neared the
river, after a near-death defying plunge down a snowy dirt road into the
fantastic red rock canyon might I
add, the anticipation of a day spent swinging flies with good friends
grows nearly unbearable. Thoughts of small Spey flies wiggling their way
through the storied runs of the John Day are almost instantly replaced
by, “what the hell are we doing here?” Ice bergs float undaunted down
the river forming shelf ice which seems to grow by the minute on the
banks. Snow blankets the landscape and it seems the only sign of life
are the small groups of mule deer foraging along the hill sides. It was
new years day, and here we are, maybe the only people crazy enough to
think we may actually be able to find a fish beneath the ice bergs.
I watched Travis step in to the water as I lagged behind trying
to keep my fingers warm enough to get a rod rigged and a fly in the
water. He was not far down the run when he exclaimed that he may have
had a grab. It was tough for me to comprehend as I watched the shelf ice
seemingly form around his legs as he stood in the river and I thought to
myself that it was just as likely that an ice berg came by and grabbed
on to his line, as it was that a fish had tugged at his fly. As I slid
into the river, I came upon the exact same spot where Travis had felt
life and had the same experience, was it possible, on a day like this,
that there were actually happy fish in the river. We swung the rest of
the run with no results, other than frozen guides and a hardy reel so
coated in ice that it was completely unusable, and headed back to the
heat of the car.
My good old Hardy landed in the river and instantly turned into an ice berg.
|We persisted on, covering a couple more beautiful pieces of water, actually I was staring at the spectacular backdrops of the red rock canyon more than swinging flies, but hey, we were fishing. As we ate lunch we noticed that the ice bergs of the earlier part of the day had slowly dissipated to almost none, now we were in business. We had just a few more hours of daylight, and our first opportunity to actually swing flies, without having to fit each cast between cascades of tiny ice bergs. As my fly swung through the tail-out of a long, slow moving run below a heavy riffle, the line came tight, and this was no ice berg. After a short struggle the large buck shook loose and I sat in disbelief as all my persistence had paid off, but only briefly. Travis swung through the run behind me and finished with no results. We retreated back to the car and headed off to fish one last run before heading home.|
In the afternoon the air and water warmed a little and our perseverance paid off.
It was a classic John Day run. We had tried to fish it once
before that morning but were quickly discouraged by the amount of ice so
we aborted. The small creek that dumped into the top of the run ran
slightly warmer than the river itself and gave us confidence that it
just might hold fish looking to escape the frigid temperatures of the
rest of the river. I sat on a rock, still slightly discouraged by having
lost, what was easily the biggest John Day steelhead I had ever hooked,
and watched Travis work through the run. The swing came across so slowly
that it seemed the ice formed in the guides of his Loomis dredger faster
than the fly actually swung. We used light enough tips, the new iMOW
intermediate tips were perfect, allowing the fly to swing all the way to
the bank but not hang up in the slow water, so when I saw his line lift
off of the water I knew he wasn’t hooked to the bottom. Minutes later
Travis was sliding a beautiful wild hen into hand and the smile on his
face after a summer of guiding others into fish was unmistakable.
This beautiful wild steelhead had been hooked a couple of times before.
|A good friend of mine once said, “it’s amazing what ten pounds of quivering, chrome, flesh will do to a man.” This quote struck me more today than on most days. Travis and I had persisted through some of the worst conditions I had ever fished in. From terrible driving conditions, to icebergs so thick they would have sunk the Titanic, again, to ice in the guides and frozen reels, we had been through it all in one day. All in all, we hooked three fish, landed two, had some laughs and returned home safely. As I sit here now, and reflect on that day, do I wish it were warmer, or that we had caught more fish? Nope, I just wish I could relive it every day.|
|G. Loomis Max 3L Jacket|
Travis Johnson tests the G. Loomis 3L Max Jacket, while fishing Oregon's John Day River 1/1/13.
This may be the most streamlined waterproof breathable wading jacket available.
Click for larger picture...
Every part of this jacket is made to allow full movement of your body.
Click for larger picture...
Water repellant cuff is streamlined so as not to snag your fly line.
Click for larger picture...
Extra cinch-cuff inside your sleeve prevents water from running up your arm.
Click for larger picture...
|The NEW T-Core LX technology which is a 3L waterproof, breathable material forms the shell of this streamlined wading jacket. The jacket is equipped with waterproof zippers that are fully seam taped and innovative water tight cuff construction so water can't penetrate keeping you dry through a full day of fishing. Minimalist pockets (2-outside, 2-inside) are just large enough for enough gear for the Spey Fisher. The whole design concept is to eliminate annoying protrusions that can snag or tangle a fly line, but still allow full movement of your upper body.|
|G1303LJKTMBK||G. Loomis 3L Max Jacket, Black||Medium||$350.00|
|G1303LJKTLBK||G. Loomis 3L Max Jacket, Black||Large||$350.00|
|G1303LJKTXLBK||G. Loomis 3L Max Jacket, Black||X-Large||$350.00|
|G1303LJKTXXLBK||G. Loomis 3L Max Jacket, Black||XX-Large||$350.00|
This day of Winter steelheading started with a weather forecast of high winds and possible freezing rain, just the kind of climatic conditions that can be pure misery if you are a fly fisher. Because of an aging body, my circulation isn't what it used to be. But, because of my high-tech clothing, this day was comfortable and productive. In my opinion, the best new clothing item to hit the market in the past several years are the Simms WindStopper Half-finger Gloves. On the average, I don't even like to wear gloves, especially while I'm fishing. Most gloves impair an angler's ability to feel the rod while casting, etc. Most gloves used while steelhead fishing get wet and stay wet all day, feeling cold and icky, but not the Simms WindStopper Half-finger Gloves. To my surprise these gloves can get wet and will lose most of their water content within minutes. Within minutes, my hands were warm again. Even more surprising, these gloves were warm and comfortable, even when the outside was covered with fish slime. The palm material is thin and doesn't interfere with rigging, casting or rowing. This material also has the perfect texture for tailing and hanging onto fish.
|Many gloves will keep your hands warm while they are dry. Keeping one's hands dry while fishing is nearly impossible. Simms WindStopper Half-finger Gloves keep your hands warm after they have been dunked. Did I mention that the water temp this day was 34.5-degrees.||When tailing large fish, there is little margin for error. Simms WindStopper Half-finger Gloves are constructed with fabric that makes tailing steelhead easier. My gloves were purposely dunked, slimed and generally abused, just to see what would happen.|
Durable, lightweight, quick drying polyester fleece with DWR finish and WindStopper® membrane
|Note: These gloves run slightly smaller than average for size designation.||
Heat Treat Hand Warmers are a non-toxic, non-combustible &
environmentally friendly, odorless 7-hour heat source. These
warmers fit the integrated pockets in these gloves.
|HFM2103320||Simms WindStopper Half-finger Gloves, Size Small||$44.95|
|HFM2103330||Simms WindStopper Half-finger Gloves, Size Medium||$44.95|
|HFM2103340||Simms WindStopper Half-finger Gloves, Size Large||$44.95|
|HFM2103350||Simms WindStopper Half-finger Gloves, Size Extra-Large||$44.95|
|Heat Treat Hand Warmers|
Treat Hand Warmers are a non-toxic,
environmentally friendly, odorless 7-hour heat source
using all natural ingredients that are non-combustible.
Heat Treat Adhesive Body Warmers
Air activated, natural heat source for your body. HEAT TREAT Warmers are portable and easy to use-simply open the package and feel instant heat that lasts for over 12-hours. Remove the protective backing and adhere the Adhesive Body Warmer to inside of clothing over area of body that needs relief.
Use them for warmth in the outdoors and any cold weather environment.
HEAT TREAT warmers can also be used as a natural heat source for relief of minor aches and pains.
Instant Natural Heat with no hassles!
|Do not apply directly to
skin. Warmers can reach 127-150 degrees.
Be sure to have a layer of clothing between between a Heat Treat Warmer and your skin.
|WARMER-1||Heat Treat Hand Warmers,
|WARMER-2||Heat Treat Adhesive Body Warmers , per each||$1.49|
Tying Steelhead Squid Flies & Intruders
Featuring Free Tying Instruction From:
Mark Bachmann and Travis Johnson.
This program is for new tiers and
experienced tiers alike.
Fish long & prosper,
Mark, Patty & Crew
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
© 1981-2012 The Fly Fishing Shop
We have been in business since April 21, 1981.