Skagit Minnow

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Skagit Minnow
Eight-Weights
Replacement Tips
CrossCurrents
Nautilus Reels
All pictures are Mouse-over.

Skagit Minnow
Free Fly Tying Party
February 1 - 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Sunday Afternoon. 
"Winter Steelhead Flies"
Learn to tie flies with guest tier: Mike Kinney
"Yea, we know it's Super Bowl Sunday. This will give you a place to hide from the TV!"
Black Chartreuse/White Pink/Orange Purple/Blue
Mike Kinney

By the early 1980s steelhead fly fishers were realizing the need for larger flies. Not only for dirty water, but also for covering large pieces of water. With larger flies, big rivers like the Skagit could be fished more quickly and efficiently. The least expensive and most readily available material at the time was Marabou. By winding plumes around a hook shank a large profile could be created without too much  weight or bulk. Through trial and error I found that 3 plumes were about all most people could cast with the single handed rods that were in use during those days. By adding saddle tips to the hook shank before tying in the marabou I could create a bigger profile without adding much more bulk. Most fly tiers know that marabou when wet can stream down to almost nothing, early attempts at solving this problem used a bump of chenille behind the marabou to help flare it out. Then by continually trying to improve my flies I found that a large hackle such as a Schlappen caused turbulence that not only flared the marabou but also created more action. The next problem that arose was the long shank hooks gave the fish too much leverage and also were often too heavy of wire to create good hook sets. This problem was solved by cutting the the bend of the hook off and articulating a smaller, finer diameter hook. Dacron was used to connect the two hooks together, which also gave the rear part of the fly more action. Later longer finer saddle hackles were added to the tail which gave the flies a different and better action.
While I have been fishing the minnow for over twenty years, in about 1995 I shared some with my friend George Cook to take on his journeys to Alaska and Patagonia. When George returned he wanted to mass produce the flies, and share them with the general public. So I put together the action and profile of the Skagit Minnow with the fish catching colors of George's own Popsicle series. The Skagit Minnow has been effective wherever Salmon, trout, or steelhead swim.  
MB Kinney


Skagit Minnow, black as tied by Mike Kinney

Skagit Minnow, Black

Item Description Size Price To Top
11780 Skagit Minnow, Black 1/0 3 for $9.95 Sale Over


Skagit Minnow, Chartreuse and White as tied by Mike Kinney

Skagit Minnow, Chartreuse & White

Item Description Size Price To Top
11781 Skagit Minnow, Chartreuse & White 1/0 3 for $9.95 Sale Over


Skagit Minnow as tied by Mike Kinney

Skagit Minnow, Pink & Orange

Item Description Size Price To Top
11782 Skagit Minnow, Pink & Orange 1/0 3 for $9.95 Sale Over



Skagit Minnow, Purple/Blue as tied by Mike Kinney

Skagit Minnow, Purple & Blue

Item Description Size Price To Top
11783 Skagit Minnow, Purple & Blue 1/0 3 for $9.95 Sale Over


Cream Of The Eight-Weights
Bruse White 01/12/09
For this discussion, eight-weight means any rod that loves to chuck a 550-grain Skagit line with some kind of sinking tip attached, or to put it another way, a perfect size winter steelhead rod for most local rivers. We have had the privilege of testing lots of different eight-weights, and below is what we feel is the top six picks within certain prices. The first four rods are state of the art by any definition, and may even be considered equals by many experts. Their personalities vary, but all are to be lusted after. The TFO Deer Creek is the fifth choice. It costs less than half as much as each of the top four, but delivers amazing line speed and casting ease. The sixth rod is offered in a set compete with reel and line, leader and fly for $499.95, just in case the economy got part of your fishing budget. Pictured above is Bruce White who fished with me a couple of days this week. Bruce had just acquired a brand new 8142-4 Burky. After catching a couple of steelhead with it he let me check it out on the water...Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet !!!
...but they all are when fish are attached.

C.F. Burkheimer CF 8134-4

Length: 13' 4"    Line: #8     Pieces: 4

 

Description:  This rod could be called a Scandinavian design and while it might have great appeal to Scandinavian salmon fishers, it is pure Burkheimer.  Crisp and powerful, this fast action rod develops tremendous line speed, but is easy to time.  It will perform best with heads weighing 500-650 grains. Rocks and rolls with a 540-grain Compact Skagit. One of the most popular rods for 2007-2008 seasons! Continues to be one of the hottest items for 2009!
Reel Matches: Sage 6112, Saracione 3 3/4W, Tibor Riptide, Nautilus 12, Ross CLA 6, Ross Momentum 6.
Rod weight: 8  Ounces
Item   Length Line Wt. Price To Top
CF8134-4 C.F. Burkheimer Fly Rod 13 ft. 4 in. 8 $850 Sale Over


Sage 8134-4 Z-AXIS

Length: 13' 4"     Line: 8     Pieces: 4

Fast action spey rod.  This is a longer brother to the 8129-4. New for 2009, it will be a favorite stick for Kings in Alaska and winter steelhead in the Pacific Northwest. Long casts come surprisingly easy with minimum effort. George Cook says he likes a Rio 550 Skagit for this rod the best. Some casters like a 540-grain Airflo Skagit Compact even better. I guess I liked the feel of the rod better when it was bent deeper, so a 600-grain Skagit felt better to me. I was using a Rio 15' type-6, 11-weight tip for a total of 766-grains. This combination generates an incredible burst of energy at the end of the cast. I set this rod up with a 12-weight type-8 tip for chucking big flies and getting down really deep. However, lighter heads of 669 to 709-grains gave plenty of line speed and offered more finesse. This rod is proving to be extremely versatile.  If you own this rod you will never worry if you have enough gun for any steelhead river.
Line Match: 8/9/10 WindCutter, AFS 8/9, Skagit 500 to 600 w/out Cheater.
Sinking Tip:
15' 150-grain type 3, 6, & 8 as well as T-14 in 9' to 13' lengths.
Reel Matches: Sage 6112, Saracione 3 3/4W, Tibor Riptide, Nautilus 12, Ross CLA 6, Ross Momentum 6.
Rod weight:  8 3/4 Ounces

Item
Series
Line Wt
Action Handle Price To Top
8134-4 Z-AXIS 8 Fast F $795 Sale Over


R.L. Winston B2X8914

Length: 14'       Line: #8/9     Pieces: 4   

On the scales, this is the lightest weight rod in this selection. This is largely due to the very lightweight components used in the handle and reel seat.  This gives the rod a light swing weight, but a tip heavy feel, which almost demands a heavier reel to achieve balance. This rod casts great with any reel, but really come alive with a Saracione 3 3/4W. The B2X8914 is extremely adaptable and accepts many different line weights. It is really sweet with a 550 Rio Skagit and 11-weight tip.
Andre Scholz Scandinavian Shooting Head Recommendation: 524-555 grains.
Reel Matches: Sage 6112, Saracione 3 3/4W, Tibor Riptide, Nautilus 12, Ross CLA 6, Ross Momentum 6.

Rod weight: 7 3/4 Ounces.
Item Series Line Wt Action Handle Price To Top
8914 B2X 8/9 Medium Spey $835 Sale Over

C.F. Burkheimer CF 8142-4

Length: 14' 2"    Line: #8    Pieces: 4

 

Description: A great summer/winter steelhead rod. Also a very good rod for Atlantic salmon.  Will throw larger flies.  Handles sinking tips with authority.  Matches up well with lines from 550-700 grains.  Kerry's personal favorite: stock 7/8/9 WindCutter.  This is the rod pictured at the top of the page. It was superb with a 550-grain Rio Skagit and 10-weight 15' Rio tip. Balances best with a reel that weighs around 10.5 oz. Reel Matches: Sage 6112, Saracione 3 3/4W, Tibor Riptide, Nautilus 12, Ross CLA 6, Ross Momentum 6.
Rod weight: 8  Ounces
Item   Length Line Wt. Price To Top
CF8142-4 C.F. Burkheimer Fly Rod 14 ft. 2 in. 8 $850 Sale Over

TFO 7/8 130 4 DC

Length: 13'        Sections: 4       Line Weight in Grains: 450-700

A very fine rod for medium size flies and steelhead. Can be useful in winter as well as summer.
Mike's Remarks:
Standard Puget Sound summer and winter wet and dry flies.
Mike's Line Recommendations:
Skagit: 500/550 with tips to 200 grains
Rio Skagit 500/550, Airflo Skagit 7/8
Short Belly Spey with tips:
Airflo Delta Spey 7/8
Mid Length Spey with tips:
Airflo 7/8 Delta Long , Rio Power Spey 7/8, CND GP 7/8 or 8/9 for deep loading
Scandi:
450 to 500 grains <> Head length 32 to 34 feet
Mark's Remarks:
I played extensively with a 13' 7/8 Dear Creek spey rod. It is a very fast European action type rod. For its price, it is exceptionally crisp, kind of like a downsized version of a Sage 8129-4 ZAXIS.  It rocks with both a 480-grain or a 510-grain Skagit Compact and 150-grain Rio sink tip. I liked the 510 better. This outfit threw 4" flies as far as I could control the shooting line...easy...wham bam. There are a number of distinguishing features to the Deer creek Series of rods. After inspecting the flawless deep maroon finish, tasteful appointments and banded cork work, you will no doubt realize that the handle is unusually small in diameter. At first it felt alien. It was only after experimenting and analyzing a variety of casting strokes, that became apparent that to drive this vehicle you need only finger tip control. This rod has an action that demands that the caster conserves energy.  If line speed is the measure of worth, this rod at $339.95 it is a bargain!
Comes with Cordura covered hard case & sock.
Rod Weight: 8.7 ounces

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
TF 7/8 130 4 DC Deer Creek 7/8 Med Deer Creek $339.95 Sale Over


TFO 08 133 4POF Skagit Spey Outfit

TFO Skagit Combo
Don't be fooled by the bare bones price, this is a real solid outfit. This outfit is very well balanced and is easy to learn with, but has the range to cover enough water to catch plenty of fish. Designed specifically for Pacific Northwest steelhead.  Outfit comes with:
TFO-08133-4P Rod, TFO Prism 10/11 Reel with disc drag, Rio Skagit Line 550-grain and
15' Rio type-6 Sinking Tip, plus 100 yd. #20 Micron backing
It comes with the one sinking tip that seems to be used the highest percentage of the time.
More tips can be purchased as needed. Reel & line comes professionally assembled. 
Be sure to click which hand you prefer to wind the reel with.  Complete with rod case. 
Great winter steelhead outfit for the beginner or back-up.
Great to have around for entertaining friends.
Item Description Price To Top
TFO-081334POF TFO Skagit Spey Outfit $499.95 Sale Over


Replacement Tips for VersiTip and Spey Lines
Size Coding Type 8, 15' Sinking Tips
Floating Tips Big Boy 24' Fast Sinking Tips
Clear AquaLux Intermediate Tips Tip Set For Skagit Spey
Type 3, 15' Sinking Tips T-8, T-11, T-14 & T-17 For Custom Tips
Type 6, 15' Sinking Tips  
Dick Bushnell
Above is an index of replacement tips for VersiTip, WindCutter, Skagit and PowerSpey changeable tip fly lines.  You can mix and match these tips in many combinations to give your fly line arsenal extreme versatility. For instance a 550-grain Skagit Line is usually used with an eight-weight spey rod, but tips ranging from #8-#11 are used with these lines to customize both presentation and sink rate. Naturally smaller diameter diameter tips land on the water more softly than heavier ones, but will not turn over the largest flies and won't sink as deep as heavier ones.  In our relentless pursuit of having everything for the Spey Fisher, our selection of tips is the most comprehensive to be found anywhere. Fact is that the tip is often the first part of the line to wear out, and being able to replace the tip might be more economically feasible than replacing the whole line during hard times. Pictured above is Dick Bushnell and a fish he landed on his third cast of the morning. He was using a 550-grain Rio Skagit and a 9-weight type-8 15-foot Rio tip.

G. Loomis CrossCurrent Rods
Mark Bachmann used a 12-weight CrossCurrent.
9' #8 - 4pc. CCGLX G. Loomis is out of production until April because of a complete makeover in parts of their plant. We knew it was coming and stocked up on their most popular models of  CrossCurrent Rods. Now that the warm saltwater season is upon us, we thought we'd let you know.  If you are going to mix it up with strong saltwater fish a CrossCurrent is a good bet...More info.
9' #9 - 4pc. CCGLX
9' #10 - 4pc. CCGLX
9' #12 - 4pc.  CCGLX
8' 3" #14 - 3 CC
8' 3" #15 - 3 CC

Its the age-old formula... find the moving water and find the fish. Tides and currents - they're the keys to saltwater fly fishing. Where current meets still water or dissimilar currents converge, edges are created and the bait is trapped. It s these edges that fly fishers seek... the "crosscurrents" where fish and fly meet!
Saltwater fly fishing is a passion - it's advantage fish, not angler. A fanatical pursuit with zeal fueled by the degree of difficulty required to reach the ultimate goal. It's fast fish and skinny water for some... big fish and blue water for others. Sometimes it's finesse and long leaders, but most of the time it's brute strength and power! Creating fly rods for such a demanding fishery requires a lot of dreaming and a lot of fishing. The final result is the most advanced and uniquely different series of fly rods ever. Messrs. Pallot, Wejebe, Rajeff and Loomis and a cast of hundreds shared their angling and casting expertise to help create the new

G. Loomis "CrossCurrent" saltwater fly rods.

Seasoned anglers Gary Loomis, Steve Rajeff and Flip Pallot checking out the performance of CrossCurrent rods under field conditions.  There is no better place to design rods than on the water.  How would you like to have an arsenal like this to try out?
Exclusive Nickel-Titanium stripping guides.
Exclusive Roman numeral 
identification wraps.

Nautilus Reels
Nautilus Reels
These are the most reliable reels we have found at any price.
Feather Weight 3, 5, 7 CCF 8, 10
Feather Weight PLUS 3, 5, 7 CCF12 to 12S     Big Twelves
NEW Lightweight, Super Strong Nautilus NV Reels Now Available !!!

No legitimate dealer is ever going to beat our deal on Nautilus Fly Reels...Ever!

With every Nautilus Reel you get any one-piece Rio, Sage, Royal Wulff or Scientific Anglers fly line for free and free shipping to any destination in North America, Central America, South America, Austraila and Europe, including Scandinavia and

the British Isles. We have the deepest knowledge and the freshest stock. We ship the fastest and at the most cost effective rates, because you can't beat free! We do the best job of  installing fly lines, and we have the widest selection of fly lines to install. And once again you can't beat free! We are the top online dealer of Nautilus Fly Reels and intend to stay that way! We want to serve YOU!

Sandy River wild winter steelhead...

It started this way: Kevin Thompson, the Nautilus rep, stopped by the shop one afternoon with a bag full of shiny new reels.  He said, "These are the greatest fly fishing reels in the world, bar none."  Well of course he said that. He's a rep. It's his job.
I said, "I already have a house full of reels and I don't need more inventory to keep track of.  The reels we have are selling fine."  He said, "These Nautilus Reels have a completely sealed waterproof drag system."  I said, "I have heard that song and dance before."  He said, "What does it take to convince you?"  I said, "Score me a big spey reel and then come back and see me next year."
So he did.  Here is the rest of the story:  A year passed and the Nautilus #12 he gave me has landed many steelhead without the slightest malfunction.  Yup, we are now Nautilus dealers.  We still have too much inventory, but it looks like the Nautilus Reels are here to stay.  Some other brand of reel is probably going away.  "Oh, yes I realize that the fish I'm holding at left isn't that big. But, it is the 20th steelhead caught on that Nautilus reel. ("No it's not the one the rep gave me. That one has caught more. It is silver colored. And after the second season, it is in perfect working order.")
Steelhead fishing is hard on reels.  Deep wading with a reel often submerged may be harder on a reel than fishing for big ocean fish, which is usually done from a boat.  At any rate keeping water off the drag surfaces has to be a plus for smooth operation. Nautilus CCF are the top selling steelhead reels at our shop.
Now the third and fourth year have passed: Clients are still using my original reel and it is still working perfectly. We have tested Nautilus reels on all manner of fresh water fish and found none of them were a challenge to any Nautilus. We have also put Nautilus Reels to the test against Sailfish, Marlin, Dorado, Rooster, Bonefish, Tarpon, Snook, and many other saltwater fish...no problems!


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Fish long & prosper,
Mark & Patty

 

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