March 16, 1:00pm to 5:00pm
|Soft Hackle, Gray||Pheasant Tail||Carey Special, Olive|
|Partridge & Green||Starling & Herl||Carey Special, Peacock|
|Partridge & Yellow||Carey Special, Black||Carey Special, Pheasant|
|These incredibly versatile patterns will catch many species of game fish under a wide range of conditions. Literature has made the soft hackle style of fly most popular for trout in streams. In this environment they are usually fished dead drift or on the swing as a wet fly. Often the best best depth is very shallow. Presented in this manner these patterns represent insects which are struggling just below the surface. The soft, wet, flowing hackle simulates the activity of thrashing legs and beating wings.|
|Soft hackle flies are also very productive
in lakes and ponds for most species of trout, char, bass and panfish.
These patterns are often fished in the surface film as an emerging
insect. This can be a very productive method during mayfly and
caddis hatches. Cast the fly with a floating lines ahead of cruising
trout. Barely twitch the fly as the fish approaches. Soft
Hackles can also be fished deeper around submerged weeds or even along
more barren rocky bottoms. When retrieved through still water,
the the long supple hackles mimic swimming legs. Several species
of dragonfly nymphs swim with their legs extended. The Carey
Special series flies were first used in Canadian lakes to mimic dragon
fly nymphs and emerging sedges.
Soft Hackles are some of the world's oldest and simplest fly patterns. Some patterns have remained productive for hundreds of years.
In 1496 Dame Juliana Berners published "The Treatise of Fishing with an Angle". It was the first definitive work on sports angling written in the English language. In it were the first twelve fly patterns. They were all soft hackle type wet flies. Sylvester Nemes in his great book The Soft Hackle Fly Addict brought these simple flies to the attention of modern anglers. Soft Hackles are as popular and productive as when first written five hundred years ago.
All of the flies listed below are dressed on standard wet fly hooks but are other wise unweighted.
|Soft Hackle, Gray
This fly is one of the best all around searching patterns for many streams and lakes. The neutral shades of gray and tan simulate many species of mayflies and caddis. It is particularly effective on lakes during Callibaetis Mayfly hatches. It is also well proven on large freestone rivers like the Mackenzie. Here is is deadly on cutthroats. It can be the best searching pattern for cutthroats in all mountain streams.
|12350-16||Soft Hackle, Gray||16||3 for $5.25||-->SALE ENDED|
|Soft Hackle, Partridge
The Partridge & Green can be used as a deep sunk juvinile dragonfly or damselfly. Fish it with a sinking line and short sharp twitches. It is equally effective during green body caddis hatches or olive body mayfly hatches in rivers. During these periods, fish the fly in the surface film with a floating line.
|12355-14||Soft Hackle, Partridge & Green||14||3 for $5.25||-->SALE ENDED|
|12355-16||Soft Hackle, Partridge & Green||16||3 for $5.25||-->SALE ENDED|
|12355-18||Soft Hackle, Partridge & Green||18||3 for $5.25||-->SALE ENDED|
|Soft Hackle, Partridge
A similar fly appears in English literature as early as 1496. It may already have been used for centuries, but not recorded.
|12365-12||Soft Hackle, Partridge & Yellow||12||3 for $5.25||-->SALE ENDED|
|12365-14||Soft Hackle, Partridge & Yellow||14||3 for $5.25||-->SALE ENDED|
|Soft Hackle, Pheasant
This fly imitates many different species of emerging mayflies and is equally effective in lakes and streams.
|12368-14||Soft Hackle, Pheasant Tail||14||3 for $5.25||-->SALE ENDED|
|12368-16||Soft Hackle, Pheasant Tail||16||3 for $5.25||-->SALE ENDED|
|12368-18||Soft Hackle, Pheasant Tail||18||3 for $5.25||-->SALE ENDED|
|Soft Hackle, Starling
This can be a very productive fly, especially when small dark insects such and micro caddis, ants or beetles are on the water.
|12370-18||Soft Hackle, Starling & Herl||18||3 for $5.25||-->SALE ENDED|
This pattern is productive in many lakes that have populations of large, dark dragonfly nymphs. The fly is retrieved slowly along the bottom. Trout and bass often find it irresistible. This is also a very effective steelhead fly for the John Day and other inland rivers.
|9080-06||Carey Special, Black||6||3 for $5.25||-->SALE ENDED|
First tied to simulate an olive sedge pupa for use in British Columbia lakes it is also a very effective dragonfly nymph pattern.
|9095-06||Carey Special, Olive||6||3 for $5.25||-->SALE ENDED|
This dull colored pattern is a good searching fly for lakes and ponds that have soft debris covered bottoms. Often a very slow retrieve is the best presentation.
|9100-06||Carey Special, Peacock||6||3 for $5.25||-->SALE ENDED|
Special, Pheasant Tail
Tied and fished primarily in British Columbian Kamloops lakes as a sedge pupa pattern.
|9101-06||Carey Special, Pheasant Tail||6||3 for $5.25||-->SALE ENDED|
|9101-08||Carey Special, Pheasant Tail||8||3 for $5.25||-->SALE ENDED|
Finding the BARGAIN Rod
Casting for Steelhead and Salmon: An introduction to Gear and
A good Spey rod should possess a stiff butt section through the handle, with the stiffness extending perhaps 12-20 inches above the top of the cork. A butt that is soft through the handle only serves only to lose potential energy stored during the loading phases of the cast, ultimately compromising both distance and accuracy. Although the butt should be stiff, the lower and middle third of the rod should be capable of loading and storing the energy created during the cast, and therefore must flex to some degree. A rod with a lower section that is too stiff will not easily transmit the “feel” of loading in the rod butt section during the cast, which is so critical in the development of good casting technique. The overall action of the rod should be quite slow in comparison to single–handed rods. The tip and top third of the rod should be stiff enough to handle directional changes in the cast, and not undergo a “nervous breakdown” under the tremendous torque placed upon it with change of direction; the upper section must also be substantial enough to lift a heavy sink tip from 80–100 feet away. The ideal overall action of the rod should be progressive, from mid-butt to tip, with a steady change in the radius of curvature under load. The dampening action of the rod should be rapid, maximizing the translation of potential energy into kinetic energy during the power stroke of the cast. Lastly, the rod must be durable. A good casting rod is useless as fishing rod if it must be sent back for warranty repairs after every 25 casts!
In general, rods which are too stiff in the lower two thirds (i.e. rods that are too fast in action) tend to be extremely unforgiving to cast (especially during the rod loading phase), lack “feel”, and handle change of direction casts and sinking tips relatively poorly. However, in an expert’s hands, fast rods are capable of casting impressive distances, generate crowd-pleasing tight loops with high line speeds, and single Spey extremely well. Faster rods require greater skill, as the sensation of loading in the butt section is less apparent. Although many novices may find them relatively easy to learn while casting short distances (50-60 feet) using heavy weight forward lines, on longer casts, lack of proper technique and feel will show quickly. Fast-action rods may also require “up–weighting” of line, especially for the novice or intermediate caster.
Generally, a rod that is too slow will handle a narrower range of line weights. The rod will load more quickly, and provide the beginner with a better feel of rod loading during the cast. However, a rod which flexes too deeply into the butt section will often hit a performance “wall” where longer casts, or casts with a heavy sinking tip become extremely difficult and unforgiving. A slower action rod will generally cast a looser loop and cause a larger “shock dimple” to be transmitted down the line with longer casts, potentially problematic issues with longer casts and windy conditions.
James Bartschi, the President and rod designer for Scott Fly Rods, explains that a compromise must be struck between the transmission of rod loading to the fisher and the development of high line speeds and loop control. He makes an analogy between two extremes: casting with a stiff steel pole versus casting with a long, soft leaf spring. Under load, the steel rod, which is inflexible but a very efficient lever, will deliver greater terminal tip velocity, but have essentially no feel for the line. The leaf spring, on the other hand, will transmit the feel of load placed on it very well, but will sacrifice tip velocity and control. In reality, all Spey rods must compromise between these two extremes, and the relative action of a rod depends on where the meaningful junction between the “steel rod” and the “leaf spring” meet.
Under the dynamic loading of a Spey cast, careful observation of a rod will usually demonstrate a particular point at which the rod flexes maximally; this “kick point” is the area at which the rod is maximally deflected. A good Spey rod will distribute this load over a longer section than a bad Spey rod; an overly pronounced kick point may cause the rod to “fold over” during extreme loading (e.g., while casting a heavy sinking tip or a very long line), increasing rod fatigue subsequent chances of rod breakage.
Ideally, a good Spey rod should be well balanced, and paraphrasing Goldilocks, have an action which is “not too fast, but not too slow”. The cork grip should be generous, and cover the top hand “sweet spot” of the rod. The lower grip should be substantial, and have a pronounced knob or butt cap around which the lower palm should fit comfortably. The “kick point”, or section of the rod which marks the beginning of useful butt flex, should be between about 40-60% up the height of the rod. Rod deflection under load above and below the kick–point should be progressive throughout the rod, with no sudden changes or dead spots (especially at the ferrules). The middle and tip section should be substantial enough to handle the torque generated with long casts, change of direction casts, and to pick up sinking tip lines, but not be so stiff as to detract from the smooth delivery of power to the line during the forward power stroke.
Most Spey rods are available in three and four piece designs, and some companies are now making five and six piece rods specifically designed for carry–on airline travel. Look for solidly built ferrules that fit snugly and smoothly, and high quality components in the guides and reel seat. The tremendous torque place on the rod during casting will soon highlight any design or manufacturing faults at these potential weak spots on the rod. I have often been surprised at the low quality components used on some premium offerings: look for a solidly constructed, locking, and heavily anodized reel seat, premium cork grip, high quality stripping and snake guides, and highest quality tip–top. Top–of–the line rods typically retail between $700 to well over $1000; for that much money, you deserve top–drawer craftsmanship and a lifetime unconditional warranty.
Although the “Holy Grail” of the perfect “one rod does all” design remains elusive, there are many good rods currently available. However, beware that not all rods within a manufacturer’s line may be equal in performance nor similar in action. For example, a manufacturer’s 14 foot, 9 weight rod may be a total dud, but the 15 foot/10 weight rod in the same series may be a gem. Alternatively, a manufacturer’s 8 weight 13’ rod may have a very slow, soft action, but their 10 weight 15’ rod may be rocket fast. Also bear in mind that a rod which works well for an advanced Spey caster may not be ideal for the novice or intermediate. A qualified instructor or expert Spey caster from your local shop should be able to guide the first–time purchaser towards a specific model, which will suit your local conditions.
There are several excellent Spey rods available in the U.S. spanning a range of prices from a variety of rod builders. Numerous Spey rods are also available (after a bit of poking around) from the U.K.; these rods tend to be heavier and slower in action than their American counterparts. It is particularly worthwhile carefully investigating the warranty history on any particular rod you may be interested in purchasing; I am aware of several particular models which are very prone to breakage.
Steelhead fly fishing is very practical if you know how. Being
able to find fish and being able to present the fly properly are key
We will show you how.
This is a school that will cover a lot of water and fishing knowledge in one day.
Length of the class is 8-hours on the water. Three student per instructor format. Emphasis will be on giving you a solid foundation of skills to build on, with a high priority given to hooking fish during the class.
We want to give you
maximum advantage by having as many fish hooked during this class as
possible. Nothing teaches you more about fishing than being
where fish are being hooked and landed.
Steelhead Fly Fishing School
March 14, 2003 3 seats open.
Steelhead Fly Fishing School
April 11, 2003
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The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR
long & prosper,
Mark & Patty