Alaska Rainbows, Sage TCX Switch Rods, Alaska Flies, Rio Head Case

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Alaska Rainbows
Sage TCX Switch
Alaska Flies
Rio Head Case

Beginning Spey Casting


“Ice Station Zebra”
Dateline: April, Naknek River-King Salmon, Alaska.  
By: George Cook
           Map of Naknek River, King Salmon, AK
George Cook on the Naknek River in Alaska...with BoBo in hand.

If your over 45 you’ve probably seen "The Movie" way back in the 70’s, if not, rent it, you’ll get the picture. This now annual trip is not for Kids or the Easily “Chilled”. The weather will be somewhere between Cold and Evil Cold. This year like 2010 would test everyone in the hardy group on a daily basis. Nanci and Heath Lyons' Bear Trail Lodge would provide warmth and warm meals morning & night, but the day would belong to The Wind and our chosen quarry Bow Bow, the Rainbows of the Naknek. The group comprised of 4 hardy souls from Anchorage plus myself who would make the daily trudge from the lodge upon the ”Go Signal” provided by our host and Guides . This essentially meant to gear up and roll based on the temperature reaching a level making angling at least reasonable, or maybe even prudent. One hopes for a 30-degree day. However, 18-25 degree temps seems to be what our week gets served up usually with some savage ass kicking wind chill factor to go with it. How cold is savage you ask…how’s 8 degrees sound to execute your snap T with.

Rig up, get in the boat, BoBo is out here waiting. Yeah, get rigged, the sooner you do the sooner your hands can return to a pocket pre heated with multiple hand warmer shake bags. Rods of choice: Spey and Switch weapons . One remaining hold-out would soon convert to Spey come day 2 and in big fashion no less. My rod selection consisted of the DeathStar (7126-4 TCX with Skagit Flight 525 and a 129 Grain 15’ Intermediate Tip) along with the tribe of little feller TCX Switch rods: 6119-4 (Skagit Short 375 with 2.5 x 7.5 Medium MOW ),  and the 8119-4 TCX (Skagit Flight 450 with a 5 x 5 Med MOW). These 11’ 9” switch rods are really “Baby Spey Sticks” that cast with ease and launch sick levels of line. The MOW lineup is perfectly suited to the Rainbow game throughout Alaska be it the Kenai, Bristol Bay or Parks highway streams, MOW’s in both the Light and Medium fashion are must have’s. Day one would treat me well: 28 hookups with 25 landed, best critter was a 31” Bow that gave the 6119-4 TCX all it signed up for. While I like catching critters as much as anybody, that folks is a lot of fish handling in weather such as this. Every hookup results in a prepared landing that is best dealt with as quick as possible, sub 25” Rainbows were frowned upon as they would get their revenge as ones hands would dip into cold water only to be greeted by even colder air upon the release. No glove made solves this problem, I take mine off as to avoid a complete bone chilling soak out. Day one would prove to be the warmest of the trip.

Day two dawned Clear and evil, the sunshine seemed sincere but Mother Wind would greet us when we finally ventured out at 1 PM.  25 with a wind chill resting at 8, Lovely. I hook and lose a 30”+ right off the bat. My roommate Steve Lambert of Anchorage is fresh working the Double Spey I taught him late in the afternoon of day one. He works a short but effective cast with his new best friend the 7136-4 ZAXIS and within 20 Minutes has his first Spey caught game-fish-a 31” Naknek Rainbow. "Buy some Powerball tickets online tonight Steve, after you check the Horseshoe stuck in your ass", is what I tell him. I would go 3 for 4 with a pretty Little lady hen of 26”. Mark Huber would get a 30” Bow while lighting a Cigar in the final run of a very cold days effort.  My hands had truly had enough by the time we made the boat launch. I thought two weeks of tree-stand whitetail hunting the previous November had prepared me for this sort of Fun/Misery, nope not prepared.

Day 3, the final chapter. 8 Degrees at 8 AM, charming. No wind though, yeah this can work.  Noon start leaves us with 4 hours till we hitch a Pen Air flight out of Dodge and back to Anchorage. This day would prove to be that of legend.  Four hours was plenty time to get after Bow Bow. Three of us would hook 9 Rainbows 30”+, four would come to hand. My final day tally was 8 for 13 with a 25”, 26”, 27”, 28”, 29” and two 31”. 

My hands are still numb on three of ten fingers. Called an ER Doc buddy of mine to check my fate. He says” they probably will get better”. I managed to type this, can still push the safety off/on my .300 and Spey cast so I'm good for another year. Anybody know of some NASA Approved gloves, please let me know . The Flies: “Super Secret Society Stuff”, available fall 2011 from Solitude Fly Co. via the very talented Jerry French. Once I give the Kenai Bows the” Business”, the IPO will be issued, stay tuned. George Cook  


5119-4 TCX at work

TCX Switch Rods     #5     #6     #7     #8
That George Cook found the new TCX Switch Rod Series useful in his latest early season sub-arctic adventure in Alaska, isn't at all surprising to us here in Oregon. We've been on the hunt for large rainbows for a lot of years (Ours just happen to grow up in the Pacific Ocean and they're called steelhead). Both single-hand and two-hand fly rods are regularly used throughout the native range of steelhead/rainbows (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Lately rods that can be cast with either one hand or two hands, are becoming more and more popular. These specific types of rods are called Switch Rods  Of all of the series of Switch Rods we've tried, Sage's TCX Series ranks at the top. These rods will huck prodigious casts with one hand and a haul, or do even better when used as a mini spey rod, especially when you are fishing where back cast room is limited. Most Switch Rods are 10' to 11' long. The TCX Series are all 11' 9", and that is a serious advantage when they are being cast with two hands, as the extra length gives them a more traditional "Spey Rod Feel". The extra length also comes in real handy when they are being used as a high stick nymph rod. Glo Bug and Bead fishermen will love this series. Anglers fishing heavy weighted stone fly nymphs on the Deschutes will find the 511-9-4 TCX especially attractive.

Sage 5119-4 TCX

Length: 11'9"      Line: 5    Pieces: 4

The little guy of the group.  Small but powerful.  Western streamer swingin’ stick, lake and beach too, small steelhead use, for such haunts as the Rogue, Grande Ronde and John Day. 

Line Match
: Skagit Short 325, Steelhead Scandi 310, AFS 5/6, Windcutter 5/6, Outbound WF-6 (beach/lake), Rio Switch 5/6  
Sink Tip Use
: 15’ 109 Type 3, 6 & 8, T-8/T-11 in 10’ & 12.5’, 6’ & 10’ Spey VersiLeaders All Types (SH Scandi/AFS)
Reel Match
: Sage 4580, Sage 4280, Tibor Everglades, Sage 3880
Rod weight:  5 1/4 oz.

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
5119-4 TCX 5 Fast C $840

Sage 6119-4 TCX

Length: 11'9"      Line: 6     Pieces: 4

Small steelhead, Alaska Rainbows and Dollies, beach weapon de jour/lake tool.

Line Match
: Skagit Flight 350, Steelhead Scandi 350, Skagit Short 375, AFS 5/6, Rio Switch 6/7
Sink Tip Use
: 15’ 109 & 129 Type 3, 6 & 8, T-8/T-11 in 10’ & 12.5’, 6’ & 10’ Spey VersiLeaders All Types (SH Scandi/AFS) M.O.W. Match: T-8/Light & T-11/Medium
Reel Match
: Sage 4210, Tibor Everglades, Sage 6080

Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
6119-4 TCX 6 Fast C $845

Sage 7119-4 TCX Length: 11'9"      Line: 7     Pieces: 4
As with most Switch rods, the #7 represents the 30.06 of Switch.  From Alaska Rainbows to Oregon Coastal Steelhead to Tierra Del Fuego Sea-Run Brows, the 7 plays big.  Not overkill for Trout but big enough for Anadramous Critters, here is your all-purpose player.
Line Match:
Skagit Flight 400, Steelhead Scandi 385, Skagit Short 425, AFS 6/7, Rio Switch 7/8
Sink Tip Use:
15’ 109 & 129 Type 3, 6 & 8, T-8/T-11/T-14 in 10’ & 12.5’, 6’ & 10’ Spey VersiLeaders All Types (SH Scandi/AFS) M.O.W. Match: T-8/Light,T-11/Medium & T-14/Heavy
Reel Match:
Sage 4210, Tibor Signature 7-9, Sage 6080
Rod weight:  5 3/4 oz.
Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
7119-4 TCX 7 Fast C $850

Sage 8119-4 TCX Length: 11'9"      Line: 8     Pieces: 4
Wow, you gotta try this one!  Talk about power in a light package.  Focused Anadramous Switch rod, steelhead anywhere, smaller Atlantic salmon venues, Sea-Run Browns, Coastal Steelhead tight-quarter focus.  You will be shocked at the distances this rod will produce.
Line Match: Skagit Flight 450, Steelhead Scandi 435, Skagit Short 475, AFS 7/8, Rio Switch 8/9
Sink Tip Use:
15’ 129 & 150 Type 3, 6 & 8, T-8/T-11/T-14 in 10’, 11’ & 12.5’, 6’ & 10’ Spey VersiLeaders All Types (SH Scandi/AFS) M.O.W. Match: T-8/Light,T-11/Medium & T-14/Heavy
Reel Match:
Sage 6010, Tibor Signature 7-9, Sage 3810, Sage 4210
Rod weight:  5 7/8 oz.
Item Series Line Wt. Action Handle Price To Top
8119-4 TCX 8 Fast C $855


Alaska Flies
Catch Trout, Char, Salmon & Steelhead with these flies.
Map of Alaska Alaska has 47,000 miles of ocean coastline, more than all the other states combined. The interior abounds with as many miles of shoreline on lakes and streams. Alaska is a coldwater fly angler's dream. Many angler migrate to Alaska during the summer months to partake in the bounty of the "last frontier". On this page is the most complete selection of proven Alaska flies to be found anywhere. They are made from the finest materials available.
Alaska River Flows
Alaska Weather
Alaska Maps
Click any of the flies below to purchase, or to get more information. Good luck on your Alaska  fishing trip.
Alaskabou, Blue Moon
Alaskabou, Blue Moon
Alaskabou, Popsicle
Alaskabou, Popsicle
Alaskabou, Volcano
Alaskabou, Volcano
Agitator Black & Red
Agitator, Black/Red
Agitator Purple & Flame
Agitator, Purple/Flame
Agitator Pink & Orange
Agitator, Sandy Candy
Cotton Candy
Cotton Candy
Deep Eyed Wog
Deep Eyed Wog
Egg Sucking Leech, Black
Egg Leech, Black
Egg Sucking Leech, Purple
Egg Leech, Purple
Mouserat
Mouserat
Bead Head Flesh Fly
Flesh Fly 
Barely Legal Flesh Fly, Peachy Pink
Barely Legal Flesh, Peach Pink
Barely Legal Flesh Fly, Cotton Candy
Barely Legal Flesh, Cotton Candy
Barely Legal Flesh, Washed Out
Barely Legal Flesh, Washed Out
Lady Flesh Fly
Lady Flesh Fly
Lady Flesh Fly, Articulated
Lady Flesh, Articulated
Lady Flesh, Articulated, Tan & Orange
Lady Flesh, Articulated, Tan & Orange
Bead Head Hot Egg
 Bead Head Hot Egg
Hot Glue Egg, Natural Salmon
Hot Glue Egg, Natural Salmon
Hot Glue Egg, Natural Steelhead
Hot Glue Egg, Natural Steelhead


McGlo-Bug, Iliamna Pink
McGlo-Bug, Iliamna Pink
McGlo-Bug, Late McRoe
McGlo-Bug, Late McRoe 
Eggo, Red
Eggo, Red
B.H. Krystal Bugger, Chartreuse
Krystal Bugger, Chartreuse
B.H. Krystal Bugger, Pink
Krystal Bugger, Pink
B.H. Krystal Bugger, Red
Krystal Bugger, Red
Sculpin, Big Gulp, Black
Sculpin, Big Gulp, Black
Sculpin, Big Gulp, Olive
Sculpin, Big Gulp, Olive
Sculpin, Big Gulp, Tan
Sculpin, Big Gulp, Tan
Sculpin, Shiela
Sculpin, Shiela
Sculpzilla, Natural Brown
Sculpzilla, Natural Brown
Sculpzilla, Natural Tan
Sculpzilla, Natural Tan
Sculpzilla, White
Sculpzilla, White
Sculpzilla, Black & White
Sculpzilla, Black & White
Sculpzilla, Olive & White
Sculpzilla, Olive & White
Al Green
Al Green
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson
Stinger Prawn, Black & Blue
Stinger Prawn, Black & Blue
Stinger Prawn, Chartreuse
Stinger Prawn, Chartreuse
Bjorn's Stinger Prawn, Purple
Stinger Prawn, Purple 
Jumbo Critter, Black
Jumbo Critter, Black 
 Jumbo Critter, Black & Blue
Jumbo Critter, Black& Blue
 Jumbo Critter, Blue and Chartreuse
Jumbo Critter, Blue and Chartreuse
 Jumbo Critter, Black & Red
Jumbo Critter, Black & Red
Jumbo Gritter, Pink & Orange
Jumbo Critter, Pink & Orange 
Jumbo Critter, Purple
Jumbo Critter, Purple 

Rio HeadCase, shooting head storage case
This nifty little zippered bag contain a ringed binder with (10) heavy duty zip-lock pouches, and some (2) zippered interior mesh pockets as well. It is the perfect storage case for all brands of shooting heads. It is especially designed to fit Spey shooting heads, but will also hold many other types of gear (such as copious amounts of big Alaska flies).

 
The HeadCase as it is delivered to you with ten zip-lock pouches and two zippered mesh pockets.

HeadCase top view.

The HeadCase with shooting heads(not included).
 
The HeadCase will hold (2) Mangrove Head Wallets, extra reel spool and assorted other gear (not included)
The Rio HeadCase is well made. I will fit inside a
Sage DXL Boat Bag and help segregate your gear.
Item Description   Price To Top
260480 Rio HeadCase, shooting head storage case 8"x7.5"x4" $49.95

On April 21, 2011, The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches, Oregon Turned 30-Years Old.
Thanks To All You Loyal Customers!
We couldn't have made it without you.

Beginning Spey Casting Class Sponsored By: Simms and The Fly Fishing Shop
Beginning Spey Casting Event 

Place:  Oxbow Park, Sandy River.  First Parking Lot Inside The Gate.
           (
Flag & Tent will designate the Beginning Class.)

Date:  May 13th, 2011

Time:  7:30am to 8:30am Special 1-hour Introduction To Spey Casting (Then go to Women's Day).
               
8:30 to 11:30 3-Hour Crash Course In Spey Casting

Price: Free!

 

Last year was the inaugural "Beginning Spey Casting Class" at the Sandy River Spey Clave.  No doubt it was a huge success with many first time casters getting their feet wet and learning about the 2 Handed rod.  We at the Fly Fishing Shop felt that offering this beginning event again was a must for 2011!

 

This year the structure has changed a little. We have added a Special 1-hour Introduction To Spey Casting Event so that you can become familiar with the 2-hand rod, then take in the complete program at The Women's Day Event and be able to enjoy it even more.

 

The design of the class is to offer beginning fishers the basics understanding of casting a two handed rod.  We want you to walk away excited about fishing the 2-handed rod while having a foundation to listen to presentations throughout the weekend with a basic level of understanding.  The class with cover grip, stance, basic casts and general spey terminology.   Many of the finest casting instructors and guides in the Northwest will be on staff to help guide you through the class. 

 

What you need to bring?:  If you own a two handed rod please bring it to use.  Wader and boots are a great idea as the river is cold this time of year.  We do have limited waders and boots as well as rods/reels for those that do not have any personal gear.  If you are attending the class without tackle please be patient as we have limited quantities, we will do our best to get you casting and learning.

 

Simms Fishing Products is partnering with us on this event and will be giving away official Sandy River Spey Clave hats, stickers and other surprise items for all attendees. 

 

We encourage you to participate if fishing the 2-handed rods has been on your mind, it fun!

The Fly Fishing Shop HOME. The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

1(800) 266-3971

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www.flyfishUSA.com

Fish long & prosper,
Mark & Patty