Saturday, December 13, 2014

How to tie one of my favorite Winter Rogue River fly... "Punch in the Face!"

I have tried a bunch of patterns over the years, some worked some didn't. Those years of experimentation taught me there are several different characteristics that lead to catching fish on the Rogue.

 The most important characteristic is weight. I have found that I can adjust the depth of weighted flies by line tension, but its hard to control a neutral buoyant fly--even on the end of a sink tip. You will never catch a Steelhead if you can't present the fly in a way that will produce a strike regardless of color or movement. This is where the wire came in. In the early days I couldn't match conditions as the only color I had was copper,but nowadays, with all the colors on Uni Wire you can tie a fly to match any condition.

This is the second most important characteristic...Color. The fish has to be able to see your offering. There are times when fish will  key on one color or another, but most of the time I have found that color plays an important role in what the fish can see.   From Silver for bright and sunny days, to black and blue for low light conditions and everything in between Uni has it covered.  

Besides weight and color, movement is an important characteristic. Steelhead can be like your house cat at get your cat to attack you have to add more movement to your taunting. The thin body profile that the wire allows helps the hackles pulsate...they are unrestricted by the thick chenille bodies that traditional patterns boast.   

Now that you have seen some of the thought behind my wired patterns tie some up and give them a'll be surprised how they will become one of your go to patterns. I have included a video showcasing my favorite high off colored water wired fly, Punch In The Face. Its Black and Blue color provides the shadow and low light color that the fish can see. Its one of my alternative flies for people who don't like to cast intruders....Get out there.....


Thursday, December 11, 2014

LTS Fly Fishing is at the forefront of innovation!

I can’t say how happy I am that I asked Donna O’Sullivan of fishon-sports  to test one of the LTS rods last year.  I was so taken in by the LTS 8126-4 explosive that I knew I had to have one. When she offered me a prostaff spot I was ecstatic as I could tell that LTS was on the cutting edge of graphite and taper innovation. Their “Secret Squirrel,” Graphite has produced a ultra-light rod that’s full of power with the right amount of dampening—making LTS one of the most efficient sticks I have ever laid my hands on!

Innovation continues, as the 2015 LTS lineup is absolutely amazing! I recently got to play with a special prototype rod that I wish I could have kept—even know it was in its naked Prototype form. It is a 6/7126-4. That’s right, 6/7 weight that encompasses all the Explosive characteristics of its bigger brothers, (all pun intended). It feels like the 8126 Explosive, with the catapult tip and all, but is a tad softer in the butt to please casters that like their rods to flex more to the grip. The 6/7 is a versatile tool that masters  all forms of Spey casting and fishing. It loves the LTS 6 IIIs Scandi FHI (also new for 2015) as well as all the 6wt Skagit’s we put on it. I am extremely excited for this rod to come out as it’s the perfect all around Summer Stick for the Pacific Northwest. If you want to see the 6/7126 and other innovative LTS rods in action checkout the video below. If you haven’t casted any of LTS’s stuff yet you owe it to yourself to do so. Contact Donna or I and we’ll let you play with some of the most innovative rods out there…You’ll be glad you did!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Why fish wired flies?

The slight tug told me there was a fish in the emerald depths, but the abrupt slack left me burning for a better setup. I was around 14 at the time, and just as enthused about steelhead as I am today, but the fish came way harder back then then they do now. Just the gear alone made a day on the river exhausting to a 120lb 14 year old. Spending the day throwing a honey yellow 9wt Lamiglas was enough to tear off anyone’s arm, but add some mono and lead core and your just asking for trouble. Standing in the river was just as bad in those days--I could never afford the fancy new neoprene waders so I was stuck with the good ole heat sapping latex Sealdri's. To lose a steelhead back then proved to be far more disappointing than today to say the least. We never caught many, so to lose one meant weeks’ worth of work, and more than 1000 cast. I almost gave the sport up completely until a good friend of mine introduced me to a book titled Dry Line Steelhead and Other Subjects written by Bill McMillan. This book was a revelation for me, and my buddy Jim Newton, as we were looking for any way to stop throwing the old chuck and duck. It just made sense to use a floating line, long leader, and heavy fly, but the hooks we relied on to plunge feathered offering through the chilled currents were so thick and dull that hooksets became a major issue; So much so, that I searched for another way.  

The Wired Flies became the answer to my epic fly journey. I could fish a regular wired hook, taking advantages of its sharp needle like point, yet maintain the weight and profile I knew would induce a strike. I tried the whole dubbing and chenille over led wire bit, but I lost the profile I was used to—so back to the drawing board. The search for the Holy Grail of patterns, ended for me when I started making my bodies out of wire. I discovered it by accident. I had run out of lead wire, so I wrapped the biggest copper wire I could find on the hook then decided it looked too good to cover. I almost forgot about the fly until a boat in front of me was saying fish on copper colored hot shots. As luck would have it the wired copper fly I had tied that spring was the only fly I had of that color, so I tied it on halfheartedly, and fished it.  Within a few minutes I was hooked up.

I was only after the weight inducing aspect of the wire, but after using them for years I found wired body flies to have a several qualities that I never banked on.

1.       They allowed me to fish several different depths. With one fly, I could cover the whole run from top to bottom. Half hitch the head and the fly would skate, throw a couple of mends on top of it and it will dead drift the bottom.  Throw less aggressive mends and you can swim it through your favorite mid strata lie.

2.       They are extremely durable, a property that comes in handy when you have hit the mother load, or have been bouncing your offering across the stone ridden steelhead seams.  

3.       With all the wire colors out there you can cover any fishing condition known to man.

The next time you sit down to tie some steelhead patterns, whip out some Uni and give it a try, I bet you ask yourself why you didn’t fish wired flies before.

Great profile with all the weight you need

My wired flies have progressed a long ways from the first copper that hit my box.
Fish are a bit easier to come by nowadays.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Rogue River Steelhead are coming out to play!

The Rogue Is fishing well if your willing to get your flies down. Other than a few shallow runs, I have switched to skagits. The river is in its annual cooling stage and the fish are becoming more and more like winter steelhead. Of course Nymphs are fishing well. Stick to stoneflies up front, and match the hatch behind. Don't be afraid to throw the small stuff. 
Swinging is becoming more technical, you have to hit the slots and keep your fly in the fishes face as long as you can. I like fishing big flies this time of year, mostly blue and black.  I continue to use these techniques until the river starts to rage again in the spring, but don't be afraid to throw the scandi back on when the sun warms a run enough that you to see fish activity. Even with the colder water, I have caught several fish in the top half of the water column when conditions are right. 
If you're close to the Rogue, get out there! There are a ton of fish!   
Steve's first Steelhead ever!
Tammy with a freshy
Tammy is a fish Magnet!
Another nice fish!
Bob getting into the action!
Pile of LTS Rods! what a great time testing some new

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fishing with Ard and Nancy Stetts...what a great time!

I had the pleasure of fishing with Ard, his wife Nancy, and their dog Boss yesterday.  We had a great time on the river and touched a few fish, but the true fun was listening to their stories about fishing and their Alaskan life style. For those of you who don't know, Ard is the owner and operator of Life on the Line out of South Central Alaska. He carries the smooth stature of a seasoned Alaskan, something I found to be a breath of fresh air as people like the Stett's are a rare commodity in the lower 48. I always thought it would be fun to hire Ard as a guide, but now a trip with him has moved into my bucket list. Thanks for coming down guys and thanks for spending the day with me on The Rogue.

Ard swinging Takelma

Nancy and Boss takin a break

Best Sight in the world....Boat full of Speys!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Playing with the Go Pro

I have had a Go Pro Hero 3 for quite a while, but for some reason I haven't used it much. Well after playing with some of the video's I do have I am going to take it more. So stand by, we should be able to crank out some sweet Rogue River action for you guys down the road. here is a quick clip, of the stuff I have already put together. Sorry for some of the double clips Im just learning this software.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 Rogue River Steelhead is as I expected it would be!

I knew that this year's Rogue Steelhead in was going to be bonkers and it hasn't disappointed us. Last trip we hooked 5 tailwalkers that were so hyper that the clients were able to only tame one and get it to the boat. Last year's Huntly counts for half pounders was about twice the ten year average and now we are seeing that trend with the adults this year. The swinging has been good mornings and evenings when the sun is off the water and nymphs are killer when fished among spawning salmon. Remember to fish where the most fall Chinooks are spawning as the Steelhead pile up behind them.
If your not sure which pattern to use maybe we can help there also. Go to
To get flies that were born on the Rogue out of a bunch of testing and adjusting.
Check out the  Huntly Park fish counts...its a great season that looks like it will hold strong for quite some time.
We went 1 for 5 today... steelhead will give the trout fishermen a new appreciation for speed!
Egg Flies....
Steelhead meat!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Rogue River Steelhead

The Rogue is shaping up to have an incredible year. We have been on fish since July and, from the sounds of it the canyon is still loaded. Fish early and late unless you have a overcast day, and be prepared as we have been hooking a few fall Chinook Salmon as well. Get out there, the river is in great shape and the fish are cooperative. 
Andrew with a nice tail walking hen
Nate's Egg Sucking Stone Fly

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ready for the Spawn

There are so many salmon in the river this year, and they will spawn where the dams have been removed.  Salmon eggs are easy pickins for summer steel. It's going to be a amazing year.
Nate's Egg Flies

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fall Means Rogue River Steelhead

If your outside in Southern Oregon you can almost feel the seasons start to shift. Fall means Steelhead, Elk, and a Technical Williamson River around these parts. It's my favorite time of year because the promise of deer season pulls people off the river and lakes making Fall trips peaceful.  Take a look at what we have been up to and what we are looking forward to.  We still have a few evening swings open, if you want to taste the golden beams of fall on a river who's Steelhead peak this time of year.
Trophy Williamson River Trout
Following suit!
Wired leach
Putting a bent in the LTS Ephameria

Monday, August 11, 2014


This is a fun new site....although it will never take the place of forums, its another cool place to check out on the Fly Fishing Web. You can check it out from this link

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

It's Time! Rogue River Summer Steelhead!

With the summer steelhead count kicking on the door of 1000 at Cole River hatchery, and the water temps averaging a perfect 56 deg f, I had to hit the Rogue. The "Rock Piles," swung tantalizingly well as I made my way through them. With each cast I realize how much I missed swinging with the spey rod. Down and across, step down, do it agian. The rhythm of the river directed my thoughts. I became lost in the memorizing magic of the Rogue's cool waters and realization  that the intermediate Scandi line was swinging my offering with hardly any effort on my part. Oh how I missed these days, and I'm so glad their back.  
The best thing a spey rod will do for you is to give you back the river, or at least let you notice it agian. No longer do I have to watch a indicator like a cat ready to pounce on a unsuspecting mouse, but rather I can pay attention to the beauty of it all. You can once agian afford the opportunity to daydream. To sniff the flowers...until IT happens. The big IT I'm referring to is the "eat" from a salty missile that is hell bent on shredding your drag. This "IT" is so intense, that it will cause even the most restrained of humans to scream with excitement. It's so addictive that it will pull you out of bed in the pitch dark, and keep you up late at night just thinking about it. If your like me the sight of the summers first steel is a day that should be marked on everyone's calendar as a holiday. 
If you don't know what I have described,  you need to. Pick up a fly rod and swing a fly down and across, and join the rest of us steelhead addicts. Soon, all that will be in your mind is the promise of being on the receiving end of Chrome perfection...even if it's just for a second. Wait .... on second thought ....stop now, while you still can, but if it's to late for you; if your already in over your head like the rest of us, try my guide patterns for the Rogue. If your not completely addicted to steelheading and don't tie your own flies yet-like a pusher-I can help you get there by providing them to you at $2.50 a fly. If you do tie, but don't want to run all over the universe to obtain the materials, I can also help you out, as I sell individual pattern tie packs that provide you enough materials to tie 12 flies of the pattern you choose.
So there is no reason you can't feed your steelhead sweet tooth this summer. These patterns have proven themselves on the Rogue River over and over and I'll bet they would work on your river also.
Get yours here
Reverse Halloween
Steely Euphoria
Punch in the Face

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Williamson River Hex Hatch, there is nothing else like it.

There is nothing better than fishing clients  along side a good friend and guide, while monster fish are sucking down monster flies, and that's exactly what has been going down the last few evenings. The excitement these huge bugs leave the clients with a huge smile and sore shoulders.
Thanks Brent Hublitz for sharing the past few evenings in friendly competition, and watching fish jump on the ends of all our lines!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Williamson River, Oregon's Mini-Spey and Swing Destination for Trophy Trout!

When you mix July and the Williamson in the same sentence, most fly fishermen would think Hexagenia  Hatch and the huge Dry Flies that are fished at dusk, but there is another game in town. The hex hatch also opens up the river to become a great swing fishery. Watching a huge trout gulp down huge mayflies is a treat, but the “EAT” on a well swung fly is just as exciting—Pair that with the Micro Spey Rod and you may be in Trout Bliss. The hex hatch begins way before you see the huge mayfly dancing on the Williamson’s Surface, and if you’re savvy enough, and know the river you can take an advantage of it. The Micro Speys will help you to place the long mends you will need to present your impostor as the hex prime rib, that the trout have grown to love. Once you get it right…Hold On!        

Encounters with A Wild Williamson River Trout!
Trout on the Mini Spey..10'6" 3wt

Another Trophy Williamson Trout on the swing!

Trout Prime Rib....Impostor

Going back in!

Friday, June 27, 2014

LTS Ephemera, and the Williamson River Trout...what a combo!

Between trips I have been able to sneak out and play with the new LTS rod Ephemera! This rod is a trout fishing machine. It throws Salmon Flies on the Upper Rogue, or a intermediate and soft hackles on the Williamson. If your looking for a Trout rod that can do it all look at the Ephemera!
A Nice Williamson River Trout...Good Job Tammy! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Williamson, and the Wood are still producing!

Even with this week's cool down, the Williamson and Wood rivers in the Klamath Basin the are fishing well. The river remains low and clear, but it's full of fish, and they are biting well. As the weather warms the basin's rivers will be outstanding. If your looking for a trophy trout trip of a lifetime,  look towards the basin.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Rogue River Salmon Flies--Its all but over, but what a great year...looking forward to next--get ready now!

 Here are a few of my favorite patterns and my favorite way to keep them floating. Get ready for next year now. 
Keeps them hi and dry

Prime Rib

This guy was full!

Ole Purple and LTS in action!
Fist Full of Fun

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Steelhead Story

Thought some of my readers might like this ...

Southern Oregon Is on Fire-- Rogue River Holy Water, and Williamson River Report.

Rogue River Salmonfly Hatch

Bob hit the dry fly world with a storm. It took him a couple of fish before one came to the bank, but it didn't take him long before he was able to see a beautiful trout up close and personal.  Good job Bob, your fishing like a pro. The Rogue River Salmon Fly Hatch continues to impress.

Williamson River Report

From Good Friend and Great Guide Brent Hublitz

"Wow! What an opening weekend on the Williamson. The water is low, clear, and the fishing is better than fantastic. I ran trips the last three days and there are more than enough fish to have some fun (large one’s too.) Swinging leech patterns on a slow sinking intermediate line has been the most productive technique. I will post some pictures of this weekend in the next day or two, but for now it’s time to go get some rest."

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Salmon Fly Hatch and the Rogue River equal Fat Trout! Holy Waters for sure!

I love watching huge trout go bonkers over dry flies. Predators of the first degree: just their ferocity gets my heart pumping, but watching a 20 inch monster of the deep flash your multiple times in a fifteen foot drift is an adrenaline overload!  Now do this over and over and by the end of the day you’ll be an adrenaline soaked mess that is smiling ear to ear. Welcome to the Salmon Fly Hatch on the Rogue River my friends.

Pulling Hard
This fish was burping from being such a salmon fly glutton!
This Salmon Fly has good taste!
A place to relax.