California North Coast Winter Steelhead

With our fall fishing complete, we can now look forward to winter steelheading on the rivers of California's North Coast. Last week brought a big batch of rain to the north coast and raised water levels considerably. The flows are fluctuating a bit with off and on rain but we should see fishable conditions here soon. I anticipate a very good season this year on the coast and we have already hooked a few fish over there in the last few weeks. Our trips will be focusing on the Eel, S.F. Eel, Van Duzen, and Smith Rivers. This year I will be running a guided trip "SPECIAL". To find out more information sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of our homepage www.steelheadonthespey.com or email me at speybum@gmail.com

A little teaser from the last few weeks



This Week's Bent Rod

The "Kid" gettin it done on the Coast.



Idylwilde Day at Califronia Fly Shop

Idylwilde Day at California Fly Shop yesterday was a great success. A big thanks to all the folks at CFS and Jason Lozano for putting together this great event. For a day with less than ideal weather, we had a good turnout of people there to learn more about fishing, tying, and Idylwilde's new patterns for 2010!

Hogan Brown tied some cool trout flies and did a great presentation on tying and fishing flies for trout. Very informative and I really enjoyed his talk about mayflies, both tying and fishing 'em. Kevin Price tied and talked about Bass. Kevin has some really cool, new bass patterns out with Idylwilde this year that many of us are looking forward to fishing this upcoming spring. Mikey Weir tied some trout flies and had a lot of interest in his Hoppicater pattern. He also did a little preview for his Mongolia video. I was only able to see a couple minutes of it, but it is something to look forward to! I did a little presentation on fishing the rivers of California's North Coast and tied a few flies.

This was a great event and hopefully we can put together more Idylwilde days. Idylwilde has some of the most innovative tiers in the industry and by far the best tied flies. Remeber, Idylwilde Flies feature Premium Skunk Repellant!



Idylwilde Day at California Fly Shop Saturday December 12th

On Saturday December 12th California Fly Shop will have an Idylwilde day featuring Hogan Brown, Mikey Weir, Kevin Price, and myself. The event will feature tying demonstrations, a tying contest, FREE BEER, free swag, and plenty of good information pertaining to fly fishing and tying. The event will be from 11-3. Come by and check it out.



A Word on Sinktips

A month or two late on this post but better now than never. Since most are getting ready for winter steelhead, thought I might share my 2 cents on sinktips. Most people are on the T-14 program for winter which is great stuff but in my opinion T-11 gets down just as fast. It's thinner so it cuts thru the water better and is more enjoyable to cast. The other option for most are 15' sinktips like those that came with your ancient Windcutter or Delta Spey line ten years ago. Yes, these tips will work but there is not much difference in depth between fishing one that is 12-13' versus 15'. In recent years I have opted or shorter tips after much trial and error. Through the years I found that a shorter section of T-11 got down just as fast(and stays down) as any 15' tip. A lot of that has to do with current and the fact that the longer tips accounts for more belly in the tip, causing it to swing towards the surface throughout the drift/swing. Shorter tips seem to stay down better and have a hell of a lot less hinge and belly. So, if you're still fishing those 15' tips, think about cutting em back to 12' and making up some T-11 or T-14 tips to go along with em. Your flies will stay at a more consistent level and who knows, your casting with an ungodly 6" string leech might improve! These days I fish more 8-11' sections of T-11 than anything else, but thats just me. I would opt for 7', 9', 11', and 13' of that T material.


Winter's Here

Winter is officially here. Early winter steelhead are pushing into many rivers and we saw snow last night at 56' above sea level. That happens about once every ten years! The nights are freezing and the days are short. Only means one thing, these pretty gals and starting to show!




Something pretty funny coming from Yurok country, aka(Klamath River)

Winter Tying Materials

With winter steelhead season nearly here, I have been tying up a storm getting ready for the ghosts of winter to arrive. Over the years I find myself using more and more synthetics because they allow for tying a fly with a large profile without casting like a wet sock. Many are also tying and fishing flies upwards of six inches and while I rarely go this big, keeping your flies sparse and using synthetics can add movement and make casting much more enjoyable. Here are a few materials I have geeked on lately...

Foxx (Craft) Furr
This stuff can be used in many different ways and can be wrapped, spun, (or dare I say it) bunch tied. It comes in way too many colors and does not bleed. I have been having fun spinning it in dubbing loops and substituting it for marabou.

Polar Chenille
This is nothing new, but has all the good qualities in a steelhead tying material. It's lightweight and has a little flash and a lot of movement. I like to wrap this through the body of many flies instead of hackle.

Flashabou and Angel Hair
Both are offered in a variety of colors and add movement and flash for more steelhead appeal.

Then there are always the natural materials that I can't do without.
Arctic Fox Tails
Lady Amherst Tails and Tippets
Marabou(I am starting to like the barred stuff but wish the stems were a little longer!)

I know I am forgetting some, but these are just a few that came to mind. Would love to hear of any other cool stuff you out there like to use as well.