Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve been out fishing….been real busy in the shop with rod building. Mary Ann just finished building her second bamboo rod, a beautiful 7′ 9″ 4 wt Progressive Medium-Action rod. What a great taper…casts dries like a dream. She cast dry flies hard for a few hours while I took out my 9′ 0″ 3 wt Czech Nymphing rod with #20 zebra nymphs and Bead Head Pheasant Tail Nymphs. I picked up several fish on nymphs, but there was nothing hatching and she was fishless on dries. But, she eventually went over to small nymphs, and her new rod handled them great. And….she got several fish to the net. As her first fish on her new rod she picked up a nice 13” whitefish. After that, several feisty rainbows. Here are a few photos from our day.
Here we are on the Crooked River this past week.
A nice little rainbow that took my #20 black Zebra Midge.
Mary Ann putting a bend on her new 7′ 9″ 4 wt rod.
I took a break from rod building today and ventured out on Whychus Creek below our house here in Sisters, Oregon. It’s about 400 feet down a steep canyon to get to the water, but rather than climb down the hillside from my house, I drove over to a nice trailhead on the other side of the creek just across from our house. It’s about a mile hike from the trailhead down a nice trail to the creek. This area get’s almost no people fishing these waters so I was pretty excited to see how I would do. The creek is a nice water level this time of the summer, and the water temperature was still nice and cool. Because it’s small water and quite overgrown with trees, I selected my 7′ 0″ 4 wt Signature Series bamboo fly rod for the day. Some of the smaller fish were willing to take dry flies but it wasn’t until I changed over to nymphs that I got into half a dozen nicer fish in the 11″ to 12″ range. I had the creek to myself and loved my time searching the creek for “fishy water”. And…I also donated quite a few flies in the tree branches along the stream edge. Here are a few photos of my morning adventure:
Here I am at the edge of Whychus Creek with my 7′ 0″ 4 wt bamboo fly rod.
Some nice pocket water where I picked up several good fish on nymphs.
Several little rainbows showed interest in my dry flies.
A beautiful 12″ rainbow that took a #16 Pheasant Tail Nymph.
Yep, there is my house about 400 ft. up from the creek at the top of the canyon.
I recently redesigned my tapers for my Czech Nymphing Bamboo Fly Rods and I can’t tell you how great they’ve come out. First, as a Czech Nymphing rod, I want the rods to be a light line wt rods, have a slow action to them, and have a very soft tip to detect subtle takes. And, I also want the rods to cast dry flies well in the event you’re out on the stream nymphing and a hatch happens. These new tapers in 3 wt and 4 wt rods do just that. I build these rods with Custom Engraved Reel Seat Hardware, Figured English Walnut Reel Seats, and Olive Wraps with Straw and Black Tipping.
Earlier this week I tested out the new 9 ft. 0″ 3 wt. rod on the Owyhee River in Eastern Oregon. For Czech Nymphing, it roll/lob casts small to medium sized weighted nymphs great. And, at 9 feet in length, it lets you get further out in the stream than traditional bamboo fly rods. The soft tip is super-sensitive and light takes are easily felt. I then put on a standard 3 wt floating fly line with a 10 ft. 5 wt dry fly leader. The rod did well at casting large #8 Hopper patterns, as well as #20 PMD dries. The slow action of this rod wants you to slow your dry fly casts down, but once you do, the rod loads deeply and turns over flies nicely with very little power put into the cast. These rods will prove to be great longer, lighter line wt. bamboo fly rods for those anglers who utilize Czech Nymping in their fly fishing adventures.
I had a few hours to get out on the Fall River yesterday to tempt a few fish. There wasn’t any noticeable surface activity but some caddis and small mayflies were out dotting the water. I tried Czech Nymphing with a small #18 black Psycho Mayfly pattern and a #16 Green Caddis Pupa pattern fished along the grassy banks in the fast water and picked up about a dozen rainbows, browns, and brook trout in the 8″ to 11″ range. I happened to have with me my 7′ 6″ 5 wt FreeStone Series bamboo rod, which is not exactly the best rod for Czech Nymphing. Normally I would be fishing with one of my longer rods, typically in the 8′ 6″ to 9″ 0″ range. But, since I was working very close to me along the banks, the smaller rod worked fine. Sometimes it’s not about size of the fish…it’s just about getting out on the stream and trying some new techniques. Here are a couple of photos.
A deep slot along a grassy bank. I caught 6 fish in the small area.
I’ve been reading Dave Hughes’ book “Wet Flies” recently, and it’s caused me to think a lot more about how I fly fish. On a brief outing to the Middle Deschutes River last week, I took my 8′ 0″ 5 wt slow action rod to swing some of Dave’s recommended patterns for the local browns. The “Silver Invicta” in a size 14 proved to be a great fly to swing through shallower riffles, and it brought many feisty browns in the 7″ to 12″ range to the net. I think I’ll be using Dave’s wet fly techniques a lot more in my fishing outings, especially on smaller water. Check it out:
Wet Flies by Dave Hughes
The Silver Invicta
The browns in the middle Deschutes River couldn’t resist a swung fly.