Jan 29, 2015

Scientific Anglers Frequency - Whats your Frequency

Scientific Anglers decided it was time to clean up all the confusion in the mid-price line market. After examining what was available it was determined that the choices were too confusing. There must be a simpler way! Frequency Fly Lines solves this problem

Great lines at a good price...$49.95. This series has 6 tapers (3 floating and 3 sinking) all with AST coating and welded front loops. There are only 4 sizes for each taper (5-8 or 3-6..depending on the taper)

Frequency - Trout (3-6wt) 

General Purpose Trout Line

Exactly what you should expect in a trout line. It features a mid length head for ease of casting and enough rear taper to make mends at moderate distances. It features a braided multifilament core, formulated with AST for slickness and Line ID marking system for easy identification. Looped on the front end for easy leader attachment.


Frequency - Boost (3-6wt)

Half of a line size heavier than the Trout taper Boost gives you that extra edge needed for modern fast action trout rods. Boost will carry larger heavier flies more easily than the Trout line and all the same great features.


Frequency - Magnum 


Big flies, indicators, large dries will all turn over with ease with this 1/2 line size jump Magnum Taper fly line. Looking for a streamer line this is it. 

Frequency - Sink Tip (5-8wt)

10' Sink Tip

!0 foot of type 3 sink tip material makes this the line of choice for streamers and wet flies to get them down. Mid-Length head for easy control and a sink rate of 2.5 - 4.0 ips. 

Full Sinking

Frequency - Full Sink and Intermediate Sink (5-8wt)

Ideal Still water angling fly line. Choose between the intermediate with a 1.25 ips sink rate of the full sink with its 3-5 ips. 

Lot's of good choices in this new series from S/A and especially for $49.95...By eliminating features such as rear loops, multi colors and more sizes than one could ever need S/A was able to bring the price down to a mid-level creating a good line for the price. 

So what's your Frequency!

Jan 28, 2015

Two Hand Troutin' - On the Yakima

We love to hear your stories and see your pictures. This article comes to us from a great customer named Paul Huffman. Paul primarily fishes for Steelhead but like us he is now looking toward the many other possibilities we can adapt two hand strategy to. Paul has found some great success on the Yakima River and has kindly shared his findings with us. Thank you Paul

Yakima River Bow

Frozen waders

I'm recovering from shoulder surgery on my non-casting side, so snowboarding is out of the question for a bit longer. I've had to settle with winter fishing on the Yakima and experimenting with my 5 wt. switch, a Sage TCX 5119-4.

I tried both my single handed 5 wt. and the switch rod and found single-handed casting is a lot harder because my left arm has to come up higher to haul line. When I'm doing standard two-hand casts, my left hand stays comfortably low.

I've been having fun swinging skulpins on a sink tip. It's like like steelheading in miniature. For years, I struggled with a single-hand 5 wt. and a sink tip. I'd do lots of tricks to find some back cast room to get a cast across the current, like casting off-handed, false casting up and down the river then changing direction, wading way out, or finding a hole in the brush behind me, hitting it with as long a back cast as I could, then hauling hard into the forward cast while releasing loops of line held in my mouth. Now with the switch rod, it's just a sweep and a flick, and care not to cast too far!

Yakima River Valley

I remember talking with Travis Duddles about streamer fishing a few years ago, and was surprised to hear that not that many trout fishermen used streamers on the Deschutes River. However, people like Greg Darling may be changing some minds. Streamer fishing has been a standard technique on the Yakima for a long time. For me, November has always been the best month. Some days I'd fish streamers until the mid-day BWO hatch started, I'd do well on tiny dry flies for an hour or an hour and a half, then go back to catching big rainbows on streamers after the hatch. It seems like the BWOs bring fish into the feeding areas, but they be willing to eat anything while they wait for the hatch.

However, I am finding there are some flies that are too heavy and bulky to cast well with a 5 wt. switch. It doesn't have the backbone of my 8 wt. steelhead rod. An example is the Dali Lama streamer, which is heavy both because of the cone head and the water absorbant twin bunny strips. I'm using a RIO Skagit Max Short 325gr. which should be better at this than some other lines, like a Scandi or a triangle taper. The heavy flies stick in the water a little too much right at a critical moment at the outbound cast, "tripping" the cast. The best way I've found to compensate is to sweep the line to the surface a little harder. For a snap-T, this would be to flip the line upstream, then sweep it downstream to get the leader tight and the fly near the surface, then quickly swing into the loop formation, make a crisp stop, wait for the loop to fully form and tighten, and have the loop, p-point, and target aligned carefully. I snapped off a couple heavy flies either struggling to roll the tip up prior to sweeping or on the outbound cast, so I had to step up to a 10 lb. tippet. It seems like that heavy tippet would decrease strikes in clear water. Still, it's probably easier than trying to cast the Dali Lama with a single handed rod.

After a little more experimenting, I found that maybe the way to go deep is to put the weight on the line, not the fly. I had been using sinking leaders and ten to twelve feet of T-7. I reached into my steelhead wallet as an experiment. First, I tried 6 ft. of T-11, reasoning that I couldn't add on a lot of extra weight. But that short tip required an adjustment to my casting rhythm. Then I tried the full 12 ft. length of T-11, and was surprised how well that cast. The casts would just rocket out there with a moderately weighted streamer. My conclusion: weight on the fly line is easier to cast than weight on the end of the leader.

When I was able to get both hands up to my tying vice, I experimented with skulpins on Protubes. They are pretty bulky with that clipped deer muddler head. The ones I tied with steel eyes, and the ones with steel eyes with a flexiweight cast well. But when I added a drop weight with the steel eyes, those were too heavy.

Swing Water
Some guys at washingtonflyfishing.com had some useful advice, some not so helpful. Some guys wanted to blame my casting ability, but I explained that everything I cast on the TCX casts like a dream, except when I reached a distinct threshold of fly weight. Others told me I should maybe try a slightly heavier Skagit Max Short 350 grain. Lots of people have been telling me to try an intermediate head. I'll have to try it. Still, it's nice to be able to just switch the tip on the floating Compact Short to a straight piece of mono and have a killer nymphing rig. I can cover a lot of water with an indicator rig, throwing it way up stream and getting a real long drift past me to the downstream swing.

I like the TCX switch for hopper fishing, for trout and steelhead nymphing, for swinging streamers for trout. I can even see myself using it for Deschutes red sides during the big stone hatch for throwing those big foam imitations. I might not ever use my single hand 5 wt. much anymore except for BWO hatches.

Contributed by Paul Huffman

Thanks Paul for your insights. I think you will get in the zone with a RIO Skagit Max Short 350gr or an Airflo Skagit Switch 360 gr although casting #2 Dali's will likely never be easy on a your TCX 5119. The rod is a champion but everything has it's limits. 

Question for our readers out there: What lines are you throwing with your TCX 5119? We'd sure like to hear about it

Thanks again Paul and Keep on Swinging!

Jan 21, 2015

Get Started in Fly Fishing - Chapter Two - Fly Rods

The look on your face when you get a new rod

The fun begins with your first purchase. You're ready to buy a fly rod. Most will experience one of three possible scenarios.

1) You find yourself in a large outdoor chain store with plenty of things to buy but no help to see you through a good decision.

2) You find yourself in a upscale fly shop where the sales staff proceeds to make you feel inferior and unworthy of the sport.

3) You come across a yard sale or hand me down rod that is always the best ever according to the previous owner. Trust me. Its rare to find any worth $$$ in a yard sale. I know because I look for them.

I didn't intend to start off this article sounding cynical but I bet if many of you would comment with your stories many of them would match one of these three descriptions.

Too Many Choices

Too Many Choices

Lets start with import or USA built.We can discuss this subject from many different angles - here's the facts

USA Built 

Pros - The best fly rods are built in USA. All USA built fly rods are hand crafted. Most if not all USA built rods come with some kind of lifetime warranty. Most have good resale value.
Cons - Expensive! Cost of USA manufacturing, research and development, advanced materials technology that makes these rods the best come at a high price.
Summary - If you become passionate about fly fishing you will own USA built fly rods. What comes with these rods is a sense of pride. Hard to have that feeling for something imported from an overseas factory. I have had the pleasure of visiting many USA rod manufacturer facilities. I like knowing that the hands that built my rods also are as passionate about fishing as I am. Its a feeling you cannot put a price on.

Imported fly rods

Pros - Value per dollar. Good entry level options. Some have lifetime warranty (although you may end up with a different rod than what you started with). Also some very good quality rods for much less than USA built price.
Cons - Hard to tell good from bad. Here today and gone tomorrow.
Summary - There is some really good import rods on the market and they catch fish just like a USA built rods. But the import business tends to flood the market and makes it hard to sift through whats Great, Good, OK or just plain cheap rods. Resale value of imports is weak and often times you can't give them away. I also notice that many come with catchy names to help sell them but not a good description of what the action is, so often you find someone purchased a rod only to find out it is a poor fit for their casting ability or the fishing they are doing.

Premium Picks - 

Sage One

Winston BIIIx

All of these rods are beautiful and powerful tools for fishing. Each has great power coupled with very intuitive feeling that will help any angler progress down the path of good casting. Excellent resale value and the industry leading warranty service also add to their value. I should note here that rods like these hold their place in history for years to come.

Mid Line Winners - 

G. Loomis Pro4x
Winston Nexus

Echo 3

These models range in price from about $300 to $595. Winston, G. Loomis and Sage are built in USA. All have lifetime warranty. All of these rods offer excellent performance and value. They could go with you on a lifetime of fishing and you would enjoy them for years to come.

Entry Level Values - Imports

Redington Classic Trout
Echo Solo

Redington Crosswater

Classic Trout and Solo offer lifetime warranty. One year on the Crosswater. I am real fond of the Classic Trout. Its a moderate action easy to cast really good trout rod for the price. The Echo Solo is also a good choice and at $119 with lifetime warranty its hard to beat.

Outfit Options

An outfit is an easy way to get Rod, Reel and Line all in one purchase. 

Sage Approach Outfits

Redington Minnow 
Made for Kids-Loved by Adults

Redington Topo Outfit - Complete ready to fish

Echo Solo Outfit - Great Value

Two Hand (Spey) Rod Choices

No reason one has to start out with a single hand fly rod. If you live in steelhead country just go ahead and jump to a two hand. I've seen too many beginners get a single hand 8wt only to come back in a month and say I want a two hand rod. I think two hand casting is harder to learn on your own but with a good instructor like Tom Larimer of Jeff Hickman you will soon be on your way to fishing success! Learning single hand casting first is not a prerequisite. The rods I choose are all pretty moderate action and not only do they fit beginners well they are also a great action for skagit style two hand casting.

Winston Boron III TH
G.Loomis Pro4x
Sage ACCEL Two Hand

Redington Dually

Echo Dec Hogan II

Sum it up

A popular quote around the fly shop is "if you don't want to buy a more expensive rod than don't cast a more expensive rod." Even a person just starting out with some basic casting skills can feel the difference from these different levels of rods. That doesn't mean they catch more fish, they just cast better and make you feel like a hero. I know plenty of anglers that catch plenty of fish on $89 Crosswater rods. This works on the premise that if you want to catch fish you will use what you got! Spending more on a rod doesn't guarantee you more fish. What I can almost certainly guarantee is if you embrace to sport of fly fishing you will own premium USA built fly rods. It's inevitable!

The way I weigh the options is in one of three choices - 

Buy Top Shelf- You work hard for your money and when you have time off you deserve to enjoy it. Great pride comes with the best rods and you find yourself taking great pride in your fishing. Long after your gone when your grand kids find your fly rod hidden among your treasures they'll know how much it meant to you by the way you took care of it.

Buy middle of the road knowing that you'll get a great rod you can own a lifetime or maybe it will be the first and last rod you buy. I know anglers that only fish their home waters. They usually will fish a dry fly if fish are raising and if not they switch to a nymph rig. One rod can do both methods therefore they only need one rod. They only fish a few days a year and enjoy it as much as anyone. Some of today's mid line rods are a recent yesterdays premium rod.

Buy cheap now knowing that you'll upgrade in the future - Its nice to have a cheapy around for yard casting or letting your buddy or kid have a swing...Hard to hand over your several hundred dollar investment and watch a novice thrash it.

Don't fret over making a wrong choice. There are no wrong choices just future choices and Gorge Fly Shop will be here to help you make that choice whether you buy one or a hundred rods. 

Gorge Fly Shop Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Jan 20, 2015

Hatch Limited Edition Finatic 7plus Turneffe Atoll Trust Reel

Hatch Outdoors Helping to Protect Turneffe Atoll 

Hatch Outdoorsdedication to high quality fly reels is obvious in every reel they sell. The Finatic is tough as nails and they come in every size one could need from spring water trout streams to billfish in the bluewater. But besides building awesome reels Hatch is deeply committed to the sport that we all love. 

Turneffe Atoll is a magical place were Bonefish, Tarpon and Permit swim freely through the emerald waters. Many of anglers have fallen victim to the allure of the flats in this special place. 

Turneffe Atoll

Turneffe Atoll Trust represents a major step forward in the protection of the Atoll and Hatch Outdoors has devoted their skills to contribute to this incredible cause. The mission at Hatch is to help support the efforts of TAT by creating a one of a kind 7 Plus Large Arbor Reel in Cool Aqua Blue with TAT engraving and a unique aqua blue neoprene pouch to match. The results are one of the coolest looking reels we've ever seen.

There's only 100 of these reels being made! $250 from the sale of each reel goes to providing protection of Turneffe Atoll. The project will generate $25,000 USD. That's $50,000 Belizean and represents a major step forward in protecting the Atoll.

Gorge Fly Shop is proud to recognize this worthy cause and in support of it we have purchased a limited quantity of the TAT reels for the purpose to reach out to you, our people and give everyone the opportunity to support this cause. 

Thanks and Tight Lines


Gorge Fly Shop Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Jan 15, 2015

The Slump by Andrew Perrault

"True Grit"
I’ve been in a steelhead slump for some time now. Its not that I haven’t put in a lot of time fishing this winter; there has already been countless early mornings and long weekends, and I haven’t even touched a fish. My friends are catching them; I have seen people in front and behind me catching them. I just have not caught one or even come close in months. To say that it’s frustrating is quite the understatement. It is a test of patience, determination, and some would even use the phrase “grit”.

I have been contemplating just hanging it up and pick up some golf clubs. Ok, maybe not that extreme, but it seems like everyone who catches one is instantly an expert on why I haven’t hooked one yet. I know that I am doing everything right. I am a good caster, I can read water well, and I know where they lie, what they take and how to present a good fly correctly to a fish. It’s purely just a matter of luck, and I have to keep telling myself that. Luck has just never been in my blood. For example, I have applied for permits for the Middle Fork Salmon River, Selway and Main Salmon every year going on ten years now without being drawn while I know several people that have drawn permits multiple times in that period… Time is my only hope at this point.

The last steelhead I landed was on the Deschutes in early November; November 6 to be exact. I did put a spanking on that river that day though. By my calculations, I average on the conservative side 15 hours per week fishing. It has been 9 weeks since I landed that last fish. That is 135 hours fishing minimum. I average 40 casts per hour, and that means that I have made a minimum of 5000 casts since I last landed a steelhead. Yet I keep going out twice a week before work, and two days a week all day, every week. I keep watching people catch fish, and on every single cast, I whole-heartedly believe that I will hook one on this cast. When that cast reaches the end, I become completely focused and know that this next cast is going to produce that big chrome winter steelhead that haunts my dreams.

I know that the trout fishing on the Deschutes is great during the winter. I would love to get out there and rail on some redbands, but I am in a steelhead deficit right now. I couldn’t possibly give up now after thousands of unanswered casts, weeks of early mornings, and hundreds of miles driven just to catch nothing. If I went trout fishing now, it would be admitting defeat of some kind. I would let the steelhead win my personal battle.

The next problem is that if I catch one tomorrow, I will feel that I need to get three or four to catch up with the effort I have put in so far this winter before I could go trout fishing. This vicious cycle goes right into springtime when, hopefully, I get a couple of great days in and then I can go trout fishing for a month or two. Then one day in June, I will decide to go summer steelheading on the Klickitat, and then the cycle starts all over until it peaks out again in November…

This happens to me every year… Last year’s slump was the worst of my life. I landed my last fish on the swing on October 8. Then I did not land another one (on the swing) until March 5, 2014; and I put in more time per week than I have so far this year. That is somewhere in the far north of 10,000 empty casts. Let’s hope that this year’s slump ends much more quickly than last year’s. I know I can pull out the bobber rod and nymph one up almost any day, but I am sticking with the swing, as the reward is so much greater when you have to make ten thousand casts between fish… right?


I did manage to land a steelhead finally, although it took writing an article about my struggles before I got one.

Caught on my new Echo Glass 7129-4, 12’9” 7wt.

Andrew Perrault
Gorge Fly Shop

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Airflo's New Bruce Chard Tropical Punch

Bruce Chard's Tropical Punch

Airflo's Chard Tropical fly lines kicks off with an awesome new taper appropriately named Chard Tropical Punch.

Captain Bruce Chard is one of the world’s premier line designers and Airflo has been lucky enough to have him design their new series of saltwater taper fly lines; which are now available at Gorge Fly Shop. Chard’s Tropical Punch Line will soon be the line of choice for saltwater anglers across the globe. Available in WF8F-WF12F, this line serves a wide range of applications and fishing situations. There are three reasons why these new lines are going to soon rule the saltwater world: The taper, the low-stretch core, and the urethane coating.

The compact front taper and long back taper gives anglers’ the best line profile for punching big flies in windy conditions. These lines are built with windy conditions in mind, which is something every angler will encounter on a daily basis in the tropics. You can pick up the line and cast at a variety of distances; quickly punching it through the wind to reach fish with fewer false casts than a traditional tropical line that has a longer front taper.

The low-stretch core (6% at breaking point) gives you the best connection to fish without compromising power, accuracy or adding memory. Traditional lines can stretch between 20%-30%, which will drain power from your cast. With this low-stretch core, you can pick up your fly without having to stretch the line out to get it moving. This results in quicker, more accurate casts, and fewer false casts as you have better control of the fly from beginning to end; plus every little tap and grab is felt through the tight line. There is never a doubt whether you just had a grab or dragged on the bottom.

The urethane coating is the “kicker”. It is the third piece of this puzzle that results in the ultimate tropical line. Urethane does not fade or crack in the sun like PVC coatings, nor does it react to sunscreen or DEET insect repellent. You may have noticed that all three of those factors are problems that saltwater anglers have to deal with. There is nothing worse than having a line fall apart after applying sunscreen and DEET, and then handling your fly line. I have seen it happen more than once. The ultra-slick urethane coating will hold up no matter what the conditions.

From bonefish to redfish to tarpon to snook, this line has you covered for all of your saltwater needs. Now all you need is a tropical vacation to try them out.

By Andrew Perrault
Product Specialist | Gorge Fly Shop

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

  © 'and' Steelhead.com Mike Prine 2009-2014

Back to TOP