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Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Day of Field Testing

Orvis Zero Gravity Helios Switch Rod Prototype

Yesterday was one of those good days.  Not only did we get to test some new gear and spend time with some friends, but we got to catch some fish.  We do that a lot for other people, but not nearly as much as we would like for ourselves.

On this day, the business at hand was to fully field test the forthcoming Orvis ZG Helios 1174 switch rod.  With switch rods being one of the new waves of the fly fishing world, many rod manufacturers are looking to add the "switch" to their line up of quality rods and the Orvis Company is no exception.

A Nice Colored Up Buck Comes Early

The place for testing was slated, due to weather forecasts, for Elk Creek in northwest Pennsylvania.  Temperatures were very cold overnight and at the point of our arrival in the morning, large amounts of ice and slush kept us at bay....but only for a while :)

Greg Senyo With A Nice Buck

As soon as we could penetrate the heavy slush, we did so and in short order fish were coming to hand and the ZG prototype was getting tested.  Here Greg lands a nice buck early in the morning.

A Gorgeous Fresh Hen Full of Eggs

A fresh healthy hen full of eggs brought smiles to all our faces.  It is a forecast of what is yet to come on many of our streams.  While we were at this location, we connected with a couple of anglers fishing nearby.  We quickly struck up conversations while waiting on slush to burn off and ended up sharing holes, nets, and the days experiences.  

Here one of the guys shows the bend of his own rod.

A New Friend Fights a Fish In The Slush

After a successful morning session on upper Elk, we decided to move closer to the lake and hopefully closer to some hot fish.  Here is a shot I took of a very quick but effective tube tie (Senyo's Ice Man Minnow).  I took this just after tying it on.  This isn't a complete fly (missing eyes) as I ran out of eyes.....nevertheless, I tied up and decided to go to fishing it.

Ice Man Minnow Mini-Tubes Are Deadly!

In a matter of minutes I had my first fish on a tube on Elk.  It was a beautifully fresh hen much like the one Greg had caught earlier in the morning.  After the release of that beautiful hen, I was back at it and in a matter of time, I was hooked up again.  This time I had Greg close by and he was able to get a few shots of me fighting and landing the beautiful fish.

The Fight, The Landing....

At Steelhead Alley, we tie a lot of flies!  Some are old, some are new, some are standard, some are tubes.....regardless, we test our flies and they work!  Here is a photo of the fish I am landing above with the hook in the corner of the mouth.  Need more proof, spend a day with us.  We would love the opportunity.

That Deadly Ice Man With It's Victim

An Average Buck Landed by Patrick

To close out the day, we pushed further down stream yet.  We had a couple of more holes we wanted to hit, and it paid off.  We were able to get some really nice shots of that ZG prototype in action and a beautiful hen that was in the process of dropping eggs.

Capturing the Action of the Rod With A Fish On.

Last Fish of The Day...and What a Beauty!!!

Even though it was a cold day, the fishing was hot.  We are now in the throes of our spring season either field testing gear or fishing with clients.  If you are interested in getting out, keep us in mind.  We have many guides available for Ohio, Pennsylvania or New York.  You pick, we will take care of the rest.

In the meantime, be safe on the water and tight lines!

Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Head Guide
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

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