SAO Pages

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bringin' In The New Year!

Hope to see you all again in 2012!

Here's a fricken hilarious cartoon from our friends over at the Caddis Fly Angling Shop in Eugene, Oregon! It's intended for fly-fishing fanatics...

Check it out, as the title says it all Hi Honey I'm Home!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

That's A Wrap for 2011!

Well, it's hard to imagine another year has come and gone, but just a few more days and 2011 is a wrap! With the mild fall and early winter we are having, many rivers are fishing extremely well and providing some great opportunities for fish on a swung fly!

Before the calendar rolls another year on us, I wanted to share a few photos from my recent trips. Thanks to all of the SAO clients who came out and fished with us this year. Whether you are are old friends or new, it was a pleasure spending time with you all on the water this year.

Phil hit this fish early in the day...a fish always warms
the heart and soul on a cold day!

Friends Geoff and Jim share a last fish for their day.

Geoff holds a gorgeous chrome hen that graced his line.

Another nice fish...

Not a monster Brown Trout, but a Brown is a bonus!

Kyped up Brown Trout

Geri holds the first Steelhead of her fly fishing career.
I trust that this will be the first of many more to come!

Kevin hit this hot little hen that warmed a frigid day!

Bill got into some nice fish on this
day...many, many fresh from the mint.

Phil shares a Christmas season moment with his teenage sons.

Will puts a pretty buck in hand early in the day.

The Kreins share a father/son fish!

Phil holds the biggest fish of my fall guide season.
With the fish in the bag and a boga, it weighed right at 14lbs.
Definitely the shortest (@ 28") & stoutest fish I have ever netted.

Jim holds a respectable hen...

Rick holds a monster buck with hot cheeks! A very nice fish indeed!

Phil with another shot of his monster buck
from the fall season.

With the season coming to an end, it is often times the chance for the guides to make up for lost time with friends and family. This time of year, I love to grab the gun and go for birds of one kind or another. If I can't find a pheasant or grouse, then waterfowl will always do. This year, I have had the awesome opportunity to share this love with my best friend and my oldest son. Some great memories have been made and many more are yet to come!

Ben Barger and Crossland Robinson hold the days kill. It
looks like Gadwall and Mallard is for dinner.

I bagged this Gadwall hen and drake...and yes,
the flank feathers have been plucked and stored for later fly tying purposes.

My son basks in the glory of a couple Mallards, a Widgeon,
and a lone Ringneck that decided to come a bit to close.

Regardless of what you choose to do this time of year, make sure to find time to do it with family and close friends! Someone told me not long ago, that a man never lays on his death bed wishing he would have spent more time working...instead he wishes he would have spent more time with those he loved. I hope that you have done that this year. If not, the new year is just around the corner...make the most of it and hopefully you will have memories to cherish because of it.

Happy holidays and the all the best to everyone in the coming year from all of us here at Steelhead Alley Outfitters.

Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Head Guide
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

Friday, December 23, 2011

BAM's Swingin' Rig for Steelhead Alley

The idea for this post isn't original; the inspiration comes from the Deneki Outdoors blog that I visit frequently.  For those of you who are looking for some product reviews, true expert rigs, and knowledge on all other things spey, you should definitely take a peek -  Consider this an attempt to cover a fraction of what's discussed in that link, for our area.

What follows is a breakdown of my two-handed set up that you'll find me fishing day in and day out on the Erie tributaries.  Like most things spey, this rig is based largely on personal preference, which I'll get into a bit later in the post.

The Summary:  
- Scott Arc 1196
- Rio Skagit Flight 475
- Nautilus NV 11/12 with spey spool

The Details
- 30 pound gel spul dacron backing attached to the spool with an arbor knot.
- SA Dragon Tail shooting line attached to the backing with a loop to loop connection.  Tie a bimini twist to create a loop in your backing.  Double over the end of the non-looped side of the shooting line and secure into a loop using two nail knots.  Loop these two ends together with a "handshake connection."  The DragonTail helps with loop stabilization. Although it doesn't shoot as far as mono, on our rivers rarely is it necessary to shoot more than 40 to 50 feet of line, so distance isn't an issue.

- Rio Flight 475 looped to running line using factory loops on both ends.
- 10 ft. Rio MOW Tips in medium (T-11) and heavy (T-14) weights; the 5 ft. floating/5ft. sinking, and 2.5 ft. floating/7.5 ft. sinking tips should cover most swinging applications in this area.
- 12 inch section of 20 lb. Rio Max plus mono, with a double surgeons loop on both ends.  
- 18 inches of fluorocarbon tippet, looped to heavy mono with another double surgeons loop.
- Articulated fly attached to tippet using a non-slip mono loop.

The Commentary
- At 11'9", the Arc is a great length for fishing the larger Lake Erie tributaries.  The rod is a true two hander and features a full second grip.  The downside?  This rod isn't made anymore.   Other "short and light" spey rods can fill this role.
- With a medium action and a 475 grain line, short casts still allow for lots of feel and load through the rod.  The Flight is able to turn over a wide variety of tips making it a great choice for many different rivers and water conditions in our area.
- Fighting fish on a 6 wt. is really, really, really fun.
- When swinging this time of year with a Skagit line, be prepared to break a lot of ice out of your guides because of the amount of stripping required when preparing for your next cast.
- Make the fly look alive, then hang on...

Get out there, swing a bug, and hope for a tug!

Last Minute Gifts For The Seriously Addicted Steelheader!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

This Sums It Up....

The recent blog post by Jimmy Lampros shows us all just how far the Lake Erie steelhead fishery, and it's anglers have evolved over the years. I am grateful to be able to fish here anytime I want too. Check out the full write up at Dude Water. I hope some of you are enjoying the mild weather while it lasts...

Monday, December 19, 2011

MT's Fall Steelhead Top Ten

I wanted to thank each of the anglers that fished with me personally this Fall. Here's my Fall Steelhead top ten list, not that every steelhead isn't special, but these were my favorite. Some were bigger, some more aggressive than others, some came down to just "good ole fishing" I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did, and hope to see many of you again this spring!

I'm Out-MT
ps. And for those who do know me well, no I'm not helping Santa at the work shop this time of year!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Aliens Or Fish Food?

After a lot of prodding and poking from Greg, Pat and the rest of Guys at SAO I've finally got off my butt and decided to put together a few blogs in the off season. My first will be some close-up photography of some mayflies that I have studied over the years.

The next few will feature Duns, Spinners, Nymphs and maybe some emergence sequences if you aren't to sick of seeing bugs by then! I have been taking pics of bugs for many years and now I'm going to open up my archives and share some cool stuff with all of you.

Most people that I fish with always ask me about my photos and my time spent off the water, here's the fruit of my labor. I'm going to keep my "bug blogs" simple and not get into the "exact science" but, focus on the artistic beauty of these Ephemeral creatures.

I just love the way they seem to always be looking back at me, when I look at them thru the camera's eye! And the power that they have over a big wild can something so small be such a strong magnet for both Fisherman and fish.

I hope you enjoy the photos!

Rock on!