Saturday, June 29, 2013

Streamers... Central Oregon Report Part 1

What a week. Buying and moving into a house, keeping more than busy at work, and all of the other stress that comes with those activities has left me a little more tightly wound then normal.

Thankfully a family vacation to Sunriver was on the docket and this fly fisherman had plans. Sure, I couldn't fish the whole time (the wife might would have killed me), but I had a few goals.

1. Catch as many species as possible (Brook, Brown, Rainbow, and Cutthroat trout and Atlantic salmon were the goal)

2. Finally catch a fish on a streamer in a river (I don't know why I've not spent more time fishing streamers)

3. Fish the Upper Deschutes and Hosmer Lake

Check. Check. Check.

As the pictures clearly show, chunky Brookies love streamers near downed logs. After a slow morning on the river with our guide Griff (Fly and Field Outfitters, Bend), we went to some hard to reach water. He kept my Father-in-law and Brother-in-law busy nymphing up whitefish and brookies while I chased big guys on the streamer rod. I also got some Brook trout on dries and nymphs.

After fishing streamers so effectively that day, I don't know if I want to fish another way again!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Moving Week...

There are few things I dislike more than moving. Bats. Snakes. Ticks... that's about it.

That being said, I'm looking forward to having our own house and more room for all of our crap!

Moving is making me realize that my wife and I have far too many clothes, junk, and kitchen gadgets. But we don't seem to have enough fly rods, tying materials, drift boats, etc... Coincidence? I think not.

After a few more long days of hauling goods to the new place we will be off to Central Oregon. I've got a few things to check off the list while we're staying near Bend:

1. Atlantic Salmon (sure, they aren't native and I hear that they fight like crap but it's a must catch)
2. Big Brooke Trout... because they are cool
3. Fish 5 different bodies of water over 3 days.

I think I can knock all three of the list. Here's to hoping so!

I'll post pictures and other goodies next week.

Sorry again for the lack of posts recently. Work craziness and house closing sure takes up a lot of spare time.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Gear Review: Korkers KGB Boot

Just a few months ago I was seriously contemplating going with all Simms wading boots due to some early failures on my older Korkers. But the fine folks at Korkers Footwear (based in Portland) took fantastic care of me, listened to my concerns, and helped me get into a new pair of their Korkers Guide Boots aka KGBs for a nominal upgrade fee. 

After receiving such great service from Korkers, I figured I needed to at least put the KGBs through their paces before I switched all of my wading gear over to Simms products (Simms makes the BEST waders in my opinion and their boots are fantastic too!).

Let's just say I'm glad I tried the KGBs. With the introduction of this top of the line wading boot, Korkers has seriously upped their game. 

Before I get into my thoughts on the boots, here's what Korkers has to say about the KGBs:

"Korkers Guide Boot incorporates the comfort and technical functionality previously found in Korkers wading boots, while enhancing stability and durability. Extra durable rubber, mesh and laces were added along with a TPU cage and Vibram Idro Grip outsoles, significantly raising the performance of this guide-level wading boot."

Enough of the marketing hoopla and now to the nitty gritty:

Korkers are the kings of the versatile wading boot. We already knew that and Korkers had perfected it with the OmniTrax 3.0 interchangable sole system, but in my past experiences the construction on older Korkers models left something to be desired. The KGBs are built to last with a much more substantial outer shell material, reinforced TPU cage and a design that locks your foot into the boot. These things seem to be bombproof.

With their modern boot designs and almost sneaker-like fit, the other Korkers models were comfortable to walk in (especially with their light weight) but they never seemed to give me the all-day support I wanted. The KGBs are much taller then the Korkers boots previously available, giving you full ankle support which makes those slippery riverbeds and steep riverbanks less hazardous if you're a careless wader like me.

As much as I appreciate the BOA laceless system for it's quick "on and off" ability, I didn't like the maintenance required, and the fact that it can come loose on you during long days on the water. The KGB comes with nice heavy duty laces that feature an ingenious lacing system that allows you to really tighten in the lower lacing structure of the boot separately from the generous upper ankle section. I feel much more secure wearing these boots with the lacing system and I sure like being free from the BOA system. 

The KGBs that I bought came with both Vibram rubber and felt outsoles which both are pretty solid. I use the Vibrams if I'm doing much hiking or am fishing in my float tube and the felts when I'm fishing on slippery river bottoms. The soles attach just like any of the previous Korkers OmniTrax 3.0 boots and I've had no issues switching them out within a minute. I love the versatility factor of these boots.

I've put some solid use on the KGBs and I can say that they seem to really pass the durability test thus far. The outer shell material is solid, the uppers are reinforced, and the lacing system is an upgrade over the BOA setup on other Korkers. The KGBs aren't the lightest boots available, but if support, comfort, and versatility are your three most important criteria in choosing a wading boot then the KGB is a great choice for you. 

Korkers is back in play for this angler. 

Seeing as the blog is STILL in it's infant stages, I'm not in the position of receiving free fly fishing goods to test  and review. That being said, if I personally buy a product and feel strongly about it (for good or bad), then I'll possibly post a gear review on it. The review is my honest input about a product that I spent my hard earned money on... enjoy

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Big Bugs. Big Eats.

I've been a serious slacker.

Whether by change of plans, ignoring my alarm clock, or crap weather deterring me, I had seemingly skipped the big bug mayhem that is the Deschutes River in May. Salmonflies and Golden Stoneflies cause the aggressive Redside trout to cast any discretion aside and attack your flies during the height of the hatch.

I honestly thought I was too late but I figured that at least the caddis would be popping in force and I'd experience some decent fishing this weekend. I rigged up a nymph rod and a dry rod and hit the road to Maupin for a solo adventure.

I'll let the pictures tell the story...

Love stumbling upon Goldens when you arrive to the river. They were very active and the trout mid-river (the trout that haven't been fooled five times already in the past few weeks) were receptive.

Nymphing triumph... in sepia.

Best fish of the day... I kept missing him mid-river (55' casts) and he'd refuse the same bug. Five fly changes later and boom! Best fighting trout in a long time. Aerial displays, mid river runs, and gorgeous markings. 

Let 'em go to fight again. Beautiful colors, wonderful day.

Best day of wild trout fishing that I've had in some time. Well into double digits landed (caddis, stones, drakes up top and drake nymphs and caddis subsurface) and I lost another 6 at the net. Despite heavy pressure, it was great. Work the middle of the river if you want to find players right now as the fish near shore were pretty spooky. I only got a few in close and I had to get super stealthy which is not exactly an attribute of mine.

The only bummer is that it makes me miss the Spokane and my favorite N. Idaho and Montana water all the more!