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Friday, September 20, 2013

New Rio Fly Lines For Fall Fishing: Rio Perception and Rio Short Head Spey

Our assortment of Rio lines is behind the counter, come on in and chat us up. 

Rio Products has come out with a few new lines recently, and they're worth checking out for fall trout and steelhead fishing destinations.

Rio Perception: A high-floating line without sloppy stretch to hook more fish!
First up is the Rio Perception trout line. They've reduced the stretch that contributes to sloppy mends and missed hook sets, added a cool 3-tone color scheme so you know where the front taper and rear taper are for accurate casts, and designed the whole thing to shed water and float high for easy mending and handling. They've also added an easy-to-identify tag on the front taper so you can pair up the right line with the right rod even after a season in the gear closet. 36+ ft. head and an all around taper offers superior performance for dries, nymphs, and streamers. MSRP $89.95.

Check out the vid (love these bungee sound effects): 

Next up is the Rio Short Head Spey. Rio characterizes it as a great line for those interested in honing their skills beyond fast-loading Skagit and Scandi heads, but we think this one will work if you're just getting into spey casting this fall on our local rivers. It features a mellow taper, mid-range grain weight and a 40+ ft. head which works great with shorter, 10 - 13 ft. spey rods, small rivers or tight quarters. You'll see these on Columbia River tribs this fall for sure. Comes in 5/6 - 10/11 floating, with MSRP $89.95 for the integrated line (includes head and running line).

Rio Short Head Spey: a great line for dry line fall steelhead

Line Size Color Head Weight Head Length Sink Rate Total Length
5/6F Blue / Straw 430gr 40ft / 12.2m Float 100ft / 30m
6/7F Blue / Straw 470gr 42ft / 12.8m Float 110ft / 33.8m
7/8F Blue / Straw 520gr 44ft / 13.4m Float 110ft / 33.8m
8/9F Blue / Straw 580gr 46ft / 14m Float 115ft / 35m
9/10F Blue / Straw 650gr 48ft / 14.6m Float 120ft / 36.5m
10/11F Blue / Straw 730gr 50ft / 15.2m Float 120ft / 36.5m

Come on into the shop and check 'em out, we've got our lines behind the counter, so don't be bashful and feel free to chat us up about where you're going fishing and we'll give you our best recommendation. We also carry Scientific Anglers, Airflo, Cortland, Nextcast spey lines and a smattering of specialty lines so we can get you what you need no matter the application.

All this line talk confusing? We offer casting instruction and spey instruction to demystify the world of fly lines and tighten up those loops.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Product Review: Scott Radian Fly Rods

Scott Fly Rods has generated some serious buzz about their new offering, the Radian, and we have them in the shop!

The overall idea was to make a fast, powerful rod that doesn't feel like a broomstick. Something with the responsive feel to fish all day long and actually enjoy the act of casting. A balance of "fast" and "feel".

Verdict's in: Scott nailed it with the Radian.

 The construction basically increases recovery speed without adding materials using some high-techy super-rad techniques like ReAct, X Core and FiberFuse technology. This translates into an incredibly nuanced feel with a ton of power that spans the techniques you'll use during the calendar year of a Puget Sound angler.

Equipped with an incredibly beautiful reel seat (burled box elder wood, 5 wt.), awards for Best in Show at the recent IFTD industry show and premium Portuguese cork in a full-wells style grip, the Radian is a stunner to be sure.

Come in and check them out! You'll notice the 5 wt. reel seat straight off and then have to go cast.

R905/4 9 ft. 5 weight 4-piece - $795

(Scott's Site) Truly an all-purpose fast-action 5 weight. The Radian 905/4 can turn over big flies or 16 foot dry fly leaders over a wide range of fishing distances. A powerful butt section paired with a sensitive tip make this rod incredibly versatile and almost effortless to fish.

(Local application) Yakima from high spring flows to fall BWOs. Pass Lake chironomids and leeches. Your new double-beaded/hopper-dropper/delicate mayfly dry/streamer rod. Yup. All that. And a drool-worthy reel seat.

R956/4 9 ft. 6 in. 6 weight 4-piece  - $795

(Scott's Site) The specialist streamer and nymph rod, the Radian 956/4 is the rod to reach for when you're fishing deep. Superb line control for long distance mending, and the power to deliver the "you can't be serious" nymph rigs

(Local application) Puget Sound beaches for SRC's, pinks and resident coho. Local rivers, throwing big flashy streamers for whatever's ready to grab.

R908/4 9 ft. 0 in. 8 weight 4-piece - $795

(Scott's Site) The Radian 9 foot 8 weight has the tippet protection and mending abilities you won't find in our S4s 8 weight. The Radian generates the line speed needed to turn over larger flies and still loads at closer range. Perfect for silver salmon, large trout, and heavy warmwater use. A great crossover saltwater for that occassional trip to the flats.

(Local application) Uh, Scott said it pretty well! A local big beach rig for coho, a rod for winter steel, lings, big bass poppers, chums and migrating to the flats for bonefish.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sage Approach Fly Rod - Quality For Late Summer Fishing Made Right Here In Washington on Bainbridge Island

Featuring a quick action that grows with you, the Sage Approach rod is a great choice for chucking streamers, big dries in windy conditions, learning the ropes with a subsurface pattern and generally pursuing late summer and early fall fish. We’ve got the 5-weight in stock right now in the kit* and as a stand-alone rod, both great choices for local trout on our Westside rivers and lakes, and fishing the beach in the fall.

Best used in places like this, the Sage Approach offers great entry-level performance that grows with you

Ounce for ounce, you get a lot of rod in the Approach. It’s a medium-fast action rod that stands up to Puget Sound winds and large flies anywhere you pursue fish. Sage classifies as a medium-fast action, which is to say that it’s still pretty quick on the recovery, but not so fast that you can’t pick it up as a beginner and benefit from the feel of the rod loading. The best part about the Approach is that it grows with you, meaning you’ll probably have this one in the gear closet for many trips to come because it’s always going to perform wherever you take it.

With high quality components like ceramic stripper guides for durability (the ones closest to the cork) and hard chrome snake guides and tip top, an aluminum reel seat, conscientious wraps, and a reverse half-wells grip, you’d be hard pressed to find a rod with a better look in the price range. C’mon in and try one out!

590-4 Sage Approach - 9 ft. 5 Weight 4 Piece Fly Rod - $295

*Package kit includes a Sage 1800 reel and Rio Gold line with a durable rod case and pouch for the reel for $475

Friday, July 19, 2013

Simms Gear for Wet Wading

Doesn't get much better ...
We don't have long to enjoy what the rest of the country takes for granted when summertime rolls around: the feeling of actually splashing around in the water when it's hot out!

Here are 3 ideas to get you out and splashing:

Simms StreamTread Sandal - $89.95

From Simms: Searching for the hammock-lounging comfort of a favorite sandal combined with the technology of a burly, river-ready shoe? Look no further. Simms’ superhero sandal features a quick-pull system for lightning-fast lace-ups and wading boot outsole technology that conquers rock, concrete, rebar, and the myriad unmentionables of your favorite carp infested waters… as well as the campfire, beach, and back again—all in a day’s work.

Don't like the idea of not having the support of your favorite wading boot? Try the neoprene wading socks $19.95. Just pair them with your regular ol' wading boots to add a layer of light insulation and protection against pebbles and grit. These also work really well with the wading sandals!

Lastly, take advantage of the flip-flop weather with the Simms Ebb Flips $49.95 and Guide Flips $79.95. Not necessarily the best for wading in the river, but they sure take it easy on your feet.

Ebb Flips

From Simms: Proven architecture for stoked-to-be-in-the-sun feet, Simms’ EbbTide Flips combine the traction of non-marking siped rubber outsoles with the superior comfort and support of molded EVA midsoles. Featuring die cut EVA footbeds and water-resistant uppers for all-weather, wherever the world takes you travel and use.

Guide Flips

Simms’ new waterproof, full grain leather Guide Flip takes the flip-flop and raises the performance level with non-marking siped rubber outsoles and molded EVA midsoles for superior traction, comfort, and support. From boat deck to your favorite Goombay Smash-serving bar, the Guide Flip goes anywhere your intrepid (and sometimes wobbly) fishing legs may lead you.

Come on in and check 'em before you head out splashing in the warm weather.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Simple Sand Lance Pattern for Puget Sound

What you'll need:

Gamakatsu SC15 or Tiemco 800S Saltwater hook in 2s and 4s for salmon, 4s and 6s for SRCs
Flat diamond braid
Bucktail - white, olive, chartruese or alternate (keep it sparse, y'all)
Flashabou - Pearl or alternate
High-tech super fishy Sharpe Permanant Marker Eye Applicator Device
3/0 thread in whatever color you like

Tied by our own Ben Waldschmidt

Friday, June 28, 2013

Incredible Value and Great Looks: Wilderness Pro Nets

Wilderness Pro South Island Net - $40

Small local creeks, big westside water, eastside lakes and trips out to Idaho and Montana this summer all have one thing in common when you're fly fishing for trout - the need for a good net.

We've brought in a couple different Wilderness Pro Nets this summer, you'll find them on the wall to the right when you walk in the shop. The first thing you'll notice about these nets are their dapper good looks. The wood finish is smooth and pleasing to the touch, and the clear netting on the South Island and the Guide Net (not pictured, more below) really make the colors of netted fish stand out. They come with a clip you can attach to a D-rings and net retractors.

Wilderness Pro South Island -$40

Sized for large fish in fast waters, the South Island is an ideal net to keep strapped to your vest when wading a big river. Clear netting adds a stealth effect, and wood handle classes things up.

Wilderness Pro Guide Net - $54 (not pictured)

This one is the same as the South Island model, just with a longer handle so you stretch out on the net on that toad from your pontoon or drift boat, get it in for a quick shot, and release unharmed.

Wilderness Pro C&R Net - $30

Wilderness Pro C&R Net - $30.00
Small creeks and delicate dries on a 3 weight rod this summer? Check out the Wilderness Pro C&R Net. Soft netting is easy on trout, and small weave makes it easy to remove an Elk Hair Caddis from the mouth of an over-zealous Middle Fork bow. Hint, this one also works for the big fish.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Product Review: Hatch Reels

The first thing that comes to mind when you take a gander at the Hatch reels sitting in our reel case is "wow, what's that?" With the sleek lines and good looks of a race car, they don't quite look like anything else in the case. Pick one up and you'll immediately notice the light weight. Crank down the drag and you'll feel the smoothness of the multi-surface engagement. These aren't the heirloom quality reels of the past. With a healthy dose of tech, Hatch reels are a new breed, and after 10 years in the industry, the verdict is out: Hatch reels are bombproof and here to stay.

Here are a couple of cool features you'll appreciate as the fish of a lifetime takes off towards the horizon:

  • Multi-disc drag uses multiple Rulon and stainless-steel laser cut discs to apply braking pressure and disperse heat instead of a single surface on most drag systems (metal to cork or metal to plastic). This multi-disc setup reduces the momentum needed to get the reel spinning when a fish takes line, a.k.a. start-up intertia, and virtually eliminates problems with the drag slipping and sticking.
  • Cassette-style drag system is completely sealed, safe for salt water use
  • It's easy to remove the spool, all you have to do is undo the spool tension nut and and the spool comes out without a hitch. There are no pieces to lose or drop in the river
  • Hook guard in the bottom of the reel offers a place to keep your hooks tucked into the reel and out of the way

We can order you any size, and they come in mid-arbor and large-arbor sizes, but here's a gloss of the couple reels we currently have in the case (mid arbor only):

1 Plus Finatic - $350
Small creek finesse and an incredible feel. Think forks of the Snoqualmie with a 0 - 2 weight rod, mountain creeks with summertime dries and any other time you are chasing small but mighty fish.

5 Plus Finatic - $500
The do-it-all workhorse. From 5 - 7 weight applications. Around these parts, thats sea-run cutthroat off Seattle beaches, big streamers on the Yakima, and chasing pink salmon in summertime flows.

9 Plus Finatic - $750
Destined to land your hottest fish in warm-water destinations, the 9 Plus Finatic handles 9 - 12 weight lines. Also doubles as a nice spey reel with the light weight to balance today's 11.5 - 13 foot rods.
This older version of the Monsoon 7 Plus, which put the brakes on many a Bahamian bonefish.
More info here:

Come on in and check 'em out!

Product Review: Spirit River UV2 Tying Materials

Spirit River UV2 Multi Spectrum Dubbing
One of the coolest ideas to come out of fly tying materials recently, Spirit River UV2 materials reflect ultraviolet light to catch more fish. We've got dubbing, rabbit strips, grizzly barred soft hackles, marabou and schlappen in a variety of colors to try. Spice up steelhead patterns, tie up a UV reflective zonker, or dub up an irresistible nymph thorax. The sky is the limit!
UV2 materials enhance both the UVF and the UVR spectrum of reflected light. UVF is the fluorescent wavelength in bright colors, and it boosts the visibility of flies at distance. Basically it makes otherwise bright colors pop above and beyond what's normal.

Not readily detectable by human eyes, UVR is a spectrum of light that fish can see. Naturally occurring signatures of UVR light help mayflies find their mates, help bees find flowers and help fish target prey. By incorporating the UVR spectrum into tying materials, you're tapping into a dimension of fly design that goes beyond size, shape, color and movement! Try 'em out!

In order top to bottom: Schlappen, Marabou, Grizzly Soft Hackle, Dubbing, Rabbit Strips on Side
Spirit River recommends always tying in a base of pearl or silver Mylar or white thread to enhance the reflectivity of the patterns.

We're really looking forward to trying out these materials in lakes and the Sound. Dredging streamer patterns down deep in Pass Lake, enticing agro SRCs and unlocking the secret to lock-jawed coho perhaps? Only time will tell!

Brita's UV2 Sculpin Helmet Minnow Under The Blacklight

Materials and Knowhow for Puget Sound Flatwings

One of the best-kept secrets in Washington fisheries, the beaches of Puget Sound have a lot to offer local anglers. Fishable year-round, your local beach offers opportunities to chase sea-run cutthroat and a variety of migratory salmon including, most notably, the coho and pink salmon that will be off our beaches starting in the late summer months.

Some of Ben's Sculpin Flatwings and a Flatwing Minnow

Some of Joel's Puget Sound Flatwings

Lots of bait means lots of food-forms for our local fish to eat. Season in, season out, we’ve found that one of the keys to success is using flies with a profile that matches the prevailing bait in the water. One of the best flies is the Puget Sound Flatwing. This isn’t a pattern that you’ll find in our bins, and it’s not one that you’ll find tied by commercial companies, at least not yet. It’s a style of fly developed and popularized by east-coast fly tyer and artist Kenny Abrames, who needed a unique fly for stripers. The defining technique uses various colors of saddle hackles tied in lengthwise on top of the hook shank to create a unique combination of color and movement that looks, and performs, unlike any other fly out there.
We learned this style of tying, characterized by minimal use of materials and blending of different colors to achieve a unique effect, from the former manager of the Avid Angler, Nathan Keen. While teaching at striper school back east, Nathan adopted these tying techniques and subsequently brought them back to the Puget Sound. He adapted them to the food forms in our local waters, including sculpin, sand lance and pacific herring, and he taught the entire staff how to tie these elegant and effective patterns. To this day, you’ll find flatwings in varying sizes in all of our boxes; we love to fish them, and we love to tie them.

We’ve got a variety of saddles with colors you won't easily find anywhere else, and they’re the perfect length for the baitfish patterns in our waters. We also have upcoming classes to offer instruction in both tying instruction and fishing the Puget Sound. Come on in, check it out.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Affordable Water Access: Fish Cat Scout

Just in time for lake season! New from the folks at Outcast, the Fish Cat Scout offers access to local waters in a tough, frameless design.

Fishing in a float tube can be tough because of the necessity of kicking through tons of water to get back to the boat launch at the end of the day. The alternative, a full pontoon boat with oars, is heavier and a bit more money. That's where the Scout comes in.

It's sized to fit in the back of a pickup, or deflated in the trunk of a sedan, and weighs in at 35 lbs. That's light enough to get in and out of your vehicle without breaking a sweat, and it makes short trips to the water possible without a trailer. A solid hull with a low profile moves quickly in stillwaters, and a skilled and experienced oarsman can pilot the Scout in slow-moving rivers.

One of the best features of the Scout is the foot bar that allows the angler to kick up his feet and take advantage of this easy-to-row design. This feature, combined with a supportive, kayak-style adjustable backrest means you'll be comfortably covering any water you choose to fish. Having your feet in the water means you can troll with a sinking line or find a shallow spot and stand up to cast, and the tough oars can cover water quickly. We brought this one in for our celebrated stillwaters: Lone Lake, Pass Lake, Columbia Basin lakes, as well as destinations farther afield like Mocassin, Corbett and Dragon lake.

Includes a built-in gear pocket with a rod holder, fish apron with measurement marks, and tough, PVC outer and vinyl bladders.

Come on into the shop and check it out!

Durable Oar Locks

FishCat Scout Details
Dimensions: 7 ft. long by 55in. wide
Fabric: 500 denier PVC
Bladders: Vinyl
Weight: 35 lbs
Oars: 5 ft. 2 piece
5 year warranty

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Shop Services: Hosted Travel To Very, Very Fishy Destinations

Western Washington anglers have the advantage of chasing fish in saltwater, freshwater streams and freshwater lakes. Our incredible fisheries in Washington state offer a variety of species and techniques that are hard to beat. Where else can you lightly drop dries to eastside trout, strip baitfish patterns on open water for sea-run fish and swing flies for salmon and steelhead as they enter our river systems? This variety hones the skills of local anglers, and when the time comes to take the next step and match your skills with a fishing destination, we can help.

Florida Tarpon

Each June we head to the Florida panhandle to chase migratory tarpon. These silver brutes can reach gigantic proportions, and they are generally regarded as one of the most thrilling gamefish to target on a fly.  If you’ve never had the opportunity to take a shot at an adult tarpon as it swims towards the boat, your pulse pounding and the possibility of a hookup with a fish that launches itself into the air as your fly line disappears into your backing... well, it's quite an experience!  More information here.

Washington Lakes
Closer to home, we head to Isaak’s Ranch (Back to the Wall) near Coulee City in eastern Washington every spring. This incredible lake system features prolific numbers of really, really big fish. Some even go into the 10+ lb. range! Most are rainbows, but you also have the opportunity to hook into browns an even the occasional tiger trout. This destination typically fishes well each time we go, with multiple numbers of fish hooked and sore arms and smiles at the end of the day. This trip is a great option for intermediate anglers or anyone looking to tangle with some bruisers. More information here.

Montana Trout

Speaking of big trout, the crew at Avid also heads to fish Montana’s Missouri river near Craig. We recently learned that there are over 8,000 fish per mile on the stretch of river near Craig, and we’re talking adult fish over 10 inches! Whether you choose to nymph, throw dries, or throw streamers, the quality of the Mo’ must be experienced to be believed! We host a trip in the spring, but keep your eyes peeled for summertime dates and maybe a fall getaway! More info here.