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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.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Product Review: Fly Lines for Fishing Streamers

Rio Outbound Short with Int. Tip - $79.99
After chatting with us behind the counter, you may get the idea that the staff at the Avid Angler has "problems" with streamers. Addiction might be a better choice of words. Start talking about swinging and stripping streamers, and our eyes glaze over with a crazed, far off look. Weird names of flies like "Zoo Cougar" and "Butt Monkey" are spoken. Behind the vice, normal-sized flies become monstrous aberrations of marabou and rabbit fur with beaded eyes and articulated shanks. Hands shake on the water after an encounter with a big, meat-eating trout. There is just something about that grab.

One of our favs for all around use is the Rio Outbound Short with an intermediate tip. It's a super heavy weight forward line with a ton of mass in the 30 ft. head. A #5 line is weighs in at 200 grains, so you better believe this line will turn over a big streamer and drop it in the zone. The last 15 ft. of this line is a clear, intermediate sink head (intermediate sink rate means it sinks at 1.5 - 2 inches per second), which strikes a nice balance between fishing and casting. An intermediate head is all you need to put your fly in the strike zone all day in 90% of the conditions you're going to fish in Washington. An it offers a nice feel that's easy to pull out of the water after the presentation and cast all day. We love this line for fishing in streams, lakes, and even in Puget Sound.  The guides in Montana swear by this line and it is a must-have during our yearly trip to the "Mo" in the spring.

Airflo Streamer Max - $79.99 MSRP
For the other 10% of conditions, it's worth having a heavy sink tip. A great, if not well-known choice, is the Airflo Streamer Max. A quick trip to the Yakima last fall offered great test conditions for this line. The river had just bumped up, but was on the drop. Water was cold and off-color. A standard sink rate wasn't going to cut the mustard on this trip, and it was time to break out the big guns. Weighted heavily, a #6 Streamer Max is 200 grains. The bullet shaped head is an intermediate sink, and then there is a sinking tip built into the front half with one small difference – it’s meant to be chopped off and fine tuned to your streamer rod of choice. That feature combined with a monstrous front taper and the previously mentioned tendency to throw on big, ugly flies, and you have an effortless line for presenting streamers in heavy flows.

Streamer Max Meets Solid Yak Bow

Want to learn more about fishing streamers? Check out our upcoming trout classes here.