Spey Schools Continue Into Chinook Season

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It all starts with the right cast. We can teach you.

The Fly Fishing Shop Spey School student, Al Gresens is holding a Fisknat Guide net which contains a winter steelhead caught from the Sandy River in Oregon. This fish was landed with a G. Loomis Pro4X rod and WaterWorks ARX reel.

March 27, 2017: Winter steelhead runs have enjoyed a recent bump due to unusually high, but perfectly fishable water. Some guides are complaining that the fishing has been hard this year. Steelhead are never easy with any kind of gear, but they will eat flies year-round if you know how to fish with them. If there were a book written that factually detailed all of the facets of fishing steelhead with flies, it would be a hefty volume. There is more to it than just, "chuck it and chance it."

Steelhead, like all predators, respond to certain stimuli, and the easiest path to take is to give them what they want. The problem is, many anglers don't know what that is. And unfortunately, many fly fishing instructors don't really know either because truthfully, they haven't caught that many steelhead. But we are different, we have the benefit of experience. We've caught a lot of steelhead, and we have been there while our clients are catching them as well.

Some students are luckier than others. The students who listen the closest tend to be luckier than those who don't. That is a fact. Witness the picture above of Al Grensen, who took one of our schools and landed two steelhead in the same day while fishing behind other students. Our methods do work.

Steelhead fishing is about economy of motion. It is all about keeping the fly in the water while you are mentally deep in the predatory-hunting mode. The rest of the world exists only as a peripheral distraction. You are the fly seeking out all the little cracks, crevices and structures, current seams, and hydraulic forms where a steelhead might live. Your only purpose is to be eaten, and then sting your prey. Starkly portrayed, but in many ways true.

A more palatable metaphor might be that you are the steelhead warrior and your fly is a wire controlled missile that is aimed by your rod and guided by your line. More fish will eat a fly that comes near their mouth. Being presented at vulnerable, predictable, but life-like speed is also a definite plus.

It all starts with the right cast. It helps if the angler can execute a serviceable cast at exactly the right angle. We know what that is and we can help you learn it. Working with students makes us think about the process more deeply, enables us to be better at it, and helps us communicate all the nuances to you.

This Sandy River, Oregon Chinook salmon ate a Red Extractor Fly designed by elite fly fishing guide, Brian Silvey, right after lunch on a bright sunny day.

There are several spots open in our April, May and June Spey Schools. Spring is a very interesting time of the year. Winter steelhead will continue through April, and a few winter fish will be left in the system in May and June. Many will be bright new fish, but others will have spawned and will be dropping back toward the ocean. Brand new, bright, athletic summer steelhead will arrive throughout April, May and June. So will spring Chinooks. Winter steelhead, summer steelhead and Chinooks all more or less eat the same flies and are fished with the same techniques. There are times and places where they may be caught from the same general area, even the same pools. But there are subtle differences, we know what they are, and will be glad to teach you.

This season we will have higher than normal snow pack and good water temperatures. Fishable flows are expected to continue well into July. We hope you can join us for an anadromous fish (salmon and steelhead) adventure. There are already Chinooks being caught in our local favorite rivers.

Click on the picture below, and let the adventure begin:
Spey fishing is very popular for salmon and steelhead in many rivers that drain the west slope of the Cascade Mountain Range in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. A whole series of Spey Schools are offered by The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches, Oregon.

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