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Rio Gallegos Sea Trout, Las Buitreras Fly Fishing Lodge
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Rio Gallegos Seatrout: Solid Adventures Las Buitreras Fly Fishing Lodge






The Rio Gallegos River
is nearly 300 kilometers in length and has
its origin in the Southern Andes from two pristine and very beautiful
streams, the Penitente and the Ruebens. Winding its way through the wild
Patagonian landscape, the Rio Gallegos emerges into the mountainous
landcape that encompasses the unique Las Buitreras beats, some 40kms
from the river mouth. The setting teems with birdlife, alongside large
numbers of rheas, silver foxes, horses, hares, flamingos and guanacos.



Solid Adventures' (Loop) Las Buitreras Lodge is home to the most
prolific beats on the Rio Gallegos, consisting of over 40kms of both
sides private water comprising over 50 named pools. The fly fishing is
exciting and varied with pools ranging from deep stony runs to cut banks
and streamy shingle flats. Relatively shallow, the fishing at Las
Buitreras makes for easy wading, and fast sinking lines create an
exciting and challenging fly fishing environment. It's this versatile
fishing combined with the visually inspiring mountainous outcrops that
makes this part of the Rio Gallegos quite simply one of the most
spectacular stretches of fly fishing water in Patagonia.



The Fish at Las Buitreras:


A fly fishing trip to Rio Gallegos River and the Las Buitreras Lodge
offers the adventurous angler the opportunity to pit his skills against
the explosive sea running trouts of Patagonia. The new local regulations
with catch & release, and better protection has definitely meant
more and bigger fish in the Rio Gallegos. These fish can reach sizes of
25-30lbs+ and will reward the angler with arm wrenching takes and
blistering runs, interspersed with regular acrobatic displays. Sometimes
explosive, always challenging, fly fishing for seatrout requires a
level of skill, stealth and understanding that can frustrate the average
salmon angler. However, armed with the correct knowledge to unlock
these secrets, the fly fishing on the Rio Gallegos and the Las Buitreras
beats can be immensely rewarding.



The Guides at Solid Adventures' Las Buitreras Lodge:


At the Las Buitreras Lodge, we pride ourselves on having some of the
best guides in the world, now with five full seasons of experience on
the Rio Gallegos River. Each is a very talented fly fisherman, and they
are some of the best casters and instructors in the world. All of our
fly fishing guides are friendly, speak good English, and keep a fly box
tucked away with their secret, deadly patterns they have created. The
fly fishing guides at Las Buitreras Lodge will ensure that you get the
very most out of your fly fishing trip on the Rio Gallegos.



The Las Buitreras Lodge:


Solid Adventures (Loop) has renovated an old house on the estancia and
furnished it with traditional “campo” style antiques. At the Las
Buitreras Lodge, the living is comfortable and clean. There are five
double rooms, two single rooms and a new annex with an indoor barbeque
and an extra room with three beds. In addition to the structural
renovation, the entire heating, water, electrical and gas systems at Las
Buitreras have been replaced. There is a wine cellar with a fantastic
selection from the Mendoza and San Juan regions of Argentina. The Las
Buitreras Lodge is also stocked with Cerveza Isenbeck, an outstanding
local beer. Outside, there is a huge veranda, a spacious courtyard that
is protected from the wind, and a large, fixed stone grill and terrace
for barbeques. House wine and beer is included in the rate at Las
Buitreras, but we do keep a wide selection of local wines not often
available elsewhere and guests are welcome to purchase these at a very
reasonable rate. No smoking inside the Las Buitreras Lodge.



Clothing:


Pack light, warm and windproof clothing on your trip to Jurassic Lake.
Most of the fly fishing occurs in the Argentine summer, but at parallel
53 south, the days can be chilly, particularly when the wind blows!
Those visiting Solid Adventures and the Las Buitreras Lodge in the late
season can count on cold mornings and evenings. Windbloc and Windstopper
fleece products are very good and when combined with breathable waders
and jacket, they offer superior protection that will keep you warm and
comfortable all day. Prepare to dress in layers, as the temperature
tends to shift at on the Rio Gallegos. And remember your sunscreen and
polarized sunglasses!



Travel Information:

From Buenos Aires domestic airport, you will need to fly to Rio Gallegos
with Aerolineas Argentinas. On arrival at Rio Gallegos you will be met
by Las Buitreras staff and transported by 4x4 or mini bus to the lodge.
The journey takes approximately 50 minutes to arrive at the Las
Buitreras Lodge on the Rio Gallegos.





Jurassic Lake Addition

Half or full week before or after Las Buitreras: less 15% of regular Jurassic prices.



Itinerary


Fishing is Saturday – Saturday. Arrive at Rio Gallegos Saturday afternoon – depart from Rio Gallegos following Saturday.
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Loop Tackle Classic Series Fly Reel Review


YOUR FLY REEL SAYS A LOT ABOUT YOU

They separate the traditionalists from the gearheads, pitting old-school styling against new-school innovation. . . . Read More.
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YOUR FLY REEL SAYS A LOT ABOUT YOU

They separate the traditionalists from the gearheads, pitting old-school styling against new-school innovation. . . . Read More.
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Specifications


•  Models: 4/6, 5/8, 7/9, 8/11, 10/13
•  Machined and Anodized Bar Stock, Aircraft Aluminum
•  Fully-Sealed, Fully-Adjustable Power Matrix Drag System
•  Distinctive Outgoing/Incoming Click
•  Precisely Counterbalanced

November 3, 2011 (San Francisco, CA): Fly reels say a lot about an angler. They separate the traditionalists from the gearheads, pitting old-school styling against new-school innovation. Now you don't have to choose between timeless design and state-of-the-art engineering: where the ageless aesthetics of the past and the breakthrough technologies of the future converge, Loop Classic Fly Reels stand in a class all their own.

Paying homage to the most iconic fly reels ever produced—a lineage spanning from Edward Vom Hofe to Stanley Bogdan to Hardy Cascapedias—Loop Classic reels are a modern take on a centuries-old legacy of angling style. From the sleek S-handle down to the handcrafted leather reel case, every feature of Loop Classic Fly Reels speaks to the rich history of fly fishing and the satisfaction that comes from connecting with its ongoing heritage. Under the hood, the Loop Classic's unparalleled drag system is anything but retro. If it's possible to build a piece of tackle that is emblematic of the finest elements of the sport of fly fishing, the elegant and ergonomic Loop Classic Fly Reel might just be it.


Striking aesthetics alone don't warrant admission into such an elite club, a club where fly reels are built to outlast everything short of the waters they fish. For that you need an unwavering dedication to craftsmanship, and the Loop Classic Fly Reels are as sturdy as fly reels get. Manufactured from premium aircraft-grade aluminum and anodized for a finish that is as indestructible as it is iconic, Loop Classic Fly Reels are meant to handle the harshest conditions with graceful power. The Loop brand was built on the back of adventure angling; its founders and engineers travel to ends of the earth to test gear where others had never fished before. From South America to Russia, Alaska to Africa, the Classic Series is steeped in a rich angling tradition of design and forged in the waters of the world's premier fly fishing destinations.

Reels you can trust: Loop's meticulous approach to design is not reserved to a polished exterior; the top-notch components powering the Classic Fly Reels are nothing short of spectacular. For those discerning anglers who require uncompromising performance, the mechanics of the Loop Classic Series sets the bar for impenetrable drag systems. Featuring Loop's signature Power Matrix Drag System, Loop Classics take fully-sealed waterproof performance to a new level.* Utilizing the extreme resilience of carbon drag plates (rather than your conventional cork) the Power Matrix Drag System is impervious to frictional wear. The benefits of this innovative design are particularly clear in strenuous saltwater environments where corrosion and compromised performance attack lesser-made reels. Want a testimonial? The Loop lodges in Argentina and Cuba have operated the same fleet of Loop Classic and Opti Fly Reels for several years without fail, with virtually every day spent under the most demanding fly fishing conditions.

*Note: The Loop Classic 4/6 does not feature the Power Matrix Drag System, instead it has a more suitable and lightweight, butter-smooth adjustable click and drag system.



A reel for the senses: Loop Classic Reels are a celebration of the senses. From spring creeks to the surf, the echoing click of a Loop Classic Fly Reel is a call to any angler to get out and fish. The sensory experience of “fish-on” is a place where we all long to be, and the Loop Classic Reels deliver an unmistakable sound to completely immerse you in the catch. It's these distinctive touches—like the precision porting against the vintage look and the beautiful leather reel case—that make the Loop Classic worthy of its name.

The supreme achievement of the Loop Classic Fly Reels comes not from their elegance and craftsmanship, their brute strength and durability, but from the harmony of all these features. Merging “classic” style with modern mechanics, Loop Classic Reels strike a superb balance between angling's rich past and promising future. Give your favorite fly rod the better half it deserves: a Loop Classic Fly Reel.


Loop Classic Pro Review - By Leland's George Revel


What's the Word...


When the Loop Classic Reels first arrived here at Leland, it's fair to say they were immediately fondled and groped by the entire staff. They just looked like something I wanted. In the same realm as our red truck diesel reels. We had to know how they fished... drove north to swing some black leaches at the early fall steelhead.

Features...


The Classic Series is a perfect example of Loop's ability to craft efficient, purpose-built fly reels that look as good as they perform. The Loop Classic Fly Reel's drag system is fully adjustable to provide you with complete control and versatility. Of course it's entirely corrosion-resistant and waterproof, built to handle whatever punishment comes its way. Loop Classics come in a range of weights cover every application, from stealthy spring creek trout all the way up to the most powerful flats fishing for tarpon or trevally... See video here. Loop Classics also come with a leather reel case that is as elegant as the reels themselves.
 

Fit and Finish...


Looks aren't everything, but they certainly don't hurt. If you've always wanted a Bogdan or a Hardy, the Loop Classic is worth more than just a second glance. Their sleek S-curve handle contrasts the quality porting, and the whole reel delivers a unique blend of vintage and contemporary features.  These are excellent competitors in the premium fly reel market that won't let you down no matter how much you fish.  If you appreciate more of an old-school look, Leland has a limited supply of the non-ported models in stock (One less as of 20 min when I got mine 7-9RHW).


Rundown...


Pros:
The weight of the Classic Reel is one of the things I have enjoyed most. The drag system is an upgrade form what you assume is in it by looking at it.

Solid... they don't have the solid feeling on of a Bogdan, but the full cage gives a very nice sturdiness to it.

Cons: Some might consider the Loop Classic Reels to be a bit on the heavier side, but to a lot of us, that's not a bad thing. Particularly, Those using Spey rods, Bamboo, Glass, longer single handers. Now I am no weight weenie... but the right reel on rod can make all the difference.

The Drag system on the 4-6's is not RH or LH specific. Not a big deal but would have been nice to have.

Bottom Line:
Whether you are looking for a timeless trout reel or a heavy-duty spey reel, the Loop Classic Series delivers incredible design and reliability across the board.
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Abel Super 5N Fly Reel Review
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Specifications
• Weight: 5.7 ounces
• Spool diameter: 3.500 inches
• Spool width: .750 inches
• Capacity: Standard WF 5 line plus 125 yards of 20 lb. Dacron backing or WF 6 plus 100 yards of backing
• Material: Spool, frame and foot machined from 6061-T6 cold finished
aluminum bar stock
• Drag system: Draw bar actuated cork disk
• Finish: Corrosion-resistant anodized
• Colors: High gloss black coral or non-reflective matte black, other custom colors available at an additional charge



A little history…

 
So, what’s this?? A beefy, brawny saltwater tough guy posing as a trout reel? Isn’t that a bit …well, overkill?
After all, in fly fishing, unlike conventional spinning or bait casting, we don’t actually use the reel to make the cast. In the old genteel days of trout fishing, the reel simply stored line until we’re lucky enough to hook something that took out more line than we had in our hand. I grew up using a stamped, Japanese import, then a stamped Pflueger Medalist, and finally graduated to a variety of die cast Hardy reels, the gold standard of trout reels in the early 1980’s. I treasured all of them in their time. Maybe it was the insistent buzz made by the clicker as a trout peeled off line, or maybe I felt the reel was my fishing companion, sharing in each new adventure.

Fast forward to 2007. Our “genteel” art has become, on many fronts, a slugfest. No longer are we satisfied plying our trade in bucolic settings fishing for small trout. Today, many of us travel the world seeking larger trout in New Zealand, Patagonia, and Chile. We fish the salt water flats for species such as bonefish and permit that swim much faster and pull much harder than their similarly sized freshwater cousins. Consequently, we’re harder on our tackle and have come to expect greater performance from our fly reels.

You’d think it wouldn’t take rocket science to come up with a little metal wheel with a brake that was dependable. But I’ve seen just about every brand of reel fail at one time or another. Whether it’s grit or grime, extreme heat or cold, component wear, or impact from a hard fall, if there’s a weakness, we usually find out about it exactly at the wrong time.

Enter Steve Abel. Although not a rocket scientist, he is an experienced aerospace machinist, who started selling his fly fishing reels in 1987. His motto then, and the company’s motto today is “to design and build the best, most dependable gear in the world and give world class customer service.” In the ensuing twenty years, Abel Quality Products has succeeded in carving out a niche in the increasingly competitive arena of high quality fly fishing reels and built a devoted following of end users. The latest offering from Abel is the Super 5 Narrow Large Arbor, a trout sized reel that boasts a robustness usually found only in its larger, saltwater brethren.

Features

The Abel Super 5N Fly Fishing Reel is the newest addition to the Abel Super Series, which have a large arbor design for faster line retrieve, reduced line coiling, and better drag continuity. The 5N spool, frame, and foot are cut from a solid block of 6061-T6 cold finished high molecular density aluminum. The spool and frame are aggressively ported (ventilated) to reduce weight, while maintaining great strength and rigidity. The draw bar, main shaft, pawls, and screws are machined 303 stainless steel. The drag is comprised of a large surface area, cork composite covered drag plate tightened against the inside of the aluminum spool by the draw bar. All aluminum surfaces are protected against corrosion by Abel’s proprietary hard anodizing process. The 5N is convertible to left or right hand retrieve. At 5.7 ounces, it’s relatively light considering its bombproof strength. The drag system is silky smooth, with low start up inertia, and based on a simple design that has proven itself over two decades. The spool capacity is suitable for 5 or 6 weight lines, making it ideal for large trout and small steelhead. Substituting smaller diameter gel spun backing in place of Dacron, one could pump up the backing capacity to over 150 yards for medium steelies, smaller bonefish, specks and reds. Overall, a nearly flawless, extremely rugged and reliable fly fishing reel for taking fresh and smaller saltwater species on light tackle.

• Large arbor, narrow spool design for quick line pick up

• Machined from 6061-T6 cold finished aluminum bar stock

• Impact resistant spool rim and frame

• Smooth, reliable cork-draw bar drag system

• Durable, hard anodized finish

• Custom colors, handles, and engraving available at additional charge

Materials, Fit, and Finish

Fly fishing reels machined from a solid bar of metal have the greatest rigidity and strength per weight, but in the long run, are more costly to produce than stamped, or die cast reels. Over thirty years ago, American companies such as Seamaster and Fin Nor pioneered the construction of machined fly reels, primarily for a small following of hard core salmon and saltwater fly enthusiasts. The increased popularity of fly fishing, coupled with political and economic expansion of the Far East in recent years, has led to an influx of many reasonable quality, less expensive machined imports primarily targeting entry and mid level customers. Many U.S. makers of good reels have folded under this pressure, and the majority that have remained, like Abel and Tibor, have done so by directing there efforts at top of the line products.

Although you may find some custom $2000-$10,000 titanium reel models on the Internet, aluminum is the choice for mere mortals. Abel uses 6061-T6 cold finished bar stock in all of their reels, which is the strongest, densest, most corrosion resistant aluminum for this purpose. The spool, frame and foot of the 5N Super are cut from this, and the mainshaft and drawbar from 303 stainless steel, on Computer Numerical Control lathes and mills. In fact, every machinable part in the reel is made in the Abel factory to insure utmost quality control, right down to the stainless steel screws. The only non-metal parts are the cork drag washer, a neoprene o-ring, and the laminated, sealed wood handle.

The overall weight of the reel is significantly reduced, while retaining structural integrity, by precise, aggressive porting throughout the spool and frame. All parts are hand de-burred, hand polished, cleaned and inspected and aluminum parts are protected from wear and corrosion (and colored) by Abel’s unique hard anodizing process, which penetrates and bonds to the metal. Two sealed waterproof ball bearings on the spool and one on the drag plate provide near frictionless rotation.

Abel currently employs 28 production workers and 7 support staff in their Camarillo, California facility. They offer a lifetime warranty on manufacturing defects for all their reels. Although you’re not likely to need that warranty, it’s nice to know that Abel, due to their success, will probably be around to back it up if you do.

What a drag

In a nutshell, there are two basic types of fly reel drags; the classic spring and pawl, popularized by Hardy Brothers of England well over a century ago, or one of many variations of the more modern disk drag. Most anglers, and manufacturers today overlook the click pawl, unfairly in my opinion, in favor of disks for all fly fishing. Actually, the click pawl, if well constructed, is very reliable for smaller trout and is the lightest, simplest, and least expensive to build. And as it works, it creates that sweet sound that many of us find synonymous with fly fishing.

As we seek fish that pull harder and faster and fight longer, our fly reels are progressively subjected to greater amounts of what most often kills them; heat. A disc drag slows the spool by friction, applying pressure between two or more discs, usually one on the spool and one on the frame, or within a hub mounted on the frame. A great number of variations of this seemingly simple concept are available today, each one claiming superior performance.

However, the big game fly reels that have been the most successful in landing fish over 100 pounds, and, therefore, operate smoothly and survive the greatest amounts of stress, have draw bar drags. This simple system has two center mounted disk shaped brake surfaces that meet when the spool is attached, and drag is increased as the draw bar tightens the frame against the spool through the central shaft.

Although most newer disk drag systems use synthetics such as Rulon, Delrin or carbon fiber, as the brake material, natural cork (ground and mixed with a polymer), is still considered by many to offer the best balance of durability, low start up inertia, stopping power, and adjustability. This cork composite, unlike the synthetics, is compressible, providing for its smoothness. The Abel 5N Super has the largest drag of this type of any 5 or 6 weight reel I’ve seen, and the “open” design dissipates heat rapidly into the rear of the spool and throughout the reel frame. “Closed” or completely sealed drag systems offer the advantage of low maintenance, but generally can not cool as effectively.

Cork must be lubricated occasionally to replenish its natural moisture, usually with pure neatsfoot oil. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions, as petroleum products or solvents may harm the cork, and back off the drag tension when not in use. Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the draw bar drag is that it does not allow for quick change spools, as some disassembly is required. Choose another design if this is a priority for you.

According to the International Game Fish Association, Abel reels where used in setting the greatest number of new world records for 2006. Though you may not land a world record, you will at some point encounter that fish of a lifetime. The Abel 5N Super Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reel, with its impeccably machined strength and superb drag, is as likely as any to get the job done. 

Pros

Rugged, beautifully machined and finished trout-size reel with a very smooth and reliable drag system usually found only in larger, saltwater fly reels.

Cons

At $550, the Abel 5N Super is much more expensive than some other very serviceable trout reels and is an ounce or more heavier than others with lighter drag designs and frames. The draw bar does not allow for the convenience of quick-change spools. Open design requires occasional cleaning and lubrication.

Bottom Line

The Abel 5N Super, compared to other reels of its size, is most likely to withstand extreme conditions, and the one you’ll probably hand down to your grandchildren.

Reviewer. . .

Having been in the fly fishing industry for over 25 years as a professional guide, fly fishing school director, writer, and manufacturers sales representative, I’ve been fortunate to fish with a wide array of equipment from almost all of the top makers.

Check out the Abel Super 5N Fly Reel

Back to Reviews

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Midnight Sun Adventures
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MIDNIGHT SUN ADVENTURES


 


Deep within the Alaskan Arctic, on the edge of the Brooks
Range where the summer sun never sets and moose, musk ox, and caribou
still roam their ancient territories, there is a secret.  And only a few
lucky anglers will ever fish these clear, classic rivers to which the
world's largest race of sea-run dolly varden return each year. 


 


Midnight Sun Adventures Fishing:


This trip is all about dollies - large ones to be specific -
that average seven plus pounds and exceed twenty pounds on a fair
basis.  To make things even more interesting,  anglers fly about one at a
time in Piper Cubs landing with soft, oversized
tires on the rocky beaches of four exceedingly wild and productive
rivers.  Once you have landed, your solitude is essentially guaranteed
each and every day, with the exception of your campmates.  Best suited
to skilled anlgers fond of swinging streamers on sink-tip lines, these
rivers typically offer five to ten quality fish per day with the chance
at a true world record. 


 


Midnight Sun Adventures Accommodations:


The lodge is very rustic, with a rambling array of small,
stove-heated bunk cabins and simple hearty meals that are served in the
main cabin.  This is wild Alaska - utter soliture, no roads, and no
other lodges. Just you, a couple of Piper Cubs, and four rivers full of
sea sculpted char that can top fifteen pounds.  A remarkable Alaskan
experience for the adventurous angler.


 


Midnight Sun Adventures Travel:


To reach Midnight Sun Adventures, anglers will need to make flight arrangements in and out of Kotzebue, Alaska.  Since anglers
are encouraged to arrive at Kotzebue in the morning, overnighting in
Anchorage is encouraged, but for the adventuresome, arriving at Kotzebue
the night before and overnighting there can also be arranged.  Due to
potential weather related delays in departing the lodge, anglers are
encouraged to schedule their flight out of Kotzebue in the afternoon.


 


A representative from the lodge will pick you up in Kotzebue and fly you roughly 1 hour out to the lodge.


 


Midnight Sun Guide Staff and Fishing Program:


Anglers typically fly one at a time in Piper Cubs to the
elected pools and rivers.  During a typical week with agreeable weather
anglers might fish as many as three separate river systems.  All planes
are wheel planes and landings are made at low air speeds on rock
beaches/bars adjacent the rivers.  Guiding is somewhat relaxed and the
fishing is best suited to skilled anglers not requiring excessive
instruction.


 


Midnight Sun Climate:


Being located within the Arctic Circle, the weather is
highly variable at all times of year.  While daytime highs may reach 75
degrees, it is just as likely that they stay within the 40's.  Come well
prepared for cold, inclement conditions. 


 


Midnight Sun Power and Communications:


There is a telephone at camp and power is provided by a generator that is turned off at night.


 


Included:


Transportation between Kotzebue and the lodge, lodging, meals and guiding.


 


Not Included:


Air transportation to and from Kotzebue, alcohol, licenses and gratuities.


 

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Keith Westra
Keith's love of fly fishing started on the north coast of California pursuing king salmon and steelhead. He is an expert in custom fly tying and prides himself in being able to match that "one of a kind fly." When not tying or working, you can find Keith chasing stripers in the San Francisco Bay and Delta or high-sticking for trout in the fastest waters he can find. He is the manager of our retail showrooms and provides creative services for Leland as well.
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desc::Keith's love of fly fishing started on the north coast of California pursuing king salmon and steelhead. He is an expert in custom fly tying and prides himself in being able to match that "one of a kind fly." When not tying or working, you can find Keith chasing stripers in the San Francisco Bay and Delta or high-sticking for trout in the fastest waters he can find. He is the manager of our retail showrooms and provides creative services for Leland as well.
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detdesc::How you got started fly fishing? What were/are your strongest fly fishing Influences? What was your most memorable or first fly fishing experience?

In 1993 I started my freshman year at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. I noticed one of the guys in my dorm was wearing a fly fishing shirt and I asked, “Do you fly fish?” Of course he did, and I begged him to teach me. We ditched out a day of freshman orientation and he took me up to a little creek called Coffee Creek. Once I hooked my first small rainbow on a fly, I was hooked. My life long passion began.

Shortly after this experience I spent time learning to fly cast outside the dorm and even took a course in fly casting conducted by Bob Kelly, a professor at Humboldt State.

I hooked my first steelhead while fishing the Mad River Estuary. It was on a brand new 5 weight I received as a birthday gift. I was targeting smaller half pounder steelhead when I saw the flash of a larger adult and before I knew it my fly line was racing upstream. I landed that chrome 8 lb. buck on a size 12 Brown Hackle Peacock. It will always be the fish I’ll never forget.

What do you like to fish now? Explain How?

I love the fishing and variety that California has to offer. From stripers in the Delta, steelhead up north, high country goldens, to rainbows and browns a plenty.

If I’m not tromping around California I’m planning my next saltwater adventure. I truly love the salt and the tropics. Bonefish and Tarpon are my passion and life does not get much better than wading a flat for tailing bones. I’ve fished Christmas Island, Los Roques, the Bahamas, Belize, the Keys, and the Yucatan. Every year I strive to check off a saltwater destination off my list, I want to experience them all!

What is your fantasy trip? What do you see in the future?

I have a thing for Australia. I’d love to fish the Gulf of Carpentaria and spend a week (or more) aboard a Mother Ship and fish for the multiple saltwater species that abound there.

Also, I need to experience New Zealand and stalk those monster browns and hard fighting rainbows I keep drooling over. I’ve seen so many pictures and have heard a multitude of stories that I must experience first hand!

Gear. What is your next purchase and why?

I love fly reels! Currently I’m on the Hatch Pro-Staff and I’d have to say they are my favorite reels out there. I have every model but the 3 and 12 plus. I’m thinking of pimping out the 3 plus with a mid arbor in black with red accents. SWEET!

What’s your favorite San Francisco spot? Why?

I’m an East Bay guy so I don’t spend as much time exploring SF as I should. The Casting Ponds at Golden Gate Park are truly amazing and I do enjoy casting there (even though I don’t get out there as much as I’d like). Any place with good food and beer suits me just fine. Ultimately, I think it would just be hanging in the back at Leland playing pool, drinking cheap beer, and shooting the s@*t with the boys.

What music do you listen to when you hop in the truck and go fly fishing?

I love 80’s music, classic alternative, reggae, and blue grass. Anything where you can freestyle your own twist on the lyrics and make your buddy laugh as you head out fishing at 5 in the morning drinking crappy coffee and a few chocolate twists.

What’s your ultimate fly fishing travel rig? A lifted van? A Range Rover? An F-350? Why?

I love my truck (a Ford F-150 with a camper shell). Unfortunately, it’s only 2-wheel drive, next time 4 wheel for sure. I’ve got myself in a world of trouble before on the Truckee. Let’s just say some new tires and a trip to my buddy’s body shop was in order.

What do you do at Leland?

I’ve worn many hats at Leland throughout the last 10 years: Sales, Receiving, Buying, Inventory, Phone Orders, Side Walk Sweeper it seems the list is never ending.

Currently, I’m back at what I love and where my passion lies. I love working the floor and interacting face to face with my customers. Seeing people get excited about fishing and giving them solid advice and hearing there stories when they come back all really make my day. I take pride in the Leland Showroom and enjoy assisting customers via the phone and “Live Chat” as well.

Anything else we should know about you? School? Hometown? Other projects, interests, etc.?

I really enjoy shooting and then editing videos on my trips. My goal is to give the viewer the whole experience of what a particular destination has to offer: from the transportation, to the people, to the lodging, and of course, the fishing itself.

I graduated from Humboldt with a BA in Art with an emphasis on Graphic Design. I still do logo design for people and volunteer much of my time to the Fremont School District (where my wife works) in helping them with any graphic design needs.

I’m also a happily married man (sorry ladies) of almost 10 years to my Humboldt State sweetheart, Sherea. The two other sweethearts in my life are my daughter, Keira (4 years old) and my Yellow Lab, Tessa (7 years old).

I’m a California native and super proud of it! I grew up on a Dairy Farm in Ontario, CA…. Most people think of Southern California and think smog, traffic, the beach, LA and Hollywood. I lived in front of 1600 head of dairy cattle and fished our farm pond. It was a great way to grow up!

I have also been learning to play the banjo over the last year and a half and really enjoy it.

Recently, I have purchased a brand new Hoyt Bow and am hoping to get into pig and deer hunting.
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Loop Tackle of Sweden


IN PURSUIT OF THE PERFECT CAST

For over thirty years, Loop Tackle of Sweden has produced some of the best fly fishing tackle on the planet.  Loop is truly the total package. . . Read More.
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IN PURSUIT OF THE PERFECT CAST

For over thirty years, Loop Tackle of Sweden has produced some of the best fly fishing tackle on the planet.  Loop is truly the total package. . . Read More.
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detdesc::In Pursuit of the Perfect Cast...

Founded in 1979, Loop is more than a brand of fly fishing tackle: Loop is a global legacy of angling innovation and adventure forged in some of the world's most serene waters. From their humble roots in Sweden, Loop chased their dream across continents and united the innovative minds of the world's premier anglers to produce the best fly fishing gear on the market. Loop is truly the total package, celebrating the interplay between fly rod, reel and line with series that work in concert to provide you with unparalleled control and finesse. From their unprecedented rod tapers and the invention of the large arbor fly reel, to the pioneering of the underhand cast and a groundbreaking approach to fly line systems, the brilliant minds at Loop aren't just ahead of the curve, they're setting it.


To appreciate Loop tackle, you have to know the people behind the story. The year is 1990 and Loop has already revolutionized the fly fishing industry several times over. Sporting a backpack full of handmade gear and fueled by a fearless pioneer spirit, angling outlaw and co-founder of Loop, Christer Sjöberg, treks into the wilds of Russia's Kola Peninsula in search of uncharted waters. The Russian government accuses him of using fly fishing as a cover for an illegal diamond mining operation – epic, we know – but Christer and Loop succeed in opening five camps throughout the Kola and providing fellow dreamers with access to legendary Atlantic Salmon fishing.

With additional lodges in Patagonia and Cuba, Christer set the stage for elite fishing adventures and established the ideal venues to test their gear under strenuous conditions. It's this comprehensive approach to the sport and dedication to innovation that allows Loop to constantly invent and improve fly tackle design. The true breakthrough came in 1984, when the team crafted the first Loop large arbor reel and forever changed industry standards for fly reel manufacturing. It would be another decade before the skeptics started to wise-up and the competition started to mimic Loop's design. Fast forward to today, and nearly all fly reels on the market feature the signature Loop large arbor design. Not bad for a couple anglers looking to build a better fly reel.

Loop fly rods are equally impressive, meticulously designed and refined to suit every fly fishing application. Some require as many as fifty or sixty prototypes before production and undergo rigorous testing in the harshest fishing environments. The genius behind Loop fly rods is Göran Andersson, a fly fishing guru and undisputed legend amongst anglers everywhere. His mastery of the cast lead Loop to revolutionize the industry with graphite rods that delivered the most precise transfer of power and effortless casting on the market. Leaving no stone unturned, Loop tailor-made their own fly lines to optimize the casting potential of these rod tapers. Loop understands fly lines and their critical, yet often overlooked role in a successful angling outfit. After all, what comes to mind when you think of fly fishing? If you're as fixated on the art of the cast as the folks at Loop, you're probably conjuring up a brilliant arc of line unraveling across a gin-clear stretch of pristine river. The elegant execution of a seamless cast is captivating, and Loop has worked to streamline the science of fly lines with a system of interchangeable tips.

Despite their tireless dedication to traveling the world and transforming fly fishing tackle, the Loop name is seductively simple. It reminds us that the essence of fly fishing is the quest for effortless loops, uncharted waters and lines unfolding in celebration of the art of the cast. Guided by their passion for innovation and a relentless trailblazing spirit, Loop applies this philosophy to every piece of tackle they make. The best innovation is born of adversity, and Loop never lets the industry get in the way of their dream. Leland is proud to partner with these pioneers and share in the pursuit of the perfect cast.

Check out the best Loop fly rods.
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Burke White
My favorite fish to chase is Pacific Steelhead. There’s just something about this fish that is haunting…where it lives in the ocean, what it eats, why it grabs a swinging fly…I hope I never find out the answers to these questions. At Leland I work in Video Production, Business Development, Product Development and taking out the garbage.
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desc::My favorite fish to chase is Pacific Steelhead. There’s just something about this fish that is haunting…where it lives in the ocean, what it eats, why it grabs a swinging fly…I hope I never find out the answers to these questions. At Leland I work in Video Production, Business Development, Product Development and taking out the garbage.
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detdesc::How you got started fly fishing? What were/are your strongest fly fishing Influences? What was your most memorable or first fly fishing experience?

I was blessed with a grandfather who was an avid fly angler. At the age of 4, I followed my grandfather about in the streams and lakes of California’s Sierra Nevada. In awe, I watched him cast flies to wary trout, and with my first trout on a fly, a life’s passion was born. My mentor gifted him with my very own fly rod at age seven and…the world has never been the same. Slowly, skills were honed and new waters were introduced: the Madison, the Yellowstone and Silver Creek. My fly fishing journey has since expanded to more exotic angling destinations. However, I've never forgotten the early years at my grandfather’s side casting flies for trout.

What do you like to fish now? Explain How?


My favorite fish to chase is the Pacific steelhead. There’s just something about this fish that is haunting…where it lives in the ocean, what it eats, why it grabs a swinging fly…I hope I never find out the answers to these questions. There’s no better way to chase a steelhead than on the swing. Elegant casts and smooth mends on broad rivers with traditional flies...yup. Every swing could be the one. When the tug finally comes, it’s always a surprise. Regardless of size, every wild steelhead is amazing to encounter.

What is your fantasy trip? What do you see in the future?

As a father of two young girls who already love to fish, I cannot wait for them to be old enough to join him on a true angling adventure. Whether in a drift boat on a trout river, or on the bow of a flats boat, it doesn’t matter to me. Sharing the sport of fly fishing and the sights and sounds that nature provides with my girls will be the ultimate.

Gear. What is your next purchase and why?

Always looking for something unique, I hope to acquire that “special” fly rod that cosmetically reminds me of the days on the water with my grandfather, but casts like a contemporary performance fly rod.

What’s your favorite San Francisco spot? Why?

Late summer on the San Francisco bay: At water level, the city’s sky line looks even more impressive. The Golden Gate Bridge stands guard as ocean-cooled fog snakes like thick waterfalls through the draws of the Marin Headlands. It’s a great sight.

What music do you listen to when you hop in the truck and go fly fishing?

Robert Earl Keen Jr., Pat Green, The Gourds, Wrinkle Neck Mules and Credence Clearwater Revival. Music from these artists and bands brings back good memories of road trips with friends, time on the water and laughs.

What’s your ultimate fly fishing travel rig? A lifted van? A Range Rover? An F-350? Why?

A Sportsmobile! Imagine a full-size, 4-wheel van with a 600 mile range, solar panels on the roof, a navigation system, all the amenities and enough fly gear to open a shop. It’s a mobile fly shop you can sleep in. Just need the “winning lotto” numbers and away we go!

Anything else we should know about you? School? Hometown? Other projects, interests, etc.?

I live in Marin, CA with my wife Linda, daughters Sophia and Siena, Yellow Lab named Jager Dog and a cat named Bella…which I like to describe as “my wife’s cat.”
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Val Atkinson
I like to fish for big Rainbows on Fall River with small dry flies. I found that special place in Fall River Valley where I've been photographing the fishing, nature and the old barns for many years. At Leland, I am a photographer.
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detdesc::How you got started fly fishing? What were/are your strongest fly fishing Influences? What was your most memorable or first fly fishing experience?

When I was very young I would ride my bike to local hardware store where they sold fly fishing gear. Somehow I just knew I wanted to learn to fly fish. I can remember taking the caps off the silicone bottles and thinking this smells good. But I had no one to teach me, so I had to learn it on my own. I finally was able to purchase some basic gear but I couldn't figure out how to get the thick fly line throughout the eye of the fly. No one had told me about leaders. Eventually I figured it out and caught some bluegills and bass.

What do you like to fish now? Explain How?

I like to fish for big Rainbows on Fall River with small dry flies.

What is your fantasy trip? What do you see in the future?

My current fantasy trips are pursuing what I call the exotic "grand slam" which is Tigerfish in Africa, Golden Dorado in South America and Masheer in India.

Gear. What is your next purchase and why?

My next purchases would be flies and more flies. You can't have enough flies. And Leland's has a fantastic supply. Almost endless.

What’s your favorite San Francisco spot? Why?
My favorite spot in San Francisco is carp in Golden Gate Park (don't tell anyone-it's illegal). This was an adventure some friends and I once planned and successfully accomplished. Seth Norman wrote about it in an earlier issue of California Fly fisher.

What music do you listen to when you hop in the truck and go fly fishing?

I'm an old hippie so I like rock and roll…Hendrix, Clapton, the Doors, etc.

What’s your ultimate fly fishing travel rig? A lifted van? A Range Rover? An F-350? Why?

My Toyota 4-runner serves me well. I can sleep in it if I fish late.

Anything else we should know about you? School? Hometown? Other projects, interests, etc.?


I studied art and photography at Columbus College of Art & Design for 5 years and came west to find something special. I found that special place in Fall River Valley where I've been photographing the fishing, nature and the old barns for many years.
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Deep Canyon Outfitters
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Damien Nurre, Owner

DAMIEN NURRE:
Damien is head guide and main Deschutes River guide. He has lived in Bend Oregon for the past 13
years, spending as much time as possible on the mighty Deschutes, chasing Redsides and summer
steelhead. An avid fly tier, Damien uses his free time invent new patterns trout and steelhead haven't
seen yet. Check out his flies at montanafly.com.

Guided Oregon Fly Fishing Trips - Multi Day Trips

BEND FLY FISHING TRIPS ON THE DESCHUTES RIVER:
A Multi-Day Bend fly fishing trip on the Deschutes River is the best way to fully experience the beauty and the superb fly fishing the river has to offer. The trip begins at Trout Creek, where you and our staff will put on for this 32 mile float.

Oregon Fly Fishing | Bend Fly Fishing | Deep Canyon Outfitters
A 2-5 day fly fishing trip, most commonly done in 3 days, is as relaxing as it is exciting. Your only job is to do some fly fishing, eat, sleep, and enjoy yourself! Our staff of highly trained Oregon fly fishing guides, will make your time on the Deschutes River one to remember for years to come.
 
Our "Bagger" will go ahead of you and your guide down the Deschutes River, and have the camp set up and hour d'vours waiting for you when you arrive at our mobile Mecca.
 
Once at camp, you can choose to do some fly fishing in the prime water around the camp or relax in the beauty of the outdoors. A gourmet dinner is served every night while on your multi-day Bend fly fishing trip, by our camp chef. After dinner there is time for drinks, discussing the days catches and enjoying the starry night...that's if you have not retired to the comfortable cot in your tent.
 
Bend Fly Fishing Multi-Day TripsAs the sun rises, so will you to find hot coffee brewing, and a warm breakfast on the griddle. Then it's off to the river with your guide for another great day of fly fishing on the Deschutes River.
Many of our clients come back year after year for this multi-day Bend fly fishing trip. It is the favorite fly fishing adventure of many of our large groups. We can accommodate up to 10 guests per trip. All of our camping equipment is state of the art, top of the line. We provide water tight bags to keep your personal items dry, cots so you sleep better than at home, and roomy tents, large enough to have a party in, and all the amenities available for "roughing" it.
 
This multi-day Oregon fly fishing trip is best enjoyed during the stone fly hatch from mid May through June, and the caddis/pmd hatches from July to September. From August to December we chase trout and summer steelhead.
 
Our multi-day fly fishing trips are the BEST way to experience fly fishing on the Deschutes River, in Oregon. Most of our clients choose to spent multi-day fly fishing trips on the Lower Deschutes River, year after year.


 

MULTI-DAY FLOAT RATES
$400 / PERSON / DAY for 2 anglers
$375 / PERSON / DAY for 3 or more anglers

Book Your Oregon Fly Fishing Trip Online

 

INCLUDES:

Camping gear: cots, tents, kitchen, rain/sun shelters, tables and chairs, all meals prepared by our chef, non-alcoholic beverages, rental fly fishing equipment, and of course our expert guide staff. Deschutes River Trout fishing suggested fly list. Steelhead fishing suggested fly list.

DOES NOT INCLUDE:
Flies, leaders, Deschutes River boater's Passes, Tribal permits, fishing licenses, alcoholic beverages, and guide gratuities.

Guided Fly Fishing Bend Oregon Trips - Day Trips

DEEP CANYON OUTFITTERS, BEND OREGON: A day spent fly fishing is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors near Bend Oregon. Our guide service offers a variety of day long guided Fly Fishing Bend Oregon Trips.


FULL DAY TRIPS:
A Full-day boat trip on the Lower Deschutes River or Mckenzie river are our most popular trips. Guests meet their guide at a designated time, where they are outfitted with everything they will need for a day on the water. Groups depart shortly after, and travel to their destination near Bend Oregon.

Fly Fishing Bend Oregon | Deep Canyon Outfitters

Once at the water, our expert guides will show you were the fish are and help you master the techniques used to catch them. Chicken, steak, pork, or sandwiches with all the fixin's are served when your tummy begins to growl, and snacks and beverages are available at any point in the day. A Full-day trip is 8 hours on the water, and don't worry...if the fishing is hot we won't leave before you're ready to go.

One Day Boat Trips

1 anglers...................................$450.00
2 anglers...................................$475.00
3 anglers...................................$525.00


INCLUDES:
Expert guides, rods and reels, boots and waders, boat, lunch, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. Deschutes River Trout fishing suggested fly list. Steelhead fishing suggested fly list.

Book Your Fly Fishing Bend Oregon Trip Online

DOES NOT INCLUDE:

flies, leaders, applicable passes and permits (Deschutes River only), fishing licenses, alcoholic beverages, and guide gratuities.

HALF DAY TRIPS:

Our half-day guided fly fishing Bend Oregon trips are the same as our full day trips, but do not include lunch. A half-day trip is limited to 4 hours on the water, and guests maybe asked to meet their guide at the water.

Half-day Boat Trips
1 or 2 anglers........................$350.00
2 anglers...............................$375.00

INCLUDES:
Expert guides, rods and reels, boots and waders, boat, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages. Deschutes River Trout fishing suggested fly list. Steelhead fishing suggested fly list.

DOES NOT INCLUDE:
Flies, leaders, applicable passes and permits (Deschutes River only), fishing licenses, alcoholic beverages, and guide gratuities.

guided Fly Fishing Oregon Trips - Walk In

Deep Canyon Outfitters Guided Fly Fishing Oregon TripsDeep Canyon Outfitters Guided Fly Fishing Oregon Trips: Deep Canyon has expert fly fishing guides. Our service offers Walk-in guided fly fishing trips on 2 rivers in Central Oregon, the Crooked River and the Deschutes river.

Walk-in guided fly fishing Oregon trips are a great way to enjoy the rivers in our area, each river is utilized during it's prime fly fishing season. Most of our walk-in guided fly fishing trips are to the Crooked river, a great fly fishing destination any time of year. Wherever our fly fishing guides take you, the scenery is sure to inspire.

We offer Full-day and Half-day walk-in guided fly fishing trips. Full-day guided fly fishing trips are 8 hours of fishing time, and a Half-day is 4 hours on the water. Included is any rental equipment (boots, waders, rods, reels), drinks, snacks, and of course the guide. Full-day guided fly fishing trips include lunch.

Walk-In Guided Fly Fishing Oregon Trips

Full Day Guided Fly Fishing Trips

1 or 2 anglers..................................$400.00
+$100 per additional angler/4 anglers per guide max

INCLUDES: expert guides, rods and reels, boots and waders, BBQed streamside lunch, and beverages.

Book Your Fly Fishing Oregon Trip Online

Half Day Guided Fly Fishing Trips

1 or 2 anglers..................................$250.00
+$50 per additional angler/4 anglers per guide max

INCLUDES:
Expert guides, rods and reels, boots and waders, snacks, and beverages.

DOES NOT INCLUDE:
Flies, leaders, fishing licenses, ?boater's passes, tribal permits, or guide gratuities.

Book Your Fly Fishing Oregon Trip Online


POLICIES
Early season reservations will allow you to secure the dates desired. A 50% deposit is required to secure dates, refundable if cancellation is received no less than thirty (30) days prior to trip date. Trips proceed regardless of weather conditions. We reserve to right to cancel in the event of unsafe conditions or other circumstances beyond our control. If we cancel your trip, your deposit will be refunded or applied to a future date that is mutually acceptable.

 

For more information please contact Deep Canyon Outfitters.

 

 DEEP CANYON RECOMMENDED GEAR LIST:


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What is a Steelhead
Each year, a sturdy population of tiny, but energetic, steelhead fry grows a bit larger and begins the journey of a lifetime, a watery trek that will take them from their sleepy home tributaries to the raging mouth of the Pacific Ocean and ultimately to the other end of the world
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detdesc::Oncorhynchus mykiss

Johann Julius Walbaum, 1792

“We met because she crossed thousands of ocean miles to negotiate
this narrow corridor of freshwater currents … These few minutes become
our first and only meeting, and I always find in that bittersweet fact
the ultimate wildness of these remarkable creatures. Once you have
caught a steelhead you can’t go back to the river and say, ‘This is
where my steelhead lives,’ for the fish of your memory may be ten miles
upstream or thousands of miles offshore, near lands you’ll never know.”

- Trey Combs, Steelhead Fly Fishing
Each year, a sturdy population of tiny, but energetic, steelhead fry grows
a bit larger and begins the journey of a lifetime, a watery trek that
will take them from their sleepy home tributaries to the raging mouth of
the Pacific Ocean and ultimately to the other end of the world.


Each collection of migrating fish will grow from fry to adult steelhead, aided by the bounty of their new
surroundings. Eventually these hearty fish will tire of grazing the
vast open waters and will begin to find their way home. Driven now by
the raw and instinctual urge to spawn, these quite large and commanding
adult steelhead swim stoically to their natal stream to procreate and
begin the odyssey anew.


Each fall, as these great wild fish begin to make their return trip, fly
anglers across the reaches of the Pacific Northwest from California to
British Columbia, within the volcanic confines of Russia’s Kamchatka
Peninsula, and throughout the Great Lakes regions of North America flock
to large, fast, tree-lined rivers and their myriad tributaries to
“chase chrome.”


Naming the Steelhead
Steelhead are complicated and compelling creatures,
worthy of great reams of literature, intense study, and much fireside
mythology. These powerful, steel-grey fish have given biologists and
ichthyologists fits and have driven generations of fly fishers crazy.
Fly anglers who have plied waters for and caught steelhead generally
develop an obsessive connection to these fish and for good reason;
steelhead are some of the most striking, strongest and most aggressive
fighters in freshwater, and a great deal of knowledge and attention to
detail are absolutely necessary to catching a steelhead. These beautiful
and brilliant fish have also been dubbed “the fish of 1,000 casts” and
there’s nothing quite like some good old-fashioned perseverance when fly
fishing for steelhead.


Part of the steelhead’s unique complexity stems from the species’
somewhat confusing naming history. For all intents and purposes,
steelhead are migratory or non-resident rainbow trout. This has not
always been the contention. When initially named, these fish were
thought to be more closely and generically related to Atlantic salmon
populations, and accordingly, the species’ initial classification was Salmo gairdeneri.
The publisher, In 1836, Sir John Richardson, included this new
classification in Fauna Boreali Americana based on information provided
by a doctor by the name of Gairdner who was working on the broad banks
of the Columbia River with the Hudsons Bay Company at Fort Vancouver.
Nineteen years later, the rainbow trout was classified as Salmo irideus
by the founder of the California Academy of Sciences, Dr. William P.
Gibbons. It was later established that Gibbon’s “new” species was not
new at all as his observations were based on a pre-migratory steelhead
specimen taken from San Leandro Creek (a beautiful creek located in
Leland’s back yard and home to what is possibly California’s largest
population of rainbow trout). In an instant, steelhead became anadromous
rainbow trout and rainbow trout became non-migratory steelhead.


The separate, but equal classification of rainbow trout as Salmo irideus
and steelhead as Salmo gairdeneri survived until 1989 when the
Committee on Names of Fishes assembled by the
American Fisheries Society threw a knuckleball at all who knew and
understood the species of migratory rainbow trout as cousins of the
Atlantic salmon population. The committee announced that all species of
trout native to western North America would be re-assigned the generic
name Oncorhynchus, linking the trout of western North America to the Pacific salmon.


Once established as a Pacific species, more than the Salmo
designation needed alteration. In 1792, the prolific German taxonomist,
Johann Julius Walbaum classified several species of Pacific salmon as
well as the Dolly Varden char, and the rainbow trout of Russia’s
Kamchatka Peninsula. It became clear that the steelhead was a more
likely cousin of Walbaum’s Kamchatkan rainbows (Salmo mykiss)
and, according to the strictures of scientific naming conventions, the
populations of steelhead native to western North America should take
Walbaum’s earlier species classification of mykiss. In a flash,
steelhead morphed, at least in the land of nomenclature, from Salmo gairdeneri to Oncorhynchus mykiss. Such is the steelhead’s complexity.


An Anadromous Adventurer
Like their genetic counterparts, rainbow trout, steelhead are
born in freshwater and are known among fly fishers for their aggressive
jumps and long runs. Steelhead will spend anywhere from six months to
three years in their home rivers and tributaries before riding the
strong outgoing currents and migrating to the Pacific Ocean or to one of
the Great Lakes of North America (the species was successfully
transplanted to the Great Lakes region during several stocking campaigns
during the mid-1800s).


Once in their new, larger (and, for some, saltier) homes, these fish
feed hungrily on a fat smorgasbord of baitfish, squid, and crustaceans.
Here, the species trades its pink band for a new set of chrome silver
sides and translucent fins. The fish will retain its deep green back and
dorsal spots as well. Steelhead will spend one to five years “a sea”
and, like ocean-going salmon, will utilize their strong sense of smell
to sniff out the unique chemistry of their native waters and return
exactly home, sometimes hundreds of miles upstream to spawn. These fish
don’t just get close to home, tagged steelhead have been observed
returning to precisely the same spawning bed from which they were born,
actually closing the loop on an incredible journey.


The most famous runs of steelhead occur in the late summer months and continue throughout the fall to November.
However, steelhead can be caught year-round and, since the early 1900s,
winter steelhead fly fishing has steadily increased in popularity among
fly anglers, especially in California, Oregon, British Columbia and the
Great Lakes region of North America. When on the spawn these fish will
slowly regain their pinkish banding and will begin to look more like the
resident or non-migratory rainbow trout.


Step, Cast, Mend … Step, Cast, Mend …
Perhaps the most important and most difficult task to master in fly fishing for steelhead

lies in understanding how to read steelhead water. Gaining such
understanding takes fly anglers years to acquire and is truly a
life-long pursuit. This is not to say that steelhead cannot be caught on
a fly by a novice angler, but experience in steelheading makes a big
difference in an angler’s ability to secure hookups and land fish.



During their upstream migration, steelhead are most interested in
conserving their energy, and this is especially true of steelhead
returning to streams located farther inland. Idaho steelhead
populations, for example, must pass several dams and cross high
mountainous regions, while battling fierce currents along the journey of
several hundred miles. In this effort to conserve energy, steelhead
will often make short, powerful upstream runs, separated by longer
periods of rest out of the main current. The virulent upstream runs can
last anywhere from a few hours to a few days and rest periods can range
from a single night of quiet to several long days of relief.



Fly anglers enjoy their best chances at steelhead while they are at
rest. During these times, fish will sit singly or in pairs along the
river banks, in shallow pools, in broad tailouts, and along current
seams where the moving water provides travel weary fish with much needed
and appreciated pockets of lesser resistance. Learning to find and fish
these parts of a river and types of water is invaluable in the
steelhead game.


Unlike their bull-headed counterparts, the Atlantic salmon, steelhead
are ultimately smart about how they use water to their advantage. Rather
than simply charging through the main channel, steelhead will choose
the optimal pathway up a river, bobbing and weaving from slow current
seam to slow current seam until they reach their destination. This quite
brilliant behavior is difficult on even the most accomplished fly
fishers because the optimal pathway upriver may not always mean the
steelhead in front of you is holding in the slowest current in front of
you; the fish may have determined that holding in a slightly faster
current at an angler’s position in the river will optimize the aggregate
journey. Again, such are steelhead.


Due to the wide variety of water in which steelhead can be found as well as the wide
size range steelhead take on (steelhead can be as small as a foot long
like the Klamath River “half-pounders” or as large as twenty pounds in
British Columbia’s famous Kispiox River), a host of methods for chasing
steelhead with a fly fishing rod have been productive throughout fly
fishing’s history.



When chasing steelhead, many fly anglers utilize and swear only by a
classic approach of swinging dry flies on floating lines. Techniques
within this category include pure “greased-lining” and “skating”
steelhead bomber and skater fly patterns. Recently, a small group of
more adventuresome traditionalists have discovered success in “chugging”
their steelhead bugs to imitate the rhythmic motion of hatching caddis.
Other steelhead anglers employ trout nymphing strategy with indicators
and floating lines, while other fly anglers borrow equipment and flies
from Atlantic salmon fly fishing traditions to catch their steelhead. In
larger rivers, two-handed Spey casting techniques are employed to
efficently cover the vast amounts of water required for success in
steelheading.



Steelhead fly fishing rods can range from small 4-weight single-handed
trout rods for smaller steelhead to large 10- and 11-weight Spey rods of
14 or 15 feet in length for the largest, and usually British Columbian,
members of the species. Despite the tremendous variation in tackle and
technique, the preferred steelhead rod today is a 7-weight two hand rod,
running from 12 to 13 feet in length.  By far, our favorite steelhead
fly rod is Loop's Cross S1 7120-4
This rod bridges the gap between summer and winter run fish.  It
elegantly delivers topwater flies, yet can still turn over heaver flies
and fast-sinking tips.



The complexity of the steelhead game continues as there is a great deal
of observed but poorly understood behavioral traits occurring in
populations of steelhead from river to river. To this end, how a fly
fisher presents the fly to a holding steelhead at a particular location
on a particular river, is an equally important component that must be
considered rigorously before even the very first cast is made. Ask
around about and read up on how local steelhead behave in the river
you’re going to fish. Knowing even a small amount about how aggressively
the steelhead you’re after takes (or leaves) a well-presented fly or if
they are more apt to take a deeply-dredged nymph along the bottom of a
pool than rise to a properly swung dry fly at the surface can be a
skeleton key for hooking a steelhead on your trip.



When practicing reading steelhead water, it is important to clearly
define where each pocket, tailout, seamline, and pool are located. A
good pair of polarized sunglasses with copper or yellow photochromatic
lenses will ease the strain of this challenge. Make sure you look for
well-defined water features where fish may hold and cast to these areas.
It may take a couple of passes through a run or pool to learn at which
depth in the water column the fish are stacking and how aggressive or
non-aggressive the fish may be, but only with patience, experience, and
experimentation, are steelhead caught.



What’s on the Menu?
Hardcore steelheaders can easily spend more time
thinking about what their beloved quarry eats and what flies to tie than
actually casting to fish. This outwitting of fish is not uncommon in
fly fishing and is perhaps the sport’s most enduring trait, but
steelheaders take it to an extreme that others in the sport do not frequent.
Subsequently, there are three leading and competing theories about how
steelhead feed. There is no consensus on which theory should rise to the
fore of the debate, but it’s most likely that none of the theories are
wrong and that steelhead use some combination of the three when choosing
what to eat.


Some steelheaders are convinced that the chromers they’re after feed off
of surface bugs most like the caddis they ate when they were smolts.
These anglers will often cast only caddis patterns and more recently
chugging bugs. These fly patterns are thought to imitate most closely
the movement and appearance of the juvenile steelhead’s earliest diet.
The thought is that once the fish are back in their native waters, they
will revert to their very first feeding patterns and habits.


Another camp is of mind that steelhead feed instinctively when in the
open ocean and that only movement and profile should be presented to a
fish holding in a river.

These modern steelhead fly anglers believe that these fish develop an
almost purely instinctual feeding response while maturing and feeding in
the ocean environment. This instinct-driven feeding pattern is thought
to follow the fish back to their home water, and fly fishers of this ilk
and belief will confidently say that size, movement, and profile are
the three most important characteristics in creating a successful
steelhead fly.


The last group believe that the most realistic patterns should be fished
at all times – the trick is to imitate closely what was in the ocean
from whence the fresh steelhead came or to mimic precisely what bugs are
in the river as the fish work their way upstream. These steelhead
anglers choose to cast more realistic flies and within this camp there
are anglers who favor baitfish, squid, and crustaceans (staples of the
ocean-going steelhead’s diet) over the freshwater nymphs, shrimp, and
dry fly patterns touted by still other hardcore steelheaders.


The debate on the best steelhead flies rages on and the result is an
incredibly creative and prolific catalog of successfully tied and fished
steelhead flies.


Flies commonly used to catch steelhead range from standard trout
patterns to streamers and baitfish patterns to the most modern and
innovative tube flies and marabou recipes. Spey and Atlantic salmon
flies have also proven to be successful choices, especially on the large
rivers of the western United States and British Columbia. The Green
Butt Skunk and the General Practitioner are more traditional flies that
will work well in the Pacific Northwest.
Lage marabou flies like the Marabou Spey or the Popsicle will raise
steelhead in Alaska and British Columbia and really wild marabou
patterns (usually tied as tube flies) and large sculpin patterns will be
productive on Russia’s pristine steelhead waters. Leland’s Keith Westra
has tied and fished successfully his favorite marabou pattern with a
bunny strip tail for British Columbian steelhead and Leland’s Proprietor
Josh Frazier loves the action produced on the famed North Umpqua by
Scott Howell’s Ska Hopper, a newer deer hair and foam chugging bug.


Steelhead are haunting creatures. They enter a fly fisher’s life
suddenly and with the powerful burst of a rumbling freight train. No
matter how hard an obsessive fly angler prepares for each steelhead
trip, or how an experienced steelheader expertly tries to reach the edge
of a distant and promising pool, or how well a practiced and polished
Spey caster mends line in anticipation of a long, smooth swing, the
strike of a fresh steelhead is always unexpected. Steelheading’s
seductive draw lies in this unexpectedness, this uncertainty, and it is
with this stinking irony that the steelhead has been quietly humbling
the generations of fly fishers who have chased her. The suddenness of a
fly angler’s connection with a wild steelhead is compounded by its
brevity and finality. Legendary steelheader, Trey Combs, writes of this
feeling eloquently, and it’s this feeling and understanding, that an
angler is just a single signpost on the steelhead’s long journey, that
keeps serious steelheaders dreaming of the next sweet cast, unexpected
take, and boundless run.


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What is a Bonefish
The bonefish has been called the “silver bullet of the flats” and rightfully so. This member of the Elopiformes order and close relative of the tarpon possesses lightning quickness and race car speed. In open water these fish have been clocked at nearly 23 miles per hour. This astounding physical ability has helped the bonefish survive 125 million years of evolution, solidifying its place among the earth’s most ancient species.
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desc::The bonefish has been called the “silver bullet of the flats” and rightfully so. This member of the Elopiformes order and close relative of the tarpon possesses lightning quickness and race car speed. In open water these fish have been clocked at nearly 23 miles per hour. This astounding physical ability has helped the bonefish survive 125 million years of evolution, solidifying its place among the earth’s most ancient species.
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detdesc::

Albula vulpes

Pieter Bleeker, 1859


“Bonefish fight so hard that they almost deserve to get away.”


- Pete Perinchief, former Director of Bermuda’s

Fishing Information Bureau, 1964





The bonefish has been called the “silver bullet of the flats” and
rightfully so. This member of the Elopiformes order and close relative
of the tarpon possesses lightning quickness and race car speed. In open
water these fish have been clocked at nearly 23 miles per hour. This
astounding physical ability has helped the bonefish survive 125 million
years of evolution, solidifying its place among the earth’s most ancient
species. The bonefish is also clever and cunning, its name, Albula vulpes, literally means “white fox.”



The bonefish was first discovered and named by famed Dutch
ichthyologist, Pieter Bleeker, in 1859. Bleeker’s contribution to the
study of fish was more than prolific during his 18 year stint as a
medical officer in the Dutch East Indian Army from 1842 to 1860; his
famous treatise Atlas Ichthyologique provides a laboriously detailed
account of his work in Indonesia and includes notes on the bonefish.



Bleeker’s bonefish are incredibly nimble and skittish creatures. Native to saltwater
flats environments, bonefish can be found in nearly every tropical body
of water on the globe. The recorded range of the bonefish is 45°N -
31°s, 159°w - 35°w. Yet, despite their common occurrence and widely
distributed range, bonefish remain a difficult set of silvery fins to
catch, owing to their selective feeding, nearly perfect camouflage,
360-degree eyesight, and flat out speed in open water. The unique
sporting challenge offered by bonefish has brought a host of eager fly
anglers to the tropics in search of adventure and the chance to catch a
silver bullet.



Bonefish are a curiously primitive looking species. Masters of illusion,
bonefish sport a highly reflective set of scales that function as an
array of tiny mirrors, reflecting quite accurately the fish’s
ever-changing environment. The narrow and muscular bonefish is also
built with a tapered nose, leading to an extremely powerful mouth. The
species uses this mouth to root for its food in the coral and on the
sandy bottom of the saltwater flats it calls home, crushing prey with
its hard palate.



Emerging on the skinny water of the saltwater flats during periods of
tidal flux, bonefish dine on a rich diet of clams, shrimp, and crabs,
and they will rarely pass up the opportunity to snare even smaller
critters such as saltwater worms, snails, and baitfish. Locally,
bonefish will vary their feeding habits, sometimes turning into the tide
to sniff out their prey and at other times following prey into the
tidal direction. Fly anglers should be sure to understand their local
quarry prior to stalking bonefish – a local fly shop or guide service
can be invaluable in the pursuit of these mirrored torpedoes.



Tropical saltwater flats are often only a few inches deep and don’t
offer feeding bonefish much protection or cover. When digging for their
meals, bonefish are often forced to expose a good portion of their tail
above the water. Subsequently, bonefish will often be found “tailing”
either in
pairs or in larger schools. To spot a tailing bonefish or group of
bonefish, look for their deeply forked tails just above the waterline,
flashing brilliantly in the sunlight. Saltwater fly anglers will tell
you that there is nothing more exciting than crouching near a thick
patch of turtle grass in the middle of an expansive tropical flat and
spotting the glittering flash of a school of tailing bonefish!



Despite the classic tailing give-away, merely spotting a bonefish can
present quite a frustrating challenge to a fly angler. Many saltwater
flats have sandy bottoms, but others are composed of the mottled browns,
greens, and gold of thick turtle grass, making it very difficult to
glimpse a well-camouflaged fish. Saltwater fly anglers also look for
“cruising” or “mudding” bonefish. When looking for a cruising fish or
school, watch for quick flashes and shadows along the bottom of the
flat. Mudding bonefish will produce clouds and wide plumes of gray sand
as they hunt and dig for their prey. Looking for such a mud spot will
often yield good results.



A good pair of polarized sunglasses with copper or yellow photochromatic
lenses will ease the strain of this challenge. (Experience in spotting
bonefish, or a guide perched atop the polling platform of a specialized
flats boat will also help!)



Bonefish are particularly aware of the perils of the thin water in which
they feed. Such heightened awareness renders these fish extremely
skittish at the slightest sign of danger. Fly anglers must take extreme
care not to frighten feeding bonefish. This means maintaining a low
profile, keeping rod tips on the water, and being prepared to make long, directed, and accurate casts in a number of challenging conditions.



Saltwater flats fishing requires a confident cast, tight attention to
fly presentations, and a good working knowledge of local water and tidal
conditions. Bonefishing requires all of these along with a heavy dose
of concentration. Fly anglers chasing bonefish will most often be sight
casting for their quarry. When sight casting for bonefish it is
extremely important to understand the delicate mix of water and wind
conditions and distance to the fish. If the wind is high, an angler may
need to use a shorter leader and a heavier 9 weight rod and line to turn
over the fly and lay down a sixty foot cast. If conditions are calm and
the saltwater flat is glassy, a 14 or 15 foot leader and a lighter 7
weight rod may be necessary to avoid spooking the fish during
presentation of the fly.  However, if you were to choose just one fly rod to tackle all conditions, it should be a 9' #8 fly rod.  Our favorite bonefish fly rod is the Loop Cross S1 Flatsman 890-4...controlled distance, accuracy and strength.



Because bonefish are so wary, it is important to understand how the fish
is moving and where to place a cast. Saltwater flats anglers will often
lead a feeding bonefish by a generous 15 feet or more. The key to
presenting a fly to a bonefish is to make the fly appear to be moving
away from the fish. This may sound difficult, but can easily be achieved
with a simple hook cast or reach cast – both well-practiced casts in
the arsenal of trout and freshwater anglers.



Stripping line after such a cast is also important. Experiment with
longer and shorter strips with different pacing; pause and give the fly a
slight jerk and then strip in more line. Local guides will have a
favored technique and will tell you just what to do when you’ve spotted a fish and placed that perfect cast.



Hooksetting should also not be overlooked. Be sure to set the hook
firmly with a confident strip set as soon as you feel the subtle tug of a
bonefish at the end of the line. Freshwater anglers making the
transition to salt commonly make the mistake of lifting the rod tip
vertically to set the hook. This technique may work on Montana’s great
and storied Madison for big browns, but it won’t hook a bonefish. (Too
many anglers have bought their guides rounds of drinks back at the lodge
for lifting the tip instead of using a solid strip set. Don’t be a
statistic!)



For efficient fly delivery and better hook sets, the proper fly line is very important when bonefishing.  The Airflo Ridge Bonefish fly line
is the best fly line on the market today for saltwater flats fishing. 
With a patented coating of polyurethane, which is impervious to bug
repellant and sunscreen, this particular fly line will last many hard
seasons.  All other fly lines are constructed of PVC material and don't
react well to the likes of bug spray and sun screen.  The low-stretch
core of the Airflo Bonefish line provides more efficient casts.  And,
when "strip-setting" on a bonefish, this low-stretch core makes for
solid hook sets. 



Bonefish will readily take a well-presented fly, and will make several
long runs, usually taking a fly angler 150 yards deep into the backing.
Generally a bonefish will make about as many long, straight runs as its
weight in pounds. A 2-pound fish will make 2 long runs and a 4-pounder
will take you and your reel for a spin about 4 times. This is not by any
means a hard and fast rule, but something to keep in mind when it’s
time to strip set the hook and play that fish!



A raft of creative fly patterns has arrived on the tails of the bonefish
craze. Synthetics, foam, and flashy materials offer fly tiers a new
world of possible creations to toss into the salt. Crazy Charlies and
Bonefish Candy are effective patterns from Christmas Island to Los
Roques. One of the hottest and most productive bonefish flies around is
Bonefish Bitters, a modern epoxy-headed crustacean imitation developed
by Craig Matthews in the 1980s. Classics like the Gotcha and the
Bonefish Scampi as well as myriad crab patterns will also yield good
results on the saltwater flats.



Bonefish have provided fly anglers of all stripes and backgrounds with a
new and salty world of mystery, information, and excitement. Freshwater
anglers have enjoyed the challenge of learning new rigging, casting
techniques, and traveling to warmer more tropical destinations.
Saltwater anglers have enjoyed advancing the sport of fooling bonefish
with a fly and pushing the limits of saltwater flats fishing. Bonefish
are special creatures, and according to fly fishing legend, Lefty Kreh,
if left with only one choice, the bonefish would be his target. That’s
quite a bold marketing pitch, and one we’re hard-pressed to disagree
with. 





                                                                       - Evan P. LeBon

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What is a Peacock Bass
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Peacock Bass

A Guide To Giant Peacock Bass Fly Fishing In The Amazon

By Octavio Campos Salles Araujo (BG)

There is a growing interest among fly fishermen in traveling to the Amazon, but many are discouraged by a series of doubts, like where and when to go, what fish species will be encountered, what tackle to use, what precautions to take, etc. We hope this two-part article will clear up this and other doubts about fly fishing in this fantastic region of the planet.

The Amazon Rainforest:

The Amazon is the biggest portion of Rainforest in the world, with over 6 millon square km, spreading through Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, French Guyana, Suriname and Peru. In this immense jungle you will find the biggest diversity of ethnical groups and Indian languages in the American Continent, the argest rivers in the world, the biggest and most varied biodiversity, etc. Just to give you an idea, in the Amazon Basin alone there are more fish species than in all the Atlantic Ocean, and there are still hundreds, maybe thousands of species yet to be discovered. The same holds true for insects, birds and amphibians.

The potential of both chemical compounds and gene compositions of plant and animal species yet to be discovered or studied can provide precious new sources of food, cures for diseases and many other benefits which are still unforeseen by Man. Many of these benefits are already known by indians. For instance there is an indian tribe who uses a certain species of ant to treat poisonous snake bites. They purposely put the ants over the wound and let them sting it, and that apparently cures the negative effects of the snake poison.

Underneath the Amazon there is also a countless wealth in the form of oil fields that together occupies an area the size of Europe. The oil is just now starting to be explored by the Brazilian Government and everyone hopes that this exploration will be done in an enviromentaly correct way.

The Amazon River is so huge in volume of water that 60 miles offshore from its mouth at the Atlantic Ocean you still navigate over fresh, muddy water. That is how the Amazon River was first identified by the spanish explorer Vicente Yanez Pinzon, who called it Mar Dulce (fresh water sea) in the 15th. century.

Contrary to what was believed back in the 70's, the Amazon Rainforest is not the lung of the world, as it produces as much oxygen by photosynthesis as it absorbs. On the other hand the forest provides an invaluable service to the planet by regulating the amount of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere as well as regulating the distribution of rain in half of Latin America. The build-up of carbon dioxide and monoxide on the atmosphere is the main cause of the increase in Earth's temperature, so you can say that the Amazon is the "air conditioner" of the planet.

Traveling to the Amazon:

Traveling to the Brazilian Amazon from North America or Europe is pretty easy as there is a direct flight connection to Manaus from Miami. The Brazilian Government requires a tourist visa from Canadian and US citizens, as well as most European countries. The visa can be personally issued in any Brazilian Embassy, present in most big cities of North America. You may want to choose to fill-out the visa application form available to print from the internet and send it through regular mail. You can also contact your local travel agency and they should take care of the paperwork.

Fishing in the Amazon

Most anglers coming to the Amazon for the first time are usually very worried about the dangers from the jungle. In reality the dark water rivers are a very safe region of the Amazon, tropical diseases are nearly non-existent and there is really no need to take precaution about that. The region is free of biting insects too, making for comfortable living conditions. The only thing you should worry about a little are stingrays, so when wading or taking a dip at the river be sure to shuffle your feet instead of stepping, just like the guys on the saltwater flats do. The sun can also offer some danger for very sun-sensitive persons, so it's important to use strong sun screen and wear good quality tropical clothing.

The language spoken in Brazil is portuguese, but on a good trip option, your english speaking host will meet you at the airport and stay with you throughout the trip. Another good reason to look for trips with hosts that stays with the group during the whole trip, and not just while in the city.

Brazil is a country in relatively good economic and political stability. Its local people are very friendly toward tourists and always willing to share a bit of their rich culture.

Where to go:

The biggest peacock bass are not in every river of the Amazon, instead they can only be found in certain rivers mainly in central Amazon. These rivers are characterized by its dark, acid water and many marginal sloughts and lakes, the ideal habitat of Cichla temensis, the largest peacock bass species.

There are basically two main watersheds within the Amazon Basin where you can find this peacock bass, these are the Rio Negro to the north and the Rio Madeira to the south. The tributaries of these rivers is where the biggest peacock bass in the world comes from, specially from the Rio Negro watershed.

Rio Negro means "Dark River," which is very aptly named. Its water is very dark in color and usually free of biting insects as they can not reproduce in the acid water. Manaus, the biggest city in the Brazilian Amazon and the gateway to peacock bass fishing in Brazil, is situated on its banks. The two main kinds of water from the Amazon can be observed when the Negro and Solimões Rivers meet to form the mighty Amazon River, only a few miles from Manaus. The Negro with its dark water and the Solimões with its muddy water. The two different waters don't mix for 8 miles, running alongside like two different rivers within one huge river.

Unfortunately nearly all easily reached locations have been fished-out by either sport and commercial fishermen and that is why it is today very important to travel to very remote areas in search of unexplored rivers where big peacock bass are abundant and aggressive. These unexplored rivers usually have some kind of natural barrier that prevents easy navigation, like shallow rocky areas or rapids. Some are even too sinuous and this avoids access with float planes as they don't have areas large enough to land.

The headwaters of the tributaries are usually the least known and explored areas, and that is where the most succesfull fishing trips happen today. For the fly fisherman these areas are also much better than the areas downriver because their lakes are shallower and smaller so the fish are more easily attracted to flies. Anglers can also sight-fish a lot of times in these areas.

Look for outfitters who provide trips to these remote locations if you are serious about catching big peacock bass on fly. Facilities may not be top-class but it's perfectly suited for the angler with an exploring mind and spirit of adventure.

When to go:

Choosing the right time to go can mean the difference between success and total failure. Peacock bass fishing depends a lot on low water levels because during the flood season, when waters may rise over 40 feet, the baitfish swims into the flooded forest and the peacock bass follow them. Fishing during this time is completely unproductive.

The best outfitters carefully track and study weather patterns and changes when planning their fishing season in an effort to fish on the right places at the right time. It's not always easy since it may vary significantly and there are many variations according to certain areas of the Amazon. Basically the dry season starts to the south of the Amazon River by June and goes on until October, moving slowly to the north until reaching the rivers north of the Amazon River from late August to March.

This means that the Rio Negro watershed, where the biggest peacocks come from, is generally fishable from September to March according to the specific region within this huge watershed.

Fish Species:

Peacock Bass are the most abundant gamefish in the rivers of central Amazon. Even though there are other gamefish species in these rivers, the peacock bass is the focus of nearly all anglers coming to this area. They are not nearly remotely related to the largemouth bass of North America, instead they are cichlids, a huge family of fish species common in Latin America and Africa.

Speckled Peacock Bass: This is the largest of all peacock bass species, reaching sizes of nearly 30 pounds. Of course a fish of that size is very rare. On good, remote locations they average 10 to 18 pounds, with bigger fish always around. This is still under scientific discussion, but it's generally accepted that females have spots and males have three distinct dark bars and a yellowish coloration, as well as a hump on top of the head during mating season. They are very aggressive and territorial and will strike topwater flies with a vengeance. Most people who have fished for it agrees that they show the most spectacular and ferocious topwater strike of all fish. Everyone who enjoys casting topwater flies among varied structure for big fish must go peacock bass fishing in the Amazon at least once in a lifetime. Their fight is brutal and they always seek structures to cut or wrap the line.

Butterly Peacock Bass

Butterfly Peacock Bass: This is a smaller peacock bass species, but very abundant. There are actually two species of what is wrongly called butterfly peacock bass. One of them is the true butterfly peacock bass, with three big blotches on the side, and another species, which shows dark uneven bars and a more yellowish coloration. Both are quite small on average, but may reach sizes up to 13 pounds.

Traira: A very aggressive fish with sharp teeth and a powerfull jaw. They strike just about anything that moves close enough to it and are very abundant on the shallow areas. They average 2 to 4 pounds and are fun on light rods, as well as an important food source for large peacock bass. These fish are very pre-hystoric looking and it is believed they come from ancient times.

Arawana: The arawana is a famous fish among aquarium hobbyists because of their unusual, snake-like appearance. They are quite aggressive and will strike a variety of patterns. Once hooked they put up a good fight, with jumps and runs. A TV documentary on a British channel became famous by showing the scene of an arawana jumping out of the water to get a bug on an overhanging three in the flooded forest. This shows that they have great eyesight.

Jacundá

Jacundá: This beautifull fish is known in the aquarium hobby as pike cichlid. Despite their small average size they are very strong and aggressive and very fun on light fly rods. They come in many varied colors.

Piranha: There are mainly two species of piranhas in the dark water rivers. The black and the silver. The black piranha is the biggest one, reaching 10 pounds or more. They can be aggressive but nearly never against people. There is a lot of myth around piranha attacks and it's just not true. They can only be dangerous when locked in a small lagoon where no more food is available, otherwise they won't bother with you at all and you can swim at the river without worrying. Catching them on flies is not the easiest thing, which is pretty good because they destroy the fly in a heartbeat with their sharp, scissors-like teeth.

There are many other fish species in the black water rivers, like oscar, apapa, bicuda, pacu, arapaima and giant catfish. ~ Octavio

Next time: Best spots and what equipment to bring.

Octavio Campos Salles Araujo organizes and hosts unique fly fishing trips to remote locations of the Brazilian Amazon, where the rivers are still uncharted and big fish are numerous. Check out his website at www.amazonflyfishing.com for more.

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