The trout in Oliver Lake are starting to show up in shallow waters. I have several friends that troll trout flies from kayaks this time of year on Oliver. This technique is good because your success rate goes up with the more water you cover. Steelhead fishing was slow for me this year on the Big Manistee River. The fish seemed to be keyed in on spawn bags and/or plugs used in a drop back fashion. Not much going on flies. Several anglers have been in the store reporting good success on the St. Joe River below the dam at Berrien Springs in Michigan. They have been fishing the ladder side. Muskie guide Randy Bush said that local fish are becoming active with cooling water temperatures. Give Randy a call to arrange a trip. He fishes four or five lakes in the area and has a good handle on lake conditions and fish activity. (260)704-4423 Not much going on with bluegill and crappies at this time using flies.
Sage, Redington and Rio are making changes for the 2013 season. Because of those changes I have several items that will be put on sale. All Sage Flight series rods in the shop have been discounted. We have 9’ 4, 5, and 6 weight 2-piece rods with a retail of $300.00 on sale for $239.00, and an 8 weight 2 piece normally $320.00 for $249. This would be an excellent rod for steelhead, pike, muskie and many salt water species. Also from Sage I have one Vantage rod, a 9’ 6 weight 2-piece model. This rod has a little extra kick to it which would make it great for smallmouth bass fishing. It would make casting top water flies a breeze and would handle lead eyed subsurface flies as well. The retail price was $225.00, now sale priced at $170.00.
I have several lines from Rio that may be of interest to you. First the Clouser series of lines has been discontinued. I have a 5 and a 6 weight in stock. A suggested retail price of $74.95 is now on sale for $59.95. Also the Rio Streamer Tip lines are gone. Again I have a 5 and a 6 weight in stock. The same retail of $74.95 reduced to $59.95. The streamer tip would be great for those of you that like to lake fish for trout. Streamer tips have ten feet of clear intermediate line on the front end with a sink rate of one to two inches a second. Many articles have been written about using intermediate lines in lakes for fishing streamer flies, as well as scud patterns. Intermediate lines make less commotion on the water surface when stripping flies, and also keep the flies moving in a more natural manner rather than a up and down motion created by a floating line.
We will start our beginning fly tying class in January as usual. This is a four week class designed for people who have never tied flies or for those who have never had formal instruction. I am lucky to have Jerry Drake as an instructor for this class. Another workshop (one day class) of interest will be flies oriented for musky and pike with Jerry Darkes the instructor. I hope to have Don Privett teach another class on panfish flies. Our class schedule is slowly starting to fill, but no dates have been set as yet.
We have several new items from G. Loomis. The first is a duffel bag with plenty of storage for reels, fly boxes, tools, cameras etc; just about anything you would take on a fishing excursion. It makes a great boat bag as well as a carry-on piece of luggage for a trip. The second is a Cargo Roller Bag. Pack everything you need in this new bag. It features a split-bottom compartment with all kinds of storage capacity (four piece rods) and wet dry side pockets, keeping clean from dirty or wet from dry. Carrying convenience is provided from the heavy-duty roller wheels, plus a double top handle. The bags are olive gray in color with the G. Loomis fish skeleton logo on the side. Also from Loomis we have long sleeved technical T-shirts and a very warm pullover hooded sweat shirt. For more information about these and other Loomis products go to www.gloomis.com.
We are stocking several more items for spey fishermen. We now have T-10, T-12 and T-14 custom cut express tips from Scientific Anglers on the shelf. The 30 foot head has loops installed on each end of the line. This allows you to cut the head to your desired length giving you two fast sinking tips of variable length. Also, from Scientific Anglers we have spey tungsten tapered leaders.
From Rio Lines we have the Rio Head Case. This little satchel is the ultimate shooting head case with 6mm storage bags arranged to allow easy viewing of contents. Zip lock bags are large enough to hold regular shooting heads, Skagit heads and Scandinavian shooting heads. It also includes mesh pockets to store leaders and leader materials.
From Umpqua we now have Glide fly line cleaner and the Glide line cleaning box. This little item makes polishing a line a 20 second job!
Another new item is Flex Coat. We stock both Flex Coat Regular and Flex Coat Lite. This is a great product for rod wraps as well as forming heads on flies.
Don’t forget about our Redington I/O Fleece Pants. They are a great item for warmth under waders, under ice fishing suits or worn around the house on a cold winter night!
All of our ice fishing equipment is on display for the winter season. I have added several new items for those of you who tie your own ice flies. With the craze of tungsten ice jigs of the past couple of years I now have tungsten beads, tungsten fly humps and tungsten ribbed bodies. The ribbed bodied will give you an entirely new profile, more than anything on the current ice fishing market. Just tie them to the hook, add your favorite color paint and you’re in business. I also have Chech Nymph bodies. This is a lead body already attached to the hook with a great looking ice jig profile.
Many of you have used Thingamabobbers as strike indicators for the past several years. Many have been disappointed with the performance in regard to the indicator slipping down the leader during the cast. I watched a DVD about a technique called “High Stick Nymphing” by Kelly Galloup. Kelly has a shop on the Madison River in Montana. He sells hundreds of these indicators a year. A tip given to him was to peg the indicator with a round tooth pick. Break the toothpick off leaving just enough to grab with a pair of hemostats at the end of the day. The Thingamabobber will stay on the leader in the position you want, will slide with some resistance to reposition and will not harm the monofilament leader. Try it. It worked for me.