Barry and Cathy Beck's Blog
We've had the pleasure of meeting our guest blogger, Alex Blouin. Alex and his cousin, Brian, came to fishing creek for a few days a couple summers ago and we thoroughly enjoyed their youthful outlook on life and fishing. In the near future, we'll hear about how Alex went from being a kid in New England to ending up at Sage/Redington in Seattle, but for today we want to share with you one of his fishing stories.
I do have a bit of a story to share with you from this past weekend. A friend of mine and I took a trip out to the Olympic Peninsula this weekend to scout the rivers and practice our techniques for when the wild steelhead start showing up. I was casting a 7126-4 One rod with a Skagit Max Long head and iMow sink tip finished off with a small un-weighted streamer that I had tied back in New Hampshire for Landlocked Salmon. I really wasn't expecting to even hook a fish;
I was more focused on making a good cast and swinging the fly properly. Towards the end of the day on Sunday we had made our way to a lower section of the Bogachiel River and found a run the looked perfect for practicing the spey casts and swinging flies. We started at the top, myself in front, and Brett following behind. As the sun started to dip below the trees, I made my final few casts through the end of the run. Just as I was letting my fly settle below me, I felt my line go tight and I thought for sure I had snagged bottom. As I moved downstream to try and get un-snagged I noticed my line slowly starting creep upstream. I pulled hard on the rod and to my surprise I felt a head shake like I have never felt before. I don't think the fish realized it was hooked until Brett tried to go for the tail. As soon as he touched it, the fish took off downstream on a blistering run and peeled line off of my reel like I've never seen. She continued to do this a number of times until she finally submitted to Brett's hands. I could not believe my eyes when I saw what was attached to the end of my line. This was by a long shot the largest fish I have ever landed on a fly... and it was wild. My first thought was that I was completely ruined for steelhead fishing, but later a few co-workers told me that they believed it to be a large Chinook Salmon. I have never seen a more steelhead-like salmon or a more salmon-like steelhead... I got different answers from everyone and so I have sent a few photos to WDFW to see what they have to say. Regardless, this was certainly the fish of a lifetime and a memory that will stay with me forever. As you can also see the weather was just beautiful. The water was also very murky, with visibility at barely a few inches. This really was one of those occurrences that just shouldn't have happened. -Alex
P.S. WDFW later confirmed that is is a beautiful wild hen Chinook Salmon.
Here's our 2016 Trip Schedule
Jan 7-18 Coyhaique River, Chile (trout)
Feb 2-16 South Island, New Zealand (trout)
Feb 28-Mar 10 Tres Valles, Argentina (trout)
Mar 8-24 Patagonia, Argentina (trout)
April 4-14 Campeche & Grand Slam ,Mexico (tarpon, bones, permit)
June 13-21- Ion/Fish Partners, Iceland (trout)
July 8-18 Ireland (trout/castle tour)
Aug 5-12 Reel Action, Alaska (silvers, rainbows, char & others)
Aug 20-27 Bighorn, Montana (trout)
Aug 27- Sept 3 Bighorn, Montana (trout)
Sept 23-Oct 5 Eg/Ur Rivers, Mongolia (taimen)
Oct 13-20 Pyrennes, Spain (trout)
Nov 25-Dec 5 Tres Valles, Argentina (trout)
We are on our way home from Tres Valles, Argentina, and are bringing with us lots of good memories from our week there. We enjoyed unusually warm weather, good water conditions, and had insect activity on all of the spring creeks and rivers. Parachute Adams and Super Beetles were the top producers and it was fun catching browns and rainbows on dry flies. Lago Tres Valles, which usually fishes best in poor weather, even produced some beautiful fish. On our last night the lodge gave us an incredible asado with lots of good food, drink, and company. We will miss Tres Valles and are already looking forward to our next trip.
Also, don't forget about our Santa's Sack Special. It's a great gift for your favorite angler!
In honor of Cyber Monday we've got a few deals of our own for you.
First, our Santa's Sack of Accessories:
Our Santa's Sack includes the following accessories — A lifetime zinger, medium foam lined fly box, New Zealand strike indicators, Tear Aid for all kinds of repairs including waders, a mesh fish handler's glove, a Redington snip and hemostat, and a set of WD40 pens. It's a $80 retail value sack full of goodies, plus a couple of surprise items, for $59.95. Comes complete with a gift bag.
We also have our new Permit Shrimper flies for the saltwater angler on your list.
Permit have always been high on our list of favorite saltwater flats fish. That said, they are the most difficult of the grand slam species to catch on a fly. Permit eat crabs and shrimp and up until a recent trip to Grand Slam Lodge, we relied on crab patterns for this ever elusive fish. After many refusals from two tailing permit, our Yucatan guide convinced us to try a shrimp pattern. Long story short – the same fish that refused our best crab patterns eagerly inhaled the shrimp. An hour later another tailing fish refused both our crabs and the shrimp pattern. That's permit fishing. Sometimes we win, sometimes the permit wins, but we now carry both crab and shrimp patterns in our saltwater fly boxes.
This is a new shrimp pattern that not only works for permit, but also as a bonefish pattern in size 6.
And last but not least, the Angler's 2016 Calendar is always a great gift.
To order any of the above, click on the links to be directed to our Store or call our office at 570-925-2392 to place your order.
Tippet & Leaders 101
We often talk about tippets and leaders in our blogs. It is a constant learning curve partly because the products we use keep getting better, more diversified, and more refined. RIO leads the race in product development and education. Every time I watch a RIO video clip, I learn something. The link below makes available a selection of short clips, made by the guys at RIO, and covering a number of topics starting with Choosing the Right Tippet Material. Once there, check out the other clips uploaded earlier. The clips are interesting, educational, and well done.
Thank you Simon, Zack, and Jesse for helping us become better fishermen.
We also just wanted to take this opportunity to say Happy Thanksgiving to each one of you.
We all have so much to be thankful for and we hope you each have a wonderful holiday spent with family and friends.
A word from Cathy
Barry and I have been home for a month, a very long time in between trips for us. As much as we wanted the month to linger and go slow, it has somehow zipped past us and we'll soon be on the road again - to Argentina next week for the season's opening. But back here at home a lot has been happening. Simon Gawesworth was here for a spey clinic on the Susquehanna River. We were so lucky with the weather. It was a beautiful two days and the foliage and the river was spectacular.
Everyone commented on our local landmark, the Savage barn, which was also spectacular in barn red.
The following week we enjoyed the company of Harry Schoel and Theo Bakelaar from Holland for a few days. Theo, in his red beret, made an interesting photo subject. They all stayed at The Lodge at Raven Creek, which at one time was our fly shop and is now an event facility and B&B full of country charm, comfort, and terrific hosts — Brooke, who works for us, and her husband, Corey.
A quick night off to enjoy fun and games at the annual community Halloween Party and a chance to take our grandsons fishing at the Benton Dam. It's been a great month and after Argentina next week, we'll slide right into the Christmas season. Just think, winter will go fast and we'll soon be writing about the opening of our trout season here at home (or at least we hope so!).
Gray's Sporting Journal Essay
If you are near a news stand today, make sure you pick up a copy of Gray's Sporting Journal. Their most recent publication, Issue 6 November/December has some great stories including "On the Ponoi" by Barry & Cathy.
We also wanted to make sure you got a heads up that Barry's blog of their recent trip to Spain is published on the Sage blog. Check it out here.
And lastly, another great read:
In a recent edition of MidCurrent, the editors talk about Paul Weamers new book, The Bug Book. I know, why do we need another bug book, but take a minute to read the excerpt. It's very interesting and offers some new thoughts on matching the hatch. And, it's practical, applicable information - stuff we can all use to be better anglers. Click here to read the article
Incidentally, in the current edition (3rd printing) of Cathy's Fly Fishing Handbook, she has video clips of different casts and demonstrates live, through the use of QR codes, how to mend, control drag, add slack, and lots of other casting and fishing tips viewable on your smartphone.
The two books would be perfect additions to anyone's angling library.
As we write this week's blog, Simon Gawesworth is in the second day of his spey casting clinic. After the morning session here on the pond, the group had a great afternoon on the Susquehanna River at Bloomsburg. It was a fun day with the spey master and everyone learned a lot! Today looks like a repeat of yesterday. Thank you Simon.
As you can see, we're continuing to have beautiful fall weather, the stream is in great shape and fishing as been very good. The long range forecast indicates above average temperatures will be with us for awhile, so if you can get away for a day or two give us a call. We'll keep guiding as long as the weather holds.
New Redington Prowler Wading Boot
These new boots (Siren for women) are getting lots of attention and great reviews. Cathy has field tested the Siren for a year now, loves them, and refuses to give them up. Redington's premier wading boot for 2016. Exceptional performance and durability. Molded rubber rands, wide soles, and quick-drying and quick-draining synthetic materials. Built for long days in any river condition imaginable. Very comfortable.
- Felt or Sticky Rubber
- Molded rubber overlays for durability
- Molded Polyurethane midsole
- Strong & lightweight
- Wide sole-expanded surface sole for stability
- Padded collar for ankle support
- Mesh lined interior & drain holes for quick drainage
- Molded, non-corrosive metal hardware
- Sticky Walnut Rubber and felt sole options
- Stud compatible
Check them out:
Also, we've still got plenty of Fall fishing ahead of us- just ask Brad Berlin!
Our extended forecast shows above-average temps and we plan on taking advantage of it. We hope you have a chance to get out on the water before winter sets in!
I heard from Cathy and they've had a great week of fishing in the Pyrenees in Spain. As you can tell from the photos, fall has arrived and along with the fall foliage and frosty nights, the fish are starting to move up out of the lakes and into the rivers. They've enjoyed a lot of dry fly fishing to both rainbows and browns. The group took a day off fishing to visit a few cathedrals and local villages and had lunch at Rhoda de Isabena again this year, a favorite stop on their itinerary. Good fishing, wine, cheeses, cathedrals, weather - what could be better?