OPST Shank Chuck Tool: Easily secure shanks into vise. You have seen it (or a prototype of it) in OPST fly tying videos. You have called and emailed and asked about it. And now it’s here: the OPST Shank Chuck Tool. It took OPST a long time to dial this one in. The challenge was first, to make a tool that would fit with just about any vise on the planet. They succeeded in doing just that. The second challenge was finding a tool that can secure both shanks and some tubes- by unscrewing the chuck housing, you can flip the inner chuck one way for shanks and the other way for tubes. Another surprising feature is this Tube Chuck, which clamps down evenly around the circumference of the tube (only holds Large 1/8 OD tubes such as HMH Rigid Tubes) and does not crush or mar the tube body. Once clamped into the chuck the tube does not spin out of place, even as the tyer makes consecutive outward pulling thread wraps. We were a little apprehensive at the cost of such a tool but can say the chuck is surprisingly secure and extremely easy to adjust. It’s a brainless tool. And yes, the chuck tool secures into any vise you clamp it into.
The chuck will hold shanks down to OPST Micro Shanks, which are 0.90mm in diameter. Tube adapter inner diameter: 2mm.
Easily disassembled. Just unscrew and flip the inner chuck (center of pic) when transitioning from shank to tube (scroll to picture blow)
Flip the inner chuck for tube fly use. Fits Large Tubes such as HMH Rigid Tubes 1/8 OD.
Close Up: the four fine cut teeth attributes to the chucks sure grip onto those slippery metal shanks.
A Hareline Dubbing Product – Chicone’s Barred Regular Crusher Legs. These are translucent silly legs with specs/bars of contrasting color for your crab, prawn, or even your baitfish flies.
Although they look bright in the package, when you separate the individual silicone legs they are actually very translucent with light barring which is very different from most other legs on the market that are a solid color or barred black. The clear barred legs were designed to look more natural in the water, revealing only a scant amount of barred color for attracting attention over a light colored bottom or sand. The Olive, Tan and Orange are perfect for emulating tiny crustaceans hiding amongst the grass and mangrove root on the flats. The UV Reactive dye used to create the rubber legs give these flies a very unique and realistic appearance in the water.
For steelhead intruders (Hint, hint.) Try these in a Squidro/sili leg intruder. A bright color dubbing abdomen body glows through the sili leg cluster, like a translucent squid with glowing innards, the pulsating color contrast really pops in the water.
Chicone’s Rubbers Legs seem to have a pretty cool translucent effect in the water.
Comes in a multitude of Vivid colors. Picture does not do justice
It’s that time of the year again where you get all pysched up, buy your plane tickets, hotels, etc to go stand in the cold rain praying that this year you’ll finally hook up with a steelhead.
Some things that can seriously increase those odds:
Guided Trips. This is the fastest way to learn a river, learn what you’ve been doing wrong all these years, and maybe even get your first glimpse at hooking up. If nothing else you can spend the next week fishing hard and with confidence becuase at least your doing the right thing.
Cant swing a guided trip?
Take a spey casting class or even better the fishing class if you’ve got the basics down. At a fraction of the price you get a crash course of how to be more effective, and again, that confidence thing can be a game changer.
You dont need a new rod to catch a fish. The benefits of new rods are that they are generally lighter and more powerful which means more water time with out getting as tired. If you’ve only got a week to fish and want to fish every legal second, it can be a nice investment.
Best bargain spey rod: Redington Chromer
Top of the line spey rod: Burkheimer or Sage X
For reels, you need something with a good drag that wont freeze up in cold temps, won’t backspin on you, and absorbs the shock of a fast take.
Best bang for the buck: Lamson Guru HD
Top of the line spey reel: Einnarsson Invictus
We’re generally fishing skagit heads with T8 to T14 sink tips (10ft-12.5ft) and 2-4 feet of 10-15lbs maxima as tippet.
Skagit heads: Rio Skagit Heads or Airflo FIST Head
Flies: John Aleveras Suskwa poacher if you can only buy one.
It’s an especially cold winter so far, so make sure to layer up. The best layering for socks, long undies and under shirts we’ve found is Woolpower. Puts Patagonia, Simms, Smartwool, etc to shame.
Argus Pheasant secondary wings and tails are one of the prettiest feathers that you’ll ever find in a fly shop. They’re huge, covered in beautiful spots and stripes, and also fairly difficult to find. They are very well known throughout he Atlantic salmon fly tying community because of there stripes and spots, but also they marry very well to almost any feather. Happily, we now have Argus whole wing and tails pairs. The pairs that we received are in great shape and they are at a hard to beat price! And to top it off we also have them available in 2″ paired sections. So if your worried about dropping the ball on getting a whole tail or wing pair, you can get a small piece to give it a test drive. There are 3 options for these smaller packs including tail pieces, and secondary wing pieces. The wing pieces are available with fibers ranging from 2.5 – 3.5 inches, or 4 – 5 inches.
2 inch pieces
The tail sections have fibers that range from 2 to 3.5 inches long. This makes them plenty long enough for your Atlantic salmon flies, but also not too long that they couldn’t be used for muddler wings. When it comes to married wings these tail feathers will marry to just about any other fibers you’re using. They are great for adding separation and contrast between brighter colors, and also very easily tie down to the shank without folding over.
Argus Tail Pair
The secondary wing feathers have a much more complex design of stripes and colorful spots that follow the entire length of the stem. An entire wing on a salmon fly made from these fibers look incredible. They also marry to just about anything like the tail feather. The length of its fibers can range anywhere from 2 inches up to 5 inches which allows you to cover a larger amount of hook sizes and styles making it the overall perfect feather for you classic Atlantic salmon and steelhead flies.
Argus Secondary Wing
The boys at OPST have done it again with their recently released Commando Tips. One of the reasons we are such big advocates for their gear is because it is made by and for people who fish hard and thoughtfully. They know how to make a good product, and then they’ll go a step further and make it intuitive. Take their tippet for example, great product and then they made it with waterproof labels….DUH! Sink Tip wallet with waterproof labels, no zipper that can be corroded or stuck, and mesh nylon for easy draining, and now SINK TIPS!
These tips are formatted a little differently than the MOW tips, but it makes a lot of sense and is especially helpful for the particular angler that knows exactly where she or he wants the fly.
First, they are designed to be used with the Commando heads, but that doesn’t restrict them to just that function. They are only offered in 12ft because that will help prevent blowing anchors and that is really good all-around length.
Second, they have two different densities within each tip. If you’ve ever played with the iMOW’s or Airflo FIST line you already know the logic behind this, but in case you haven’t it basically just makes a straighter, more even sink to the fly, reducing the amount of belly in the tip and making the connection to the fish easier to feel.
The really neat thing about these tips is the actual sink rates. MOW tips are our go to for the OP. “Generally” speaking we’ll fish T-8 for summer, or low water in winter, maybe T-11 in some buckets, and T-14 and T-11 in winter. That’s going to be oh-so different here, but in a really cool way.
The grain weight is more designed around the rod weight. So instead of a T-8 being used for low water and smaller flies on any rod size, it is used for 2-6 weight rods; the T-11 tips for 5-8 weight rods and the T-14 tips for 7-10 weight rods. Then within your rod weight range you have a selection of sink rates including riffle, run, and bucket. Talk about easy, and smart.
These are geared more toward switch and spey rods, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they came out with a single hand version pretty soon here.
|96 Grain, 12 foot (T8):
||132 grain, 12 foot (T11):
||168 Grain, 12 foot (T14):
|Rod Size: 2-6
||Rod Size: 5-8
||Rod Size: 7-10
||Color: Light Blue
Coming out in June! Perfect timing for your summer adventures. The boss man, Dave Steinbaugh, wrote the section on the Olympic Peninsula too, so be on the lookout for this book.
“25 Best National Parks to Fly Fish celebrates the phenomenal fly-fishing opportunities in the National Park System, and the centennial of the National Park Service stewardship. Authors Terry and Wendy Gunn tap into the collective knowledge of some of the most accomplished guides and anglers working the waters both inside and adjoining the nation’s most accessible national parks. From jumping tarpon in the Everglades, high-sticking for brook trout in the small creeks of the Great Smoky Mountains, and throwing line in the high-alpine lakes of the Rocky Mountains, these authors and contributors share their deep knowledge of each park and the many species that inhabit their waters. In addition to the detailed GIS maps, recommended flies, hatches, hot spots, and suggestions for gear, lodging, and dining for each location, this book contains more than 150 stunning, 4-color location photos that will make you want to pack up your gear and hit the road for a world-class experience in America’s national parks!” – 25 Best National Parks To Fly Fish