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.
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
Jeffrey Delia at Waters West for a free BEACH AND LAKE fly tying demo!
Saturday May 21st @ 1pm!
Jeffrey is a well known fly tyer, developing flies that are not just pretty but EFFECTIVE. Our personal go to for beach fishing is almost always the conehead squid created by Mr. Delia himself.
With the possibility of closures looming, beach and lake fishing may be a safe bet this summer, and
this is a great demo to attend for those who don’t even tie. The man has tons of info on not only beach fishing, but lake fishing as well, AND HE WANTS TO SHARE.
It’s hard to come by a genuinely well informed person who is willing to divulge info that took him a lifetime to cultivate, you wont want to miss it.
It’s FREE! Hit the farmers market before hand, wonder around downtown and swing on by 1pm for some quality information and tying demo.
There has been some recent chatter, rumors and proposals all having to do with the upcoming salmon seasons. Right now it looks like there will a very limited, or nonexistent, salmon season in the saltwater this summer and fall. The state and the tribes have not come to agreement on the seasons, so they are both going to the feds to try and get some kind of opening. Coho are predicted to return in very low numbers this year and it is important to protect this resource if they are truly in peril. Politics always plays a role and there lies one of the main problems.
A major hit for us here at the shop is the proposal to close the entire Quillayute system to all fishing, not just salmon fishing, for the months of September, October and November. That would mean no cutthroat or summer steelhead fishing, not even in the upper stretches of the rivers above the salmon hatchery, an area that has always been off limits to salmon fishing anyway. Another brilliant move by the WDFW to never recognize that thousands of anglers like to fish for trout and don’t care about salmon. Lots of anglers do not want to harvest a fish, even when legal. We just want to fish and spend time on rivers.
Voice your concern over this proposal by contacting the WDFW. Contact Mike Gross and tell him what you think: 360-249-1210
On a lighter note, and since the Quillayute system is still open, there are lots of places to go and have some solitude for a change and have a good shot at catching a fish.
There are still a few brand new, bright steelhead entering the rivers. No, not a bunch but they are there mixed in with the downstream fish. Do not fish the upper rivers if you are looking for steelhead! Stay in the lower 10 miles. This is where you will find the spring chinook too and one can get lucky and have a yank while fishing for steelhead.
There are some early trout opportunities too. Some early mayfly and caddis hatches have a few fish looking up, but your best bet is to fish larger streamers and sculpins. It is not too early to skate some larger dries aggressively to get the bigger cutts to move. It does work with enough persistence. Fish it while you can, but fish consciously and with a conscience.
Jeffrey Delia is our local beach fishing expert, whether it’s sea-run cutts or returning salmon he knows the flies, the tides, and the attitude it takes to become a proficient catcher. However, around here he is probably most widely known for his extremely effective pattern “Delia’s Cone-head Squid.”
Delia has agreed to put on a series of classes here at Waters West that you won’t want to miss. First, on May 21st he will do a demo at our weekly FREE Fly tying demo that occurs every Saturday here at the shop @ 1pm. It’ll be a teaser for his upcoming tying class the next week.
After you get a taste of how much knowledge this guy has, AND IS WILLING TO SHARE, you’ll want to sign up for his “Estuary and Saltwater Fly Tying Class for Sea-run Cutthroat Trout and returning Pacific Salmon.” on May 28th.
THEN! Yes, there is more. Delia is putting on a BEACH FISHING class right in front of Waters West on June 11that the new beach area across street from us.
If you’ve been wanting to expand your fishing opportunites, this is a great way to do it. Beach fishing for cutthroat is open year-round, and largely untapped in our area. So swing on by on the 21st and get a preview of what all the hype is about.
We are very pleased to announce that our good friend and fly tier extraordinaire, Sean Dahlquist, has agreed to tie some special patterns for the shop. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have an amazing tier that is willing to fill some bins in our fly shop (also available online)
Sean is one of the most accomplished fly tiers we have ever met at this early stage in life. His flies are impeccably tied and he is a traditionalist with materials, preferring to use real seals fur, polar bear, blue-eared pheasant, McNeese hooks, Lagartun tinsels and other premium materials for his creations.
Polar Shrimp Spey
Sean will have a chapter of his great flies and tying ability in the upcoming book that Dave McNeese is writing about Syd Glasso. Be sure to watch out for that book, it’s bound to be stunner.
Sean has also agreed to be the instructor of some fly tying classes here at the shop. Do not hesitate signing up for these classes. The spots are limited and will fill up quickly. Check out our Fly Tying Class page, or swing on by the shop to sign up.
Largartun products are back on our shelves and stocked with many unique colors and braids. An up to date selection will be available on our website soon! Available for in store pick up today. will be available on our website soon!
What exactly is “Intruder Prop Hackle?” We’ll it’s a hackle that “props-up” materials, giving you a larger shoulder.
A “shoulder” is basically just a bulky or compound collar, an integral part of the intruder, and the deliberately selected material used to give the shoulder it’s volume is the “prop.” Prop materials don’t allow a shoulder to “collapse” but rather hold shoulder mass when subject to river currents and tension. Simply put prop makes the fly appear bigger while maintaining the desired translucence.
Scroll to the bottom of the page for a short summary and swim tank videos.
A few simple questions while evaluating Intruder Prop Hackle
1.) Does it simplify the tying process? Intruders are known for their time consuming construction. To be very blunt, Intruder Prop Hackle is by far one of the quickest ways to build up a large silhouette fly, or what we so commonly call, an “Intruder”. If you want to tie a large intruder under 10 minutes then intruder prop hackle might be just what your looking for!
Quick and stupid easy for the under 10 minute intruder. Shrimp pink prop hackle used in this fly.
2.) How to use it? After removing the fluff from the bottom of the feather simply tie it in either by the base or the tip of your feather, then wrap the hackle to achieve an upright leggy shoulder. Pretty easy. You can also strip one side of the feather for a sparser look when wrapped as a collar or used as a spey hackle.
3.) Cast-ability? This leggy material has less water retention than shoulders built either out of dense composite loops, densely spun Arctic Fox, EP brush, and other similar substances. Less water retention allows the angler to easily turn over larger flies. These larger, easy-to-cast flies are a common selection for any angler fishing less than ideal conditions (like this winter on the OP) because a bigger fly means a more visible fly, and a more visible fly means more grabs .
4.) Aesthetic appeal? Notably the translucent properties. The appeal of translucency is light refraction within the body of the fly, which allows more of the intended color to resonate within its large silhouette. To simplify; a solid or densely packed fly, no matter how UV enhanced it may be, will appear black or darkened from a fish’s view, whereas a true translucent fly (pink for this example) will remain pink from all points of view and angles of light. Intruder Prop Hackle does the job with less material mass. Another great property of this material is the movement the fibers have in the water. That’s why turkey flats and turkey tails make good spey hackle. They work well for the shrimpy or squidy tentacles, legs and feelers on any number of flies.
Kingtruder. Prop hackle helps to diminish casting weight thus allowing angler to cast bigger flies. Shrimp pink intruder prop hackle holds the shape of this fly, even when wet.
5.) Blending? No reason to give up composite loops. To gain a mean or stout shoulder, adding to, blending, or building up of a shoulder out of multiple materials allows for creative and effective designs. Due to it’s easy handling this prop hackle may blend nicely with your added accessories such as Krystal hackle, or spun arctic fox or Senyos Predator Wrap.
Most stems are 4 to 5 inches in length with working portion (at the top) 1 to 2 inches in length
6.) Characteristics? Most feathers are composed of long stout fibers, with the fibers ranging from 1/2 – 2 inches in length measured from stem to fiber tip. Really it’s just a larger, stouter fiber closely resembling that of stiffened schlappen. Where schlappen will often collapse under current pressure, this prop hackle will not.
1″ to 1.5″ fiber lengths measuring from tip of fiber to stem. Shrimp pink intruder prop hackle.
7.) Uses? Typical feather no more than 2-4 wraps on standard gauge intruder shank. – Supporting shoulder, or “prop” for material such as ostrich, rhea, arctic fox, temple dog, or any other junk you can slap onto a fly. Collars, or more specifically large collars as a substitute for schlappen, guinea etc. You can also double up the two feathers and wrap pinched together. This is a doubled up quick and easy hackle prop.
8.) Versatility? For summer time or low water proportions you may crush or mat down the fibers and crease the base of the fibers at the stem either by simply pinching aggressively or brushing the ever living crap out of it. This can release these grippy fibers from their rigid structure, they become more relaxed and ultimately subject to more movement from the current. This especially helps when making hackle for spey flies. We’ve have yet to tie trout streamers with this Intruder Prop Hackle but we’re brainstorming a few ideas for larger sculpins and big ugly streamers for those aggressive big boys. 9.) Summary: Intruder Prop Hackle does the job of “propping” for less material mass, weight and material variety. It hits hard on the quick and easy for the under 10min intruder challenge. Available at Waters West in a multitude of colors.
Intruder Prop hackle holds large shoulders such as this king intruder. And it allows the material to swim freely.
Tied in under 10 minutes. Intruder prop hackle can do the job for less.
Steelhead, Salmon, and trout flies of the Synthetic Era
Greg Senyo’s new hard cover book, insightful and creative.
If you’re a busy tier, and visit your local fly shop enough you might see the name Senyo whenever browsing or reading about some new hyped up tying product that just hit the shelves. Senyo Fusion Dub, Senyo Laser Dub, Senyo Predator Wrap, Senyo Senyo Senyo… What the heck is a Senyo?
Greg Senyo runs Steelhead Alley Outfitters and well known throughout the lower 48, Alaska and Canada for his proven flies as well as many unique synthetic material used to create such flies as the Predator Scandi, Flow Rider, Artificial intelligence, Slim Shady and many, many more.
Flies for Steelhead: Let’s be honest, throw on a 3 inch piece of black zonker strip, Gamakatsu size 2 octopus (maybe a little blue flashabou) and your fishing Olympic Peninsula steelhead. You don’t need to be a master tier or use the latest and greatest UV! HD! SENYO “new and improved” tying material to catch steelhead. To objectively contradict everything just said, swinging a fly that no other fish has seen can turn a zero to hero with one fly change. Be it size, color, weight, and even flash proportions all must be considered when fishing water everybody and their mother hit twice that day. Developing intelligent creative flies becomes necessary when attempting to meet a particular water condition while simultaneously providing a visual stimulation to ignite aggressive territorial instincts of such fish as Steelhead, Atlantic Salmon and other fish species such as trout or bass. Greg Senyo brilliantly highlights this in his book.
The Book: Other step by step fly tying books typically leave the reader confused on “how to” as said reader interprets few pictures to vaguely piece together what’s being depicted. In Fusion Fly Tying we found a few diagrams become a little vague or incomplete in their description, but thankfully, this book does an excellent overall delivering of careful attention to detail and commentary throughout the majority of the book. The high resolution pictures provide visual clues as to exact proportions and dimensions per material added. Located at the bottom of every picture step by step descriptions allow you to piece together the replica or perhaps tweak your own variation. All the while learning new materials and how one may implement such materials such as Senyos Predator Wrap, Dubbing, Senyos Waddington Shanks and a variety of flash and chenille.
Excellent step by step photos.
Trout and Bass Flies: Though Greg Senyo is best known for steelhead and salmon flies he does not forget to include some saltwater, bass and trout flies. In sore lip waters, passed over by hundreds of boats a week, chucking flies no other fish has seen becomes your saving grace! Even as one may simply browse through this book, glancing at a few of these patterns, inspiration quickly flows.
Hamster or trout fly? Guess it works for Browns!
Fly dimensions and proportions easy to understand.