Capt. Bob’s Blog

News, viewpoints, techniques, and tips from Capt. Bob


Posted by on 5:47 pm in Blog | 0 comments

FELT SOLES ON WADERS-A NEW TWIST For many years, when we got a pair of boots or waders that did not have felt soles, we would grind off the lugs to create a flat surface then glue on the felt. Got a new pair of waders a couple of months ago and proceeded to grind off the lugs. Much to my surprise (and dismay) the lugs were not molded rubber as usual but rather an open-cell foam with a thin layer of rubber encapsulating the surface. When I broke through this skin the boot foot was no longer waterproof. So I returned the waders to Cabelas taking responsibility for altering their product but also informing them that this was a radical departure in boot construction and not a very sound way of making the bootfoot. What’s going to happen when that thin rubber coating wears away? They were very understanding and replaced the waders. But how to apply the felt soles? Simple solution. Place strips of felt or rubber between the lugs to create the flat surface. Glue the felt to the flat bottom and insert sheet metal screws. Hope this saves some of you from experiencing the problem I...

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Posted by on 8:51 pm in Blog | 0 comments

The SPEY FISHER’S GILLIES HAT    This is the traditional hat of the Scottish Gillies that’s been around for centuries. Gillies were the River-keepers and game-keepers on the estates of Scotland. They eventually became the fishing guides of current times and are the masters of Speyfishing.   This is the most practical fishing hat you will ever own. The front brim protects your face from the elements and shields your eyes from glare and provides a stable platform for mounting your magnifying glasses. The side brims protect your ears. And the rear brim protects your neck and keeps water from running down your collar. The chin strap keeps the hat firmly on your head in strong winds or when running the River in your boat. It also enables you to hang your hat behind you when you don’t want to wear it. We hand-make our hats from waxed cotton, which is waterproof and breathable. These hats are a tribute to the Speyfishing tradition and will mark you as a serious flyfisher.     ...

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Posted by on 12:44 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Crouched under an overhanging tree, trying to cast to a Steelhead lie across the River beneath an overhanging shrub, has never been easy with Speycasting. However, with modern switch rods and lines, this has all changed. Traditionally, Speycasts have consisted of launching the forward cast in an upward trajectory to achieve distance. With a switch rod and a short, heavy switch head you can power cast your fly in a flat trajectory so that it flies like a bullet to that difficult target. This has opened up lots of opportunities that we had to pass by when fishing traditional methods. The more I experiment with the switch rods, the more techniques I’m discovering that allow me to cover the water more completely. If you haven’t tried them yet, I think you will enjoy the experimentation as well as the...

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Posted by on 9:57 pm in Blog | 0 comments

After watching an angler fall in the Hoh River, we got to talking about how to handle a River-dunking. The most important thing is not to panic. In most cases, you will be in shallow enough water to regain your footing quickly (if not your dignity). Try not to scramble because if you stand up and fall down again, you may be injured on the rocks. If you are swept away into deeper water, point your body feet-first down the River to protect your head from rocks and gradually paddle yourself toward shore. The most detailed  advice on handling these situations was given by Lee Wulff and Hugh Faulkus in their books. Lee actually dove off a bridge head-first in a pair of waders to illustrate his advice. And remember: It’s more important to save your life than to save your fishing...

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Posted by on 9:54 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Speycasting is a true joy to me. However, somewhere down the line I realized that I was casting too far because it was so much fun. I realized that most of my Steelhead were caught within 30 to 60 feet from my feet. Now I spend half my fishing time casting short and the other half casting long. Any thoughts on this?

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Posted by on 10:05 pm in Blog | 0 comments

I have found, that under certain conditions, you can get your fly deeper with one or the other approaches. Sometimes a sink tip does not get the fly down as effectively as a floating line, a long leader and a weighted fly. I would welcome some feedback on this subject.

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Posted by on 7:49 pm in Blog | 0 comments

With today’s age of information, the modern angler spends more time researching when and where to fish than fishing. Information is important but not as important as putting your fly in the River. If you’re not sure whether or not to fish because of weather conditions, GO FISHING!!!! While guiding, I had to bring a customer back to the dock because, according to his internet info, we weren’t going to catch any fish. I went back on my own and slayed them! I can’t tell you how many times the fish forecasters, weather forecasters and know-it-all forecasters have been wrong. WHEN IN DOUBT, GO...

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Posted by on 12:09 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Just got done fishing flood waters on the Olympic Peninsula and had to dig deep in the old arsenal of tricks. Some of the things to consider were: heavy sink tip with a short leader, heavy sink tip with a long leader, sink tip with a weighted fly and sink tip with an unweighted fly. I actually used all of the above on this trip because not only did I have to fish deep but also had to contend with snags, tight slots and tricky drifts. I realized that sometimes we get lazy and fish one method when another would be more productive. This refresher course made me realize that it’s important to modify technique based on conditions. Any...

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Posted by on 1:59 pm in Blog | 0 comments

This topic has been discussed since the beginnings of fly fishing. In the world of Steelhead fishing, my personal preference is as follows: I would rather fish a weighted leader and a non-weighted fly because the fly behaves more naturally without weight. It has more animation/life and follows the currents more like a living thing. However, sometimes weighted flies are necessary and can be used effectively on a sink tip or with a long leader on a floating line. I am curious to hear other opinions. Please let me know.

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Posted by on 10:59 am in Blog | 0 comments

In dirty-water Steelhead fishing, the angler needs to take advantage of as many variables as possible to get the attention of lethargic bottom-oriented fish. The most neglected factor is the use of sound/vibration. I’ve found that one of the most effective flies in this category is one tied with a muddler/flared deer hair head. Because I love Spey flies, I tie a Sonar Spey consisting of a muddler head with a Spey fly body. She ain’t pretty but the vibration the muddler head emits makes it easier for the Steelhead to zone in on the fly in dirty water. Keep the head small and use bucktail rather than the traditional body hair. This allows the fly to sink instead of being...

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