Thursday, December 20, 2012

Fishing Dogs in Action

At the beginning of the month I posted this pic of my great fishing buddy Maddie, breaking my tradition of highlighting the non-traditional fishing dogs (like my terrier Ruby).  Not much of a surprise, I got some great submissions of labs through out the NW.  Our first submission was from Ben, another Montanan, who sent in a great shot of his dog Ben giving the lab approval of a sweet Missouri River brown.  Check out Trevors new blog here as well, for another great source of the Montana life.
Ben and a big Mo brown
The next submission came from Garrett in Oregon, who sent in a shot of him and his black lab Lilly soaking in the sun in their driftboat.  Lilly clearly knows her role in the drift boat, and Garrett also sent in some shots showing that she knows her way around the duck blind as well.
Lilly doing what labs do best, unbalancing the boat.
Our final submission was from my boy Mills.  His dog Murphy is all over Josh's blog, and is a personal friend of my lab Maddie.  When the two of them get together they are ball of yellow fur rolling around in the back yard.  The pic below shows Murphy burning some calories the best way.
Murphy getting her exercise on.
Thanks to Josh, Garrett and Trevor for the submissions, stickers should already be in your mailboxes.  And to our other readers, if you have a non-traditional fishing dog, or a great picture of your lab doing something fishy, send them to joe@evoanglers.com and I'll feature them on the blog and get you some Evoanglers stickers.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Product Review: Echo 3 13' 7wt



As slush starts flowing down the Beaverhead behind my house my mind wanders from trout fishing and tunnel vision sets in on winter steelhead.  Winter steelhead to me means standing waist deep in a glacial-green flow freezing my "waist area" off and throwing a two handed rod.  This past fall I picked up a new rod, the Echo 3 13' 7wt, and couldn't put it down.

As any spey caster knows the line makes the spey rod, and the E3 is one of those rods that can take a very wide range of lines.  I tend to like a rod that is lined with what I would call medium-heavy.  I definitely don't like a rod that is heavily lined, nor do I like one that is to light, and if choosing, I will error on the side of heavy.  For the E3 the line of choice was a Airflo 510 compact skagit.  I threw this line with a variety of tips ranging from 13' chunk of t-11 to a 15' 3"/second poly leader.  The set up I spent most time with was a 15' extra heavy fast poly leader.  I love the 15' poly leaders on skagits for fall fishing because they help my tall self to not pop the anchor, and get down nicely in the even runs on a river like the snake or Grand Ronde.

Built in Mojo?  I think yes!
The E3 7130 is what I would describe as a mellow rod with enough balls to throw anything that should be thrown on a 7wt.  You can certainly feel the rod load when you set the d-loop, but there is also a nice positive snap when you come forward.  I had no problem launching a 5" fly as far as one needs with this rod, but it was also comfortable throwing small dump casts into boulder gardens that a rod with more "feel" excels at.  While writing this review I consulted rod nerd, casting guru and all around steelhead-freak Brian, who described the action of this rod as "take-your-time-but-don't-be-late" which fits it perfectly.

As far as fit and finish goes, this rod looks better than most in it's similar price range.  I love spey rods with down locking reel seats, which this one has.  The cork is high quality with little to no filler, and it has alignment dots, something that every fly rod ever should have.  The cork is also a comfrotable diameter.  Even with my gorilla hands I don't like a thick gripped spey rod (z-axis for example, great rod, crappy grip) and the E3 has an excellent feel in hand. The green blank shines beautifully in the sun as well.

More importantly than all of the above is the built in Mojo that this rod comes with.  I have yet to spend a day swinging with this rod and not hook a steelhead.  Coincedence?  Maybe.  Built in Mojo?  Definitely!  If you're looking for a mid priced rod that looks great and performs like a champ, check out the E3 13' 7wt.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Help protect the Big Hole River



The Big Hole is the last stronghold of these guys in the lower 48.

As many of you know, I was fortunate to get involved with a great organization this past year, the Big Hole Watershed Committee (BHWC).  A conglomerate of ranchers, fishing guides, local government officials and others who share the love of the Big Hole, the BHWC has one primary goal;  Keep water in the Big Hole.  The committee accomplishes this through land use measures, ranchers directly returning water to the river during droughts, and a lot of citizen participation.

 The Big Hole is home to many great fish and animals, but it's most unique resource is it's grayling.  As one of the last strongholds of fluvial Arctic Grayling in the lower 48, these beautiful fish thrive in the cold clean water that the Big Hole is known for.  Along with the grayling the river is also home to native cutthroat as well as the more popular sport fish rainbows, browns and brook trout.

A lot of these guys in the Big Hole as well.
As I tried to write this post the many things I love about the Big Hole came to mind, and I realized I could write for a year straight about what makes this river special.  The easiest way for me to descirbe the Big Hole is how I describe it to those who have never fished it; It is exactly how you picture trout fishing in Montana to be.

Winding through lush meadows at it's headwaters, through two boiling canyons, stretching out in  the braids around Melrose and again towards Twin Bridges;  If  there is a type of trout water you like fishing, the Big Hole has it somewhere, and in that water are a lot of fish.  You could fish the Big Hole for a lifetime and never learn all of it's secrets.

Help the Big Hole, so kids like Andrew can keep making memories like this one.
The work that the BHWC does is funded in a lot of different ways, but donations are critical to it's success.  Please, help protect the Big Hole and everything that makes it great, and make a tax-deductible donation to the BHWC here.  Also, go give them a like on Facebook to stay connected to the great projects that the BHWC is working on.  And if you haven't been to the Big Hole yet, put it on "the list", preferably somewhere near the top.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Summer Revisted

Brendon and I are both 6'5", for some perspective...
I opened up my email yesterday evening and found this picture sent to me by one of the best anglers I have ever fished with, Brendon.  When him and his wife (also an incredible fly fisher) are in the boat, the fish don't stand a chance.  This sweet rainbow ate a turd, and fought as hard as any trout I saw all summer.  It is fish like this that help us make it through the winter, longing for the days of shorts, sandals and bitching in the boat all morning because it is a chilly 50 degrees out.  Thanks for sending the picture Brendon!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Go Eagles! Quarter Finals Fly


After a great win last weekend, EWU plays tomorrow at home on The Inferno tomorrow against Illinois State, 6pm eastern time.  To celebrate this week I tied a Scoal (super crusher of all leeches) inferno edition.  The red polar chenille used is UV, which gives an awesome amount of extra flash.  I used the flexi-floss feelers again as well, a technique I've been screwing around with and really liking.

Last weeks winner, Shawn, shot me an email and has a red fly headed to his mailbox.  This week we are going to adapt the contest a little bit, and give away a collection of all of the EWU flies from this season.  That means the more they win, the more someone is going to win.  I will post more details soon.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Very Traditional Fishing Dog

Madi doing what she does best
One of my most popular, regular series of posts has been the "Non-traditional fishing dog" series that features dogs you wouldn't expect to see out fly fishing.  I have had great reader submissions to this segment including a weiner dog named Mini, a pitbull named Tater, and a shib inu named Autumn along with a bunch of other great dogs.  This week though, I am featuring my dog Madi, my awesome yellow lab that doesn't get near as much press on the blog as her 5lbs rat terrier sibling.  Once you own a lab, it's easy to see why they are the most popular boat to be found in a drift boat through out Montana and the west.  Sweet tempered and just happy to go along, Madi is a great companion and is just as happy resting at my feet while I tie flies as she is trying to eat everything she can find perusing the side of a steelhead run.  The picture above shows her at her finest, taking it easy, patiently waiting to go swimming behind the house or for her next chance to hop in the drift boat.

If you have a fishing dog that you love, send me a picture and some words to joe@evoanglers.com, and you'll get to see your friend on the blog, and get some evoangler's stickers sent your way.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

OP 2012- New Video from "The Theory"



Check out this sweet video from my good buddy and fellow OP guide Aaron "The Theory" O'leary.  Shot during our season at the Bogey house last year, Aaron put together a great clip that includes a ton of really nice steelhead, cameo's from BFA, Nate, and of course Brazda.  Makes me wish I was freezing my ass off in the Bogachiel right now!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Go Eagles!

Fit for a champion?
For those of you who have been following the blog for a while will remember that I tied a red fly for my alma matter EWU during their 2010 championship run. Eastern Washington University is back in the FCS playoffs this year, and started off by beating Wagner 29-19 this past Saturday.  They now face Illinois State at home next Saturday the 8th.

This past weeks bug is one that I have been screwing around with this fall, but hadn't tied in the "inferno" edition.  It has elements of some popular flies like the "Hoser" along with some of my unique touches as well (such as the barred flexifloss wings).  This season to kick it up a notch, I am going to give away each weeks EWU Eagles fly to a blog reader.  To win, you must be an EWU alumni, and simply post what year you graduated in the comment box below along with a "GO EAGS!"  The first alumni (based on the honor system) to post gets the fly pictured above, and an Evoanglers die cut sticker sent to them.