Flyfisher's - recommendations

kbf64

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Looking for some suggestions for fly fishing areas / gear. I got a 9wt rod / reel thinking I'd try some salmon fishing. I'd also like to get out to western montana and idaho for some trout fishing.

I'm thinking I should also get a 5wt rod / reel for smaller trout. Any thoughts here? Could / should I just use 9wt, or should I invest in 5wt?

Have a relative that works for Sage, so I can get a steep discount on gear for personal use.
 

pinne65

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I'm thinking I should also get a 5wt rod / reel for smaller trout. Any thoughts here? Could / should I just use 9wt, or should I invest in 5wt?
Have a relative that works for Sage, so I can get a steep discount on gear for personal use.
I'm jealous, wish I knew someone at Sage! For trout get the 5wt or even 4wt. I have a 9' 4wt for trout and it works great. Trout on 9wt won't be fun. It'll be really hard to make good presentations with tiny dry flies. I caught a 6lbs Steelhead on my 9-10wt once and I thought it was a trout, could barely feel it.
 

billgrigsby24

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I'd definitely hit the Mckenzie river. I really miss living down there and being able to fish it when I want. I had really good luck from leaburg on down. Up above that I didn't fare as well. If you're going to do salmon/steelhead, just below leaburg dam is good, watched a guy bring in a 36" steely on the fly. It's also good for trout.
I'd also recommend the Deschutes, Metolius rivers for salmonfly/goldenstone hatches. Fall river is a great little producer also but its more of a drive. If you like to catch bass, the Umpqua has tons of smallies west of I-5. A few buddies and I went and each caught between 20-50 bass in a 4 hour float.
 

Flymph

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With the rod you have you'd probably have fun off the jetty fishing rock bass and lingcod.
I'd chase salmon with that rod, and I'm going to guess the clackamas, sandy, santiam, and mckenzie are close enough for you to chase salmon. The Metolius is a ton of fun and you could do well there swinging streamers.
I could use an 10' 8wt switch rod at a good price if you feel like helping a guy out! LoL
 

bbbass

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With a 9wt rod you could go bass fishing (i had a glass Fenwick I used with poppers in NC), or floss salmon/steelhead on the Chetco or Grande Ronde. Maybe try White River in Arkansas for the big Brownies they have there. Otherwise a 4-5wt for trout on dry flies or small nymphs and a 7wt for streamers or big/weighted wet flies.
 
I second the suggestion to hit the jetties. The water isn’t all that deep and you should be able to get down to fish fairly easy with a sinking line and weighted baitfish pattern.

I personally prefer a 4wt for dry flies and small nymphs. I like a 6wt for streamers.
 
I guess that I would ask about your experience level. Are you just starting out? Sophomore? Expert?

That 9 weight is a fairly big stick and you probably wouldn't have an issue landing up to a #25-30 Chinook with the right set up. Your reel would be an important part of the equation while playing that game. You would want a high quality reel. What do you have on it now?

Agree with others that it would also be a good saltwater setup (again, reel dependent).

I like hiring a guide (or a friend that know the game well) when I'm fishing a new location/species. To me it accelerates my learning curve exponentially. A few (well, several hundred) bucks prevents days of potential frustration.

Here's a source for salmon/saltwater:


Another good source:


Hawkeye is rough, loud and absolutely hilarious. Also a great teacher if you are a mediocre caster like myself....


I would recommend getting that 5 wt. for trout. Great all-around trout weight. Maybe not ideal for streamers or small dries, but it will work and if you really get into it you can invest in more specialized rods.

If you are going to Montana I would really encourage you to go further East and hit the Bighorn and fish your way back if you are driving. It's an epic river. Hit the Western rivers and Idaho on your way back. It's a bit time consuming if you are driving, it takes me two travel days each day to do it, but if you can pull the time I highly recommend it.

Best of luck!

IMGP0946.jpg
 

BoringCruffler

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I'm in with the chorus that a 9wt is pretty heavy for local trout, and I've never had much luck around here getting steelhead to rise to a fly. Seems to work well on the Klamath River, though.

As to 'wheres'; it is kinda the wrong time of year for most of my favourite spots. I don't know how close these are to 'Farmland', but when the snows melt, you might try some out.

Badger lake if it isn't too crowded. There is a bit of a dish along shore, so longer casts can be a challenge, but it seems that the fish are always hungry.

The Oak Grove fork of the Clackamas River just above Lake Harriet has always been a good one for me. Just look out for the Bull Trout (I've never seen one in there, but the signs are posted).

The Burnt River just below the spillway from Unity Lake is always hopping with little rainbows and even a few brookies.

If you want to stay right in the city, I've done surprisingly well from the bank at the cold side of Salish Ponds. Mostly six to ten inchers; nothing to write home about, but quick fun, especially on a rainy day when no one else is there. They recently put in a 'handicap access' dock which makes it really easy to get the tippets snapping.

Hope it helps
 
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I've been looking for my first fly fishing setup so this info has been really helpful.

Not to hijack this thread but do you think 7wt is good for panfish up to bass? Or am I asking too much out of one rod?
 

Flymph

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I've been looking for my first fly fishing setup so this info has been really helpful.

Not to hijack this thread but do you think 7wt is good for panfish up to bass? Or am I asking too much out of one rod?
It's good for streamer fishing, so think bass and large trout. Could throw big dries and would work in local salt.
It depends on the amount of fight you want out of the fish really... my 4wt works well for panfish, but a 2wt or 3wt would probably be better.
 
I've been looking for my first fly fishing setup so this info has been really helpful.

Not to hijack this thread but do you think 7wt is good for panfish up to bass? Or am I asking too much out of one rod?
For me, I chose a rod about 75/25 presentation vs species. For instance, I will often use a 6wt on crappie so I can turn over the heavier leech patterns I often use. But, I’ll use that same 6wt on pink salmon (extremely fun).
 
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For me, I chose a rod about 75/25 presentation vs species. For instance, I will often use a 6wt on crappie so I can turn over the heavier leech patterns I often use. But, I’ll use that same 6wt on pink salmon (extremely fun).
Interesting, do you suggest buying one of the combo rod/reels like Redington or Orvis or buying everything separately?
 

bbbass

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I wouldn't hesitate to use a 7wt on smallmouth. It certainly has the backbone for it. A 10lb largemouth might be fun. I've caught them that big on a 9wt, but it was more about the ability to cast large poppers the size of big marshmallows.
 

bbbass

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I've never had much luck around here getting steelhead to rise to a fly.
On the Grande Ronde they don't bother with trying to get a bite... all they want to do is get the line in the steelhead's mouth and then give a great big jerk. Snags them on the outside corner. I hung up my new steelhead flyrod when I realized that's what the locals were doing. It's called "flossing" and is an illegal and unethical practice that paints all steelhead (and salmon on the Chetco) flyfishers with a bad name.
 

solv3nt

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Sage is considered the grandfather of fly rods. Like G. Loomis, most of their offerings are in the very fast category for actions, which means the flex is all in the tip. I personally prefer a medium fast action, and I rock an 8'6 Winston 4wt. They call it a fast action, so they must not have a clue what their competition is doing. I landed two small steelies on that rod, then proceeded to move to Hawaii. 4wt or 5wt is perfect for trout. My 4wt struggles with the big flies, but it's great for small dries. I'll likely pick up a 5wt or 6wt later for salmon flies and light steelhead.
 
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The above about SAGE rods is true, they are extra fast rods, so be careful, not only do they really flex at the tip, but they don't load all the way down into the handle, which can make them a bit brittle! I rock SAGE rods for their sensitivity and long casting abilities, but prefer TFO for more general fishing and for more precise casting. They have a lot of back bone and can really load the rod, which makes Steel Head fishing a ton of fun when the action is fast paced.
For as absolute work horse do it all fly rod, ether a Anderson, McKenzie, or a Burkhimer Spey Rod are un beatable! For reels, I like Ross, they have good drag systems and decent capacity, and are reasonably priced too! For trout and other small species, a good 5wt is hard to beat, I prefer a 3wt with small reel for the swing and balance, and the feel is unbelievable, perfect for those very subtle bites! I see the 5wt as sort of a work horse, you can land Steel Head with one if you take your time and are patient, your going to be working for it for a while! A good 8wt is also a great way to go, gives you plenty of action and weight/strength, while not being so heavy that you are tired of casting after 10 min worth!
 
OP
kbf64

kbf64

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The above about SAGE rods is true, they are extra fast rods, so be careful, not only do they really flex at the tip, but they don't load all the way down into the handle, which can make them a bit brittle! I rock SAGE rods for their sensitivity and long casting abilities, but prefer TFO for more general fishing and for more precise casting. They have a lot of back bone and can really load the rod, which makes Steel Head fishing a ton of fun when the action is fast paced.
For as absolute work horse do it all fly rod, ether a Anderson, McKenzie, or a Burkhimer Spey Rod are un beatable! For reels, I like Ross, they have good drag systems and decent capacity, and are reasonably priced too! For trout and other small species, a good 5wt is hard to beat, I prefer a 3wt with small reel for the swing and balance, and the feel is unbelievable, perfect for those very subtle bites! I see the 5wt as sort of a work horse, you can land Steel Head with one if you take your time and are patient, your going to be working for it for a while! A good 8wt is also a great way to go, gives you plenty of action and weight/strength, while not being so heavy that you are tired of casting after 10 min worth!
still the discount for me makes sage way cheaper if I can get it....
 

solv3nt

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still the discount for me makes sage way cheaper if I can get it....
No doubt, I learned to fish a Sage Launch and I bought my dad a Sage Approach. Both rods have a medium fast action, so not all Sage Rods are fast. I'm actually waiting for the Sage X to go on clearance when they bring out the new model.
 
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