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1  Skagit Master / Skagit Master / Anchored With April Vokey on: January 19, 2018, 06:21:06 PM
Nearly two years ago April interviewed me at my home for her podcast.  I’m very happy with how this turned out.

After spending time on her site, I can see why she’s putting in the effort. Our oral history should not fall into a black hole. 

Thanks for listening.

2  Skagit Master / Skagit Master / Re: Light skagit for Peacock bass in Brazil on: September 24, 2017, 11:43:00 PM
Beautiful flies.   Welcome to the forum.

I believe that line is perfect, but I'm not the OPST expert.  Maybe someone will comment.

Forum has been slow for a while.  It needs some fresh ideas.


Jeff Mishler
3  Skagit Master / Skagit Master / Skagit Master 3 and 4 50% off NOW! on: June 06, 2017, 12:53:21 AM
Go to:

To buy SM3 and 4 AND my book Bent at 50% off retail

4  Geared Up / Geared Up / Another 7120-4 X Rod Review on: April 21, 2017, 12:28:05 PM

5  Skagit Master / Skagit Master / Re: Line management casting with your off-hand? on: March 08, 2017, 10:55:05 PM


There are two things to try when casting across your body:  rotate the rod in your hand so the reel doesn't hang below the rod, but to the side when you are completing the casting stroke and try holding the running line in your top hand, rather than your bottom hand. I've never learned to cast with my left hand up.  Those who did are grateful.  I hope an ambidextrous member can add to your post.

This clip might help you with the top hand during the cast...Wait for it.

Jeff Mishler
6  Geared Up / Geared Up / SAGE X 7120-4 Review... on: March 04, 2017, 11:43:23 AM
SAGE X Series---7120-4

Jeff Mishler

February and March is prime time for winter steelhead here in Oregon. The rods I use are 8 weights for two very good reasons:  I'm usually chucking heavy tips or flies so the 8 weight rocks that gear and I'm often fighting a wild fish that I plan to release and I don't want to spend too much time bent to the corks    with it.  I put the screws to every fish I hook to tire them quickly because short intense exercise is less harmful to them. A toe to toe stand off can kill a steelhead, post release.  For these reasons, seven weight spey rods take a back seat to my eights. 

But angling pleasure factors into the equation as well.  The latest Konnetic Technology has produced spey rods that feel two line sizes lighter in the hand, and that makes the eight weights sweeter to swing and the sevens, a little slice of heaven.  The SAGE 7120-4 X rod is one of those unbelievable sevens that is so much fun to fish that the many eight weights in my garage are seeing very little exercise this season. 

You might think that because the rods are so light they lack the horsepower to cast heavy heads.  That would be wrong. The Skagit line recommendations for the 7120-4 X are 550 grains for a Rio Skagit Max and 575 grains for the Skagit Max Short. Those are lines typically used on light, deeper flexing 8 weights.  I will supplement the manufacturers recommendations by noting that I don't try to jack huge flies with 7 weights because the 8 weights do it so much easier.  But if I'm fishing tube flies sporting cone heads, light bullet weights or small lead eyes, the 7120-4 X weights works wonderfully with a 480 or 500 grain head as long as I don't try to bog it down with 12 feet of t-14.  The 7120-4 X rod is a dream for bouncy water stretches and choppy riffles where the fish can be right at your feet or 60 feet away in two or three feet of water.  If I'm working a run deeper than that or one with slots and ledges to negotiate, I grab an eight weight, a 600 grain Skagit head and a custom sink tip, (usually made out of chunks of t-17 and some floating line).  Mow tips are magic for customizing your presentation with a heavily weighted fly in those slotted runs.

I can only imagine how dreamy the 7120-4 is paired with a Scandi head and small flies during the summer months.  And with the right line, it could be the ultimate skater/popper rod. Stay tuned.
7  Canary In The Mineshaft / Canary In The Mineshaft / Decline of the Deschutes on: February 08, 2017, 02:07:39 PM

In an age when water quality is recognized as a limiting factor for successful/sustainable salmonid populations, it really is amazing how far this river has fallen.  The idea of creating pre-dam conditions and safe passage for sockeye to the historical spawning in the Metolius River was novel, but the implementation has left out serious aspect of those historical conditions AND produced un-forseen consequences for the lower river, turning a world class steelhead and trout fishery into a shell of it's former self.  Nitrogen rich surface water, combined with higher water temps is creating a biological soup of new oxygen dependent organisms creating an ecosystem unfit for the salmonids which require clean, cold water.  The fact that PGE will not address their impacts directly is a shame.

8  It Wiggles with Pokey Parts / It Wiggles with Pokey Parts / Re: Ed Wards Intruder? on: February 07, 2017, 10:02:54 PM
The last wrap in front of the turkey feather is purple jumbo guinea. 
9  It Wiggles with Pokey Parts / It Wiggles with Pokey Parts / Re: Ed Wards Intruder? on: February 07, 2017, 03:13:16 PM
Wild Turkey body feathers or rump patch. What's great about them is that they are quite durable and when you twist the butts in your fingers before you load them in the spinning loop, they separate more easily but do not loose their stiffness.  In fact if you don't twist the butts a bit they remain almost too stiff to spin.  

They are pretty dark on the bird and almost a chocolate brown.  They look nice with orange or olive combinations.  You can die them and if you do, try a dark purple.  They are shiny with a cool iridescence.  You don't need more than a turn or two because the feathers are pretty dense.  I believe Ed just wrapped the actual feather onto the tube.  

10  Skagit Master / Skagit Master / Re: Hello from Middle Earth on: February 03, 2017, 02:58:15 PM
Chinook eat flies, more so than they eat hardware under the right conditions. What are the run sizes? Hundreds or thousands per river?

11  Skagit Master / Skagit Master / Re: Hello from Middle Earth on: February 02, 2017, 11:10:37 AM
Welcome to the site. 

Your casting issue has a simple fix:

Since you are using a Max "Short" on a 15 footer the rod/line length ratio is a bit short.  To get more stick and less pop when the line comes off the water just add a foot or more of overhang before you cast.  By overhang I mean the amount of running line outside your rod tip i.e. the space between the rod tip and the back of the head. When I'm really cranking on a cast for maximum distance I will use about 3-4 feet of overhang.  Another trick to getting more stick is to keep your hands low during the forward casting stroke.  With any spey rod, if you raise your hands as you put the rod into a forward casting position you elevate the D loop and create less stick on the water.  I'm sure that the pulling of the anchor gets worse as the sink tip gets shorter.  With a MOW tip and a short section of t-14 it's super critical to keep the hands low, back off on the power a bit, maintain the over hang and apply power smoothly.  Think about finishing the cast with the bottom hand rather than stopping it with the top. 

How is the chinook fishing down there?  You have my ear on this one.


Jeff Mishler
12  Geared Up / Geared Up / My SAGE 8140-4 review on Skagit Master Facebook page. Check it out! on: February 02, 2017, 10:59:43 AM

13  Gators ‘n Hens / Gators ‘n Hens / Re: Just because it's such a cool fish on: January 26, 2017, 02:17:47 PM
Tell us more!

In 2000, I was the camp director and head guide on the Utholok River for the Wild Salmon Center's Kamchatka Steelhead project in western Kamchatka.  The year 2000 represented Ed's first season working with the Wild Salmon Center.  I had been involved since the project began in 1994.  When Ed and I arrived in steelhead camp, it was at the tail end of my effort to head the first guided trout fishing (headwaters to Cedar Lodge) 100KM float trip for the WSC on the Zhupanova River. When our group of anglers arrived at Cedar Lodge, Ed and his buddies were wrapping up their trout season. Ed would be traveling on with me to the Utholok.  There were few days to fish without clients on those trips, but on one of the change-over days, Ed and I spent the day downriver and luckily met a run of fish head on.  This particular fish was the most explosive, out of control steelhead I had ever seen in Russia. After taking the fly, it left the pool, ran 100 yards straight away and then crashed into the far bank so hard that it ended up for a moment, beached, out of the water, flipping and writhing until it slid back into the river and continued it's departure.  Ed's Intruders and his tenacious approach to fishing out produced me and my efforts, 2 to 1.  Ed Ward is truly a predator when he fishes and it is always best if you get to go through the run first.  Behind him, you don't have a chance.


14  Gators ‘n Hens / Gators ‘n Hens / Just because it's such a cool fish on: January 19, 2017, 02:22:56 PM
This fish was exceptional.  Kamchatka Russia, 2000
Angler: Ed Ward
15  Geared Up / Geared Up / Mod Rod review 7130-4 on: January 19, 2017, 02:17:55 PM
SAGE 7130-4 MOD

One spey rod. Choose just one.....

That is a tall order.  In fact, it might be easier to hypothetically design the perfect spey rod in your mind, then wiggle a bunch of commercially made sticks to find the one that conforms to your idea of perfect.  Good luck with that.

The absolute one and only spey rod in my mind possesses two distinct qualities: It bends more in the middle than in the tip and possesses a damp tip section. The other design features would include the latest graphite layup and resin technologies. The handle would feature a full wells. It would be 13 feet long and be rated as a 7 weight. The action would inherently be powerful and progressive, but the soft middle section would make it friendly to cast. I like a rod that does some of the work when you load it up. A soulful stick makes efficient use of the mass in the rod to reduce the effort you apply.  A soulful stick keep the works moving along.  A super fast action rod loads and unloads so quickly that sustaining the load requires a faster pace and quicker timing. This might help drive full floating fly lines into the wind with authority, but I fish Skagit style lines most of the time and prefer the more languid tempo of a sweep that begins slowly, builds to a stop at the end of the casting stroke and is immediately damp as the line rockets out over the run. Stiff rods oscillate. Soft rods lack the pop.  The SAGE 7130-4 MOD rod is the only spey rod I've fished lately that fits the bill as the all-around spey rod.  It's the one rod I would pick for most of my fishing: The Konnetic soul stick: Light as a 5 weight:  Bendy in the middle but powerful in the top hand:  Lazer loops or lazy loops.  You decide. If you fish Skagit heads and Scandi lines for steelhead and salmon, the SAGE 7130-4 MOD is the one rod you need, if in fact you need one rod.  But if you're a multi-stick, load the quiver kind of angler, the 7130-4 MOD rod is the only 7 weight you need, which leaves more room for other sticks, like a 5 weight switch rod, and 8 weight 14 footer, an 8 weight switch rod for tight get my drift.

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