December 2013

Orvis Bellevue’s Exclusive Newsletter

Winter Trout Tactics Holiday Cheer Event

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Orvis Bellevue 10223 NE 10th St, Bellevue, WA 98004 (425)452-9138

In This Issue
Winter Holiday Event…………………………….. 2 Upcoming Classes………….………….…………… 3 December Outlook………….………….…………. 4 The Secret Sauce: Winter Trout Tactics………….………….………. 5 Olympic Peninsula Forecast………….……….. 7 Yakima River Outlook………….………….…….. 8 Tie of the Month: Hoh Bo Spey……………… 9 Belize 2014………….………….………….…………. 10

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From the Shop
I hope that everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and got plenty of turkey and pumpkin pie. Now is the time to work off all those extra holiday calories and head out to your favorite river or beach to catch a few fish. Just like every month in the Pacific Northwest, December has a number of excellent fishing opportunities abound. Whether you want to chase a few chum in the rivers, tussle with behemoth trout at Rocky Ford, or chase searun cutties, December is a great month to be on the water. Happy Holidays from Orvis Bellevue.
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Orvis Bellevue (425)452-9138


Upcoming Events and Seminars
Searun/Rezzie School $100
In-Store Presentation January 11th 8am On the Water Clinic January 12th $100 (Limit 6 Students)
Puget Sound is an extremely diverse fishery that gives anglers an opportunity to catch a variety of fish species. Join renowned saltwater expert Leland Miyawaki for a two day school that will teach you how to fish the beaches more effectively. The first day of the course will be in the classroom covering where to go, species to target, time of year, fly selection, and gear. The second day will be on the water where students can put their new found knowledge to use. Students must provide their own tackle and wading gear. Call 425-452-9138.

Free Fly Tying 101 Classes
There is nothing more rewarding than catching a fish on a fly you have tied. Join the Orvis Bellevue gang for free fly tying classes this January/February. This 1.5 hour class will teach you the basics of tying to get you started on one of the most wonderful aspects of our sport. Students will also receive special offers to purchase materials and kits. All equipment and materials will be provided.

Dates (All classes 11-12:30) January 19th, 26th February 2nd, 9th, 16th & 23rd


Orvis Bellevue (425)452-9138


December Outlook
December is upon us and for most that means holiday shopping and spending time with family and friends. For those dedicated anglers willing to brave the cold and rain, December is also a great month to be on the water. Remember, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear. At Orvis Bellevue we have all the cold weather gear you need to stay warm and dry to keep you out on the water. Puget Sound-Searun cutthroat fishing will be fantastic this month in the South Sound. We will also see resident coho near the beaches, otherwise known as rezzies, that can be an absolute blast on the fly rod. Fishing baitfish patterns on an intermediate line will be the most productive method. Be sure to wear stripping gloves or finger guards when doing this to prevent cutting grooves in your fingers. Steelhead-Steelhead fishing is really going to start picking up this month as rain pushes fresh winter fish into the systems. Places like the Skykomish, Skagit, and Olympic Peninsula are great places to search for chrome. Be sure to check out Bob Triggs Olympic Peninsula Outlook in this issue of Headshake for more info on the OP. Anglers swinging flies will want to start transitioning to larger winter patterns such as Hoh Bo Speys, Pick Yer Pockets, and Intruders. Black and purple are always a solid bet for fly color but when fishing close to the salt try orange and pink. You will need an 8 weight rod or heavier to cast these larger flies and tustle with big winter fish. Anglers should also carry a variety of sink tips to ensure they are able to get down to the fishes level. Trout- The Yakima will continue to fish well this month despite cold water conditions. Check out this issue’s “Secret Sauce” article on targeting winter trout for more info on fishing in moving water. Our area lakes have also received bonus stockings of trout throughout November and can fish well into early December. Sinking lines and leech patterns will prove themselves productive. Rocky Ford Spring Creek near Ephrata will start turning on this month and is one of our go to winter fisheries. Rocky Ford is known for being a technical spring creek so light tippet and small flies are needed. Carry a variety of small scuds, midges, and baetis patterns in sizes 18-24 for your best chance of success. Remember there is no wading at Rocky Ford so be sure to stay out of the water. Chum-Chum fishing is going to taper off this month but you can still find fish in the rivers. Try lower in the river systems as they will have the greatest concentrations of fish. Swing a pink starlight leech in the deeper, slower, pools and runs for the best chance of catching fresher fish. Avoid fish spawning on redds as they are the future of the fishery and generally look like zombies when caught. Dollies-Chasing dollies, or bull trout, on the Skagit and Sauk can be absolutely epic this time of year. These fish will stack up behind salmon redds and feed on roe and flesh. Look for salmon on redds and fish the run immediately behind them with flesh flies, glo-bugs, or beads under an indicator. For those of you who like streamer fishing try white or olive sculpzillas or Dhali Lama’s. Bull trout are very aggressive and will actively search out and attempt to destroy a streamer. 4|Page Orvis Bellevue (425)452-9138


The Secret Sauce
Winter Trout Tactics
When it is cold, wet, and raining on the west side, it is time to head east to the Yakima and enjoy a little sun. Anglers can still expect to find cold weather and cool water temperatures but also outstanding fishing.

Finding Fish in the Winter
Finding trout on rivers in the winter time is relatively straight forward and can actually be very simple. As the water temperatures drop the fishes metabolism will slow down and they will transition from the shallow runs and riffles to deeper pools. Look for pools and slow runs that are 5-10’ or deeper with a slow walking pace. These are the trout’s winter holes and it is not uncommon for 50-100 fish to be kegged up in each of them. Granted you will not catch all of these fish but have a legitimate shot at pulling a fair number out.

Time of Day to Fish
The best time of day to fish during the winter is between noon and 4pm. This is when the water temperatures will the warmest and the fish will be most active. The beauty of fishing in the winter is you can sleep in and don’t have to be on the water at o’dark thirty.

Nymphing during the winter will be one of the most productive tactics. However, fish will not move far this time of year and it is important to have your rig dialed in for each hole you fish. This means making constant adjustments to weight and indicator depth until you catch a fish or get a grab. Once you have caught a fish, stick with that setup for the pool because most fish will be holding at the same level.


Orvis Bellevue (425)452-9138


Indicator Selection
Trout during the winter will not be as aggressive as they are in the warmer months of summer. Often times the bite will be very light and even just a simple pause in the indicator should be set. Because of this you will want to make sure you have the right indicators to detect subtle takes. We prefer yarn indicators or small Thingamabobbers for winter fishing. When fishing a yarn indicator be sure to brush it out and treat it with floatant before it gets wet. Floatant may need to be reapplied throughout the day to keep it riding high.

Winter Fly Selection
Nymphs Pheasant Tails (18-22) Micro May (18-22) Zebra Midges (18-22) San Juan Worm (14-16) Streamers Sculpzilla (2-6) Dhali Lama (2-6) Wooly Buggers (6-10) Dries Griffiths Knat (18-22) Parachute Adams (18-22)

Streamer Fishing
Streamer fishing can also be very productive during the winter when done correctly. Low and slow is the name of the game and it is essential to get down to the fish’s level. Use a 150-200 grain Depth Charge 3D to help get your flies down. Using these heavy lines requires a 6 weight rod with the preferred length being 9’6”. This is also a great time of year to bust out the switch rods and practice a little two-handed casting while having the opportunity to catch fish. When streamer fishing cast directly across or slightly upstream and allow the flies to swing down and across the current. The reason you want to make your casts across or up is it will give you fly and line time to sink to the desired depth before it goes tight and begins its swing. Try and keep your fly moving as slow as possible because once again these fish will be lethargic and not willing to run down a fly.

Dry Fly Fishing
Dry fly fishing opportunities are few and far between in the winter time but you can occasionally find midge hatches during the middle of the day when it is the warmest. Long thin leaders will be the key to success when fishing these small size 18-22 flies to weary trout. These flies however can be very difficult to see on the water and we recommend putting a small amount of strike putty 2-3’ above your flies to help track them on the water. Often times a downstream presentation will be best when fishing dries since it will present the fly before the fish sees the fly line. When a fish does take the fly make sure you wait until the fish turns before setting the hook so you do not pull the fly out of their mouth.

Ol’ Whitey
When trout fishing is tough and you need to feel a tug, there is nothing wrong with chasing a few white fish. During the winter the whitefish will move into the shallow riffles and runs and once you find them can be relatively easy to catch. A simple nymph rig with a size 12-16 nymph trailed with a pink San Juan worm is all you need to be successful. Whitefish will really pod up in the winter and it is not uncommon to catch 20-30 fish out of a run or riffle. Even though whitefish have a face only a mother can love be sure to treat them with respect and release them unharmed. Unlike trout, whitefish are native to the Yakima River and are an important part of the rivers ecosystem.

Orvis Bellevue (425)452-9138


Olympic Peninsula Forecast
By: Bob Triggs
Our winter steelhead season is beginning with a blast of cold arctic air today, directly on the heels of a brief end of Thanksgiving weekend storm that dropped a lot of wind, snow and rain in the Olympic Mountains on Sunday, and drove the river flow gauges straight upwards in the span of one day. Right now- now that it is Monday and you are back at work- all of those river gauges are on the drop, and our waters are approaching a steep return to normal seasonal flows. You will want to be here to greet the next push of winter run steelhead that will be riding this most recent spate in these rivers. There are already winter fish upriver. Freezing temperatures will likely hold at very low elevations for some days and nights ahead, so the conditions will only improve as these rivers calm down. It will be cold enough to improve water clarity quickly as well. The smaller waters, and some upriver reaches of the coastal rivers and streams are already in good shape for fishing today. Most of these December winter run steelhead are hatchery origin fish, and there are plenty of them. So if you were able to fish here this weekend- you encountered some very low flows, gin clear water in many places, and some hard to catch fish. And you would have had plenty of company on the water as well. Surely the Fish Gods are laughing at all of us now, as today's turn of events sets the stage for a week of nearly perfect conditions for anyone who wants to swing a steelhead fly out here this coming week. If I were you . . . I would be calling the boss and letting him know that I was too well to be working this week. But then, that's just me. And I don't mind sleeping in my truck in the rainforest and living on peanut butter and coffee. And swinging flies on the bright waters of winter here, catching chrome bright winter run steelhead, while everyone else is at work. Your mileage may vary. Just Saying.

Bob Triggs is our go to guide on the OP and will be booking trips all winter long. Give him a call to experience the trip of a lifetime. Bob Triggs (360)385-9618


Orvis Bellevue (425)452-9138


Yakima River Forecast
The Yakima River can fish well in December for anglers who know how to figure out the winters secrets. Check out this issue’s Secret Sauce for more info on fishing during the winter. The Yakima will continue to have low flows throughout the month giving walk and wade anglers plenty of access throughout the system. Anglers floating the river in hard boats will need to be a little more careful this time of year as there are plenty of “can openers” that could easily be high centered on. There are also several places where you must get out and push the boat due to low water. Fly selection is pretty straight forward this time of year and going small is the name of the game. When nymphing, try various midge and baetis patterns in sizes 18-22. San Juan worms, small prince nymphs, and small stonefly nymphs will also yield good results. Fish these flies on 5X and 6X since trout will have plenty of time to inspect your offerings in the low clear water. Swinging streamers on a Depth Charge 3D 150-200 grain will also be a great way to target larger fish. Swing Sculpzilla’s and Dhali Lama’s through the deep slow holes for a chance at catching a real bruiser. Whitefish will also start moving into the shallow runs and riffles on the river and can be a lot of fun on the fly. Pink San Juan worms and small searching nymph patterns under an indicator can provide anglers all day fun catch whitefish. Remember whitefish are native to the Yakima River and should be treated with the respect and dignity you would show any other game fish. When it’s rainy and cold on the west side, head east for some sun, and winter trout.


Orvis Bellevue (425)452-9138


Tie of the Month
Hoh Bo Spey
The Hoh Bo Spey is one of our favorite winter steelhead flies here at Orvis Bellevue. This fly can be tied with or without weight and fished on a variety of sink tips to get down to the desired dept. 1. Start by tying a stinger hook onto a 25-35mm articulated shank. (See video) 2. At the back of the shank dub a small ball of Senyo’s Laser Dub or Ice Dub in your alternate color. (Orange, Chartreuse, and Pink all work great) 3. Tin in a piece of guinea in from of the dubbing ball that will be wrapped forward later. 4. Dub the body of the fly towards the front of the shank with the same color dubbing as marabou you will be using. 5. Wrap the guinea forward and tie off. 6. Strip the fibers off of one side of a piece of marabou and tie to the hook by the stem. 7. Wrap the marabou around the shank until the desired wing is created. 8. Tie marabou off and trim excess. 9. Wrap slightly back on the marabou so it folds back over the body. 10. Tie in a few fibers of Lady Amherst on the top and bottom of the shank. 11. Tie in a few pieces of flashabou on top of the shank if desired. 12. Make finishing wraps on the head to cover up any excess materials, whip finish, head cement, and go fishing!

Materials List Hook: Intruder Size 2-6 Shank: 25-35mm Articulated or Waddington Shank Hook/Shank Connection: 30lb Backing, Firewire, or Braided Line Butt Dubbing: Ice Dub or Senyo’s Laser Dub Body Dubbing: Ice Dub or Senyo’s Laser Dub Body Hackle: Natural Guinea Front Collar: Marabou Wing Accent: Lady Amherst Flash: Flashabou

Click Here to Watch Video


Orvis Bellevue (425)452-9138


Join Orvis Bellevue in Belize
El Pescador Lodge th nd February 16 -22 Get a Free H2 Fly Rod!!!
$3695 Per Angler, Double occupancy, 2 Anglers Per Guide $1995 Non Angler, Share Room with Angler $450 Private Room Supplement $1200 Private Boat Supplement

5 Days Fishing 6 Nights Lodging Free H2 Fly Rod All Meals All Local Alcohol Local Flight from Belize City to San Pedro Local Sales and Hotel Tax

Not Included
Airfare to Belize City Fishing License Gratuities for Guides/Hotel Staff Fishing Equipment (Available to rent)

Call us at (425)452-9138 to book today!! $300 Deposit.
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