Monday, October 1, 2012

Catching up...Idaho, flies, and on the water with my Helios2 and RedSpotFly

So I was sitting there yesterday with my buddy Nate watching football while enjoying a good cigar and a dram of Powers whisky when he said “Hey, what’s going on with the blog.  Nothing new lately…”.  I had a response formed in my head but then realized he was absolutely correct…it had been well over a week. Hard to believe how fast things seem to go when you are busy.  Here is a bit of what has been going on lately.

A week ago Thursday I labored through a morning at work then picked up the wife and  headed to the airport.  The destination was far northern Idaho for the wedding of one of my best friends to his amazing lady, Kibbee and Freya.  We were way out there.  If you read the story about the finger taken out of the big trout…that was at Priest Lake Idaho and we were only a few miles away at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.  To the shock of everyone I talked to I did not take along a single piece of fly tackle as my time was already spoken for, and of course I later read about some amazing fishing that was taking place all around where we were…

I did get away on Friday morning for a short run on the ranch property.  It was great to get away on the trails for a little bit and take in some of the scenery.  I told the ranch that if I was not back in two hours that they should send searchers out of horseback for me, but I made it back in an hour as the hills were a bit more than I bargained for!

The evenings were spectacular.  The jet black wilderness and bright stars along with a small bonfire and the lodge brightly lit against the night.  It was a trip that was too short, but had a great time despite no fishing in the mix.  There are definitely plans in the works for a return trip to chase some fish around.

When I got back it was time to knock out some flies.  I spent a good portion of the week at the vise and here are a few of the orders that made it out the door.  Above is a few of Tommy Lynch's DDs.

This order is the initial order being sent up to ACFs newest distributor, Boyne Outfitters up in Boyne City MI

Saturday morning I got up early and headed out to the river to meet up with Michael Decoteau of RedSpotFly.  I have had a few stitches lately so, on doctors orders to promote healing, I have been away from water for six weeks…it drove me nuts!  Hardly able to sleep I was up early and on the road.  I had my new SmithFly boat bag to bring along all the gear I needed and was giving my Orvis Helios 2 rod it’s last test to pass…and pass it did. 

My overall assessment of the rod is that it is a rocket and able to stand up to some serious torture.  Before my hiatus from the water it stood up well to floating line presentations for carp and smallmouth, but today was the real test in my eyes….full sinking line and big flies for browns.  The rod is a fast action tip flex with power right through the cork handle.  I was casting a 250gr Streamer Express with 5-6” flies and the 6WT Helios2  handled them without issue.  For casting under 30’ this rod would get it done, but it really excels when you give it some line.  With 30’ of line out this rod was able to pick up the line and the fly then shoot to 70+’ off of a single false cast with pinpoint accuracy.  The rod  did very well with low roll casting up under cover and the stiffness allows for some serious action imparted to the fly through a rod retrieve.  This rod performed phenomenally for the streamer application and is now going to be my go to stick for chasing browns with meat.

I had a great time hanging out with Michael for the morning and catching up with him.  The man is an artist so it is no surprise that he is talented behind a lens, even with me as the subject.  Here are a few shots that he snapped of me during our time on the river.  He does not yet have a dedicated site set for RedSpot, but if you have not already been there you should check out the RedSpotFly Facebook page to see what he has been up to and ‘Like’ to follow!

I also managed to get in on the photo game and snuck in a shot as he was working a deep slot.  There is a lack of fish shots as we did not do so well in the catching game on that day but it was nice just to be out and on the water.  I expect that the recent cold nights may have moved some fish around in to their fall lies, so the streamer game should be heating up in the next few weeks!

I did take along the most recent variation on a pattern I have been playing with.  The fly performs really well in the water; it is not exactly a swim fly as it has Predator eyes for some weight but not so much weight that it is a vertical retrieve.  This fly really glides through the water and has a great erratic motion with an abrupt jerk retrieve.  Any suggestions for a name?  There could be a few flies in it if the name is used…

-mike schmidt


  1. Awesome tie Mike

    For some reason the fly reminds me of animal from the muppet show:

  2. Call the fly the Purgatory - right between both worlds, you know.

  3. Mike's Maniac!

    I think it sums up its erratic motion and abrupt jerk retrieve.

  4. Thanks for playing along guys, got some good names there and a few in email as well. Haven't settled on one yet but will be shooting a step by step soon, so won't be too long before I need this sucker named!