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Mark Stangeland - NUFlyGuide
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Tugs not Drugs

Posted by Mark Saturday, October 16, 2010

Just got back from another fabulous trip to the North Umpqua. I did a little guiding and a lot of fishing.Crowds were light Wednesday through today(Saturday) Pretty much had my pick and I think only one time during the time I was down there was someone in a run I wanted to fish. Started off the tour with a great evening session with my good buddy Brian and we each picked up a fish Wednesday night.

                                                            Doesn't that look tasty?
                                                            Brian watching his line go outbound

                                                               Brian with a nice skater fish


                                                                   Nervous Water                                                      

Thursday I guided and both my dudes rose fish and one briefly hooked a fish after multiple rises. Heart pounding action. The hardest part of skater fishing is relaying to the client, if a fish raises to the fly"DON'T DO ANYTHING UNTIL YOU FEEL THE WEIGHT OF THE FISH!" Very hard to do if you are not familiar with a 10+ lb fish boiling and slashing at the fly.I had found a few fish for them and they wanted to play. So,both my guys rose different fish multiple times in the same run. Both also had the opportunity to watch the other fish and both got great views from above of the other raising fish. They were stoked and so was I. Sometimes you just can't seal the deal but they didn't care. It was a good introduction into the world of the surface presentation for steel.

Friday morning I went into a favorite run and was feeling pretty good about things. The water has been pretty chilly in the AM(45-46 ish) and the skater fishing seems to be a little better when the water warms a couple of degrees later in the day. Anyway I opted for a tip and a leech for the run. I started swinging through and it was one of those runs where you just know something is gonna happen. About where the usual up close 1st fish sits YANK! A large fish hammers the fly and about jerked the rod out of my hand.That deeply sunk grab can be oh so violent. A few head shakes spinning reel and a brief battle and he throws the hook on a tail walking dance across the run. One of those fish where it is hard to keep tight on them because they are going berserk.Maybe 30 seconds of pure pandemonium. That kind of stuff still makes me shake. So, I haven't even covered the run so I check knots and retie my fly and start back in again. I shortened up a little before re-starting and am again getting down into the sweet spot just below where I hooked the first fish. SLAMBO! Another fish climbs on and were off to the races again. This fish is not near as large but what he doesn't have in lbs he makes up for in spunk. Big jumps clearing 3 and 4 feet out of the water. He rips around and I land him after a couple minute tussle, a hatchery buck of around 26 inches. So I say to myself, could there be another in there? I still haven't covered the tail and the lower sweet spot so I keep on going. Way down in the tail almost spilling over the edge I get another hard pull that doesn't stick and that was all. I wind up my line and stand there looking at an area smaller than a two car garage where three fish came to my fly.A pretty cool 20 minutes or so.
                                                            Fall sun on another beautiful run

                                                                 Local fishing Expert

                                                                     This Glass is half full

Last night I got one to go on a skater in another favorite run. It's hard to fish anything but a surface fly when the October Caddis are spanking the water all around you. Confidence goes way up when you are competing with the naturals. This fish did a head and tail roll and killed the fly. I never get tired of that first site of a fish pouncing on the fly. Too cool!

Its sort of normal October fishing. If you actually go out and make good pool selections and pound some water you usually get rewarded. Not easy fishing by any means but persistence and being in the right place at the right time helps. Another month or so of good fishing out there.

Many more tugs to come!

                                                                    New In Town


  1. Awesome job man! Beautiful photos and gorgeous fish. Congratulations on the fish and with getting your sports into some surface steel. Someday, I hope to get my first NU native on a waker!

  2. Anonymous Says:
  3. nice job Mark, nostrils for all!

    - Steve

  4. chaveecha Says:
  5. awesome post and great pix!! that last fish is gorgeous...


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