Sep 25, 2017

G.Loomis IMX PRO - Purpose Driven

Built to the unrelenting specifications of professional fishing guides, the IMX-PRO series is comprised of 15 purpose driven designs to meet the performance demands of modern freshwater fishing. Striking the ultimate balance of handsome appointments, positive feel, and unflinching durability, IMX-PRO is a game-changing addition to the serious angler's quiver.


I personally award this new rod series as "Best Mid Priced Rod Ever" While I've been informed before the term "ever", should never be used but I think an exception needs to be made in this case in order to drive my point. The IMX PRO performs like a top class rod. Load feel, swing weight, power and speed all precisely match a PRO level caster preferences. This has been accomplished by putting the R&D in the material makeup and refinement of rod tapers. With a technology G Loomis refers to as Conduit Core Loomis is able to reduce material in key ares yet retain strength and efficiency. IMX PRO rods are referred to as guide tools because guides will rate their rods more on performance and less on how much titanium nano resin sauce is dripping from them. Besides standard four piece offerings the series also include two 1-piece streamer rods and a full series of Short Spey (not switch) rods.

Source - Greg's Top Picks from IFTD / ICAST 2017


IMX-PRO is light in the right spots. Traditionally, as the blank diameter increased, so did the total amount of material. This was the only way to ensure strength and durability in the ferrules and bottom half of the rod. Utilizing a marriage of a new scrim material and resin system, CONDUIT CORE technology reduces the amount of graphite while maintaining our unsurpassed standard of durability. The result is a reduction in weight, better balance, and superb energy transfer through the blank. This improves efficiency, and reduces fatigue in fishing situations that require the animation of chunky flies, popping, chugging, stack mending, reach casting, and other repetitive motion.


Conduit Core Technology Multi-Taper Design Fuji stripper guides Chrome single-foot guides Micro full wells grip on moels 696-4 and smaller Standard full wells grip models 790-4 and larger Custom reel seat (Salt friendly on 5100-4 and larger models) Cordura rod tube and rod sock Hand-crafted in Woodland, Washington USA


Purpose driven designs built to excel at modern trout fishing techniques. From a dry fly perspective, these sticks can handle everything from impossibly small flies on long leaders to chub/rub set-ups in the wind. When it's time to get dirty, the 9'6 and 10' models cast, mend and set heavy indicator rigs with ease. The new IMX-PRO series offers the perfect balance of line speed, power and finesse.

IMX-PRO 486-448'6FAST4A$495.00
IMX-PRO 590-459'FAST4A$495.00
IMX-PRO 5100-4510'FAST4A$495.00
IMX-PRO 690-469'FAST4A$495.00
IMX-PRO 696-469'6FAST4A$495.00
IMX-PRO 7100-4710'FAST4B$495.00

IMX-PRO Streamer

The IMX-PRO Streamer series was built for those addicted to chasing truly large fish with massive articulated streamers. A powerful tip section handles lifting and animating the fly while the mid section aids in smooth casting with sinking lines and big bugs. The IMX PRO-1’s one-piece design shaves ferrule weight and minimizes shear points for “streamer junkie approved” strength-to-weight meat chucking performance.”

IMX-PRO 790-479'FAST4B$495.00
IMX-PRO 890-489'FAST4B$495.00
IMX-PRO 7810-178'10FAST1B$495.00
IMX-PRO 8810-188'10FAST1B$495.00

Designed to address the modern era of short format Skagit and Scandi heads, the IMX-PRO ShortSpey family has you covered for everything from swinging soft hackles in your favorite caddis riffle to chucking intruders on secret winter steelhead haunts. True Spey action = Short and sweet.
IMX-PRO 31111-4311'11MED-FAST4C$575.00
IMX-PRO 41111-4411'11MED-FAST4C$575.00
IMX-PRO 51111-4511'11MED-FAST4C$575.00
IMX-PRO 61111-4611'11MED-FAST4D$575.00
IMX-PRO 71111-4711'11MED-FAST4D$575.00
*10'10 models coming in 2018

Shipping to our door on 9/25/2017

The Gorge Fly Shop Team


"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Sep 23, 2017

Scientific Anglers Spey Lite Specs and Applications

Great new video that really highlight the great qualities of these micro spey lines whether it be two hand trout spey or single handed spey. The Spey Lite Skagit comes in both Head and Integrated (full line no loop) versions. The Spey Lite Scandi comes in integrated full line configuration. 

Scientific Anglers Spey Lite Specs & Applications from Scientific Anglers on Vimeo.

The Gorge Fly Shop Team


"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Sep 20, 2017

The Current State of Steelhead

A couple notes, findings, and thoughts...

Recently, it seems as though a day hasn’t gone by this summer where the question doesn’t come up. Whether it’s phone calls, walk in shop convos, or casual talks amongst peers. Pretty much every time the topic arises the underlying notion is that the current state of steelhead is bad, doomed, saddening, or just plain frustrating. Certainly I’m not here to deny any truth to such notions but rather attempt to learn a little more and read between the lines if at all possible. The point of this editorial isn’t to deny the fact that wild steelhead are in peril, or that human caused activity hasn’t hurt fisheries, nor does it look at other dams or regions and their current/historical status quo, but rather attempts to make sense of the current state of steelhead in regards to our local waters- specifically the Bonneville Dam fish counts.

If browsing the Bonneville Dam daily counts and its provided graph of last year’s and the previous 10-year average, the image seen is disheartening. But what does the 10-year average have to do with what we’re expected to see this year (approx. 130,000 steelhead over Bonneville, according fisheries biologist’s) and last year’s low run of just under 190,000? Now I haven’t been a steelheader for many years; therefore my frame of reference is slightly skewed and foreshortened. But, if you’d have fished through the 2,000’s then you experienced some record shattering years for the dam count. 2001, for example had a run total of over 630,000 while 2009 had almost 605,000. Much of this can be attributed to ocean conditions, which allowed for a higher abundance of food and increased survival rates; allowing for some mega return years. In recent years though our strong El NiƱo events have left a “warm blob” of water off the West coast and expanding all the way to Japan, which has hindered the anadromous Pacific salmonids food sources and returns.

Okay, so if only looking at the last 10-15 years it makes our present day steelheading a little disenchanting, but it was important to keep looking back in dam counts… in 1980 was we saw numbers as low or lower than what experts are predicting for this year’s Bonneville total. 1975 had just 85,000 returning over Bonneville. In fact for the first 40 years since 1938 that data had been collected, only a couple years had run totals over 200k. Interesting, I thought. Therefore, does that mean that this year’s projection of 130,000 fish isn’t out of the norm, but rather reflects what real steelheading is- a challenge. When we received low returns of fish it might have been much easier in the past to find aggressive players when only a handful of anglers were fishing versus the same number of fish today and X-times the pressure. Today’s equipment is far better. Spey casting is somewhat quick to pick up and lines have gotten far easier to cast. Guides can easily put clients on drift setups with high rates of success. An overall increase in angler interest has simply increased river traffic, and I indeed fall within some of the above parameters.

I enjoy the challenge of steelhead fishing the most. After transplanting to the Northwest from the Rockies, I began to put down my trout gear, as I wasn’t losing sleep the same way. It was hard to convince myself to *chase pussycats when there were big tigers roaming the rivers (*a joke I heard from a great steelhead guardian, Lee Spencer.) I was consumed with sea-run rainbows that defeated all odds- eluding predation from egg to adult, from freshwater to salt and back, and somehow managing to return home through a gauntlet of adversity. Many survivors bear scars of close encounters with birds, sea lions, tribal nets, etc. They push past lethally warm water, dizzying dams, turbulent falls, and more to reach their natal spawning grounds.

As if nature wasn’t enough, human impact has put undue stress upon their life cycles. For example, I recently heard a couple fly anglers upset over losing fish over on the Deschutes using 6lb test. Yikes, I thought… When water temps reach 70 degrees (such as in July and early August) steelhead mortality rate is at least 10% when proper catch and release is practiced*. Lactic acid buildup is the sense of fatigue and muscle soreness we experience after exercising. Steelhead being some of the more relentless fighters experience this too. Exhausted fish may go into toxic shock resulting in death from a buildup of lactic acid during their fight, and this is only exacerbated in warm water. Fishing with stouter tackle and monitoring water temps can help reduce mortality rate. I did just hear a good rule of thumb for fighting fish- 30 seconds per pound. So the average 8lb Deschutes steelhead should be landed in 4 minutes or less. Put the brakes on em, use a net, #keepemwet, etc.

*Some reports as high as 22%- (Steelhead mortality/temperature rate)

Nevertheless, run totals are certainly low in comparison with the last decade however we’re not too far off from historic totals, especially if we ignore some of those abnormal record shattering years of the 2000’s.

· 1938-2016 Total run average- 211,847

· 1938-1998 First 60 years average 171,881

· 2000-2016 Last 16 years average- 356,035

What I can gather from this is that we’ve had some amazing years, and some not so great years. Part of what makes steelhead life histories so interesting is their ability to diversify their assets and their resilient nature- such as resident male rainbows ability to spawn with female steelhead, or the return of steelhead to Washington’s Elwha River after the dam removal. More importantly I believe is our interaction with the fishery and whether we can provide positive impacts or continue to pour money down other avenues instead of protecting a great resource- our wild fish. Political and policy agenda’s aside, individually we can control or influence our own impacts. I’d like to think many fly anglers practice stewardship to their fisheries and furthermore their passion for the natural outdoors. But we must remember a few things, and primarily that steelhead fishing is tough. More anglers equal more pressure. If you’re a numbers person and need fish a pic for social media, a bobber/indicator with an egg/nymph setup will get it done. If you’d rather swing flies but feel the need to dredge sink tips and large weighted flies for summer-runs, go for it. However, if you’re able to become less attached to the fish themselves and more appreciative of time spent in steelhead country and all its idiosyncrasies than we might choose to fish more traditionally or through a different approach. In doing so maybe we’ll be convinced to fish dryline and skate flies more, fishing for method rather than exigency? Perhaps by fishing a new method you’re unfamiliar with it may also rekindle the initial spark which attracted you in the first place? If pursuing the surface method for summer-runs it’s possible your catch rates will be down, but the fish you do encounter will likely be that much more special for agreeing to your noble terms of endearment.

However you look at it- worst year ever, or just another average one for the books- steelheading should simply be regarded as challenging. It’s not for those with patience issues, or possibly it’s a good tool for those who’d like the practice. Maybe these low return years will weed out the anglers who find the challenge unattractive and resort back to trout and other species? I wouldn’t be opposed to that if it were the case, freeing up some water in the process. Either way, for the fish we do encounter it’s a privilege to make a connection, and if/when that happens we also can put forth a little extra effort and precaution in ensuring their survival. Steelhead are a persistent species and if we give them a little boost, maybe we’ll see some of those record years again in the near future? I hope so anyways.

Cody Booth
Gorge Fly Shop | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Sep 18, 2017

Scientific Anglers Spey Lite Skagit Overview Video

Great new video that really highlight the great qualities of these micro spey lines whether it be two hand trout spey or single handed spey. The Spey Lite Skagit comes in both Head and Integrated (full line no loop) versions. The Spey Lite Scandi comes in integrated full line configuration. 

Scientific Anglers Spey Lite Overview from Scientific Anglers on Vimeo.

The Gorge Fly Shop Team


"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Sep 12, 2017

New Sage Spectrum Fly Reels

Sage Spectrum Max

Sage Fly Reels come with years of proven track records. Durability and Reliability are key features found in all Sage Fly Reels. The New Series called Spectrum are soon to be released taking place of the 3200 Series, 4200 Series and 6200 Series fly reels. 

Here is the press release from Sage...
Designed for durability, reliability, and consistency, Sage introduces the SPECTRUM reel family, featuring the SPECTRUM MAX, SPECTRUM LT, and SPECTRUM reel series. Covering the entire range of fly fishing applications, each reel in the SPECTRUM family features Sage’s exclusive SCS Drag package tuned per size to match fishing application, and Sage’s One Revolution Drag Knob for ease of adjustment and reliable, consistent, and repeatable drag pressure. 
The SPECTRUM MAX is Sage’s pinnacle big game and saltwater reel. With its cold forged and tempered aerospace grade aluminum, Sage created an exceptionally strong reel with a very rigid frame to spool connection. The hard anodization creates impressive surface protection and corrosion resistance ideal for any test a fish can offer, and the One Revolution Drab Knob features 20 numbers and 40 detents to fine tune drag pressure. Available in 5/6, 6/7, 7/8, 9/10, and 11/12, these reels retail for $449-$499 in Silver, Stealth, Cobalt and Squid Ink, which ties perfectly to Sage’s New SALT HD fly rod. 
Sage Spectrum LT

The SPECTRUM LT has lightweight features yet maintains a rigid frame for premier trout and light two-handed applications. The large arbor allows for fast line retrieve and is ported to cut additional weight without sacrificing structural integrity. The One Revolution Drag Knob offers 40 detents and 20 numbers for precise drag control. Available in 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, and 9/10, the SPECTRUM LT reels come in Silver, Stealth, Lime, and Black Spruce to match the Sage X fly rods. MSRP: $349-$399.
Sage Spectrum Fly Reels

The stock reel in the family is the SPECTRUM where anglers will get better performance via a new hub design that is larger to increase stabilization. The concave spool surface optimizes line capacity and features true large arbor performance. The new machined and anodized aluminum ergonomic handle makes reeling in a fish of a lifetime a pleasure. This series ranges from 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, and 9/10 in Platinum, Black, Lime, and Blaze for a retail price of $249-$299. 


Gorge Fly Shop

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Sep 8, 2017

Gorge Fly Shop Career Employment Opportunities


Gorge Fly Shop Team Member:  Two Full-time hourly positions is in Hood River, Oregon 97031

About Us:  Since 1992, Gorge Fly Shop has been a full service company dedicated to providing the best customer service possible, locally and globally.  The Gorge Fly Shop is located in the small town of Hood River, Oregon.  Hood River is in the heart of Oregon and Washington's Columbia River Gorge.  Within the valleys of the Cascade Mountains you will find numerous rivers and lakes that provide plenty of opportunities to explore and pursue the sport of fly fishing, targeting: steelhead, salmon, trout, and smallmouth bass.  Less than an hour away is the world famous Deschutes River, known as one of the best summer steelhead streams in the west and an amazing strain of red band rainbow.

Position Description:  Our Fly Shop Team Members work hard in a fun working environment while ensuring our customers receive extraordinary service. This position requires people who are, energetic, and have the ability to handle the demands of a fast paced, continually growing fly shop.  We require employees who have a strong work ethic, are honest, dependable, self-motivated, and pay utmost attention to detail to their work.  Team Members must be able to work in a fast paced environment using good time management skills and cooperate easily with others as a team player.  All of our staff positions have high customer exposure.  We require our team to present themselves in a professional manner at all times.  We have a zero tolerance for stealing, drugs and alcohol abuse.  Stealing, drugs, and alcohol abuse will not be tolerated, and will be subject to immediate termination.
Responsibilities:  Gorge Fly Shop Team Member position is a multi-task position.  Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following: Assist with the daily operations of our physical storefront, working in conjunction with other shop staff, management and owners; expertly give our customers advice on all aspects of fly fishing; actively suggest and assist customers with purchasing in shop, over the phone; cleaning and some maintenance duties.  Ability to work with a computerized Point of Sale (POS) System and licensing system; Accurately count money and perform till reconciliation; Assist management and owners with maintaining proper inventory levels, processing purchase orders, receiving inventory, pricing inventory and merchandising inventory; Maintain visual merchandising presentation standards including signage and pricing; Maintain neat, clean and orderly working areas, and shop sales floor; Perform other duties, tasks and responsibilities as assigned and needed.
Requirements:  Must possess working knowledge of fly fishing techniques including, a variety of equipment and fly patterns; Must be a person of integrity; Must be friendly, outgoing and work well with others; Ability to perform duties with great attention to detail and good time management skills; Ability to learn quickly and easily; Must be able to Multi-task, take direction and execute with exactness in a fast-paced environment; Ability to accomplish projects with little supervision; Ability to provide exceptional customers service; Possess great written and oral communication skills; Must have some computer skills; Working knowledge of Social Media/Blogging/Photography software is a plus; Physical demands include lots of walking/standing indoor; Must be able to work weekends, some holidays, before and after closing hours; Understands and helps pursue the company’s Vision; Applicants will be subject to a criminal background check.
Compensation:  Hourly Wage, depending on experience, and after training period a retirement plan.
Please mail or email your resume using the information below.  Feel free to drop resume off in person as well.  If you have any questions please email John or Travis at
Gorge Fly Shop
201 Oak Street
Hood River, OR 97031
PH: (541) 386-6977

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Sep 7, 2017

Fishing and Shipping Update

Sam Sickles [Steelhead Outfitters] - "I caught this nice fish yesterday in the late afternoon on a sink tip."
9/15/17 Update

Yes we are still OPEN in beautiful smokey downtown Hood River, OR. I84 Westbound is open from Hood River to Troutdale. So if you need or want to drive over via 26 or 14 you can drive back to Hood River via I84 Westbound only as of this writing. As of Thursday afternoon  evacuation zones have been updated for Hood River County and surrounding area's. Lost Lake Resort is now closed for the season (re-open Spring 2018). Kingsley Reservoir is also closed (closed prior to the fire). 

Evacuation Map 

9/7/17 Update

As of Thursday morning (9/7/17)  boat restrictions are in place for the Columbia River, river mile 126-146 for all non commercial boats. 

Fishing Report
Sam Sickles (Steelhead Outfitters) reports in. The Deschutes is smokey but the river is cold and clearer than I've seen it in a long long time. The last jet boat opening (ten days). We had no action on three of those days, on the other days we put 17 fish on the reel and landed 10.

Sam has openings next week with single night fishing/camping opportunities Monday and Tuesday. 

Todd Harris of Harris Anglers had a great week with clients last week. The smoke was very bad yesterday and will most likely be bad today and tomorrow.

August Klickitat on a floating line before the Eagle Creek Fire.
That river has been sub-par lately with clarity and changes from poor to okay frequently. Fish are there though and can still see your fly.

Cody (Gorge Fly Shop) will be heading out later today for some local water.
Eagle Creek and Indian Creek as of Tuesday (9/5/17) - photo credit UA S Copilot
Gorge Fly Shop Shipping
As of right now shipping has not been interrupted. We would ask that customers plan ahead though. The store remains open and we are monitoring air quality and conditions.

I-84 Mile Post 62 - 17 Closed as of 10:35AM 9/7/17

Flows:  The USGS sites give us real-time flows, while the NOAA site shows us predictions based on weather patterns.  Both are invaluable tools.

Hood River:



Deschutes near Madras:

Deschutes at the mouth:

Columbia River
Bonneville Dam Water Temps
Columbia @ Hood River (The mouth of the Hood backs up at 75 feet)

As always, we are happy to talk fishing anytime.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, and tactics, or if you just want some encouragement to get out of the office (but watch the air quality in the Gorge).  541.386.6977

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Aug 31, 2017

Destination Fly - Umpqua Basecamp

Umpqua Basecamp, Oregon
Dillon Renton is not your average steelhead guide. At 25 years of age, he is younger than many but when you factor in that he caught his first steelhead on a fly at age eight and began professionally guiding at 16, it doesn’t take long to figure out that he has had more practical experience than many guides twice his age.

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