PART 1: TACKLE AND GEAR INFO
Rods... Copper Bay Lodge has rods and reels available for your use during the week. Although we recommend bringing your own equipment that you are familiar with, we have excellent lender gear for everyone who would like to use it.
We access small to medium sized rivers with short runs ideal for the switch rod angler. The majority of our anglers use switch rods for their ease in presenting flies in a variety of situations. These rods are an excellent choice for newbies and veterans alike.
The most popular spey rods are 7 and 8 weights between 11 and 12 feet long. The ideal spey rod is a matter of personal preference but we find 8 weights around 11 feet to be extremely popular on the small creeks and regular spey rods on the larger. If you are having trouble deciding which rods are the most suitable for you, we would be more than happy to give you some expert advice!
There are opportunities for single hand casters and in areas they can be a highly effective tool. Rods from 9-10 feet and in 8 or 9 weights are well suited here.
Brands of rods we fish and recommend are brands like Sage, Scott, Beulah, Berkheimer and Winston.
Reels... This is an important aspect of every angling trip and often overlooked by many anglers. A high capacity reel with a reliable drag is a big bonus for trying to tackle the biggest steelhead in the world. Cork, sealed bearing or even click and pawl are all popular drags and the major brands are all acceptable. It is important to make sure you have ample backing incase you hook the trophy of a lifetime. Popular reel manufacturers include Bauer, Nautilus, Sage, Hatch, Abel, Hardy, Lamson, Sarcione and Farlex if you’re feeling adventurous!
Skagit Line... Skagit style lines are very short, heavy heads, that were developed in the Pacific North West by a hard core group of anglers that were looking for a way to cast sinking tip and large weighted flies long distances, with a very short compact casting stroke. Your buddy that says Skagit lines are too easy doesn’t realize that’s the point.
These lines have become very popular with North West due to the fact that they are easy for both the expert and novice to cast, not to mention extremely useful in situations where room for a back cast is limited. These lines also work very well for people who prefer to fish shorter rods.
Skagit heads are typically attached to a separate running line on the back end and require a weighed tip off the front.
OPST Commando - These skagit lines are like semi trucks capable of delivering heavy loads, to small confined spaces. We prefer these lines over anything else, although the scout and other ultra short lines can work.
Leaders... Maxima, maxima, maxima! We recommend no less than 15 lbs test leader material and a chunk of 30 lbs butt section is always recommended.
Going lighter you’ll land most of them… just not the big ones!
Wading Gear... Chest high breathable waders are recommended. Simms and Patagonia both have excellent products. Heavy duty felt boots are recommended or vibram with studs. Felt stick the best but are terrible when it snows. Most guests choose the vibram studded boot. Patagonia tractor boots are not recommended as they fail in the rainforest on hikes. Make sure your waders do not leak!
Rain Gear... Your choice of garment must allow freedom of movement and be “field tested”. Gore-tex is the staple and tough to beat! We recommend 2 rain jackets for the trip. Many days are what we consider a 2 jacket day, either doubling up or switching at lunch.
Under Wader Wear... The “layering” system works best. With today’s quality pile, adding or deleting clothing layers can obtain ideal body temperature and comfort. We would be pleased to offer clothing advice, but dress warm. Conditions are near freezing and the water temps are very cold. This is winter steelheading and the main reason more people don't do it is the cold temps.
Flies... A large assortment of wet flies work exceptionally well for most winter steelhead applications.
- wet flies... The classic collection of steelhead wet flies shows the full spectrum of colors commonly used in steelhead flies. Some are dark and somber. Others are vibrant and bright. For winter steelhead most people prefer the bright colours as the fresh fish can key in on them.
A variety of colours and sizes is important because of the diversity of water conditions. Even the same river can display different moods and may go from low and clear to high and muddy in a matter of hours. Flies that would spook fish in one condition may be barely visible in another. It pays to carry a variety of patterns and be prepared for whatever nature and her fish can throw at you. Steelhead remain unpredictable.
- spey Flies... This pattern originated on the river Spey in Scotland using heron feather. Purists and traditionalists love casting these beautifully tied flies. They are tied with long hackle that flows well beyond the bend of the hook and they all have slim bodies. These large flies pulsate in the river current enticing strikes from aggressive steelhead.
- tube Flies... Often water conditions can change drastically in a matter of hours. Tube Flies allow steelhead fishermen versatility when it comes to meeting these conditions. By changing the type of tube they use allows more control over the depth and action of the fly. They also have the advantage of having a larger fly with a smaller hook, exactly what is called for to drag out large steelhead.
We have a wide variety of flies for use at the lodge - medium dress wet flies, sparse to medium dress spey flies and medium dress tube flies catch the balance of our client’s steelhead. We would be pleased to recommend patterns to purchase too! We also now have flies for sale on www.epicwatersangling.com
...okay a joke... whats pink and cerise and shines all over??? Every good winter steelhead fly!