Rio InTouch Xtreme Indicator Line: Product Review

rio intouch xtreme indicator
The InTouch Xtreme Indicator fly line from Rio is our go to specialty line when we know chucking a bobber is going to be the plan for the day. This line definitely has applications in its smaller sizes for trout both with and without an indicator. You can just use the hi-vis tip with lighter nymphs and forego the bulky indicator all together. For us though, this is a Steelhead line. I like to use the InTouch Xtreme Indicator line on my 10' 8wt Echo Ion rod. This rod, along with an Allen Kraken reel in size 3, is my workhorse salmon and steelhead rig. And when indicators are on the menu, I make sure to change over to this line. Here is the description from Rio's website:
    The InTouch Xtreme Indicator line has been designed to be a very effective tool for anglers that fish nymphs and indicators out of a boat. The short head has a powerful front taper that casts indicator rigs with ease, and loads up with a single cast. Built with RIO’s ultra-low stretch ConnectCore Technology, t...
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Wulff Ambush Fly Line Product Review

wulff ambush line
From throwing big flies, to great roll casting and single hand spey casting, the Wulff Ambush line delivers. We use this line on multiple setups. The Wulff Ambush line excels on your streamer setup throwing large weighted flies effortlessly. Or, line up a couple weights and use it on your switch rod, or single hander as a great skagit style shooting head. Product description from Royal Wulff
A recent addition to the Triangle Taper family, floating Ambush lines are our most successful introduction. A West Coast influenced design for single-hand casting, single Spey, Skagit, scandi, switch, and double Spey. Now in heavier weights to 600 grains. Originally designed for roll casting in close quarters, the short 20’-29’ heads are ideal for quick-loading. With J3 coating and welded loop. 195-600 grains.

Wulff Ambush Line - On the water:

The Wulff Ambush line is a very versatile streamer line. I have it rigged up on a 9' 5wt Loop Cross S1, as well as a 10' 8wt Echo Ion. Th...
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Rio Trout LT Fly Line Review

rio trout lt
The Rio Trout LT weight forward fly line is our go to dry fly line. We love it on fly rods up to 5wt, or in any situation where fish are spooky and you need a delicate presentation. If you have a rod that is dedicated to dry fly fishing then we don't think you need to look much further than the Rio Trout LT. This line over hand and roll casts dry flies very well. We even do some dry dropper fishing and some light nymphing on this line when the situation calls for it. If you are thinking you will be doing a large amount of double fly or indicator fishing then we would recommend jumping up to the InTouch Rio Gold fly line, or if you are doing a lot of streamer fishing, the InTouch Rio Grand line. The Grand line is designed for fast action rods to throw larger streamers. Here is the description from Rio's website for the Trout LT:
      The Rio Trout LT (Light Touch) line features a long, fine front taper for the lightest of presentations. This extra supple line is built with weight di...
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Sixgill Trireme Spinning Reel Review

sixgills trireme
Let me start out by saying, if you haven't heard of Sixgill Fishing I recommend you check them out. They are the same people that make Allen Fly Fishing rods and reels as well as Exterus Brand clothing. Much like these other product lines, the Sixgill offerings are also an instant favorite of mine. Sixgill Fishing Company makes a full spectrum of bait casting and spinning rods and reels, but my first item is a Trireme in size 2000. This is their cheapest reel, and a real bargain at $29.95. This is easily the best reel under $50 I have used. They also make a 1000 and 3000 in this series. The 1000 would be a great trout or panfish rod. The 2000 is perfect for bass and pike, and the 3000 would cover most other fresh water species. Here is the brief description from Sixgill Fishing Products website
Sleek but rugged, the Trireme Series carries the same quality construction and reliability as our higher end models in an affordable package.  Casting and retrieving are smooth and effor...
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Charlie’s First Fishing Trip

Our second consecutive 70+ degree day made for some great bass fishing. My son Charlie came out on the water with me for the first time making it a special day for me. I look forward to plenty of trips with him, and hope he enjoys the sport as much as I do. For this trip I left the fly rods at home thinking it would be easier to manage controlling the boat and posing for pictures with the baby if I wasn't flinging a huge bass streamer around. It gave me a chance to try out my new Sixgills Fishing spinning reel. If you haven't heard of Sixgills Fishing I recommend you check them out. They are the same people that make Allen Fly Fishing rods and reels as well as Exterus Brand clothing. This product line is also an instant favorite of mine. They make a full spectrum of baitcasting and spinning rods and reels, but my first item is a Trireme in size 2000. This is their cheapest reel, and a real bargain at $29.95. This is easily the best reel under $50 I have used. They also make a 100...
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Pere Marquette: Any Fish Will Do

pere marquette brown trout
The scent of skunk is finally gone! After a couple of outings without even a take, I was finally able to put a couple fish in the net on the Pere Marquette River. A nice brown trout started my day within my first few casts. That had me feeling really good about making the 3 hour drive, but things got a lot tougher after that, and a small rainbow was all I could manage the rest of the day. The sun was out in force all day, I don't think I saw a single cloud in 8 hours on the water. This combined with average water flow and crystal clear water made the paddling worth the trip even without the fish. However, the weather, water conditions, and large number of people on the Pere Marquette made for tough steelhead conditions. I talked to about 10-12 boats worth of people (including some pro's) and all but one or two were shut out. [gallery type="slideshow" ids="323,318,322,321,320,319"]


Location: Pere Marquette River...

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Mystic Switch Rod Review: M-Series 8wt

mystic switch rod 8wt

Mystic Switch Rod - Initial Impressions:

Let me start out by saying that the Mystic Switch Rod is my first two handed style rod. So consider this review as being from the eyes of a spey casting novice. I think that this is still useful though, because there are  a lot of people here in Michigan that may be in the same boat as I was while contemplating this purchase. I was enamored at all the Youtube videos of Pacific Northwest fisherman throwing large sink tips and weighted flies and making it look easy. Whether it be for Kings, Steelhead, or even Smallmouth bass, we need to throw the same heavily weighted patterns if we want to catch more fish. And lets face it, double hauling a large jointed streamer is fun for while, but gets old pretty quickly. The other key point that makes spey (or in my case skagit) casting attractive is that our local waters, although mostly smaller than the coastal rivers out west, largely share a similar feature, and that is lack of room for back cas...
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Rio GripShooter Running Line Review

rio gripshooter running line
I wanted to write up a quick review on the Rio GripShooter running line that I am currently using on my Mystic Switch Rod with OPST Commando Skagit Head. First, here is the description from Rio's website:

A hard nylon shooting line with a unique handling section – the best choice for distance

      RIO’s new GripShooter is based on the very popular SlickShooter, but has a thick, coated handling section that makes it very easy to grip in cold conditions. The thin nylon shooting line gives casters maximum distance, is light enough to hold off the water at range and allows anglers great control of their head and fly far out in the swing. A neat 8” welded loop at the front end allows for fast and efficient head changes.
  • Thick, highly visible handling section for grip, durability and visibility
I am very familiar with the core of this line, the Rio SlickShooter. We use it for all of our chuck-n-duck setups as our main line. This is super slick stuff, and it kind of feels...
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Product Review: OPST Commando Head

OPST Commando Head
We recently purchased a Mystic 8wt switch rod from Au Sable Angler at the Midwest Fly Fishing Expo. Our review of that product will be available shortly, but we decided to pair the rod with the OPST Commando head. Those in the spey world out west will likely be familiar with this company, they have been at the forefront of the skagit revolution since its inception. But here in Michigan we are just catching on to the advantages of two handed rods, and more specifically, skagit style casting. Although our typical salmon and steelhead rivers are smaller than the ones in the Pacific Northwest, we share similar difficulties with limited back casting creating tight quarters. Because of this most people are going with larger brand names for their skagit head needs. Now, I love Rio lines, and Airflo has developed into a leader in this category, but I was pleased to find that the Muskegon River Fly Shop stocked OPST heads when I stopped in before my first trip out with my new switch rod. ...
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Product Review: Loop Cross S1 5wt Rod

Loop Cross S1
The Loop Cross S1 in 5wt is my workhorse setup. I have it paired with an Allen Kraken II reel, which I have reviewed separately here. I use this rod in a variety of ways. I throw poppers and streamers in warm water, and everything from dry flies to streamers and indicators for trout. Here is the description from
The new LOOP Cross S1 fly rod series is the single most important revolution to occur in fly fishing since we introduced the large arbor reel over 20 years ago. It’s that big. If the large arbor provided revolutionary function that made the fly reel exponentially better, you won’t believe the difference Cross S1 construction makes with fly rods. We could write an entire book on the adventure that has led to the Cross S1 series of fly rods. We could look up and write down all the available superlatives that are yet unused by other manufacturers (not many left nowadays), but the only way to truly describe what we mean is to hand one to you and let yo...
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