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Mr. Bob Clay

May 30th, 2016 - steffen


Riverwatch Rods

One of the coolest and most respectful guys in the Salmon and Steelhead community – The environmentalist, rod builder and former Steelhead Fishing guide Mr. Bob Clay.

Bob have made a living handcrafting bamboo fly rods from his home in the beautiful Kispiox Valley. Bob has been steelhead fishing the Kispiox River, a tributary of the Skeena River, for more than 40 years.

Bob´s famous rods are crafted on the banks of the Kispiox River (tributary to Skeena river), one of the worlds premier steelhead streams in BC. Riverwatch bamboo fly rods are a continuation of the tradition of the great rod builders of yesteryear. Bob Clay use some of their time tested methods but also mix brand new procedures to build the finest fishing and casting rods available on the market.

There are lots of rods out there, so what makes a Riverwatch rod something you’d like to own? It has to do mostly in the way it casts and feels, however it also has to do with the way it looks. A rod reflects the ideas of the builder. Is he a good fisherman? And maybe more importantly, is he a good caster and a good judge of how the rod performs?  Can he tell by casting and experience how to adjust the taper and construction to achieve the results he desires?

Bob Clay try to build bamboo rods that are light, sensitive and responsive. “I would like to think these rods build on the tradition of the rod builders of the past. And that with modern techniques, equipment and materials that we have now are forwarding the quest.”

Watch Andrew Hardingham´s outstanding small film about Bob, his life and his family.

Please Note: Riverwatch Rods are designed and hand crafted by Bob Clay and are only available through him – Visit Bob´s web page –

L1050050 L1040962

Hardy Click and Pawl Reels

May 25th, 2016 - steffen


Let me start off by saying I’m by far not the biggest expert on Hardy click and pawl reels but I will share with you what I believe to be true. I’m sure there are probably several factual errors but I’m confident that given the knowledge base of readers here, they will be identified and corrected.
First off, old Hardy reels are nowhere near the fanciest or most intricately made reels out there. What they lack in engineering though, they more than make up for in both personality and functionality.

I know less about the Marquis Salmons than the Bougle or Perfect so will gloss over these in hopes others can fillin the blanks. It is my understanding that they came out in the late 50s or early 60’s as more of a base level reel. There were three sizes offered: the Salmon I, Salmon II and Salmon III. The III being the largest of the lot and capable of holding the largest of the long bellied lines. They are virtually bomb-proof and like the others, are loud. Years ago, I toyed with buying one but they never appealed to my eye. Of the three though they are closest to what we think of a “normal” fly reel. The handle is on the spool and they have a palming rim. They were discontinued in the mid-90s I believe but are readily available on auctions and elsewhere for between $200-350. (more…)

Count down for our Chinook weeks in British Columbia

May 23rd, 2016 - steffen


Our Voodoo man and very good friend Mr. Jeff Bright from San Francisco shares some of his darkest Chinook secrets with you

Tackle Details:

The consensus among guides and experienced Chinook fly fishers is that rods should be short and stout, and reels should be able to stop a speeding truck. In Chinook fly fishing, more so than in any other fresh water fly fishing, your reel’s braking capability can play a huge role in whether or not you ever see the fish you’ve hooked. If it sticks or doesn’t react precisely to on-the-fly adjustments, don’t use it.

A guide endorsed rig might consist of a 13-foot double-handed rod for a 9- or 10-weight line, a saltwater reel capable of holding over 200 yards of 30-pound backing, 100 feet of 30-pound-test running line, a 650- to 750-grain Skagit head, and a sinking tip made of 10 to 20 feet of T-14, T-17, or T-20, if you really want to get down and dirty. RIO’s Heavy MOW Tips use the same tungsten “T” designation but come in a neatly packaged set of tips with different lengths of sinking line and a rear floating portion you can loop directly to your Skagit line. The floating-to-floating connection reduces the hinging effect you can get while casting, and as a result, MOW Tips have become incredibly popular with Chinook anglers.

To connect the fly, use a short section of 20- or 25-pound nylon monofilament. Long leaders allow your fly to ride up, short leaders keep your fly right in the face of prospective customers.

On the business end of the leader, specific fly pattern is generally not critical. But design is. Large silhouette, ample flash and movement, and varying degrees of buoyancy are key elements in the construction of an effective Chinook fly. Intruders, rabbit leeches, and wrapped marabou on tubes or shanks with #1 to 1/0 trailing hooks are the most common. Blue and chartreuse is a killer combination, and standard steelhead colors such as pink, orange, red, purple, black, and blue will all work at one time or another. (more…)

Leviathan Chinook – The Ultimate Award

May 12th, 2016 - steffen


Definitely not for the faint hearted but The Spey angler´s ultimate awards – Six rods available during the prime Chinook weeks

Join us chasing the largest and nastiest Chinook in the world. Skeena main stem and select tributaries in a FULL 6 day package in the company of some of the best and most hardcore Canadian Steelhead and Chinook guides available.

Notice: The Canadian Dollar exchange rate remains very favourable right now

Skeena: Super-sized Steelhead and world record Chinook

Many people believe that the Skeena watershed is easily accessible with easy-going fishing, but that is not true if you really want to get to the fish. Many of the best rivers and spots are more or less impossible to access without a guide and special license, and the only way to get there is by powerful jet boats and local knowledge. Some of the most attractive rivers are licensed with limited access for only a small number of people. Salmon Junkies has access to all classified water plus well-selected numbers of coastal rivers. Skeena has become quite a popular destination for trophy Steelhead and Chinook, even more so after we launched our short movies, but to fish it requires extremely talented guides who can maneuver and pick the right spots for any given time or situation. We dare to say that we have the best team of Steelhead and Chinook guides and they are willing to share their deepest secrets by leading you to the fish.

There is a fine line between success and failure when fishing the Skeena. That is exactly why we believe that Salmon Junkies has tailored the best Steelhead and Chinook program available on the Planet.

The biggest and meanest Chinook in the world.

We are very excited to announce that six rods are available for the guy seeking the ultimate challenge – fishing for big fresh Chinook

  • June 18 to June 25                     4 spaces available (6 Days / 7 nights)
  • July 25 to July 2                          2 spaces available (6 Days / 7 nights)

We will target the Kitimat, Copper, Kalum and Skeena rivers for Chinook averaging 20 to 50 pounds and ranging up to 80 pounds, and beyond. (The Skeena’s biggest have been known to reach 100 pounds!) The Kitimat is a small to mid-sized river with cobble and gravel pools well suited to swinging flies. The Copper River is a classic, mid-sized fly fishing stream with miles of great swinging water and boulder and cobble runs. The Copper hosts a prolific run of Chinooks. The Kalum is a mid-sized river that holds fish tight to its seams and offers a chance at truly large Chinook.

The broad and powerful lower Skeena is the main route for Chinook salmon heading for the tributaries far upstream. Please make sure you bring extra and fresh backing on your reel!

What to expect? Chinook.

Why not watch our small movie and judge for yourself?

Or our latest film “Sealiced”

Warning: Fly fishing for Chinooks is a full on activity and not for the faint hearted, but for the dedicated Spey angler that are after the juiciest kicks in fresh water there is not much else to top it.

For more info please contact Steffen Juhl –

The best stick to put the wood to a hot Salmon or Steelhead

May 9th, 2016 - steffen

chinook 40

As two-handed casters, we search for that one rod that can do it all. A rod that can chuck heavy sink-tips and turn over big juicy flies in the early season, and still feel groovy and easy going with a floating line and a small fly. A rod that can handle a big hot chrome fish, but will still feel fun with a 7 pound summer Steelhead. A rod that won’t punish you when your casting sucks (everyone’s casting sucks from time to time), but throws into the horizon when you’re on. Does this rod exist? NO

Longer rods in the 14 foot + range make it easier to make longer casts with heavy tips – On the other hand, shorter rods are much better for fighting big fish and fighting a bright 20 pound salmon or Steelhead on a 15 foot rod is no fun for anyone.

If you had to choose just one “do everything” Spey rod, it would more than likely be a eight weight. With that said, there are a few things to consider when purchasing your next Spey rod.

To begin with, how big are the fish you intent to chase? A eight weight Spey rod will easily handle big chrome salmon in the 10 to 20 pound range. Matched with the proper line, a eight can handle anything from floating lines to heavy sink-tips. However, if you plan on fishing windy rivers with large fish, you can easily get under-gunned with a eight weight. On some rivers, hooking a 15 to 20 pound fish is an everyday reality. You’d be better off using nine to ten weight rod. Furthermore, if your faced with fishing conditions that require throwing really heavy sink-tips and big tube-flies, an nine to ten makes it easier. The length of a rod equates to casting distance. Simply put, the longer the rod, the longer the cast. The shorter the rod, the more finesse it tight casting conditions.

A good all around length is 12′6 to 13’6. This kind of rod will allow the caster to reach a lot of water without fatigue over a long day of fishing.

However, there are times where a longer or shorter rod comes in handy. For example, if you primarily fish large rivers that require really long casts, a fourteen rod can be the right tool.

Chinook 132

Action can be best described by how deep the rod flexes during a cast. A slow action rod bends well into the butt section during the casting stroke. This allows the caster to really feel the rod load. A slower action stick is great for casting with limited back casting space because the rod loads with minimal D-loop or back cast speed. The disadvantage is you cant generate as fast of line speed as a quicker action rod. Furthermore, it is more difficult to lift heavy sink-tips and large flies out of the water. With that said, some hard core Spey casting gurus, loves full flexing rods. You just need to take your time with slower action two-handers.

A medium action rod will suite most average casters the best. The caster can still feel the rod load with a medium action, while faster line speeds can be obtained. Medium action rods will handle a wide range of casting strokes and line types.

Fast action rods are for the angler that demands high line speed from their weapon. While most folks will struggle with a fast rod, expert casters can command the water with one. That isn’t to say that all experts use fast rods. More times than not, most advanced casters still lean towards a medium to medium fast sticks.

Obviously, action preference is a personal choice. There is no right or wrong, only what fits your casting stroke and fishing demands the best.

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