Interview with Lee Spencer, Covid & The Outdoorsman, and Tip for Line Twist

Interview: Lee Spencer

I almost passed this up and am so glad I gave it a second glance. MidCurrent's Marshall Cutchin brings us a fascinating interview with Lee Spencer, who has spent more than 14 years with his dog Sis, camped next to a pool on the North Umpqua's Steamboat Creek to observe and document the behavior of the wild steelhead, and other species, both animal and plant, that visit or inhabit this locale.

lee 2 640You may or may not have a love affair with steelhead, but listening to Lee talk about what he has observed is amazing. Marshall and Lee are easy to listen to, his observations give us lots to think about and he has to be a really interesting guy. Thank you MidCurrent, Marshall, and Lee.



A Day in the Life of an Outdoorsman During COVID-19

fall frontiersI came across this short story written by Tom Gilliland in the May issue of the Frontiers's Destination Newsletter. Tom wrote it in early spring, with expectations of Covid ending soon. It is now October and the future is still uncertain. Remember last spring? Many of us thought we'd be “out the other side” by now. I know we did. Tom, nice job, but we may need a sequel. Hope you got ahead of the beavers!



Tip for Line Twist

Our friend, Russ Miller, came for a visit a few years ago and showed us a quick and easy way to eliminate line twist. If this has ever happened to you, the tip in this short 2-minute video will come in handy.




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Andras Outfitters, East Africa Safari, & Joan at 94

Happy October!!leaves

Andras Outfitters in Almeda Fire

Last week it was Frank & Jeanne Moore, this week we have word from our friends, Jim & Rachel andrasAndras, andrasoutfitters.com, Talent, OR, who narrowly escaped the wildfires while 40% of the homes in their school district were lost. Families are taking shelter in the local elementary school and no one knows how long it will be before these families are in homes again.

Jim and Rachel are directly involved in helping local fishing guides replace gear and raise funds for their neighbors and community. If you know these folks, you know they are salt of the earth good people and their community needs help. You can be sure that every dollar donated will go directly to their community and we are asking you to please consider sending a donation.

You can donate online through https://www.phoenix.k12.or.us/site/Default.aspx?PageID=2631 or mail checks to address shown.

Here's an email from Jim & Rachel with more info. Thank you in advance for any help you can give.

Dear Friends and Family,
Our hearts are broken yet we physically feel our hearts growing bigger. Growing as better humans and a stronger community. I can feel it.
I’ll start by sharing we are OK. Our house is standing unharmed. James and Brechin are doing well. We are the lucky ones. We are so incredibly grateful for all the texts, calls, emails, and love sent our way these last few weeks. Thank you! We feel incredibility loved.
On Tuesday September 8th, over 2500 homes were lost in the Almeda Fire. It was terrifying! I have nothing but respect and gratitude for the BRAVE Police offices, Fire Fighters, Pilots, and others who saved so many lives.
Eighty percent of our Phoenix/Talent School District where James and Brechin attend evacuated and forty percent of their homes were lost. With an already shortage of affordable housing, this makes our challenges ahead even harder. Yet our community is worth rebuilding. Leaders are currently trying to bring back all the families to our towns so we can support them. Yesterday they opened up Phoenix Elementary as a shelter for families. They need familiar, safety, and a space to Be.
Many of you have asked how you can help. As we do our part in rebuilding hope in our community here are some opportunities for you to participate. Thank you in advance.

1. Phoenix Talent School District has a Relief Fund for families.

2. A few local fly fishers lost their homes and I would love to help them get back on the water for some peace and joy. I can either collect $ (Venmo below) to shop for them or the actual items to take to them. If you have gear to give please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we don’t end up with duplicates. Please mail to Rachel Andras 365 Schoolhouse Road Talent OR 97540
· Women’s Waders Size Medium
· Women’s Wading Boots women’s size 11
· Women’s Rain jacket Medium
· She is mostly a trout angler so whatever else you want to give her
· XL Mens Waders, Rainjacket, Fleece jackets, (I don’t have his shoes size but can get it).
· A longtime angler, guide, fly tying instructor lost all his rods, reels, and gear.

3. I am collecting and purchasing gift cards at local restaurants, groceries, and cooking healthy meals for local families in need. If you would like to contribute to this fund please Venmo us at Jim & Rachel Andras This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

4. To help the Andras Family directly please SHARE THIS EMAIL and encourage your friends and family to Follow us on Instagram @flyfishing4health and @andrasoutfitters and Facebook Rachel Connery Andras. Thank you!

We welcome any connections to help our local communities and families. This is a long road ahead so if you or your company would like to put together some ideas please let me know.

Much love and good health,
Jim and Rachel Andras

East Africa Safari

July 25-August 8, 2021

We're very excited about returning to Kenya and Tanzania in 2021. After many years of hosting Africa UWC 5232safaris we have hand-picked what we feel are the best lodges for viewing all of the amazing animals of Africa, for the best chance of seeing the annual migration, and the camps and lodges that best deliver a unique Africa experience, including everything from a Hemingway-style tent camp (think Out of Africa with amenities) to the architecturally spectacular Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, not to mention others.

Look carefully at the itinerary and don't miss the gallery at the end of the link. It truly is a trip of a lifetime and we would love to share it with you.



Joan at 94

EfaAcelXgAEatajWonder what Joan Wulff is doing these days? Well, she recently appeared on CBS This Morning which talks about the birthplace of American fly fishing, the movie, Peter Kaminsky, and the Queen of American Fly Fishing, Joan Wulff. Way to go, Joan!! We love you.




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Moore's Lose Home to Fire, Aiden's First Trout, & Our Boys

 Frank & Jeanne Moore Lose Home to Fire

We've heard these two wonderful people mentioned in steelhead circles for years, but have never met them. It makes us sad to hear that Frank, age 97, and Jeanne, not far behind, have lost their lovely home to the wildfires in Oregon.

Theirs is an amazing story about life from the shores of Normandy to the log home they built themselves on the North Umpqua.  These two have led a simple, wonderful, life. Thank you Trout Unlimited and Angling Trade News for bringing us their story. Please take a look.

Our thoughts, prayers, and best wishes are with you Frank & Jeanne.


And Then There's Aiden

From 97 to 4, here's a story about Aiden's first trout, written by his dad, Domenick Swentosky, as seen through the eyes of a 4-year old. Like 4-year olds everywhere, an afternoon fishing with dad is not just about fishing....   Aiden First Solo Brown 1 of 1

It's fun, refreshing, and cute.


And....Our Kids

While we're on the subject of kids, we'd like to brag a bit since our grandsons, Bridger & Colter, made  IMG 9808Kayak Angler's latest issue tying flies for bluegills and bass in the pond.



Kids Facebook Album

Just wanted to say thanks again to everyone who sent in photos for the album. Our Facebook ratings jumped up last week after publishing the blog and we're sure the album gets the credit. If you missed it last week, here's the link again: you don't have to be “On Facebook” to view it. Enjoy!




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Kids Fishing, Turneffe Flats in October, & Salmon River Closes

Kids Fish Album

Thank you to everyone who sent us photos of kids fishing. As you will see, it's a great bunch of happy young people.   https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=barryandcathybeck&set=a.4339908926050146

Turneffe Flats in October

turneffeEveryone is excited about Belize opening for tourists on October 1. This little country has been very pro-active with regards to Covid-19 and is now one of the safest places in the world to visit. The country has been closed for months, flats have been rested and we are very anxious to be some of the first anglers to Turneffe Flats Lodge from October 17-24, rescheduled from March.

If you need to get out of town and are anxious to wet a line, pack a bag and come with us! It could be a phenomenal week!

Details and safety information can be obtained from Frontiers, us, or from Turneffe Flats directly (look under Other Info).

Salmon River in NY Closes

salmonThe northeast is in a severe drought and this week we learned that the fly-fishing only section of the Salmon River in NY is closed due to low water conditions. Get the details.



Global Entry Fees Go Up

Global Entry is raising it's fee from $100 to $120. Along with the price increase comes two positive changes.

Read about it here.


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Travel Update, Chasing Chrome & Gold, and Rover Enthusiasts?

Travel Recap

“How was flying?” That's what our family and friends are asking us since getting home from the Bighorn River. We know that some of you are flying, some of considering it, and some aren't ready yet. Well, this was our first flight since we were called home quickly with our group from Argentina in early March and we have to say that we were pleasantly surprised.

We flew from Philadelphia on an early morning Delta flight. The first thing that we noticed was that the airport was empty, really empty. We are on this flight often enough to know that this airport is usually bustling at this time of day and honestly the only thing open was Dunkin Donuts and one of the news stands. Everything else was shuttered and dark. I think all of the flyers were at Dunkin and that was about 25 of us – for the whole terminal!

Once we got to Minneapolis, it was a bit busier but nothing like we expected even considering the pandemic. We just thought it would be busier. We wore masks all the way and I was so happy that I had a couple types because my stretchy expensive one was uncomfortable after a while because it fits snug and made the bridge of my nose sore. Then I switched to a cheap disposable mask for the second half of the trip and was fine. So, if you're flying take more than one type of mask. Barry used his Buff and was fine.

Delta is not assigning middle seats unless it is a family so it was nice to have lots of room, and we were asked not to recline (which the person in front of Barry always wants to do) so we had no one in our laps – which was very nice too. Once in our seats, we wiped everything down with our own wipes and before take off, Delta went over everything they are doing to keep us safe and we were pretty sure that the airports and planes were probably much safer and cleaner than our local grocery store!

We will not hesitate to fly again, planning next month to Turneffe Flats in Belize, and hope that it's not long before we can all travel and feel safe. Cathy & Barry

 Chasing Chrome & Gold

One of our favorite destinations is Estancia Laguna Verde, Argentina, where we are planing to be in February. This wild, beautiful, remote place is home to some of the world's largest rainbow trout and most remarkable light.

0302 JURASSIC LAKE 2019AAWe are honored that the Estancia has featured us in Chapter 1 of “Love (for Photography) in the Time of Covid”, a series that mainly aims at showing Laguna Verde's “place in the world” through creativity, technology, vision, sensitivity and, ultimately, art. We hope you enjoy the photos.


Rover Enthusiasts?

Another first for us. We have the cover and feature story in Rovers North Magazine this month. And the subject? Argentina, of course, and Estancia Tres Valles in particular. 

There are many things that we love at this very special place – the people, landscape, food, fish, and of course, the old green Defender! Take a look.  Rover Mag

Follow this link www.roversmagazine.com/current-issue, scroll to page 8, and then enlarge or zoom in to read.

Have a great week.


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Bighorn Update, Kids Fishing, & Fishing from a Drift Boat

Bighorn Wrap-Up

It has been an exciting couple of weeks here on the Bighorn. After less than par fishing the last few years, the river has bounced back and is a very different fishery this year. The flows are down, water is cold and clear and fish are big and feisty. We were told that everyone would see their backing and it was so. Hard running, strong, beautiful fish were waiting for us.

There is so much food in the river that some of the smaller fish are growing so fast that they look like crappies! It is certainly the year that the “Horn” turned around. Click here to take a look at the fish this year!

Send Us Your Kids Photos!

 2019 369AA couple weeks back we asked for photos of kids fishing, any kind of fishing. We've seen a lot of kids fishing this year because of extra family time together and want to do a Facebook album of all kids, little kids and big kids. We need your help.

We'll collect photos for another week, so please send us shots of the kids so we can include them. Send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The album will be viewable to everyone whether you're on FB or not.


Fishing From a Drift Boat

These two weeks on the Bighorn has brought up discussions on how easy it is to get lines tangled when two people are fishing from a drift boat. Here is an interesting and helpful article from Phil Monahan about this very subject. Be sure to read the comments too. Thank you Phil and MidCurrent.

Fly Casting From a Drift Boat  driftboat
By: Philip Monahan
Question: My husband and I are heading west this summer to float the Madison. We’ve only fished out of a drift boat once before, and we kept tangling lines. How can I avoid that — and the ensuing glares from the old man — on this trip?



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Kill Pebble, Sage X, & Report from the Bighorn

Kill Pebble!

We all got incredibly good news this week when President Trump called put a screeching halt on plans to pebble minemove ahead for the massive Pebble Mine project in Alaska. Some of you have been with us in the Iliamna area and other parts of the Bristol Bay drainage and know what is meant by pristine, untouched, wilderness. This is our land, our pristine wilderness, our salmon fishery (the best is in the world), and why we would even consider giving it away to a Canadian mining country for a few jobs (at the cost of many) is way beyond the wildest imaginations. Regardless of which side of the aisle you're on politically, celebration is due.

It's hard to believe that there is anyone out there who has not seen the Kill Pebble Mine decals or the headlines from the fishing and environmental community. It's been ongoing for years and up until this week, it looked didn't look good for Bristol Bay. But, when President Trump made the declaration that the Pebble Mine Company would have to show us how they can build a mine of this magnitude with a “settling pond” the size of 460 football fields and assure us that it will never, let me repeat...NEVER, leak or rupture, (really??). This land is so fragile that they might as well convince us the moon is made of green cheese!

It's not over, Pebble says they can satisfy the request. Everyone doubts that, but for now another nail has been firmly driven into their coffin.

Thank you President Trump!


Sage X

Go behind the scenes on the X rod with rod designers Peter Knox & Paul Schmierer. The story of Sage is one of constant evolution and since the X was introduced in 2017, it has remained the “game changer” not only at Sage, but in the fly fishing industry. An easy-on-the-eyes 6-1/2 minute video, beautifully done (as everything is at Sage).


Report from the Bighorn

Everything they said about the Bighorn is true. We're catching big fish and they are showing us our backing! The river is low and fishing well. Most afternoons we are casting hoppers and fishing caddis and nymphs during the rest of the day. Here are a few shots from the week so far.

bighorn8 bighorn1  bighorn2 bighorn3  bighorn4    bighorn9bighorn5  Bighorn6


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Talk about Antiques, Kids Fishing, & We're Flying Again!

Talk about Antiques!

A fishing rod with a handle shaped like a baseball bat? A Giant Haskell Minnow? Better look in the basement. Through Angling Trade News we came across this interesting article from The New York Times by Ezra Marcus.  15FISHINGGEAR haskell minnow superJumbo v2


Got really old stuff? Check out Fishbrain.


Kids Fish Album

We've mentioned in blogs earlier this summer about the number of kids who have come with parents, grandparents, uncles, and neighbors to learn how to fly fish. It's been a positive light in the darkness of Covid-19. We love looking through the photos of these kids and thought it would be fun to do a Facebook album, which will be viewable for everyone whether you're a FB user or not.

Matthew 1267For the album, we'd like to include kids fishing photos from all of you. If you will email us your favorite shots of the kids we'll start uploading them to the album. Let's say 18 years and younger and use a subject line of Kids on the email. Get them to us as soon as possible so you don't forget. We'll collect for a couple weeks and then share the album. Send to us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Let's see how many photos we can get!

We're Flying Again

On Thursday when you receive this, we will be in Montana or on our way. This is the first trip for us   Airplanesince we were sent home upon arrival in Buenos Aires in March. At first we didn't know how to act being home with so much time on our hands. Thinking it would last a few weeks, we hurried to tackle projects that never get done; we cleaned the basement and the closets. As the weather warmed I tackled flower beds and the barn. We got a dumpster and filled it.

As the weeks turned into months schools closed, businesses closed and people were sent home to work. Our grandsons practically moved in with us since our internet is better than at their house. We worked out a system for who cooks, who cleans, who does this and who does that. We gave more time to volunteer on community projects and I got Susie (who is usually at work in our office) to help me pressure wash and paint at the church and community hall. I planted a garden. We worried about our income and found consolation in the fact that we are all in this together. We didn't have to look far to find someone who had bigger problems that ours.

We watched as our trips got canceled one after the other – Argentina, Belize, Ireland, Scotland, Alaska, and began to worry about when we would fly again. Finally the calendar got around to our Montana trip which wavered a bit but never fell off the schedule. Now, it's here. Some of you have flown since the pandemic hit, we have friends who have fished in the west and we've been assured that everything is fine. For me, I can't help thinking that it's like being a dog on a 10' chain for months and then when the chain is taken away, he still only goes to end of the 10 feet. He's been programed. Being at home for so long has made me a little nervous about going again. I'm comfortable in my little bubble at home and now I am stepping out of it. It's weird.

1 BIGHORN 2017 One thing that is helping though are the fishing reports coming out of the Bighorn. This is an incredible year on the river with lots of big fish taken on hoppers, PMD, and caddis. Mike Craig tells us that it's the river he remembers from 40+ years ago. He says that we will see our backing on this trip. Guaranteed. The river is hot and we're excited to be there with groups for two weeks. I've still got some packing to do, so I'll check back in next week and let you know how it's going.



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Bighorn Report, RIO Elite, & Lost Fishing Friends

Bighorn Report

Caddis on Bighorn 2000This is what we've been waiting for from the Bighorn...and just in time for our trips coming up next week. Thank you to the Bighorn Angler for putting it out there.


Summer is in full swing on the Bighorn and we will just get to the point…We are experiencing the best fishing we’ve seen since 2016 and the Summer is just beginning! It’s hard to imagine how it could get much better, but it will, and should last all the way through September. The hopper fishing has been very solid as of late. Lots of hoppers on the water and fish blowing up on them for the second year in a row….oh, and they are eating flies too…. It’s good to see so many happy clients (and guides) as hopper fishing is our favorite kind of fishing on the Bighorn. Did we mention the fish are BIG?


PMD's AND CADDIS ARE HERE!  Screen Shot 2020 08 12 at 2.51.42 PM

For those of you who like to catch fish, it’s about as good as it gets right now, and only getting better. PMD's have made their appearance the nymph fishing remains outstanding. Our Bighorn fish are stuffed full of Sowbugs, PMD’s and Caddis. August will be the month to be here!

Flows have been low so far this summer hanging out around 2500 cfs, and should stay at that level for the remainder of the Summer. This has translated into colder water temps as the water has been coming from the cold lake bottom. This is how it should be. The name of the game for a healthy tailwater fishery is a cold, consistent flow. Summer of 2020 will be a monster! The water temps continue to rise and have the fish on the move. Our Bighorn PMD's and Caddis are just about in full swing. The At this rate, we're expecting to be fishing dries well into the Fall, but the next few weeks should be prime time! Pack up your mask, rubber gloves, and hand sanitizer and get out here!


And the best part? We still have a room or two on each week so if you can drop everything and come on out, we suggest you do it. There are no tricos yet, but are expected any day. We don't always get a year like this one and it sounds mighty good. Come for the week or a few days, but come!
Check it out and call us today.

RIO Elite – Game Changers

rioeliteRIO lines have been the go-to line for anglers for many years and they just got better with the new “Elite” series featuring RIO's “Slick Cast” coating on all the RIO Gold, Grand, Perception & Technical Trout fly lines. Hear it from the lab guys at RIO & Kirk Deeter at Angling Trade News who has been testing these new lines. The thinking never stops at RIO!


Lost Fishing Friends

Just a couple paragraphs from Domenick Swentosky on fishing friends. They come and go and can leave an emptiness behind. It's nice to sink the mind in fishing memories for a minute or two in this crazy world of today.


Troutbitten Josh darling Friends599

Thanks for checking in with us this week. We hope you have a good week ahead and we'll see you next week. Fall fishing is just around the corner. Where did summer go?




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Summer Tactics, RIO Give-Away, & Great American Outdoors Act

Summer Tactics

Our head guide, Jim Kukorlo, talks to us about summer tactics for trout fishing. These are things that will help all of us become better fishermen. Let us know what you think.

Summer Time Dry Fly Tactics

Summer fly fishing is in full swing here in Pennsylvania and it's one of my favorite times of year to fly jimfish. People who know me well know that I love my nymph fishing and very seldom will they find me fishing a dry fly without rising fish or bugs on the water. Mid and late summer is the time I change tactics and do a lot of early morning dry fly fishing with crackle backs, beetles and hopper patterns. 

Everything Changes
Fly Rod – My favorite is the 9ft. 4 wt. Sage X. In still quiet pools I will sometimes use a 3wt line on my 4wt rod for a softer presentation.

Leaders & Fly Line – I use RIO 9ft 4x leader and add a 4 foot piece of 4x tippet when fishing foam hopper patterns. A lighter tippet will spin from the weight and stiffness of the hopper. Add a 2 foot section of 5x tippet when fishing crackle backs or stimulators flies. Ants, beetles and smaller flies use 6 or 7x tippet. I like to keep my leader around 14 to 16 feet long. The longer leader with help keep the trout from seeing my fly line.
RIO Elite Gold and Perception fly lines are camo green or moss green color and the only fly lines I use.

Clothing – Using natural colors that will blend into the back ground is very important when fishing in summer conditions. Outdoor clothing companies are now making camo colored hats and shirts. I have a UV long sleeve camo hoody that protects me from the sun and of course my Sage camo hat.

Stealth – Camo and natural color clothing helps to conceal you from the fish. But stealth is of the upmost importance. Moving slowly, keeping a low profile and staying out of the water as much as possible is essential to fooling wary trout.

DSC 0031Casting – Long casts are usually the name of the game this time of year. Try not to false cast much and when you do false cast don't cast over the fish. If you haven't cast from a kneeling position it would be a good idea to practice before your next fishing trip.

At some point as summer goes into August the water level can become too low and water temperature can rise where fishing would be dangerous to the trout. Carrying a thermometer and checking the water temperature is a very good idea. As a rule of thumb I don't fish once the water temperature hits near 70 degrees. Be careful releasing fish, keep them wet, and be sure they can swim out of your hand as you are releasing them.

Summer time fly fishing can offer some great dry fly fishing and I enjoy the challenge that it has to offer. Hopefully some of these tips will help you have a more enjoyable time on the water and catch a few wary trout.

 RIO's Big Give-Away

RIO30Thinking of time flying by, RIO is celebrating their 30th anniversary. Is that possible? In those 30 years, RIO has gone from a small fly line company selling fishing journals and hand-tied leaders to the world's most popular fly line, leader and tippet brand.  RIO Giveaway

To read more and to enter a chance to win a fantastic selection of RIO lines, reels, and carrying case, check out the details. 


Great American Outdoors Act

This Land is Your Land. This win is your win.

Doesn't matter which side of the aisle you're on, the passage of this bill is huge. “Conservation victories do not come any bigger than this,” said Ben Bulis, President and CEO of AFFTA. “Nearly every county in every state has benefitted in some way from LWCF funds,” Chris Wood, President and CEO of Trout Unlimited, and the list goes on. Here's 6 short paragraphs on what this bill does for everyone of us. Please take a minute to read and then thank you local congressman for listening, taking action, and making sure this landmark legislation reaches the president's desk.




Ryan and Jake Solomon came for a fly fishing lesson this week with their dad. They are among a group of many young people whom we've had the pleasure of helping get started in fly fishing this year. Getting young people started in fly fishing is one good thing that has happened as a result of the pandemic.

 DSC 0019



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