ECHO OHS fly rod: two-hand casting excellence in the tightest quarters

Echo OHS Fly Rod a

Just a quick notice that I’ve written a review of this very fine new OHS fly rod by ECHO for the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog—after fishing this rod a full ten days this winter season. Tim Rajeff coached me into the proper wt. Airflo Scout head and tip to load the rod properly for two-hand casting, and I love fishing this rod in everywhere from close quarters to wide open runs.

Rather than a full repeat of the review, I’ll include a link to the OFFB here, and publish both posts simultaneously . I realize that my reviews make almost no mention about the OHS rod’s cosmetics and hardware. These rods are built very much like the Echo 3 Switch Rods with emerald green shaft and anodized aluminum reel seats. The rod includes the option for shorter and  longer butt handles—I fish the OHS exclusively with the longer handle (it screws into the reel seat.

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Here are a few OHS rod and line matches if you will strictly be casting two-hand style, as I normally do.

ECHO OHS 6 wt. — 270 gr Airflo Scout8 ft Airflo T-10; or OPST 96 gr tip.

ECHO OHS 7 wt.  — 330 gr Airflo Scout10 ft Airflo  T-10; 10 ft Rio T-11; or OPST 96 gr tip.

ECHO OHS 8 wt. — 390 gr Airflo Scout10 ft Airflo  T-10; 10 ft Rio T-11; or OPST 96 /132 gr tip.

If you plan on using the OHS rod as it was originally intended (single-hand casting with a haul to load the rod properly), it is fair to suggest that you subtract 60 gr from the recommended head weights listed for each rod above.

Jay Nicholas winter steelhead 2017.jpg

Swinging for winter steelhead on the upper river has been a scratchy proposition for me this season. One friend fished about 6 days and caught 3 fish. Another friend fished close to two weeks and has hooked (and lost 5 fish). My count for 10 says swing fishing is three fish lost and one to hand. A challenging but successful season in my mind.

I loved the light-in-hand feel of the 7 wt. OHS rod.  It is shockingly light compared to most 7 wt switch rods. When I finally hooked a steelhead that held onto my fly (on the last day of the upriver season) I had my hands full of excitement with a nice 12 pound (I swear) hen. We all have different perspectives, but I felt that the 7 wt is entirely powerful enough to fight the fish.  At least it worked out for me. If you have doubts, I’d suggest that you reach for the 8 wt.

 Two-hand casting with this 10 ft. 6 in. rod is so pleasurable that I don’t even dabble at developing my single hand casting style—I’m satisfied to classify the OHS as a mini spey rod—realizing that I’m missing out on half of the rod’s performance capabilities.

I’ll also reiterate that these rods are ideally suited to small and modest sized rivers. They will cast a country mile, handle in the tightest quarters, and I would recommend these short (10 ft 4 in) rods in a very wide range of fishing habitats. For places like wide open runs on the Sandy, Clackamas, or Deschutes, I would often reach for a longer Spey rod. Even on these larger rivers, I have fished specific places where trees and brush complicate casting with longer two-hand rods. These make a perfect place to swing the OHS rod without stress or strain. Wow, another excuse to buy more tackle.

My best wishes to you:

Jay Nicholas

Nicholas’ Anchovy Gurgler

Underside view of Anchovy Gurgler.
Underside view of Anchovy Gurgler.

Nicholas’ Anchovy Gurggler

First, I know it is silly to claim this fly as “mine.”  So many thousands of fly tyers have tied Gurglers before I even knew about the pattern that surely someone must have tied a fly pretty much like this, but wait! Maybe they did not have the advantage of the Mirage Lateral Scale and the EP Senyo’s Chromatic Brush and the EP Minnow Head Brush to tie their fly so maybe this is actually an original creation.

Whatever.

This fly rocks the Pacific black rockfish when they are on the prowl for big baitfish scattered among crab spawn.  I thank John Garrett’s coaching via Facebook because when he was tying Gurglers I noticed the V shape he cut in the fly’s back (I had always just cut the foam straight across but this looks so very much nicer).  This is glued to the back with brush on Zap-a-Gap, but sometimes I do not glue it down to create a little higher profile, not that It is noticeable to the fish, but I like both the glued and non glued versions for their different looks.

Side view Anchovy Gurgler.
Side view Anchovy Gurgler.
Bass perspective view of Anchovy Gurgler.
Bass perspective view of Anchovy Gurgler.
Seagull perspective view of Anchovy Gurgler!
Seagull perspective view of Anchovy Gurgler!

Hook Gamakatsu SP11-3LH Saltwater size 1 or 1/0

Tail: White bucktail under Fl. blue buck tail + Mirage Lateral Scale
Body: Senyo’s EP Chromatic Brush, Blueberry 1.5”
Gills: EP Minnow Head Brush bloody Red
Foam: Blue thin .002 foam from Hareline Dubbin
Thread: Danvillie’s 210 D white or fl blue

Are the bass super discriminating regarding the profile of a surface fly they will take? Probably not.  Still, I love this fly and it catches fish.  I hope beyond hope to catch a king salmon on one of these someday.  Who knows.  Maybe.

New Camera Captures Image of Anchovy Gurgler at 28.3 MP.
New Camera Captures Image of Anchovy Gurgler at 28.3 MP.

This here is an image of the Anchovy Gurgler shot with my new camera, whoo-hoo!

Hope you enjoy this post and tie up some gurglers for whatever fish you are chasing.

Jay Nicholas

April 2015

Three Flies to Fish Out of Pacific City – in a single day!

Three flies - one day - in Pacific City
Three flies – one day – in Pacific City

I had to chuckle the other day when I glanced at my SIMMS Boat Bag and noticed the wild assortment of flies tangled in a little scruffy patch on the top of the Bag.  Among the dozen or so flies were three that I had recently fished in a single day, and caught fish on too. Pacific City is a paradise for me, my analog to Rodrick Haig Brown’s Campbell River home that I read and dreamed about my entire life.  The fishing opportunities within an hour of our cabin are so rich and enjoyable, and while there are certainly more glamorous and exotic destinations around the state and the world, I find myself quite amused and engaged with the fishing here close to PC. The day in question began with a quick trip into the Ocean with Ed and Kevin in their dory, fishing for pacific black rockfish, blue rockfish,  and lingcod.

The morning fly for the ocean - a fine clouser.
The morning fly for the ocean – a fine clouser.

This modest size clouser caught 4 species of bottom fish, including blacks, kings (nope, that is the auto correct changing “lings” to “kings“, blues, and yellowtail rockfish. On the beach by ten AM, I had to rest, so I took a short nap, re-read a few entries in the Fly Fishing Book of Revelation and then headed up to the Town lake, a mere three minutes from the cabin.  The little Chironomid nymph in a size 16 was about right to entice a nice summer steelhead kelt that was all shiny and full of jumps and runs, plus a few hatchery trout. Note: the hatchery trout prefer a bead head gold ribbed hares ear nymph to the buzzer.

Size 16 Chironomid Nymph - perfect for the Town Lake Steelhead.
Size 16 Chironomid Nymph – perfect for the Town Lake Steelhead.

Back from the lake by 3 PM, I unloaded trout rods, donned waders and cleated boots, and drove up the Nestucca, where I swung flies throughout the evening.  I did not hook any steelhead on this particular day, but on many occasions I have, and (fish or no) any evening swinging flies in a river that is only 20 minutes from my door is a great joy.

One of my favorite winter/spring clear water steelhead wet flies.
One of my favorite winter/spring clear water steelhead wet flies.

Of course there is always work to be done, like mowing the lawn, tidying tackle, tying flies, writing about these adventures, working on book creation and sales. and helping Chris with customer recommendations, not to mention an occasional fly tying video. But all in all, life is good and the sight of these 3 flies helped me remember just how diverse the fishing opportunities here on the Oregon Coast. I bet there are many places around this state and others where you could fish three wildly different flies in a single day too, and I’d love to hear from anyone who is willing to share their home water stories.

Jay Nicholas May 2015