Fly Fishing in Portland

John Juracek
John Juracek
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The natural resources of the Northwest are legendary. And whether it’s for viewing, sport, or otherwise, some of the most coveted bounty is the region’s fish and wildlife. Because of this, fly fishing in the Portland area is, understandably, very popular.

Designed to attract new participants to fly fishing, in April 2014, Patagonia will introduce a package of tools called the Simple Fly Fishing Kit. The kit includes a Tenkara fly rod 8'6", 10'6" or 11'6" lengths, line & leader, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard's latest book, Simple Fly Fishing, and a box of Chouinard-recommended flies (12 count). Retail price for the entire kit is $259-$279, depending on rod choice.

Tenkara Kit
Tenkara Kit

The concept of the package was born when Chouinard, Craig Mathews, and Mauro Mazzo were working on a book about Tenkara; a centuries-old Japanese fly-fishing technique that has been overlooked for the most part by modern-day casters. Chouinard became interested in the technique after receiving a Tenkara fly rod from a friend 25 years ago.

When asked about the Simple Fly Fishing Kit, Bart Bonime, Director of Fishing at Patagonia, stated, “First and foremost, the target audience is newcomers to the sport. Chouinard is confident that this program is the most appropriate gateway of attracting people to the sport. It’s simple, it’s highly effective and the cost of entry is far less than traditional fly fishing techniques.”

Simple Fly Fishing
Simple Fly Fishing

Shahab Farzanegan, Aquatic and Angling Education Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife supports any effort to introduce people to fly fishing.

“It is not always the fastest or easiest way to catch a fish. It all depends on what you are trying to achieve. Fly tying is a great way to get kids involved,” says Farzanegan.

On the allure of fly fishing, he says, “Fly fishing is very process oriented, and provides many challenges from tying the proper knot, to selecting the right fly to the right presentation. It takes a lot of practice and there are levels of gratification through it all. Fly fishing is fun for anyone, but do yourself a favor and take a lesson.”

Yvon Chouinard Fishing in Idaho. Photo courtesy of Patagonia
Yvon Chouinard Fishing in Idaho. Photo courtesy of Patagonia

Expanding on the idea, Bonime states, “Chouinard is confident that if you can get young people excited about the sport they will really cherish the resources that provide the sport. They will get passionate about the environment and work to protect those resources. The new consumer will be far more likely to like the sport and stay involved.”

Farzanegan adds, “Fly fishing is one of the best ways to understand the aquatic environment.  Success is determined by understanding what the fish are feeding on and ‘matching the hatch’.”

When asked about the best places in the area for novice fly fishers to hone their craft, Farzanegan noted that Oregon has no shortage of prime spots. “I would recommend St. Louis Ponds for the beginning Stillwater fly fisher, since there are a number of ponds and many different species of fish to catch.  As for moving water, for trout, I would recommend the Crooked River; lots of fish and very easy wading.” Farzanegan continues, “There are so many places. Visit our website, and check out all the places you can go. Remember, you can fly fish for anything, trout, bass, steelhead, carp even rockfish in the ocean!”

. . .

Look for Patagonia’s new “Simple Fly Fishing Kit” and head for the rivers.

Portland’s Patagonia store is located in the Ecotrust Building in the Pearl District. 907 NW Irving St Suite 100, Portland, Oregon 97209. Their phone number is (503) 525-2552.

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