Product Highlight: Sage X Two Hander

The X two hander line up is the newest switch and spey rod release from Sage. They come in 11, 12, 13, 14, & 15 foot increments.

The 11′ “switch” rods come in 6, 7, & 8wt and are silky smooth. I have fished the 7110 & 8110 models and enjoyed them both with a Rio Skagit Max Short and an Airflo Skagit Switch. These are great rods on smaller steelhead rivers or when you’re fishing tight quarters.

The 12′ spey rods are incredibly light in hand and very powerful. They cast extremely far. I fished the 6120 on the Grand Ronde and liked it. I ended up picking up a 8120 thinking it would be a good rod for rivers like the Sol Duc but the rod just wouldn’t do what I wanted it to do. The rod really wanted some umpf on the cast and bombed line but I was looking for a rod that fished shorter lengths as well. I ended up ditching it for the 11′ rod.

The 13′ rods are the workhorses of the bunch. The 7130 was a solid stick but the 8130 blew my socks off. It’s an incredible rod. I have it lined up with a Rio Skagit Max 600. Both rods cast very smooth and have a feel to them that makes casting fun and enjoyable. I was a big fan of the Sage One 7126 & 7136. These 13′ X rods fall nicely between their predecessors yet with more of a feel.

Rods in the series I’m looking forward to trying out? I’m curious about the 14′ 7wt for summer runs and the 12′ 9wt for kings. Rods I wish they made? A 13′ 6wt or maybe even a 14′ 6wt for summer/fall steelhead.

Want to try out a Sage X? We currently have a few rods lined up ready to demo. Shoot us an email and let’s schedule something.

Sage X Two Handers


Patagonia Tough Puff

Do you love your Patagonia Nano Puff? The Nano Puff is an incredible insulation piece that many of us in fly fishing have fallen in love with. But let’s admit it, the Nano wasn’t designed with the bushwhacking fly fisher in mind. Patagonia has upped their game with a Nano style jacket designed specifically for Pacific Northwest style fishing!

In fact, I was able to get my hands on an early production hoody last winter and it was a fish magnet on its first trip (pictured right). It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite pieces of winter fishing gear!

From Patagonia: Hoofing it, single spey or double hauling—chasing fish is a mix of moving fast and standing still. That’s why we built the Tough Puff with stretchy and breathable insulation to keep you comfortable across a wide range of temperatures, and gave it a durable, stretch-woven face that stands up to snags and tangled cover on the approach. The DWR finish handles spray, spit and drizzle, and helps the cuffs shed water after you’ve dunked ‘em in for the release. Worn on its own or layered under a wading jacket, the fish-specific Tough Puff sets new standards for function and performance—no matter what challenge the day may bring.

Patagonia M’s Tough Puff Hoody


Patagonia M’s Tough Puff Shirt


Patagonia W’s Tough Puff Hoody


This clinic is for anglers that have started learning the basic spey casts and are now wanting to know what happens next. That’s right, the spey cast is just the beginning, not the end!

This clinic meets in Forks. We will go to a couple different rivers and talk about the differences between them (clarity, structure, etc). There will be plenty of casting practice but the real benefit to the clinic will be working on casting angles, fly presentations, fly selection, reading water, etc.

The goal of this clinic is to give you the necessary tools to go out on your own to maximize the fun and minimize the frustration!

We only have two dates to choose from Feb 3 or Feb 4. The Clinic costs $99. To register click HERE.


Thursday January 18th 6:30pm

Do you know the difference between skagit and scandi and when to use each? Or when do you use T-11 or T-14 and what even is T-11? What’s a running line or a shooting line and are they the same thing?

These are just a few questions we plan to answer plus more in this free spey rigging seminar. Come learn all about running lines, shooting heads, sink tips, poly leaders, knots, and more!

We are bringing the Film Tour back to Tacoma this March. I can’t believe we’ve been hosting this for nearly a decade! Physical tickets will be available in the shop starting later this week for $15 (look for post on insta/facebook). Online tickets are up and are $18. Last year we turned away 20 people at the door, so I don’t imagine any tickets available the day of.

Please note, tickets are exclusively available through the Gig Harbor Fly Shop.


Tuesday January 2nd @ 6pm

fullsizeoutput_41b2We have a trip to Christmas Island scheduled for May 1-8. We have room for 10 anglers and already have 7 in the group. If you are interested in learning about our trip to ChristmasIslandBrian Bennett from Moldy Chum is joining us at the shop for a slideshow presentation and Q&A about fishing the island.

The fact that virtually every fly angler in North America has heard of Christmas Island is far from coincidence. Amidst the vast inventory of the world’s saltwater destinations, ChristmasIsland is a unique and natural masterpiece that magically combines all the elements critical to fly fishing success. Endless hard sand flats, remarkable numbers of cruising bonefish and trevally, and consistent year-round weather await all who visit this unique atoll.  Guides at Christmas Island Outfitters have been handpicked for their overall level of experience and skill, calmness under pressure, and instructional abilities. Each day anglers will depart via truck or catamaran for the day’s fishing. Virtually all fishing entails sight casting to visible fish while wading in shallow water.fullsizeoutput_41b4

Christmas Island is a strange and wondrous saltwater seascape that seems to have been infinitely blessed by the fishing gods. It is a vast Matrix-like network of endless hard sand flats, lagoons, channels and reefs spread out across the Earth’s largest raised coral atoll. The main lagoon harbors the world’s most expansive system of productive shallow water flats. Bonefish, trevally, trigger fish, sharks, snappers, puffers and milk fish patrol more than 100 named flats perfectly designed for wading fly anglers.

Christmas Island is a veritable wonderland for the saltwater fly angler and Christmas Island Outfitters is there to make your dreams come true.

Rate: $2,570.00 per person based on double occupancy

Note: Private rooms and guides are available for an additional charge

Included: Accommodations, meals, guide fees, Christmas Island ground transfers, flats transportation.

Not Included: Airfare to and from Christmas Island, alcoholic beverages, visa fees, travel insurance, gratuities ($20-$40 per guide per day and $120 per angler/per week for lodge staff), laundry services, fishing licenses, departure taxes.


Meet Our Guide Staff!

For summer 2017 we have doubled our guide staff!

I am super excited to introduce you to 3 new guides on our team. They are great anglers and guides, and with a high level of professionalism. After a very busy 2016 we are now prepared to handle a wide variety of trips and hopefully we won’t have to apologize this summer for being over booked!

One of them is a familiar face, a Gig Harbor Fly Shop alumni! Justin Tenzler worked for me from 2009-2011. We are super excited to have him back on board!

Aaron O’Brien

Aaron grew up fishing for coastal cutthroat in the bays of Puget Sound and in local streams and rivers. Born and bred in Washington, his first love is sea run cutthroat trout but you can find him chasing salmon, steelhead, bass, and trout of all kinds and birds with his black lab almost any time.

Cole Leishman

Cole was born and raised in Washington, taking his first cast on a fly rod at eight years old. He grew up fishing the beaches of Puget Sound and the trout streams of the Central Cascades. In college, Cole founded the Western Washington University Fly Fishing Club and learned that he enjoys helping others learn how to fish and improve their skills. When he’s not on the water, Cole likes to mountain bike, go backpacking, or play with his dog, Teddy.

Justin Tenzler

Justin was born and raised in Gig Harbor and has been guiding the PNW for 12 years. While he cut his teeth fishing the local beaches and rivers, for over a decade Justin has been guiding Bristol Bay, Alaska for salmon and trout. In the winter, Justin resides in the last great strong hold of wild steelhead in the lower 48 guiding in the wet and wind for a chance at these truly special fish. Wether guiding a beginner or advanced angler, Tenzler’s goal is always to ensure you enjoy your day fishing the incredible fisheries our area has to offer. When not guiding, you’ll find him fishing somewhere with his wife and two wonderful daughters.

Blake Merwin

Blake learned to fly fish growing up in Nor Cal, fishing farm ponds for bass. He soon graduated to trout, steelhead, salmon, and more. Blake’s passion turned business started in 2004 with the launch of a fly fishing business that has grown into one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier stores. In addition to owning and operating both Gig Harbor Fly Shop and Gig Harbor Watersports, Blake also guides saltwater & freshwater for species such as sea run cutthroat trout, steelhead, and multiple salmon species. Blake is also a pastor at Harbor Covenant Church in Gig Harbor and enjoys spending time in the outdoors with wife and two kids.

  Book a Saltwater Trip!

General Trip Information
Back in February I had the chance to do a trip with Lori-Ann Murphy. Lori-Ann has been guiding for 3 decades and back in the 90’s was the first Orvis-endorsed woman fly fishing guide. She has shifted her focus from the streams of the rockies to the flats of Belize and is a blast to spend a day on the water with.

In Episode 12 I sit down with Lori-Ann to learn more about her journey as a guide and how she has successfully made a career out of it.


Thursday July 6 @ 5pm

Join us as we welcome local author Langdon Cook to hear his thoughts on our beloved Pacific Salmon from his latest release – Upstream: Searching for Wild Salmon, from River to Table. Meet and greet from 5pm to 6pm, followed by a reading and signing from 6pm to 7pm. Refreshments will be provided.

“Foodies, sport anglers, bureaucrats and zealots of every stripe vie over the fate of Pacific salmon.” -David Profumo of the Wall Street Journal

“For those who want to live to see the salmon recapture its former glory, this work is a great place to learn what needs to done– and an entertaining view on the positive and negative connections humans have with the natural.” -Publisher’s Weekly

“Langdon Cook delivers a beautifully written portrait of the iconic salmon that blends history, biology, contentious politics, and the joy of fishing into a captivating and thought-provoking tale. Like a great meal, Upstream is thrilling, deeply satisfying, and memorable. After reading it, you will understand why salmon are worth fighting for.” -Eric Jay Dolin, author of Brilliant Beacons

6/28-29 – $175 per person (includes Hobie Pro Angler kayak)

We’re going to go over to the Gorge, Wednesday late afternoon and start with a dinner BBQ before hitting the lake and fishing late until dark. We’ll then camp out and get up bright and early, hit the lake before the sun is high and then head out of town.

Sign Up Online



Spey Casting Seminars w/ Zack Williams
















Day of Spey


Saturday, July 8th. Ben Howard Boat Ramp -Skykomish River


9am-Noon: Beginner Spey Casting Course


Develop the basics fundamentals of several Spey casts that will get you out on the water and fishing with a two-hand rod. Background info will cover equipment, simple fundamentals and the how and why of the Spey cast. Then conclude the class by receiving personal instruction to develop your Spey casting skills.



1pm-4pm Spey Fishing Fundamentals


Learn the skills necessary to be successful swinging flies for steelhead: proper fly presentation, selecting the proper equipment setup and flies for the conditions, and more will be covered and practiced hands on.



Cost: $125 per session or $225

Limit 6-8 persons per session.


Equipment needed: Waders, Spey rod/reel/line (rentals available), sunglasses, hat, & other personal items.


Instructor: Past Gig Harbor fly shop employee, Zack Williams is a full time Spey guide and casting instructor, international Spey casting competitor (4th in the world at the 2016 Spey O Rama world championship), and editor of Swing the Fly magazine. See more at &

New Native Watercraft Slayer 12 LT In Stock!

The new Slayer 12 LT is the lightweight little brother to the Slayer 13 Propel. Instead of rotomolded plastic, the 12 LT is constructed from Thermoformed ABS plastic making it 27% lighter (23 pounds) than the Slayer 13! The kayak is $2699 and comes in blue or inferno.


Bōte Board Demo Day – June 17

Our rep from Bōte Boards is going to be here on June 17th for a Bōte demo day! Come by anytime between 10am and 4pm. We’ll have a free BBQ at 12pm.

You’ll be surprised how stable these are. I got to fish from a Bōte Rackham 12′ in Belize back in February and it was a blast! I’m looking forward to using one on our local lakes this summer as well as for some pinks when they show up in the estuaries.

We’re looking for some good help! If you love fly fishing, work hard, have integrity, and love people, we’d love to hear from you!

Part-Time and/or Full-Time positions available

To apply, send resume and cover letter to

Bass Fishing at Hilltop Lake – May 10

Hilltop lake is a private lake with an incredible largemouth bass fishery out by the Gorge. Newly opened, Hilltop is highly restricted to just 3 fishing days a week (max 6 anglers) to ensure under-pressured fish. Size range is small largemouth to lunkers and everywhere in between, and there’s a lot of all of them!

We are hosting anglers to Hilltop lake on May 10th and June 28th. The fee is $175 and includes a Hobie pedal drive kayak and great shoreside lunch.