Thursday, March 22, 2012

Trickling in

Multiple reports of fish being caught yesterday on the Columbia river above the mud puking Willamette.  Hopefully it was the front of the run nosing in as opposed to a rogue pod moving through.  The river is being reported at 41-44 degrees depending on location which is starting to warm up from last week, but the snow wont help a dang thing in that aspect!

Rumor has it that 500 fish of the quota has been caught so far this season, and with the low catch rate we may be looking at an extended season.

Try and find the cleanest water you can, out of the current and you'll find the fish.  Hopefully this is the beginning of another great season!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Swirling Colors

Can you have to many colors?  I've been pushing so hard lately trying to get stock built back up for the upcoming season and lately my mind has started wandering.... nothing bad, just wondering about new colors.  When does it become to many?  Is there ever enough colors?  I know the combinations I'm thinking of will work, and I feel very confident they will work very good.  Is the fishing industry ready for another innovation?

What would you say to a directional flasher, meaning you ran one design if the sun was moving East and West and another if its North and South?  Hmmm....  I'm seeing people roll there eyes!!  Wait a minute, the Shortbus is serious??

How about another flasher targeted at a specific species?  I've got prototypes built already so there will be some testing coming very soon....

It may be an illness of playing with colors but honestly its kind of fun.  Thinking up a pattern, running prototypes, field testing (my favorite) and hopefully success (also my favorite)  So I ask the question, is there ever to many colors?

I hope not because I ordered a custom color that will be AMAZING once it hits the water!! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Shortbus Evolution

16 months ago I decided to dive into the tackle business and start up Shortbus Flashers,  I still have a few of the original blades that I made by hand and pieced together scraps of tape I had just laying around and they fished just fine. 

My close fishing buddies would set down the larger brand tackle flashers and run my goofy looking pieces and what do you know, they worked!  Now it was time to convince some guides to give them a shot and wouldnt you know a couple actually took the plunge and said yes they would run them on the guided trips.

Word of mouth spread and I had the pleasure of talking with a few small tackle shops in the area who moved a few pegs around and made the extra display space and low and behold we were official! 

New colors, innovative patterns Shortbus Flashers was evolving, people giggled and said they would never work but my friends fished them anyhow and again, we struck gold on a few lines.  Guides shared tips, friends gave feedback and fish were taken as the evolution kept on.

I received a couple of phone calls yesterday, restocking needs at a couple of the established stores, phone calls from new friends asking which colors they needed to look for, a guide with another innovation on colors we're working on this weekend and three calls and e-mails of new inquiries about carrying the Shortbus Line.

A post on Facebook toward the end of the day stating my excitement with the way the Bus was rolling really hit home for me....  This isnt about luck, this isn't about trends, this is about people believing in the product, this is friends taking the time out of their day to spread the word, this is about sharing years of knowledge to improve every day.  To all my friends "little people" as was stated in responses, I want to say Thank You for the knowledge, the suggestions but most of all, thank you for the support, I hope you know just how much your support has meant to me and my vision for Shortbus Flashers.

Thank you,
JT "Shortbus"

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Thumb Kept Moving

My mind has been drifting to the upcoming springer season lately, the forecast for the upcoming year should be out very soon.  Memories from last year have been running through my mind of the days on the water, and the fish in the freezer.  But one memory keeps playing in my mind and it almost haunts me to this day.

Fishing had been red hot for the past weeks and the day was my turn to actually take my boat out for the first time, typically I find myself on others friends boats since mine is a little "frail".  Thankfully the people that I fish with are very accomplished fishermen and are typically on the fish.  Well this day was my day to pilot and I was nervous that I would blank the day.

The day started out with herring and of course flashers!  Lines deployed and weights ever so lightly ticking the bottom of the river bed, we were fishing.  The first half of the pass was uneventful and my mind immediately started second guessing the choice of fishing spots, but we trolled on.  Making the turn at the top of the run and heading back the same luck with no bites.  Shoot, here we go, the ridicule and torment of a no fish day and we werent even into the first hour of the trip!  Time to calm down....

Decisions in my head to try an adjoining troll was made without a word spoken to my fishing partner but he spoke up and asked where we were headed.  Secret place was all I could think of for an answer.  The water was shallowing up and I made the comment to watch the rods so we wouldnt snag on the old growth that I knew littered the bottom.  No more did I get the comment out when the front rod slowly starts to go down, must be the bottom I had warned about when the rod came alive!  A nice fight and the first fish into the boat!  Ok, time to relax, we werent going to be skunked!

The day went on with a second fish landed, but sadly five others had been missed.  Then the fateful words of "last pass" were made.....  We had found a submerged hump in the river that on previous passes had two hookups so the course was made to hit the hump one last time.  50', 45' in route to 20' depth with no takers on the upswing, the weights ticked the top of the ridge as it slowly started to drop off again, 25',  30' then 35' when it happened.  The rod in my hand started a slow tap tap as I looked to see if the depth had started to rise.  Nope, a fish!  Slowly lowering the rod tip to the water when a long tug of the line and a bass master hookset sunk the hooks into the jaw of the silver salmon!  Number 8 for the day!

The fish headed for the bottom and wouldnt budge, the fight was a tug of war and I wasnt winning.  Minutes later (which felt like and hour) the fish finally came off the bottom and slowly toward the boat.  The water had a green milky tint so when the fish turned to its side at 10' below the flash of silver was stunning, the fish is big.  Line started to come off of the reel again as the drag relented to the strong pulls from below, the fish slowly drifted from view.  Line and rod stayed taunt with pressure trying to coax the fish back to the awaiting net.  Minutes passed and the fish slowly relented to the pull and came back into view again.

Closer the fish came toward the surface and the size was finally revealed, this was a very nice springer.  Slowly putting pressure and a slow lift of the rod brought the fish closer to the net, and the end was in sight.  Another lift of the rod and the fish decided for a last ditch effort to escape.

You know that moment when the movie goes to slow motion to add more drama?  Your mind usually goes into slow motion when you know something bad is about to happen but it to fast to actually stop the action....  my thumb moved.... I dont know why but it moved, I knew it wasnt supposed to but it did on its own, I can still see it move in my mind.  The reel started to spin as the fish headed toward the bottom again, my thumb kept moving.  I felt the braid touch my skin and deep down I knew it was a mistake, but my thumb kept moving.  More sink touched the braid as pressure was applied, my thumb kept moving.  The fishes tail kept moving, my thumb kept moving but the reel stopped. Line and rod strain when the movie in my mind goes to full speed again.  I see the tail make one more sweep of the water then slowly move into the green of the water.  Line hanging limp with the flasher spinning in a rhythmic time.  The hooks at eye level now tell the story,  the bottom hook is bent straight.

Silence, my mind raced thinking did that really happen?  How could I have been that impatient and thumb the reel?  Silence is broken.... That was a big fish.... I sunk into the chair and called it a day.

Springer season cant come soon enough for redemption

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Spring Wrap-up

July 3rd was my official last "springer" of the season, just an epic fishery this year even with the high, cold and off colored water, we still found where the fish were hiding.  From the pictures and responses I would say others using the Shortbus Flashers were finding the same success.

So, with the first official springer season under our belts, we answer the question of "what worked?"  Let me tell you hands down the new Florescent Series with Blink technology were flat putting fish in the boat!  I was absolutely amazed just how fast they went from a prototype to full on production. Honestly I was shooting for a B-10 release and had no idea what we had stumbled onto.  Springers went nuts for the colors and the pictures started pouring in with success.

Double flashers were also the rage this season, ganging a small and medium size in line would also produce very well especially in deep water where you weren't needing to bounce the bottom but it was defiantly more prevalent this year.

So whats next? B10 is just around the corner and many are starting to gear up for the season.  With a predicted record run, this will be the year you want to be in the water!  Make sure to have enough herring to get through the season, with the cooler water, you will be running bait quite a bit in the beginning and if the current closures hold, be ready for deep water fishing below the bridge. 

Make sure to have enough different colors of flashers at hand to find what they are hitting on particular days.  Along with the Florescent series, dont forget the Hunter, Watermelon and the mirror gold colors to round out your arsenal, the extra bright colors will "shine" in the big water areas this year.

More important than catching fish, please be safe on the water!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hot New Color Options!

Well, I guess I still havent figured out how many color options is enough.  Shortbus Flashers wants to be an innovator on the water and be the "go to" option for getting into fish.  So, what does that take to be the best?  How about trial and error, what about thinking outside of the box?  Well lets give it a try!  Here is a sneak peak of the evolution of the Shortbus line!!

Florescent finishes!

I have added the color to the "Hunter" line and also put a strip of UV Tape on the back because, Mo Flash, Mo Betta!!

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

No More Tangles!!

First, I want to give a huge THANK YOU to Joe Salvey of Fish Hawk Adventures 

Joe is one of the latest guides to join the Shortbus Flashers Pro Staff, and was gracious enough to call me with an exciting idea on the flasher tangling issue.  For years you've heard of people complain that the flasher comes back in a big tangled mess, and generally it has been attributed to letting the line out to fast or bouncing on the bottom.  Well, feast your eyes on this idea!!

First, the "old way" of rigging the flasher - You can see where the typical swivel gets caught in the very tight turn of the eye causing the twising of line issue.

Now, using the same swivel, just open it completely thus allowing the swivel to pass to the other side of the swivel - as you can see, the swivel is now on an end that doesnt have the quick bends that will typically bind a swivel

Next step is to bend the duo-lock open enough to pass the "tight eye" end through the eye of the flasher

With the new rigging, here is a picture of the traditional rigging and the new suggested way of rigging, and try as you might, you cant get the swivel to bind on the duo-lock.  Second benefit is the eye that is now through the eye of the flasher is small enough that it eliminates the possibility of the duo-lock getting stuck on the plastic.  Third benefit is now the swivel is orientated correctly so the ball bearings are spinning as opposed to the line getting the extra twist and the open end of the swivel is "down stream"

Again, thank you so much to Joe for sharing this info and hopefully keep everyone fishing more instead of untangling lines!!

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