Leland on Scott Howell's Ska-Opper
Steelhead aren't bass. This everyone knows. But believe it or not, they'll hit a popping bug, and HARD, if you fish it right.
A few anglers, beginning with Scott himself, are beginning to fish the
Ska-Opper on steelhead streams from California to BC. On Scott's
homewater, the North Umpqua of southern Oregon, this fly is hands-down
the best way to find fish from June to September. By drawing
aggressive fish from their lies in almost any water type, the Ska-Opper
provides what has to be the most exciting way to fish for steelhead.
No mere trout rise, steelhead explode on the Ska-Opper!
Leland on Specifications
The chugging action of the Ska-Opper might remind adult steelhead of the ovipositing caddis
they chased when they were smolts, but who really knows. The important thing is this: when the Ska-Opper surges across a glassy tail-out, or a riffly run, aggressive steelhead take notice.
With a gurgler lip and a wake-throwing skater underbody, the Ska-Opper blends the best attributes of skaters and poppers.
Ultra-bouyant and self-righting, this fly should be your go-to searching pattern when fish are ready to move on a bug. Watching
a steelhead swirl or cartwheel on the Ska-Opper is a nerve-fraying
experience. Be steely and don't pull it away from the fish!
- Steelhead Guru Scott Howell ties this fly for chugging on a tight swung line in the summer months
- With a foam back, a deer hair body, and a gurgler-style lip, this fly is incredibly buoyant and throws a spout of water when chugged
- Hot, aggressive steelhead will explode on it, leaving you speechless
- Quick, sharp raises of the rod tip best chug this fly across a run
- Fish with a clench knot, a loop knot, or a riffle hitch
- Feel the weight of the fish before you lift into it
- SIZES 2 and 4
Leland on Scott Howell
The release of Skagit Master II is letting the world in on a secret that Leland has known for years: when it comes to steelheading experience, knowledge, and technique, Scott Howell is a resource without peer. We think he might just be the fishiest man alive.
For almost four decades, Scott has been fishing
the steelhead waters of the Pacific Rim, and for over 20 years, he’s
been guiding them professionally. He was one of the handful of Pacific
Northwest anglers to pick up two-handed rods in the late 1980s, and was
an integral part of the period of casting and line-design innovation known as the "Skagit Revolution."
He was also part of the first batch of American guides to fish the
unexplored steelhead rivers of Russia's Kamchatka peninsula. His wealth of experience and scope of expertise are difficult to fathom.
For six years, when he was guiding in Alaska every summer, Scott made his home in British Columbia. One year, he
promised himself we would fish every day, from the time he got home
from Alaska in September, through the winter, until he went back the
following May – and he did.
Each year Scott spends over 300 days guiding on his
homewaters in southern Oregon, with the vast majority of his bookings
coming from repeat clients. Leland feels very fortunate to have
this opportunity to work with Scott.