Dean River British Columbia

Bucket List Trip! At a Discount…

The week is June 26th - July 3rd, hosted by Jason Hartwick of Steelhead on the Spey Guide Service. We have discounted it $1000 and is now priced at $5150. Price includes full week of guided fishing, all meals by our amazing chef, wine with dinner and our roundtrip floatplane charter flight from Smithers. We fish 6 anglers with two guides (Steve Morrow and Matt Moisley). We use a Dean style dory with jet drive outboard to get from spot to spot, all fishing is done while wading in the lower river below the canyon. Our lodge sits next to Grantham Falls overlooking the Dean Channel.

Primetime discounted week on the lower Dean River?

When the two words "Dean" and "River" are placed together, it elicits a unique response among steelhead fishermen. The Dean River is the world's top destination for steelhead. The river is beautiful beyond imagination and her steelhead are incredibly aggressive. They are truly wild and evolution has them built for speed and power. All of them must navigate a fierce canyon and leap multiple waterfalls to get to their prime spawning grounds. But the Chinook of the Dean are even more respectable. Those brave enough to chase these large and powerful fish are testing tackle and challenging the edge of what is land-able in freshwater. The Chinook here eat swung flies aggressively near the surface, run hard, jump often, and hold in steelhead water making them an easy target with flies.

Kimsquit Bay Lodge is owned and operated by Jeff and Kathryn Hickman. Jeff is a longtime friend of CF Burkheimer Rod Company and is a well-respected guide here in Oregon. Jeff and Kathryn bought the lodge last year from the Blackwell family. They are making many improvements to the lodge and maintaining the level of customer service that the Blackwell family established 20 years ago. They concentrate their fishing in the lower river below the falls and into tide water. Fish in this stretch of river are at their peak fitness! Sea lice, clear fins, and empty reels are what you’ll find here. They run a short season and cater to only 6 guests per week. With two excellent guides offering an intimate knowledge of the river, help and instruction.

Kimsquit Bay Lodge recently had a cancelation and is offering a $1000 discount for the week of June 26th - July 3rd. Price is now $5150 for a full week of guided fishing. Do yourself a favor and book this trip. Discounted spots on the Dean are unheard of.

Caaarp With Peter Gadd

When news of normalizing relations with Cuba broke headlines, many anglers began dreaming of direct flights to virgin turquoise Bonefish flats and the shimmer of tailing Permit. Of course when reality sets in, a delightful if somewhat more pedestrian alternative is just up the highway. You may not be able to afford Cuba but a corn dog and a tank of gas is all you need for an afternoon of tailing golden bonefish in the warm sun. That’s right, we’re talking about Carp.

The Carp in question, Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) first graced our fair Columbia River after the extremely wet spring of 1881 flooded a nursery pond in Troutdale and several thousand (!) genuine German specimens were liberated. These fish produce upwards of a million eggs a year, in no time one could buy piles of dead carp to fertilize your field for $5 a ton. But while they may be many, they are surprisingly clever and prove an exciting challenge to catch. You’ll never have to worry about other carp anglers encroaching on your bit of mud flat and you can pat yourself on the back for every one that you remove from the river’s ecosystem.

Precise casting to cruising carp is by no means easy. It’s an excellent way to hone your skills for that future trip to Cuba, Belize or the Yucatan — where you’ll also need to lay your fly very precisely with a whistling wind upping the challenge. You need a rod with oversize stripping guides, a reel seat the keeps your reel in, rods designed to cast in the windiest conditions, load quickly and cast with a high degree of accuracy.  I choose to fish the CF Burkheimer 690-4SW though not designed as a bugler rod, it does function perfectly with its quick loading and pinpoint accuracy.

If you don’t have time for Trout or Steelhead and you just need to get off your computer, or if you’re bound by obligations for dinner or daycare,  may I humbly recommend fly-fishing for Carp. Cuba will be there tomorrow, and you’ll be ready.

John Larison's Quiver the Burkheimer 9145-4

The following is an occasional series exploring the quiver of rods that John Larison fishes throughout his season.  Stay tuned for further installments.

John Larison’s Quiver The Burkheimer 9145-4

No rod quiver is complete without a big water, big wade, big fish canon.  How often have you been on a run that demanded a belly button wade and a long cast and found yourself struggling to deliver the fly?  A fourteen-foot nine weight is the solution; the extra length functionally lowers the river to your knees and the extra mass in the line effortlessly lifts even a heavy winter tip and bulky fly from the surface.  The Burkheimer 9145-4, unlike other fourteen-foot nine weights, preserves the grace found with the best thirteen-foot seven-weights, thanks to the optimal blend of deep-loading progressive taper and instantaneous recovery.

ROD: 9145-4

REEL:  Hardy Salmon Marquis 3; a heavier reel balances this rod well.

LINES: In Summer, I load my 9145-4 with Nextcast’s 55’ Fall Favorite 8/9.  In Winter, I prefer the dart-like precision of Nextcast’s 45’ Winter Authority 8/9 matched with 12.5 feet of T-11.  For heavy water King Salmon, I fall back on Airflo’s 660 Compact Skagit or, if I’m still not getting down, Airflo’s 630 Intermediate Skagit.  Both of these Skagit heads turn over T-14 like its nothing, and can be persuaded to turnover T-17 if the water demands it.  With Skagit heads, I loop to Airflo’s Miracle Braid.  With Nextcast heads, I loop to Airflo’s Ridge Running Line, as it offers the extra mass the Nextacast heads desire for turnover.

NOTES:  I first fell in love with the 9145-4 while fishing Kings in BC with Wally of the Spey Lodge.  The fishing frequently demanded waist-deep wading and long casts with heavy flies, and the 9145-4 got the job done with grace.  The next winter, I put the rod to use on my coastal rivers and discovered a whole new level of control; I could cast to the far side seam and steer the line with precision around a boulder or two before dropping the fly into the bucket.  The 9145 caught fish I otherwise would have missed.

But another reason I find myself reaching for the 9145-4 is that it allows me to cover water about 40% faster than I can with my conventional tip set-ups.

Often to catch Kings or Winter Steelhead, I find myself needing twelve feet of T-11 or T-14.  To turnover a tip of that mass, we need a heavy line, most anglers use a Skagit head.  However, if you’re casting long with a Skagit head all day, you pretty quickly get worn out stripping back the running line—then managing all that line in the current around your knees.

The 9145-4, when coupled with a Nextcast 45’ or 55’ “inter Authority 8/9, will gracefully single-spey T-11 all day long.  With each cast, you’ll strip in twenty of thirty less feet of running line—that’s four to six pulls of line!—and have that much less line to manage during the cast.  As a result, you’ll cover a run in less time, meaning you’ll have more daylight—and energy—remaining to try an extra few runs during the day and show your fly to that many more fish.

CF Burkheimer Week at the Spey Lodge

Another year of Steelhead fishing has passed and it’s time to start a new season of chasing silver.  Our Steelhead year always gets rolling with a Week at The Spey Lodge in Terrace, British Columbia.  While some believe the Fall fishing is the time of choice in the North country, those that are “in the know”, hands down feel that the Spring fishing is even better.  We agree, Spring Steelhead fishing in Skeena Country is the finest anywhere in the world.

A quote from Brian Styskal; “Through the course of each season, this is the place and time of year I dream about.  Being there, casting to these amazing wild fish hours from the salt.  It is the highlight of my year.  I have seen things on these rivers that will blow your mind.  The Spring is it, no question!”

Skeena Spring Steelhead are very unique, they will inhale a skater if the temperature is anywhere close to 40 degrees.  One could fish a floating line for the entire week and not miss a beat.  We have friends that stick to the dry line all season on these waters with epic results.

The Spey Lodge is located on the bank of the Skeena River, two sips of coffee from the Famous Copper River.  It’s the perfect setting for your stay.  Wally Faetz owns and operates The Spey Lodge and is one of the best Steelhead and Salmon guides we have ever met.  His work ethic and knowledge would crush most guides.  This man lives and breathes the rivers he fishes.  His exploration spent on less known rivers where Salmon & Steelhead have not been documented is even more impressive.  That’s sort of the kicker, it’s an added bonus in this trip as there is the opportunity to fish water where you won’t see another human foot print.  What you will see are Mountain Goats, amazing water falls, fantastic country, and of course Steelhead.

It’s difficult to describe the lower Skeena to someone that has not experienced it before.  Easily two times wider than most all of the other big water Steelhead Rivers.  The scenery is stunning, with snow-capped mountains and classic Steelhead pools that approach 400 yards in length.  It offers a gentle gradient that’s easy to wade and the fish hold from you boot laces out as far as a solid spey cast.  Fish come from any part of your swing so staying diligent pays dividends.  Skeena Country Spring Steelhead possess a third gear, maybe it’s just the sheer size and flow of the Skeena, but expect power like you’ve never felt before.

The true Silver Lining at The Spey Lodge is Chef Molly.  She is the most amazing chef we’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, truly a culinary artist.  After a long day on the river her cooking will warm your heart.

We truly hope you consider joining us for this amazing week of fishing.  You will never forget the Country, the Rivers, the Lodge, the Experience, but most of all, the Steelhead!

CF Burkheimer Spey Week

March 29th to April 5th, 2015


  • $5200.00, plus 2.5% tax, plus $100.00 for licensing per rod.  This is in Canadian funds.  Does not include gratuities.


  • Plan your arriving flight from Vancouver, BC to Terrace airport on March 29th, 2015.  We recommend contacting Debbie at Elan Travel (877-897-5071), she has extensive experience with setting up all your needed flights and connections.
  • Spey Lodge Staff will pick you up at the airport.  Look for The Spey Lodge sign in the terminal
  • Meet and greet back at the lodge and get settled into your private room
  • Introductions and orientation during appetizers before dinner.
  • Dinner at 7:00pm

Monday thru Saturday Fishing Program:

  • Morning wake up 6:00am
  • Breakfast at 6:30, at which time you will be paired with another angler and a guide
  • Depart for designated river at 7:30am
  • A 10 hour day with an hour break for lunch at 12:00pm
  • Return to the lodge at 6:00pm
  • Appetizers at 7:00pm
  • Dinner at 7:30pm


  • Plan your departing flight from Terrace to Vancouver for Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Other Details:

  • Alcohol, Spey Lodge does not provide hard liquor.  Please bring spirits with you
  • Wine, Spey Lodge will have wine available for dinners

For further details give us a shout at the CF Burkheimer Shop 360-835-1420.

Atlantic Salmon with Willy George

How I discovered the difference between an Atlantic Salmon and a Steelhead

by Willy George

 It was one of the few remaining species on my bucket list -- the Atlantic Salmon.  It’s funny how some of my fly fishing trips come together.  I met Ernie up on the Babine last Fall fishing for steelhead at the wonderful Babine Norlakes camp.  He had chosen a different week on a one-time basis due to a personal commitment.  We hit it off instantly and by the end of the week he was talking about coming back to the Babine during that same week next year and he had offered me a chance to fish for Atlantic Salmon in his home waters in Eastern Canada.  Sweet!

In the last week of June 2014, I flew from San Francisco through Montreal to Bathurst, New Brunswick arriving at midnight.  We drove 3 hours through pouring rain to the banks of the Restigouche River.  At three in the morning, I climbed into a 26 foot canoe and motored across the river to Downs Gulch camp.  Atlantic Salmon camps are a little different than the steelhead camps that I was used to in the Pacific Northwest.  Camps have their own private pools, which are rotated through the camp guests during the course of the week.  Wardens police the pools to avoid poaching.  On the Restigouche, most fishing is done out of an anchored canoe and the majority of fishermen use single handed rods.  I had my quiver of Burkheimer Spey rods and easily adapted my Spey moves to cast out of the boat.  Many of the guides are second or even third generation fishing guides.  They describe how they sometimes still cast the rod for their clients and even hook the fish for their “sports” before handing the rod to the client, just like in the old days.  The camp “oozed” with such traditions.  I ran into another Burkie devotee named Keith from Charlotte, North Carolina.  We fished some familiar steelhead-type flies like the Undertaker, but more often used local patterns like the Picasse (loosely translated, it means “anchor” in French).

The Restigouche River faces challenges like many of the other Maritime Province salmon rivers such as gill netting at its mouth and large scale commercial fishing off shore.  The local salmon experts were debating whether the run was going to be late this year or whether it was just going to be a low number return.  I couldn’t wait for the final decision since I was on my way to another famous Atlantic Salmon river up north.  I left the Restigouche after four days of fishing with no fish landed.

New Derreen Camp on the Grand Cascapedia River has hosted Atlantic Salmon fishermen for over 130 years -- Royalty and nobility, two U.S. presidents and celebrities galore.  The Cascapedia flows south across the Gaspe Peninsula in the Quebec Province.  I admit I needed to brush up on my North Atlantic geography before my trip.  The Gaspe Peninsula forms the southern bank of the St. Lawrence River.  Both the Restigouche and the Grand Cascapedia flow mostly through heavily timbered remote areas but each empties into Chaleur Bay, home to some of best lobsters and snow crab I have ever eaten.


Fishing in the dozen or so pools reserved for New Derreen guests was all walk and wade fishing.  The only time we used a canoe was to pole across the river to fish water on the right bank.  My education on how to fish for Atlantic Salmon began in earnest on the Cascapedia.  My steelhead habits needed to be quickly unlearned.  The time honored tradition of mending upstream to slow the swing of a steelhead fly was quickly replaced with either “no mend” or a more cross current cast to actually speed up the fly’s swing.  The guides and experienced Atlantic Salmon fly fishers had a specific “swing speed” that they were targeting.  The ideal swing speed changed in different types of water.  Once a fish swirled or rolled on the fly, the game was afoot.  Similar to steelheading, we worked these “players” with multiple casts slightly above and below the spot where we saw the swirl and often changed flies to try to entice a grab.

Besides learning to gauge the proper swing speed, the biggest change for me in Atlantic Salmon fishing was the hook set.  My respectable “hooking to landing ratio” in steelheading is largely due to letting the steelhead hook themselves.  I accomplish this by having a 30” coil of line between my rod hand and my reel which the fish peels off before coming tight to my anchor finger.  In Atlantic Salmon fishing, the guides all direct their clients to raise the rod to a vertical position, essentially a trout set (can you believe it?!?), as soon as you feel the weight of the fish.  I am big believer in trusting your guide and doing whatever he/she says.  I was having some second thoughts about my unwavering commitment to “doing it the guide’s way.”  But I stayed with it.

It was Day 3.  I was fishing on the upper section of the Cascapedia, on one of the two branches that eventually form the main stem.  I was using a Burkheimer CF-7134 lined with Ballistic Vector 7/8F 500 grain 52’ head on a Saracione Mark IV reel.  We had seen fish roll in the run as we were working our way downstream so we knew there were active fish in that section of the river.  The swing speed was perfect and an aggressive fish lunged for my fly.  I waited to feel the fish’s weight and when I did, I simply raised the rod (all 13’4” of it) to the vertical position.  Fish on!

Another thing different about Atlantic Salmon fishing: usually the angler stands his ground and fights the fish from where he hooked up.  This is a bit different from steelheading where often we work our way downstream to keep side pressure on the fish.  So I stood my ground and fought this beautiful fish into a stillwater area below a rock ledge where the guide netted her.  My first Atlantic Salmon was a gorgeous chrome bright 14 pound hen.


The fishing reports from other camps matched our own experiences; it was a low number year.  Each day fish were landed but it was not a banner year by any means.  But we had to keep our fly in the water.  The next swing could be the one.

It was Day 6.  A slow week without question.  Oh well, I had caught an Atlantic Salmon on a Spey rod and I was happy.  Not every angler had caught a fish that week.  We fished that last morning in a light but steady rain.  Back at the camp, our bags were already packed for the drive out after lunch.  We were fishing Caribou Pool, a new run for me.  I had my Burkie CF-8134 with a Hatch 11 Plus Finatic reel lined with a Ballistic Vector 8/9F 570 grain 55’ head.  During the course of the week I was really getting grooved on this rod/line combo.  As one of my fishing buddies remarked, “you can really hawk that thing out there.”  I think that is a technical term.  Anyway, I was swinging my fly, a Green Highlander, along a seam a long ways over on the far side of the river.  As I worked my way downstream, the guide reported that earlier he had seen a fish roll in that same far seam.  Sure enough, I saw a big boil, felt the weight, and set the hook straight up.  This was a big fish.  She jumped once and the guide screamed to his buddy, “big one.”  The fished made a sudden run downstream and while I stood my ground (as ordered), the fish was into my backing (I now recommend 250 yards, by the way).  I worked the fish in, got the fly line back onto the reel and felt in control.  Not so fast, the fish made a big cartwheel-like jump completely out of the water.  I would later describe the splash as sounding like a swimmer with swim fins jumping off a diving board.  Splat!  And off she went downstream into the backing for a second time.  By the time I reeled her in and guided her into the magnum salmon net, it had been a 20 minute battle.  The fish weighed 23 pounds on the net scale; the second largest fish caught that week.  Fresh from the ocean, shiny chrome in color, and as strong as any fish I had ever hooked.  What a thrill and what a way to end a memorable trip; lots of new learnings while fishing for this new species.  Glad my Burkie Spey rods were there with me.  Couldn’t have done it without them.


The author, Willy George, is an IFFF Certified Master Casting Instructor who teaches single hand and Spey casting at the world famous Golden Gate casting ponds in San Francisco, California.  He also co-founded the San Francisco School of Fly Fishing (website: and is a member of the Burkheimer Pro Staff.  Willy can be reached at his email address:

Pocket Water Fishing and the 483-4 DAL

Today's fly rod marketing is predictable, nearly all the manufacturers want to tell you how light and fast theirs rods are, and why that makes them better.  They go on and on talking about proprietary materials, processes and actions.  The truth is, all rod manufacturers are using pretty much the same materials and processes to build a fly rod.  After you wade past all the hype in the press releases and internet postings about how they belt out 80 feet of line in the parking lot, exactly where fast rods are designed to impress and excel.   But my experience shows these to be very poor fishing tools.  Let’s get back to what matters in a trout rod.  How about a rod that simply makes you cast smoothly and effortlessly, protects light tippets, and has built in fish-ability. Whether you’re fishing caddis along the Madison River for bank hugging Browns or small Royal Wulff’s on Rock Creek for beautifully colored Cutthroat.  The bank bound dry fly angler encounters the same scenario in both situations, Trout holding in pockets of turbulent water around rocks, undercut banks, and overhanging brush. This style of fishing demands a rod designed to throw smooth, tight, accurate loops with a short line, and delivers your offering in tight quarters.  If you find yourself working this type of pocket water then you need to consider the 483-4 DAL.

For years CF Burkheimer Fly Rod Company’s two and three piece rods have been coveted by anglers across the West for their high performance, but super sweet full flexing actions.  When we ventured into four piece rods many of our customers loved the new actions, but also missed the full flexing feel of the earlier two piece models.  Thus we added the DAL (Deep Action Load) series to our line of four piece Trout rods, bringing back the high performance and full flexing feel of our earlier two & three piece rods.  I feel the 483-4 DAL is the sweetest of the bunch.

A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of taking a phone call with a gentleman from California.  He had seen a couple of our rods and decided to give us a call.  He was reasonably happy with most of his current rods but like most anglers was seeking to get more out of them.  The call lasted about an hour as he described the fishing he was doing.  I knew for a fact the 483-DAL was the absolute right rod for him.  He agreed to give one a shot and here‘s the evaluation in his own words.

“I fish rivers in the high Sierra's of California for one reason, to have fun. With the 483-4 DAL in my hand it is just that, fun to fish.  Whether you are doing a curve cast, an overhead cast, snake roll, or a standard roll cast, this rod is amazing.  The feeling you get when the rod loads and unloads goes from your arm straight to your heart. I love the feeling of casting this rod and find it to be deadly accurate between 25 and 45 feet.  I would give this amazing little rod my highest recommendation to anyone who fishes small streams and wants to have fun.

Thank you Kerry Burkheimer and crew, for designing and building this extremely high quality rod it’s fun to cast and fish.  I have named my 483-4 DAL, Sweetness.”

James Telles

If your trout fishing consists of casts between 25 to 40 feet with small dry flies then the 483-4 DAL will be your best friend and greatest joy.

Rob Allen

Rod Blank Production

C.F. Burkheimer Fly Rod Company

Changes at C.F. Burkheimer

C.F. Burkheimer Evolves

As a new season gets into full swing we have some changes here at C.F. Burkheimer Fly Rod Company.

We're very excited to announce the addition of Randy Stetzer to our team. Randy is a veteran of the fly fishing industry, an accomplished angler, experienced traveler, expert caster and, most importantly, a good human being. Randy will be handling customer service and public relations at C.F. Burkheimer, and we're extremely fortunate to have a man of his caliber here at the shop. Have a question on a new rod, looking to properly line the rod you have, have a question about a repair? Talk with Randy and he'll take care of you.

Florida Tarpon with Ryan Smith

C.F. Burkheimer dealer and friend, the Avid Angler Fly Shop, is heading down to Florida for their spring Tarpon extravaganza. Join C.F. Burkheimer Pro-Staffer Ryan Smith and a great group of anglers as they intercept Tarpon up to 200lbs on their annual migration.

Ryan has been doing this for years and has the details nailed down. Join him for a week of world class fishing, stunning scenery and great company.

Be sure to check out the Avid Angler website for more information, or contact us for details: