We’ve got answers

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By Louis Cahill


Carter is the newest member of the G&G family. Although you haven’t seen his name on the site before now, if you follow us on Facebook, you’ve likely noticed him hard at work.

In addition to all the cool fly fishing content Carter has been sharing on Facebook, he’s been asking questions and so have you. Today I’m going to answer a few of the questions asked by our Facebook fans. If you enjoy it, let us know. We’ll do more of it in the future.

Question 1

Could a short rod ( 8 or 9 feet) with a two-handed rod’s grip and a spey/skagit style line work? Most of my water is very tight quarters from shore. All I would like to achieve is roll casting a deerhair bass bug about sixty feet. Is this possible or should I not waste my time on making a custom rod?

The line between single and double hand casting grows blurrier every day. What was once the realm of fifteen foot rods on salmon rivers is now common place on trout streams. Shorter and lighter switch rods are versatile tools for all kinds of anglers. While the idea of a short, two-handed rod is not completely invalid, if you are not set up to roll your own graphite what you will end up with is a pretty strong compromise. I will not discourage you from experimenting, but I will offer a couple of suggestions on how to work with what’s already available.

A switch rod will probably be the best tool for your purposes. It will give you the distance you need with ease and handle that popper very nicely. Working with a switch rod in close quarters is usually just a matter of adjusting your anchor placement. Check out this video of Jeff Hickman showing you how it’s done.

If the conditions truly don’t allow the use of a longer rod, there’s really no need to glue a bunch of extra cork on to your fly rod. There are a wealth of spey casts that can be performed with a regular single-handed rod. I use this technique all the time and I don’t know how I ever got by without it. My good friend Simon Gawesworth has written a great book on the subject. It’s pretty enlightening, and a whole lot cheaper than a custom rod. Check it out on Amazon

Question 2

What colors of flies work well in stained water?

This is a topic I wrote about recently. There are a couple of ways to think about it. Lots of guys believe

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A Year Fishing The Everglades Special, Half Way Through A Bad Decision

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By Paul Pucket


I am fishing in places I have never fished and feel very lucky to have the opportunities. The main difference between this year, and the prior years spent chasing these mindless, slimy, instinctual creatures, is that I am limited to one fly. All year. The Everglades Special.

I have now reached the halfway mark, and have a few thoughts about this adventure. Working in the Lowcountry Flyshop in Charleston, I have heard a few people discuss the idea that you could use the Everglades Special for any species of fish, especially the redfish that swim in our parts. So I took on the challenge, without really even thinking it through, and here I am, with one flybox containing a single pattern.

My first few would-be angling conquests were big goose-eggs. Winter here in Charleston means slow, lethargic, picky reds. It also means clear water and huge wads of fish. The fishing can be really great.

Winter was cold here. I chose my fishing days wisely. Well, as wisely as I could, not having a boat and depending on friends to get me out. One day in early March, with Harry Tomlinson and Doug Roland, I got my first redfish on the Everglades Special. If felt good, like I’d accomplished something. I’d caught a largemouth bass a few days before, so now I had scored two species. I fished a few more times in February and March. A couple of fish were caught, nothing out of the ordinary, but I had my eyes on the biggest test I would face all year, a permit.

Looking past the permit for a second, down the line I had Florida tarpon, Utah trout, Alaska kings and rainbows, Tennessee carp and Jackson Hole trout. Maybe fall in Montana and definitely fall reds. A lot to accomplish, for me and my Everglades Special. As I read this back to myself, I’m thinking, I have the best year of fishing I may ever experience, all around this continent, and I am stuck with one damn fly! Wow, am I stupid?

So, back to the permit trip to Punta Allen’s Palometa Club. Not just permit, of course. Bones, snapper, and jacks –I’m counting these species too. Stick to the plan, that was the only plan. I had tied some small versions of the Everglades Special for bones and snapper on a size six hook and also had tied a weighted version to get down quick. I figured if I was gonna use this fly for permit, I could find a loophole. Nobody said I couldn’t.

Imagine having to explain to your Mexican/Mayan permit guide that you can only use one fly. They do speak pretty good English. Think about how stupid you must sound, coming all the way here to fish for the hardest fish you can get to eat a fly, and you have a baitfish pattern, with dumbbell weight eyes, meant to mimic a crab but looks like a baitfish. Dumb.

The first day, I had this weighted Everglades Special. in front of a few fish. They never really gave it a second look. After all I had heard about permit fishing, this sounded normal. I never flinched, never thought about defeat. On day two, we saw a little more action, right out of the gate.

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Sunday Classic / Keep your thirst quenched without the baggage

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Air temperatures are climbing into the 70s and 80s on most days and will soon be even higher. These conditions make it extremely important that anglers are staying properly hydrated while they’re on the water fly fishing. I really enjoy hiking into remote locations to fly fish for trout. The only problem with me doing this, is I’m constantly fighting to quench my thirst and stay hydrated. I used to utilize packs with internal bladders for storing my drinking liquids, but there were quite a few disadvantages that came along with using them. First, when filled to full capacity, they become quite heavy and take a tole on your body lugging them around all day. Secondly, if you’re using them during the warm seasons and you’re doing some aggressive hiking and fishing, eventually that cold liquid you filled the bladder with in the morning will eventually warm up and end up tasting like bath water. Thirdly, internal bladder systems require maintenance and cleaning to keep them from building up bacteria and mold. Five years ago, I decided to ditch the internal bladder systems in exchange for a light weight water filtration bottle, and I’ve never looked back. Doing so, I eliminated the three negatives I mentioned above with using internal water bladders, and I no longer

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Saturday. Shoutout / Birds and Beasts

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There’s a lot of hot headed opinions flying around about climate change. One thing is becoming very clear. If you hunt or fish, the issue effects you more than most. Fortunately there are some sportsmen and sporting organizations who are getting behind the idea of doing something positive.

My friend Matt Copeland, of Stalking the Seam, is one of them. His award winning essay, “The Birds and The Beasts” puts the issue into a perspective that is unique and heart warming, as well as pertinent to sportsmen.
Even if you care nothing about the issue, this is worth a read. This Wyoming Sportsman’s story of lessons learned the hard way will resonate with everyone.


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Garners Twisted Whistler

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Watch the tying video!


Garner Reid is back and he’s opening up his fly box to share part of his arsenal. When you guide for the toughest of freshwater predators, you have to be prepared to do what it takes to put clients on fish. No one I know does it like Garner. His Facebook feed is not for the faint of heart.

A big key to his success is collection of unique fly patterns for striped bass. The Twisted Whistler is no exemption. This fly pulls out all the stops. A sixty degree jig hook, tip dyed buck tail and Icelandic sheep wool give it action that those striped bullies can’t resist. It’s big, it’s bag and it catches fish.

Watch the video and learn to tie Garner’s Twisted Whistler.

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Fishing Streamers Is Still All About Presentation

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In some places they even go so far as to call them lures, rather than streamers. The dyed-in-the-wool purest would portray those of us with the nerve to fish a four- or six-inch fly as neanderthals. The mantra of the dry fly purest is this.

“Imitation and presentation, that’s fly fishing.”

When I hear those words, I think to myself, “Is there a better description of streamer fishing?”

That’s what we’re doing, isn’t it? Imitating a type of forage food and presenting that Imitation in a manner that makes it believable. The fact that the forage food we have chosen is not an insect makes it no less artful. If your streamer is not presented in a way which the fish can appreciate, it’s still not going in the mouth.

I was reminded of this the other day when fishing a great Tailwater river with my friends Dan and Garner. Water conditions were perfect for streamer fishing and we were working the banks, buckets and blow downs hard. Each of us, streamer fishermen but each with his own style.

I worked my big articulated patterns and snaky sculpins on a long leader and intermediate line, while Garner fished a Sex Dungeon in full Galloup style with a short leader and sinking line. Dan tossed his beautiful classic Maine style streamers. All of us caught fish, but none of us caught the fish we wanted.

I’m not complaining

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“Do It Yourself Bonefishing” by Rod Hamilton, Reviewed

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That may not be completely true, but if it sounds right to you, maybe you should pick up a copy of Rod Hamilton’s new book, “Do It Yourself Bonefishing.” It’s certainly a step in the right direction.

Rod, with the help of my good friend Kirk Deeter, has put together one of the most concise and easy to use volumes on the topic of flats fishing. This book covers it all and explains in clear terms how you can become a serious threat on the flats, without a guid or the expense of a lodge trip.

I’ll pause at this point to make my feelings clear. As I have said many times, if you are learning to bonefish there is no replacing the important role of a good guide who is willing to teach. There is also no better way to learn than the immersion you get from the lodge experience. That said, when you are ready to make the leap to bonefishing on your own, this book is a must.

The first half of the book covers the hows and whys of DIY bonefishing, including the equipment and skills you will need. Topics like how to spot bonefish, understanding tides and retrieving the fly are covered in great detail.

The second half of the book is a terrific resource

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