Saturday Shoutout / 3 X Fly Fishing Tips

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If you want to fish and cast better, these guys have you covered.

This week I’m sharing three fishing tip articles that caught my eye. Each has some solid advice that will have you fishing and casting like a pro. Who doesn’t want that?

First up our friend Tom Rosenbauer shares his secrets for catching more trout in the winter. This is solid intel from a guy who does not spend all winter tying flies.

TOM’S WINTER FISHING TIPS

Next up Whitney Gould gives you the low down on the lift. This article will open your eyes to how many Spey casts go wrong right from the start. Whitney will tune up you two handed casting in a hurry.

THE LIFT

Finally my good pal Kirk Deeter steals my story with Jerry Siem’s advice on matching your rod to your fly. That what I get for not putting my work off to the last minute! Read the story and you’ll see what I mean.

MATCH YOUR ROD TO YOUR FLY SIZE FOR BEST PERFORMANCE

Take a few minutes to read these great tips from three great experts and your fly fishing skills will improve over night!

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Awesome new fly rods from Echo

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Echo fly rods are where price meets performance.

I don’t know,anyone who knows more about fly casting than Tim Rajeff. It not surprising that the fly rods he designs for Echo cast amazingly well. What is a little surprising is how affordable they are. Every echo fly rod I’ve cast has been a real pleasure and this years new rods are no exception.

The Boost is a new fast action single hand rod with plenty of power. It feels great and delivers a laser tight loop. It’s available in fresh and saltwater models and looks as good as it casts. At $229 it’s a great deal no matter where you’re fishing.

The rods I’m really excited about are the new Echo Fiberglass Switch & Spey rods. These rods are amazing! Beautiful, powerful and so much fun to fish you’ll feel guilty. I’ve fished the 8wt Spey and it blew me away. If you like two handers and glass, get yourself one of these beauties. Starting at $279 it’s a choice you’ll never regret.

IN THIS VIDEO TIM SHOWS OFF THE NEW FLY RODS FROM ECHO.

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The Errant Cast

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Why do we do that?

While on our latest fishing trip I brought up a rather interesting subject that I just don’t get.It was windy. Like 20-30mph windy. And to add insult, the wind was blowing right into my casting shoulder. I had just made a shitty backcast and knew that it would only translate into a shitty cast, likely causing the fly to tag me along its way. Even with this thought working through the innards of my mind I still ripped a double hauled cast that Steve Rajeff would be proud of, sending the fly screaming into my back. Shit Damn Piss! Seriously?! The streamer was stuck in the back of my shirt, and as Louis removed it, I posed the question… Why do we do that? We know when we’ve made a crappy backcast, and we know that when we follow through on our forward stroke that it’s going to be a horrible cast, and possibly inflict pain. So why the hell do we still make the damn cast?!

IN MY ENTIRE CAREER, I CAN’T THINK OF ONE TIME I MADE A JACKED-UP BACKCAST AND THEN DECIDED TO ABORT IT BECAUSE I KNEW THE OUTCOME WOULD LIKELY BE LESS THAN DESIRABLE.

Instead I just keep on trucking and hope the “chuck n’ duck” will suffice.
I mean, I’ve been brought to my knees from these errant casts. One of the worst occurred on a windy day at a local pond. I was fishing a #2 Clouser Deep Minnow. You know… the one with large, lead eyes and a big stainless steel hook. The wind was blowing right into my right shoulder at a pretty good clip. I made my backcast… Nope, no bueno. As I completed this totally awesome cast, this Clouser proceeded to rip

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6 Tips for Executing a Proper Figure-Eight Retrieve

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For the first time, this year, I got to experience the thrill of watching a musky devour my bucktail streamer right at the boat during a figure-eight retrieve. I had dreamed of witnessing this first hand for years, and I have to say, it live up to all the hype. You get a huge adrenaline rush every time you lure a musky into following or eating your fly during a figure-eight retrieve. I think this one aspect of musky fishing alone, is why so many anglers fall in love with musky. Although I’ve heard of anglers catching trout, striper and other species with a figure-eight retrieve, musky by far, provide the highest success rate of all game fish for using it. Musky seem to spook far less than other game fish when they’re in hot pursuit after prey, and that’s the main reason this niche retrieve works so well for them. I totally screwed the pooch on my first couple opportunities to use the figure-eight retrieve for musky. This unorthodox retrieve takes a while to get used when you don’t regularly practice it. Done wrong, a figure-eight retrieve will fail to trigger eats. Luckily, during my trip, I had my good friend Charlie Murphy, a genuine musky bum, give me some pointers. Below are six tips to get you executing a figure-eight retrieve like a pro.

TIP 1: YOU HAVE TO CONSISTENTLY USE THE FIGURE-EIGHT RETRIEVE FOR IT TO WORK.

Charlie told me, point blank, “if you don’t follow up every cast with a figure-eight retrieve, you’re giving away opportunities to catch musky.” Many times, musky will be following your fly just out of sight, and your only chance for catching these fish, is to trigger a bite with a figure-eight retrieve. I watched Charlie musky fish for four straight days, and there wasn’t one time, where he didn’t finish up his retrieve with a figure-eight. It took me a while to follow his lead, but when it was all said and done, Charlie proved his point by getting the most follows and eats during the trip. The best thing you can do if you’re serious about catching musky, is get in the routine of consistently using a figure-eight at the end of every retrieve.

TIP 2: A PROPER FIGURE-EIGHT RETRIEVE STARTS WITH YOUR FLY AT THE CORRECT DISTANCE FROM YOUR ROD TIP.

I found out real quick, if your fly is too far away from your rod tip during a figure-eight retrieve, it’s impossible to execute it properly. Charlie explained to me, that ideally, all you want is

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G&G Presents The Oskar Blues “Take a Pinner Fishing” Photo Contest

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Don’t put those cameras away just yet, it’s time for The Oskar Blues “Take a Pinner Fishing” Photo Contest!

Even though we just finished up the G&G Fly Fishing Photography contest and haven’t even announced the winners, we are kicking off another awesome contest where you can put your creative eyeballs to work winning you some great gear. This one is sponsored by Oskar Blues, Americas greatest fishing beer, Cheeky Reels and TFO Rods and there’s a twist!

We’re looking for the coolest, most creative fishing photos you can take featuring a can of the new Oscar Blues Pinner Throwback IPA. This shouldn’t be difficult. Pinner is the perfect boat-beer and it can only help with the inspiration!

“How do you cram as much hop & malt flavor and aroma as possible into a beer but make it crushable too? That’s the challenge we answered with PINNER Throwback IPA. At 4.9% ABV and 35 IBUs, this drinkable IPA uses several varieties of hops to target the ever-evolving flavor. With tropical fruits, citrus juices, pineapple and spice berry up front in the aroma and flavor, the biscuit & toasted bread at the back balance out all the hops and make a great finish to go on to your next can of PINNER. It’s the perfect beer for a little sip, sip, give.”- Oskar Blues

There are 3 categories and some awesome prizes for each.

Best photo featuring a Trout or Bass wins a Cheeky Boost 350 Reel

Best photo featuring a Carp, Muskie, Pike or Saltwater species wins a Cheeky Boost 400 reel

Best Lifestyle shot (no fish in the photo) wins a Dales Pale Ale custom Logo TFO 5wt 8’9 finesse series rod

3 runners up get a Pinner hat.
HERE’S ALL YOU HAVE TO DO TO WIN!

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The Geezer Hatch

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Ever heard the phrase, “the geezer hatch is on?”

I’ve used it myself. It’s a common way of saying there are a bunch of old dudes on the water. It’s pretty common to hear younger anglers and guides grousing or making jokes about old guys who can’t see their flies or wade like a mummy in a black and white horror film.

In the past decade, fly fishing has taken on the soundtrack of extreme sport and with it some of the attitude. Too many of us feel compelled to judge our fellow anglers and that comes down pretty hard on the over-seventy set.

Like any cross section of humanity, old guys run the gambit from pompous assholes to salt of the earth. On the whole, the younger guys I know treat them pretty well but once they are out of ear shot, there is often a comment made that reveals the judgment.

Maybe I notice it because I’m at the point in my life where it’s painfully clear that we’re all going down that road. It may also be that I habitually pull for the underdog and have a heightened intolerance to inequity. I’m not saying it’s a major problem, just an underlying prejudice that rubs me wrong sometimes.

This is where my friend Mike Ray comes into the picture. I’ve gotten to know Mike over the last year or so and had the pleasure of fishing with him both on the river and in the salt. Mike is a great angler. A solid caster, in spite of a badly scarred hand, and an all-around fishy guy who’s company I thoroughly enjoy. He’s about seventy, a retired lawyer who’s done well for himself.

If you didn’t know him, if you hadn’t fished with him, you might be tempted to throw him right into the geezer category. (Sorry Mike.) If you spend some time around the man, you see something completely different. That’s how prejudice works.

In fact, what you find is a guy with a youthful spirit, an open mind, and a hell of a nice cast. But there has always been something more to Mike that I just couldn’t put my finger on. There is an air about him when he put on his waders and climbs in the boat that is nothing short of a transformation.

There’s a calmness that comes over Mike when those waders go on. A comfort and a confidence that you don’t see in many anglers. His body language changes. The way he stands and holds his cigar, the way takes a knee on the bank, and I think even the way he sees the world become something completely different. Something old and familiar.

On a recent trip to Patagonia I found out what it is.

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Sunday Classic / Who’s Your Buddy?

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What makes a good angler a great angler?
Fly fishing is a life long pursuit. That may be what I love the most about it. No matter how good you become, there is always a next level. Around every bend some new revelation. A lifetime of learning. For me, that’s the secret to happiness. Learn something new every day.

I always consider my fishing a work in progress. I never think of it in terms of what I have achieved, rather what’s next. This is in no way false modesty. Life has taught me that I have plenty to learn, whatever the subject. I clearly remember being, what I call, an adolescent angler. Knowing enough to be dangerous and too little to be content. Desperately seeking the next level. But how do you get there? I did it by getting lost.

I was excited about my new Toyota 4 Runner. It had been a while since I’d had four wheel drive and I knew it was going to open up some new water for me. On a crisp winter morning my wife and I hit the road to do some exploring. We followed one Forest Service road after another farther and farther into the North Georgia mountains, snow covering our tire tracks.

In my enthusiasm, I failed to keep up with a few of our turns and at some point had to stop and give the map a good study. Just as I was thinking it would have been smart to have brought food, a green pickup pulled up along side. A friendly fellow in a ball cap bearing the Fish Hawk logo asked if he could help. Dan Flynn would become one of my best friends and we fished together almost every week for years.

Dan is a fly fishing machine. His knowledge of Georgia and North Carolina trout water is endless. Especially the native brook trout streams. I learned more that first year crawling through mountain laurel with Dan than I’d learned in a lifetime of fishing on my own. It was with Dan I caught my first real trophy trout. Twenty-five inches. A great fish for a small Georgia stream. I remember him saying, “fish of a lifetime.”

I owe Dan a great many debts. Not only for what I learned from him and for his friendship but for so many great friends who would follow. It was through him that I met Kent, who continues to school me on a regular basis. And through Kent I met Joel Dickey and Bruce Chard, the guys that taught me the salt. And through Bruce I have met, well, just about everyone in the business. I wouldn’t be where I am without these guys.

So here’s my point. We spend a lot of time selecting our gear, choosing the water, tying the flies, setting up the boat. There’s endless talk about waders and boots and reels and lines. Don’t forget that the most important piece of the puzzle is

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