Why ask why? Try dry flies

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By Jeff Hickman

CATCHING A STEELHEAD BY SKATING A DRY FLY IS THE COOLEST WAY TO CATCH THEM.

I always have said that one fish on the dry is worth ten on wet flies…but why? It’s not like it’s impossible to catch them on dries. It can actually be quite productive at times but people are often just too afraid to try. If you only have one day to fish there’s a lot of pressure to catch fish, so why opt for the most challenging method? Well, there is, in fact, only one way to catch a steelhead on a dry fly and it start with tying it on your line!

Is a steelhead eating a fly off of the surface that much more unbelievable than a fish eating a fly swung just under the surface, or for that matter, a fly swung deep with a sink tip? It’s not. In fact, I think that there are times when a dry fly can work better. The disturbance and wake it cuts through the water’s surface can excite fish and elicit savage grabs.

The visual display you get when watching the fly skate across the surface is super fun and you can learn a lot by seeing where your fly actually is. Watching a fish come airborne for it, slap it, thrash at it, boil on it or just gently suck the fly down is one of, if not the single, most exciting experiences there is in fishing. Seeing them come for the fly is super exciting even if you don’t hook them. It is that extra element of playing with the fish that is the coolest for me!

photo2But what is even better

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The Big C

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IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU SAY IT IN YOUR HEAD, THE FIRST TIME YOU HEAR A DOCTOR SAY THE WORD CANCER, IT’S LIKE GETTING KICKED IN THE NUTS.

The room is bright and cheery with yellow walls. Ironically, a wall of windows facing east floods the room with morning sun. The white paper crackles as I sit. A woman half my age asks me questions and I answer.

“No, no tobacco. Yes, several drinks a week. Yes, I’m allergic to penicillin. Yes, my father died of lung cancer.”

She turns from her keyboard, folds her hands and asks, “So, what brings you here today?” I lift my finger to my nose.

I am the most serious person you will meet when it comes to sun protection. I wear sunscreen that resembles caulk. I never fish without a buff. I often wear wide brimmed hats which don’t look remotely cool on me. I never fish in shorts or short sleeves. I wear sun gloves and SPF lip balm. I’m practically a vampire.

But between my dark glasses and the top of my buff, there’s this little spot. It’s about the size of a pencil eraser and no matter how I pull or slather or shade, I can not keep it covered. One sixteenth of a square inch on the bridge of my nose. One spot, smaller than a doctor fly, ninety-three-million miles from the sun. That’s all it took.

I’ve been poking and staring at that spot for a year, since it popped up last summer on a permit fishing trip. I didn’t get a permit. Instead I got this little flakey, red spot. I figured it would go away but it didn’t. It just hung around looking chafed and irritated, like a moody teenager. By January I figured I had skin cancer. So, why did it take me another eight months to drag my ass in to the dermatologist?

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Sunday Classic / Don’t Let Yourself Get Numb to the Reward

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Is that cookie cutter rainbow trout making you feel numb inside? Are you losing the feeling of reward lately on the water?
Two decades have passed since I caught my first trout on a fly rod, and even with all those years that have gone by, I can still picture that beautiful 12″ trout in my hands clear as day. I remember that little bugger coming up and crushing my parachute adams, like it was the first piece of food it had seen in days. The feeling of accomplishment and reward I received from catching that trout was so strong, it gave me a perma-grin ear to ear, and a natural high that lasted the rest of the day.

Nowadays I often find I’m becoming numb to the reward I get from most of my catches. Landing a big trophy fish or fooling a lone sipper on the far bank still gets my adrenaline pumping, don’t get me wrong, but they all seem to fall short of the feeling I got from landing my first 12″ trout. Why is that? Am I turning into a snob? I’m sad and ashamed to admit it, but I think I am. That’s why

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Saturday Shoutout / The Fishing Poet

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By Carter Lyles
MATT SMYTHE IS JUST AS GOOD A WRITER AS HE IS KNOWLEDGEABLE OF FLY-FISHING, AND HIS FLY-FISHING BLOG IS KILLER.

Matt grew up fly-fishing and took up his passion in writing as a freelance writer. I gave Matt a call the other week and we discussed fly-fishing as well as his fly-fishing journey.

Here’s what he had to say:
He created his blog, The Fishing Poet, as something fun and enjoyable to do for a passion that is near to his heart.

But Matt told me the main reason he began writing was because of his kids.

“I wanted to write because I wanted to have something my kids could see one day and cherish…something that their old man did,” Matt said.

When I asked him about his favorite article that he has written he couldn’t settle on just one…

“Carter, if I had to pick it would actually be a series of articles that I wrote about on our trips out to Idaho on the Snake River.”

Writing about his experience out west was definitely his favorite topic and I was blown away when I read his posts on the subject!

But….

You’ll have to visit his site: www.fishingpoet.com in order to read his thrilling and unique content! Check it out and I promise you won’t be dissatisfied! Awesome job by Matt and some very well written articles.

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What This Graph Means For Fly Fishing

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By Carter Lyles

FOR THOSE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN WHERE FLY-FISHING IS GOING AND ANY OTHER TOPIC, A GOOD PLACE TO LOOK IS GOOGLE TRENDS.

For the folks not familiar with Google Trends here is how it works:
Type in a subject
Google displays a graph of how many times over a series of years those keywords have been entered into their search function
It also shows us regional interest and other trending topics around what you typed in.

I recently searched “fly-fishing” and this is what I got from Google Trends…

June: This was the most popular month over a series of years that “fly-fishing” was entered into Google. My theory is that this is the beginning of summer break for a lot of people. It is also when Montana, Colorado, Idaho, and the other western states (Alaska) warm up and hatches are coming off. For the saltwater dudes and dudettes, this month means tarpon are coming up all around Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. A lot goes on for fly-fishing during the month of June!

November: This is the down month for “fly-fishing” being entered into the Google Search Function. My theory for this is that it is beginning to get cold again and people have been almost “fished-out” for the entire summer. If you look at the keyword fishing for Google Trends the summer is the most popular as well. November is the sign of winter drawing near and lord knows it is a flippin’ wild place in our households when the end of the year rolls around in December!

The Decrease In Popularity
As you can probably see in this graph…there is an obvious decrease in popularity over a series of ten years.

What does this mean??? Are we screwed???

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Simms Freestone Waders, Simms Quality At An Amazing Price

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Watch The Video

THIS IS A GAME CHANGER.

One of the most exciting new products at the IFTD show this year were the new Simms Freestone Waders. Simms took home the best in show honors for both men’s and women’s waders this year. Only two of the seven honers they enjoyed, but significant in that the new Freestone Waders from Simms have fundamentally changed the wader market.

Simms has, for many years, held the distinction of making the best waders on the planet. Plenty of companies have tried their hand at making lower priced knock offs Simms waders. This year Simms has taken the bold step of knocking off themselves!

It’s a truly brilliant move and one that’s sure to shake up the wader market but good. Simms has produced a line of waders, in the Freestone, that incorporates all of the technology that makes their waders great, but is made in Asia. The result is a bona fide Simms wader at a remarkable price. Literally half the cost of the Bozeman waders.

Check out the video and learn all about the new Simms Freestone Waders.

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Weather Dictates When and How I Fish My Terrestrials

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Every year, I’m asked by clients, when is the best time for them to come up and experience the terrestrial bite? For years, I kept a terrestrial fishing journal to help me better serve my clients. The journal documented the arrival times of specific terrestrials and when I first started catching fish on them. It seemed to help me for a couple seasons, but after that, I started to become too reliant on the data in the journal, and I lost sight of the most important variable of all in timing the terrestrial season–weather. Depending on what the weather is doing for the current year, it can speed up or postpone the arrival of the terrestrial season. Some years it will only sway the start of the terrestrial season a week in either direction, while other years, it can sway the arrival well over a month. Understanding the role weather plays in the lives of terrestrials can help anglers nail down more accurately when the terrestrial season will begin and peak in their area. If you can be one of the lucky few to time and start fishing terrestrials before everyone else does, you can be rewarded with some of the biggest fish of the year.

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