Reece’s Beefcake Beetle

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By Bob Reece

Beetles are abundant in the riparian environments that surround many of the waters that trout inhabit. Though their size range varies drastically, their appeal to trout in those areas is consistent. On water where trout frequently see hopper patterns, a properly presented beetle can often become a difference maker. When I designed my line of Beefcake terrestrials, including my beetle, I focused on creating an underside to the fly that would be anatomically accurate in its imitation and, as a result, more appealing to fish. The application of loco foam on the bottom of this pattern deploys a reflective sheen that is seen in the exoskeleton of large insects. In addition to this, the presence of the foam and segmentation on the underside of the hook shank creates a three dimensional profile that is seen in the natural.

I typically carry this pattern in size 12 and 8. However, it can be tied from a size 14 up to size 4 contingent upon where and what you are fishing for. Depending on the water type and situation, I fish this pattern

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Fly Fishing: The Popper-Dropper Rig

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Like a lot of kids, I spent most of my adolescent summers chasing bass and bream on the local creeks and ponds in my area. Most days, a single rubber-legged popper tied to the end of my leader, was all that I needed to catch fat bream and the occasional lunker bass. On days when the bite slowed, I’d put down my fly rod and head to the neighborhood pool with my best friend Ryan Evans. It didn’t take long for us to get labeled the Huckleberry Finn boys of the neighborhood. We got plenty of strange looks walking through those pool gates, fishing rods in hand, and both wearing cargo shorts with boxers hanging out the tops. Those dirty looks were well worth it, and we learned to shrug them off, because that pool was the perfect place for us to cool down in between our fishing adventures, and it also happened to be one of the best places for us to keep track of the older females. We learned reflective polarized sunglasses weren’t just good for fishing, they also were great for inconspicuously eyeing the older females, walking by in those skimpy bikinis. It was a time in my life when I was relatively stress free, and I had not yet taken on very many responsibilities. Those were the days.

It wasn’t until I started dabbling in trout fishing that I found a way to improve my warm water popper fishing.

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5 Flies For Labrador

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By Jason Tucker

Having recently returned from Labrador, I got to try a lot of different tactics, techniques and flies. It’s the benefit of being able to fish all day, every day, for a week. We fished everything from dry flies to streamers to nymphs.

Labrador had it all—copious hatches of both mayflies and caddis, with fish rising steadily or cruising and taking flies. They hit streamers aggressively, and they took mice on top as well.

You would think fish that see so few anglers would take anything you threw at them, but that assumption is dead wrong. They were picky about what caddis fly you presented. Mayfly patterns had to be the right size. Even the pike wouldn’t hit an olive streamer.

We both brought every fly box we owned and a huge pile of flies. Here is what caught fish.

Cone Head Madonna in Yellow

Like most places in North America, sculpins are found in Labrador in abundance. I know there’s a plethora of great and traditional patterns out there. This is a great pattern and easy to tie. I tied a variety of colors for the trip, but yellow with a white body out-fished every fly on the trip. It caught pike, the Atlantic salmon pounded them with abandon, and I got my biggest brook trout, a four-pound male, on this fly.

Goddard Caddis

I tied up a bunch of these in size 14 before the trip. Caddis are a big deal up there, hatching daily, and at times achieving

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Dry Fly Fishing and the Dead Drift

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By Pudge Kleinkauf

The following is an excerpt from the book “Rookie No More: The Fly Fishing Novice Gets Guidance From A Pro”

Question: How do I achieve the “dead drift” when I’m dry fly fishing?

Answer: Most fly anglers find that fishing dry flies on the surface of the water is one of their favorite ways to fish. Seeing a fish rise up from beneath the water to take our bug imitation is a very exciting part of our sport. Called dry fly fishing, it isn’t one of the easiest of skills to master, however. Achieving the dead drift results from two things: good casting and correct management of the fly on the water.

Dry fly fishing is often referred to as “fooling fish with fur and feathers.” A good imitation of the fish’s food source, placed on the water with an appropriate cast, should result in a fly that looks and drifts on the water like the real thing. That could be an adult mayfly, caddis, or stonefly returning to the water’s surface to lay its eggs, or a bee or ant blown into the water from stream-side vegetation.

While learning to fish dry flies, you need to start by being able to track the fly on the water. Use a very visible fly a size or two larger than you need or a small fly with a bit of white or colored calf tail or poly yarn on its top to provide a focal spot for your eye to key on. Two of the best flies to use while learning to dry-fly fish are the Parachute Adams and the Royal Wulff (tied with white calf-tail wings) in a size #12.

“Find the fly on the surface just as soon as it lands,” I tell my students and clients, “and then never take your eyes off of it as it drifts along.” I also have beginners cast in fairly close to themselves until they train their eye to quickly locate the fly on the water at the end of the leader. As they become better able to judge distance, I have them extend their cast a little farther each time to learn how to spot the fly at greater distances. If you can’t follow your fly on the water, you won’t know how it is drifting.

A well-executed overhead cast is the best cast to help achieve the delicacy and gentleness of a wispy, weightless, imitation bug descending and landing on the water. The fly must land silently, delicately, and naturally. My instructor repeated over and over, “Think flutter, Pudge. The fly should ‘flutter’ to the surface, not slap down on it.” Because I could clearly see the difference between a flutter and a splat, that image worked for me.

Fluttering results from a

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Sunday Classic / Camera Care in Saltwater

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My cameras take a beating. On a trip to the Deschutes I dunked my Nikon D300s so badly that when I took the lens off, water poured out of the body. I was sure it was done but I pulled the battery out and set it in the sun and after a few hours it came back to life. The lens needed repair but the body seems fine.

I’m not recommending that you take your camera for a swim but good quality DSLRs like Nikons and Canons will take a lot of punishment. The one thing they can not take is salt water. I got away with a little dunk in the Deschutes but the salt spray and even the air in the Keys or the Bahamas can be deadly.
When I’m working around salt water I take great pains cleaning my gear.

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Saturday Shoutout / Hex Season

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An interesting bit of perspective, history and, well…argument on some of Michigan’s most famous trout waters.

Interesting in trout fishing the holy waters of Michigan? How about boat choice and guide politics? It seems like any more you can’t pick up a fly rod without someone taking issue. In the end, we all have water to share and how we do it says a great deal about us as anglers and as people.

This essay from True North Trout is one of the most thoughtful pieces I’ve seen on the subject. If you’re inclined to think about such things, it’s worth your time.

HEX SEASON, BRINGS OUT … …EVERYTHING

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RIO Gets Big, Nasty and Salty: Video

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RIO swept the IFTD awards in the fly line category this year.

A pretty impressive showing, considering they won for every product they entered. Two of the awesome products on the awards list are the Big Nasty fly line, designed to turn over the heaviest of flies and a new saltwater mono leader material.

WATCH THIS VIDEO FOR ALL THE DETAILS ON COOL NEW PRODUCTS FROM RIO.

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2 Hand Surf Casting Tips From Tim Rajeff: Video

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Surf fly-fishing is becoming more popular and with it a new style of 2 hand rods.

Anglers fishing the surf with fly rods know all too well the fatigue that comes with repeatedly hucking a line a hundred feet int the ocean. To solve that problem many surf anglers are turning to 2 hand beach rods. These long, powerful rods trade in the double haul for a smooth 2 hand casting stroke with a compact range of motion. Thanks to the power of the long rod that hundred foot cast becomes almost effortless.

When Tim Rajeff told me Echo would be releasing the new Beach Boost for the surf crowd, I knew a lot of our readers would be intrigued and many equally perplexed. The world of 2 hand overhead casting is pretty small and plenty of anglers will surely not know where to start. Fortunately, Tim was all too happy to give us a few tips on casting these cool new rods.

You can get more info about the Echo Beach Boost HERE.

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR TIM RAJEFF’S 2 HAND OVERHEAD CASTING TIPS.

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Fly Fishing Bass: 5 Tips for Fishing Frog Patterns Around Grass

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Some of my most memorable days chasing bass on the fly have come from me spending the day popping and waking frog patterns along the surface. I grew up fishing for bass, and although trout fishing has stolen the majority of my fly fishing attention over the years, I’ve always held a special place in my heart for catching bass on the fly. I’ve got friends that don’t see the coolness in fly fishing for bass, but that’s because most of them haven’t put in enough time on the water to experience perfect fishing conditions, and witness the thrill of bass smashing their fly cast after cast. Bass are amazingly acrobatic fish, and they provide more than enough pull and rod bend to justify fly fishing for them. If you haven’t explored this area of fly fishing, I highly recommend it. One day, Louis and I left our houses at 2:45 in the morning to drive across the Georgia State line, and fly fish for bass on Lake Guntersville. Louis was doing a shoot for a new bass lure company, and I was lucky enough to get invited to tag along. Normally, it would be a real challenge to drag me out of bed at this hour, but Lake Guntersville is considered one of the top bass fishing lakes in the entire country. More importantly, the lake is famous for its unbelievable frog fishing that generally starts in June, and runs through the summer months. Lake Guntersville hosts several professional bass tournaments throughout the year, and in 2014, it will host the most famous of all tournaments, The Bassmaster Classic. During the tournaments on Lake Guntersville, it’s not uncommon for bass anglers to weigh-in five fish sacs, well over 35 pounds. That’s right, we’re talking about an average fish weight of … Continue reading

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Adjusting your rig

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By Dan Fraiser

I’M STANDING ON THE BANK WATCHING THE BOTTOM FALL OUT OF THE STREAM AND A DARK ABYSS FORM WHERE THERE ONCE WAS STREAM BOTTOM.

The currents are right and the undercut bank is textbook. I know there are fish in there like I know putting my head under water would make breathing hard. It’s just obvious. I know that I don’t have enough weight on, that my dropper needs a tandem fly, that my hopper needs to go and be replaced with a strike indicator and that I need to dig the shot out of my pack. I know it, but that seems like so much work and the fish are right there. So I spend 10 minutes working the run without a strike. Casting and mending and trying to work the margins where I might be deep enough. Eventually, I give up and tear down my rig, put on all the right stuff and immediately start catching.

This unwillingness to change set-ups is a real problem for me. I’ll try to make do with what’s on, only to eventually cave and do it right. It feels like re-rigging would take up so much of my fishing time. Forget that mistake. I timed it tonight. To go from a bare tippet to a two fly rig, complete with shot and an indicator took me 2 minutes and 22 seconds… and I’m slow. I waste more time fishing a rig that isn’t right, just because it’s on, than it would cost me to just get it right and start catching. And who knows how many fish I spooked or made shy before I made the change.

Ignoring the time wasted fishing wrong, let’s just think about this. If you

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