THAT FLY PUSHES A LOT OF WATER, BUT DOES IT CATCH A LOT OF FISH?
Like most human endeavors, fly fishing is subject to fads. One of the latest fads in the sport is flies designed to push water. Largely fueled by the increased popularity of musky fishing with the fly rod, fly tyers are pushing the boundaries like never before. Streamer patterns commonly resembling something Tina Turner might have worn in Mad Max are the norm and nothing is off limits. It’s the Wild West.
The mantra of most folks tying these flies is “push more water.” The idea behind pushing water is simple. A large fly with a blunt head displaces a lot of water when stripped. Fish “hear” this water displacement through their lateral line and it helps them key in on the fly. Nothing wrong with that logic. It’s all true.
When fishing for species like musky or redfish which rely on sound more than sight to hunt, it’s a truly important principal and flies that push water produce. But it’s not always the most important element of a fly’s design. In fact, when this idea that a fly must push water makes it’s way into trout fishing it often causes more problems than it solves.
Trout are predominantly visual feeders. They live in clear water where their excellent vision is their greatest asset. This is not to say that they pay no attention to what they hear or smell but they do not aggressively eat midges because they push water.
It’s much more important that a trout see your fly than hear it. When streamer fishing for big trout, the fly needs to get in their face. Like a small fish invading their space. That’s what triggers his predatory response. The biggest challenge In showing a trophy trout your fly is getting it down to his depth. That’s a hugely important task. The trout feels safe in his holding zone. Asking a big experienced trout to show himself is asking a lot. Think about the really big fish you’ve caught. Did you see the eat, or did it happen in that zone just below where you could see?
There is a very popular idea that fishing unweighted streamers on sinking lines is the only way to catch big trout. Kelly Galloup, who I both like and deeply respect, has pushed this idea to the forefront of popular thinking but Kelly lives on and fishes the Madison, a ninety mile riffle where this technique works well. It’s not the best method on every river.
In most rivers, the largest fish liveRead More »
By Kent Klewein
POLARIZED SUNGLASSES ARE ONE OF THE MOST CRITICAL PIECES OF GEAR AN ANGLER CAN EQUIP THEMSELVES WITH ON THE WATER.
They significantly cut down the glare on the water so you can spot fish and read water more effectively. Without them an angler can feel naked and ill-equipped. Polarized sunglasses play so many important roles in everyday fly fishing, and making a point to choose the right lens color before you hit the river can end up adding or subtracting to your overall success on the water. I carry two different pair of sunglasses with me at all times. Depending on the fishing location, time of day, and available light, I’ll choose one over the other.
Yellow Lens (Low Light Conditions)
Early morning and late evening hours when the sun is low in the horizon and off the water I prefer to wear polarized sunglasses with yellow lens. They increase the contrast and brighten everything a couple notches. I also prefer yellow lens when I’m fishing heavily canopied streams. Sometimes even in the middle of the day, there are many places where the sun doesn’t penetrate the canopy, and you’ll find yellow lens are the only way to go for these shady low light conditions. Nasty weather days when its cloudy and rainy, yellow lens perform well. The winter brings with it limited sunshine on the water, since the sun doesn’t move across the horizon as high, and wearing yellow lens solves this problem. You don’t want to go 100% with a yellow lens for every day fishing though. During high light levels you won’t get the contrast you’ll need, but they do perform extraordinarily well in niche low light situations.
Amber Lens (Moderate to High Light Conditions)
If you only had the luxury to choose one color lens for fishing, there’s no better color choice than amber
WE JUST GOT BACK FROM IFTD AND THERE ARE SOME PRETTY CLEAR TRENDS FOR THE COMING YEAR.
The IFTD show is an exciting event. A great opportunity to have a look at what’s coming up in fly fishing gear. This was my 10th IFTD show and it only gets more fun every year. Sometimes products seem to come out of nowhere and other times there is a definite zeitgeist. This was one of those years. There are some trends that I’m pretty excited about and I think you will be, too.
The big news is that fly fishing is about to get a lot more affordable. I’ve been saying for years that what the industry needs is a mid-priced American-made fly rod. In 2015, I’m getting what I asked for in spades. Several rods for both freshwater and salt will be hitting the market for about $425 from the likes of Scott, Winston and Orvis and the Accel from Sage at $595. Quality, made-in-America rods from some of the best manufacturers in the business. I can only see this trend growing and that’s good news for fly anglers.
Asian rod prices seem to be on the fall as well. Echo is bringing some very good rods to market for as little as $89! Rod manufacturers who are already in the mid price range are expanding their offerings. Mystic has some very interesting Spey rods and a women’s rod for the coming year.
Fly rods are not the only gear that’s getting more affordable. One of the most exciting things coming next year are some truly affordable waders from Simms. The new headwaters wader line is pretty impressive. You will now be able to buy Simms Zipfront waders for $399.
There’s also good news on the way for women and kids. A few more women-specific rods and waders are on the way as well as some nice technical apparel from companies like Mavin Fly. One of the coolest things I saw are the kids sling packs from Veedavoo. These packs are just as technical as the adult packs but scaled down for anglers who are small but serious.
Several of the big name rod companies are making a move toRead More »
YOU’LL HAVE TO FORGIVE ME, I’M GOING TO TELL YOU A STORY YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO HEAR.
On more occasions than I care to count I have found myself the subject of judgment if not out right scorn from strangers, colleagues and even family over the amount of time I spend fishing. Sound familiar? Chances are, if you fish as much as I do you’ve run into the odd individual who, for what ever reason, feels that you owe them an explanation for what you’ve chosen to do with your life. I’ve seen people galled that I am “wasting my life”. Folks, sometimes visibly angry with me when I tell them I spend well over a hundred days a year on the water, demanding an explanation. As if they were a disappointed parent. This used to irritate me but I have come to see this jealousy as an opportunity to have some fun at their expense. I taunt them a little. I draw them in and let them get really comfortable with the idea that I am a worthless fool and they are setting me straight before I explain it. And because I don’t like being judged I enjoy watching their faces drop when they hear the answer.
My father was a pilot. He had his pilot’s license at fourteen but he had already been flying for years. He flew the F86 for the Air Force. He could do things with a plane that scared the pants off of experienced pilots. He was truly gifted and he loved it. It was his purpose for living. When he got out of the service he could have flown for a living but his father had started a business and asked him to come to work for him. He would have done anything for his Dad so he did and he hated it every day.
He chain smoked and after suffering a heart attack in his forties, reluctantly, he gave up his pilot’s license. He put his energy into golf. He was always athletic and competitive. He loved to gamble and always won. Gambling, it seems is only a problem if you lose. My brother tells the story of seeing my father win fifteen-hundred dollars on a single hand of cards then give the money to the local girl scout leader to take the girls to camp. That’s how he was. When he passed away about all he owned were his clothes, an old Chevy and his golf clubs. His family and friends never wanted.
At fifty-nine my father had all he could take andRead More »
SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE FLY IS BACK FOR SOME SUMMER FUN WITH A PARTICULARLY WACKY ISSUE.
There’s musky, there’s bass, there’s disco, there’s Crapo. Everything you need for a great summer vacation, including a truly outstanding tarpon photo essay by our friends Steve Seinberg and Joel Dickey.
SCOF is one of the best fly fishing sites on the web.
GET YOUR ASS OVER THERE!Read More »
By Carter Lyles
LIGHTNING PIERCED THE SKY AS ANOTHER BAHAMIAN STORM BLOCKED THE SUN FROM SHINING ON EVERY SHADE OF BLUE YOU COULD IMAGINE–IT WAS THE SECOND STORM OF THE DAY.
The serenity of the moment was captured by our Long Island guide, Docky, yelling with his hands cupped over his mouth: “Get back to the boat! Keep your rod tips down!” Wading back to the boat, I saw silver flashes to the left of me in about three feet of water and around twenty yards out. The smell of the salt air captured the moment as the warm, crystal clear Bahamian water swirled itself around my legs. “To the boat mon’! What are you doing?!” That last cast in fly-fishing is to me the hardest part of the experience, but I knew there was a possibility of becoming a conch fritter if I didn’t put myself in the boat as soon as possible.
Once in the boat, I met Docky who had taken out his ham sandwich that his wife had prepared him the night before. Not once did we ever get wet. The storm was split right down the middle when it met us, almost like the passing of the Red Sea by Moses. Docky and I spent an hour on the boat discussing the “good ole days,” unfortunately, something that I am too young to remember. “Thousands of bonefish mon’, every single day, just thousands…” I could tell how passionate Docky was about his bonefish fishery, because when he began talking about the “good ole days,” it was like staring at a man who had seen the other side. Long Island Bahamas holds some of the biggest bonefish in the entire world and especially in the Bahamas itself, but I just couldn’t bring myself to imagine it getting in better than this. Apparently I was wrongRead More »
GINK AND GASOLINE IS A NO BULLSHIT ZONE
I’ve received some criticism lately over the fact that my product reviews are all positive. The exact quote was this.
“Another glowing review of a free product. Imagine that.”
My first response was, “It’s a lot easier to make snarky comments on the internet than to write a meaningful review.” I do, however, think the subject deserves a complete disclosure. After all, if you spend your money on something I recommend, I’d like for you to know why I recommend it.
True – I only write positive reviews. Here’s why. It’s my feeling that there is enough negativity in the fly fishing world. I got into fly fishing for a positive experience, not to listen to some guy bitch about what or who sux. If I could, I would delete the word sux from the fly fishing lexicon. It doesn’t help anyone.
I write about products I love. That’s it, pure and simple. In my opinion that’s helpful. It informs you about what I believe is worth your hard earned money. That’s a lot more important than knowing what I don’t like.
I don’t write reviews because manufacturers give me product. As a fairly prominent photographer, I was getting plenty of gear before I started writing reviews. In fact, I write reviews about gear I buy too. I do it as a service to my readers. I do it because people enjoy them and because, publishing daily, I need stuff to write about!
I understand a certain level of skepticism on the part of this particular reader. There are a lot of BS reviews out there on the web. I promise you will not read them here. I do decline to review many products. You’d be surprised.
IN THE INTEREST OF FULL DISCLOSURE, HERE IS THE EXACT TEXT I SEND TO MANUFACTURERS WHO SUBMIT PRODUCTS FOR REVIEW.
G&G product review policy
We do not promiseRead More »