When you set off on a trip to an exotic location for a little flats fishing it’s important to have the gear you need. Islands known for great saltwater fly fishing aren’t usually known for having great fly shops. It’s often a major ordeal just to come up with some sun screen or batteries. It’s smart to take what you need. Being stuck on an island for a week without essential gear really sucks. Here are four pieces of inexpensive flats gear that I love and count on, that all happen to come from Simms. Simms Sunsleeves $29.95 I am dead serious about sun protection. When I am fishing in the tropics keeping safe in the sun is job #1. I was skeptical about the Sunsleeves at first but after a couple of my buddies started wearing them and raving about them I decided to give them a try. They’ve become one of my favorite pieces of gear. With Sunsleeves you get the protection of long sleeves while you enjoy the comfort and range of motion you get from a short sleeve shirt. Plus, you can go without them in the mornings and evenings and put them on when the sun is at its worst. It’s great! And from a dollars and cents point of view it’s cheaper than sleeves. Long sleeve flats shirts cost $10 more than short sleeves, so the Sunsleeves pay for themselves. (GET ‘EM HERE) Simms sun gloves $24.95 Sun gloves are absolutely essential for me. Being able to keep the sun off of my hands when the sun gets high is not a luxury, it’s mandatory. I’ve used several styles of sun gloves and these are my favorites. Cool and well fitted with open palms these gloves have abrasion-resistant pads where you grip the rod and … Continue reading
I really enjoy catching big wild trout on a fly rod. Even more though, I enjoy the challenges that come with having to hunt them down in places where they are few and far between. I’m talking about trout streams where there’s not supposed to be any truly big trout living there. The places where catching a 12-incher normally gets you tickled to death, and where most fly anglers, if asked, would tell you point blank, “I guarantee you there’s nothing swimming in that trout stream large enough for a grip and grin.” These are the places I like to visit on my days off from guiding. I get deep satisfaction searching for that extra special fish. The fish that’s 99% confident no fly angler thinks he or she even exists. Continue reading
WE ALL KNOW THE CHINESE PHRASE KUNG FU, BUT FEW OF US KNOW IT’S TRANSLATION. KUNG = ENERGY AND FU = TIME. TO PUT ENERGY INTO ANYTHING OVER TIME IS TO DEVELOP KUNG FU.
I love to teach fly fishing. I do it every chance I get and I see folks wrestle time and again with the same three issues. I can remember being there myself and it sucks! Three things that seem so simple to me now just about cost me my sanity. I’d like to spare you that. If you are new to fly fishing for trout following these three suggestions will not only put you on more fish, but it will accelerate your learning curve dramatically.
Here are the three things that come between every new angler and the fish they want to catch.
PRACTICE YOUR CASTING
The first, most basic skill an angler needs is the ability to put the fly in front of the fish. This means, not only distance but accuracy as well. There have been a truck load of books written about fly casting and there will be a truck load more but there is nothing in any of them that can replace time spent with the rod in hand. That really is the trick. Time plus energy. Set aside a time, just ten or fifteen minutes a day, for the next year and spend that time casting in the yard. Every day! In a year you will cast like a Grand Master. Continue reading
Warning: The fly fishing advice you’re about to read may go against your present beliefs. There’s a good chance you’ll feel inclined to tell me I’m nuts for recommending it. That’s totally cool, I just ask that you read what I’ve written, before you make the decision to set me straight.
IT HAS LONG BEEN DRILLED INTO OUR HEADS, THAT THE WORST THING A FLY FISHERMAN CAN DO WHEN A FISH IS TRACKING HIS/HER STREAMER, IS STOP THE RETRIEVE.
I agree with this advice 95% of the time because most prey when threatened by a predator, will swim as hard and fast as possible to escape being eaten. That being said, I’ve been on the water many times when the constant-strip retrieve, or even the speed-up retrieve with my streamer, has failed to get me the hook up from a following fish. It was only when I thought outside the box, and found the courage to go against the popular view that streamers should always be kept moving when a fish is tracking, that I found myself with a bent rod.
With most things in fly fishing, there’s always exceptions to the rule. No matter how rare the exception may come up, a fly fisherman should always be willing to experiment when traditional tactics aren’t producing. If I told you that you were going to be streamer fishing a river where there were lots of injured and dying baitfish, would you still believe that a constant retrieve with a streamer would be your best tactic? What about if you were fly fishing trout water that had huge populations of sculpins or I said you were going to be fly fishing on a lake for largemouth bass, with water temperatures in the high forties? These are just a few fly fishing situations when I’ve found that a stop-and-go retrieve with a streamer can produce better than a constant retrieve, when fish are tracking but not eating. Below are three situations when killing your streamer retrieve, could prove to be your golden ticket. Continue reading
There’s few things I love more than fly fishing a small stream and stumbling upon a steep vertical waterfall, that has a deep plunge pool at its base. Waterfalls like the one pictured above are pretty rare on small streams, but if you’re lucky enough to locate one of these gems, you could very well next find yourself hooked up to one of the biggest trout in the entire stream. Below are four reasons why I feel waterfall plunge pools are great places to look for big trophy trout on small streams.
1. TONS OF FOOD GETS WASHED OVER WATERFALLS, ESPECIALLY DURING HIGH FLOWS.
Large amounts of food (like tiny fish, aquatic insects, crustaceans and amphibians) are constantly being swept over the falls. In many cases, it provides a steady enough stream of food that a big fish will take up residence, and won’t be required to leave the plunge pool to fulfill its daily food requirements. Continue reading