New Packs and Bags From Fishpond

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I always look forward to seeing the new Fishpond gear at IFTD.

I always know I’m going to see something cool. This year is no exception. The folks at Fishpond have redesigned most of the line with an emphasis on durable recycled fabrics, easy access and waterproof technology.

In this video Ben Kurtz Walks us through the features of several new products including the new Thunderhead Backpack, boat bag, some new luggage and the Quick Shot rod holder. Some really nice design in these new products.

CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO TO SEE WHAT’S NEW FROM FISHPOND.

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Reading The Body Language of Highly Aggressive Trout

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By Bob Reece

As we move into the fall months, the use of streamer patterns typically increases for many fly fishers.

There are many factors that lead to success when pursuing trout with these beefy creations. Evaluating the body language of the aggressive fish that chase these flies can improve your odds of hooking up.

Throughout the course of the year I have countless conversations with other fly fishers. When these discussions are focused on streamer fishing, a common tale arises. I’m repeatedly told stories of “missed” opportunities or last chance swipes from aggressive fish at the end of a retrieve or as the pattern is lifted from the water for another cast. The excitement and emotion of these encounters is often evident in the eyes of the story teller.

While this story is common, its ending can often be avoided. The end of a retrieve does not always mean the end of an opportunity to hook that fish of your dreams. If an aggressive trout pauses where you finished your retrieve or actively searches the water or substrate, you should immediately place that offering back in its field of vision. When I encounter these situations, I attempt to quickly place the fly in front of and off to either side of the fish. As with many other fly fishing situations I avoid

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Hellgrammite, The King Kong of Aquatic Insects

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I WAS ON THE WATER TROUT FISHING THE OTHER DAY, WHEN MY BUDDY ERIK ASHLIN SAID, “IT WAS JUST ABOUT THIS TIME LAST YEAR, WHEN ALL THE HELLGRAMMITES BEGAN CRAWLING INTO THE SHALLOWS TO BEGIN THEIR PUPATION.

Let me flip over a rock and see if I can find one real quick, these guys are wicked looking”. No joke, the first rock Erik turned over, this freaking giant 3″ Hellgrammite was laying there with its jaws of life (mandibles) snapping. It was very clear it was gesturing, “come on, get closer…, let me get a piece of you”!

If you ever get the opportunity to examine a big Hellgrammite up close, there will be no doubt in your mind that the Hellgrammite is the King Kong of all aquatic insects. Be careful handling them because they can pack one hell of a painful pinch capable of breaking the skin. Hellgrammites are like a five course meal in terms of food value to trout. I’d lay a bet they pack every bit as much caloric worth as sculpins and crayfish do. Great times to fish hellgrammite imitations are during high flows after heavy rains. During these conditions, they often get dislodged from under rocks and swept down stream. Hellgrammites are also very vulnerable during behavioral drifts, when the larva are searching out new feeding grounds or better water conditions.

If you’re trying to tempt a trophy brown trout, rainbow trout, or smallmouth bass into eating,

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A Day At Horse Creek Ranch

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I DIDN’T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TO EXPECT.

I’ve pulled out of Denver plenty of mornings before sunup. Sipped my coffee as the band of shining blue fog rose in the east and the front range blushed pink to the west. I’ve found my boots in plenty of Wyoming water on days like that but Cheyenne never been more than a pitstop. A windswept dusty place I’d stop for gas or to refill my cup, but never to fish.

I know there’s plenty of good fishing to be had in the area. I have a list of invitations as long as my arm and I’d love to answer every one of them, but when Bob Reece called and invited me for a day at Horse Creek Ranch, I couldn’t say no. Even if it was Frontier Days and there wasn’t a bed to be found.

I’ll be honest, my expectations were tempered. To the eye of a southerner, the Cheyenne landscape can leave you aching for a tree. I know I’ll hurt someone’s feelings but I’ve never thought of it as a scenic place. It’s also been quite some time since I got excited about private water. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it and I’ve had good experiences and bad, but the shine wore off a while ago. However, Bob is as fishy a guy as you’ll ever find and if he says its worth a look, I’m in.

It didn’t take but about ten minutes’ ride from Bob’s house to see how foolish I’d been to judge the place. The landscape was beautiful and when we got to the ranch I found my tree. The largest living cottonwood in Wyoming, in fact. I’d have made the drive just to see that. I shook the hand of a fellow named Lawrence, who’s mustache hung a full six inches below his chin and watched a herd of two-hundred wild horses move along a ridge. Wyoming never disappoints me.

Horse Creak Ranch has a handful of streams but the real attraction is its seventeen lakes. With only three anglers per day allowed on the 60,000 acre property, you feel like you’re fishing virgin water. Not a sign that anyone has been there before you. That’s a good start on a great day. Bob rowed the drift boat over patches of aquatic grass, rich with insect life, and it wasn’t long before the action started.

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A Conversation With April Vokey

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April Vokey is one of the most recognized, and sometimes controversial figures in fly-fishing.

Few anglers have been thrust into the limelight in quite the same way as April Vokey. April is the first to admit that she asked for it, but it hasn’t always been an easy ride. She has enjoyed, and often endured, a weird kind of celebrity which may only exist in fly fishing.

She has been a writer, a teacher, a blogger, a social media sensation, a TV personality, an entrepreneur, a passionate conservationist, an advocate for at-risk kids and, above all, an obsessed angler. She is a walking contradiction in many ways and whatever you think you know about her, there is more to the story.

I met April, by chance, on a gravel bar on the Dean River in British Colombia. She would agree with me that that first meeting was odd, and neither of us would have guessed it was the beginning of a friendship, but it was. I was flattered, and a little nervous, when April asked me to record an episode of her “Anchored” podcast. (If you’re not a listener, you should be.) We agreed then that she would return the favor and sit down with me for an in depth interview for the G&G audience.

While April was in town helping with a fundraiser for our local Chattahoochee river, we recorded this interview. Four and a half months pregnant, she is clearly embracing the moment as a turning point and chose to share a lot of personal experiences which she has not discussed publicly in the past. It was an engaged, frank and enlightening conversation.

I HOPE YOU ENJOY GETTING TO KNOW APRIL VOKEY AS MUCH AS I HAVE.

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Sunday Classic / Expressionist Brown

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Study the stream bed, brown and green. Through ripples and reflections, we find rocks and wood, maybe a shining piece of metal someone has left behind. Even the flash of a flake of mica in the sand, no bigger than a fishes scale. How is it that we miss the trout.

Gliding above the mud and stone he is emerald and gold, vermillion and azure, violet and blaze. He is metallic, kinetic, aesthetic. Perfect in his camouflage, he is at once breathtaking and invisible.

Look closer, he is abstract. He is pointillism, he is impressionism, he is surrealism. He is cubist, fauvist, and expressionist, he is Monet, Van Gogh and Miro. He is Blake’s world In a grain of sand. Infinity in the palm of your hand.

He is beauty, and like all beauty, he vanishes into the mundane. It is a failing of the human eye, or maybe of the heart. He is truth, and like all truth he is

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Saturday Shoutout / Drawing the Lines

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“ONE PERSON FISHES ONLY DRY FLIES, BUT THE NEXT FISHES DRIES TO RISING TROUT ONLY INSIDE PERFECTLY CIRCULAR RINGS. ANYTHING LESS IS SIMPLY UNSPORTING, YOU SEE.”

Fly fishers are a funny lot, to be sure. I’ve often said, “If there’s not an argument, it isn’t fly fishing. This Saturday we bring you a little wisdom on the topic from Domenick Swentosky at Troutbitten. Have a read and see where you draw the line.

“WHERE THE LINES ARE DRAWN”

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New Orvis Ultra-Light Wading Gear: Video

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Orvis had some new wading options for anglers on the go.

The new Orvis Ultra-Light Waders, boots and jacket were designed with the traveling angler in mind. They offer durable wading solutions with out the weight or size of traditional wading gear. The new seam technology almost doubles seam strength in the waders and new coatings add durability to the boots. These are a great option for anglers who fly, or just don’t want to be weighed down.

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR ALL THE DETAILS ON THE ORVIS ULTRA-LIGHT WADING SYSTEM.

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The Hydropsyche With Peacock Quills

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By Herman deGala

Here’s some advanced technique for tying flies with peacock quills.

Fly tying has always been the art of linking a series of techniques to achieve an overall design. Innovative techniques are often a result of problem solving.

I have always enjoyed the look of wrapped peacock quills and the beautiful segmented bodies they create with simple turns. I also enjoy the iridescence of peacock barbules and their fish catching attributes. I have come up with a simple way to combine both of these attributes.

I DEMONSTRATE IT HERE WITH A SIMPLE HYDROPSYCHE. I AM SURE YOU CAN THINK OF MANY MORE APPLICATIONS WITH YOUR OWN TYING.

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Better Down Stream Presentations & Drifts

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HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU BEEN TROUT FISHING AND SPOTTED A BIG TROUT POSITIONED DOWN AND ACROSS STREAM OF YOU FEEDING?

I know I’ve seen it plenty of times on the water, and it always seems like those fish are always positioned just out of reach for me to get a regular cast and drag-free drift over them. Right before my fly reaches the fish, I run out of slack as my fly line comes tight, and I get unwanted drag on my fly. Presenting your flies this way to educated fish can often end up putting them down. If you find yourself in this situation you need to be ready to smoothly and quickly kick out extra fly line out the end of your rod tip during your drift. Executing this properly you’ll be able to maintain enough slack to extend your drag-free drift so your offering can make it to the fish, and have a good chance of being eaten.

I see fly fisherman all the time try to use a shaking motion with their rod tip to kick out extra fly line and extend their drift. Most of the time this doesn’t work very well, because it’s really difficult for you to let out fly line fast enough, and keep your flies from moving all over the place in the process. Watch this video below as I demonstrate how to properly present your fly down and across stream to a feeding trout, and smoothly kick out extra fly line to maintain a drag-free drift. It will take a few minutes for first-timers to get the hang of it, but once you do, you’ll have the technique mastered forever.

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