ON THE WATER TECH WITH OFF THE WATER STYLE.
That’s the mission of the boys at Howler Brothers and there’s not a more distinctive brand in fly fishing. Always cool, their clothing is some of the edgiest gear on the market. The look is backed up with quality. These guys have carved out a nice niche for themselves.
Check out the video to see some of the cool new designs coming this fall and in 2015.Read More »
By Kent Klewein
NO FLY ANGLER SHOULD EVER FEEL ASHAMED TO WATCH HIS/HER BACK CAST WHEN FLY FISHING.
In fact, if you make a habit of consistently watching your back cast, you’ll become a much better fly caster overtime and catch a good deal more fish when you’re on the water. Just because Brad Pitt in the movie, A River Runs Through It, didn’t watch his back cast in most of the fly fishing scenes throughout the film, doesn’t mean fly anglers should follow his lead. The best fly casters in the world watch their back cast when presentations call for it. They might not do it all of the time, but they sure as heck don’t think twice about doing so, when a specific presentation calls for it.
The reason I’m taking the time to talk about this today is because most of my clients struggle with the idea of watching their back cast. From my point of view, they shy away from doing so, because they feel like they’re raising up a red flag that signals, “Hey everyone, I’m a rookie.” But that notion is completely untrue. In reality, if a more advanced fly caster walks up on you and you’re casting poorly because you’re not watching your back cast, he or she is probably going to be thinking, “That poor angler, all he/she needs to do is make an effort to watch his/her backcast and most of those casting flaws would disappear.” If you’ve hit a plateau with your fly casting skills, more times than not, the best thing you can do to take your skills to the next level is start paying more attention to watching your back cast. Put it to the test next time you’re on the water especially if you’re a newcomer or intermediate fly angler. And don’t think it only applies to trout fishing in freshwater, it can be just as important, sometimes even more important, when fly fishing in the salt.
4 REASONS WHY WATCHING YOUR BACK CAST CAN IMPROVE YOUR FLY CASTING AND FISHINGRead More »
By Bruce Chard
MANY FLY ANGLERS THINK, IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THE SALT, YOU NEED TO HAVE A GREAT DISTANCE CAST.
That can be true on a calm day when all fly anglers struggle to add another 5-10ft on their cast. But in reality the anglers that can get the fly where it needs to be within 50ft take advantage of a large number of their opportunities. Not only is accuracy a huge part of success in the salt, the most valuable asset is speed. If you can get the fly there fast with minimal movement, your odds of a hook up go through the roof.
Seeing and spotting fish for most fly anglers is challenging. Taking longer to find or see a fish frequently leaves anglers with a close shot. The problem that we run into here is lack of time. By the time the angler finally can get a visual on the fish, the amount of time left to act is simply not enough.
This is when a short quick cast is a must. You might be wondering, how hard can it be to make a short cast? You might be surprised how hard it is to lay out a 12-13ft leader with a heavy fly into a stiff 25 knot wind at 25ft.
The main reason for short shots not laying out straight is the lack of line or weight outside the end of the rod tip. Since you have to make a close shot, you can’t get enough line outside the tip to load the rod and make the cast.
SO HOW DO WE EFFECTIVELY AND EFFICIENTLY MAKE THIS CAST?
Loading only the Tip
Start by loading just the section of the rod that you need, to make your cast. One of the key essentials
By Carter Lyles
ARE YOU OVERWHELMED BY THE FACT THAT YOU ARE CONSISTENTLY BEING SKUNKED IN AN AREA THAT YOU ARE NEW TO FISHING?
I know how it feels because this happened to me when I moved from Atlanta, Georgia down to St. Simons Island on Georgia’s coast. Honestly, I think St. Simons is one of the most challenging places in the country to locate and catch fish on the fly if you’re a newbie because: 1) We have nine foot tides, 2) There is a ton of water to cover, 3) Straight up nobody is willing to share any spots or tips, 4) The redfish act differently here than in most places, 5) Dark water.
I’m just going to be flat out honest with you– I got skunked probably close to fifteen times before I caught my first redfish in the Golden Isles. There are reasons for this, which I will share with you so that this struggle doesn’t happen to you:
1) Put Away the Fly Rod
I had this “fly or die” mentality, which is the absolute worst way to approach a fishing situation. God, forgive me. If you’re new to a lake or even huge areas like the Georgia coast, then put away your fly rod. We are trying to locate fishing spots, folks… I used live bait (no I’m not ashamed) and began to really figure out where these redfish were. I suggest you do the same, or at least use conventional tackle if you want the process to proceed at a much faster rate.
2) Put Away the Fly Rod
Nope. This is not the same tip. This time I actually mean keeping my fly rods in my room in a closet where I wouldn’t touch them. Go out a handful of times and don’t even bring a rod. Instead bring a nice pair of binoculars, a pen, and a notepad!
WHEN THINGS GO BADLY, YOU’VE GOT TO STAY POSITIVE AND TURN YOUR TRIP AROUND.
The sky is clear. Mangrove leaves glow in early morning sun. Dirty brown water floods the mud flats of Delacroix, Louisiana. I take in the view from the poling platform while struggling to move the boat against a twenty MPH wind. The last few days have been challenging, to say the least. We’ve battled the thunderstorms and wind, poor light and water clarity, and today the water temperature has dropped ten degrees. We were chased out of Venice when the Mississippi rose nine feet and landed here, where at least we know a couple of spots. The whole trip has been a mess and I’ve spent most of it on the platform. On the morning of this, the third day, I have only landed one redfish and I’m looking to turn things around.
I pole the boat into a sweet looking spot where the lee of a small island meets the mouth of a creek. It looks too good to not hold fish. My buddies Scott and Daren have given up on their fly rods and gone over to the dark side, throwing spoons and jigs on gear rods. Daren fires a cast into the creek and Scott casts to the island. Both lines come tight and we have a legitimate double in the first thirty minutes of fishing. My shoulders relax and I think that today things just might turn around. I spin the push pole in my hands and sink the point into the soft bottom to hold the boat while my friends land their fish. That’s when I hear a loud snap and the pole is suddenly free in my hand.
There’s no managing a flats boat in strong wind with a broken push pole. We spend most of day three riding back to the dock, driving a half hour to the nearest hardware store and fixing the pole. By afternoon, when we return to the flats, things have changed and there isn’t a redfish to be found. I blind cast wildly to fishy looking water while a pounding rises in my ears. My frustration becomes palpable and my casting sloppy. We call the day around 3:30 when the boats wiring starts acting up. I ride back to the dock in a state of self loathing. Voices of negativity singing choruses in my head. Feeling sorry for myself like a little bitch.
Just a week earlier I was swinging flies for steelhead on the Deschutes river in Oregon. Conditions were tough there too. I’d taken my friend Andy Bowen for his first west coast steelhead trip, to learn how to cast a two hander and swing flies from Jeff Hickman, who taught me. Andy was on the board early with two nice fish. His first, a wild buck, handed him his ass early in the fight, almost spooling him. The look on Andy’s face was priceless. He kept his cool and, with constant coaching from Jeff, landed the fish.
It was a perfect first steelhead experience. I always choose my words carefully whenRead More »
“IF YOU CLIMB INTO THE CAB OF THAT PICKUP WITH JOHN YOU’LL FIND THAT WHERE YOU WIND UP CAN, ONLY IN THE MOST EXISTENTIAL TERMS, BE CALLED A FISHING TRIP.”
It’s about seven-thirty on a Saturday morning. It’s mid-September and the chilly Colorado air has coaxed a fair number of lookie-lous, headed up from Denver and Boulder to catch some fall color, into the Stone Cup Cafe on highway thirty-six in Lyons for a cup of hot coffee. A dozen or so of these plains dwellers are queued up like good little office workers waiting their turns when a lanky man in his seventies comes through the door. He is not, at once, remarkable. He’s wearing blue jeans, faded with a hole or two, cinched up with a belt to fit his slim frame. A fleece vest and sun-bleached hat frame an angular face that’s lined like a gazetteer. There is a little white feather tucked into his hat band, like Peter Pan. His white beard seems to pretty much have the run of his face. It’s had just enough grooming to suggest that there’s a woman involved somehow, but she’s learned to pick her battles. His bright blue eyes seem too young for the rest of him. He doesn’t dally. He has the stride of an experienced hiker who sets a pace and covers his allotted miles without complaint, his eye fixed on a distant peak. That peak, at this moment, being the coffee pot.
This fellow may not have raised much attention from the morning crowd when he came through the door, but that quickly changes as he walks promptly past the line, around behind the counter and to the coffee machine where, seemingly unnoticed by the staff, he sets about pouring two cups of coffee. He tucks a couple of bucks in a basket that hangs on the wall by the coffee pot, picks up his two cups and with the same determined stride walks back by the line of dumbstruck tourists. He doesn’t acknowledge them, their galled stares or open mouths. He is completely stoic until he is past the line and makes it to the door. He reaches out his hand and offers me a cup and an impish smile creeps across his face as he says, “I love doing that.” And in that instant, there he is, the man I have come to know through his words long before I laid eyes on him. This is John Gierach.
I met John a year earlier at a fly fishing trade show in Denver. I was at the Whiting Farms booth pouring through a selection of high quality rooster capes when he took up a place next to me and within a few moments began telling me how to kill a chicken with a stick. This would, no doubt, have seemed odd to me had I not known exactly who I was talking to. How could I not recognize this man? I’ve read more of his books than any three authors combined. Of course I knew him and I knew that he had tried his hand at raising chickens at the little house across the street from the Saint Vrain River and that it had been a total disaster and that he had to move when the well became contaminated from the gas station next door and a hundred other personal details that had forced their way into his stories. Had I known all there was to know about raising chickens and been the fellow who had first thought of killing one with a stick and gone on to raise that killing to an art form and had the very act of killing a chicken named after me, I would have still hung on every word. We chatted for a bit and exchanged cards and I expected that to be the end of it.
I discovered John’s writing at the point of one of those great cosmic detours that life takes. I had lost my father to cancer andRead More »
THIS FILM BY TODD MOEN IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE FLY FISHING FILMS EVER.
Anyone who has ever fished for steelhead will feel their heart pounding in the first few minutes of this film. The amazing shots of fish and water alone are enough to have you punching the replay button but just wait. The final scene is one of the craziest battles ever witnessed between man and fish!
G&G contributor and great friend Jeff Hickman shows some serious skills in bringing wild steelhead to hand. If you don’t have a steelhead trip planned for this season, you will soon.
CHECK OUT FALL RUNRead More »