Sunday Classic / Don’t Keep Staring in One Place if You’re Seeing Nada

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By Kent Klewein

MY RECENT TRIP TO THE BAHAMAS, FLY FISHING FOR BONEFISH, I GOT A CHANCE TO WORK OUT A BUNCH OF KINKS IN MY FLATS FISHING.

From the help of my buddies, the helpful staff on hand and the fantastic bahamian guides, I eventually got to the point where I could respectfully hold my own on the flats. Despite me being in paradise there were a few times during the trip when I found myself hanging my head. The first problem I had was letting my mind get in the way of my fishing. That was to be expected though, since I’m most comfortable on the cold water streams and rivers, and it had been several years since I’d last chased the grey ghost on the flats. When I trout fish, I don’t have to think about my casts much these days and my confidence is through the roof. This is because I do it day in and day out. Take me to saltwater though, where I only make a few trips a year, and my confidence drops and the first couple days I find myself constantly battling my inner thoughts and nerves. I’m sure many of you out there no where I’m coming from. Anytime you’re lacking confidence and dealing with nerves you’re going to fish at half your potential. And there’s no place this holds true more than standing on the bow of a skiff on the saltwater flats. Lesson learned, if you want to fish more effectively and maximize your success when fishing locations that aren’t your norm, you have to stay relaxed, keep your confidence no matter what, and learn to let the bad casts roll off your back.

My next problem I had during the trip, and the point for writing this post, was learning how to quickly spot the bonefish my guide was calling out to me. I missed countless shots during the week because of one flaw in my fly fishing game. That flaw was getting sucked into all the excitement and locking in and staring at one spot (where the guide called out the location of the bonefish) for too long. The guides were quick to point it out and tell me to continue to scan back and forth if I didn’t see the fish, but just like a lot of bad habits in fly fishing, this one in particular, proved to be tough habit for me to kick.

It’s very rare that any two people, much less a guide and client, will see eye to eye when it comes to gauging distance and direction. That was the problem I had with my recent trip to the Bahamas. The guide would say 50 feet and I would see 30 feet. Did we break out a tape measure or rangefinder? No, but that’s not what’s important. It doesn’t matter

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Saturday Shoutout / Drake Cast

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There’s a great new podcast from the folks at The Drake Magazine.

The Drake is one of the pubs that does it right. In keeping with their innovative attitude and high standards, the Drake Cast is fun and extremely well done. Elliott Adler strikes the perfect tone for “those who fish.

Episode 1 follows musicians Sean Carey and Ben Lester on a quest for solitude, beer, music and fish that takes them from Wisconsin to Idaho. Take a few minutes and join them on the road.

ENJOY, THE DRAKE CAST

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Argentina Dream Stream

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I can’t think of anything better than stalking big trout in Argentina.

There is something other-worldly about fly fishing in Argentina. It’s at once so familiar and yet so strikingly different. The fish are big and optimistic, and the angling pressure almost non existent. Condors soar above, llamas lounge on the banks, and bid trout feed at your feet. What more do you need?

I’ll be hosting a trip to Argentina in Feb of 2018. We will spend four days on the Limay river in Argentine Patagonia and four days chasing golden dorado on the Upper Parana. There are still a few spots open. If you’d like to see this fly-fishing paradise for yourself, send me an email at hookups@ginkandgasoline.com.

CHECK OUT THIS AWESOME VIDEO FROM OUR FRIENDS AT ANDES DRIFTERS!

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Simms G4 Sling Pack Review

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By Justin Pickett

A few months back I decided to ditch the chest pack that I had carried for so long in favor of a larger, more accommodating sling pack.

I was picky though. I wanted a sling pack that wasn’t ginormous that would be, at least, weather resistant and be well organized, while still allowing me to stuff fly boxes and a camera inside without it bulging at the zippers.

The Simms G4 fit the checklist, and even had a few other bonus features that I hadn’t thought of, but that I have definitely found useful. After trying one on at a local shop, I finally put down the cash and carted it straight to the water.

The G4 Sling boasts a water-shedding, TPU coated nylon that is pretty damn tough. I’ve thrown this thing around without worry for a few months now and there’s barely any evidence of abuse. The zippers are smooth and don’t require Lou Farrigno’s angry muscles to open or close the pack while they keep rain and other elements out. Working around the outside of the pack, I’ve also been very pleased with the Velcro straps that keep the excess straps tucked neatly away so there are nearly zero opportunities for fly line to get snagged. A kind of “bonus” feature for me, there is a net pass-thru on the back of the pack. This is great for keeping your hands free while fishing, taking photographs, tying on a new rig, etc. Be warned though, while I’m sure most nets would fit just fine without insult, the ever-popular, bomb-proof Rising Lunker nets’ knurling on the handle will abrade and wear through the fabric. No fault to either Simms or Rising, but something to certainly be aware of. To round out the exterior, there is also a handy set of buckle straps on the outside of the pack for holding items such as rain jackets and rod tubes.

Working inside of the pack, there are plenty of thoughtful and convenient pockets for storing indicators, tippet, camera equipment, and anything else you may need. The main interior space is

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Don’t Ride the Brakes During Your Fly Casting

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Are you finding that you’re lacking distance and falling short of your target with your fly casting?

Is your power and line speed insufficient? If the answer is yes, I bet you’re also getting a fair amount of tailing loops or dreaded wind knots aren’t you? Come on, be honest. There’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of if you’re periodically falling into this category with your fly casting. Believe me when I say, you’re not at all alone. I see it regularly on the water guiding, and most of the time anglers struggling with these problems usually are only doing one thing wrong with their fly casting. Nine times out of ten, in this scenario, anglers are decelerating their fly rod during their forward cast, back cast, or even both, in some cases. What you need to be doing to fix this problem is smoothly accelerating your fly rod during your casting stroke, making sure you’re stopping the rod at it’s fastest point. This will allow your fly rod to distribute the energy loaded during your cast efficiently, and you’ll have plenty of power (line speed) to reach your targets.

DECELERATION DURING YOUR CASTING STROKE: SHORT STORY & CASE STUDY

This past fall I was fishing big attractor dry flies with a client of mine. There were plenty of big fish willing to rise to our offerings, but to get them to eat, we had to stay far back and make long casts to them. Otherwise they’d spot us and spook. My client, a capable fly fisherman with strengths in short presentations and roll casts, developed a weakness for distance, when a head wind picked up. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get the distance needed to present his dry fly ahead of the fish. Several minutes we worked a prime piece of water that I knew had some eager fish looking up, but we got no takes. My client turned to me and said, “They must not like this fly pattern”. I replied, “You may be right man”, and I handed him the nymph rig and pointed upstream to our next fishing spot. But what I really wanting to say is, “No, the fly pattern is good, you’re just not getting the fly anywhere close to your target”.

There are times when the best thing you can do

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Reece’s Glo Worm

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By Bob Reece

Whether you like it or not, fish eat worms.

This wiggly addition to fly boxes is adored by some and scorned by others. If you happen to be a fly fisher that embraces the application of annelids, this pattern is worth its weight.

When tying the Glo Worm, I use either the Tiemco C500BL or the 2499BL. Both hooks sport the slightly upturned hook point and strength required to hook and hold large fish. The addition of two tungsten beads rockets this pattern to the bottom, where it belongs. This quick descent puts and keeps the fly in the strike zone for longer periods of time. The combination of MFC Sexi-Floss and UV coat creates a natural translucency.

Worms work and some work better than others. Even among great simplicity, diversity and improvement exist. If you’re looking to step up your annelid game, light up your box with some Glo Worms.

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The Woman Behind The Feel

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IF SHE WAS A MAN, SHE MIGHT HAVE BEEN A COWBOY.

The kind of quiet, earnest character Gary Cooper played in his old westerns. Raised on a Montana ranch with five brothers, she stands as if she were always ready to get to work. You wouldn’t be the least surprised to see her saddle a horse or mend a fence. She is serious, thoughtful, and when she speaks she gets straight to the point. And you’d better believe people listen.

Soft spoken, humble, completely unassuming and a bit on the quiet side, with short silver hair and perfect posture, Annette McClean doesn’t immediately stand out in a crowd. If you saw her at the grocery store you might think of her as someone’s mom, or grandmom, and you’d be right. She is those things, as well as being a great angler, a good friend and civicly involved neighbor. As it happens, Annette is also one of the most brilliant minds in fly rod design.

There’s no point in writing around it, Annette is unique in that she is the only woman to design fly rods for a major manufacturer. As far as I know, she is the only woman rod designer period. Not that it matters and it certainly doesn’t to Annette. There is a rich history of women in the fly fishing industry and though she is the first to hold this position, I’m sure she will not be the last.

“I never felt devalued at Winston because I was a woman,” she tells me.

Annette was working for a local conservation organization in the 1980s when she walked through the front door of the R.L.Winston Fly Rod Company. She wasn’t looking for a job, or even a fly rod. She was there to ask then owner, Tom Morgan, if he’d sell a piece of land.

“No,” Tom replied, “But I’ve got a job for you if you’re interested.”

The job was polishing reel seat hardware, and she took it. Not a glamorous position but she didn’t care. She enjoyed the work and before long Annette was doing a couple of other jobs around the plant, including working on bamboo rods with Glen Bracket.

Winston is the kind of place where employees take pride in their work and feel an ownership in it. Any employee can, at any time, take any part out of production if they find it to be anything other than perfect. They are expected to do it, and what’s more they are expected to take it back to the person responsible for the imperfection. It’s the kind of place where if you do your job well, you get more responsibility. The kind of place where your work ethic matters more than your resume and before long Annette McClean found herself in charge of operations, and then design.

Winston is one of the oldest and most storied brands in fly fishing, so it’s fitting that when you walk through the front door you find yourself in a museum. Glass cases hold old bamboo rods, many with world records attached to them. Old machinery and hand tools from the company’s early days line the walls. Black and white photos cover the walls. Photos of men who shaped fly fishing as we know it and most recently a photo of Annette McClean. None of them are

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Sunday Classic / Not Today

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“WHEN I SAY I LOVE TO FISH, THAT’S THE KIND OF LOVE I’M TALKING ABOUT. THE KIND OF LOVE THAT COMES WITH PAIN AND STRUGGLE AND DEATH. THE KIND OF LOVE YOU EVENTUALLY WISH YOU HAD NEVER KNOWN.”

The night sky is just opening its eyes. The first bright pin pricks in the cold blue firmament slowly twinkling to life. Like shining snowflakes falling on a glass dome they multiply, forming a blanket of heavenly light over the Wind Range.
There is no moon. The only real light is coming from the last sliver of white along the horizon. The sage brush fades from dusty green to black and the ribbon of pale dirt road that stretches as far as I can see, both ahead and behind, takes on an eerie glow. I feel the first bite of night air and hear the rustlings of nature’s second shift punching the clock. It’s a beautiful Wyoming twilight.

I’m twenty miles, if I have my bearings, from the nearest paved road, a few more to the nearest house. Thirty miles from the nearest cell tower or tandem truck moaning down the highway. Fifty miles from the nearest town. This is what I love, the kind of thing I live for, work for, go way out of my way for. To be alone under the night sky with a trout stream near by and the promise of another day. A perfect ending, to any other day.

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Saturday Shoutout / Tom Bell Rod Testing

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Tom Bell of Sunray Fly Lines is one of a kind.

If you’ve cast Tom’s Sunray Lines, you’re likely a fan. Tom is a kind of a mad scientist and one of the most frenetic individuals I’ve ever met. Spend a few minutes talking with him and you’ll likely wonder what kind of research goes into his remarkable designs. This video might offer an answer.

On the other hand, maybe not, but it’s certainly entertaining and you might actually learn something. Either way, it’s worth a view.

TOM BELL TESTING RODS AND OFFERING CASTING ADVICE.

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Tim Rajeff Fishes Two Fly Lines On One Rod

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If you think you’ve seen everything in fly-fishing, check out this video with Tim Rajeff.

Want to catch twice the fish? Try fishing twice the line. OK, obviously this is a joke but it’s also an overt display of casting skill. Not satisfied with with being one of the worlds greatest fly casters, Tim Rajeff has actually learned to cast two fly lines at once, with a single rod.

I don’t know of any practical application for this technique, but it’s amazing to watch. If you struggle to cast one line without a tangle, watching Tim Place two flies, side by side, without a hitch might make you scream. If you figure out who to catch two fish at once doing this, please send us a photo!

WATCH THIS VIDEO TO SEE TIM RAJEFF BEING A BADASS.

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