New Fly Lines From RIO

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Some especially nice offerings in the new RIO fly lines.

I am particularly excited about the new Flats Pro saltwater lines. I’ve been fishing the stealth tip version and i love it. Simon Gawesworth shows off the different options and talks about the design and performance, and you can read my full review of that line for more details.

There are also the highly anticipated Scandi 3D, multi-density lines for the spey caster. Multi-density Scandi lines have been available, and very popular in Europe for some time. These lines offer the best of both worlds in casting and swinging. There’s even a 3D version of the single hand spey.


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Cut A Dovetail Every Day

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Woodworking has taught me a few things about fly fishing.

Before Gink and Gasoline I was, for a time, very involved in the world of woodworking. I was fortunate to photograph and spend time working with some of the most talented folks in the field, many of them are still great friends. I still build my own furniture, in fact I just finished making a new set of cabinets for my kitchen, but it’s a hobby, not a job.

It was the early 2000s when I met Frank Klausz, a Hungarian-born furniture maker working in New Jersey. Frank specialized in high-end custom furnishings and reproductions and wrote books and magazine articles as well as instructional DVDs. An old world craftsman with a sterling work ethic and a great sense of humor, his name will be familiar to anyone who has studied the craft.

Frank is specifically known for his hand cut dovetail joinery. For many, hand cutting dovetail joints is the skill which separates the hobbyist from the artist. It is the kind of skill that’s bedeviling to master, while the master makes it look almost automatic. I had hand cut a few projects before I met Frank, but he was the one who really turned the lights on for me.

Cutting a perfect joint is really a matter of hand skill and muscle memory, much like fly fishing. There is some theory you need to understand but when it comes down to it, your hands must function independently from your head. The only way to achieve that is by repetition.

“I couldn’t really cut dovetails until I cut three-hundred for one project,” Frank told me.

“Cut a dovetail every day for a year and you’ll never have to think about it again.”

That advice ended up being a life lesson. I didn’t make it a whole year, but I cut

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Angler Attitude Can Increase Success During Tough Fishing Conditions

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Editors Note: It is with great humility that I share this article. I do so because I think the message is sound. I’d like to say thanks to Kent for the kind words. – Louis

By Kent Klewein


Louis Cahill is the epitome of this, he’s an angler that’s willing to do whatever’s necessary to put fish in the net, even when catching fish seems completely hopeless. In fact, he seems to shine when fishing conditions are really tough, and oddly as it may sound, sometimes I think he actually prefers bleak fishing conditions for the challenge and reward. It doesn’t matter if everyone on the river is getting their butts handed to them, Louis won’t except defeat until he’s given it everything he’s got. And here’s the real kicker, unlike many of us, I rarely have to pump Louis up for him to give me his absolute best on the water. All I have to do is get a serious look on my face, start cranking on the oars, and mention the words, “Let’s do this”. Nine times out of ten, he charges out the gates, like a horse at the Kentucky Derby, and ends up getting the job done by landing multiple big fish.

I think Louis has figured out how important angler attitude (staying positive, confident, grounded) is for catching fish, and many of us, including myself, need to take note. Louis openly acknowledges trout can be super technical and extremely difficult to catch at times, but he maintains a firm stance that trout don’t have a higher intelligence than us, and they can’t consciously pick and choose who they outsmart. This fishing attitude is why Louis can travel all over the world fly fishing uncharted waters and find success, and that’s why I eagerly follow his lead where ever he goes. The man always has a plan b, c, and d, if plan a fails to produce.

When fishing conditions are grim and we, as anglers, begin doubting our ability to catch fish, we often begin fishing below our skill level. Unaware, we begin straying away from our angler reasoning and fishng instincts, and in turn, we make bad fishing decisions on the water. We’ll find ourselves

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3 Classic Flies For New Tyers

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By Bob Reece

Three points of contact provide stability. There are a plethora of patterns that new tiers could begin with. Yet three in particular lay out the fundamental techniques needed to create a stabile foundation for your fly tying future.

The Woolly Bugger, Pheasant Tail and Elk Hair Caddis have all proven their worth. The results that these patterns have produced for anglers around the world are undeniable. Yet equally as important, but often overlooked, is the value of these three bugs to beginning tiers.

Successful fly tying stems from mastering techniques. Once these techniques have been mastered they can be applied to additional practices and the subsequent patterns that are created through their use. While constructing the Woolly Bugger, tiers work with tailing materials, chenille and wrapping hackles. The Pheasant tail provides a practicing ground for proper nymph proportions, feather bodies and ribbing materials. Lastly, the Elk Hair Caddis introduces the tier to dubbing, more precise hackle use and hair wings.

By learning and mastering these three patterns, new tiers can

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Are We Being The Best Ambassadors For Fly-Fishing?

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Are you proud of how you represent fly-fishing?

I sat in a meeting the other day, a discussion really, with a group of fly fishing guides. Most of them are guys I like and respect. I was very quickly stoked at, from my perspective, how they all got it wrong. The experience left me frustrated and angry for about twenty-four hours. After a cool-down period I’m ready to discuss it here. If what I have to say makes you angry or defensive, you should take a hard look in the mirror.

By any measure, guides are the gateway to the sport. They are the educators, informants and even the evangelists of fly fishing. They, and the guys at the fly shop, are the most common point of contact for the angler new to fly fishing. They are skilled, hard working, motivated individuals with a passion for what they do. If they weren’t, they’d have washed out of the business. Many of my best friends are guides and some of them are the best examples of what guides should be. So what’s my beef?

The first question put to this group of guides was, “Who are your clients?”

What followed was about a half hour of bitching and moaning with the common thread being, “our clients suck.”

To my ears this is inexcusable on every level. To be fair, I don’t think most of these guys are prone to thinking that way, but it only took one toxic personality to pipe up and they all piled on with comments about their clients being idiots, not being able to cast or tie knots or follow instructions. They also agreed that most of their clients did not want to be told they were doing something wrong, an important point I will return to.

I get it. There is no shortage of unskilled anglers out there. Many of them, as the group described, are business tycoons who are not accustomed to be told they are wrong. Still, I think there are a couple of very important points being overlooked.

If you are a fishing guide, you are in a service industry. You are being paid for your time and as long as you are treated with basic human respect, it’s up to the client how that time is spent. I have spent my entire career in service to clients who don’t understand my job and are often completely unreasonable and I have never complained about having a job. If that job allows me to spend my days on the water doing something I love, that goes double.

The root of much of this is ego, pure and simple. Fishing guides, and for some reason especially trout guides, can be a wildly egotistical lot. If this stings, it’s likely true. I heard comments like, “He’s a surgeon, you’d think he could tie a knot.” I’ll be the first to admit that doctors can be a pretty egotistical bunch as well. They say the difference between God and a doctor is that God doesn’t think he’s a doctor. Regardless, anyone with that degree has made a commitment to mastering something far more challenging than catching a trout. Perhaps the reason he’s not a great angler is because his job has left him little time for it, and when the time comes that I need surgery, I damned glad his priorities are not the same as mine.

If you expect to be respected for putting in the time, and making the sacrifices, necessary to master the art of fly fishing, then you’d better first learn to respect the choices of your clients. Everyone has skills. To think that being a good fisherman, or even a great fisherman, makes you better than anyone else is childish.

Now I’m going to get to what really raises my hackle.

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Sunday Classic / Trout Utilize Shade Year Round and So Should Anglers

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When fly anglers bring up the topic of targeting shade in conversation for catching trout, most of the time they’re talking about doing it during the dog days of summer. Although it’s true that trout will regularly seek out shade (for cooler water) when water temperatures are elevated, it’s not the only time nor reason trout utilize it. Trout also use shade to camouflage themselves from both predators and the prey they feed on. If you don’t agree with me, tell me if it’s easier to spot a trout in the sun or in the shade. Trout understand this, and that’s why they often gravitate towards it on sunny days, even during the colder months of the year. The third reason trout search out shade is to cut down on the glare in their eyes, so they can spot drifting food in the current more effectively.

I was on the water the other day guiding and it was forty degrees with water temperatures in the upper 30s.

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Saturday Shoutout / Stalking The Seam

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One of my very favorite sites is on the edge of good bye.

“Finding the seam between currents, and threading your fly just there, is the difference between playing with Pisces and enjoying the view. As hard hunting and fishing fathers, we’re stalking a similar sweet-spot – the balance between passionate pursuits and happy home-lives. Sometimes we nail it, sometimes we miss. Weeks go by when we’re not even sure it exists. But we’re getting after it all the same. There’re fish in the rivers, birds in the brush and elk in the hills… and hell if we’re going to stand and watch the scenery go by.”

That’s how Matthew Copeland and Steven Brutger, two of the most talented and enjoyable folks I know, described their site. It is, like them, modest. Stalking The Seam achieved what few outlets do. Authenticity and reliability, a creative vision rooted in sincerity and humility and a work ethic which let nothing slide. Truly something special.

Last week Steven made the reluctant announcement that he and his partner were stepping back. It wasn’t so much a “Good bye” as, “I’m not sure we’ll pass this way again.” If not, they will surely be missed.

Nothing in life lasts forever. If you are not familiar with STS, you should follow the link and do some reading, while it’s still there. If you know and love the site, you might think about dropping them a line to say thanks. At the very least, let’s all take a minute

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The New Orvis Helios 3

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If you’ve been living under a rock the last several months, Orvis has a new premium rod.

There’s been a lot of talk and anticipation over the new H3. With good reason, it’s an impressive stick. Built from the ground up with the goal of making the most accurate fly rod ever, the new H3 is impressive in every category. I have cast it in almost every weight from 4-8 and there isn’t a dud in the bunch.

Five years of research and development went into the H3 and it’s an impressive story. In the video Tom Rosenbauer goes into great detail on how the rod was designed and built. Take a few minutes to watch, then get out to the shop and cast the new H3.


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Tell the Story With Fewer Photos

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This is the easiest way I know to become a better photographer.

It’s been a while since I posted a photography tip, but this is a good one. I had a conversation the other day that made me think about photographic storytelling. I took a really nice photo of a friend with a big fish. In the process I actually shot about fifty photos. That’s easy to do in eight frame per second bursts. Of course, everyone is excited about having a photo of themselves holding a nice fish. In his excitement my buddy told me,

“Send me everything!”

“Ok,” I replied. “Which shots do you want? The ones that make the fish look small or the ones that make you look bad?”

He immediately realized it was a silly request. The point of fishing with a professional photographer is not to tell him how to do his job.

One of the first things I learned as a photographer was that the best way to take a good photo is to take a lot of photos. That doesn’t mean that you show a lot of photos. Each photo of any given event creates its own unique reality for that event. That’s the nature of freezing a moment in time. Every moment is unique. Since the photographer, whether they realize it or not, always has their own interpretation of that event it is generally best represented by one, or at most, a few images.

It’s a common flaw in new photographers to be enamored with the process and want to share every image with anyone who will take the time to look. What the photographer doesn’t realize is

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10 Tips to Keep You Catching Fish During Your Fly Fishing Travels

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It’s easy to get out of your game when you’re traveling and fly fishing a new piece of water. It has happened to me plenty of times, where I find myself fly fishing and going against all my fishing catching principles. Stick to what works for you on your home water and keep your confidence, and you’ll be landing beautiful fish in no time. Below are ten principles that I always make sure I live by when I’m fly fishing abroad on unfamiliar waters.

1. Spend your time fishing productive water, don’t waist your time fishing subpar water.

2. Look for the 3 C’s (Cover, Current, Cusine) to locate the hotspots.

3. Always position yourself where you can get your best presentation and drift.

4. Have your fly rig setup correctly for the water you’re fishing (nymph rig set correctly, long enough leader for spooky risers, correct tippet size, ect).

5. Take the time to figure out the food source the fish are keying in on. Take regular bug samplings throughout the day and keep an eye out for aquatic insects on the water.

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