Checking Your Attitude

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Tom lives in Virginia. Too far away for us to fish together often but too close to have a good excuse.

He is an avid fisherman and a talented photographer. He and I have much in common. Our conversations may start off on motorcycles or politics but they usually end on fishing. I have often said that we are brothers, separated by a common hobby. Like brothers who marry sisters, Tom fell in love with bass and I with trout. I walked off up some mountain stream and he sped off at seventy mph across the lake.

The other day Tom left this comment to a post on G&G. It left me wondering why I’m the one with the fishing blog.


“Of all the cash we spend to catch a fish the biggest element is free. Years ago on one of those frustrating days my friend Rodney put it quite simply. Just as I was about to cast he asked ‘Are you going to catch one this cast?’ I responded with ‘Probably not!’ Rodney: ‘Then why don’t you just stand there until you are.”

“Now if you see me on the deck of my bass boat you may see me checking my line, checking my knot or checking my drag, but if I look like I’m just standing there staring a hole in the water, I’m checking my attitude.”

That’s Tom all over. Contemplative in the face of adversity. A talented

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Saturday Shoutout / Sealiced

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Watch the Video!

I’m a sucker for a good steelhead video.

This video by Danish film maker Columbus Leth is a great example of what draws us to cold and dangerous rivers to swing flies for steelhead and salmon. I don’t know about “Ten times better than tarpon fishing,” but it’s pretty magical. If this doesn’t make you want to catch steelhead, you should see a doctor.

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Western Rise, On The Way Up

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Western Rise is one of the coolest new outdoor clothing companies I’ve seen in a while.

One of my favorite things about attending the IFTD show is meeting the folks on the cutting edge of design. The young companies with new ideas who are shaping the future of fly fishing gear.

Western Rise is definitely one of those companies. They produce technical clothing with smart, innovative features and a distinctive look rooted in the past, but with its eye on the future. You can feel the quality in every piece they make.


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Green Light The Bahamas

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It’s time to check in on the status of Bahamian fishing regulations.

I get emails every week asking if foreigners are allowed to fish in the Bahamas. As of now, all of the news is good. There’s been very little talk of changes to existing regulations since the big uproar on the part of the angling community in response to last year’s draft proposal. There have been rumors of a vote early this year, but it seems unlikely.

Currently, there is no change in Bahamian fishing regulations, nor does any change seem likely. There are no restrictions on DIY fishing, foreign-owned outfitters, guide licensing or even a Bahamian fishing license. It’s business as usual.

I was in the Bahamas not long ago and talked with many of my friends there, Bahamian and non-Bahamian.

I was a little surprised by what I heard. Generally when you talk politics with folks in the Bahamas you get an almost dispassionate acceptance of government corruption. They are very engaged in their politics but they accept that the government is going to do what they want, with or without the people’s support, and roll with it.

Not so in this case. The folks I talked to seem to be more sharply divided than I’ve experienced. I talked with guides on both sides of the issue. Some were vocally against the proposals made last year. Those were the loudest voices, likely because they knew where I stand on the issue. Others spoke out in favor and a few tried to bullshit me, even though I could tell they knew it was pointless. One thing is certain, they all understand how foreign anglers feel about it. I don’t think they will forget soon.

Our message came through loud and clear.

I’ll give you a little bit of inside info. It’s hear-say and I can’t prove it, so take it for what it’s worth

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5 Reasons Why Turbulent Water Can Provide Great Trout Fishing

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Many of my beginner level clients, struggle when it comes to reading trout water. More specifically, they find it difficult when they have to compare two different sections or types of water, and quickly decide which one of them should yield them a higher percentage for success. In turn, I get asked the question often, “What’s the type of water I like to target first, when I have the opportunity.” I usually respond with “If I have a choice, and I’m looking for consistent fishing locations year round, I prefer to target turbulent water (faster moving) over calm water (slow moving).” It’s the riffles, pocket water and main current seams that fly anglers will generally find the turbulent water, and that’s the kind of places that not only will provide everything a trout needs to survive, but furthermore, the trout will usually be less picky as well (easier to catch), since the water is moving more swiftly. Below are five reasons why fly anglers should search out and fly fish turbulent water when they’re fly fishing for trout.

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Announcing The 2016 Fly Fishing Photo Contest Winners

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Fly fishing photography is alive and well!

I’m always blown away by the submissions we get for the annual Photo contest. This year is no exception. The work was overwhelming in both quality and quantity. My hat is off to all who entered.


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4 Ways To Catch More Tailwater Trout

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By Kyle Wilkinson

If the arrival of winter does not signal an end to your fishing, chances are good you’re going to be spending some time on a tailwater in the months to come.

While the issue of dams and rivers is clearly a topic for another day, the fact remains that dams have created some pretty incredible wintertime trout playgrounds for those willing to endure frozen fingers and guides. Aside from the fact that tailwater fisheries are known to grow incredibly large, in most places they are also known to grow incredibly intelligent trout. The reasons for this are two-fold. 1) The fish have a TON of natural food for them due to the consistent water temps and flows created by said dam. 2) Tailwaters typically receive quite a bit of angling pressure and as such, most of the trout swimming here are going to have a PhD in spotting a poor drift. Does this mean then that catching a tailwater trout or two should be a bonus, while heading home with a skunk on your back should be the norm? Absolutely not! Remember, big trout have to eat all the time to maintain their size and as such, are going to remain very catchable as long as we put the odds in our favor.


1. Tighten Up Flies. This is a big one for me and is something I promise will help put fish in the net. Do this: hold your hand out in front of you and make a fist. Now extend your thumb and pinky out in opposite directions. That distance between your two digits is the spacing to use for your flies. Depending on the size of your hands, you’re probably looking at 8-10” and this is perfect! I’m well aware this will seem very strange if you’re used to fishing your flies 18” apart (like I see people doing all the time out on the water) but I encourage you to give it a try. Remember, a tailwater trout -–particularly in the winter–is rarely going to chase down a meal. Giving that fish as many options as possible directly in front of their face is going to increase your chances of catching it dramatically!

Use Split Shot AND Putty. This is another non-negotiable for me on the technical tailwaters of Colorado. When rigging up in the morning, I’ll place one split shot 8-10” above my first fly– usually somewhere between a size 2-4. After this, I will use tungsten putty to make all my additional weight adjustments throughout the day. Using this type of putty couldn’t be easier and allows me to dial in my weight to a much greater degree than I could by pinching multiple split shots on and off my tippet throughout the day. When I come to a location that requires more weight, I’ll simply pinch off a bit of putty, flatten it between my thumb an index finger, and then roll directly on top of my split shot. Make a nice round ball and you’ll be good to go. If I realize the putty I added

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Dehumidifiers Keep My Fly Fishing Gear Fresh & Dry

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It used to be an ongoing battle all season long to keep my fly fishing gear dry and odor free.

There’s nothing worse than having to slide into a pair of stinky, sweaty waders that are still damp from the day before, struggle to slide your feet into a frozen solid pair of wading boots during the winter, or head out fishing on a rainy day with a rain jacket that’s already soaked to the bone. A couple years ago, I finally got smart and bought a dehumidifier, and now all I have to do is drop my gear on the floor next to the dehumidifier in the evening, and it’s waiting for me the next morning 100% dry and odor free. I’m telling you, it’s like heaven on earth, and I guarantee, you’ll find a whole new appreciation and respect for dehumidifiers when you take the leap of faith and put one to work. Dehumidifiers are also great for fighting the spread of invasive species for traveling anglers because they can suck the moisture out of every crack and crevice of your gear in a very short period of time. So keep that in mind next time you walk by one of them in your local hardware store. Splurging the couple hundred dollars will benefit you…, your fly fishing gear and your trout streams.

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Saturday Shoutout / The Legend of Jimmy

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Not just a fly fishing legend, Jim Teeny is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.

This video with Jim by David Green and H&H Outfitters caught my eye. I thought it was worth sharing for a couple of reasons. I don’t know Jim well, but I’ve had the pleasure of talking with him on a handful of occasions. I can tell you this. Every time I’ve seen him Jim Teeny acted like he had nothing else to do with his day but talk fly fishing with me. His generous nature is immediately apparent.

Sitting on a shelf next to my DVR, my blue ray player, smart TV and stacks of shiny DVDs and blue ray discs is a VHS tape of Jim Teeny catching steelhead. I don’t even own a VCR but I keep that tape within reach. That might tell you something about my respect for the man.

It’s no overstatement to say that Jim Teeny changed fly fishing. His creativity and ingenuity has spread across the industry like the rings of a rising trout. Maybe you’re familiar with Jimmy or maybe you’re not but he has likely shaped the way you fish.

Anyone as original as Jim attracts controversy. Especially in fly fishing. His sweet disposition makes him an easy target. I laughed out loud the first time I watched that video tape and saw him throwing rocks into the river to move steelhead out of a spot where he couldn’t reach them with a fly, but I’ll be damned if he didn’t catch that fish, and I realized this man knew things about fish I’d never imagined. Jim doesn’t think outside the box. He isn’t aware there is a box.


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New Fly Rods At Affordable Prices, From Echo

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2016 brings us a bunch of new Echo fly rods.

Tim Rajeff is always pushing limits. That’s what made him a champion fly caster and it’s what makes him a great rod designer. He designs Echo fly rods on the idea that a great casting rod doesn’t need to be expensive. This year’s line-up makes a pretty good case.

The Carbon and Ion rods have been around for a while. They are the workhorses of the Echo brand. Both lines have been redesigned, as Carbon XL and IonXL, with new materials, fine tuned line weights and making them lighter overall.

There’s a new line of fiberglass rods in 8 1/2 and 9 foot lengths. These rods have powerful butt sections and are designed with larger water in mind. There’s a very cool new nymphing rod and new Gecko kits for kids that come out of the tube ready to fish.


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