Saturday Shoutout / Ethics of the Spawn

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Fall is the time when dreams of catching trophy brown trout come true.

Brown trout are fall spawners. They become increasingly aggressive and easier to target as the spawn approaches. Anglers who want to catch big browns will have their best chance, but they will have to take extra care when fishing or they may spoil their chances to fish the next generation of big browns.

This article on the ethics of fishing the spawn, by Spencer Durrant, does a great job of explaining how the fish the spawn and do no harm, as well as offering some tips on how to find and land that monster. Every angler who fishes in the fall should give it a look.

“ETHICS, SPAWNING TROUT, AND FALL FISHING – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW”

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New G3 Guide Waders From Simms: Video

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Watch the Video!

The most popular wader on the market just got better.

This year Simms is introducing a full line of updated G3 guide waders, including a traditional chest wader, wading pants and a women’s chest wader. The big update is a new, more comfortable four layer Gore-Tex lower, which makes the new G3 the most breath Simms wader ever. There are several new features, including an easy waist-high conversion system for the chest waders.

I toured the Simms wader plant this summer and I was blown away. Not only is the facility remarkable, the staff is one of the most enthusiastic I’ve ever seen. I was shocked to learn how many of them read G&G! I’ve always loved my Simms waders, now I know why.

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR ALL THE DETAILS ON THE NEW G3 GUIDE WADERS FROM SIMMS.

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Understanding Fly Line Tapers and Diagrams

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Buying a fly line doesn’t have to be a leap of faith.

For many anglers, fly lines and their characteristics are a huge mystery. They know that different fly lines cast differently and that some suit their needs or casting styles better than others but they have no idea why. What’s worse, when it’s time to buy a new line they aren’t able to make an informed choice. They just go to the fly shop and ask for the best line. Thank God for knowledgable fly shop guys, but do you really want to rely on someone else’s guess at what you will like?

If this sounds like you, I have good news. There is an easy way to get a sense of how a fly line will cast before you ever take it out of the package, and with a little experience you can quickly choose the line that’s right for the way you fish.

Fly lines have become really complicated in the last five years or so. Specialty lines have multiplied like rabbits and line companies have created lines to match every species, water condition and casting style. If you’re confused, you’re not alone. Fortunately, almost every manufacturer publishes line diagrams which show you, in detail, the taper of each line. If you know how to read the diagram, you’ll know how the line will cast.

BASICS

There are three basic types of line tapers. Weight forward, double taper and triangle taper. Looking at the diagram, it’s pretty clear how they get their names. The double taper line is a very traditional style of line which has a long level belly and a symmetrical taper on each end. Weight forward lines shift the weight to the front of the line and were developed to match modern fast action carbon fiber rods. Triangle tapers are a kind of hybrid of the two.

Think of the diagram as a picture of the fly line in profile with the thickness of the line exaggerated. The thickness of the line indicates two things. Where the weight is and the relative stiffness of the line. Where the line is thicker, it will be heavier. Different line materials have different stiffness, but within a given fly line, the line will be stiffer where it is thicker. Knowing where the weight is in the line will tell you how it loads the rod and the stiffness, as well as the weight, will tell you how it presents the fly.

ANATOMY OF A FLY LINE

To understand the information the diagram gives you, first you have to understand the different parts of the fly line and how they affect the line’s performance. Most modern fly lines have five parts. From front to back they are the tip, front taper, belly, rear taper and running line. Each one performs a specific function and its weight and length determine how the line casts.

THE TIP

The tip is the final word in fly presentation. The longer and lighter the tip, the more delicate the presentation. A long light tip will work to your advantage when

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Fly Anglers Sixth Sense, Fact or Fiction?

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By Kent Klewein

Do you ever feel like you’ve got a sixth sense working for you when you’re out fly fishing?

I’m talking about an extra sense that seems to give you the power and clarity to sense future fishing success moments before it happens. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, it’s one of the sweetest feelings I think a fly angler can witness; calling his/her fish before the cast. You’ve just rounded a bend when your eyes are immediately drawn to a perfect looking stretch of water. It’s a wide and fast riffle a little to shallow to hold fish, but there’s a fallen tree that’s condensing all the current into a tight six foot wide flow. Even better, that condensed current is flowing right over a drop-off, into a deep blue pool. A light bulb in your head goes off as your sixth sense kicks in, and you’re certain when your fly hits the water it will only be a few seconds until a trout rises to your fly. All you have to do is call your shot and make a good cast.

Sure enough, you make a spot on cast, and success arrives like clockwork. The surreal sound of a cork being pulled from a whiskey bottle, signals to you a trout has sucked in your fly, and you set the hook, and shout “Man, I love that sound”. I bet there’s a lot of guides out there that feel the same way when they call a take for a client during the drift, “get ready, you should get a bite right…….now, bam”. When your client turns to you and asks how you did that, just smile and say it’s your sixth sense.

I’m sure there’s anglers out there that would argue this sixth sense is fictional.

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Haunted Dreams

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She was surely the largest bass I would have caught on a fly, I thought to myself as I studied her every move.

Taking notes of her general attitude and behavior towards the other fish around her. I stumbled upon her while walking the banks of a public pond near my house and quickly retreated up the nearby knoll. I frequent here often, and this place is known for producing some hefty Largemouth Bass. Spring is in full effect and the spawn is in full swing. Buck bass hover over the beds dotted along the shallows, and, with the angling pressure seen here, the females hold well off the bed and out of sight for the most part. For this reason, I’m surprised to find this big gal so close to the bank, sitting in barely enough water to cover her folded dorsal. Her bed is tucked in a corner surround by lilies and submerged timber. It’s where you would expect to see a bed. Her male companion is constantly chasing off bluegills and anything else that might come within a couple feet of him and his unhatched brood. Meanwhile, big girl sits calmly, about six feet away, tucked underneath some of the lilies, but in plain view of anyone with a sharp eye and some polarized shades.

Leaning against a big pine, I contemplate my approach as I watch her glide back and forth, unbothered by the happenings around her. It’s an ideal situation. She’s not overly stimulated and the overcast conditions provide me with a little more cover while also voiding any chances of casting shadows. The surrounding lily pads also give a great angle of approach, allowing me to creep in behind her to decrease my chances of being seen even more. The next task is picking out the fly to tie on. I’m likely to only get one shot at this fish. One shot. One fly. So what’s it going to be?

I wanted a pattern that was going to aggravate her and provoke a strike, but without being so irritating that she would flee the scene. What I decided on was a Jiggy Craw, tied by Pat Cohen. I went with the orange/brown color scheme to ensure that it was easily seen in the stained water. I also knew this fly would have good movement in the water even when lightly twitched. After checking my leader, I tie on this “chosen one” and double check my knot.

Now the moment of truth. Time to make my move and present my fly. Just off the bank, there was a small opening in the lilies between her and the bed that I could pitch my fly into. This window was about a yardstick across, which I hoped

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Lamson Center Axis Reviewed

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The Center Axis fly rod and reel combo from Waterworks Lamson is something completely different.

The idea of changing the union of fly rod and reel has been kicked around for a while now. To my knowledge the Center Axis is the most serious attempt by a major manufacturer. It looks very different from a traditional fly rod and it feels very different as well. There is some solid science behind the design of this rod/reel combo and it delivers on its claims. It’s also not without its detractors, so I’ll try to be very thorough on the pluses and minuses.

The Theory

The guiding principal behind the Center Axis is simple and it’s right there in the name. The reel, being by far the heaviest part of the setup, affects the action and feel of the rod in casting. By moving the weight of the reel inline with the axis of the rod, this effect is minimized. The caster feels the weight of the line, not the reel, and the reel does not affect the caster stroke to as great a degree.

When I first heard this I thought, “Really?” Frankly, I was shocked how different it felt. There is a definite and pronounced difference in the feel of this combo verses any other I have ever cast. Is it better? That’s a serious question. Probably so. I’ll be frank. Having cast a fly rod for so many years, it’s not easy to know if different is better. As you become a more accomplished caster you adapt quickly to the feel of a new rod and the casting takes place in the hand, not the head.

I will tell you this. I felt a very pronounced difference in the feedback I got from the rod, and I very quickly became used to it and didn’t think about it any longer. I do find it very pleasant to cast. I do think that the shifting of balance makes a real difference. I don’t know that it improves my casting a great deal but it might for other anglers. I think it might be very good for beginning and intermediate casters. I do think there is serious validity to the concept and that this setup is really going to speak to some anglers. The only way to know if you are one of them is to try it out.

The Rod

Before I cast the center Axis, I was concerned about the rod. I am a fly rod geek and the idea of buying a rod from a reel manufacturer gave me pause. That concern was immediately relieved. I have the 9’ 5-weight Center Axis and it is a great casting rod. Not the best I’ve ever cast but very good.

It is smooth and powerful. Plenty fast but with a lot of feel. It does a great job of picking up a long line. I would consider it a medium to large water rod. You’d be OK with it on small water as it is a very good roll caster. It also delivers a powerful single-hand spey cast.

It excels at medium- to long-distance casting. I was able to cast a streamer eighty feet standing in waist-deep water. The action is suitable for a variety of fishing techniques. In short, a solid all-arounder. It also gets extra points for durability as you can’t even tell that I drove off with it on the roof of the truck, launching it onto the road in a turn. Kind of my signature move.

The Reel

Obviously the reel is the quality machine you would expect from Waterworks Lamson. It is a variation of the Lightspeed reel, which my buddies in retail tell me is consistently the top selling trout reel year after year. It is unique in how it attaches to the rod. The reel plugs into the rear of the grip and is held in place by an o-ring seal. It is very very solid. In fact, it’s damned hard to get off and there isn’t any need to.

What I like about the Center Axis

First and foremost I like

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Sunday Classic / The more things change, the more they stay the same

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I RECEIVED THIS PHOTO FROM MY BROTHER TOM, VIA TEXT MESSAGE.

It seems he has been sorting through some of the belongings that my grandparents left behind. In an old dresser he found this list in my young handwriting. My guess is that this dates from about the time I was ten. I believe I had just read “The Old Man And The Sea” for the first time. For those who can’t make it out, I’ll translate.

Fishing List

Harpoon
1000 yards strong rope
Case of dynamite
Buoy
Take pistol
Dynamite
License

A few of my favorite points to this list are these. Dynamite appears twice. I’m not sure if this was meant to imply that a case might not be enough, or that dynamite was so key to my plan that I couldn’t risk forgetting it, or possibly just a testament to my enthusiasm about dynamite. There was no need to find a pistol, just the need to remember the one I had, at ten. And best of all my reverence for the regulations. We wouldn’t want to ‘fish’ without a license.

It occurred to me that maybe I harp on the catch and release thing a little heavy from time to time and it would only be what I deserve to share this with my readers. None of us, I suppose, start out as catch-and-release anglers but few, apparently, start as far from it as I did. In my defense I’ll say that this proves my views on catch and release are not an unconsidered opinion. I tried it the other way!

When I shared this with my wife as a glimpse into the mind of her betrothed when he was only a child she smiled, laughed a knowing laugh and said,

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

I guess I’ll always be ten at heart. At least when I go fishing.

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Saturday Shoutout / SCOF Redemption

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It’s time for a little Southern Culture.

The fall issue of Southern Culture On The Fly is out and the boys are looking for redemption. Redfish Redemption that is, as well as Things Wild, Southern Salt and an adoption for fly guides. Dave Grossman apparently didn’t take enough heat for his bikini spread (you can read about that too) because he’s back at it, suggesting we target Flipper on the fly. It’s more of all the good stuff you expect from the boys at SCOF.

CHECK OUT THE NEW ISSUE OF SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE FLY!

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New Simms G-3 Technical Jacket: Video

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Watch the video!

The most popular piece of outerwear in fly fishing just got better.

The Simms G-3 jacket is a workhorse and almost a uniform for fly fishing guides everywhere. There’s a good reason for that. These jackets not only perform, they last. Any one who fishes knows that foul weather means great fishing but it doesn’t mean you have to be miserable. A good jacket keeps you comfortable and focused on fishing and gives you easy access to the gear you need.

The new G-3 has a clean, snag free design with all of the pocket space built into the interior of the jacket. It has just as much storage as the classic G-3 but nothing to catch line.

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR ALL THE DETAILS ON THE NEW SIMMS G-3 JACKET.

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Fly Feature: Stealth Bomber

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By Justin Pickett

IT DIVES AND IT GURGLES. IT SPUTTERS AND IT BUBBLES. AND IT JUST PLAIN CATCHES FISH!

The Stealth Bomber is by far my number one topwater fly pattern for warm water species. Whether I’m after smallmouth or largemouth bass, or targeting bluegill, it’s always in my box and typically gets tied onto the end of my tippet at some point during my outings. I typically carry them in 3 different color schemes to match different conditions. Check ‘em out! It’s an easy tie. And if you ever fished with a Pop-R as a kid, then you’re good to go! Either tie ‘em or buy ‘em in sizes #2-#6 depending on the fish you’re targeting. Fish this bad boy around floating grass, weed lines, lily pads, or any other submerged structure where bass and panfish like to hide. Vary your retrieve to find out what the fish are liking that day and wait for that take!

Want to add a fish-catching twist

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