Saturday Shoutout / Aimless Issue

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Ready, aim, SCOF.

Southern Culture on the Fly is back with their 27th issue. I always knew those boys had issues, but 27? This issue is packed with carp, dirt bags and Low Country boil. There’s tarpon, trout, backyard bass, lots of goon insight and tons of wit and wisdom, SCOF style.

Still awesome! Still free!


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G&G #keepemwet Photo Contest Winners

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By Justin Pickett

The results from the G&G #keepemwet Photo Contest are in!

Thanks to all of you that entered your photos for this year’s Keep ‘Em Wet photo contest! We are always excited to see the photos that our readers submit and, once again, you guys and gals did not disappoint! We received a ton of submissions, and what made it even better is that every single photo that was submitted epitomized what #keepemwet is all about! A huge THANK YOU goes out to all of you for making this contest a huge success!

Selecting a winner wasn’t easy, but after some careful review, and a glass (or two) of bourbon, we have our winners!

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Know Your Backing

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By Jesse Lowry

Seeing your backing on your first bonefish trip is a pretty awesome feeling.

You’ve hooked into a fish that can swim nearly 40 mph and your reel is singing a song I would gladly listen to all day. After your reel has been singing for a bit, that awesome feeling can turn into a bit of a panic as the possibility of getting spooled crosses your mind. While getting spooled can happen when you hook into a double-digit bone, getting a little too excited and making some poor decisions can cause you to lose some good fish long before getting spooled is a real issue. Generally, your first instinct is to reach for the drag, or palm the reel to try and put the brakes on the fish. These can both be good ways to break off a fish or straighten your hook, which is heart breaking especially when it’s a double-digit fish. I know this as I’ve been guilty of both of these sins, but there are a few things you can do to keep your calm when you’re getting into your backing and prevent these situations from happening to you on your next trip.

Know your gear:

Have a good idea of how much backing you have on your reel, for bones and permits; 150-200 yards is plenty. I like to put markings on my backing with a sharpie so I know how deep into it I’m getting. A line every 50 yards and then a dotted warning at the 20-yard line. If you don’t want to go through the process of doing this, the clever folks at SA have come up with a solution with their Tri-Colored backing, which alternates color every 50 yards. I switched to this on my new rod this year and found

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8 Common Mistakes Anglers Make Fighting Trout

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I lost way more fish than I actually landed during those first few years after picking up a fly rod. I’ll never forget how tense and anxious I was every time I’d find myself hooked up with a nice trout. It seemed like every second of the battle I was terrified that I was going to lose my trophy. In turn, I constantly second guessed my fighting instincts, I wouldn’t follow after my fish if it swam upstream or downstream of me, and I knew very little about the correlation between rod position and applying fighting pressure. Furthermore, I was really clumsy when it came to clearing my excess fly line and reeling in the fish. I always had a hard time figuring out when it was a good time to do that. When all said and done, I bet I only landed one or two fish out of every five fish I hooked during my rookie days. That’s not so hot, probably a D average if I was grading myself extremely leniently. We’ve all been there at some point during our fly fishing career, some of us may even find ourselves with that D average right now. Here’s the positive outlook though, most trout that are hooked and lost during the fight can be linked back to a handful of common mistakes. Yet, most of the time, they all can be easily avoided if you pay close attention to what you’re doing when you’re fighting a trout.

Mistake #1 – Not being in the hook set ready position
I know it sounds elementary, but during my early days, I would often find myself fumbling around with my fly line during my drifts. I didn’t always have my fly line secure in my rod hand, and that usually put me with too much slack in my fly line to pull off a solid hook set. I see anglers all the time during their drifts holding their fly line in their stripping hand only. Bites often come when we least expect them. To increase your chances of getting a good hook set and landing the trout, always make sure you’re in the hook set ready position. Get in the habit of

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Dead or Alive

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by: Landon Mayer

On many Colorado tailwaters, such as the Fryingpan, Blue, or Taylor, a good Mysis pattern is money.

With so many Mysis shrimp patterns on the market, finding the best one can be problematic. Many lack the movement and color of the natural crustaceans. You need movement from the fly that imitates the natural movement of both live shrimp and dead shrimp. Similar to scuds, shrimp especially those that are alive will extend and move horizontally in the water.

My Mysis is designed on a 200R hook to mimic the natural’s length in its profile, and the white ostrich herl on the thorax imitates the active legs of the real shrimp. I tie the antennae out of clear dady long legs that wiggle while the current moves the fly. These materials are extremely supple to maximize movement of the fly in water both fast and slow. In addition to matching movement, you want a fly that can match the translucent look of a Mysis that is alive and the opaque color of one that is dead. I prefer to match live shrimp, knowing this is the version most commonly seen by trout and it is a whole meal.

Mysis are commonly released below different tail water dams, or swept downstream from the vegetation on the river bottom. In high flow the live shrimp have a chance to drift downstream while remaining alive, possessing a translucent appearance. In low water many of the shrimp trout see are dead and torn apart from their previous high water journey. These shrimp are opaque with crippled bodies. An effective but ugly pattern in this situation is a Candy Cane shrimp size 14-18. Before each adventure to these high protein fisheries, check flow to match the food supply accordingly.

Mayer’s Mysis

Hook: TMC 200R or 2302 #14-20

Thread: 8/0 White UNI

Abdomen: Pearlescent Hairline flat tinsel (Large)

Thorax: White Ostrich Herl (Large)

Antennae: Hareline Clear Dady Long Legs

Eyes: Permanent Marker black/red


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Matching the Hatch With Streamers

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By Louis Cahill

Imitation and presentation, even with streamers.

It was a bluebird day and we were launching the boat about 9 AM. No need to get moving any earlier with the chilly morning and the generation schedule. We’d run shuttle and be on the water at quarter to ten and ride the falling water for most of the day. The high pressure was certainly less than ideal but flows were on our side and everyone was just happy to get on the water for a day we might actually end up in shirt sleeves.

I took the first shift on the oars, while Jason Tucker went to work figuring out what would get eaten. We were not getting a lot of encouragement from the fish. Jason tried dries, nymphs and streamers, picking up a couple of fish but not finding anything working consistently. When it was my turn to fish I went to work with a gray and white Double Cougar. I got a few chases right away but no takers.

“What color do you like?” Jason asked, digging through his box.

“I always fish white here on high water,” I replied

I an, of course, aware that my whole approach to the day runs contrary to conventional wisdom. Throwing a big white streamer in bright sun on the front end of a high pressure system is not usually a recipe for success, but

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Sunday Classic / The Borg Don’t Fish

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But my childhood in a small Virginia town in the 1960s was not the long haired, free love, groovey sixties that phrase brings to mind. Mine was the nerdy, plastic rim glasses, popular science sixties. In 1966 when Star Trek warped onto national TV I knew my people had arrived. I spent hours forcing my young hand into a Vulcan salute and cemented my outsider status by showing up at school wearing pointy ears cut from flesh colored peel-and-stick Dr Shoals felt shoe inserts. Yep, that was me.

When Captain Kirk and Mr Spock hung up their phasers I grudgingly followed along with Picard and Richer but it was never the same. Data never went into a homicidal mating rage and Worf was a sad excuse for a Klingon but it was the Star Trek of the day. My grousing stopped however, the day I encountered the Borg. Star Trek T.N.G. Reached into the bag of old school Star Trek tricks and came out with the greatest outer space boogie man of all time.

If you recently escaped from North Korea and the iron hand of communism I’ll excuse you for not knowing about the Borg. You can read about them (HERE).

This terrifying new enemy wipes out entire species, not by destroying them but by assimilating them. Making them into Borg. The Borg exist as cybernetic organisms. Half alive, half machine. Their neural implants connect them all in a hive like consciousness. This makes them a handful in a fight.

The creepy gray skin and tubes are very Gigeresk and the loosing ones individuality is a classic Star Trek threat, but none of that is what makes The Borg frightening. What’s scary is Star Treks amazingly consistent record of predicting the actual future. They’ve gotten enough right (talking computers, smart phones and 3D printers for a few) that I’m afraid they might be right again. We may be the Borg.

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Saturday Shoutout / Guide Life Alaska 

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The life of an Alaska guide is one of challenge and reward.

I remember seeing my friend Kyle Shay standing in the pouring rain without the first piece of rain gear, looking like a drown rat, his clothes plastered to him. A guest remarked, “you look a little wet.”

“I’m an Alaska Guide,” he replied, “I don’t get wet, I am wet.”

Nothing about life in America’s last wild frontier is easy. Nor is it without amazing reward. have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in the Alaskan bush? To scavenge an existence in that harsh environment. Maybe you’ve done it for a season or two. Maybe for a career. Either way you are sure to enjoy this short film from Filson on the life of an Alaska guide.


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The Belgian Cast

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Watch the Video!

A better fly cast for windy days.

You know that feeling you get when you watch a school of bonefish swim away while you squirm and wrench your arm out of socket trying to get your fly out of your back? Yeah, me too. Casting with a strong wind off your casting shoulder is the toughest shot in fly fishing. Well, our buddy Bruce Chard is back to show you how to take that shot like a hero.


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Ain’t No Mama Like The One I Caught

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By Alice Tesar


Now imagine you’ve taken your relationship with your catch to the next level. She’s chomped down on your fly, you’ve set the hook and she’s taking you on a ride. Except this ride is to the delivery room and the mom-to-be is demanding a gas station cherry and raspberry slushie before you pull into the hospital. If you’re like me, that baby isn’t coming out ‘til that slushie is in my hands and if you judge me for only taking three sips, I will try to break your hand during contractions, so you can never fish again.

Inhale. Exhale.

While my son’s birth story isn’t exactly equal to the 1100 to 1700 eggs that a rainbow trout hen will drop during her spawn, it is indicative of the irritable and seemingly irrational behavior of soon-to-be parents, moms specifically. The redd is a depression or cleared area made by the hen sweeping her tail on the gravel of the river bed. Redd originates from the Middle English phrase to reddy or clear up a space. Mama trout aren’t chasing your empty hook that dances by their nest because they have a mineral deficiency, they are chasing it because they’ve just redd up the place.

These spawning trout feel an immense amount of pressure by the numerous male trout hovering and ready to fertilize. Ichthyologists report that female fish experience

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