Saturday Shoutout / Stones in the River

1 comment / Posted on / by

A new novella from Jason Tucker of Fontinalis Rising.

Long before he was my friend, and a G&G contributor, Jason Tucker was one of my favorite writers. I stumbled across his site and it inspired me. Without knowing it, Jason was instrumental in the forming of Gink and Gasoline.

I have read the first chapter of his novella, “Stones in the River,” and I can already tell you I love it. Jason’s writing is vivid and authentic and lends a grit to a story uniquely his own.

Jamie Simpson is a regular guy, working a job in his hometown in North Carolina, until the day that he wins the lottery. He’s determined not to change, but before he even gets the money his whole life is turned upside down. With time and money on his hands there is only one place he thinks he can go to figure it all out- Alaska. There he discovers new friends, an enigmatic lover and newfound adventure, but will the price be too much to pay?


Read More »

The Snap-T Cast With 2-Hand Rod: Video

4 comments / Posted on / by

Watch the Video!

The Snap-T cast is an essential for any 2-hand angler.

You really only need to know a couple of casts to be an effective angler with spey or switch rods. One of the casts you just can’t live without is the Snap-T. This easy and powerful cast lets you launch the fly when the current is off your casting shoulder. It generates the power needed to cast heavy sink tips but works equally as well with light dry lines.


Read More »

Light Where You Need It

3 comments / Posted on / by


You’ve got maybe thirty more minutes to fish if you push it. The hatch is on and you can hear fish rising all around you as you struggle in the waning light to change your fly. The fish keep rising and so does your blood pressure but the eye of the hook continues to evade you.

That sounds familiar doesn’t it? I know my eyes aren’t what they used to be. I’ve used a clip on head lamp for years but it frustrates me. When I lift my head to look through my bifocals the light is shining over my hands and I always feel like I’m spooking fish with that lighthouse on my hat. Then I saw my niece and nephew playing with their Christmas stockings. They had the answer to my problem.

Read More »

Fly Fishing the Trico Hatch & Spinner Fall

5 comments / Posted on / by

The first major spinner fall that I ever witnessed and had the pleasure of fishing took place many years ago on the South Platte River in Colorado. I’ll never forget the excitement I felt as I watched countless trico spinners floating downstream in the surface film. Never in my life had I seen so many bugs on the water. With one scoop across the surface of the water with my hand, I held dozens of tricos. I was so amazed by the density of bugs on the water that it put me in a frozen trance. Unable to wet a line, I remember thinking to myself, “This must be what fly fishing in heaven is like.” Growing up in the Southeast, I’d never seen a spinner fall of such magnitude. I’d only read about them in books. Looking back on that day now, I believe my reluctance to start fishing that morning had a lot to do with me just taking it all in, and appreciating the true beauty of nature at work. Only after I took the time to pay my respect to the bugs and wild trout, did I feel worthy enough to begin fly fishing such a beautiful place.

Read More »

Top anglers simply fluff about less

5 comments / Posted on / by

By Chris Dore

They get into position, and get their fly out there in front of fish quick and without hassle. This is one of the reasons why they simply catch more fish.


Now Johnny Punter, upon being shown a feeding fish will saunter into position, after painstakingly dropping his pack and adjusting his waders, wiping his glasses clean and then proceeds to wrap his fly around his rod tip several times, while still flailing away false casting, while peeling 10 inches of line from the reel every false cast…. in case you’re wondering, he did not catch that fish…


Create a pre-cast routine… it’s that simple.

Advanced Archery Bowhunting guru, Simon Bullivant once advised me to create a ‘shot sequence’ when preparing to fire at a target. “Practise it often, cover the essentials and make it instinctive, then you’ll hit more targets.”

My shot sequence now consists of nocking the arrow, checking it’s tight, tweaking the peep site, securing the release and drawing back smooth, ensuring the knuckle of my thumb lightly touches the lobe of my ear. Inhale…exhale…pause and squeeze.

I bark a lot of directions on the river as any of my guiding clients will tell you. However one of the most important ‘orders’ is the series of actions from the approach to the trout to the cast. Here’s a sampler:

– Take a prominent marker so you know where the fish is from your casting position — usually a different position from where we initially see him… “two rod lengths out and half a rod length below that lowest willow branch,” or “half a rod out from that boulder.” (My 30′ will differ from your 30′ often greatly, so if we talk in rod lengths then you can create a visual…)

– Get down there ASAP and begin your approach. If the fish is out there, I don’t want you up here.

– As you’re moving into position,

Read More »

How Fly Rods, And Hearts, Break

7 comments / Posted on / by

Broken fly rods are a fact of life, but there are things you can do to stop it from happening to you.

It happens to all of us. We all know the sinking feeling of holding that treasured favorite fly rod, shattered in our hands. Most of us can’t help but form emotional attachments to our gear. Favorite rods and reels become old friends, with whom we share memories of great days, special fish and life lessons learned. Warrantees are great, but it’s hard to replace an old friend.

I hear a lot of anglers complain about specific rods or rod brands, saying things like, “ I’ll never but another ‘Brand X’ after breaking two in a month.” It’s a delicate topic to address without hurting someone’s feelings, but the truth is, fly rods don’t break for no reason. While a high performance carbon fiber rod is certainly more fragile than its soulful fiberglass counterpart and a full spectrum between, the truth is that anglers break rods.

With extremely rare exception I have never seen a rod break for no apparent reason, even the ones I’ve broken my self.

If you are stewing over that statement, I ask you to bear with me for a bit and entertain the possibility that I’m right. Building and fishing bamboo rods for decades has taught me a thing or two about breaking rods and shedding tears. I’ve seen a lot of rods break and I even saw one catch fire and burn. (Long story.) In the interest of keeping those great fly rods fishing, I’ll share with you the most common reasons fly rods break and how to avoid them.

6 Reasons fly rods break

Physical Trauma

This covers some very obvious issues as well as some very tricky ones. With no scientific evidence I’ll say that the three most common causes for broken fly rods are ceiling fans, car doors and spurned spouses. If you’ve run afoul of any of these, you know it instantly. The remedy is simple. Be more careful handling your rod and you spouse.

PTs can be pretty sneaky though. A rod can be damaged without you even noticing and may not break for some time. Then one day you hook an unremarkable fish and it shatters dramatically. That was the case with the rod pictured in the header. This beloved Scott S4s was most likely damaged when it slipped out of the rod holder on a rough boat ride.

Some of the ways rods are most commonly physically damaged include being hit by flies during casting, being transported in cars or boots, being dropped and being left in hot rooftop rod lockers or rod tubes left in the sun. The latter is particularly tricky because a rod can begin to delaminate without showing any sign.

Of course, physical traumas can occur in manufacturing and shipping. I have found rods on my doorstep, still in the box, in more pieces than normal but while accidents happen, they are rare and manufacturing flaws are even rarer. I have visited the rod shops of many major brands and I can tell you the folks there take care and pride in their work.

Breaks at the ferrules

It’s pretty common for fly rods to break at the ferrules. The female ferrule can split and often the shaft will snap on the male end, either inside or near the ferrule. Frequently it will be the butt section of the rod that breaks, leaving the angler puzzled how the thickest part of the rod could just snap.

These breaks are not mysterious at all. The ferrule junctions

Read More »

Sunday Classic / Search out the Small Water in the Big Water

No comments yet / Posted on / by

“Big water is much harder for us to dissect and visualize what we’re fishing. You can’t always see the fish you’re fishing to and it’s much harder for beginners to distinguish productive from unproductive water. When you find yourself in this situation and you’re overwhelmed, try searching out the small water amongst the big water.”

Read More »

Saturday Shoutout / April and Me

10 comments / Posted on / by

I recently had t opportunity to record an episode of Anchored, with April Vokey.

I’ve been a fan of April’s podcasts for some time. I think she has a real talent as an interviewer and she works very hard at it. Her interviews are always thoughtful and engaging. She takes the time to dig in and get to know the folks she interviews.

I’ve known April for several years but we have never sat down for this kind of conversation. I was genuinely uneasy about the idea of talking about myself, but April made it easy and even I’m surprised at a few of the stories she got out of me.

We talked about my background and how I found myself in the fly fishing business, the creation of Gink and Gasoline, the ethics of fly fishing photography, and a story I rarely tell about how I was nearly killed by chimpanzees. Even if you’re not interested in me, and I don’t blame you, you should be listening to April’s podcasts.

Check me out on, Anchored, with April Vokey.

Read More »

Setting up Skagit Heads and Other Spey Lines

1 comment / Posted on / by

Watch the Video!

If you are just getting started in two-hand fly casting, you may be confused about how to set up the lines.

Spey lines are intimidating to the uninitiated with their many parts, options and loop to loop connections but there’s no need for alarm. Spey lines, in both form and function, are much the same as traditional fly lines. Think of them as traditional lines that have been cut into sections with scissors.

What their design offers to the Spey caster is instant flexibility on the river. In a Spey system the running line, the head and sometimes the tip are separate. They serve all the same functions as their counterparts in traditional lines but the caster is free to choose from interchangeable heads and tips to meet his or her immediate needs.


Read More »

Using UV Clear Coats

5 comments / Posted on / by

By Bob Reece

UV clear coats are a relatively new addition to the family of fly tying materials. Several brands have appeared on the market over the past few years. Within these brands there are several varieties with regard to the viscosity of the liquid and its finished state. This spectrum of options has expanded the possibilities for applications.

Looking at the desired outcome should be the starting point for choosing the appropriate UV material. If your goal is to create a thin protective barrier, UV materials with the lowest possible viscosity are ideal. These runnier variations allow for a sparse application, while still adding an element of protection and sheen. In addition, they are ideal for sealing eyes into pre-made heads for streamer patterns.

When looking to build a more substantial profile or complete three dimensional shape, the higher viscosity the better. These thicker versions of UV materials are ideal for enhancing wing buds on nymph patterns, creating eyes on terrestrials or acting as the main ingredients in egg patterns. Their highly viscous makeup allows them to temporarily hold their shape during the brief intermission between application and exposure to UV light.

Most recently, a flexible UV coat has made its way onto the market. This branch of the product provides

Read More »