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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Sound Beginnings

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By Bob Reece

All journeys do begin with a single step. Yet, the quality and direction of that step sets the tone for the rest that follow. This holds true for those people that are just entering the domain of fly tying.

Overwhelming is the word that I hear the most when talking to new tiers about them attempts to “get started”. The growth of this art form and the explosion of online outlets has created a labyrinth for those who are just starting out. Sound advice on how to begin can make a huge difference in the enjoyment level of this venture.

When my dad sat me down at his old oak desk to tie my first fly, he kept it simple. During those first few weeks he helped me focus on a modest selection of tools and techniques. Once I was introduced to these humble beginnings, he made a point to help me master them before moving on to anything else.

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Down The Hatch October 12th

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By Justin Pickett

The time of year has come around for the annual Down The Hatch Film Festival here in Atlanta, GA!

On October 12th, Orvis, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, and Sweetwater Brewing Co. will be bringing anglers and outdoorsmen and women together for brews, food, films, and fun in order to help support the “Quality Hooch” campaign. The Chattahoochee River is, without a doubt, the life-blood of Georgia. Whether you’re ITP, OTP, or way the hell out there, the health of the Chattahoochee’s waters probably has an impact on you in some way or another. Without the “Hooch” as we lovingly know it, anglers such as ourselves wouldn’t be able to enjoy the countless fishing opportunities that its waters provide.

Aside from fishing, the Chattahoochee supports a number of other recreational activities that draws over three million visitors to its waters and banks annually. Having such an incredible resource so close to such a large metropolitan area is amazing and valuable beyond compare. The “Hooch” certainly deserves our best efforts to keep her waters running as clean as possible. But it’s going to take work.

Come help us raise money and awareness for the Chattahoochee River while kicking back with a cold beer and some fish-porn. Several fly shops and outfitters will be present with products and swag, and of course you know there will be raffles. Rods, gear, T’s, trips, and the list goes on! Don’t miss out on a great night with your fellow anglers, as well as a great way to give back to our Chattahoochee! We hope to see you there!


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6 Tips For Flying To Fish

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When fly-fishing means flying to fish, there are a few simple things that can make it a lot more enjoyable.

Let’s face it, air travel is an ordeal these days. Even more so when it involves traveling with a bunch of fishing gear. I should know, I do it all the time. While there is no silver bullet to turn back the clock to the days before baggage fees, air rage and the dreaded TSA, there are some things you can do to make it easier and even work the system.

I’m pretty OCD about air travel. I minimize the stress of the situation by over preparing and being early for everything. I know, however, that my personal travel habits don’t work for everyone so I’m going to cut out the minutia and give you some tips which I think can apply to most traveling anglers.

Here are 6 tips for flying to fish.

Know the rules

The rules for air travel change from place to place and even by airlines or tickets. While most airports and airlines have relaxed quite a bit since the knee-jerk security reaction to 9/11, there are still times when carrying fish gear onto a plane just won’t fly. For example, Argentina does not allow any fishing gear on planes. No rods or reels, no lines or flies. Everything must be checked right down to your 6X tippet. You can fly into the country with your gear in hand but it will have to be checked when you leave and if you didn’t plan for that, it can be a real challenge.

In general, checking gear is not that risky. You’ll want your rods in tubes inside your luggage or in dedicated travel cases. It’s smart to put reels in their original boxes or stuffed into wading boots. The biggest issue you have to worry about is lost bags. The best way to avoid that is to fly direct whenever possible. If you do carry gear onboard it’s best to get yourself into an early boarding group and be at the front of the line. The difference between a good day and a bad one is an open overhead bin. Be polite to your flight attendants as they have some discretion on what happens to carry-ons.

Pack light and smart

Checked bags

Extra fees for overweight bags can kill your budget and who needs to carry all of that weight anyway? You probably need less than you think. I start saving weight by carrying a duffle bag rather than a heavy rolling bag. Less weight in the bag means you can carry more gear. If you are headed somewhere remote, you may find yourself on a flight with weight restrictions well under those of major airlines. If that limit is in the 30-pound range, a rolling bag eats up a big chunk of that. I like waterproof, roll-top duffles for when I find myself in some remote location and bad weather.

If you are checking a bag with gear, planning to wash out some clothes on your trip will make room for things like waders and boots. You can save weight on rod tubes by swapping tubes. For example, I have several rods with carbon fiber tubes. I don’t always fly with those rods, but those tubes carry plenty of rods that came in heavier tubes. I’ll also use a large tube from one of my saltwater rods to carry two trout rods.

Anything with zippers, especially zip-front waders, should always be packed unzipped! If a zipper gets folded while zipped, and then is subjected to pressure from stacked bags, it will fail and you will be sad. Trust me, I spent a week of winter steelheading in open waders. No fun.


I have a couple of carry-on bags I truly can’t live without.

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Sunday Classic / The UV Chocolate

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Often days when the midge bite is at its best nothing much else seems to be happening hatch wise. That’s an important reason to know your midges. They can make the difference between catching a lot of fish or no fish.

It’s not uncommon to see great midge hatches on cold overcast days when other bugs stay home. The great thing about the UV Chocolate is that these are the conditions where it shines. No really, it shines. The the UV ice dub wing, which already reacts to UV light is also treated with Spectrum Responce for extra highlighting.

Trout’s eyes are highly sensitive to UV light and they use that sensitivity to find food on dark days or when water clarity is low. This flys highly reflective UV profile makes it a great tool on overcast days when midges are present.

Watch the video and learn to tie the UV Chocolate.

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Saturday Shoutout / Jim Harrison, Older Fishing

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Many of us were young when we began to fly fish, but none of us will be young when we are done.

Everything changes as we get older and our fishing is no exception. Somewhere between experience and infirmary we find ourselves looking at the water with new eyes and in our boots we find different angler. As the river never stands still, neither does the angler.

This essay by author Jim Harrison is honest and enlightening. Young or old, it’s well worth your time.


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