Saturday Shoutout / Pat Cohen Tying Videos

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Pat Cohen’s flies are as creative as they are deadly.

I was fortunate to co-host a tying event with Pat a while back and it was a real pleasure spending some time with this master tyer and watch him work his magic. I learned quite a bit. Pat’s background as a sculptor really shows in his signature deer hair creations. No one creates exotic presentation patterns like Pat, but there is another side of his tying.

Pat ties some unorthodox flies which leave a lot of anglers scratching their heads. I can tell you from spending a couple of days on the water with Pat that these flies wreck fish. That’s what you get when an artist puts his mind to something. Pure genius.

Pat was kind enough to tie a couple of flies for me to video. You’ll be seeing those before too long, but or now here he is tying 3 flies I’ve seen catch fish. You can check out more of Pat’s videos and get all the materials he uses, or just buy his flies at


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New fly rods and reels from Sage

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It’s a big year for Sage.

The folks on Bainbridge Island have been hard at work this year. The X rod is a huge product launch for Sage and deserving of the hype surrounding it. The line of X rods is pretty deep and there are some new reels from Sage this year as well. I spent some time with Peter Knox, of Sage, at the IFTD show to go over some of the X models and the new 6200 reel.

Watch this video for more details on the new Sage X fly rod and 6200 reel.

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You buy your portfolio every morning

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In the old days I ran a hedge fund.

That’s right. Half a billion dollars doing whatever I told it. Big trades, big profits (and losses) and big pressure. I learned a lot from a decade in that role that has helped me on the stream. (I know, it sounds like a stretch… but it’s true!) One of the prevalent sayings in Investment Management is “You buy your portfolio every morning.” What it means is, the decision to do nothing, to keep the investments you made yesterday, is still an active decision. It’s CHOOSING to go into the battle of that day with your current positions, rather than something else.

The truth in this idea hit me harder than ever on Sunday on a carp flat. I waded out of thigh-deep sand bottomed water to find maybe 150 carp cruising and feeding. They were working 12 to 18 inches of water over super soft mud-bottomed lake and eating like mad. I was so jacked up you could see the end of my 8wt vibrating in my trembling hands.

The fly I had on was too heavy for that shallow water. It was designed to get down with accuracy to fish at three feet deep. Remember… I was coming out of thigh-deep water. But I was stoked and the fish were there and they’re just stupid carp and I can be gentle and what if the wind picks up while I’m changing flies and maybe it would start to rain and what if they saw me and spooked before I got a cast… You get the picture. So I went into battle with the fly I had on because not changing didn’t feel like choosing that fly. It felt like

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Fly Fishing: Too Much Mending Can Ruin Your Drift

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One of the most critical techniques of fly fishing that anglers often lack knowledge in, is understanding how to properly mend fly line during the drift. If I tallied up all the time I spend each day instructing clients on various fly fishing techniques, teaching the art of mending fly line would easily rank number one on the list. I bet I say the word “mend” a thousand times a day. It’s not that difficult to mend fly line, all it takes is a little practice and time on the water to get the hang of it. In my opinion, it’s much easier to learn how to mend than the art of fly casting. The main reason mending takes so long for fly anglers to master is because the timing of the mend, the direction of the mend and the size of the mend can change from one presentation to the next. Two of the biggest mending problems I see on the water is bad technique and mending fly line too much during the drift. When mending is done correctly, you usually only need one or two mends per drift to get the job done.

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The meaning of Fly Shop 

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By Owen Plair

The local fly shop is a place where lives are changed forever.

It’s a place where you can feel at home and a place that exists solely to help you as an angler. That feeling you get as the door opens and you look around is something that cannot be replaced. Being surrounded by everything you love, and the people who love it as much as you, is what life is all about. Its a place where new adventures start and countless memories are created.

So why would you drive to the local fly shop when you can just buy it online and have it shipped to your house for the same price? Why not just google what flies to buy or what fly line to use? This rod looks cool online, why not just order it? Don’t get me wrong, the internet is a great tool. You can learn a lot and most of the time find what product you’re looking for. Fly fishing is a very small industry and there are few actual fly shop locations. Those few locations are shops which are born from a passion for fly fishing and created for you as an angler to further that obsession. It’s a place that not everyone wants to shop and a place that needs your support as much as you need theirs. Think about a handshake and a smile next time, instead of clicking a check-out button.

Just about 10 years ago I started working at the local fly shop. I was a 16-year old kid trying to make a few dollars to put gas in my car. I knew very little about fly fishing, hell, I didn’t even know what an 8wt was at the time. The door opened and the first customer of the day walked in. I greeted him good morning and asked if I could help him with something. “Do you have any bonefish tippet?,” he asked. In my head I was thinking tip-what?!? “Let me get someone who can help you,” I replied.

I went to the back and got my boss to come help the customer find his “tippet”. As I watched Tony help this customer with tippet and then flies, and then wading boots, and then a new shirt for his trip, I soon learned he wasn’t just selling the customer, he was truly helping him, and creating a friendship by doing it. “You never want to wear Nike tennis shoes wade fishing in the bahamas. These are a few of the flies I used at that lodge a few years ago, tell the ole Pinder Brothers I said hello and have a great trip! ” said Tony.

The customer thanked him with a big smile and handshake of excitement that he was now ready for his upcoming trip after taking the advice from Tony. About two weeks later that customer came back

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Which Fly Rod Action Is Best For You?

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By Kyle Wilkinson

How does the angler know what fly rod action will best suite their needs and casting style?

If you’re an experienced angler reading this you may already know the answer to the topic of today’s discussion. However, I have a strong feeling many people reading this don’t fall into that category and have on more than one occasion heard the term “fast action” or “medium action” and thought to themselves, ‘What in the hell? All I want is a fly rod I can take to the river and catch a fish with!’

If you’ve ever found yourself in that situation — or if you’re in the market for a new fly rod but don’t know what makes the most sense to add to your line up — then I highly encourage you to read on!

It’s no secret that fly rods come in all shapes and sizes these days and with the continued advancements we’re seeing in rod building technologies, the corresponding actions are getting more and more refined. This can be confusing to interpret for any angler out there, regardless of skill.

But back to the question of which action is right for you? In my opinion, the short answer to this is simply going to depend on the type of fishing conditions you’re going to be facing. Now I’m sure some of you are already thinking that both angler skill and angler preference are major factors as well and you’re correct — I’ll be sure to touch on this as well.

For the sake of keeping things simple though, let’s take a 10,000-foot view of this topic and break fly rods down into the three most dominant categories (slow, medium, fast) and where I find their most useful applications to be.

Slow Action. It seems most rod companies tend to shy away from the phrase ‘slow action’ these days and use terms such as ‘full flex’ or ‘presentation taper’ to categorize these type of rods. Additionally, you’re usually going to see these rods predominantly offered in sub 9’ lengths, with rods down to 6’ long not out of the question. To the newer angler, the first thing you’ll likely notice when picking up a slow/full flex rod is that

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Sunday Classic / Fly Fishing Fast Water Chutes for Trout

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There are multiple ways for anglers to fly fish fast water chutes, but most of the time, I find it most effective to wade to the sides of the chutes, and fly fish perpendicular to them. Doing so, it gives me better control of my drifting flies and improves my line management. Positioning to the side of a chute also improves my stealth, because I’m able to present my flies in front of the trout with just my leader, keeping my fly line out of site. Check out the video below that demonstrates how I prefer to fish fast water chutes.

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Saturday Shoutout / So Many Octobers

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“It is easy to forget that in the main we die only seven times more slowly than our dogs,”

October has long been my favorite month. I’ve frequently thought it odd that a time which feels like a beginning to me, is really the beginning of the end. This year especially, as I say a long goodbye the best dog I’ve ever known,

This piece by Greg McReynolds, on Mouth Full Of Feathers, really hit home. If you love dogs, and brown trout and bird hunting, I’m sure it will for you too. Enjoy your October. We only get so many.

“We Only Get So Many Octobers”

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New fly Rod Technology And Fly Lines From Winston

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Sweet new Winston rods and for 2016 and fly lines made to match.

The new Winston Air fly rod takes advantage of new high tech resins to make a rod that’s faster and lighter. The action is familiar to the Winston fan, but definitely a step into the future. What’s more, you can buy a Winston fly line matched to your new rod. How cool is that idea? Fly lines made specifically for your new Winston fly rod. An idea so simple, you have to wonder why it hasn’t happened before.

Check out this video for all the scoop on new Winston fly rods and lines.

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Carp, Enough of the Golden Bones

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Sub-title- It’s Time to Give Carp Their Due

Some time back—I believe 15-20 years ago—anglers in Traverse City, Michigan, began calling carp “Golden Bones,” and things haven’t been the same since.

Traverse City is a big city/small town set at the end of the twin arms of Grand Traverse Bay. It is a beautiful little town that over the years has turned into a food and wine destination where even Mario Batali keeps a summer home. The bay is 32 miles long, 10 miles wide, and divided into East and West bays by Mission Peninsula. It has white sand beaches, and is ringed by farms, cherry orchards, vineyards, and almost continuous, clear, shallow flats.

In May and June those flats are invaded by large smallmouth hunting crayfish and bait fish, and giant carp by the thousand. Twenty years ago, those carp were pursued by a small but dedicated contingent of fly fishermen. Some of those fishermen were guides who saw an opportunity, but also had a marketing problem—how do you get clients to travel long distances and then shell out several hundred dollars on a guide trip, to fish for carp?

You absolutely have to see the Lake Michigan flats to believe them. If you’re picturing murky green water and casting to mud swirls you’re wrong. The water is crystal clear, at times blindingly blue, and the fish are up shallow, often tailing with their backs out of the water. Gulls and terns wheel and screech overhead, waves roll and lap, and the wind, well, it does what wind does. Put all this together with fish that can take you into your backing in seconds, and you have a situation that reminds you of, well, bonefish.

Twenty years ago carp were stigmatized as

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