Chug a Coke, Save a Bleeding Fish.

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There’s nothing worse than watching a big beautiful wild fish bleed out from a damaged gill. I found myself in just that situation with a big brown trout one day. Watching helplessly as the water turned red. Thank God Kent was with me. Thinking fast he said, “hey, did you finish that Coke?” I had not and he showed me a great trick. He opened the fish’s mouth and poured the Coke down her throat. As soon as it hit the injured gill the bleeding stopped. It was like magic. I’m not sure if it’s the carbonation or the acid but something in the Coke cauterized the wound. It saved that fish’s life. I know it for a fact because I saw her in that same pool several weeks later, although she was wise to me by then. I’m certain it was the same fish. There couldn’t be two just alike in that little pool. It’s one more thing to carry but having a Coke on hand is a great idea. The fish you save might be your own. Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!

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Two Anglers Are Often Better Than One

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You can’t enjoy camaraderie on the water by yourself. There’s no high-fives, no passing the victory flask around, and worst of all, it’s awfully hard to snap a quality photograph of you and a prized catch. Wait a minute, I take the latter back. It is possible to get a good photo by yourself if you’ve figured out a way to strap a tri-pod to your back and you’re also willing to lug it around all day. That being said, the main reason I think two anglers are often better than one, is because it allows you to work as a team, and that generally makes it much easier to find success on the water. Louis and I have had pretty consistent success fishing together over the years. Even during really tough fishing conditions we generally find a way to put enough fish in the net during the day to call it a win. The biggest reason for this is because we’re always working together to decipher the fish code. Fishing as a team, we figure out what the fish are feeding on, where they’re primarily located, and what are the hot fly patterns. We make a point to never tie on the same patterns first thing in the morning, and quite often, we don’t even start out fishing in the same water column. This allows us to quickly eliminate what’s not working and adjust our fishing tactics to what is. It’s a pretty simple concept, more common sense than rocket science, but it works well, and we stick to it. Even in situations where only one of us can fish at a time, like on a flats boat, the non angler will stay busy maintaining line management and aiding in spotting fish. We always have each others back, we … Continue reading

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When your fly is there, be aware!

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Situational awareness may be the most important thing in fly fishing. I’ve touched on this before but it occurs to me that the subject needs more attention. Quite possibly the most important thing in fly fishing is situational awareness. That is, knowing what your fly is doing in relation to it’s surroundings. Surroundings like current, structure, light, the boat and most importantly, the fish. Trout fishermen are accustomed to thinking about the drift of a dry fly but less at ease with the idea of a nymph’s drift, for example. Lots of guys fish streamers with a simple swing down and across, without considering how the baitfish they are imitating would negotiate the currents, eddies and structure along the way. This idea exists in every type of fly fishing but is never more crucial than in salt water so let’s look at that in more depth. Right from the first false cast you should be thinking about the environment in which the fish exist. An experienced angler knows that a flat is less like a pond and more like a river. Except for brief periods of tide change the water on the flats is always moving. Like a winding meadow stream it finds it’s way through a maze of channels. Unlike a river those currents are constantly changing direction and speed. Those changes affect how your fly behaves in the water and that determines the strategy of your presentation. It’s key when flats fishing that you always know which way the water is moving and how fast. How quickly will your fly be carried to the fish and from which direction? How fast will it sink? Where will the fish first see it? Which direction will the fly be moving and how fast? You need to know the answer to … Continue reading

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Sunday Classic / A Closer Look The Brown Trout

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Another look at the object of all my affections. This time it’s the gill plate of a North Carolina Brown Trout. Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Saturday Shoutout / Spey Gals Rule!

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The Rogue Angels are at it again.  Check out Kate Taylor’s in depth interview with the women competing in this years Spey-O-Rama. The Women Of SOR featuring Anita Strand, Donna O’Sullivan, Marcy Stone, Mia Sheppard, Rogue Angel Anita, Rogue Angel Donna, Rogue Angel Marcy, Rogue Angel Mia, Rogue Angel Whit, Rogue Angels, spey casting, Spey-o-Rama and Whitney Gould Lively, thoughtful and always passionate, I love this blog.  Good work Kate!   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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You Can Mouse Just About Anywhere

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Eight years ago, I got fed up with reading articles about people all around the country and abroad fly fishing with mouse patterns and landing truly giant trout. It seemed every medium I read or watched, there were people showcasing how productive mouse fishing could be. The only problem was, where I lived in North Georgia, as well as the majority of my neighboring states, I heard very little about anyone fishing mouse patterns. You’d find a few patterns here and there in the fly bins at the local fly shops, but in actuality, I think most of those were being fished on farm ponds for bass not for trout. I couldn’t take it any longer, so I decided to go on a mousing binge, strictly fishing mouse patterns on my days off. I really wanted to figure out if mouse patterns would work just as well on my home waters as they did on blue ribbon caliber trout streams. It didn’t take long to find success. My second trip out I landed a 26 1/2″ wild brown trout on my home tailwater. It was one of the biggest documented fly caught brown trout on the surface that anyone could remember for quite some time. I then moved on to some of my favorite small mountain streams where I’d never heard of anyone tying on and fishing a mouse pattern. Again, my mouse experiment yielded incredible success, and I quickly turned into a mouse fishing enthusiast. I didn’t know if I was having luck because no other anglers were fishing these big mouse patterns, or if it was simply that very few anglers in my area were willing to accept mice were regularly being preyed upon by our local trout. I didn’t know for sure, but in all honesty, I … Continue reading

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Fish With Benefits

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I was asked the other day what was my favorite species of fish. That’s a really tough question for me. Sort of a Sophie’s choice question. After thinking about it for a long time I answered trout, for a host of reasons, but I quickly added, “and bone fish”! For some odd reason I then felt like I had to defend that answer. I had said trout and I had just finished talking at length about a tarpon trip I had just been on and here I was blurting out bonefish. Why? I went on to explain using a rationale I have used for years. “The bonefish is just right. It’s hard enough to catch, usually because of the conditions, that you feel like you’ve done something worthwhile but it’s not impossible like a permit. When you hook them it’s a great fight, but not an ass beating like a tarpon. They’re the just right fish”. That’s all true and I believe it but inside I knew there was more. It ate at me, why do I love bonefish so much? I think I’ve come up with the answer. I love the fish but what I really love is bonefishing. When I think of bonefish I think of the Bahamas and when I think about fishing the Bahamas it’s a whole different feeling. When I’m headed to the Keys for tarpon, for example, I’m excited, hell, more than excited. I know that I’m taking on a huge challenge and that something truly awesome may happen, and then again it may not. I may catch the fish of a life time or I may get schooled. The challenge is exhilarating. I love challenging fishing. I love challenging myself as a fisherman, but it’s a different me that goes to the Bahamas … Continue reading

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Who Says Short Rods Are For Small Streams

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My good friend Dave Grossman decided to trade in his 9 foot boat rods for 10 footers this year. So far, this fishing season he claims the extra foot of graphite has been working wonders for his clients on the water. Dave says, “I find that the ten foot fly rods make it much easier for my clients to mend their fly line, especially when they need to mend a lot of line. That translates into them consistently getting longer drag-free drifts. The longer rods shine when we need to high-stick across multiple currents, and they also allow my novice clients to squeak out a little more distance in their casts.” After hearing those positive comments from Dave, I decided to give them a shot with my own clients, but I’d take it a step further. Instead of just incorporating them on float trips on the big rivers, I’d experiment using them on small to mid-size streams. The first trip out was a real eye opener and success with the ten foot fly rod on one of my 30′-40′ wide trout streams. To my amazement, the longer rod outperformed my standard 8 1/2-9 foot fly rods in almost all fishing scenarios in my clients hands. The only area the ten foot rod underperformed, were spots where the stream narrowed drastically or when it was really tight and cramped. The surprising thing about that, is it actually happened a lot less than I thought it would, and when it did, I’d just handed over the shorter rod I was carrying to my client. The key was positioning my angler in the correct spot, reminding him he had a longer rod in his hand, and then choosing the appropriate fly cast to present our flies. I continued the experiment for several more guide trips, … Continue reading

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Airflo Clear Tropical Lines. Exactly how much is stealth worth?

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On a recent tarpon trip I had the chance to fish one of Airflo’s Clear Floating Tropical Ridge lines. I was prepared to either love it or hate it and to be honest I got a little bit of both. I fished it for two days and here’s what I learned. The positives. Stealth: I’ve always been skeptical of clear lines. It’s long been my belief that what fish see is the shadow of the line or the disturbance it creates on the surface and that a bad cast will spook fish no matter what line your using. I was surprised to find I was wrong. The first day fishing the clear line was bright and very calm. Landing an eleven weight line softly on a day like that is crucial. I’ll be honest, I made a few bad casts. Casts that should have spooked fish but didn’t. In this area the Airflow really delivered. It’s a great stealth line. Castability: All in all the line casts very well. It loaded my Thomas and Thomas eleven weight Helix very nicely. It turned over easily and was easy to land softly. It shot well, as promised, handled the wind nicely and, after some work (more on this later) had very little memory and laid out nicely on the deck. No complaints casting this line. Low Stretch: One of the things I generally don’t like about clear lines is they all seem stretchy to me. A stretchy line is the kiss of death when tarpon fishing. A tarpon’s mouth is so tough you really need some authority to get a good hook set. I expected this line to be a problem, but it wasn’t. The hookups I missed were on me, not the line. The Negatives. Sort of Floating: This is supposed … Continue reading

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The River – A Short Fly Fishing Essay by Anthony Greer

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Today’s post we honor a simple request from a Father to shed light on the one year anniversary of losing his son, and favorite fishing partner. Anthony Greer’s life ended far too early from a firearms accident, and we pay respect to this young articulate man and former guide, who was well on his way to becoming a fly fishing legend. Anthony spent many days guiding clients to trophy trout on the flaming gorge section of the Green River. His home water was the Provo River in Northern Utah. Anthony, we hope you’re spending your time in heaven casting dry flies to big beautiful trout on the prettiest water you’ve ever laid your eyes on. Below is a powerful and moving short essay Anthony Greer wrote. Please take the time to read and pay your respects to one of our fallen fly fishing comrades. The River Where does one venture when the responsibilities of life weigh heavy upon the mind? The answer, of course, is very simple. We go to where no others bother to look. The places we visit, time after time after time. The River. She’s always there. Always willing to share her bounty to the dedicated. The few. The ones who got the bug early and have never ceased to stop the quest for knowledge. The River, although a temptress at time, never ceases to amaze, and even if she takes your breath away, we always find ourselves coming back fro more. This, my friends, is not passion, hobby or sport. It cannot as easily be summed in those words. In a few enlightened anglers’ minds lies an addiction so deep, I dare say, that even after a lifetime of angling they would begin to feel satisfied. Or maybe these are just the rants of one lone … Continue reading

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