Take The Right Fish

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As I’ve said plenty of times I’m a dedicated catch and release angler. That said, I recognize that it’s a personal choice that I have come to in my own time. There are a lot of good ethical anglers out there who keep a fish once in a while and although it’s not for me, there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with it. The reason I say necessarily is this: fish are not all created equal and while killing a fish can be ok, killing the wrong fish is a tragedy. Where trout are concerned, in most places a great many of the fish we catch are hatchery raised stockers. There are a couple of things about these fish that are worth mentioning. The breeding of fish for stocking is a pragmatic endeavor. It is done with a clear cut goal in mind. To raise fish in the fastest, cheapest, easiest way possible and get them in the river. There is very little, if any, thought given to the quality of these fish. Well, what does that mean, quality? Several things. For one, the fish are raised on a diet of high protean fish food that promotes fast growth. This yields fish that have little of the natural color found in wild fish. There are other factors that contribute to this but food plays a role. It also yields fish with unnatural proportions. Small mouths and fins but big bellies. A trout that’s shaped like a football is a poor example of it’s kind. Hatchery fish are generally raised in concrete runs. They rub against the rough concrete and wear down their fins to nubs. Not very attractive. The runs also contribute to the lack of color. Trout, like most fish, have natural camouflage. They take on the color of their … Continue reading

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Attractor Midge Larva for Cold Water and Picky Trout

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When water temperatures begin to drop in the fall and the majority of our big hatches start to taper off, midge patterns become a big player for me. November through January, when I’m sight fishing and I can’t get trout to eat, I’ll often opt for tying on an attractor midge larva. Quite often, the fish eat them like candy and my clients think I’m a hero. I can hear the words now, “I had no idea you could catch big trout on flies that small”. Make sure you downsize your tippet to 6X or smaller for a more natural drift, and play your big fish easy, otherwise you’ll risk pulling those tiny hooks out of the mouths of big trout. Experiment with bright color combinations with and without beads. One of my favorite attractor midge larva is simply a fluorescent orange thread body, wrapped with fine gold wire, finished off with a black thread head. You can coat them with Sally Hansen’s Clear Nail polish for more shine, but it’s not required to catch fish. These fly patterns are super quick to tie and do not require a lot of fly tying skill. Heck you can tie a couple dozen of these bad boys up drinking a couple beers and watching a football game. That’s my kind of fly tying, Cheers. Give this pattern a try and let us know what’s some of your favorite midge larva patterns. We’d love to hear from our followers. Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Sunday Classic / Lionfish – Hell on the Ecosystem

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Lionfish may be the mother of all invasive species. Take a moment to think about this: a lionfish (native to the Indo-Pacific) has no natural predators in the Atlantic ocean. It can live up to fifteen years, reaching sexual maturity in less than a year. Once mature, a pair can spawn as often as every four days. A single mature female can produce up to two million eggs per year and they will tolerate a population density of two hundred adults per acre. Just the math involved scares me, but you don’t even have to get out the calculator to see where this is going. Introduced in several locations in Florida as a result of aquarium damage during hurricane Andrew, lionfish have been making their way around the Caribbean and east coast of the US for the past twelve years, but in the last three years the population has exploded. They are now found as far north as North Carolina and south into South America. They are rampant in the Bahamas as well as the Florida Keys and are now common in the Florida panhandle. Why am I so worried about this beautiful tropical fish? Here are a few more fun lionfish facts.

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Saturday Shoutout / SCOF November Issue

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This week we recommend you check out Southern Culture on the Fly – November 2011 Issue We’re friends with Dave & Steve at Southern Culture on the Fly, but that’s not why we’re recommending you check out their online fly fishing magazine. There ezine is top notch, very entertaining and packed with the latest southeast fly fishing news, fishing chatter, and video. And their witty humor throughout will have you busting a gut laughing. Well done gentlemen at SCOF. Keep it Reel, Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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A Closer Look

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In honor of fall here’s a closer look at male Southern Appalachian Brook Trout in spawning colors.  This little guy is clearly a mature adult at four inches long.  Perfect. Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Peacock Bass In The Amazon, Part 2

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Packing for Success in the Amazon Preparing and packing the right gear prior to your departure to the Amazon is crucial for your overall trip enjoyment and fishing success. Following these gear recommendations, fishing tips, and general amazon facts, will ensure that you’ll be ready to tackle the monster peacock bass you’ll encounter as well as the hot tropical climate. One important factor that rookie amazon anglers often fail to realize is water levels on the rivers and tributaries of the Amazon River can make or break your trip. Sometimes conditions will be perfect a week or two before your departure, and a couple days before your scheduled to leave, you’ll receive an updated water level report informing you that conditions have deteriorated. It’s just part of the game. It comes with fishing a river that provides us with 1/5 the worlds freshwater supply. Talk to any veteran peacock bass angler and they’ll quickly tell you how big a role water levels play in the fishing and how helpless you are at controlling them. Despite there being both wet and dry fishing seasons in the Amazon, sometimes the seasons end up being the opposite of what they should be for the time of the year. Your best bet for coping with this uncertainty is booking your trip with the right Amazon outfitter or lodge. The, fly fishing only, Agua Boa Lodge, located in Brazil, is best suited for coping with both high and low water levels because of its specialized equipment, exclusive location, and the diversified fishing operations. Water Levels are Important in the Amazon If water levels are too high, peacock bass often will move back into the flooded jungle shorelines making them difficult to coax out or present a fly to. On the flip side of the coin, … Continue reading

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South Andros, A Love Story

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I love the Bahamas. It hits me about this time every year. Just about the time I start pulling out the polar fleece and looking for my fishing gloves I start thinking about Andros. I love the cold weather, it’s not that, it’s just become a rhythm for me. This is the time of year I start thinking about bonefish and gully wash (the coconut milk rum and gin based fire water the locals drink). I start to crave conch salad and that sweet Bahamian bread.                      I think about warm breezes and cool sand when I should be thinking about migrating brown trout. I start checking over my bonefish gear when I should be prepping my Spey set up. I find myself looking at the weather for Andros when I should be planning my steelhead trips. I think about my friends there at Andros South and the friends I’ve made fishing there who live all over. Some of them even get a phone call. “Hey, what’s up? Done any good fishing lately? Going to the Bahamas this year?”. The other day I even bought a bunch of saltwater tying material. You never know, right? I got some leader material too. Better safe than sorry. It’s almost November and I’m making rum drinks while all my friends are settling into dark winter beers. I imagine they talk about me behind my back like I was a fool hopelessly in love with a girl who doesn’t know he exists. “Wake up dreamer, it’s not gonna happen”. Well, the world needs dreamers. I’m booking my ticket tonight. Try not to hate me. Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Fly Fishing For Peacock Bass, Part 1

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I’ve been very blessed to have fly fished many destinations around the world. All have been amazing trips, but one destination in particular I hold close to my heart. Every time someone asks me what’s the coolest place I’ve fly fished, without any hesitation, I always reply fly fishing for peacock bass in the Amazon. Combine the extreme beauty and remoteness of the Amazon Basin with the opportunity to battle one of the most powerful freshwater gamefish on the planet, and it’s pretty easy to see why it ranks at the top of my list. That’s not even factoring in the other bonuses you’ll receive, like catching several other species of fish and witnessing all the diverse wildlife. “While beginners always seem to catch fish, the persistent skilled angler wielding a precise cast is more often than not rewarded for his/her hard won mastery. Make a good sidearm cast between two logs under a tree and it might be rewarded. Hit that bit of flashing neon green or quickly reload to hit a laid-up chunk of muscle and madness 20 feet off the boat’s bow and it just might work. Peacock bass fishing is intriguing fishing. It is shoulder burning, forearm aching and finger cramping to be sure. There will be snags hooked, lines fouled and fish missed. It is at times maddening, frustrating and patience testing, but ultimately exhilarating, very satisfying and all consuming…and yes, as cliched as it might sound, addicting.” Scott Heywood Making a trip to the Amazon used to be one of the most economical international fishing trips you could book at a very reasonable $2995, for a week of fishing and lodging. But with the falling US Dollar and economic turmoil we’ve been dealt the last several years, the cost has almost doubled. But in … Continue reading

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The Grandbaby

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Up in the North Georgia hills up past Suches, up about Hells Holler and Devils Den they tell a story. They say that when the leaves turn the color of blood and the moon hangs like a old orange pumpkin in the sky and a cold wind blows down out of Big Frog, an age old ritual comes to pass. The elders take the youngest of the clan and dress them in their finest denim and trucker hats and lead them down out of the hills. Down to where the water runs cold and deep. Down in the shade of the ironwood tree. Down by the big rock at the bend in the river with worms and crickets and then there’s blood. Lots of blood. That’s when it does its worst. The Grandbaby.  Happy Halloween From G&G! Seriously guys, teach your kids that it’s more fun to release a fish than to kill it. And if you want to read something really scary, check out Kent’s story on the death of the Toccoa River in Southern Culture on the Fly. The new issue launches tomorrow!   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com  

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Sunday Classic / Big Fish Require Slow Hook Sets On Top

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  If any of you have fished for cutthroat trout with dry flies you know most of the time you need to wait a good while on the hook set. The first time I fished for cutthroats I missed many more takes than I care to share. Cutthroat trout are known for their slow motion rises, and if you set the hook too quick, you’ll end up just pulling the fly out of the trout’s mouth. Just like cutthroat’s, big rainbow and brown trout also require you to count, 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississip…in your head before you set the hook to ensure consistent hook ups. If you can still see the fish eating your fly you need to wait longer. A big trout comes up, opens it bucket mouth, and usually doesn’t close it fully until it’s submerged completely below the surface. And if a fish is chasing after and eating your dry fly moving downstream, you have to wait even longer. Keep in mind also that the bigger your dry fly, the longer you need to wait on your hook set as well.  If your fishing a big size 4 extended body foam hopper, you’ll want to make sure the trout gets all of the fly in it’s mouth. Quick hook sets will often result in the fish just getting the tail end of the fly in its mouth or you’ll get what I call a hair lip hook up, that quickly results in a spit fly. Every angler no matter what their skill level, will end up setting the hook too quickly occasionally. Especially when trout catch you off guard when your scratching that nagging itch or looking at another trout rising. Just remember to give the big boys plenty of time to munch on your fly before … Continue reading

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