Who’s Your Buddy?

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What makes a good angler a great angler? Fly fishing is a life long pursuit. That may be what I love the most about it. No matter how good you become, there is always a next level. Around every bend some new revelation. A lifetime of learning. For me, that’s the secret to happiness. Learn something new every day. I always consider my fishing a work in progress. I never think of it in terms of what I have achieved, rather what’s next. This is in no way false modesty. Life has taught me that I have plenty to learn, whatever the subject. I clearly remember being, what I call, an adolescent angler. Knowing enough to be dangerous and too little to be content. Desperately seeking the next level. But how do you get there? I did it by getting lost. I was excited about my new Toyota 4 Runner. It had been a while since I’d had four wheel drive and I knew it was going to open up some new water for me. On a crisp winter morning my wife and I hit the road to do some exploring. We followed one Forest Service road after another farther and farther into the North Georgia mountains, snow covering our tire tracks. In my enthusiasm, I failed to keep up with a few of our turns and at some point had to stop and give the map a good study. Just as I was thinking it would have been smart to have brought food, a green pickup pulled up along side. A friendly fellow in a ball cap bearing the Fish Hawk logo asked if he could help. Dan Flynn would become one of my best friends and we fished together almost every week for years. Dan is a fly … Continue reading

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Sunday Classic / Why Thomas & Thomas Might Succeed, Really This Time.

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I should start by saying that Thomas & Thomas is a client of mine. In fact they were one of the first companies to use my photography. That said, like many anglers, within a year or two I was cursing the name Thomas and Thomas. There was a point when I wouldn’t take their phone calls. It was a rocky relationship to say the least. So don’t think I’m blowing sunshine up anybody’s skirt when I say I truly believe things might be turning around. If your not up to speed on the story, there was a time when T&T changed owners and the investor who bought the company, as well as the outgoing management, made a complete cluster fuck of the place. Rods weren’t delivered, repairs weren’t made, a lot of people were pissed off. I have friends who will tell you that T&T rods are the best made and that they will never own another. Things looked pretty dark up there. Not an easy turn around. So what makes me think they can pull it off? At the IFTD show in New Orleans I had the chance to meet with Mark Richens the new owner of T&T. We had lunch and this is what I came away with. T&T is in great hands. Firstly, you don’t have to talk with Mark for long to know that he’s a serious fisherman. He knows the sport and the people who love it. Secondly, he’s a smart guy with a head for business. He has a plan and a vision for the company and he realizes he has a hell of a job ahead of him. Thirdly, my gut feeling is that this guy is a pit bull. I don’t see him walking away from a fight, ever. Not the kind … Continue reading

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Saturday Shoutout / Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

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If I were to make a list of the fly fishers I don’t like, it would be a pretty short list. While in Colorado recently I met and fished with Jay Zimmerman. He is one fishy dude and a great guy. Jay and I have been Facebook friends for a while, it’s awfully nice to be able to call him an actual friend now. A veteran Colorado fly guide, Jay puts his encyclopedic knowledge of the Front Range to work for you on his blog Colorado Fly Fishing Reports. There are fishing reports, for sure, but also stories, photography and fishing tips for everything from carp to pike and of course, trout. If you’re headed to Colorado, or are lucky enough to live there, this is a site you need to bookmark. Let Jay show you some good water.   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Angler Attitude Can Increase Success During Tough Fishing Conditions

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I’m grateful to have a full-time fishing partner that isn’t afraid to step it up when the going gets tough. Louis Cahill is the epitome of this, he’s an angler that’s willing to do whatever’s necessary to put fish in the net, even when catching fish seems completely hopeless. In fact, he seems to shine when fishing conditions are really tough, and oddly as it may sound, sometimes I think he actually prefers bleak fishing conditions for the challenge and reward. It doesn’t matter if everyone on the river is getting their butts handed to them, Louis won’t except defeat until he’s given it everything he’s got. And here’s the real kicker, unlike many of us, I rarely have to pump Louis up for him to give me his absolute best on the water. All I have to do is get a serious look on my face, start cranking on the oars, and mention the words, “Let’s do this”. Nine times out of ten, he charges out the gates, like a horse at the Kentucky Derby, and ends up getting the job done by landing multiple big fish. I think Louis has figured out how important angler attitude (staying positive, confident, grounded) is for catching fish, and many of us, including myself, need to take note. Louis openly acknowledges trout can be super technical and extremely difficult to catch at times, but he maintains a firm stance that trout don’t have a higher intelligence than us, and they can’t consciously pick and choose who they outsmart. This fishing attitude is why Louis can travel all over the world fly fishing uncharted waters and find success, and that’s why I eagerly follow his lead where ever he goes. The man always has a plan b, c, and d, if plan a … Continue reading

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Sealing The Deal, Landing Bonefish

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It’s time to seal the deal. Now that we’ve covered a few of the fundamentals of bone fishing it’s time to seal the deal. Landing saltwater fish is a little different from landing a trout. For one thing saltwater guides don’t carry nets. Try to net a tarpon some time and you’ll see why. When bonefishing the angler is usually expected to land the fish himself. The guide will be busy looking for the next fish. It’s not difficult to land a bonefish but doing it wrong often ends in a broken rod. Even a small bone is a powerful fish and he’s going to freak out when you try to land him. If you put too much pressure on the rod tip it’ll snap. It’s called high sticking and unlike the high sticking trout anglers do when nymphing, it’s a bad idea. The trick is to keep enough line out of the rod tip that you can reach your leader without forcing the tip to bend hard. In this video our buddy Bruce Chard shows you how to do it right. If you missed Bruce’s other Bonefish tips, check them out now.   Better Bonefish Retrieve Fighting Big Bonefish Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Foam is Home

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There’s no reason to write a novel about today’s fly fishing tips & technique post. It’s a good idea for all trout fishermen to get in the habit of always locating the highest concentrations of foam before fishing a stretch of water. In simple terms, foam lines and bubbles tell anglers where the current is moving, and where the food is collecting and floating down the river. You’ll always find fish where the most food is drifting down the river, and more times than not, that’s where you’ll want to be drifting your flies. I’m very religious about locating where the highest concentrations of foam are drifting before I make my first presentation. When my eyes spot the highest density of white bubbles, I wisper the words, “Foam is Home”, and present my fly with confidence. Give this tip a try next time you’re out trout fishing. Keep it Reel, Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Angler Access, Montana’s bold New Precedent

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How Will the PPL Montana v. Montana Case Affect Access Going Forward? An article by Benjamin Clary In the past few years, Montanans have become gun-shy about large, private landowners and rightfully so after battles against the likes of Huey Lewis and James Cox Kennedy. So as whispers of a case concerning the ownership of the riverbeds of parts of the Missouri, the Clark Fork and the Madison rivers began to emerge, citizens began to take notice. Eventually, in 2010 the Montana Supreme Court seemed to put an end to the conflict when, in a decision celebrated by anglers and river access advocates alike, the Court decided that the riverbeds below various dams on the three rivers were owned by the State, not by the other party – a power company named PPL Montana. However, legal experts were wary that the Montana Supreme Court had overstepped its bounds specifically in its definition of navigability – the issue that ultimately determines ownership. It was therefore not much of a surprise when the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear PPL Montana’s appeal. All of the sudden the battle, rather than being a Montana one, became a national issue and the stakes were high. Because the federal definition of navigability affects access in most states (some more than others), it immediately attracted attention from all interest groups advocating river access for recreation purposes including fly fishermen. Unfortunately, even though the Court had the opportunity to expand the definition of navigability, it overturned the Montana Supreme Court and at the same time restricted the federal definition of navigability. Below is a brief analysis on the decision’s effect on river access. It should be fairly evident that this is merely a review of the events and not a complete summary of the current law. … Continue reading

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Women Fly Fishers Have the Potential to Dig The Industry Out of the Red

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Who says the sport fly fishing is shrinking? Ok, maybe as a whole it is, but the last couple of years, women fly fishers have been on a steady rise, and just about everyone seems to be taking notice of the phenomenon. The past eleven years, I spent very little time on the water guiding female anglers. On occasion, I’d book a husband and wife trip, but the brunt of my guiding in the sport was male dominated. The past year and a half though, I’ve noticed a substantial shift in my client demographics, with women increasingly making up more of the pie. I’m guiding many more married couples and I’m even booking quite a few trips from solo female’s, who are taking the initiative to go out and learn how to fly fish on their own. Noticing this change in my day to day guide business, I couldn’t help to think, this could be our golden ticket to turning around the shrinking industry, and finally have a good chance at putting fly fishing back in the green (growing sport). Intrigued by what I was seeing in my guide service alone, I took the time to make a couple phone calls and contacted my local women’s fly fishing club (Georgia Women FlyFishing), as well as, Kara Armano, a key female fly fisher who’s employed at Backbone Media, a public relations media company, focusing on driving awareness of brands and new products in outdoor industries. Kara said, “I’ve been heading many woman fly fishing clinics lately with great success, and each clinic I do is more popular than the last.” Deb Bowen, from Georgia Women Fly Fishing and a FFF Certified Casting Instructor said, “Our numbers have more than doubled this year alone, and we’re continuing to get new memberships weekly.” Thank you ladies … Continue reading

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Sunday’s Classic / 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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Saturday’s Shoutout / The Rusty Spinner

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This weeks Saturday Shoutout goes to  The Rusty Spinner blog. I’ve really enjoyed following this well written and entertaining blog lately. It covers a wide range of fly fishing topics and it’s generally updated with regular posts throughout the week. I really like that it’s a breeze to read, yet the information is emotionally deep. More times than not the content hits home with me on a personal level, and that’s not always the case traveling throughout the blogosphere. Check it out when you get a chance. Below are a few of my favorite posts on The Rusty Spinner the last couple weeks: Blogging and Fishing The Flat When Choosing Friends Keep it Reel, Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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