Saturday Shoutout / SCOF!

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The spring issue of Southern Culture on the Fly is out, and it’s HOT!   Check out this Tarpon video from SCOF.   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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There’s One Born Every Minute

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They told me these Oregon steelhead were different. I’m not sure I like it. All I can say is I must be the worlds best sucker fisherman. I thought I’d done something when I caught them on dry flies but now I see that swinging steelhead flies is really the only way to go! Check out my best sucker to date.   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Prolong the Life of Your Leaders with Tippet Rings

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Leaders have got quite expensive over the past couple decades. Recently, I saw a pack of two fluorocarbon leaders retail for $20.00 in a fly shop. That’s a pretty good hit to the wallet if you get out on the water to fly fish regularly. One way you can prolong the life of your leaders is to use tippet rings. The tippet ring takes the leader out of the equation by providing the angler a reusable anchor point to tie on tippet and attach flies. Climax manufactures and sells tippet rings and although I don’t like using them for my dry fly fishing because they can create micro-drag, they work very well for nymph fishing. Tippet Ring Rigging Instructions What I like to do is take a 7 1/2′ tapered 2X or 3X leader and tie the end directly to the loop ring. I then tie 24-30″ of 4X-6x tippet to the other side of the loop rig and tie on my tandem nymph rig. This keeps me from having to cut into my leader when I’m changing out flies or if I break off on a snag fishing. The tippet rings are also very nice for anglers that struggle with their eye sight up close, and makes it very easy for them to rig up quickly. This isn’t for everyone but for an initial $5 investment, it’s a cool piece of fly fishing gear that can save you money in the long run and should be considered. Keep it Reel, Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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The Cajun Spey Waltz

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Snow is blowing in around the corners of my glasses and forty degree water is slowly making its way into my waders. I haven’t seen the sun for several days and the river is full of chrome bright steelhead. It doesn’t feel much like Louisiana. Never the less the tune that keeps dancing in my head and eventually to my lips is an old Cajun waltz, “The Big Mamu”. I have a deep and conflicted love for Louisiana. I almost moved there once. Like I said, I’m conflicted, but of the many things I love about the place, maybe I love the music best. The Blues, the Hot Jazz, the Zydeco and the beautiful and haunting traditional Cajun music. The sound of the accordion, the fiddle and the washboard pull at my heart strings. I don’t know why but I loved it the first time I heard it. But what does it have to do with steelheading? Apparently, everything. I love Spey casting but I don’t get to do as much of it as I’d like and consequently it takes me a while to get into the rhythm. There are three basic parts to a Spey cast. The anchor placement, the sweep and the cast. Inevitably, when my casting goes to hell it’s the timing of my sweep that’s the problem. I’ve spent so much time developing speed and strength for my saltwater casting that it takes a while for me to remember that Spey casting is the exact opposite. Slow and easy. I’m not a Spey Guru so I’ll keep it simple. The sweep is the part of the cast where you form a D loop and load the rod. Both very important. There is a direct relationship between the height of the rod tip and the speed of … Continue reading

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DIY – Kids Puffer Balls for Fly Tying

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I’ve been tying San Juan Worm patterns for a couple years now with Spirit River’s Squirmy Wormies, and fish love them because of the life-like movement the material has in the water. That being said, I’ve had problems finding certain colors like Flourescent Pink, Chartreuse, and Green. My buddy and guide Erik Ashlin turned me onto Kids Puffer Balls. They’re a spin off from the famous “Koosh Ball”, that many of us enjoyed playing dodge ball with in the 80s and 90s, and they come in just about any color you can imagine. You can find them at your local Dollar General and Walmart stores for $5 or less, and you can tie at least 100 flies from just one of them. In a pinch, Erik points out, you can snip one of the legs off, and tie it on a hook with a simple overhand knot. No bobbin, vise, or tying thread is needed. Just cinch the knot down evenly on the hook and the material will stay in place. Personally, when I have the time to tie them at the vise, I like to tie one leg on each end of the hook and wrap a couple strands of Spanflex around the middle of the hook for a smooth proportioned body. That’s just personal preference though, either tying method works. Don’t just tie San Juan Worms, I’ve been using them for inch-worm patterns, caddis larva, and even wrapping the hook with them for bright bodies on my nymphs. This is a cheap and versatile product that you should be able to find several purposes for in your fly tying. We hope you enjoyed this week’s DIY (Do It Yourself) tip from Gink & Gasoline. Keep it Reel, Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly … Continue reading

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The Fish Gods and The Temple of Swing

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A steelhead is caught one way and one way only, on the swing! The temperature of the room is getting kind of warm. The fishing banter takes on a surly tone when one of the guys mentions bobber fishing. This is steelheader slang for nymphing under an indicator. “I’d rather see bait guys out there,” someone says. The room falls silent when I chime in with, “trout fishing is trout fishing”… What I have done, in essence, is light a match to see just how bad this gas leak is. Everyone knows that when you’re in the Pacific Northwest, in the Temple of Swing, surrounded by the faithful, you never ever call a steelhead a trout. The room is silent for a bit while they size me up, then my buddy Jeff breaks the silence. “The Fish Gods are going to punish you for that”. Jeff Hickman lives just a half hour outside of Portland on the banks of the Clackamas River. He guides the Clackamas and the Deschutes. He’s a tall soft spoken and thoughtful guy. Tough as cut nails with a deep and unshakable passion for wild steelhead. He’s as pure a purest as you will likely find but humble and in no way an asshole about it. A live and let live kind of guy. You do what you do, and he’ll do what he does, and at what he does there may be no one better. Jeff has told me for some time that I’ve never caught a steelhead and I’m here to change that. I was almost certain I’d caught steelhead before now. I think I’ve even seen photos of myself holding them, but I was mistaken. Jeff cleared this up for me. First of all, obviously, those fish in the Great Lakes are not … Continue reading

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Sunday’s Classic / Wiggle Bug For Silver Salmon

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This weeks Sunday Classic that’s intended for catching silver salmon showcases one of my favorite fly patterns. However, it’s equally deadly for trout and other species across the world. Check it out and let us know what you think. Who doesn’t love watching a big silver salmon rushing towards a fly and crushing it? I’ll tell you who, an Alaskan guide who’s already unhooked three dozen of them for the day. I used to really enjoy guiding first time silver clients in Alaska. You wouldn’t believe the praises you’d get as a guide after they landed twenty or so. It was sometimes hard keeping a straight face, smiling and saying, thanks man! But in my head I’m thinking, it’s not brain surgery, this is about as easy as Alaska fishing gets. Seriously though, I really did enjoy the high fives and genuine remarks I received during those trips. Silver fishing did get a little monotonous at times but it was always an easy day of guiding, something guides cherish after months in the bush. Silver salmon are super territorial and aggressive during the spawn, making them eager to chase and attack flies that enter their field of vision. It’s not technical fly fishing by any means but a lot of fun for fly anglers wanting action all day long. The only thing I truly hated about silver salmon fishing was the beating my hands took from trying to handle them death rolling in the net. If you ever get a chance take a good hard look at an alaskan guides hands. It’s not a pretty sight. I never thought my hands would look the same after that season in Alaska. Thank God for utter cream. When you’re guiding silvers its more important that you find the fish than how much … Continue reading

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Saturday’s Shoutout / Fly Patterns and Cheap Tungsten Beads

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This week’s Saturday Shoutout we showcase some really cool fly patterns and also show you where you can buy cheap tungsten beads. Strawberry PMD Emerger I really liked how this pattern has the high-vis post pulled through the foam. That’s a brilliant tying method that will allow you to keep a visual on this low riding Pale Morning Dun emerger during the drift. Grant Bench ties this pattern and you can find a full recipe list, and step-by-step photo tutorial on the Outsmarting Fish Blog. Pale Morning Duns mayflies are notorious for having problems hatching. For every dun that hatches there are several cripples that fail to emerge successfully. Trout often key in on the cripples because they are easier to feed on. Try fishing this emerger pattern solo for selectively feeding trout or tie it off the back of PMD dun adult pattern. Another thing I love about this pattern is that it’s easy to tie and you can customize the colors to match many other species of mayflies. Tie some up and let us know how it works for you. Hackled Skip Nymph Skip Morris’s, Hackled Skip Nymph The famous Skip Morris, an author, speaker, and professional fly tier invented the Hackled Skip Nymph, and it’s a nymph pattern that we think every fly angler should have in their fly box. It’s buggy profile does a great job of imitating mayflies to stoneflies, and fly tiers can take it a step further by tying this pattern in several different sizes and colors combinations. This pattern will catch fish just about anywhere and it’s reasonably easy to tie. For a step-by-step photo tutorial and more information about Skip Morris please visit this link Hackled Skip Nymph. While you’re on the site take the time to check out the other … Continue reading

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5 Reasons Why I use the Uni-Knot for Trout Fishing

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There’s plenty of other fishing knots out there that have better knot strength than the Uni-Knot, but that shouldn’t be the only factor you look at when you’re choosing what knot to use on the water. Reliability, how quick and easy it is to tie, type of rig your fishing, and functionality should all be weighed into the equation when deciding on knot choice. The decision to employ the Uni-Knot for my personal fishing and guiding has made my life easier on the water because of its versatility and ease of tying. 5 Reasons Why I use the Uni-Knot for Trout Fishing 1. The Uni-Knot is quick and easy to tie with fine tippet and small flies, particularly in low light situations. 2. The Uni-Knot is very reliable, is rated at 90% strength, and won’t slip (fail) like the improved clinch knot will if it’s tightened down incorrectly. 3. I only need a small amount of tippet to tie the Uni-Knot. That lengthens the life of my leaders, cuts back on tippet usage, and saves me money in the long run. 4. The Uni-Knot allows me to quickly change out my lead fly in my tandem nymph rig and also saves me time untangling knots on the water since it can be loosened and re-tightened on the go. 5. The Uni-Knot serves other purposes other than tying your fly onto your leader. It also can be used to join two lines and used to secure your backing to the reel. The Uni-Knot Can Save You Time Untangling Knots Untangling knots is a subject that I know far too well being a full-time fly fishing guide. These days I can often spot a tangle in mid-air or by the way the leader lays out on the water. I’ve grown accustom to … Continue reading

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A Little Chrome Tail

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There’s nothing like a little chrome tail to start this day! What a beautiful bright steelhead courtesy of my buddy Jeff Hickman. The bright chrome strips in the tail tell the story. This is a fresh fish, straight from the salt.   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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