Use Long Leaders for Flat Water

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The saying a picture tells a thousand words is true, particularly in this case, as a tool for me explaining how important it is to use a long leader when fly fishing on flat water. In the picture above, take a moment to view the disturbances the fly line and leader create on the water during a presentation. Notice how little noise and footprint the leader makes when compared to the fly line. I was casting a Scott G2 5 weight rod with a 9′ leader and foam hopper, and I presented the fly as softly as possible. Anglers often don’t realize how much noise they’re creating during their presentations, and why so regularly they’re spooking the fish their casting to on flat water. The fly line itself, creates the most noise during your presentation and is by far the biggest contributor to spooking fish. Try using a 10-12′ leader or even a specialty George Harvey dry fly leader, that’s designed to dissipate energy and lay out dry flies with slack. This will increase the distance between your fly and the start of your noisy fly line hitting the water, resulting in more hook ups and less spooks. This fly fishing tip isn’t expected to turn heads. It’s more intended to be a friendly reminder for us fly anglers to fish with common sense. Many anglers including myself, often get on the water and find themselves oblivious for the need to adapt tactics to create a successful day of fishing. If you know you’re going to be dealing with flat water go ahead and rig up a longer leader right away. Being lazy and not doing so is like continuing to fish a fly that is not working all day long, and then walking away saying, “The fish weren’t biting today”. … Continue reading

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This One Is Just Right

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After a long day of fishing on the Kanektok River, Kevin Riley takes a nap in a bear bed on a piece of water the guides call Goldilocks channel. I wonder why they call it that?       Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com  

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I’ve Got A Chubby

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Every time I head out west for some trout R&R, there’s one dry fly pattern specifically that I always stock at least one fly box with exclusively. Idylwilde’s Chubby Chernobyl is the pattern I’m referring to and it’s probably caught more trout for me the past three years on western trout water than any other fly pattern. I absolutely love this pattern because it’s durable as hell and floats all day long even when I drop a heavy nymph behind it. It does a great job imitating stoneflies and terrestrials, but it also shines as an all-around attractor pattern. For veteran fly fisherman out there, I know, you’ve been fishing them for years and wrecking fish. But here at Gink & Gasoline, it’s really important to us that we’re providing fly fishing information for all skill levels including newcomers to the sport. The Chubby Chernobyl has saved the day for me on many occasions and it’s become one of my favorite go to flies when trout are looking up. The Chubby Chernobyl always seems to bring the big boys to the surface, but at the same time it doesn’t appear to be intimidating to smaller fish either. Because of this, fishing the Chubby Chernobyl from the spring into fall generally makes for an exciting day of dry fly fishing. Try a Golden Chubby Chernobyl when targeting a golden stonefly hatch or use it as a great all around grasshopper immitation. Dub it in olive and size it down and you’ll be ready for the Skwala stonefly hatch. Tie it with a black/orange foam body and black legs and it’s a sure win for imitating giant salmonflies. The black foam body with red dubbing and legs has produced trophy size browns, rainbows, and cutthroat trout for me every time I’ve visited the … Continue reading

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Striped Bass, Making The Best of Global Warming

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I’ll be honest. This is not going to make you feel any better about climate change. But you’ve got to get your silver linings where you can find ’em. With temperatures in the south east going from miserable to intolerable, a lot of what used to be trout water is rapidly becoming, well, not so much trout water any longer. The upshot of this is that some of these challenged rivers are finding new life as warm water fisheries. There are striped bass in many of the lakes in the region and as water temp soar, they run up the rivers in search of cold water. Some of these rivers are getting pretty decent runs. Five to ten pound fish are pretty common but there are big boys too. Up to fifty pounds. Stripers are a great species on fly and a big one will keep you busy for a few minutes. Here’s my buddy James with a twenty six pounder. Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com

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How Much Money Is Your Fly Tying Stash Worth?

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Flipping through the latest issue of Sky Mall Magazine waiting for my flight to depart to Jackson, WY last week, I came across this women’s accessory fashion ad. Tonytail Company Inc. sells three hackle feathers 5-10″ long for a whopping $14.95 plus shipping! After seeing this, it made we wonder how much money my fly tying stash was actually worth. Let me think, well I’ve got around 2 1/2 dozen saddles in various colors, with each conservatively having around 125 usable feathers….let me get the calculator out. If my calculations are correct my hackle feathers are worth around $18,687 in the fashion world, holy crap! I feel like I got a real bargain now buying them for $40-60 a piece in the fly shop. Thank goodness I don’t have to purchase my feathers from these guys. The Good News  (You saw it here first) On the other hand, my twin sister Julie, is a fashion queen who’s always managed to stay two steps ahead in the fashion world her entire life. She says the feather in the hair gig is already on its way out. Her clue to this she said, “When I saw Tori Spelling’s four year old son wearing quail feather extensions in his hair on TV, I knew the feather fad had lost it’s coolness. Fly tiers will see the light at the end of the tunnel soon, because feathers in the hair is just a short lived fashion trend”. Let’s hope my sister is right. For real though, what’s next, are we going to see Krystal Flash and Flashabou extensions walking down the street? I wouldn’t doubt it. You better load up on these fly tying materials before the price of them sky rocket just like hackle feathers have. Keep it Reel, Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline … Continue reading

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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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How To Make Your Fly Rod Cast Like A Dream

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What Fly Line Matches Up Best With Your Fly Rod? It always amazes me that there’s very little talk in the industry about how important it is to match your fly rod with the appropriate fly line. My recent visit to the ITFD Fly Fishing Show in New Orleans, I witnessed on more than one occasion, fly rod company’s matching their fly rods up with what appeared to be the wrong fly lines. If you spool up the wrong fly line on your reel, that $700 fly rod you just purchased will end up feeling awkward, and won’t perform the way the fly rod designer intended it to. Below are some quick tips on how to match your fly rod with the correct fly line so it ends up casting like a dream. Fast Action Fly Rods Stiff, fast action fly rods require fly lines with a more aggressive head design for optimum rod loading and casting. Since fly rods are generally meant to load at 25-30′ of fly line out the end of the rod tip, anglers often find it difficult to load fast action fly rods, particularly at short distances, unless they’ve matched their rod with the appropriate fly line. Both Rio and Scientific Anglers manufacture fly lines specifically for fast action rods. Try Weight Forward (WF) Rio Grande Fly Line or WF GPX Scientific Anglers. These two fly lines in laymen terms, are about 1/2 weight heavier than traditional fly lines by AFTMA standards. Pairing up one of these fly lines with your fast action fly rod will allow you to load your rod with less effort and it will perform much better at all casting distances. Medium Action Fly Rods Medium action fly rods call for fly lines with a more conservative and well rounded tapered design. Loading … Continue reading

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Spooky, Spooky Permit

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Permit in glass calm water. It doesn’t get any tougher than that. I know of no one who know more about permit than my buddy Bruce Chard so I ask him for a tip on making a successful presentation. Here’s his reply. Casting to shallow water permit in calm wind conditions can be challenging to say the least. These are the two main conditions that seem to make permit even more skidish than normal. Is that even possible? Shallow water depth and calm wind conditions help to put permit on another level of the spooky scale. So how do we effectively cast to these shallow water feeding circus fatties? Well an even powered wide loop presentation is a good start believe it or not. An even powered wide loop presentation cast will help to spread all the energy in the fly line evenly over the wide loop leaving just enough dispersed energy to slowly and softly roll out the leader and fly with a quiet presentation. This helps you to present your fly right in the permits wheel house and that means game on! Thanks Bruce! Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com  

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Why Can’t We Have Cutthroat Trout Everywhere

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If I had the ability to ask for one additional trout specie in my home waters, I’d ask for cutthroat trout. In my opinion, cutthroat trout are one of the best trout species for introducing and teaching beginners the sport of fly fishing. Although there’s locations where they can be just as spooky and picky as other trout, more times than not, I often find them as a whole, to be more forgiving on presentation and fly pattern choice than brown and rainbow trout. I don’t know about you but I’ve never fought a brown or rainbow trout for ten seconds, broke it off, and two minutes later caught that same trout, and got my fly back. I’ve accomplished this multiple times with cutthroat trout, and I’m sure there’s anglers out there, that have experienced this more times than they can recall. As a guide, I love an attribute like this in a trout, and it doesn’t hurt that cutthroat’s seem to have a weakness for dry flies. There strikingly beautiful fish and I’d love nothing more than to have the opportunity to guide my clients to them on a daily basis. Too bad I guide in North Georgia, where I’ve got better chances of stumbling upon a gold nugget than a cutthroat trout. It’s all good though, I thoroughly enjoy making trips out west and catching cutties each year. Maybe one day I’ll even have the opportunity to move and guide where cutthroat trout are plentiful. That’s my dream anyway. What’s yours? Keep it Reel, Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com

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Shoot Raw Files

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Here’s another tip for the shutter bugs. Most cameras default to shooting a jpeg file. Jpeg files are great for looking at on your computer, sending in email, posting on the web and even for casual prints. But if your camera has a raw file setting, there is a whole world of rich color and contrast control at your fingertips. Raw files are intimidating for most people and with good reason. You will need special software to process these files before you can really do anything with them and this will require an investment of money and time. But if you really want to take your photography to the next level, raw files are a valuable tool. I don’t usually recommend specific products or brands but I feel so strongly about Adobe’s Lightroom application that, in this case, I am going to say you should seriously consider it. I know of nothing on the market that comes close for processing raw files. I’ll take a break on photo tips now. If you want more, let me know. Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com  

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