If The Real Thing Don’t Do The Trick…BARRACUDA!

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This toothy monster has saved a lot of slow days on the flats. A lot of anglers will ignore the barracuda and if the game is on with your target species, then, OK. But when things are slow this guy can offer a whole lot of action. Cuda are vicious and will trounce a fly that is properly presented. The take is explosive and if you never seen it you will not believe the speed this fish can turn on. Once hooked the fight is awesome with plenty of arial displays. I always have a cuda rod on the boat ready to go. They’re not the most challenging fish but they’re a whole lot of fun and that doesn’t suck. Just be careful getting that hero shot. Cuda fight to the bitter end. Here’s a video of my friend Bruce Chard telling you all you need to know to feed one. Video by Louis Cahill   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com  

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Risk It All For The Reward

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Sometimes we’re called upon to risk our safety and health to increase our chances of landing those trophies on the water. Whether your situation calls for jumping off a boulder into waist deep rapids or crossing a swift section of treacherous river to chase after that big fish, the decisions we make in those adrenaline packed moments ends up defining us as anglers. How far are you willing to go to land a big fish? When I hook a big fish, I instantly look at it like a chess match between angler and fish. I’ll run my ass off hopping boulders, or do a Bear Grylls (Man vs. Wild) slide down a steep bank to win the battle. It’s truly what I love about fishing, and it’s the closest thing I have in common with outdoor thrill seekers, like skydivers and rock climbers. I know one thing, when you hook a big fish and you shy away from the risky actions needed to land it, you’re choosing to miss out on what I thinks the most rewarding part of fly fishing; the battle. I wish there was a way for us all to go back and capture our epic battles on video from the past. We could have some of the best entertainment at our fingertips and have a blast giving props to each others wins on the water. Can you imagine how great it would be for the fly fishing industry to use this footage to promote and bring in new anglers? That would be sweet, wouldn’t it? I”m going to make a point to carry my waterproof goPro camera more this year. In the mean time, I’ll have to figure out how I can convince Louis to jump off boulders after big fish. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done … Continue reading

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Junk In The Trunk

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When fall arrives and my feet hit the floor in the morning and I’m reminded that my hundred year old house has no insulation or even subfloor it’s not long before I go looking for the junk box. As the weather gets nasty, especially in the south east, this little box of horrors works wonders. Eggs and worms may not be flies you’re proud to fish but the fish are not ashamed to eat them. So along with your fleece and wool carry a little chenille and yarn. Your never as cold when your catching fish.   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com  

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Are There Really Any Trash Fish?

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I don’t know about you but if a fish will eat a fly I generally have no problem fly fishing for it. And I don’t consider there to be any trash fish, because they all provide enjoyment and opportunity for anglers to learn. Some people out there I’m sure would argue if it’s not completely wild, they don’t want any part. That’s cool with me and I understand where they’re coming from, I just don’t think and feel that way in my fly fishing. Heck, I remember when I was in middle school I actually got a real kick out of catching big channel catfish in my best friends farm pond with woolly buggers. Back then, it was all about getting my rod bent and watching that fly line being pulled off the reel. There was nothing pretty or serene about landing those catfish. Trash fish or not, I didn’t care because I was in it for the fight, and a 6-12 pound catfish puts up a good fight on a 5 weight fly rod. Furthermore, it was still more sporting than me breaking out my spinning rod, bobber and can of chicken livers like most kids my age. Take the golden rainbow trout, a.k.a. “Palomino Trout”, that you can find in North Carolina for instance. Many fly anglers would jump on the bandwagon to call it a trash fish. It looks like a Koi Asian Goldfish at first glance, but it’s actually a real rainbow trout created through selective breeding. It originated from a single rainbow trout that was spawned in the fall of 1954 in West Virginia. Apparently a female rainbow trout was caught that carried a rare genetic mutation giving her a pale golden color. It was then spawned with a normal colored male rainbow trout and … Continue reading

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The Best Cup of Coffee Ever

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On a cold rainy morning in western Alaska, when you’ve been up since five and your arms are tired from fighting fish, a cup of hot coffee goes a long way. The best cup of coffee I ever had was made by Jim Palmersheim on the Arolik River. Jim guides for Alaska West but he’s not going to let living on an island in the Alaska bush all summer get between him and a great cup of Joe. There’s a lot to be said for timing and location but the coffee really was amazing. Jim packs his beans in and heats his water like a chemist so that it’s the perfect temperature when it’s time for a coffee break. He has a high tech press like I’ve never seen before. I asked Jim to share his secret and here it is in his own words. Ok, Thermos should be tempered with hot water before the coffee water is added. Temp of coffee water before adding to thermos is 200 degrees. This will make the water around 175-180 degrees around 10am for an AK coffee break. I like to use Sumatran beans. The beans are ground daily in a blade grinder(cuz that’s what I have in the AK bush) for 20 seconds. Two scoops of ground coffee are added to my Aero Press and the hot water following. Fill to the #3 mark on the side of the press. Stir with the supplied paddle for 20 seconds. This will give the perfect grind for the right pressure to leave a little crema after it is pressed. You can get an Aero Press from Northwest River Supply. It comes with filters that can be used numerous times before changing. In fact I think they start getting good after about the 6th use. … Continue reading

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Sunday Classic / Should Have Brought The Bamboo!

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Somethings in the air and it ain’t good. Brad Wayne rethinks his rod selection as storms roll through the Gros Ventre Valley. Graphite is a great conductor of electricity. Be careful out there. Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com  

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Saturday Shoutout / Bennett & Gracie on Bonefishing

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Here’s a great series of articles written by Michael Gracie for Deneki Outdoors. How Bonefishing Can Improve Your Day on the Stream  from Deneki.com     How Bonefishing Can Improve Your Day on the Stream  from Deneki.com Part 2      How Bonefishing Can Improve Your Day on the Stream  from Deneki.com Part 3     It’s tough to beat the team of Bennett and Gracie!     Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com  

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Using XL Trout Beads As Attractors In Your Tandem Rig

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Back in 2006, I spent a season guiding in Alaska at Mission Creek Lodge. It was a great experience and a hell of a lot of hard work, but I held my own and ended up representing well for Southeastern fishing guides. That doesn’t make me an expert on Alaska fishing by any means, particularly when compared to bad ass veteran alaskan guides like Andrew Grillos, TJ Zandoli, and Nathan Cornelius. That season in Alaska I was blessed with the opportunity to pick the brains and learn from some of the best bush guides in the area. One lesson I learned right off the bat was using an extra large attractor trout bead as my lead fly in my tandem bead rigs. Point being, matching the hatch and size of the eggs isn’t the only factor that plays into getting big trout to eat. The attraction factor you get by using a 10-12mm trout bead often sparks initial interest from big bows, persuading them to move in for a closer look. In most cases they’ll end up eating the smaller more appropriately sized bead, but it became very obvious to me how important a role, big attractor beads played in creating hookups. Since then, I’ve experimented using big attractor beads on other trout waters in the United States. I often fish a 10mm trout bead in the top position with various nymphs dropped off the back. One of my favorite times to use this rig is when water I’m fishing is high and stained. But this rig also works very well for me in the spring and fall when fish are super aggressive and feeding heavy. If you’re interested in purchasing trout beads to fish with visit this site: www.troutbeads.com Have any input to add to this post? By all … Continue reading

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Tom Keck Is My Role Model

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In September of 2009 I was fishing the South Platte below Spinney Reservoir, the stretch they call the Dream Stream, when I noticed this gentleman casting trico patterns to the far bank…from a wheelchair. I watched for a bit as he worked a pod of rising fish with a long reach cast, occasionally fooling one and bringing it to the net that he had fashioned with an extra long handle. He would wheel himself down stream to the next rising fish, careful to travel far enough from the bank that he didn’t spook fish. It was an impressive display. I would find out just how impressive when I walked over and introduced myself. Tom Keck, of Denver CO, is a likable fellow and a great fisherman. Generous with his knowledge of the S. Platte as well as with his beautifully tied flies. The flies he gave me turned out to be day makers. But don’t let his gentle demeanor fool you. This fellow is carved of wood. I asked him how he wound up in the wheel chair and this is the story I got. Ten or so years earlier, fishing the Platte at Deckers he had taken a bad fall. Alone, his back broken and paralyzed, he struggled in the fast water nearly drowning. Eventually he pulled himself to the shore and then to the road with his hands. There he found help but he never walked again. He also never stopped fishing the river he called his home water. I’ve taken a few bad falls. Not like Tom’s but bad enough to make me wonder what I’d do if I were really hurt out there on my own. I hope I never have to answer that question but if I do I hope I’m half the man Tom … Continue reading

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Bends Are Like Best Friends

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Bends in rivers and streams are like my best friends. They possess all the qualities that I value and they always provide me consistent support in my endeavors. I don’t know about you, but when I find myself staring at a section of river or stream and I see a nice bend, I quite often head straight for it. I do this because I know it will usually produce a quality fish or two on the end of my line, and it’s generally very obvious to me where I should present my flies. Just about every bend you encounter on the water will hold these three qualities. 1. One Well Defined Current There usually will be one well defined current, collecting and moving food through the bend. This clearly indicates to anglers where the most food is drifting and where the fish should be positioned to intercept it. 2. Clear Channel or Trough That well defined current usually has cut out a deep channel or trough in the bend. This reinforces further why fish will be located here. The deeper that fish can get below the surface and current, the less energy they’ll have to exert to maintain position and feed. The deeper water also provides fish with added safety and camouflage from predators. 3. Undercut Banks Often a significant section of a bend will have an undercut bank from the current digging into the bank over long periods of time. Undercut banks provide the same function to fish as roofs do to us on our houses. It protects us from the elements and it allows us to live comfortably. Furthermore, the current funnels food directly into the undercut bank.That’s like us calling in a large pizza for delivery and having it come right to our front door. Big educated … Continue reading

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