Trust The Boo

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I’ve fished bamboo rods my whole life and I’ve made my own for the last twelve years or so. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if I was afraid to fight big fish on a bamboo rod. The answer is no. I’ve broken my share of rods but only once did I break one fighting a fish and that was totally my fault. I’ve landed more fish over twenty inches on bamboo than I can count, a few pushing thirty. The two fish pictured were both landed on a seven foot four weight. The tip on that rod measures only thirty thousandths of an inch in diameter but it handled those monsters just fine. A 27″ Hen and a 28″ Male Both Landed on the 4 Weight Bamboo is a remarkable material. When properly heat treated it has amazing strength. Traditional Japanese carpenters use bamboo nails cooked in a wok and high rise construction all over Asia is done on bamboo scaffolding. Do bamboo rods break? Of course they do but a well made rod is much stronger than you would guess and if properly handled and cared for it will take whatever a fish can dish out. I’ve heard it said that fisherman break rods, not fish, and I think that’s true. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to keep that cane rod fishing for many years. • Treat it right. Bamboo doesn’t take a lot of maintenance but there are some things you should think about. Rot is a death sentence for a cane rod. Rod makers spend a lot of time on their finish and it can last a lifetime but it’s not bulletproof. Never put a rod away wet. This is the most common mistake guys make with … Continue reading

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Wiggle Bug For Silver Salmon

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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 skill your clients have. LOFT really doesn’t play as much of a role in success like it does for other species. When you locate fifty to a hundred fish your virtually guaranteed to get bites, and if you don’t, … Continue reading

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Sunday Classic / Tips For Spooky Trout

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When the Going Gets Spooky : Photos Louis Cahill Do you ever find yourself sight fishing to trout in big flats on the river? It’s as clear as water can get, and as flat and calm as can be. There are plenty of visible trout but they’re super spooky. What can you do to increase your odds at catching trout in these situations? Try these six tips that should stack the odds in your favor. 1. Use a long and fine leader. Your standard 9′ leader isn’t going to do the job in most instances. You are better off going with a 12′ leader, or even longer in some cases, that will allow you to lay out your fly with a super soft presentation. The longer leader will also help keep your fly line out of view from the ultra observant trout. Selecting a specialty dry fly leader that’s supple, and not stiff will aslo help you get a better drag free drift when dealing with intricate water currents. On a side note, you should do away with your fluorescent orange fly line, instead spool up your reel with a more natural and subtle fly line color like olive or grey. 2. Downsize your Tippet When you are dealing with crystal clear water conditions and spooky trout, you should not hesitate to downsize your tippet. I personally wouldn’t start out using anything lighter than 6x tippet on flat, clear water. If you get refusals from the trout, or if you’re using super small fly patterns sizes 22 or smaller, you had also better be prepared to breakout those tippet spools of 7x and 8x. It’s very important to match the tippet size with the size of the fly in order to get a more natural drift with your fly. 3. … Continue reading

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Saturday Shoutout / Finpusher

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Here’s a great article of faith by Finpusher A Few I Try To Live By

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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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