Saturday Shoutout / G&G Tyers

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Looking for more great tying content? Well, here it is.

If you are a regular reader of G&G, then you are familiar with Bob Reece and Herman deGala. These guys are wizards at the vise and I am very proud that they are part of the G&G family. I know from your comments and emails that you enjoy the great content they share here on the site.

Did you know that they each have great sites of their own? If you are digging what you see here on G&G, check out the great content these guys put out on their own. If you’re like me, you can’t get enough great tying videos.


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Build Your Own Fly Rod: DIY Video 3

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Things are heating up in our DIY fly rod build.

Matt Draft is back for the third video in our seven part series on building your own fly rod. In this video you’ll learn about tip tops, how to spline a rod blank, wrap your guides and get everything aligned. Our rod is starting to look like something by the end of this video!

Check out Matt’s site, Proof Fly Fishing. As a special thank you to G&G readers, Matt will be offering free shipping on all of his kits for the next seven weeks. Just use the code G&Gfreeship on his web site.


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One Of My Favorite Fly-Fishing Photos

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By Louis Cahill

Some photos remain special over the years.

There is some truth to the idea that doing anything for a living makes you a little numb to the result. I have a good friend who is an incredible guitar player but he would never play for money. He said he loved it too much. I get that.

Over the years I have taken more photos than I can count. Literally millions of exposures, many of them on film, lost forever to time. There are probably a couple of hundred which are special to me. Some because they are great photos, others because they have memories attached to them and a few that are special for both those reasons and because of what they represent.

This is one of those images and it has remained special to me for many years. In part because it reminds me of a great day. In part because i like the image, but mostly because of what it represents.

The image is of John Gierach, landing a brown trout with a bamboo rod, on the Saint Vrain. If there is a more classic image of fly fishing, I don’t know what it is. It’s also the image that marked

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Tipping Good & Bad Fly Fishing Guides Accordingly

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I get many clients that tip above and beyond what’s expected of them. Other times, I’m literally crawling back to my truck with every ounce of energy zapped from instructing and putting my clients on fish, and at the end of the day I’m blessed with a cold empty handshake. Sometimes, there seems to be no reasoning at all with gratuity, most clients seem to get it, but no matter what, there’s always going to be those few that feel gratuity isn’t necessary or are uneducated that it’s customary. All I truly care about is that gratuity is determined and provided to the guide based on customer service and professionalism, and that with any service-oriented job, regardless of the industry, gratuity should be on the radar.

A few weeks ago, one of our loyal Gink & Gasoline followers sent us an email that voiced a few concerns about a fly fishing guide they hired on a recent float trip. Apparently, at the end of the day the follower and his partner were in disagreement about the amount of guide gratuity they should leave. Below is the email and question that was sent to us:

“I would like to get your thoughts on tipping guides. I just came back from a trip to Montana and mentioning no names, I spent a week with a very well-known guide. The trip went well and we caught a lot of fish but his equipment sucked. His Driftboat was a small skiff that he did not want you standing up in to cast, and his Skadden style raft frames front seat came off three times, almost pitching my buddy into the river. Any thoughts on amounts or percentages for tipping would be greatly appreciated.”

My Reply:
Here’s my opinion on what you told me, but keep in mind I was not there and did not see the water conditions or his boat equipment.

I’d say your guide passed with flying colors on putting you on fish and that should be a big positive. Depending on

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5 Reasons People Don’t Catch As Many Trout As They Should

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By Kyle Wilkenson

These 5 bad habits will keep you from catching the fish you deserve.

Whether I’m guiding or working in the shop, one thing rings true– I talk to a lot of anglers. Living in Denver, a lot of these anglers have made it past the ‘beginner’ stage but still aren’t catching as many fish as they’d like, or with the consistency they’d like. It is not enough in fly-fishing to simply get comfortable with your clinch knot and roll cast and expect the numbers of fish you’re catching to increase dramatically. I guide a lot of our customers who fall into this category– let’s call it ‘intermediate– and over the years it seems we always end up working on the same 5 things.


1. They Cast First and Look Second. I started with this reason because, in my opinion, it is the one thing people have the most trouble wrapping their head around. In reality, the correct order would be Look First. Cast Second. This is particularly true if you fish anywhere that presents itself with sight fishing opportunities. Whenever you approach the river, take a minute (or sometimes literally several minutes) and study the water. You’ll be amazed how many times there will be fish right at your feet, ready to eat your fly. More often than not though, people walk right up to the river and charge on in without ever breaking stride. By doing this, not only did you likely just walk through fish that could have been caught, but you also just sent them darting for the depths in a panic which can put other fish in the area on alert. Spotting fish in the water is not an ‘easy’ skill and is not something you learn to do in one day. Sure, we guides may make it look easy some days to spot fish wherever we walk, but I promise you this skill was hard-earned. Start making it a point to study the water looking for fish and once you have those first few successes, you’ll never look at the river the same way again.

2. They Don’t watch the bubbles. If you’ve never paid attention before to the speed of the bubbles on the surface versus to the speed your indicator,,when nymphing, it’s time to start. Simply put, the indicator NEEDS to be floating slower than the bubbles on the surface and here’s why. When it comes to nymphing, most of the time the fish you’re targeting are going to be sitting very tight to the bottom. The water on the bottom of the river is moving slower than the water on the surface. If your indicator is floating the same speed as the bubbles on the surface then this means your flies are whizzing by the trout at an unnatural rate of speed, if they’re even getting down into the zone at all (which they’re likely not). This problem can easily be fixed by

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10 Types Of Water That Always Hold Trout

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If you are new to trout fishing, you may find yourself asking, “Where exactly are the fish?”

At first the river may seem like a puzzle. Especially large rivers where anglers new to the sport are easily overwhelmed by options. Once you learn to read the water and understand what draws fish to certain types of water, the river becomes a road map with great holding water marked everywhere.

The most basic principal which guides the angler to holding water is called “The 3 Cs.” They stand for current, cover and cuisine. The three things every trout needs to be happy and survive. The trout needs current to deliver food. He needs cover for safety and a reliable food supply. These three things can be found anywhere trout hold. If they are not present, neither are the trout.

There are a few things to add to that very basic list as you start your search for trout. Although the trout wants to be near current, he can’t afford to exert the energy to hold in that current. He needs a refuge where he can sit and wait for food to arrive. He also needs oxygen. Oxygen levels are not homogenous in a river. Disturbances in the water’s surface add oxygen and trout like to be near them. Colder water always holds more oxygen and trout are drawn to it. Cover may come in many forms, including depth, structure, surface disturbance and overhanging vegetation.

Lots of options, but as you learn to understand the trout and his habits these thing make themselves obvious. You learn to look at big water in sections as if it were many smaller streams running together. You will begin to visually recognize the kind of water where you have caught fish before and before you know it, finding fish becomes second nature.

Here’s a list of 10 types of water where you will always find trout.

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Sunday Classic / DIY Fly Line Loop with Step-by-Step Instructions

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Most fly lines these days already come with welded loops at the ends for the easy attachment of backing and leaders. If you fish as much as I do though, eventually they get worn out and need to be replaced. Most anglers just use a standard albright knot or nail knot to fix this. It works perfectly fine, but I prefer instead to tie my own fly line loops with a fly tying bobbin and thread. Done correctly, it will provide a stronger connection to your leader than the manufacturers welded loops or knots you tie (this is important when fly fishing for big game species). The bright thread that you tie the loop with also works really well as a spotter. It comes in real handy when you’re fly fishing and you have conditions where it’s hard to keep track of your fly in the water. That bright spot on the end of your fly line provides a quick reference that your fly is a leaders length away. Below are step-by-step instructions for tying your own fly line loops.

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Saturday Shoutout / Silver Kings

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If this doesn’t make you ache for tarpon season, you should see a doctor.

The 4th season of Silver Kings is now airing on Discovery Chanel. This trailer for Season 4 has so much heart pounding tarpon action it will have you calling a Keys guide, begging for days. If you love tarpon, give Silver Kings a spin.


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Build Your Own Fly Rod: DIY Video #2

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Matt Draft is back for the second video on building your own fly rod.

In this week’s video Matt will help you understand the components that make a quality fly rod. You’ll learn about the choices available in grips, reel seats, guides and more. Matt also goes over rod kits and how to find the right one. In the second half of the video you’ll learn to file a cork grip to fit and secure it in place.

As a special thank you to G&G readers, Matt will be offering free shipping on all of his kits for the next seven weeks. Just use the code G&Gfreeship on his web site.


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Handling Trout in Cold Weather

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Handling trout in cold weather requires special care.

When temperatures drop below freezing good catch-and-release practices become critical. We think of trout as needing special handling care when water temperatures are high, but fish are just as vulnerable when air temperatures are low. Mishandling fish in cold weather can easily be fatal.

Fish are, of course, cold blooded. They’re bodies do not produce heat like ours do and this leaves them especially vulnerable to frostbite. The fragile tissues of their gils can freeze in an instant when air temps are below freezing. Again, they have no body temperature to stabilize their cells, so it happens quickly.

We adapt very well to cold temperatures. We have evolved to survive wide temperature swings. Fish on the other hand have evolved in a world which never drops below freezing, so taking them out in the cold air is as alien to them as dropping us on the surface of Mars.

The solution is simple.

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