Sightline Contest Winner

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Someone’s getting their Sightline on!

The entries are in for the Sightline contest on Instagram and francoisnadeau is the winner. Looks like he’s doing a little atlantic salmon fishing and he’ll be looking good on the river in his new Sightlines gear.

Thanks for your entries and a big thanks to Sightline for donating the prize. If you haven’t seen their stuff, check it out HERE.

What??? You’re not following us on Instagram? Are you crazy? Fix that right now!

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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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When In Rome…

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By Jason Tucker

The saying goes “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” This can be good advice, both in travel and fly fishing. In fly fishing the locals often have knowledge of local hatches, runs and quirks of the local water, knowledge that is invaluable to your success on their water. But it doesn’t always hold true.

Several years ago my brother and I went up to Nipigon to see if it still lived up to its old reputation for producing big brook trout. When we arrived, the water was low and clear (still a raging torrent) the skies were clear and blue, and high pressure seemed to put a damper on the bite.

All the local guides were singing the blues, and no one seemed to be catching fish.

We had done our research and were hucking big sculpin and smelt patterns. We did this for two days with no results. The guides launched their boats where we were camping and every morning and evening we asked them how it was going and the reply was the same—slow.

No one was catching fish including yours truly, and then I got desperate. I started fishing the flies that work for me at home—Au Sable skunks, orange and copper foam hoppers, and of all things, mice. You know what?

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Beginner Series: Fly Lines, Leaders, and Tippet

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By Justin Pickett

So you’ve decided to dive into the world of fly fishing and need to outfit your new rod and reel purchase with a fly line, leaders and spools of tippet.

Does it matter what line you get? And what about leaders? What the hell is tippet?! These are all typical questions that the beginning angler will have, so don’t worry. We’re going to work on flattening that learning curve!

Fly Lines

To a beginner, trying to learn about all the little intricacies of fly line tapers is about like trying to rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic. The good news is that you don’t need to get too caught up in tapers and grain weights to catch fish. Learning about the various aspects of fly lines will certainly help you down the road, however we’re going to focus mainly on weight-forward, floating lines. Today’s fly rods are typically faster than those made even ten years ago, almost requiring a more compact, heavier line to properly load the rod. Some “beginner” lines are even manufactured a half weight heavier to help load today’s faster rods. As a beginner, a weight-forward line will better suit your casting needs with the more popular five weights found in fly shops, and a floating line will enable you to cover a large majority of fishing scenarios. All of the fly lines listed below are inexpensive and are great all-purpose fly lines whether you’re slinging parachute adams or foam poppers.

Airflow Super Dri

Orvis Clearwater WF

Scientific Anglers AirCel Trout

Rio Mainstream WF Trout

Leaders and Tippet

Leaders and tippet are other items that you will need in order to get going and hook up with that first fish. You’ll hear of many anglers that tie their own leaders and have their preferred recipes. While you may one day tie up your own leaders created from your own secret formula, for now, keep it simple. I would say

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Sunday Classic / The Best Way to Improve Your Trout Game

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The single best way to improve your trout game is to fly fish on trout water that challenges you.

I’m talking about super technical water where trout are wary and extremely educated. The places where the smartest of trout live, where all you get is one or two shots to hit your target. These trout streams force you to maintain the highest level of discipline in your fly fishing. You have to think out every step of your approach and presentation to find success. If you fail at executing these strict requirements, you’ll almost certainly be skunked on the water.

It’s really easy for many of us with our busy schedules to focus our time fly fishing locations that allow us the most success, or should I say the easiest success. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy these easy trout streams myself, where I can immediately start catching fish within minutes of wetting my line. Just remember, if all you do is fish easy trout water, you’re going to have a rude awakening when you finally get around to stepping foot on a truly technical trout stream. You won’t find success, your confidence will shrivel, your pride will take a beating and you’ll probably feel like crawling off into a hole when it all said and done. Not only that, but you’ll also be impeding the improvement of your fly fishing skills in the process, and you’ll be no different than a kid refusing to take off the training wheels on his/her bike because it’s easier and safer.

So change up your routine, step away from your comfort zone and the rookie trout water for a while. Next time you go fly fishing, choose trout water that requires you to bring your absolute best to catch fish. Be prepared for there to be a learning curve, and some very slow days. But continue to

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Saturday Shoutout / Now Or Neverglades

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Don’t miss this chance to help save the Florida Everglades, You won’t get another.

Finally, finally, FINALLY! Something is getting done to help stop the tragic and ongoing destruction of the Florida Everglades. I’d personally like the thank the Orris company and in particular Perk Perkins, who I don’t think gets the credit he deserves for his conservation work. Good job gentlemen.

If you are not aware of the situation in the Everglades you should read this post from Orris news. Either way you should add your name to the Now or Neverglades Declaration. I have. This fragile ecosystem is on its last legs and if it goes down it will take the fisheries in the Florida Keys with it. Don’t hesitate.

ADD YOUR NAME TO THE NOW OR NEVERGLADES DECLARATION.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN.

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Flynn’s Stonefly Nymph: Video

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I HAVE SAID ON MANY OCCASIONS THAT, I DON’T CARE TO LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE TROUT DON’T EAT STONEFLIES.
My good friend Dan Flynn shares my obsession with the noblest of insects. Dan is a great tyer with an impressive repertoire of classic patterns. I have always admired his meticulous stonefly nymphs. I’ve also spent many days watching him crush trout on them.

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Labrador Bound

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By Jason Tucker

It’s no secret that I love brook trout, and thus the name of my blog, Fontinalis Rising.

Size doesn’t matter. From 4-inch little gems to behemoth monsters the size of respectable brown trout, I find them all fascinating and exciting. When I was a boy, my grandfather took me down to the river and showed me two fish in the 24-inch range that had staked out the area as home.

Most of our fish were in the 6- to 8-inch range, and 12 inches was considered a good fish. To see two fish that had doubled that mark was incredible. Ever since then, I’ve wondered what made those two fish get so big.

I spent as much time as possible fishing for brook trout in Northern Michigan and its Upper Peninsula, and after many years I finally caught a 16-inch fish, which was my personal best for some time.

Since then I’ve gone to Nipigon, where a 12-inch fish is considered small. I caught one fish that was 22 inches, and lost several fish that were much bigger. (Brook trout tend to pack on the pounds once they reach about 22 inches. A 20-inch fish may weigh 3 pounds while a 23-incher may weigh 7 pounds.)

A few years later I was invited to go fish with the Sault Gang. We caught 38 fish that averaged 18-20 inches and 1.5 to 3 pounds, and got one big male that was over 4 pounds. I also took a trip to Isle Royale with a distinguished group of gentlemen. The fish there average 3-5 pounds. With research I’ve discovered that

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The Roll Cast Mend

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Do you ever find yourself on the water when a regular mend won’t provide you with a long enough drag free drift to catch trout? This usually occurs when you’re trying to get a drift across multiple currents on the far bank or when you’re trying to fish a soft seam, adjacent to faster water, that’s too far away from you to high-stick. In these two situations, a standard mend will usually not provide you with enough slack to keep your dry fly drifting naturally to the position of the rising trout or give your nymphs enough time to sink down into the strike zone.

When I find myself fly fishing in this situation,

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The Fishpond Thunderhead Fishing Pack Reviewed

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Every couple of years a piece of fly fishing gear comes along that makes me wonder how I lived without it.

The Fishpond Thunderhead pack is one of those brilliant designs. It makes you wonder if the folks at Fishpond will ever run out of great ideas. This pack solves some specific problems for me and is versatile enough that you may find uses for it no one has thought of.

Like many great ideas, the Thunderhead is a simple one. A waterproof sling pack. That doesn’t sound like cold fusion. It’s exactly the simplicity of it that I love. It’s versatile, functional, durable and comfortable.

To start with, the Thunderhead is actually waterproof. Not water resistant, but totally dry, which is great for flies and gear but absolutely essential for cameras and other electronics. This was what initially got my attention. I am always looking for a safe, comfortable way to carry my camera and lenses, sound recording gear and cell phone and still be able to fish. The Thunderhead is the best solution I’ve found yet.

It’s the perfect size. You can load it with a surprising amount of gear without it becoming cumbersome to fish in. It swings completely behind you where it doesn’t interfere with line management or hang up on bushes. The wide shoulder strap is comfortable and doesn’t wear on you, even when the pack gets heavy. A waist strap can be used to keep the pack from sliding around, but I seldom find it necessary.

The Thunderhead uses the same waterproof zipper as the Yeti Hopper soft cooler. It’s extremely rugged and completely waterproof. It also makes the pack easy to get in and out of, unlike roll-top packs. I discovered a bonus to

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