Saturday Shoutout / Bear Necessities 

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Watch the video!

Summer fishing season brings anglers and bears together and not always for the best.

Bears are a fact of life for fly anglers. Trout country is often bear country and a smart angler will be prepared for a run-in. Most bear encounters which end in an attack happen in close quarters. Bears have poor eye sight and are surprisingly easy to sneak up on. They are also surprisingly quiet and just as often sneak up on you. Most anglers who encounter bears say something like, “I just turned around and there he was.

Luckily most encounters end peacefully. One day, Kent and I were fishing from a gravel bar for a good forty-five minutes. Two other anglers stopped across the river for a while and watched us. We bumped into them later that day and one of them said,

“You boy’s are pretty bold. I can’t believe you just kept fishing with that bear.”

We never even noticed that a bear had wandered onto the gravel bar behind us and was apparently there for some time. We were so focused on fishing that we missed it. Most bears are that generous but once in a while you run into a bad one. Often an adolescent male or sometimes an injured or elderly bear will challenge or even charge a human.

The best way to protect yourself is with bear spray. Statistically spray far out performs a gun in a bear attack. If you carry bear spray you should know how to use it. Below is a link to a great post on the topic from Orvis News. There’s a video too. It’s a little cheesy but has a lot of great information. Have a look at both and stay safe out there.

CLASSIC PRO TIPS: HOW TO STAY SAFE IN BEAR COUNTRY

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Tie Connor’s Jerk Minnow

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Watch the video!

THIS DECEPTIVELY SIMPLE FLY IS ALL ABOUT THE ACTION.

Connor Jones, from Cohutta Fishing Company, ties this versatile baitfish pattern for bass and trout here in the southeast. It’s a simple fly with a clean profile and it’s easy to tie in a variety of colors.

The secret to the jerk minnow is it’s action. Connor builds a hard, hollow head, from Senyo’s Laser dub and Clear Cure Hydro, which captures air and gives the jerk minnow an erratic darting action, when stripped hard. Big predatory fish can’t resist it

It’s a fly that will produce fish on lakes and rivers. Tie it in the colors and size to match the forage species on your local waters. Strip hard and hang on tight!

Watch the video and learn to tie Connor’s Jerk Minnow

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Please Stay Off Your Phone!

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GUIDES, WHETHER FRESHWATER OR SALTWATER, DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND DO THIS ONE THING WHEN YOU ARE WITH YOUR CLIENTS…

STAY OFF YOUR PHONE!

We have all become used to this “phones-that-do-all” culture. Cell phone technology has made things so convenient, that we forget what it’s like to function without one. I’m not bashing it. In fact, I’ve always got my phone on me. I use it to complete a load of daily tasks. Even when I’m on the water, it’s in my front wader pocket so I can get to it to take the occasional photo. However, when I’m on the water with clients, it stays on vibrate and I don’t take it out.

Nothing will make your client feel less important than looking over to his/her guide to find them engrossed in Facebook or talking with a buddy about their weekend plans. Anglers hire guides to guide them while on the water, not play on their phones and serve as a net man from time to time. Much of this will sound like some pretty common sense stuff to the majority of the folks that will read this, however, there are guides out there that do this exact thing. I’ve heard some pretty impressive displays of guides not giving a damn and it gets my blood boiling. Hiring a guide isn’t cheap. And when folks do hire a guide, they should expect the best from their guide, and to learn from their guide. No client should walk away from a guided trip without having learned something new, regardless of the fishing.

If the call or text conversation has some relevance to the trip that day, then be sure let your client know. Short of an emergency, any other phone calls or texts can wait until either the lunch break, or the end of the day. The only other reason

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The Moth Larva Hatch

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By Kent Klewein

AS I RELIVED LAST YEAR’S SPRING FISHING SEASON IN MY HEAD SEARCHING FOR THE PERFECT HATCH, THE COLOR OF BRIGHT GREEN BEGAN ENTERING MY CONSCIENCE, AND BAM! LIKE A SLAP TO THE FACE, IT HIT ME.

Every year we get a month-long trout feeding frenzy, as moth larva burst onto the scene by the tens of thousands. Yes, I’m talking about the green weenie, the inch worm. The tree limb-repelling caterpillars that every trout in the stream will gorge themselves on through the month of May, and well into summer. Multiple species of moth larva ranging from 1-2″ long annually coordinate a synchronized blanket hatch during late spring that ends up packing the bellies of trout with protein-rich, green gummy goodness. Anglers smart enough to take advantage of this late spring phenomenon can find themselves fooling the biggest trout in their waters.

Timing the Moth Larva Hatch
For the hottest and most consistent fishing, the best time by far to target the moth larva hatch is during it’s early stages. The blanket hatch usually begins the first week of May in North Georgia, but can start a little later depending on how far north you live in the Southeast. Because this hatch unfolds and gains momentum so quickly, it takes very little time for trout to recognize the new food source and begin keying in on it. As soon as I spot the first moth larva of the year, I begin working the larva imitations into my fishing within days. This way I can monitor their effectiveness, and do a much better job of timing the hatch during its peak periods. When most of the trees have gotten the new years foliage, you should start anticipating the hatch to begin.

Fishing the Moth Larva Hatch
There’s basically three ways you can go about fishing the moth larva. The best technique and rig depends on the size and depth of water you’re fishing. It’s also very important to pay attention to how the fish are feeding on the hatch (surface or subsurface), and where you’re locating the concentrations of trout. Here are the two main rigs I use when I’m zeroing in on the moth larva hatch:

Rig 1. Buoyant Dry Fly with Inch-worm Dropper

You can fish a floating inch worm pattern solo like a dry fly. Most of these patterns are tied out of deer hair or foam. They float well, but it can be hard to find the correct shade of tying materials to match the color of the naturals. Because of this, I generally opt for dropping a simple, bright green ultra-chenille inch worm pattern 18-20″ off the back of a buoyant dry fly. You can tie them up in a third of the time of the deer hair patterns, and if you add floating, it floats well enough.

This rig works really well on small streams where

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Happy Independence Day

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Let’s take a minute this July 4th to think about what we have.

The image you see here is one of my most popular. I regularly get emails about it. Folks commonly download it and plaster it on their Facebook pages. It seems that every US based angler who sees it has a visceral response. Why do you think that is?

I think it’s pride. Here in the US we anglers have a lot to be proud of. I have fished all over the world and I can tell you that we have a remarkable and unique resource here at home. We have water and land that make anglers around the world envious. The thing with makes me the proudest of my homeland is our vast public lands. Like those anglers who email me about my photo, I too have a profound and visceral response. I think we should all be proud of what we have and what we have been able to keep. It’s a very rare thing in this world and it sets our country apart.

Problem is, we aren’t doing a very good job of looking after it. We take it for granted. We neglect it and we are, at this point in our nations history, the closest we have ever been to losing it. That’s not something we should be proud of. Ask yourself this. Do you want to be part of the generation who lost our public lands? If not, you’d better start doing something about it.

So let’s take a minute this Independence Day and ask ourselves if we are proud. Are we proud of our heritage? Proud of our country? Proud of our public lands? Most importantly, are we proud of what we have done to protect and preserve them. Take that seriously and be honest. It’s easy to put your chest out and say you’re a proud American. It’s not so easy to do something for America that you can be proud of.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY FROM GINK AND GASOLINE

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Successful Fly-Fishing Is About Work Ethic

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There are two types of fly anglers: those who treat it like a hobby and those who treat it like a job.

It’s not a judgment. There’s nothing wrong with being a casual angler. In fact, those anglers make me a little jealous sometimes, but the truth is we are not all wired the same and some anglers are more results-focused than others. Perhaps that means they want to catch a lot of fish, or big fish, or maybe you’re more motivated to master the skills than to catch the fish. One thing is undeniable: like so many things in life, if you are looking for fly fishing results, what you put in largely determines what you get back.

With that in mind, here are some thoughts on how to step up your fly-fishing game.

There are two places you have to display a solid work ethic to really boost your success. On the water and off. Off the water work is frequently ignored altogether but is the real key to success. There is something you can do every day to improve as an angler. It might be casting practice, fly tying, reading an article or watching a video. It might be swapping stories with a buddy over a beer. Whatever it is, the more you immerse yourself in fly fishing the more it becomes part of your nature.

Of all the things you can do off the water, I believe the most important is casting practice. After all, casting is the price of entry. There is no downside to being a good caster and it will not only make you a more effective angler, it will also make your time on the water more pleasant.

Casting practice accomplishes two things. It helps you develop new skills and it develops muscle memory to reinforce old ones. For that reason I always start my casting practice with the basics. I use a practice plan I learned from Tim Rajeff. Tim was kind enough to demonstrate it on video and you can watch that HERE. This practice plan is the perfect warmup and will do more for your fly casting than anything I know.

Once you’ve covered the basics, push yourself by working on your weakest skills or trying new ones. Maybe it’s a Belgian cast, a reach cast or a curve cast. Maybe you just want more distance or a better double haul. Whatever the skill you want may be, you can have it. You only have to put in the time. Even one day a week practicing will make a big difference. Better yet, practice more frequently for shorter periods of time and you’ll be amazed at the results. Get an Echo MPR for $35 and keep it at your desk. There’s no wrong time to practice.

The other place you want to get down to business is on the water. First, that means putting in the days. About twenty years ago I was talking with a casting instructor about doing some additional training.

“I don’t think I can help you,” he told me. “You know

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Sunday Classic / Weight is Great

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I’ve hesitated to write on this topic because it seems so elementary. Sort of a fly fishing truism but I’ve been encouraged lately after reminding several of my friends who are highly experienced anglers of this simple fact. If you’re fishing nymphs for trout and you’re not catching fish, the odds are very good that you aren’t using enough weight.
My split shot gets me laughed at. Fly fishermen have ideas about weight. I carry a box of the polite little split shot, made for fly fishermen, but I seldom use them. I go straight to the stuff made for the gear guys. I carry size B and BB but I also carry #7 (1/4 inch diameter) and I’m not afraid to use them. On several occasions lately I’ve been fishing with friends and come to deep runs where neither of us have been able to find fish. After we each fished the run thoroughly, I added one of those #7 shot to my rig and caught a fish on the first cast.

The fish are there in those deep runs but in the early spring with water temps still low, they’re hugging the bottom. They’ll eat a fly, they just won’t move for it. You have to put it right on their nose. It’s a changeling way to fish and dealing with heavy rigs requires making some adjustments to your casting but it gets results. I’ve always thought that the art of fly fishing is in showing the fish what he wants, not expecting him to eat what we want to fish. That often involves weight, lots of it.

The other day I found myself fishing a rig consisting of:

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Saturday Shoutout / Wicked Mr Pickett

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Get to know Justin Pickett on the Guided Lines Podcast.

If you read Gink and Gasoline you know the name Wicked Justin Pickett from his awesome articles and videos. You likely don’t know just how hard he works to help G&G reach all of our fans on social media. If you follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, that’s Justin.

He’s also a badass guide a dedicated dad and literally saves lives in his spare time. It’s about time he got some recognition. So if you’d like to take a few minutes and get to know Wicked Mr. Pickett, check out the podcast he recorded with Guided Lines podcast.

CLICK HERE FOR WICKED MR PICKETT

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April Vokey Speaks In Atlanta on July 16 To Support The Chattahoochee

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This is a rare opportunity to spend an evening with the Fly Gal herself at Sweetwater Brewing in Atlanta.

Gink and Gasoline is very proud to sponsor this awesome event, along with Sweetwater Brewing Co. It’s an opportunity for anglers here in the southeast to hear from one of the most prominent voices in fly fishing. In addition to April’s presentation there will be some great prizes, live music, a short film on the Chattahoochee and lots of great Sweetwater beer.

April’s trip to Atlanta is for a great cause. She is here to support the local angling community in our efforts to save the Hooch. The proceeds from this event will go to the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the Chattahoochee River, its lakes and tributaries for the people, fish and wildlife that depend upon them.

I’m personally pretty excited that our effort to save our local river is getting attention at an international level and attracting support of this caliber. If you are in the area, please come out and help support the Hooch. Our river need you now more than ever.

THE EVENT IS SUNDAY, JULY 16TH AT 6:00PM AT SWEETWATER BREWING: 195 OTTLEY DR, ATLANTA, GA 30324.

TICKETS ARE $40 AND CAN BE PURCHASED ONLINE AT HTTPS://CHATTAHOOCHEE.ORG/APRILVOKEY/

The price of your ticket includes beer and food and goes to save the river we love.

I hope you will be able to join us. I would personally like to thank April Vokey, Sweetwater Brewing, The Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and all of our sponsors for their good work and generosity.

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Rising Rigging Station

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By Justin Pickett

Get yourself organizized.

There are plenty of accessories and gadgets on the market that are meant to somehow make your angling experience more convenient, or organized and, recently, I ran into what I would consider the mother of all such accessories.

Rising has fast become a well-known name in the fly fishing world as their bomb-proof, metal framed nets continue to find their way into anglers’ hands across the globe. And while their nets may have put them on the map, Rising has a full line of made-in-the-USA products that are cleverly designed while still providing solid performance at an affordable price. Rising’s Nippa is hands down the best six bucks you’ll spend.

Thanks to Rising, I was able to get my hands on one of their Rigging Stations and, over the past several weeks, it has fast become one of those pieces of gear that I will not leave home without. It’s designed to hold spools of tippet and leader material, nippers, hemostats, pliers, and just about any other small accessory you might need on the water. Best of all, it’s portable and compact! It comes with a mounting bracket that is easily mounted onto your drift boat, truck bed, or the wall of your garage. With four zingers built in to the body of the Rigging Station, there is plenty of reach to work. The bottom of the rigging station can be used as

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