Teaching, learning and the art of bribery. 

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By Charlie Warfield

There are many advantages to having kids while you are young. And for every positive I’m sure I could think of at least one negative, but I fancy myself as more of a cup half full kind of person. So I prefer to not dwell on the negative. Despite this, I have to say that taking three boys under 10 years old fishing at the same time is not just hard, it is nearly impossible. I can get all three of my boys excited about fishing — that’s not the problem. I can get them all fired up about catching fish and they will run around the house grabbing all the life jackets and water bottles, and their fly boxes. But somehow, inevitably, by the time the canoe is in the water, the bickering has begun. Now don’t get me wrong, I am blessed with three beautiful healthy boys, they are beautiful despite the bruises and scars that they have given each other, and I know they are healthy because you have to be heathy to fight the way they do. Normally I can get them to calm down a bit once we are all in the boat. The excitement of holding the fishing pole or taking their turn paddling is a good distraction from the normal sibling disputes, and I can generally get a whole 20 minutes of relative peace and harmony. Then it falls apart pretty quickly after an hour and it doesn’t matter if we are catching fish or not. I am in full bribery mode, starting with candy and soon promising ice cream. Of course all of this points more to my poor parenting then it does to my children. After all they are kids and I am the guy in his early 30s that is losing his mind, probably (definitely) yelling at some point — which never helps, by the way.

Spending time with my boys fishing is something that I have looked forward to for years. But it never plays out the way I see it in my mind.

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Fly Fishing: Don’t Overlook The Trout Water Close To You

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When you fish your home waters day after day you get pretty good at knowing where the trout like to hang out. But if you let your big ego convince you into thinking you know it all, that’s when the fish will put you in your place. The other day guiding, I approached a honey hole with my client and gave him the break down on where I thought he should make his first presentation. I backed up my preaching by telling him about all the big fish we had landed there in the past. I insisted that all he needed to do was land his flies off the big rock on the far bank, and he’d get a hookup. My client promptly responded, “That sounds good Kent, but let me ask you a question? Shouldn’t I make a cast on the close side first? That water looks good too?” I replied, “That’s probably not a bad idea. It definitely could hold a fish, but if it was me fishing this spot, I’d land it off that big rock and drift the far seam first.”

This is where my client put me in my place and showed me tat even though I spend hundreds of hours a year on this trout stream, I’m no physic. Despite my coercion, my client went with his gut feeling and made his first presentation to the water close to him. Then, two-seconds into the drift, his line went tight and a behemoth trout came shooting out of the water like a tomahawk cruise missile. We landed the fish, and my client looked over at me with a “I told you so” grin. I smiled and said, “What…? I told you it probably wasn’t a bad idea to fish that close water.”

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Lock your forceps

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By Dan Frasier

For all you flats guys and bank fishermen out there.

Landing, unhooking, wrangling, getting a picture, and releasing a fish can all turn into a giant goat rodeo. Nothing makes it worse than having a bare hook connected to a nearly invisible line which is tied to your very expensive rod; flailing about. One trick I love is to use my forceps to unhook the fish, and then lock them onto

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Let Your Voices Ring – A Letter To G&G

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Jody Martin

What follows is a letter I received from a reader. It concerns the impending public land crisis and is to some extent critical of our coverage of that issue. Given the importance of this issue to the outdoor community I have decided to publish it in the form it came to me. Be advised that it is somewhat political in nature, as is the issue. It is not our policy to publish political content, but I believe the concerns expressed are fair and not offensive and as it is in some part critical of our handling of the issue, and in the best interest of the community, I am sharing it. Thank you in advance for keeping the commentary civil. -Louis Cahill

Like many readers, I have always appreciated the direct and relatively hard hitting articles in Gink & Gasoline, a reliable source of “no nonsense” pieces that are of help and interest to many of us. In recent editions, I was glad to see several articles related to the misinformation that is guiding the proposed sale or transfer of our public lands to private or state oversight. These articles correctly point out that (1) these lands never, ever, belonged to the states to begin with, and (2) in nearly all cases where federal lands have been transferred to the state, these lands have been later sold into private hands, rendering them inaccessible or, in some cases, developing them and devastating the natural resources contained within them.

In an October 10 piece called “No Longer America,” G & G editor Louis Cahill directed us to an excellent article by Hal Herring in Field and Stream (“Transferring Control of Federal Lands Would Devastate Hunting and Fishing,” August 18, 2016) that details the extent to which states have failed in their handling of lands that were handed over to them, lands that belonged to all of us. Louis’s title comes from a quote by Randy Newberg: “America without Public Lands is No Longer America.” Related hard-hitting articles have also appeared in national fly fishing magazines, as in the summer issue of TROUT magazine, which featured three different essays (“This Land is Your Land” by Chris Wood, “Pride” by Kirk Deeter, and “Anglers Must Remain Vigilant to Protect Public Lands” by Corey Fisher), all decrying the misinformation guiding the proposed sale or transfer of our public lands to state oversight. In an earlier G & G article appropriately titled “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone,” readers were warned that “A group of short-sighted law makers would like to sell off your American birthright, or deed it over to states to sell it for them.” Another article, Louis Cahill’s “We Are Seriously on the Brink of Losing our Public Lands Forever,” directed us to Jason Tucker’s blog Fontinalis Rising, where he writes about our “Freedom on the Brink” as a result of these mostly western land grabs. Mia Sheppard, writing for G & G, penned yet another strong article about the pending loss of our public lands. Great stuff, all of them; all of these articles were (and are) accurate, thoughtful, occasionally even appropriately angry, and well written.

But I also found them oddly tepid in their accusations, or lack thereof. What is missing in all of these articles is the explicit naming of

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Sunday Classic / 5 Tips for Beating Out the Winter Cold on the Water

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I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m past the days of heading out into Arctic conditions to fly fish unless I’m outfitted properly. Call me a wuss or nancy, that’s fine with me, I don’t care how big the fish are, you can catch them. I’ve been miserable too many times over the years and I refuse to put myself in that position anymore. If I’m unable to enjoy myself wetting a line, there’s absolutely no reason for me to be out there. Furthermore I’ve had some really close calls with frostbite in the past, and frostbite is scary stuff folks.

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Saturday Shoutout / The Lowcountry

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Watch the Video!

Once the low country gets under your skin, you’re never the same.

This short film by Ryan Griffin features some beautiful footage and great perspective on one of the beautiful places on earth. If you’re intrigued by saltwater marsh and tailing redfish, you’ll relish a few minutes in the world of the lowcountry.

THIS IS THE LOWCOUNTRY

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3 New Dynamite Fly Rods From Orvis

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The folks at Orvis think of 2016 as the year they focused on reels, but the 3 new rods they released are all amazing.

These 3 rods are admittedly variations on existing Orvis products, but some of them are so different they are in a class by themselves. The matt black Covert H-2 is a color variation on the standard rod but a very cool one and a limited edition to be released in November.

The H-2 one-piece 5 weight, on the other hand, is a real innovation. This is absolutely one of the best fly rods ever made and must be cast to be believed. There’s also a new Recon nymphing rod that’s getting a lot of praise.

CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO FOR THE DETAILS ON NEW ORVIS FLY RODS.

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Can Fasting Make You A Better Angler?

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Science is finding evidence that the ancient practice of fasting offers a host of mental health benefits.

I’m starving. Quite literally. I’ve been on a pretty intense diet recently and as of today have lost 55 pounds in a little over four months. There are many health benefits to keeping that weight off but I really believe it’s helping me be a better angler, if for no other reason than I can hike to better water. In all seriousness though, I’ve seen a difference and it got me doing a little research. It seems I’m not alone in the idea that fasting changes your mental performance.

My initial theory was this. If I am hungry when fishing, my natural predatory senses could be enhanced. My body needs food and my mind could be sharpening my senses to help me provide it, helping me spot fish and focus on catching them. After doing some reading, I think there’s merit in that idea but there may be more going on.

Studies have shown that fasting can finding improvements in mood, mental clarity, vigilance, a sense of improved well-being, and sometimes euphoria. An interesting article from “Mind The Science Gap” gets into some of the physical details.

“The mood-boosting effects of fasting may be an evolutionary adaptive mechanism for periods of famine. In other words, when food is scarce our bodies release chemicals to help protect our brains from the negative effects. These chemicals can put us in a good mood–but, as you know if you have skipped a meal or two, it takes a few days. During the first week of fasting, the body begins to adapt to starvation by releasing massive amounts of catecholamines including epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine, and dopamine as well as gluco-corticoids, steroid hormones involved in regulating the immune response and glucose metabolism. All of these chemicals are also released during the infamous ‘fight or flight’ response. After a while, our body responds to this stress through a boost of feel-good and protective chemicals.” -http://www.mindthesciencegap.org

There is also research which suggests that these chemical changes in the brain help in the long term to

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Relax, Read the Water and Believe

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Sometimes, wanting too much can get you in trouble on the water. If you set your goals too high and lose sight of the real reason you’re out there in the first place (to be blessed with catching a few fish and relaxing), before you know it, you’ll find yourself standing in a river feeling lost and heart broken. It’s not that wanting is bad, it’s just that too much of it, like most things in life, can be detrimental. Want has the ability to turn into greed very quickly if you aren’t careful. And fly fishing with greed on the mind is the quickest way to doom yourself to failure. Greed fogs your mind, keeps you from thinking rationally on the water and your fishing, in turn, suffers.

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Reece’s Clearwater Crawler

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The Clearwater Crawler provides an anatomically accurate imitation of the prevalent gills found on the abdomen of this class of mayfly nymphs.

In addition to this the thorax of this pattern displays a translucent quality seen in the naturals as they carry out their lives on the stream bottom. The reflective base of the thorax displays a trait seen in crawlers on the verge of emergence. The vast majority of nymphs employ dubbing in the thorax of the pattern. This allows them to display reflectivity, or dull mottled coloration but not translucence. My choice of materials and processes allows this pattern to present both of these attributes simultaneously. This vastly increases effectiveness in term of fish brought to net.

During the summer and fall I guide on the freestone portion of the North Platte River. The latter half of our season is usually defined by increasingly low water conditions that result in easily spooked, picky trout. As with the vast majority of free stones, crawler type mayfly nymphs are a common food item for trout in our waters. I needed a crawler nymph pattern that could be carefully analyzed by trout in clear slow water and still be accepted as the real deal. After countless tweaks and changes I found a design that was taken without hesitation. Throughout the second half of summer and into the latest reaches of fall this pattern produces fish as at high level of consistency. The pattern shown in the video is a size 12 which I most commonly use during the summer months. However, as summer fades and fall progresses I drop in size down to the smaller size 16s in this pattern.

HERE’S A VIDEO.

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