Sunday Classic / 12 Tiny Nymphs that Always Seem to Get the Job Done

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I used to shy away from fishing tiny nymphs during my rookie years of fly fishing. Particularly those size 20-26 midge patterns. Those intimidated me especially. When I used to look at those flies in the bins at fly shops, I can remember thinking, “how can the fish see these in moving water and is there some special rig you’re supposed to use for fishing them?” I’ve since found out I was nuttier than a fruit cake to assume all of the above about tiny flies, and they’ve become my go-to patterns when fishing gets really tough. Make no mistake, small flies have the ability to catch all trout, trophy fish included. In fact, one of the best times to fish tiny nymphs is when you’re sight fishing on water that holds lots of educated, mature trout. A prime example of this would be the “dream stream” section of the South Platte River in Colorado. I’ve had many days after the sun got up high in the horizon, that sub-twenty size nymph patterns out fished everything else in my fly box. In general, small subsurface

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Saturday Shoutout / Rock Stacking

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Love them or hate them, chances are you find cairns on your local rivers.

Plenty of anglers hate these little monuments to time spent on the bank. Some see them as a little harmless fun. Others see them as unpleasant reminders of human presence. More and more they are coming to be seen as an ecological hazard.

Wherever you land in this discussion, this article from the site Wide Open Spaces is a great read. It digs into the impact of rock stacking on rivers and the ecosystem there in. It’s worth a read and a share.

ROCK STACKING, NATURAL ‘GRAFFITTI’, AND ITS ECOLOGICAL IMPACT

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New Dry Creek Z Packs From Simms: Video

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Watch the video!

The new line of submersible Simms fishing packs are durable, accessible, comfortable and line catch free.

The new Dry Creek packs are tough as nails and packed with smart design features like net pass-throughs. The backpack, sling pack, and hip pack are all comparable with the padded organizer, which helps keep your gear organized and accessible. These babies keep fishing gear and electronics bone dry in the worst conditions.

Watch this video for a walk through of the Dry Creek Z packs from Simms.

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In The Dark of Night

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By Johnny Spillane

SOME OF THE MOST FUN I HAVE EVER HAD FISHING HAS BEEN AFTER THE SUN GOES DOWN. THE BIGGEST FISH IN THE RIVER COME OUT AFTER DARK AND THERE ARE SOME REALLY FUN WAYS TO FISH FOR THEM.

If you are anywhere there is a prolific caddis hatch, which is almost everywhere, swinging and skating caddis can be deadly. My favorite caddis pattern for fishing at night is the Goddard Caddis. It floats really well and skates across the surface with ease.

Typically when fishing at night I use much heavier tippet then I would use during the day because fish tend to slam flies harder and a lot of times you wont know there is a fish until you feel the tug. If the moon is bright enough, often you can still see the take as you would during the day, but if not, your going to have to rely on your sense of feel. Try using 2x first, and if that proves to be too heavy, switch to 3x but very rarely do you need to go any finer than that, even in areas that are heavily fished.

I like to fish the runs the same way I would fish a streamer. Starting at the top I’d make a cast towards the far bank, throw in a quick down stream mend and then let the fly skate across the surface. After each cast, take a step downstream so that you are covering all the water.

Another really fun option is to

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Keeping a Buffer Between You and the Fish

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MOST FLY ANGLERS WOULD AGREE THAT SUCCESS IN FLY FISHING IS OFTEN DETERMINED BY HOW WELL THEY CAN STAY OUT OF SIGHT FROM THE ASTUTE FISH THEIR TRYING TO CATCH.

If your finned adversaries are able to put a bead on you (identify you as a threat), there’s a good chance they’re going to ignore your flies or even worse, run for cover. Your ability to maintain a small signature on the fish’s radar should always be high on your objective list when you’re on the water fishing. Failing to do so, you’re going to be setting yourself up for defeat before you even make your first cast. So make a point to keep a sufficient buffer between you and the fish when you’re working water, and it usually will yield you higher catch rates.

There’s several variables anglers should look at and weigh-in to determine the size of the buffer they should maintain. Fast moving riffles (choppy water), freshly stocked fish, dingy water, overcast skies or fish positioned deep in the water column, are all variables that generally shrink the size of the buffer needed by anglers. Trout in these conditions usually feel relatively comfortable and safe, and therefore you can get away with moving in order to make precise presentations. On the other hand, if you’re dealing with flat water (slow moving or calm water), crystal clear water, wild educated fish or fish holding closer to the surface, anglers should keep as large of a buffer as they can, without losing their ability to execute a good presentation and drift.

It’s important to note that I think presentation trumps the importance of a buffer altogether though. If you can’t get a good cast and presentation because you’re positioned too far away from the fish and or target zone, that will seriously decrease your ability in getting fish to eat your flies. Skill level and experience gained over time will eventually get you where you can quickly analyze the conditions on the water, and determine the correct

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Lowcountry Meets The Louisiana Marsh  

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By Owen Plair

I could see this monster redfish laid up, just waiting for a fly.

As a full-time redfish guide in South Carolina, over the years it has been kind of hard for me to justify spending money to travel and fish the Louisiana marsh for a species I spend over 180 days year targeting. The two things that have always intrigued me about Louisiana are how big the redfish are in these shallow waters, and how insanely aggressive these big fish are. Not to mention the overall numbers of fish and amount of water in this world class fishery. Over the years I have heard countless stories from clients and friends and watched tons of videos about the Louisiana marsh, which have me very eager to experience this big fish destination first hand.

Back in December, I finally made the trip to the bayou in search of a monster redfish on fly. Most of the fly fishing guides in Louisiana are seasonal guides from other states including Florida, Texas, and in my guide’s case, North Carolina. These guides travel to Louisiana every year for the prime fall months when the big bull redfish swim and feed inshore on the cooler shallow water flats. My good friend Capt. Allen Cain is based out of Hopedale, Louisiana. Allen spends 3 to 4 months a year in Louisiana targeting these big fish with anglers from all over the U.S. After several seasons of sending me pictures of 20- and 30-pound redfish on fly, he finally talked me into making the trip.

New Orleans is one of my favorite places to visit and I had spent time there a few years ago for Mardi Gras. Yes, I do remember being in New Orleans in spite of a few fuzzy nights. Nola is an awesome city with tons of great restaurants, bars, history, and culture surrounding the city. The great thing about New Orleans is that it’s just a short drive to Venice and Hopedale, one of the largest redfish estuaries in the entire world. Whether you’re inshore for giant redfish or offshore for tuna, Louisiana hosts some of the best saltwater fishing around. If you like to eat, drink, and fish, this place is a must.

The town of Hopedale is

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Glass or Graphite, What’s Right For You?

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When choosing between graphite and fiberglass fly rods, it’s smart to consider where and how you fish.

I got an email the other day from a reader. Here’s an excerpt:

“I am looking at a 7wt predominantly for trout and smallmouth here in Tennessee. I currently have a mid action 6wt that is really nice, but since I don’t have a boat, it’s hard to make long casts with weighted streamers to trout on the opposite bank. I recently found the blue halo 7wt glass rods, and I guess my question is how do you feel about fiberglass streamer rods? Do they have the muscle to turn over the same weighted streamers a graphite 7wt would have?”

It’s a great question. There’s a lot of enthusiasm right now for heavyweight fiberglass fly rods. I have one myself and I enjoy fishing it very much. Does that mean it’s the best tool for the job? Not necessarily. If, like the fellow who emailed me, I was mainly concerned with casting a heavy fly to the far bank, it’s probably not the rod I’d choose.

I like fiberglass rods a lot. I have glass single-handers in weights from 2-8, and a one spey. There are some things they are very good at, and some things they are not. You can make a long cast with a heavy fly using a glass rod but you’ll have to be a great caster.

When you are deciding between glass and graphite, consider the strengths of each.

Strengths of fiberglass fly rods

Feel: Fiberglass rods have great feel, which means that it’s easier to feel the rod load. The feedback which the caster receives from the rod makes casting very pleasant for anglers who enjoy feel.

Tempo: Glass rods are slow. That’s both an asset and a liability but the slower casting tempo which comes with a slower rod is easier in many ways. If you were trying to play a complicated piece of music, wouldn’t it be easier to play it slowly?

Presentation: Because they do not generate the line speed graphite rods do, glass rods lend themselves to delicate presentations. Remember, however, that presentation is about casting skill and material alone is not the answer.

Strength: Not strength as in casting power, but

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Sunday Classic / Holding Your Bone

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I WATCHED MY SHARE OF GUYS FIGHT TO GET HOLD OF THEIR FIRST BONEFISH AND I REMEMBER BEING THERE MYSELF. IT’S PRETTY PAINFUL FOR EVERYBODY CONCERNED INCLUDING THE FISH.
They aren’t trout and nothing will bring that hone for you like trying to tail one. Landing them and handling them is really pretty simple once you know how. Here are a few tips for getting a grip on these slippery little guys without anybody getting hurt, even your pride.

I will not go into the best way to land a bonefish because I’ve done a post and video on the topic with the help of my buddy Bruce Chard. It’ll save you a broken rod so if you haven’t seen it click HERE.

Once you have the bonefish to the boat and the leader in your hand, assuming that you want to hold the fish and are not content to pop the hook out without touching him (the best practice for the fish), you need to get a good grip on the fish that will let you control him without injuring him. The best place to do this is just behind the pectoral fins and gill plates. The bonefish is pretty firm here and not so tapered so you can get a grip without him immediately squirting out of your hand like a bar of soap. Kent is doing a good job in this photo. You don’t need a death grip. Like any fish, the harder you squeeze him the more he will struggle.

If the fish is too green to hold for a quick photo without him leaping out of your hands and flopping around on the deck there are a couple of things you can do to settle him down.

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Saturday Shoutout / Sanctuary

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Watch the Video!

Rivers have saved a great many angler. Sometimes anglers must save rivers.

This beautiful film tells the story of ninety-five year old World War II veteran Frank Moore and how he was born again on the North Umpqua. Now it’s Franks mission to see the North Umpqua reborn through the formation of the Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary. Take a moment and join Frank on this amazing river.

Want to help? Contact your Representative and let them know that you support the Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary. Find your representative here: house.gov/representatives/find/

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New Fly Lines From Airflo: Video

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Watch the video!

Three new fly lines from Airflo focus on big flies and thin wallets.

It’s kind of been unofficial streamer week on G&G so it’s fitting that we talk about the new Airflo Shovelhead streamer line, designed by Kelly Galloup. The Shovelhead features a double from taper to turn over huge flies with lighter rods. There’s also a new redfish line, designed for bigger flies and the new Forge line, a mid priced line for the mangler on a budget.

Check out the video to hear all the details from Tim “The Man” Rajeff.

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