Saturday Shoutout / A River’s Last Chance

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The story of how the Eel River ran dry.

This beautiful film by Shane Anderson tells the story of how weed and wine dried up the Eel River, California’s larger wild steelhead and salmon river. It’s worth watching just for the footage of wild fish and giant redwoods but there’s much more to this film. This California river has a message for all of us.

CHECK OUT “A RIVER’S LAST CHANCE.”

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New Spectrum Fly Reels From Sage

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Three new reel families from the folks at Sage.

Sage has rethought their line of fly reels this season and introduces the Spectrum, Spectrum LT and Spectrum Max. These reels build on the Sage features we’ve come to trust with some new technology. All three families have sealed carbon fiber drag units, which use a new proprietary material. The size of each drag unit has been tailored to the size of each reel for efficiency.

The Spectrum is the all around model, while the Spectrum LT is an ultralight reel which doesn’t compromise on stopping power. The spectrum Max is a beast of a big game reel. There are several new colors designed to complement your Sage fly rods.

CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO FOR ALL THE DETAILS ON THE NEW SAGE SPECTRUM FLY REELS.

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There’s No Right Answer

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I have some bad news for you. You’re not doing it right.

I was reading an article on fishing streamers and the author was pressing the importance of neutral buoyancy. The idea being that the fly neither sinks, nor floats. His assertion being that, when fished with a drift and twitch presentation, these flies more accurately imitate an injured baitfish. I have a good friend who is a master of this technique and, after watching him coax some very big fish out of cut banks, I started using it a fair bit myself, but here’s the thing. It’s not the right way to do it.

I was out on the river one day tuning up my spey cast in preparation for a steelhead trip. When I was done, and headed back to the truck, a woman who had been watching me asked,

“Are you some kind of expert?”

“Ma’am, this is fly fishing,” I replied, “we’re all experts.”

Each of us, regardless of our level of expertise, is largely a self-styled angler. We learn by trial and error which techniques will catch us a fish and when. Generally, in our own minds, we know the right way to do it. Or do we? I know this is kind of an esoteric fishing tip, but my point is this.

There are no right or wrong answers.

Dead drifting streamers is a great technique. So is jerk stripping heavy patterns, and fishing floating flies on a sinking line. All of those techniques, and many more, produce fish at the right time. They are all equally right and equally wrong. The question is not, “What’s the right way to fish the fly?” The questions is, “What’s the right time to fish in that way?”

I have a good friend who has been learning to fly fish the last couple of years and this is something he has really struggled with. He will ask me for advice on fishing in a given situation, and when he gets it, he’ll frequently point out that it contradicts something I told him before.

“Yep,” I’ll tell him, “but that was then, this is now.”

Most of us, especially when we are learning, want the “right answer” that’s going to work all of the time. The truth is, it just doesn’t exist. Conditions change constantly as does the mood of the fish. It’s our ability to adapt to that change which makes

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4 Tips For Capturing Better Release Shots of Your Fish

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YOUR BEST SHOT AT CAPTURING A GOOD PHOTOGRAPH OF YOU AND YOUR CATCH, IS FIRST HAVING SOMEONE ALONG WITH YOU THAT’S COMPETENT WITH A CAMERA IN THEIR HANDS.

But even a world class photographer will tell you, it’s extremely difficult getting those picture perfect photographs, if the person handling the fish has no clue what their doing. Some of my favorite fly fishing shots to look at are catch and release shots, because there seems to be something extra moving about capturing the release of a fish in a photograph. Problem is, release shots are often some of the hardest photographs to pull off on the water. You have to have satisfactory light and adequate water clarity, but even with both of those, much of your success will ultimately be determined by the cooperation of the fish your shooting. Below are four tips for capturing better release shots that Louis and I have learned through trial and error over the years. Followed correctly, they should increase your chances at getting that perfect catch and release shot.

Tip 1: Choose a Calm Stretch of Water for the Release When Possible
Fast moving water isn’t optimal. If you can find a nice eddy or a calm stretch of water close by, you’ll find it much easier to photograph a nice release shot. In most cases, slower moving water will provide you with better water clarity for showcasing the fish below the surface during the release. I’ve also found it’s much easier to handle and keep the fish in proper position in slower moving water.

Tip 2: Keep Your Catch Calm and Relaxed
Don’t be in a rush to get the shot. Keep the fish in the water and in the net until it has calmed down before you move forward with the release shot. This is especially true if you land the fish quickly. A hot fish generally will swim off so fast, it will be hard for the photographer to time and get the best shot. Your goal is to release the fish at a speed that lets the photographer shoot multiple shots. This will increase the chances you end up with the perfect photograph.

Tip 3: Use Your Arm For Better Control and Timing the Release

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Reece’s Stepchild Stone

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By Bob Reece

The title of stonefly conjures up images of gargantuan aquatic insect life.

This is true for several species in the late reaches of their life. However, their more petite partners and developmental stages should not be overlooked when filling your fly box.

Stonefly nymphs in the smaller sizes of 12-16 are available throughout the year in freestone streams and rivers. This fact led me to create this pattern. The Stepchild is a smaller variation of my Rolling Stone. Its combination of reduced size and mottled beads make it an ideal candidate for clear water conditions. The slim abdomen and double dose of tungsten plummet this bug to the desired depth.

When fishing this pattern, I use it as the anchor point in my nymphing setup. This holds true whether I’m using an indicator rig or tight line set up. The Stepchild Stone also works wonderfully as a dropper in sizes 14 and 16. I always connect it using

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An Amazing Gift

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When the package from Sightline Provisions arrived, I couldn’t wait to see what was inside.

Every day I make a concerted effort not to write about my dog. Today I get the chance. Since I brought Josie home from South Andros my life has changed for the better. This little Potcake, who nearly starved, has been the best thing to happen to me in years. She is the most joyful soul I have ever known.

When I saw Edgar Diaz, of Sightline Provisions, at the IFTD show, I told him Josie’s story. A wild puppy born under a bush at the Andros South Lodge during Hurricane Mathew, she was far too skittish to take food from the folks at the lodge. She was half the size of her siblings when she was three months old. Every year I see half of these adorable puppies disappear before they are a year old. When I looked into this dogs eyes I couldn’t bare the thought.

The problem was, she was impossible to catch. The guys at the lodge had named her Permit, because no one could catch her. I spent a week trying to win her trust, waiting for her to fall asleep, and eventually tossing her peanut butter laced with Benadryl. Nothing worked. On the last day, I was on the phone with my wife, telling her I was not able to catch the puppy, when I heard a cheer from outside my room. Jason Whiting had made a spectacular dive and grabbed the little Potcake.

I named her Josie, after my friend Josie Sands who guides at Andros South. I rib him about it but I hope he knows it is a true sign of affection. I am on a mission to make Josie the most spoiled dog on the planet and it’s coming along nicely. Potcakes are wicked smart and Josie has pretty much trained herself. It took only two days to house break her and the little dog named permit now follows my every command. It’s not often that she does something bad but when she does we call her by her island name, Permit.

Edgar Diaz, being a dog lover and generally cool guy, was touched by her story. A couple of months after IFTD a package arrived from Austin Texas addressed to Josie.

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Sunday Classic/ Call Me Simms Boy, I Love My G4Z Waders

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WHEN OUR BF GOODRICH VIDEO FINALLY COMES OUT, AND WE ARE TOLD IT WILL BE SOON, YOU ARE GOING TO NOTICE KENT AND I WEARING A LOT MORE SIMMS GEAR.

Simms, generously, stepped up and outfitted us for the shoot. This has lead to at least one of my friends calling me Simms Boy, but I don’t care. It was great having the right gear for the trip and knowing we could count on it but for me it was something more. It was a first. Believe it or not, I’ve never owned a pair of Simms waders.

I’ve used a ton of Simms products over the years and gotten really good service out of just about all of them but I’ve never ponied up and bought a pair of their waders. I know they are the best and the most durable and the most comfortable but honestly, I’m just a cheap bastard. More to the point maybe, I’m a poor bastard and $799 for a pair of waders has always seemed insane.

If Simms had not given me a pair of G4Zs, I don’t know if I would have ever known what I was missing. Sure, they are comfortable. They fit great, they’re really well designed but the thing is, I think they are a better bargain. Really! Even if I’d paid for them and I’ll tell you why.

DURABILITY AND VALUE

Only time will tell if I’m right but these waders feel indestructible. You can feel the quality pulling them on. The five layers of actual Gortex, that come

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Saturday Shoutout / How Its Made

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Ever wonder exactly what goes into that hot new fly rod?

I think a lot of anglers have no idea how many hours of work goes into the rod they fish. I’ve been fortunate to tour many rod shops and even try my hand at rolling a blank. It’s a fascinating process and it always amazes me how much difference the slightest change in process can make in ho a rod casts and feels.

If you’ve ever been curious about how graphite rods are made, this article on Midcurrent by Jim LePage is a great read and very informative.

HOW FLY RODS ARE MADE

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The New G Series Fly Rod From Scott: Video

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The new Scott G Series may be my favorite small stream rod…ever.

This technical little rod is a winner. The G-2 has such a strong cult following that Scott rod designer, Jim Bartschi thought long and hard before messing with success. Ten years to be precise. It was time well spent. The new G Series rod is a marked improvement.

I’m always fascinated by the thought process of rod designers. I love to hear them talk about their rods and what they hope to accomplish with tapers and technology. This video is a great example. It will give you a much deeper understanding of this great tool.

WATCH THE VIDEO AND GET THE DETAILS ABOUT THE NEW SCOTT G SERIES FLY ROD.

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Fish Streamers in Fast Water and Seal the Deal

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Have you ever had a day of streamer fishing when the fish just wouldn’t commit?

I had the mother of those days recently. I was fishing streamers from the boat and was literally getting follows every other cast. That’s great, but the fish just wouldn’t eat the fly. They would charge, swirl, nip and blow up all over it but never eat it. It was frustrating to say the least.

I changed patterns and got the same result. After the twentieth nice brown took a pass, I added a Wooly Bugger as a dropper. No dice. The fish would swim right past the Bugger to ogle the streamer. I switched up my retrieve, all the stuff you should try, and nothing worked. Until I changed the water I was fishing.

I started targeting the fastest water I thought could hold fish and, sure enough, things turned around. I did not slow down my retrieve and, because

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