Ain’t No Mama Like The One I Caught

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By Alice Tesar

MORE TIMES THAN NOT, WHEN I LISTEN TO ANGLERS TALK ABOUT WHY THEY FLY FISH, IT COMES DOWN TO THE INTIMACY THE ANGLER FEELS WITH THE RIVER AND THE CATCH.

Now imagine you’ve taken your relationship with your catch to the next level. She’s chomped down on your fly, you’ve set the hook and she’s taking you on a ride. Except this ride is to the delivery room and the mom-to-be is demanding a gas station cherry and raspberry slushie before you pull into the hospital. If you’re like me, that baby isn’t coming out ‘til that slushie is in my hands and if you judge me for only taking three sips, I will try to break your hand during contractions, so you can never fish again.

Inhale. Exhale.

While my son’s birth story isn’t exactly equal to the 1100 to 1700 eggs that a rainbow trout hen will drop during her spawn, it is indicative of the irritable and seemingly irrational behavior of soon-to-be parents, moms specifically. The redd is a depression or cleared area made by the hen sweeping her tail on the gravel of the river bed. Redd originates from the Middle English phrase to reddy or clear up a space. Mama trout aren’t chasing your empty hook that dances by their nest because they have a mineral deficiency, they are chasing it because they’ve just redd up the place.

These spawning trout feel an immense amount of pressure by the numerous male trout hovering and ready to fertilize. Ichthyologists report that female fish experience

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Fly Fishing Bass Ponds 102

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By Kent Klewein

I promised everyone I’d write a Fly Fishing Bass Ponds 102, if people showed enough interest from my 101 post. I was blown away from the emails and comments that flooded in, after the first post went live. I covered quite a few topics in the first post but here’s a few more tidbits of information for all you warm-water fly fishing junkies out there.

UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENT TYPES OF STRUCTURE AND HOW TO FISH THEM

As a little kid, I was a bass fishing maniac. A good friend of my Father’s fished a lot of tournaments for fun and he took it upon himself to take me under his wing, and teach me the skills I’d needed to become a proficient bass fisherman. One of the greatest things he did during his mentorship was take me to several professional bass fishing seminars. On several different occasions, I had a front row seat to listen to Hall of Fame bass fishing legends like Bill Dance, Denny Brauer, Rick Clunn, and Larry Nixon. Notepad and pen in hand, I wrote as fast as I my fingers would move as the pros talked about how they consistently caught bass. It was at these seminars that I learned the behavior of bass and how to catch them. If you want to improve your warm-water fishing, I highly recommend attending a seminar in your area. Most are reasonably inexpensive, and If you don’t walk away with more knowledge afterwards, you either have an ego that needs to be checked, or you weren’t listening. Most of what you’ll find the professionals talking about is catered towards fishing large lakes, but almost all of the information can be converted and used for fishing on bass ponds.

One recurring theme I noticed is that everyone of those bass fishing legends talked in great detail about how important it was to understand and locate structure. Talking about bass structure is no different than me talking to my clients about reading trout water. Both are critical for anglers, because it allows them to quickly locate hotspots, but more importantly, it allows anglers to distinguish productive water from unproductive water. Structure is anything in the water that fish are drawn to that allows them to live comfortably and feeding efficiently. Structure serves two purposes for bass. One, it provides habitat that becomes a magnet for their forage food, and bass always live close to their food sources. Two, it provides highly efficient ambush points for bass to camouflage themselves so they can feed easily. Structure can be above the surface, on the surface or below the surface. Just remember that there’s two main types of structure. The first is cover, such as lily pads, weed beds (ex. hydrilla or millfoi), overhanging foilage along the banks, docks or floating or submerged wood cover. The second form of structure is irregularities of the bottom and composition of the water you’re fishing. Examples of this would be creek channels, flats adjacent to deep water, edges (sand or mud bottom substrate changing to rock or deep weed beds meeting open water). If you’re lucky enough to ever find both types of structure together you’ve hit the jackpot. It should be loaded with a high concentration of bass, and should also hold fish pretty much year round.

Search out, locate and spend your time focusing on

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Veterans and Fly Fishing

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By Bob Reece

Fly fishing is as powerful as you believe it to be. Six years ago I was asked to go to a brief evening meeting regarding the creation of a veterans focused fly fishing group. Since then I’ve been blessed to work on and off with this collaborative effort. I have been blown away by the impact that this program has had on the lives of both the volunteers and veterans.

Duane Cook is a retired P.E. teacher and Vietnam veteran. When he returned home from his service, he struggled to leave the conflict behind. Growing up in the high country of Colorado, fly fishing was always a part of his life. It was a return to the water that helped him regain a grasp on life and successfully move forward.

Several decades later he felt a need to give back. In an attempt to begin that process, he set out to form a veterans fly fishing group in my home town of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Since its creation it has exploded with growth. On Saturdays throughout the winter, active and retired veterans learn how to tie flies and build fly rods. As spring approaches casting classes are put on and summer trips are scheduled.

I’d seen the smiles and pictures but it was not until recently that I fully appreciated the impact of the program. This past year I put together a new promotional video for the group, Platte Rivers Veterans Fly Fishing. As part of the audio, I recorded accounts of how the program had affected the participant’s lives. Listening to their accounts

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Losing Louisiana

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By Lucas Bissett

Louisiana: When it Comes to Land Ownership and Coastal Land Loss, it’s One of a Kind.

From a fly fisherman’s perspective, Louisiana stands out for its seemingly endless watery landscape, bountiful redfish population, and its mouth watering cuisine. On the surface, Coastal Louisiana it appears, has seen the creation of a balance between sportsmen and Mother Nature. Sportsmen have a vast expanse of coastline to use while Mother Nature provides a target-rich environment. Scratch just below the surface of this fairy tale facade and there exists epic battles that threaten the very fabric of what makes Louisiana the “Sportsmen’s Paradise”.

It’s not uncommon to read in the glossy pages of a fly fishing magazine that there are battles over public versus private land rights in streams and rivers out west, but it’s almost unheard of to see the same battle waging over salt water estuaries. Louisiana sees itself in the middle of such a battle over coastal waterways. Currently, a boater or fishermen could find themselves staring at a hefty fine for criminal trespassing or even run out of a bayou or marsh area at gunpoint. Louisiana land owners have the right to fence or gate off waterways that are tidally influenced. As of 2003, it is the fishermen’s responsibility to know what is private with or without posted signs. The real head scratcher is that most of the time these anglers used a “navigable waterway” by the federal definition to get into these fishing spots.

So, the question begs to be asked, how is this determined to be private property? Louisiana has never been comfortable following the status quo. Come to Louisiana and you won’t drive from county to county you’ll drive from parish to parish. Even the law code used is different from the rest of the country so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when it comes to determining “navigable waterways,” Louisiana finds a unique solution there, too. A good portion of Louisiana’s coast is privately owned. Over the years, families and wealthy corporations have bought up any land on the coast that has come up for sale. Currently, Louisiana determines state owned “land” by using the map from 1812 when Louisiana became a state. When looking at a map from 1814 it becomes apparent that most of what seems to be navigable today was solid land then.

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Sunday Classic / Thank You God for the Terrestrial Season

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bout this time every year, when I’m starting to get run down from guiding, the terrestrial season arrives, and I’m blessed with a second wind. I’m always astonished at how the presence of terrestrials can make my familiar trout waters seem so fresh and new to me. Even after I’ve already spent hundreds of hours during the season drifting flies through the same riffles, runs and pools. Every day, I find myself more excited about fishing than the last, despite it being one of my busiest times of the year guiding. Thank God for the terrestrial season. I tip my hat to the creator, for he sure did a fine job of planning out the life cycle and timing of the terrestrial season. Yep, life is grand for the fly fisherman when the terrestrials are out. The water and air temperatures (at least where I live) are usually warm enough to leave those stinky waders at home, and the longer days allow us the luxury of staying on the water for a few extra hours.

Is it just me, or do trout seem to have the same look in their eyes as we do during the terrestrial season, pure addiction. I love the fact that it’s not the end of the world if we forget our strike indicators or split shot when the terrestrials are out. The trout often rise

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Saturday Shoutout / The Deep End

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Who needs more sharks?

Who doesn’t love a good shark video? If you’ve never caught shark on the fly, you owe it to yourself to do it, at least once. Here’s a great video my buddy Conway Bowman chasing 1000 pound mako sharks off the coast of California.

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Cuda VS Shark: Video

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By Louis Cahill

Barracuda Vs shark, who will win?

What happens when you hook a big barracuda on the fly, and you’re in the fight of your life, and a hungry shark shows up right at the boat? Glenn Ancelet found out at the January Bonefish School in South Andros. Fortunately, I got the whole thing on video!

Who’s your money on, the cud or the shark?

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deGala’s CDC Callibaetis

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By Herman deGala

A new twist on a classic trout pattern.

In escrima, Filipino Martial Arts, we have what is called a “Colonial Mentality”. For years escrima languished in obscurity in the Philippines while martial arts from other countries grew and became very popular. It hasn’t been until the last 15 years that escrima has come in to the limelight and become cool again.

Like everyone, I love seeing the new flies as they come out. The innovative use of materials and technique has been amazing. With better access to quality materials and the proliferation of technique videos on the web, there’s no telling where this can go.

But the old stuff still works and works well. Below is a video of my most productive fly for callibaetis. I’ve updated the hook and changed the bead to tungsten, but it is still that same old pattern. In rust, it mimics the larval instar stage of the callibaetis and the point at which it is most vulnerable in its development. Fished on a stillwater line and stripped in six inch bursts toward shore, it’s a morsel of food the trout can’t ignore.

Take a look into the corners of your boxes and pull out that fly that netted you over 60 fish in one day. Sure, tie it on one of those sexy jig hooks. Add one of those tungsten beads with the distressed paint job. You’ll find what was once old has become new again.

WATCH THE VIDEO AND LEARN TO TIE DEGALA’S CDC CALLIBAETIS

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Keep a Backup Nymph Rig Ready

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Changing out flies on the water takes time but is often necessary to catch trout consistently all day.

Keeping a pre-rigged tandem nymph rig ready to go, will allow you to quickly change out your flies from one hole to the next and save you critical time when your fishing time is limited. They’re great to have when you find your hot fly has turned cold, when you break your rig off on a snag or find yourself with a nasty tangled mess. Let’s face it, we often find ourselves in question on the water, particularly in the first hour after we’ve wet our line. It can take some time to figure out what the trout want for the day, and by having a couple different pre-rigged tandem nymph rigs on hand, you’ll find it much more efficient to try multiple fly patterns and rigs out, and that should help you dial-in quicker and start catching trout.

Sometimes the tandem nymph rig you just caught trout with in the hole downstream, may fail to get the attention of the trout in the next hole you fish. This isn’t always the case, but sometimes for sure. In fact, this happened to me just the other day. My client had landed a fish out of the first three holes we fished in the morning with a woolly bugger lead fly and a micro san juan worm dropper. As my client worked the fourth hole of the day, the bites abruptly stopped, despite him making several great presentations and drifts. Knowing there were fish in the hole, I snipped off the rig and tied on one of my different pre-rigged nymph rigs.

First cast, my client landed a trout, and he went on to

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G&G #KeepEmWet Photo Contest  v.2018

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By Justin Pickett

It’s time for another “Keep ‘Em Wet” photo contest!

Last year’s contest was a great success with hundreds of entries. We had some amazing submissions from our readers, and we are looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to this year! Working in conjunction with KeepEmWet.org, we look forward to continuing to spread the message to keep fish in water.

Not just a phrase, #keepemwet has become a practice that many of us have chosen to uphold with hopes that leading by example will convince others to keep fish in the water, whether they are snapping photos or not. Fish need water to survive, and we can all do a better job of doing our part to protect the fish that we pursue, whether it be trout, steelhead, bonefish, musky, or tarpon.

We want to see your best, most creative “Keep ‘Em Wet” photos! Get out on the water and submit two of your favorite photos for the challenge before midnight on May 15th. Louis and I will be judging on the content and creativity of the photos, and we will announce a winner on May 18th! We can all benefit from keeping fish wet, but here’s how you will benefit even more by keeping your catches in H2O!

So what’s up for grabs?!

1st Place: Orvis Mirage Reel

“Own the Fight with the most advanced drag system ever designed. Adjustment from zero to dead stop in a single drag-knob rotation. The Orvis Mirage renders any previous perception of “smooth drag” to obsolescence. Completely sealed and maintenance free. American made.” – Orvis

2nd Place: Fishpond Gunnison Guide Pack, River Rat 2.0, and “Don’t Tread On Me” Trucker Hat.

“Able to carry all the flies that you could possibly need in a day’s fishing, the Gunnison is designed to organize and comfortably carry all of the essentials. Constructed from “Cyclepond” recycled nylon with an integrated net holder, places for all your largest fly boxes, water bottles, tools, and more.” – Fishpond

3rd Place: Plan D Boat Box with Custom Art by Michael Williams

Mike has become known for his epic, color sketches of trout, as well as many other species of fish, on several media, such as Cliff and Plan D fly boxes, as well as trucker hats. If you’re interested in Michael’s work, check him out on Instagram (@greenbusdesigns_mikewilliams), or on his website (greenbusdesigns.com)!

Go get out on the water and put some fish in the net over the next two weeks, and good luck to those of you who submit your photos!

For more information about Keep ‘Em Wet, please visit www.KeepEmWet.org

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

HERE’S ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW TO GET IN ON THE ACTION!

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