Saturday Shoutout / Smoke on the Water

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Fire, Water and Steel on the Deschutes River.

I just returned from the G&G Steelhead Camp on the Deschutes River in Oregon.  You may already know that the river was at the heart of a huge wild fire just a month ago. That didn’t stop my buddy Curtis Ciszek from heading out for some cold beer, hot ground and sick steelheading.


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New Orvis Flow Nippers, They Nip! : Video

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The new Orvis Flow Nippers combine quality and price.

I own a pair of high end Orvis nippers. They are awesome, but they are also $80. While there is certainly a market out there for expensive, deluxe nippers, most of want something that will last for a whole lot less. Orvis knows that too.

This year, as part of a whole new line of tools, they are introducing the Flow Nippers. Quality, stainless steel nippers for $30. Still not the cheapest nippers you can buy, but they work great and will take a beating.


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Working With Stretch Tubing

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By Bob Reece

I love flies that have both transparency and durability.  Incorporating stretch tubing into the construction of a pattern adds both of these elements.  In addition to this, manipulating the material and those that it’s paired with, can help produce more effective flies. 

Stretch tubing comes in the sizes of micro, midge and standard.  Micro is the smallest ranging up to standard on the large end of the scale.  This range of sizes provides a wide range of applications for patterns of all sizes.  For reference, I use the standard for nymphs size twelve and up.  Midge for nymphs down to size 18.  Lastly, micro for dries and nymphs size twenty and smaller. 

One huge benefit of the stretch tubing in comparison to solid vinyl ribs, is its elastic nature.  By applying different amounts of tension to the tubing, a tier can alter the diameter of the wraps that are laid down.  This allows for the creation of different natural tapers when imitating different bugs.

The color selection for stretch tubing is fairly extensive.  It is important to note though

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Wood is Good

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“Wood is good”, shouted Sam Cornelius manning the oars, as I concentrated on drifting my flesh pattern against the never ending medley of wood snags along the Togiak River banks in Alaska, back in 2006. “When ever you see wood, drift your flies as close to it as you can, because fish are usually close by.

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That’s Going To Leave A Mark

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Nobody want’s a hook in their face.

(If you’re paying attention, you notice I ended yesterdays article with this same words. Not a coincidence. )

By far, the most popular video I have ever shot for G&G is the one where I stick a hook in my arm so we can show how to use “the mono trick” to get it out. Well, I got to take my brother Tom fishing the other day and I guess he isn’t going to be outdone by his little brother. Half way through the float he hooked himself in the face with a 2/0 Gamakatsu B10s.

The hook was in his cheek all the way to the bend. About as bad a hooking as I’ve ever seen. I’ve snatched hooks out of people before, but not one this bad, and not my brother. It was not textbook on the first attempt. Of course tom shot selfi-video.

I’m sharing this video as a cautionary tale…and also because it’s darkly hysterical. Let this be a lesson to you kids. Practice your casting.

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The Other Water Haul

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By Louis Cahill

Here’s an unusual, and highly effective, way to use the water haul cast.

Most anglers are familiar with the water haul. If you are not, check out the video and links I have shared below. The basic idea is that you use the surface tension of the water to load your rod for the cast. In stream fishing, this is usually done by letting the current take your fly line downstream until it is tight, then coming forward with your casting stroke. The tension of the line on the water loads the rod and the current serves as a backcast. This is a super effective way to make a stealthy presentation on small streams, but there is another way to use the water haul that’s just as effective on big water.

I most often use this technique in saltwater, but there are times when it’s really handy when fishing rivers or lakes. When the wind is howling off your casting shoulder, it’s tough to make a cast without the fly passing dangerously close to you, or worse, not passing at all. Using a water haul can help.

The problem with wind pushing the fly into the angler is born of slack. Even strong winds don’t have much effect on a fly that is under the tension of an energized line, but when you pause to let your line straighten before the next casting stroke, the wind has its way with your fly and line both. You can minimize the effect by using a Belgian cast. (See video and link below.) That usually works well, at least for a couple of false casts, but when the wind is really moving it’s not enough. It will work on your first backcast, but when you come back for the second, look out.

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Sunday Classic / Bruce Chard’s A.M. Express, A Great Fly For Baby Tarpon

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Even a baby tarpon is a hell of a fish. These little guys are all fight and haven’t learned all the tricks of the grown ups. A thirty pound tarpon offers all the excitement of a hundred pounder with a good bit less humility.

On calm mornings you’ll find them cruising the edges of islands or nosing around rafts of floating grass or rolling in the glass calm water. If your going to catch them you’ll need the right fly. Our buddy Captain Bruce Chard is here to help.

Watch the video and learn to tie Bruce’s A.M. Express.

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Saturday Shoutout / Hang Tight

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Is it possible your taking fly-fishing too seriously?

If you find yourself pursuing marble trout in Slovenia, and things don’t go your way…well.

Don’t let this happen to you.


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New Fly Rods And Reels From Waterworks Lamson: Video

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Waterworks Lamson is expanding two of their most interesting product lines for 2018. The Center Axis systems and Cobalt reels. 

If you haven’t cast the Center Axis rod/reel system, you should. It’s one of the most interesting new products in fly fishing. It’s hotly debated but I really like it. You may too. The cool news this year is the introduction of the Center Axis for saltwater. Not just supersized, there are some meaningful engineering changes to bring these rods up to saltwater standards.

Lawson is also introducing new sizes in their Cobalt reel lineup. Smaller reels for light saltwater setups that are just as at home on a trout rover. These reels are absolute tanks.

Watch the video for all of the details on cool new Lamson Fly-fishing gear for 2018.

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Tying Effective Hair Wings

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By Bob Reece

Social media allows for the viewing of frequent and numerous fly patterns.  As with all things fly fishing, there are seasonal trends.  This time of year dry flies make a common appearance.  Many of those incorporate some form of hair as a wing imitation.  While effective, this material can provide tying and durability challenges.  

When spinning deer or elk hair, a bare hook shank is helpful.  Yet, when tying in a hair wing it is detrimental.  The smooth surface of the hook shank creates much less friction than one wrapped with thread.  This lack of friction causes the hair wing to shift position when being tied in.  The simple correction of this issue is to lay down sparse thread wraps over the hook surface where the wing will attach.  

Glues should never be used as a substitute for sound tying techniques.  However, they can greatly help to enhance the durability of the parts that make up a pattern.  Any time I tie in a hair based wing, I always follow it with a small touch of Zap-A-Gap Thin.  This helps to further anchor in place and hold the hairs, subsequently enhancing the on-the-water life of the fly. 

Lastly, but most commonly seen in the pictures that I view, is an excess of hair.  The hair wing of any dry fly pattern needs only to provide the impression of a wing.  Using too much hair can negatively affect the profile and effectiveness of the fly.  It can also

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