Treat your sunglasses as though your vision depends upon them

26 comments / Posted on / by

YOUR ROD, REEL AND LINE MAY BE THE ONLY PIECES OF GEAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR SUNGLASSES.

On most days I’d rather have the wrong fly than the wrong glasses. They are not only crucial for sight fishing and reading water but make wading safer and the whole fishing experience more pleasant.

A good pair of polarized sunglasses are not only essential but expensive, too. Their effectiveness can be seriously compromised by scratches, delamination, and unnecessary wear or damage. It makes sense to take good care of them.

Still, not everything about caring for your sunglasses is intuitive. I’ve worn glasses my whole life and recently found that I was damaging my sunglasses by washing them with soap and water, a practice I assumed was the best way to clean them. Reached out to my buddy Peter Crow at Smith Optics for some advice, and he provided me with some good common sense information to share with you.

Read More »

Fast Pocket Water & Big Attractor Dry Flies

2 comments / Posted on / by

During the spring, summer and fall I often get the itch to forget about catching numbers and instead see how big of an attractor dry fly I can get away with fishing and still fool trout.

For those of you who don’t know, my closest trout waters are North Georgia and Western North Carolina. We don’t regularly fish giant attractor dry fly patterns, like lots of my western friends do, because most of our water just won’t yield much results. That’s whats so cool about the idea of fishing them, when most anglers would chastise you. It gives me a little extra reward fishing patterns out of place and still catching fish. My favorite trout water for doing this on are medium-sized streams, particular in gorge sections that have a steep stream gradient. This type of water generally is loaded up with pocket water, and that’s perfect trout water for fishing big attractor patterns. Most of the trout found in these stretches of water are forced to be opportunistic feeders. The fast and turbulent water don’t give them a lot of time to examine their food before it’s out of their reach.

I’ll never forget an epic day of fishing in western North Carolina last year, fishing a size 6-8 Royal Wulff. I caught some really nice brown and rainbow trout that day, and I chuckled inside as I got weird looks from other locals on the stream, as they watched me drifting unusually large dry flies. They must have thought I was a

Read More »

New Simms G4 Waders: Video

No comments yet / Posted on / by

The new 2019 G4 waders from Simms feature new materials and features.

Sporting a new Gore-Tex material the 2019 G4 Wader is lighter, stronger and more comfortable. The new bootie design keeps your feet warmer while you’re busy looking cool. It’s hard to believe that Simms made my favorite wader better!

CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO TO LEARN ABOUT THE NEW SIMMS G4 WADER!

Read More »

Take Advantage of Your Vise!

1 comment / Posted on / by

By Justin Pickett

Being a consistent fly tying machine can sometimes be challenging.

Especially if you plan to tie in the interest of making some extra spending cash, you need to stay consistent and efficient. When it comes to consistency, you’ve got to be able to stick to your recipes day in and day out, and not wander off due to complacency, or from just not having a golden standard to tie from. One of the things that I have done over the years that has helped me tie consistent flies is to simply use my vise. Our vises are more than just hook holding apparatuses. They hold materials, flies, tools, lights, but something else they do (an unadvertised feature) can be even more beneficial while sitting at the tying desk.

Aside from providing the platform from which we tie flies, a vise can also provide measurements and points of reference.

When I tie, I always place the hook in the vise the same way, whether it is a 2/0 or a #20. When I lay the hook in the vise I make sure to have the tip of the barb just barely inside the very tip of the vise jaw. For barbless hooks, I place the hook point even with the tip of the jaw, completely covering the bottom bend of the hook. This gives me a consistent starting point before I lay the first wraps of thread. When it comes to tails, wings, legs, foul guards, weed guards and just about any other material that needs to be measured or trimmed, I have numerous angles, screws, and joints along the vise that I can use as landmarks to ensure that I have the correct length, or that I’m placing a material in the right place.

These are all things that you’ll

Read More »

Fly Fishing For Peacock Bass, Part 1

1 comment / Posted on / by

I’ve been very blessed to have fly fished many destinations around the world.

All have been amazing trips, but one destination in particular I hold close to my heart. Every time someone asks me what’s the coolest place I’ve fly fished, without any hesitation, I always reply fly fishing for peacock bass in the Amazon. Combine the extreme beauty and remoteness of the Amazon Basin with the opportunity to battle one of the most powerful freshwater gamefish on the planet, and it’s pretty easy to see why it ranks at the top of my list. That’s not even factoring in the other bonuses you’ll receive, like catching several other species of fish and witnessing all the diverse wildlife.

“While beginners always seem to catch fish, the persistent skilled angler wielding a precise cast is more often than not rewarded for his/her hard won mastery. Make a good sidearm cast between two logs under a tree and it might be rewarded. Hit that bit of flashing neon green or quickly reload to hit a laid-up chunk of muscle and madness 20 feet off the boat’s bow and it just might work. Peacock bass fishing is intriguing fishing. It is shoulder burning, forearm aching and finger cramping to be sure. There will be snags hooked, lines fouled and fish missed. It is at times maddening, frustrating and patience testing, but ultimately exhilarating, very satisfying and all consuming…and yes, as cliched as it might sound, addicting.” Scott Heywood

Making a trip to the Amazon used to be one of the most economical

Read More »

5 Tips for Beating Out the Winter Cold on the Water

20 comments / Posted on / by

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.

Read More »

Aotearoa Angling Etiquette (Or, how not to be a dick in New Zealand)

8 comments / Posted on / by

By Chris Dore

Angling ethics and on-stream behaviour are a big deal here in NZ due to the unique qualities of our fishery.

Gin clear water hosting sometimes less than several fish per mile mean that if you walk past, there’s a good chance they will see you and spook to cover for the remainder of the day. This doesn’t bode well for anyone following you upstream… The following are long-held local practices and etiquette that have developed over time through preserving the NZ experience, dealing with increasing angling numbers, and plain, simple human decency.

1: Do NOT enter a river ahead of others on the river before you. With limited numbers of fish per mile in gin clear water the first angling party through for the day has the best, and often only, chance of the day to catch those fish, especially in the backcountry. If you’re the late-comer, suck it up and either go elsewhere, or take your chances and fish up behind, but under no circumstances drive up a K or two, or walk around and ‘jump in’ trying to get ahead. The first party there doesn’t own the river, but has every right to expect enough uninterrupted water for a full day’s fishing, the distance dictated by the nature of the fishery (ie, on high populated rivers such as the Mataura, this may only need to be 1km, however in the backcountry, where there is often a lot of empty water between fish, this may be several kilometres). Which leads into point 2…

2: Communicate. If you see an angler on the river, go over and chat. Find out his plans for the day and do not encroach. If they have ‘magically’ appeared on the river ahead of you ascertain whether you were here first, and if so remind them of the above etiquette (they may simply have been innocently unaware, or genuinely didn’t see you or your vehicle). Also remember to leave a visible note in your windscreen stating whether you are fishing upstream, or downstream of your vehicle. There’s nothing worse than arriving at a long stretch of water capable of entertaining multiple anglers, finding a vehicle parked up and not knowing which way the angler has gone. Many longer access points can accommodate an angling party upstream and another downstream (mindful of others who may be fishing through from the next access below) and so a simple note makes things easy for all.

3: Enter the river at established access points: Fish and Game NZ have done a great job at signposting access on the majority of our rivers, often negotiating public access across private land for your benefit. These accesses are usually pretty well thought out to allow for an ample day’s fishing between access points for the river concerned. If I enter a river at a signposted access, I know how much uninterrupted water I have until the next access and so plan my day accordingly. If you jump in midway between access points then you’ve just ruined my day, spooked my fish and created an awkward situation that I personally won’t hesitate to pull you up on. Think of others and stick to the signs…

4: Camping on, or leaving a vehicle overnight at an access point to ‘claim’ it for the following day is frowned upon and in many cases, illegal

Read More »

The Permit Story

5 comments / Posted on / by

By Louis Cahill

Stop me if you’ve heard this one, and if you’ve spent any time fly fishing salt water, you have.

I was talking with my buddy Bruce Chard yesterday. Thank God for living vicariously through my friends! Since I’ve been dealing with multiple eye surgeries, I haven’t touched a fly rod in five months. I haven’t been five days without casting a rod in twenty years, so I’m losing my mind and talking fishing with my friends is the only thing that keeps me going.

My buddy Scott had just sent me a photo of a friend of his with a huge permit. He was holding the rod, holding the permit and grinning like a cheshire cat, was Bruce. Just by chance, Bruce called me with in the hour, so I had to get the story. The story was not only familiar but a little disheartening. 

This guy had never fly fished. He was in the keys visiting family and his brother-in-law had Bruce booked for the week and gave one of his days to this guy and his wife. Bruce poled them around a little and when they started losing interest, he took them to some nice spots to snorkel and picnic. I’m sure they had a blast but it makes me want to bang my head on the wall. You booked one of the best flats guides on the planet to take you snorkeling? OK.

“We’ve got about an hour left,” Bruce told them, “Why don’t we go check out this permit flat.”

Bruce was thinking he’d at least do a little scouting for the next day when he would be fishing his client who generously offered his day to these folks. A guy deserves a permit after such a gesture, right?

Bruce poles up on the flat and, as soon as they are ready to fish, he sees a permit swimming right to the boat from six O’clock. Not an ideal shot and no time to turn the boat.

“Throw that thing out as far as you can behind the boat,” 

Read More »

Flynn’s Stonefly Nymph: Video

7 comments / Posted on / by

I HAVE SAID ON MANY OCCASIONS THAT, I DON’T CARE TO LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE TROUT DON’T EAT STONEFLIES.
My good friend Dan Flynn shares my obsession with the noblest of insects. Dan is a great tyer with an impressive repertoire of classic patterns. I have always admired his meticulous stonefly nymphs. I’ve also spent many days watching him crush trout on them.

Read More »

Tandem Streamer Rigs Catch More Trout

10 comments / Posted on / by

There’s no doubt that Louis and I are both hardcore streamer junkies.

We never leave home without our streamer boxes packed full. One thing we do a little different from some streamer fishermen on the water is fish a streamer dropper rig. Quite often we’ll tie on a nymph dropper off the back of our big gaudy streamer to increase hookups. Big fish are smart, especially during the busy season when their getting pressured, and they can sometimes get a little gun shy eating big streamers. If you’re on the water and you’re getting a bunch of chases or short strikes on your streamer, try tying on a dropper nymph. It will serve two purposes. First, it will be less intimiating to spooky trout. Secondly, it will often tempt a trout to eat that has turned off your streamer at the last second.

Case in point, last year Louis and I were on the Madison River streamer fishing with very little luck. Instead of giving up on the streamer bite, Louis tied on a size 10 golden stonefly nymph dropper and began putting on a clinic. Every fish ate the golden stone like it was candy and he brought numerous twenty plus inch fish to the boat that day. Experiment with

Read More »