Halfback Nymph in High Water

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Looking for a great high water nymph pattern that will consistently fool trout?

Try tying on a halfback nymph, it’s an oldie but goodie that has produced big fish for me countless times over the years. The buggy profile of the halfback nymph does a great job of imitating a large variety of aquatic insects, and it’s large size is easy for trout to spot quickly in fast water. This nymph pattern screams “I’m a big juicy morsel, Come eat me”.

I always have at least a half dozen of these guys in my fly box. I often use the halfback nymph as my lead fly in my tandem nymph rig, and tie a 16-24″ piece of tippet off the bend of the hook with a smaller dropper nymph. You can also try substituting the standard peacock herl underbody with a more flashy dubbing material when fishing

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The CDC Blood Midge

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MIDGE PATTERNS CAN BE REMARKABLY EFFECTIVE FOR TROUT.

Depending on how you count them there could be over a thousand species of midge. That’s a lot of choices for the discerning trout. There are almost as many choices for the angler and a midge obsession can easily get out of hand.

I find that more times than not a Blood Midge will do the trick. I spent a morning on the Colorado River one April and caught twenty-four brown trout on a blood midge without moving my feet. Trout are naturally attracted to these red patterns even when they are not an exact match for the naturals. I’ve tied many different Blood Midge patterns but my current favorite is the CDC Blood Midge. The power of CDC can not be overestimated. This is a great pattern and very easy to tie.

Watch the video and learn hoe to tie The CDC Blood Midge.

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Make The Straight Line Practice Rod: Video

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By Louis Cahill

Here’s a video on how to make a simple tool that will take your fly casting to a new level.

A few weeks back I shared a video on how to “Stop Dropping Your Rod Tip Once and For All.” In that video I show you how to use the Straight Line Practice Rod. It’s a brilliant tool, shown to me by my buddy Tim Rajeff. It’s the most effective way I have found to help anglers understand the straight line rod-tip path, the secret to making clean, tight loops. The video was very popular, but there was a problem.

In the video, I mentioned that I though Echo Fly Rods sold this thing on their sight. Echo was flooded with calls and emails asking for it. Apparently I was wrong. Since they don’t sell a version, I decided I had to make a video showing how to make one yourself. It’s incredibly simple and you can do it in your kitchen. If you take the time to make a Straight Line Practice Rod for yourself, I promise you will see a difference in your fly casting.

WATCH THE VIDEO AND LEARN TO MAKE THE STRAIGHT LINE PRACTICE ROD.

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Fly Fishing: Searching for That Needle in a Haystack

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I really enjoy catching big wild trout on a fly rod. Even more though, I enjoy the challenges that come with having to hunt them down in places where they are few and far between. I’m talking about trout streams where there’s not supposed to be any truly big trout living there. The places where catching a 12-incher normally gets you tickled to death, and where most fly anglers, if asked, would tell you point blank, “I guarantee you there’s nothing swimming in that trout stream large enough for a grip and grin.” These are the places I like to visit on my days off from guiding. I get deep satisfaction searching for that extra special fish. The fish that’s 99% confident no fly angler thinks he or she even exists.

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Add Some Fish Appeal To Those Old Flies!

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By Justin Pickett

We all have one…..The box full of rejects, misfits, oddballs, freaks…. deplorables.

These are the flies that have been bought by you. Given to you. Found by you. Or, likely, tied by your own hands… possibly in a bourbon-fueled rage the night before a trip while listening to some OCMS. Or maybe that’s just me… As I scanned through one of these very fly boxes one day, I wondered if there were any flies that might be salvaged, and, if there were, how might they be resurrected? I was looking at dozens upon dozens of flies that weren’t being used. Hooks that were being wasted. Some of them were surely defunct and irredeemable, but I knew I could modify many of them enough to make them fly patch worthy. And, as it turns out, there are several ways to turn an old, dull looking pattern into something new-ish, and might even put some fish in your net!

“Pop” Your Collar – This is a simple modification you can make to most nymphs (beaded or non-beaded), and even some dry flies. For collars, you can add some pizazz by simply tying in a “hot” collar with some fluorescent orange, pink, or red thread. You can add dubbing in a contrasting color, or maybe some CDC or partridge feather to add some movement. The same can be done to small streamers as well. I’ll often tie in a hot spot on the nose of my clousers and woolly buggers, especially when I know I’ll be fishing off-colored water. The same applies to the thorax. Switch up the dubbing. Hackle some feathers. Experiment! Just make sure to keep the correct profile and proportions as you add material. You’ll likely need to remove the existing material to be sure things don’t get too portly. I can’t tell you how many flies I’ve done this to, and it can really make a big difference in the appearance of a fly.
Show Some Leg – Another thing that I’ll do to a “boring” fly is add some legs. This is another quick and easy way to add some attention getting features to an otherwise uninteresting fly. On beaded nymphs, I’ll tie in the legs just behind the bead and add a small pinch of dubbing to help keep the legs separated. I tie legs into dries quite a bit as well. Mostly on terrestrial-type flies, and typically only because the original legs were chewed off by ravenous trout. This gives you a plethora of color and material options while providing some wiggly deliciousness.
Light It Up –

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4 Proven Ways To Effectively Fish A Streamer

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Every angler wants to catch a trophy trout and there’s no better way than fishing a streamer.

While it’s fair to say that there is no “wrong way” to fish a streamer, there are some proven techniques which will help make that trophy dream a reality. Presenting big, heavy flies to the largest fish in the river brings with it a whole new set of challenges, including a new way of thinking about presentation. Your presentation is no longer passive, but active, and it is the action of your fly which must excite the predatory instincts of the fish. In the end, you will find your own style of fishing streamers but here are four techniques that have been proven to bring big fish to the net time after time.

Stripping the fly

This is what most anglers think of as streamer fishing. Tossing the fly to the upstream side of a likely lie and ripping it back. It’s exciting and visual and usually productive. It plays on the predatory instinct of large trout by imitating a fleeing baitfish. I favor the jerk-strip retrieve, popularized by Kelly Galloup. A very young Mr. Galloup demonstrates in this video.

https://youtu.be/Pr_SwnIx6bA

The speed of your retrieve is key. Have you ever made an impulsive purchase that you later regretted? Then you have some insight into the mind of the fish who eats a streamer. Like a bargain shopper, fish don’t like to miss an opportunity. Your fly must be a limited time offer. If the fish has too much time to inspect and think his decision through, he’ll decide to pass. On the other hand, no fish wants to engage in the pointless pursuit of a bullet train. Remember to think about the environment where the fish and fly meet. If the water is moving slowly, your fly should scorch off the bank sending the message that it’s now or never. If your fly is in fast moving water, it’s already moving quickly in relation to a holding trout. Slow your retrieve down and give the fly a twitching action like a wounded baitfish. Always remember, a predator takes what he wants. It’s your job to make him want the fly.

Swinging the fly

If we set aside for the moment, the argument over whether steelhead are trout, this is how I have caught my largest trout. If a 42-inch steelhead will grab a swung fly, you’d better believe a big brown trout will, too. I like to employ the swing when fish are following a stripped fly, but not taking it. I’ll size down my streamer and often drop a Soft Hackle 16-24 inches behind it. You will catch more small fish this way but you’ll catch the big ones too.

Swinging the fly is an effective way to reach fish holding in

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Fly Fishing in the Winter – Getting in the Routine

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I’ll be the first to admit, that the first few cold fronts of the year negatively effect my angling morale. Those initial cold fronts are always a sobering reminder that winter is quickly approaching, and the warm days of the summer and fall are long gone. Yes, this is the time of year that I find it harder to get out of bed in the morning. My snooze button gets quite a bit more love from my index finger, and I’m forced to brew my coffee extra stout. As I loosen up in the shower, with my morning stretches, and warm water hitting my back (as us old folks are plenty familiar with), I think about my next objective of the day, which will be to de-thaw my frozen waders and boots. I left them laying in the back of my truck, and yes, I know, I should have brought them inside. I respectfully ask you all to turn your cheek because it always takes me a few weeks before I wise up to the cold season. That’s why, if you peak into the window of my truck this time of year, you’ll probably find me driving around with my waders and boots on the floorboard of my truck, with my heater set to high, and blasting on my feet.

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Why Travel For Great Lakes Carp?

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By Jason Tucker

Everyone has a bucket list.

For most of us that includes the Bahamas or a similar destination for bonefish. Carp fishing the flats in the Great Lakes should also be on that list. Why?

Crystal clear water in an other-worldly setting. Once you get out on those flats you’ll forget you’re in the Midwest and swear you’re in the salt. Clear water, gulls and terns, wind and waves, but no insidious salt to wash off at the end of each day.

Sight fishing. Sight fishing clear water to spooky fish is the Grail of flats fisherman. Lake Michigan offers it up in spades, and with hundreds of miles of flats available, you’ll often have them to yourself.

Large numbers of big fish. Occasionally you’ll be casting to strays. Most of the time you’ll have dozens to several hundred fish swimming around you, and the challenge will be to pick one and not spook the rest. Peeling off fish from the edges of the larger group is often the key. Lake Michigan fish average

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Crazy Water on the Dean

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You will be reading more in the coming weeks about my trip to British Columbia to fish the Dean River.

In every post I will likely mention the tough fishing conditions. In order for you to really understand what I mean by “tough fishing conditions” I put together this little video.

I have never seen a river so crazy high. The fact that we fished the very next day and the fact that we caught fish that week is a testament to what a truly remarkable river the Dean is. I can’t wait to go back but I hope I have better conditions.

Check out the video!

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The Redfish Wiggler

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MY BUDDY PAUL PUCKETT IS BEST KNOWN FOR HIS BEAUTIFUL PAINTINGS OF FISH AND HIS FUNNY RENDERINGS OF CELEBRITY’S HOLDING FISH.

What you may not know about Paul is that he’s a redfish junky. So much so that he recently moved to Charleston SOuth Carolina to be closer to the fish he loves.

I visited The Fish Hawk the other day and Paul took the time to share one of his favorite redfish flies. If you’re headed to redfish country tie a few of these babies up. You won’t be sorry.

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO!

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