Not Today

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“WHEN I SAY I LOVE TO FISH, THAT’S THE KIND OF LOVE I’M TALKING ABOUT. THE KIND OF LOVE THAT COMES WITH PAIN AND STRUGGLE AND DEATH. THE KIND OF LOVE YOU EVENTUALLY WISH YOU HAD NEVER KNOWN.”

The night sky is just opening its eyes. The first bright pin pricks in the cold blue firmament slowly twinkling to life. Like shining snowflakes falling on a glass dome they multiply, forming a blanket of heavenly light over the Wind Range.
There is no moon. The only real light is coming from the last sliver of white along the horizon. The sage brush fades from dusty green to black and the ribbon of pale dirt road that stretches as far as I can see, both ahead and behind, takes on an eerie glow. I feel the first bite of night air and hear the rustlings of nature’s second shift punching the clock. It’s a beautiful Wyoming twilight.

I’m twenty miles, if I have my bearings, from the nearest paved road, a few more to the nearest house. Thirty miles from the nearest cell tower or tandem truck moaning down the highway. Fifty miles from the nearest town. This is what I love, the kind of thing I live for, work for, go way out of my way for. To be alone under the night sky with a trout stream near by and the promise of another day. A perfect ending, to any other day.

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A Truck Vault Can Make Your Truck The Bat-Mobile of Fly Fishing

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IT’S HUMAN NATURE, I SUPPOSE, TO ADMIRE IN OTHERS WHAT YOU LACK YOURSELF.

As I look at the chaotic pile of fly rods, reels and fly boxes in the corner of my office, I am not at all surprised that one of the things I admire most in others is organization.

Organization is a skill my good friend Michael White takes to a new level. Whitie is a sales rep for Simms which means he pretty much lives in his truck. What’s more, wherever that truck is headed, there is usually some great fishing. That was the case the other day when work, and fate, brought Whitie and me both to the Jackson Hole area. Fortunately, we both had the same day off and were able to get out on the water together.

Whitie’s truck is nothing short of the Bat-mobile of fly fishing. In addition to upgraded off road suspension and the best car audio system I’ve ever heard there is an intense gear organization system. In the back under a huge pile of Simms samples that any angler would kill for there is a weatherproof, fireproof, combination locked Truck Vault.

Pull out the two bed length drawers of the Truck Vault and there, perfectly organized, is every piece of fly fishing gear you could ever need. Rods organized by single and double hand. Reels by line weight. Flies by hatch. Waders, boots, packs, everything you need to fish anywhere there’s a road to get you there. It’s a thing of majestic beauty.

The gear never needs to go in the house. It lives there in the truck, ready for action 24/7. There’s even enough room

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If You’re Not Looking For Trout, You’re Missing Out

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One of the things I always stress to my clients is the importance of always keeping an eye out for trout on the water. The first thing I do when I walk up to a prime piece of trout water, is take a minute or two to scan the water for dark shapes, shadows and subtle movements. I do it before I wet my fly or even my boots for that matter, because I know, if I can spot a trout, I’ll immediately double my chances at getting my rod bent. I also look for trout when I’m wading from one spot to the next. This is where many anglers mess up and get distracted by all the great looking water upstream of them, and then end up missing opportunities to spot and catch trout in transit. I used to spook a ton of trout myself moving from one fishing spot to the next. It still happens but not nearly as much because these days, when I’m on the move, I’m not in a hurry and I take plenty of time to look for trout as I wade.

You have to look for trout to spot them. They don’t shout, “hey, I’m over here”, or wave a white flag at you.

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Fishing Mud Lines For Big Fish

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By: Garner Reid

MUD LINES ARE EXCELLENT PLACES FOR FISH TO HIDE.

I split my guiding year in half, targeting trout from fall to spring and the rest of the year pursuing summer run striped bass in my local river systems. River run stripers offer their own unique set of challenges for the angler, and definitely for the guide.
When someone gets in my boat for a day of striper fishing, one of the first things I try to explain is where these fish like to hold. I tell them to start out like they are streamer fishing for a big brown trout. When someone is pursuing a new species of fish, like stripers in a river, finding that common thread is the key to angling success.
Just the other week I had the pleasure of guiding a new client who was quite an accomplished angler. Having caught many fish in all the exotic locations that are on my personal bucket list. As we floated down the river it quickly became evident this guy knew how to fish. He was ripping big streamers accurately into all the nasty stuff that a big fish ought to hold in.
This was producing a few nice schoolie sized stripes but nothing huge. Halfway through our float we approached a small feeder creek quartering in at a 45 degree angle to the left of the boat. Heavy rains the night before had the creek dumping chocolate milk into the river. Typically not what a fly fisherman likes to see.
The muddy creek water was thick like oil, being pushed up against the clean water by the current, which carried a defined wall of muddy water down the left side of the river for hundreds of yards.
I rowed the boat into position perpendicular to the creek mouth and dropped anchor, told the guy to make a big cast across the creek mouth and let his fly sink, followed with an aggressive retrieve. A few strips later

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Dehumidifiers Keep My Fly Fishing Gear Fresh & Dry

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It used to be an ongoing battle all season long to keep my fly fishing gear dry and odor free.

There’s nothing worse than having to slide into a pair of stinky, sweaty waders that are still damp from the day before, struggle to slide your feet into a frozen solid pair of wading boots during the winter, or head out fishing on a rainy day with a rain jacket that’s already soaked to the bone. A couple years ago, I finally got smart and bought a dehumidifier, and now all I have to do is drop my gear on the floor next to the dehumidifier in the evening, and it’s waiting for me the next morning 100% dry and odor free. I’m telling you, it’s like heaven on earth, and I guarantee, you’ll find a whole new appreciation and respect for dehumidifiers when you take the leap of faith and put one to work.

Dehumidifiers are also great for

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4 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Chasing Musky on the Fly

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Today’s guest post was provided by Charlie Murphy, a long time member of Gink & Gasoline and musky devotee.

For those of you who don’t know Charlie, he’s as laid back as they come, he eats, sleeps and breaths fishing 365 days a year, and he’s always got your back when you need him. Another thing we love about Charlie is he’s constantly finding ways to add humor into every situation. All these qualities make Charlie a great travel and fishing partner and if you ever have the chance to fish with him, we highly recommend it. That’s enough introduction, read below Charlie’s humorous but true correlation between the old school movie The Karate Kid, the character Mr. Miyagi, and fly fishing for musky.

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The Snap-T Cast With 2-Hand Rod: Video

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The Snap-T cast is an essential for any 2-hand angler.

You really only need to know a couple of casts to be an effective angler with spey or switch rods. One of the casts you just can’t live without is the Snap-T. This easy and powerful cast lets you launch the fly when the current is off your casting shoulder. It generates the power needed to cast heavy sink tips but works equally as well with light dry lines.

WATCH THIS VIDEO TO LEARN THE SNAP-T CAST FOR 2-HAND RODS.

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Reece’s Clearwater Crawler

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The Clearwater Crawler provides an anatomically accurate imitation of the prevalent gills found on the abdomen of this class of mayfly nymphs.

In addition to this the thorax of this pattern displays a translucent quality seen in the naturals as they carry out their lives on the stream bottom. The reflective base of the thorax displays a trait seen in crawlers on the verge of emergence. The vast majority of nymphs employ dubbing in the thorax of the pattern. This allows them to display reflectivity, or dull mottled coloration but not translucence. My choice of materials and processes allows this pattern to present both of these attributes simultaneously. This vastly increases effectiveness in term of fish brought to net.

During the summer and fall I guide on the freestone portion of the North Platte River. The latter half of our season is usually defined by increasingly low water conditions that result in easily spooked, picky trout. As with the vast majority of free stones, crawler type mayfly nymphs are a common food item for trout in our waters. I needed a crawler nymph pattern that could be carefully analyzed by trout in clear slow water and still be accepted as the real deal. After countless tweaks and changes I found a design that was taken without hesitation. Throughout the second half of summer and into the latest reaches of fall this pattern produces fish as at high level of consistency. The pattern shown in the video is a size 12 which I most commonly use during the summer months. However, as summer fades and fall progresses I drop in size down to the smaller size 16s in this pattern.

HERE’S A VIDEO.

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Little Things Matter: On The Water Tippet

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By Bob Reece

Successful anglers are built out of sounds habits. 

Those habits focus not only on the large aspects of fly fishing but also on the small.  Within the realm of those petite practices is being aware of the status of your tippet when you’re on the water. 

Your tippet is often the weakest link between a fly that hooks fish and the line that runs through your rod.  Due to this fact, it is critical to check the state of that material as you move through a day of fly fishing.   A lack of due diligence often results in frustration and sometimes heart breaking experiences.  

On a summer adventure with friends, we had been working through an isolated drainage known for its larger than average brown trout.  While fairly open, the typical stream side vegetation of willow and alder were very much present.  During the morning I watched my friend pop his tippet and fly loose from several different alder bushes.  As we arrived at a large run below a waterfall, I asked him if he wanted to tie on a new section of tippet.  My offer was declined.  

After one round of rock, paper, scissors; he won the first cast into the run.  On his second drift a large brown, over two feet long, happily ate his foam offering.  My friend paused and set the hook perfectly.  Sadness and open mouths followed seconds later when his tippet snapped a few feet up from the fly.  With a little inspection, it was easy to see the abrasion to the material that had built up over the course of the morning.

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Game of Bones, 5 Common Bonefish Behaviors and Successful Strategies

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By Louis Cahill

Understanding these 5 common bonefish behaviors will help you catch a lot more fish.

I love bonefishing! There’s a shocker. Every species has unique characteristics which make them fun or challenging to catch. The chess game of feeding a sipping brown trout, the mix of finesse and raw power required to boat a tarpon and the zen of swinging a fly to a fresh steelhead are the parts of the game that hold the reward. One of my favorite games to play is the one we play with bonefish.

They don’t have the power of a tarpon or the mystique of a permit, the romance of a steelhead or the selectiveness of an educated trout, but they remain a challenging and rewarding species. More than the pursuit of any other fish, bonefishing is a game of strategy and tactics. Their vigilance and behavior require the perfect presentation at the exact right time. For me, it never gets old.

I had a day on my last trip to the Bahamas that was just about perfect. We were fishing deep in the backcountry on a high tide. Our guide poled the boat way back onto a flat that was sprinkled with mangroves. Single mangroves, clumps and mangrove islands, sometimes with just enough space to push the boat through. Puffy clouds blew over our heads.

We’d use the mangroves for cover and take sniper-like shots at fish as they approached open areas. The fish would appear and disappear with the sunlight. Everything had to be timed perfectly to get the hookup, and once you did you’d better be ready for a fight. Keeping those fish out of the mangroves takes skill.

That’s just one of the endless scenarios you’ll find when bonefishing. The beauty of the game is that anything can happen. Bonefish can exhibit bizarre behavior and a wise angler expects the unexpected. That said, there are five very common behaviors you will see from bonefish and knowing how to present the fly in these situations will catch you a lot of fish. I’ll give you some guidelines but remember, it’s all about reading the fish’s behavior and adapting. Don’t be afraid to improvise. That’s what makes it fun.

5 COMMON BONEFISH BEHAVIORS AND SOME SUCCESSFUL PRESENTATIONS.

Schooling
It’s very likely that you caught, or will catch, your first bonefish from a school. I’m not talking about small schools that you see roaming the flats but big schools of hundreds or even thousands of fish milling around using their numbers for safety. As you progress in your bonefish education, you get bored with fishing schools but for anglers new to bonefishing they are a golden opportunity. Fishing schools gives you the opportunity to develop skills like the strip set and fish fighting by hooking a lot of fish in a short time.

When they are schooled up, bonefish become more confident. They also become competitive, which gives you big edge. When presenting the fly to big schools

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