Saturday Shoutout / Chandalar

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A beautiful example of the healing power of fly-fishing.

This remarkable film, from the folks at Simms and Soul River, follows fourteen young people and five U.S. veterans as they float the Chandalar river in Alaska. They learn to row, to fly fish, and to thrive with PTSD.

“This is a story of how U.S Veterans can change lives and find purpose by volunteering their time. The participants come from different worlds and while they know that their experience with trauma is what initially binds them together, it isn’t what defines them.”

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The Fish Of A Lifetime: Video

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Watch the video!

What happens when the fish of a lifetime refuses your fly three times?

If you are Jack Stephens, and you’ve spent half a century looking for a river no one has fished, and you’ve found it…you cast again. This is an amazing fishing story, and all caught on film. The kind of magic that only happens in Patagonia.

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Lighting The Way

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By Bob Reece

I leaned forward to check the UV coat that I had just applied to my finished fly.

The quick searing pain in my fore head reminded me that I had come too far. This was the last straw for me, the desk lamp that I had owned since college was on its way out. Along with its propensity to heat up, I had no idea how much my favorite lamp was adversely impacting the quality of my tying.

Having quality lighting at your fly tying station is essential for making the most of your time. Since my sentimental departure with my first tying light, I’ve embraced the use of natural spectrum lights. The two lights that I currently tie with are produced by the Ott Light company. The larger desk top model uses a bulb. Conversely the smaller and more portable model uses LED lighting. Both lights produce almost no heat.

More importantly than the reduction of heat is what these lights do for the eyes of tier. Fly tying is one of the most strenuous activities with regard to eye strain. Tying lights that produce light within the natural spectrum greatly reduce this stress. This helps to create a more positive tying experience and also allows for longer tying sessions.

In addition to a lack ocular discomfort, this genre of lights helps the tier to more accurately see the colors of the materials that they are using. That accuracy can

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Fly Fishing Lights at Night

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It’s long been known by fishermen, that bright lights shining on the water at night create fishing hotspots.

The lights attract plankton, which in turn, attracts the baitfish and other food sources that feed on them. Once you’ve got a good concentration of forage food hanging around the lights, it doesn’t take long before the larger predatory gamefish move in and begin making a feeding frenzy of the situation at hand. Using the lights as a perfect tool to coax and gather the food into a small area and the cover of darkness as camouflage, predatory gamefish will take turns darting into the light with mouths open to pack their bellies full. This feeding scenario reminds me very much of the relationship I have with my refrigerator. When I wake up in the middle of the night with my stomach growling, I know exactly where I need to head to get my quick food fix. The relationship gamefish have with lights on the water at night is no different. When available, gamefish will regularly utilize lights to locate and ambush food under the cover of darkness. Fly fisherman should always take the time to locate and fish lights on their home waters, because they will almost always provide consistent action.

If you randomly asked one of your fellow fly fisherman about targeting lights at night, they’d probably respond with success stories about either fishing lighted piers in saltwater or boat docks on freshwater lake impoundments. These are by far, the two most popular places fisherman prefer to utilize lights shining on the water at night, but it’s not the only places we should look. Fishing lights for trout

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Something For The Window Shoppers

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By Justin Pickett

A little something to entice those “window shoppers” that appear and disappear behind your streamer.

Anyone who has thrown streamers for trout has likely experienced the exciting visual of seeing a trout appear behind your meaty fly… following, following, following… only to peel off just outside the oars and leave you empty handed. Yes, it’s better than not seeing anything at all, but it sure would have been awesome to have gotten that fish to eat instead, right?

Why that trout aborted their chase can be due to several reasons. Maybe the color just wasn’t the right shade of olive to entice a strike. Maybe it caught sight of the boat. Maybe the movement of the fly wasn’t just right. Maybe it was too big. Or maybe it just wanted to torture you, getting your hopes up only to squash your morale at the last second. However, one thing I have learned from these non-committal trout, is that one of the easiest things you can do to entice that strike is to offer them a second, smaller fly behind your streamer.

Smaller, unweighted flies provide trout that might be hesitant at striking a larger fly with another option. Tie these flies onto the bend of the hook with approximately twelve inches of tippet and chuck away. This can be accomplished with articulated streamers as well. Just tie the second fly onto the trailing hook. This may affect the movement of your streamer however, I haven’t noticed much difference so long as unweighted flies are used. This has worked for me tons of times and in numerous locations.


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Dial In Your Dry Fly Game

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By Jason Tucker

Dry fly fishing is all at once the foundation, Holy Grail, and most difficult aspect of fly fishing.

In a bygone day, fly fishing meant using a dry fly. Now it has come to encompass many things, including drifting nymphs under a bobber, or chucking a streamer fly that more closely resembles a lure than a dry fly. I embrace it all, but there is still no greater thrill than matching a hatch, getting a perfect drift, and seeing a trout rise to your fly. For most of us it was that image that drew us to the sport in the first place.

With the dry fly season being at its zenith right now, we want to share a couple tips with you to help you catch more fish. I asked a couple friends of mine what their best suggestions are and here is what they said.

Erick Johnson is a fly angler from Michigan who also happens to be a customer service rep at Scientific Anglers. We got to sit around the campfire this spring on a dry fly trip and here’s what he had to offer:

“If you’re anything like me, the sight of a good rising trout raises your blood pressure a couple notches. Inevitably, the first thing we do is reach down and start stripping off line, certain that he’s going to eat on that first pass. Frequently, that first cast will either land right on the fish or go well beyond and likely put them down. Before casting to that sipper, settle yourself with a couple breaths and start in close. By taking a couple extra moments and measuring your cast, you can dial in that drag-free drift. Once you’ve established the drift, you can then carefully work your way out to a wary fish for the best presentation.”

I also go to fish with my buddy Alex Cerveniak, an excellent fly fisherman who spent a few years guiding to the picky fish on Michigan’s famed Au Sable River system. He had some advice on how to refine your presentation.

“The #1 key to fishing dry flies is to make your fly

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Sunday Classic / Weather Dictates When and How I Fish My Terrestrials

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Every year, I’m asked by clients, when is the best time for them to come up and experience the terrestrial bite? For years, I kept a terrestrial fishing journal to help me better serve my clients. The journal documented the arrival times of specific terrestrials and when I first started catching fish on them. It seemed to help me for a couple seasons, but after that, I started to become too reliant on the data in the journal, and I lost sight of the most important variable of all in timing the terrestrial season–weather. Depending on what the weather is doing for the current year, it can speed up or postpone the arrival of the terrestrial season. Some years it will only sway the start of the terrestrial season a week in either direction, while other years, it can sway the arrival well over a month. Understanding the role weather plays in the lives of terrestrials can help anglers nail down more accurately when the terrestrial season will begin and peak in their area. If you can be one of the lucky few to time and start fishing terrestrials before everyone else does, you can be rewarded with some of the biggest fish of the year.


Having consistent warm weather is a major factor in the arrival of terrestrials. Cold nights during late spring will keep terrestrials hiding in their burrows and out of sight during most of the day. During years when these cold snaps linger on, it will delay the arrival of the terrestrial season significantly. Sun is a major player in getting the terrestrial fishing going as well. I’m not 100% sure of this, but I think once the rainfall drops off in the summer, and the hot sun sucks out most of the moisture content found in the plants that the bugs are eating, the terrestrials are eventually forced to search out food sources that have a higher moisture content. It makes since to me at least, that the best places for the bugs to find moisture rich plants during the heat of the summer would be around water. All living things, including terrestrials, need water to survive. Furthermore, sun is the fuel for plants to grow, and many of our streams and rivers have large amounts of flowers that bloom (late spring, early summer) along the banks that provide food (nectar) for terrestrials. During above average rainfall years, where you’ve got more cloudy days than sunny days, it can inhibit or postpone the growth and blooming of these flowers that attract the terrestrials, and therefore, they won’t be attracted to the water and available to the trout. So when you’ve got a really wet spring and summer you can expect the terrestrial season to be late. It’s important to note also, that years with high rainfall, will significantly increase the water levels on our trout waters and postpone the terrestrial bite. Too much rainfall will keep the bugs from showing up, and raise water levels, which will discourage trout from expending the energy to rise to the surface to eat them, particularly if there’s sufficient food below the surface for the trout to eat. High water also flushes out terrestrials much quicker than during average water flows. You won’t find terrestrials swirling around in eddies for long periods of time.


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Saturday Shoutout / Tasmanian Love Letter

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One of the nicest pieces of writing on the subject of fly-fishing I’ve read in a long time.

It was just by chance that I was introduced to the site Camden Fishing. Good folks from Tasmania who sell, among other things, beautiful hand made drift boats. Shipping a drift boat around the world didn’t seem practical, so I was about to move on when I noticed the link to their Journal.

I’m so glad I did, because what I discovered was some of the most honest and soulful writing, on the subject of fly fishing, that I have read in some time. Whether they are making boats or writing prose, these folks are true artists.


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Patagonia Dream Stream: Video

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It’s time for a little walk-and-wade trout fishing in Argentine Patagonia.

My buddies at Andes Drifters have been killing it with their video content recently. Not to mention their fishing! This video is a great example. Beautiful footage and heart stopping action from one of the prettiest places on earth.

The river in this video is one I will be scouting in November, and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s just one of the cool, untapped resources Andes Drifters has at hand. It’s hard to believe that rivers like this go un-fished, anywhere in the world. If you have never experienced fly fishing in Argentina, put it on your to do list.

If you’s like to see it for yourself, we still have spots open for our Feb 2019 trip, where we fish for trout in Patagonia and golden dorado on the Upper Parana. It is absolutely a trip like no other. Shoot me an email at if you’re interested.

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Top 10 Trout Flies For The American West

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He was planning on traveling around Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana this summer and his goal was to put together a selection of flies that would allow him to catch fish on every river. After setting him up with a fairly comprehensive selection of dries, terrestrials, nymphs and streamers, we started debating what the 10 best patterns are to cover all types of western trout water. We assumed you could fish the same pattern in different colors and sizes which I guess makes it a lot more then 10 patterns, but anyway this is what we came up with. Let us know what you think and send us your top 10!

#10- The Hair Sculpin
The Hair Sculpin is an awesome streamer. It moves, it can be tied in all different colors and sizes and most importantly it catches fish. You can throw it on a sink tip and fish it deep in lakes or my favorite, bounce it off the shore from a boat. It’s good liven.

#9- The Panty Dropper Hopper
The name alone makes this fly awesome. It comes in various colors and sizes and its got very realistic looking legs. If you fish anywhere that has hoppers, the Panty Dropper will get the job done.

#8- Zebra Midge
Go to any tailwater and generally on the “Hot Flies” list in the local fly shop is a Zebra Midges. They are super simple to tie and best of all they work. You can tie them in any color and size you want from a miniscule #28 to a #12.

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