Slack Free Presentation: Video

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In fly-fishing, slack is always the enemy.

That’s never more true than when you are fly fishing on saltwater flats. Slack, however, is an ever present fact of life. No matter how good a caster or angler you are there are conditions beyond your control which can introduce slack into the system. Anglers who are successful are the ones who learn to regulate that unwanted slack.

There are a couple of easy techniques you can incorporate on every presentation which ensure that you will always be tight to your fly and fishing at your best. These simple tricks quickly become muscle memory and are done without thinking. A little practice is all it takes.

Watch this video where Bruce Chard explains how to easily make slack free presentations.

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Bahamas Poon

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There’s no such thing as a bad day of flats fishing in the Bahamas.

There are however, exceptional days. The G&G hosted trip to Abaco Lodge this March had it’s fair share of exceptional days. We had a great group of anglers, beautiful weather and great fishing. You couldn’t ask for more, but we got more anyway.

Anglers Shane Maybush and Peter Olsen both got nice tarpon. Shane was doubley blessed to have lodge manager Christiaan Pretorius, and his pile of cameras and drones, on the boat when it happened. Chris put together this stunning short video of the event, which features some pro-level fish fighting and line dancing by Shane. Shane guides for Mossey Creek Outfitters in VA. If you’re in the area, look him up.

CHECK OUT THIS AWESOME VIDEO BY CHRISTIAAN PRETORIUS.

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Flathead Mayfly Nymphs Rule

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If you take the time to to flip over enough rocks in moderate moving water you’re bound to find lots of Flathead Mayfly (Heptageniidae) clinger nymphs of various sizes. These three and two tailed flat bodied nymphs, with robust legs and broad heads are very important for fly anglers. Quill Gordons, March Browns, Hendrickson, Light Cahill, Pink Quill and Gray Fox are some of the popular species that belong to the flathead family. To date, there’s been fly patterns created for over 45 different species in 10 different genera of the flathead family. Because there’s usually multiple species found in any given watershed, I typically find trout keep them on the food menu year round. The subsurface nymph patterns seem to produce nice trout for me even when fishing conditions are really tough. Oddly enough, I rarely find a good variety of patterns that imitate the nymph stage in my local fly shops. Below is a pattern I tie as a general all-around nymph imitation for the flathead “clinger” mayfly. It’s designed to mimic the bold features of the flathead, and it’s landed many big fish for me the past few seasons.

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Catching Air

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By: Alice Tesar

My outdoor gear is always put to the test when I take it for a spin with my toddler. Recently my partner and I were fishing with him at a local spot that has a wide rocky bend. We let him play around, eat a few rocks, and investigate sunbathing snakes while we got some casts in. I paused to tie on a new fly and he hobbled over to me to inspect my choice. He gestured to hold my rod and while I repeatedly offered him to hold my net instead, he insisted on the rod and began to throw a tantrum. In a moment of trust or parental weakness — it is all a blur — I let him hold the rod. In a split second, he had run two-rod lengths down the shoreline and was jamming my 4 wt. Winston Pure under the water, bent in a right angle, back-and-forth in the freestone river bed. As fast as he got away, I was bear hugging him, the rod, the net, and, well…the fly was hugging my thumb with its barb. To my surprise, the rod and all its guides were still intact. Everyone talks about the Winston Feel but I think the Winston “Durability” also needs some credit. The three of us regrouped, removed the barb from my thumb, the tantrum prone toddler went back in the pack and we cast on. 

           I was relieved to see that the rod was casting fine given its recent assault. The Pure is a dry fly rod made for precise presentations and light flies and it is spring in the Rockies which means deep nymph rigs. Nevertheless, it was a new rod and I was looking to put it to the test. With some effort it cast my weighted nymph rig sufficiently but the true magic of a rod like the Pure is its presentation of a dry fly. Feeling the flex in my palm, the nearly weightless rod shoots a size 18 CDC Midge to the top of the riffle. A long, slow drift made effortless by the rod’s flick-of-the-wrist mending capacity. We did cast dries to a few rising fish as the morning went on, but as happens more frequently now due to the wandering toddler, I’m not paying as close attention to the river’s hints nor the trout’s take. We left skunked but with our rods intact.

When we became a family of three, we were gifted a book that we condemned to the shelf immediately.

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Making the Best of Bad Conditions

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by Johnny Spillane

Saltwater fly fishing is totally dependent on conditions.

Recently I flew down to Orlando for the IFTD/ICAST show and I decided to fly in a day early and spend some time in the saltwater with my good friend Scott Harkins, who works for Simms, and our new friend Captain Scott MacCalla who guides out of Titusville and fishes the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon. Conditions were not ideal and the following is some advice on how to make the best of a saltwater trip when everything is not going as planned.

DON’T SET YOUR EXPECTATIONS TOO HIGH

Everyone wants to go catch a 100lb tarpon and we all want to do it the first day. I’m going to tell it to you straight, don’t get your hopes up because it can take days or weeks to land one. The wind might be blowing in the wrong direction, clouds might impair your visibility, a decrease or rise in pressure might ruin the bite. Everything can go wrong in the salt. Get used to it.

LISTEN TO YOUR GUIDE

Even though you might have your heart set on some specific fish you want to target, if you’re there for a day, ask your guide what the options are. The guides know the conditions and know what to expect. Listen to the options and decide what interests you the most. They may tell you there is a small chance to get what you’re after, but keep that in mind when it does not work out, they warned you so you can’t hold it against them.

KEEP AN OPEN MIND.

Everyone wants to catch a permit or a tarpon or a bonefish

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DeGala’s Hula Damsel

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By Herman deGala

It’s the time of year when the rivers and creeks around Colorado are blown out because of run-off but the weather is just gorgeous. What is a body to do? Of course, you could head to some tailwater. Until you get there and find everyone thought the same thing.

Or you could head to your nearby lake or pond. It’s all filled up. You can see dragonflies and damsels dancing in midair. You might even see a bass come up and just crush a dragonfly as it drops its eggs.

This Hula Damsel is my favorite pattern for this time of year. It is articulated to give it an extra bit of movement as you strip it through the water. It dives when you pause, which is a definite trigger.

I typically fish this along the shore along the reeds and weed line with an intermediate line. It sinks very slowly and stays in the feed zone as you strip, strip, pause.

WATCH THE VIDEO AND LEARN TO TIE DEGALA’S HULA DAMSEL.

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Restore an Old Bamboo Fly Rod #6: Video Series

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Matt Draft is back with the 6th and final episode of our bamboo fly rod restoration series.

In this video, Matt shows you how to repair a bamboo fly rod that has delaminated. You’ll learn how to repair the separated sections and reinforce the repair with invisible wraps.

Thanks Matt! for this great series.

RESTORE AN OLD BAMBOO FLY ROD #5

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Developing Your Target Picture Means Catching More Fish

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What does skeet shooting have to do with fly fishing?

MORE THAN A DAY OF CAST AND BLAST, FOR SURE.

Target picture is a term skeet shooters use to describe the visual cue a shooter uses to tell him when to fire. Since the shooter is leading the clay, rather than firing directly at it, it’s important to visualize the lead for a given shot and fire when you see that “picture.” It’s a skill that separates a real shooter from a novice.

The same principal works in fly fishing. Being able to visualize the presentation before making it pays off big. It’s a simple idea when you are casting a fly to a rising trout. The actual target is well up stream of the rise form, since the fish will actually be holding upstream of where you see him rise. The current carries him downstream as he comes for the fly so, depending on the current speed and how deep the fish is holding, it can be quite a difference. Of course, your goal is to land the fly just outside of the fish’s field of sight, so you may need to lead him upstream a good ways.

What is simple on a trout stream usually becomes devilishly complex in the salt and leading a fish is no exception.

When casting to saltwater species there are a lot of variables to take into account. The fish’s speed and behavior, of course, but also the movement of both tide and boat. The angle and intensity of the light and wind come into play too. All that is to say that you never cast directly to the fish. Like a skeet shooter, you need a picture in your head of the right lead for a given situation.

DSCF3588-2bI’m not going to dig into the minutia of figuring every variable. The truth is it’s mostly gut feeling when the time comes to make the shot. Doing it right consistently only comes with

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There’s No Such Thing As A Bad Perm

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Funny Ass Video!

YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY. THERE ARE NO SMALL PERMS.

Just perms, and big perms. Happy perms and happy clouds. If you can’t catch perms, you can always drink.

Here’s Bob Ross to teach you how!
http://vimeo.com/32582348

The Bob Ross Drinking Game

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Strategies for Streamer Fishing High Water on Tailwaters

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IT’S REALLY HARD TO BEAT STREAMER FISHING HIGH WATER ON TAILWATER’S FROM A DRIFT BOAT, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOUR WANTING TO TARGET TROPHY CLASS FISH.

Although numbers of trout caught during high water flows usually are lower than fishing during low water flows, the size of your catches generally are much larger. In my opinion, the biggest fish in the river prefer to feed during high water because it’s easy for them to ambush their prey, and they feel camouflaged and protected by the high water flows.

For those of you that fish tailwater’s you probably understand water flows change significantly during generation and non-generation periods. Some tailwaters during minimum flow periods have water releases under 100 cubic feet of water per second (CFS), and when generation is taking place, water flows can be 10-20 times higher. Because of this, it’s very important for anglers fishing high water to outfit themselves correctly, otherwise they may find themselves coming off the water fish-less. Below are some tips and strageties I use on tailwaters when I’m fishing high water conditions.

Tip 1. Leave your 4-5 weight fly rods at home and pack your 7-9 weight fly rods.
Your best bet for going after the big boys during high water flows is fishing streamers. There are some tailwater’s out there where you can still dry fly and nymph fish effectively, but most of the time, if you want to target the largest trout in the river, you’ll want your flies to imitate the larger food sources. Some examples of these food sources are:

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