New Recon Fly Rods from Orvis

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The awesome Recon rod line is back, new and improved.

The Recon rods from Orvis have always been an incredible bargain. Truly a premium fly rod at a budget price. The new Recons are all new with updated materials and tapers, increased hoop strength and straighter tracking.


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10 Tips For Spotting Permit

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Maybe it’s not your thing but if there truly is a fish of ten-thousand casts, it’s the permit. There is enough to catching permit to fill a bookshelf or magazine rack. It’s a complicated game, but where it starts is simple. To catch a permit, you must find a permit. And to find a permit, the angler must know what to look for. With that in mind, here are 10 tips to help you spot a permit.

Have the right glasses
This is stupid simple but it really is the most important piece of equipment for the saltwater angler. There is no replacement for quality polarized sunglasses. Good saltwater glasses have a rosy color to the lenses. Pass on green or grey. Copper, rose or brown will offer better contrast. A lighter tint to the lens is valuable on darker days and a frame that shade your eyes is a plus. Glass lenses offer the sharpest vision and, unless you have a heavy coke-bottle prescription, that’s what I recommend.

The long, graceful forked tail of the permit is its most distinctive feature. It is black in color and stands out when the fish shows its profile. Often the permit’s broad, silver body disappears completely and it is the black double sickle tail that gives him away. This sight is never more exciting than when the tail is held up out of the water. Called ‘”tailing” this happens when the fish feeds off the bottom in shallow water. This means that the fish is actively feeding and the chances of him eating your fly are good.

The permit’s long, sickle-shaped dorsal fin will often give him away. When the fish is

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Argentina Dream Stream

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Watch the Video!

I can’t think of anything better than stalking big trout in Argentina.

There is something other-worldly about fly fishing in Argentina. It’s at once so familiar and yet so strikingly different. The fish are big and optimistic, and the angling pressure almost non existent. Condors soar above, llamas lounge on the banks, and bid trout feed at your feet. What more do you need?

I’ll be hosting a trip to Argentina in Feb of 2018. We will spend four days on the Limay river in Argentine Patagonia and four days chasing golden dorado on the Upper Parana. There are still a few spots open. If you’d like to see this fly-fishing paradise for yourself, send me an email at


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Fly Fishing, Always Have a Plan B

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Just about every fisherman out there is familiar with the saying, “never leave fish to find fish.”

I live religiously by this common sense fishing advice. It’s saved my butt many days on the water guiding, and keeps me from straying away from productive water when I find myself being drawn away to fish other spots upstream that look great. Always remember that fly fishing is full of hot periods and cold periods of catching. So when fishing it’s hot, you want to capitalize on it as much as you can before it goes cold. Sometimes it can be hot fishing for several hours, while other times you may only have one hour of hot fishing, such as when a hatch is in progress. Quite often anglers can have more success sticking around fishing one area throughly, when it’s producing, than fishing a bunch of spots partially. Every stream is different of course, but it’s generally safe to say that some sections of water always will be fishing better than others througout the course of a day. A fly fishers job is to determine where those hot sections of the water are and fish them.

Here’s some more common sense fishing advice for you all. Don’t continue fishing water if all you’re doing is striking out. Learn to cut your losses and be quick to move on in search of more productive water. Let’s face it, time flys on the water, and if you’re not careful, you can blow threw an entire day before you know it. No place is this more true than

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4 Reasons Why Waterfall Plunge Pools Can Hold Big Fish

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Waterfalls this size are pretty rare on small streams, but if you’re lucky enough to locate one, you could very well find yourself hooked up to one of the biggest trout in the stream. Here’s four reasons why I feel waterfalls plunge pools are great places to look for big trophy trout on small streams.

1. Lots of food gets washed over a waterfall, especially during high flows.
Large amounts of food (tiny fish, aquatic insects, crustaceans and amphibians) are constantly being swept over the falls. In many cases, it provides a steady enough stream of food, that big fish aren’t required to leave the plunge pool to fulfill their daily food requirements.

2. There are usually lots of hiding places to make big fish feel safe and allow them to survive for long periods.
During high flows, quite often fallen trees can float over the falls and get snagged; creating perfect log jams for big trout to hide in. The whitewater at the foot of the waterfall provides a protected roof, allowing trout to feed safely without being seen by predators. Constant water cresting the falls, creates a deep plunge pool overtime

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Forget The Wind: Tips for Fly Casting in the Wind

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By Louis Cahill

Fly casting in the wind is just fly casting…in the wind.

“Ok, so I’m in my ready position, and the wind is blowing on my right side…”

The question came from an angler at this year’s January Bonefish School. I didn’t need to hear any more of it.

“I’ll stop you right there,” I replied, “The answer is, stop thinking about the wind.”

I vividly remember being in that mindset. Freaked out about the wind, overthinking stuff that had nothing to do with getting the fly in front of the fish, rushing my cast and melting down on the bow. It’s a terrible feeling. I see other anglers give up completely, either on the bow or back at the lodge with a book. The fact is, is you are going to fish saltwater, you’re going to have to cast in the wind and the sooner you make piece with it, the more fish you’ll catch.

I get asked all the time how to cast in the wind. Maybe more than I get asked anything else. Here’s the answer. There’s a secret to casting a fly rod in the wind. From the looks I get when I tell folks, I’m guessing it’s a well kept secret. The secret is, you cast exactly like you cast when there’s no wind.

The techniques for casting a fly in the wind are exactly the same as casting on a calm day. The difference is that the wind does not forgive poor technique. Sure, there are some helpful tricks you can use, like a Belgian Cast when the wind is off your casting shoulder, but that’s specialized stuff and if you are struggling with the wind, it isn’t really an answer. If you are struggling with the fundamentals of the cast, advanced technique you haven’t practiced is’t going to help any more than striking a Bruce Lee pose in a bar fight. You’re likely just going to get your ass kicked extra hard.

The most helpful thing you can do on a windy day is forget about the wind.

For most anglers the problem isn’t that they don’t know how to cast in the wind, but when the wind blows, they forget hoe to cast. This is the voice of experience. I was in that camp for years. I remember when the light finally turned on. It was a revelation. Casting in the wind is just casting without losing your composure.

Disclaimer: If you don’t understand the fundamentals of the fly cast, well, you need to. You can’t Zen away ignorance. Start with The 5 Essentials Of A Good Fly Cast Revisited, and practice. For those of you who can make a nice cast when it’s calm but fall apart in the wind, here are some practice tips.


Don’t rush your cast

Most angler try to generate line speed in the wind by casting harder. Usually the first thing to suffer, or disappear all together, is the pause at the end of the stroke. Your fly line is weighted to load the rod. If you don’t let it straighten out, you can’t get a good load and you have no power in the cast.

Don’t drop your rod tip

The other effect of casting harder is usually dropping the rod tip. In an effort to make a longer stroke the rod tip comes off a straight line path, causing the line to crash down on the water and the leader to pile up.

Stop the rod hard and high

The stop at the end of the stroke is what forms the loop. Stopping the rod high and hard makes a tight energized loop that cuts the wind.

Keep the rod in the stopped position

Most anglers drop the rod too early on their presentation. In general,

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Use Birds to Quickly Locate Bait and Schools of Fish

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Certain times of the year in both freshwater and saltwater, anglers can use flocks of actively feeding birds to locate large concentrations of bait and fish.

This was the case during my recent fly fishing trip with Capt. Joel Dickey. First thing, early in the morning, we’d run a wide sweeping perimeter with the boat, as we searched for seagulls on the feed. Binoculars weren’t a necessity but they allowed us to be more efficient by eliminating large areas of water that would otherwise be too far off for the naked eye. Being patient, continuing to cover water, and keeping confidence were the key factors in us successfully locating feeding birds. Be prepared for it to take a little while some days. For us, each morning it took a little while to find the birds, but eventually things fell into place with each scouting attempt. As the sun begins to rise over the horizon, it creates a perfect contrast of light that turns seagulls a bright neon white. You’d be surprised how far off you can pick out feeding birds this time of day. Any birds you find on the water means there’s probably bait and fish near by, but when you find diving birds in good numbers, you know there’s a feeding frenzy in progress.

I’ve used birds many times in the past to locate schools of striped bass on my local reservoirs, but this saltwater trip was my first time using seagulls to locate tarpon. The seagulls and tarpon were feeding on a shrimp die off, that happens during the hottest times of the year in the evenings and at night. During these periods photosynthesis is not taking place, and with the lack of wind, oxygen levels in the water dropped below average. I have to say it was an adrenaline pumping way to fish for tarpon. We’d cruise in on plane and cut the engines at a safe distance, allowing us to coast in quietly to avoid alerting the feeding tarpon. Immediately following, Joel would jump on his platform and quickly pole us into the schools of rolling tarpon.

The key to getting bites was finding a rolling tarpon within casting range, and then firing a presentation quickly 3-5 feet in front of the tarpon. The hardest part for me

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My Grandfather’s Clinch Knot

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I’ll bet I’ve tied the Improved Clinch Knot more times than I’ve done any of those things. But I like to think that I pay more attention to my fishing knots than I do the knot in my shoe laces. When a long standing friend got into fly fishing and I started taking him out to show off a few of my favorite spots he was eager to learn everything about it. Including, of course, knots. Knots are one of those things that are handed down through oral tradition. These days you can go to YouTube and learn to tie any knot you want, but that’s not how I learned. Like most folks who have been fishing for a while I learned my knots from the guys I fished with, most importantly, my Grandfather. So when my friend Michael saw me tie my clinch knot, he saw me tie it the way my Grandfather had taught me. When I was done, he quizzed me, “how many wraps did you do?” “Six” I answered. “shouldn’t it be seven?”, he asked. “I’ve always done six” I replied “but I suppose seven is fine”. He was insistent, “the guy at the fly shop told me it has to be exactly seven”.

There is an awful lot of superstition in fly fishing, but some things do matter and it got me wondering. I told the story to my buddy Dan who is a notorious big fish magnet. Before I could even ask him for his opinion he said, “well you can tell him five works just fine too”. Five? I admit I was a little surprised. If Dan was landing his fish on five wraps why was I wasting time doing six? I tried and I was just not able to tie a clinch knot with five wraps. It just made me nervous. Why?

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Careful Where You Point That Thing

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Their vicious attack is almost unbelievable to watch. My buddy Andrew Bennett holds a nice one here for a sub-surface hero shot.

The Bahamians eat them. Barracuda are generally not edible because they eat poisonous reef fish and store the toxins. Eating one in the Florida Keys will kill you. The cuda that live on the flats can be safe, but it’s a risk. The Bahamians have a test.

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New Zero Sweep Packs and Boat Bags from Umpqua: Video

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The new Umpqua ZS-2 line of fly-fishing packs includes waterproof boat bags.

The Zero Sweep packs are filled with sweet features and focus on a smooth exterior that doesn’t catch fly line. The ZS-2 packs are awesome updates but the new Boat Bags are really exciting. These bags are well thought out and have every feature a professional guide is looking for.


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