Hopper Time: 6 Favorite Patterns

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By Louis Cahill

What time is it boys and girls? Time to fish hoppers!

I don’t know if there is any kind of trout fishing more rewarding than fishing hoppers. Big bugs and big splashy takes under sunny summer skies. It doesn’t get much better than that. I’m headed west in a few days and it has me looking over my terrestrial box for the usual suspects. With that in mind, I thought I’d share what I’m thinking.

Here are my current 6 favorite grasshopper patterns

Dave’s Hopper

I’m going old school for my first choice. I’ve been fishing this fly for as long as I can remember and it works as well today as it ever did. No space-age polymers in this baby but it sure gets eaten.

Reeces Beefcake Hopper

Where’s the beef? Right here. This spindly bug rides low in the water like the real thing and is tough as nails. It needs to be, ‘cause it gets chewed on.

Parachute Hopper

Another classic, but I have caught so many fish on this fly I can’t see taking it out of the rotation. It’s an easy pattern to tie as well.

Hog Caller Hopper

If this doesn’t get their attention, nothing will. A bright foam pattern that

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Getting A Grip On Fly Casting: Video

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Watch the Video!

No one grip is right for every casting situation.

In general, there isn’t enough said about grip in fly casting. I spent the first half of my life with a poor casting grip. I finally ran into a gentleman who helped me find a grip that worked for me but for years after that I never thought any more about it. When I started fishing in saltwater that trusty old grip failed me once again.

I got help again and straightened out my cast but it wasn’t until I met Tim Rajeff, and he explained to me how different grips work with different casting strokes, that I fully understood the mechanics of the casting grip. I now have technique and the knowledge about how and when to use it.

It’s made a huge difference in my casting, especially my accuracy. I also have much less trouble with casters elbow. It turned out I was causing myself a lot of pain by combining the wrong grip and casting stroke. It’s been so great for me, I asked Tim to share this quick tip in a video. It helped me become a better caster and I know it will help you.

Watch the video and get a grip on your fly casting!

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6 Proven Winter Dry Fly Patterns

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Nothing allows me to forget about the cold temperatures of winter quicker, than spotting the surface rings from trout feeding on Midges or Blue Winged Olives. It’s not an everyday occurrence by any means, but when it happens, it feels like someone turns the heat up a few notches, and I’m instantly warmed head to toe. When we think about hitting trout water during the winter months, most of us don’t typically think about fishing dry flies. It’s true that day in and day out, most anglers will find their nymphs and streamers to be much more productive, but every once in a while, when luck is on our side, we can find ourselves smack dab in the middle of a winter hatch, with trout rising all around us. It’s during these special two hour windows of trout fishing, that the winter can provide us some of the most rewarding catches of the year. That is, of course, if we decided to bet against the odds, and pack our dry fly box.

I’ll gladly give up catching numbers of fish during the winter, in exchange for taking a handful of fish on the surface with tiny dry flies. The trout don’t even have to be all that big either. They just need to give me a pretty rise and tug my line a few good times. I guess a lot of it has to do with the fact that I believe hatches in the dead of winter, are like rare gifts handed down from above. Gifts that should always be full appreciated by the fly angler, otherwise they may decide to not show up again until spring. Late morning through the afternoon is the time of the day when I find midge and blue winged olive hatches to appear the most, and it’s often the bitter cold days with drizzling rain or snow flurries when the hatch decides to show up. Below are six proven winter dry flies and emergers that have served me well over the years. All you need to do is downsize your tippet and rig them up, with a standard dry fly/dropper rig.

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Does Fly Line Color Make A Difference?

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By Louis Cahill Why do you need a bright colored fly line and does it spook fish? A reader asked for an opinion on this and that’s what you’re going to get. My opinion. This is one of those hotly contested arguments that anglers can’t seem to agree on and my saying one thing or another isn’t going to settle it. I do have strong opinions on the subject, so since you asked, here they are. The color of your fly line doesn’t matter, until it does. For most fly fishing, if you’re doing things well the color of your line doesn’t matter any more than the color of your eyes. There are, however, times when it can make a difference and the difference may not always be what you think. When I make a purposeful choice on line color, it’s usually not to keep the fish from seeing it. What doesn’t matter Assuming for the moment that we are talking about trout fishing, if you are thinking that you are being stealthy by using a dull colored line, you’re coming at things from the wrong angle. If you are putting your line over the fish, it doesn’t matter what color it is. Fish are very attune to shadow and movement. If your fly line passes over them while casting, they will see the shadow of the line, even if it’s clear. The same goes for motion. Color doesn’t matter. If you are floating the line over them, on the surface of the water, things are worse. They now see the depression of the water’s surface as well as shadow and motion. Sure, they can see that a bright orange line is orange and a green line is green but they will find neither acceptable. The bottom line is, if … Continue reading

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Spotting Big Trout in all the Wrong Places

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I’m talking about water that is less than a foot deep that even veteran anglers would regularly walk by without fishing. The other day guiding I spotted a huge hooked jaw male rainbow pushing 30 inches. It was sitting in plain view on a gravel bar in six inches of water hugged up against the edge of a rhododendron. My partner and I watched the fish feeding regularly for about five minutes, while we planned out our spot and stock. I had seen big fish laying in this shallow gravel bar in the past many times, but nothing this size. Here’s the ironic part, right before we had approached the spot I had just explained how important it was to scan the water, even ridiculous looking shallow water before making a cast in the chances we might spot a big fish.

Heavily pressured fish are smart and often sneaky. I truly believe big trout will often search out under pressured water that anglers tend to overlook to stay off the radar. Doing this keeps them from getting harassed by 90% of fly fishermen. Next time your fishing heavily pressured trout water that holds big fish and the water is clear enough to sight-fish, don’t make the mistake of

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Fly Casting Tip: Don’t Ride the Brakes During Your Casting Stroke

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Are you finding that you’re lacking distance and falling short of your target with your fly casting? Is your power and line speed insufficient? If the answer is yes, I bet you’re also getting a fair amount of tailing loops or dreaded wind knots aren’t you? Come on, be honest. There’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of if you’re periodically falling into this category with your fly casting. Believe me when I say, you’re not at all alone. I see it regularly on the water guiding, and most of the time anglers struggling with these problems usually are only doing one thing wrong with their fly casting. Nine times out of ten, in this scenario, anglers are decelerating their fly rod during their forward cast, back cast, or even both, in some cases. What you need to be doing to fix this problem is smoothly accelerating your fly rod during your casting stroke, making sure you’re stopping the rod at it’s fastest point. This will allow your fly rod to distribute the energy loaded during your cast efficiently, and you’ll have plenty of power (line speed) to reach your targets. Deceleration During Your Casting Stroke:  Short Story & Case Study This past fall I was fishing big attractor dry flies with a client of mine. There were plenty of big fish willing to rise to our offerings, but to get them to eat, we had to stay far back and make long casts to them. Otherwise they’d spot us and spook. My client, a capable fly fisherman with strengths in short presentations and roll casts, developed a weakness for distance, when a head wind picked up. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get the distance needed to present his dry fly ahead of the fish. Several minutes we … Continue reading

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2 Scenarios For Greasing Your Leader

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Sometimes a little grease goes a long way.

1. Fishing with Tiny Dry Flies
Many anglers out there shy away from fishing tiny dry flies because they find it difficult to see them and keep them floating during their drifts. Greasing the length of your leader with fly floatant can help your tiny dries float longer and make them easier to see on the water. A good scenario for this would be if you’re fishing a CDC pattern where you don’t apply floatant directly to the fly pattern. By greasing your leader you’ll increase the floatation of your pattern and it will stay afloat longer in more turbulent water.

2. Drifting Nymphs & Emergers in the Film
If you find the standard dry fly dropper rig is failing to get the attention of feeding fish during a hatch, try instead tying on a single emerger or nymph  pattern that imitates the aquatic insects hatching. Then grease your leader from the butt section to within 6″ of your fly. This will allow your fly to drift in or slightly below the surface film where

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Rob Smith’s Musky Sucker

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Rob Smith is nothing, if not colorful so when I asked him to tie a fly for my readers I expected something bodacious, and I got it! Rob likes his fish the way he likes his mustache, big and scary. He’s our local authority on striped bass and musky. When it comes to putting pounds of fish in the net, Rob has you covered. This fly has been a proven producer for musky. It imitates the suckers that are prevalent in musky rivers. It’s a beefy fly and you’ll need to eat your Wheaties to throw it, but you’ll like the results. Check out the video! http://youtu.be/rwAGO-dJiJ4 I’d like to say thanks to the guys at The Fish Hawk for helping out and sharing their favorite flies. We’re lucky to have such a great fly shop and such a knowledgeable staff.   Come fish with us in the Bahamas! Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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It’s All In The Wrist

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Watch the Video!

If you’re confused about how to use your wrist for a better fly cast, you’re not alone.

Plenty of anglers have been told not to use their wrist when they cast. The truth is, you cant make a good cast without using your wrist. It’s all in how you use the wrist and when. Knowing how to apply power successfully, using your wrist, will take your casting to a whole new level.


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Making a Living on the Flats

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By Owen Plair

Lately it seems that everyone thinks guiding is the dream job.

Every day someone who likes to fish buys a brand new boat, pays for a website, posts fish pictures on Instagram, and calls themselves one of the top guides in the area. They usually have a full time job doing something else. From Internet videos and social media, people think guiding is all glory, easy, and something anyone can do. You have to start somewhere but you cannot create a career with a fancy boat, a website and some good photos on Instagram. You make a career with experience on the water and by sharing with anglers your passion, experience, and knowledge of your fishery. Many people soon find that guiding is not for them, which is why guides are a select few.

“You are living the dream.” I hear that all the time, or “You have the best job in the world,” or even better, “You have the easiest job!”

There are so many people who think that being a fishing guide is the easiest way to make money and the dream job. Some people even have the audacity to say its not a real job… That’s like saying being a doctor isn’t a real job. Yes, it’s an amazing feeling creating a career in something you are passionate about, but it is far from easy, and always work. Imagine poling a skiff or rowing a drift boat 8 hours a day, 200 days a year. That physical labor is the easiest part of the business. That should give you a taste of just how much is involved with being a full time guide.

If you really like fishing and own a boat you could be a guide, right?

Not even close to true.

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