Sunday Classic / The Bite Of The Venomous Brown Trout Or, Stopping Fishfinger

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Perfect creatures born of virgin waters. Incapable of anything unclean. So, I wasn’t especially concerned the other day when a nice twenty-one inch male brown, from the Delaware, bit the ever living shit out of me.

I knew I was likely to get a piece of those gnarly teeth when I stuck my thumb in his mouth, but the fish was bleeding a little from the hook and I needed to pour a little Coke down him to stop it. (Yes, it works. Read more HERE) This fish surprised me though. He clamped down with a vengeance. I applied alcohol generously, internally of course, and forgot about it.

The truth is that fish, even pure wild trout, carry lots of things that are not so nice. Bacteria, parasites, man made pollutants. Many of them can cause the malady known as fishfinger. Known well by Alaska guides, fishfinger is the infection that sets in after an open wound is exposed to fish bacteria. It’s often a result of mishandling a knife while cleaning fish. It’s nasty stuff. Very unpleasant.

So, I wasn’t exactly surprised when I woke up in the middle of the night with my thumb bright red and throbbing. When I pressed it against my forefinger, blood spurted from the wound. I knew I had to do something fast or the next days fishing would be torture.

Fortunately, ever since my life-threatening brush with

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Saturday Shoutout / Beyond The Horizon

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Watch the video!

Fly-fishing changing the world.

Here’s a film I can’t wait to see. “Beyond the Horizon tells the story of Rankin Jackson’s struggle to provide for his family while trying to survive the push of drug running and ultimately how fly fishing revealed his road to redemption.” Real life and real fishing in Guanaja, Honduras.


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Bob Stays Out Late

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Bob isn’t a quitter, even when he should be. Maybe there will be a hex hatch…where’s my truck?

See more of Bob and the angling art of Andrea Larko on Etsy.

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A Backpack For All Your Adventures

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By Justin Pickett

Recently I’ve been toting my gear around in Fishpond’s Thunderhead Backpack.

It’s not something I carry on the water every day, but if I’m going to be far and away from my vehicle (or civilization) for a day or two, then it’s going with me. The Thunderhead’s ability to take a beating, carry a ton of necessary gear, and keep water out puts it high at the top of the list for me when it comes to my favorite pieces of gear. I’ve been so impressed with it, that I decided to take some time out of a recent day trip on the Flint River to do a quick on-the-water overview and review of this do-it-all, go anywhere pack!


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Listen to the Fish

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Sometimes all fly fisherman need to do to find success when their not having luck is slow down, and take the time to listen to the fish.

Trout can’t speak to us in words, but they do often provide us with subtle clues from their behavior that can help us catch them. That is, if we’re paying close enough attention to pick up on them. Not long ago, I was on the water guiding one of my favorite clients during an unusually cold early fall overcast day. A cold front had rolled in the night before and it had completely shut down all bug activity on the surface. There wasn’t so much as a single midge in the air, so we opted for drifting nymphs below the surface and began catching trout. As we broke for lunch, I noticed the clouds beginning to break up and the sun starting to find its way down to the ground in spots. Refueled, we headed up to a productive bend in the river to resume our fishing. As we crept down to the waters edge, I saw a large slurp from a big fish on the surface. It came at the tail-end of the bend, from a bath tub sized spot where the sun was shining down on the water. Both of us froze in total shock and amazement. It was the first surface activity we had seen all day and we waited with anticipation to see if the big fish would rise again. A few minutes went by with nothing. I scanned the water to see if I could see what the big fish had taken on the surface, but I saw no signs of food drifting in the current.

Convinced, the big fish rise was an omen, I snipped off the nymphs, added a couple feet of tippet and tied on a big black foam beetle. I handed the rod to my client and instructed him to quietly get into position and present the beetle slightly upstream of where the big fish rose. He obliged with a perfect cast and

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A Threaded Discussion: Video

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Watch the video!

by Bob Reece

What’s the best thread for fly tying?

One of the benefits of social media is its ability to open lines of communication. I frequently receive pictures of various fly patterns that people have tied. In tandem with these photos, I’m often asked for my thoughts on how to improve the quality of the shared pattern. My first point of emphasis usually lands on a thread related element.

In general, as the fly size decreases so should the diameter of the thread. This is essential knowledge for any tier that is looking to create a higher quality product. All threads are broken in to sizes ranges. The two most commonly referred to sizing categories are Aught and Denier.

Threads measured in the Aught range are best used for patterns that do not require smoothly built up thread bodies or other portions of the fly. This is due to the fact that these threads do not lay as flat when wraps are laid down. For this category a larger number signifies a smaller diameter thread. For example a 14/0 thread has a smaller diameter than an 8/0. Due to advancements in thread technology, even smaller diameter Aught threads can display exceptional strength.

In a turnabout with Denier threads, a larger measurement number signifies a thicker diameter thread. For example

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15 Tips For Effective Fly-Fishing From A Drift Boat

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It’s easy to become spoiled to fly-fishing from a drift boat.

A good drift boat is a perfect fly fishing machine. It offers anglers a tactical advantage over the fish in just about every situation. I’ve owned a drift boat for some time. Every time I hook my Adipose up behind the truck, I get a warm feeling. I might love that boat too much.

Still, I remember when all of my trout fishing was done on foot and I remember how alien the drift boat felt the first time I stepped aboard. I see it even now, when I invite new anglers out on the boat. I figured it was past time for me to do something about it.


Know your right from left

If you are not familiar with the terms, river-right and river-left, you may struggle with your guide’s instruction. River right and left are always oriented from the perspective of looking downstream. If you are looking downstream, river-right is to your right. If you are looking upstream, river-right is on your left.

Don’t cast over the boat

This seems obvious but I see anglers struggle with it all the time. There are times when you just have to adapt your casting to boat position and conditions. If you’re a right hand caster fishing from the front of the boat, to river right, you are going to have to make some accommodations. I prefer to present my fly with a back cast in this situation but there are other options, like a comb cast.

Whatever you do, resist the urge to cast over the boat. You will inevitably end up hooking someone. You might pull it off for a couple of casts, but soon you’ll get lazy or throw a bad loop or catch a gust of wind and there will be blood. Practice your back cast presentation. It will pay off.

Your water is downstream

Probably the most common mistake I see is anglers fishing

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Sunday Classic / Fly Fishing Bass: 5 Tips for Fishing Frog Patterns Around Grass

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Some of my most memorable days chasing bass on the fly have come from me spending the day popping and waking frog patterns along the surface. I grew up fishing for bass, and although trout fishing has stolen the majority of my fly fishing attention over the years, I’ve always held a special place in my heart for catching bass on the fly. I’ve got friends that don’t see the coolness in fly fishing for bass, but that’s because most of them haven’t put in enough time on the water to experience perfect fishing conditions, and witness the thrill of bass smashing their fly, cast after cast. Bass are amazingly acrobatic fish, and they provide more than enough pull and rod bend to justify fly fishing for them. If you haven’t explored this area of fly fishing, I highly recommend it.

The other day, Louis and I left our houses at 2:45 in the morning to drive across the Georgia State line, and fly fish for bass on Lake Guntersville. Louis was doing a shoot for a new bass lure company, and I was lucky enough to get invited to tag along. Normally, it would be a real challenge to drag me out of bed at this hour, but Lake Guntersville is considered one of the top bass fishing lakes in the entire country. More importantly, the lake is famous for its unbelievable frog fishing that generally starts in June, and runs through the summer months. Lake Guntersville hosts several professional bass tournaments throughout the year, and in 2014, it will host the most famous of all tournaments, The Bassmaster Classic.

During the tournaments on Lake Guntersville, it’s not uncommon for bass anglers to weigh-in five fish sacs, well over 35 pounds. That’s right, we’re talking about an average fish weight of over seven pounds. If that doesn’t get you excited about visiting Lake Guntersville, I suggest you get someone to check your pulse. The reason this lake can grow and sustain such large numbers of trophy bass, comes from the high fertility of its waters, and that’s provided by it being located in an interconnected series of flowing lakes. This feature provides a constant fresh supply of inflowing water and food throughout the entire lake chain, and Lake Guntersville happens to lie smack dab in the middle.

In June, Lake Guntersville is completely transformed, as large areas of the lake are taken over by aquatic vegetation (hydrilla and milfoil) growing to the surface. So much in fact, that it’s not uncommon to find your self fishing the lake where there’s more grass than open water. Bass fisherman come from all over the country to cast their frog and rat patterns around the grass mats to coax bass into crushing them. This was exactly my plan with Louis for our day on Lake Guntersville. Unfortunately, the unusually cold nights of April and May had the grass behind schedule. We were still able to find grass and catch some good bass on our frog patterns, but the frog bite was nothing like it’s going to be in a month from now. For those of you interested in getting in on this amazing grass bite on Guntersville or any other reservoir that has good grass concentrations during the summer, I’ve provided five tips below that should help you increase your success.

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Saturday Shoutout / Catching Moments

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Watch the Video!

Great trips are not just about hooking the fish. It’s the times in-between that make the experience.

This video, from orvis, focuses on the photography and storytelling of Becca Skinner. Take a trip into the backcountry with Becca and friends for some good times, great fishing and the catching of moments.


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Bob Heads Downstream

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See more of Bob and the art of Andrea Larko on Etsy.

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