Get Slinky With Your Indicator

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By Johnny Spillane

I like to use it when fish are in shallow water or they are suspended close to the surface in deep water but not feeding on the surface. Typically, I like to use some sort of dry dropper rig in this situation, but if the fish are being picky and ignoring the flies, it might be because of the larger dry fly used to support the nymphs. They have been seeing that stuff all summer.

Removing it can be a big help, but then you’re stuck with the problem of detecting the strike. A slinky indicator is perfect for that situation. It’s easy for fishermen to see, detects even the subtlest strikes and is very difficult for the fish to see. There is no splash when it hits the water so you can get it in fairly close to fish without spooking them and if you grease it with mucilin it actually floats really well and will support a moderately sized dropper. There are countless other ways to use this rig but this is where I have found it to be the most effective for me.

In order to build the indicator, you’ll need a few things. An empty Bic pen case or something similar, duct tape, 15lb high visibility monofilament and some boiling water.

Cut a two foot section of the mono and tape one end to the pen case leaving a 6- to 8-inch tag and then tightly wrap the mono around the pen 8-15 times depending on how long you want your slinky indicator to be.

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Make Your Next (Or First) Rod Build Epic!

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There’s no doubt that Swift Fly Fishing and Epic Fly Rods have made fiberglass sexy again. For years, they have been pumping out high performance fast-glass and getting their Studio Built bendy sticks into the hands of anglers around the world. What’s even more awesome, Swift also offers all of their blanks in their well-appointed Ready To Wrap rod building kits. Each Ready To Wrap kit includes EVERYTHING you need, from the blank to the fighting butt, to build a quality fiberglass fly rod that is sure to put a big ‘ol smile on your face! There is no hunting for supplies or guess work involved. Simply open the box and follow Epic’s detailed 42-page Instruction Manual. They make it super easy, and even more enjoyable! This week I will begin my third Epic Ready To Wrap build with the 370 Olive blank. I will be posting updates of the build on our social media accounts throughout the build, and, on December 24th, one of you lucky anglers will win a Ready To Wrap kit of your choice!

How To Win:

Head over to Instagram and check out today’s post on @ginkandgasoline and hit that “Like” button!

Follow @ginkandgasoline and @swiftflyfishing on Instragram!

Tag three of your fishiest friends!

That’s it! On Decemeber 24th, we will draw a winner at random! It’s like getting an extra, badass Christmas present! Be sure to follow along during the build process as I wrap up my new small stream bug slinger!

In the meantime, be sure to check out these Epic Ready To Wrap kits and more over at! Use code “G&G10” for 10% OFF any purchase throughout the duration of this giveaway! 

Good Luck!

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G&G 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

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By Alice Tesar and Justin Pickett

If you are shopping for a fly fisher this year, G&G is your elf on the shelf.


RiverSmith River Quiver

New to the scene, the award winning RiverSmith River Quiver is the piece of equipment that just about every angler would love to see mounted to the top of their adventure vehicle. Built in the USA by a group of passionate fly anglers, the River Quiver delivers the quality and protection you demand. Offered in “2 Banger” and “4 Banger” configurations (or double up for the Octo Banger!), you’ll have room for the rods you actually need, and also for the ones you don’t. Each system carries rods up to ten feet in length, has the space to accommodate most rigs up to an 11wt, and offers security features to keep your precious gear out of the hands of would be tackle terrorists!

Simms Midstream Vest/Jacket

I’ve been impressed with the Simms insulated gear as of late. The Fall Run and the Downstream jackets are favorites of mine. This year Simms stepped things up with the Midstream insulated vest and jacket, in both men’s and women’s sizes. These mid layers offer the high performance of Primaloft Gold which keeps you nice a toasty on those frosty mornings. Despite the big performance, the Midstream vest offer the angler all of the warmth and comfort that we demand, without the bulk that you might expect.

Simms River Camo

Simms teamed up with the gurus over at Veil Camo and entered into the world of camouflage with their new River Camo. Simms didn’t just pick a pattern out of a bunch of swatches because it looked cool though. There’s a ton of science behind this cutting edge camo pattern, which is specifically designed based on how fish are able to perceive shape and color. River Camo’s ability to distort the angler’s silhouette and obscure movement will help you get closer to your next big catch! Simms offers their new camo in their G3 Guide waders and Bulkley jacket, as well as several shirts, mid-layers, hats, and accessories, so you’ll be covered for all of your covert fishing needs!

Simms Riverbank Chukka Boot

The fully waterproof, fleece lined Simms Riverbank Chukka Boot will keep you dry around the yard or on the boat. Slip on style and non-marking soles make it ideal for good boat etiquette.  

Patagonia Tuff Puff Hoody 

Extremely durable, available in men and women cuts, and made for layering in the coldest months of the year, the Patagonia Tuff Puff Hoody is the perfect gift. Elastic cuffs that are DWR coated, tool attachment points, and 2-low profile pockets the size of fly boxes make any angler will feel at home in this layer. 

Patagonia Middle Fork Packable Waders

For the minimalist in your family. High-tech meets low weight, at 26oz these waders pack down to the size of a water bottle. H2No® Performance Standard fabric with a waterproof/breathable barrier and a DWR finish makes icy high alpine lakes bearable for hours longer than your wool socks and hiking boots do.

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Sunday Classic / Friends Don’t Let Friends Fish Muds

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The sky is a perfect robin’s egg blue. Reflections of the morning sun dance on the underside on the mangroves giving the bright green leaves an unnatural glow. A breath of breeze cools my face in contrast to the warm sun on my back. Sixty or seventy yards in front of the boat there is a small school of nice size bonefish moving our way along the edge of the mangroves. It is a perfect morning on South Andros.

This flat is called Dodum. Dodum flat is a large white sand flat adjacent to the ocean at the mouth of Dodum Creek. The sand of the flat is as perfect as fresh snow and the water is a uniform depth of one to four feet depending on the tide. With the tide out, it’s a great wade and with it in, you can spend a whole day poling a boat around it. Dodum is big. Picture a Wal-Mart. Now picture the piece of land a Wal-Mart sits on, parking lot and loading docks included. Dodum is five times that size.

The tide is just beginning to fall and Captain Freddy is poling Kent and me along the mangroves at the edge of the flat. We are picking up fish as they come out of the mangroves with the tide. They are nice fish, averaging five or six pounds and there are plenty of them. We’re putting good numbers on the board early.

This is Kent’s first trip to South Andros. It’s my favorite place in the world to fish and he’s listened to me go on about it for countless hours. It’s our third day of fishing and, though the fishing has been good, Kent has yet to have one of those South Andros ‘magic days’. Almost anyone who has fished this place knows what I’m talking about. When the stars line up, things happen on South Andros that make your friends call you a liar.

Though Kent and I fish together all the time and have made some truly epic trips together, it just hasn’t worked out for us to make this trip. I’ve lost count of the days I’ve spent on Andros, but for me this trip is special. This time I get to show my best fishing buddy my favorite water in the world. Any fish I catch is a surplus to my excitement. Watching Kent, a look of child-like wonder on his face, soak in the beauty of this place and feel the power of these fish, that’s what I’m here for.

“You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille,” Freddy bursts into song as

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Saturday Shoutout / The Art Fly Tying

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Hugo Harlin is a 24 year old Swedish fly tyer, and a straight up artist.

It was just four years ago that Hugo saw an article in a magazine on tying a marabou streamer. He dug his fathers old tying kit out of the attic and began what would be a life long passion. Now, when he isn’t studying physics and engineering, he spend his time crafting some of the most beautiful flies you are likely to see. Some of them get fished, and some are purely works of art.

Take a few moments to check out Hugo’s creations, or maybe order one of your own.


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The Orvis Pro Vest: Video

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The fishing vest is not dead!

A lot of anglers, including competition anglers, are fishing in vests rather than packs these days. Today’s fishing vests look and perform very differently from the old school vests we saw on the water for decades. New vests are high tech and feature-rich.

That’s certainly a fair description of the new Pro Vest from Orvis. The Pro Vest has some classic features you’ll recognize and some new features you’ll enjoy. 


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Starting Fly Tying Season Off Right

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By Bob Reece

While some people tie flies year round, the majority of fly tying in the Northern hemisphere takes place during the winter months. As the chill builds in the air, we move into this time of year filled with hours spent behind the vise and a building anticipation of next season’s adventures. The following are four tips to consider as you move forward into another spell of spinning up bugs.

Dedicated Work Area

If at all possible, set aside a dedicated work area for your tying. Having a platform where your supplies can be stored, organized and left out saves immense amounts of time. Without this, tying time is lost to transporting, setting up and putting away tying tools and materials. With a dedicated work space, creation can begin as soon as you sit down. If needed, patterns can be left partially completed in the vise until your return.

Deep Clean and Donate

As years pass, the drawers, cabinets and other storage compartments for your fly tying materials can turn into matted dungeons of unused creative goods. Prior to getting behind the vise this year, pull all of your materials out of their storage areas. Inventory, sort and organize the supplies that you’ll be using this year. The inventory will help with the next tip below. Sorting and organizing will help you increase your efficiency, resulting in more bugs tied. Set aside those materials that you know you’ll never use and donate them to a good cause!Organizations like Project Healing Waters, community fly tying classes and fly fishing clubs at your local schools will be happy to put those supplies to use.

Material Orders

A new year of tying often brings with it the need or “need” for new tying materials and

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The Magic of Soft Hackles

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Like the shark, the soft hackle is one of the oldest of its ilk, and like those ancient predators, it has evolved very little from its inception. Like the shark, it is a deadly design that could not be improved upon. Take, for example, the Kebari flies used by tenkara anglers for hundreds of years. Basically Soft Hackles with a reverse hackle. So effective, that traditional tenkara anglers only fish one pattern. Many modern fly anglers overlook traditional Soft Hackle patterns that are as effective today as ever.

There are two primary reasons for the effectiveness of the soft hackle. For starters, it’s the ultimate impressionistic pattern. It looks like almost everything on the aquatic menu. A fish who is looking for something specific is very likely to see it in a soft hackle. The second reason is, there’s just no wrong way to fish one. If you struggle with getting a drag free drift, a soft hackle is a very forgiving pattern. As long as it is in the water, it will produce fish.


As I said, there is no wrong way to fish these flies, but there are some proven tactics you can employ. For starters, dead drifting the fly as a nymph is never a bad plan. The Soft Hackle is as effective in this role as any pattern. That said, the dead drift does not take advantage of some of the pattern’s unique properties.

Perhaps the most common and most productive presentation for a Soft Hackle is the swing. The hackle has a tendency to trap an air bubble making the fly a natural emerger pattern. There are tying techniques, which I will go into, that enhance this effect. When fished deep and swung to the surface, the glowing air bubble inside the hackle is more than any trout can resist. One of my favorite ways to rig this pattern is to drop it about sixteen inches behind a Wooly Bugger with some weight in front of the Bugger. Drift the team deep through a run then lift them to the surface or quarter them down and across and let then swing and hold on.

When fishing from a boat, it’s very effective to cast a Soft Hackle straight across the current and retrieve it slowly, about four inches at strip. A hand-twist retrieve works well. This is also effective when teamed with a Bugger. Even more fun,

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Hammock Mount, The Ultimate Car Camping Accessory  

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The Hammock Mount let’s you camp anywhere in seconds flat.

I love sleeping outdoors. I love being on the water early. I love camping in my hammock on the bank of the river. I don’t always love the hassle of making all of that happen. Especially when I’m on the road, moving from place to place and trying to maximize my time on the water. The minute I saw the Hammock Mount, I knew it was the solution.

This clever piece of kit allows me to set camp anywhere I can park the truck, in just a few minutes. Just seconds to have my hammock ready to go. I don’t need a camp site. I don’t need level ground, or even trees. I just plug the Hammock Mount into the two inch receiver on my truck, fold out the support arms and I’m done. I can’t imagine an easier or faster way to camp.

It’s pretty simple to clip a tarp off to the roof rack and run a piece of parachute cord between the support arms for wet weather and an inflatable camping pad is great insulation from the cold. I’ll use one sleeping bag under my pad and another over me for a cozy nights sleep when temps are low. 

I still have easy access to gear inside the truck, even with my hammock set up. I can make coffee the night before and leave it in a thermos, waiting for me inside the hatch. It only takes a minute to take down and stow the whole setup before I hit the water. It’s so efficient, I’m tempted to sleep in my waders.

The hammock Mount is made by Mclean Metalworks in Seattle WA. They are a small and super friendly company with innovative ideas and great customer service. They make a

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Getting the Big Picture On Brook Trout

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By Jason Tucker

I recently read an article on brook trout, about what beautiful delicate gems they are. It’s true for a lot of us that brook trout are a small, colorful, feisty reward for a day’s fishing. They are often some of the smallest fish we seek. They normally live in the smallest streams and creeks, or in the headwaters of our trout streams where it is easier to step across than wade them. Yeah, we’ve heard of bigger fish in far off destinations, but surely these are the exception, fish that through a series of happy accidents go against the grain and get unusually large.

That would be a complete misconception, and the small fish that most of us see and catch, at least in the United States, are fish holding on at the margins of their range, in remnants of water barely suitable for their existence.

It is impossible to understand brook trout without fishing for them in their Canadian strongholds. The small, delicate looking gems we are used to seeing in the United States are only representative of one form of the species. It is a truly remarkable adaptation that extends their range far outside of what it could normally be, but it doesn’t fully represent the species.

Living in a small, headwaters-dwelling form has distinct ecological and evolutionary advantages, allowing them to hang on in areas that have generally become unsuitable for them. In effect, brook trout are superbly adapted to Ice Age cycles, in which their northern habitat becomes unlivable every ten thousand years or so due to encroaching glaciation. Brook trout colonize the leading edges of the glaciers, which have taken them south, all the way into the Smokey Mountains of northern Georgia, a place that is otherwise inhospitable for brook trout. When the glaciers retreat, remnant populations are left in the few waters that remain cold and clean enough to harbor them, usually high up on the mountains. These small stream trout are usually quite small themselves, rarely reaching a pound in weight, and often living only about three years.

Their prime range however, covers a vast area of Canadian Shield country that runs from western Ontario, Lake Superior in the south, on up to Hudson Bay in the north, across all of Quebec, and on east to Labrador. In this region

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