Why Gink And Gasoline?

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I get that question all the time, it’s time I answered it.

When my buddy Kent and I started Gink and Gasoline we were driving all   over the country chasing fish on the fly. Things were simpler then and a hell of a lot of fun. We were living out of my Subaru Forester, packed to the gils with camping and fishing gear. and about 200 CDs. One of those CDs was “Dirt Track Date” by the band Southern Culture on the Skids, who come from Chapel Hill, NC. Just down the road from where I grew up. They just sound like home to me and I wore that CD out.

One of my favorite songs on that record is “Fried Chicken and Gasoline.” It’s about being on the road for so long everything smells like fried chicken and gasoline. That song really captured what were doing, except the fundamental components of our enterprise were Gink and Gasoline. The name stuck.

We didn’t know it at the time but

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A Powerful Fly Cast Is All In The Thumb

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PICTURE YOURSELF GRASPING A BROOMSTICK AND DRIVING IN A TACK WITH YOUR THUMB.

I get the opportunity to work with a lot of anglers who are making the transition from freshwater fly fishing to saltwater. Not surprisingly, most of them struggle with generating the casting power needed to deliver a good presentation in the kind of wind often experienced in flats fishing. Almost everyone has the same pesky problem. They try to generate a more powerful cast and everything breaks down. The problem is not in their arm or elbow or wrist, but in their head.

It’s a problem of understanding the mechanics of the cast. It seems logical to think that more power in means more power out and I guess that’s true but there is a common misconception about where that power is coming from. Most anglers, when trying to add power to a cast, focus on the fly or the line. They visualize throwing that line to the target. The result is a casting stroke that resembles a pitcher throwing a baseball. Including the wind up in the worst cases.

This imagined model of throwing a static object puts all the wrong physics in play for a good fly cast. The resulting casting stroke relies too heavily on the arm and takes the rod out of play. Our instinct tells us to throw harder but the arm is a poor tool for throwing a fly line and our cast fails. The answer to a powerful fly cast is timing and technique, not power.

I’m going to give you a simple tool to help generate a powerful cast but first let’s look at the mechanics.
The fly cast is all about the transfer of energy

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Streamer Fishing: Float Your Lane

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By Louis Cahill

When you are fishing streamers from a boat, how close should you be to the bank?

Ask a dozen anglers and you may get a dozen answers. The distance that works for me, might not work for you, but I’m going to share some thoughts that might help you decide for yourself where your lane is.

I’m just home from a great week of dorado fishing in Argentina. Dorado fishing is streamer fishing at it’s highest level and it’s incredibly challenging, both physically and mentally. It involves taking lots of long accurate casts. Well, that’s the conventional wisdom. I have my own thoughts about it and the group had some lively conversation on the topic. It really helped me focus in on what I think works. Not just for dorado, but for any streamer fishing.

The key to success is making good, accurate presentations to as many likely holding spots as possible. The more good presentations you make, the more likely you are to find that trophy fish who’s ready to eat. It’s a numbers game but with some qualifiers. They have to be good presentations and they have to be in the right spots. Most, but not all, of those spots are along the bank.

In general, when fishing streamers, you do not need to strip the fly all the way back to the boat. In fact, doing so is detrimental to your cause. There are of course some exceptions, but in those cases it’s worth asking if you are really fishing the bank. The structure of most trout rivers is such that the strike zone is in the first fifteen feet or so next to the bank. Once your fly is moving out of the holding water, it’s time to cast again.

What you want is to work that strike zone as efficiently as possible, hitting as many likely pockets as you can. That means dropping the fly against the bank, making six to ten strips, and hitting the next pocket. For every angler there is

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Small Stream Recon Part I

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By Jason Tucker

Small streams have always held a special place in my heart. 

For one thing, where I lived in the tip Northern Michigan, all we had was small streams, and lots of them. I cut my teeth on small streams. It was a long drive for me to fish bigger rivers like the Au Sable or Manistee, but small streams and creeks were always minutes away. Another reason I loved small streams was the solitude. When I fished even the main trunks of our small streams I often bumped into other anglers, or found bait fisherman camped out on holes. If I went into the headwaters or up the tributaries I found no one. What I also often found was better fishing- more fish and less educated. I often found even big fish feeding in the open in the middle of the day.

Once I started my blog, Fontinalis Rising, I got to know a lot of anglers from down state who often asked me where to go or how I knew about these spots. I began to realize the value of being a local. By living in the same area for thirty years I had amassed quite a catalog of small streams and access points that weren’t apparent to the casual observer. I had spent most of those years hunting, fishing, foraging, and exchanging surreptitious tips with other locals. I didn’t realize how hard it was for someone from outside the area to find any decent water at all to fish. In later years I would have these same frustrations in my own travels to Canada and even Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. But over the years I developed a series of strategies for finding new and excellent water to fish, sight unseen, and having success. Here goes.

State Fisheries Agencies Maps and Websites

Before the internet became practical to use from home, much less from your phone, Michigan’s DNR published a trout fishing guide for the entire state that included color coded maps of all the known trout waters in the state. I found a lot of fishing spots using this. The default color for general regulation streams was green, and often it was the headwaters and small tributaries that were etched out in green. I spent some time on special regulation sections, but it seemed that every time I fished the “green” streams, I caught more fish, saw fewer people, and had more fun.

This map and guide is no longer in print because it is available on the internet. I still have a print copy from fifteen years ago which is very useful when I’m in the many areas of the state that still lack cell service. Georgia has a print map that outlines all the trout streams in the state.

With the advent of advanced mapping applications on the internet and cellphones there are even more powerful tools available.

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Sunday Classic / Don’t Throw The Hail Mary

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FISH, FISH EVERYWHERE AND NOT A FISH TO CATCH.

I was trout fishing with a friend in North Carolina the other day. We were fortunate to find a nice piece of water which held a good size pod of fish. Maybe a dozen total spread across the tail out. A couple of them were really nice fish. I called my buddy over and pointed them out to him, insisting he take a shot at them.

He’s fairly new to fly fishing and was a little intimidated by the sight of all those fish. He didn’t know exactly how to approach the situation. Option paralysis took over and he made a choice that I suspect a lot of anglers make in that situation. He dropped his fly upstream of the pod and hoped for the best.

Casting to the geometric center of a pod of fish is sometimes successful but never optimal. Often you spook the whole pod and walk away empty-handed. If you catch a fish it will likely be the small enthusiastic fellow darting around taking what he can get. The big guy is not going to move to your fly. He’s going to play it cool.

Any bird hunter will tell you, when you flush a covey of birds, you don’t fire into the group. You will only end up shooting

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Saturday Shoutotu / MOM: The Motivator

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Tomorrow, moms are having their day of appreciation.

IT IS SILLY TO THINK THAT ONE, SINGLE, SOLITARY DAY OUT OF THE YEAR IS SUFFICIENT ENOUGH TO THANK OUR MOMS FOR EVERYTHING THEY HAVE SACRIFICED TO ENSURE THAT WE GREW TO THE HUMANS WERE ARE ON THIS DAY. FROM COOKING MEALS TO FOLDING CLOTHES AND WIPING AWAY TEARS FROM “OUCHIES.” BASEBALL GAMES, BOY SCOUT OUTINGS, BIRTHDAY PARTIES…. YOU NAME IT, MOM WAS THERE COORDINATING CARPOOLS AND PLANNING TIRELESSLY TO MAKE SURE WE KIDS HAD EVERYTHING WE NEEDED. IF OUR MOTHERS WERE TO LIST ALL OF THEIR PRIORITIES ON A SHEET OF PAPER YOU WOULD FIND THAT THEIR OWN INTERESTS AND WELLBEING WOULD MORE THAN LIKELY BE LISTED SOMEWHERE ON THE VERY BOTTOM OF THAT PAGE, IF AT ALL.
MOMS SELFLESSLY GIVE THEIR ALL TO THEIR FAMILY 24/7/365 AND THOUGH NO TWO MOMS ARE THE SAME, YOU WILL OFTEN FIND THAT, AT THEIR CORE, THEY HOLD THE SAME PRIORITIES, VALUES, AND ASPIRATIONS FOR THEIR CHILDREN. OF COURSE MOTHER’S DAY IS MEANT FOR US TO SHOW OUR MOMS HOW THANKFUL AND FORTUNATE WE TO HAVE THEM IN OUR LIVES, BUT IT SHOULD ALSO BE ALL ABOUT MAKING SURE THAT, EVEN IF FOR JUST ONE DAY, MOM GETS TO PUT HERSELF FIRST ON THAT LIST OF PRIORITIES.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL THE MOMS OUT THERE! WE HOPE IT’S A GREAT ONE!

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Stacking Running Line For Better Spey Casting: Video

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How do you shoot a hundred feet of running line without a tangle?

It’s easier than it sounds. There’s a very specific technique for stacking running line when spey casting. When it’s done right, everything comes off without a hitch. If you are learning to cast two-hand rods, it’s a skill you’ll need to learn pretty quickly. It’s challenging to write about, so here’s a video, which should make it pretty clear.

WATCH THE VIDEO AND LEARN TO STACK LINE FOR BETTER SPEY CASTING.

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A Friend in Need

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Anyone who has fished at Bair’s Lodge, South Andros, will recognize Harland Sands.

To say that Harley is a character would be the hight of understatement. If you have spent a day on his boat, you likely remember two things. Catching a lot of bonefish and your sides hurting from laughing all day. There’s no such thing as a bad day on Harland’s boat.

Unfortunately, life off the boat is not so simple. The other day while Harley was on the water, his home, his car and his personal boat burned. Literally everything he and his family had, gone in moments. Luckily the family was not harmed. It’s been a tough year for the Sands family, having lost a son not long ago.

South Andros may be a tropical paradise, but life there is not easy. It can be especially rebuilding a home and replacing vehicles. Harland and his family face a hard, uphill battle. The community on South Andros is rallying to help and it’s time for the fly fishing community to do the same. Let’s face it, if we can afford to fly fish, we are truly blessed. Let’s show our true nature and help a friend in need.

Bair’s Lodge has started a Go Fund Me page and made a healthy donation to start. Please follow the link and help the Sands family rebuild. You’ll feel great about it, Harland and his family will know you care, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you banked some sweet fish karma in the process.

Thank you deeply for your support!

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Tom Rosenbauer’s 8 Tips to Becoming a Better Fly Fisher

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THERE ARE FEW GUYS OUT THERE SQUEEZING CORK WITH THE ANGLING CHOPS OF TOM ROSENBAUER.

Tom is the author of nearly two dozen books on fly fishing and too many articles to count. Add to that his podcast and posts on Orvis News and it’s fair to call him one of the leading educators in the field. Tom’s been an angler his whole life and was tying flies commercially when he was just fourteen. He has fished all over the world, including the English chalk streams, Christmas Island, and Kamchatka. He invented stuff you use every time you fly fish, like the magnetic net keeper and tungsten beads for fly tying.

Tom is now the Marketing Director for Orvis and a driving force in the rejuvenation of that great brand. A few people know that he also makes his own chocolate from the beans, which is incredibly technical not to mention amazingly delicious. He’s a hell of a nice guy and a good friend.

Tom has a lot to share on the subject of fly fishing so we asked him for some broad strokes. Some basic tips that will help you be a better and more satisfied angler. Here’s what he got back to us with.

Tom Rosenbauer’s 8 Tips To Becoming a Better Fly Fisher:

1. Observe everything. Look around every time you catch a fish and figure out why it was there and why it ate at that particular time. Look at the sun angle, the surrounding terrain, current threads in rivers, or highways on the flats.

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The Fusion Warrior

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If Lance Egan’s Rainbow Warrior and my Fusion hooked up and had a beautiful baby, what would it look like?  

Wyoming winters are long, really long.  These conditions can be challenging to endure, yet they provide ample time for creation behind the tying vise.  After posting a tying video for Lance Egan’s Rainbow Warrior I couldn’t help but wonder.  I was curious what a combination of my Fusion and his Warrior would look like.  

I’m a huge believer in the combination of a little flash and a lot buggy when it comes to nymph.  The combination of these two patterns fills that niche wonderfully.  The use of grey ostrich herl in the abdomen provides ample movement and a subtle veil to the flash of the underlying tinsel.  The application of the Rainbow Sow Scud dubbing provides mottled coloration and a soft hackle like movement when applied with a dubbing loop.  Tied on the Tiemco 2499BL in black, the pattern supports a significant gap that helps to increase the odds of hooking and holding fish.  

When fishing this pattern I use it as

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