Keeping a Buffer Between You and the Fish

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Most fly anglers would agree that success in fly fishing is often determined by how well they can stay out of sight from the astute fish their trying to catch. If your finned adversaries are able to put a bead on you (identify you as a threat), there’s a good chance they’re going to ignore your flies or even worse, run for cover. Your ability to maintain a small signature on the fish’s radar should always be high on your objective list when you’re on the water fishing. Failing to do so, you’re going to be setting yourself up for defeat before you even make your first cast. So make a point to keep a sufficient buffer between you and the fish when you’re working water, and it usually will yield you higher catch rates. There’s several variables anglers should look at and weigh-in to determine the size of the buffer they should maintain. Fast moving riffles (choppy water), freshly stocked fish, dingy water, overcast skies or fish positioned deep in the water column, are all variables that generally shrink the size of the buffer needed by anglers. Trout in these conditions usually feel relatively comfortable and safe, and therefore you can get away with moving in order to make precise presentations. On the other hand, if you’re dealing with flat water (slow moving or calm water), crystal clear water, wild educated fish or fish holding closer to the surface, anglers should keep as large of a buffer as they can, without losing their ability to execute a good presentation and drift. It’s important to note that I think presentation trumps the importance of a buffer altogether though. If you can’t get a good cast and presentation because you’re positioned too far away from the fish and or target zone, that … Continue reading

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Sunday Classic / Hold That Fish

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Here are a few tips on holding a fish for a photo. First and most important, always respect the fish. They are a precious resource and we want to release them in good condition. Hold the fish gently under the peck fins and by the tail. If you squeeze him he will panic and struggle. A gentle grip will make your fish and angler more relaxed for the photo. Keep him close to the water and drop his head under for a few breathes every 10 seconds or so. Fish start to fade when they are out of the water and this will keep his colors bright. Be sure all of his fins are nicely displayed and not held back against his body or under a hand. Lastly, most anglers will instinctively tail a fish with an overhand grip but an underhand grip covers less of the fish and looks better in a photo.   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Saturday Shoutout / Fat Guy Fly Fishing

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Fat Guy Fly Fishing I Wouldn’t Lie To These Guys About Steelhead, or Cake. “Her last words rang in my mind over and over. Like a mystic chant. Like the answer to a prayer as their car sped away.”   Funny, talented and completely out of their minds.  You’ll love Fat Guy Fly Fishing.   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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New Treatment for Casters Elbow

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Ok, it tennis elbow but it might as easily be casters elbow. If you’ve spent much time on the cork end of a fly rod you’ve felt that burning in the elbow. Probably while you were fighting a big fish. That’s when it usually gets me. This came up while fishing with a friend who like me plays guitar pretty regularly. When combined with a couple of days a week fishing it’s a recipe for pain and suffering. I did some research and came across a new gadget for the treatment of tennis elbow that’s pretty effective. It’s called Flex Bar. It would be tedious to explain how to use it but this video, although goofy as hell, gets it across. It’s pretty simple. You can buy one of these online for $15 or so but I made my own by cutting off a piece of a foam pool noodle from Wal-Mart. You have enough foam left over to tie some stupid big Chernobyls in crazy colors. If you do, please send photos.   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Keep your thirst quenched without the baggage

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It’s late spring and everyday we’re moving one step closer to summer. Air temperatures are climbing into the 70s and 80s on most days and will soon be even higher. These conditions make it extremely important that anglers are staying properly hydrated while they’re on the water fly fishing. I really enjoy hiking into remote locations to fly fish for trout. The only problem with me doing this, is I’m constantly fighting to quench my thirst and stay hydrated. I used to utilize packs with internal bladders for storing my drinking liquids, but there were quite a few disadvantages that came along with using them. First, when filled to full capacity, they become quite heavy and take a tole on your body lugging them around all day. Secondly, if you’re using them during the warm seasons and you’re doing some aggressive hiking and fishing, eventually that cold liquid you filled the bladder with in the morning will eventually warm up and end up tasting like bath water. Thirdly, internal bladder systems require maintenance and cleaning to keep them from building up bacteria and mold. Five years ago, I decided to ditch the internal bladder systems in exchange for a light weight water filtration bottle, and I’ve never looked back. Doing so, I eliminated the three negatives I mentioned above with using internal water bladders, and I no longer have to ration my water intake during the day. This product will keep you fresh during your time on the water and you’ll have far less fatigue when you return home. Katadyn Water Filtration Bottles       There are several companies in the outdoor industry that manufacture water filtration bottles. Before I bought mine I took the time to ask several of my fly fishing buddies who spend a lot of … Continue reading

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My Favorite Bonefish Reel

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Best of all it only cost $285 I remember standing on the beach at Andros South watching my buddy Bruce Chard teaching his annual bonefish school. Bruce was illustrating for a first timer what he should expect when he encountered a bonefish. He held the line and let the student feel how hard he should strip set, then he took off running down the beach a fast as he could. The student did a good job of clearing the line and getting Bruce on the reel but I’ll never forget the look on his face when Bruce turned and ran straight back toward him. He stood slack jawed, line piled up at his feet while Bruce and I laughed. That’s exactly what a bonefish will do to you. They can swim thirty miles per hour and at some point, as they go ballistic and criss cross the flat they’ll head straight for you. You had better be ready to pick up some line in a hurry. The first time it happened to me I struggled. My reel wouldn’t pick up the line and I resorted to stripping it in by hand. My guide told me to, “get rid of that trout reel.” Of course, it wasn’t a trout reel but it clearly wasn’t a bonefish reel either. The next time I went bonefishing I had to be better prepared. I knew I needed a reel with a really large arbor but didn’t relish the idea of dropping the cash on another new bonefish reel. Fortunately there was another solution. I had a Nautilus NV Ten-Eleven, a great salt water reel. I bought the Nautilus G-8 spool for it. The G stands for Giga. This spool turned my Ten-Eleven into a super large arbor eight. It’s a brilliant product. The spool … Continue reading

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Articulated Nymphs, All Hype or the Real Deal?

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If you pull any serious streamer fisherman aside and ask them to name their favorite streamer pattern, chances are the fly pattern will be articulated. Ask the same question instead to a serious nymph fisherman, and most will answer with names of nymphs that aren’t articulated. I agree you don’t have to fish articulated nymph patterns to catch trout, but I do find it a little odd that we aren’t seeing more of them in the spot light today. As far as I can tell, the concept has been around almost as long as articulated streamers have. The last couple of years I’ve started to incorporate articulation into my fly tying for many of my nymph patterns. Just about all of them have done very well for me on the water. In some cases, my articulated versions have caught trout 3 to 1 over the traditional non-articulated versions. You can’t tie all nymphs articulated because many fly patterns and species of aquatic micro-invertabrates are far too small. However, with some practice, most fly tiers will find it’s pretty easy to tie articulated nymph patterns as small as a standard size 16 nymph hook.        For the most of my fly fishing career, I thought the majority of aquatic nymphs were poor swimmers. I pictured them in my head spending most of their time drifting helplessly in the current incapable of generating enough propulsion to maneuver around. The fact is, most nymphs, particularly mayflies, are very good swimmers. Take a couple minutes to view these video links of aquatic insect larva swimming in the water, and it will blow your mind. After viewing these videos I think you’ll begin to understand how valuable articulated nymphs can be at imitating the movements of swimming nymphs. Leptophlebia Mayfly Nymph Isonychia Mayfly Nymph … Continue reading

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Not Just Anybody’s Saint Vrain

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“If you climb into the cab of that pickup with John you’ll find that where you wind up can, only in the most existential terms, be called a fishing trip.”   It’s about seven-thirty on a Saturday morning. It’s mid-September and the chilly Colorado air has coaxed a fair number of lookie-lous, headed up from Denver and Boulder to catch some fall color, into the Stone Cup Cafe on highway thirty-six in Lyons for a cup of hot coffee. A dozen or so of these plains dwellers are queued up like good little office workers waiting their turns when a lanky man in his seventies comes through the door. He is not, at once, remarkable. He’s wearing blue jeans, faded with a hole or two, cinched up with a belt to fit his slim frame. A fleece vest and sun-bleached hat frame an angular face that’s lined like a gazetteer. There is a little white feather tucked into his hat band, like Peter Pan. His white beard seems to pretty much have the run of his face. It’s had just enough grooming to suggest that there’s a woman involved somehow, but she’s learned to pick her battles. His bright blue eyes seem too young for the rest of him. He doesn’t dally. He has the stride of an experienced hiker who sets a pace and covers his allotted miles without complaint, his eye fixed on a distant peak. That peak, at this moment, being the coffee pot. This fellow may not have raised much attention from the morning crowd when he came through the door, but that quickly changes as he walks promptly past the line, around behind the counter and to the coffee machine where, seemingly unnoticed by the staff, he sets about pouring two cups of coffee. He … Continue reading

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Sunday’s Classic / The First Ten Seconds

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Chaos and panic are good words to describe what goes through many anglers heads during the first ten seconds following a big fish hookup. The decisions you make during those first seconds of the fight will often determine whether you or the fish wins the battle. There’s lots of ways to lose a big fish and sometimes it’s completely out of your control. But one of the worst decisions you can make, specifically when a fish is making a screaming run upstream or downstream of you, is deciding to stay put and not follow. When this happens you better be ready to kick it into high gear and move your ass fast in pursuit. Otherwise, you’ll quickly find yourself with no leverage to apply adequate power to fight and steer the fish. It’s like trying to drive a car on a curvy road without a steering wheel, it’s just not going to work. Big trout usually only have a couple really long hard runs. If you can stick with them during the blitzing runs and keep good tension, you’ll often find the hardest part of the fight is over with. After that it’s all about being patient and smart until you can bring the fish into the net. Most big fish are lost within the first ten seconds of the fight. Be smart and make the right decisions during those critical moments. That way you can claim victorious in the end. Keep it Reel, Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Saturday Shoutout / Keep an Eye on These Fly Tying Sites

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For this week’s Saturday shoutout I showcase a few fly tying sites that I think you should be keeping and eye on. Don Bastian For those of you who don’t know Don Bastian, he’s a exceptional fly tier with a deep love for wet flies. He wrote the book Tying Classic Wet Flies and also contributed to the infamous Forgotten Flies book. I stubbled upon his Blog the other day and I liked hearing that he’s began a long journey to showcase some of his favorite fly patterns with photos and tying recipes on his blog. You also will get to see a glimpse of what he’s up to when he’s on the water fly fishing. Don spends a considerable amount of time teaching the art of fly tying. Fly Tying Bug The Fly Tying Bug, is a community made up of world class fly tiers; commercial tiers, pro tiers, semi-pro tiers, and the novice who want to learn form the best this hobby can offer. This is a great place for anglers wanting to find good deals on fly tying materials, search fly pattern recipes, or communicate with professional fly tiers. Trout Nut The Trout Nut isn’t a website that offers photos and recipes for fly patterns. However, it happens to be the #1 website in my opinion for aquatic entomology. If you’re wanting to research specific species of aquatic insects and see tons of macro photos of the naturals to use in tying up realistic fly imitations, this is the place to go. Jason Neuswanger is the brain child behind the site but he has lots of help from friends and other contributors. Bookmark this site if you haven’t already. It’s a real keeper. Keep it Reel, Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter! … Continue reading

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