Hungry, Hungry Bonefish

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2 Great Videos!

One of the things that makes bonefish so much fun is their generous nature. When bonefish are feeding they are some motivated little dudes. If you can get a fly in front of them the odds are good that it will get eaten without a lot of scrutiny. This is not to say that’s always easy. Often the conditions make it nearly impossible. Making a sixty foot backhand cast, into thirty mile per hour wind, to a fish that’s booking across a flat, and changing direction unpredictably is plenty challenging. All I’m saying is that once you pull it off, the bonefish will likely reward you for your trouble. I was at the World Wide Sportsman in Islamorada the other day to pick up a few essentials. They have a big saltwater aquarium with all of the popular Keys sport fish represented. I arrived about five minutes before feeding time and the natives were getting restless. This little bonefish had himself whipped into a frenzy. Watch this video and you’ll see what I mean. Remember there is no food yet, he just knows it’s time and he’s losing his cool. All the other species of fish are chill but Mr. Bone is literally trying to get out of the tank and chase down some grub. Ok, that’s fun but it also tells you a lot about this fish and his eating habits. He’s ready to stick his face anywhere there’s food and he wants to be there first. A good lesson here, for example, is how to fish to a school of bonefish. The lead fish in a school will always be the biggest. He’s the one you want to catch, right? When you drop a fly in front of that school, this is the attitude your going to see … Continue reading

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Two Streamers Alaskan Guides Always Carry

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If you ever plan on visiting one of those famous Alaskan fishing operations like Alaska West or if you’re more the angler who rather prefers to do it yourself, I highly recommend tying up several of these two articulated streamer patterns before your trip. These guys never failed me on the Bristol Bay watersheds of Alaska, and you’ll be set no matter what time of the season you fish. We called the black and chartreuse head streamer the “The Green Headed Monster” and it would knock them dead early to mid-season. When you found the fish it would produce every cast with a steady swing downstream and across. What a big fish magnet this guy was. The second fly is a Flesh/Attractor streamer we dead drifted most of the time under a indicator but also we would swing it at the end of our drifts. It would produce big fish damn near anywhere mid-season on. There are lots of variations of this fly out there, this pattern was shown to me by retired alaskan guide, Sam Cornelius of Mission Creek Lodge. I nicknamed it the “Cornelius Special” out of respect. Sam was an exceptional guide and fly fisherman. Both of these flies are very easy to tie as long as you know how to wrap cross-cut zonker and marabou plumes forward like hackle. They’re articulated using 30lb. spider wire braided line. “Green Headed Monster” Articulated Streamer Hook: Gamakatsu Red Octopus – Size 4-6 Ultra Thread 280: Black (Body & Articulate Tail) Chartreuse (Head) Articulated Connection: Spider Wire 30lb. Doubled Over Body & Tail: Black Cross-Cut Rabbit (Zonker) wrapped forward followed by Black Marabou wrapped forward Head: Chartreuse Cactus Chenille Eyes: Red Dumbell Eyes “Cornelius Special” Flesh/Attractor Articulated Streamer Hook: TMC 8090 – Size 10 Ultra Thread 280: Fl. Pink Articulated Connection: Spider … Continue reading

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The Steelhead Bullet

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The Steelhead bullet is a controversial fly. Some people don’t even think it’s a fly at all because it’s tied on a jig head. You may be able to argue it’s pedigree, but you can’t argue with the results. On a recent steelhead trip we were faced with tough conditions. The water was high and stained and the temperatures were low and numbing. I spoke to my friend Rick Whorwood who had just fished out target water and he described the trip as a waist of time. This had me worried. Rick is a much better Spey fisherman than me and if it was tough for him, it was tough. I knew I’d need to be creative, so I decided to tie up some steelhead bullets. This fly gets down quick thanks to the 1/16 oz jig head and will produce fish nymphed under an indicator or on the swing. The bright color and great action are hard for a fish to resist. This 31″ steelhead couldn’t and she made my trip. Watch the video to learn how to tie this simple but effective pattern. It just might save your next trip.   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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A Gift for the Fly Tying Enthusiast Who has Everything

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I’m always looking for ways to make my fly tying more efficient so I can whip out a few more flies when I sit down at the tying bench. Sometimes the best ideas come from my friends and family who don’t even fly fish. I was completely surprised these holidays when my wonderful Mother-in-law handed me this magnetic parts tray to open up Christmas morning. What a brilliant idea on her part to find a way to help me keep track of my terminal tying materials and finished flies. God knows I spend a fair amount of time on my hands and knees searching for items falling off my tying bench. No more will I be constantly dropping my hooks, beads and other materials on the floor when I’m tying flies. For any fly shop owners out there that happen to see this, I recommend you pick some of these guys up and stack them next to the cash register. Keep it Reel, Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Snow Day

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This story originally appeared in Fly Fusion Magazine   Ice in my beard, fingers burning, I haven’t felt my feet for hours. I know from experience that it will be sometime around midnight, standing in my shower with the hot water running out, before I feel them again. My fingers are killing me, so I tuck my rod under my arm and work them into the fleece gator pulled up around my face. I’m a firm believer in global warming, but it’s a hard sell today. I have fished on some truly brutal days. Alaska in the fall, Maine at ice out in the spring. I fished in Colorado one day when it was ten below and I could watch the ice form around my boot freeze when I lifted it out of the water, but this day on the Nantahala river in the mountains of North Carolina may be the worst. You may scoff at this if you live somewhere like Wyoming or Michigan but if you’ve been here and seen it you know, when cold comes south, it comes holding a grudge. It’s about fifteen degrees at the truck. It feels colder on the water. The wind is howling and the snow has tapered off to flurries but what cuts right through the seven or eight layers I’m wearing is the humidity. It’s so humid that icicles form, right out of the air, on every surface that doesn’t have a constant source of heat. They hang grimly off of rods, and tree limbs, forceps and drying patches. I like days like this. I know that sounds crazy but any of the guys I fish with will tell you, the more miserable it is, the more I want to get at it. One reason is nobody else wants too. … Continue reading

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Sunday Classic / The Holy Moses

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That day on the White River in AR Kent and I saw the biggest trout either of us had ever seen. I’m not gonna say how big because you won’t believe me, but this is the fly Kent tied that night and that should give you and idea. Authors Note: That bottle of Stranahan’s Whiskey was better than half full when we started tying. Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Saturday Shoutout / The Best of Deneki

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Our Friends at Deneki Outdoors have put together their most popular bonefish posts for the last year.  Now that’s worth a read!   Deneki’s Top Bonefishing Posts of 2011   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Tie The White Tiger

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It was a windy day in November on the west side of South Andros. My buddy Bruce Chard had tied up a fly he called the White Tiger. It was big and gaudy and orange and every time it hit the water the bonefish went crazy. We stuck so many big bones that day it was silly so when we got back to the lodge I asked Bruce to tie the White Tiger for a video. If your going bone fishing don’t go without a White Tiger. Check it out.   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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The Fish That Took Three Anglers to Land

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  I’ll never forget the epic battle that took place between three anglers and a trophy salmonid one freezing December morning in 2010. I was having the time of my life on a steelhead fishing trip with my great friends Louis Cahill and Murphy Kane. We had made the long drive up from Georgia to chase after Great Lake steelhead for a week. Many of the rivers that feed into the Great Lakes hold huge numbers of salmon, steelhead and brown trout. Unfortunately those large concentrations of fish also attract every fishermen within a 100 plus square mile radius. We all agreed we couldn’t handle putting up with shoulder to shoulder fishing conditions, so we came up with a strategic plan to avoid it at all costs. Our strategy was simple, watch the extended weather forecast, and try to plan our trip around the nastiest weather we could find. This way, angler traffic would be at its lowest and we’d hopefully have plenty of water to ourselves. A week later I got the call from Murphy that a huge snow storm was rolling in, and we all immediately needed to pack our gear and hit the road. It ended up being one hell of an adventure just making the trip up there. We had to drive in snow and ice conditions from North Carolina all the way up to New York. I’ve never in my life seen so many wrecks and vehicles sliding off the road. I’ll tell you one thing, it wasn’t easy driving on snow covered roads with sheer drop offs on both sides, and having to guess where your lane begins and ends for hours on end. If that’s not bad enough, then add to that having to safely pass eighteen wheelers that are throwing up blankets … Continue reading

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Kent’s eight weight is bent double, the big steelhead finally within range of the net. We’re in a tough spot. This fish has taken us downstream as far as we can go. We’re backed up against a bridge with a deep hole on one side and a concrete wall on the other. Kent has managed to bring this big fish back upstream and whatever happens is going to happen here and now. The temperature is about zero and the wind is howling. My numb fingers grip the net and I lean forward, waiting for my shot. The fish’s head comes up and I scoop. Holy crap it’s a big fish! Less than half the fish is in the net and I’m losing him. Only one thing to do, I plunge my right hand into the water and tail the fish. He’s landed but my fleece glove is soaked. We manage the fish and I get a few photos but my right hand, now out of the glove, feels like it’s on fire. By the time I get my glove out of my pocket it’s a block of ice. If I hadn’t brought a second pair my day would be over. I’d have frostbite in minutes without a glove on that wet hand. OK, that’s a happy ending. We landed the fish and I had spare gloves, but let’s look at it from the fishes perspective. The fish is like that bare hand. He’s wet and exposed, out in that cold wind. What’s worse is that a fish is cold blooded. He doesn’t have an internal source of heat like I do. The only thing keeping him warm is that water. Have you ever noticed how fast your guides freeze over on a day like that? That fish has little more … Continue reading

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