Douse The Flash

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All waterproof point and shoot cameras have a built-in flash, but is it your friend? Well, sometimes. I’m a big believer in fill flash and use it a lot myself but when the camera drops below the surface of the water it can be a liability. When pros use flash under water the they take the flash off to the side, well off the lens axis, and trigger it remotely. It’s a great technique and works well but it’s impossible to pull off with a point and shoot. Here’s the problem with having your flash on the camera. It’s remarkable how much stuff is in water that looks gin clear to the eye. If the water has any visible matter in it it’s going to look ten times worse to the camera. When you set off a flash that’s too close to the lens you light up all of that stuff in the water. Because the trash between you and the subject is closer to the flash than your subject, it’s much brighter. The result is that you see your subject through a cloud of bright white trash. Underwater photography is cool and best of all it’s easier on the fish. Have fun with it, but start by turning off that flash. I think you’ll like the results.     Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Nymph Fishing, There’s Nothing Wrong With It

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It seems like every where I look, I see blog posts all over the place chastising and bad mouthing nymph fishing. I hear comments claiming nymph fishing is nothing more than mindless fly fishing. That watching indicators floating down the river all day is boring. So let me ask you this, does it make since to instead fish a dry fly if your chances of catching fish are slim to none? To me, that’s what’s boring and ridiculous. My objective on the water is always to decipher what the fish are predominantly feeding on, and then fish the appropriate rig and fly that allows me to imitate it to my best ability. Whether or not the fly pattern is a wet or dry fly has no bearing to me at all. All that matters is that it’s the right choice for the moment. To frown upon nymph fishing and purposely avoid it, even when it’s obvious it’s an anglers best bet for success, is like a golfer choosing to putt with a driver instead of a putter. It will work but it’s obviously not the best gear choice. We don’t go through life purposely choosing to take the most difficult path in the off chance we’ll find success. Just as in fly fishing, it doesn’t make any sense to fish one method of fly fishing over another just because it feels more pleasing to the soul. I can stomach doing it every now and then, but to ignore fish behavior and throw away my adaptive fishing tactics, just because I dislike nymph fishing or any other method, seems to go against all the teachings that our fly fishing pioneers have worked so hard to pass down to all of us. It doesn’t matter what type of fly pattern your fishing, … Continue reading

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Crazy Water on the Dean

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You will be reading more in the coming weeks about my trip to British Columbia to fish the Dean River. In every post I will likely mention the tough fishing conditions. In order for you to really understand what I mean by “tough fishing conditions” I put together this little video. I have never seen a river so crazy high. The fact that we fished the very next day and the fact that we caught fish that week is a testament to what a truly remarkable river the Dean is. I can’t wait to go back but I hope I have better conditions. Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!

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Save Your Fingers Fly Fishing – Use Lycra Finger Sleeves

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Today’s the day for a big fish. It’s perfect streamer fishing conditions with overcast skies and there’s been lots of aggressive fish. I’m pounding the banks with my favorite streamer for thirty minutes when I notice the grit on my fly line is starting to agitate my fingers. The fly line feels like it’s coated in fine sandpaper from the silt and grit it’s picking up from the floorboard of the drift boat. I tough it out for another half hour, telling myself, be a man dude, but every fast paced jerk-strip retrieve has my fingers getting beat up even more. The fact that I’ve yet to land a fish only magnifies my discomfort. I’m willing to put up with the sore fingers if there’s a reward every once in a while but that’s not happening today, and I’m seriously considering yelling uncle and manning the oars. Then there was my last saltwater fly fishing trip where I had botched two strip sets on tarpon back to back failing to get satisfactory hook penetration. My guide and partner both sighed in total disappointment, as I missed two perfect fish opportunities. I asked for forgiveness and promised them that my next eat would end in a perfect execution. An hour later my shot arrives. I present my fly, initiate my long slow strips, and my line comes tight as a big tarpon eats and turns away. I set the hook hard and hold on tight to my fly line. The hook buries but as the tarpon realizes it’s hooked, it screams off into the distance at full speed and rakes the fly line across my bare skin fingers. Instantly, I know I’m going to pay for holding onto the fly line too long, but I land the silverking beast, and it’s … Continue reading

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Sunday Classic / The Flies of Our Fathers

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I recently visited my home town in Virginia for a funeral. Although the occasion was a sad one it was the largest gathering of my family in some time and as you would expect there was a good deal of nostalgia and sharing of family stories. This got me thinking about my Grandfather. W.S. (Pete) Cahill, “Dad” to his Grandchildren, was the man who taught me to fly fish when I was eight years old. He was an icon in our family. In our community really. He was an inventor. Honest to God, that was his job. He held dozens of patents. He was a skilled machinist and, in spite of limited education, the most brilliant and creative person I have ever known. He passed away a long time ago but his home has remained in the family and my brother moved in there a few months back. I knew that he had found a box of Dad’s flies. I couldn’t resist photographing them and like most encounters with my Grandfather, I learned a few things. I’m not suggesting that Dad was a great tyer. Fishing was a hobby and he was a workaholic. He loved to fish but seldom got the chance. His flies were utilitarian but effective and some great examples of the common wisdom of his time. My guess is that most of these were tied in the 1950s or 1960s. There are some classic wet patterns like the Royal Coachman. There are classical streamers. Maybe most interesting are stone fly nymphs that foreshadow today’s more realistic aesthetic while holding on to the art deco influences of the 1940s with their long sweeping tails and streamline design. Some are so simple you might feel silly fishing them but I feel sure they will still produce. The materials … Continue reading

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Saturday Shoutout / BRM Musky Please

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The boys at Bent Rod Media are all hot and bothered about Musky these days. And they’re catchin’ em too! Musky? Yes Please!   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Quotes out of context, overheard at BC West

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I was fortunate to spend a week fishing the legendary Dean River in British Columbia recently. As with any group of fishermen, this crew of anglers at the BC West lodge was full of lively conversation. I couldn’t possibly recall for you every topic of discussion but I have made a list of my favorite quotes for the week. Taken, of course, completely out of context. #5. “There’s a scary amount of wood on the river this morning.” #4. “Get your ass in here and take off your waders.” #3. “Running 20 miles hurts, but it doesn’t hurt as bad as fucking Christine. ” #2. “Every time I piss in these waders it makes me happy.” #1. “I’m not a picky person but I don’t like to wake up with wet dog balls in my face.” It was a great week and a great bunch of guys and, yes, there was some drinking. If you are keeping a bucket list, put the Dean on it. It’s legendary for a reason.   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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4 Tips For Stocking Bonefish Flies

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If you’re planning your first bonefish adventure it’s really important that you stock your saltwater fly box with a well rounded selection of fly patterns. Although bonefish aren’t known for being super selective feeders, stocking the right flies and knowing which pattern to fish in different situations can make a big difference in your success on the water. By far the most important element in bonefishing is fly presentation. Without that, you’re going to miss a lot of shots. Putting that aspect aside with the notion that you understand basic bonefish presentation, let’s talk about some tips for purchasing and tying bonefish flies for your upcoming bonefish trip. Tip # 1 – Bonefish Flies Should Ride Hook Point Up Because the mouths of bonefish are located on the bottom of the head and they generally feed down on their prey in most cases, it’s very important that you purchase or tie bonefish flies that ride hook point up when possible. Fishing flies that ride hook point up can increase your hookup rate when bonefish eat, and it will also help to naturally cut down on your flies from snagging on the bottom during the retrieve. Gaze your eyes into a veterans bonefish fly box and you’ll find that most of the fly patterns are tied hook point up, but walk into a store that sells saltwater fly patterns and you’ll be amazed how many fly patterns aren’t tied this way. When you have the choice to tie or purchase your bonefish flies hook point up, I recommend you do so. Tip # 2 – Bonefish Flies Need to Have Good Movement Using fly tying materials that have good movement in the water for your bonefish flies is a another way to help you find success. Rabbit strips, marabou, craft fur, … Continue reading

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Choosing the Lens That’s Right You

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    The most common camera question I get from my friends is “what lens should I buy.” My usual answer is, “the one that costs the most.” It’s a joke, but there is some truth to it. Here are a few tips on choosing a good lens that’s in your budget. First of all you do get what you pay for and it’s better to save up and buy a good lens than to buy one that you will not be satisfied with and need to replace. Be wary of third party manufacturers. If you have a Nikon camera you are likely better off with a Nikon lens. The term “prosumer” means amateur. These lenses have poor glass and good marketing. Modern zoom lenses are very good but no one lens can do it all well. Choose a zoom with a modest range like 24-70 not 18-200. Lenses with fast apertures like 1.8 can be wonderful for freezing action but a zoom lens with that kind of aperture will be very expensive. If a fast aperture is important to you you might consider a prime lens like an 85mm f 1.8. Special purpose lenses like fish eyes are fun but a fish eye is a one trick pony, even if it is a pretty cool trick. A lot of guys see a cool photo taken with a fish eye and run out and buy one. They shoot with it all the time for the first month, then it lives in the bag. If you’ve got the cash, why not, but if your on a budget put that money towards a better quality wide angle. The other question I get all the time is, “What’s your go to lens for fishing?” Hands down it’s the 12-24 zoom. I like to … Continue reading

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8 Common Fly Line Mending Mistakes

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I spend the majority of my time teaching fly casting when guiding my clients, but the art of mending fly line is a close second.  A perfect cast can quickly become obsolete if you don’t understand the concept of mending fly line. When mending is timed correctly and executed properly it allows fly anglers to maintain a drag-free presentation, keep their fly in the target zone, and prolong the length of their drift. Developing good mending technique my friends, translates into more fish being hooked and landed. If you’re lucky enough to already have the basics of fly casting down, I highly encourage you to next focus your time on understanding and mastering the mechanics of mending fly line. Throughout this post I’m going to try to touch base on the most popular mending mistakes I see on the river, but before I do so, here’s an intriguing question for everyone. Why is it, that fly anglers seem to always get their left and right mixed up when mending fly line? It happens to me guiding all the time. I’ll instruct my client to mend to the left and they’ll do the opposite, by mending to the right. One of the most common four word phrases out of my mouth is, “no, your other left”. This will probably hit home with more guides than anglers but I had to bring it up, since we all do it. I’ve tried using upstream and downstream for instructing mending direction, but that seems to be even more confusing. That being said, here are the most common mending mistakes I see on the river. 1. Anglers Wait Too Long to Mend Everyone deserves props when a perfect cast is made, but don’t make the mistake of admiring it, and forget to follow it up with … Continue reading

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