Better Down Stream Presentations & Drifts

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How many times have you been trout fishing and spotted a big trout positioned down and across stream of you feeding? I know I’ve seen it plenty of times on the water, and it always seems like those fish are always positioned just out of reach for me to get a regular cast and drag-free drift over them. Right before my fly reaches the fish, I run out of slack as my fly line comes tight, and I get unwanted drag on my fly. Presenting your flies this way to educated fish can often end up putting them down. If you find yourself in this situation you need to be ready to smoothly and quickly kick out extra fly line out the end of your rod tip during your drift. Executing this properly you’ll be able to maintain enough slack to extend your drag-free drift so your offering can make it to the fish, and have a good chance of being eaten. I see fly fisherman all the time try to use a shaking motion with their rod tip to kick out extra fly line and extend their drift. Most of the time this doesn’t work very well, because it’s really difficult for you to let out fly line fast enough, and keep your flies from moving all over the place in the process. Watch this video below as I demonstrate how to properly present your fly down and across stream to a feeding trout, and smoothly kick out extra fly line to maintain a drag-free drift. It will take a few minutes for first-timers to get the hang of it, but once you do, you’ll have the technique mastered forever. Step 1:  Before you make your presentation make sure you have plenty of extra fly line stripped off the reel. … Continue reading

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Anchor Placement When Space Is Tight

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You could write a book about anchor placement in Spey casting. In fact, I feel sure several have been written. Rightfully so, since anchor placement is the foundation on which a good Spey cast is built. For those who are not aware, the anchor is where the fly is placed in the water as the Spey cast begins. The rule of thumb is this. Your anchor should be placed a rod length away and forty-five degrees to one side or the other of the direction you intend to cast. Simple enough but that’s a little like the ten and two rule. It’s not quite the whole story. First off, the forty-five degree mark is where your anchor should be when you hit your forward stroke. This means that you have to take current speed and direction into account when you place the fly. There are other real world factors that come into play as well. One of them is frequently brush or rocks that interfere with your D-loop. There are some simple ways around this but rather than try to explain it in text, I’m going to let my buddy Jeff Hickman show you how to get the cast off when space is tight, in this video. Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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The Only Two Caddis Pupa Patterns I Really Need to Carry

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Caddisflies, who doesn’t love them? I can assure you trout sure do. Tying a caddisfly imitation on, is usually not a bad move on any trout water you visit. Globally, there’s thousands of different species of caddisflies, and that fact alone, one could argue caddisflies are the most abundant and popular aquatic insects found in trout water. If I remember correctly, my first trout landed on a dry fly was with an Elk Hair Caddis. That was a long time ago, back when I knew nothing about fishing caddis pupa patterns and how important they were. I’ve since, with the help of the great Gary LaFontaine, author of the famous book, “Caddisflies”, deepened my knowledge of this aquatic insect, and I’ve built a whole new appreciation and respect for the importance they have in a trout’s diet. Year-round, but particularly during the spring, early summer and fall, fly anglers should be well stocked up on caddisfly pupa fly patterns. It’s safe to say the most effective way to catch the trout during a caddisfly hatch is to fish caddis pupa imitations. I’ve got many different caddisfly pupa patterns in my fly box, but over the years, LaFontaine’s deep sparkle pupa and emergent sparkle pupa have caught me more fish than all the other pupa patterns combined. These patterns should be in every trout anglers fly box. Gary LaFontaine did an excellent job of researching and studying the characteristics, underwater look and behavior of emerging caddis pupa. He used aquariums with living caddisfly specimens, and spent countless hours scuba diving on rivers during caddisfly hatches to gain accurate insight of what the trout see during a caddisfly hatch. He then took the research and data he collected and hand picked fly tying materials that he could use to design and tie … Continue reading

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Sunday Classic / Georgia Man Catches Trout On Car Key, But Why?

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Why in the hell would you fish that? I’m glad you asked. To prove a point. For some reason this year I have run into more anglers with attitude than usual. Ranging from the dry fly purest who think they walk on the water rather than fish it, to the Bonos of fly fishing who keep a sharpie handy for a quick autograph. Here’s an example. I was on a photo shoot a while back on the Henry’s Fork. I had a few minutes to fish and frankly, I needed a fish to photograph, so I asked the guide for a rod. He gave me a set up with a Chernobyl Ant, the fly everyone else was using to NOT catch fish. I didn’t have my gear so I ask if he had any streamers. The reply I got brought steam out of my ears. “This is the Henry’s Fork and we don’t do that here”. Rather than launch into a diatribe on what horse shit that is, I explained that this was my job and I needed a fish and may I please have a streamer. Within a few casts I had my fish. The guide was clearly irritated and insisted that it meant nothing. I was talking, ok bitching, about this narrow view of fishing to Kent, over a few beers, when he challenged me to come up with the most f¥€ked up thing I could catch a fish on. After a few ideas we decided on a car key. I liked this because I cary a key chain with way too many keys. So I picked out a key and tied on a hook with a marabou tail. To further infuriate the purest I chose to fish it on 30 lb cuda wire. We were floating the … Continue reading

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Saturday Shoutout / The Right Brain Interweb

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This week we’re sharing some craziest and most creative fun from the fly fishing interweb. Off beat, surly, inappropriate and down right brilliant. Here are three sites I love! Paul Puckett’s “Right Brain Retrieve” features some of his amazing and irreverent art work.   “Fishjerks” If you haven’t seen this site, hold on to your hat. This is the craziest fly fishing site on the web.   VakMag is a seriously awesome site with a lot of great information. Unfortunately I can’t read a word of it. No worries. You’ll love Pupper og fluefiske!

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Switch Rods for Steelhead

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OK, I admit it. I’ve been all about steelhead lately. Can you blame me? Steelhead are addictive and they ruin some guys but so far I’m resisting the urge to move into a shack on a river in the Pacific North West and instead I’m spending that energy on producing endless steelhead content. So here goes. On my recent trip to the Clackamas with my buddy Jeff Hickman I tried something I haven’t done before. I fished switch rods for steelhead. I don’t own a switch rod, (yet) because I thought of it as too light a rod for steelhead. I preferred a twelve foot eight weight spey rod. I have friends who use switch rods for trout fishing and they work well but for wrestling a big west coast chromer, surely not? I was wrong. Jeff likes the switch rod because it’s shorter and it helps him out in tight spots but for me the kick was fighting those tough fish on the lighter rod. It was a blast and those rods will take more pressure than I guessed. A switch rod is a little harder to cast than the longer Spey rod but I fished Jeff’s Ross Reach in a six weight and was kind of surprised. For an inexpensive rod it performed quite well. It casts very nicely and you can really feel it load. If you’re headed out steelheading I’d recommend you think about taking a switch rod. It was a lot of fun and I’m glad I tried it. Jeff talks about switch rods for steelhead.   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Feel the Tarpon Burn

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The first step in landing a big tarpon is getting a really good hook set. If your hook fails to penetrate the hard boney mouth of the tarpon, it almost always will be spit out after the first or second jump. My previous trip to the Florida Keys I experienced just that, walking away with a 0-2 record, all because my hook-sets were piss poor. I wasn’t hitting them hard enough after the eat, and I made a pledge after that trip, that the next time I got a big tarpon to eat, I’d focus 100% solely on making sure my hook set was absolutely perfect. Believe me when I say, it’s humiliating as hell having a guide stare you down after you blow a hook-set. It makes you want to go find a hole to crawl off into. When Capt. Bruce Chard put me on the biggest tarpon of my life during my latest trip, I set the hook hard and held onto the fly line as long as I could. Come hell or high water, I was going to get that hook completely buried in the tarpons mouth. Low and behold, I accomplished just that, and I ended up landing that mighty tarpon, but I got this nice fly line burn in the process. It was all worth it in the end though, because for the next two weeks as the bilsters healed, I was reminded of my victorious catch everytime I looked down at my hand. Keep it Reel, Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Tying Steelhead Flies That Work, The Sid Fishious

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 Tying steelhead flies can be a bit mystifying. If you’ve been tying trout flies for a while and are just getting started on steelhead flies there are some important differences. I know that my first steelhead flies were way too heavy and the hook was all wrong. They looked great but they were a pain to fish and my hookup ratio was poor. Getting the right profile, weight and hook placement is easy once you learn a few simple tricks. Healthy dubbing balls help boost your profile and insure great action. Interchangeable trailing hooks make a huge difference. Winter steelhead will frequently just nip at a fly’s tail. Having a sharp trailing hook is important and being able to change that hook if it becomes damaged really extends the life of your fly. Possibly the funnest part of tying steelhead flies are all the great colors you get to play with, and isn’t that what every tyer is really looking for, an excuse to buy more cool tying material? No body ties better steelhead flies than Jeff Hickman. In this video he ties a pattern he originated for Idylwild Flies, The Sid Fishious. It’s a great fly and the techniques that Jeff uses can greatly improve your steelhead flies.     Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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The Woolly Bugger Isn’t all that, Or is it?

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This isn’t Montana, Your Not Norman Maclean, and the Woolly Bugger isn’t all that. This was a bumper sticker a guide buddy of mine had printed up a few years back. It was prominently displayed for his clients to read when they pulled up to greet him. That’s one hell of an ice breaker for checking fishing egos at the boat ramp, let me tell you. I give my boy J.E.B. Hall props for his comedic humor and gutsy style. For those of you who don’t know J.E.B., he’s a veteran Western North Carolina guide, Author of Southern Appalachian Fly Guide, and has spent multiple seasons guiding at Alaska West. Meet him one time and you’ll say to yourself, “this guy is the Johnny Knoxville of fishing”. Most anglers fall into one of two categories when it comes to their perception of woolly buggers. They either love them or despise them. I love the fly pattern for two reasons. First, for its impressionistic design that’s capable of mimicking many different trout foods, and second, for its versatility in how the pattern can be fished. It’s rare for me to not break out a woolly bugger at some point during the day. When trout aren’t biting, I almost always can find fish willing to snack on them. The only time I keep woolly buggers out of the game and sitting on the bench, is when I’m fishing water where dry flies are the only thing required. I believe in the woolly bugger so much, If I only had one pattern that I could take with me fishing, that would be it. Why the woolly bugger, you ask? Because it has probably caught more species of fish on this planet than any other fly pattern created since fly fishing was born. Now if I … Continue reading

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The In-Law’s Bass Pond

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“The pond was full of those great lily pads, and I guess that’s where the problem started.”   I guess I should be happy, but I’m not. Ever since my in-laws moved to South Carolina the compulsory visits have had a silver lining. I discovered a little bass pond just down the road. It’s a sort of neighborhood open space and I’ve seen a few folks fish it but very few. Maybe an acre total, you can fish about sixty percent of it from the bank if you’re a good caster. I am, SO not a bass fisherman. My brother is quite good at it so I’m well aware of my shortcomings. I have a lot of respect for the guys who can go out on those big lakes and find the channels and structure, temperature changes and whatever else causes bass to find a happy home in, what looks to me, like featureless water. I’ve never been motivated to learn all of that. In part because bass just don’t blow my skirt up. They’re a cool fish and all, I’m just so in love with the brightly colored trout that bass don’t get a lot of my attention. I also freely admit that I have no interest at all in going seventy miles per hour in a boat. It scares the shit out of me and I bear no shame for that. I find it aesthetically more pleasing to walk to my fish and it’s easier on my nerves. That said, a bass pond is just my speed. It’s been great, at Christmas, Thanksgiving or Easter, to just sneak off for and hour or two at the end of the day and deposit a little of my stress into a fly line. There is just something terribly satisfying about watching … Continue reading

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