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 www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   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 www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   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 www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   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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Sunday’s Classic / Nymph Patterns for Dingy Water

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I’ve been on the water many days trout fishing when I’ve had blue bird skies overhead and gin clear water. Then moments later without any warning, an isolated thunderstorm rolls in and dumps a ton of rain, turning that crystal clear water cloudy. When you find yourself trout fishing in dingy or stained water conditions (not referring to blown out conditions) try using nymphs with fluorescent hot beads or patterns with hot spots to increase your number of hookups. They create bright focal points that allow trout to spot them easier when water clarity is subpar. When I’m dealt this hand of cards on the river I’ll tie on a large profile lead fly like a woolly bugger or rubberleg stonefly imitation followed up with one of these flies below as a dropper in my tandem nymph rig. Bright attractor patterns like the San Juan Worm, Y2K and Egg patterns are what I break out next if these patterns below don’t get the job done. They work especially well during extreme dingy water conditions. 1. Dave Hise’s Hetero-Genius Nymph  2. Hot Bead Soft-Hackle  3. Hot Head Pheasant Tail  4. Hot Head Buzzer Midge Attractor  5. Hot Butt Hexagenia Nymph Another situation when these patterns really shine is fishing them during the colder months of the year. When water temperatures drop into the 30s and 40s, trout can often become lethargic due to their low metabolism rate. Fishing flies that have hot focal points can snap the trout out of their trance and create reaction bites. Keep it Reel, Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com

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Saturday’s Shoutout / Kirk Deeter via MidCurrent

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This week’s Saturday shoutout goes to Kirk Deeter via Midcurrent for his moving article titled, Fly Fishing Jazz: We’ll Never Be “Pop”. We can all learn a great deal from Kirk Deeter. His writing style is smooth as butter, and always runs deep with emotions. In my opinion, he’s not just one of the best authors in the business, he’s one of the strongest voices and ambassador’s we have today in the sport of fly fishing. The other day he took time out of his busy schedule to take my phone call and give me life advice. Read the first paragraph of his article and you’ll quickly understand he’s got very little down time. I’ve looked up to him for years, but after I hung up the phone, I realized he was one of the nicest and sincere people I’ve met in a very long time. He treated me like he was my big brother. I think it’s important to share the behind the scenes look at people from time to time. That’s when you see one’s true colors and character. Next time you read one of Kirk’s articles or books, know he’s as genuine and kind hearted as he comes across in his writing. If I get the chance to fish with him down the road, I’m going to be his mobile beer cooler and extreme net man. Thank you Kirk for your unwavering righteous character. Keep it Reel, Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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11 Tips for Correctly Presenting Your Fly To Tarpon

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Anyone that’s fly fished for tarpon has probably experienced how easy it is to present the fly incorrectly. If you miss your target, even by just a little bit, it can drastically lower your chances for getting a tarpon to eat. Cast the fly too close, and the tarpon will spook. Don’t lead the fish enough, and your fly won’t get down to the tarpon’s depth. Cross the fish at the wrong angle, and your fly will be moving towards the fish and it will spook. The list goes on and on. Bottom-line, there’s a very small margin of error bestowed to anglers fly fishing for tarpon. You have to execute everything damn near perfect to put the odds in your favor, and even then, you aren’t guaranteed squat. Here’s the problem. The average angler that travels to fly fish for tarpon is not educated on how to read and respond accordingly to different fishing scenarios on the flats. A lot of this has to do with lack of experience and time on the water. If you find yourself falling into this category, prior to fishing, you should take the time to have your guide explain how you should handle common fishing situations that you’re likely to encounter. As a kid the same preparation was used by my Dad to walk me through how to make a clean kill shot on a deer. I can hear him now, “If the deer is faced in this direction, I want you to put the crosshairs here“. He must have gone over a dozen different scenarios during the drive up. By the time he was done talking, I felt like I had been hunting for years. It’s no different fly fishing for tarpon. Taking the time to have your guide walk you through different … Continue reading

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