You Can’t Go Home

2 comments / Posted on / by

William S. Burroughs, in his essay “Dinosaurs” wrote, “biologically speaking the one direction you can’t go is back”. He was, of course, making a social comment but I was reminded of that idea while fishing the other day with a good friend. Joel Dickey was up visiting family over the holidays and was excited to do some trout fishing. For weeks he had been telling me that he was going to take me to the best trout stream he’d ever fished. The little creek in Tennessee that he grew up on. A stretch of private water owned by his aunt. I was excited to see the water and to spend a day wetting my boots with Joel. I knew this was either going to be really good, or really bad. Joel has been living and guiding in the Keys for a long time now and things change. Things always change and where trout streams in the southeast are concerned, usually not for the better. In Joel’s memory this little creek was gin clear and full of big wild trout. When we arrived we found a different stream altogether. There were no fish of any kind. Only old tires and garbage, including a battery acid bottle. A sad sign of an unloved stream. We moved on to a local tailwater and got into some nice fish and even some surface action, which is great for December, but Joel was heartbroken. It’s tough to see a stream you love go down hill like that. We’ve seen way too much of it in this part of the world and maybe we’ve gotten too used to it. Maybe we’ve come to expect it. Maybe we’ve become complacent. You always hear stories about the good old days. You always hear how great the fishing was … Continue reading

Read More »

Why Aren’t We Talking More About Angler Positioning?

19 comments / Posted on / by

Countless fly fishing articles have been written about matching the hatch, setting up your rig correctly for the water your fishing, and how to cast tight loops. It’s very true these are all areas in your fly fishing game you should always have covered, but what about angler positioning? Why aren’t we talking more about how important angler positioning is for fly fishing success. Have you ever wondered why there are trout fishermen out there that can’t cast forty feet, yet when they’re on the water fishing, they literally mop up every fish like a vacuum. There’s a simple reason for this folks. Great fisherman, that suck at fly casting, usually figure out really quick how important angler positioning is for ensuring they get presentations that produce hookups. Listen up all you competition casters out there. I’m happy you can reach the far end of the casting pond with your fly. It’s not easy shooting fifteen feet of backing out the end of your fly rod. That’s impressive, but if that’s how you choose to spend your time trout fishing, you’re probably going to catch few fish. Oh, and remember that guy that you just laughed off the casting pond with his pathetic forty foot cast? He’s going to out fish you nine times out of ten, because he’s figured out, presentation trumps distance casting. Forgive me if I came across a little tart there. Sometimes it’s helpful for driving the point home with my target audience. The fact is, I consistently find fly fishermen of all skill levels struggling with angler positioning. Most have problems determining where they should position themselves when they first approach a stretch of water. The problem lies with them not first thinking about where they need to be standing, so they can make their best … Continue reading

Read More »

Facebook, A Matter of Life and Death

8 comments / Posted on / by

“Gone Fishing! Great way to start the New Year with a little father / son outing.” That’s what Harry Murray’s Facebook status read on New Year’s day. I was thrilled, and confused. You see, I had heard through the fly fishing grapevine the Harry had passed away. For those of you who do not know, Harry is the Dean of Virginia fly fishing. Although I don’t know Harry personally we have a lot of connections. His fly shop in Edinburg, VA opened in 1962, the year I was born. My grandfather knew Harry and frequented his shop back when it was a pharmacy. (Harry is a pharmacist who ended up in the fly fishing business.) I still have some of Harry’s flies in the old pill bottles he used to pack them in. It was Harry who introduced my good friend Gary Lacey to bamboo rod making. Gary is now one of the best rod makers in the world and taught me to make rods fifteen years or so ago. When I heard that he had passed I couldn’t believe it. I just wasn’t ready for a world without Harry Murray. It made me think of the morning last year when I answered my phone at eight a.m. To hear my good friend Andrew Bennett, breathless on the other end. He wasn’t really talking and it was clear something was wrong. It spooked me because Andrew is as tough a guy as you are likely to meet. Not easily shaken up. “Are you alright?”, I asked. “yeah, I’m fine now that I hear your voice”, Andrew replied. Now, Andrew and I are friends but I’m not used to getting “that kind of call” from my fishing buddies so I was a bit puzzled. Turns out, someone had seen a photo … Continue reading

Read More »

Fly Fishing, No Pain No Gain

10 comments / Posted on / by

Have you ever felt like this when you got back to the truck after a long day of fishing? Giving it my all on the water is a trait I strongly believe in for my fishing and guiding. I always try to make a point to explain to all my clients, that as long as they give it their all on the water, that’s all that really matters. There’s no reason for them to be disappointed about having a slow day on the water or get upset when a big fish fails to eat, so long as they took the time to approach their holes with stealth, made their best presentations, and fine-tuned their rig and pattern choice. After all, that’s why it’s called fishing not catching, right? We can only do so much as anglers, and even when we bring our best, there still will be times when we won’t be able to persuade certain fish to take our flies. Keep this in mind next time you go out to wet a line. Don’t lose sight of the big picture, which is to always enjoy your time on the water. And don’t fish lazy, try to consistently give it your all when your out fishing. This way, whether you experience that epic day of fishing or not, at least you can walk away guilt-free knowing you didn’t half-ass it on the water. The trout will respect you for it. I think Andrew Bennett put it best when he said we should always, “Fish hard and rest easy”. Keep it Reel, Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

Read More »

Sunday Classic / Johnny’s Shark

No comments yet / Posted on / by

A perfect cast right on the big shark’s nose gets nothing but a sniff and a refusal. In a low and stoic voice the guide says, “the fish ain’t gonna eat if he don’t smell blood”. Johnny Spilane gives him a hard look, takes his fly from the water and jams the hook into his hand, then squeezes the blood onto his fly. The shark follows the fly almost to the boat, then charges and cuts left. We all thought it ate the fly. Maybe it did, and didn’t stick. Our guide was glad because he didn’t want to spend all day landing it. There were plenty of bonefish to catch but some people just aren’t happy doing what everyone else wants to do. That’s Johnny, and that’s why he brought three silver medals back from the Vancouver Olympics. It’s also why he’s a great fisherman.   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

Read More »

Saturday Shoutout / Mysteries Internal, Splitting Cane

6 comments / Posted on / by

Splitting Cane I have Made Bamboo rods for nearly fifteen years and I have never heard the process described so beautifully. Erin Block deserves a great cane rod.   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

Read More »

Light Where You Need It

11 comments / Posted on / by

The sun has dipped below the horizon and the evening chill is in the air. You’ve got maybe thirty more minutes to fish if you push it. The hatch is on and you can hear fish rising all around you as you struggle in the waning light to change your fly. The fish keep rising and so does your blood pressure but the eye of the hook continues to evade you. That sounds familiar doesn’t it? I know my eyes aren’t what they used to be. I’ve used a clip on head lamp for years but it frustrates me. When I lift my head to look through my bifocals the light is shining over my hands and I always feel like I’m spooking fish with that lighthouse on my hat. Then I saw my niece and nephew playing with their Christmas stockings. They had the answer to my problem. Finger lights! They slip right on to your finger with an adjustable elastic band and put ample light right where you need it to tie on flies. Best of all they’re super cheap. Seven dollars for a pile of them so who cares if you dunk them in the river and if you happen to find yourself at a rave on the way home, you’re set! Just add XTC.   Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

Read More »

Bug Sampling Courtesy of Home Depot

26 comments / Posted on / by

Man, I love my $2 paint strainer from Home Depot. I’m a big believer in aquatic bug sampling on the water. It has saved the day for me guiding numerous times. Eighteen years ago, Angling Designs won a tackle dealer show award for its “Quick Seine Net“, specifically designed for instant bug sampling on the water. It’s an ingenious product, but I can’t use it because it won’t fit over my big guide net. Searching for a fix, I found myself standing in the paint section at Home Depot staring at a 5-gallon paint strainer thinking, “this should work and it’s only 2 bucks”. I’ve carried this inexpensive piece of gear on the water with me ever since, and I love it. Keep it Reel, Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

Read More »

The Freak

No comments yet / Posted on / by

Watch The Video!

When your looking for that little something extra to motivate that big Bonefish, you may be looking for The Freak. Bruce Chard shows you how to tie this crazy looking but very effective fly. Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

Read More »

The 3 C’s of Trout Fishing – Current, Cover, and Cuisine

5 comments / Posted on / by

Here’s the Million Dollar Trout Fishing Question…. Are you putting enough emphasis on the 3 C’s in your trout fishing? The availability of Current, Cover and Cuisine most often dictate where trout decide to set up shop. Being able to consistently pick them out will ultimately determine how much success you have on the water. Furthermore, if you can find a spot that has all three C’s, you’re probably staring at a honey hole that holds the trophy of your dreams. As a ignorant rookie fly fisher, I recall early on in my career, how I’d start out my day selecting a section of water, and go about mindlessly fishing its entirety from point A to point B. I had no understanding of trout’s survival instincts and how it influenced their whereabouts. All the water looked good to my untrained eyes, and I’d spend equal time fishing the entire stretch of water, regardless of the depth, where the current and food were located, or if the spot had any elements of cover. Back then I was completely clueless there was a reason 20% of the water held 80% of the fish, and in turn, I spent way too much time fishing in all the wrong places. It was amazing how long it took me to figure out why I wasn’t catching very many trout. Don’t make this common rookie mistake, you’re better than that. Instead spend your time eliminating unproductive water, and locating and fishing productive water that has all three C’s. Doing so, you’ll find your catch numbers and size increase dramatically. Below are basic descriptions of current, cover, and cuisine, and why all three are equally important. Current Trout have a love hate relationship with current. They love the fact that current collects and funnels food to them, but … Continue reading

Read More »