Strip Set, Dammit!

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Quite likely the most frustrating thing for an angler who is new to salt water is the strip set.

A dedicated freshwater angler will have thousands of hours of muscle memory to overcome. I did it myself time after time. I’d see a fish eat and my arm, without permission from my brain, would raise the rod tip and off would swim a happy bonefish. Then I would hear my friend Josie Sands, from the platform, “da ain’t no trout in the Bahamas Louis”. To be fair, as frustrating as this is for the angler it may be worse on the guide. He has to deal with this almost every day.

I wish I had a silver bullet to offer that would solve this problem for you instantly, but I don’t. It just takes focus and practice. However here are a few suggestions that may help. First, don’t beat yourself up. Every guy who stands on that bow has gone through this. You are not a moron, you just feel like one. Self loathing will not help.

Second, stay focused. There is a lot to think about and when you spot fish things happen quickly. Try this. When a fish turns and chases your fly,

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Sunday Classic / Spooky Permit Tips

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Permit in glass calm water. It doesn’t get any tougher than that. I know of no one who know more about permit than my buddy Bruce Chard so I ask him for a tip on making a successful presentation. Here’s his reply. Casting to shallow water permit in calm wind conditions can be challenging to say the least. These are the two main conditions that seem to make permit even more skidish than normal. Is that even possible? Shallow water depth and calm wind conditions help to put permit on another level of the spooky scale. So how do we effectively cast to these shallow water feeding circus fatties? Well an even powered wide loop presentation is a good start believe it or not. An even powered wide loop presentation cast will help to spread all the energy in the fly line evenly over the wide loop leaving just enough dispersed energy to slowly and softly roll out the leader and fly with a quiet presentation. This helps you to present your fly right in the permits wheel house and that means game on! Thanks Bruce! Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Saturday’s Shoutout / Fly Fishing Internet Radio

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This Saturday’s Shoutout goes to Roger Maves, Host of Ask About Fly Fishing – Internet Radio. Roger has produced 134 fly fishing information packed interviews with the top fly fishing experts in the industry. This sites is great for two reasons. One, it’s completely FREE for you to listen to, and second, it’s great for picking up tips from the pros and learning the ins and out of their home waters. We give Roger Maves an A+ for his great content and a big Cheers to all his contributors. Keep it Reel, Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com

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The Need For Speed, Line Speed, That Is

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Joel Dickey is one of the most dynamic casters I’ve ever seen.

One of the hallmarks of his dominating casting style is truly awesome line speed. It enables him to shoot massive amounts of line and hit distant targets with accuracy, even in high wind. In this video he explains how you can build your line speed.

WATCH THE VIDEO!

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Landlocked Stripers on the Fly

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WHEN THE WEATHER TURNS COOL, IT’S TIME TO GET EXCITED ABOUT LAYERING UP AND GETTING ON ONE OF MY LOCAL RESERVOIRS FOR SOME LANDLOCKED STRIPERS ON THE FLY.

The fall and winter months are great times for both numbers and big fish if you’re willing to battle the cold. Dropping water temperatures get baitfish schooling up and very active, and you’ll find schools of hybrid bass and striped bass following their every move. It sounds easy right? Tell me that again when the alarm clock is ringing at 4:00am and it’s twenty degrees outside.

For best results you’re going to want to get on the lake early, well before sunrise. You will find your best opportunity for breaking fish is the first three or four hours of the day. Once the sun gets high on the horizon the baitfish and the striped bass usually go deep. Even with full sinking lines you’ll find it hard to effectively present your fly in the strike zone when fish are deep. Long points close to deep water or flats and humps surrounded by deep water are hotspots for stripers and hybrid bass driving and abusing baitfish. Sometimes stripers will also use the backs of coves to trap baitfish so don’t overlook those as well. If you’re not seeing any breaking fish or activity on your electronics your best bet is to run the lake looking for surface activity.

Pay attention to any birds circling in the air as well, they’re after the baitfish also, and can often give you a clue to where the concentrations of stripers are located. You’ll also want to

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Sunday Classic / Casting for Distance

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Saltwater fly fishing often calls for long accurate casts for the chance of success, and quite often it holds just as true on your favorite trout streams. Of the countless hours I’ve spent guiding my trout clients the past ten years, I’ve witnessed over and over again, how important just a couple more feet of distance can be in getting a trout to eat. You just can’t always approach a hole and make a routine short cast. Often no matter how stealthy you are, you’ll spook the fish if you try getting closer. Occasionally, obstacles such as low hanging trees can make it impossible to get the proper casting angle unless your standing farther away. Other times you may run into a situation where different current speeds between you and your target require a longer cast to get an adequate drag free drift. That’s why it’s so important for fly anglers to get comfortable making above average casts. I’m not saying you have to be able to bomb out eighty feet of line, or that you’ll have to make super long casts all the time either. I’m just saying, there are times when you won’t be fishing that angler friendly pocket water that just calls for short roll casts and quick high-stick drifts. You need to be prepared to make longer casts when the need arises. Believe it or not, quite often trout will follow your flies down stream a good ways before deciding to eat. If your fly gets too close to you the trout will often see you and won’t eat. Making a longer presentation will provide that buffer zone for the trout to inspect and eat without seeing you. Remember that trout don’t have eyes in the back of their head as well. If you don’t get … Continue reading

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Saturday Shoutout / Fly Tying Hook Up

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Hatches Magazine Hatches fly tying magazine is only sent out annually, but what’s really cool is there regular newsletter I receive packed with tons of fly tying content. Even better is it’s large archive of fly patterns that show you step by step instructions on how to tie them up. Big tiers in the industry submit fly patterns to them and you’ll find lots of unique fly patterns for all species. Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Are Gold Beads Out or Is it just all in our heads?

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When I first started guiding for trout it seemed like every nymph in the fly bin had a gold bead on it. Everyone caught fish on them and you didn’t hear of anyone back then shying away from using them. So why do I find myself so reluctant to use them on the water these days? For some reason they don’t seem to work as good for me anymore. Maybe the trout have caught on from everybody using them, or it’s worked its way into their DNA as being a negative trait. More than likely it’s just the fact that there’s so many different colored bead options available to fly fishermen nowadays. Whatever it is, I’ve got a serious confidence issue with gold beads that keep them staying high and dry in my fly box. What’s your take on gold beads? Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com hookups@ginkandgasoline.com   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Take The Right Fish

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AS I’VE SAID PLENTY OF TIMES I’M A DEDICATED CATCH AND RELEASE ANGLER. THAT SAID, I RECOGNIZE THAT IT’S A PERSONAL CHOICE THAT I HAVE COME TO IN MY OWN TIME.

There are a lot of good ethical anglers out there who keep a fish once in a while and although it’s not for me, there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with it. The reason I say necessarily is this: fish are not all created equal and while killing a fish can be ok, killing the wrong fish is a tragedy.

Where trout are concerned, in most places a great many of the fish we catch are hatchery raised stockers. There are a couple of things about these fish that are worth mentioning. The breeding of fish for stocking is a pragmatic endeavor. It is done with a clear cut goal in mind. To raise fish in the fastest, cheapest, easiest way possible and get them in the river. There is very little, if any, thought given to the quality of these fish.

Well, what does that mean, quality? Several things. For one, the fish are raised on a diet of high protean fish food that promotes fast growth. This yields fish that have little of the natural color found in wild fish. There are other factors that contribute to this but food plays a role. It also yields fish with unnatural proportions. Small mouths and fins but big bellies. A trout that’s shaped like a football is a poor example of it’s kind.

Hatchery fish are generally raised in concrete runs. They rub against the rough concrete and wear down their fins to nubs. Not very attractive. The runs also contribute to the lack of color. Trout, like most fish, have natural camouflage. They take on the color of their surroundings. What color is concrete? Makes sense right?

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Attractor Midge Larva for Cold Water and Picky Trout

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WHEN WATER TEMPERATURES BEGIN TO DROP IN THE FALL AND THE MAJORITY OF OUR BIG HATCHES START TO TAPER OFF, MIDGE PATTERNS BECOME A BIG PLAYER FOR ME.

November through January, when I’m sight fishing and I can’t get trout to eat, I’ll often opt for tying on an attractor midge larva. Quite often, the fish eat them like candy and my clients think I’m a hero. I can hear the words now, “I had no idea you could catch big trout on flies that small”. Make sure you downsize your tippet to 6X or smaller for a more natural drift, and play your big fish easy, otherwise you’ll risk pulling those tiny hooks out of the mouths of big trout. Experiment with bright color combinations with and without beads. One of my favorite attractor midge larva is simply a fluorescent orange thread body, wrapped with fine gold wire, finished off with a black thread head. You can coat them with Sally Hansen’s Clear Nail polish for more shine, but it’s not required to catch fish. These fly patterns are

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