3 Reasons Fly Fisherman Should Consider Wearing A Long-Bill Hat

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When I look at a long-bill hat, images of Ernest Hemingway, swinging wet flies on one of his favorite trout waters pops into my head. Next, I see the silhouette of the legendary fly fisherman and guide, Flip Pallot, with his masculine beard protruding beneath his long bill cap, as he stands on the platform of his skiff, pointing out a pod of tarpon to his client, at 11’oclock. There’s something really macho about dudes that can pull off wearing this type of hat. For the record, I’ve never seen myself capable of pulling off this machismo look, and in turn, I’ve spent the majority of my fly fishing career, opting instead for wearing the conservative short-bill cap. Plus, there’s no doubt that I look like a complete tool in a long-bill hat. That said, looking good on the water doesn’t help any of us catch more fish, it only helps the photographer looking through his/her lens shooting us. I’ve learned that performance is really what fly fishers, that get it at least, are really after when it comes to searching out what gear they use. For this reason, I made the decision recently to set aside my biased stance on long-bill hats, and actually wear one during a recent fly fishing trip of mine to the salt. Thank you Louis for being the friend that loaned it to me for the day, because it opened my eyes to how special and functional long-bill hats can be for not only me but to all fly anglers. Below are three reasons fly fisherman should consider purchasing and wearing a long-bill hat on their next fishing trip.

REASON #1: LESS GLARE AND SUN IN THE EYES, EQUALS BETTER VISION ON THE WATER.

Polarized sunglasses work great for allowing anglers to see into the water they’re wetting their flies in, but they will perform twice as good if they stay in the shade. The extra roofing area atop your head that a long-bill hat provides, is substantially larger than what traditional or short-bill hats provide. No longer will you need the sun high in the horizon before the bill of your hat begins to block out the suns rays. Wearing a long-bill hat will give you an edge, helping you to keep your vision acute and your presentations accurate.

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The UV Chocolate

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Watch The Video

HAVING AN EFFECTIVE SELECTION OF MIDGE PATTERNS CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GREAT DAY OF TROUT FISHING AND A DAY OF SELF LOATHING.
Often days when the midge bite is at its best nothing much else seems to be happening hatch wise. That’s an important reason to know your midges. They can make the difference between catching a lot of fish or no fish.

It’s not uncommon to see great midge hatches on cold overcast days when other bugs stay home. The great thing about the UV Chocolate is that these are the conditions where it shines. No really, it shines. The the UV ice dub wing, which already reacts to UV light is also treated with Spectrum Responce for extra highlighting.

Trout’s eyes are highly sensitive to UV light and they use that sensitivity to find food on dark days or when water clarity is low. This flys highly reflective UV profile makes it a great tool on overcast days when midges are present.

Watch the video and learn to tie the UV Chocolate.

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The Trifecta For Fishing Solitude

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By Kent Klewein

It seems like every year it gets harder and harder for me to find complete solitude on the river.
Solitude is not a necessity for me by any means, but when I’m blessed with it, I find it does wonders for purifying my soul and improving my fishing game. Time seems to stand still when I’m in complete solitude on the water. Every fish I land with no one there to confirm it but me, seems to add further reward and satisfaction. There’s no competition from other anglers, it’s just me and the fish. This allows me to open my mind, think clearly, and get in a zone to fish at my best ability. I don’t care what pace I’m fishing or how much water I cover while I’m out. I just take one fish at a time, like I’m challenging each of them to a game of chess. But to be frank, it’s not even about winning or losing. It’s more about taking in the big picture and understanding why I’m out there in the first place; I love to fly fish.

Over the years I’ve developed a betting strategy I call the “Trifecta for Fishing Solitude”. Although gambling never offers us sure win bets, searching out and placing these three bets in order when possible, usually pays out plenty of solitude on the water.

Bet #1. Fish off the beatin path
Being lazy and choosing to fish water that’s easily accessible generally will bring you company instead of solitude in your fishing. Hiking into difficult terrain is great but you don’t always have to go that far. Sometimes all you have to do is search out stretches of water with steep banks/canyons, thick foliage or even spots where the road moves away from the stream. Fishing off the beatin path can offer you solitude even on some of the most heavily fished waters, so don’t overlook it.

Bet #2. Fish During Weekdays
Find time in your schedule when possible to go fishing on a week day when

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A Truckvault Offers the Ultimate in Function, Convenience and Security

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2 cool videos!

THIS MAY BE THE SINGLE GREATEST PIECE OF GEAR A FLY ANGLER CAN OWN.

As I have said on many occasions, it’s called Gink and GASOLINE for a reason. I live in my truck. Last week alone I drove over 5000 miles with my Adipose skiff in tow. This year I have driven from Atlanta, GA to Idaho, twice! I camp, I fish, I float and most of all I drive.

I’m not complaining. It’s a hell of a lot of fun, but take a minute and think about the logistics of it. A single road trip may last two or three weeks away from home. It’s going to involve photography, video, writing, online publishing, camping, cooking, boating and fishing of every imaginable type. It requires a mountain of gear.

Much of this gear is really expensive. Cameras, microphones, lights, computer, iPad, not to mention better than a dozen fly rods and reels and, of course, I have to have a guitar. All of that expensive, and fragile, gear rolling around in the back of my truck for weeks on end. Baking in the sun. Sitting in plain view at put ins and sketchy roadside pull offs. My life savings in an unlocked truck waiting for a shuttle driver. It has been a nightmare for years.

Well, not any longer. I recently upgraded from a ’98 Subaru Forester to a 2002 Toyota Sequoia. When I did, I knew it was time to get a Truckvault. I have wanted one since I saw my buddy Michael White’s Truckvault, which I wrote about last year. I had spent plenty of time drooling over the Truckvault site and knew that they made custom units for SUVs as well as pickups. I knew the time had come.

I logged on and started the process of designing my own Truckvault. The site makes it easy and some of the options are mind blowing. Anything is possible. Mine is a two drawer unit ten inches deep and fifty inches long. It spans the width of the vehicle and is covered in carpet which matches the truck. When you look in the window, you don’t even know it’s there. It has combination locks with key backups. The drawers pull out to full extension and are lined with foam and have customizable dividers. The unit is rated to hold three-thousand pounds on top and is fire safe.

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My Most Memorable Bonefish

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sn’t it funny, how certain fish we catch during our fly fishing trips can end up providing us with ten times the satisfaction over all the others. Sometimes, the size of our catch has little at all to do with the amount of reward it brings. I love catching big fish just as much as the next guy, but for me at least, it’s often more about overcoming the challenges along the way that’s what really makes one catch end up standing out amongst all the rest.

For example, my most memorable bonefish to date, only weighed around four pounds. I’ve landed much larger bones over the years, but what made this particular bonefish so special to me, were the extremely difficult fly fishing conditions I had to work through to hook and land it. Before it all unfolded, and I found myself feeling that special fish tugging on the end of my line, I was holding onto the last remaining tidbits of hope I had left inside me for dear life. I thought success was just about impossible. Never give up when you’re out fly fishing. For when you succeed when everything is stacked up against you, it will be invigorating to your very core.

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Thoughts on the Killing of George Floyd

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By Chad Brown

Editors Note: I am sharing this piece because I think it’s important, it’s brave, and it’s something you need to hear. I am sharing it today, in observance of Juneteenth, to honor those Americans who were victims of slavery, and their ancestors who live with it’s legacy. 

Let me make two thing clear. 

This is not political, it is moral. Share your morality but keep you politics to yourself.

I know from personal experience there will be negative feed back to this posting. There are racist among us. I do not have the power to change that, nor do you. All we can do is stand up and have hope for the future. I am counting on those who have hope to stand up. Please share a message of support in the comments so that our voices are heard above the hate.

Thank you,  Louis Cahill

WAIT BEFORE YOU JUDGE. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. BECAUSE YOU CAN.

In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, I’ve seen countless people on social media expressing their rage — not about George’s death or about the underlying problem of inequality in our country — but about looting and physical damage to property.

I don’t support property destruction, but when there is a riot, there is no rule book.

As Dr. Martin Luther King said, “A riot is nothing but the voice of the unheard.”

The death of George Floyd is a horrific loss that has shined a spotlight on the systemic racism present not just in our nation’s police departments, but in our day-to-day lives, in our schools, offices, court systems, and elsewhere. It has highlighted the tension between white and non-white people in the United States. It has offered us a moment to pause and listen to the unheard voices of America — the voices of indigenous women missing and murdered on their own land, indigenous tribes fighting for their water rights (and losing), Hispanics facing the challenges of maintaining their identity and making a living through low-paid jobs, African Americans asking for equality and justice while seeing black boys and girls getting killed by merciless cops.

The reality of being black in America is being born with a target on you. You can’t separate from this target. It follows you wherever you go. Every time you step outside, your target is visible. You’re judged, spat on, called “nigger” time after time. You walk into a store or office and are falsely accused of a crime. You’re subject to traffic stops simply for being in the “wrong” neighborhood, and then you get harassed by the cops.

Once, when I was pulled over, the cop asked me if I was a U.S. citizen even though my driver’s license clearly indicates that I’m a United States veteran. My car tires have been slashed while fly fishing. Once, while I was fishing on Veteran’s Day, my brake lines were ripped out of my truck.

On social media, I have been publicly accused of “taking” fly fishing from white people. I’ve been told “This is our sport not yours!” and “You need to ask permission to fish my river!” I have received threatening phone calls where I was told I will be drowned the next time I try to fly fish.

We all love the outdoors and, as Americans, nature is free for us to enjoy. But nature is not free for me the same way

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Fly Fishing: The Importance of Having a Good Game Plan

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It’s cool to shoot from the hip on the water. What I mean by that, is fly fishing a new stretch of water and catching fish right out the gates. Sometimes you get lucky and hit the bullseye right off the bat, catching fish immediately after wetting your fly line. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen ever time you pull the trigger on the water, especially on water you’ve never laid your eyes on or haven’t fly fished in months. Veteran fly fisherman that have logged hundreds, if not thousands of hours on the water fly fishing, understand this fact, and that’s why most of them have develop a familiar fly fishing game plan that they use to help them locate and decipher the feeding pattern for the given day. They’ll run through a list of different fly patterns, rig or types of water, and eventually they’ll gain enough information through observation and feedback from their fishing, that they’ll be able to dial into the most effective way to stay into the fish. This strategy is very similar to how tournament bass fisherman pre-fish water to identify and develop a pattern on the lake before tournament time. When conditions change or specific tactics yield little success, having a “game plan” of what you’re going to do next is invaluable on the water when it comes to not only getting your skunk off, but also fully enjoying your time on the water. Below is an example of a “trout game plan” that I use when I’ve not been on the water for a while or when I’m visiting new water. It usually increases my success a great deal.

1. GATHER INTELLIGENCE ABOUT YOUR FISHING DESTINATION BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE.

It may seem like a no brainer, but many of us don’t start gathering intelligence about the water we’ll be fly fishing until we’ve parked our vehicle and hit the water. With present day technology, it’s very easy for fly anglers to begin developing a fishing game plan well in advance of their fishing trip, by simply surfing the web for present fishing reports, water and weather conditions or taking the time to contact a couple local fishing buddies prior to the fishing departure date. Many trips have been saved by Louis and I just by getting on the phone or using the internet to gain knowledge of the fishing location. Google Earth is a great application on your computer or smartphone that you can use to scope out your target fishing area. It’s come in really handy for us finding boat ramps, and gauging whether or not certain floats or runs (driving a boat from point a to b) were going to feasible. It also can be helpful to quickly identify shallow or deep water areas when you’re fly fishing in saltwater or on large reservoirs. Remember, just about any intelligence you can gather, no matter how large or small, will almost always increase your odds for success when you reach the water you’ll be fly fishing.

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Top Ten terrestrial patterns

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By Johnny Spillane

THERE’S NOTHING BETTER THAN FISHING TERRESTRIALS!

I know Kent was just gushing over his love for terrestrial fishing a few weeks back so we thought we would do a second installment of top ten flies. This week we are going to pick our top 10 favorite western terrestrial patterns. Ants, beetles, hoppers, cicadas, crickets you name it, if it crawls on the land and falls in the water, fish eat them. It didn’t seem fair to compare a hopper to an ant to a cicada so these are our favorites in no particular order. Let us know what you think and send us your favorites!

Carl’s Cicada
Cicada’s are one of the best “hatches” to fish when you hit it at the right. During the first few days of seeing them, you will find the biggest fish in the river up on the surface crushing them. Carl’s Cicada was developed on the Green River below flaming Gorge and has been putting fish in guides boats down there for a long time. It can also double as a big beetle pattern.

TIMMY’S HOPPINDICATOR
It’s a hopper, no wait, it’s an indicator. Hoppindicators are great for a few reasons. As the name implies, you can fish it alone as a hopper or you can drop a reasonable heavy nymph without sinking it. It’s got big old googly eyes and holds up even after catching a bunch of fish.

POWER ANT
Its an ant with a little pizzazz.

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The Toughest Water in Wyoming

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“HOW WAS YOUR DAY?” ASKED THE GUY AT THE FLY SHOP COUNTER.

“WELL,” I ANSWERED, “I FISHED THE TOUGHEST WATER IN WYOMING.”

Everyone rolled their eyes. This was exactly the response I expected. Working at a fly shop in Jackson hole, I imagine, you get to listen to more than a few boastful dumb asses. When I told them where I’d spent the day, they all laughed and agreed, I’d fished the toughest water in Wyoming. See if you can figure out what happened?

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6 Easy Tips to Help Fly Anglers Catch Educated Trout

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Back in 2012, I wrote an article titled “The Best Way to Improve Your Trout Game” which talked about how beneficial it was for fly fishermen to not shy away from fishing technical trout water. And that the increased challenges of such water was one of the best ways for anglers to take their fly fishing skills to the next level. Today’s article is sort of going to be a complimentary piece that falls into the same category. Specifically, I’m going to provide 6 easy tips that fly anglers of all skill levels can use to help them be more effective at catching educated trout.

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