Sunday Classic / How To Become A Badass Angler

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THERE WAS A TIME WHEN I WAS A BAD PHOTOGRAPHER AND A BAD ANGLER.

I got to thinking about this the other day when my brother called to tell me that Leon Townsend had died. I hadn’t thought of him in years. Leon was the man that gave me my first job as a photographer, at the local newspaper in 1978 when I was seventeen years old. He was also the first, and only, person who ever fired me. I honestly didn’t learn much from my time there at The Register and Bee, but firing me was quite possibly the best thing anyone has ever done for me and I will always be grateful to Leon for that.

I had enough pride that being told I wasn’t up to the job stung. It motivated me. I realized that Leon was right. I wasn’t very good and it was on me to make myself better. I have been told many times that I have talent and I have often insisted that I do not. I realized early on, that I would have to work twice as hard as the talented people around me to succeed. What I have, what I learned, is not talent but tenacity. It has served me well. If you want to pay me a compliment, call me tenacious.

In time I became a good photographer and a good angler, and I did it in pretty much the same way. I won’t bore you with a chronology of my photographic career but I will offer you some insight on how I learned, and continue to learn, to fish.

HERE’S HOW YOU BECOME A BADASS ANGLER.

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Saturday Shoutout / Brookie Genetics

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USGS Scientist have some interesting new findings on Southern Appalachian Brook Trout.

Fly anglers in the south love their brook trout. While many western anglers see these fish as an invasive species, here in the southeast they are our only native trout and our southern fish are genetically unique. It turns out they are more unique than we thought. Their habitat is so fractured that there are as many as ten-thousand separate populations.

There is some good news and some bad, but one notable finding is that native brook trout have suffered less hatchery introgression than expected. In this article USGS researcher Dave Kazyak’s sits down for a conversation with Keith Curley, of Trout Unlimited, to share some of his findings.

FASCINATING BROOK TROUT GENETICS WORK

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Echo Fly Rods For 2018: Video

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Some dynamite new rods from Echo fly-fishing.

It’s always fun for me to talk fly rods with tim Rajeff. This year Echo has three very cool new offerings. A premium trout-spey family that’s one of the lightest two handers I’ve ever held, The new Shadow X competition euro-nymphing rods and a whole new lineup of River Glass fiberglass rods.

If you are in the market for a great fly rod and you don’t want to break the bank, you absolutely can’t go wrong with Echo.

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR THE SCOOP ON THE NEW ECHO FLY RODS FOR 2018.

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Is Fly-Fishing a Cult?

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I’m starting to wonder if I have joined a cult.

I picked up a copy of “The Mission” magazine at IFTD. It’s a nice looking book. Good printing, nicely bound, free, everything I like in a magazine. I’ll be honest, I haven’t read it past the cover but that’s what got my attention. The subtitle of the book is “The Cult of Fly Fishing.”

I was intrigued by that. I instinctively felt like that was a fair assessment. As I flipped through the pages I noticed the grandiose way the images portrayed anglers and their quarry. It did look suspicious. In a lot of ways fly fishers act kind of cultish, and the deeper you get into it the more cultish it becomes. I think I may have fallen into this, and even contributed to it.

Let’s be honest, we are an odd lot. There is an awful lot of dogma surrounding fly fishing that has very little to do with catching fish. I tried a test. When I found myself in a group of avid fly anglers, I tried listening to the conversation as if I were an outsider, knowing nothing about the subject. I determined that we sound bat shit crazy to the uninitiated.

I became concerned, so I did a google search for “Identifying a cult.” I found this check list.

6 tips for spotting a cult.

Pressure

There is always some kind of pressure to join. This often involves the idea that your belief system in invalid and that you are missing out on some kind of enlightenment or deeper spiritual experience. “CHECK.”

Brainwashing

Once recruited, members are subject to an organized program of thought reform, or what most people refer to as brainwashing. “CHECK.”

Divine Leaders

Cults usually have charismatic leaders who proclaim themselves as having special powers or special insight. And, of course, divinity. “DOUBLE CHECK.”

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Streamer Retrieves For Different Current Speeds

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I’ve talked in great detail about streamer fishing since I began writing articles for Gink & Gasoline. Most of my time has been spent talking about color and pattern choice, streamer gear/rigging for both big and small water and how to locate and target prime trout water with streamers. One area of streamer fishing I’ve yet to talk about in detail is retrieve speed and candor with streamers.

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Black and White Bahamas

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The Bahamas are beautiful, even without the stunning colors.

One of the things I love the most about fly fishing in the Bahamas are the stunning colors of the flats. I never grow tired of scanning that beautiful horizon. Still, over the years I have taken a lot of black and white photos, many of them infrared, that I love. I thought I’d share a few here. I hope you enjoy them as well.

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Catching Trash and Trout

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By: Alice Tesar

Robbie and I headed down stream on a remote creek in Wyoming and passed the only other angler we would see that day.

He was headed the opposite direction, having already fished the holes we were headed to. He seemed unsteady walking but opted to cross through the strong waist-deep current regardless. My husband, who is always willing to help a stranger (sometimes to my dismay as we rush to an appointment), watched out of the corner of his eye ready to jump in and pull this man from the current should he lose his footing. The man, slow and steady, made it across safely however as he reached the solid ground of the shoreline a plastic sandwich bag fell from his pack. No doubt he didn’t not see it, but I am also certain given his physical state would not have gone to great lengths to reclaim the piece of litter as it drifted downstream. Robbie and I rerouted our planned course downstream to grab the bag. It was still far out from us and we could see it was going to get hung-up in a large eddy soon. As we headed towards the eddy, Robbie cast out his streamer in jest for some “casting accuracy practice”. His line landed on the bag, but the sink tip leader sunk the fly before we could catch the bag. Re-cast out and again line on the bag, but unable to reel it in. I kept walking to where I thought the bag would land when I heard a yelp from Robbie, “THAT’S A HUGE ASS FISH!”

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Sunday Classic / Fly Fishing: Don’t Overlook The Trout Water Close To You

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When you fish your home waters day after day you get pretty good at knowing where the trout like to hang out. But if you let your big ego convince you into thinking you know it all, that’s when the fish will put you in your place. The other day guiding, I approached a honey hole with my client and gave him the break down on where I thought he should make his first presentation. I backed up my preaching by telling him about all the big fish we had landed there in the past. I insisted that all he needed to do was land his flies off the big rock on the far bank, and he’d get a hookup. My client promptly responded, “That sounds good Kent, but let me ask you a question? Shouldn’t I make a cast on the close side first? That water looks good too?” I replied, “That’s probably not a bad idea. It definitely could hold a fish, but if it was me fishing this spot, I’d land it off that big rock and drift the far seam first.”

This is where my client put me in my place and showed me tat even though I spend hundreds of hours a year on this trout stream, I’m no physic. Despite my coercion, my client went with his gut feeling and made his first presentation to the water close to him. Then, two-seconds into the drift, his line went tight and a behemoth trout came shooting out of the water like a tomahawk cruise missile. We landed the fish, and my client looked over at me with a “I told you so” grin. I smiled and said, “What…? I told you it probably wasn’t a bad idea to fish that close water.”

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Saturday Shoutout / Streamer Giveaway!

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IF YOU ARE ANY KIND OF SELF-RESPECTING STREAMER ADDICT, THEN YOU KNOW BRIAN WISE OF FLY FISHING THE OZARKS.

Brian consistently drops high quality streamer tying vids backed up by delicious techno-mixed tracks for your viewing pleasure. He typically ties up three or four examples of each pattern that he showcases, and one could only assume that they end up in his meat locker to one day become the victim of a White River shark attack. Until now anyways…

From now on, or at least until his streamer box starts looking thin, Brian will be giving away the flies that are tied for each video that he produces. All you have to do is go to his YouTube channel, which you’re going to do anyways because you want to watch his latest awesome video, and then give Brian some feedback in the “comments” section. That’s it! After the video has been up for thirty days, Brian will randomly draw a winner from those who commented on the video and ship his newest spin-ups straight to your door! Who doesn’t want free flies?!?! Go check out his latest video HERE and be sure to comment so you’re entered in the giveaway!

NACHO HEREDERO’S B.I.L.

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Scientific Anglers Amplitude Smooth: Video

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The new Amplitude Smooth fly line from Scientific Anglers may be the longest lasting fly line ever made.

Lats year SA introduced its Amplitude fly lines. These lines have been very popular but SA wasn’t content to leave it at that. This year the Amplitude series gets an update with a smooth textureless finish and new and improved AST Plus integrated slickness additive. The line is 50% slicker than any line SA has made before and last up to 8 times longer than a standard fly line.

CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO FOR THE DETAILS ON THE AMPLITUDE SMOOTH FLY LINES FROM SA.

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