You’re tying your boots wrong

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By Dan Fraiser

I’ve waded hundreds of miles with dozens of different anglers over the years. One problem that has troubled nearly every one of them at one time or another is wet boot laces coming untied. I’ve watched them retie wet laces, cinching them down with all their might. I’ve seen them tie the double knot, only to spend many minutes in fading light trying to figure out exactly which lace to try to pry loose, sometimes with tools, in order to get the boots off. This problem is so ubiquitous that the industry actually invented a technological solution. That being the Boa System. Now full disclosure, I use the Boa on the boots I wear with my waders and I love it. We can debate the merits of that somewhere else. But on my wet wading flats boots I have regular old stone-age laces like everyone else. However, I NEVER suffer from laces coming untied. Why? Because we were all taught to tie our shoes wrong. With one flip of the wrist, we learned to tie the weak form of the shoe knot rather than the strong form. The weak form is not self-tightening, lays your loops the wrong way across your boot and significantly increases untying events especially in large round laces like those found in wading boots. Here is a very short TED Talk video that will demo the right way to

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Getting A Grip On Fly Casting: Video

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Watch the Video!

No one grip is right for every casting situation.

In general, there isn’t enough said about grip in fly casting. I spent the first half of my life with a poor casting grip. I finally ran into a gentleman who helped me find a grip that worked for me but for years after that I never thought any more about it. When I started fishing in saltwater that trusty old grip failed me once again.

I got help again and straightened out my cast but it wasn’t until I met Tim Rajeff, and he explained to me how different grips work with different casting strokes, that I fully understood the mechanics of the casting grip. I now have technique and the knowledge about how and when to use it.

It’s made a huge difference in my casting, especially my accuracy. I also have much less trouble with casters elbow. It turned out I was causing myself a lot of pain by combining the wrong grip and casting stroke. It’s been so great for me, I asked Tim to share this quick tip in a video. It helped me become a better caster and I know it will help you.

Watch the video and get a grip on your fly casting!

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Working With Stretch Tubing

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By Bob Reece

I love flies that have both transparency and durability.  Incorporating stretch tubing into the construction of a pattern adds both of these elements.  In addition to this, manipulating the material and those that it’s paired with, can help produce more effective flies. 

Stretch tubing comes in the sizes of micro, midge and standard.  Micro is the smallest ranging up to standard on the large end of the scale.  This range of sizes provides a wide range of applications for patterns of all sizes.  For reference, I use the standard for nymphs size twelve and up.  Midge for nymphs down to size 18.  Lastly, micro for dries and nymphs size twenty and smaller. 

One huge benefit of the stretch tubing in comparison to solid vinyl ribs, is its elastic nature.  By applying different amounts of tension to the tubing, a tier can alter the diameter of the wraps that are laid down.  This allows for the creation of different natural tapers when imitating different bugs.

The color selection for stretch tubing is fairly extensive.  It is important to note though

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Fly Fishing Q&A – What Would Kent Do

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WE RECENTLY EXPERIMENTED WITH ASKING OUR G&G FACEBOOK FANS TO PROVIDE US WITH FLY FISHING TOPICS/QUESTIONS THEY WOULD LIKE US TO ANSWER AND GET MORE INFORMATION ON.

Louis coined the concept WWKD (What Would Kent Do) and it’s been very successful thanks to all of your participation. I picked out three inquiries from the participants and have provided my answers. Let us know how you like this Q&A platform and we’ll continue to use it in the effort to provide you with the content you desire.

Lance Lynch asks:
“You drive a hundred miles to a pristine river. You are so excited to get out and fish but you snap the tip off your rod. No spare rods, a full day ahead of you. WWKD?”

This is a great question because many of us have found ourselves in this situation before. You know how I always talk about carrying extra gear? This is why folks. Stuff like this happens all the time to us. It’s very easy to snap the tip off your rod getting it in or out of your vehicle, or even drop your fly reel on the ground and bend the spool. If you’re a serious fly fisherman, you should always take the time to pack extra gear, especially if you’re going to be traveling long distances to fish. Consider purchasing a inexpensive rod-tip repair kit and keep it in your vehicle and if you have a back up fly rod, pack it as well.

Fuji Rod-Tip Repair Kit
To answer your question, this is what I would do if I didn’t have a rod tip repair kit or a back up fly rod with me. It’s a quick fix, just carefully snip off the broken section as close as possible to your next rod guide with a pair of nippers or pliers. Keep in mind the fly rod won’t cast as nice, and it will catch the fly line some, but you’ll still be able to cast it well enough to make satisfactory presentations and land fish.

Kim Brock asks:
“What is the most important advice that you would give to a new trout angler. WWKD?”

This is a pretty broad question but here are seven tips I stress most with my novice clients.

One, take the time to learn the fundamentals of fly casting so you can learn proper technique. Always watch your backcast when your practicing fly casting and fishing on the water. It will shorten your learning curve, help keep you out of the trees and minimize tangles on the water. You’ll also improve your skill level much quicker overtime by doing this. If you don’t fish all that often, it can be very beneficial for you to practice fly casting a couple of times for 10-15 minutes in the yard before you head out on your fishing trip. Doing so, you’ll feel more comfortable and confident in your fly casting and you’ll have worked out many of your casting flaws.

Two, when you’re trout fishing don’t

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Elevate Yourself to Increase the Distance You Can High-Stick

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Most of the time when your fly fishing for trout, the last thing you want to do is elevate yourself. In most scenarios, that will usually do more harm than good, by increasing the chances of trout spotting you and spooking. Notice I said “most scenarios”, every once in a while, an angler is forced to go against traditional principles to find success. The other day, I found myself trying to fish an eddy and slow water seam on the far bank. Making the cast wasn’t the problem, it was getting a long enough drag-free drift to get my fly to the fish. Even with my best high-sticking efforts, every cast the super fast water between me and my target water would grab my fly line and suck my flies out prematurely. After a couple minutes of struggling with my drifts and failing to get any bites, I decided to climb up on a boulder next to me. This elevated me three feet, and allowed me to keep 100% of my fly line off the water and get that long drag-free drift. I caught three trout after

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Fly Casting Tip: Don’t Ride the Brakes During Your Casting Stroke

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Are you finding that you’re lacking distance and falling short of your target with your fly casting? Is your power and line speed insufficient? If the answer is yes, I bet you’re also getting a fair amount of tailing loops or dreaded wind knots aren’t you? Come on, be honest. There’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of if you’re periodically falling into this category with your fly casting. Believe me when I say, you’re not at all alone. I see it regularly on the water guiding, and most of the time anglers struggling with these problems usually are only doing one thing wrong with their fly casting. Nine times out of ten, in this scenario, anglers are decelerating their fly rod during their forward cast, back cast, or even both, in some cases. What you need to be doing to fix this problem is smoothly accelerating your fly rod during your casting stroke, making sure you’re stopping the rod at it’s fastest point. This will allow your fly rod to distribute the energy loaded during your cast efficiently, and you’ll have plenty of power (line speed) to reach your targets. Deceleration During Your Casting Stroke:  Short Story & Case Study This past fall I was fishing big attractor dry flies with a client of mine. There were plenty of big fish willing to rise to our offerings, but to get them to eat, we had to stay far back and make long casts to them. Otherwise they’d spot us and spook. My client, a capable fly fisherman with strengths in short presentations and roll casts, developed a weakness for distance, when a head wind picked up. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get the distance needed to present his dry fly ahead of the fish. Several minutes we … Continue reading

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Dickey’s Tarpon Muddler

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Watch the tying video

IS THERE ANYTHING MORE SATISFYING THAN CATCHING A FISH ON A FLY THAT YOU TIED YOURSELF? WHAT ABOUT WHEN THAT FISH IS A BIG, LAID UP TARPON?
Where going to spend a little time helping you do just that. A couple of my good friends are going to share some of their favorite saltwater patterns with you. Joel Dickey is going to kick it off with this great pattern of his. Dickey’s Tarpon Muddler.

This is a fly that Joel uses with great results for laid up tarpon and for rolling tarpon in the early morning. It’s a simple tie that uses some sexy materials and some traditional techniques. It has a great profile and an enticing action.

Watch the video and learn to tie Dickey’s Tarpon Muddler. It might just put you on the fish of a lifetime.

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Fly Fishing Bass: 5 Tips for Fishing Frog Patterns Around Grass

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SOME OF MY MOST MEMORABLE DAYS CHASING BASS ON THE FLY HAVE COME FROM ME SPENDING THE DAY POPPING AND WAKING FROG PATTERNS ALONG THE SURFACE.
I grew up fishing for bass, and although trout fishing has stolen the majority of my fly fishing attention over the years, I’ve always held a special place in my heart for catching bass on the fly. I’ve got friends that don’t see the coolness in fly fishing for bass, but that’s because most of them haven’t put in enough time on the water to experience perfect fishing conditions, and witness the thrill of bass smashing their fly cast after cast. Bass are amazingly acrobatic fish, and they provide more than enough pull and rod bend to justify fly fishing for them. If you haven’t explored this area of fly fishing, I highly recommend it.

The other day, Louis and I left our houses at 2:45 in the morning to drive across the Georgia State line, and fly fish for bass on Lake Guntersville. Louis was doing a shoot for a new bass lure company, and I was lucky enough to get invited to tag along. Normally, it would be a real challenge to drag me out of bed at this hour, but Lake Guntersville is considered one of the top bass fishing lakes in the entire country. More importantly, the lake is famous for its unbelievable frog fishing that generally starts in June, and runs through the summer months. Lake Guntersville hosts several professional bass tournaments throughout the year, and in 2014, it will host the most famous of all tournaments, The Bassmaster Classic.

During the tournaments on Lake Guntersville, it’s not uncommon for bass anglers to weigh-in five fish sacs, well over 35 pounds.
That’s right, we’re talking about an average fish weight of over seven pounds. If that doesn’t get you excited about visiting Lake Guntersville, I suggest you get someone to make sure you have a pulse. The reason this lake can grow and sustain such large

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In Our Fly We Trust

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By Jesse Lowry

Fishing is as much of a mental game as any sport.

Whether it’s having confidence in your gear, the conditions, your technique, hell, even in the fish, the psychological factors play a role in how we perform on the water.

While a multitude of factors can be considered when deciding where, when, how, and with what we fish, having too much focus. or a focusing only on the negative factors, can be what stands between us and a successful day on the water. For instance, worrying that you can’t make a cast, or the weather is going to put the fish down, or these currents are going to make it tough to get a good drift, or the tide might not be ideal for this spot, or maybe I don’t have on the right fly.

While these are all valid factors to consider, they are all directed at the negative aspects of the proverbial hand we are dealt. This train of thought is tough to change. It is in our hard wiring. We are inherently risk averse as a species and thus try to avoid negative outcomes by using past experience as a guide. This leads to a bias where we focus on how we can fail as opposed to how we can succeed. Changing this type of thinking takes time and has to be done in baby steps. In my opinion a good place to start changing this biased way of thinking is with the fly we tie on.

I’ve had the same conversation with numerous fly fishermen in different parts of the world, regarding different species of fish and the consensus has been the same. A fly

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Chard’s Snapping Shrimp

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Watch the tying video!

IT’S TIME TO GO TO THE BAHAMAS AND CATCH BONEFISH!

Seriously, I’m going to the Bahamas tomorrow morning for the first week of the G&G Andros South bonefish trip. I can’t wait. And in the box of flies I’m taking along there is a healthy handful of Bruce Chard’s Snapping Shrimp patterns.

This is one of the first bonefish flies I learned to tie and it’s a s productive now as it was then. It’s a versatile little fly that takes almost no time to tie and catches bonefish on any flat in the Bahamas. And plenty of other places I’m sure.

It may be too late for you to go to South Andros with me tomorrow, but it’s not too late to tie some Snapping Shrimp for your next trip.

Watch the video and learn to tie Chard’s Snapping Shrimp.

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