Slow Cast Fly Casting Drill

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Great timing is the hallmark of a good fly cast.

Timing is everything, well, pretty close anyway when it comes to casting a fly rod. Plenty of anglers struggle with their timing, often without knowing it’s their timing that’s off. Poor timing robs your cast of distance and accuracy. Fortunately, it’s a fairly easy problem to overcome. All you need is a little practice, and the right practice drill.

IN THIS VIDEO I GO OVER THE SLOW CAST DRILL I USE TO IMPROVE TIMING.

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A Guideline To Accuracy in Fly Tying

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By Bob Reece

Good fly tying is all about accuracy.

One aspect of fly tying that often creates frustration is tying in materials in the desired location.   As hook size decreases, this task can becomes even more difficult.  While time spent tying helps to conquer this issue, there is a technique that expedites the process.

  From a young age, I’ve had larger than average hands.  While this is great in many aspects of life, it’s not always beneficial in fly tying.   As a young tier I often struggled to secure many materials to the hook in the location where I knew they should be.   My hands either blocked my field of vision or were simply too large to work with the smaller sizes of the hook range. 

One day I wandered into a fly shop on a cold snowy spring day.  There was a man at a tall table tying streamers.  As I watched him tie, he did something that I had never seen before.  He folded several of the materials over or under the thread, to some degree.  Then he simply slid the materials down the thread, using it as a guideline to the exact location of the tie in point.  

While I’m sure that this man did not invent this technique and that it’s undoubtedly been used by tiers the world over, it had a huge impact on my development as a tier.  By using the thread as a guideline to the hook shank, the tier eliminates the possibility of lateral movement by the materials.  This system ensures that the material lands exactly at the base of thread strand.  The location of the bobbin in the three hundred and sixty degrees of one wrap determines which side, top or bottom of the shank the material ends up on. 

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Tenkara Fly-tying

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I initially got interested in fly-fishing because of flies and fly-tying.

The idea of creating a lure using feathers and thread was very appealing to me. Before I ever got my first fly rod I probably tied well over 100 flies. Of course, I got indoctrinated in the western fly-tying school, that of trying to imitate, at least somewhat closely, the insects that lived in the waters I fished. Then, I discovered tenkara. When I first discovered the method I saw in it just the idea of using a rod, line and fly. For my first year of tenkara fishing I continued using the western flies I had learned to tie: parachute adams, elk-hair caddis and some cool mayfly nymph imitations. And then I started learning tenkara from the people that had been doing it for decades in Japan, and I started paying closer attention to their flies.

TENKARA FLIES OPENED UP A BRAND NEW WORLD FOR ME.

Sure, tenkara flies, called kebari in Japanese, were still supposed to fool fish by somehow looking like the insects those fish ate. While not all tenkara flies look the same, the most characteristic tenkara flies are the so-called sakasa kebari, or “reverse-hackle fly”. To a western fly angler they will look more like soft-hackles but with the hackle facing away from the bend of the hook, reversed. This reverse hackle style is very popular and has become my preferred style fly to use. With it, when I’m fishing in moving water the fly will always retain some profile to it rather than becoming a sliver and “disappearing”. I can also impart motion onto the fly, with a light pulsating of my rod, the fly will open and close and look very buggy.

Just like I got into fly-fishing because of flies and fly-tying, I can say that the tenkara flies and what they represent certainly had some impact on my interest in tenkara too. Tenkara flies show us the different approach of suggesting bugs rather than trying to imitate them. They also bring with them the philosophy of using any “one fly” (not changing flies nearly as much as we do in western fly-fishing), and the idea of tying the simplest fly you can get away with. How I wish I had known about tenkara flies when I started learning how to tie flies (my first several hundred flies I tied by hand, without the use of a vise.

TENKARA FLIES SHOW US HOW SIMPLE FLY-TYING CAN BE.

Here are two videos I think people should watch to learn about tenkara fly-tying

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Float Tube Tour: Video

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By Herman deGala

In mid-March and everyone is in the middle of their tying season. 

But for me bass season is right around the corner  when my local reservoir opens for fishing. If there is any ice on the water they won’t let us launch boats or float tubes but we can still fish from shore. They still need to launch the Rangers boat and place the Off Limits buoys.

Like everyone else I am stocking up on flies so that I won’t have to tie during the middle of the season. I also know though that I need to make sure all of my equipment is in top shape and ready to go especially my float tube, rods and reels.

I’ve included a short tour of how I have my float tube rigged and some of the reasons behind the equipment I use. My tube is setup for stillwater fishing and for chasing bass and trout.

Float Tube – Outcast Super Fat Cat

 I love this tube. I have fished it for over 10 years and I put a minimum of over a hundred days on it each year. The best thing about it is that it keeps my okole out of the water so that I don’t get as cold in the early Spring. I also love it because it fits perfectly in the back of my Subaru Forester. I can have it fully inflated and completely rigged. I just pull it out of the back, place my rods in their holders and launch from the side of the ramp in no time at all. 

Pressure Gauge – Kwik Check Pressure Gauge

 It never fails. 95% of the fishermen launching from the ramp have under inflated tubes. I always offer to check the air pressure of their tubes and also offer to help them to top it off. First off it is safer to fish from a properly inflated tube. Also, you can travel faster with a properly inflated tube because there is less surface area touching the water. Having a properly inflated tube also allows you to fight fish more effectively. When you are fighting a 5 lb. smallie the last thing you want to do is to fight your tube to hold position in the wind.

I also admit that the last thing I want to happen is for someone to get hurt just because their tube was under-inflated. I have seen guys that looked like they were wearing a life jacket because their tube was so under-inflated.

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Consumer Surplus and Fly-Fishing

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By Louis Cahill

What would I have to pay you to give up fly-fishing?

If you are not familiar with the term consumer surplus, don’t feel bad. It is, to my mind anyway, a pretty esoteric concept, but one which economists hold a lot of stock in. It’s a way of measuring the parts of our economy that can’t be measured. It’s the value of what you don’t pay for.

On one level it makes a lot of sense. An area that economists spend a lot of time evaluating is the digital economy. For example, a study was done to evaluate the consumer surplus of Facebook. If it could be determined what people would pay for Facebook, that figure would be the consumer surplus. That’s a hard value to asses, so they did the next best thing. They figured out what it would cost to get people not to use Facebook. They actually paid people to give it up for a month. The average cost of getting someone off of Facebook was $48 per month.

Personally, I have a lot of feelings about that. I quit Facebook about a year and a half ago. The account is still there and Justin Pickett posts on it for me but it’s been a year and a half since I looked at it. I would pay well over $48 per month to not see Facebook and I might be willing to pay others not to use it. If you are a Facebook user, I recommend giving it up. You’ll be happier, I promise. Ok, enough rant.

This got me thinking about the consumer surplus in fly fishing. What is the value of the things that we don’t pay for? Let’s start with Gink and Gasoline. Don’t worry, I’m not going to start charging you, but you’d be shocked how many times that idea has been pushed on me. You might be surprised to hear that I have turned down three offers to sell G&G, so I have some idea of what that figure might be, but what is it worth to you, the reader?

It’s worth a great deal to me. Not in dollars, but in my heart. That part of me is a little put off by some economist’s assertion that the digital efforts of my labor are simply part of some math equation bent on figuring my worth to the machine. Still, there is a dollar and cents value to what’s going on here and it isn’t cheap to run anymore. I’d like to point out that the bill is currently being paid by the awesome folks whose ads you see on the site. Also the folks who come on the hosted trips and the straight up heroes who contribute the content. That’s worth thinking about next time you hit the comment section.

So if we can put a value on the five minutes you waste every day, at work I assume, reading G&G, what about the time you actually spend fishing? Let’s use the same math as the Facebook study.

What would I have to pay you to give up fly-fishing?

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Sunday Classic / Tippet Size Can Be More Important With Nymphs

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Many of us like to think it’s all about fly pattern choice when it comes to catching trout. Sometimes it is, but there’s many times when the key to getting the tough bites, lies not in what fly pattern you’re fishing, but rather in what size tippet you’ve chosen to attach your fly to. If you asked me what fly type (streamer, dry or nymph) is most important when it comes to tippet choice, I’d quickly respond that tippet size is most critical when an angler is trout fishing with nymphs. You’re probably thinking, “Thanks for your opinion Kent, but what’s the theory behind your reasoning?” For starters, trout don’t tend to be very tippet shy with streamers—in most moving water situations. A trout generally will see your big meaty streamer coming through its kitchen, and it will either pounce on it for territorial reasons or because it provides an opportunity for a large meal that it can’t afford to pass up. I’ve got buddies that regularly fish 15 pound tippet when they’re streamer fishing, hell, sometimes even 20 pound, and they have great success. And a good portion of them, aren’t pounding the banks on the river from a drift boat, but instead wade-fishing on small to mid-size trout streams. In many cases, anglers tend to fish tippet too light when streamer fishing. Fishing beefy tippet will aid in efficient leader turnover, decrease the amount of false casting needed between presentations, and lastly, it will help anglers make accurate casts more consistently at varying distances.

Dry fly fishing, makes for a much closer call, but I still stand by my belief, that tippet size is more important with nymphs. Largely because the two most important factors in dry fly fishing success, are an accurate presentation and a drag free drift. In certain situations, timing can be critical as well, for instance, when an angler is fishing to a trout actively feeding on the surface during a hatch. That being said, I wouldn’t go so far as to say tippet has no bearing in dry fly fishing. It’s just more common that the problem lies with a presentation off target (out of the target zone), a dry fly looking unnatural because of drag, or the dry fly was drifted over the trout when it wasn’t ready (repositioning after a recent feeding). If you’re certain you have all of the above correct, you’ve tried a few different patterns, and you’re still not getting bites, there’s a good chance your tippet is too large and needs to be downsized.

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Saturday Shoutout / Poncho

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Catching giant steelhead with a pet chicken.

The only thing more special than catching a wild steelhead is doing it with the one you love. Sharing the passion with someone special is what fly fishing is all about. It’s a thrill you can feel in your nuggets, and if that someone is a chicken, who are we to judge?

“What came first, the chicken or the sport of fly fishing?”

THE ONLY WAY TO KNOW IS TO WATCH “PONCHO.”

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Tie An Effective Fly-Fishing Leader for Bonefish

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By Louis Cahill

This fly-fishing leader will out perform anything you can buy.

I have used this leader for most of my saltwater fishing for fifteen years. I learned it from my buddy Bruce Chard and have changed it very little in all that time. It offers the angler more control over their presentation than any commercially made leader. The leader has amazing turnover, especially in windy conditions, and also works well for other species like permit and redfish. 

WATCH THE VIDEO AND LEARN TO TIE AN EFFECTIVE BONEFISH LEADER.

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Bonefish School Opening June 8-15 2019

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We have had a cancelation for the June 8-15 Bonefish School.

This opening is your chance to get in on the fun at Bair’s lodge, South Andros. We generally expect stable weather and calm days this time of year, which adds up to lots of fish. If you’d like to experience a truly remote and unique fishery in one of the most beautiful places on earth, enjoy the service of a top notch lodge, and save a lot of money in the process, this trip is for you. This June is the last Bonefish School at the old price of $3975. 

We have one spot open June 8-15 and a couple June 15-22. We also have dates available for Jan 2020. You can get all the details on the Hosted Trips page.

Shoot me an email to hookups@ginkandgasoline.com for more info or to reserve a spot!

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5 Tips To Stop Breaking Off Bonefish

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By Louis Cahill

If you’re breaking off bonefish, there’s probably and easy fix.

Someone asked me not long ago about losing bonefish due to tippet breaking. It happens to the best of us but there are only a couple of ways for it to happen and each has a pretty simple fix. If you follow a few simple guidelines you can cut way down on the number of bonefish you lose.

It’s fair to say that several of the potential problems I’m going to talk about apply to almost any species of fish. Some are much more common in the environment where we find bonefish and others just happen more frequently because of the speed with which things happen in bonefishing. It is a demanding game but breaking fish off should not be a problem.

Keep in mind that tippet strength is always a concern and in no way a constant. The weight of your tippet has everything to do with where you’re fishing. In locations where bonefish see a lot of pressure, you will need to fish lighter tippet and you will have to be much more diligent. Regardless of the strength of your tippet, there is no reason not to fish to the best of your ability and each of these tips is relevant.

How bonefish break off and how to stop them.

THE HOOK SET

One of the most common ways anglers break fish off is on the hook set. Bonefish behave unpredictably. Often a fish will eat your fly and make an immediate turn away from you. Sometimes even before you strip set. This is most common when a fish charges the fly while it is still high in the water column. Even small bonefish are powerful and failing to give them line when they need it will result in a familiar popping sound. You need to

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