Saturday Shoutout / Anchored With Oliver White

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Oliver White is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met.

I was super excited to see that he has sat down with April Vokey to record an episode of her podcast, “Anchored.” I consider both Oliver and April friends, but I’ve never actually been in a room with them together. This conversation did not disappoint. Two remarkable folks having a remarkable conversation.

Oliver White’s story reads like the plot of a movie. A movie with a plot that isn’t at all realistic. A whirlwind ride from the mountains of North Carolina to the flats of the Bahamas and the jungle of Guyana, by way of Wall Street.  Take a few minutes and get to know one of the most unique folks in fly fishing.


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New Gear From Fishpond

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You can always count on Fishpond for fly-fishing gear on the cutting edge.

Fishpond leads the industry in fishing gear made from recycled materials. What’s awesome about that is, you don’t sacrifice function while you’re helping out the environment. Every piece of Fishpond gear I’ve ever owned is as rugged as they are innovative. 

All of this applies to the new gear this year. There are tons of new products but in this video we focus on a chest pack, a duffle and the new reach and tippet keeper.


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3 Classic Flies For New Tyers

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By Bob Reece

Three points of contact provide stability. 

There are a plethora of patterns that new tiers could begin with.  Yet three in particular lay out the fundamental techniques needed to create a stabile foundation for your fly tying future. 

The Woolly Bugger, Pheasant Tail and Elk Hair Caddis have all proven their worth.  The results that these patterns have produced for anglers around the world are undeniable.   Yet equally as important, but often overlooked, is the value of these three bugs to beginning tiers.  

Successful fly tying stems from mastering techniques.  Once these techniques have been mastered they can be applied to additional practices and the subsequent patterns that are created through their use.  While constructing the Woolly Bugger, tiers work with tailing materials, chenille and wrapping hackles.   The Pheasant tail provides a practicing ground for proper nymph proportions, feather bodies and ribbing materials. Lastly, the Elk Hair Caddis introduces the tier to dubbing, more precise hackle use and hair wings.  

By learning and mastering these three patterns, new tiers can anchor themselves to a successful starting point.  The skill set created through the creation of these bugs reaches far and wide in its application throughout the fly tying world.  


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Why ask why? Try dry flies for Steelhead

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By Jeff Hickman


I always have said that one fish on the dry is worth ten on wet flies…but why? It’s not like it’s impossible to catch them on dries. It can actually be quite productive at times but people are often just too afraid to try. If you only have one day to fish there’s a lot of pressure to catch fish, so why opt for the most challenging method? Well, there is, in fact, only one way to catch a steelhead on a dry fly and it start with tying it on your line!

Is a steelhead eating a fly off of the surface that much more unbelievable than a fish eating a fly swung just under the surface, or for that matter, a fly swung deep with a sink tip? It’s not. In fact, I think that there are times when a dry fly can work better. The disturbance and wake it cuts through the water’s surface can excite fish and elicit savage grabs.

The visual display you get when watching the fly skate across the surface is super fun and you can learn a lot by seeing where your fly actually is. Watching a fish come airborne for it, slap it, thrash at it, boil on it or just gently suck the fly down is one of, if not the single, most exciting experiences there is in fishing. Seeing them come for the fly is super exciting even if you don’t hook them. It is that extra element of playing with the fish that is the coolest for me!

photo2But what is even better

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Sudden Impact, Fishing A Better Beetle

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By George Daniel

Beetles that Create Impact On Trout Streams

A fly fisher’s job is to gain “positive” attention from the fish they pursue. In this instance, we’re going to focus on trout and terrestrial patterns. Positive attention occurs when a pattern creates enough impact on the water surface to arouse curiosity (not fear) in a feeding trout. Focus on presentation and good technique is always of the top of the list, but sometimes the right patterns can make all the difference. I’m still a firm believer that technique trumps pattern choice, but there’s always exceptions. 

One reason I guide is for the lessons I learn through the power of observation. It’s my job to try to help coach individuals into catching fish, but so often I’m the one taking home the lesson of the day. In the case of this article, I’m referring to the time I spend with longtime fishing guest/client Bob Williams.  First, let me make it clear that Bob “The Beetle” Williams doesn’t need a guide. He’s one of the most well rounded terrestrial fly fishers I’ve met. I am grateful for the fun times we have had on the water and thankful for the lessons I’ve gleaned over the years.

One such lesson is that, not all fly tying foams are created equal. Long story short, the density built into a terrestrial can make the difference between getting no attention or receiving positive attention. Several years ago, Bob showed me a dense foam material manufactured by a local PA guy and it totally changed my opinion on the importance of how a pattern lands on the water.  What I’m getting at is, there are times when your patterns need to create such an intense impact that trout can feel the fly land, even if they cannot see it. Common sense, I know, but sometimes we can all use a refresher course in terrestrial fishing 101. 

Think about deep undercut banks where trout will hold. Trout holding deep under the bank often cannot see what’s going on outside their lair, and a terrestrial pattern that is designed to land softly on the water is not likely to garner a trout’s attention.  For years I only guided with one beetle pattern, tied with the standard foam that all fly shops sell. It worked well enough so I stuck with it until my first trip with Bob. Then Bob introduced a foam beetle material he bought from Bill Skillton years ago. A rigid foam strip coated with a material that drastically increased its density. Watching the effect it had on the local trout forever changed my opinion on fishing undercut banks with terrestrials.

After having little success fishing my foam pattern along a prime section of undercut bank, Bob asked to head back downstream fish back through the same water with his beetle instead.

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The G Loomis IMX Pro Short Spey: Review

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By Louis Cahill

The IMX Pro Short Spey may be the best bargain in fly-fishing.

Every one of the IMX Pro fly rods I’ve cast has been a joy, but the 11-foot 11-inch two-handers really stand out. I cast the 3 weight on the pond at IFTD last year. I was immediately impressed but I’ve learned not to judge a rod solely on the casting pond. I got my hands on a 5 weight short spey and did some trout fishing with it. Last month I took the 5 weight to the Deschutes for steelhead and I’m blown away by the performance and versatility of this rod.

Before we go any further, let’s talk about the price. Too many times I find myself reviewing great fly rods that I know are out of reach of a lot of anglers. The truly amazing thing about the IMX Pro Short Spey is the price. At $575 it’s literally half the price of much of the competition and with no compromise that I can find. Speaking specifically about the 5 weight, a quality rod that covers the gambit from trout spey to summer steelhead, is astounding at that price.

The second thing you should know about the IMX Pro is that it is not a switch rod. Although it is just under 12 feet in length, which would classify it as a switch rod, it was never intended for overhead casting. It’s a classic, medium-fast spey action. It has a softer midsection than a typical switch rod which means it loads like a dream and casts effortlessly, as a spey rod should.

The rod is light and crisp in the hand. This means that it is not only a joy to cast but to swing. Holding line off the water and leading the fly into the swing is effortless. I have bad shoulders and this kills me with a 13-foot 7-weight. The light weight and easy casting of the IMX Pro Short Spey reduces fatigue and makes the whole fishing experience relaxed and enjoyable, as it should be.

When I carried the 5 weight out for steelhead, I expected to be under gunned. Typically, a 6 weight is my choice for summer steelhead. I was pleasantly surprised by the IMX Pro in both casting and fish fighting. Set up with an Airflo

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Sunday Classic / Six Cutties in a Hot Tub

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Are you fixing to head out west for an exciting trout fishing trip? If yes, and you plan to do some wade fishing, pay close attention to water levels before you decide on where to start your days fishing. Recently, Louis and I visited the Grey’s River in Wyoming for the opportunity to enjoy catching beautiful Snake River cutthroats on dries. Water levels were very high on the Grey’s and the lower sections of the river were too high to wade safely or fish effectively. We found out very quickly if we were going to get into some good fishing we’d have to focus our efforts on the upper sections of the watershed. That meant targeting the water above most of the tributaries dumping into the Grey’s, and driving 25 miles further up the forest service access road.

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Saturday Shoutout / Don’t Loose That Fish

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Some stunning video of tenkara fishing across Europe.

This video follows the guys from Tenkara Rod Company on a european fishing tour through Switzerland, Italy and Slovenia with the Tenkara rod. They visit some beautiful places and catch some amazing fish, including some larger than you might expect. Even if you don’t fish tenkara rods, you’ll love this video.


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New Orvis Pro Boots: Video

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A new wading boot from Orvis offers performance features to athletic anglers.

“We are starting to look at some anglers as athletes,” Tom Rosenbauer tells me.

That’s reflected in design and materials in the new Orvis Pro Boot. The rubber sole, developed in cooperation with Michelin, have a self cleaning tread that’s 40% stickier than the competition, and the insole is borrowed from cross-fit technology. The upper is a bombproof, cast panel and proprietary hardware is designed to take a beating.

The new Pro Boot from Orvis is built to take some punishment, but also to give the angler a stable wading experience that doesn’t involve thinking about their feet. Comfort, durability and performance for the serious angler.


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Little Things Matter: Tippet Spools

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By Bob Reece

I’m a huge believer in the fact that little things matter. 

I believe this holds true in all aspects of life, including the world of fly fishing.  In the tackle setups that we as fly fishers use, our tippet is often one of those petite items of importance.

Spools of tippet in various sizes are an essential part of a successful day on the water.   Their material allows fly fishers to create the connections needed for effective presentations and bringing fish to our nets.  While this is widely understood, we often overlook the small aspects of maintaining and using these supportive spools.  

Many tippet spools have built in cutters that are imbedded in their plastic rims.  During the bustle of a day on the water, the free end of tippet often works its way free from the metal eyelet and elastic band that hold it in place.  If the tippet ends up on the same side of the band as the cutter, it is often nicked when peeled off the spool.  These unintended abrasions weaken the tippet material and create the possibility of breaking off larger fish.  To avoid this occurrence, check your spools throughout the day and leave a slightly longer than normal tag end when cutting off lengths of new tippet.  

The same elastic bands that hold the tippet in place, can also blind us to the amount of material that we have left.  I spend a significant amount of time fly fishing waters off the beaten path.  It’s more than frustrating to reach for your first round of tippet and realize that there are a few inches left of the size that you needed most.  I’ve made a habit of

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