The Incredible Ethical Egg

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By Herman DeGala

When I started fly fishing years ago, I was told that fishing egg patterns was indicative of questionable angling ethics.

What I discovered was that it was not so much the flies themselves, but how they were used. I don’t fish to spawning fish and won’t fish over redds. I do, however, fish behind redds, where fish are looking for an easy meal, or to fish in other parts of the river during spawning season. I don’t think it is a coincidence that this fly works particularly well during the spring and fall.


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How Fly-Fishing Could Actually Make America Great Again

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Could fly-fishing be the answer to America’s divisive politics?

I have a hard and fast rule concerning politics on G&G. There’s no place for it. I have never discussed my political views here and I’m not going to start now. I am, however, going to look at how we Americans discuss politics.

Just before the holidays, I took a trip to Louisiana for a little red fishing with a group of friends, including Joel Dickey. We had absolutely awful weather and with one day too bad to fish, and a long car ride on each end of the trip, Joel and I had plenty of time to talk. Politics were inevitable.

The first thing you have to understand about Joel and me is that we are as completely different as any two people you will ever meet. It’s safe to say that, fly fishing aside, the only things we have in common are that we are both highly opinionated and neither of us is very good at walking away from a fight. With our political views being diametrically opposed, an eight-hour car trip could easily be a disaster.

I have been politically involved since before I could vote.

The healthy function of democracy has always interested me and I have always considered it my responsibility to be informed and active in the process. For most of my life that has been an outlook which had been respected. That is to say that keeping up with politics and discussing it civilly with others was an admirable thing. That seems to have all changed. I have never seen a time when Americans were so divided as they are today. So uncivil and blatantly disrespectful. Today, if you take an interest in politics, most people consider you an asshole. The only thing that’s “cool” is to be out of the process, and I can’t help but think that’s exactly what our politicians want.

In spite of our differences, and our having way too much time on our hands to explore them, the discussion between Joel and I never became uncivil. It never does. I’ve spent countless days on a boat with Joel talking about

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Sunday Classic / The Sugar Foot

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If you do it long enough you’re bound to learn something. In the average presentation you want to lead and cross a fish. Therefore, when the bonefish first sees your fly, he sees its profile. If he likes what he sees, he generally follows the fly for a while before he decides whether or not to eat it.

I wanted to create a fly that gave the bonefish an incentive to eat. I wanted a fly the would change its appearance as the fish pulled in behind it to follow. I wanted to give the fish a visual trigger to eat. The result of that effort (and a fair amount of rum) was the Sugar Foot.

This fly has a light flashy shrimp profile and great action. The body of the fly conceals a bright orange egg sack that becomes visible as the fish comes around from behind. Does it work? So well that I call it by the same name I call my wife.

Watch the video and learn to tie the Sugar Foot.

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Saturday Shoutout / Fly Shop Strong

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Where would fly-fishing be without fly shops and public land?

There are no words for how much I love this video from our friends at Echo. It’s a beautiful look at the state of Montana, it’s amazing public lands and it’s array of great fly shops. You’ll hear from some of the most influential folks in the sport on the importance of fly shops, the communities they create and the water they love.

Thank you Tim Rajeff and Echo for this great short film!


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Safe, Painless Hook Removal: Video!

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If you’ve been thinking, “I love Gink and Gasoline but I wish it could be more like Jackass”, then today is the day your dreams come true!

There are two kinds of fishermen. The ones who have hooked themselves and the ones who are about to. It’s a bad feeling the first time you put a big streamer hook in yourself past the barb. You feel pretty helpless if you don’t know how to handle it. I’ve done it many times and I’m here to tell you that there is an easy, and even painless, way to get that hook out. As a veteran guide Kent has had to do it plenty and he’s a master. He’s taken hooks out of clients without them even knowing it was done.

We’ve been wanting to do this video for some time. We kept waiting for one of us to get hooked but it hasn’t happened so on a recent float on the South Holston with the guys from Southern Culture on the Fly and Bent Rod Media I decided to take things in hand and hook myself so we could show you how to deal with it. I have to say, it was harder to get that hook in past the barb than I thought. If you listen closely you can hear Dave Grossman of SCOF almost lose his lunch.

So watch and learn and please, share the video with someone. I don’t want to do this again! Thanks to Dave and Steve of SCOF and Ryan Dunn of BRM and Appalachian Fly Guides for a great day of fishing and all the help with the video.

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Hook Selection for Streamer Patterns

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By Bob Reece

Big streamers on big hooks equal big fish. Yes and no. Selecting the most effective hook helps determine the difference between getting a take and netting that same fish.

Many traditional streamer patterns were constructed on hooks with long straight shanks. The added distance provided by 2, 3 and even 4x shanks was used to create the longer profile of the food item that was being imitated. When Zonkers, Matukas and other classic patterns were created this style of hook was the most common available option. Longer shanked hooks are still frequently used and can be highly effective. As with all styles of hooks, do your research; they are not all created equally.

Hooks with shorter shanks require different material approaches to create the elongated profile of the larger prey items that streamers imitate. While this often brings about an adjustment in tying methods, it also helps to increase the odds of trout-to-net success. Shorter shanked hooks reduce the amount of leverage that can be applied by the fish. This is extremely beneficial when playing robust trout that streamers can produce. This reduction in leverage simultaneously decreases the chance of the hook being thrown lose by the fish.

In addition to hook length, the hook point angle should be taken into account when selecting hooks. Those that display an upturned or sideways canted point hold fish more effectively than hooks with points that run parallel to the hook shank. I state this difference in conjunction with the assumption that the streamer hook is barbless of has had its barb compressed. Large streamer hooks have large barbs and can inflict serious damage to trout. If you’re goal is to catch and release, please take the time to crimp your barbs or fish barbless models.

Another important factor in this equation is hook point diameter.

This element, if over looked, can drastically alter the effectiveness of a pattern.

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8 Common Fly Line Mending Mistakes

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I spend the majority of my time teaching fly casting when guiding my clients, but the art of mending fly line is a close second. A perfect cast can quickly become obsolete if you don’t understand the concept of mending fly line. When mending is timed correctly and executed properly it allows fly anglers to maintain a drag-free presentation, keep their fly in the target zone, and prolong the length of their drift. Developing good mending technique my friends, translates into more fish being hooked and landed. If you’re lucky enough to already have the basics of fly casting down, I highly encourage you to next focus your time on understanding and mastering the mechanics of mending fly line. Throughout this post I’m going to try to touch base on the most popular mending mistakes I see on the river, but before I do so, here’s an intriguing question for everyone. Why is it, that fly anglers seem to always get their left and right mixed up when mending fly line? It happens to me guiding all the time. I’ll instruct my client to mend to the left and they’ll do the opposite, by mending to the right. One of the most common four word phrases out of my mouth is, “no, your other left”. This will probably hit home with more guides than anglers but I had to bring it up, since we all do it. I’ve tried using upstream and downstream for instructing mending direction, but that seems to be even more confusing. That being said, here are the most common mending mistakes I see on the river. 1. Anglers Wait Too Long to Mend Everyone deserves props when a perfect cast is made, but don’t make the mistake of admiring it, and forget to follow it up with … Continue reading

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We be Grubbin’

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By Chris Dore

Things are hotting up in Southern NZ and to many Southern locals, this means Willow Grubbing time!

Willow grubs are the larvae of the Saw Fly (Pontania Proxima) , and pupate within those angry red blisters found on the leaves of willow trees. As they emerge from these leafy cocoons, many fall into the rivers and streams these trees line. To the trout, this is a terrestrial smorgasboard and they feed in frenzy like fashion on, in and below the surface. To the angler, this can mean a frustrating time as casts after cast goes unrewarded, and fly after fly is lost forever to low hanging branches. However this doesn’t have to be so.

The key to successful grubbing is to imitate the minute movement of the natural, but how can you imitate the tiny pulses of an often size 20 or smaller morsel in the film without overdoing it?

By letting the fish see the drop of your fly. It’s often that simple.

Now another problem is in seeing such a tiny, sparse imitation at 20 to 30 feet. My solution is to simply attach your grub pattern on a short dropper behind a hi-viz parachute, blowfly or beetle pattern. If the cast goes astray, the fish may even hone in on your indicator fly. Its a win-win really. You can also use a tiny yarn indicator, or a smear of strike putty on your tippet knot.

The final dilemma is how to get those flies beneath or behind low hanging willow branches. Places that grubbing fish like to feed. The answer to this is

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G&G Christmas On The Fly Contest Winner!

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Thanks to everyone who participated in our “Christmas On The Fly” tying contest! We had some great submissions and, after narrowing it down, we have our winner! I think we saw just about every kind of Christmas décor used in some creative ways, but we were blown away by Alex Vaughan (alex_vaughan17), who not only tied two great Christmas patterns but caught fish on both! Great work Alex, congrats! We hope you enjoy all of the new gear that’s headed your way! You can even see a video of Alex tying his Elf on the Shelf Spoon and catching a fish here,   A big thanks to Simms, Orvis-Atlanta, Sight Line Provisions, Plan D Fishing, Rising Fishing Co., Cortland Line, Appalachian Furled Leader Co., Whiskey Leatherworks, and Nate Karnes Art for contributing gear and swag for this season’s fly tying contest! All of us here at G&G wish you and yours a very merry and fishy Christmas! Justin Pickett Gink & Gasoline   Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!  

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Sunday Classic / Rudolph The Red Nosed Key Deer

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It has been widely rumored that the little buck was aiming for Big Pine Key but missed due to too many holiday eggnogs. The deer was last seen swimming across the channel to Big Pine. We have no further information as the Big Pine Police Department will not return our calls.

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