Fly Fishing Q&A – What Would Kent Do

9 comments / Posted on / by


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

Read More »

Buying US-Made Fly fishing Gear Helps US Fisheries

32 comments / Posted on / by


It’s true. Thanks to the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937 and the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950, a 10% excise tax on all hunting and fishing equipment goes into a trust fund to support fish and wildlife management.

The US public lands and the opportunities they offer to hunters and anglers are unmatched in most countries. If you are an American angler, a short conversation with European anglers will leave you thanking you lucky stars you were born in the US of A. Our public lands and National Parks are the finest anywhere but we too often take them for granted.

The hidden engine behind our fish and wildlife management is this 10% tax. It has brought species like white tail deer and turkey back from the brink and puts fish on your fly regularly. I know taxes are a hot button subject and I’m not looking to start a political debate so let me be clear. No one wants this tax to go away. It has been a boon, not only for the sporting public but for sporting manufacturers as well.

The idea is that by creating a quality hunting and fishing experience, more people will hunt and fish and they will spend more money doing it. It’s worked very well. The numbers are better documented for hunting than fishing. Hunters spend between five and ten billion dollars a year, generating as much as $324,000,000 in management funding. Firearm manufacturers see a return on their tax investment of around 1000%! You can read more about this (HERE) (HERE) & (HERE)

It’s pretty clear that Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson have been good to both the economy and the ecology, but there is one place where they come up short. The tax is figured on

Read More »

The Flies Of Our Fathers

7 comments / Posted on / by


Although the occasion was a sad one it was the largest gathering of my family in some time and as you would expect there was a good deal of nostalgia and sharing of family stories. This got me thinking about my Grandfather. W.S. (Pete) Cahill, “Dad” to his Grandchildren, was the man who taught me to fly fish when I was eight years old. He was an icon in our family. In our community really. He was an inventor. Honest to God, that was his job. He held dozens of patents. He was a skilled machinist and, in spite of limited education, the most brilliant and creative person I have ever known. He passed away a long time ago but his home has remained in the family and my brother moved in there a few months back. I knew that he had found a box of Dad’s flies. I couldn’t resist photographing them and like most encounters with my Grandfather, I learned a few things.

I’m not suggesting that Dad was a great tyer. Fishing was a hobby and he was a workaholic. He loved to fish but seldom got the chance. His flies were utilitarian but effective and some great examples of the common wisdom of his time. My guess is that most of these were tied in the 1950s or 1960s. There are some classic wet patterns like the Royal Coachman. There are classical streamers. Maybe most interesting are stone fly nymphs that foreshadow today’s more realistic aesthetic while holding on to the art deco influences of the 1940s with their long sweeping tails and streamline design. Some are so simple you might feel silly fishing them but I feel sure they will still produce.

The materials are very different from what we use today. Hackles are much coarser. Thread is of a heavier weight. The materials all seem stiffer than what I use. There are, of coarse, no synthetics. Swiss straw is fairly common and floss ribs the bodies where you would expect wire. The colors are mostly

Read More »

Fish the Amazon with Gink & Gasoline and Nomadic Waters!

1 comment / Posted on / by

By Justin Pickett

Who’s ready to chuck flies at aggressive Peacock Bass in the Amazon jungle?

We are excited to announce our newest hosted trip with Nomadic Waters! Join us September 10-18, 2021 as we travel to the Brazil interior to chase Peacock Bass throughout some of the Amazon River’s fish-filled tributaries. The Peacock Bass of the Amazon are known as some of the most aggressive, yet beautiful fish on the planet. Found on most anglers’ bucket list, they live within the watersheds of the largest, most biodiverse rainforest on our planet, making this a trip of a lifetime.  

Before we go any further, I know everyone is concerned about COVID-19. You’ve got questions and Nomadic Waters has answers.

Read Nomadic Waters COVID-19 policy here:

Read General terms and conditions here:

Over the past several years, the Nomadic Waters crew has developed a fly fishing experience that offers amenities and hospitality unrivaled by other operations in the Amazon.

Through their dedicated work they have built strong relationships and gained support from the local Amazon communities, helping grow their mothership program to become an increasingly popular fishing program that welcomes many repeat guests, and hosts, yearly. Yes, the fishing in the Amazon is amazing, but it is the attention to the finest details, professionalism, and their hard-working staff that made us choose Nomadic Waters. 

Location: Uatumã River Federal Reserve, Brazil

Trip Dates: September 10-18, 2021

Price: $5500 ($5800 after April 1, 2021). A 50% non-refundable deposit will hold your spot.

Our trip will focus on the prime time of year to fish the waters of the Uatumã River and the surrounding federal reserve. September through October is the sweet spot of time when the water is low enough to bring the fish out of the deep cover, but remain deep enough to navigate our mother ship through the Uatumã’s secret channels.  This area has very limited access to outsiders.  In fact, Nomadic Waters is one of only three outfitters allowed inside this federally protected reserve.  This means that you will be casting in water that has not been fished since the previous year’s trips, literally 365 days before.  Because of this, these fish are less accustomed to being fished to, which only increases your chance of hooking up! 

Being that Nomadic Waters is a mothership program, we will constantly be on the move. Fishing from top-of-the-line Bass Trackers (don’t worry, they’re setup for fly fishing!) during the day, the mothership will motor to a new location overnight. Due to this and the great size of these waters, you will always have short runs to the fishing and never see the same water twice! Throughout the week we will cover some 60 miles of river, while also exploring some of the countless lakes and lagoons along the way. The mothership is rarely more than 20 minutes away from where we are fishing, so this is a great expedition for those who might want to come back early and rest.  Anglers often choose to return to the boat for lunch and a siesta in your air-conditioned suite, or in a hammock on the deck.

This is a great adventure for anglers who are looking for a complete jungle experience. We will have contact with small jungle communities throughout the trip, usually having several opportunities to visit

Read More »

DIY Magnetic Fly Box

21 comments / Posted on / by

Make a fly box and win a Gink and Gasoline sticker!

For any given day on the water I select fly boxes from a stack in my office and cram as many of them as humanly possible into my pack. Not only do all of these fly boxes take up space, they eat into the budget too. This little DIY box helps with both. It’s cheap and tiny.

I love magnet boxes, especially for small flies. Getting a number 24 midge into and out of foam is almost impossible and dumping them lose into a bin is a disaster. The magnet box holds these tiny flies nice and tight and keeps them from tangling up in a ball. It’s easy to find the fly you’re looking for and retrieve it. The foam strips in the lid are great for dries and a few larger patterns.

To make this box I start with an Altoids box. This is basically free because I’m buying the mints anyway. I used a Yellowstone souvenir box for this one. The next step is to apply the magnetic sheet. This is cheap and easy too. These magnets are

Read More »

12 Smallmouth Bass Patterns For The Fall

4 comments / Posted on / by

Fall is one of the best times of the year for fly anglers wanting to target big smallmouth bass on reservoirs.

Particularly if the lake impoundment has good populations of shad, blueback herring, or other native baitfish. Fly fisherman fishing surface poppers and subsurface baitfish patterns to these schools of bass can be rewarded with big bronzebacks. The fall brings positive changes in fish behavior and fishing conditions from cooler air temperatures and increased rainfall.  For the first time in several months, water temperatures drop significantly on reservoirs which triggers an increase in baitfish activity. Smallmouth bass counter offensively by congregating themselves into schools and driving the baitfish into shallow water where they’ll ball the bait up for easing feeding.

Smart anglers will search out smallmouth bass and the baitfish around the same spawning grounds they visited in the spring during the pre-spawn and spawn. The only difference is during the fall smallmouth bass aren’t’ spawning, they’re instead using these shallow areas of the lake to ambush and corral baitfish. Anglers should also concentrate on main lake points and flats located close to deep water, since smallmouth bass will use these areas to feed as well. It’s best to get on the lake early when the topwater bite is hot. Daylight until ten o’clock in the morning is generally the best  for breaking fish, but the evening until dusk can be very good as well.

After the sun gets up

Read More »

Flats Fishing is not All Sunshine

5 comments / Posted on / by

I was in The Fish Hawk picking up a few things before heading to the Florida Keys for my first ever week of flats fishing.

My friend Gary Mariman asked me where I was going. When I told him he gave me a piece of advice that saved my trip.

“Take a fleece,” were the first words out of his mouth.

“Really?” I thought. It was already warm enough in Atlanta that I wasn’t carrying a fleece. “You’ll freeze your ass off,” he insisted. Gary, the creator of the Tarpon Toad, knows a thing or two about flats fishing so I took his advice and he was right. I’d have died without that fleece.

It’s tempting to think that it never gets cold in the tropics but I have fished in the Bahamas in two layers of fleece. That was highly unusual but I’ll never go down there without one. I’ve fished in the Keys in April when the temperature never made it to seventy. Even if it’s not uncomfortable to fish in shirt sleeves, running in the boat can get chilly.

The big couplet is water. If you get caught in the rain or splashed by spray you can get hypothermic on a chilly run. You never want to be on a flats boat without rain gear no matter what the weatherman says. The spray from the ocean is just as wet as the rain. Carry a good

Read More »

Bonefishing: No Dancing Allowed!

No comments yet / Posted on / by

By Louis Cahill

This is the number one mistake I see that keeps anglers from catching bonefish.

I know it’s simple but it absolutely couldn’t be more important. I see it happen time after time. Anglers loose their shot at a bonefish and usually don’t even know why. It gets passed off with, “Man their spooky today!” or “Something ran that fish off,” when the truth is, it was you.

The sound of a careless step on the bow is enough to spook a wary bonefish. The rocking of the boat by an angler casting with locked knees will spook a fish who isn’t smart enough to find his own tail. I see it all the time.


Read More »

Tie The White Tiger

7 comments / Posted on / by

It was a windy day in November on the west side of South Andros.

My buddy Bruce Chard had tied up a fly he called the White Tiger. It was big and gaudy and orange and every time it hit the water the bonefish went crazy. We stuck so many big bones that day it was silly so when we got back to the lodge I asked Bruce to tie the White Tiger for a video. If your going bone fishing don’t go without a White Tiger.


Read More »

When Rigging For Bonefish On The Fly, Less Can Be More

13 comments / Posted on / by


I got the chance recently to fish with my buddy Kristen Mustad from Nautilus Reels. I’m not sure Kristen ever fishes the same reel twice. And can you blame him? There’s always a new prototype to test and it is his job to never be satisfied with a reel. When Kristen lined up his new CCFX2 I noticed him doing something odd. He cut off about thirty feel of the back end of a brand new fly line. I had to ask way, and the answer made me rethink how I rig for bonefish.

“How often do you make a hundred and twenty foot cast?” Kristen asked me. “So the rest of the time, what’s that line doing? It’s creating drag in water when the fish cuts.” He makes a brisk gesture to the right with his hand to illustrate his point.

Bonefish are notorious for that. They will make a blistering run, putting you deep into your backing then make a ninety-degree turn. That’s often when they break off or straighten the hook. As they run at thirty-five mph, at ninety degrees to your line, all of that line is ripped through the water and the resulting pressure is far greater than the drag of your reel. It’s happened to me and it’s a bad feeling.

The pressure which the line puts on the fish is directly related to the diameter of the line. The thicker the line, the more pressure it puts on the fish and the greater the risk you will lose him. Fly line creates more drag than backing and that’s why Kristen cuts off the part of the line he’s not casting. Less fly line, less drag.

He takes it a step further though. Instead of using

Read More »