Argentina Dream Stream

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I can’t think of anything better than stalking big trout in Argentina.

There is something other-worldly about fly fishing in Argentina. It’s at once so familiar and yet so strikingly different. The fish are big and optimistic, and the angling pressure almost non existent. Condors soar above, llamas lounge on the banks, and bid trout feed at your feet. What more do you need?

I’ll be hosting a trip to Argentina in Feb of 2018. We will spend four days on the Limay river in Argentine Patagonia and four days chasing golden dorado on the Upper Parana. There are still a few spots open. If you’d like to see this fly-fishing paradise for yourself, send me an email at


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Forget The Wind: Tips for Fly Casting in the Wind

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By Louis Cahill

Fly casting in the wind is just fly casting…in the wind.

“Ok, so I’m in my ready position, and the wind is blowing on my right side…”

The question came from an angler at this year’s January Bonefish School. I didn’t need to hear any more of it.

“I’ll stop you right there,” I replied, “The answer is, stop thinking about the wind.”

I vividly remember being in that mindset. Freaked out about the wind, overthinking stuff that had nothing to do with getting the fly in front of the fish, rushing my cast and melting down on the bow. It’s a terrible feeling. I see other anglers give up completely, either on the bow or back at the lodge with a book. The fact is, is you are going to fish saltwater, you’re going to have to cast in the wind and the sooner you make piece with it, the more fish you’ll catch.

I get asked all the time how to cast in the wind. Maybe more than I get asked anything else. Here’s the answer. There’s a secret to casting a fly rod in the wind. From the looks I get when I tell folks, I’m guessing it’s a well kept secret. The secret is, you cast exactly like you cast when there’s no wind.

The techniques for casting a fly in the wind are exactly the same as casting on a calm day. The difference is that the wind does not forgive poor technique. Sure, there are some helpful tricks you can use, like a Belgian Cast when the wind is off your casting shoulder, but that’s specialized stuff and if you are struggling with the wind, it isn’t really an answer. If you are struggling with the fundamentals of the cast, advanced technique you haven’t practiced is’t going to help any more than striking a Bruce Lee pose in a bar fight. You’re likely just going to get your ass kicked extra hard.

The most helpful thing you can do on a windy day is forget about the wind.

For most anglers the problem isn’t that they don’t know how to cast in the wind, but when the wind blows, they forget hoe to cast. This is the voice of experience. I was in that camp for years. I remember when the light finally turned on. It was a revelation. Casting in the wind is just casting without losing your composure.

Disclaimer: If you don’t understand the fundamentals of the fly cast, well, you need to. You can’t Zen away ignorance. Start with The 5 Essentials Of A Good Fly Cast Revisited, and practice. For those of you who can make a nice cast when it’s calm but fall apart in the wind, here are some practice tips.


Don’t rush your cast

Most angler try to generate line speed in the wind by casting harder. Usually the first thing to suffer, or disappear all together, is the pause at the end of the stroke. Your fly line is weighted to load the rod. If you don’t let it straighten out, you can’t get a good load and you have no power in the cast.

Don’t drop your rod tip

The other effect of casting harder is usually dropping the rod tip. In an effort to make a longer stroke the rod tip comes off a straight line path, causing the line to crash down on the water and the leader to pile up.

Stop the rod hard and high

The stop at the end of the stroke is what forms the loop. Stopping the rod high and hard makes a tight energized loop that cuts the wind.

Keep the rod in the stopped position

Most anglers drop the rod too early on their presentation. In general,

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My Grandfather’s Clinch Knot

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I’ll bet I’ve tied the Improved Clinch Knot more times than I’ve done any of those things. But I like to think that I pay more attention to my fishing knots than I do the knot in my shoe laces. When a long standing friend got into fly fishing and I started taking him out to show off a few of my favorite spots he was eager to learn everything about it. Including, of course, knots. Knots are one of those things that are handed down through oral tradition. These days you can go to YouTube and learn to tie any knot you want, but that’s not how I learned. Like most folks who have been fishing for a while I learned my knots from the guys I fished with, most importantly, my Grandfather. So when my friend Michael saw me tie my clinch knot, he saw me tie it the way my Grandfather had taught me. When I was done, he quizzed me, “how many wraps did you do?” “Six” I answered. “shouldn’t it be seven?”, he asked. “I’ve always done six” I replied “but I suppose seven is fine”. He was insistent, “the guy at the fly shop told me it has to be exactly seven”.

There is an awful lot of superstition in fly fishing, but some things do matter and it got me wondering. I told the story to my buddy Dan who is a notorious big fish magnet. Before I could even ask him for his opinion he said, “well you can tell him five works just fine too”. Five? I admit I was a little surprised. If Dan was landing his fish on five wraps why was I wasting time doing six? I tried and I was just not able to tie a clinch knot with five wraps. It just made me nervous. Why?

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Careful Where You Point That Thing

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Their vicious attack is almost unbelievable to watch. My buddy Andrew Bennett holds a nice one here for a sub-surface hero shot.

The Bahamians eat them. Barracuda are generally not edible because they eat poisonous reef fish and store the toxins. Eating one in the Florida Keys will kill you. The cuda that live on the flats can be safe, but it’s a risk. The Bahamians have a test.

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New Zero Sweep Packs and Boat Bags from Umpqua: Video

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The new Umpqua ZS-2 line of fly-fishing packs includes waterproof boat bags.

The Zero Sweep packs are filled with sweet features and focus on a smooth exterior that doesn’t catch fly line. The ZS-2 packs are awesome updates but the new Boat Bags are really exciting. These bags are well thought out and have every feature a professional guide is looking for.


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2 Alternatives for Attaching Your Split-Shot

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It’s getting late, your tired, and you know you should be heading back, but there’s a bend just up ahead, and your curiosity keeps pushes you forward with those powerful words, “This could be it, just see what’s on the other side”. Sure enough, as you round the corner you lay your eyes on a picture perfect run, offering everything a trophy trout could desire. You get into position, make the cast, mend your line, and begin following your strike indicator with your rod tip, when out of now where, it shoots under the surface like it was just attached to a iron dumb bell. You set the hook and feel the heavy weight of the fish thrashing its big head, and you’re immediately on cloud 9. The adrenaline rush doesn’t last long though. It’s quickly replaced by painful heart ache when you feel your tippet snap, and watch your rod go straight. The excitement is all over…, you won’t land that trophy fish or even be graced with a quick glimpse of it for that matter. The only memory you’ll have to remember that trophy trout by is the few aggressive head shakes. You bring your fly-less rig to hand and find the tippet broke at the split-shot.

Has this ever happened to you before?
If you attach your split shot too tight on your tippet it can weaken its strength significantly. Most anglers try to avoid this by tying a triple surgeon’s or blood knot above their tandem nymph rig, and attach the split-shot above that. The knot keeps the split-shot from sliding down to the flies during fly casting, and it only has to be snugly secured, which limits the chances of it damaging the tippet. It’s not 100% full proof, but it’s the most popular method used by experienced nymph fisherman. To limit the break offs during fierce fights, anglers should get in the habit of regularly checking their nymph rig for

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How To Make Your Fly Rod Cast Like A Dream

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What Fly Line Matches Up Best With Your Fly Rod?

It always amazes me that there’s very little talk in the industry about how important it is to match your fly rod with the appropriate fly line. My recent visit to the ITFD Fly Fishing Show in New Orleans, I witnessed on more than one occasion, fly rod company’s matching their fly rods up with what appeared to be the wrong fly lines. If you spool up the wrong fly line on your reel, that $700 fly rod you just purchased will end up feeling awkward, and won’t perform the way the fly rod designer intended it to. Below are some quick tips on how to match your fly rod with the correct fly line so it ends up casting like a dream.

Fast Action Fly Rods
Stiff, fast action fly rods require fly lines with a more aggressive head design for optimum rod loading and casting. Since fly rods are generally meant to load at 25-30′ of fly line out the end of the rod tip, anglers often find it difficult to load fast action fly rods, particularly at short distances, unless they’ve matched their rod with the appropriate fly line. Both Rio and Scientific Anglers manufacture fly lines specifically for fast action rods.

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My Favorite Bonefish Reel

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Best of all it only cost $285

I remember standing on the beach at Andros South watching my buddy Bruce Chard teaching his annual bonefish school. Bruce was illustrating for a first timer what he should expect when he encountered a bonefish. He held the line and let the student feel how hard he should strip set, then he took off running down the beach a fast as he could. The student did a good job of clearing the line and getting Bruce on the reel but I’ll never forget the look on his face when Bruce turned and ran straight back toward him. He stood slack jawed, line piled up at his feet while Bruce and I laughed.

That’s exactly what a bonefish will do to you. They can swim thirty miles per hour and at some point, as they go ballistic and criss cross the flat they’ll head straight for you. You had better be ready to pick up some line in a hurry. The first time it happened to me I struggled. My reel wouldn’t pick up the line and I resorted to stripping it in by hand. My guide told me to, “get rid of that trout reel.” Of course, it wasn’t a trout reel but it clearly wasn’t a bonefish reel either.

The next time I went bonefishing I had to be better prepared. I knew I needed a reel with a really large arbor but didn’t relish the idea of dropping the cash on another new bonefish reel. Fortunately there was another solution. I had a Nautilus NV Ten-Eleven, a great salt water reel. I bought the Nautilus G-8 spool for it. The G stands for Giga. This spool turned my Ten-Eleven into a super large arbor eight.

It’s a brilliant product. The spool is fast and easy to change and really gives the reel some power to pick up line with it’s 4.25″ arbor. It’s highly vented so the line dries quickly, which cuts way down on the chance that you spool will corrode from holding wet line. It’s light (7.2 oz) and holds 225 yards of 30 lb backing with an eight weight line. It lets me take

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If You’re Not Looking For Trout, You’re Missing Out

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One of the things I always stress to my clients is the importance of always keeping an eye out for trout on the water.

The first thing I do when I walk up to a prime piece of trout water, is take a minute or two to scan the water for dark shapes, shadows and subtle movements. I do it before I wet my fly or even my boots for that matter, because I know, if I can spot a trout, I’ll immediately double my chances at getting my rod bent. I also look for trout when I’m wading from one spot to the next. This is where many anglers mess up and get distracted by all the great looking water upstream of them, and then end up missing opportunities to spot and catch trout in transit. I used to spook a ton of trout myself moving from one fishing spot to the next. It still happens but not nearly as much because these days, when I’m on the move, I’m not in a hurry and I take plenty of time to look for trout as I wade.

You have to look for trout to spot them. They don’t shout, “hey, I’m over here”, or wave a white flag at you.

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Bonefishing, Be Quiet on the Bow: Video

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by Louis Cahill

Stealth may be the most important element in bonefishing.

Bonefish have amazing hearing. Their lateral line is incredibly sensitive to any vibration or displacement of water. An angler who makes noise on the bow, or rocks the boat, isn’t going to get many good shots. 

I always fish in socks to insure my feet are quiet on the bow. Still there are other precautions you have to take. How you move around is as important as your footwear.


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