Fishing New Water

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By Jason Tucker The time has come in my life where I want to expand my horizons. I want to light out, free myself from the confines of my routine, my local area, my set habits. It’s true that there are still many rivers, runs, hatches and fisheries I have yet to explore in my native Michigan, but the world is a big place. There’s a lot of water out there. While there are worse things in life than exploring Michigan’s water, it would be a shame to go through life without experiencing other places. My interests and aspirations are as varied as classic Western fishing in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, or remote brook trout in Labrador and Ontario, to bonefish on the flats of the Bahamas and Oahu. Somewhere in the back of my fantasies lurks one fish, the permit. That may be a bit down the pike, but someday. I hope. I recently had the opportunity to get out of Northern Michigan for a few weeks and head south, get out of the cold for a while. This winter isn’t as bad as the last, but it’s still pretty bad. I got the invitation to go spend the winter in Georgia with friends, and so I took them up on it. The problem is that they are not fly fishing friends, a character flaw that I had to overlook. A big draw for me was the idea of being able to explore new water that is fly-fishable year round. I’ve never caught a trout on a dry fly in January and the thought appealed to me. For me Georgia is a blank slate. I know they have trout streams and even some native brook trout in the northern mountains, but I personally associate the south with catfish, bream … Continue reading

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A Powerful Fly Cast Is All In The Thumb

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PICTURE YOURSELF GRASPING A BROOMSTICK AND DRIVING IN A TACK WITH YOUR THUMB.

I get the opportunity to work with a lot of anglers who are making the transition from freshwater fly fishing to saltwater. Not surprisingly, most of them struggle with generating the casting power needed to deliver a good presentation in the kind of wind often experienced in flats fishing. Almost everyone has the same pesky problem. They try to generate a more powerful cast and everything breaks down. The problem is not in their arm or elbow or wrist, but in their head.

It’s a problem of understanding the mechanics of the cast. It seems logical to think that more power in means more power out and I guess that’s true but there is a common misconception about where that power is coming from. Most anglers, when trying to add power to a cast, focus on the fly or the line. They visualize throwing that line to the target. The result is a casting stroke that resembles a pitcher throwing a baseball. Including the wind up in the worst cases.

This imagined model of throwing a static object puts all the wrong physics in play for a good fly cast. The resulting casting stroke relies too heavily on the arm and takes the rod out of play. Our instinct tells us to throw harder but the arm is a poor tool for throwing a fly line and our cast fails. The answer to a powerful fly cast is timing and technique, not power.

I’m going to give you a simple tool to help generate a powerful cast but first let’s look at the mechanics.
The fly cast is all about the transfer of energy

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Don’t Get Bold Feet!

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By Justin Pickett

A few weeks ago I was sitting on the back of my jeep, getting ready to hit the water.

Just like any other day, I grabbed my rods and rigged them up first and laid them across the roof. I tossed my fly boxes in my chest pack and made sure I had all the tools and tippet that I needed. I jumped into my waders and buckled myself in for the day. Grabbed my left wading boot and slipped it on and tightened it up. Reached down for the right one and began to slide my foot into the boot. Before I could get my foot settled into the boot I felt quite the bulge in the toe of my boot. Not knowing exactly what it was, and knowing what it could be, I quickly kicked the boot from my foot. My wading boot landed on the grass, just a few feet in front of me. I waited a few seconds to see if anything crawled, hopped, or slithered out from it.

Nothing.

Cautiously, I picked up the boot and held it upside down, and, immediately, something fell from the boot

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How To Get High Line Speed

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3 Great Videos!

Casting in the salt is demanding at times, to say the least.

To help fight those strong winds that affect your distance and accuracy you have to add as much controlled power as you can to the cast. This is absolutely crucial.
Having high line speed helps you to stabilize the line in the air during casting. This helps in your accuracy, distance and gets the fly to the fish quicker. Increasing your sense of urgency and your intensity will help up your line speed big time. Many times in the salt you are battling time as well as wind. You have a limited amount of time before the fish spooks or moves out of casting range.

Your strength is an important factor in high line speed as well. The stronger you are, the more power you can apply to your cast. You will get out of the cast what you put into it. If you push the gas pedal down a little you go 30mph. If you push the gas pedal down a lot you go 90mph.

When the wind is blowing 20 knots or harder you have to push the pedal down hard! Get that fly line moving fast and casting in those tough salt water winds will be much easier. But remember we are talking about controlled power and the only way to apply control and power is to practice. Just like the cast, you get out what you put in.

Let’s cover some other tips that will help increase line speed.

BEND YOUR KNEES & SPREAD YOUR STANCE

Bending your knees and lowering your center of gravity helps in a couple of ways. It gives you balance on the boat and allows you to apply power from your legs into your core. The power from your core will then be transferred into the cast.

edit-2490This picture will help to show

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10 Tips For Targeting Rising Trout With Terrestrials

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One of my favorite times of the year to fly fish for trout is when I’m able to target rising fish with terrestrials.

It’s always a breath of fresh air when I’m able to leave the nymph box at the truck in exchange for my terrestrial box, that’s overflowing with stacked foam and rubber legged imitations. I love nothing more than seeing trout come up and devour these patterns on the surface. Terrestrial fishing can be some of the easiest trout fishing of the year, but occasionally it can get technical, especially late season, when the fish have grown accustom to spotting out our terrestrial imitations.

Below are ten tips that should help you bring more fish to the net when targeting rising trout with terrestrials.
Tip 1: Get on the water early. Beetle Patterns work really well at first light, when hoppers can still be inactive, and the low light will help you stay concealed.

Tip 2: Don’t immediately cast to a trout you just saw rise. Waiting 10-15 seconds before presenting your fly will allow the feeding fish to get back into its feeding station, and begin looking for its next meal.

Tip 3:  Make sure you present your fly far enough upstream of a rising fish. Trout often drift back with the current to take food on the surface.

Tip 4: Take your time, waiting 45 seconds or longer in-between presentations to a rising fish. Don’t continuously cast over and over to a rising fish. This will often spook or put the fish down.

Tip 5: Don’t stick with the same pattern if you’re getting refusals or the fish are ignoring your fly. Change out the size or type of your terrestrial pattern.

Tip 6: For Flat slow moving water, o

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The Thrill that Comes From the Unknown

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If you ask me, I think the surprise factor in fly fishing is underrated. Most of us choose to spend our time preparing and planning out every single detail of our fly fishing trips, so we can eliminate it. We spend hours tying recommended flies, we go threw our gear with a fine tooth comb checking for imperfections, and we research everything we can about the water and species we’ll be tackling. We do this because we want to feel in control. Furthermore, we do it because we want to catch fish. Problem is, fly fishing isn’t all about trying to squeeze out every bit of success we can muster out of a day on the water. A big part of fly fishing for me is letting go and

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A Short Quick Cast

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By Bruce Chard

MANY FLY ANGLERS THINK, IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THE SALT, YOU NEED TO HAVE A GREAT DISTANCE CAST.

That can be true on a calm day when all fly anglers struggle to add another 5-10ft on their cast. But in reality the anglers that can get the fly where it needs to be within 50ft take advantage of a large number of their opportunities. Not only is accuracy a huge part of success in the salt, the most valuable asset is speed. If you can get the fly there fast with minimal movement, your odds of a hook up go through the roof.

Seeing and spotting fish for most fly anglers is challenging. Taking longer to find or see a fish frequently leaves anglers with a close shot. The problem that we run into here is lack of time. By the time the angler finally can get a visual on the fish, the amount of time left to act is simply not enough.

This is when a short quick cast is a must. You might be wondering, how hard can it be to make a short cast? You might be surprised how hard it is to lay out a 12-13ft leader with a heavy fly into a stiff 25 knot wind at 25ft.

The main reason for short shots not laying out straight is the lack of line or weight outside the end of the rod tip. Since you have to make a close shot, you can’t get enough line outside the tip to load the rod and make the cast.

SO HOW DO WE EFFECTIVELY AND EFFICIENTLY MAKE THIS CAST?

Loading only the Tip
Start by loading just the section of the rod that you need, to make your cast. One of the key essentials

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Watching Your Fly Line Tells You If You’re Fishing

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When fly-fishing in saltwater, if your fly isn’t moving, you’re not fishing.

This is one of those ideas that’s dead simple in principal and damned complicated in practice. For a fish to see your fly as food, it must have the right action, but there are factors at work that the angler may not perceive. Have you ever wondered why many saltwater fly lines are so brightly colored? It’s not a fashion statement, it’s a tool and often the key to catching fish.

Too many anglers making the transition from freshwater to salt think of the ocean like a big pond. In truth, it has more in common with a river. The water in the ocean is always moving and it’s often not readily apparent in which direction or how quickly. If you are fishing from a boat, the boat may also be in motion and not necessarily with the flow of the water. On top of all that the wind can influence the motion of the water, the boat and the fly line. It’s a lot to keep up with, but if you don’t you’ll pay the price in missed opportunities.

I’ve seen a lot of good casts fail to produce fish because the angler was not aware that their fly was dead in the water. Picture for a moment that you are on the bow of a flats boat. Your guide is poling against the current when he calls out a fish at 11 o’clock. You make a nice cast but because the boat was moving toward 12 o’clock you failed to notice that the current is coming toward you. If you strip as though you were in still water, you’ll never come tight to the fly. You will only take up the slack as the fly sits dead on the bottom and the fish will swim on by.

The opposite can be just as deadly. Suppose your guide

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Choosing a Fly Rod is Like Choosing a Guitar

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“WHO ARE THOSE $850 FLY RODS FOR? IF THE EXPERTS DON’T NEED THEM AND THE BEGINNERS CAN’T APPRECIATE THEM, WHO NEEDS THEM?”

If you follow G&G on Facebook then you probably know about my love of old school blues. If you don’t follow us on Facebook, you should, you’re missing half the fun.

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I went out the other night to see my friend Gabriel Szucs, AKA “Little G Weevil,” play some blues at a local bar. G is a singularity. Hungarian born, he moved to the states, to the south specifically, to immerse himself in the roots of the blues. After years on Beale St. in Memphis, he fell in love and married a gal from Atlanta and moved there for her. That’s the only way we would ever have a local blues player of his talent.

I discovered G in a hole in the wall BBQ joint called Hottie Hawgs. It’s a dive but there was briefly an awesome music scene there. Trust me when I tell you that this guy is a world class talent. Unfortunately, no one has told the Hungarians that Americans haven’t given a shit about the blues for forty years so you’ve likely never heard of him.

Honestly, you haven’t heard G until you’ve heard him live. It’s his jaw dropping improvisation and the way he responds to the crowd that blows you away. OK, I’m getting to the fishing. I expected to see G playing his flame top Fibenare or maybe his 1940 Kay, both remarkable guitars, but instead, there he sat with a cheap Epiphone acoustic that he payed $150 for in a Mississippi pawn shop.

He slapped a vintage pickup on it and off he went. It sounded amazing! I could not believe he was playing those licks on an acoustic. Epiphones, Gibson’s budget priced imports, are OK guitars but most good players couldn’t play like that on a Taylor or Martin.

“Yeah, it’s hard to play but I don’t care,” G told me. “I like the way it sounds, it’s different.”

You sure couldn’t tell that it was hard to play and that got me thinking about fly rods. You can spend anywhere from $200 to $5000 on a fly rod. You can pay more if you want a really special collectors item but what do you need?

It’s a complicated question. I have some inexpensive rods that I love. I have some really expensive ones I love too. What’s the difference? Other than

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DIY Magnetic Fly Box

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

THERE IS ONE THING THAT ALL FLY FISHERMEN HAVE IN COMMON. WHETHER WE CHASE TROUT OR TARPON, MUSKY OR BASS WE ALL CARRY TOO MANY FLIES.
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

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