3 Tips For Fly Fishing Kung Fu

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I love to teach fly fishing. I do it every chance I get and I see folks wrestle time and again with the same three issues. I can remember being there myself and it sucks! Three things that seem so simple to me now just about cost me my sanity. I’d like to spare you that. If you are new to fly fishing for trout following these three suggestions will not only put you on more fish, but it will accelerate your learning curve dramatically.

Here are the three things that come between every new angler and the fish they want to catch.

The first, most basic skill an angler needs is the ability to put the fly in front of the fish. This means, not only distance but accuracy as well. There have been a truck load of books written about fly casting and there will be a truck load more but there is nothing in any of them that can replace time spent with the rod in hand. That really is the trick. Time plus energy. Set aside a time, just ten or fifteen minutes a day, for the next year and spend that time casting in the yard. Every day! In a year you will cast like a Grand Master.

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Dealing With Stuck Ferrules The Right Way

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Here’s the best way to separate stuck ferrules on a fly rod.

Ferrules stick. It’s a fact of life and when pulling them apart you can break a rod if you’re not careful. I learned this trick from an old friend and skilled bamboo rod maker, Gary Lacey. With the help of a friend you can separate those stuck ferrules in a second with no risk to you rod.


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6 Tips For Catching Spooky Bonefish

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I found myself dealing with just this situation the other day. Wading for super spooky bonefish in skinny water. Not the easiest day of fishing to be sure, but I did pretty well. I thought I’d share some of the tactics that I use to bring spooky bonefish to hand. Some are obvious and some, not so much.

Wade quiet, or not at all
Bonefish are very sensitive to sound. Especially the sound of your legs pushing water. On days when the wind is still and the water calm, you can barely move without alerting them. Take special care that your steps do not push water. Go super slow! Be aware of pot holes and soft mud that may throw you off balance and cause sudden movements. Find ambush spots like inlets and points and just hang out for a while. Let the fish come to you.

Use light flies
Bonefish are extra spooky in skinny water. You don’t need a heavy fly when the water is shallow so switch to a lighter fly that will land softer on the water. Use bead chain eyes instead of lead eyes, and for extra quiet presentations wrap some hackle at the eyes to cushion their landing.

Keep a low profile
When bonefish are close, crouch or kneel to minimize your visibility. Wear soft natural colors that blend with the surroundings. This is crucial when fish are following your fly and swimming straight for you.

Lead ’em farther
If fish are blowing up on good presentations, or even before the fly hits the water, it’s time to lengthen your lead. The other day I

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Don’t Lead Me On: Tippet Length For Dry Flies

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By: Alice Tesar

Dry fly season is upon us and the shop is filled with folks wondering why the fish aren’t interested in their dry flies. 

Yes, it is important to get the correct flies but equally as important is your leader and tippet. The biggest mistake these people are making, one I made for years, is just switching out their nymph for a dry fly without addressing their tippet length. 

Without giving you too much to work with, recognize that the evolution of tapered leaders has revolved around nymphing and streamer fishing. Engineered with a more aggressive taper to cut wind and cast greater distances. Most factory made tapered leaders ignore the long tippet section required for a dry fly presentation. 

Adding one to three feet of tippet (*gasp* yes, your leader and tippet will now be close to 13’ long) will allow you to mend easier (if you need to mend at all) and will give you a more natural drift without the added weight of a tapered leader. Instead of fretting about turning over your fly in a long cast think about

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Use Birds to Quickly Locate Bait and Schools of Fish

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Certain times of the year in both freshwater and saltwater, anglers can use flocks of actively feeding birds to locate large concentrations of bait and fish.

This was the case during my recent fly fishing trip with Capt. Joel Dickey. First thing, early in the morning, we’d run a wide sweeping perimeter with the boat, as we searched for seagulls on the feed. Binoculars weren’t a necessity but they allowed us to be more efficient by eliminating large areas of water that would otherwise be too far off for the naked eye. Being patient, continuing to cover water, and keeping confidence were the key factors in us successfully locating feeding birds. Be prepared for it to take a little while some days. For us, each morning it took a little while to find the birds, but eventually things fell into place with each scouting attempt. As the sun begins to rise over the horizon, it creates a perfect contrast of light that turns seagulls a bright neon white. You’d be surprised how far off you can pick out feeding birds this time of day. Any birds you find on the water means there’s probably bait and fish near by, but when you find diving birds in good numbers, you know there’s a feeding frenzy in progress.

I’ve used birds many times in the past to locate schools of striped bass on my local reservoirs, but this saltwater trip was my first time using seagulls to locate tarpon. The seagulls and tarpon were feeding on a shrimp die off, that happens during the hottest times of the year in the evenings and at night. During these periods photosynthesis is not taking place, and with the lack of wind, oxygen levels in the water dropped below average. I have to say it was an adrenaline pumping way to fish for tarpon. We’d cruise in on plane and cut the engines at a safe distance, allowing us to coast in quietly to avoid alerting the feeding tarpon. Immediately following, Joel would jump on his platform and quickly pole us into the schools of rolling tarpon.

The key to getting bites was finding a rolling tarpon within casting range, and then firing a presentation quickly 3-5 feet in front of the tarpon. The hardest part for me

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Let it ride

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By Daniel Galhardo


It takes some time to learn how to read water well. But, at least when it comes to fishing mountain streams, the concept is easy to grasp: fish are looking for food and shelter, and don’t want to spend a lot of energy looking for food. Currents bring them food, slow water and breaks in the current gives them shelter. With that in mind we quickly learn that seams where current meets calm water may be the best places to target with our flies.

Once we learn this basic piece of information, we all want our fly to land with 100% accuracy where we suppose fish will be. But, hey, sometimes it won’t!

In recent days I have been taking a lot of people fishing. Most were new to fly-fishing and to tenkara. After giving them some basic instructions on how to open the rod, how to tie the line to the rod tip and tippet to the tenkara line and then tie the fly onto it, I would teach them how to cast.

It’s been said that anyone can learn how to cast with tenkara in a matter of minutes. I have found that on average it takes 7 or 8 casts to learn how to cast with tenkara fairly well, and I’m not exaggerating. But, like anything, it takes time to get the tiny fly to land exactly where they want. If I had to guess, I’d say that in the beginning about 70% of their casts will land in the vicinity of where they wanted. Perhaps 25% will land just off the target zone. And, of course, about 5% will land on the trees in front or behind them, but that’s a different article for a different day.

The 25% slightly off-target casts is what I’m interested in making a point about. Actually, it doesn’t matter if it’s 25%, 50%, or even if you’re

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The Karma of Broken Trailers

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Today we are proud to share an excerpt from Chris Santella’s new book, “The Tug Is The Drug.” You may know Chris as the author of “Fifty Places To Fly Fish Before You Die.” His new book is a collection of thirty essays. We know you will enjoy this one!


Every generation or so, the subject of paving the Deschutes River access road from Sherars Falls to Mack’s Canyon is brought up for discussion. The notion is always quickly shot down, with the guide community leading the charge. “The crowds will be unbearable on an already crowded river,” is the sentiment. Prospects for a paved road are tabled for another 10 or 20 years, and some of its opponents proceed to drive the roughly 17-mile stretch at twice the posted speed limit—especially during the steelhead season—leaving the already marginal gravel road a washboard hell.
One that can be very hard on trailers.
I own a one-third share of a drift boat, and consequently am sometimes asked to donate a trip for a school auction or assist friends with overflow guests. One weekend last September, I was slated for two such trips, back-to-back, both floating from the Beavertail campground to Mack’s. Prior to the adventure, I had my tires rotated and checked, knowing the travails that waited. I picked up the boat from my friend’s driveway and proceeded to Maupin.
At 4:30 the next morning, my friend (and his sturdy Tacoma Supercab) began the drive north to Beavertail. When we left the paved road at Sherars, my Subaru was engulfed in his dust; but soon his taillights were out of sight. That’s because I drive very slow on the access road, hoping to get my rig down and back in one piece. There was a blush of pink above the rimrock as I descended from the road to Beavertail. Reaching the bottom, I could see my friends at the put-in, wadered up and waiting. I circled the campground and rounded the final bend to approach the put-in. As my wheels straightened, there was an abrupt thud. I stopped, expecting I’d hung up on a rogue rock or popped one of my recently rotated tires. My eyes drifted to my passenger-side mirror. There, I spied one of my trailer tires rolling toward some brush.

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Fixing Line Twist: Video

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A day floating the river can turn into frustration when your running line starts to tangle.

There are lots of reasons fly lines get twisted. The most common is being rolled under foot in the bottom of the boat. However it happens, it’s a mess of tangles and knots that make fishing frustrating. There’s nothing worse than landing your fly just short of the strike zone because your running line is tangled.

Fortunately there is a simple trick to fix line twist. I learned this trick from my buddy Zack Dalton of ROI Products and it changed my life. I promise you will love it.


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Flynn’s Stonefly Nymph: Video

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My good friend Dan Flynn shares my obsession with the noblest of insects. Dan is a great tyer with an impressive repertoire of classic patterns. I have always admired his meticulous stonefly nymphs. I’ve also spent many days watching him crush trout on them.

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The Patagonia Trout McNugget

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By Louis Cahill

Think trout flies should be small? Think again!

Ok this is admittedly a bunch of silliness, but where else are you going to see a trout eat a chicken nugget? Yep, an actual chicken nugget. I don’t know if this compromises our journalistic integrity or angling ethics but it’s funny as hell.

Justin and I were down in Argentina and there were some pet trout in the spring creek by the place we were staying. No one fished for these bruisers, it was just fun to watch 30 inch trout hanging out by the deck. When we found out they stayed by the deck because the staff fed then table scraps, well, we couldn’t help ourselves.

The fishing in Argentine Patagonia is truly amazing. Why not join me there this February and see for yourself. Click here for details.

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