Float Tube Tour: Video

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By Herman deGala

In mid-March and everyone is in the middle of their tying season. 

But for me bass season is right around the corner  when my local reservoir opens for fishing. If there is any ice on the water they won’t let us launch boats or float tubes but we can still fish from shore. They still need to launch the Rangers boat and place the Off Limits buoys.

Like everyone else I am stocking up on flies so that I won’t have to tie during the middle of the season. I also know though that I need to make sure all of my equipment is in top shape and ready to go especially my float tube, rods and reels.

I’ve included a short tour of how I have my float tube rigged and some of the reasons behind the equipment I use. My tube is setup for stillwater fishing and for chasing bass and trout.

Float Tube – Outcast Super Fat Cat

 I love this tube. I have fished it for over 10 years and I put a minimum of over a hundred days on it each year. The best thing about it is that it keeps my okole out of the water so that I don’t get as cold in the early Spring. I also love it because it fits perfectly in the back of my Subaru Forester. I can have it fully inflated and completely rigged. I just pull it out of the back, place my rods in their holders and launch from the side of the ramp in no time at all. 

Pressure Gauge – Kwik Check Pressure Gauge

 It never fails. 95% of the fishermen launching from the ramp have under inflated tubes. I always offer to check the air pressure of their tubes and also offer to help them to top it off. First off it is safer to fish from a properly inflated tube. Also, you can travel faster with a properly inflated tube because there is less surface area touching the water. Having a properly inflated tube also allows you to fight fish more effectively. When you are fighting a 5 lb. smallie the last thing you want to do is to fight your tube to hold position in the wind.

I also admit that the last thing I want to happen is for someone to get hurt just because their tube was under-inflated. I have seen guys that looked like they were wearing a life jacket because their tube was so under-inflated.

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Consumer Surplus and Fly-Fishing

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By Louis Cahill

What would I have to pay you to give up fly-fishing?

If you are not familiar with the term consumer surplus, don’t feel bad. It is, to my mind anyway, a pretty esoteric concept, but one which economists hold a lot of stock in. It’s a way of measuring the parts of our economy that can’t be measured. It’s the value of what you don’t pay for.

On one level it makes a lot of sense. An area that economists spend a lot of time evaluating is the digital economy. For example, a study was done to evaluate the consumer surplus of Facebook. If it could be determined what people would pay for Facebook, that figure would be the consumer surplus. That’s a hard value to asses, so they did the next best thing. They figured out what it would cost to get people not to use Facebook. They actually paid people to give it up for a month. The average cost of getting someone off of Facebook was $48 per month.

Personally, I have a lot of feelings about that. I quit Facebook about a year and a half ago. The account is still there and Justin Pickett posts on it for me but it’s been a year and a half since I looked at it. I would pay well over $48 per month to not see Facebook and I might be willing to pay others not to use it. If you are a Facebook user, I recommend giving it up. You’ll be happier, I promise. Ok, enough rant.

This got me thinking about the consumer surplus in fly fishing. What is the value of the things that we don’t pay for? Let’s start with Gink and Gasoline. Don’t worry, I’m not going to start charging you, but you’d be shocked how many times that idea has been pushed on me. You might be surprised to hear that I have turned down three offers to sell G&G, so I have some idea of what that figure might be, but what is it worth to you, the reader?

It’s worth a great deal to me. Not in dollars, but in my heart. That part of me is a little put off by some economist’s assertion that the digital efforts of my labor are simply part of some math equation bent on figuring my worth to the machine. Still, there is a dollar and cents value to what’s going on here and it isn’t cheap to run anymore. I’d like to point out that the bill is currently being paid by the awesome folks whose ads you see on the site. Also the folks who come on the hosted trips and the straight up heroes who contribute the content. That’s worth thinking about next time you hit the comment section.

So if we can put a value on the five minutes you waste every day, at work I assume, reading G&G, what about the time you actually spend fishing? Let’s use the same math as the Facebook study.

What would I have to pay you to give up fly-fishing?

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Sunday Classic / Tippet Size Can Be More Important With Nymphs

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Many of us like to think it’s all about fly pattern choice when it comes to catching trout. Sometimes it is, but there’s many times when the key to getting the tough bites, lies not in what fly pattern you’re fishing, but rather in what size tippet you’ve chosen to attach your fly to. If you asked me what fly type (streamer, dry or nymph) is most important when it comes to tippet choice, I’d quickly respond that tippet size is most critical when an angler is trout fishing with nymphs. You’re probably thinking, “Thanks for your opinion Kent, but what’s the theory behind your reasoning?” For starters, trout don’t tend to be very tippet shy with streamers—in most moving water situations. A trout generally will see your big meaty streamer coming through its kitchen, and it will either pounce on it for territorial reasons or because it provides an opportunity for a large meal that it can’t afford to pass up. I’ve got buddies that regularly fish 15 pound tippet when they’re streamer fishing, hell, sometimes even 20 pound, and they have great success. And a good portion of them, aren’t pounding the banks on the river from a drift boat, but instead wade-fishing on small to mid-size trout streams. In many cases, anglers tend to fish tippet too light when streamer fishing. Fishing beefy tippet will aid in efficient leader turnover, decrease the amount of false casting needed between presentations, and lastly, it will help anglers make accurate casts more consistently at varying distances.

Dry fly fishing, makes for a much closer call, but I still stand by my belief, that tippet size is more important with nymphs. Largely because the two most important factors in dry fly fishing success, are an accurate presentation and a drag free drift. In certain situations, timing can be critical as well, for instance, when an angler is fishing to a trout actively feeding on the surface during a hatch. That being said, I wouldn’t go so far as to say tippet has no bearing in dry fly fishing. It’s just more common that the problem lies with a presentation off target (out of the target zone), a dry fly looking unnatural because of drag, or the dry fly was drifted over the trout when it wasn’t ready (repositioning after a recent feeding). If you’re certain you have all of the above correct, you’ve tried a few different patterns, and you’re still not getting bites, there’s a good chance your tippet is too large and needs to be downsized.

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Saturday Shoutout / Poncho

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Catching giant steelhead with a pet chicken.

The only thing more special than catching a wild steelhead is doing it with the one you love. Sharing the passion with someone special is what fly fishing is all about. It’s a thrill you can feel in your nuggets, and if that someone is a chicken, who are we to judge?

“What came first, the chicken or the sport of fly fishing?”

THE ONLY WAY TO KNOW IS TO WATCH “PONCHO.”

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Tie An Effective Fly-Fishing Leader for Bonefish

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By Louis Cahill

This fly-fishing leader will out perform anything you can buy.

I have used this leader for most of my saltwater fishing for fifteen years. I learned it from my buddy Bruce Chard and have changed it very little in all that time. It offers the angler more control over their presentation than any commercially made leader. The leader has amazing turnover, especially in windy conditions, and also works well for other species like permit and redfish. 

WATCH THE VIDEO AND LEARN TO TIE AN EFFECTIVE BONEFISH LEADER.

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Bonefish School Opening June 8-15 2019

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We have had a cancelation for the June 8-15 Bonefish School.

This opening is your chance to get in on the fun at Bair’s lodge, South Andros. We generally expect stable weather and calm days this time of year, which adds up to lots of fish. If you’d like to experience a truly remote and unique fishery in one of the most beautiful places on earth, enjoy the service of a top notch lodge, and save a lot of money in the process, this trip is for you. This June is the last Bonefish School at the old price of $3975. 

We have one spot open June 8-15 and a couple June 15-22. We also have dates available for Jan 2020. You can get all the details on the Hosted Trips page.

Shoot me an email to hookups@ginkandgasoline.com for more info or to reserve a spot!

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5 Tips To Stop Breaking Off Bonefish

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By Louis Cahill

If you’re breaking off bonefish, there’s probably and easy fix.

Someone asked me not long ago about losing bonefish due to tippet breaking. It happens to the best of us but there are only a couple of ways for it to happen and each has a pretty simple fix. If you follow a few simple guidelines you can cut way down on the number of bonefish you lose.

It’s fair to say that several of the potential problems I’m going to talk about apply to almost any species of fish. Some are much more common in the environment where we find bonefish and others just happen more frequently because of the speed with which things happen in bonefishing. It is a demanding game but breaking fish off should not be a problem.

Keep in mind that tippet strength is always a concern and in no way a constant. The weight of your tippet has everything to do with where you’re fishing. In locations where bonefish see a lot of pressure, you will need to fish lighter tippet and you will have to be much more diligent. Regardless of the strength of your tippet, there is no reason not to fish to the best of your ability and each of these tips is relevant.

How bonefish break off and how to stop them.

THE HOOK SET

One of the most common ways anglers break fish off is on the hook set. Bonefish behave unpredictably. Often a fish will eat your fly and make an immediate turn away from you. Sometimes even before you strip set. This is most common when a fish charges the fly while it is still high in the water column. Even small bonefish are powerful and failing to give them line when they need it will result in a familiar popping sound. You need to

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CE Tech Innovations Pedestal Base

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By Bob Reece

A firm foundation for your vise is critical to the success of your fly tying efforts. 

This is especially true for tiers who use pedestal bases.  For years I have searched for one that gave my vise true stability.  I finally found one that delivers that and much more.  

We all have our opinions about social media.  One huge benefit of this technological element is being able to discover new products that might otherwise go unnoticed.  A couple months ago I happened upon a post that consisted of one picture.  It showed a nicely machined pedestal base and tool caddy.   It was evident from the picture how wide the base was in comparison the vise.  It wasn’t until I received mine in the mail that I realized how effective and well made it was.   The eight by ten inch base is machined out of 6061 aluminum and weighs in at a hearty five and half pounds.  This alone was enough to make me fall in love with this product.  The stability provided by this platform is nothing short of amazing and has brought a new sense of comfort and confidence to my tying.  

In addition to its weight, the design of this base functions well and makes sense.   At the front of the base sit three machined pockets for holding beads and hooks.  Their depth provides enough room to hold large quantities of each.    The center pocket contains a Neodymium magnet that will hold onto hook, beads or small children holding silver ware in the next room.  The tool caddy displays an additional three pockets that provide more recessed storage for additional hooks and materials.  In front of the caddy and behind the base pockets, sits a cork pad that provides grip for any slippery materials.  

Along the outer edges of the base and caddy are machined holes.  Some of these hold pins that provide a catch for thread, wire and other materials on spools.  The pins can be removed from the holes and moved around, allowing for personalized setup.  The remaining holes provide

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What Cataracts Have Taught Me About Seeing Fish

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There’s more to spotting fish than having good eyes, so don’t assume you can’t see them.

I’m used to being told I have good eyes. Among anglers, that means the ability to spot fish. In truth, I have never had good eyes. I’ve worn glasses my whole life and had to remember where I put them at night because I couldn’t find my glasses, without my glasses. Thanks to the great prescription program at Smith Optics, I’ve always had good fishing glasses and could see well enough. It wasn’t until I developed aggressive cataracts, last year, that I really started to struggle.

It’s no secret that I do a lot of bonefishing. They don’t call bonefish the ghosts of the flats for no reason. Their natural camouflage makes them very difficult to see. When I started losing my sight, my greatest fear was that I would no longer be able to spot bonefish. This fear only got worse in the weeks following my first lens replacement surgery. My vision was pretty poor at first and even now, a month past my second surgery, it isn’t what I’d like. I’m confident that it will get to where I want it, but when I headed to Abaco for bonefish, I was pretty nervous about how I would perform.

It turns out I did pretty good. It was a huge relief to see my first bonefish, and even better to hear, “good eyes,” when I spotted a fish before my guide. Still, my new eyes are not what they should be and it taught me a few things about what it means to see fish. I see plenty of anglers give up on the idea that they will be able to see fish before they cast to them. If that sounds familiar, here are a few things to think about when you’re looking for fish.

You can actually find fish with surprisingly poor visual acuity.

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Sunday Classic / Get A Better Grip On The Spey Rod

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ALL FLY CASTING IS ABOUT CONTROL AND TIMING, NOT POWER.

This is never more true than in Spey casting. Perhaps because there are more moving parts to a Spey cast, rod and line control are crucial. This is especially challenging for the beginner whose muscle memory is only just developing. Often a cast will “break” for no reason. That is to say that, all of a sudden that double Spey you’ve been throwing all morning just doesn’t work any more. Often the reason is a loss of control.

Here’s a tip that will help those of you who are new to two-handed casting maintain control. The first step in a controlled cast is the proper grip. It’s something that doesn’t get talked about enough. Most anglers who are new to the Spey rod think of it like holding a golf club or baseball bat. A familiar tool for most of us, but the Spey rod is quite different and so is the proper grip.

Hold the rod with your finger tips. A gentle grip is all that’s necessary. Using your fingertips accomplishes two things. It keeps your arms relaxed, as you are not tempted to put a death grip on the rod. A relaxed posture is important for fluid movement. Gripping with your fingertips also engages a different set of muscles. Muscles, which are tuned to fine motor skills like writing.

The result is a casting stroke that

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