Saturday Shoutout / Hook Shots Esox

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Time to chase some musky, pike and chain pickerel.

I was just telling a friend what a cool guy Joe Cermele is and, wouldn’t you know, he pops up on my YouTube feed. That’s just too much coincidence to ignore. I had to share some Hook Shots Videos.

If you don’t know the Hook Shots series from Field and Stream, you’re in for a treat. Joe and Eric, and their many guests, do a great job of producing fun and authentic fishing videos for both fly and gear anglers. I especially enjoy their esox videos. Musky, pike and the much maligned chain pickerel. Nobody does it better.


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Better Bow and Arrow Cast: Video

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By Louis Cahill

Here’s a trick you may not know for making longer Bow-and-Arrow casts.

If you love fishing small streams, then you probably know how to make a Bow-and-Arrow cast. It’s not rocket science. But, what if I told you I could show you how to get an extra 6-9 feet with that simple cast?

I couldn’t count the number of brook trout I’ve caught this way ing the mountains of North Georgia and North Carolina. If you don’t know how to make the Bow-and-Arrow cast, or if you’re interested in reaching more water,

check out this video.

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The Scream Revisited

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By Louis Cahill

There was something going on with Edvard Munch I never really understood, until now.

In art school, we were taught that the dark and often disturbing images created by Munch were born of mental illness and lost love. It wasn’t until decades later that I looked closely enough at the background of his iconic work “The Scream” to realize what was actually happening. I too know the pain of having my ass handed to me on the flats, only to see my buddy hook up with the fish of a lifetime, right at the dock. Who wouldn’t scream?

They might have been right about the mental illness. It’s the only explanation for fly fishing.

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So You Want To Be An Alaska Guide?

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By Whitney Gould

The plane, which brought me to Western Alaska is gone.

I’m standing on a remote, empty tarmac. The sky is a herring-gull gray, the air crisp and clean. I am surrounded by tundra. The only visible object is a square box painted white, the airport. People come, pick up passengers and supplies, and disappear as suddenly as they arrived. This is my dream job. I’m an Alaskan guide and I am losing any shred of confidence.

Weeks prior, I had emailed Ed the head guide, asking him what skills I would need to get through the season.

“It’s long hours day after day,” he wrote. “It can become grueling, I won’t lie about that, but it also offers many opportunities for the ‘best of times’… The main thing we look for up there is dependability, a stable personality, and the ability to get along with others while working in a confined social environment for a long period of time.”

Standing there, I thought, maybe I have two of these qualities, but if no one comes to get me, I now have paper to start a fire. Eventually I am picked up.

Nothing in Alaska is wasted. Trips to the airport or town are condensed, combined with supply runs and trips, to the post office and dump. This day is no different. Tyler, the camp hand, drives us eight miles up river to deliver me and supplies to camp. My arrival is no different than that of the guide I am replacing, or the guides who will replace me in five years.

Rick, the camp manager, greets me. After introducing himself, he gives me a tour and tells me to be ready after lunch to gravel the walkways.

Graveling is no easy task. It’s tedious and exhausting. Early season brings high water, so the trick is to find an exposed gravel bar. You take the boat to a bar

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Three-dudes walk into a parking lot

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By: Alice Tesar

Louis Cahill, Editor and Chief Fly Fisher of Gink and Gasoline, recently published an article Tom Rosenbauer’s 8 Tips To Becoming a Better Fly Fisher and tip #5 is an invaluable lesson: “Don’t be an asshole on the water.” You see, I’ve met plenty of assholes on the water, and while I typically chose to remain silent,  the few times I have committed a minor retaliation against said assholes, it has ruined my day. Heading back to camp or the car with the taste of yesterday’s beer and hate on my tongue is a bummer.  No matter the fish I caught in that high hole, encountering a jerk and being rude back to them makes fishing less fun. After all, most of us aren’t catching dinner we’re just on the water to create space for joy in our lives. 

I was riding the YouTube train recently and came across the most genuine fly-fishing video I’ve seen in a long time. No long list of sponsors or fruity drone footage, it was a low budget, home-edit. Three young guys, maybe in their early 30s, who met up at “Wally World” ( aka Wal-Mart), to drive a few hours to two undisclosed tiny ponds rumored to be filled with trout. Based on their clothing, rigs, and chatter they were experienced anglers with heads on their shoulders (or at least on their shoulders enough to still want to fish with tiny flies and uber flexy rods). They used their phone cameras and maybe a Go Pro or two to document that afternoon on the water. They proceeded to catch a handful of maybe 12- to 16-inch bows and browns both from the banks and from a small pack-raft. Regardless of the massive tarpon or belly bulging PNW zombies they’d likely caught on other days this year; these three bros were having the time of their lives with each dinky little catch. Maybe it was the truth behind the rumor that led them to these lakes or purely catching all day that made them so giddy, but their hoots and hollers, their laughter, and ridiculous retelling of their catches have stuck with me. 

Too often I see other anglers within the dark magic of angling, “going to catch a big one” and acting like complete assholes to other anglers along the way.

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You went fishing where? 

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By Jesse Lowry

Slovenia! Who the hell goes fishing in Slovenia?

That’s the typical reaction I get when I start talking about my fishing trips to this little gem of a country that most people couldn’t point to on a map. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Slovenia a handful of times and still am chomping at the bit to go back. It has a ton to offer anyone who makes the journey to this country of roughly 2 million people on the Adriatic Sea, at the cross roads of some very different cultures. Formerly part of the Yugoslavia (and numerous other empires prior) and now part of the EU, Slovenia has been influenced by Slavic, Germanic, and Italian roots. The people there are very proud, friendly and love the outdoors; hiking, rock climbing, white water kayaking, paragliding, and of course fly fishing. Many of the people I met would go fly fishing in the morning and then flying off the side of a mountain by noon once the thermals started to pick up, this worked to my advantage as the rivers were less busy in the afternoon, granted the fishing does slow down with the sun overhead and the gin clear rivers.  

It truly is a spectacular place to visit, even if there were no fish in these rivers they are an absolute pleasure to wade through and hike along. Crystal clear turquoise waters, deep canyons, lush forests, gorgeous water falls, massive boulders sprawled throughout the river almost like they were placed there just for Fly Fishermen, old homesteads that have stood the test of time and blend seamlessly into the background, it’s like stepping back in time. Then add to all of this feisty Rainbows, Adriatic Grayling, Browns and the most sought after, Marble Trout (think bull trout head on a brown trout body, with feeding behaviour similar to browns). All these fish in sizes where you have to give your head a shake, given the water they are occupying. This is the total package, a sight fishing, upstream dry fly fishing mecca, accessible from your car, that seems like it was conjured from some of your fishiest dreams. Obviously, nymphing and streamers work great, but when sight fishing in gin clear water I find it hard to resist throwing a dry (probably to my detriment from a hook up perspective… hrrmmm I seemed to suffer from something similar during university days as well).

 Fly selection wise I felt amply prepared with my usual western freestone go to’s, though some tail water selection would be a welcome addition. Dry Flys: Stimulators in Orange (lots of orange moths or Butterflys in July and August), Goddard Caddis, small tape wing black caddis, purple haze, green drakes, BWOs, ants and terrestrials. Nymphs: Hares ears, pheasant tails, stone flies, cased caddis, guides choice….you get the idea. I’m told streamers early hours in the dark in some of the big holding pools is the way to hook into the big meat eating Marbles, these pools are home to very tight lipped big fish during daylight hours, which people cast endlessly at and are mostly unsuccessfully. You’ll figure out which pools these are pretty quick, easy access to them, big fish stacked up, looks like shooting fish in a barrel, generally it ain’t.  

In terms of finding the spots to fish, it’s pretty easy, a little Google Maps Satellite view and you’ll see most of the roads follow blue lines. Currently it seems the imaging was done in summer when flows are lower which allows you to identify pools and pocket waters quite easily. You will also notice there are lots of access points and turn outs along the road, mostly put ins and take outs for the kayakers and rafts, so bit of care needed when parking in these spots especially the raft access points. Note: satellite images make things look flat and seemingly easy to access, this definitely isn’t the case there are some very steep access points not ideal for the shaky legs, but they get you to some pretty stellar places. Also note all of my fishing in Slovenia has been done during Late June to Late August when flows are low and wading the river is relatively is easy.     

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Sunday Classic / The Magic Stonefly

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A few years back I was on a photo shoot in Wyoming when the client wanted to stage a shot of an angler looking through a fly box. The box we had on hand was my own, but my fly selection was greatly depleted, as it almost always is by mid summer when I’m too busy shooting to tie. My good friend Rob Parkins was helping me out on the shoot and offered to fill out my box with some of his flies. After the shoot when I offered the box back so he could reclaim his flies, he told me to keep them.

I was stoked! Rob is one of the best fly tiers I know and I was stoked to have half a box of his flies. I was planning a couple of days of fishing at the end of the job and I knew these flies would insure that it was productive. I was right.

Among the flies were some very cool stonefly patterns. Several I had not seen before. One in particular caught my eye. A golden stone dry fly with sexy legs and a cool wing made up of layers of flash and different colored yarn. I held it up to the light and the wing had a lifelike glow that I knew would drive fish crazy. I remember thinking how clever Rob had been to think of it.

I wrecked fish with that fly while I was in Wyoming. When I got home I couldn’t wait to give it a try. I wasn’t surprised to find that it was just as effective in the east as it was in the west. It was just one of those fishy flies that works anywhere. When I got to the river I would tie it on and I knew it would produce.

I fished that fly with confidence because I trusted the guy who tied it. I knew that any fly Rob had tied was going to be a guaranteed producer and all I had to do was put in on the seam and hang on. I caught a lot of fish on that fly everywhere I fished it. Eventually I stashed it away. I was afraid I’d lose it and not be able to tie another.

I called Rob up and told him about the success I was having with the fly and asked him if he would share the recipe with me so I could tie up some more. He was happy to help but when I described the fly he wasn’t sure which fly I was talking about.

“Take a picture with your phone and send it to me,” he told me. So I did. This is the response I got.

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 Saturday Shoutout / Anchored with Ted Juracsik

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By Justin Pickett

I’m a regular listener of the Anchored podcast, which is produced and hosted by April Vokey.

Her guests include some of the most influential individuals across the gamut of outdoor industries, and covers topics such as conservation, ethics, and travel, along with behind the scenes insight as to what drew these outdoorsmen and women to seek a career in the outdoors, whether it be hunting or fishing. April does an amazing job captivating her listeners by not only having some of the most renowned personalities on her podcast, but by also asking engaging questions that draws the listening in even further. By the end of each podcast, you feel like you know the person she was interviewing, and I often find myself learning quite a few new things along the way.

Yesterday, I expected nothing less than April’s usual intriguing dialogue when catching up on a few of episodes that I had missed during previous seasons of Anchored. One of the episodes was with Ted Juracsik, founder of Tibor Reels. Ted is certainly known for producing some of the most beautiful and brawny fly reels in the industry. Made 100% in the USA, they are amazing tools for the serious fly angler. What you probably don’t know about Ted Juracsik is even more amazing. His compelling life story, and how he landed in the U.S., had me hooked from beginning-to-end, and is probably my favorite episode from any podcast that I’ve listened to thus far. Full of emotion, pride, patriotism and inspiration, this episode is certainly one that you will be glad you took the time to enjoy! 

Give it a listen!

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How To Unsnag A Fly: Video

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Every fly fisher gets snagged up once in a while.

It’s part of the game. If you aren’t fishing to structure, you aren’t fishing to fish. This is never more true than when streamer fishing. You’re constantly snagging logs and if you row over to get your fly, you’re spoiling a lot of good fishing spots where you could have hooked that big boy.

Most times it’s pretty easy to recover a stuck fly without ruining the spot. It’s a skill that challenges many new anglers. All you have to do is keep your wits about you and fish smart.


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Why You Should Invest In Your Casting

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By Justin Pickett

I have never met anyone who could pick up a five-weight fly rod and make consistent, accurate fifty-foot casts without ever having prior experience with fly casting.

I used to play a ton of golf. So much so that at one point, much earlier in my youth, I could hold my own on any given course and typically shoot Par. Nothing to really brag on, but I wasn’t bad. During my time around golf courses, I never met anyone who could walk up to the 1st tee on any given course and drive the golf ball 300yds down the middle of the fairway without ever having swung a golf club before. It takes a considerable amount of learning and practice to develop the skills needed to be able to hit a golf ball with accuracy, control, and distance. And then there are the many other skills, such as putting, chipping, and bunker shots, requiring different strokes, techniques, and timing that must be practiced in order to put an entire round of eighteen holes together. For the vast majority, it’s a large investment in one’s time and effort to become a decent golfer and get the most enjoyment out of your day on the course. On a side note, I have also yet to meet anyone who enjoys looking for golf balls in the woods all day.

I have been fly fishing since the young age of ten. In my thirty-something years, I have fished way more than I ever golfed, and I have to say that I have never met anyone who could pick up a five-weight fly rod and make consistent, accurate fifty-foot casts without having prior experience with fly casting or fly fishing. Just like with golf, it takes a considerable amount of learning and practice to develop the skills needed to be able to consistently complete an accurate fly cast of any distance. Throw in roll casts, water hauls, the double haul, and reach casts and it’s starting to get a little overwhelming for the beginning angler. We haven’t even begun to talk about all the other little pieces, such as mending, hookset, fish fighting, etc. It’s a lot of info and a lot of factors that have to all come together fluidly for the angler to successfully bring fish to hand on a consistent basis, which adds to the enjoyment of our time spent on the water.

I wanted to place a focus on casting, though, because it is the first skill we need to learn in order to place a fly effectively in or on the water, and it is

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