In Defense of Trout, Where I Belong

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YOU HEAR IT IN THE WAY THE FLATS GUYS SAY “TROUT SET,”

and in the way steelheaders say, “I don’t fish for trout.” I’ve heard carp guys call them “trash fish.” Bass guys just call them, “bait.” In some circles it borders on contempt.

Where did this come from?

How did it happen?

When did trout stop being cool?

I’ll throw a fly at just about anything that swims. “Hey Homie, we got poons,” is all I have to hear to put my ass in the drivers seat of the Subaru for sixteen hours any day of the year. Stripers, bones, musky, snook, bass, cuda, carp, shark. I’ll fish for catfish if you give me enough to drink but if you told me tomorrow that I could only do one kind of fishing for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t even have to stop and think. Trout! I bare no shame for it.

Yet, among the hip fly fishing crowd, that’s less and less the case. Some how, in the never ending quest to be cooler than the next guy the trout has lost favor. Even though it is the trout who

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Improving Fly Tying Efficiency  

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By Bob Reece

Many beginner and novice tiers that I’ve talked to equate improved efficiency at the vise with rushing through the tying process. While applying the techniques below can speed up pattern creation, that result is not their sole purpose. The main focus of these tips is to help tiers get the most out of whatever amount of time they do spend behind the vise.

Material Prep Work

Some patterns require very little in terms of prepping materials. Others, however, involve shaping foam bodies, knotting rubber legs, cutting wing cases or beading hooks. For these flies it is highly beneficial to prepare the materials in bulk before you start tying. When I tie foam terrestrials, I cut all of my foam bodies and the knot rubber legs that I might need. With bead head nymphs, I bead all hooks that I’ll be using as well as cutting any strips of material that I’ll be using for wing cases. If all of your materials are fully prepped before you start tying, you’ll be able to create a larger number of flies in a shorter amount of time. Prepping your materials in mass also increases the consistency and subsequent quality of the bugs that you’ll be offering up to your favorite fish.

Hook/Bead Storage

Hooks and beads can be two of the hardest materials to handle and keep track of on the surface of a tying table. Hooks of all sizes can easily be brushed under other materials or into the abyss of carpet fibers that sit below some of our tying platforms. Beads are also shifty and hard to handle once they leave the confines of their plastic packaging. To prevent these happenings, I store all of my beads and hooks in plastic compartmented organizers like the one in the picture above. The clip down lids of these containers ensure that nothing escapes. Each compartment also has a curved bottom which makes it easy to retrieve the desired items. The containers that I use can be purchased in the sewing section of Walmart for less than two dollars apiece.

Pattern Material Kits

How materials are stored matters in terms of efficiency. I use plastic organizers, like the one pictured above, to create material kits for all of the patterns that I tie. Always knowing where specific ingredients are saves a tier the time of searching though bins, drawers and baskets. This type of setup also

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Peacock Bass In The Amazon, Part 2

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Packing for Success in the Amazon

If you haven’t read part 1, you can find it here.

Preparing and packing the right gear prior to your departure to the Amazon is crucial for your overall trip enjoyment and fishing success. Following these gear recommendations, fishing tips, and general amazon facts, will ensure that you’ll be ready to tackle the monster peacock bass you’ll encounter as well as the hot tropical climate.

One important factor that rookie amazon anglers often fail to realize is water levels on the rivers and tributaries of the Amazon River can make or break your trip. Sometimes conditions will be perfect a week or two before your departure, and a couple days before your scheduled to leave, you’ll receive an updated water level report informing you that conditions have deteriorated. It’s just part of the game. It comes with fishing a river that provides us with 1/5 the worlds freshwater supply.

Talk to any veteran peacock bass angler and they’ll quickly tell you how big a role water levels play in the fishing and how helpless you are at controlling them. Despite there being both wet and dry fishing seasons in the Amazon, sometimes the seasons end up being the opposite of what they should be for the time of the year. Your best bet for coping with this uncertainty is booking your trip with the right Amazon outfitter or lodge. The, fly fishing only, Agua Boa Lodge, located in Brazil, is best suited for coping with both high and low water levels because of its specialized equipment, exclusive location, and the diversified fishing operations.

Water Levels are Important in the Amazon
If water levels are too high, peacock bass often will move back into the flooded jungle shorelines making them difficult to coax out or present a fly to. On the flip side of the coin, if water levels are too low, your guides might not be able to access certain watersheds, or even worse,

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Drop-Offs Are Trout Hot-Spots

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Adjacent – just before, after, lying near; neighboring

Drop-offs located adjacent to shallow water are trout magnets.

The slower moving water and cover found downstream of drop-offs are the two main reasons trout are drawn here. If you’re looking for super consistent water where you can almost always find trout, you should be searching out dropoffs on your streams and rivers where shallow water transitions into deeper water. The more significant (larger the area) the stretch of shallow water is, the more appeal the adjacent drop-offs will have over trout, especially when the shallow water upstream or downstream holds very little cover.

I regularly float over a long stretch of shallow unproductive water on my home tailwater. It’s about 200 yards long, calf deep at best, and it’s completely barren of any form of trout cover. The trout hate this section of the river because they’re sitting ducks to predators looking for an easy meal, and there’s nowhere for the trout to find refuge out of the excessive current. I’d say it’s a completely worthless piece of water on the river, but the fact is, it does serve a valuable purpose for us fly anglers. This long stretch of desolate trout water, makes it’s neighboring drop-offs and

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Swinging Streamers on Big Water

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Most streamer fisherman out there would agree that pounding the river banks with a streamer will catch trout just about anywhere.

If you’re willing to put in the time and hard work eventually you’ll be rewarded with a big fish. During high water flows on rivers where habitat is insufficient out in the main river, many trout will relocate to the banks where they can use the irregular banks and it’s abundant cover to shelter themselves out of the excessive current. There next move, once they’ve gotten to the banks, is to find prime ambush spots where they can easily pick off prey moving by. This is why casting to the bank and ripping streamers back to the boat is so effective. You’re repeatedly putting your streamer right in the kitchen where good numbers of fish will be feeding.

The majority of the time this scenario works great, but what do you do when you find yourself in areas where the water is super deep and the fish are sitting on the bottom? These places make it extremely difficult for anglers using the pounding the bank technique to keep their streamers down deep in the strike zone during a steady retrieve. Even with a full sinking fly line the cards are stacked against you. Don’t get me wrong, it can still work, especially if you cast upstream of your target water, and give your streamer time to sink before you begin your retrieve. Unfortunately, you won’t always have the time nor the room to pull this off, and that should have you searching for an alternative method that’s better suited for fishing your streamers in these deep water locations.

Swing Streamers through deep water hot spots
The best method I’ve found to consistently get hookups

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We All Have Our Vises, Mine’s a Regal

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I made my first tying vise.
I know what you’re thinking, but this vise was not a pair of hemostats duct taped to the back of a chair. I grew up in a machine shop and own two metal lathes and a host of other tools you won’t find at the Home Depot. My vise was sweet. Perfect center axis rotation with a lever at the rear, brass jaws, curly maple base, the works so when I decided to buy a vise my expectations were pretty high.
I decided on the Regal Medallion and I love it. The one thing I sacrificed was the rotary lever at the rear of the vise. Regal offers this in their Revolution series but I opted to save the extra cash and I have not been disappointed. The Regal Medallion is an elegant design with a couple of powerful features that make it an outstanding vise.

The key to the Regal design is

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Gink and Gasoline’s Summer Slam Giveaway Winner!!!

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By Justin Pickett

I want to give a huge shout out to all of you that entered our giveaway this week! 

Thousands of you entered and made this giveaway a huge success and we thank each and every one of you for participating! We had entries from all over the world! Places where we had no idea people even knew Gink and Gasoline existed! 

Huge thanks go out to the brands who donated gear and participated in making this giveaway so awesome! A special “Thank You!” also goes out to Adam Hutchison of Winston Rods for helping to get this thing off the ground and running, as well as Jason, Justin, and Lincoln from Yakoda Supply Co. for helping with the imaging and some serious logistical advice! 

ALRIGHT, SO WHO’S THE LUCKY WINNER OF OVER $3800 IN GEAR?!

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8 Fly Patterns For Southern Appalachian Brook Trout

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My good friend Dan Flynn is the man when it comes to hike-ins for Southern Appalachian Brook Trout.

I’ve never met a fly angler that enjoys bushwhacking through walls of thick impenetrable rhododendrons all day long, more than Dan. Randomly pick any thin line of blue on a Delorme’s Georgia or North Carolina topography map, and chances are Dan’s thoroughly explored the high elevation tributary.

Most anglers I know wouldn’t waste their time and energy for such a small catch, but that’s where most anglers go wrong in their thinking. It’s not about the size of the catch that’s the reward. Instead it’s the aura of true living that comes over you exploring high mountain streams in complete solitude. It’s the small doses of adrenaline that you feel pumping through your veins as you hike up a steep slippery waterfall to the next plunge pool. It’s the anticipation and excitement that you get as you peer over a boulder or log jam and spot a colorful native feeding on the surface. Decades of your life seem to roll back here and the kid in you is reborn. Make a trip to one of these crown jewel brook trout streams and your soul will feel cleansed and reenergized afterwards.

Southern Appalachian Brook Trout Feeding in the Current. Photo By: Louis Cahill
The best thing about brook trout fishing is that you don’t have to carry your entire fly fishing arsenal of gear with you. A fly box filled with a handful of brightly colored dry and wet flies will almost always get the job done. The biggest factor for success is

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Gink and Gasoline’s Summer Slam Giveaway

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By Justin Pickett

ENTER BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT!

We are stoked to announce that we have team up with several amazing brands across the fly fishing industry to put together Gink and Gasoline’s Summer Slam Giveaway!

Loaded down with over $3800 in gear, this crazy awesome prize package is sure to set one lucky angler up to end their Summer with a bang! You don’t want to be caught sleeping on this one! Just check out the list of gear that’s up for grabs!

PRIZES 

Winston – Air 4wt Fly Rod – $875

Bauer – SST4 Fly Reel – $425

Simms – Flyweight Wading Shoe, Superlight shorts, Bugstopper Hoody, Sungaiter – $350

Scientific Anglers – Amplitude Infinity WF4F Fly Line, Leaders x4, Hat – $190

Rocktreads – 2 sets of winner’s choice – $120

Rising – Travel Lunker Net – $240

Crazy Creek Camp Chairs – Hex 2.0 x2 chairs – $117

Whiskey Leather Works – Clark Fork Flask and 1 pair of Fish Flops – $210

Cody’s Fish – 3ft Western Trout Custom License Plate Art- $300

RiverSmith  – 4-Banger River Quiver – $600

Yakoda Supply – Drifter 2.0 – $179

Gerber – Magnipliers, Defender Large Tether, Defender Compact Tether, Freehander Nippers, Linedriver Multi-Tool, Neat Freak shears – $225

ENTERING IS EASY!

To enter, simply click on the link below. We have made entry into this giveaway as simple as possible, eliminating many of the “hoops” that a lot of giveaways require. 

CONTEST GOES LIVE TODAY!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

Gink and Gasoline’s Summer Slam Giveaway goes live TODAY (8/10) at 8:00 PST and will conclude on Monday (8/17) at 11:59pm PST! The winner will be randomly selected on the morning of

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5 Reasons Why I use the Uni-Knot for Trout Fishing

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There’s plenty of other fishing knots out there that have better knot strength than the Uni-Knot, but that shouldn’t be the only factor you look at when you’re choosing what knot to use on the water.

Reliability, how quick and easy it is to tie, type of rig your fishing, and functionality should all be weighed into the equation when deciding on knot choice. The decision to employ the Uni-Knot for my personal fishing and guiding has made my life easier on the water because of its versatility and ease of tying.

5 Reasons Why I use the Uni-Knot for Trout Fishing
1. The Uni-Knot is quick and easy to tie with fine tippet and small flies, particularly in low light situations.

2. The Uni-Knot is very reliable, is rated at 90% strength, and won’t slip (fail) like the improved clinch knot will if it’s tightened down incorrectly.

3. I only need a small amount of tippet to tie the Uni-Knot. That lengthens the life of my leaders, cuts back on tippet usage, and saves me money in the long run.

4. The Uni-Knot allows me to quickly change out my lead fly in my tandem nymph rig and also saves me time untangling knots on the water since it can be loosened and re-tightened on the go.

5. The Uni-Knot serves other purposes other than tying your fly onto your leader. It also can be used to join two lines and used to secure your backing to the reel.

The Uni-Knot Can Save You Time Untangling Knots
Untangling knots is a subject that I know far too well being a full-time fly fishing guide. These days I can often spot a tangle in mid-air or by the way the leader lays out on the water. I’ve grown accustom to having clients look at me with a bewildered look when I tell them to stop casting and strip in. Moments later, when they get their fly rig in, the confused look leaves their faces and the question of why is answered. Using the Uni-Knot in my

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