Is Fly-Fishing a Cult?

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I’m starting to wonder if I have joined a cult.

I picked up a copy of “The Mission” magazine at IFTD. It’s a nice looking book. Good printing, nicely bound, free, everything I like in a magazine. I’ll be honest, I haven’t read it past the cover but that’s what got my attention. The subtitle of the book is “The Cult of Fly Fishing.”

I was intrigued by that. I instinctively felt like that was a fair assessment. As I flipped through the pages I noticed the grandiose way the images portrayed anglers and their quarry. It did look suspicious. In a lot of ways fly fishers act kind of cultish, and the deeper you get into it the more cultish it becomes. I think I may have fallen into this, and even contributed to it.

Let’s be honest, we are an odd lot. There is an awful lot of dogma surrounding fly fishing that has very little to do with catching fish. I tried a test. When I found myself in a group of avid fly anglers, I tried listening to the conversation as if I were an outsider, knowing nothing about the subject. I determined that we sound bat shit crazy to the uninitiated.

I became concerned, so I did a google search for “Identifying a cult.” I found this check list.

6 tips for spotting a cult.


There is always some kind of pressure to join. This often involves the idea that your belief system in invalid and that you are missing out on some kind of enlightenment or deeper spiritual experience. “CHECK.”


Once recruited, members are subject to an organized program of thought reform, or what most people refer to as brainwashing. “CHECK.”

Divine Leaders

Cults usually have charismatic leaders who proclaim themselves as having special powers or special insight. And, of course, divinity. “DOUBLE CHECK.”

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Streamer Retrieves For Different Current Speeds

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I’ve talked in great detail about streamer fishing since I began writing articles for Gink & Gasoline. Most of my time has been spent talking about color and pattern choice, streamer gear/rigging for both big and small water and how to locate and target prime trout water with streamers. One area of streamer fishing I’ve yet to talk about in detail is retrieve speed and candor with streamers.

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Black and White Bahamas

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The Bahamas are beautiful, even without the stunning colors.

One of the things I love the most about fly fishing in the Bahamas are the stunning colors of the flats. I never grow tired of scanning that beautiful horizon. Still, over the years I have taken a lot of black and white photos, many of them infrared, that I love. I thought I’d share a few here. I hope you enjoy them as well.

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Catching Trash and Trout

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By: Alice Tesar

Robbie and I headed down stream on a remote creek in Wyoming and passed the only other angler we would see that day.

He was headed the opposite direction, having already fished the holes we were headed to. He seemed unsteady walking but opted to cross through the strong waist-deep current regardless. My husband, who is always willing to help a stranger (sometimes to my dismay as we rush to an appointment), watched out of the corner of his eye ready to jump in and pull this man from the current should he lose his footing. The man, slow and steady, made it across safely however as he reached the solid ground of the shoreline a plastic sandwich bag fell from his pack. No doubt he didn’t not see it, but I am also certain given his physical state would not have gone to great lengths to reclaim the piece of litter as it drifted downstream. Robbie and I rerouted our planned course downstream to grab the bag. It was still far out from us and we could see it was going to get hung-up in a large eddy soon. As we headed towards the eddy, Robbie cast out his streamer in jest for some “casting accuracy practice”. His line landed on the bag, but the sink tip leader sunk the fly before we could catch the bag. Re-cast out and again line on the bag, but unable to reel it in. I kept walking to where I thought the bag would land when I heard a yelp from Robbie, “THAT’S A HUGE ASS FISH!”

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Sunday Classic / Fly Fishing: Don’t Overlook The Trout Water Close To You

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When you fish your home waters day after day you get pretty good at knowing where the trout like to hang out. But if you let your big ego convince you into thinking you know it all, that’s when the fish will put you in your place. The other day guiding, I approached a honey hole with my client and gave him the break down on where I thought he should make his first presentation. I backed up my preaching by telling him about all the big fish we had landed there in the past. I insisted that all he needed to do was land his flies off the big rock on the far bank, and he’d get a hookup. My client promptly responded, “That sounds good Kent, but let me ask you a question? Shouldn’t I make a cast on the close side first? That water looks good too?” I replied, “That’s probably not a bad idea. It definitely could hold a fish, but if it was me fishing this spot, I’d land it off that big rock and drift the far seam first.”

This is where my client put me in my place and showed me tat even though I spend hundreds of hours a year on this trout stream, I’m no physic. Despite my coercion, my client went with his gut feeling and made his first presentation to the water close to him. Then, two-seconds into the drift, his line went tight and a behemoth trout came shooting out of the water like a tomahawk cruise missile. We landed the fish, and my client looked over at me with a “I told you so” grin. I smiled and said, “What…? I told you it probably wasn’t a bad idea to fish that close water.”

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Saturday Shoutout / Streamer Giveaway!

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Brian consistently drops high quality streamer tying vids backed up by delicious techno-mixed tracks for your viewing pleasure. He typically ties up three or four examples of each pattern that he showcases, and one could only assume that they end up in his meat locker to one day become the victim of a White River shark attack. Until now anyways…

From now on, or at least until his streamer box starts looking thin, Brian will be giving away the flies that are tied for each video that he produces. All you have to do is go to his YouTube channel, which you’re going to do anyways because you want to watch his latest awesome video, and then give Brian some feedback in the “comments” section. That’s it! After the video has been up for thirty days, Brian will randomly draw a winner from those who commented on the video and ship his newest spin-ups straight to your door! Who doesn’t want free flies?!?! Go check out his latest video HERE and be sure to comment so you’re entered in the giveaway!


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Scientific Anglers Amplitude Smooth: Video

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The new Amplitude Smooth fly line from Scientific Anglers may be the longest lasting fly line ever made.

Lats year SA introduced its Amplitude fly lines. These lines have been very popular but SA wasn’t content to leave it at that. This year the Amplitude series gets an update with a smooth textureless finish and new and improved AST Plus integrated slickness additive. The line is 50% slicker than any line SA has made before and last up to 8 times longer than a standard fly line.


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Restock My Box Contest Winner

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Somebody’s getting a whole bunch of trout candy!

The winner of the Restock My Box Instagram contest gets 120 primo trout magnets courtesy of Badass Bob Reece of Thin Air Angler. I have to admit, I’m a little jealous when I think about all of the fish that are going to taste these babies!

Quadesherwood, fear not. Help is on the way! That squirmy worm wont be alone for long. Shoot us an email at with your shipping address and we’ll get a care package on the way. When you catch those hogs, we expect to see them on Instagram with #ginkandgasoline!

A big thanks to all of you who participated and especially to Bob Reece for making it possible. Check out Thin Air Angler for the best trout flies money can buy and great guided fishing in Wyoming.

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Give ‘Em A Rest

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By Justin Pickett

It’s Summer.

What that means for most of the country is low water and high temps. And while those two factors will vary from year to year, and region to region, one thing should stay the same…

We need to be keeping a close eye on water temps.

Just about every year in the Southeast, you can count on most trout streams rising well above sixty-five degrees. Here in Georgia, when June rolls around, the state-run trophy waters and privately held waters begin either shutting down, or limiting the fishing to the early morning hours when the water temps are at their coolest.

We all know trout are extremely susceptible to succumbing to the rigors of a fight in warm water conditions. It can be impossible to recover a trout once those water temps start creeping closer to seventy degrees. There is just not enough oxygen contained within that warmer water to revive them. And even if that trout does swim off initially, it’s more likely to go “belly up” in the minutes that follow.

That is why I typically switch to warm water species, such as largemouth bass and carp once the hot temps of summer settle in. There are a couple north-facing streams here in Georgia that can offer year ‘round trout fishing, but even then I will cut it off around 11 o’ clock. Past that, I don’t want to be out there anyways. It’s hot and muggy as hell! Fishing in high elevations can be a great alternative option. These headwater streams and alpine lakes offer up cooler temps and don’t warm as quickly during the summer months. And there is some great fishing that can be had if you’re willing to put forth a little effort to get there.

Aside from that, it’s just a good idea to give trout a rest this time of year. I know, it’s hard to get up on a beautiful morning and resist the urge to toss a few bugs, but the trout will thank you and the fishery will be better for it. Be sure to carry

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Drift Boat & Car Renting Tips Abroad

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When you’re traveling abroad on a fly fishing trip that you’ve meticulously planned out for months in advance, the last thing you want to deal with is equipment problems. That was exactly the case Louis and I ran into several years ago heading out to Wyoming for a week long fly fishing trip with our good friend Bruce Wayne, a.k.a “Batman”.

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