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  • April 16, 2014

    E-Book Review: "The Tug is the Drug" by Chris Santella

    By Kirk Deeter

    If you're looking for a good read on fly fishing that comes in short, palatable bites (a format I fancy most), go ahead and download Chris Santella’s new e-book titled "The Tug is the Drug: 30 Fly Fishing Essays from The New York Times and Beyond." ($6.99; this is the first collaborative e-book by Headwater Books and MidCurrent.)  

    Santella, author of "50 Places to Fly Fish Before You Die" (which is soon to become a television series on WFN), is one of the best in this business, and every story, every word from this collection demonstrates why I say that.

    Over the years, I've not only become a fan of his writing, I also got to travel with him to some very cool places. We were both part of "The Kodiak Project"; fished together in Ireland; on Bimini in the Bahamas; and we went to fish the Ponoi in Russia last year.

  • April 10, 2014

    Gyotaku: The Most Ancient Form of Taxidermy

    By Tim Romano

    The image you see here is a sockeye salmon "fish rubbing" done by my friend Scott Wells. The process is called Gyotaku, pronounced ghe … yo … tah … koo.

    "Gyotaku is the ancient art of fish rubbings. Fish rubbings are a very accurate way of recording the species and size of a catch, much better than hero shots along with their inevitable ‘hidden elbows,’” Wells said.

  • April 7, 2014

    Book Review: '25 Best Most Versatile Flies' by Al Ritt

    By Kirk Deeter

    For years, I have been advocating that it's better to fish fewer fly patterns in different ways, than it is to feel like you have to buy 1,000 different flies to match every possible scenario you'll encounter on a river, lake or saltwater flat.  

    There's nothing wrong with a deep roster in your fly boxes, and it's satisfying--even comforting--to have a full arsenal of different patterns for different places and seasons.  But let's face it: some patterns are designed to catch fish and some are designed to catch anglers.  I'd rather dial in on a couple dozen versatile patterns and master their many uses than feel like I have to go digging and switching every time a different bug falls out of the sky.

  • March 28, 2014

    Diving with Tarpon Can Make You a Better Fly Angler

    By Kirk Deeter

    I am on a family vacation on the island of Bonaire. It’s part of the "ABC islands” (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) in the Caribbean, just off the coast of Venezuela. While I have been doing some bonefishing — which I will write about later on (there are some really big bonefish here, the flats are very interesting, and I caught eight fish the other day, between breakfast and lunch) — much of my time, however, has been spent under the surface of the sea. Bonaire is one of the best do-it-yourself shore diving destinations in the world. You literally just pick up your tanks and go.

  • March 26, 2014

    Make A Wish: Best Wins Copy of 'Do It Yourself Bonefishing'

    By Kirk Deeter

    This is part caption contest, part wish list.

    You get to ask the fly-fishing fairy godmother for one wish. Make it a good one... a witty one... within the bounds of good taste...

    While it might not be granted outright, you will win a copy of "Do It Yourself Bonefishing" by Rod Hamilton, which is the best bonefishing book in years

    Good luck.

  • March 20, 2014

    Swift Fly Fishing Company Offers New Way to Build Custom Fly Rods

    By Kirk Deeter


    Photo by Swift Fly Fishing via Instagram

    Given the popularity of the "take-and-bake" pizza, I figured it was only a matter of time before some fly rod companies embraced the concept. Sure, rod builders have always been able to order custom components and make their own creations. And some companies, like Scott, offer a custom shop where you can pick your own parts and the factory will build the rod for you. But now Swift Performance Fly Fishing, a New Zealand-based manufacturer of some of the world's best fiberglass rods, is actually taking that up another level.

    They’re offering anglers three options: you can pick your pieces and they'll build it and ship it to you; you can pick your blanks and components and they'll ship them in a kit so you build the rod yourself; or you can pick the parts and they'll ship them to a master rod builder in your country to have them build it for you.

  • March 7, 2014

    Video: Until it's Warm Enough to Fish, Snowboating Will Have to Do

    By Tim Romano

    Whew... I thought I had a case of the shack nasties!  Turns out I have nothing to complain about. The folks over at Scumliner Media and Headhunters Fly Shop in Craig, Mont., seem like they've had had a very long, cold winter indeed.

    Here's to ice thawing, insects hatching and getting out on the water soon. Have a great weekend and make sure to wear your helmet if you get out Snowboating.

  • March 3, 2014

    What I Think About Knock-Off Fly-Fishing Products

    By Kirk Deeter

    I got an e-mail last week that ticked me off, and I think it's about time that somebody said something "for the record" regarding the knock-off, cheap imported products that are now steadily oozing into the American fly-fishing market. I think the whole situation is bull.

    The e-mail came from a manufacturer in China. The purpose of the note (at least as I interpreted it), was to unashamedly let me know that this company had successfully mimicked some big-name fly fishing products — from fiberglass rods to travel rods to high-end casting rods. And for very cheap prices, I (or whoever else wants to) can presumably buy my/our own batch, maybe create a brand name, and pawn them off on whomever I/we want to. Here's a verbatim excerpt from the e-mail:

  • February 27, 2014

    Thoughts on Keeping 'Secret Spots' Secret

    By Kirk Deeter

    One question I often wrestle with is whether or not to name certain places in the stories I write. After all, I'm an angler too. I appreciate solitude on a fishing stream as much as the next person, and I fully understand that you can love a place to death by writing about it in every detail.

    For example, I've written about this place, but I've never named it. Sorry, I'm not going to say where it is now. But those of you who fish in the Rocky Mountain high country know that this is one of thousands of little trout streams that look and fish the same way. It's no great discovery to chance upon a scene like this… certainly nothing an angler willing to dedicate a little hiking and map reading effort couldn't find on his own.

  • February 18, 2014

    Poll: What is the Best Paint Color for a Wooden Drift Boat

    By Tim Romano

    As you may remember, I've gotten myself into a hell of a project restoring a totally wooden drift boat given to me by my good friends at Boulder Boat Works.

    There's been some trials and tribulations along the way, but I'm getting through the "meat" of the project. I am closer to some of the finishing touches and need help making up my mind on a paint job. That's where you all come in once again. 

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