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  • January 31, 2012

    Hipster Fishing: The Trout Slip-On

    By Joe Cermele

    While cruising the aisles at the Somerset Fly Fishing Show in New Jersey this past weekend, I stumbled upon the booth of artist Jeff Currier. Jeff's awesome work has appeared on many a Simms T-shirt, but he also sells custom-painted fly boxes and coffee mugs featuring his many fish designs on his website. What caught my eye on his table, however, was this pair of canvas slip-ons all markered up with a nice hook-jaw brown trout.

  • January 30, 2012

    Do Sportsmen Buy and Read eBooks?

    By John Merwin

    I’m looking for some opinions on this question: Do sportsmen buy and read ebooks? That is, titles dealing with hunting, fishing, or firearms that you would download and read electronically on your iPad, desktop computer, or even a smartphone.

    The photo shows a fly-fishing ebook that I bought, downloaded, and read over the weekend on my iPad. Pat Dorsey, the author, is a well-known guide in Colorado. I wanted to see what his best fly patterns were and how to tie them. The tying-sequence photos in this book are large, bright, and easy to follow. I’d have no trouble setting up my iPad next to my tying vise and following the directions.

    The only thing getting in the way here is tradition. Being an old guy, I rather revere regular books. I have hundreds of them, including many, many fishing titles. The whole ebook concept and its amazingly rapid growth is turning the book-publishing industry upside down. And as the author or editor of numerous traditional books, I find this very disconcerting.

  • January 27, 2012

    Flyfishing on "The Bachelor." Is This Your Fantasy or Worst Nightmare?

    By Joe Cermele

    Here's the deal. You are on a gorgeous trout stream with 7 extremely beautiful women that happen to be competing for your undivided attention. However, you have to teach them to fly fish. None of the them know how to fly fish or really care to learn. Oh, and these gals all hate each other, too. Now that you have the facts, do you see the situation in the clip below as a dream come true or a nightmare?

    Note: I could have given you the whole 14-minute segment of this video from the "The Bachelor," but this edited version is far more enjoyable. Have a great weekend.

  • January 26, 2012

    Vintage Tackle Contest: The Virgin Mermaid

    By Joe Cermele

    And now for something a little bit racy in our ongoing vintage tackle contest. Avert your eyes, kids. This entry from Eric Leebens isn't exactly G rated. All I can say is, if you bought a few of those novelty Budweiser can lures to go with this topless beauty, it would be like a bachelor party in your tackle box. Eric wrote:

    I received this unusual mermaid lure this holiday season from my mother-in-law, who acquired it from an elderly friend. The elderly friend said it belonged to her husband, who likely purchased it in the 1950's or 1960's. Any idea when/where this lure was made, a name it might have, and whether it could attract any lunkers?.

  • January 25, 2012

    Old-Time Smallmouth on Lake St. Clair

    By Joe Cermele

    I love these old IGFA videos. I hadn't seen this one before. Check out the smallmouth action on Lake St. Clair...old-school style.

  • January 24, 2012

    Do You Overlook Blade Baits?

    By Joe Cermele

    I'm working on a story that requires me to interview a couple muskie guides from around the country. In my experience, you can always count on these guys to peg one of three lures as their favorite; bucktail, jerkbait, or soft-plastic like the Bull Dawg. But Wisconsin guide Bruce Shumway threw me a curve ball, citing the Fuzzy Duzzit (below) as one of his go-to baits for giant muskies. The Fuzzy is nothing more than a huge blade bait that Shumway jigs over weed beds and rock piles. I was surprised to hear that this lure was one of his top producers, not because I don't believe it, but because I'm of the opinion that blade baits are largely overlooked these days. In 7 years of interviewing guides, Shumway was the first to recommend a blade.

  • January 23, 2012

    Fly Fishing Muskie: What's Old and What's New?

    By John Merwin

    One of the hot “new” things in flyfishing is chasing muskies with a fly rod. I highlight the word “new” because, as I’ll show you shortly, there’s nothing really new about it. First, though, as to the musky in the photo. Back in June of 1998, I fished some Wisconsin musky rivers with Scott Bestul (our Whitetails columnist and Whitetails 365 blogger) and guide Ron Gehrke. That state has some 711 musky lakes, most of which are pounded hard by musky fanatics fishing from larger boats.

  • January 19, 2012

    Vintage Tackle Contest: HICO Big Brother

    By Joe Cermele

    The lure below, entered into the ongoing vintage tackle contest by Kevin Stewart, is definitely old, is the right size to catch bigger fish, and even has that classic red-and-white color pattern. However, a lack of a brand name left Kevin asking...what is it? He wrote:

    I bought this lure at an antique store in the Missouri Ozarks. It may have been hand made. I would like to learn more about it if you could help.

  • January 18, 2012

    Breaking News: B.A.S.S. Outlaws the Alabama Rig in Elite and Classic Tourney Events

    By Joe Cermele

    If you follow trends in the bass world, you've surely heard of the Alabama Rig (left). If you don't, this controversial "lure" is a play on the classic saltwater umbrella trolling rig, simply made compact and castable. A weighted head sprouts five wire arms with snap swivels on each end. To those swivels you can pretty much add any soft-plastic you'd like. Bass pro Paul Elias used an Alabama Rig in a tourney on Lake Guntersville back in October and won. Now, as companies scramble to make and sell their own versions of the rig, B.A.S.S. has taken another look at them and decided, you know what? This isn't going to work for us.

    From the B.A.S.S. press release:
    Rules Committee members believe the rig eliminates some of the skill that should be required in tournament competition at the highest level. “It doesn’t matter how you work it,” said one of the anglers. “The fish can’t help themselves...”

  • January 18, 2012

    A Crate of Fish Mounts and a Flood of Memories

    By Joe Cermele

    It's a bit like a belated Christmas morning in the F&S offices today. Without giving away the details, I'm working on a little project that required securing six replica mounts of true trophy-sized specimens. The fine folks at King Sailfish Mounts were happy to help us out, and the crate, as you can see in the photo, has arrived. Funny thing is, even though none of these mounts represent specific fish that I or anyone in the office caught, I want them all. I just have a thing for mounts, though in the end I could never hang one of a fish I didn't catch. It was still fun to crack open that crate and marvel at the replicas, though, which reminded me of the first mount I ever had made, and what it was like seeing it for the first time.

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