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Fly Fishing

  • August 8, 2013

    Vintage Tackle Contest: Herter's #11 Vise


    By Joe Cermele

    This week in the vintage tackle contest we don't have an item that catches fish, but rather one that helps you make stuff to catch them. This vise belongs to John O'Donnell, and the story that goes along with it is pretty special. John writes: I was recently going through some boxes I've had for years and came across this Herter's No. 11 Vise. It was my grandfather's. I am 60 years old and a retired Allentown, Pa. police officer. My grandfather passed away in the early 60s. He was an Allentown, Pa. fireman and was killed in a fire he was fighting. He was an avid Fly Fisherman, tying his own flies. He even made gun stocks and was an artist (painter). His name was Arthur Howells. Well, John, you've got an item here that really takes Dr. Todd Larson of The Whitefish Press and "Fishing For History" blog back to simpler times.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 7, 2013

    Fishing App Review: Perfect Your Casting Rhythm with FlyCaster


    By Tim Romano

    I've seen and tried several fly fishing apps on my phone just because they exist and seem like a fun thing to do for a few minutes. Most of them revolve around catching fish, and honestly aren't very good. A new app called FlyCaster wants help you get your casting rhythm down instead of catching fish. After a few days of playing with it, I have to say it's pretty damn accurate — and fun.

    The app lets you hone casts on famous rivers like the Madison River, Klamath River, and Yellow Breeches Creek with three different rod setups: 3-weight, 5-weight, and 8-weight.
    You can fish up to three spots on each river. You can practice casting strokes with the metronome beat on the 10 o’ clock to 2 o’ clock marks with a chime that signifies when you nail a perfect stroke. The better the cast, the bigger the fish.

    More importantly, you can also check casting biomechanics while you fish. Or review your stroke synch rates for the month and year, change rods any time, and choose either right-hand or left-hand rod setups. [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 7, 2013

    Fishing in the Salmon Forest, Part 1: The Lifeblood of the Tongass


    By Hal Herring

    Editor’s note: Conservationist blogger Hal Herring spent five days exploring and fishing Alaska’s Tongass National Forest earlier this month. This is the first of five reports.

    Glacier feeding the Taku River. Photo by Chris Hunt.

    In this misty, twilit country, the sharp lines we know in the more settled world blur and shift and disappear. The line between land and water goes first--at midmorning’s high tide, we thrash along in waders through neck high grass at the border of a placid saltwater estuary, mosquitoes whining, gnats in a dervish dance around our heads. By low tide at late afternoon, the saltwater has withdrawn, replaced as if by magic by an ether-clear torrent of freshwater born in the forested mountains that tower above, flowing over clean gravels as wildly colored as gemstones. The rain falls silently, sifting into the river, sky and water blended. [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 6, 2013

    Tip: Spread Out Your Casts When Fishing Attractor Dry Flies

    By Kirk Deeter

    Greetings from Laxardalur (the Salmon River Valley) in Iceland. We are targeting giant, native brown trout (pictured) with dry flies. We're fishing large attractor patterns like Fat Alberts, Amy's Ants, and other beetle-like imitations. Thing is, there are few, if any, natural bugs like this here (midges make up most of the insect life here). The fish hit these flies purely as a reaction to something that looks too good to let pass by. [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 5, 2013

    Twin Brothers Start Program to Trade Games for Fishing Gear


    By Tim Romano

    Strolling the isles of the Outdoor Retailer trade show last week, I stopped to see the good folks at the Orvis booth and say hello. Almost immediately I was introduced to two young brothers around 15 or 16 years old named A.J. and Jace Garcia. They were in the booth talking to people, playing with gear and generally just having a good time. Turns out AJ and Jace are twin brothers that fish, hunt, and love being outdoors. They love it so much they started a program called Twin Territory at local sports shows and around their state home state of Utah to try to get kids off the couch and into the outdoors any way they can. [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 1, 2013

    Quick Look: Switch Sunglasses Magnetic Interchange Lens System


    By Kirk Deeter

    Tim Romano and I are cruising around the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show in Salt Lake City at the moment. This show is unreal—everything "outdoors" is under one roof, from hiking boots to stand-up paddle boards to backpacks to fishing gear.  We, of course, are locked on fly-fishing products, and there is definitely more fly-fishing flavor at this year's event than there has been before. I'm trying to uncover some products that may be a bit out of the mainstream fly shop but no less worthy for the typical angler/consumer. My first contender comes in the form of an eyeglass company called Switch. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 31, 2013

    Film Chronicles Increasing Destruction of Obsolete Dams in U.S.


    By Tim Romano

    "80,000 damns, 51 Interviews and one film." That's how Ben Knight and Travis Rummel describe their forthcoming movie titled DAMNATION. The two own and run Felt Soul Media and have been involved in some groundbreaking films like Red Gold and Eastern Rises. While the trailer for the film has been around for a bit, the website just got a refresh with more info on the project, photos, news, frequently asked questions about dams and dam removal. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 30, 2013

    Good Tenkara Target: Pink Salmon


    By Kirk Deeter

    Those of you who read along know that I am a freak for tenkara—a traditional Japanese style of fly fishing that involves a long rod, with a line connected directly to its tip (no reel). It's kind of like attaching a leash directly to the fish when you hook one, as there is no give or play in the actual line, the rod itself serves as the shock absorber. I think tenkara is a great teaching tool, as it forces anglers to sneak up on fish and avoid making overly long casts (a common mistake). 

    Tenkara is primarily for little trout. It makes an 8-inch brookie feel like a big fish. But I have a habit of not limiting myself to those fish. In Guyana, I caught baby tarpon on tenkara. In Saskatchewan it was northern pike and grayling. On a recent trip to Alaska with Hal Herring and others, we got into masses of pink salmon. Now, pinks are probably the least appreciated salmon among sport anglers. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 29, 2013

    Five Tips for Catching Bass on the Fly


    By Tim Romano

    The fish above was caught last week in upstate New York on Raquette Lake inside the 6.1 million acre Adirondack Park. I spent the better part of two weeks up there with my family on vacation and absolutely hammered both largemouths and smallies on spinning and fly gear. While I had the chance to fish for rainbow trout, landlocked salmon, and brook trout, I concentrated my efforts on both large and smallmouth bass as that seemed the right thing to do this time of year up there. Plus it's a hell of a lot of fun. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 24, 2013

    Do You Stop Fishing for Trout When Water Temperatures Get Too High?

    By Tim Romano

    Many of our cold water fisheries out here in the West have a bit of a problem as of late. We have less water, more people using it, and hotter temperatures. When these things combine, it can have deadly consequences for trout as water temps can become lethal in a hurry.

    Just a few few weeks ago, a buddy and I were fishing the upper Colorado River after a spell of hot weather and pretty low water. Toward the end of the day I thought it might be a good idea to check the water temps as we knew they were not exactly where they should be. My thermometer read nearly 70 degrees. We couldn't believe it and decided to stop fishing immediately. The water felt warm, but not that warm... While we did the responsible thing, I know many people do not. It's easier said then done.

    Thanks to the folks over at 719fly, this little graph shows the different temps and what they do to fish. The yellow font is 68 degrees and the point when you should absolutely stop fishing for trout. Realistically, you should watch it at about 65. Here in Colorado we have no laws that close rivers when they get too hot; rather groups like Colorado Trout Unlimited place voluntary closures on specific areas and ask people not to fish. I know Montana places closures on certain rivers if need be.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 23, 2013

    Gear Review: Is the New Scott Radian the Best Fly Rod Ever?


    By Kirk Deeter

    I have a Will Rogers attitude when it comes to fly rods: I haven't met one that I do not like.  

    Sure, I prefer some above others. I think some are overhyped, overpriced, and overrated. I think three quarters of the marketing-techno speak that promotes fly rods is sheer hogwash. But if you put any rod in my hand, it's hard for me to hate it, and on rare occasions, I will fall head-over-heels in love.

    Such is the case with the new "Radian" fly rod from Scott, which deservedly won "Best in Show" in the New Product Showcase of the recent International Fly Tackle Dealer trade expo. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 22, 2013

    Watch Salmon Return to Alaska Spawning Grounds in Real Time


    By Tim Romano

    The Forest Service has once again placed an underwater camera in Steep Creek near Juneau, Alaska to let people get a glimpse of Sockeye salmon returning to the Tongass National Forest in real time.

    “The overall escapement, or numbers of fish that reach the spawning grounds, for Steep Creek sockeye varies from year to year. An average run would be considered 1,000 fish. We have seen it as low as 350 and as high as 4,000. So many factors can contribute to run size. It’s difficult to predict. So keep watching,” said Pete Schneider, a fisheries biologist on the Tongass. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 19, 2013

    Why You Should Put Hockey Skate Laces On Your Wading Boots


    By Kirk Deeter

    A lot of ink and attention has been paid to wading boots recently. Rightly so. Many people are wondering about tread options in a day and age when felt is being frowned upon, if not altogether banned.

    Regardless of where you stand on the felt situation, one of the biggest issues I have with any wading boot I buy is the absolutely lousy laces that come with them. (Granted, BOA wire laces are in their own league, but it's up to the angler as to whether the wire binds are worth the extra cost or not.)

    I'll be totally honest: I can't see how any company can market $200 wading boots and accompany them with laces that break after being soaked in a river four or five times. That, to me, is plain cheap and stupid.   [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 18, 2013

    Slip Bobbers Work Great for Fly Fishing


    By Tim Romano

    The last couple summers I've been spending a day or two with friend and superb high altitude lake guide John Perizzolo, chasing big trout on the lakes here in Colorado, our home state, with fly rods. John guides for Breckenridge Outfitters and manufactures JP's Nymping Mud as a side business. He is especially adept at figuring out the picky trout that reside in our high altitude impoundments.

    Occasionally we'll resort to 25-foot leaders with three-fly rigs. In these instances a slip bobber is invaluable for landing fish and an almost must have. In this video John demonstrates how and why a slip bobber is so effective on a fly rod in certain situations like this.