A Guest Post By Assistant Editor Kristyn Brady
Realistically, I know that the average guy or girl is not likely to seal the deal with that special someone on Valentine’s Day by presenting the object of their affection with soft plastics or a hand-tied nymph. (Please, please, don’t chuck the usual candy, flowers, or tickets to WWE Smackdown based on my advice.)
But if your sweetheart matches one of the descriptions below, try letting the gift of tackle say how you feel. You just might be a dynamic duo in time for better weather and great fishing in one of the twelve destinations we’ve suggested for putting these lures and flies to use. Wherever you decide to use them this season, be sure to work in a romantic non-fishing adventure in the same area, especially if your gift fails to impress today–we’ll get you started:
1 – Matzuo’s Swagger Shad in Hot Firetiger: For the guy who has swagger like Jagger
This spring, plan a trip to Cleveland and throw the Swagger Shad to Lake Erie smallmouth bass or walleyes. Be sure to check out the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a few of the live music spots downtown. We recommend the Grog Shop.
2 – YUM Sweet Cheeks: For the subject of an innocent crush
Take your sweet cheeks–and some tackle–to Key West for tarpon, cobia, and barracudas. Book a room with access to the wraparound porch at The Mermaid and The Alligator Bed & Breakfast in the heart of Old Town, just a short walk from restaurants, shops, and galleries.
3 – Luhr Jensen Hot Lips Express in Hot Texas Red: For the girl whose kisses hit you like a runaway train
A few hours east of Dallas, Lake Fork is a great place for the two of you to connect–with big largemouth bass. Back in the city, place bets on who can clock the longest ride on “El Torro,” the mechanical bull at Gilley’s Dallas.
4 – Zoombait Horny Toad in Grey Ghost: For the buddy going through a bit of a dry spell
According to this article in The Huffington Post, Raleigh, N.C., has a surplus of single women, making it an ideal place to meet your future wife, and nearby Lake Wheeler has plenty of bass ready to go after this topwater frog. A bachelor could come home with more than just fish stories.
5 – Galloup’s Sex Dungeon Streamer: For the girl who loved “50 Shades of Grey”
References to this romance novel may have become insufferable, but if there’s one place to indulge the trend, it’s in Vegas. Strip this fly for trout in the Colorado River below the dam at Willow Beach. Before you head back to one of the casinos, buffets, or pyrotechnic stageshows on the Strip, take an authentic whip-making class at MidWestWhips.
6 – Wave Worms Tiki-Monkey in Sweet Potato Pie: For the guy who cooks you dinner–and dessert
Play monkey see, monkey do and teach him how to use this creature bait for largemouths in the upper Mississippi delta. Then schedule a hands-on class at The New Orleans School of Cooking, where you can learn to prepare a full Cajun meal, from shrimp remoulade to bananas foster crepes.
7 – Strike King KVD Sexy Frog in Candy Frog: For the girl who is sweet as candy and as enticing as a frog-bait’s rattle
This summer, let this candy-colored frog sweet talk the smallmouth bass on the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg, Pa., then head over to Hershey Park for a sugar rush.
8 – Booyah Pad Crasher Frog: For the guy who’s a little afraid to commit to that dresser drawer you offered him
Throw this frog-bait, which has adjustable spinnerbait-skirt style legs, for largemouths or smallmouths around the lily pads on New York’s Cayuga Lake. You could really scare this guy by telling him you’ve planned a side trip to price honeymoon suites in Niagara Falls, but please settle his nerves after with a bottle of red at one of the dozens of wineries in the Finger Lakes region.
9 – Terminator Finesse Jig in Blue Olive: For the smooth operator who thinks he’s James Bond
Head to Chicago and cast this jig around the breakwalls and pilings along the shoreline of Lake Michigan right in downtown. At cocktail hour, take him to the Redhead Piano Bar for their classic martini called The James Bond, but stop at the hotel to change first–black tie is optional, but they won’t let you in with flip flops.
10 – YUM Shakalicious Worm in Mardi Gras: For the girl who keeps begging you to take her dancing
Head to south Florida for Lake Okeechobee largemouths, then stay the night on the coast a few hours away. Steel yourself for the crowds at a trendy Miami club, like Cameo, with a cocktail at the Zen courtyard bar of The Setai Hotel. Or choose the more walkable downtown section of Fort Lauderdale, grab a drink near the firepit at YOLO, and dance at America’s Backyard.
11 – Royal Coachman: For the classic lady who deserves to be treated like a queen
Cast to rising trout on the Gallatin River in Montana, but forget about camping this time. Instead, enjoy all the comforts of the swanky Big Sky Resort, and join the apres-ski crowd for some nightlife or cozy up in plush robes for an “Altitude Adjustment Massage.” Or the peppermint foot rub–I won’t tell.
12 – Umpqua Sizzling Hot Spot Squirrel Nymph: For the fast-paced guy who puts the ADD in adventure and keeps your heart racing
Drift this fly in Arkansas’s White River–it’s loaded with trout and they’re easy to catch, so no patience is required. When he’s ready to move on from the fish, honestly there’s not much else to distract him from you or the pretty view back at Cedar Woods Lodge.
What kind of tackle does your sweetheart deserve? Tell us in the comment section.