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Bonefish Flies: K.I.S.S.

What is it about the bonefish? via Ahh, the bonefish–perhaps the most sought-after fish on the flats.   Ask 5 fly fishers why they adore the bonefish and you might well get 5 different answers.  The drag-screaming runs they incite are the stuff of our wildest dreams.  Photos of their homes adorn the covers of vacation brochures and most of the pages inside.  The challenge they present is unmatched.  The thrill of spotting a silver tail as it emerges from the crystal water is heart-stopping.  Landing a perfect cast gingerly just ahead of a cruiser is perhaps the greatest accomplishment in all of fly fishing.   Spooking the fish of a lifetime provides just the slice of humble pie an arrogant angler needs.  Whatever it is that you’re searching for, chances are you can find it with the bonefish. Are you hyped? So am I!  Ready to go?  You bet!  So what flies should we bring along? STOP. For the bonefish, perhaps more than for any other fish, this is simply not the way to dive in.  Proper gear, approach, spotting, casting, and other things are far more important.  Anyone who has fished for these silver bullets can attest to that fact. Nevertheless, I’ve promised a primer on slimming your fly box.  Besides, despite all that we know to be true, as fly fishers, we can’t help but think first of what we’re going to cast to our targets.  The how inevitably comes later.  So that’s what we’re here today to discuss. As with most of our pieces, we preach simplicity.  The acronym K.I.S.S. stands for “keep it simple, stupid” and we believe that this mantra couldn’t hold truer anywhere else than with fly selection for the bonefish.  Let’s dive in. […]

By |July 8th, 2014|Advanced, Intermediate, Techniques|0 Comments

Smallmouth Bass: 5 Go-To Flies

The Smallmouth Bass: Flies to fool them right away! As we forge on in our series aimed at slimming down those bloated fly boxes, we offer the first of our species-specific posts.  Today, we’ll give you some must-have patterns for smallmouth bass.  Why smallmouth?  For starters, they’re some of the hardest fighting fish around.  Add to this that they are quite commonly found for much of our readers and will readily take fly fishers’ offerings, and we have one dynamite species to go after on the fly.  This is especially true for those living in urban areas away from cold trout water or productive salt water flats.  You might be surprised at just how easily accessible good fishing for bronzebacks can be.     […]

By |May 19th, 2014|Advanced, Intermediate, Techniques|3 Comments

De-Bloating your Fly Box

Fly Box Bloat: How did we end up here? via If you’ve gotten into fly fishing, chances are you’ve amassed a ton of different flies at some point during your journey.  Admit it, your fly box was so full you couldn’t shut it without pinching some fur or feathers in the clasp. Stop me if I’m wrong, but time and time again I hear experienced fly fishers tell tales of their lifelong journeys.  It usually goes something like the following, so much so that we can write the book for someone new: Pick up fly fishing.  Immediately feel overwhelmed by all the choices out there. Buy a generic assortment of flies. Throw on some waders, trample into the water and go fishing. Throw those flies and catch nothing. Assume that you’ve been using the wrong flies.  Dive into research mode.  Obtain some hatch charts. Spend tons of time and money amassing flies to match every specific insect in every size on it.  Buy 3 of everything. Head out fishing with 8 fly boxes full of your loot.  Never really know what to fish.  Second guess everything. Catch a few fish here and there. Develop back problems along the way. Buy more gear to relieve this. Finally learn what to fish and when.  Or is that how to fish it?  You don’t know, you just know you’re catching fish. At some point, realize that you’ve ended up with a fly box that contains less than a dozen patterns.  Shrug it off and roll with it, because it seems to be working. So how is it that we get from 1 to 5?  How might we use this knowledge to avoid steps 2-4?  I think there’s something to be learned here. […]

By |May 12th, 2014|Advanced, Intermediate, Techniques|0 Comments

Early Season Trout Fly Patterns

What are the best patterns for early season trout? What fly should I use? This is likely the question we get most from our readers. With the spring thaw on in much of the Northern Hemisphere, it seems it’d be valuable to share some early season trout fly patterns. For those of you in Patagonia or New Zealand or elsewhere “down under,” you have my apologies. Though admittedly, an apology is the last thing you need. For everyone else, we’re coming to the rescue! Or something like that.   So what is it about the early season that’s so tough? For starters, early season bug life is mostly dormant.  Those dainty bugs emerging from the depths and eliciting riseforms all around are still months away.  Most bug activity is limited to midges that are always around and the early season stoneflies.  In other words, there aren’t a ton of options for “matching the hatch.” Add to this that cold water temps have rendered our finned friends pretty lazy.  This presents a unique set of circumstances.  Yeah, “unique” is one word for it.  At the same time, having been couped up for far too long, the average angler is chomping at the bit to don his or her waders and cast a line.  When temps creep high enough to avoid iced up guides and frozen leaders, we’re all out trudging through the snow drifts in search of that familiar tug.  Rusty? Yeah, maybe a little.  This only adds to the challenge. […]

By |March 17th, 2014|Advanced, Beginner, Intermediate, Techniques|0 Comments

Fluorocarbon: A Redux

A second look at fluorocarbon in fly fishing We had a pretty incredible response to our initial post discussing the advantages and disadvantages of using fluorocarbon in your fly fishing applications.  See the original post, A Word on Fluorocarbon in Fly Fishing.  Today, we’ll take a closer look at some more of the features of fluorocarbon that may (or may not) change your mind.  I say this knowing full well that anglers tend to be a stubborn bunch.  At the very least, we hope to inform!   Via   You’ll recall that last time we discussed a few features of fluorocarbon that can make it preferable to mono in many situations.  Topics such as invisibility, abrasion resistance, and tendency to sink were covered.  Today, I want to expand on that a little. […]

By |February 11th, 2014|Advanced, Intermediate, Techniques|0 Comments