Podcast Ep. 28: AntiSocial Media & Fly Fishing

“What we have here… is a failure to communicate.”

As connected as technology has allowed us to become, it seems like we’re farther apart than ever. We’re closer in many ways, but disconnection runs rampant. In something as fun, as good, as pure as fly fishing there is no reason for   communication to become hostile and broken.

Is social media to blame?  I give my two cents in this episode. I try my best to wade through the muck, all the while reminding myself that this little debate is only among a small segment of the fly fishing culture.

Listen to the episode below, or in your favorite podcast app.

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Fly Fishing with Family: a 3 Act Play

Cast:

  • Wife: patient, supportive, loving, long-suffering
  • Children: 7, 4, 2, 5 months – prone to mischief and getting filthy, very cute
  • Husband: sometime fly fishing writer, even less-time fly fisher

Scene:

Picturesque New England beach. Afternoon. Springtime. Bluebird skies. Low tide.

Striped bass present.

A family outing, with picnic dinner packed. Fly fishing gear stowed away in and among pasta salad, beach towels, and diapers.

Act I

Wife and children explore tide pools, looking for shells and sea glass. Husband walks out into the waves, fly rod in hand. He sees something shimmering on the ocean floor. Kicks at it with his foot, but it seems to be stuck between two rocks. Is it a piece of sea glass? undetonated munition?  PBR can? It doesn’t come free. Kicks harder. It doesn’t move. He rears back to really give it the business when a wave hits. Water pushes him precisely when his right leg is at its apex, leaving him off balance and leaning backwards. Each rock he steps on seems to be sloping away from him. After ten comical steps, he falls on his posterior. The cold, May sea water rushes in. He’s soaked on one half of his body. To the toes. Stands up, looks around, sees his wife giving him the thumbs up.

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Fly Fishing Gear: 3 Things to Leave, 3 to Bring

What are the three pieces of fly fishing gear that you may not always have with you, but might need? And, what are three things that you can probably do without?

Minimalism sounds great on paper. When it comes to execution, it is not that easy. What if I need it? There is always a chance I could use it! Those are the thoughts a lot of us have while packing for fishing. But there are some things that you probably don’t need on most trips.  Here are three things I feel like we could do without on most trips… probably.

  • Every Size of Tippet You don’t need 0X-8X. Simply doing away with the Coke can-sized stack of tippet will reduce the bulk of your gear significantly. Fishing for trout? Bring some 4X and 5X. Throwing poppers for smallies? Just put some 10lb. mono in your pack.
  • More Than 2 Indicators Why do you have a whole bag of different sized reusable strike indicators? Sure, you’ll lose one from time to time. But especially if you use screw-on floats, you only need one and a backup.
  • Flies You’re fishing an hour away, not in Kamchatka. You know what you need. Woolly buggers, hare’s ear nymphs, and whatever is hatching. All that will fit in one small box.

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Podcast Ep. 27: How Sneaky Should a Fly Fisher Be?

Folklore and “grandpa always said” make up a great deal of how and why fly fishers approach the water.

But do we really need to be quiet, camouflaged, and flat on the ground in order to catch fish?

In this episode of the podcast, I look at four things to consider when you’re approaching the water. Sometimes we give fish more credit then they’re due. We  all could also benefit from fishing smarter, not harder.

So are there some written rules that are overblown? I think so, but you can  be the judge.

Listen to the episode below, or in your favorite podcast app.

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Why Tie a Fake Fly?

Look at that fly. Isn’t it something? Want to know what its deal is?

Okay. First: I tied it. Second: I designed it. Third: I haven’t fished it.

I’m sure it would catch fish. If it could. But it can’t. Because there’s no hook point. So, what’s the point?

There is a very valid point and purpose to this fly: It is essentially a bat doughnut. You know – bat doughnuts. The rings or tubes that players in the on-deck circle slide onto their baseball bats while they’re taking practice swings. Theoretically if you practice with something heavier, then your real swings with something lighter will be quicker and crisper.

While a hookless fly with a lot of weight would be useful (and is), this yellow-caped creation actually creates a more extreme scenario. It is all about air resistance.

This is just my opinion, but I believe that casting heavy flies is easier than casting light ones. As long as it isn’t a quarter-ounce dumbbell-eyed Clouser on a four-weight, minor adjustments to your casting stroke can really punch a dense fly out there. It takes some work to get the feeling, but a poorly casted weighted fly can still simply get thrown (it just might not be pretty).

Especially when using higher line weights, modern fly patterns introduce profiles that aren’t particularly aerodynamic. Cup-faced poppers, deer-hair diving bugs, and multi-shanked articulated streamers aren’t necessary heavy. They can be burdensome to cast. Casts also require adjustment when these flies get wet. Even if the materials are hydrophobic, there will still be some weight added after prolonged exposure to water.

And that is the point of this fly.

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To the Moms of Fly Fishers

Being the mom of a fly fisher can be a thankless job. Why? Under “normal” circumstances, being a mom is often thankless. So much is done and so much goes unseen. Especially in the pre-teen and teenage years, there can be a lot of heartache and anxiety and frustration. That is best-case scenario. Add to that the eccentricities and weird minutiae of fly fishing, and parenting is a challenge.

So many moms embrace that challenge. They do so without thanks and they do so in unseen ways. Their child fly fishes, and “normal” motherhood becomes something eccentric and weird.

Being the mom of a fly fisher means a lot of things.

It means learning all about trout vs. bass and line weights and why things cost so much money. Then, conversing about these topics with various levels of convincing, but feigned, interest.

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Podcast Ep. 26: Real Fly Fishing Reading

Fly fishing books have been an important part of the sport for hundreds of years, taking different forms and meeting various needs. Even in an age when so much information is available at the tap of a smart phone, tangible media is incredibly valuable. Whether it be a novel assisting in winter escapism or a  tattered, dog-eared, highlighted river guide on the back seat, books are a part of the angler’s life.

In this podcast I talk about three general genres and give three  specific book recommendations.

Listen to the episode below, or in your favorite podcast app.

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Glass/Graphite: The Blue Halo Liger

I want to be clear. This isn’t a review of Blue Halo’s new fly rod, the Liger.

First of all, the rod hasn’t been released yet and I haven’t fished it. I’m not an ambassador or pro staff or anything of the sort. The closest I’ve come to the fiberglass/graphite hybrid was wiggling a prototype around at a fly fishing show. Thus, this isn’t a review of how it casts, how it mends, or how it handles fish.

This is a look at a concept.

It is a concept that has intrigued me since I learned about the existence of this different fly rod. Different doesn’t always mean good, mind you. But fly rods can’t only be made of bamboo, fiberglass, or graphite, right? Since I began fly fishing, there has only been one other major material that has become commonplace (Winston’s use of boron in certain rod series’ butt sections). Some people like glass; some people like graphite. Many people like both. Why wouldn’t a thoughtfully constructed hybrid work?

I spoke to Cortney Boice, president and CEO of Blue Halo, about the  Liger. I wanted to know where the idea came from, and what applications he saw for this hybrid rod. “The concept was one I’ve been thinking of for years, really 5 or 6 years ago when we started making glass rods. I was fishing graphite as well. I  saw each material excelling for different things, and wanted to find a way to get the best of both worlds.” read more

Fly Fishing Revelations & Rewards

Visiting a river with regularity reveals how the water  is truly a world unto itself.

Going fishing means trying to catch fish. That part means focusing on the water. Of course, there are other parts. One must avoid streamside obstacles when walking or casting. Other things, like trees, rocks, or non-fish animals are difficult to ignore. But the fishing, especially if intermittent, demands a deliberate focus upon the water.

When you spend a lot of time on a particular river you start to allow yourself notice things. The obstacles become familiar. Avoiding them becomes second nature. So do the  trees and rocks. More importantly, so do the feeding lanes of fish. Structure, cover, and favorite lies make themselves clear. Sometimes this information is gathered by trial and error. You spook a fish every day for a week until you realize that there is a fish there. If you are coming back the next day, this is valuable information. You learn spots. You get to know fish.

Perhaps you even ascertain when a certain fish is in Spot A, and what time of day that same fish moves to Spot B.

For the better part of a year I fished a spring creek multiple times a week. I became very familiar with streamside obstacles, trees, and rocks. A river that I had fished intermittently became alive in ways that enriched my experience and amplified my ability to read the water. This led to more fish. I’ll even say that this led to more rewarding fish.

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Podcast Ep. 25: More Than Conservation Conversations

Reposting and hashtagging is nice. But that isn’t conservation.

Headline causes are great – if you actually get your feet on the ground and get your hands dirty. There is nothing wrong with “raising awareness,” but perhaps there are some more profound ways you can walk the conservation walk. It doesn’t take moving to the wilderness or quitting your job. It just means doing something… more than talking.

Today I share three simple, common-sense ways to actually make a difference.

Listen to the episode below, or in your favorite podcast app.

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