Photo Contest: #myvedavoo (2)

Hey… that’s my stuff! Again!

Why is there an assortment of large, monochromatic flies on display? Vedavoo is having another photo contest. This time, they want to see What’s In Your Wallet.

These are my preferred way to carry larger patterns like mice and articulated streamers. I also like how flexible they are. Unlike a larger hard-sided box, stashing a wallet in the front of my waders or shorts pocket is never uncomfortable. Plus, I can keep some use-specific leaders and a hook file in the small pockets.

I won’t give you anything besides a like  on social media. But Vedavoo is giving away one of their brand new, extra large fleece fly wallets. If you have a Vedavoo fly wallet, and I know a lot of you do, snap a picture, put it on Instagram, and give it the #myvedavoo hashtag treatment.

Want more details?

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They Only Care About Hackle

It was a damp fall morning. The kind of morning where the weather wasn’t great but at least it wasn’t damp and summer. There wasn’t any humidity to speak of, just a little wet. You could see it on the changing leaves, sense it underfoot, but not feel it in the air.

We had gotten a late start getting out to the mountains. Those kind of mornings are fun, in that you get a little bit more sleep. They aren’t so fun when you start to worry that you’re going to be the third or sixth car in the parking lot. That is the kind of despair that will awaken you to how bitter your gas station coffee really is.

Brook trout don’t take kindly to being fished over a few times.

By some providential set of circumstances we rolled in at the late hour of 8:30 to an empty gravel pull off.

-Wow. Didn’t expect to see that.

-Yeah, looks like we don’t have to hike before we can fish today.

We would hike anyway. Because we, like most fly fishers, assumed that all the fair-weather anglers only and always pound the pools immediately upstream from the parking lot. No longer rushed by hypotheticals, the ritual begun. Always in the same order: waders, boots, vests, rods, reels, lines, flies.

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You are Not a Trout Bum

Why? Because you’re reading this, for starters.

A real trout bum isn’t going to be online, clicking through articles about fly fishing and fly fishing miscellany.

A real trout bum would be fishing. If not fishing, he or she would be doing what needed to be done to make fishing in the immediate future possible. I think that my writing isn’t half bad, but I can’t imagine it is must-read stuff for the person who would appropriately bear the title.

Like Eagle Claw rods and PBR, the term Trout Bum has been liberally appropriated by all manner of fly fishers. Ever since 1986, when John Gierach’s book titled with the phrase was published, the words have become a self-bestowed badge of honor. People from across every social stratum consider themselves trout bums.

But that just isn’t realistic. If everyone is a trout bum then no one is, or something like that.

Or, how about this: If it bothers you that I’m accusing you of not being a trout bum, then you probably aren’t one.

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Last Cast of the Week, 8/10/2018

Most Fridays on Casting Across are  devoted to other people’s contributions in the fly fishing community. Articles, pictures, social media accounts, videos, podcasts, products, and more will be featured on The Last Cast of the Week.

Today, I’m sharing items from:

  • The Silent Pursuit
  • The New York Times Magazine – Urban Fly Fishing
  • The Journal of the American Medical Association – Snapchat Dysmorphia

If you’d like to be featured in the Last Cast of the Week, or have seen something that others might be interested in, use my  contact form  or shoot me an email (matthew[at]castingacross[dot]com). Also, be sure to  subscribe to Casting Across to never miss a post.

Check out the links, along with my thoughts, below: Read more

The Book Every Parent Who Fly Fishes Needs to Own

When was the last time you read a book that truly changed the way you looked at fly fishing?

Perhaps an author explained a technique in an original, helpful manner. It could be that a fly tyer developed a pattern that you’ve employed to great success. Or, a narrative might have been so engrossing that it propelled you to undertake an adventure of your very own.

The last book that I read that had a significant impact on the way I think about fly fishing isn’t a fly fishing book. In fact, it isn’t a fishing book at all. It is a book about the outdoors, and it is something that every parent who desires to foster a love for nature in their child should read.

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3 Ways Bass Fly Fishing Helps You Catch Trout

I love fly fishing for bass, panfish, and all the other warmwater species that swim with them. While a lot of progress has been made within fly fishing culture for the acceptance, appreciation, and celebration of this side of the sport, there are still plenty of people who see it as a second-tier option.

Is warmwater fishing the same as hitting a big mayfly hatch where the big browns are rising? Well, no. But in their own ways, fly fishing with poppers for big largemouth or working streamers for river smallies is close to angling perfection.

You might know that. Or, you might be a part of the “trout first” camp. If that is you, then I’ve got three good reasons why fishing for bass and panfish can help you with your trout game.

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Fly Fishing Writing: The Long & The Short of It

The average post on Casting Across runs around 600 words. That isn’t a lot. That is like a few pages of a book.  (Books are like websites that people have printed out and stapled together and you don’t need wifi to read.)

Why keep it short? Well, I don’t spend a lot of time reading stuff on the internet. Consequently, I don’t expect you to spend a lot of time reading stuff I write on the internet.

Sometimes the thoughts I have rattling around in my head or jotted down on a notepad exceed 600 words (notepads are like word processors…   never mind). My solution to this has always been to break the topic down into component parts. “I want to write about a trout,” I’ll say. “But the trout deserves, like, at least 1,000 words to describe adequately.” What a dilemma. “Oh! Monday I’ll write about the head and the pectoral fin, and Wednesday I’ll write about the dorsal fin and the tail!” Genius.

Recently I did this as I drew parallels between barbecue and fly fishing. That wasn’t my first faux long form rodeo.  In fact, there are two other pieces on Casting Across that blow past the 600 word finish line.  Have more than a minute? Want some real narrative juice and emotional progression? Looking to kill time getting your oil changed?

Read these two series:

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Don’t Filter Brook Trout

I understand why bad pictures get the black and white treatment to make them more interesting.

(I’m guilty of that.)

I can tolerate people using Snapchat to make their faces slimmer and their eyes brighter.

(I’m not guilty of that.)

I’m opposed to using filters on brook trout.

This isn’t some sort of crusade or cause. It isn’t about making people feel bad. Saying this certainly shouldn’t be cause to search back into the archives of social media accounts to determine who has potentially committed this faux pas. It is a preference, and one that I feel is worth sharing.

After all, what is the point?

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You Only Turn Four Once

I had three offers to go fishing today. That’s right, I live a pretty privileged life.

Offer #1: float a large, super productive trout river.

Offer #2: chase the swelling population of stripers off the beach.

Offer #3: spinning rods, bluegill, and not a whole lot of fishing myself.

Can you guess which one I chose?

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BBQ: The Perfect Food for Fly Fishing, III

Do you fly fish?

If you answered “no,” then the next question is “why not?”

If you answered “yes,” then there are about 100 questions to follow.

The reason being the remarkable amount of diversity within fly fishing. One angler might primarily pursue trout on spring creeks while another’s quarry is whatever happens to be running up the coast. In certain parts of the country, both of those people may very well live in the same town. Their target species, gear, and potentially even disposition may be radically different – but they’re both fly fishers.

The same sort of world within a world situation is present in barbecue.

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