VIDEO: Which Vedavoo Pack Should I Get?

With very few exceptions, I fish with Vedavoo packs. For a few years now, I have found these USA-made fly fishing slings to be the most versatile and user-friendly storage option while I’m on the water.

That being said, there is no such thing as one pack that can do it all. So, I bought two Vedavoo slings: the Tightlines Deluxe and the Beast. Each has moments where they shine, and with both packs in my arsenal I haven’t run into a situation where I have felt unprepared.

A question that I’ve heard a number of times, both online and in person, is this: I see you fish Vedavoo packs… which one should I get?

That is a great question, and if you don’t want to just dive in and buy two packs (which is totally reasonable) there are some parameters that you can look at to determine which pack is right for you.

Here is a short video in which I show off the packs,  discuss when and how I use them, and also wave my hands around a lot:

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Last Cast of the Week, 8/18/2017

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 DrakeCast, Sight Line Provisions / IndiFly, Men’s Fitness.

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:

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Just a Little Trout

The orange fins.

The blue halos around red dots.

The dark parr marks that span the transition from the olive back to the golden sides.

The unbelievably milky white belly.

Sometimes I feel I relate to juvenile brook trout like a proud parent. I know everyone thinks that their kid is the cutest, but I still know mine is the best.

It doesn’t hurt when they have a little bit of attitude about them, either.

This little guy was hardly the biggest, brightest, or most memorable fish of the day. But he was the coolest. He had the most moxie. He sat in my hand, calmly finning, and swam off in a totally nonchalant way.

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Some Awful Fly Casting

Recently, I witnessed some truly atrocious fly casting.

No offense, but it was awful. Splashing on the forward cast, snapping on the back cast, whipping the water into a froth awful.

It wasn’t just one guy, or even two buddies out having fun on the trout steam. It was angler after angler. Maybe I fish remote streams enough that I’m not seeing the state of casting in the fly fishing world. What I experienced was eye-opening and shocking. And it isn’t the first time I’ve been shocked by what I’ve seen on the river.

Without being too obvious, I tried to watch as much as possible. What was going on? Could it have been some “fly fishing for beginners” outing that I was witnessing? Was I just being judgmental?

At the end of the day, I realized it was a group of unaffiliated anglers from a wide range of locations fishing with generally high-quality gear.  They were just really bad at fly casting… and they weren’t catching fish. Was there a correlation? Probably.

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VIDEO: New Rod from Risen Fly

I got a new fly rod!

I’ve been on a nymph fishing kick the last year, and so I decided to get serious about (one of) the most essential pieces of gear. This 10-foot 3-weight from Risen Fly is part of the launch of their brand new 23PS series.

Trying something new, I shot a little stream side video highlighting some of my favorite features of the rod.

If you haven’t checked out Risen Fly yet, I encourage you to do so. They have some great gear that seriously rivals some of the  standards, and often at prices that blow the competition away. Plus, you can use code “ACROSS” at to save 15% on your order.

Have a look at the rod, my thoughts, and a beautiful stream below:

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The “Why” Behind My Nymph Rig

The previous post, “My Wonderful, Simple Nymph Rig”  has been read a few times. Hopefully anglers can take my attempt at a rudimentary subsurface system and use it to catch more fish. The  how of the rig, which is where the simplicity exists, was explained in the article.

What I realized, after the post was already up, was that I really didn’t do a lot in explaining the why of each individual part in the rig. On one hand, that would just be responsible writing. On the other hand, there is a very good chance that by seeing my method you could improve upon it in any number of ways to suit your own needs. I encourage you to do so!

So piece by piece, here is why my nymphing rig looks the way it does:

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My Wonderful, Simple Nymphing Rig

There are plenty of rabbit holes to fall down in the world of fly fishing. Body segments on dry flies, tapers of lines, and the precision used to curve the bill of your new hat. Each one of these topics allows for a little bit of “it’s all personal preference” and “here’s the right way to do it,” but so many things and fly fishing are a study and world unto themselves.

Leaders are no exception. There are countless formulas for leaders that cater to different fish, flies, streams, conditions, and more. Add in the fact that you can be working with fluorocarbon, monofilament, and various braids… it can be overwhelming.

And while it may be tempting to simply unravel a knotless, tapered leader that you bought at the fly shop, there is some wisdom in having a few specialized options for certain circumstances.

Fishing nymphs is one such circumstance.

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Rusty Flybox: Summer

Earlier this week, I wrote about the real opportunities that are available for fly fishing for trout – even in the heat of the summer. I realize that even if you try to follow all the recommendations that I gave, there are still plenty of parts of the country that either can’t or shouldn’t engage in fly fishing for trout in the hottest months.

So below are some other posts from Casting Across that give other options and ideas for safely hitting the water in the heat. Be responsible and a good steward, but get out there and catch fish.

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It is Hot Out! Fish for Trout

Summer is hot in general, but August is really hot. Regardless of your perspective on any thermal phenomenon occurring on a global scale, the heat of these middle months is undeniable.

Trout aren’t big fans of heat.

Without getting all sciency, factors such as heat in the mid-70’s and the associated reduction in dissolved oxygen will put trout in significant distress. Created to be relatively resilient, they will hold on if they have to endure such conditions for short, intermittent stretches. However, if they are put into a situation where they must exert themselves – say, fighting at the end of a line – there is a good chance that they’ll die.

So, the common solution for conservation-minded anglers that place stewardship above sport is to lay off the fly fishing for a month or two. Good. Great, even.

But does that mean that fishing for trout is off limits in July and August? Are bass and carp the only fair game in the heat of summer? (As if these fish don’t have temperature thresholds…)

As is the case in most circumstances, if a “smarter not harder” mindset is employed the fly fisher can absolutely still fish for trout throughout the warmest times of the year. Here are three things to consider:

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My New Favorite Fly Fishing Shirt

Gruff, seasoned anglers and antagonistic young seekers of “authenticity” alike might deride the discussion of what shirt to buy for fly fishing. The clothes don’t make the man (or woman), but the fact of the matter is that you need to wear a shirt while you’re out on the water. Comfort, function, and yes, even aesthetics, go into this decision-making process. If you choose an old t-shirt, you’ve made a choice. If you pick the flannel that you’ve been fishing in for decades, you’ve made a choice.

I’ve made a choice: the Orvis Drirelease shirt.

For the past year, I’ve been fly fishing in a handful of these shirts. From cool fall mornings to sunny summer days I’ve found myself reaching for one of my Drirelease tops. They look great – which isn’t a fact to gloss over – but they really shine when it comes to comfort and functionality.

Here is my experience with these understated but impressive shirts:

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