Last Cast of the Week, 7/28/2017

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 StateCollege.com, The Mayfly Project, & Mousetrap Mondays.

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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6 Tips for Fly Fishing with Diving Bugs

I have been on a diving bug kick as of late. To be totally honest, a lot of that stems from me using a diving bug one day, and leaving it on the fly patch in the back of my car. Every time I open up the trunk it is right there staring at me, begging to be tied on. I oblige. Not to make it happy; but because I want to.

These days, diving bugs can be found in deer hair or foam variations. Walking the line between fly and lure, their motion in the water is unparalleled. Obviously, the design and action has taken cues from century-old bass plugs. The curved lip hits all the necessary boxes: movement up and down, movement side to side.

Where I believe that flies of this design actually outperform similar lures is in terms of the benefits you get from materials. First of all, the “chew” of a soft fly is going to be more appealing to a bass than the hard plastic or wooden lure. Also, the bucktail, rabbit strips, marabou, or whatever else is trailing off the back is going to impart a lot more motion when moving or still than anything you’ll find on a traditional plug. Furthermore, I am not anti-traditional gear or even anti-treble hook. That has a time and a place. Yet I think that the benefits of a single hook in its  weedless and hookup characteristics make the diving bug superior.

Additionally, here are six diving bug tips that I think will improve your  fly fishing:

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Brackish Flies: Fishing Canals to the Cape

If you had to pick a place to live with fishing opportunities as a major deciding factor, what would you choose? A blue ribbon trout stream? A lake filled with giant largemouth? Estuaries that see run after run of saltwater fish? Every one of those fisheries has its merit, but there is another angling scenario that is easily attainable: diversity.

The eastern third of Massachusetts isn’t necessarily known for much more than it’s striped bass and bluefish, but Geoff Klane wants the region’s fly fishers to experience the fullness of what greater Boston has to offer. Established early in 2017, Brackish Flies is Klane’s guiding and fly tying operation that focuses on the diverse and exciting fishing that he himself has developed a real passion for.

I met Klane in downtown Lowell, Massachusetts for a morning of chasing warm water fish – carp, in particular. Lowell is an old textile town on the banks of the Merrimack River, and the city is still laced with the canals that were used to power the many mills. Klane enjoys the urban angling, the history, and the exposure that his trips provide for fly fishing in his community.

As we walked he shared his love for the downtown scene and his optimism for ecological and civic renewal. These deep conversations would be punctuated by quick interjections of “there’s one!” or “cast under that bridge real quick!” We landed feisty smallmouth, large-by-anyone’s-standard panfish, and even temped a few aggressive hornpout (that’s yankee for brown bullhead). But it was the big, skittish, and mysterious common carp that we were truly after.

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Last Cast of the Week, 7/21/2017

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  Wooly Bugged, Orvis, & PBS.

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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Wooly  Bugged – Hatchery Visit Video

“Hatcheries are evil!” That has been the prevailing, hyperbolic rallying cry  of social media conservationists for a while now. And while many hatcheries and stocking programs do have their significant flaws, there are some state agencies that do a good job of supplementing opportunities for anglers. In this video, Michael Evanko of Wooly Bugged heads to a Pennsylvania hatchery to check out an interesting initiative in the Keystone state.

Orvis – Distance or Accuracy?

“You need to be able to cast 90 feet!” Somewhere along the line, trout fly fishers started feeling the peer pressure from flats anglers to be able to lay out their entire fly line. It has impacted the fly rod and fly line market. Personally, I am of the mind that being able to cast for distance well should translate into casting close-up with precision.  In their excellent post series “Ask the Experts,” Orvis shares some good insight on this question.

PBS – Do Fish Feel Pain?

“You’re torturing the poor thing!” Well, maybe not. I’m no scientist, but I’ve had plenty of interactions with scientists – ichthyologists in particular – who are quick to combat the notion that a hook through the mouth of a bass is a direct 1:1 sensory situation to a hook through the mouth of you or me. PBS takes a crack at the question that many people have thought of from time to time. Such as Kurt Cobain in “Something in the Way.”

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Be sure to check out the archives and links below for many, many more  Last Cast of the Week articl,es. And subscribe to make reading all Casting Across as easy as checking your email.

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Trout Quixote. five.

The fish pictured above are rainbow trout. Oncorhynchus mykiss isn’t native to the east coast, but there are plenty of clean, cold spring creeks that sustain wild reproducing populations of the fish. The creek I was fishing in Northern Virginia is one such creek.

The fish pictured above are not from that creek.

I didn’t catch any fish in that creek, which means that I didn’t catch any trout anywhere near my hometown in Virginia. And I’ve moved back to New England, which means that I won’t be catching any trout anywhere near my hometown in Virginia anytime soon.

But before I get too introspective, let me explain what happened after I stumbled and fell and sweated and grimaced my way to the mouth of this creek.

The stream was beautiful. The banks were lush, the bottom was gravelly, and the water was moving along in a good riffle/run/pool cadence. There were Japanese beetles and flying ants everywhere, so I was plopping a generic little foam terrestrial in every possible fish holding spot. I worked methodically, making sure all the likely and maybe-likely feeding lanes were covered.

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Gone Fishing: Canals

This morning I chased carp and smallmouth in Lowell, Massachusetts with Geoff Klane of Brackish Flies.

In the next few days I’ll write about urban fishing for these canal dwellers, what Brackish Flies is all about, and share Geoff’s passion for his local fisheries.

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Rusty Flybox: Old Dominion

As this is popping up on the interwebs, I’ll be driving  north to New England.  Over the Potomac, Yellow Breeches, Delaware, and Housatonic.  No fishing, just driving.

But mark my words, I’ll be thinking about fishing.

If I allow myself, I’ll also spend some time thinking about this past year. I was back in Virginia, back where I spent some of my most formative years as a fly fisherman and as a man. There was a plan for the year, but for reasons I still don’t completely understand those doors were closed. Other doors, however, were opened. And that is what I am thankful for; that is what I’m heading up to get started with.

However, there was a year in Virginia! A year of fishing, Sheetz, and revisiting old haunts. In the spirit of reflecting on the year gone by, I’ve selected three posts about my most recent stint in the Old Dominion State.

Give them a read, and don’t forget to subscribe to see what shenanigans I get into back in New England.

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IFTD 2017: The Secret Menu

The 2017 IFTD show is upon us! It is Christmas in Florida in July… which is only slightly hotter than the normal Christmas in Florida. Instead of sugarplums and reindeer prancing about, it will be bearded men in casting shirts carrying PBRs in coozies.

I’ll not be attending the premier fly fishing industry event of the year: I’m moving this week. Which means I’d rather be in Florida in July. Alas. Just because I’m not there in the flesh, providing hard-hitting behind-the-scenes coverage, doesn’t mean that I don’t have something riveting for the audience of Casting Across.

You see, there are so many new products that will be featured at the show. There will be dozens of must-have items that go all “fire” on social media. IFTD will award some rods, reels, jackets, and fingernail clippers their snazzy crystal trophies. These are all worth paying attention to, and chances are many of you will be actually paying for them in the near future.

But just like most fast food restaurants, IFTD has a secret menu. Some industry leaders have the equivalent of a “filet-o-fish with Big Mac sauce,” or “only nacho cheese chalupa.” There are new products rolling out that are so hush-hush that they’re only able to be seen if you know the secret handshake.

Lucky for you, I know that handshake.

I’m ready to divulge five of the most secret, most guarded, most ingenious bits of merchandise that are not going to see the light of day at the 2017 IFTD Show in Orlando. So, without further ado…

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2 Guys On & In Fly Fishing Culture

Recently I sat down with Dave Goetz and Steve Mathewson to record an episode of 2 Guys and a River (listen here!). We discussed Casting Across and the role that a website like this plays in the greater fly fishing culture. Afterwards, we went to lunch and I was able to interview them to answer those same questions about their podcast.

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Fly fishing is about the fish – the quarry. Whether it be trout, bass, or a saltwater species, anglers plant the flag of their passion squarely on fish.

Some then lament the “other stuff” that has crept into fly fishing: the competition, the politics, the materialism. While every one of those facets certainly has the potential to crowd the essential elements of fishing out, there is something to be said about the greater culture of fly fishing.

Another new rod, another stream restoration project, or another commentary might be tiresome to certain corners of the fishing community. But many also embrace these sorts of things for how they enrich of the culture, and the pursuit of the quarry, of fly fishing.

For the past two years, Dave Goetz and Steve Mathewson of 2 Guys and a River have been commenting on and sharing their fly fishing experiences with the listening public. Their podcast isn’t about adding to the noise. Rather, they are doing it “for the love of fly fishing.” Podcasts like 2 Guys play an important role in the culture of fly fishing, and Steve and Dave have experienced the fruits of their labor first hand.

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Last Cast of the Week, 7/7/2017

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  Wayward Angler, RepYourWater, & The Unripe Fig.

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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