If you have a '57 Chevy in your garage, you might update some parts and do some body work, but you'll try to keep as many original parts as possible.
The flies we regard as true classics have achieved that status for a reason.
While fishing the Ausable River in my home state of Michigan, my eyes were opened to why classic fly patterns are still catching fish many years after their creation.
I was running short on dry flies as the sulphurs were hatching, so I dug in my brookie box and saw a glint of yellow and silver. As soon as I tied on that size eight Mickey Finn, my numbers and quality of fish instantly improved.
By saving the features that make these classic flies produce and adding a modern touch with new and innovative materials, you can take them to the next level.
Fly fishing today has anglers targeting an array of species in pretty much every fishable location on the planet.
Generally speaking, due to the rise of social media and the seemingly insatiable need to snap that “epic fish pic,” there are not too many streams or locations that are secret fishing spots anymore.
There are probably many anglers who have stepped foot in the same run you fish regularly. If you are fortunate enough to fish a river system that doesn’t have much pressure, well, congratulations and please take me there.
The local waters where I live in Pennsylvania can be inundated with anglers just about every other day.
In cases like that, as an angler you have three choices you can make:
Put your walking shoes on, find open water, and fish anyway.
Go home and tie more flies waiting for a day where you have the stream to yourself (you’ll be waiting for a while).
Alter your fishing approach, think outside of the box, and fish your fly with confidence behind people who just fished a run.
In my personal experience, finding open water and fishing usually works and is good for a fish here and there. To maximize your success, try altering your fishing tactics with an unconventional approach that most anglers wouldn’t use.
Believe it or not, this is actually extremely easy to do because most guys are using a Woolly Bugger/standard streamer, or tandem nymph rig. Fly fishing is entirely centralized on observation. Reading water, insect identification, flow rates/visibility, the list is endless. Take a minute, observe other anglers, and BE DIFFERENT.
During these frigid winter months I often find myself thinking about something dear to me – smallmouth fishing.
If you're like me, you miss the warm sun on your back and the bend of a 8wt rod with a bronzeback on the other end.
It doesn't have to be over for us. There is still bass fishing around.
Granted, the cold and brutal conditions of winter do not make it easy to put in the time it takes to locate and fish for these guys. I have found myself questioning my own sanity many times over. It’s a part of being a die-hard fly angler.
With that being said, here are some tactics that I have found helpful for cold-weather smallmouth fishing.
All of my fly fishing and tying recently came to a screeching halt.
I consider myself an avid fly fisherman and seemingly constant fly tyer, and I've often said my time on the water is my church.
However, a double meniscus and ACL tear and the surgery to repair it can slow down even the most enthusiastic angler.
For those who don't know, this entails arthroscopic surgery to the knee; in my case, the damaged ACL was replaced with a cadaver ligament. Thank you to the unselfish donor who in essence gave me the ability to navigate more freely on two legs again.
This bend in the stream of life has changed my perspective on many things I used to take for granted and the little changes that affect our day-to-day lives.
We've all experienced the frustration of not being able to find a material you need while fly tying.
I'm probably one of the least organized people on the planet, but recently my custom fly tying business has been busy and tying is taking me longer than it should due to me losing materials in what I used to call my "organized chaos."
We all know what that means.
The main sources of my problem are me not putting materials and tools away when I'm finished with them, shoving them in random drawers, or simply never putting them away when I bring them home.
Although I barely own any storage items specifically designed for fly fishing or tying, there are a few I recommend everyone to have to make your fly tying more fun and less frustrating.
Sure, there are many places out there where you can win some cool stuff, but this one takes the cake and all the ice cream, plus a few cold beers on the side.
For the entire month of November, anyone who enters their email will be entered to win a pile of prizes, valued over $5,000.
The winner isn’t just going to win their pick of the prizes below, they’re getting everything. One winner takes all. If you win, make sure you’re sitting down, because it might just blow your mind.
Postfly is running the contest and they partnered with us here at Flymen as well as with Yeti, Costa, Cheeky Fishing, fishpond USA, Compass 360, and Blue Halo to round up all of the essentials you need to get out on the water and catch fish.
Check out the prizes below and then enter your email now. Don’t miss out on the most exciting contest around!
The winner will be chosen at random at 5 p.m. EST on Wednesday, November 30.
The Face-Melting Prize Pack
Postfly: Lifetime Supply Of Flies
Yeti: Hopper Flip Cooler
Costa: Your Choice Of Shades
Flymen Fishing Co: Fly Tying Essentials and Fly Tester
On an early Saturday morning last May, something remarkable happened while inshore fly fishing along Southern California's rocky Palos Verdes coast.
I landed 2 spectacular fish on flies; the first, a 9.4-pound calico bass on 12-pound tippet, then less than an hour later, I sight casted to and landed a 36-pound white sea bass on 20-pound tippet, both official IGFA fly fishing world records.
A record-breaking morning I'll never forget.
Here's the story of the calico bass I caught on that crazy once-in-a-lifetime morning on my go-to articulated sculpin fly, tied with a small brown Fish-Skull Sculpin Helmet.
These fish are flat out amazing and if you haven’t been fly fishing for them, you're missing out!
This fall marks the tenth year I’ve engaged in the madness known as fly fishing for false albacore.
I remember my first few trips chasing albies up and down Shackleford and Cape Lookout in North Carolina, all which ended in frustration, not due to a lack of opportunities, but mainly because I had not yet paid my dues and learned the ins and outs of catching these fish.
Somewhere around my third trip, I hooked into my first Albacore on fly. That 20-pound fish took every bit of my backing, and the event is still etched in my mind to this day.
10 years down the road and a ton of albies later, I’m hoping these tips will make your first few outings a little more successful than mine.
Everything we create in the search to fool fish is an imitation of life, a suggestion of realism.
A size 16 Adams, a 4/0 Flashabou streamer, and even a #14 Husky Jerk are all attempts to convey the same thing to the fish we target with them — that they are food.
How closely they imitate life, and how well they suggest their intended identity are what make flies successful, or not.
What I want to discuss is a simple idea, and this idea applies to every fly, lure, and flure that has, or ever will exist. The idea is in regards to a predator's search image, and its impacts on design and design simplicity.
“I guess I have to say a lot of fishing we do is a little promiscuous, which, as everyone knows can be a little dangerous but nonetheless has its charms.” – John Gierach, Standing in a River Waving a Stick.
Although the reasons we fish are as numerous and diverse as our community of anglers, there are 2 distinct categories of anglers:
Anglers who are happy and/or content with their home waters and fish them well.
Everyone has their own style of fishing whether it be with a spinning rod or a fly rod.
Those of us who choose to pick up a fly rod also have our little own niches in which we choose to stick with.
Unfortunately, we tend to put our streamer boxes aside during this time of year and stick to more traditional approaches.
Yes, it’s exhilarating to watch that giant brown trout come to the surface and take your size 18 dry fly as you fish a tail out of a pool or a nice steady run, but what is more heart pumping than watching that same giant fish chase your 4” to 8” streamer from bank to bank and demolish your fly on the strip or the end of your swing?
For the passionate fly angler, teaching your children all about the pastime will seem like a natural progression.
Fly fishing is a great way to get outdoors, learn new skills and wind down away from the bustle of everyday life – something your kids might thank you for later on.
But knowing when to put the fly rod into a child’s hand is a completely different matter.
Introduce the sport too seriously, too young and you risk losing their interest altogether. Take the kids on a trip during the dead of winter and they may never want to join you in your pursuit for trout again!
To ensure you introduce fly fishing in an approach that is positive, fun and at the right time for your family, here are a few points you might like to consider.
This may be the most exciting time to be involved in fly fishing!
In recent years, fly fishing has rapidly evolved at an unprecedented rate.
No longer restricted to trout or salmon, fly fishing has become "anything goes if it's on the fly," with fly anglers now able to actively target and land virtually any species of freshwater or saltwater gamefish on a fly rod.
As fly anglers expand their horizons, the hunt for more species in widely varied types of fisheries across the world is rapidly driving the need for innovation in the fly fishing industry with specialized flies and equipment for enticing and landing these fish.