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Flymen Blog

11 Questions with Blane Chocklett

Blane Chocklett truly eats, breathes, and sleeps fly fishing.

For those of us who fly fish, Blane is living the dream. One of the fly fishing industry's most forward-thinking and innovative anglers, Blane pioneered the Game Changer style of fly design, co-developing the Articulated Fish-Spine with Flymen Fishing Co., and has been a major catalyst behind the rise of big game fly fishing in the last decade.

We recently had the chance to interview Blane on the banks of the French Broad River in Western North Carolina. This resulted in an insightful look at fly fishing, community, and life from a man who continues to impress us all with his creativity and willingness to push the limits of fly tying and fishing.

Fly Tying: Double Barrel Phelps Frog

Michael Phelps may have 23 gold medals, but the Phelps Frog is all about bronze... Bronzebacks that is! This leggy frog fly with serious swimming action is an absolute bass magnet. Learn to tie it today.  Fly Recipe Rear Hook Hook: Fusion Drop Shot, size #1 Body Filler: Chocklett's Game Changer Chenille Legs: Fish-Skull...

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How To Fly Fish For Smallmouth Bass In Winter

winter smallmouth bass fly fishing

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.

Inside look: Designing the Surface Seducer Double Barrel

Surface Seducer Double Barrel popper and slider body

Putting the POP back in popper flies.

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.

Fly fishing: Smallmouth spawning psychology.

Water temperature will tell you a great deal about where smallmouth bass are and what they're up to.

The first thing to do when you get on water you haven’t fished all winter, or even in the last week, is finding the right water to fish.

As conditions underwater change, fish swim to find a comfy spot that suits their needs.

Learning to read water and pay attention to the finer details will enable you to identify holding spots quickly and increase your chances of being in the right place at the right time.

A quick breakdown looks like this:

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Inside look: Designing the Fish-Skull Shrimp & Cray Tail.

Martin Bawden fly fishing Bahamas

Sight fishing for bonefish, permit, or redfish is one of my favorite things in life.

It combines many of the visual pleasures of fly fishing with some of the toughest technical challenges, creating a scenario in which so much needs to come together perfectly to be successful.

Travelling to a beautiful tropical location and searching for an almost invisible, elusive quarry among endless sand flats, palm trees, mangroves and crystal clear water is incredibly relaxing.

Then add the heightened sense of anticipation, the sudden jolt and adrenaline rush as you first sight the fish – heart pounding, panic setting in, and of course the pressure! Pressure from your guide, your buddy, and yourself to put together the perfect cast at the perfect time to deliver your fly to the perfect spot in the hope (or prayer) that you'll be rewarded. 

So much fun!

The idea for the Fish-Skull® Shrimp & Cray Tail™ first came to me during one of these trips to the Bahamas in late 2014. Out on a flats boat in the middle of nowhere, but somewhere between my fourth bonefish and third Kalik of the day, the idea formed to create an alternative to the established fly tying method of using bead chain eyes or small dumbbells to weight shrimp or small crayfish patterns. Continue reading

5 signs you might be a streamer junkie.

Streamers

by Ryan Kaufman
With fly fishing, as with anything in life, people develop habits and preferences.

There’s the dry fly enthusiast. This person is the true purist. If you’re not enticing a fish to eat on the surface you’re not even really fly fishing. Conversations about shuck materials and wing placement can go on for hours. It’s "dry or die" and bamboo all the way. 

There's the Euro-nympher. This person is out to put a hole in the lip of every fish in the stream. They regard the FIPS-Mouche competition rules as the bible and tungsten beads as their savior. They don kneepads and use nets with huge hoops.

And then there are those who stay up till the wee hours of the morning drinking and attaching more feathers, hair, and flash to a size 4 hook or bigger than you can shake a 10 foot 3 weight at.

The visual experience of watching a big fish chase down and crush a big fly is what keeps the blood pumping through their veins. 

These are the streamer junkies. 

Are you a streamer junkie?

If any of the following 5 signs apply to you... you might be a streamer junkie.

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Are you guilty of the 5 most common smallmouth fly fishing mistakes? Here are quick fixes for better float fishing.

Are you guilty of the 5 most common smallmouth fly fishing mistakes? Here are quick fixes for better float fishing by Mike Smith

by Mike Smith
Fishing from rafts, drift boats, and skiffs has unique challenges. I know; I’ve been guiding from a raft for nearly two decades. During this time, I've found there are five common things that anglers floating for smallmouth consistently struggle with.

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