Turkey hunting tips
Fly Tying Tips
Snow Goose hunting
Spey Or Not To Spey
Table of contents Page 4: Hunting is a family Affair Page5: Turkey in the Manzanoâ€™s Page6: Tom can you Hear Me? Page8: Sea Ducks Of The Cape Page9: Bio Page Page10: Alpaca Flies Page13: New Friends Page19: Hooked Page22: Trout steams & Dreams Page25: Polarized Glasses Page27: Winter fishing in Montana Page29: Atlantic flyway Snows Page32: Float Fishing Page34: Flipping-Switching Page36: Phillip Rice artwork Page37: Bio Page Page40: Keep it simpleand Fun Page 41: Passport Fishing Page43: To Spey or not to Spey Page 45: Crossword
Magazine layout : Brian Hagerty
Editors: Brian Hagerty and Micheal Hunt Layout: Brian Hagerty Owners: Heather Nock and Marlea Hagerty Sales: Dutch McClintock, Brian Hagerty and Micheal Hunt Product review: Bruce Kowalski Artest: Phillip Rice, Bill Elliot
Elk hunting: A family affair in the Gila
Brianâ€™s youth hunt unit 16e in the gila. With his remington 270 in hand and a strong desire to down his first elk at age sixteen,failure is not an option. At dawn we were traveling down a rough dirt road the only visual, was the dim headlights from the old landcruiser. As we get to the area where we wanted to be, we started seeing spike bulls and some cows. We knew at shooting time this hunt was going to something special for us. We started around the ridge and saw a picture frame of elk silhouettes skylined in the glowing sunrise. The hike seamed to never end, up one draw then down another with lose rock under our feet trying not to make noise and keep our footing. The first part of our stalk got us to three hundred yards on top of this ridge looking down and across this large draw. Not wanting to take a far shot, we belly crawled like a gecko in Mission Impossible. Appoximately a half hour later we got to 120 yards , got Brian down in a prone setup, on his backpack, for a steady rest and to start relaxing. As the adrenaline kicks in, I try to settle my son with a little coaching. Brian is now slowing his beathing down and is now ready for a shot. There are two cows broadside to us with a beautiful outline blacking out the sun. The safety clicks off, a slow squeeze of the trigger and the unmistakable sound when his shot hits the game. After a short hike we spotted the blood trail and started to follow it, this was not hard to track with Brianâ€™s shot placement. After a hike up one draw as we crested the hill we saw the cow Elk at the bottom of the draw. Now the real work is going to start cleaning and skinning this magical beast. To be a complete hunter one needs to learn all aspects to the hunt including the gutting with all its glory. Two hours after we started this dreaded task we were down to loading it into the truck, this was no small task for me, my son and my wife but as a family we pulled it together and got it done. Brian Hagerty Thanks to my wife Marlea for these great pictures! 4
Hunting the southwest merriamâ€™s turkey can make you question your sainity . These turkeys can scale these mountains in a single bound. It makes no difference how steep or how high. An hour before shooting time you will find them close to the bottom of a draw, as the first beams of sunlight shines down, they explode off the roast and up the hill they go. The tactics I use is to get up the ridge before them thats not an easy task in the hills I hunt . Its kind of like hunting for elk trying to get ahead of them. with turkeys the window is short when they are hot so I dont count on calling them in so easy. I carry two types of calls in New Mexico the box call and the diaphragm reed call . Using the box as a locator ,walking trails and old logging roads some days for miles.Once a call is answered, try to judge to distance if heâ€™s over one hundred yards out i will close in on him if the terrain alows. Once with in hundred yards or so i will start calling again trying to get his interest again I will box call and reed call to sound like a couple of hot hens. I have also used some more elk tactics of havering my hunting buddy behind me about twenty yards calling once the tom starts to hang up they dont always but it seems to always happen to me. I am always trying different ways to hunt the wild turkey as I hunt public grounds these birds are under heavy pressure all season long. After opening day i just start up the mountain an hour and a half before shooting time no calling always looking up in the trees for the roost. I have walked right under them more then once I try to get two hundred yards above them never sitting on the roost. Giving them space seems to settle them down and not to get them off course I belive they have their patterns just like deer. An aggressive attack plan for the Merriams turkey is what works best for me .Every time I have a great attack plan i find the toms never do whats expected. In short dont be afraid of changing things up or doing some strange tactic to get the toms with in range. Two once five shot in three and a half seem to do the job well. Brian Hagerty
Tom,Where Are You? Good morning Tom, I fell asleep anticipating the ringing of my alarm clock that would be going off at 1:30am. It went off as planned and I was quick to get out of bed, Camo on and down the stairs i go. I had my protein shake, a quick check on my gear and off to the woods i go. I arrive to my trusted spot early as public land is hunted hard, and knowing I had a treterous long hike a head of me. Walking alone in the dark I wondered “Am I really alone”? I know jesus is with me, but what about the bears I saw here two weeks ago while I was scouting. As I continue to hike, I daydream and wonder if “you are thinking about me as much as i think about you”? I can hear you talking to me and now my adrenaling is flowing with anticipation of the hunt. For the next four hours we serenade each other until our eyes meet, you are now about eighty yards away. I see your neck and head but you are hesitant to show me your beard and now i am intrigued but my calls mean nothing and you take flight and you don’t even like flying , “What did I say that upset you”? I thought we made a connection, It is apparent that you are teasing me from a far and I dont think you mean it. I am still falling for your calls as I struggle down the rock covered draws and it is obvious that I don’t have the same impact on you! I have “the perfect” something for you (3 1/2 inch shell full of number fives) Just give me a chance. We finally start communicating again,But now I am worn out. Why do you pull at my heart this way? I keep waiting for you to come on in and share this special moment with me. I hear your competition near by, should i go to him instead? I decide to stay as we have a chance and I don’t want to blow it. Tom i’m right here, almost 9am and you are right around the bend so I slide my safety off, but you are gone what got you hung up? I Keep trying to find you but now your hiding from me. Did we have another fight and i forgot? Did I say something wrong again? I heard the love in your voice,but then I ponder no it can’t be. I bet your two timing me and you want me to be jealous,so I come to you. 6
She is pulling you away all you need is right here will you give me another chance? I hear your friend again I wonder should I give him some of my time since your cheating on me. Our connection is so strong because of our songs so I wait. Another twenty minutes go by, now your a ridge away singing our song, I know I can come after you but it will be the same old story. Your buddy Larry across the draw is singing our old song but sweeter than yours now like he was the piper so I followed. Well Tom, I just ran into your cousin Larry alittle farther away then I like, I took a shot and missed. Years ago when I ran into your father I wanted a closer shot I waited for him to come in. As he flew away I promised myself that wouldnâ€™t happen again. After the shot rang out thoughout the valley I watched Larry fly away now it is 10:44 am I head out again in search of you. Hello again Tom,itâ€™s a little past 1pm seventy- eight degrees and I am done. I was lucky to see lots of deer, hiked eight hours up and down mountains but now I must say goodbye. Get a couple nights sleep and we will meet again on Saturday. I might not have a Turkey in hand but I am not leaving empty handed. Thank you Tom ! Richard Hagerty
Sea duck hunting off the coast of Cape cod for Eiders
Hunting eiders layout boat Style A banded Eider
The journey to the coast to hunt the hardy sea duck and hunting Eiders is a battle in itself. Gail force winds,three to four foot seas and bitter cold temps in the teens. The day starts with a sun rise which the sun grows from the ocean, a glowing ball of fire slowly rising to bring the only warmth the coast has to offer. As the sun is rising there is a light fog rolling in it almost looking like the water is steaming from the sun. The wind is blowing thirty to forty miles an hour, the Eiders are starting to fly in flocks of ten to thirty birds at a time all around us. the flocks never seem to end with thousands of birds flying as they see our spread, the birds are fitting the wind almost hovering two feet off the water it seem to take forever as they struggle the brutal winds. My hunting buddy and I sit up unloading the semiautos,shells are flying and birds are dropping . We shot two birds on the first fight of the day, after an hour or two the weather and waves got so bad the Captain picked us up to move us to a safety. The Capitan set the layout boat on the sand with the decoys and set us about twenty yards from the water. Our Captain was doing what ever he could to make this hunt happen. I was thinking; Well two birds is better then none. Then a flock of birds turned at forty yards I sat up and shot only one bird, The Eider boat was called to pit up the eider, the Captain called back and said whoever shot this bird needs to play the lottery this eider is banded ! What a day, we ending up getting our limit and to top that one with a band. The high fives didnâ€™t stop this was one of the best hunts I have been on .If your passion is waterfowling this hunt is a must. I will return! Brian Hagerty Thanks Captain Lenn (508) 237-9796
Cape Cod Sea Duck Hunts 508- 237-9823
Guide Frank DeGrazio
I am a licensed New York State Fishing Guide #6886 and an avid fly angler. I’m from Carmel, New York, where I live with my wife and two boys. I am a high school special education teacher. For about the last 20 years I have called the waters of Southeastern New York my home, especially The Croton Watershed. I am associated with The Angler’s Den fly shop in Pawling, New York as a guide and fly tier. I love to fly fish and guide for a huge variety of species and I’m often found chasing trout, salmon, steelhead, bass, carp, stripers, and blues. Fishing a great deal in fresh or saltwater from the shore or kayak. In the summer of 2013, I served as the saltwater guide for Live the Wild Life TV Show, and I have been a regular contributor to their online magazine. I truly enjoy being able to pass on my knowledge to others. My website is www.hendricksonspinnerflyfishing.com
Mark Hess started fishing at the age of 5. Not long after that he picked up a fly rod and never put it down. He is a fishing guide in New York and Pennsylvania. While he enjoys guiding for Steelhead, Salmon, and Brown Trout on the tributaries of Lake Ontario, and Stripped Bass on the Delaware River, he also offers fly-casting and fly tying instructions. Along with being an outdoor writer, he is also a member of International Federation of Fly Fishers, Trout Unlimited, and a pro-staff member for Hook-a-lip Outdoors. For any of the above services Mark can be reached at (610) 847-5392 or email- email@example.com.
Aileen Lane Born and raised in Los Angeles spends her free time tying flies and fly fishing in Idaho and Oregon. Owner of MKFlies Aileen has been tying since 2007, is 1/3 of the Trifecta at Fly Fishing Ventures a website for Women Anglers
First Female Pro Staff Tyer for Deer Creek
Alpaca Fibers: What Every Fly Tyer Needs Last summer, I was on a drift boat fishing the South Fork of the Boise River where the waters during that time of the year was high and fast. I had on an ElkHair Caddis on top with an Ice Cream Cone Nymph as a dropper Judge, our rower, remarked, â€œWhat do you have on that caddis? It floats so Well, it keeps popping back on the surface!â€? He expected me to whip out a bottle of floatant. Instead, my secret weapon was alpaca.
Alpaca fibers make excellent dubbing for dry flies. Many tyers mistakenly believe that, like wool they would soak up water and sink the fly. Alpaca fibers are soft, durable and naturally repel water. They are a semi-hollow hair that floats very well. And best of all, you can find them in a variety of colors.
For the Elk Hair Caddis, I use the dubbing loop technique for a very buggy look. Using the sharp point of your scissors, split the thread in half. Insert the alpaca hair between the thread and spin.
Another favorite alpaca fiber pattern is the Klinkhammer Emerger.
For the Klinkhammer, I use the pinch dubbing method. Simply pinch off a small amount of alpaca fiber and roll onto your thread. Alpaca fibers are definitely one of my favorite dubbing materials. They are very easy to work with and make beautiful bodies on my flies. And most important, they float!
www.mkflies.com www.flyfishingv.com Pro Staff Tyer http://www.deer creek.co.uk/
Not Always About the Fish Itâ€™s about New Friends And Old Places I have called The Croton Watershed in Southeastern New York my home fishing waters since I started fly fishing over 18 years ago. The rivers and reservoirs are just one part of The New York City water supply system. I have had some unforgettable experiences here, but one I will truly remember is the day in November 2013 I spent fishing with someone who is attached and loves the system as much as I do. Bill Elliott had sent me a Facebook message saying he recognized an area on the East Branch of The Croton River in Brewster, N.Y., from one of the pictures on my Facebook Page. He explained that he was the Vice President of The Croton Chapter of Trout Unlimited in the mid to late 1970â€™s and how he had worked with the New York State DEC and TU to rebuild the river. First, they began a new stocking program of fingerling brown trout, instead of the put and take stocking program that was in place. Once the state had changed the stocking, new regulations were put into place. Bill and TU faced some opposition, especially from within the DEC, and they fought to have one officer removed, and had to win over another to enforce the regulations. He also told me how the abundant food supply had helped the browns to grow to 20 inches in a little over 3 years, and they had transformed the river into of the best brown trout rivers in the state at that time. In April 2013, he let me know that he would be in the area in the fall, and that he wanted to fish the East Branch with me. In the time until November, we talked on a regular basis about the river and its history, along with our personal fishing experiences there. Bill fishing The East Branch in the late 1970â€™s
I met Bill and his longtime friend Tony at the Brewster Diner for a quick breakfast and we were on the river in no time. I had been looking forward to this day for a long time, so we wasted no time in getting geared up. We started at the top in the Bath Tub, and I rigged up Tony and gave him a quick lesson in Czech Nymphing. He quickly hooked up and lost a nice brown. The look on Bill’s face was priceless, it had been 40 years since he stepped foot in that river, and he couldn’t wait any longer. I quickly rigged him up, and off he went. We worked the area for a little while longer with some misses.
Bill and Tony working “The Tub”
We moved a little down river into Castle Wall. Bill had spoken about how this run was an excellent run many years ago, and things really haven’t changed. A very nice brown was waiting for Tony at the top of the run, and Bill had connected on a rainbow using one of his custom flies. He was able to bring him in rather quickly, like he had fought fish in that same spot so many times, knowing exactly how to work the fish in that current. Forty years has passed, but the man hasn’t forgotten a single thing about fishing the East Branch!
It was Billâ€™s first fish in 40 years from The East Branch of the Croton As we walked down river, Tony and I listened to Bill talk about the area we were going through. It had changed quite a bit from the recent hurricanes and storms over the past few years. Trees have fallen across many parts of the river, and Bill explained that some of the trees were right in the middle of some very productive holes. Bill wanted to fish in a new hole that was made from a couple of those trees. Even before he had stepped foot into the water, he stated that he knew there was a fish or two in there, and he hooked up twice, one was a nice, long, feisty bow. Bill got him close to the net once, only for him to pop off on his second run. The fish were winning the battles today, but I donâ€™t think it mattered to us. I was truly enjoying my time with Bill and Tony, and we were fishing the same runs and holes he had fished so long ago. 15
Same run, 2013
I really wanted to fish the Trestle Pool with them. It was from one of my pictures of Trestle, that Bill had recognized the river. Once we got there,I set Tony up in a good spot in the pool, and I wanted to set Bill up in some pocket water above the head, but he went right up stream to a hole he fished many years ago. I watched the guys work each of their spots with concentration and determination, but the fish were once again not willing to participate. I decided to fish in the exact spot that I was going to put Bill in, and was rewarded with a nice rainbow on an olive nymph. Bill came down a short time later, and I teased him by showing him a picture of the fish that had his name on it.
See Clear Drift Floats At Cleardrift.com
Michigan steams and lakes
Bill Fishing In His Favoite Hole The Trestle Pool
The day was coming to an end, and the cold November air was starting set in. The day we had begun to plan over 6 months ago was almost gone. I gained a new friend in Tony who is a great person and I truly enjoyed spending the day talking and fishing with him. I am very thankful that I was able to finally meet Bill in person and fish with him. He is an incredible person and has become a friend. The following is a post that Bill put on his Facebook page about the picture of him under the Trestle Bridge, and an incredible thought about the day:
â€œThey say you can't go home and for the most part I do believe that, our mind is a wonderful thing and has the ability to store so many memories that one would think forgotten over time. This past weekend I made such a journey taking me back a full 40 years to a place that held my memories of a much younger man trying to make his mark in the world and doing his best to help build a much better environment for those who would come after me. At the end of the day I came away feeling that I may have left too soon but then the reality of life made me see that nothing stays the same and all things must evolve sometime for the better. As I stood in the River under the old railroad bridge I found peace in knowing that another generation would take up where I left off and with dedication and some hard work find satisfaction that they too made a difference when they heard the River call out to them.â€?
Frank and Bill
I know that this little river will forever hold a special place with him. I have so many great places to fish within a two hour drive, but this is my home water. Bill taught his sons how to fish here, and one day I will teach my two sons here as well. We have it because of the efforts of Bill and the many people that he worked with. I am very grateful of their efforts, and I will do my part to see that the river continues to be a healthy and productive fishery for generations to come.
Visit http://www.hendricksonspinnerflyfishing.com/blog.html to read and see more pictures about Bill and The East Branch.
Hooked The boys had decided on one last trip north before the snow got too deep. Chick figured that the crowds would be gone and they would have the river to themselves. The weekend had proved to be bright and clear. Blue skies greeted them when they arrived and the temperature had inched up to almost 50. They had settled into their usual place to stay. An older Victorian Bed and Breakfast overlooking the river in the middle of town. They had gotten through the ordeal of putting on waders and boots, there were the usual chuckles about Harry's penchant for wearing panty hose under his waders. “Nice looking leg's there Harry”, “You borrow those from your wife or do you shop for your own.” After loading the SUV with rods, nets and assorted misc. gear the four Bob, Chick, Harry and Carl drove out Rt 11 to one of their favorite spots. They found the public parking lot nearly deserted, two or three other cars, the lot had a light coating of snow revealing that there had been little traffic in or out. “Looks like we got the place nearly to ourselves, should be undisturbed steelhead down there, this is gonna be great.” Carl remarked as he fitted the sections of his switch rod together. “Yea, provided Bob don't decide to go for a swim, like earlier this year. Never seen anybody make such a fuss in two feet of water. Musta spooked every fish within a half a mile. They could hear him cussin all the way out to the main road.” Responded Chick. Bob looked over the top of the SUV “It wasn't that bad, I tripped on a rock is all, Chick, your full of it, you know.” Smiling over at Bob, Chick said “I like my version better, a lot more interesting.” The trail down to the pool was several hundred yards through a patch of woods. They made their way through the barrier of weeds at the trail head and began their trek. The woods were mostly new growth, maple, locust and a few sparse cedar; little was said as the boys concentrated on keeping their rods clear and their footing. The trail consisted of packed snow, now slick with the warming air and ice covered by a thin layer of standing water. Farther on the new growth gave way to hemlocks as the trail curved down to the river the grade growing steeper as they approached the pool. “Damn it! Harry exclaimed, “You guys go ahead, got my rod tangled up in some brush.” The rest of the small party continued down to the pool. The boys parted, freeing lines and studying the pool for a likely spot to drift an egg pattern. The pool was nearly 40 yards across and extended a 100 yards east to west. The current flowed smooth, oily and dark down its winter course. The far bank was shallower and sported a fallen tree, whose branches extended out into the pool providing an obstacle for lines and a hold for fish. The near bank was protected by the overhanging branches of mature Hemlocks. The boys eased down the bank and cautiously waded out. “Yeoww! Ow! Damn! Son of!$%&*!” Came the exclamation from up the trail. “Harry! You all right! What happened?” Called Bob.
“No, I ain't all right, I slipped and fell on my butt, hurts like hell!”
“I'm comin!” yelled back Bob as he clambered back up the bank, setting his rod down, he headed back up the trail. It took a few minutes for the other two to follow, they had been at the far ends of the pool. What greeted them when they reached the bottom of the slope gave them pause. Harry was bent over using his arms to support himself against a tree, Bob was on his knees behind Harry with his hands on Harry's butt. “Uh! If we're disturbing you guys we can come back later” grinned Carl. “I gotta get a picture of this!” Chick remarked as he started fumbling through this pockets for his cell. “Don't you dare, Chick! Things are bad enough.” Harry looked over his shoulder giving a look which warned of dire consequences. Bob stood up, turning to the other two “He’s got a hook in his butt.” “How'd he get a hook in his butt? Let me see.” Carl, now curious, moved forward to peer at Harry's extended behind “Look at that will ya, Harry's got a streamer stuck in his butt. I thought we were gonna use egg patterns today? You tie that one Harry?” “What are you talking about Carl, now is not the time to be discussing what I'm fishing with!” Harry growled. Carl shrugged “I was just sayin.” “Look, I slipped and tried to catch myself, I dropped my pole and slid right over it. Somehow the damn fly ended up under me and in MY BUTT! Now can we please get it out of there?” Bob was intently studying the offending hook and moving around to face Harry said “We can't pull your waders down, the hooks right through them, I suppose we could cut around the hook first and then work on getting it out of your butt.” “No way, I just bought these this season, there has got to be a better way.” “Well, you can't walk like that, it'll pull on the hook. We ain't about to carry you out of here either.” Mused Bob. Chick had moved off several yards and with his back to his buddies was trying stifle a fit of laughter, which only succeeded in getting Carl chuckling as well. Up from the river two fisherman approached “How ya doin guy's, any luck?” “No, we haven't got to fish at all yet, Harry here has a hook in his butt.” responded Carl. “Aaaaw, Geeez” moaned Harry. “He has a what? Really, let me see.” the taller of the two says and moves up to peer at Harry's behind. “Yup, he's gotta fly right in there, nice fly by the way.” looking up at Harry. “Yea, thanks” The shorter of the two yells back down the trail “Hey guys, there's a fella up here with a hook in his butt!” From back down the trail “No kiddin, we'll be right up!” Shortly there were several more fisherman gathered around studying Harry's butt. The party now consisted of nearly a dozen fisherman discussing Harry's predicament, the weather, the fishing and the fact that the sun was rapidly going down. Harry was now rapidly reaching the point of desperation. “Would somebody please get that thing out of my ass!” Pleaded Harry. One of the fisherman that had joined them stepped forward, bringing another younger man with him. “This here is Joey, he's an EMT and he's pretty good at this kinda thing.” Harry looking over his shoulder says” He don't look old enough to tie his shoes, you sure he knows what he's doing?' Joey stepping up to Harry explained “I think I can get it out without messin up your waders and not too much pain. I've seen worse.”
Resigned Harry let out a deep sigh and looks off into the gathering darkness. Joey moves around behind Harry kneels down removing a forceps from his fly vest. Speaking to Harry in a calm voice he explained what he was going to do. “I’m gonna latch on to the curve of the hook with my forceps and push down on the eye of the hook with my other finger, you might feel a little pain. Then I'm gonna pull straight back.” Another pair of fisherman arrive on the scene “Hey, what goin on?' Bob looks over saying” We're having an operation, Ol' Harry here has a hook in his butt.” “Bob, why don't ya just sell tickets, geeez.” Harry was now thoroughly exasperated. The onlookers had closely gathered around poor Harry trying to get a better view of the upcoming procedure, there being now an air of suspense as to the outcome of what is to shortly follow. Everybody is quiet. With a sudden jerk, Joey pulled back on the hook while pressing the eye down. Harry gave a small “ouch”. “It's out and just a small hole in your waders.” Joey says smiling in triumph and no small relief, holding up the now free streamer for Harry to examine. There was a small round of applause from the gathered crowd. Harry, looking visibly relieved, slouched down onto the ground wrapping his arms around his knees. “Thanks a lot, kid, now can we get outta here. I've had it for one day. If this gets out, I swear I'm gonna hunt you guys down.” The group began to break up, headed back up the trail. There were hushed voices and occasional chuckles as they moved out of sight of the foursome. Finally, Harry heaved himself to his feet, rubbing his behind and retrieving his fly rod “Ok, let’s go.” “You know by the time we get back, it’s gonna be the hottest news in town, maybe make the local paper.” said Carl brightening up. “ Aww, Shut up.” Harry began to move up the trail. see Art’s Bio on page 37
Clear drift Floats
Trout streams and Trout dreams I dreamed of a trout stream last night. I was in a small upstate NY farm town where the residents entered the church on the top of the hill as the sun was rising and the April snows melted. This town smelled of cow slurry, and the farmhouses and polebarns needed painting. The townfolk dressed plainly and laughed over coffee and eggs at the family diner. Their lawns weren’t manicured and the dandelions grew wild. Kids played ballgames in the streets while their cats and dogs roamed free. I bet that everybody knew the mailman by name, and the town clerk probably doubled as the cook at the diner. There was a homespun honesty about this place. Truth is a beautiful thing! At the very bottom of the valley lived the most gorgeous trout stream. It ran parallel with the main road, and zig-zagged underneath that road at several points. This stream probably had a name, but the locals referred to it as “the crick.”
My companions in the dream were a couple of old fishing buddies. Their names are Austin and Matt. Unfortunately, we lost touch long ago. Austin died behind the wheel in 2000, and Matt met a southern bell and moved to the Carolinas. We were the three amigos back in the day. I still visit with them regularly.... in my dreams. I was with them last night in that country town. We noticed the skunk cabbage and early spring tulips crawling gingerly up from the cold, muddy earth. We felt the first warm rush of spring air. We soaked up every bit of this natural splendor before we carefully approached the stream. Just downstream from a whitewater run laid two huge rainbows on a redd. Matt and Austin gave me the green light for first cast, but I passed it back to them. I have little interest in bragging rights these days, for I have long known that it isn’t the trout that I am after. It is something much deeper than that.
I’ll leave the dream behind for just a moment to explain the depth of my love for fishing, and the reasons that I need it so much. I consider our planet as a living organism. The ocean is the heart. The rivers are the arteries, and the streams the veins. Water is the life’s blood of our existence, and we are naturally inspired by it, and forever drawn to it. To be on the water during the April thaw with my dear old friends saturates my soul and my spirit. It recharges my batteries. I need to escape to places like this small town because I lose a lot of myself during the work week. Those darned bills never get paid in full, and my customers want everything yesterday. Sometimes I feel like the frenzied and fractured businessman in Rod Serling’s “A Stop at Willoughby.” I want to jump off the speeding train in search of the sunlight and serenity. The boss screams, “push, push,push!!”
Fly painting by Michael Myers find hime on Facebook
My home life offers a different set of challenges because my neighbors mow their lawns every four days and seal their driveways with topcoat each summer. I see the nannies and cleaning ladies come and go, and trophy wives drive the deluxe minivans with electric sliding doors and DVD players. They always find time for the tanning salon and pilates classes, while the men groom the lawn on a shiny new CubCadet. Some of them actually wax their lawn tractors! It’s hard for me to compete. I can’t help but wonder if these people have leveraged themselves to near bankruptcy in order to keep up appearances. Is it all a facade? Am I being lied to? Each night, in my sleep, I need to escape to those rural places where mangy farm dogs lick my face, and that wonderful, nourishing slurry wafts over the valley. I need to be “out there” as often as I can, where my truck can get muddied, and my clothes can be tattered. I’ll always find Matt and Austin out there, donning their waders and grins.
In last night’s dream Matt
I fish because my hooked the bigger of the two churches exist near rainbows on his spin rod trout streams. with four pound test. He lost I fish because I never it under a fallen log. I refeel lonely when I'm minded him that the colored alone on a Trout stream. water offers him the chance I fish to one day watch to use stronger line, but he Matt return to NY and had no patience for my adland a brute on four vice. He mumbled, “That pound test. bleeping four pound!” He sat I fish, and I silently on the bank to retie. I slowly curse at convention, walked away knowing that and conformity. he’d soon be of right mind. I fish because there’s no When I looked back, the dress code, or tee time. dream had ended. My alarm I fish to admire the brusounded and I was off to tal honesty of a farmer work. tending to the fields that his father’s father A long time has passed since plowed with an oxbow I’ve been fishing for results, and blade. such as a bent rod, or a full stringer. These days I fish for In last night’s dreamy, the quality of the experirural town we didn’t ence. It’s for my friends, my see shiny cars, shiny waters, my skunk cabbage, tractors, or perfectly and to watch those laughing tanned, pampered peopeople leaving the diner, or ple. The diner served a walking up the steps of an greasy, high calorie old batten-board church. meal for cheap, and the Sometimes my dreams are as customers asked us if satisfying as the real thing. the fish were biting Fishing is one of the true, sa- down in the crick. They cred pleasures in my life. wished us luck as we I fish for the laughs, and for paid the tab. I think the cold coffee waiting back that they really meant in the truck. it. I fish to cleanse my hands in the pure, ice-cold life’s blood I'll dream about trout of my world. streams again tonight. Bill Elliott See more of his work on Facebook
Hopefully, Austin and Matt will join me. Austin will probably forget to bring an essential item, such as a reel. He did that a lot. He used to call me throughout the winter to ask how the trout were staging for the April run. His anticipation overwhelmed him. I'm sure that he also dreamed of trout streams and fishing buddies. In my next dream I might ask him about the hereafter. I've meant to do that for some time. He'd probably smile and walk upstream, carrying that secret like the prized magic fly in his safely guarded box. I bet that I'd wake up before he answered. He would never answer that question. I suppose that his insight might doom me, because that answer only comes at the end. I need to be careful about what I ask for, which is a discipline that is hard for me to accept. I relentlessly search for truth and beauty while awake, or in dreams. I'll never stop searching, or asking life's unpleasant, but necessary questions. I seem to ask these questions most often when I am fishing, and when I am dreaming. One day I will receive my answers. Until that day, I can be certain of two things: my trout streams have never lied to me, and my trout dreams are always beautiful. By James F. Kirkland James Kirkland is the owner of Row Jimmy Guide Service: firstname.lastname@example.org 24
Polarized Fishing Glasses- Fashion or Function?
Since coming into vogue in the early 1980’s, polarized fishing glasses have become a necessary piece of equipment to most anglers. From the early authentic tortoise shell framed classics to the modern bleeding edge frame and lens technologies that utilize innovative materials, most anglers have at least one pair of polarized glasses specifically used for fishing. Glasses come in a cosmic range of frame designs, lens colors and sizes, along with a price scale ranging from the dime store economy line up to prescription designer brands such as Maui Jim and Oakley. You can find polarized glasses in most drugstores, sporting goods outlets and optometrists.
When asked why they wore polarized fishing glasses, anglers respond with a number of answers. “Simple, to save my sight. Second choice is to spot fish, but always, protection is the key for me”. A few other responses included” “Best invention, improves vision and cuts glare. I wear regular polarized over my glasses or contacts”, “I wear the cheap ones” one well known striper angler replied. ”I go through a couple of pairs a year, so the expensive ones are out”. But how do polarized glasses really help anglers? What are the key differences between the ranges of glasses on the market? What do polarized glasses really do to help anglers better their chances while fishing, and are they fashion or function? Polarization essentially helps cut light glare off the surface of the water, helping anglers see into the water further than without polarization. Polarization is achieved by placing a filter layer between layers of lens material. This filter layer absorbs the light at certain angles, cutting down the glare
reflecting off the water surface. With the vast choice of glasses and prices on the market, are there really many differences in polarized glasses? Are there any health advantages as well? There are real benefits of wearing polarized glasses for angling. ”Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is high energy light that, when absorbed by various tissues in your eye, will lead to damage”, weighs in Amherst NS optometrist Dr Ian McCarthy. ”UVB and UVA light pass through the atmosphere, and create acute and chronic phototoxic effects and premature aging when absorbed by tissues in your eye. UVB has the potential to cause acute photo keratitis (snow blindness) and chronic exposure to UVC will lead to the premature development of cataracts”. So, do expensive glasses block more UV rays than an inexpensive pair? ”Your eye is at no greater health risk wearing un-polarized instead of polarized sunglasses – ultraviolet radiation can be filtered by both lenses with the appropriate UV tint. A polarized lens will offer greater comfort due to reduced glare off of horizontal surfaces like water. Ultraviolet blocking qualities of expensive and inexpensive sunglasses are quite similar – usually over 99% of UV is absorbed” Dr. McCarthy says. Most anglers also look at lens color when choosing polarized glasses. Over the years, I have personally used smoke, amber and copper tinted lenses made from glass and plastic, all with varying results. Weather conditions dictate what lens color most folk’s buy-dark lenses for bright days, amber for low light/rainy days, and brown/copper lenses for hazy to moderate sunlight. Interchangeable lenses are also an option to anglers who need a variety of lenses to match conditions. Anglers should also take into consideration, photochromic lenses (lenses that darken as the sunlight 25
increases) and lens treatments such as scratch resistance and the important UV shielding that is available. Prescription eyewear is available with a multitude of lens tints and options. So, with all the choices available, does lens tint really make a difference? Dr. McCarthy states, “Colored lenses do shift your visual perception – ultimately personal preference determines which color a given person finds most comfortable under different lighting conditions”. When it comes to lenses and materials, what should we look for? ”There are many different types of glass and plastic, each with a unique set of characteristics. In general, plastic is more likely to scratch than glass, however, scratch-resistant coatings on plastic materials are effective, and relatively inexpensive. Glass is more likely to break than plastic, and when it does break, the individual pieces have sharper edges. This may be an issue to anglers who throw heavy flies that could possibly shatter the lens while it is being worn. Because plastics are lighter, safer and can offer similar optical transparency, they are commonly preferred to glass. With the advent of internet sales, a fresh set of options has come forward when buying polarized glasses. Prices, styles, and most options are available with a click, but does price really matter when we are shopping for a pair of polarized glasses? Dr. McCarthy explains, “It depends on what you want from your sunglasses. If your goal is to simply protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiation, than an expensive pair of sunglasses may not be needed. Other items such as lens tint, surface coatings and style have the potential to increase the price of the lens. Requiring a prescription sunglass will increase the price as well – single vision lenses being less expensive than multi-focal lenses.”
Online discount offers may initially save you money, but glasses can be one of the most difficult items to purchase without first trying them on. Between the initial frame selection, eye and face measurements, frame fitting and adjustments, adjustments over the lifespan of a frame, and various repairs (e.g. nose pad and screw replacements) a skilled optician or optometrist offers many services that are not available through online sources. The initial investment of money in a pair of glasses may be less through an online retailer, but they will not be able to provide the same level of service, support, and troubleshooting offered by purchasing glasses from an optician or optometrist.
Polarized glasses are now as much of a piece of fishing equipment as a rod and reel to most anglers. With all the choices out there available to us, even an inexpensive pair of glasses is a worthy investment in our eye health. The bonus is that we can see into the water better, and thus, spot hidden fish more easily. Whether you pay $5 or $500 depends on what you want out of your glasses, and the options wanted. Styles and brand names abound along with fashion and function. Ultimately, you are in the driver’s seat. Put your glasses on and drive, err fish, wisely in safety and comfort. See you on the water. Jamie “Mutt” Webb
Winter Fishing In Montana
Winter Fishing in Montana. Well it’s -31, the rivers and lakes are frozen. The geese are long gone. The Absaroka Mountains are blanketed in Deep Snow! “It’s Spring Creek Time” Depuy’s Spring Creek is Located just 5 ½ miles from downtown Livingston, Montana. North on Hwy 89 towards the north entrance of Yellowstone Park, Livingston, Montana is known Worldwide for the fabulous Fly Fishing and the Breathtaking Beauty of the Absaroka Mountain Range.On your way out to Depuy’s there are several Fly Shops where you can stop in to get what you need for the Days outing at Depuy’s. Dan Baileys! Livingston Montana’s Destination Fly shop, it was back in 1938 that Dan Bailey established one of the region's first and foremost fly shops in Montana. As a pioneer in fly fishing this storied region, Dan became an expert in knowing just what it takes to be a successful fly fisherman here.
Once you get everything you need Head south! Just in case you didn’t find that certain Fly, Hit the Brakes!!!! Hatch Finders fly shop is on the right! This is a Father/Daughter run Fly shop, they are very knowledgeable with what’s going on at Depuy’s Spring Creek. The Federation of Fly Fisher’s is on your Left, if you have time to check it out. OK, now that you have your fly’s it’s time to hit the water. This is the first thing you see when you enter Depuy’s Spring Creek, The Pond! When the trout are sipping Flies it looks like it’s raining, because the fish are everywhere! Don’t get too excited! Let’s get some gear on and go Test your skills, this is a Persnickety Spring Creek! I have seen some of the Best fish Fly Fisherman from around the World fish here. I met Lefty on the Bighorn River, Dang it, that’s another story! Ok Back to the water. Starting at Eva’s Warming Hut, Oh yeah I forgot to tell you, there are 4 warming Huts on the property strategically located with Porta Johns Real close! That’s Important when it’s -31 Degrees……..
So now you're all geared up and ready to go, Micro Midges!!!! You can fish Old School here if you would like to, “no Indicator” or Indicator if you’re a Newbie. Blahahaha… Make sure not to run up on the water! You all know I’m not going give up my Secret Fly’s! Depending on the flow and the weather you might get a winter midge hatch on warmer Days. Dang it Hang on. Set the Hook Matt! This Brown had it in High Gear when he hit the fly and the Battle was ON! This fish was on Fire, it peeled out about 40’ of line in 2 Seconds and then turned on Matt and ran right straight back at Him. Matt was doing everything he could to keep up with this Bruiser!! I thought the fish was going to turn right in front of Matt, The brown just Kept on a running directly at him, He had to lift his left leg so the fish could pass buy. Matt was all over that fish! It turned downstream again and Jumped Twice Right in front of us. I grabbed the net and Matt directed the Big Daddy brown right to me and we put him in the net! Nothing like a fight with a Big Montana Brown in Skinny Water. If you think this fish is Sweet! I have had Monster Browns up to 14 lbs. on in this piece of water! There are bigger ones in there, when their getting ready to pair up they get very aggressive in the Pre-Spawn. So now you're thinking are there other species of Trout at Depuy’s? Why yes there is! Rainbows start showing up in the first part of March! Big Slabside Bows, These fish are like Ghosts. In the Deeper runs you don’t know what you might get next. Be Careful not to step on the Reds!!! If you see them pairing up move on to the next nice Piece of water. In Mid-April the Cutthroat’s start coming up and feed off the Spawning Rainbows, They will gorge themselves on eggs. Cutthroat Spawn in the fall. OH MY! Isn’t that a purty Cutthroat! Right on Dusty, I have fished with a lot of people on Depuy’s over the last 6 years and I have never heard anyone say it was a Bad Day! Now that you have been catching Pretty fish all day long, it’s time to go to the Lower section and fish Some Dry Flies! There’s a Stretch that busts off in the evenings, it’s like Magic! There are so many fish rising it’s hard to just pick one fish out and Target him. If you get a chance to target a Big Riser, Go for it! The Yellowstone Cutthroat is an Awesome Fish. It will Dive over the fly and Drop right on top of it. But Don’t Set the Hook just yet, Give the fish 1 second before you set up on him, or the fish will be gone! I have gotten so excited when a Big Cutthroat takes a Dry and set the hook to soon and there be nothing there? The reason why is….. The fish still has its mouth open and you pull the fly right out of his mouth. Rainbows and Cutthroat are Great Jumpers and the Big Browns will dog you on the rocks and try and bump your size 22 Micro Midge out of their mouth. Now that we've had a Spectacular Day of Catch and Release Fly Fishing! There is nothing but smiles on everyone’s faces time to head back to the truck and share your Pictures and Stories of the Days Productive Fishing Experience with your Buddy’s. What a Day!!! Some of My Best Memories where made here, with friends from all over the world. I hope this story Inspires you to come on out and fish Montana in the Deep Cold of Winter. PS: there are no Crowds! A major + fly fishing in Montana. This Statement is exactly how it feels when you fish Depuy’s Spring Creek... “I doubt if I shall ever outgrow the excitement bordering on panic which I feel the instant I have a strong unmanageable fish on my line.” Edward Weeks, 1968 It’s been Great talking about the Place I Love to Fish. Dutch McClintock
Guide: Dutch McClintock To Make Reservations 406- 222-0221
Hunting Snow Geese on the Atlantic Flyway During the Conservation Season Most waterfowl hunters have heard about the damage caused by Light Geese more commonly referred to as Snow Geese to the Canadian Arctic or Tundra. Additionally, severe damage has also been documented on the staging areas, wintering areas and along the migration track of the Snow Geese. As a result of the damage caused by the Light Geese as well as their abundance in population, several States implemented a Conservation Order for Light Geese. This holds true for several States in the Atlantic Flyway including New Jersey who joined in on the Conservation Order during the spring of 2009. The Conservation Order is solely for Light Geese which refers to Great Snow Geese, Lesser Snow Geese, and Ross Geese. With this order, Hunters hunting in New Jersey, in addition to the required State Hunting License, State and Federal Waterfowl Stamp, and H.I.P. Certification can purchase a Conservation Permit ($2.00 Administration Fee) which permits them special regulations under the Order. Some of these special regulations that apply are; Shotguns can be unplugged with a 7 shell capacity, Electronic Callers are permitted, Shooting Hours are extended to ½ hour after sunset and there is NO Possession Limit. With the population of the Light Geese estimated at 1 million birds you can see the need of the Conservation Order. In New Jersey, areas that the Light Geese can be hunted are Tidal Marshes of the Delaware Bay, farm fields and large bodies of water used for roosting. I personally hunt them on the marshes along the shores of the Delaware Bay. I have had much better success at decoying and harvesting light geese in this location compared to the others. With the abundant population of the Snow Geese (which is what I am going to refer to the light geese from here on out), one would think they are an easy target in New Jersey. They are not. Hunting them in the marshes requires hours of scouting both by boat and vehicle, glassing miles of shore line and open water. Upon locating the Snows and where they are feeding or loafing you have to know the water, specifically the depths, sand bars, and situations presented with the rising and falling tides and for safety what weather conditions your vessel can safely handle. Additionally, you have to take in consideration the sometimes very frustrating manners of these fowl which cause many of dedicated Snow Goose hunters’ sleepless nights and nightmares when able to sleep. With all this said, it is now time to hunt. Arriving at our hunting location for this day on a cold, early March morning, my (3) three hunting partners and I left the boat ramp at 4:00 AM, loaded with 17 dozen decoys amongst all of our other gear. Breaking through light ice lining the creek at the boat ramp with my Wrangler Boat, we entered into the waters of the Delaware Bay. Bringing my boat onto plane, we travelled 2 miles down the eastern shoreline with the wind blowing a steady 15 knots from the East with gusts from 20-25 knots.
Cassel’s Waterfowl Outfitter’s 484-651-9995 Nj Pa De 29
I was able to travel close enough to the shoreline where the water condition was much unaffected by the wind giving us a fairly calm boat ride. We found the creek which connected to the Bay forming a nice point where we had seen several thousand Snows loafing a day prior. It was a great day to be Snow Goose Hunting. The four of us worked in perfect harmony, having done this ritual many times prior resembling a busy landscape crew focusing and determined on their tasks. We put out the entire rig of decoys which consisted of Final Approach Full Body Decoys in addition to wind socks made by Winglocker Decoys, on the portion of the tidal marsh which is under water during the high tide. We were hunting at time in which the tide would be receding for 2 hours into shooting hours then would start to gain and come back towards us. The tide was affording us plenty of time before we would need to move decoys for our morning hunt. We were also taking advantage of the Conservation Order Regulation which permitted us the use of an Electronic Caller. I set up our caller with a soft to moderate volume of a sound of contently feeding snow geese. Our set up was several small groups of 10-12 with a concentrating flock of decoys 10 yards in front of a section of marsh grass that would be our natural blind for the morning. Now set up, we waited for the legal shooting time Â˝ hour prior to Sunrise. During this wait we had numerous groups of Snow Geese decoying into our spread. This was a great sign for what was to come that also added to our anticipation. Reaching legal shooting time, we anxiously loaded our 12 gauge shotguns with a mixture of BB and 2 Shot, I personally armed my Super Vinci with a diet of Federal Black Cloud 2â€™s. The marsh then awoke with a roar. It was a sight that all waterfowl hunters dream of. For the next 30 minutes, it was like we were being attacked by hundreds of Snow Geese. They were flying with the wind about 100 yards in front of us. Seeing our decoy spread they flew over the waters of the bay whereby banking 180 degrees and heading right into the wind, wings locked into our spread more so resembling a decoying Canada goose. We remained tucked down in the marsh grass watching them drift into our spread for what felt like was taking an eternity. They came, flock after flock as we shot our guns empty, time and time again, while quickly reaching in our pockets and blind bags for more shells to reload as the next group was in sight and heading our way roaring like only a flock of Snow Geese can do, repeatedly presenting 15-20 yard shots. The flurry of decoying Snow Geese was so fast that we had no time to pick up our harvest until the shooting was over. When things calmed down we walked around our decoy spread. We successfully took 36 of the Tundra Killers on this quick morning hunt doing a very small part of assisting with the control of the population of the Light Geese in the Atlantic Flyway.
Dennis Cassel jr
www.crabbesriveroutfitters.ca J3L Outdoors is the official name of our new line of dvd's and promotes Hunting, Fishing, and all other Outdoor activities based out of Newfoundland Canada. The websiteand our Facebook page covers all aspects of Newfoundlands Hunting, Fishing and Outdoors along with hunting and fishing from some other very unique locations, It will provide updates and release info of our new line of dvds also called J3L Outdoors and highlights the guiding and outfitting career of one of New foundlands most decorated guides "Jordan Locke". We will provide hunting and fishing tips and stories along with helping people connect to great lodges and outfitters for the hunts that we dream about.
www.crabbesriver outfitters.com 31
Float Fishing for Trout and Salmon
Float fishing rivers for steelhead, trout and salmon is the best and most fun way to fish for these migratory fish. The fish are at their prime before spawning and fight hard. Steelheads are by far the hardest fighters with big runs, huge head shakes, death rolls and especially the big jumps. My favorite part of hooking into these fish isn’t just a bobber, hook and worm set-up. Many people would say there is a science to steelheading and river fishing: the rod and reel, size of line you need to use, the size of hooks, your shot set-up, the size of float you need and, of course, the baits. This article will hopefully help you catch that fish of a lifetime.
Rod and Reel: Float rods for the river are very important and play a big role into landing the fish. My favorite float rods for river fishing are streamside rods. They are amazing rods when im float fishing I like a soft rod, streamside make the perfect rod. For starters and experienced river fisherman streamside has a rod for you they have the steelheader IM8 for a starter that is about $90.00 to $145.00 these are great rods I have on myself and love it. You can also get the steelheader custom another great rod, $110.00 to $125.00. my favorite streamside rod in the streamside tranquility float rod 13ft this rod is the lightest rod I’ve fished with this rod only weights 165g perfect for long days fishing and you don’t have to worry about a sore arm from holding a heavy rod all day. These three rods are great very fast tip action and the strength down low on them. Perfect for turning and control the fish. Reels streamside makes a float reel called the streamside vortex, great smooth reel 4.25 inch diameter 2 ball bearing holds up to 900ft of 8lb monofilament line. I love using this reel looks nice, feel nice and performs great. To order your float rods and floats reels today go to CGEmery.com and many more rods, reels, waders, vests, boots, jackets, vests and much more amazing products.
Line Set-ups: There are many different line set-ups for the river. For the fall salmon and brown trout, I will use 6 lbs to 12 lbs monofilament and 4 lbs to 8 lbs fluorocarbon leader line, depending on the size of water I’m fishing. If I am fishing a little creek, such as headwaters, prime spawning habitat for river trout and salmon, I like to use 6 lbs or 8 lbs monofilament and 4 lbs or 6 lbs fluorocarbon leader. On bigger rivers, I will use 8lbs to 12 lbs monofilament and 6 lbs to 10 lbs fluorocarbon leader. The weight of line I use is determined by the current: the stronger the current, the heavier the line. The reason behind this is because when fighting a big fish in current, they are able to use that current to their advantage. All the fish have to do is turn their body horizontal to the current. Once the fish does that, it is a big struggle to turn the fish. If you do not have the right line, you will end up breaking it off or going down stream chasing the fish. Having the right line is very important because it will mean the difference between having the fish in the net or the fish swimming off with your hook and broken line.
Hooks: My preferred hook sizes are 8-12. The hook style I use has a sedge curve to the hook. The reason behind the sedge curve is more hook-ups because they are curved almost like a circle hook. You can still set the hook with them but you don’t have to get a good one. This is ideal for when you are doing long drifts or running a deep set-up. These hooks will increase your hook-ups. They are also good for when you are using beads. The curve of the hook catches the mouth of the fish more easily because of the curve on the hook. The hole on the hook that your line goes through is lower than the tip of the shank on the hook. The sedge-style hook is actually a hook fly tiers use. Other great hook styles are egg hook, wide gape specimen and the shrimp-style hook. The best hook for salmon is the egg hook or wide gape specimen hook. I use these hooks for salmon because they are very strong and are able to dig into the hard mouth of a salmon. 32
Shot Set-up or Weight Set-up: It all depends on the water, pool, current, depth, etc. When fishing a creek or medium sized river, taper your heavier shots closer to your float and lighter shot closer to your hook. Never put weights too close to your hook. I always have my last shot about 12 inches away from the hook. The reason for this is that the bait will be able to flow naturally. Natural is the key thing in fishing, especially steelheading. If your bait isn’t flowing natural on days the fish are inactive, it determines whether the fish will bite or swim away from your bait. As a rule of thumb, most of the time the water is moving slower closer to the bottom of the creek or river and faster on the top. Try and judge how deep you want your heavier shots to go to get beneath the current line and then the smaller shots to bring your bait down.
Baits: Many float fisherman use roe. Roe works well in muddy water, night fishing or low light conditions such as twilight. These are the best times for roe fishing. When roe isn’t working or producing very little, I switch up. My go-to bait for river fish is beads. I always throw beads with and without roe. The types of beads I like to use are Hevi-beads. This company make the best beads I’ve ever used. Hevi-beads have some of the most realistic colours. In low light and muddy water, I like to throw bright beads with a roe bag. Some of the colours I like to use are calypso, atomic yellow, pink orange, green and double bubble pink. These are very effective beads during muddy water and low light conditions because they increase the chance of the fish seeing your set-up. Beads are mostly used as an attractant. The fish will see the bead first, go and investigate, see the roe bag and strike. For slightly muddy or clear water, a more natural colour Hevi-beads is preferable: blood egg orange, amber roe, flash orange, flash red, flash pink or marble vein yellow. These natural egg colours won’t spook the fish because they are used to seeing eggs flow by them during spawning. Hevi-beads they have such unique colours so the trout or salmon think they are eggs flowing downstream. Other baits to use that are effective under a float are pink worms, nymphs, woolly buggers, hair jigs and other little crustaceans, and pan fish tubes. Pink worms work in stained and clear water. All these baits have their time and place. Hair jigs, woolly bugger nymphs and other flies work well in low clear water. They are also a very natural presentation in that they imitate bait fish and any bugs that live on the river bottom. When fishing bigger rivers and streams, all of these baits work: you just have to up size your presentation. Other good baits for fishing big water are 3-5 inch swim bait on a 3/8 oz jig head. You can mix and match jig head colours and find what colour they want on that day. When you are new to a body of water, keep in mind the fish may not feed the same as the river you just came from 20 minutes away. Always have a variety of baits to throw and keep mixing it up until you find something they want and stick with it for that day. Every day is a new day, so if the bait you were throwing yesterday isn’t working today, throw something different. River fish are very picky. For hevi-beads go to www.Hevi-beads.com
Floats: Floats are very important in river fishing. Floats keep the bait off the bottom, indicate a bite and control the drift. I like using clear drift floats. Clear drift floats are slip floats I use them even in small water. I like clear drift floats because they are strong when I’m saying they are strong I mean they don’t fall over like other floats in wind. Also able to keep your line off the water, perfect in the cold so your line doesn’t keep on icing up. In small creeks and rivers I like to use the 8 gram float and bigger water I use 11-20 gram floats. I keep the float standing properly put as many split shot or egg sinkers so the float is sitting upright and the paint line is just over the surface. This will give the float its maximum sensitivity for those lightest little hits that we all know river fish can hit very light. I hope all of your river anglers new and old have learned something by reading this article, these methods will guarantee you fish on your next outing on the river. These river fish are very delicious just make sure to try and follow catch and release. Even though there is no slot limit for great lake river fish try and set your own slot size try and keep the 15-25 inch fish and let go the big fish they are prime spawning fish so we can continue to enjoy this great fishery. Thank you all for reading and the best of luck to you guys on the river.
Flippin-switch rod One Rod to Hook Them All Have you ever found yourself sitting in the parking lot of your favorite hole wondering what rods to bring down to the river? The river is flowing at 1100cfs. The lot is packed with snow covered cars and truck and there are steelhead fishermen everywhere. You have every type of rod imaginable loaded in your vehicle. You have learned all the casts and you know the river like the back of your hand…but who wants to carry all that gear and wind up leaving most of it on the bank? A few years back, before the flood of 2010, I was guiding on the Salmon River in the tail out of the School House Hole. This was the place to be when the pressure was on the river. While instructing my client on making the proper drift, I noticed an older couple working their way down the bank in the snow. I could not help but stare as they approached us to ask how the fishing was. The gentleman carried three rods; a center pin, a noodle rod, and a fly rod. The lady came armed with a spey rod and a noodle rod of her own. After I gave them sound advice of beads under floats, they powered on to the top of the Wire Hole. My client and I returned to fishing but I kept an eye on the couple down river. The woman was spey fishing while the man was bottom bouncing . We continued catching fish on beads under floats, meanwhile they stuck with what they were doing with no success. I began to ponder the reason why they didn’t just walk to the bank and switch to what was working. They had float rigs and the right color beads. I chalked it up to fisherman’s block and I left the river that day with an idea. Taking a feather from the hat of Dr. Arthur M. Howald (the inventor of the “wonder rod”), I set forth to create the ultimate steelhead rod. I wanted to make one rod that you could take to any stretch of water and be able to fish any way you wanted. Imagine you are swinging black stoneflies on your switch rod down one side of the seam without a strike. While on the other side of the river there is a fisherman bouncing egg sacs and he is crushing them. This scenario happens far to often and we have all been there. Smiling like the Cheshire Cat, you pop off the large arbor, slap on your spinning reel from your gear bag and start picking steelhead off your side of the rip! Not once did you have to step out of the river and risk losing your spot. Ahhh, sweet success. By now your probably wondering how it got the name “Flippin-switch rod”! Well it’s pretty simple actually. It’s a fly rod, a pin rod , and a switch rod all in one. Oh and not to mention a great spinning rod with superb cast ability and sensitivity! The making of this rod required extensive research and development .I had to chose a rod blank that would suffice for every application. A rod just shy of the average spey and a little longer than the average noodle rod. The 11 foot St.Croix switch rod blank in 7 wt was the hot ticket. This rod is just shy of the average spey rod. It is perfect for center pin and fly and is only 6” longer than the standard 10’ 6” noodle rod. Equipped with a 20” cork handle with sliding rings to allow for 3 different reel types; centerpin, spinning, and fly. The guide selection was tricky. With a strong demand for oversized guides to reduce ice build up in the winter months, I went with a large loop tip top size 8 with size 8 guides down the rod . For stripping guides I used the 10,12 ,and 16 spin/cast guides that are universal for all applications. I’m using a fly rod guide layout and checked the line transition for all the lines to be used. The transition test passed all around with no flat spots in any of the lines. 34
Now it was time to put it to the real test. My good friend Kurt Ole Senneset who started out as a client from Norway was brave enough to invest in the first prototype. Kurt brought the rod out on several trips to the Salmon River. The rod’s maiden voyage started out as a pinning rod at the upper trestle hole where he lost a huge chromer to a broken red oc hook. On the next trip the rod met Frasier’s run as a noodle rod and Kurt landed several steelhead in the 8-12 lb range on glow beads! Kurt tested every phase of the rod. He was amazed at how easy it was to transform the rod by placing a centerpin reel at the top of the handle then a spinning reel in the next spot down the handle. The next position is for the large arbor spey moving down to a switch and lastly a fly rod. Just one large arbor reel can cover the spey ,switch, and fly. Now all you need is a spinning reel and a center pin and your all set! The final test came a few weeks later. Kurt started off with the rod in switch mode while my other client Mike Falcone was bottom bouncing with the noodle rod. It was Mike’s first trip to the infamous Salmon River and in his first 10 minutes on the river he was into two fish over fifteen pounds! Mike being a surf fisherman was not ready for a fish that size on four pound test leader and lost them both. I myself noticing a run of big fish coming through grabbed my noodle rod and brought a 34 inch steelhead to the net. About an hour later Kurt was being pressured by creepers closing in on his switch rod drift. He quickly switched his “Flippin-switch rod” to a spinning rod and wham Kurt hooked the biggest steelhead of his life! I saw the fish’s tail break water and I knew it was big. It looked as if he was hooked to the bumper of an old Buick. Except this bumper still had a lot of horsepower behind it. The fish shot across the river like a freight train! Several guys fishing near us pulled up their lines. Even the creepers down below us gave way to the explosions happening from this raging fish. Instantly I found myself down river stumbling over the milk jug sized rocks in the barrel hole. Mike Falcone watched in shock and awe from the bank. I could not take my eyes off of that rod. The rod was bent all the way down to the fore grip and maxed out in every way possible. The weakest link being the four pound fluorocarbon leader. Kurt walked the fish down river and then stood his ground. He could not get over the fact that this was the fish of his life on a prototype rod! Finally he worked the fish close enough for me to take a swipe at it. The mammoth steelhead weighing sixteen and a half pounds had lost the battle and succumbed to the net. After Kurt’s decision to get the fish mounted we both just turned and looked at the rod knowing that it was definitely something special that needed to be shared. I know there are custom rod builders across the nation turning fly rod blanks into spinning rods and vice versa. What I have done is created just one rod that you can carry to any stretch of water with just three reels in your gear bag and fish any way you want. Fishing with the ‘Flippin-Switch rod” will give you a mobility and diversity that makes you one dangerous steelhead fisherman!
Micheal Hunt 35
Phillip Rice is a self taught artist and his work is heavily influenced by his love for the outdoors. He was born in Globe, Az. in 1969 and spent over 20 years there before moving to Minnesota. He currently resides in Hardy, Arkansas. His paintings are mostly acrylic on canvas. His art can be seen at
Art Palmer I was raised on a farm in Dutchess county and taught to hunt and fish by my father. He instilled a love of the outdoors that has lasted a lifetime. He gave me my first flyrod when I was 9 or 10 (an old bamboo rod from the 40’s). My first rifle was a Montgomery Wards 22 missing the clip. I was told I only needed one shot and so learned to make each shot count( to this day I swear he stashed that clip).. I worked as a guide for elk and mule deer in the Blue Mountains of Washington,Oregon and fished the northwest for trout, salmon and steelhead. Retired now and living back here in the east at the foot of the Catskills, I have the time to wonder the legendary streams of those mountains and indulge my love of bamboo rods. I build custom rods, bamboo and graphite as an avocation, tie my own flies and fish as much as I can. Over 60 years fishing and hunting from one end of the country to the other, I’ve had the pleasure and occasionally the misfortune to run into many characters along the way, they have all been teachers. They have found there way into the stories I started telling my children and grandchildren to teach them about the outdoors. I started writing them down a few years ago at the request of my kids so they could pass them on. My lady has been encouraging me to spread them around. They all have a lesson to learn be it as simple as removing a hook to swinging a streamer.
Hookalip Custom Rods and Guide Service Michael N Hunt, lic#6713 11 George Read rd. New Castle De 19720 (302)722-3992 Email; Hookalip@gmail.com Website; Hookalip.com I offer fully guided walk and wade trips on the lake Ontario tributaries. Specializing in Salmon, Steelhead, and Brown trout. I also build custom rods for every application. Fly fishing and Center pin instructor.
Joe Kayafas I have been fishing for most of my life. Fly-fishing became a passion of mine about 8 years ago. Now, just about all of my time and energy is put towards this way of life. Living in PA is great for a fly-fisherman, as there are tons of lakes, rivers and creeks in which to hone one’s skills. Most of my fishing is concentrated on the Northern lake-run tributaries of OH, PA, and NY, and all of the great wild Trout streams in Central PA. Currently, I am a commercial fly-tyer and a fly-tying/fishing instructor. I do fly-tying classes for local boroughs, as well as private lessons per request. I work with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Inc. and host a tying demo in their benefit every year to generate donations for the charity. Right now I am on the pro staff/pro deals programs with Regal Vises, LOOP USA, Fly men Fishing Company, Hareline Dubbin, Anglers Sport Group, and Galvan Fly Reels. I try to spend as much time on the water, and behind the vise as I possibly can. I have a blog as well at http://www.whatsajob614.blogspot.com/.
Phills work is on sale on Facebook
Starting this April 1st we will have the best photo of the month giveaway on our website hookalipoutdoorsmagazine.com Get your best pictures send the to the email on our contacts page. Every month we will be giving Hunting and Fishing related products . Hookalip Outdoors Maghazine is Looking for new writers If you have ideas contact Brian on ou website email.
Bill Eliottâ€™s tarpon
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Hello from beautiful New Mexico! We are very blessed here, having some of the best rivers in the United States. The San Juan, Chama River, Rio Grande and River Red River, along with all the small tributaries. New Mexico has some of the best kept secrets for flyfishing. The Chama River, was the training ground for my brother Anthony Benavidez, Cousin Rosendo Cruz III and me . The scenery is so beautiful and the wild trout so plentiful, it kept all of us going back in the summer time and any vacation time from school. A magical place there the fish would jerk the end of lines, telegraphing a fish in the end fighting and jumping with so much excitement. My passion for fly fishing started out when I was very young. In the 1970’s, my grandfather, Rosendo Cruz, age fifty-three taught my brother Anthony, Benavidez age seven, my cousin Rosendo Cruz III, age six years old and myself George age eight years old how to fish. Our rigs started out with a Zebco rod and reel, which we had purchased from our local K-Mart. We would collect worms from our grandmother’s garden. These mighty little earth worms were quite successful catching fish. My grandfather used a fly rod, and with my eyes set on fishing like him, I too wanted my own flyrod. My Grandpa would made the rod look like a magic wand on his hands, catching beautiful trout, Rainbow, Cutthroats, Browns, and Brookies. On Christmas of 1972, my grandfather gave me my first self-starting fly-tying kit from Dan Bailey’s Fly shop in Montana. Once that kit was in my hands, I instantly knew without a doubt, be addicted to the sport of fly fishing. From then on, my weekends and holidays were spent alongside my grandfather fly fishing in those beautiful waters of New Mexico. Tying your own flies and catching trout is the most gratifying experience. Plus inventing a new flies and testing them inthe pristine waters of New Mexico. With the transformation of the wiggle worm, Coming up with your own flies is wha keeps us going back for more fish. After Graduating from High School, I got a new Orvis Fly rod and reel, as a present from my Grandpa Cruz that I still use today to stalk trout . The GBwiggle worm started out with a rabbit zonker strip and ostrich herl. Model 3806-B Mustad wet fly hooks were my go to in the 1980’s. In the 1990’s, the bead heads came from Europe. When the infamous movie, A River Runs Through It came out in 1992, beads became a big thing. Weighed and un-weighed, I began using the Wiggle Worm with great success. In 2012, I began using Facebook to get the magic started with my flies, reaching people from seven continents group page. It is always a pleasure meeting people who have the same interest in fly fishing as I do. I have had the pleasure of creating quite fascinating ties for people around the globe. The new updated look for 2014 is the GB-wiggle worm, starting off with Dai-Rikki hooks, model 135, size 6. With tail rabbit zonkers strips, copper rib ostrich herl for the body, and the fish with 3-d eyes, and UV loons glue, it indeed is perfection. Plus includes The Most Hated Streamers, And The Bite Me Nymphs Collection, and Copper Back Nymphs. Are productive patterns. The real question is this. Is it the amazing waters here in New Mexico? The abundant in fish? or the flies I make that guarantee success in my fishing? I believe it’s all three. My ties make a great pairing with those beautiful waters. Fly fishing at its best in New Mexico. I still fish the beautiful Chama River, the Costilla River and The mighty Rio Grande River with the little boy excitement it keeps me going back for more. These days I am training my young Grandkids in the same training grounds that we fished so long ago as kids. Plus tying flies with the burning excitement. The San Juan is the most popular place for a lot of tourist. I say the Rio Grande River is the place to fish. Hiking down to some of my favorite spots on the river in you have to be physical fit with dangerous terrain. Knowing the big trout of the rio grande have never my flies. Well I hope someday you can experience The Land Of Enchantment. Tight lines and screaming Reels. And fish in the nets. George Benavidez
Wiggle worms and the most hated steamers Tied by George Benavidez see his work on Facebook
Passport Fishing the USA With the River Damsel Let's be real. Most of us cannot take a trip overseas anytime we want. For some, it would be a trip of a lifetime. Since I love to always travel and find new, exciting spots to fly fish and photograph... I came up with an answer. And right here in the U.S.A!!! So, pull up a seat for a few minutes and find out what you have been missing out on... or maybe you are ahead of me on this, who knows? Lucy from "While You Were Sleeping" (Sandra Bullock) would go all the way to Europe for a stamp in her passport. But, we don't need to go that far...
You see, there is a fun passport system that allows you to collect stamps from all the parks and historic sites, right here at home! And honestly, there is plenty to see right here without going overseas... Since most of us have already started visiting the U.S. National Parks and Monuments... Why not have a way to learn a little more about where you visited? And a nice little momento to boot! A win-win, I believe. You will have a much more fun experience from collecting stamps of these historic sites and showing them to your friends and family!!
So, next time you take an adventure out to a National Park...take along this handy, little passport book. I think that you will love the feeling of putting another stamp in your passport. You will have visible marks that you have been here, or there. You will have proof that you traveled x miles to see this person or building. Smiles will come as you remember back to those times. Each stamp will evoke a memory of the time you received it. Opening that passport, looking at the filled pages, those memories will come back to you.
There is more to a National Park than this... (Although it is nice to have)
These are the places that make National Parks so special... (Yellowstone...Gibbon Falls)
Memories are best kept not just in your mind, but documented. As I get older anyway, it is nice to have pictures and written journals of what I saw and did on my fly fishing journeys. And this passport is just another addition to making each trip out a little more special. The River Damsel
To spey or not to spey By Mark “Boot” Hess Did you ever see someone holding a crazy long rod with two hands ripping the line across the water wondering what the was going on? That was me not so long ago. After learning what it was I can sincerely say it has changed my fishing life forever. For all you double-handled newbie’s, line selection may be confusing at best. So here it goes…. Lets first see what the world has to offer in spey lines. There are several different profiles each with it’s own purpose. Now, you have to ask yourself where are you fishing, how big is the water? Are you forced up against bank behind you with no room to back, or form a “D” loop? Are you throwing heavy waited flies, fishing a small Great Lake Tributary? If you answered yes to any of these questions then the Skagit may be the head for you. The Skagit is a shooting head design. Its compact and heavy head design is used for chuckin’ heavy sink tips and large waited flies, but may be used in any scenario. Being the shortest of all spey lines this makes it also the easiest to cast. Note: A general rule of thumb, the shorter the head profile the easier it will be to cast. These heads generally come in lengths of approximately 17 to 25 feet. As all shooting head designs, the Skagit also requires a running line behind the head, and a tip in front before it can be fished. The ease and power of this head makes it a favorite among most spey anglers. Along with being the easiest to cast, there is some extra work that needs to be done. The angler will have to strip line back in to the shooting head before he can cast. Some species require stripping to entice a strike. In this case stripping becomes a bonus. Such as, ending your swing by stripping in your starlight leech trying to grab the attention of Silver salmon. Another benefit is that they require much less back room to cast, making tight quarter fishing a walk in the park. A delicate presentation however is not one of the Skagit bragging points. it’s a bit sloppy and loud on the landing but it does get the fly where it needs to be. The Scandi or Scandinavian head, the ballerina of the shooting heads. Graceful with a touch of power yet still able to reach out and touch someone yet still offer a soft presentation. A bit longer than the Skagit with most of it’s weight in the rear and a long gradual forward taper. Being longer than the Skagit it requires less stripping in between casts for more “fly in the water” time. One of the downers of the Scandi may be that its head pick up and throw heavy sink tips or weighted flies near as well as the Skagit. Ok Lets talk traditional spey, not a good choice for the beginner. These heads are long, generally 50 to 80 feet in length making it much harder to handle. Again remember the shorter the head the easier it is to cast and these heads aren’t short. These lines need longer rods, considerably more back room to cast then the shorter heads and also advanced skill levels to get it done. What makes these lines shine is the lack of stripping needed in between casts, and the pure distance one can reach if he or she is well traversed in the art of spey. For instance, in coldwater conditions there is less chance of ice blocking your rod guides due to the fact there is no need to strip in after every cast. If you fish long enough these problems are bound to run into this problem. Today all lines are connected by welded loops at each end. This making it easier to quickly connect tips to shooting heads, shooting heads to running lines and leaders to your tips. My opinion is that the biggest advantage of all comes down to convenience through today technology of fly lines. Resulting in the angler being able to fish a large selection of shooting heads in different weights, lengths from floating to intermediate /heavy sinking lines and with the ability to run these different setups all on one rod and real. This saves the angler hundreds of dollars not needing multiple reels as well as the ability to carry all of these heads/tips in a small hip pack and be prepared for any fishing situation. 43
So we have talked about all types of different lines including some pros and some cons of each. Now lets talk tips. Tips may be the greatest invention in the history of fly-fishing. Changing just the tip can allow the angler to fish all depths of the river, in any river flow, wherever the fish may be hiding. You can choose from sink tips that come in different densities with the same grains per inch throughout the leader such as “Polyleaders” and “Versaleaders”. Another design like the “Mow” tip made by Rio Products have a partial length of tungsten line while the remainder is made up of floating lines. See example below for Rio “Mow” tips: Today all lines are connected by welded loops at each end. This making it easier to quickly connect tips to shooting heads, shooting heads to running lines and leaders to your tips. My opinion is that the biggest advantage of all comes down to convenience through today technology of fly lines. Resulting in the angler being able to fish a large selection of shooting heads in different weights, lengths from floating to intermediate /heavy sinking lines and with the ability to run these different setups all on one rod and real. This saves the angler hundreds of dollars not needing multiple reels as well as the ability to carry all of these heads/tips in a small hip pack and be prepared for any fishing situation. So we have talked about all types of different lines including some pros and some cons of each. Now lets talk tips. Tips may be the greatest invention in the history of fly-fishing. Changing just the tip can allow the angler to fish all depths of the river, in any river flow, wherever the fish may be hiding. You can choose from sink tips that come in different densities with the same grains per inch throughout the leader such as “Polyleaders” and “Versaleaders”. Another design like the “Mow” tip made by Rio Products have a partial length of tungsten line while the remainder is made up of floating lines. See example below for Rio “Mow” tips: These tips should not exceed the length of the ride. Along with all the tips that are available today there are different weights and lengths for all rod sizes for any river you may be fishing and any species you may be chasing. You’ve now learned about the different styles of lines as well as the different scenarios where each line may help you the most. You’ve learned about the different tips that can or need to be added on these lines. Anyone of these lines can be fished on the same rod all being of the same weight but different lengths and profiles and different skill levels for whatever and wherever you may be fishing. Whether you’re fishing big water, in tight quarters, looking for that delicate presentation or throwing weighted flies with heavy sink tips than the two-hander just may be for you. The world of spey has changed my way of fishing I hope I have helped you with yours. I’d like to thank Chris Andersen of Rio Products for all my technical support and Andrew Moy of Tight lines NJ for his expert guidance in casting. Tight lines everyone, See Mark’s Bio on page 9
Mark “Boot” Hess 44
Fishing Crossword Puzzle
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Crossword By Bruce Carey
Hunting and Fishing Outdoors Steel head Ducks Turkey Bear Brown Trout Fly fishing