Driftless Tenkara By Mike Lutes
On the Fly Carping AZ Project Carp By Wesley Atkinson
By Ryan Russell
Season on the Edge By Ken Baldwin
Volume 6, Issue 1 2015
What is a Kype? A kype is a hook that forms on the lower jaw of a male trout, salmon or steelhead, during spawning periods. This is their badge of power and dominance, that is unique to only these species—a sign of a warrior. From this mark of strength comes the title of our magazine, KYPE.
Kype Magazine VOLUME 6 ISSUE 1, 2015
Kype Magazine Boise, Idaho email@example.com
www.KypeMagazine.com Kype Staff
Publisher: Aileen Lane Cover Design: Aileen Lane Editor: Peggy Bodde McKenzie Ellis
Fly Tying: BiColour Nymph..................................................18
Fly Girl Leather: Annie Margarita.........................................38
Kype Magazine © 2015 MKFlies LLC
Fly Tying: The Usual............................................................42
All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication m a y b e c o p i e d o r reproduced in any way without the written permission from publisher.
Driftless Tenkara................................................................26 Fly Tying: Get Organized......................................................32
Big Browns & Bent Rods....................................................46 Goat Head Sole Spikes: One Steady Foot at a Time..............50 That Kid-Trout Moment......................................................56 Dancing the Steelhead Three Step.......................................60 The Bucket.........................................................................62 LWCF: Keeping America Beautiful.........................................64 Carping AZ: Project Carp.....................................................66 Put Some Swing in Your Thing: Stealheading.........................70
“A few years ago, my friend, Rick and I decided to head to Lee’s Ferry, which is part of the Colorado River just below Glen Canyon Dam. It’s located at the northern tip of Arizona. I caught this beautiful rainbow and as our guide held this beauty, I snapped a photo and released it to live another day.” ~ Robert Kunihiro, photographer Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friendships by Aileen Lane
Photo by Michelle Bryant Bio: Publisher of Kype Magazine
Fly Tyer & Owner of MKFlies 1/3 of the Trifecta of Fly Fishing Ventures Pro Staff Tier for Deer Creek UK Type of Fishing: Fly Fishing Location: Boise, Idaho Websites: KypeMagazine.com MKFlies.com Flyfishingv.com Contact Info: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
through Rich... L
Beautiful River X Brown
ast March, as I was contemplating taking on ownership of Kype, I recieved an email from a gentleman named Bob. “Your article in an old Kype magazine has again caught my eye. I am not a fly tyer and would like to get a hold of your Split Case PMD and your Opie's PMD Emerger. How can I purchase a few of these? “ What is interesting is that the “old Kype magazine” Bob was referring to was the one with the cover by my friend, Rich Schaaff. Rich asked me if I can write up a fly tying article and send it to George Douglas, who was the publisher back then, as soon as possible for the original tyer had backed out the last moment. I gladly wrote up a step by step tutorial on the Split Case PMD. This was my first introduction to Kype Magazine as well as my first article in print. Rich Schaaff passed away unexpectally not too long after that issue was published. Bob’s message as well as the timing of it was pretty significant to me. Another thing that caught my attention, was that Bob also asked about Opie’s PMD. That fly was not part of that issue, it was a pattern I named after Rich. Bob found that pattern while searching through my website. For those who know me, it is a known fact that I still “talk” to Rich. It may sound silly to some, but I find comfort in believing that Rich is still around fly fishing in Heaven. I took this as another sign from Rich, and knew that Kype was meant to be. Over the next few months, Bob and I continued to exchange emails. In October, Bob and I finally met on River X - the same river where I fished with Rich. He brought along his beautiful wife, Terri and a couple of friends. Even though it was the first time we all met, there was a sense of ease and familiarity. Conversations flowed easily and I felt like I was fishing with some longlost friends who were reunited. And even though the fishing was slow (except for one friend lol), it was the best day ever. KYPE
Four Seasons on the Fly by Wesley Atkinson Location: Idaho
Everyone Needs a Fish Dog
Red Band Trout
Four Seasons on the Fly by Wesley Atkinson
Late Spring Caddis Hatch
The Remains of an Avalanche
The Elusive Bull Trout
Four Seasons on the Fly by Wesley Atkinson
The Road Less Traveled
Nick Coe is always smiles - Even if we hiked 6 miles for no fish in a deadly thunderstorm.
Good Company and Rising Fish
Four Seasons on the Fly by Wesley Atkinson
Regan Flanagan yarding them from the tube
Winter Boise River
Four Seasons on the Fly by Wesley Atkinson
Jeremy Egbert preparing for battle
Cabin Fever - Steelhead Camp
Hello, my Atkinson.
I was born and raised in Boise, Idaho. I have been blessed to live in some of the best trout country in the world and photography is a means by which I can share my experiences with others. This photo essay explores fly fishing in the great state of Idaho throughout its unique four seasons.
Weapon of Choice: Loop Cross S1, Opti Dry Fly
BiColour Nymph Still Stong After 10 yrs by Alan Bithell
N Bio: Production fly tier, demonstrator, instructor and sometime fishing author, scratching a living in the Highlands of Scotland, so I can spend as much time as possible on the water fishing. Yes in other words a trout bum! Fly tying: Well, I lash things to hooks and tubes, not to mention the odd waddington. The results have, occasionally, been known to bear some resemblance to what I intended when I started. Some of you may have met me at various shows others read my occasional musings in print or elsewhere online. For my sins I am a member of the very disreputable Deer Creek Pro Team, and work with Virtual Nymph. Website: www.crackaigflies.co.uk/
ot much good has come from the decline of the British industry. However, one of the great benefits is that many of the rivers which were once treated as sewers have recovered—Yorkshire’s River Calder being one of them. The post industrial landscape isn’t the most picturesque place to fish but it was local and cheap. Fishing rights are mostly privately owned in the UK so you have to pay to fish. Trout and grayling are now prolific where, not so long ago, there were none. Better yet, I could go and catch them for just a few pounds a year. I spent a lot of time on that river, caught some nice fish and generally had a great time of it. Except, that nymphs just didn’t seem to work properly. I picked up odd fish on them, but nothing like I would usually associate with fishing nymphs. Turning stones I found many nymphs of all the species I expected. What was different about these nymphs was the dorsal side. Most nymphs seem to have buff to pale yellow under sides. These almost all had bright yellow under sides. This may have been a result of the past pollution of the river, or just a regional variation—I’m not enough of a naturalist to know. However, I can see when something is different, and know enough to look for this as a solution. Often I have described imitative fly fishing as seeing an insect, tying something that looks like it, and fishing it so it behaves like the natural. Knowing the Latin name of the insect adds nothing to your ability to do this. What I needed was a nymph that mimicked this colour differential. Knowledge can and does often act as blinkers. I know this from another interest of mine—performing close up magic. It is often easier to fool another magician than it is to fool a lay person. In the same way I grabbed at the first solution that came to my fly tiers brain. Weave the fly. The bed of the Calder is littered as much with dressed stone as natural rock. My supply of woven nymphs soon decorated these rocks, not to mention the river is quite overgrown. A good number ended up in inaccessible branches. Woven nymphs are time consuming to tie and soon I was thinking twice before casting into tight corners. A re-think became necessary. How can I incorporate the dorsal ventral colour split into a fly that is simple to tie? That puzzled me for three or four years. I played about with different
materials at odd times but the answer evaded me. In the meantime, I got plenty of practice tying woven flies. One day, I was playing around with a quick way to tie Czech nymphs, which involved tying in the shell back forward of the eye, and pulling it back over the fly to be held in place with the ribbing wire. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s when it hit me. I could use this method to tie nymphs for the Calder. Ten minutes later the first BiColour Nymph was ready to be fished! The BiColour nymph is not so much a single pattern as a way of tying pheasant tail nymphs with a colour differential along the body. Here is the original. This is a tie on a size 12 standard wet fly hook. You should tie them on whatever hook gives you the right size nymph for where you fish.
Thread: Any fine thread. Colour to match body. Rib: Copper wire in any colour you like. Size to suit the hook you are using. Body: Colour extracted and dyed pheasant tail, in this example sunburst. Back: Natural or dark dyed pheasant tail
: Select your hook and place it in the vice. Start the thread one eye width back from the eye and run down the hook shank in touching turns. As you run down the hook shank, catch in the ribbing wire under the hook shank. The tag end of the wire should extend toward the eye to the point you started your thread. 19
: As you approach the bend of the hook catch in a bunch of the lighter colour pheasant tail fibers by their tips.
: Take the thread forward to the point you want the thorax to start somewhere in between half and two thirds of the way back to the eye.
: Move your hand towards the eye (taking the bunch of pheasant tail fibers with you) until your thumb nail touches the back of the eye. Maintaining the grip, tie the pheasant tail in place. (I know the thread is hanging further back. If you need to, roll your finger and thumb back a little so you can form the pinch and loop.)
: Now comes the difficult bit. Take a good bunch of natural or dark pheasant tail. You need to carefully measure this. Hold the bunch above the hook shank with the tips forward of the eye. The distance the tips extend forward of the eye is the length of the tails in the finished fly. Once you are happy with the length of the back / tails grip the bunch with your thumb nail level with the turn of thread nearest the bend.
: Secure the pheasant tail with a few wraps.
: Fold the rear pointing fibers forward and tie down. Do not tie down all the way to the eye.
:Trim out the pheasant tail butts at an angle. This makes the thorax taper toward the eye.
: Smooth the thorax out with thread wraps finishing behind the eye.
: Continue winding the rib forward to the back of the thorax.
: Trim out the pheasant tail fibers forming the body. Whip finish and remove the thread. If you feel the need you can add a drop of head cement to the whip finish.
: Fold the back over the top of the fly. Roll your finger on top a little to ensure the bunch spreads out over the back of the fly. Secure it by winding the rib over it.
: Wind the body all the way along the hook shank. Tie down behind the eye.
: Secure the wire behind the thorax by making a half hitch in the wire. 22
: Worry off the wire (wiggle the wire until it breaks). Again, if you feel the need secure this with a drop of glue. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find I need it, but you may. The tail might look a little too heavy to your eye. If it does, well you surely can find a pair of scissors! Just trim some of the fibers off level with the end of the body. You will have realised that this is unweighted and does not have any legs. You can add weight in the form of wire or a bead if you like. Legs may also be added, but I subscribe to Frank Sawyerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opinion that they are not an important feature on a drifting nymph. You will find the tying of a weighted legged version here http://www.crackaigflies.co.uk/bicoloursbs.html
ishing the BiColour Nymph
The old skill of fishing the upstream nymph does not seem popular today. Maybe people just don’t want to perceiver enough to learn it. It is, though, as effective as it has always been. That is how I first fished it. And yes, it did crack the problem of the River Calder. It has proved effective far and wide. It is as effective as any other pheasant tail nymph, often more so. You can also fish it below a dry fly in what has become known as a “Klink & Dink” set up. On still waters it makes a great point fly for a team of three. A beaded version with a tiny hot spot on the tail has proven to be a go-to-fly for winter rainbow trout fishing. KYPE UNI Products J.G. Cote Inc. 1004 Princippale Ste-Melanie QC. Canada J0K 3A0 Tel: 450-889-8054 Toll-free: 1-877-889-8054 Fax: 450-889-5887 E-mail: email@example.com
NEW FOR 2015 UNI-Mylar Holographic Rainbow
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Look to UNI IRU WKH EHVW LQ VSRROHG Á \ W\LQJ PDWHULDOV
Derek Young, Owner of Emerging Rivers Guide Services Snoqualmie, WA 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide of the Year www.emergingrivers.com
An Unorthodox Approach by Mike Lutes
Mike Lutes of Badger Tenkara is a lifelong outdoorsman, hunter, and angler. After after becoming frustrated by certain aspects of "regular" fly fishing, he was drawn to the simplicity of Tenkara. Mike has been fishing Tenkara style for 3 years.
Matt Sment of Badger Tenkara served as a US Army Paratrooper, and is a graduate of the North Carolina Outward Bound Outdoor Leadership program. Tenkara fishing has been his primary outdoor pursuit for 2 years.
or starters, let’s be clear about a couple of issues. The fishing techniques described here are not really "Tenkara" in the traditional sense. Tenkara, which loosely translated means “from heaven,” is a fixed line fly fishing style used in mountainous regions in Japan. Since we have a noticeable shortage of mountains here in the Driftless region, what we are doing is not strictly tenkara. Calling what we do “tenkara” may offend some purists, but let’s face it, tenkara just sounds a lot cooler than “fixed line fly fishing.” For better or worse, all fixed line fly fishing in the US has been lumped under the tenkara heading. Secondly, this article will not be another of one of those expounding the simplicity of tenkara and the wonder of fishing “with only a rod, line and fly.” I have reels. I like them. I just really like tenkara, too. And if you spend any time talking to tenkara fisherman or reading about tenkara, you will find that you can make it just as complicated as “regular” fly fishing if you so desire. Additionally, that article has been written ad nauseam in the fly fishing and outdoors press, so maybe it is time we focus on some other aspects of the sport. And lastly, I promise not to tell you how tenkara makes me feel “more connected to the fish.” I’m not sure the presence or absence of a reel on my fly rod has much of an impact on my personal relationship with the fish. I suppose you could ask the fish, but I don’t think they’d have much to say on the subject. The Driftless region in brief The Driftless region is comprised of portions of Southwest Wisconsin, Northeast Iowa, and Southeast Minnesota. Well, okay, Northwest Illinois is also part of Driftless region, but we largely ignore the land of imprisoned former governors and excessive tollway taxes. The term Driftless is a geologic one that refers to a lack of glacial drift found in the soil. In other words, the ice age glaciers left this region untouched, which calls into question the “flatland” moniker the coasties give us. It is a scenic and pastoral region of hills, valleys and stunning rock structures. It is a land
of twisty two lane highways, small but quaint towns and, most importantly, thousands of miles of spring-fed trout streams. The sheer number of spring creeks is astounding. Take a look at the Wisconsin DNR’s trout maps and you will feel spoiled for choice. Yes, if you come here on a summer weekend the pull outs on the well-known creeks will be full of cars, but it is not at all hard to find solitude on some of the smaller or lesser known creeks. While the area is certainly becoming more popular with traveling anglers, there is still plenty of elbow room. The creeks in Wisconsin’s Driftless region are spring fed beauties. Many of them have been restored by the efforts of Trout Unlimited, Wisconsin DNR, and other organizations. Access is generally quite good. Most creeks have wild reproducing browns, and native brook trout can be found, too. Though some creeks are stocked, chances are most of the fish you catch have lived out their lives in the wild. This is not necessarily the place you come to catch your trophy trout but you could conceivably join the 20+ inch club here. However, you are much more likely to spend your days here catching lots of fish, each measuring a few inches on either side of the one foot mark.
...this article will not be another of one of those expounding the simplicity of tenkara and the wonder of fishing “with only a rod, line and fly”. I have reels. I like them. I just really like tenkara, too.
A typical wild Driftless Brown
Tenkara in the Driftless region If you do much reading about tenkara, you will find a lot of people recommend a similar formula: a rod somewhere around 12 feet long (give or take a foot or so), and roughly 12 feet of fluorocarbon level line attached to 3-4 feet of 5x tippet. The fly of choice is a sakasa kebari, a reverse hackle fly associated with tenkara in Japan. I tried to like this set up. I really did. It just seemed cool. But I wasn’t catching many fish. Over the past three years, Matt Sment, my partner in all things tenkara, and I have refined our tenkara technique to catch trout in the Driftless region. After a lot of trial and error, we have dialed in a formula that is working well for us. Let’s break it down. The Rod We tend to favor tenkara rods somewhere around the 11.5 to 12 foot range. Shorter rods than this are really a disadvantage, as you are already limiting your reach with a tenkara set up. We sometimes fish longer rods, but going much beyond 12 feet make some of the rods ungainly to cast. Since the majority of the streams in the region run through meadows and valleys, the longer rod is really not a problem. In fact, I think it helps cut down on snags, since most of the snags you encounter on the streams in the region are the result of bank side brush, not trees. Rod choice is a matter of personal preference, for the most part. The Line Here is where we really start to depart from the orthodoxy. You will find a lot of the tenkara “experts” (in quotes since most tenkara converts got into the sport around 2009 or later, so it is hard to call a U.S. tenkara angler an expert with only a few years’ experience, this author included) praise fluorocarbon level line. Level line is also popular (though not exclusively used) in Japan. We tried really hard to like level line, but we just don’t. It has a lot of line memory, so any time you rig or re-rig, you are spending time straightening out your line. We find it hard to cast well, particularly to full extension. It also tends to tangle much more than other types of line, particularly if you have not solved the line memory issue. It is not terribly wind resistant, which can be an issue in our region. It is also difficult to see, even in HiVis colors. On the plus side, it is fairly inexpensive and it excels at keeping line off the water, making it that much easier to get a drag free drift. We use floating line almost exclusively—a very light weight floating line. We like that it has little to no line memory and it casts easily. You can keep most or all the line off the water without too much trouble (level line has the edge here, but just by a little). It can turn over heavier or bushier flies without any difficulty. It does not tend to tangle and it is durable. We have tried many different types of line of our own making and from other manufacturers, and the light weight floating line still wins for us. We typically use a length of line roughly the same length as the rod, perhaps a little longer. If you are fishing floating line and you fish a length much more than about a foot longer than the length of the rod, it tends to get too heavy and not work as well. With level line, some anglers will fish line lengths as long as 1.5 or even 2 times the length of the rod, but we just have not felt the necessity to do that in most of the circumstances we fish. I like to tie about 10 inches of HiVis nylon line to the end of my floating line. It acts as an indicator when I am fishing subsurface and makes it easier to tie on tippet. Matt usually fishes without the nylon end piece, and it certainly is not necessary. Most of what you read about tenkara will tell you to use three to four feet of 5x tippet at the end of your line. Matt and I have both found that our catch rate for Driftless trout got a lot better when we started using longer lengths of tippet. Right about 6 feet seems to be the “dialed in” length. We mostly use 5x tippet for Wisconsin trout, which is what the rod distributors typically recommend. The concern is that heavier tippet may put the rod at risk. When we fish for smallmouth bass, we just use cheap 6 pound test for our leader and we have yet to break a rod. In fact, we have yet to have a customer return a rod because he or she broke it on a big fish.
The Flies Here again we depart from orthodoxy. The sakasa kebari, a reverse hackle wet fly, is the fly most associated with tenkara. There are many patterns, developed both in the U.S. and in Japan. Tenkara anglers tend to use rather large sakasa kebari, with size 8 and 10 being popular. U.S. anglers do sometimes use smaller variants, particularly when fishing pressured waters. The kebari is an attractor fly that does not imitate any particular bug. The reverse hackle pulsates as it moves through the water, which is what is believed to be what gives it its fish attracting qualities. It is a good fly, but we haven’t had much luck using it on spring creek trout. Some tenkara anglers have taken a “one fly” approach, where they only fish the kebari. They believe technique and presentation trump fly selection every time. I think there is a lot to learn from this approach, but unfortunately, some “one fly” anglers have taken to the philosophy like religious zealotry, to the degree that they make Tenkara delivers precise the dry fly purist look uncommitted. On the plus side, the casts and drag free drifts. “one fly” approach has helped anglers like me look in their fly boxes and ask themselves “do I really need all this crap?” On the other side of the spectrum, some tenkara anglers have adopted the “any fly” approach: just tie on whatever you grab out of the fly box. They also emphasize technique over fly selection. So, I present to you our simplified break down on fly selection for tenkara trout fishing in the Driftless region: Early spring (March-early April): Fishing can be pretty variable here, as is the weather. It can be cold and snowy or like early summer, sometimes in the same week. The streams tend to run cold during this time, so the fish typically hold deep in the deeper pools. My two go-to flies in this time frame are the bead head killer bug (BHKB) and a small streamer of some sort, usually about a size 12. I use either a bead head wooly bugger or a leech pattern depending on which one I feel like tying or can get a good deal purchasing. I believe that the BHKB imitates a scud, which is a major food source for Driftless trout. This fly is simply casted and dead drifted. The BHKB is a consistent producer all season long. Using small streamer patterns also works really well this time of the year. If you are feeling lazy, they can be simply be dead drifted, which works more often than you would think. You can also twitch them as you retrieve. When I first tried fishing streamer patterns with tenkara, I looked at some online forums for advice and all I could find was one guy who said he used his tenkara rod to troll streamers behind his kayak. I’m sure other anglers were using them, too, but the practice did seem too popular early on. Taking some time to cast into clear water and twitch your streamer back to you can be instructive. I think you will be surprised how much easier it is to make life-like movements with a fixed line set up versus a standard fly fishing rig. Late spring/early summer (mid-April to early June): In some ways, this is the best time to fish the Driftless region. The weather tends to be very pleasant. The fish are active. The stream side weeds are not out of control yet and the gnats, mosquitos, and other pesky bugs have yet to reach full on nuisance level. There are a variety of hatches that take place during this time frame: caddis, sulfurs, olives, and so on. Fish tend to be more surface-focused. I usually carry some caddis in
about size 14 and some smaller olive patterns this time of year. If I can’t catch fish with these flies, I will switch to a subsurface pattern. I like to fish the caddis because you twitch them on the surface with the tenkara set up pretty easily, which can entice some exciting strikes. Mid to Late summer (mid-June through August): I’m not sure who coined the term “foam hatch,” but I’d like to buy that guy a beer someday. That pretty well describes mid to late summer fishing in the Driftless region. Foam hoppers, crickets, beetles, and ants are all highly productive. My favorite is the beetle, but you will find anglers that swear by any number of terrestrial patterns. Fish these guys tight to the bank and hold on. When the fish won’t go for the foam, I switch to, wait for it, a bead head killer bug or a small streamer. September: September can also be a pretty variable month in terms of weather, and likewise the fishing can vary. Early in the month, you can still find fish feeding on terrestrials. Surface flies like the caddis and BWO can still be a good bet, but if they are not tuned into the surface, I think you can guess what I would recommend. Wisconsin’s trout season closes in late September, but it looks like we could get an extended season in 2016. Iowa is open year round. Tenkara techniques in the Driftless region While my fishing log is in a sad state, I think I can say that I catch more fish on tenkara than on my standard fly fishing gear. There is of course quite a bit of variability based on conditions, but I believe that on average tenkara comes out ahead. Here are my top 9 reasons why I tend to catch more trout with tenkara: 1. My fly spends more time in the water. I am free from spending time messing with fly line. No feeding line out or taking line in, tangling line about my feet and so on. Also, you really do not need to false cast at all with tenkara, so you spend less time doing that and subsequently spook fewer fish with your line. 2. I fish more often. My set up time with tenkara is so short that there is not much barrier to go fishing. It does not seem like a big deal to pull my rod out and fish for 30 minutes on my way to or from work. I can keep my rod collapsed with the line wrapped around the handle and fly tied on, stashed in my truck. It is very easy just to grab it and fish. 3. The (mostly) drag free drift. A big deal for both subsurface and surface flies. It is easier to maintain a nice drift with tricky currents if you can keep most or all your line off the water. 4. The delicate presentation. Much easier to achieve that perfect presentation with a tenkara rod.
5. Improved fly manipulation: I would challenge you to do a side-by-side comparison of a tenkara rod and a regular rod with one of your fly fishing buddies. Try manipulating both a surface fly like a caddis and a streamer and see which one looks more life-like. 6. Fewer snags: you would think that with such a long rod you would snag more often with tenkara. I found the opposite to be true. Since we fish a lot of meadow and valley streams, it is mostly stream side weeds and brush that your back cast hangs up on, particularly when you are wading in the creek. The extra length of the tenkara rod keeps you out of the weeds. 7. Less fly switching. Again, I’m not a “one fly” disciple, but by sticking to a handful of patterns I spend more time fishing and less time changing flies. 8. I am stealthier. I think we can all agree that a major reason fly fisherman don’t catch trout is because they get sloppy with the stealth piece. Or you think you can just make that 40 foot cast and not worry about spooking fish. With tenkara, stealth just becomes part of the package. You practice it a lot more and get better at it. You become better at “picking your shots” and planning your approaches. 9. I have more fun and I am more relaxed. I think we all know you tend to catch more fish with calm, positive mental state than an anxious or angry one. Finally, one of Tenkara's biggest strengths is that it lends itself readily to experimentation and personalization. There is a growing movement of Tenkara anglers worldwide that is adapting the style to their own unique conditions, local species, and personal preferences. We are excited to be finding our Tenkara here in the Driftless, and encourage you to explore YOUR Tenkara this season! Mike of Badger Tenkara KYPE Badger Tenkara is based in Madison, WI, home to the incredible trout waters of the famed Driftless region and a wide variety of warm water fisheries packed with panfish and bass. The company is dedicated to providing high quality Tenkara fishing equipment and experiences. Badger Tenkara approaches Tenkara fishing as an adventure of exploration. Rather than confine the techniques and equipment to their original and very specific origins, we embrace every opportunity to expand the style's applications. We fish year round, for cold and warm water species, and adapt the platform to suit changing conditions. Our goal is to push the limits and show that Tenkara simplicity can be effective for almost any fishing, almost anywhere!
Get Organized by Mark Patenaude
Spend Less Time Looking for Things and More Time Tying
I Originally From: Adams, Massachusetts Currently Resides: Cary, IL. Email: fishes-with-fly @comcast.net Affiliations: Federation of Fly Fishers, Trout Unlimited Pro Team:Deer Creek Fly Tying Products Pro Staff:Trout Line Fly Fishing and Fly Tying, LTD. Preferred Waters: East CoastDeerfield River, Housatonic River, Hoosac River, Millers River Midwest -Driftless Area, Southwest Wisconsin, Root and Pike Rivers (Salmon, Steelhead, Lake Run Browns) Fishes For: Brown, Rainbow, Brook Trout (inland)Steelhead (in rivers only) King and Coho Salmon (in rivers only) Lake Run Brown Trout (Lake Michigan) (in rivers only) Note: fishes barbless only and practices strict catch and release. Favorite Fly Fishing Quote: “I love fly fishing and fly tying more than a fat kid loves cake"
was recently asked to post a picture of my fly tying bench to Facebook so that some of my fly tying colleagues could see my work area, when apparently another fly tyer saw the picture I posted, and commented something to the effect of “Wow, it looks like your bench is fake and was made up just for the picture.” While some people may have taken that unsolicited comment as an insult, I took it as a compliment because it reflects what I have been trying to accomplish…total organization.
All of us live with at least some degree of organization in our lives. Some of us may have schedules to maintain, deadlines to meet, and some of us keep detailed records and files for our more important dealings. Many years ago when I began tying flies, I drew a parallel between the organized way that I lived my life at home as well as in my military or corporate settings, and the need for this same type of organization in my fly tying. Because fly tyers are notorious for having messy benches and most seem to be alright with the idea, in preparing to write this article I was concerned about the best way to convey the organizational steps or techniques without making it sound like something is being done wrong. I finally settled upon the idea of detailing how I have organized my fly tying, which in some cases is probably more involved than most tyers are willing to go. In fact, some of you will decide that I’m a real nut job
with a bad case of O.C.D. Well, I assure you it’s not the case here. I simply find a great deal of comfort in being organized, so I’ll let you decide on what organizational aspects to use from what I will now detail. Fly tying, as we know can easily involve literally hundreds of different types of materials that vary greatly in type, size, and color. All of these materials must be organized in a way so that they can be located quickly and stored in a way so that their quality is maintained. We are all quite aware that materials can be expensive and in some cases, very hard to come by. The last thing we would want is for material that we paid a premium price for, or waited weeks or months to obtain, to become unusable. The only question regarding your organization is how far you need to or want to take it. I suppose the answer would in part reflect your personality, but also how many materials you have to organize, as well as how hard you are willing to work to maintain it, once established. To start, you must find a place in your home or apartment to setup. Wherever you choose, it’s preferable to have a window nearby to afford natural light so that materials colors can be shown accurately. Please remember that UV (sun)light can, over time, fade the dyes used on certain materials, so keeping them out of direct sunlight may be needed. Additionally, one important aspect you need to keep in mind when selecting your area is safety, especially if you have small children or pets. The last thing you want is to have one of them get into your supply of hooks. Use common sense as to where you store them, and invest in the best hook storage
...some of you will decide that I’m a real nut job with a bad case of O.C.D. Well, I assure you it’s not the case here. I simply find a great deal of comfort in being organized.
boxes that your budget will allow. Spirit River makes some excellent hook boxes that are sold in single or double row configurations, and have three individual catches on each box/side and the lids stay very secure. I have also recently seen some bead storage boxes at my local craft store that would be excellent for hook storage. These boxes allow you to open each compartment individually by depressing a master catch at the end of the box, on each side. These are also sold in a single or double row setup, as well as different sized compartments. They are sold under the name Craft Mates – Lockables. How ever you decide to store your hooks, please keep safety in mind. I have a very large number of hooks and organize them by their use, meaning: dry fly, emergers, etc. and organize the hooks by size from smallest to largest within each box. I have a label maker and use a clear tape with black letters that stand out and are easy to read, and label the lid over each compartment with the manufacturer, model, and size. This is especially useful when you need to store more than one manufacturer or model number in a particular box. I also place a label on the front face of each storage box as to the specific hook use, as previously detailed. Finally, all hook boxes are stacked by fly use type use within the water column. Dry flies are on top and progress down through emergers/cripples, streamer, nymph, and finally any special use hooks on the bottom. In organizing my materials, I have used the same basic organizational logic as I used for the hooks, but with the added dimension of colors. Each material is assigned a use category such as dry fly hackle, hen/soft hackle, foam, tailing, legs, bodies, and so on. Each material is placed in it’s own drawer provided there is enough of it to fill at least 50% of the drawer space. If not, I’ll store it with another similar material of the same use category. I then break down each material by color, sorting them from darkest (in front/on top) to the lightest (in rear/on bottom). This allows me to quickly locate the color I’m looking for. After a while, you will know with fairly good accuracy, where the color is in the row or stack, thus saving on search time. Please note that I have not discussed peg-board. This material works well installed on the walls of unfinished spaces or when cabinetry is not feasible as is the case with my friend Rich Strolis, who is in my opinion the best contemporary streamer tyer on the planet, who has so many materials, peg-board is really the best option. 34
I am also a big believer in storage furniture (as the websites and catalogs typically classify these items) such as carousels, desk top Lazy Susans, bobbin holder hangers, spool storage caddies, and even the occasional plastic “Plano’ish” type storage box. If I intend to purchase more than one, or already have a particular piece and need another, I always purchase the exact same one, which allows me to set it up in the same way as the ones I already have. The spooled and carded materials are typically stored in these furniture pieces, and again, the same logic is used; use category, type, color arrangement, etc. “A place for everything and everything in its place” I like to say…each desktop cabinet or freestanding cabinet is placed and it never moves from its general area. Because we all keep adding to our inventory (we all are prone to the systemic “IGOTTAHAVEIT” disease), things need to be moved around and space planning revised from time to time, but generally, they aren’t moved very far. On the topic of “working tools,” the ones we use regularly, come up with what works best for you, but consider having them close and readily available. I have incorporated three of the Petit Jean tool rack organizers that clamp onto the vise stem. I keep two on the left side for everything but scissors. I’m referring to whip finishers, thread splitters, hackle pliers, bead tweezers, bodkins, bobbin threaders, dubbing whirls, and an empty bobbin holder or two. On my right side, and clamped to the stem of my dubbing brush maker, directly behind my vise is the rack that holds several pairs of scissors. I’m a right-handed tyer and having them on the right, only makes sense. My feeling on vise accessories is that they should be installed on your vise stem permanently. I’ve seen a number of fellow tyers waste time breaking out the gallows tool when they were preparing to tie parachute patterns. Mine stays on my vise so it’s there if I need it. Now, let’s discuss lighting. Don’t go cheap on this particular aspect. Purchase a quality light, made specifically for fly tying. I recommend any setup that uses a halogen blub. These bulbs burn very bright (your eyes will thank you after several hours in the chair) and are designed to last for literally thousands of hours. Replacement bulbs can be expensive, somewhere in the $20.00 range, but replacing them is a rare occurrence. I prefer a light produced by McKenzie that can be clamped to any standard 3/8” vise shaft and can be purchased as a stand alone unit or as I prefer, in combination with a low profile, rectangular glass magnifier. The light includes a 15”, flexible neck that can be moved in any direction. In addition to your vise, you will also need to provide adequate lighting for your bench’s surface. Anything here will do, but ensure that any area where materials will be placed, there is adequate light. I would like to recommend something similar to the compact desktop units produced by Ott Lighting. 35
These lights use a “true color” bulb that will accurately show the colors of any material. I have been surprised more than once when looking at a material’s color under the Ott lights and then under the vise light. I’m not referring to shade differences; I’m talking about complete color differences. There is also the need for organizing your spooled materials such as threads, tinsels, wire and the like. As outlined before the spool storage caddies work nicely but are somewhat expensive. I have seen a number of tyers use the thread racks commonly used by people who enjoy sewing. The only problem with these is that the posts used to set the spooled materials on are spaced rather widely and limit the amount of spools that can be placed. There are racks sold specifically for use by fly tyers where the posts are much closer together allowing many more spools to be stored. Whether you use a rack or a plastic storage bin is a matter of personal preference. I will recommend however, that you separate similar materials and arrange or store them together for the sake efficiency. I use two different types of racks and have placed all threads on one and on the other wire and floss only. I have arranged the threads starting at the upper most portion of the rack with the GSPs and Kevlar threads and working down the levels of the rack from 3/0, through Danville’s Spider Web, which is the lightest thread available. All other spooled materials such as synthetic body quills, yarns, tinsels, mohair, etc., I have in the spool caddies. As for materials such as beads, dumbbell eyes and the like, ensure that what ever you store them in, the top can be secured tightly. I speak from experience when I say nothing is worse than sorting several thousand beads and deciding which ones are brass and which ones are tungsten. A magnet does help greatly. Finally, I need to say two things, the first is that I want to clarify that my reasons for this high degree of organization is not to aid me in the speed in which I can turn out flies, but rather to provide me with more time to tie and less time searching and the resulting frustration looking for what I need. As previously stated, I personally derive a great deal of comfort from being organized in this way. I also want to say that the reasons I decided on this topic was to illustrate that there may be ways to organize and/or become more efficient with your fly tying that some of you may not have considered. It is in no way intended to compare my way of doing thing with what you are currently doing. Our individual approaches to all things, including fly tying are as wide and varied as we are. It’s my hope that you have gleaned a few bits of information that you find helpful in order to become better organized in your fly tying pursuits. ~Mark KYPE Disclaimer: the references to specific manufacturers and their products are in no way a personal endorsement for the purchase and/or use of said manufacturers and products. These references are intended as illustrative points of reference only. 36
Fishing Blogs Fly Only Zone
Tying Fly Fishing & Tying
Fly Girl Leather The Artistic Pursuit of Annie Margarita by Aileen Lane
have always enjoyed and appreciated the artistic talents of others. Combine artistry with the outdoors and I am captivated. Annie Margarita certainly has my attention. I am in awe. In awe with the craftsmanship and fine details that goes into Bio: Publisher of Kype Magazine Fly Tier & Owner of MKFlies 1/3 of the Trifecta of Fly Fishing Ventures Pro Staff Tier for Deer Creek UK Type of Fishing: Fly Fishing Location: Boise, Idaho Websites: KypeMagazine.com MKFlies.com Flyfishingv.com Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
each piece of leather that is created by the hands of Annie Margarita. Each piece of work is unique and you will not find anything like it anywhere else. And if you love the outdoors as much as I do, you will want one for yourself. I had the pleasure to interview Annie and know more about her and how this all relates to fly fishing. Kype: Annie, please tell us about your journey...how you got into fly fishing and how it all ties in with your art. Annie: I got the serious fly fishing bug while living in Leadville, Colorado. Some of my friends fly fished, but never invited me, but would invite my ex. I got my hackles up and decided I was going to be a succesful fly fisher and went to Orvis for my first fishing class by Cinda Howard. She had just won “Best of the West” and I loved her teaching style. I moved to Tuscon and started hanging around the Dry Creek Fly Shop...attending Saturday casting practice with Whitey John Kiebler and Danny Hooper, trying very hard to make a perfect cast and learn all I could. The boys invited me to a Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing “Lie and Tie” fly tying night. I’m a disabled Veteran, but didn’t realize that PHWFF was for all Veterans and not just for recent Iraq/Afghanistan Vets. I loved it. I dove in and tied every Wednesday and practiced casting every Saturday for about a year. Then, the PHWFF started taking us on trips. I was usually the only female, but I loved going to all the rivers and became even more
fish oriented. PHWFF then gave me a fly rod kit and Robin Marsett taught us all how to build them. Although I didn’t “win” in the national contest, I decided that I wanted my new personal rod to have a nice case. I looked extensively on the internet for cool rod cases. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything I liked, so I decided to use my newly aquired leather skills to build my first rod and reel case. People really liked it! So, I bugged my friends to buy me leather in exchange for their own rod and reel cases. I grew in skills gradually, but really started getting popular when I decided to use my painting talents to decorate the cases. I loved working with leather, and decided it was my new career to make fly fishing gear. I contacted Gary Siemer at VintageFlyTackle.com and we entered into an exclusive deal...he would sell my fly fishing cases online in addition to my own websites.
I then continued my quest, leaving Tuscon in a fifth wheel RV, on a quest for streams and a new life. Small steps included a journey with German friends through the wilds of Arizona, then going to my hometown of Ojai, California to visit family. I didn’t enjoy being there like I thought, so I journeyed north to Santa Ynez and Lake Cachuma...I was going fishing. But the lake was getting low and it wasn’t easy to get near it to fish due to mud, but the rangers offered me a position working the boat launch in exchange for rent. I decided to stay. I was in beautiful territory, overlooking a lake...and I could work on my artwork and leather in the duty hut at the launch. I made tons of stuff and it was really working out. But the call of the river was stronger. My fuel injectors quit on me right before summer, so I decided to stay three more months to make sure my rig was ready and then head North! There was a leather convention in Pendleton, Oregon. I wanted to take a class from Gordon Andrus about fishing, so that was my goal. I made my way to the Yuba River and fished with Tom Page, owner of Reel Anglers Fly
Shop in Grass Valley, California. I stopped in Bend, Oregon on the way and met up with the local PHWFF group...all men again, of course! But they were wonderful and took me to the Crooked and Clear Creek. I then meandered North to Pendleton finally. I met local Mike Wallis at Redd’s Western Wear and he introduced me to famous saddle maker Monte Beckman. I worked a bench in his shop, making more and more rod and reel cases, cigar cases, handbags, etc. Two months have gone by. Monte has since closed his old saddle shop and it became available. That’s when I decided that Pendleton would be the new home of Fly Girl Leather and Annie Margarita Studios! My new shop is at 141 S. Main Street, Pendleton, Oregon 97801. I am concentrating on leather accessories, fine art, beading, as well as having local artist shows. I’m excited that fly fishing has taken me in a great new direction. And by the way, there is more fishing around here than I’ve ever been around. Salmon and steelhead fishing is only a block from the store! The Snake, Deschutes, John Day, and Columbia are all within reach. Please stop and visit on your way to the river. Big hugs! ~ Annie ttp://www.flygirlleather.com/
The Usual More Ramblings
by MARTY HEIL
’ll start this with a short (ish) fish story……
I’ve been tying and fishing since the late 70’s. Blessed to travel and fish all over but my heart lies with the small wild fish of the southern Appalachians. I fish waters big and small every chance I get from coast to coast and across oceans, but my soul sings best in those small wild waters I grew up on. I fish mostly for the Salmonids but hit warm water now and then as well. Specks (Brookies) are my true love. I’m a bamboo and dry fly guy mostly but my purist rants are made with my tongue firmly in cheek. I make my home near Nashville, Tennessee (no I don’t sing or play guitar). Marty.email@example.com
In a riffle on the local tail water, I was thoroughly enjoying a fairly solitary fall morning recently. Small pale mayflies were popping off sporadically but regularly enough to get the fish looking up. They were Tricos or BWOs and about size #20 to #22. (Latin name: Holicuscrappus Tinycuss). I was doing pretty well and had been blessed with a brace of truly big fish that necessitated a stop for pictures. A youngish fellow (a broader category to me than it once was) was sidling downstream unnoticed until he asked what fly I was using. Without looking up I replied, “The Usual” as I lifted to another rise. A few minutes later the young guy was much closer and asked, “What fly did you say?” I looked upstream this time, smiled at him, and said “The Usual.” I was about to reach into my vest for my fly box to share one, when the young guy glared at me and loudly said, “A$$HOLE!!!” He then turned his back to me and stormed off upstream. In fairness, I’ve given my share of nonsensical or smartass answers to pushy or rude anglers in the past, and karma would dictate I deserve the moniker. However, in this instance I was speaking truthfully and fully intended to help. “The Usual” is one of my favorite flies and seemingly forgotten by far too many today. If you’ve been fly fishing and tying for more than about 15 minutes you should know Fran Betters of “Ausable Wulff” and “Haystack” fame. The Comparadun is simply a neater haystack renamed and is further proof of Marty’s rule of fishing # 29: “Your ‘new’ fly you invented isn’t. If you do some research you’ll find that you’ve re-discovered something already done in the 300+ year modern history of our sport. There are exceptions to this but they are rarer than honest politicians.” I should point out that Al Caucci and Bob Nastasi showed their class and knowledge of the sport by crediting Fran in their book “Hatches” (a great book your fishing education is incomplete without). In September of 2009, we lost Fran but both his writings and flies live on. The Usual is a close relative of his Haystack series from the 40’s and 50’s. I believe all of Fran’s books are now out of print, but a perusal of used bookstores and online auctions is likely to yield results. Prepare yourself! This pattern (recipes are for cupcakes not flies) is long, complicated, and calls for many exotic materials…and will take you at least
45-90 seconds to tie. The italic comments are my additions to Fran’s original pattern: “The Usual” Hook: 94840 or 94842 Mustad (sizes 14, 16, 18, 20, or 22) Use any dry fly hook you like, and try some on scud hooks as well. Thread: Size 6/0 grey prewaxed. You also see many originals tied with orange thread. Olive or chartreuse gives the fly a greenish cast perfect for BWOs. Play with various thread colors, they really show through when this fly is wet. Tail: Small bunch of hair from rabbit's pad. Wing: Larger bunch of hair from rabbit's pad. I turn this into my favorite spinner by simply cross wrapping the wing and making it lay spent. I find the snowshoe floats far better than poly. Rust dyed snowshoe makes a perfect body that floats very nicely through many fish and an evening spinner fall. Body: Under fur from rabbit's foot dubbed on thread. Use a blend of the grey next to skin and light tan which has very fine guard hairs mixed in to make it float better. You can use dyed feet as well as thread to match anything your local waters throw at you. I find that dyed only floats marignally less than natural. Yep, that’s right. You only need a hook, thread, wax, and a snowshoe rabbit’s foot…that’s it. The pictures are of a size 12 for clarity but I don’t fish this fly larger than #16. I carry it in sizes 16-26 by the dozen. 1. Lay a single layer of thread on the shank. Tie in the wings and tail —primarily guard hairs from the pad. Wings can be separated and x wrapped down for a spinner (my favorite spinner) but, the original upright single splayed tuft is what Fran tied and the fish LOVE IT. 2. Dub a nice tapered body of the under fur. The fur is a tad curly and can be unruly. I find wax helps with this but it’s optional. Now here is the secret. The Snowshoe hare lives in…SNOW. I suspect that boots are problematic for rabbits to put on without thumbs so nature kindly waterproofed their feet. With no silicone floatant to gum up the natural sheen and translucence of the fibers this is about the most effective small pale mayfly pattern you can tie. I’m by no means anti CDC. It’s neat stuff and I’ve been using it since we just called it “preen gland feathers” 30 years ago. I find for a great many of the small flies snowshoe hare is cheaper, floats better, and makes a more durable fly. The next time those little pale mayflies are hatching and y o u ’ r e t h e o n l y o n e t h a t ’s r e a l l y c a t c h i n g f i s h … . B e k i n d . And tell them the truth when they ask. Just don’t be surp r i s e d i f y o u g e t a H A R R U M P H w h e n y o u s a y, “ T h e U s u a l ” Tight Lines -m KYPE 43
Ken Baldwin Season on the Edge - Alaska www.facebook.com/SeasonOnTheEdge
Browns and Bent Rods
Unforgetable Day on the River by Tim Baldwin
ark and I met in Boise at 5:00 a.m. to get an early start on the river before the temperature hit 100 degrees. As we drove in, we could see that the fish were already feeding on the surface—a great sign. Born and raised in Idaho. Been fly fishing for 41 years. Favorite fly water was the North Fork of the Clearwater for West slope Cutthroat trout. Wife, Marie and I moved to Boise in 1990 started our careers and raising a family. Local waters for me are the South Fork of the Boise, the Middle Fork of the Boise, and the Owyhee. I started fly fishing for steelhead around ten years ago. From the first trip, I was "hooked". I love hunting and fishing in Idaho. One of my greatest thrills is the strength and fight of a steelhead on a fly rod. I work for Fairway Independent Mortgage as a Loan Officer. firstname.lastname@example.org
We started at a run that has served us well in the past. With a little investigation and trial and error, we found the right recipe. Early on, it was midges and spinners (spent mayflies), but a size 20 was typically too big. It was more like 22-inch fish with a size 22 midge snug in their upper lips! We had an incredible morning with over a dozen big browns landed, but it was time to drink something cold and hit another spot. We drove upstream and looked for a section where we could start throwing hoppers in the heat. We found one, and it did not disappoint. I was down below the road on the river and landed a fish or two. Mark, still up above, spotted and directed me to a very large fish he could see feeding— a nice 23-inch brown moving side to side across feeding lanes. I tied on a standard hopper fly and gave it a try. No luck. I changed flies multiple times and worked for that single fish for over 15 minutes. After being refused on several patterns, I eventually caught him on a juicy-looking hopper fly. This fish is shown in the picture where I'm holding him just above the water. He’s one of the bigger fish I have ever landed on this river. I was happy. Mark came down to join me and right away caught a 20-inch brown of his own on a hopper fly he had tied. We fished out the hole and moved upstream. And then something truly amazing happened. I was working upstream on a fast side channel and saw a very long and dark fish moving above me in a fast riffle. I could see he was feeding subsurface. I thought to myself, “That fish is a monster, and I hope he’s hungry for a hopper!” The fish must have moved to the darker colored water as I lost sight of him. First cast drifted down through his area, no luck. Second cast a little over to the left. He came up and chased it down stream...my heart was in my throat, waiting for it. Then an enormous head with long teeth—teeth I could see from 30 feet away—came up and devoured the fly. When he took the fly below the surface, I set the hook, and he took off, screaming line through the guides. The fish looked at least 2 feet long and was using the current to his advantage, pulling extremely hard and running downstream. I quickly real-
ized it was one of those tug-o-wars you need to do right away to keep the fish from the fast water below or lose the fish. I had my RL Winston doubled over and was yelling STOOOOOPP! He was facing downstream in the current, but I had his head tipped slightly towards me, and I had him stopped (for now). My 9-foot 7WT Winston looked like a Lee Wulff 7-foot bamboo rod, completely doubled over. I was expecting the fly to come loose, the line to break, or the rod to snap at any second. I actually glanced at the rod a couple times thinking, “ Hold it together, baby!” Finally, I turned him back to me. I steered him away from the fast water, and I thought I was close to landing him. He made another run to the fast water…same thing. NOOOO! I really thought this time he’d make it to the rushing current and force his escape, but I held steady and waited for him to give in to the pressure or break loose. My forearm ached, and my right palm felt like it was going to cramp up, but I kept holding. The tug-o-war eventually went in my favor again as I turned him towards the bank. I put the rod low to the water in front of me and forcibly reeled and steered him into shallow water with the rod still doubled over like I was fighting a steelhead. How is this tippet not breaking?! Finally, I moved him away from the fast current and the fight was on. A few more runs from him, a long reach and scoop, and he was in the net. Breathing like I had just ran a hundred yards straight up the hot mountain beside me; I waded over near the bank, took a knee in shallow water, and stared in amazement at this beautiful and powerful fish. I shouted across to Mark that this fish was a giant. I wanted a picture. Mark was across the river and said he couldn't wade the fast current. He was probably right. I grabbed my tape measure, started at the tail, and kept pulling out more tape. Just over 25 inches long. I was thrilled. I snapped some photos (the pics are of him lying beside my fly rod) and held him in the cold water until he was ready for release. I then held him by the tail and watched him swim away. As you can see in the picture, when I released him he bent behind the dorsal fin for at least 12 inches. I sat for a few minutes to ponder and reflect on the moment. I had just landed the biggest and strongest fish I've ever caught on this river and the biggest brown trout of my life. To end the day, we drove upstream and tried one more spot. In 100degree heat, the fish were taking midges in abundance. I landed at least a dozen nice fish, all on tiny dry flies, and we left with fish still surfacing. It was hard to walk away but considering I had just experienced the best day on this river I'd ever had and THE biggest fish I’d ever caught, I walked away smiling inside and out! Quite a river; quite a day! KYPE
Then an enormous head with long teeth—teeth I could see from 30 feet away—came up and devoured the fly.
South Carolina Redfish photos and video by Doug Roland of LowcountryJournal.com Click to Play!
One Steady Foot Goat Head at a Time Sole Spikes
by Aileen Lane
A Bio: Publisher of Kype Magazine Fly Tier & Owner of MKFlies 1/3 of the Trifecta of Fly Fishing Ventures Pro Staff Tier for Deer Creek UK Type of Fishing: Fly Fishing Location: Boise, Idaho Websites: KypeMagazine.com MKFlies.com Flyfishingv.com Contact Info: email@example.com
s fly fishers, I am sure we can all agree that one of the reasons we love fishing so much is that we get to enjoy the wonderful scenery. My home waters consist of rocky banks, steep foothills, and moss covered rocks. On top of that, I am one of the most clumsiest people I know. It is not uncommon to see me fall even before getting to the river. History of Goat Head Sole Spikes: I have heard so many positive feedback on Goat Head Sole Spikes that I thought it would be interesting to find out more about one of itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s founders, Matthew Brown and his business philosophy: I have been fishing all my life, but I started fly fishing at the age of 13, in 1984. I instantly fell in love with the sport even though I had no idea what I was doing or how to catch fish. It was about 3 years later when I really figured it all out and I just love the sport. I worked for one season on Utah's Green River as a guide shuttle driver and two seasons as a guide in the early 90's. I have to admit that the shuttle driving was more fun as I got to fish all day, every day. I really grew a lot as an angler in those years. My business philosophy is pretty simple: make top quality products that don't cost a fortune. Having been a fly fisherman for nearly 30 years, I can tell you I have gotten by without the top of the line gear and know what it is like to try and get the most out of my limited budget. I can't tell you the number of times I have felt gouged by some piece of gear I regretted buying for more money than it was worth. Our Sole Spikes have been carefully engineered and we have field tested them in so many conditions including river wading, trail and winter running, ocean jetty fishing, hunting, hiking, and on and on, and they have withstood to some real poundings. At a recent trade show, we were given the feedback from a distributor that we were not charging enough for our Sole Spikes compared to other
traction cleat manufacturers. My response is simple: no one wants to spend ($2 or more) per screw and they want something that works. Each pack of Sole Spikes contains 30 hardened, stainless steel spikes and a magnetized setter bit for easy installation and we do it for - on average - 30% less than the other guys who only sell 20 screws which in many cases are not much more than repackaged sheet metal screws. We make a product that people like, trust, and will buy again and again. Some of our earliest direct customers have come back to buy more Sole Spikes for their kids, friends, or for their hiking or running shoes. That doesn't happen if they didn't feel like they got value out of their first purchase. It is really gratifying to feel like we are helping people enjoy their outdoor experiences even just a little bit more. We are really thrilled to have recently aligned with a distributor for NZ and Australia and hope that our Sole Spikes start showing up in your local shops. That said we have already had several customers from both countries buy from us directly, so we know they are getting used successfully in your river conditions. ~ Matthew Brown When my Goat Head Sole Spikes arrived in the mail, I could not wait to give these a try.
My business philosophy is pretty simple: make top quality products that don't cost a fortune. ~Matthew Brown
The Specs: Goat Head Sole Spike screws are very “spiky” in design, thus named after those dreaded goat head thorns that give my bike a flat tire. It has a four-way split head design that mimics the hoof shape of the South African Klipspringer — it’s name translates to “rock jumper.” Each container of Goat Head Sole Spike comes with 30 stainless steel screws and a Sole Driver for the Combo Pack. They are available in both ½” or ⅜” size screws. The Application: The Sole Driver is compact enough to throw into your pack when needed. It is also big enough to use comfortably to install the screws. I found it very easy to install the sole spikes as wells as make adjustments as needed. And, the container is durable and reusable. The Test: After applying a nifty pattern on the soles of my wading boots, I eagerly set off to test these sole spikes. I was very pleased with how well Goat Head Sole Spikes provided traction needed to allow me to get to the river safe and sound. Of course, tripping over branches and rocks is a whole different problem that no amount of traction can save me from. Once in the waters, I
was able to walk around more steady around mossy rocks. After a few months of fishing, the Sole Spikes remained secure on my boots. Final Thoughts: Overall, I was very pleased with Goat Head Sole Spikes. It is very easy to apply, comes in a functional case, and most importantâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; it works! Combo Pack retails for $23.95 and Sole Spikes only for $19.95 www.solespikes.com KYPE
Photography of Len Harris
â&#x20AC;&#x153;I quit guiding because I could not stand watching others fishing. It was like going to a gold mine without a shovel.â&#x20AC;? ~ Len Harris lenharris.blogspot.com/
by Kaitlin Barnhart
W Kaitlin grew up in Sandpoint, Idaho, and currently resides in Southern Idaho with her husband and three lovely children. She has a degree in Psychology from Pacific Lutheran University. She is a writer for Idaho Life Magazines and a stay at home (but not home very often) mom. In her free time, Kaitlin enjoys taking her kids to explore the outdoors, writing, and fly fishing with her husband and friends. Check out her fly fishing adventures at her blog, www.mammaflybox.wordpress.com .
hen you assist a new angler in catching their first fish on a fly rod, you can’t help but smile and maybe pat yourself on the back a few times. But when your own child catches their first fish on a fly rod, it can only compare to the first time your baby walked, or said, “Dada,” or was born... You sort of cry, take a million pictures, and then over-exaggerate how amazing it was—with hope that you are indeed raising a fly fishing addict to follow in your footsteps. It’s all for selfish reasons if you are honest with yourself: the dream has always been that you have at least one kid on your fly fishing side, so you can sway the ‘weekend plans vote’ for heading to the river versus going to the mall or to the inlaw’s house. But this selfish moment is not something to be taken lightly; it has been a work in progress since you first set eyes on your offspring. You made it through the infant stages, sacrificing your normal weekend fishing trips to stay at home and let your wife sleep. Or if you are a mom, you would go to the river with hopes to cast just one time and instead, end up on a rock, nursing the entire day. You’ve changed diapers on the hood of your car and had fishing days where an accidental “blow out” forced an early close to the day (not the spring runoff kind of blowout either). If you have hauled your toddler around in a back pack on the river, or played a movie in the car that is parked right next to where you are casting, you deserve this moment of pure joy. It’s time that you realize that all of the hard work and misadventures it took to fill your child’s lungs with the outdoor air has paid off…they caught their first fish on a fly rod. This moment for me couldn’t have happened at a better time. My kids were 2, 5, and 7 years old, so carrying them in
a back pack (or kid restraints I call them) on the river was no longer an option. Throughout the summer I would drive for hours, seeking the ideal river spot that met all of our needs: sand for the boys to play trucks in, place for my daughter to swim, and a trouty stretch of stream for mama. It worked for most of the summer — the kids thought it was all about them having fun and I would be able to feel the tug on the end of my line. But towards the end of the heat-filled days, my kids caught wind of my manipulative plan and decided they didn’t want to go to the river anymore. They wanted to swim at the most disgusting place on earth, the public pool. This fall, my five year old son told me that I could go fishing “only two more times” and it was only with a friend and not them. Heartstrings were pulled as I realized that I was failing on the tedious balance of wanting my kids to love fishing but not wanting to burn them out on it. So we stopped going fishing and I would sneak off on the weekends here and there to fish, claiming I had a meeting of sorts in order not to use up my “2 more allotted fishing times” by my son. The snow had melted one weekend in December and I couldn’t stop thinking about a river that I fish in Oregon. The reports on the status of the river were mixed, as some were saying the water shut off from the dam, (I love it when professional people say damn instead of dam by the way), was causing serious stress on the fish; others were saying it was at normal winter levels and OK to fish. I had to know the answer, and my eyes were itching to see some fish, so we decided to make a family day of it. I worded it to my husband like (high voice): “Won’t it be fun to go build a fire and go for a hike together?” He knows me better than that now and went along with my great idea, knowing full well he would more than likely end up holding it all together while I flung a line around. Good man right there. I snuck my fly fishing gear in the back of the car once my kids were all settled, hoping to spring it on them at the right moment. We got to a campsite and my husband started to build a fire while I bee-lined it to the river to check it’s condition, like it was a sick relative that may need a med flight. I snuck up quietly and stared at the water that was so low in places, I couldn’t believe my eyes. My heart sunk, and I felt mournful, as there were eggs from the spawn scattered along the shore that should have been submerged. A tail splashed and a huge Brown Trout jumped out of the water. There were tail swirls all around upstream where I could tell the water was much deeper.
Throughout the summer I would drive for hours, seeking the ideal river spot that met all of our needs: sand for the boys to play trucks in, place for my daughter to swim, and a trouty stretch of stream for mama.
I ran to get my little family so my kids could see the fish up close (and hoping it would change their minds about how cool fish were). They all followed me like a family of ducks as we walked in quietly and perched next to the river downstream. Seconds later, we looked upstream to see the ‘brown trout show’ going on in the pool above us. My son, the bossy one, said, “I see them! Mom, they are huge! I want to catch one.” Dang it, I didn’t have the video recorder on when he said that, but I still heard it! Then I looked at the river below and did not feel I could ethically fish this area with the fish all stacked in there. But my son said he WANTED TO FISH! So I did what every fish addict mom would do: grabbed my gear and took my son for a walk to find the best stretch of river that had plenty of water and room for the fish to hide. If the fish had room to spread out, and still decided to go for the fake food I was going to offer it, then they deserved to be caught today. I tied on an egg pattern with a bead head nymph as a dropper to weight it down. I didn’t put on an indicator because I knew my son would tangle it with the first cast. I showed him on the side how to hold the rod, how to mend the line, and when to set the hook. He cast out and it landed about one foot from where we were standing. I got behind him and worked the rod and line with him to show how to get more line out. I stood up and watched as he maneuvered the line and rod all on his own. He floated it about three times and I knew I only had a couple more casts before he decided he was bored and this magical moment would be lost. “Here, fishy, fishy,” I blurted out. Suddenly, the line in the water jolted and I yelled, “Set the hook, son.” He lifted the line up like a spinner rod, but held tight to the line, and before we knew it the fish was on the reel. I was worried the trout would pull him in so I kept telling him to hold tight and asking him if he needed me to hold onto him. He kept saying, “I got it, Mom.” while hosting an ecstatic grin. (I wanted to get a picture of him with the rod bent, but I kept thinking if the fish pulled him in while I was trying to take a picture for my Instagram it would jinx me for life #missedmoments #kidsafety).
I would tell him when it was time to reel in or let the line go. The fish put up a great fight. He pulled it in and I grabbed the line to bring it over. What a beautiful brown trout caught by MY SON! I unhooked the hook (egg pattern) from the monster brown, and held it back in the water. “Are you ready to hold it?” I asked, expecting him to say no as he always does. But this time, he said, “Yes.” I propped it in his hands, took some pictures and then instructed him on how to let it go. He held on to the tail and for the first time ever he was able to watch a fin dive back into the water, while feeling that tug of excitement and wonder. We jumped around, high fived, and cheered about how cool that was. The tug is the drug indeed. I let him catch a couple more fish and then brought his sister over for a turn. She did the exact same thing, landed a Brown all by herself and said, “Mom, now I want to be a fisher girl just like you.” My two year old wanted to hold a fish next, but shortly after he did a butt plant in the water (adventure moms always bring three extra sets of clothes). We fished for about an hour total and then decided to let the fish be. I paused while leaving, wished the fish well, and said a quick prayer that the snow would pack into the mountains, worried that this low-water situation would only get worse with time. I won’t be going back to this river until the water level is fully restored, even though it gave me one of my favorite moments with my children. Being a fly fishing parent takes some real awkward balancing…but some days, our wildest expectations are gleefully met. Cheers to those who teach others about fly fishing and conservation. And especially to those who make time to teach kids about loving trout. Taking your kids to the river is not always easy, but always worth it (eventually)! KYPE
Dancing by Michael Bantam
The Steelhead Three Step
E Michael and his wife, Patti own and operate DreamCastIdaho.com, a fly fishing and casting school, and DreamCastAdventures.co m located in Boise, Idaho. Michael is a 25-year fly fishing veteran, with 15 years of teaching experience. He fished much of the western states for trout, steelhead, and his beloved bonefish, permit and other saltwater species in Mexico, Belize and Hawaii. Michael is a certified International Federation of Fly Fishers casting instructor, and current President for the IFFF Rocky Mountain Council, covering five western states.
veryone who has felt the tug of a steelhead on a Spey swing knows how life changes for them. Some anglers leave house, dog, and home for this drug called The Tug. I kept the dog and my house – but my wife, Patti knows the lure of the the tug, and I very much look forward to her company on our steelhead trips. Steelheading is unlike trout fishing in a number respects, not the least of which is that the tactics are different. A steelhead presentation can be best described as a tight-line swing, quartering downstream. You don’t see the fish as much as you search for them. I was taught a way to fish that seems to be overlooked by some of the newer steelheaders I see on the rivers. Find the run you want to fish. If you are like me, you will be there at 4:30 a.m. waiting for the sun to come up for 2.5 hours just so you can be the first one there. At first light, stand at the head of the run and drop your fly in the water. The first cast is really a flip of the rod, getting the leader out one rod-length, then swinging it to the dangle. Next, pull two feet of line off the reel and make another flip cast quartering downstream. Pull two more feet of line, swing, two more feet of line, swing — keep doing this until you have to make your first lift, set, circle-up and forward stroke. Let the fly swing to the dangle and continue this until you have reached your maximum casting distance. Now this part is important: Take three steps downstream and make another cast to your maximum distance —swing to dangle, then take three steps downstream. Repeat the casting, then take three steps down; do it again, swing to dangle, then three steps down. This is what I have deemed “Dancing the Steelhead Three-Step.” Just about then, you start to daydream or you remember how glad you are that you took that casting class. All of a sudden the line jerks with a jolt of power, the rod tugs, the reel starts screaming the steelhead song, which always goes with the dance. Fish on, yes. Fish landed, maybe, maybe not. After trout fishing all summer my natural hook set is a lift. But a lift set with a steelhead can mean a miss. . .and I’ve lost more fish that I can count due to summer muscle memory. The term, lift-‘em-loose’em, sweep-‘em-keep ‘em comes to mind. It is a hard habit to break. Setting the hook on a steelhead means sweeping the rod tip low and toward the bank. That’s the sweep-‘em-keep-‘em part of the mnemonic.
Depending on who wins the battle — man or fish, congratulations are in order. Now comes the hard part. You were the first one through the run. You have just landed your fish, now you need to reel up and go to the rear of the line. This is part of “Dancing the Steelhead Three-Step.” The point of this story is, if two or more of you are swinging through the run, or if someone else wants to fish with you, it used to be that this scenario was common river etiquette. Everyone gets a chance at a fish that wants to play with your fly and everyone moves through the run. This is the process Patti and I enjoy on every trip and the one we choose to share with you, our friends. “Don’t let fly fishing be just a dream – Dream It – Do it!' ~Michael KYPE
After trout fishing all summer my natural hook set is a lift. But a lift set with a steelhead can mean a miss. . .
The Bucket by Sasha Barajas
may not be able to recall the length of the rod or even the size of the hook. I can’t even pinpoint the year. What I do recall is the smell of THE BUCKET.
Sasha resides in Boulder, CO where she reviews research studies for the University of Colorado Boulder. In Sasha's free time she enjoys organizing her social running group, volunteering at a local Equine Riding Therapy Center, practicing AcroYoga, and fishing with fellow Tenkara Fly Girls. firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m guessing it was summer. York Street was abuzz with out-of-towners (most likely Mass-holes as they are commonly referred to by Northern New Englanders – who could have guessed in my adult life I’d become one – the horror). My Aunt and Uncle’s Victorian home stood tall and majestic separated from all the commotion by a gently sloping lawn of neatly shorn grass. From the kitchen I watched Uncle Al traveling back and forth from the hazy light strewn barn. It was exciting to see him in a different element than what I was accustomed. You see Uncle Al is a man of spectacular style unlike any other I knew in my childhood. His hair was always just right, he always wore the best cardigans, and a faint scent of patchouli followed him wherever he went. The kitchen was quaint but inviting. The window over the sink looked out into a fenced in backyard where my cousins insisted that the lone tree grew dollar bills (come to think of it, the tree never was “in season”). In this kitchen it seemed that coffee was forever being brewed. A partially filled mug was always on the counter and a sugar-laced spoon was typically resting nearby. With the fishing gear loaded up we began our journey. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My fishing experience up until this time had been quite limited. Not too long before I had endured a deep-sea fishing trip where my Uncle and my Father tried to coax away my seasickness with milk chocolate. I couldn’t begin to imagine what was in store for what would be our quest for the running of the bluefish. When we arrived at the bait shop my Uncle was greeted by name (he must have come here often). Even now when I think of “bait” what comes to mind are night crawlers, worms, maybe even a hot dog. Worms come in cute styrofoam containers, often blanketed by moist dark soil. Eels were not even on my radar. The eels came in a
bucket. The eels werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t still, and of course there is that distinct smell. Even if I had squeezed my eyes shut during the drive with the bucket sloshing between my feet I would have known that they were there. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll forever recall the sensation of the too big raincoat with the sleeves rolled up, my Uncle Al standing encouragingly by my side, the haunting power of the sea as it crashed against the rocky Maine Coast, the steady drizzle of rain, how my boots sank just a little deeper into the sand with each passing wave and, of course, the bucket of eels. I may be thousands of miles from the salty shores of Maine however I have a renewed connection with my Uncle Al and my roots each time I cast my Tenakara rod into the cool Colorado rivers and streams. KYPE
With the fishing gear loaded up we began our journey. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My fishing experience up until this time had been quite limited.
Keeping America Beautiful
by Aileen Lane
W Bio: Publisher of Kype Magazine Fly Tier & Owner of MKFlies 1/3 of the Trifecta of Fly Fishing Ventures Pro Staff Tier for Deer Creek UK Type of Fishing: Fly Fishing Location: Boise, Idaho Websites: KypeMagazine.com MKFlies.com Flyfishingv.com Contact Info: email@example.com
hether you cast your line in pursuit of that elusive trout, pitch a tent for your campsite, or go hunting for deer...do you ever stop to think how this was all made possible? Driving through national parks to take in the beautiful scenery, having access to fish and game, and preserving natural resources are all made possible by the Land and Water Conservation Fund. As an avid fly fisher, I admit that I was not fully aware of this program until I was introduced to it by Trout Unlimited. We met at Hansen’s Guest Ranch, located in the heart of Swan Valley, Idaho and within a few minutes from the South Fork of the Snake River. We learned about the many programs made possible through the LWCF which partners with the Bureau of Land Management. For example, some of these programs work with private landowners to help protect and conserve their land by restricting commercial use and the development of subdivisions — all done through a volunteer agreement. Other work include migratory access, restoring habitat, and modifying irrigation channels to redirect trout away from fields to name a few. We had the opportunity to learn and experience the work that went toward the South Fork of the Snake River. As we traveled along in drift boats taking in the beautiful scenery, each time the rod bent we wondered what kind of fish was at the end of the line. We were blessed to be able to see first hand the beautiful Yellowstone Cutthroat trout, as well as browns and rainbows. And of course, any fishing trip would not be complete without a few dozen whitefish. The Land and Water Conservation Fund was made into law on September 3, 1964. This important legislation established a means for the conservation and protection of America’s natural landmarks. This is the only federal program dedicated to the continued preservation of America’s historic lands, forests, wildlife refuge as well as providing state and local parks for us to use. The LWCF is funded through a small portion of revenue from offshore oil and gas royalty payments— not through tax payers money. It provides over 9 million
Sarah Grigg with a Yellowstone Cutthroat on the South Fork of the Snake River
jobs and contributes trillions of dollars annually to the U.S. economy. Great. So, why am I talking about this 50 year old program? It has an expiration date. 2015 is the last year of it’s authorization. We need to ensure that the LWCF is reauthorized before it expires. Critical recreation projects, parks, trails, and wildlife are counting on adequate funding by the LWCF right now. Funding for the LWCF has been a challenge throughout it’s 50 year history. When the LWCF was first created, Congress was to dedicate an annual funding of $900 million. Unfortunately, this amount was only reached once in it’s 50 year history. Funding has only been about ⅓ of it’s goal. If we want to continue to have access to all the beautiful places we visit as well as ensure the preservation of wildlife, we need reauthorization of this fund. What can we do? Please urge Members of Congress to speak up in support of the reauthorization of LWCF and for robust funding in FY 2015 appropriations legislation. Also, urge your Senator to sign onto S.338 —The LWCF Authorization and Funding Act. S.338 is a bipartisan bill that would provide dedicated funding of $900 million annually to the LWCF as authorized by Congress when it was first established 50 years ago. Also, it is important that we spread the word about the Land and Water Conservation Fund! To learn more about the Land and Water Conservation Fund and how your individual state has benefited, please visit LWCFCoalition.org. This website also provides a sample letter in support for this fund as well as a list of Senators who have already co-sponsored the S.338. KYPE
Carping AZ Project Carp by Ryan Russell
ello there! I’m Ryan Russell, and I have been referred to by some as “Gingersnap.” Some close friends gave me that name during a rough patch on a somewhat rocky drift boat trip called “Life.” Project Carp-Fly Fishing www.facebook.com/Ariz onaCarpProject
Over a year ago, I made the decision to leave my home waters in Idaho to be closer to my children in Phoenix, Arizona. Being raised in Boise, Idaho and then returning there for a 3-4 year stint, I found fly-fishing to be an enormous part of my life. It helped me cope with things that at the time seemed too much to bear, and it led me to a wonderful group of fly fisher men and women who have continually inspired and shaped me into the person I am today. The great thing about Boise was that on any given day, I would always find a friend on the river. While in Boise, I was a member of the Boise Valley Fly Fisherman Club and attended most of the meetings where old veterans and young trout slayers alike filled the ranks. One of the presentations I attended, given by Jeff Currier, talked about tossing flies at White Amur Grass Carp in the canals of Arizona. Having lived in Arizona for over nine years, I knew exactly where every spot was, and I became immediately intrigued. Going into a new environment blind is a tough way to learn about a species of fish, let alone carp. My experiences on the River X, the South Fork of the Boise, Silver Creek, and other premium Idaho trout waters had to somehow transition over to 180 miles of concrete canals, thousands of urban ponds, and murky, muddy rivers all filled with White Amur, common carp and even some Koi. With my Idaho fly knowledge, GoPro, and Redington Tempt 5WT; I set out to discover what Arizona had to offer. What I found were big fish, ridiculous fights, and an insatiable need for more. If the tug of a South Fork bull trout
was my previous choice of drug, then carp has become my methadone, which is why I started my Facebook page called, “Project: Carp.” My mission is to bring awareness to the fly-fishing community that carp are a viable option as a sport fish and should be on every fly fisherman and woman’s bucket list. Phoenix is often a winter destination for many and is a fantastic place for some urban carp action. While carp in other locations are hibernating, ours are still busy sifting through the muck of irrigation ditches, canals, ponds, rivers and lakes. Arizona is an extremely underrated fly-fishing destination. But for those interested, with a little work, you could be in for some great “Fun in the Sun.” There are a few things you should know before you grab your sunscreen, flip flops and head out the door. I will cover some of the basics, so you may want to pack your fly rod the next time you visit the Valley of the Sun. Gear To effectively carp the Phoenix urban scene, all you need is your trusty 5WT and 3-4x fluorocarbon leader and tippet. Carp have a “6th sense” that other fish don’t. It’s almost like you can see them “thinking.” If they spot a glimmer off a piece of tippet or a glance of an exposed hook, you can be sure they will refuse and make a quick getaway. If you move outside of the city, you’ll start running into bigger, wild carp and therefore, must adjust to a heavier rod, sometimes even up to an 8WT. I own a Blue Halo First Generation Heavy glass rod that’s a 6/7WT and have pulled in some nice wild carp out of the Verde River. I should also state that carp on Glass is incredibly addicting. Again, a fluorocarbon leader and tippet is a must. Flies I am often asked which flies I use to trick these picky and reluctant fish. I mostly use a Glo Bug pattern tied with McFly Foam, lead to help it sink at different rates, and a red chenille tail. I use yellow and white foam and sometimes a small strip of red Glo Bug yarn. After securing the materials onto the hook, I cut the McFly Foam so that the hook is hidden. When the fly is wet, the hook cannot be seen and is soft enough to allow the hook to set. The result should look like a piece of bread or corn with a worm hanging off the back. I mainly tie them in sizes 12-14 with egg style hooks. I also tie a few more traditional carp flies that resemble crayfish patterns, leeches, or anything “ugly.” I find that black generates more interest than other colors at times. Again, I do stress that you make an attempt to cover the hook or hide it while tying carp flies. I believe that this simple tactic will increase carp takes and isn’t always added on store bought flies. Presentation Carp are some of the spookiest fish you will ever come across in the natural world. Approach them carefully. When stalking the canals, I often hang back off the edge and poke my head out as I slowly cruise by. I keep my rod tip down, pay attention to my shadow, and look for fish to cast to. Grass carp will often cruise and feed off the top. In this situ-
With my Idaho fly knowledge, GoPro, and Redington Tempt 5WT; I set out to discover what Arizona had to offer.
ation, use a Glo Bug with no weight. The McFly Foam “bread or corn” fly will come in handy. Foam hoppers and leeches also work. When carp are feeding at mid-depth or below, I use a Glo Bug that has been tied with lead wrap to customize the sink rate. Start throwing flies with color in a size 12, and make sure they don’t see the glimmer of a hook. I’ve seen really big grassies hammer a size 14 black leech. This is where my true creativity in fly tying developed. Nobody ties the flies you need for this, but with a little know how, you can easily tie your own. Ponds – There are hundreds of city and neighborhood ponds throughout the state. I’ve been known to poach a golf course or two myself, but that is not recommended unless you have a sweet hookup. (If they were smart they would charge…) Each one has the potential to hold some nice fish. The gems of the Valley are the Koi ponds that I call “Pond X,” and they are somewhere on the west side. It’s not my spot to give away, but these ponds have been written about and documented in scattered places throughout the interweb. People know they are here. It’s pretty fun to get a Koi in your hands, as it will really show you how beautiful carp can be. I found a spot on the east side that has larger Koi in it. Not too sure if anyone knew about it. Either way, it proves that different varieties of carp lay virtually anywhere and in almost any body of water. Lakes and Reservoirs – The Salt River system creates a variety of lakes above Phoenix. The Verde River does the same as well as the
Saguaro, Canyon, Apache, Roosevelt, Bartlett, Lake Pleasant, San Carlos, etc., … the options are endless. My challenge is that I don’t have a boat. A small Jon boat with a trolling motor should be just the right size to explore these carpy places. I know for a fact that carp are there. I nabbed one of the biggest commons I’ve ever caught with my Eagle Claw 3/4WT behind the restaurant at Canyon. I totally disregarded the “no fishing” signs. There were even some people eating lunch cheering me on. Just had to know. They are there and will be explored further in the future. Bigmouth buffalo are also rumored to be present in the Canyon, Apache, and Roosevelt Lakes. And “Bass Blockers” may be of the ten-pound variety. Rivers – The Verde and Salt Rivers are the only rivers I have put any fly work into. The Salt River is a 30-minute drive out of Phoenix, and the Verde is approximately one hour. The Verde is accessible at many different places from Cottonwood to Payson. I have fished it up by Cottonwood and was led to a massive amount of carp by Brian Mowers of Sedona Fly Fishing Adventures. Carp hang out around mid-level in the current and troll around, but we have discovered what fly they will truly take in the Verde. We call it the “Verde River Problem.” Tons of Carp, two fishy dudes, and we can’t figure out how to get them to chase what we’ve got. I feel pretty “carpy” as a person, but I’m stumped! We’ve thrown everything at them… Think you got the fly? Bring your “A” game! I know for a fact that there is a special group of fly fisherman out there who operate like I do in the sense that fly fishing isn’t about glam shots and pushing rods, reels, and flies. It’s about getting away from the mess because it all disappears when you’re tossing a fly at a fish. I was really worried that Arizona wouldn’t have that for me, and after a year I have to admit that the carp scene around these parts trips my trigger in the right way. It’s a blast and helps keep me here and close to my family. Many people come in and out of here for business and winter travel. Pack your 5WT, and spend a few hours slamming some scales. *If you’ve put your foot work in and are still frustrated on finding some spots, give me a shout at Project Carp on Facebook, I’ll point those that are true of heart in the right direction. ~Gingersnap KYPE
Put Some Swing In Your Thing: Stealheading by Roger Hinchcliff
Roger grew up fishing the banks of the Huron River in Ypsilanti, Michigan and has been doing so for over 36 years. He loves to chase steelhead all around the Great Lakes Region. Roger is an active member of MetroWest Steelheaders and serves on the board of directors. In addition he is a member of Trout Unlimited, Michigan Fly Fishing Club, Huron River Fishing Association and the Steelhead Society of British Columbia. He likes to give back to the sport by being a Michigan Salmon ambassador for the state of Michigan and by volunteering on various river clean up and conservation projects. Roger won River Angler of the year in 2013. In addition to being on many prostaffs, he is also a writer, blogger and has an online fishing forum with subscribers from all around the world. His Facebook page Steelhead Manifesto is now receiving over 200,000 visitors each month and has a very loyal following.
he title of this article may suggest a Big Band song. But if you like bent rods and Steelhead then read on. Fly Fishing is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, that’s why the sport can be so addicting. Fall fishing in the Great Lakes region for Steelhead is my most favorite time of the year for swinging flies. The weather isn’t too cold and the fall colors, sights and smells stir the senses of the soul. The fish are HOT this time of the year and are willing to chase the fly down and absolutely crush it. For those of you that have not ever tried catching a Steelhead on the swing you’re missing out.
Equipment The sport of swinging flies in the Great Lakes region has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years. There is no end in sight for its growth right now. Our friends on the West Coast have taught us well. If you’re a beginner I highly recommend you seek out your local fly shop for help on rod and line selection. Every rod is going to take and swing best with certain lines and grain weights. Even the rivers you fish will dictate which rod and reel set up you need. Buying your gear online or from big box stores is not recommended. Most fly shops offer casting lessons too; this can be very helpful in the beginning stages. I personally love switch rods for smaller rivers, but you may find you like a two handed rod better on a larger river. The switch rod here in the
Great Lakes is very popular because it’s so versatile. I love an eleven and a half foot, seven weight rod. It’s the perfect tool to handle a lot of different waters and situations. You could write a whole book on equipment and line choices alone. Do yourself a favor and get started off on the right foot. Support your local fly shop, you will be glad you did. Your local professionals can guide you in choosing the right rod, reel and line. Every rod cast differently and the right line choice and weight set up is crucial to your success in casting. Mail order is not the way to go. Locating Good Water Depending on what river I’m fishing, I look for water that is at least three to six feet deep with the right current speed. The current speed I look for is that of a walk. If you find good water you will find the fish. It’s just that simple. Don’t be afraid to fish parts of the river you have never tried. The river changes every year. Ice dams, logs, rain, run off can equal high water. When this happens things shift and move around the river, thus new holes are carved out. Sometimes a new log causes a new current break creating a resting lye for steelhead as they make their way up river. So sometimes the fish aren’t where they were last year. Hence why you must cover ground to locate fish. Steelhead often will be holding in the transition zones of the river. Where two current speeds meet from fast to slow water. Sometimes the fish are spread out across the river where boulders create a resting place for them in the current. I have found fish in areas that I would not have guessed would hold fish but found them by searching with my fly.
The sport of swinging flies in the Great Lakes region has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years. There is no end in sight for its growth right now.
Fly Presentation Once you locate these pockets, get that fly to swing down and across in front of that fish’s nose on a 45 degree angle downstream. Slow your roll on the swing by mending your line upstream. As it swings, let the fly swing down until it has stopped below you. Hopefully it’s hanging in the G money spot of the run for a downstream grab. When your fly and line reach this point and the fly has stopped - we call this “on the dangle.” This is when strikes can happen. Often times, steelhead will follow the fly and look at it for a few seconds before they crush it or they may pluck at the fly and then take it for a run. Hence why you must let the fish take the fly and load the rod, then set the hook. You’re basically letting the fish hook itself. Most of us immediately set the hook too soon and end up missing the fish. I find this is the hardest habit to break with most anglers. All is not lost and sometimes you can let it dangle there again and get bit. Or you can swing the fly through the run again and get bit again by the same fish. After several casts and you feel you have covered that section of water, take a couple of steps and then cast again. Do this until you have covered all of the water in the run. Once you have a steelhead crush that fly while the rod is in your hands you will be hooked for life. ~Roger KYPE
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