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 7 ISSUE 1, 2016
Kype Magazine Boise, Idaho firstname.lastname@example.org
www.KypeMagazine.com Kype Staff Publisher: Aileen Lane Cover Design: George Douglas Editor: Peggy Bodde Columnist: Marty Heil Columnist: Graham M Moran
Publisher’s Cast: Team Kype (A.Lane).........................................4 Gila Trout Country (R.Russell)....................................................6 Through the Lens of AJ Swentosky (A.Lane)..............................13 Tenkara Wanderings: The Walk (G.Moran)................................16 The Big Hole (S.Stankus)..........................................................18
COPYRIGHT Kype Magazine © 2016 MKFlies LLC All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication m a y b e c o p i e d o r r e p r o d u c e d i n a n y w a y w i t h o u t the written permission from publisher.
Definitely Not Targeting Bull Trout in Idaho (K.Werner).............20 Southern Scribbles: Soft Hackles (M.Heil).................................25 The Hand You’re Dealt (M.Dysinger)..........................................28 Tenkara Fly Fishing 101 (D.Beaulieu)........................................32 Tying Marketplace (M.Patenaude)............................................36 Life Imitates Fishing (L.Blaylock)................................................40 Book Review: 52 Rivers (A.Lane)................................................43 Grand Confidence! (S.Snow).......................................................44
"Angler Garrett Brain releases one of many streamer-eating browns on the Green River in Wyoming". Photo by A.J. Swentosky www.thefrogwater.com
Team Kype by Aileen Lane
Photo by Grant Taylor Bio: Publisher of Kype Magazine
Fly Tyer & Owner of MKFlies Co-owner The Old Guys Flies Pro Staff Tier for Deer Creek UK Type of Fishing: Fly Fishing
015 was a great season for fly fishing. As a gal who started off learning to fish on nymphs, 2015 was the year of the dry fly. The hatch on my favorite river was incredible this year —from PMDs to BWOs. But, nothing came close to the amazing Trico hatch I witnessed this year. The fishing gods were generous. However, the biggest gift I got was the chance to share these moments with such wonderful friends on the river. 2015 was also a great year for Kype Magazine— our family is growing. I would like to introduce to you our amazing, talented and generous team who I am so very grateful to work with. 2016 has already started off nicely! Peggy Bodde, editor Marty Heil, columnist “Southern Scribbles” Graham M Moran, columnist “Tenkara Wanderings” George Douglas, mentor, consultant & cover design
Location: Boise, Idaho Websites: KypeMagazine.com MKFlies.com theoldguysflies.com Contact Info: email@example.com
Photo by Ken Held
Gila Trout Countr y by Ryan Russell
Fly Fishing Guide Arizona Fly Fishing Adventures Insta - @azflyguide Facebook – Project:Carp-Fly Fishing Photo Credits – Myself; Judy Adan and Stephen Gerber, Local Arizona Fly Fishing Expert; Custom Bamboo Rod Builder
f you are reading this article, you probably own or have seen one of those $5 trout posters. That same one you’d see in a Fly Fishing 101 Biology class. Mine is tacked to my wall like a Michael Jordan poster from the ‘90s. Being the trout addicts that we are, we have all imagined tying for, tracking down, casting to, and of course catching and releasing all of them. As you work down your list and check them off, you will eventually have to focus on a couple species that are exclusive to the desert. The mountains of western New Mexico and eastern Arizona are home to one of the rarest species of trout on that magical poster, the Gila trout. According to Arizona Fish and Game, Gila trout originally existed in the San Francisco, Verde, Gila, and Agua Fria River drainages. Anyone who is familiar with the area surely has observed the enormous mines in the region. I immediately began to wonder how the mining in these areas impacted those original native trout populations. Copper mines and copper-bellied trout definitely have a history. By the 1950s, the natural habitat of the Gila trout had been reduced to twenty miles of water within four streams in New Mexico. In 1967, Gila trout were placed on the endangered species list. Within the next few years, the entire population was put into a recovery program. The Mora National Fish Hatchery located in Mora, New Mexico worked extensively with local Native American tribes to restore the Gila trout population by reproducing native Gila trout and keeping brood stock active. Restoration efforts since then have placed them in four streams in Arizona, in the Blue River and Gila River drainages, as well over ten different streams in New Mexico. Because of those efforts, in 2006, the Gila trout was reclassified as “threatened.” Later in 2011, Gila trout were allowed to be caught and released in very specific areas. Before then, Gila trout angling was illegal across the board. Other streams throughout the region are currently being targeted for future repopulation efforts. These restoration efforts have taken decades to develop and fortunately, in 2015 we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to land a few Gila trout and see in person what even the best photo cannot convey. They live in small, tight, super
technical slot-canyon water. It’s a great place for that tiny, small weight rod. The Gilas I have encountered are by far some of the most beautiful trout I have ever held; they are special. Watching the copper flash behind a Gila trout in skinny water is something that every fly purist should witness. The season in Arizona runs from October through March but could change at any given moment depending on usage and the conditions of the sustainable habitat that is in place. Being an amateur “creeker” at best, I messaged a fellow fly fisherman that I had met at a local fly tying event. Stephen Gerber seemed like a cool guy when I met him and very talented. He is a self-taught custom bamboo rod builder and has been fishing creeks throughout Arizona for a long while, easily considered an expert. On short notice he accepted my invitation and we set out at about 5 A.M. from Phoenix to explore what Gila trout country had to offer. On the way up, we headed east on the 60 through Top O’ the World, Arizona, and into Native Apache Country. If you’ve driven through Arizona, you already know that you are often driving through reservation land belonging to various tribes. And we rallied up through the pass, I found out that Stephen is a rock climber, and we discussed some politics regarding the Oak Flat Recreation Area. Then, after a really long and boring drive into nowhere, we made our way up the mountain and to our destination. The road is quite treacherous relative to anything I’m accustomed to. We’ve both traveled all over the state and had to agree that finding water in Arizona is absolutely tougher than anywhere else we had been. Our destination was no different. Pop a tire and you could be in a world of hurt. I had scouted this place a couple times before and had a good understanding of where to go. As we pulled in, the sketchy drive faded into a majestic three-drop waterfall with a large plunge pool beneath. Stephen’s eyes lit up, and we hopped out to take it all in as we geared up. Fortunately, that morning the creek was all ours and ready for the taking. It had only been open for a few days. We made our way down and immediately spotted fish to cast to. Big bugs and a short dropper seemed to be the winning combo, working them through tight brush and finding small pools. We observed that like most other trout in Arizona, Gila trout prefer hidden spots by rocks and cutbanks. Stephen made short work of it and brought in a beautiful teenage Gila that still had its juvenile markings. Within an hour, we had both landed a handful of trout and discussed the natural phenomena we had just witnessed. We agreed that the camera does not do a Gila trout justice. To see and hold these creatures is quite different somehow. The copper flash of a hooked-up Gila is
a sight that all fly fishermen should see in their lifetime. The underbelly radiates with a natural burnt copper coloration as adults lose their juvenile spotting and turn a majestic golden hue. After working the lower section, Stephen and I decided to follow the creek up. As we hiked up, we entered an elevated slot canyon with a ridge that overlooked the section we had just fished below. The terrain was extremely rocky and a challenge to climb. As we climbed, Max searched up ahead to warn us about any cats or rattlers ahead in our path. We made our way up above the ridge, and it dropped down to the brushy creek above the waterfalls. The shrubbery was quite thick, but we managed to hack our way to discovering more pools and eager Gila trout. It was a great opportunity to use bow and arrow casts and other small stream techniques. Creativity in tight spaces is a requirement. We bushwhacked our way around for a while, but the day grew long, and we realized that we needed to start making our way back. It had been a great day with many fish to the net. It was also a great lesson for me to watch Stephen use his small creek techniques and how he applied them. He was clearly a knowledgeable small stream angler who wasnâ€™t afraid to go into tight places and explore. A week later, Judy and I made our way back so she could experience the sights and the fun fishing adventure for herself. She had a blast and it was great to see her use her knowledge and get into some Gilas. She also helped me get some video footage that we used to make a short film on the area. I still have much to learn about Arizona, and Gila trout country is just one small sliver of many more adventures that await in the Southwest. KYPE Click Here to Play Video: Gila Trout
Note: The Gila trout (Oncorhynchus gilae), one of two native trout species in Arizona (the other is Apache trout O. apache â€“ Apache Trout Recovery), is one of the rarest trout species in the United States. Historically, the fish was native to the San Francisco, Verde, Gila, and Agua Fria River drainages in New Mexico and Arizona. By the 1950s, however, its range was reduced to only four streams in the Gila River headwaters in New Mexico, and none were found in Arizona. The Gila trout was listed as federally endangered in 1967, and reclassified as threatened in 2006 after efforts to restore populations were successful. Currently in New Mexico, Gila trout have been restored to a number of streams in the headwaters of the Gila River and San Francisco drainages. In Arizona, Gila trout have been restored to one stream in the Blue River drainage, two streams in the middle Gila River drainage, and one stream in the Agua Fria drainage, and more streams are being considered for future Gila trout reintroductions.
Through the Lens of A.J. Swentosky by Aileen Lane
he beautiful image on this monthâ€™s Kype Magazine cover was taken by the talented photographer, A.J. Swentosky, blogger of The Frogwater. As you can imagine, it was difficult to choose just one. Bio: Publisher of Kype Magazine Fly Tier & Owner of MKFlies Co-owner of The Old Guys Flies Pro Staff Tier for Deer Creek UK Type of Fishing: Fly Fishing Location: Boise, Idaho Websites: KypeMagazine.com MKFlies.com Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kype: Hello, A.J. Thank you so much for taking the time to interview for Kype as well as letting us use your beautiful images! Tell us about yourself. A.J.: Well, I can be wordy at times so I'm going to try to keep the length appropriate (probably not a good start). I work full-time as a school psychologist, but I'm addicted to all things fly fishing. I previously lived in Colorado Springs and really enjoyed the technical tail waters of Colorado (e.g. Frying Pan, Taylor, South Platte). I currently live in Jackson Hole and guide on the South Fork of the Snake in the summer months for Teton Valley Lodge. I live within a 90 minute drive to some amazing rivers and still waters. Extend that out to a 3 hour drive and the options are endless. I previously chased trout (and occasionally some warm water/saltwater species) over 120 days a year, although that inevitably decreased a bit once my son (he's 14 months old) was born. I'm guessing some mothers and fathers out there can relate. I've had him on my back quite a few times while fishing, but I can't wait until he can start throwing a little rope! Kype: How did you discover fly fishing? Do you define yourself as a fly fishing angler? A.J.: Although I grew up enjoying spin fishing and bait fishing, I probably only fished a dozen times a year... Until.... my last year of undergrad. My dad bought me a 6 wt Sage VT2 when I graduated from undergrad because he knew that I was starting to do more and more spin fishing. I went out on 6 straight trips (with the new VT2) in the late spring/early summer without a single fish. Being repeatedly skunked increased my curiosity in the sport even more. Eventually, I caught a 15 inch rainbow on a white wooly bugger. For me, the tug was, is, and always will be the drug. I truly became obsessed at that point and have since devoted much time to the physical and intellectual components of fly fishing. Yes, I definitely define myself as a fly fishing angler. For better or worse, the culture is an inherent part of my identity and personality. 13
Kype: Which came first - fly fishing or photography? How did you get into photography? A.J.: Fly fishing definitely preceded photography. I'm honestly just an amateur photographer who is trying to find time to take my photography skills to the next level. About 4 years ago I started getting bored with all of the grip and grins hitting social media (that's not to say that I'm "above" posting some grip-n-grins every now and then). In fact, I would refuse to take a camera on fishing trips because I didn't want to be "one of those guys" who has to take a photo of every fish. However, Catch Magazine (on-line), the Drake, Val Atkinson, Bryan Gregson, and others.... Seeing the images that these magazines and photographers were producing inspired me to try to capture the different locations, actions, and personalities of fly fishing. Soon thereafter, the process of getting back to my computer to review the day's images became just as enjoyable as actually chasing trout. Kype: How do you "capture" that moment on film? Where do you find your inspiration? Do you look for anything in particular when you set out to take photographs? A.J.: Well, just to be clear, I'm shooting all digital. I don't have the knowledge base or gear to shoot in film. As for my inspiration, I think I touched upon that above. I think that there are quite a few really good to really great fly fishing photographers out there. I really enjoy the work of Bryan Gregson, Val Atkinson, and Matt Guymon, although I could easily extend that list out another 10 names. Although it seems like everyone has decent cameras, lenses, and gear these days, the really talented photographers still clearly set themselves apart from the hobbyists. In most cases I do not go into a day with a list of set shots that I need to get. Unfortunately, because of this laissez-faire attitude, I don't get nearly as many high quality images as I'd like. On the days when I am more organized and deliberate about shooting, and can commit to keep-
ing the fly rod out of my hands, I usually come home with more high quality content on the memory card. My temptation to pick up the rod and stick some fish too often overrides my desire to just keep the camera in hand. However, committing to the camera instead of the fly rod definitely leads to much better photos. Sometimes I like doing product shoots because I know that I "must" get certain images within an agreed upon time. This expectation and structure lessens my temptation to cast a fly all day. Kype: Tell us about your blog, The Frogwater. A.J.: I started The Frogwater purely as a result of my love for fly fishing. Essentially, if I can't be out on the water, then the next best thing is talking about being out on the water. I started off trying to cover all types of content imaginable, which was naive and overly ambitious. It's evolved into a blog that discusses fishing tips and tactics, interesting research studies, conservation issues, product reviews, fly fishing news, flies and fly tying, and fly fishing photographers, artists, and fly tiers. I probably don't do a great job of tackling any one of those topics in great detail, but I touch upon all of them. Essentially, the content usually consists of topics that I find personally interesting and that I THINK other like-minded individuals will find intriguing as well. Kype: If you were to fly to some beautiful fly fishing destination, and you are only allowed to bring either a camera or fly rod, which would you choose and why? A.J.: Oh my, that's not fair! If it's my first trip to the location, then I'd bring the rod. If it's a returning trip, then it's the camera. The process of actually fishing new water, new locations, and for new species allows me to better understand and appreciate the fish and the location from an angler's perspective. So, I guess I feel like I can't actually know and intimately appreciate new places until I've fished them. Hopefully that makes sense. KYPE
The Walk Tenkara Wanderings bBy Graham M. Moran
he sun slowly creeps over the horizon painting the stream a heavenly golden yellow. I stand next to the stream watching the sun rise and listening to the world awaken. I inhale the sweet scent of the fresh mountain air as a smile crosses my face in anticipation of The Walk. Kype Columist: â€œTenkara Wanderingsâ€? "Graham Moran is the president and CEO of TenkaraGrasshopper Media, LLC. He also has the responsibilities as the head blogger and administrator of TenkaraGrasshopper.com . If you can't find him at home, he is likely on the stream as a Tenkara USA Certified Guide. If he is not guiding or blogging, he is commonly spending as much time with his wife and children as possible."
Tenkara rod in hand, rigged and ready to go, I start strolling down the well-worn path along this tenkara-perfect strip of water. My eyes gaze over the gently riffled surface of the stream as the water flows towards the great Mississippi River over one thousand miles away. Small midges and mayflies flit over the surface of the stream, playing hide and seek with the splotches of sunlight filtering through the overhanging trees. I watch in silence as a cloud of mayflies swarms above the stream in what can only be described as the most unorganized mating ritual to be found on the planet. I hear an audible splash behind my right shoulder, and when I turn to look, I notice an expanding ring from the middle of the stream. I hold my breath, wondering what could have made such a sound, but my wait is short as I watch a small trout rocket from below the surface and grab a mayfly out of the air before falling back into the water and disappearing into the depths. I turn and start walking down the trail again, knowing that there is a special place on this river that is my sanctuary, or my temple you might say. My mind wanders, and I start thinking about what brings me into this environment with a rod in hand. I hear and feel the world coming to life around me and just smile, because there is no need to question why I am here. I arrive at my favorite spot and sit down on a fallen log, gazing at the water
silently. I stir, remembering I’m not here to wait for Pooh Bear to come find me in his thinking spot. No, I’m here to practice my tenkara and enjoy the sounds of silence. I unspool my line and extend my rod to its full length before tying on a fly from a small box that I keep in the front pocket of my fishing shirt. I rise and give a gentle cast and watch as the fly slowly drifts onto the surface of the stream. The first drift brings nothing, but on the second cast I feel something bump my fly. Alas, setting the hook brings nothing. The third cast is different though; there is a vibrant tug on the line which bends my rod, telling me I have more than a rock on the line. Gently raising the rod into the air, the weight increases, and I feel a vibration run from the water, down the rod into my hand. Rocking the rod back behind me just a fraction, the head of a trout breaks the surface while I am reaching for my tenkara net. In one fluid motion I kneel down and scoop a beautiful little brown trout from the water into the tamo. Clamping its handle behind my knee, I reach into the net and gently cup the fish in my hand before shaking the hook from the side of his mouth. The spots on his side are spattered all over his body like an impressionist painter’s attempt at camouflage. I smile, knowing this is why I came out here today and don’t even bother getting my camera out to freeze this moment in time. No, I release him back into the water and watch as he darts across the current to his humble home under the cut bank. I sigh contentedly before casting again to see what else I might find. Nothing moves below the surface of the pool I’m standing next to, at least nothing I can see, so I start exploring up and down the river—fishing to pocket water and structure with no particular rhyme or reason. I’m here simply for the joy of a rod, line, and fly. At times I catch a fish, at times I don’t, but I’m not disturbed in the least by this fact. I’m here to commune with Gaia (Mother Nature) and experience tenkara—not to become a master but to master myself. I walk and fish, and fish and walk till my stomach rumbles, warning me that a walk, however simple, requires fuel. I munch on snacks as I stroll from spot to spot, simply enjoying the fact that I am here. I wonder how things could get any better and start laughing to myself, remembering what awaits me: my beautiful wife and my son with his goofy, toothless smile and rolling giggle. With that thought, I head back towards the parking area and a return to my responsibilities. Surprisingly, I still have a smile on my face because for a time, I was able to forget all the stresses of life on a walk with a rod, a line, and a fly in my hand. KYPE 17
The Big Hole Life by Shawn Stankus
Shawn started fly tying and fishing when he was 11. Riding along with his grandfather as they chased the stocking truck from stream to stream solidified his passion for fly fishing. He guided during college and now fishes all year long on the classic trout streams of central Pennsylvania.
s the sun poked through the trees on this early morning, I climbed out of my camper to be greeted by the sound of the river flowing through the valley. It can be such a peaceful sound, making all your worries just fade away into an existence all its own. I was on the Big Hole River near Butte, MT. I gathered up my gear and made my way up river, to fish a long riffle, which I had hit the afternoon before with no success. I had hoped to fish this run before the sun was able to make its way onto the water and put the fish down. As I walked up through the half light of the small canyon I ran into a family of moose. A mother and two little ones were slowly grazing on the other side of the river in a small meadow that lined the water. I paused for a brief moment, took a few pictures, and kept moving up river. If you can stop to appreciate the small things in life, it can be such a blessing.
I finally reached the spot I wanted to fish around 8:00 a.m. I tied on a tandem nymph setup and started to hit some pockets. My very first cast, I hooked into a nice size brown that took me for a run into my backing. My next cast, I landed another nice pheasant tail eating brown that had such a beautiful pattern it will always be remembered. I caught and released a few more trout in that run before heading back to my camper for some shore lunch. The previous day I had met a few other fishermen who were camped beside me and were from the Idaho Falls area. I had sat down with them the night before and had an amazing dinner around the fire as we told stories of the daysâ€™ previous catches, traded flies, and had a good old time sipping on some whiskey that was being passed around the campfire. So, the rest of my days were spent fishing with my newfound friends. We had some great days on the Big Hole fishing together and relaxing in the evenings around the fire. I really hope that one day, Iâ€™ll run into that group again. I also had an amazing guide from the Big Horn, Shelly Ehmer, meet me on the Big Hole for a few days of fishing. We fished together for a couple days and landed some nice fish on streamers and nymphs. Although it was tough fishing, we managed to land a few nice browns and share a few laughs together. All in all, it was a great time! My experience on this amazing river will be cherished for many years because of the friends I made and the wonderful fishing that this river provides. I hope that my new friends are doing well wherever they may be, and I wish them all the best. I will definitely return to this river in the near future to relive the beautiful sunrises and the prolific hatches. This river has it all, and I will always look back on the memories that I lived on the Big Hole river as some of the best.KYPE
Definitely Not Targeting Bull Trout in Idaho by Kirk Werner
Bio: KirkWerneristhe UnaccomplishedAngler andauthoroftheOlivethe WoollyBuggerseriesof childrenâ€™sbooks.And....a non-targeterofbulltrouts. unaccomplishedangler.com
n western states, where they still exist, bull trout are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and are thereby protected by law against any sort of harvest. On waters where these native char are protected by law, itâ€™s severely frowned upon to target them, even if the angler is partaking of catch and release with no intention of keeping the fish. Bull trout have had a rough go of things in recent history, from being once considered a nuisance by trout fisherman (which resulted in overharvesting), to habitat loss due to poor environmental practices including the construction of dams that blocked their migration. The once robust populations of these apex predators have become greatly depleted to the point where they typically exist in less than half their historic ranges.
Bull trout require cold, clean water—essentially a pristine environment—in which to thrive. They must have a large interconnected river system in order to fulfill their purpose in life: to migrate for spawning and feeding. Needless to say, it’s not easy to find such an environment in today’s world. If you do find a river where there are bull trout, it’s a good indication that things are in balance in that particular watershed. One particular river in Idaho’s panhandle region provides such a balanced place. The upper twenty-five or so miles of the St. Joe River reveals a beautiful backcountry wilderness connected to a vast lake system more than one hundred miles downstream. This upper section of the river is designated a Wild and Scenic River, and it is just that: gorgeous country where no mining or timber harvest has historically taken place. Despite the river being a popular destination among fly fishermen, the upper St. Joe, beyond the end of the road is not heavily fished. The river here is accessed only by foot; the farther up the trail one hikes, the fewer two legged creatures one will encounter. It’s not uncommon not to see another angler all day.
This upper stretch of the Joe is as about pristine a place as can be imagined in a modern world where few places remain that are truly untouched. And it is here that one finds the last self sustaining population of bull trout in the Lake Coeur d’Alene watershed. It is not, however, easy to find the bull trout in the upper St. Joe. There aren’t that many, and they’re very elusive.
I’ve fished the upper Joe 6 times (which makes me no sort of expert on the area), and I’ve fished as far as ten miles above the end of road. In that time, I’ve sought out remote, deep holes and runs with lots of woody debris hoping to see a bull trout, without success. A couple of years ago while fishing with my son about eight miles above the trailhead, we thought we saw one, but it was gone before we got close enough for a positive ID. Almost ghostlike, it slithered off into the shadows as we approached. Based on the size alone, it had to have been a bull trout as it was much larger than any cutthroat trout grow to be in this river. I think that was as close to a bull trout as I’ll ever get on the Joe. This past summer I was fishing with a group of buddies, about three miles above the end of the road. In a year of very low flows, the trout fishing was a bit slower than on a normal water year. A few smallish cutthroats had been enticed to take a dry fly, but as midday approached, the expected lull set in. Time to switch to a small streamer: a size 6 conehead Zuddler. Nothing too big. Most of the westslope cutthroats in this river are 10-12 inches, with a few 15 inchers and far fewer larger than that. Anything larger than the fly I tied on would be wasted on small mouths. I managed a couple of average cutties on the Zuddler before hooking up briefly with a fish of better size. A deep run (only 3 feet this particular summer) with a log lying against the far bank looked pretty fishy, so I swung the streamer through the head of the run. After a couple of quick strips, I had a good grab and a poor hook set. The fish was instantly mad at itself for having made the decision to sample my fly, and after a short burst of speed and couple of furious head shakes, it returned the fly to me. Damn, it would have been at least a 15” cutthroat—my best by far of the day. Chances are there wouldn’t be another good fish in that run, so I almost reeled up and moved on. A little voice in my head told me to fish out the bottom of the run, where a large rock protruded. Why not? It wasn’t like I had anything else to do.
I was fishing my 3wt Sage Circa, with 5x tippet, so casting a weighted streamer wasn’t a pretty endeavor. That said, I slapped the Zuddler onto the water above the protruding rock and let it sink before I began stripping. And then I had another grab. But this time it felt different. The fish didn’t panic and run. It just shook its head a few times to better bury the hook in its jaw so that it might snap my line more quickly. And then it held its ground as if daring me to do anything about it. The diminutive 3wt quivered in fear and doubled over under the strain of the beast attached to the other end of the line. I may have done a little quivering myself. Did I mention that I was using 5x? The fish made one good run, but it wasn’t the frantic dash of a typical trout, and it didn’t take me into my backing or beyond, as it might have. I’m not saying it was easy, but I did manage to get the fish turned while protecting my tippet. When it got close enough for my middle-aged eyes to notice, I saw pectoral fins with white leading edges belonging to a fish much larger than any cutthroat I expected to encounter. Bull trout are said to be lethargic and not the hardest of fighters, and although I had previously caught three bullies on various other rivers, none were more than 18 inches in length—not exactly big fish by bull trout standards—so I couldn’t honestly say whether or not those previous three char had fought any less than a trout of similar size. I began to think that I might actually land the fish, but I wasn’t sure how that was going to happen since I was alone and had no net. Every year I tell myself I should bring a net to the Joe, and every year I decide that it’s too much crap to carry so I leave the net at camp. Fortunately, my buddy Morris was coming down the river toward me so I squealed like a school girl and hollered to him, “bull trout!” He arrived on the scene just as I managed to get the fish into the shallows where it remained, fairly calm, as if it weren’t particularly impressed by my angling skills. All three of the bull trout I’ve caught had been silver bodied; this fish was a more of a rusty-orange and considerably bigger than the previous three. Morris held my rod while I removed my Nikon AW1 from its case and switched to underwater shooting mode. All I could do was point the camera at the fish, depress the shutter, and hope for the best—I had no idea what sort of images I would capture. The big char didn’t take kindly to my attempt at a close-up, front angle shot and darted into the faster water, giving Morris a chance to play the fish back into the shallows. After a couple more shots, I grabbed my forceps and gently removed the streamer from the fish’s maw. I didn’t want to handle the fish if at all possible, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to reach my fingers into its mouth full of formidable teeth to extract the hook. Once the barbless hook was carefully removed, the big char swam quickly off toward the deeper water whence it came. “That was pretty cool,” I said, as much to myself as to Morris. After we had gathered our wits about us, we discussed the length of the fish. It was mutually agreed that it was very likely equal to the distance from the end of the reel seat to the stripping guide (25 inches), or on the conservative side it was equal to the distance from the end of the reel seat to the first ferrule joint (23 inches). We agreed to split the difference and call it 24 inches. Not a particularly big fish by bull trout standards, but a trophy on this river by my standards. I may never encounter another bull trout on the St. Joe. If I don’t, I can still die a happy man just knowing these amazing fish are there and that I caught one once, on a 3wt rod with 5x tippet, while targeting cutthroat trout. KYPE 23
Soft Hackles by Marty Heil
few years ago on the local tailwater, I was standing just upstream from my pal, Leo. We had been swinging soft hackles all morning and doing pretty well. I was just releasing a nice fish when I realized Leo was chatting away with a guy downstream. Kype Columnist 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 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.)
Judging from his hat, he was another vet and regardless, Leo never met a stranger. The gentleman kept leaning out and looking upstream at me with enough frequency that it started to seem strange. An hour and a half and a dozen fish later, the guy was walking out. I nodded and waved and got a look that made me think I’d somehow given offense or perhaps had a horn coming out of my forehead. I walked down toward Leo and asked if we knew that guy and what I had done to him. With a grin and a wink, Leo told me that when guy remarked that I was catching a lot of fish Leo said, “Yeah that’s Marty. You gotta watch that SOB. He’s usually got night crawlers or corn in his vest. If you watch close, you’ll see him tipping his fly with bait.” Because I’m a somewhat maligned local purist and vehement bamboo nut, the inside joke had me rolling. A great many of my bamboo rods are either antiques that Leo refurbished or rods he built. Along with old tackle, I really love old flies, and soft hackles were some of Leo’s favorites. As far back as Dame Juliana in 1496 mentioning the February Red with a body of dun wool and partridge wing, soft hackles were in common use. If there’s an older fly form more commonly used than the soft hackle, I don’t know what it is. Even hot, newer flies like the Red Ass (as it’s known in the popular lexicon) was known as Bradshaw’s Fancy in the October 10, 1885 Fishing Gazette. If you’re interested, Sylvester Nemes’s books provide a good starting point for your own research. (cont. page 26)
Most patterns start with game bird feathers. These patterns would be a great place to start if you want to try tying your own soft hackles. Starlings have a lovely greenish shade that my fish love. The partridge, grouse, guinea hen, and almost any other bird you can think of have nice soft hackle feathers. The oldest flies, such as the partridge and orange, are simply a silk body with a few turns of partridge. As with many endeavors, less is more when tying soft hackles. You really want just a few turns to keep the collar sparse and free moving. Very few tying tips are really needed for these simplest of flies. Just tie in your body, and then brush back the fibers on your feather, making it easy to tie in by the tip. Really—that’s all there is to it. You’ll find the stems of these feathers weaker than genetic hackle, so a light touch is called for, but beyond breaking a few feathers there’s not much of a learning curve. Try adding a few turns of peacock breast (picture 3) at the head of a pheasant tail, and you’ll truly be amazed at what you’ve been missing. Various colors of flashabou with a wire
rib make the little “machine series” soft hackles that I’ll forever associate with my friend and his generosity. Fishing soft hackles goes beyond just the swing. Yes, you can just flop it out and swing across the current and catch some fish, but if that’s all you do, you’re really missing out on a lot of fish and fun. To swing best, your fly should cut a smooth even arc just barely faster than the current. Consult a couple steelhead and salmon sources, and you’ll see what an art swinging truly is. When the bugs are active, stripping one back like a streamer (well, a bit more gently) can produce amazing action. Often I treat only the collar with floatant and fish the soft hackles dead drift in the film. They’re the original emergers and were around a couple hundred years before modern anglers invented
the term. Whether beaded and made with modern materials or made with a simple silk or wool body and a blind eye hook like the traditional Dame Juliana, or a creation that’s someplace in between—you’ll find a lot of pleasure astream with soft hackles. When you’re at the bench, don’t forget to tie a few for those new friends you’ve not yet met on the stream. And don’t forget to raise a toast or give a thought of gratitude for those friends and family we won’t get to fish with again for awhile. Wonder what patterns the trout in the home pool on the river Jordan will be taking? Fortunately, I’ve got some friends waiting on me that will know.
The Hand You’re Dealt
bBy Mark Dysinger
S Captain Mark Dysinger has fished the New England salt most of his life. Although he is skilled in many angling methods, he is most accomplished with the fly rod. As the owner of Flyosophy Charters, he specializes in the northeast slam of striped bass, bluefish, and false albacore. Athough he guides in Long Island Sound and its surrounding waters, he is also passionate about freshwater fishing and is a recognized authority on flyfishing for northern pike. Mark has fished extensively across North America, and his works have appeared in numerous print and online publications, including three books. He is a pro staff member for Dyna-King, Deer Creek (UK), Flymen Fishing Company, EP Flies, and Vision Fly Fishing USA. He is a regular fixture at numerous fly fishing shows and expos, and has taught countless tying and fishing strategy classes. Mark resides on the Connecticut coast with his wife Anne and daughter Lucy.
ometimes in fishing, as in life, things don’t happen according to plan. Some of my fondest fishing memories are those where serendipitous events coincide to bring a fortunate combination of novelty and success. This is one of those stories, circa 2002, prior to my guiding days. I had a solid plan for my upcoming vacation. I was taking Thursday off from work to head up to Falmouth, Massachusetts to meet my wife the next day. Anne had already spent the better part of a week up there for a work-related conference, and from there we would go on to Chatham to spend five days with her family. Her folks were celebrating their 30th anniversary and had rented a house with a water view of Pleasant Beach. Not only did I look forward to spending time with the family, but I was anticipating my first fishing excursions in the Chatham area. Hey, I can’t help it. I fish; therefore, I am. During the week that my wife was away, I had fallen back into my bachelor mode: simple meals and simple entertainment. I took the opportunity to seek takeout food, especially Japanese, and had backslidden into staying up too late. I watched the ballgames on the tube while tying flies until odark-thirty, trying to convince myself that I really did need to make those last few patterns of the night. I worked out a few final details with Anne regarding directions to her hotel and realized that I had plenty of time to fish my way up the coast on the way to meet her. After the call, I found my state atlases for Connecticut and Rhode Island. I wouldn’t fish Massachusetts on the way to Falmouth. I had to be realistic with my knowledge of fishing opportunities in that state, and it was limited. I plucked a few spots from my resident state and Rhody that I knew well and that were along my route northward. It was late July, and I figured the stripers and bluefish should be cooperative at a few of those locales. I took time to finish a few last-minute chores and got my butt to bed at a reasonable hour. As I faded into slumber, visions of gamefish streaking through the salt danced in my head.
By mid-afternoon on Thursday, I was white knuckling the steering wheel as the Pathfinder glided northward on Rhode Island’s coastal Route 1. I had passed on any fishing in Connecticut; part of me longed to be back in Rhody, perhaps because the rocky shoreline reminded me so much of Maine. The first few hours of fishing hadn’t been productive, but the scenery was gorgeous and it sure as hell beat working. I had spent an hour each at a breachway and a salt pond, testing my patience with sight fishing. I had spotted some scattered pods of stripers with the incoming tide but had not been able to hook up. My quest was now leading me to one of my favorite spots in the state, a large breakwater in the fishing village of Jerusalem where many species of gamefish where known to be at one time or another. And they were usually within fly casting distance. Upon arriving at the parking area, I grabbed my 9wt and made the march to the jetty. As I came to the crest of the walkway that led down to the beach and the structure, I could only see three people out on the vast expanse of rock. This didn’t surprise me too much. It was a weekday, around three o’clock, and most people were still at work. The lack of a crowd was a boon to fly fishing; I wouldn’t have to worry about piercing anyone’s ear with every backcast. As I drew closer to the jetty, I noticed that the fisherman closest to the surf line was working three rods simultaneously: two bait rods perched about ten yards apart and one spinning rod in his hands. He was obviously flustered, jumping back and forth between the two baits in the water and taking an occasional cast from the hip with a jig of some sort. As he flailed to and fro, I began to have images of this guy slipping on one of the rock slabs and breaking his foolish neck. His lips were moving, so I assumed that he was talking to himself, to fish, or both. When I came within earshot I discovered that it was in fact both. “Damn, damn, damn…” He hesitated once I ascended the first rock of the jetty, perhaps for the first time realizing that his antics were a bit of a spectacle. He gave me a once over and a light bulb ignited over his head when he saw my fly gear. “Am I glad to see you. I can’t get these bluefish to hit anything, but I’ll bet you can catch some with that,” he said, pointing in reverence to my fly rod. I glanced down into the water and noticed the flanks of some fish intermittently passing by. They didn’t look like blues to me, but I didn’t want to quell this guy’s excitement. “I’m gonna try up the jetty a ways. I don’t want to take your spot.” That was only a half-truth. The other half was that I didn’t want to be in the combat zone of two bait rods and an animated fellow who was bouncing about like an old arcade game. “Okay, but if you don’t get anything up there after a while, you come back here. I want to see some of these get caught.” I raised my hand in an appreciative gesture. “I promise. I’ll be back if need be.” This only energized the fisherman further. He recommenced his dance between the two perched rods, and I almost laughed out loud as I imagined the electronic bells and whistles of a pinball machine. Fifteen minutes had passed since the brief encounter with the other fisherman. I had been dredging the bottom of the ocean side of the breakwater at its elbow where it veered off at a near ninety-degree angle from its original bearing. This was typically a good spot to be as fish coming in from the open sea followed the structure around its bend and continued on towards the interface of the jetty and the surf. On an outgoing tide, the travel route was reversed. The tide, although still quite high, was beginning to ebb a bit and the sun was not challenged by a single cloud. I occasionally heard fish working in the spot that I had just come from but was having difficulty determining just what they might be. Just as I was debating whether or not to head back in that direction, I saw the pinball fisher-
man waving me over. He seemed to be packing up some of his gear, which was no small task. “Please come and get some of ‘em,” he pleaded. “I need to head out, but I’d really like to see you catch some.” “Well, I can’t guarantee that I’ll do any better than you already have.” “We’ll see. They’ve been all over the place.” He stared down into the water and pointed at a cluster of fish moving by. “See! There they go again! Get your….” He looked quizzically at my fly, a rather sparse sand eel pattern. “Get your whatever in the water and hook up!” This time I did laugh out loud. This guy’s energy was starting to get contagious, and his confidence in someone he hardly knew amused me. I waited for another group of fish to come by, and when they did I took a very hard look at them through my polarized lenses. For the most part they were high in the water column, but some were down near the bottom and appeared to be nymphing like trout in a freestone stream. Deeply forked tails, crisscrossing swimming patterns, large herring-like appearance… I was pretty certain of what they were. “I’m not gonna call my shot here, but those are most likely hickory shad, not blues.” “Hickory shad?” “Yeah, hickory shad. Ever catch one? They can be a blast.” His reply was quick. “No. Never caught one. Can you so I can see it up close?” “I’ll try. They usually aren’t too picky.” I made a short roll cast ahead of a pair of fish moving towards me and one instantly grabbed the fly. Knowing that these were shad, I set the hook hard and promptly brought the fish to hand. “Neat fish. Do they eat chunk bait?” He was looking back at his bait rods. “No, I’m afraid not. In fact, these shad are preyed upon by blues and stripers.” “Well, that explains why they weren’t biting. And my jig is probably too big too, huh?” I looked at it and saw the gap of the hook, which was at least 4/0. “I’m afraid so.” “Well, I’ll know next time. I gotta go, but you mind if I hang out a few more minutes and watch? You know, the fly fishing and all.” “No, I don’t mind. I still feel as if I’ve taken your spot from you.” “Don’t worry, it’s yours now. Fish away.” Over the next several minutes I put my fly in front of several more hickories, but they were beginning to hit like shad normally do…a quick side swipe that didn’t always result in a hookup. I was starting to think that the first fish I’d caught had been a blessing of sorts, a token fish for show and tell. My new friend finally had to part, and he informed me that in another month the fishing would be red hot in these parts. We said our goodbyes and he left. I was thankful for the whole encounter and became disappointed when I realized that I had never learned his name. There was a line of flotsam that was steadily progressing away from the rocks, and the shad were now starting to work some bait on top. My previous experience with hickories told me that this whole flurry unfolding before me was rare. At this time of year, shad usually behave like this at sunup or sundown, but surely not when the sun is high and bright and the tide is dropping. Something had to explain their continued presence and feeding. I stepped down onto a rock at the water’s edge and genuflected, peering into the water. What I saw made my jaw drop completely slack in spite of myself. There were thousands of translucent copepods milling about, all the size of a small pencil eraser. They were in the water column as deep as I could clearly see, and I calculated that if there were thousands just in front of my perch then there must be millions along the entirety of the breakwater and surf line. “This explains a lot,” I muttered out loud.
Instead of opting to rig up with a small imitation and hoping that it would be plucked by a fish from among the naturals, I tied on a small and sparse epoxy fly about 1½ inches long. The smaller fly would make hooking the shad easier, but it would also be large enough to stand out among all of the natural bait drifting in the water. I positioned myself at about the midpoint of where all the action was taking place and waited for more signs of fish. Seconds later, three fish boiled about fifty feet straight out from me, and a few double hauls sent the fly on its way. My choice of pattern yielded a nearly instant payoff as a large shad grabbed it and went airborne when it felt the hook set. Once the fish was in hand and unhooked I was able to appreciate its size. It was probably the biggest hickory that I had ever taken, at least twenty inches and probably closer to twenty-two. I released it and went back to scanning the water. This scenario replayed itself with some regularity for a few hours. As the tide continued to go out, the mung line continued its course away from the jetty. The shad seemed to stay on the outside of the mung, so reaching them became more and more of a challenge. When the epoxy was stripped back in, it was either struck by a shad or eventually hung up in floating weed. The fight on my 9wt rod wasn’t spectacular, but I was thankful that the fish were being brought in fairly briskly and released with a lot of vigor still in them. They were all sizeable, a cluster of shad the likes of which I had never encountered before. I was also glad to have the 9wt with me because it was the tool I would need when the bluefish started to make their appearance. From time to time, a lone angler would walk out onto the jetty and see my rod pulsing with a fish on the other end. Some of them kept walking with a few skeptical looks, and some stopped to ask about the shad or the fishing in general. One couple walking the beach watched me for the better part of half an hour, taking pictures and pointing. After the mung line had progressed to about forty or fifty feet out from the breakwater, the shad started to work back inside of it. I had lost track of time and realized that I would have to be parting soon if I wanted to get to Falmouth by dark. There had been no signs of bluefish so far, but I really didn’t care. The shad had been more than willing to keep me entertained, a very unexpected surprise. How many had I caught? Thirty? Certainly. Forty? Probably. Fifty? Maybe. Days like this were what got me through the winter and kept me coming back after days of little or no action. The sun was beginning to drop and the glare on the water was reduced. “Now this is when I’m used to catching shad,” I said to no one in particular. I concentrated my efforts on catching a few final fish before my departure, and that’s when I saw a large boil just out of fly range. There was no doubt in my mind that it had been a bluefish. A sudden decline in the hickory shad activity confirmed my suspicion. A few more fish came to my hand, and I knew that my day’s fishing had come to an end. It was time to go. A few more boils off of the structure caught my attention. They were still out of fly range but getting closer. I started my trek back down the backbone of the jetty towards the beach and heard the teasing splashes of more bluefish. I turned to see that the boils were now well within my reach if I desired to cast to them. The shad had moved on, probably fleeing for their very existence. The angler inside gnawed away, telling me that I’d be hating myself during the winter months for leaving. I was breaking the "never leave feeding fish” mantra that had been ingrained into my psyche by several sources. But it wasn’t compelling enough for me to stop walking. Anne was waiting, and I looked forward to seeing her and starting our vacation. Behind me, two large fish crashed the surface. I smiled and kept strolling back to the beach, thankful for the experience and anxious for the next. KYPE
T eFlynFishing k a r101 a
By Daniele Bealieul
from Montreal, Quebec, Canada I started fly fishing western style in 2000. In 2014, I started fishing exclusively Tenkara after I saw that style of fishing in a fly fishing show in Quebec, Canada. I bought myself 3 rods and from then on have never stopped. I started my little business selling Tenkara rods and accessories called Tenkara Canada.net Avid of Tenkara, I do a lot of fishing in rivers all across New England and USA. I have presented in conference, seminars and fly fishing shows in the province of Quebec, Canada to let people learn more about Tenkara flyfishing.
e’ve all done tenkara one day in our lives— when we were young. Do you remember tying some fishing line to a branch and putting a worm on a hook that you took from your father’s fishing box? That’s tenkara! Tenkara is the simplest way to fly fish. Anyone can fish tenkara: children, adults, senior citizens, and people with disabilities. It only takes a few minutes to learn how to cast. For beginners who want to start fly fishing, tenkara is the best way to go. You don't have to ask a lot questions such as, “What kind of reel, what kind of line, what size, for which fish, which sinking tip,” and so on. And for those with more experience in the fly fishing world, view it as a new challenge! Tenkara involves catching fish close to where you’re standing in the river because you use a fixed line at the end of the rod; you can’t throw a long cast. We tenkara people don't worry if we can't cast on the other side of the river, and we also don't worry if we get close to the fish and even spook them, because we know they'll come back. Just watch a heron or a grizzly. They catch fish not even one foot from them. The fish can be just a few feet from you. Focus on where the fish is and put your fly right where he is. If you spook the fish, don’t worry. Take your time, don't move around too much, and wait for a few minutes. The fish will come back because it's their habitat and where all of their needs are met.
Reading a river is the best way to catch fish, and it will help you enjoy success during your fishing adventures, but don't worry for now. Know that behind every boulder there's a fish. Just throw your fly there and the fish will usually strike! Experience in reading the water will come soon enough. In this article, I’ll touch on the basics of tenkara: the history, the rods, the lines, the flies and the landing. Even though tenkara is very simple, this information will help you understand and appreciate its simplicity. History The Japanese word tenkara means ''from the sky.” It is a very ancient, Japanese fly fishing technique that was done in mountain streams to meet commercial needs in little villages. The first rods were long bamboo poles and attached at the end of the pole was a horse hair or a silk fly line and a single fly. The Rods Tenkara rods are telescopic and very lightweight (usually 2.2 ounces). At 22” in length when closed, they don’t take up much space. A few rods have foam or wooden handles, depending on the company, but most have cork handles. Good tenkara rods are made with a high quality carbon, the percentage and the structure of which is very important.
The first number that you see on the rod is the rigidity of the rod, and the second number is the suppleness of the rod: 5:5 – Ultra Light, 50% rigid; 50% soft (for fish about 2 pounds and less*) 6:4 – Light, 60% rigid; 40% soft (for fish about 4.5 pounds*) 7:3 – Medium-Light, 70% rigid; 30% soft (for fish about 6.5 pounds*) 8:2 – Medium, 80% rigid; 20% soft (for fish about 9 pounds*) *reference for weight of the fish: Nissin rod from Japan Tenkara rods range in length from 11' to 15' long. These rods have a zoom system, which means you can have 2, 3 or even 4 different rod lengths all in the same rod. 33
The Lines There are two kinds of tenkara lines: 1. furled line: a braided, tapered line made with monofilament, usually 12â€™ in length. Many choose this line for dry fly fishing because when you cast with it, it offers a more delicate presentation. 2. level line: a line made of fluorocarbon with different diameters such as #2, #3, #3.5, and #4. The smaller the number, the smaller the diameter. The most common diameter is #3.5. Level line comes in a spool, so you can cut it to the length you need, which makes it more economical than the furled line. The color of it is very important it helps you to see your line as you fish. The length of the line normally runs one to one and a half times the length of the rod. It can be longer or shorter depending on where you fish. At the end of one of those two lines, you add some tippet. The tippet should be not more than 5X, and the minimum length of the tippet is about 6', again, depending on where you fish. When you fish Tenkara, the only line that touches the water is the line a few inches from the fly.
Furled Line 34
The Flies and Presentation Tenkara flies are called sakasa kebari. In Japanese, sakasa means “reverse hackle,” and kebari means “fly.” They are simple to make, and you only need two or three materials to make them. The most popular flies are the takayama sakasa kebari and the ishigaki kebari. They are approximately seven ways to present the flies when fishing tenkara: 1) Dead drift: Throw your fly at a 45-degree angle, and let it drift in the current 2) Pause: Pause the fly about two seconds at your target spot and repeat several times. 3) Dead drift and pause: Combination of 1 and 2 above. 4) Pulsing: Move your fly up and down in a rhythmic motion. 5) Pulsing upstream: Use the same technique as in number 4 above but upstream. 5) Pull: Use your fly as you would with a streamer, imitating the stop and go of a fish. 7) In rapids: Drift the fly into the rapids, and it will charge itself down the rapids. You can also use all of the Euro-nymphing techniques with a Tenkara rod.
The Landing How one lands a fish with a tenkara rod is a question that everybody is asking, and the answer is very simple. Put your rod behind your head, and the line will automatically come in front of you. Then you take the line in your hand and pull it in. You will miss a few fish at first because you will be nervous and might accidentally let out the line. People who want to start fishing tenkara shouldn’t buy any rod on the market. If you’re serious about fishing tenkara, call or email a serious dealer and talk about your options. Fishing tenkara guarantees a new experience, fun on the water, and a unique way to enjoy that moment with nature! KYPE 35
Tying Marketplace By Mark Patenaude
T Originally From: Adams, Massachusetts Currently Resides: Cary, IL. Email: email@example.com Affiliations: Pro Staff/Pro Tyer - J:son Sweden - Sweden Pro Team - Deer Creek - U.K. Owner - ProTye Flies - U.S.A. Member - Master's Fly Collection, Catskill Fly Fishing Museum Federation of Fly Fishers Trout Unlimited Contributor/Writer for various fly fishing/tying industry magazines Preferred Waters: East CoastDeerfield River, Housatonic River, Farmington River, Hoosac River. Midwest -Driftless Area, Southwest Wisconsin, Lake Michigan Tributaries for Anadramous Species. Fishes For: Inland/Resident Brown, Rainbow, and Brook Trout. Anadramous Species (Lake Michigan Tributaries) Steelhead, King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout. Practices strict Catch and Release and use of barbless hooks for all species. Favorite Fly Fishing Quotes: “Trout as well as eternal salvation - came by grace; and grace comes by art; and art does not come easy". Norman Maclean "When tying flies, if you aren't happy with the end result, cut it apart and start over. Every fly is worthy of being tied as perfectly as your skills will allow". Mark Patenaude
he U.S. fly tying market is in a "funk." It's stuck. There appears to be a real lack of innovation and as a result—a lack of new materials being introduced. When we do see a new product, it’s usually a copy of something that was developed outside of the U.S., and the idea is simply a copy. Perhaps the current state of our economy has a great deal to do with it. Despite other economic indicators, one of the primary indicators of a healthy economy is the number of new housing starts. For the last eight years, there has been very little movement on this front. Remember when we had trouble counting the number of concrete, sod, and lumber trucks rolling with us on the highways? I'm a big supporter of "buy American," my vehicles are always American, and I've thrown additional large amounts of money into the economy over the last twenty years by having several new homes built. What does the economy have to do with fly-tying tools and materials? Well, a healthy economy provides us with the disposable income needed for these types of purchases and allows the entrepreneur to innovate and create new products. I get really excited about new and fresh fly-tying innovation. I'm constantly searching out the "latest and greatest" tools and materials available, those that typically follow along with the latest trends in tying recipes and techniques. Because of the lack here in the U.S., I have found a solution by looking outside of the U.S. The countries that are currently on the cutting edge of the types of things that I'm searching for are spread out from Europe to Asia. Additionally, the countries that are producing these new materials have a reputation for innovation concerning other major brands of products that they produce, as well as being able to produce a high number of products with a very high level of quality. The way that these countries do business is very different from the western way of conducting it, and the resultant effects are obvious. For example, when faced with a problem that was
caused by an error of some type, the Japanese simply fix the problem. The western approach when confronted with the same type of issue is often to waste time and effort by trying to fix blame rather than fixing the problem. The approach of the former is arguably better. It is not my intention in making the preceding points to cast dispersions on the western way of doing business or to give a mini class on macroeconomics. I'm saying these things to shed light on an important business paradigm, one espoused by Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric and all around business guru, that "a company must innovate and grow, or die." Here is a case in point that hopefully illustrates what I'm trying to say. I've been tying flies for nearly 25 years. When I began, I purchased a Renzetti Traveller vise because it seemed like the best vise for my needs at the time. It was a reasonable purchase, and had I decided not to continue tying, my outlay would not have been all that much. After utilizing the Renzetti for a few years, I moved on to a Dyna-King Barracuda and stayed with that until about two years ago when I transitioned to a Dyna-King Ultimate Indexer. Given that I have tied on a Dyna-King vise for approximately 20 years, and having turned out thousands of flies in that time, I feel qualified to evaluate the performance of the vise as well as to recommend potential changes to its design in order to accommodate the fly tyer. Several months ago, I contacted Dyna-King via email regarding some customer service issues that I needed to address with them. I took the opportunity to make my recommendations for improvements to the vise, all of which were very well thought out and conveyed. It is also important for you to know that I'm not just a guy who thinks he knows it all and gets involved in things he shouldn't. I'm a very intelligent, well- educated person with a great deal of executive level business experience that involved many aspects of design. Additionally, I have been a part of different focus groups with large companies that were contemplating introducing new products, changing their marketing and advertising approach, or improving their end-process packaging and shipping approach. I have a good relationship with Dyna-King and anytime I would email them, I would receive a response back from them in very short order. Additionally, any issue I had was addressed and resolved promptly. Now for the interesting part; at no time did I receive a response back from Dyna-King regarding my recommendations, not even a "thanks but no thanks" response. I learned a long time ago not to take things like this personally, so in maintaining my objectivity, I can only deduce that their lack of response was either driven by a lack of desire to make the recommended changes or they have taken a "we know it all and you know nothing" attitude with regard to communications of this type. This is a prime example of not only ignoring a very loyal customer, but also an indicator of where they will probably be in the future when other vise manufacturers, who listen to their customers, catch up and pass their company in terms of units sold and profitability. But all is not lost. Fortunately for us fly tyers, we will always see new innovation from the smaller "mom and pop" type business such as Leteras Fishing (leteras.com), a superb dubbing manufacturer headquartered in Pennsylvania. Leteras regularly introduces new products, is growing as a result, and may eventually become a major player in the market. I have regular and lengthy conversations with the owner Aaron Leteras, and I can attest that he isn't afraid of innovation and has even gone to the extent of allowing his customers to help drive it through customization of his standard products or filling requests for something that he currently doesn't offer! The large, profit-driven organizations need to get back to this way of doing business and to come to the realization that if they don't, it will be companies like Leteras Fishing that will eventually be pushing them aside. KYPE
The OGF: Old Guys Flies Hi-Vis Special Blend & Big Eye Flies tied in the USA
Life Imitates Fishing Transitions of an Angler by Locksley D Blaylockby By
I firstname.lastname@example.org I have a BA from the University of Louisiana, traveled around the world after college, and up until recently, lived in Colorado. My husband and I now live in Roswell, GA. We have a 4yr old daughter, Helen, and 2 dogs, Frisco and Kramer. I work at CareerBuilder on one of their software teams. In addition to fly fishing and fly tying, some of my favorite things are screened in porches, DIY projects and long road trips.
grew up in Louisiana. That should say enough about my fishing experience as a young person. My dad was an avid outdoorsman and packed us along on decades of hunting and fishing trips. His passion was duck hunting, with fishing a close second, and my earliest memories of tight lines were with him. I can't say there’s one specific memory that I define as my first fishing experience, or my most memorable, but more a collage of snapshots: deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, pond fishing from a bank, or casting big bait from a boat on the intracoastal waters of Louisiana. My second home as a child was an island. Not exactly a Caribbean island, but a muddy, heavily wooded island that had been carved out of Arkansas by the mighty Mississippi. It was home to a snake-infested lake, questionably called Paradise Lake, and my first favorite fishing hole, the Blue Hole. The Blue Hole was a giant pond, plenty big enough to justify use of a green flat-bottomed boat, but small enough to walk around in an afternoon if you felt brave enough to tangle with a water moccasin or the occasional bob cat. I generally wasn't and enjoyed most of my Blue Hole time scooting around in the skiff. By the time I was in college, Dad was no longer a member at the river island but was the owner of a duck hunting and fishing operation in coastal southwest Louisiana. He was in the insurance business and gleefully ran that part time at home and part time from his hunting camp. Here, I was introduced to a whole different type of fishing than I'd known thus far…. redfish and speckled trout. If you’ve fished for these, there is no explanation needed to appreciate how much fun this is. If you haven't, there’s no way for me to describe it and give it any justice. The operation was very special as we had boats, and more importantly, guides who knew the area and knew how to take care of fishermen. You might say I was a pampered fisherman at this point. I consider myself an angler for
life, and I only came to understand that our time at this camp was a short chapter after I lost my dad. It may be the only time in my life where my sole task was to catch fish, and I'm glad to have had it. The boats were stocked with food and drink, the rods and lures always ready, and the fish were cleaned and filleted after each trip out. There was also a cook on staff who kept nice meals available during the day and of course, big screen TVs to ensure we didn’t miss the LSU football games. I remember being there with Dad for the LSU Kentucky game. Google it, if you don't know what I'm talking about. If it’s true, as Norman Maclean said, that all things come together and a river runs through it, then in my life—all fishing came together, and my dad ran through it. If he wasn't a part of the trip, he arranged it, knew about it, or got the report as soon as it was over. When I lived in Colorado, he often asked if I had gone fly fishing, which I never had. I was in college and more interested in skiing and really hadn’t given much thought to learning the delicate dance of rocky mountain angling. I met my husband and lost my dad in the same fall, 2002, and I was glad they had the chance to meet. Though it was a new relationship, I knew I had a keeper on the line when my then boyfriend, Eric, visited at length with my dying father about his trip to the Amazon to fish for peacock bass. My mom was not a fan of the insanely colored giant fish lurking in the house, and my dad was thrilled to have an interested party with whom to discuss the adventure. Having lost my dad after almost two years of his illness, we were exhausted and depleted as we began the grieving process. I moved back to Colorado and began tending the budding relationship with Eric. He fly fished. I couldn't bring myself to do it. For one, I didn't believe it was "real" fishing. The thin rod that seemingly had no power behind it and the tiniest "lures" that had no weight. To be honest, one problem I had with fly fishing was the worry that I wouldn't know how to do it. After a lifetime of chunking heavy lures as far as possible, I couldn't imagine how you could throw something so weightless across a river. And two, I knew I wouldn't be able to tell my dad about it, and I didn't need another reminder that he was gone. I did get that the scenery was great, so I tagged along and read books on the rivers, took pictures and played with our dogs while Eric reeled in rainbow, brown, brook and the elusive high altitude cutthroat trout. I noted, sometimes not too quietly, that some of the highest altitude fish that he caught were what we considered to be bait in Louisiana. To be fair, he is from Alabama, so he understood my position but maintained that fly fishing was great fun. I didn't buy it. During the winter and spring of 2005, my inner fisherman began to stretch its legs. I had never thought much about how I'd always been a fisherman and didn't grieve much at the loss of the activity. It wasn't until my heart had healed a bit that I knew my time on the riverbank was part of the healing and that more tight lines were ahead. Eric continued to take me along on trips and presented the sport to me in the way you'd expect an experienced angler to do…patient and easy and with the knowledge that a fish on the end of the line was part of a beautiful day, along with a well 41
presented fly and a spirited wrestle with one of the rocky mountain's greatest animals. During my first few trips, I was part spectator and part angler. He would rig up the rods, and I was wearing borrowed waders. I landed a few good fish and became more interested, but mostly still found myself standing knee deep in a pile of leader, feeling frustrated at being unable to put the fly where I wanted it. We practiced casting, and after a few months, I got the hang of it, although still not great at reaching a far distance. Clear Creek is a small creek west of Denver and great for learners. We were spending the day there in late April when I took a seemingly small spill down the river bank and felt a bone in my right hand snap. At thirty years old, I’d sustained my first broken bone. In my casting hand. Not ones to let such an injury get in the way, we kept our plans to visit Lake City, CO for a long weekend of fishing a few weeks later. Car packed with our three big dogs, a winter of cabin fever behind us, and a cast up to my mid arm, we were off for several days of high mountain fun. Our first morning was spent fishing the very cold Henson Creek. As we rose in elevation and the road veered away from the water, we decided to forge ahead over Engineer Pass. We knew Silverton was on the other side so we made our way down the treacherous and breathtaking pass and grabbed some burgers for lunch. We had not been so exhilarated in a while and were appreciating the fine day we’d spent so far. As we ventured back to the pass, we kept noticing beaver ponds on the Animas River along the side of the road. Some anglers do not appreciate the captive population of wild brook trout living in these ponds. Though small, they are mighty and some of the most colorful fish I’ve ever seen. We stopped to scout it out and noticed plenty of rings and quiet popping noises…so we rigged up. I’d heard people talk about the day the fly fishing bug bit, but I had not experienced it until this day. We caught hundreds of fish, and with each cast and fish landed, we understood that we were living a day we'd always remember. It was the most casting practice I’d ever had and each effort was met with the successful landing of a tiny, fierce brook trout. The dogs, weather, lunch, mountain pass, and afternoon of fishing made for a perfect Colorado fly fishing day. There wasn't a shred of sadness at not being able to share this with my dad. Not because I didn't miss him, but because as a fisherman himself, I knew that he would have only had appreciation for this day. A high mountain pass adventure, a day on an otherwise unnoticed stretch of river, and a new chapter opened. KYPE
A Woman’s Fly Fishing Journey
By Aileen Laneby
magine taking a break from your day to day routine of working in the office to fly fish instead for a year. Only fish. Imagine exploring a river a week —that’s 52 Rivers in a year. Author Shelley Walchak did what most of us dream about doing. She stepped out of her comfort zone and decided that life was too short to not pursue her passion for fly fishing. Shelley was on a mission to enjoy the outdoors and meet others along the way who shared in her passion as well — including fishing with a new female angler a month. 52 Rivers illustrates Shelley’s adventures as she took on this new challenge in her life. Inspired by the book, “365 Days of Pike’s Peak – A Journey,” Shelley went on to create her own Journey in 52 Rivers. As I read the chapters, many times I found Shelley’s words resonate with me. “While you are on the river, the rest of life rarely interferes.” I found myself nodding my head, thinking to myself, “Yes!” Shelley expresses her passion so eloquently in the pages of her book. I truly enjoyed reading 52 Rivers. The book also includes many beautiful photography to accompany her adventures. You don’t have to be a fly fisher to enjoy this book. Shelley’s writings flow as smoothly as the river. And she hopes that you, the reader, will be inspired as well! KYPE
Lake County Treasure by By Sidney Snow
he secret is out. Many steelheaders who have been discouraged by the shoulder to shoulder fishing pressure in New York, PA, and Michigan have migrated to Ohio, and more specifically, the Grand River. The brown trout is a European species of salmonid fish that has been widely introduced into suitable environments globally. ~Wikipedia Scientific name: Salmo trutta Higher classification: Salmo
The majority of the Grand flows through Lake County and offers unlimited food, drink, and accommodations—the options are so plentiful that an angler can choose from a rustic cabin (Lake Metroparks) and cooking their own fish, to a four star hotel and hitting first-class wineries / breweries and restaurants. The Grand is often loaded with fish during the spring and fall, big bright chromers—bruisers with big shoulders. However, things can get a little intimidating down on the river. The conditions are often high water, strong currents and low visibility. Keeping your eye on the water flow chart is essential. Ideal water flow is between 300 and 600 cfs, and many consider it unfishable over 600. I don’t. It is more about visibility than cfs. Many times the Grand will spike over 3000 cfs and drop quickly down to 1000—then it seems to level off for a while (see chart). It is at this time where the river starts to clear and just may provide enough visibility for you to have an incredible day fishing as you’ll be the only one there, with a river full of fish. The fish do not care if the river is at 600 or 800 cfs. To them, it’s all normal. So the fish are there sitting in the typical steelhead holding areas. It is us who put limitations and boundaries on the river. The magic number is 18! If you have 18 inches of visibility, you will hook fish regardless how high the cfs is. A simple way to check the visibility is to grab an 18 inch stick and dip it into the water. If you can see nearly the whole stick, things could get good, really good. The scenario of the chart presented would be really tough conditions, but I would be there the next couple of mornings to check on the visibility. If things are too high and dirty, go find a smaller river, perhaps the Chagrin, another crown jewel of Lake County.
Remember, the Grand often drops quickly. Many times in the morning the river could be too high, but by afternoon it is fishable. The key to success on the Grand is to be one of the first anglers to fish it after a big spike. The spike in water brings the fish in from Lake Erie, and when it recedes and becomes clear enough, you’ll want to be there. Timing it right can produce those aggressive bright chrome steelhead you dream about. You must have complete confidence. Many anglers have to see the fish in order to ensure themselves the fish are there. Sight fishing is very impractical on this system, unless the fish are very dark—the ones you don’t want. Instead of trying to get a glimpse of a fish, use your ability to read the water and fish it like a trout stream or swing it. In stained water many anglers will use bright pinks, chartreuse and the all the flashy colors. I am not a big fan of this. I use colors that almost match the water color, maybe a little darker. This approach with natural colors provides a translucent effect under the water that seems to trigger strikes more often than the gaudy stuff. I have had great success swinging bunny-strip tube flies from a spey or switch rod in high water on the Grand. Using heavy sink tips and short leaders (approx. two feet) will get your presentation down deep enough to where the fish are. Position yourself where the end of your drift sits in a sweet spot and really work the end of your drift. The Grand River and all its beautiful treasures beneath the surface await you. Do yourself a favor and head to Lake County and take advantage of all they have to offer anglers —you won’t be disappointed. KYPE Lake County Fishing Map: http://www.lakemetroparks.com/activities/documents/LMP_FishingMap2016.pdf Grand River Water Flow Chart: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?04212100
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