Lefty Kreh, Braided Loops & Looking Back on New Zealand

Lefty Kreh Dies

Lefty Kreh 2010 1119Lefty died Wednesday March 14th. There are many memorials on the internet but we will link two of them here. He was bigger than life and there will never be anyone else quite like him. So, this spring when the fishing is good and it's a pleasant day on the water, let's take a minute and think about how lucky we are to be where we are at that moment and whisper a prayerful “thank you Lefty”. He would like that. God Bless you Lefty.

Braided Loops

The introduction of braided loops has certainly made attaching our leaders much easier, faster, and simpler. But as you prepare for spring fishing and examine your fly lines, you may find that the loop is showing signs of wear and needs to be replaced.

You have two choices, either buy a pack of ready-to-go braided loops or make your own. I think I'll buy mine, but even so you will find RIO's How-to-make-a-braided-loop video interesting. I don't know about you, but I find that there is always a tip or short cut or something to learn from these clips. Thank you RIO for giving us the How-To series.

We'll also include a second clip which shows attaching the braided loop to the fly line.


New Zealand in the Rearview Window

We have a few photos from our friends/clients who were on the February NZ trip to share with you. Beautiful brown trout!

art4 Dick

Kim Savit  Mark Savit  Sally and Matt

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Early Black Stoneflies, Why I like Tungsten, & Finding Joe Brooks

Tim Flagler's Euro Early Black Stonefly

timEarly black stoneflies are a often a step ahead of most signs of spring. Tim shows us how to tie and easy early black stonefly nymph in this easy-to-follow tying video. Thank you Tim and MidCurrent.  Click here for the video  


Why I like Tungsten

Barry and I are using more tungsten bead nymphs than ever before. We used to pinch on the split shot, sometimes 2 or 3 at a time to get the fly down. Then, years later, came the realization of what lead was doing to streams and rivers, not to mention birds and waterfowl. Eventually the light came on, probably from fishing in New Zealand where all split has been banned for years, and we started the transition to tungsten. There are still times when we may use a tiny bead or two of shot but most of the time when we need to get down, we use tungsten.

There are a lot of good reasons to switch. Here are a few:

1. We don't weaken the leader by crimping on split shot with forceps or pliers. I remember squeezing as hard as possible with pliers trying to keep the shot from slipping and of course it weakened the leader.
2. There is no shot to lose so I know my no-lead practices are better for the environment.
3. My leader doesn't get tangled as often now from not slowing down on my casting stroke.
4. I'd rather have one tungsten nymph hit me in the back of the head than 2 or 3 split shot and a nymph.
5. Tungsten gets the fly down deeper faster than lead. Tungsten is twice as dense as lead and 1.7 times heavier.
6. Tungsten deflects much easier and recoils so hang ups aren't so frequent.
7. And last, it takes me less time to get fishing! No more looking for the right size split shot, finding the opening and getting the leader in it, crimping it in place.....

tungWith spring approaching, think about tungsten nymphs or already weighted nymphs and streamers. They can be very effective and are much easier to use and cleaner in the environment. Tungsten patterns in our store.   -Cathy


Finding Joe Brooks

We were happy to find this video on Fly Dreamers. In it two of our favorite people, Lefty and Jorge Trucco, talk about the legendary Joe Brooks and his early days in Argentina and how he changed the sport of fly fishing for trout. It is truly a walk down memory lane with interesting narrative and great filming. Thank you guys, great job.

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NZ Recap, The Perfect Cast & Tying the BWO Sparkle Dun

New Zealand Recap

Despite a season of tough weather in New Zealand we had a good two weeks at Riverview and Owen River Lodges on the South Island. Early flooding, then extreme heat, and back to high water has everyone anxious for stable weather, but luckily we found rivers in pretty good shape and fish willing and able to play. Click here to see a few photos from our anglers. Enjoy.

If you're not on Facebook, choose “Not Now” and you can still view the photos.

The Perfect Cast    rio

Here's something to help you while away the time between now and opening day. Simon Gawesworth talks to us about how to make a perfect cast. As many of you know, Simon is the face behind RIO products and is a popular presenter at shows and other angler gatherings. Sit back and enjoy.


Tying the BWO Sparkle Dun

We came across a good clip on tying the improved Sparkle Dun with Matt Grobert. Add a few of these duns to ydunour tying list for spring.       

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RIO's Choosing a Tarpon Line, Giant Trevally Attack & Update from NZ

Choosing a Tarpon Line

RIO offers three tarpon lines for different situations. Sometimes the water is calm and the fish are near the surface, other times it's windy and the fish are deep. Zack Dalton at RIO explains how you can have the right line for each tarpon scenario.

Giant Trevally Attacks and Eats a BirdCHRISTMAS ISLAND1171

I know, just when you think you've seen it all. If you've been to the Seychelles or Christmas Island, you have fished to giant trevally, but I'll bet you've never seen this. It's amazing. Thanks to the Venturing Angler and Blue Planet II for sharing. Click link below to see video.

Update from New Zealand

Barry, Cathy, and the group are enjoying beautiful, warm summer weather in New Zealand, and catching some very nice brown trout.  Here are a few photos from them. 

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Lefty Update, Trout Near the Sweepers & Making America Great Again

February Fly Special Correction

februaryThank you to our readers who brought this error to my attention. We have corrected the price and apologize for not catching it the first time. We will extend the offer through March 9. Now it's a good deal! Cathy.

Two great selections for anytime of the season, but essential in the spring. Our bead head Hares Ear Selection and our bead head Pheasant Tail Selection. Two dozen flies, sizes 12, 14, 16, each boxed in a pocket pack with a RIO Powerflex 3X leader. (A $45 value)

$35.00 (Plus regular shipping) Click here to go to our store

Lefty Update

leftyA frequently asked question at the Edison, NJ, show over the weekend was, “How is Lefty doing?” He is our most loved ambassador and we're pleased to say that he's doing okay. Actually much better than before. Barry and I talked with him yesterday and he was his old chipper self. In the current issue of MidCurrent, Marshall Cutchin reports on his hour-long chat with Lefty.

Can Fly Fishing Help Make America Great Again?

No, we are not getting into a political discussion here, but I have to say that when I read this short article by Louis Cahill, flagblogwhom Barry and I have long admired, it made me think. Thank you, Louis, for sharing your thoughts with us in Gink and Gasoline. It's a suggestion we can all benefit from simply by hearing. You help me be a better person.

Trout Near the Sweepers

We have lots of sweepers here that trout love to use to their advantage. Enjoy this short 2:33 video, catch a couple of tips, and daydream about summer. Thank you to Orvis and Dave & Amelia Jensen.

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Edison Fly Fishing Show, Chile Recap & February Fly Special

Edison This Weekend!2011 3187

The Edison Fly Fishing Only Show is this week, Friday through Sunday, in a new larger location at the NJ Convention & Expo Center. See one of Barry's seminars on Nymphing Strategies, Catching Larger Trout 2, or Dry Fly Strategies. Cathy will be giving casting demonstrations and teaching a women's class Sunday afternoon. Stop by the Sage booth to say hello and try a new rod. And see what's new in trips at Frontiers. For more information See you there!


February Fly Specialfebruary

Two great selections for anytime of the season, but essential in the spring. Our bead head Hares Ear Selection and our bead head Pheasant Tail Selection. Two dozen flies, sizes 12, 14, 16, each boxed in a pocket pack with a RIO Powerflex 3X leader. (A $55 value) For orders placed now through February only.

$45.00 (Plus regular shipping)  Click here to go to our store   


Chile Recap

We had a great trip to Estancia de Los Rios recently. It was so nice to get out of the winter and enjoy a week of summer in the mountains. Our fishing included spring creeks, the Cisnes River, and a couple lakes, all on a 360,000 acre ranch. We fished different water everyday and never left the property, and never saw anyone else. It was a pretty special experience. Here are a few of our favorite shots and there are more in the Facebook album.



We'd like to include the last of our blog contest short stories this week. These entries are from Rachel Dagovitz, Ted Eisele, and Robert Moore. Thank you all for participating. It sure was fun.

"I have always heard my fly fishing friends talk about epic fishing days, but until Nov 4th of this year, I never had that experience.Well, yeah baby, I finally had my day!!More than 20 steelhead to the net that Saturday at Elk Creek, PA.I’m still giddy two weeks later.Being on the water is great, but when everything comes together for an epic day, it’s just magical. "

Rachel Dagovitz


It started with a TV show. Fly fishing for sharks? I watched and felt an adrenaline rush. “I’ve got to do that!” I told my family.

Finally, my daughter and I were there. An 8-foot hammerhead came up and bit the motor mount. I told Katie, “we’re NOT telling Mom!” Then it smashed my fly. Its runs had made the reel scream.

After running forever, it sounded. Slowly, I muscled it back up until it lay on the surface just 20 yards away. Then, it swung its tail around until the fin sliced the leader. Wow!    -Ted Eisele


1993 first & only time fishing YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK and the surrounding rivers, first float trip(Madison)......wildest thunderstorm I've ever seen....seeing Yellowstone Lodge, Old Faithful Geyser.......snowball fight in July.....WOW....     -Robert Moore

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Sage & RIO Blogs, Understanding Mayflies, & Outside By The River

Do you subscribe to the Sage and RIO blogs? The Sage blog at,, has lots of interesting fishSageing stories from writers around the country....and world. I loved reading Nine Months of October by Rob Parkins. I like his lifestyle, elk in the freezer, wood stacked by the door, and fall fishing. He tells us what weight rods he likes to use at different times and why. It's easy, enjoyable reading.  

If you skip over to the RIO blog, at, you'll find more short stories with a bit more focus on lines and leaders. Check out Tips for Temps by Scott O'Donnel. But while you're on the site look around, it has a wealth of information. If you go back to the home page (just click the big RIO in the yellow bar at the top), you see the Line Selector, a really cool tool for helping you select the right line for your rod – any brand and weighriot. Enter your rod and see what it has to say.

Both blogs entertain us with great videos and photos, and at the same time we learn about the products we like to fish. And while you're there, sign up for the blogs. It's an easy way to keep up with new products, new technology, and a delightful short stories.     

Understanding Mayflies

09 PENNS CREEK 0309 In many places, like here in the northeast, trout season opens in April with fish feeding a parade of insects emerging, hatching, and dying on the water. As a fly fisherman, it's important for us to be able to determine what the insect is, what it is doing, and how to present our fly in a way that catches the fish. While there are several insect groups, mayflies are the most popular and often the hatch that you will need to imitate.

Fly Fisherman Magazine online gives us an easy read on the mayfly and how to better prepare for the game when it opens in the spring.


“Outside By the River”

We found this entertaining video on MidCurrent. It's very well done and I think Jean Phillip describes why we all like to be Outside By the River. We hope you enjoy it. Thank you MidCurrent and Jean.

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Fishing in Chile, Ug Nymphs & Fishing Stories

As I put together the blog today, Barry and Cathy are on their way to Estancia de los Rios, Chile, with a group of 8 guests. I'm envious of them being in summer weather while it's freezing here at home, and it's hard for me to imagine a 360,000 acre ranch with a river, a spring creek, and lakes. It sounds beautiful and I hope to have a report from them for next week's blog. Brooke.


Ug Nymphs

As we continue to update flies on the store, we will be writing about some of the patterns and perhaps telling a story about a particular pattern. All of the flies listed are patterns we use and believe in. We'd love to hear from you and get your thoughts as well. Today, Barry writes about the Ug Nymphs:

Ug nymphs, flexi-legs, rubber-legged, whatever you want to call them – these big flexi legged variegated chenille body nymphs catch fish. I wrote a few years back about an Argentine guide who relied on legged nymphs so much that he thought of them as a secret fly on his local river. He refused to show them to anyone that he thought of as competition. It took a week of prodding but he finally relented and handed me three of his favorite colors.  77 POWER PINT IMAGES

If you have never tried these nymphs, your first impression may be how simple but yet how buggy they look. Think of them as a great stonefly nymph imitation or any large nymph that is very much alive in the water. I get to spend a lot of time on the water with clients and I've learned to think out of the box when it comes to fly patterns. This past season I was standing next to a good friend who I fish with each year. The water was gin clear and we could see a number of fish anchored on the bottom. After drifting a number of small nymphs and caddis larva by, without any notice from the fish, I cut back the 6x RIO leader and attached a size 6 Ug nymph.

blog rainbowI looked at my friend and he laughed and asked if I was trying to scare them to death. I asked him not to be too quick to pass judgment. I know the fish in this pool have college degrees, but I also know the Ug. I watched his first cast unfold and followed the Ug nymph as it quickly sank to the bottom. I immediately yelled for him to strike as I watched a good rainbow engulf the Ug. My friend mumbled, “Absolutely amazing,” as we released the fish. The Ug nymphs have saved more than one day on the stream and I always carry a selection of colors and sizes in my fly box. You might want to as well.  Link to our store Here

Story Contest Entries

We have a couple more story entries to share with you this week. Peter Nilsen reflects on an Opening Day many years ago, and Mike Norton fondly recalls taking his 10 year old son fishing on the West Branch of the Ausable. Both are wonderful stories. Thank you Mike & Peter. Enjoy.

My most memorable fly fishing experience was when I took my 10 year old son to West Branch Ausable in NY. We met a few friends of mine there , stayed at KOA, went to friends fly shop to get him waders and off we went. Down on the river with his new rod he won at TU Banquet all excited ready to get going. Now trying to explain how to do things he replies that he already knows how to fly fish...Oh yeah lets see a cast. He gets in water and bang beautiful cast about 25 feet. Tim my friend who is a guide looks at me and says where did he learn that, must have been from playing with practice rods at home. Tyler is my son name , he made me proud that day and he even caught couple rainbow. We still had 2 more days of fishing so we meet up with more friends and they also took a liking to Tyler and his skills encouraging him to keep going. As our last day comes he is crying that he wants to stay and fish more but we have a long drive, make a deal with him we fished again that day just he and I for few hours then went to my friends shop to return the waders. Tyler then proceeds to tell all of my friends there at the shop how he out fished his Dad and he was a better flyfisherman than him, right Dad I caught more fish than you. Yes he did and I could not have been more happier and my buddies all got to rub it in for a while.The smile on Tyler's face was worth every single second and everyone has that memory to share for the rest of there life. I remember it like yesterday and so does Tyler...even throws out every now and then hey dad remember when I caught more fish than you the first time I flyfished. We continue to make memories together.
Thank you
Mike Norton

Opening Day
It was the start of the 1952 fishing season, cold and raw – the dayI dreamed about all winter, and the first time using my new fly rod, bought with Christmas tips from my paper route. I tossed out a ratty, old streamer, then danced around to keep warm.
The line move, I set the hook, an enormous ‘largemouth’ vaulted out of the water and dove for the bottom, only to pull out.
“Oh, no, had to be a 10 pounder,” I yelled! That fish wasn’t hooked, but I was. 65 years later I’m still hooked, still casting a fly rod for that special fish.
Peter Nilsen

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Beck Store Update

Baby It's Cold Outside! We hope you are somewhere warm and reading our blog today. For us and many others, it's freezing cold! In many places our stream, Fishing Creek, is frozen over and we don't see that very often. It makes us envious of friends and customers who are heading south to fish Argentina and Chile, or saltwater trips to the Bahamas and other warm locales.

tarpon teaser selectionWith that in mind, we've been busy updating the flies in our store. IfBeetle selection you're headed to South America or New Zealand, be sure to have plenty of Super Beetles, Adams, and PT nymphs. Going for tarpon? Check out the new Tarpon Teaser selection. Actually all of our selections are good buys and good additions to your gear bag. Bonefish? Stock up on Gotchas, Sliders and Sili-legs. 

Click here to go to our store


 2018 Trips Poster 1

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Happy New Year!



We take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our readers, friends, clients, and customers who read our blogs, fish our flies, hire our guides and take our trips. Without you we wouldn't be here doing the things we love and for that a simple thank you doesn't seem to be enough. We are very thankful for each of you and we wish you all a very Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year.

We wrap up this year with two more of our story contest entries. Both writers recall a fishing experience that ended up being something quite unexpected. Next week when we are all back in our normal work week routines and the holidays are behind us for another year, we'll resume our regular blog.

I was trolling at peters Pond on the Cape but I decided to throw a dry fly, and much to my surprise a winged creature came back at me. when I draw my line in the fly I had on attracted a bat. And that’s the only time I’ve caught a bad while fly fishing. I had my lifelong friend with me and we often tell this story when we get together with our fishing buddies. –Bryan Parrish

I was fishing for Tarpon on a lagoon in Puerto Rico for the first time years ago. I saw a long shadow swimming along about 75 feet away and made two casts at it. Thought it was a great fish. There was a swirl and spray of water which scared the hell out me. What I thought was a tarpon was a scuba diver snorkeling across the reef! No kidding.... never tried since     -Henry Ramsey

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