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Getting Ready for Salmon/Steelhead, Guiding, & New Caddis Pupa Pattern

Getting Ready for Salmon/Steelhead?riologo

If you often find yourself in tight brushy spots on medium size rivers, you know how important the fly line is to the cast. These places exist a lot on the Erie tributaries – high banks, no room to back cast. Watch this short film on RIO's Short Scandi Versitip. If you're fishing switch or short spey rods, it may just be the line you're looking for!   

https://www.rioproducts.com/products/lines-heads/rio-scandi-short-versitip

Guiding This Past Week

Fall has arrived. We had a beautiful week of fall weather and good fishing. Slate Drakes, cinnamon caddis, ants, and of course nymphs provided our clients with pleasant, productive days on the water.

Weather permitting, we'll fish up to Thanksgiving, but October and early November is certainly the most popular and most enjoyable time to be on the water.

We hope you are getting out to enjoy it! Come and fish with us.

dennis

 Ira  jeff

Tying the Beefy Bean with Ethan Martin

Looking for a new caddis pupa pattern that sinks quickly and draws attention? Well, then this might be the one! Add it to your winter fly tying pattern list.

https://midcurrent.com/2018/09/17/video-hatch-beefy-bean-fly-tying-tutorial/?utm_source=MidCurrent+Fly+Fishing+Email+Newsletter&utm_campaign=2e9f97861c-MidCurrent_October_5_2017_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8efbf3b958-2e9f97861c-189293

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OCT
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Jim's Tips, Fall in PA, & How to Fish the Upstream Dry Fly

Jim's Tips

October Fly Fishing Tips  

Where has time gone? I can't believe I'm writing about October fly fishing…. and we all know what is coming next in the weather forecast.

October can be the last chance to fish for active trout before winter sets in. And as everyone on the east coast is aware, the heavy rains and flooding has not given us much chance to be on the water. Here we missed some of the best hatches of the year because of the high and fast water.

Jim 0070One thing to keep in mind with fall fishing is that you can sleep in a little longer. You don't need be on the water at day break like you do in the heat of the summer. In summertime most of us fish in the early morning and late evening to avoid the heat of the day and it's the best time to find active feeding fish. If you are an archery hunter you can be in your tree stand until mid-morning and then head to the trout stream for mid-afternoon fly fishing. And then head back to the tree stand for the evening hunt.

The cooler evening air temperatures result in colder water temperatures and the trout can be lethargic in early mornings and in the late evenings once the sun leaves the water. Trout will be the most active in the sun-warmed water of mid-day.

With the colder air and water temperatures, be sure that you dress for the changing conditions. My gear bag has gloves, hand warmers, heavier socks and shirts or jackets so I'm ready for changes in weather.

Low water conditions, bright sunlight and bright fall foliage make it very important to wear more natural earth color clothing than any other time of the year. Move slowly and as stealthily as possible.

Fly selection changes too with October fishing. The rule of thumb I use is to either go big or go small. I like small dry flies and nymphs for fall fly fishing and early October can produce great dry fly fishing with ants, beetles and hoppers. I like to fish a beetle with a size 18 or 20 BH (bead head) pheasant tail or caddis pupa as a drop fly. Flying ants are still around for a while and can be a lot fun to fish if you are lucky enough to see them on the water. As for mayflies, the most common fall mayfly in our area would be the Blue-winged Olives in sizes 18 and 20's. We do have some October Caddis along with size 16 and 18 tan caddis that can give you dry fly action especially in the warmest part of the day.

Trout feeding habits also change in October. Brook and brown trout are getting ready for the spawn and the big browns can put on the feed bag. I catch some of the biggest brown trout of the season at this time of year. On occasions I will just hunt big fish. And then I usually use a large streamer such as a Cathy's Super Bugger. If the water conditions calls for it, I will use a sinking tip line. Another effective technique is to dead drift a large bugger or sculpin pattern with a nymph as your trailing fly. Be sure to let the nymph swing off the bottom at the end of the drift and be ready for a big brown to take it. Hunting for big browns usually doesn't mean a lot of trout in the net but just possibly the biggest trout of the season.Jim 0071

Add a little color to your nymphs. I'm not sure why but nymphs and streamers with orange beads or orange hot spots behind a black bead head work very well in the fall. Red and chartreuse hot spots can also get a trout’s attention this time of year.

As I mentioned before the brown and brook trout are spawning which means there are eggs in the water and egg patterns can also be very effective in October.

Be sure to be aware of spawning fish. Watch out for redds (spawning beds) when wading in the water and be careful not to fish to spawning resident fish. But you can fish to the other fish that are downstream of the redd who will be eating the eggs and nymphs that are floating by. On many occasions I have seen fishermen walk through fish redds completely unaware. You will find spawning fish in riffles at the tail of large pools which are where fishermen are wading to cross the stream. Redds without mature fish on them still hold life and should be avoided when wading. If I spot a redd I let other fishermen know where they are and ask them to be careful when wading. If you not sure what a redd looks like Google “Fish Redds” and you will see many examples.

Here on Fishing Creek and other local trout streams we have spawning trout and we are always careful to protect them as much as possible. On many occasions I have caught small stream born browns and rainbows on Fishing Creek and it's really cool to briefly hold one of these beautiful trout before releasing it.

I'm surprised at how many fly fishermen have told me they never fish in October. October offers great fishing, great photo opportunities and it’s a wonderful time to be outdoors.

Fall in PA

fall blogOctober is a beautiful month here in the northeast. Soon all of our trees will be dressed in their most vibrant colors and warm fall days will be calling out fishermen, hunters, and hikers to the streams, fields, and trails for a final bittersweet good-bye until next year. Trout will be showing off spectacular spawning colors and will be busy building redds and producing another generation of wild trout for us to admire later on.

If you’re thinking about coming to our valley to enjoy the fishing or perhaps the water fall trails at Rickett’s Glen State Park or to take advantage of the State Game Lands, now is the time to make plans and to firm up reservations.

Here are a few of our favorite fall images, we hope you enjoy them and we hope to see you in the next month.  

How to Fish the Upstream Dry Fly  

The seventh episode of season Two of RIO's “How To” series. RIO ambassador Rob Parkins explains the advantages of fishing a dry fly upstream.

This is an excellent example of many techniques we use while fly fishing. If you are a relatively new fly angler, pay special attention to Rob's harionds as he controls the line, notice how the fish are not out in the middle of the riffle but are hugging the seam between the fast and the slow water along the edge. Learn how to spot rises and then while staying well back from the fish cast a couple feet above him allowing the fly and tippet to drift down to him while keeping the heavy part of the leader and the fly line well away from the fish.

Thank you Rob and RIO.  

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Purple Super Buggers, Video Hatch & Beaver Believers

Purple Super Bugger

purpleOur best selling streamer just got better and may just become our favorite color of all. This has been a season of high off-color water here and in many parts of the country. We've used lots of streamers and heavy nymphs and the new purple super bugger has won hands down against all the other colors in difficult water conditions. Size 4 & 6. Visit our store.

Video Hatch: “Water and Blood”
from Sage Fly Fish/Erin Block and Nathaniel Maddux

This thoughtful film reflects on family and connection to place, with beautiful footage of fly fishing for smallmouth bass. Thanks to Erin Block and MidCurrent. Enjoy.

 

The Beaver Believers

Nature's engineers are usually good for trout, and TU is working to bring beavers back where they're needed most. It turns out that beaver dams, sitting water, swamps, and bogs are not so bad – even good. Mother Nature knew what she was doing after all.

https://www.tu.org/blog-posts/the-beaver-believers?utm_source=informz&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=informz

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Fall Fishing, Bighorn Review & Some Days are Easier Than Others

Fall Fishing

DSC 0041

 

We're headed into what is, for many of us, our favorite time of year. Many places, like here, have had a tough late summer. For once we didn't have low water but too much water for most of the season. In between high water times there was some very good fishing but the unpredictable weather made it difficult to schedule ahead. Hopefully the weather will settle down (there is no rain in the forecast) and we'll have a beautiful fall season. We are all ready for it. You can see that the fish and the water are in great shape. Come out and join us for some guided fall fishing.

 

Bighorn Review

1692 BIGHORN 2018It was a very different year on the Bighorn this year. A record breaking snow pack last winter resulted in high water releases all season...until, luckily, a couple weeks before we arrived. We found the river low and at a great level to fish well, but unfortunately it was also warm and off color. The tricos appeared everyday as we hoped and there was dry fly fishing. Lots of fish were caught but we had to work harder for them than in other years. Let's hope for normal weather both east and west for next season! Here are a few of our favorite images from the August trip.

 

“Some Days are Easier Than Others”

We found this short story by Bob Romano in MidCurrent. We love the north woods and have had some fishing adventures in Maine. It's a humorous fall fishing story with a slight twist at the end. We hope you enjoy it.

https://midcurrent.com/techniques/some-days-are-easier-than-others/?utm_source=MidCurrent+Fly+Fishing+Email+Newsletter&utm_campaign=9552876854-MidCurrent_October_5_2017_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8efbf3b958-9552876854-18929377

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Trips, Ants & East Rosebud

The Rio Malleo
March 24 – 30, 2019

2013 ARGENTINA 3232The late author Ernest Schweibert dubbed the Rio Malleo in Patagonia, Argentina, as the Queen of all spring creeks, and we agree. Set below Lanin Volcano, this private fishery offers 20 miles of true spring creek experience with weed-choked channels, blue-winged olive hatches, selective trout, canyon sections that will remind one of Montana's Gallatin River, long placid pools with sipping browns and rainbows, willows, cut banks, the Muddy Lagoon (possibly for your trip fish), and so much more.

In a valley bordered by monkey puzzle trees and the call of a red stag in rut, you will find San Huberto Lodge. Owned and operated by the Olsen family, now in the fourth generation. This is a true Argentina experience. Join us for a week on the Malleo, fine Malbec wine, and amazing Argentina hospitality. Read the itinerary.

Belize River Lodge
April 27 – May 4, 2019

We honestly don't know how many trips we've hosted over the years to Belize River Lodge, but one thing is for sure – we always have a good time. In a way it's like going home to see old friends, enjoy great food, and of course there is the fishing.

Like most saltwater destinations, you never know what you're going to find. It could be an 80-pound tarpon on the the City 1698 TARPON BELIZE 2017 Flats, or if you're lucky a tailing permit on the reef, perhaps bonefish in skinny water, or you can head into the back country for snook or baby tarpon. And all the while, there is amazing bird life, howler monkeys, manatees, etc.

The Belize City airport is easy in & out, and the lodge is just minutes away – literally. Come along with us for a shot at a grand slam....and maybe a super slam. Click for details.

East Rosebud Fly Shop
Billings, Montana

When we're in Billings, Montana, we always stop at the East Rosebud Fly Shop on South 24th St. Talk about a well-stocked shop, this is it. If you can't find it anywhere else, I'll bet Rich has it. From every fly tying material you can think of to a complete inventory of gear and accessories for the fly fisherman. Stop in if you're in Billings. https://eastrosebudflyandtackle.com

IMG 2003 IMG 2001

When the Ants Fall

In a couple weeks we will have an excellent opportunity to encounter a fall of winged ants. Ants fall throughout autumn from ant1late September through early November. You never know when you might find ants on the water, but one thing is for sure – if you're lucky enough to find them, they will bring even the largest fish to the surface. It might be small size 20 black winged ants or larger size 16 winged cinnamon ants. It happens every year so be sure to have a few of each size and color in your box. It's pretty incredible fishing when it happens!  Shop for ants hereant2

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Fishing after the Flood, Dr Slick Products, & Sage's BackCountry Season

JIM'S TIPS -- Fishing After the Flood!

Throughout northeastern Pennsylvania the 2018 trout season will be one for the record books jimor one most people would rather forget. Here in Fishing Creek Valley the town of Benton made the national nightly news showing the flooding throughout the town. Fortunately no lives were lost in this historic flooding throughout Pennsylvania.

DSC 0002Most streams are back to more normal water flows and it's time to get back on the water and catch some fish. I've been out several times in the last few weeks checking out different areas and finding that things have changed in most areas along the streams.

First time I was on the water after the water receded I actually found some trout caught in small pools and I was able to net them and return to the stream. Unfortunately, I also found several trout that didn't survive the ordeal.

With the Fall Season just around the corner it's a good idea to go to your favorite fishing spots and checkout to see what damage has been done to roads and trails leading into and around the stream. Many trails and paths are blocked by huge log jams and debris is everywhere on the banks and in the stream. I found refrigerators, chairs, dumpsters, pumpkins and other trash. And it would be a good idea to bring a garbage bag to pickup some of the smaller debris that litters the area.

More than likely the stream as you knew it has changed. Some holes are filled in and some have deepen. With the unevenDSC 0004 stream bottom wading can be more difficult and be aware of the changes in the stream bottom. Using a wading staff would be a very good idea in these new conditions.

Be aware mosquitoes are everywhere and will drive you crazy. Bugs spray or lotion is a must. I understand that the West Nile Virus has been found in mosquitoes in this area. Natural Fly, mosquitoes and tick repellent made by Pixie Soaps is the best I found to keep mosquitoes and ticks at bay.

In the areas that I fish I've found that the majority of the fish have survived and many are spread out because of the different changes in the stream bottom. One technique I use to locate fish is to use a small white or yellow streamer or wooly bugger and work it through the pools to see if the trout will chase it or flash at it. In shallow riffles a large stimulator dry fly will often get trout to come up take a look.

Here on Fishing Creek the water flow is good and water temperatures are in a good range to catch trout. Although now I'm catching trout early in the morning before the heat of the day, next week's weather forecast calls for more September-like weather conditions and the fishing will improve.

Late summer and early fall trout fishing can produce some of the best fly fishing of the season. The second brood of Slate Drakes should be hatching here on Fishing Creek soon, although I haven't seen many of the shucks on the rocks yet. Fishing a Slate Drake size 12 nymph usually works well in early September. Slate Drake nymphs are swimmers and they don't hide under the rocks but sit on top gathering food as it floats by. One of the more productive ways I like to fish them is without an indicator and slowly retrieve the fly towards the shore line. Don't forget BWO's and October Caddis as the season progresses. Terrestrials such as beetles, ants, small caddis dries, and hoppers are my go to flies this time of year. In deep pools a stone fly pattern such as a Ugg nymph with a pheasant tail nymph as a trailer fly can produces some nice trout.

On sunny days in small pools and riffles small size 16 to 20 bead heads nymphs such has a Rainbow Warrior, Flashback Pheasant Tail, Copper Johns (in different colors) and small Caddis nymphs can bring a few trout to the net. As we get later into September small egg patterns will also be a good choice.

Maybe it's been a while since you've gotten out because of the high water and flooding this summer. So it's time to get on back the water and check out the areas you usually fish and make up for the lost time. In general, there are plenty of trout and they have not been fished over much in the last few weeks. The one thing that you'll find is a very different stream than you knew before the flooding. In a strange way it's exciting to relearn the pools and riffles and decide what is the best way to fish them. As I get older seasons go back so quickly and I don't plan on wasting a moment of what is left of the 2018 season.

Dr. Slick Fans

slickDr. Slick fans will be happy to hear about new Razor scissors and pliers. Serious anglers and fly tiers will recognize the Dr. Slick name as a name they can trust. Thank you Angling Trade News for bringing us this news release.
https://www.anglingtrade.com/2018/08/29/dr-slick-2019-highlights-razor-sharp-scissors-new-pliers/

 

Hosted Trips 2019

This is what our 2019 schedule is looking like.

January 12-19 Coyhaique River Lodge, Chile
February 9-16 Laguna Verde, Argentina (Jurassic Lake)
February 17-23 Estancia Tecka, Argentina
March 16-23 Tres Valles Lodge, Argentina
March 24-30 San Huberto Hosteria, Argentina
March 30-Apr. 6 Limay River Lodge, Argetina
Apr. 27-May 4 Belize River Lodge, Belize
June 19-28 Slovenia
July 25-Aug.10 Africa Photo Safari
Aug. 23-Sept.7 Bighorn River, Montana
October Spain (dates TBA)
Nov.30-Dec.7 Tres Valles Lodge, Argentina

Alpine Gold
Sage BackCountry Season

Is the trail calling.....come before winter? Mike Tea reminds us that the days are getting shorter, the nights longer, and we better get out there.

https://www.sageflyfish.com/experience/seasons/2018-backcountry?utm_source=Sage+Newsletter&utm_campaign=7126485b29-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_29_04_06&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a4f998861d-7126485b29-85101789

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Alaska Photos, Single Handed Spey Cast & Salmon Systems

Alaska Album

3814ALASKA 2018We've put together a small album of some of our favorite shots from the recent Alaska trip. The silver salmon fishing was unbelievable and along with the silvers came dolly varden, chum, rainbows and pinks. It was fast and furious fishing and we're already looking forward to returning to Reel Action Camp on the Kanektok River in August of 2020. We hope you can join us.  Click here to view Barry's photos from the trip.

Single Handed Spey Cast

If you are ever in a situation with too little room behind you to make a back cast, and find that the roll cast doesn't give you enough distance or fails to make the angle change you want, you could do a whole lot worse than learn how to spey cast.

Take it from the master at RIO, Simon Gawesworth:


Salmon Systems are Out of Balance

From the Anchorage Daily News. Fishing guide Chris Tobias writes about the suffering salmon runs in Alaska. “King salmon returns across much of Alaska are the worst in recent memory, and fishing closures have touched nearly every corner of the state.” Learn more about what's going on in Alaska from this interesting young guide.

https://www.adn.com/opinions/2018/07/19/salmon-systems-are-out-of-balance/

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Report from the Bighorn, New Tech at Smith Optics, & RIO FF Film Awards

Report from the Bighorn

2013 0296BIGHORN RIVERThe Bighorn is fishing well with tricos everyday. The hatch is early and boats are leaving the lodge at 6:30 each morning. Most of the trico fishing is over by 1:00, and after a late lunch we are fishing nymphs or streamers the rest of the day. Mornings are cool and fleece feels good. Fall is definitely in the air. Somedays there is some smoke from fires in the west and mornings often start out foggy. The river is beautiful and this is a great place to be right now!  BIGHORN 2016 2065

 

 

New Technology at Smith Optics

smith2

Plastic scratches, glass is heavy....what is one to do?

Smith has the answer. ChromaPop Glass is 12x more scratch resistant and 20% lighter than glass. Dusk to Dawn performance and comfort. Read all about it. Thank you MidCurrent for bringing us this news.

 

RIO Amateur Fly Fishing Film Awards 2018

A lot of time is spent in industry circles talking about how to get young people interested in fly fishing. Maybe we should talk to this young lady's father because she is hooked and the video has to make her dad proud. Congratulations Meris on winning the film awards and to your dad too.

https://mailchi.mp/rioproducts/our-2018-rio-amateur-fly-fishing-film-award-is-now-over?e=8b5f86f70f

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Waterlogged & Jim's Tips

Waterlogged

We just recovered from a flood a couple weeks ago and Monday we were hit again with more water and more force than before. Everyone in the Fishing Creek valley who lives near the water or low land has suffered loss of some kind, some have lost homes. EMS was busy evacuating people from homes and roof tops with hovercraft, helicopters, even front end loaders. For this normally sleepy little valley, it was surreal to see us on national news. It will take some time for us to bounce back, but we will. And before you know it, trout will be rising and flies will be cast. It’s what we do.

Here's a link to the news coverage with video

Jim's Tips  jim

I get a lot of questions from clients and fly fishing friends on what is my favorite strike indicators, split shots, floatant and other fly fishing essentials. So I decided to make a list of some of my favorite things. Keep in mind that I like “simple and easy.”

DSC 0005STRIKE INDICATORS – The most asked question about strike indicators I'm asked is: “Should I use them” Easy answer “YES”

Reasons: Easier to detect subtle strikes.
You can adjust the indicator to the depth you want the fly to be at. (Be sure to move the indicator up or down the leader as you move to different water depths in pools and riffles).
You will not hang up on the bottom as often with strike indicators as you would without them. Thus you don't loose as many flies but more importantly you do not disturb the pool trying to get free.

Favorite Indicators – First of all the there are a lot of different types of strike indicators on the market today. And each have their advantages and disadvantages. Over the years I have tried several different type of indicators and I narrowed it down to two that I use.

Thing-a-bobbers – These are basically a plastic ball that come in different sizes. Easy to use and easy to slide up and down your leader. One disadvantage is they do kink and twist the leader. I use them mostly for guiding beginner fly fishermen in small pools and riffles.

Australian Wool – My favorite strike indicator and the only one I personally use. They float well but you do need to treat the wool with a floatant. Easy to slide up and down the leader and they don't kink and twist the leader.
I pretreat the wool with a dry fly floatant called “Agra XXX” and I attached the wool strike indicator to the leader using dental rubber bands. You simply form a loop in your leader and twist the loop around the rubber band five times. Insert Australian Wool into the loop and slide the rubber band up to the wool. The depth of the water and the weight of the flies determines how much wool you use. If you need to add more just open the loop by sliding the rubber band down and adding more wool.
Australian wool comes in an assortment of colors. Depending on the day certain colors are easier to see on the water then others. It might come as a surprise but personally I prefer black on most days.

SPLIT SHOTS – Several years ago a guide friend introduced me to “Black Bird Split Shots. They meet my “simple and easy” rule. They come in a convenient dispenser with two sizes of shot per package, one size on each end and a split soft rubber top to easily dispense the shot from either end. BB-1 and BB-3 in one pack and BB-2 and BB-4 in the other.
I believe you are only one split shot away from catching fish. I prefer these four sizes so I can add or take off a split shot depending on the depth of the pool I'm fishing. I always fish tandem flies and usually position the split shots between the two flies.

DSC 0002FLOATANT – All of my dry flies I pre-treat with Agra XXX. Simply submerge the fly into the solution and let dry. I also use this on my Australian Wool strike indicator.
After I catch a fish I dry the fly with drying crystals and then treat the fly with a powder like Frog Fanny. I also use only Frog Fanny when fishing emergers or dry flies with poly or cdc wings.

LINE AND FLY SINK – Most fly fishermen I've talked to never even heard of it. I prefer to use line sink instead of a split shot on my nymphs in low water conditions and when fishing a nymph behind a dry fly as a drop fly.
When fishing a dry fly to select trout I will put some line sink a foot above my fly to help hide the leader.

LEADERS AND TIPPET – I like RIO mono leaders 9 ft. 4x. They have a strong butt section and easily turn over even my heavier flies. I attached two feet of RIO tippet to the leader. As the tippet length shortens to the leader I simply add two more feet of tippet. This way I never go into my leader I simply add tippet to lengthen it.
I prefer RIO fluorocarbon tippet in sizes from 2x to 7x in my sling pack. Fluorocarbon vs. Mono tippet debate will go on forever. But I do prefer using fluorocarbon tippet over mono most of the times.

These are some of the things I have learned over the many years of fly fishing that just helps make the day on the water more enjoyable and more successful. Most of these things I learned from fellow guides, fly fishing friends, and clients that I have had the privilege of spending time on the water with.

Alaska
What a Week!

Last week at Reel Action Camp on the Kanektok was the best week of silver salmon fishing we've ever had. One big fish after the other, anglers were landing 50+ fish a day averaging 8-18 pounds. It was fast and furious, non-stop, action and a good part of it was on top skating mice and gurglers. Along with silvers, we had pinks, dollies, rainbows, and chum. Barry is still editing photos and there'll be more to come, but here's a quick look at some shots from our guests.

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New Sage Rods, Africa Safari Opening, & How to Tie a Foam Beetle

New Sage Rods


This season Sage is introducing the Ignitor and the Dart to the family of fly rods.    Screen Shot 2018 07 31 at 1.08.29 PM

The Ignitor is designed specifically for windy conditions, long casts, carrying line, accuracy and loop control. If you bring the will, the IGNITOR will supply the way.

On the other end of the curve is the DART. This sweetheart is designed for accurate delivery of small flies, small water, and light stealthy presentations. The lightest, most precise casting small water rod ever made, the DART is destined to become a cherished rod in any angler's quiver.

Check them out!



Africa Safari
July 26-August 9, 2019

AFRICA 2015 10836We have one accommodation (2 people) and one spot for a woman (sharing with another woman) available on our 2019 African Photo Safari. Visit the best appointed camps in East Africa and experience the Great Migration, one of the world's most amazing spectacles.
This is the ultimate in African safaris and we promise it to be a trip of a lifetime.

Visit our photo gallery and the complete itinerary, and then grab these last spots.

 

Tim's Foam Beetle 2.0

A new take on an old favorite. Take a look at Tim Flagler's beetle in Midcurrent. It couldn't get much easier. Use these flies right through fall until frost arrives. It's a pattern that is hard to beat.  

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