In keeping with the season, we're offering a special on our Ug Nymphs. This is a perfect pattern for early season fishing. Weighted to sink fast, segmented and with life-like legs, the Ug looks like a big stonefly, or anything buggy. Fish it alone, in tandem, or trailed behind a streamer, these flies work! Regularly $2.00 each, get a baker's dozen Ugs in a good mix of online colors, all size 8.
Spring fishing can often mean cold water and lethargic fish, so nymph fishing is often the most effective way to catch fish. Nothing beats simple....yet effective. This short video clip offers some great tips for getting started in tandem nymph fishing. Thank you Stream Outdoors for a great tutorial.
Hosted Trip Availability
We currently have the following available on upcoming trips. Itineraries & pricing are on our website. Please let us know if you have any questions. Hope you can join us!
May 8-13 Grand Slam Lodge, Mexico 2 rooms May 13-18 Campeche Tarpon, Mexico Sold Out June 18-28 Ireland, trout/salmon Sold Out Aug. 3-12 Kenektok, Alaska, silvers/etc. Sold Out Aug. 18-25 Bighorn River, Montana Sold Out Aug. 25-9/3 Bighorn River, Montana 2 rooms Oct. 13-20 Spain, Pyrenees, trout, 3 rooms Dec. 1-8 Tres Valles, Argentina, trout, 2 rooms
Looking for a few days in salt water, but can't get away for a week? We've got the answer! Come along with us to Grand Slam Fishing Lodge in Punta Allen, Mexico. Timed for good weather and good fishing, May 8-13. Four days flats fishing for bonefish, permit, snook and maybe baby tarpon. Excellent modern accommodations on the water, great guides, great timing. Get the details here.
Get The Right Line!
We've mentioned this before, but as spring approaches and we start checking our gear and replacing lines, be sure to check out the RIO Line Selector on their web site. Match up your rod with the perfect line. Rods from most manufacturers are represented. Having the proper line for your rod can make all the difference!
Sometimes I have to stretch to find articles that I think our readers will find interesting. Well, here's one that was news to me from the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River in northwestern Wyoming. Thanks to The Drake magazine for bringing this one to life.
Barry and Cathy are finishing up in Argentina as I write this week. They had a beautiful week of warm fall weather at Estancia Tecka the first week but the second week proved to be more difficult with wind at San Huberto. The volcano had fresh snow almost everyday and through it all, some very nice fish were caught. We will have a report from the Limay River next week, but click here to see a few shots from the first two lodges.
Check out the new rotisserie video clip.
Facial Scanning at Airports
An interesting new screening process is coming to U.S. Airports. We've used it in several international airports this spring and it's fast and efficient. Read more about it here.
10 Spring Fishing Tips
1. When possible, cast down or use a reach cast so the fish see the fly before they see the fly line. Your fly line in the water will alert the fish to your presence.
2. The deeper pools will have a warmer water temperature than the riffles. In the spring trout will like these areas better. As the water warms, they will begin to spread out.
3. Water on the surface moves faster than water underneath so when fishing nymphs be sure you have enough weight to get the fly down. Consider using tungsten.
4. Don't be discouraged if you find off-color water. Fish feed often and muddy water can mean that more food is in the water and you can often get away with using larger darker flies. Pay attention to areas where muddy water is mixing with cleaner water.
5. During spring hatches when many fish are feeding, pick one and concentrate on that fish. You will catch more fish this way than by shot-gunning the water with random casts.
6. Fish are less active when water is very cold. Slow down your retrieve when fishing streamers and be sure your fly is on the bottom. If you're not occasionally picking up debris off the bottom you may not be on the bottom. If you're hung up continuously, switch to a slightly lighter fly.
7. Dry Dropper. When fishing a dry fly, add a dropper about 10-12 inches by using a clinch knot off the bend of the dry fly. This will increase your odds of catching fish. On a larger dry use a spring nymph like a quill gordon, Hendrickson, or march brown. On smaller flies, or if the dry is being pulled under by the nymph, switch to a small bead head pheasant tail, BWO, or caddis pupae. Slow down the cast and stop for a second longer on the back cast to prevent tangles.
8. Use the appropriate tippet size for your hook size. Generally speaking, use 3X for hook sizes 10-14; 4X for 12-16; 5X for 14-18; and 6X for 16-22. For heavier flies, err on the heavy side and for lighter, go lighter. The dropper should be a same size or one size lighter than the lead fly.
9. Stalk your fish. Wear neutral earthy colors and approach carefully from behind or downstream. Fish have very good eyesight and can readily pick up movement on the bank, especially when the water is clear.
10. When blind casting always start with short casts and then add a little line to each cast so that you cover the water near you first. Fish are often closer than you think. Learn to spot fish in the water.
Lefty 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.
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.
Early 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.....
With 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.
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.
Note: If you're not on Facebook, choose “Not Now” and you can still view the photos.
The Perfect Cast
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 your tying list for spring.
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 Bird
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.
Thank 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)
A 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.
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, whom 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.
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 http://flyfishingshow.com/edison-nj/ See you there!
February Fly Special
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.
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. "
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
Do you subscribe to the Sage and RIO blogs? The Sage blog at, https://www.sageflyfish.com/experience/sage-blog, has lots of interesting fishing 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 https://www.rioproducts.com/, 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 weight. 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.
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.