If you live in a part of the world in which sub-zero temperatures are to be expected throughout the winter months, but still enjoy finding your way onto the water from time to time, a proper choice in clothing is imperative. Though I prefer to find myself on the bow of a flats skiff in the winter months, some years (2020!) this is not an option. The following is a collection of guidelines I follow when dressing for the winter months:
"You sweat, you're dead"
Unless your fishing trips include venturing into the wilderness with no food or water for days on end (and if they do, that's totally cool), perspiration will often not mean the difference between life or death. It will, however, likely be the difference between comfortably spending the whole day on the water or shivering your way back to the truck at noon.
The first, and most important layer, is one that allows moisture-wicking to keep your body dry....
Invented by Jerry McBride, balanced fly patterns are designed to present themselves horizontally in the water column, adding a new level of versatility and workability when imitating food sources that swim in this manner. If balanced flies are a new thing for you, look no further than my friend Phil Rowley's Balanced Leech.
Though balanced flies would be another post, or series of posts, this article is designed to share just one of the many bonuses to fishing balanced fly patterns. Among their many benefits, one of my favourites is...
The hook rides with the point facing up!
Why is this a good thing? Balanced flies are often (though not always) fished beneath a strike indicator. This means that the moment a fish picks up your fly, the hook point is going to be aimed directly at the top of their mouth. For fish that have "soft mouths", the chances of hooking even the softest biters greatly increases. More on balanced flies,...
I will never forget the moment I stepped out of our airport shuttle at the entrance to the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. What lied ahead was five days of chasing some of the largest Tarpon found anywhere in the world in Southern Costa Rica, a destination I return to each and every year (2020 aside for obvious reasons)
In this wonderful move by Gilbert Rowley, The Jungle's Edge showcases just show special this fishery is. Aside from world-class Tarpon fishing, there is a seemingly untouched Permit flat just an hour north of Tarponville Fishing Lodge, as well as healthy populations of Bonefish.
Long story short, add it to your bucket list...
The double-handed retrieve, also known as Rolly Poly, is a popular method in a multitude of fly fishing scenarios. I first used this retrieve in fly fishing for Tarpon and Jack Cravelle in the southern Caribbean a few years ago, and have carried it into many freshwater fly fishing applications.
What is it?
The Rolly Poly retrieve is a continuous retrieve of the fly line by tucking the rod beneath your arm and alternating strips with both your right and left hand. This highly effective, somewhat unorthodox retrieve is popular among saltwater anglers around the world.
When to fish it?
From the Florida Keys' famous Palolo worm hatch to fishing Stripers on the east coast, the Rolly Poly retrieve technique proves effective in a long list of fly fishing scenarios. Rather than list these in bullet point, I will simply state that this technique is worth implement in any...
In case you haven't heard, every Friday is a podcast episode called Q&A Friday that answers questions from our readers and listeners on all things fly fishing and fly tying. On today's episode of Q&A Friday, we talk 25-foot leaders, pink and purple flies and applying dry fly floatant.
CLICK HERE to listen on Apple Podcast... or find today's episode below!
There are few knots more satisfying to pull tight than a properly tied blood knot. It's symmetrical, uniform look with tag ends that mirror each other perfectly make it not just a strong knot to fish, but an aesthetically pleasing one at that.
But when is a blood knot practical?
The blood knot is an excellent option when tying together two tippets of a similar diameter. The beauty of a blood knot, in opposition to a double surgeon's knot, is that the tag ends of the leader do not have to pass through anything in order to tie the knot.
This means that if you have a wind knot in your leader, you can leave your fly on and your setup intact, while still rescuing the leader. This would not be feasible with a knot such as a double surgeon's. When attaching materials of drastically different diameters, the "improved" blood knot works wonders.
If you find the blood knot (or knot tying in general) frustrating, click here to...
It's Wednesday, which means it is time for another instalment of the Fly Fish University Podcast! Today's episode is about fighting fish quickly and responsibly, ultimately increasing our chances of catch and release survival and doing our part in ethical angling.
First things first, why is it important to fight fish quickly? Isn't part of the fun in fly fishing the battle itself? Of course. Fighting fish as quickly as you can does not mean using shark rope for leader and winching them in, it simply means using all of the means within our control to bring them to hand in the shortest time possible.
When fish get played out too long, we are greatly increasing the chances of excessive lactic acid buildup. Even if the fish seems to swim away fine at first, this does not always mean that survival is guaranteed. Unless we are planning to harvest the fish we are targeting, it is imperative to do our part in...
Two years ago, I made the switch from a fly fishing net lined with mesh to one build with a rubber basket. Sometimes referred to as "ghost mesh", I had seen anglers fishing these nets for some time and finally decided to jump on board. Though I continue to use a rubber basket fly fishing net to this day, I will not lie in saying that it took me a bit of time to get used to. Below are a few pros and cons of the rubber basket:
Pro #1 - Immediate relief from hooks getting stuck!
During the years that I fished with traditional mesh basket nets, small flies would get caught up so badly that oftentimes it required cutting the tippet altogether and threading the hook through from the opposite side. One of the most beautiful attributes of the rubber mesh is that hooks will never get caught to the point in which you cannot get them out without cutting the tippet. This is a big win.
Pro #2 - Fish safety
When salmon make their way upstream, they are often not alone. Trout and char species will follow them upriver in search of the calorie-rich meals that will come available to them during both the spawning and post-spawn processes. Eggs drifting downstream from spawning salmon offer one of the most nutritious, easiest to obtain meals that a trout will encounter the whole year.
Following the spawning process, salmon will die and begin to decay. This is a crucial step in feeding and nourishing the river system, but it also provides a late season meal to trout in search of a final big feed for the year.
What are flesh flies?
Flesh imitations are designed to imitate pieces of salmon that have broken off and begun drifting downstream. Often fished in shades of peach, white, orange and pink, flesh flies represent the pale colouration of decaying salmon flesh. Not quite a meal that would...
Maybe you've fished for them, maybe you've never heard of them, and maybe you've seen videos of them eating birds off the surface; Giant Trevally. They are the wolf, the apex predator, their relentless aggression towards everything that can swim on a flat is likely what makes them such a desirable species to chase with a fly rod.
In the heart of the Indian Ocean, renowned angling guide and filmmaker Jako Lucas documents five minutes and twenty-five seconds of absolute Giant Trevally magic. The Seychelles is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after fly fishing destinations on earth, and this short video captures it perfectly.
There is a part of me that wishes Gangsters of the Flats was a full-length feature film. See it below, and enjoy this instalment of Cinematic Sunday.
Browse Jako's latest venture Fly Religion right here