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Every one of us has that special body of water nearby that we covet as though it were an original and obscure limited edition pressing on virgin vinyl by our favorite band.  For me and many of my fellow local anglers it’s Barton Creek here in Austin, TX.

With cooler temperatures and school back in session (a big deal when you are located in the same town as the University of Texas), the party crowds are thinning out and the local waters are quickly falling back into the hands of the curious and adventurous. Surely this isn’t limited to Texas, i imagine it’s a time of the year that many anglers look forward to, an actual chance for undisturbed waters and fish after months of trying to avoid the cooler toting crowds.

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In an effort to avoid the throngs of beer swilling revelers and their migraine inducing drum circles, i stayed away from one of my favorite spots for most of the summer.  Just the other day though i shuffled on down the Hill of Life (below), cautiously keeping both ears alert for any sound of off beat djembes echoing though the valley.  Fortunately all i heard was the beautiful white noise of water tumbling over rock and onto (and into) itself,  a sonic affirmation that the creek was alive and flowing.

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The fishing was good, with a few healthy and zealous bass putting a hardy bend in my 2WT.  Not  neccesarily the kind of fishing day that might expand from humble and fun to epic and legendary in my mind as that day fades into the past.  Really though it doesn’t matter, the fish were just playing a secondary role, the main draw of the day being the ambiance provided by a wealth of cool air, cool water, lush greenery and the complete absence of humanity and its debris.

Solitude, water, white noise and fish minutes from home.  It surely can feel like nirvana, but really it’s just fall on your favorite small water.  Time to rig the lightweight rod and reacquaint yourself with yours.

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If you have any inclination to get insider information on the inner business workings of fly fishing, i heavily recommend checking out Angling Trade, a fascinating read to see what’s going on behind the scenes and what new products lie down the road.

In the most recent issue there is a great article entitled “How Fly-Fishing Videos Can (MUST) Get Better” by Marshall Bisset.  There are some valid annoyances with the quality of fly fishing videos in this article that i can completely agree with, but more importantly there are also some incredibly insightful tips that if adhered to can help us all get beyond the 30 minute video of uncle Bob false casting on You Tube.

Shortly after reading this article i happened upon “Fixed for Fly Fishing” by Movi-Media which i personally think is one of the finest videos i’ve seen yet, and felt that this was another notch in the evolutionary development of our sport / hobby.  Check out both the article and the video and see if you agree?

P.S.  To Hudson and Chris at www.shopdundeecycles.com, this is the video we’ve been waiting for. Bikes and rods unite!

loop-to-loopartwork by Uli Fluss

On my recent trip to Colorado i was replacing my leader and redoing the connection when i was abruptly stopped by the guide and informed that i was doing it all wrong.

What the…!?!?

Turns out that one of the most common mistakes guides see is the one i was performing, running the tag end of the leader through the loop of the line and then back through the loop of the leader, resulting in an obtrusive connection that has a hard time working its way through the guides causing hang ups that can at worst can result in a broken rod tip (once), or at the very least a lost fish when reeled in close (many times).

Double check yourself using the above illustration and make sure you’re doing it right before you get out there and learn the hard way that you’ve got it all wrong.  After all, nobody wants to look like a chump, especially to a lost fish (or a guide).

Check out RioProducts website to see an additional image on the right and wrong way to make the connection.

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The folks at Southern Culture on the Fly have once again unleashed a digital juggernaut with the brand spanking new issue #13.  Known amongst fly fishers in the know as “The White Issue”  it’s a great mash up from the crew and hopefully doesn’t signify the beginning of the end as the Beatles famed album did (knocking on wood, Norwegian wood at that).

P.S. They also have a sweet contest going on over at their Facebook site where you can win a rod and much more, check it out!

813L0r4lPJL._SL1360_image from www.amazon.com

“Well, looks like we got ourselves a readah’.” – the late great Bill Hicks

For all the advice and information that Google can spit put at us with just a few keywords, there is still something magical about staring at the contrast of black ink on paper, especially when you’re reading it on a stream side boulder that oddly enough contours to your body, or waiting out the daytime heat coddled in a hammock strung between two cypress.

For those of you that are new to the sport, or maybe just aren’t familiar with fly fishing literature, we’re here to help.  The first few suggestions will be obvious to most of you that have ever browsed the fishing section of your local bookstore, but you have to start somewhere, so here we go.

Book #1:  ”Trout Bum” by John Gierach  -  So you want to be a fly-fisher?  This is the first book that you need to take with you on all of those initial maiden voyages.  While scouting out new locations, make sure to leave a copy of this book on your dashboard, even if that means buying a second copy to be destroyed by the intense rays of the sun.  Any fly fisherman with integrity will cut you a healthy swath if they see this book poised dutifully on the dashboard of your car.

As with all Gierach books, this is two part story, and one part “How To”.  Being the zen like fisherman he is, Gierach doesn’t lay out his words of advice in step by step prose, but for the curious angler with a highlighter there are a wealth of tie bits packed between the covers.

This book has been in print since 1986, but you would never know it as every chapter seems as relevant today as it did almost thirty years ago, likely due to the fact that other than the “life changing technology” our sport is constantly screaming about, with cutting edge rods and reels, it’s still really the same simple and meditative discipline it was back than.

I don’t think that he’d like this comparision, but i think of Gierach as the Lorax of the fly fishing community.  He has a lot to be upset about, but also a lot to teach us, and if he ultimately gives up on us anglers, he might just hoist himself by his waders and fly off for Kamtchatka.

 

As an amateur designer of sorts, it’s nice to see that me getting excited about certain fonts, logos, or color combos isn’t as strange as i thought it was.

Deschutes_092014All photos from www.fishkamp.com

Just the other day i received an email from my brother and opened it to see David showing off a gorgeous Deschutes steelhead!  After going back and checking some of his other photos at www.fishkamp.com i think i’ve noticed a pattern, see if you can spot it!

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Nice job David, glad to see you’re handling the other side of the fish size spectrum! (Don’t worry, i’ve got the tiny sunfish on lock.)

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