Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lure Colour...

With these non-stop northerly winds, at a time when we should all be out catching fish instead of lighting fires to keep warm or putting more oil in our tanks , when we thought there was no way we would need more this year! My mind starts to think about all the aspects of my fishing, and one thing that keeps coming up in conversations and running around in my head is lure colour.

Just how important is lure colour ?

This for me anyway is a never ending question, with no definitive answer. So many times while out fishing with friends I have seen fish taken on all different colours and go away thinking it’s all about action, profile, retrieve etc. and there are sessions when one colour just does the business when nothing else…..

For me I try to use what I think works best in with conditions or the area I am fishing. For example trying to give them something they can see in coloured water, whites or something with a good flash of silver. Then in clean water I try and use the more neutral colours and again silver. Match the hatch, try and put something out there that's looks like the bait fish that are in the water…so be observant don’t just chuck your lure out and aimlessly crank it back in.  

When all is said and done what does a bass really see, sometimes fish hit the craziest coloured lures. Another thing that happens a lot to me is, I will get a new lure go out catch a fish on it and then that's my favourite colour in that lure but I have not tried any other colour in that lure nor am I that bothered about trying another colour because (and this to me is key ) I have CONFIDENCE in what I have used before. Confidence in what you are using is a massive part of it. It can make all the difference.

We stock colours and lures in the shop that I do not use but I have customers who swear by certain colours and certain lures and also catch well on them, so there is no right or wrong it's all down what you have confidence in.

So my conclusion is that yes colour can make all the difference and I have seen it proven over and over again. The hard part is making the choice of what colour to use in what situation. Yes there will be certain colours out there that are always going to be great fish catchers and these are a few that have done well for us.

"Cruising Blue"

"Hama Shirasu"

"Cotton Candy"

Others well we will keep experimenting with, but I think lure colour will still be something I will be talking about when I am an old man….


Things you don't see every day. Or ever.

A gentleman donated a couple boxes of old fishing books for auction at an upcoming event of which I am a part. I took it upon myself to catalog these books, and find their current values. Many are first edition, and many are signed.

Here are a few notables:

 Keene, J. Harrington. Fly-Fishing and Fly-Making for trout, Bass, Salmin, Etc. 1898

This book contains 2 plates with 36 original fly tying materials... 1898! Old school.

Just thinking that someone sat down over a century ago to tape some materials from their bench into these books is astounding to me.

Ronalds, Alfred. The Fly-Fisher's Entomology. 1868 First Edition

This book contains 20 hand-colored plates depicting the flies of which the author speaks. 1868! Old School.


Atherton, John. The Fly and the Fish. 1951

First edition, 2 colored plates of flies... Apparently this is a pretty sought after book.

Hills, John Waller. A History of Fly Fishing for Trout. 1921

"The sport is so royal that there is neither gentle no villein, if it knew of it and loved it well, who would not be more honoured for that reason by all who understand it.
Good Sir, if all knew it, would it be less honoured than it is now?
Nay, rather it would be more honoured, fair gentle friend, know it well."
La Chace dou Serf. About 1250. Translation be Sir Henery Dryden.

"The angler must intice, not command his reward, and that which is worthy millions to his contentment, another may buy for a groate in the Market."
 A Discourse of the Generall Art of Fishing, Gervase Markham. 1664.

How cool is that?

Walton, Izaak. The Compleat Angler; or the Contemplative Man's Recreation. 1948

The complete list:

Keene, J. Harrington. Fly-Fishing and Fly-Making for trout, Bass, Salmin, Etc. New York: Forest and Stream Publishing Co., 1898
Walton, Izaak. The Compleat Angler; or the Contrmplative Man's Recreation. New York: The Heritage Press, 1948
Bergman, Ray. Trout. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945
Wanless, Alexander. Thread Line Angling. London: Herbert Jenkens, 1935?
Wanless, Alexander. Threadline Fly Fishing for Trout and Sea Trout. London: Herbert Jenkens, 1948
Wanless, Alexander. Fixed Spool Angling. London: Herbert Jenkens, 1951
Wanless, Alexander. The Science of Spinning For Salmon and Trout. London: Herbert Jenkens, 1946
Wanless, Alexander. Light-Line Fly Fishing for Salmon. London: Herbert Jenkens,
Macdougall, Arthur R. Jr. The Trout Fisherman's Bedside book.  New York: Simon and Schuster, 1963
Bates, Joseph D. Jr. Spinning for Salt water Game Fish. Boston, Toronto: Little, Brown and Company, 1957
Ronalds, Alfred. The Fly-Fisher's Entomology. London: Longmans, Green, and Co. 1868
Rhead, Louis. American Trout-Stream Insects: A guide to Angling Flies and Other Aquatic Insects Alluring to Trout. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1916
Gabrielson, I. (ed.) The Fisherman's Encyclopedia. New York: Stackpole, 1950
Bates, Joseph D. Jr. Streamer Fly Tying and Fishing. Stackpole, 1966
Gingrich, Arnold, (ed.) The Gordon Garland: A Round of Devotions by his Followers. New York: The Theodore Gordon Flyfishers, 1965
Hills, John Waller. A History of Fly Fishing for Trout. London: Philip Allan & Co, 1921
Williams, A. Courtney. A Dictionary of Trout Flies. London: Adam & Charles Black, 1949
Jordan, Evermann, Clark (ed.). Check List of Fishes of North and Middle America. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1955
Peterson, Edwin L. No Life So Happy. New Your: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1940
Platts, W. Carter. Modern Trout Fishing.New York: The MacMillian Company, 1947
Bergman, Ray. Just Fishing. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945
Bates, Joseph D. Jr. Spinning for American Game Fish. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1947
Bates, Joseph D. Jr. Streamer Fly Fishing in Fresh and Salt Water. New York: D. Van Nostrand Co., Inc, 1950
Bates, Joseph D. Jr. Trout Waters and How to Fish Them. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1949
Bates, Joseph D. Jr. Spinning for Fresh Water Game Fish. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1954
Hastings, MacDonald. Cork on the Water. New York: Random House, 1951
Farrington, Chisie. Women Can Fish. New York: Coward-McCann, Inc., 1951
Fox, Charles K. Rising trout. Foxcrest, 1963
Scott, Jock. Spinning Up to Date: Trout, Salmon & Pike. London: Seeley Service & Co. 1950
Carson, Rachel L. The Sea Around Us. New York: Oxford University Press, 1951
Ovington, Ray. Spinning in America. Pennsylvania, The Stackpole Co. 1954
Ovington, Ray. How to Take Trout on Wet Flies and Nymphs. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1952
Thommen, George V. The Complete Guide to Spinning Tackle. New York: Crown Publising, 1954
Thommen, George V. Spinning Reels & Tackle. New york: Crown Publishing, 1949
McClane, A. J. Spinning for Fresh and Salt Water Fish of North America. New York: Prentice Hall Inc., 1952
Schrenkeisen, Ray. Fishing Lake and Stream for Bass, Muskalonge, Pike, Pan Fishes, Salmon, and Trout. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc, 1946
Meck, Charles. Memory Rising: Hatches, Waters, and Trout. Columbia, PA.: Bonasa Press, 2003
Traver, Robert. Trout Madness. New york: St. Martin Press, 1960
Koller, Lawrence R. Taking Larger Trout. Boston: Little Brown, 1950
Godfrey, Joe Jr. Salt Water Fish: A Guide Book. Whitman Publishing Company, 1939
Flick, Art. Streamside Guide to Naturals and their Imitations.New York: Putnam's Sons, 1947
Schwiebert, Ernest G. Jr. Matching the Hatch. New York: MacMillan and Company, 1955
Brooks, W. A. Fishin' Fun: A Treasury of Fishing Humor. New York: Derby Press, Inc., 1954
Burns, Eugene. Fresh and Salt Water Spinning. Dell Publishing Company, Inc., 1952
Farson, Negly. Going Fishing. London: Country Life Ltd., 1944
Atherton, John. The Fly and the Fish. New York: Macmillan Company, 1951
McClane, A. J. The Practical Fly Fisherman.  New York: Prentice Hall, 1953

-Alex who is trying to figure out how to read a couple thousand pages in the next two weeks.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Z fish Report (4/26/12)

The cold water current has pushed out to about the 20 mile mark, with the blue water hugging the 1,000 fathom line and at about 30 miles. The fishing for any offshore species sucks this week, unless you are willing to travel a great distance. The only person I know of who did well this week was Jim Engstrom, of Scottsdale Arizona, and he really had to work for it.

Jim fished two days with Victor Cano and this is what Jim emailed me:

Day 1) Left at 6:30 got back at 9Pm. Went out 72 miles. Tough day...hooked and lost one sail and about 4 pm hooked a 200 + tuna for about 45 minutes. Had several smaller tuna hit the kite but not hooked. Lots of fish (mostly smaller tuna) jumping but if Victor can't get them I give up!

Day 2) No fish till 4PM then got in the tuna. Kept 17 all about 35# (Enough for us to take home). We were way out there and didn't get in until 10PM. Caught 15 of the fish on a bait that you would probably never suspect. Like to tell you what it was but it's Victor's secret.
Sierras pushing up bait from below, birds diving on the bait
from above.
The only other action in town is the near shore fishing for sierras and black skipjack. Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos, has been working an area in front of Troncones for the last two weeks. He has been racking up some very impressive numbers with the tasty sierras.

Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Records -- AGAIN !


Firehole River:  [LINK]
===> CURRENT = 564 cfs
===> OLD         = 481 cfs

Madison River:  [LINK]
===> CURRENT = 1,000 cfs
===> OLD         =  855 cfs

-- Check the upcoming weather: some clouds, some rain, some snow, moderate temperatures continue. [LINK]

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

accessorize like a man

Like, OMG Karen! It even matches his hip and stylish Patagonia sweater! That guy is so awesome we should take our clothes off in his presence.

It could happen.


Way Too Soon

Can It Be Happening Now ?
runoff increasing rapidly
(P.S. The Firehole River is at 70° F)

.. With just three days, (four counting today,) of record and near-record temperatures the neighborhood rivers have, in one day, set nearly two discharge records, (the Gallatin shoud see one tomorrow.) Gadzooks! It's still April
.. The Gibbon is probably at record flows too. The gauge is gone now so we can't give detailed figures. We'll cruise in there and see what it looks like.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Ice Disappearing Rapidly
fish are ravenous
.. 70° F is a bit warm for this time of year; just ask the fish. They've gone nuts. The ice on Hebgen Lake is about to vanish along with the "EDGE-OF-ICE" fishing opportunities.
.. The fish are so confused by the rapidly vanishing ice that they are eating anything and everything in the water that fits in their mouth. This won't last long.
.. Between the Lakes is the current favorite destination for 'combat fishing.' Bring your elbow pads and protective goggles. With any luck at all you'll be able to add several new license plates to your Spring sightings.
.. If you have some new and obnoxious ring-tones for your cell phone bring them too: they are useful trading material. They may even get you some casting room.
.. If you are an Android user you can track bears with the "WHERE'S A BEAR" app. Try it - you'll like the crowds.
.. The Boat Ramp at the head of Quake Lake is producing so many fish that even the garden hackle fishers have abandoned it in favor of a more sporting proposition. They've moved to the outlet of Quake Lake where they have time for a sip of beer between fish.
.. Lawn chairs and tank tops were the fashion yesterday at the lake. It promises to be the same today too.
.. Some of the neighbors will be chasing the edge of the ice today with canoes, drift boats, kayaks, tin boats, aluminum boats, and other floating devices. There's no word about float tubes - we wouldn't put it past some of them.
.. The whole Madison Arm is clear of ice. Sled-head-fishers report that the South Fork Arm is well into the lake.
.. The bison, giving birth, on Horse Butte are even thinking of becoming omnivores right now. The swamps and willow brambles at the point are being trampled into an interchange of fishing trails. To say there is a frenzy would be to understate situation.
.. Offerings to the fish include anything in the box. Float it, Sink it, Strip it, Splash it, or present it in any novel way that you can think of - the fish will eat it. Don't let them see your fly box - they've been known to leave the lake and devour them whole - right out of your hand.
.. Get here yesterday. Bring the whole family, (everyone else is,) and enjoy a few days of silly-stupid catching. Hell, I even caught some.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Eastward HO !

We'll Be There

.. Yellowstone National Park will open it's gates to wheeled vehicle traffic this morning.
.. We're going to check and see if the rumor that they have moved it to New Jersey is true. You will be the first to know.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Costa Del Mar....

We are delighted to announce that we are now stocking Costa Del Mar sunglasses and accessories. Available through the online shop here you will be able to see the most popular frames and lens, however if you wish to mix and match just let us know as we will be able to get you whatever you want. 

The visibility you get with these super lens is unrivaled. When it comes to polarized glasses these are the best you can get. I can still remember putting on my first pair of Costas and arriving at one of my favourite rock marks and noticing features such as gullies and drops off that I had never noticed before. They simply opened up a whole new world and now I cant be without them . There comfort is also outstanding with an excellent fit for heads of all shapes and sizes. 

If you get a chance drop in to the shop and try some out for wont be disappointed. 

You can read Henry Gilbey's thoughts on Costas here

"See what's out there...."

For more info on lens choice check out this link here

And for more information on individual frames see the descriptions here 

Tight lines...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Low Down

Don't You Believe It
fish are where you find 'em

.. Took a quick trip to the lowland Gallatin River. Found some fish. Frightened some fish. Caught some fish. Hooked some fish. Missed some fish. Life is good.
.. Used this:

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Z Fish Report (4/12/12)

Mexican National Teodoro Alonso is an excellent fly caster
and had a fun day with Adolfo on the Dos Hermanos

The full moon affect was a lot stronger this last week than normal. The blue water had been pushed way out, cold water moved in, and the surf was very high on the beaches.

However, this last couple of days there are changes developing. The blue 86 degree water is once again at the 1,000 fathom curve (about 30 miles), with clean and 80 degree water moving in to about the 15 mile mark. If this trend continues, we will soon be out of our annual “April current” effect.

Needless to say, this last week has had very poor fishing for the offshore species, with the inshore about the only action to be had. Yesterday (Wednesday) fly fishing client Eric Bolster of Eagle, Colorado fished with me, Adolfo and Cheva on the panga Dos Hermanos II. The fact that Cheva was along as a deckhand, on his own boat, shows how slow the tourism is here. As we made our way up the coast, Cheva spotted some bird activity out in front of Troncones. From about 1 mile to 3 miles off the beach we basically had nonstop action on the tasty sierras all day. We would just move from one school of crashing fish, catch one or two, and then move on to another after the school went down.
I must have lost 10 flies to the toothy critters. I tried a short 40 pound bite tippet, and they wouldn’t even look at the fly. All the fish were caught on straight 17 pound fluorocarbon leaders.

But, the inshore is not all that rosy either. About 10:00 Temo called Adolfo and said he had Zero fish at that point. So Adolfo told him where we were and he came over to get in on some of the action.

Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How do you approach a rock mark?

These are just a few thoughts that will hopefully help a few people.

This is all stuff that is learnt over time, and believe me lots of blanks contributed to the learning. As time goes on I am starting to figure out marks a little quicker through learning from my previous experiences.

With rock marks the first thing I try and do is get a look at the mark at low water and take a picture. This is hard to explain but I try and pick out the places where I think bass would move through or the spots where bass would lie up waiting to ambush. These places are the gullies , points , places with kelp and cover, boulders and basically all the spots where I think a bass might be moving through or where they can ambush their prey.

The next step for me would be to fish the spot on a rising tide ( right up to high water ). Now of course conditions need to be right , for us here that would be south or south westerly moderate wind. Also I would first try and approach a new mark on a decent tide 3.8 upwards. The next is water clarity , a few years ago I would have said water would have had to be extremely clean but these days I don't mind fishing murky water at all ( but filthy water makes things difficult ).

Yes this is a lot to ask to get all of these conditions at the same time. I also fish in all conditions and catch but when checking out a new mark I try to maximise my chances.

Now I fish the mark on the rise, remembering all those features I spotted at low water and targeting these areas with a few lures which I have confidence in and are proven fish catchers. Hopefully things go well and it produces , if not I will go back and repeat the whole process on a dropping tide. Sometimes this works sometimes it does not and if I still have a good feeling and I think this is a spot that has to hold fish I will keep trying and hopefully figure it out.

In my experience most rock marks have a certain hour when it kicks off ( the hour of power ) and finding this hour can be gold because it means in the future you are maximising your fishing time and arriving at marks for the prime time. We have noticed it so much that bass are creatures of habit and quite often you will catch fish next to the same rock or in the same gully at the same state of tide over and over again.
Another few things to look for are

1. Access
2. Where can I land a fish safely
3. Am I going to get cut off by the tide
4. Do I have phone reception. If not let someone know where you are going. ( of course someone who will keep your mark top secret )

Hopefully this helps someone... or does it just show how obsessed I am with fishing.


Friday, April 6, 2012

We Digress

A Return To Childhood
foreign to fly fishers

.. Each year at this time our fragile psyche and it's inherently schizoid perspective is torn between the opening of fishing in Yellowstone National Park and the Indianapolis 500 Race on Memorial Day.
.. For most fly folks it's a "no-brainer." For us, it recalls the radio and a central event in our nation's culture, (far less now than then,) and a simple childhood that was not cluttered with the nagging minutia of adult life.
.. That period of fourteen lustra past is stuck in our fiber. We remember the names and brands and events with sunburst clarity. "Memorial Day" brings them back.
.. Some memories are fuzzy at our age. Some are gone: we're sure. Some burst into our head - unbidden and hoary. They were forgotten. But some are enduring.
.. Through the decades, for us, baggage was added to "Memorial Day."
.. It got confused with "Armistice Day," "Decoration Day," "Veterans Day," and other death and dying memories in our young and growing gray matter.
.. Yet throughout the fuzz in our brain about the meaning of the day, one thing remained persistent and constant: "The Race."
.. And, so it is today. We could have waited to vent for another month or two but there is a gut-rumbling tremor in the world of Indy Cars.
.. Chevy, a marque once associated with "AMERICANA" has been bailed out by our government and has returned to racing in grand style.
.. They are making engines, (along with Roger Penske,and Llmor Engineering,) to compete in the Indy Car Series. And they are winning. Forget the similes and metaphors; this interests us.
.. The twin turbo, direct injection, alloy engine rumbles instead of whines. It is corn-fed on ethanol, and it's not a V-8.
.. We're not beguiled because it's 'Chevy,' not because it's GM, not because it's a touch of Spring, but because the race and the marque are a bit of our Americana.
.. For instance: William C. Durant, (founder of GM,) Louis Chevrolet, Gaston Chevrolet, Frontenac, Offy, Belond, Meyer-Drake, Granetelli, Marmon, Jimmy Clark, Back Home Again in Indiana, Eddie Rickenbacker,  Tony Hullman, Janet Guthrie, Borg-Warner, Milk - and so much more are nailed to the race.
.. We've already made up our mind, (in a fuzzy sort of way.) We'll tune in on Saturday, listen until noon or so and then make a brief foray into Yellowstone National Park, (weather be damned!) On Sunday we'll get up way too early, briefly visit the park and return home in time for the green flag on the radio.
.. It bespeaks mountains of information about our psyche that opening day and race day are a full two months away and we're already agitated.
.. What flies? What starting grid? What rod? What station? Which run? What snacks? Which Cigar? Which single malt?
.. We've got two months to figure it out. Hell, in that time the MFWP will have already guaranteed the world perfect harmony and beautiful leisure experiences to all in our fair state.