J. Stockard Fly Fishing Blog

Welcome to the J. Stockard Fly Fishing Blog. We’re here to share advice, how-to’s, news and inspiration about fly tying and fly fishing.

How To Get Speyed – Part 3

Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller, OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller & more to come

Part 2 of this article discussed Spey rod and tip technologies. This final segment rounds out the basic tips discussion, mentions leaders, reels and flies, and then takes an irreverent stab at painting a verbal picture of the cast itself.

Many anglers make their own tips from level T-material (which is readily available in cuttable lengths of 30 feet), and a few make floating tips from old floating lines (like I’ve done; and if you’re going to try this, good luck finding new level floating lines in the weight you want anymore! …nobody seems to make level floating lines anymore, and store clerks will literally laugh in your face for asking…but never fear because DT lines will serve–DT floating lines give you a chance to make two tips that have tapers, plus six to ten more that are level…WF lines will be hard to make a tip in the weight you want because the line weight is averaged across that 30 feet of compound WF taper and you won’t know the true weight of any tip you make…plus you’ll waste a whole line making a single tip). more…

A Barbless Entrepreneur

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Fish hooks have been around for a long, long time. The basic form, function and design of the fish hook was settled centuries ago. Like knives, forks and spoons, there’s not a lot of room for revolutionary change. Probably the single most notable innovation was the addition of a looped “eye” to what were then call “irons” in the mid-19th century. Today, the fish hook is a global commodity with at least a dozen major manufacturers in Asia and Europe. Many of those brands, especially in Asia don’t even compete in the U.S. market where the likes of Eagle Claw, Mustad, Tiemco, Daiichi, Gamakatsu and others hold most of the market share. One would think that an entrepreneur investing in a new business wouldn’t chose fish hooks as their first product. However, recently I had the pleasure to meet one such entrepreneur—Joe Mathis of Firehole Outdoors in Bozeman, Montana.

Though the thoughtful consideration of Kate Vick, part of the J. Stockard brain trust, I was introduced to Joe Mathis over the holidays. J. Stockard had just become a Firehole Outdoors dealer and Kate thought Joe and I might like to meet. Unbeknownst to me, Joe and his wife Deb had lived just a few miles away in Bozeman for about as long I had. Although I’d seen Joe’s product in a few fly shops, I really knew nothing about this company called Firehole Outdoors. Joe and I agreed to meet and talk about fish hooks. I’ve talked with Joe many times since, but our first meeting was a real education for me and the story of Firehole Outdoors is an interesting one. more…

Fly of the Month – The Hatchling Craw

Fly of the Month by J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Brandon Bailes, Athens, AL. Brandon’s passion is exploring and fishing small streams. Find Brandon on Instagram.

The Hatchling Craw came about as my tying has centered more and more on matching the average forage size on the streams I fish. I spend the majority of my fishing time on small warmwater bluelines and after lots of sampling I came to the conclusion that my size 2 and even size 6 craws were not the majority of the population in these waters, instead a size 10 or 12 craw was perfect and fish readily take them! I tie the Hatchling on Gamakatsu B10S hooks sz 10 and 12 but I also use either beadchain eyes or brass dumbbell eyes, depending on how I want to fish them ( under an indicator or actively retrieve/hop them back). So far I have used them successfully on panfish, bass, and tailwater trout. more…