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Down Channel

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

Pre-dawn, but the gate had been left open…and the hatchery gate was too, so I parked up near there and walked through, arriving at the river’s edge as high as a person is allowed–any further and I’d be in the dam release zone. The sky was brightening but I’d beaten the sun to the water by 20 minutes. The 5-weight 9-foot rod I’d made for myself the previous winter balanced nicely in my hand, flexing a little like I imagined a split bamboo classic might flex. I tied a little cased caddis worm of my own tie onto the 6x tippet and stepped in. Cold water drew a shiver right through the waders, but I knew the early June chill would soon dissipate.

Figure 1 — Headwater

A narrow tongue of swift flow needed crossing if I was to get to more comfortably wadable water, and that required some care. Below it was a hole six feet deep and a bit of a haystack standing wave atop it; I did not want to take a swim through that. I had no wading staff but made a mental note to buy one someday, hoping that commitment would be sufficient to save me on this morning. Shuffle one foot, then the other; keep as thin to the current as a man’s profile would allow…inches at a time…don’t lunge…almost across. To free up my arms for better balance, I got rid of the leader between my fingers by casting the fly up ahead of me, into a shallow pour-over against a little shoal. The loose end wouldn’t distract me now…shuffle again, and…uh…BUMP BUMP! Of all the…some early morning trout trying to interrupt my concentration here with a take on my fly! I did the right thing by allowing myself to miss the take, instead focusing on finding a surer foothold. My path shallowed and I climbed onto a gravel bank, now only ankle deep, past the danger. I stood at the edge of the shoal over which I had just cast. more…

The “Trout” of the Bass World

J.Stockard Pro Tyer: Brandon Bailes, Athens AL

When most people hear the words “ redeye bass” they instantly think of the Rock bass species, which carry the nickname Redeye or Goggle eye here in the south, and while they can be fun from time to time ( or an annoyance if you are after smallmouth bass) there’s actually true Redeye bass species that inhabit Alabama. They are colorful, full of fight, and live in some beautiful places! more…

Crazy 8 Chironomid

Guest Blogger and YouTube Fly Tyer, Darren MacEachern of Piscator Flies

When I first started fly fishing, the easiest access to water was the still water pothole lakes of Alberta. I quickly grew to love chironomid patterns and their ability to catch fish in a variety of conditions. While chironomid patterns are simple, they cover a great range of colors and sizes. With them having hundreds of species spread over every corner of the globe, you can almost be assured any body of water will have the wriggling pupa hanging around. more…