Category Archives: Fly Fishing Gear

Firehole Sticks in the Salt

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

My experiences so far with the new barbless hooks called Firehole Sticks has been great. Overall, they are a joy to tie on and make for some attractive looking flies. Firehole Sticks are a no brainer for freshwater flies, but I wondered how they might hold up under saltwater conditions. If you read just about any blog or article on fly fishing for speckled sea trout or snook, authors encourage anglers to pinch the barbs to protect the tender mouths of snook and trout. A 2010 article in Saltwater Sportsman went into a lot of detail on the best hooks for de-barbing flies and their use in saltwater. Clearly there is an application for barbless fly hooks in the saltwater environment. more…

Motivation to Use BIG Flies

Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Woodbury MN

Larger streamers, wooly buggers, and girdle bugs can provide exciting fishing. There’s nothing like the jolt of a large fish crushing a fly on the retrieve. However, as I have gotten older, my casting shoulder has become increasingly less enamored with throwing these larger flies for hours on end.

Then a couple of years ago I caught 29 fish that were 15 inches or bigger. That was my best year ever for larger fish. Over 80% of the fish were caught on a nymph including the 22 incher! The nymphs were sizes #16-#12. An additional 11% were caught on wooly buggers or girdle bugs sizes #10-#6. The remaining 8% came on #14 parachute Adams and #10 hoppers. I also fished larger streamers, wooly bugger, and girdle bugs over the course of the season, but none of my largest fish took any of those offerings.

This success in numbers and size shifted my strategy in subsequent years to focus on nymph fishing unless there was an active hatch. While I have not reproduced the number of larger fish, I have consistently caught the largest fish on a nymph in the intervening years. And, yes, I still put on larger flies for 10-15% of the time. This served to solidify my belief (or bias, if you prefer) that larger fish can be caught consistently on smaller flies. more…

The Botched Job

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

Figure 1: The Anguish of the Botch >

My father taught me that “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” He’d point out that a thing done hurriedly that must be done over costs time rather than saves it. I’d try to alter the axiom to “Anything worth doing is worth doing twice,” but he was not amused.

But over the years of fishing and tying flies, I’ve come up with a corollary proverb he might almost concede: “Anything botched is worth trying out.”

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