Winter Fishing

J. Stockard Pro Tyer, Son Tao, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Son can be found on Instagram.

As the leaves fall off the trees and the temperatures begin to dip, many fly fishermen hang up their waders and spend more time behind the vise. While trout aren’t as active and the bitter cold can be miserable, you can still have a successful day on the river. Best of all, you’ll most likely have no crowds.

The key to winter fishing is preparation and fly selection. Wearing proper layers ensures you are properly protected from the elements. So what is layering? Dependent upon the temperatures, a base layer, insulating layer and outer shell is critical.

Base layer – this is the layer that touches your skin. You want materials that not only keeps you warm but wicks away moisture. Merino wool and synthetic materials are ideal. Stay away from cotton.

Insulating layer – this is the layer that will help retain the heat! Fleece, merino wool and in very cold temperatures, a down jacket are ideal. Again, stay away from cotton!

Continue reading → Winter Fishing

Averting Doom – Part 2

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

Part I of this article dealt with wading mishaps. Part II will discuss other risks.

Myself, if I ever actually took a swim while wading, I’d be thinking, “Now keep yer head. Avoid the primary catastrophe here. People have gotten wet before…no biggie. That fly box I just dropped can be replaced…I can ruin my electronic car keys and camera and phone…all replaceable…my waders can fill and drag me down and I can go unconscious and end up miles downstream with amnesia…I can even never come up at all and wind up a statistic in tomorrow’s newspaper…all that I can accept. What I can’t accept is if I break this fine hand-made fly rod.”

So keep the wand above your head, or toss it out in the water in front of you, or flip around and splash down nose-to-sky. Just don’t land on the rod.

Figure 2

Gear risks are common in gear-intensive sports, and the finer the gear the more nervous we get. Among the most common risks I’ve fallen prey to is hiking down riverside paths to a likely or favorite hole and finding myself being lightly caressed by briars. It’s not a big deal until I realize there’s now a leak in my prized waders. It’s worth carrying a stick to ensure a clear path, or failing that, to carefully “walk down” those wispy briar branches until there’s zero chance of getting grabbed by one. But then don’t make the mistake of thinking later that the path is clear on your return hike! Other anglers may have come by, and even if not, briar branches have a way of getting themselves back up across paths, like sinister spider webs intent on snaring a hapless fisherman.

Continue reading → Averting Doom – Part 2

Mack Attack!

Guest Blogger: Capt. Jim Klopfer, Sarasota Fishing Charters

Mack Attack!

Joe made a long cast, allowed the fly to sink for several seconds, and then began the retrieve. On the third strip, the line was yanked violently from his hand! Joe was shortly “on the reel” as the fish made a blistering run. After a tenacious battle, a four pound Spanish mackerel was brought alongside, hoisted for a quick photo, and then released to please another angler.

In some regards, Spanish mackerel are an under rated gamefish. In Florida, tarpon, redfish, bonefish, permit, and snook get a lot of press, but “Spanny-macks” are a terrific fish to target on fly! They are fast, aggressive, beautiful, abundant, and great eating for anglers who want to keep a fish for a meal.

Spanish mackerel range and habits

Spanish mackerel are a pelagic species that are found along the US coast from Texas, around Florida, and up to the mid Atlantic states. They can be caught in the inshore bays, along the beaches, in passes and inlets, and in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. Ideal water temperature in from the upper 60’s to mid 70’s.

Continue reading → Mack Attack!