When you make a living landing fish, a quality landing net is important, and this past season at Alaska West we had the privilege of trying out one of the more unique net designs we’ve seen – A net currently being produced by a fresh new company called GoDolly landing nets.
Wait, what? But it’s 2017! You’re right, we knew we couldn’t get anything past you.
We’ve been writing about fly fishing for quite some time now, and considering how many new readers we see stop by each month (thanks for reading our blog!), every now and then we like to take a day to round up a few popular posts from the past.
Today is one of those days, and we’re coming at you with ten of our most read posts, five long years ago, from the ancient year of 2012.
Top Fly Fishing Posts of 2012
- Switch Rods – Why You Should Try One. 5 reasons you should definitely give them a try if you haven’t by now.
- Bead Fishing for Rainbow Trout. One of our most popular posts since 2009.. 2012 was no exception.
- Bonefish Flies – 5 Favorites for South Andros. A few of our favorites. Hint: They all still work.
- The Intruder. All about one of the most influenctial steelhead patterns to date, from the designer himself.
- King Rig Roundup. How the experts rig up when spey fishing for king salmon.
- Dean River Steelhead Flies – 5 Favorites. Some of our favorite patterns from back in the day.
- Lake Fly Fishing Introduction. George Cook on the basics of stillwater fly fishing.
- Silver Salmon Flies – 5 Favorites. Some of our favorite flies for our ridiculous run of coho at Alaska West.
- Polyleaders – What They Are, Why We Like ‘Em. If you don’t know by now, you should.
- Bananas in the Boat. Your thoughts on one of the oldest superstitions in the boat.
More Popular Posts
When Sage unveiled their latest X family of fly rods, we were shocked to hear it would be replacing one of their most popular rod series of all time – the ONE. Could they really improve upon the ONE? Like many of you, we had our questions..
That’s why we reached out to Deneki pal, George Cook, for a quick question and answer session on Sage’s X family of single and double-handers. George has been the Northwest rep for Sage, Redington, RIO, along with other fine outdoor brans for a long darn time. He’s seen more rods come in and out of fruition than just about anybody else in the industry. Needless to say he knows a thing or two about fly rods, and we were super excited to get his take on Sage’s latest and greatest.
Take it away Geo!
Sage X Rods – Interview with George Cook
KS: What’s the main difference/improvement between the X series and its precursor the ONE?
GC: Well Kyle, the X Series, be it single handers, spey, or switch rods are A) Lighter, B) Feature Blistering Line Speed Attributes and C) Like the ONE family, uncompromising accuracy based on the Konnetic format construction. The New Konnetic HD (High Density) format most certainly enhances such key elements as rod profile (making it slimmer), lighter (from optimized hoop to axial “positioning”), strength (from advanced modulus positioning), directional acuity (meaning better accuracy through superior, non-torsional tracking) and higher line speed.. All things that add up to more efficient and effective casts be it in fresh or saltwater environs.
KS: Like many anglers, we were huge fans of the ONE, how do you feel the performance of the X compares?
GC: To be sure, the new X series has upped the ante across the board. Konnetic Technology, which was first introduced in the ONE Series truly set a whole new standard in fly rod performance. These X rods are “next Level.” You can grab any number of sticks for a comparison, and do a head-to-head “Pepsi taste test” with a ONE equivalent and see this story unfold. The “performance attributes” such as line speed, wind cutability, and false cast to presentation ratio (load to delivery) will be evident. Furthermore, these things will play out at ALL RANGES from point Blank, to mid-range, to bomb shots.
KS: Is Konnetic HD the real deal?
GC: Yes sir, its the real deal. Konnetic HD enhances a number of factors including strength, tracking, loop control, blank recovery and a crisper tip stop. These things matter!
KS: In the two-hand series, we noticed more length options in particular rod weights than the previous ONE and Z-AXIS series. What was the basis behind this?
GC: Fabulous question young Jedi. Ya’ll have likely noticed that in the all-important seven and eight weight spey offerings there are 3 different lengths per group. Let’s examine the 7 weight group of the X Family as an example: The 7120-4 (12 foot, 7 weight), 7130-4 (13 foot, 7 weight), and the 7140-4 (14 foot, 7 weight). These all new X spey rods feature lengths that are viewed against historical precedence as “shorter than expected”. In this, the 7120-4 (versus a more traditional 7126-4 ONE or METHOD) is geared to perform at a level that exceeds previous expectations at an additional 6 inches in length. This readily shows in the 13’ foot length (7130-4 versus the 7136-4).
Going back to the twelve foot ball game, the new 9120-4 X is a gamer king stick of the first order. Completely non-fatiguing, all-day-hucking, coupled with a shorter “Finish ‘Em” off at the beach length.. Deadly.
KS: With more spey options than ever in one series, what rod would you recommend as the most versatile stick for the average PNW steelhead angler?
GC: That’s easy.. With Oregon in Mind, the 7130-4. For Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, the 8130-4. For Idaho’s Clearwater, the 7140-4. For the Lower Dean river in British Columbia, the 8140-4.
KS: For those looking for a premium saltwater stick, how does the X compare to the SALT?
GC: For the last three years, I’ve showed up in Andros with a bevy of SALT Sticks as they are hard to beat. I’m a huge fan of the 790-4 SALT for bonefish down there as it simply does it all – close, medium, or to reach out and touch. There is no doubt that the X series considering the HD factor will show itself nicely in the salt, be it in the 890-4 or the 990-4 for bonefish (hint: the 9 weight is the great equalizer when the wind kicks up), the 1090-4 for barracuda, permit, or smaller tarpon, or for darn sure the 1190-4 for the big critters.
More from George Cook
On more than one occasion, we’ve told you how much we love fishing tube flies at our lodges. Not only are they super fun to tie, but they offer a number of advantages over conventional flies tied directly onto the shank of a hook.
However, despite their advantages, those new to tubes often find it a bit daunting to get started. After all, one of greatest advantages of tube flies is their versatile nature allows flies to be tied or rigged to accommodate a wider range of fishing situations. The possibilities are endless!
That’s why we were excited when the tube fly gurus at HMH released a chapter of their DVD, The HMH Tube Fly Method, highlighting rigging methods and basic anatomy of a tube fly. If you’re new to tubes, and want to see what all the fuss is about, make sure to check out the video below.
Note: If you’re viewing this in a newsletter or a reader, click here to see the video on YouTube.
More on Tube Flies
Our king salmon seasons in Alaska and British Columbia are fast upon us, so today we present you with a friendly reminder of one of the most common mistakes made when fighting big fish on spey rods – not putting enough pressure on the fish!
Take the photo above taken of Alaska West guide, Ben West, while hooked up to a hefty king. Notice how the rod is being pulled low and to the side? Good. Now, notice how the butt section of the rod, including the cork handle, has a deep flex to it? Great.
Believe it or not, rods are made to bend this way!
When fighting big fish like king salmon on spey rods, its absolutely crucial to exert maximum pressure on the fish throughout the fight. After all, kings pull hard, and if you’re not pulling hard back, odds are they’re resting, thus prolonging the fight, and increasing the chances of coming unbuttoned. However, longer spey/switch rods can make this more difficult, requiring more effort to bend the butt section of the rod – where the most power is. That’s why we really like the down and dirty approach to fighting fish – keeping the rod low and to the side, allowing the fish to be fought with the bottom half of the rod, rather than the tip section (the result of pointing the rod straight up in the air).
Get that rod low, pull hard, bend that butt section, and you’ll bring more brutes to hand.
More on Fly Fishing for King Salmon
Our friends at North 40 Fly Shop recently teemed up with Alaska West alum, Jerry French, on how to tie Jerry’s ‘Summer Sculpin’ – A killer fly pattern for trout and steelhead wherever sculpin are found (hint: that’s just about every river in the world).
If you like tying flies, and are planning on swinging for trout and/or steelhead this season, do yourself a favor, grab an extra cup of coffee, and get ready for the best thirteen minutes and fifty three seconds of your day.
Note: If you’re viewing this in a newsletter or a reader, click here to see the video on YouTube.
More Fly Tying Videos
Despite the vibrant red stripe on the majority of our trout in Western Alaska, the dark mottled back of a rainbow trout provides surprisingly good camouflage – an adaptation developed to protect from predators from above.
Even in clear water, that can make them difficult to spot to the untrained eye, especially from a moving boat. Therefore, when fishing subsurface flies, many anglers prefer to use strike indicators to offer a visual cue that the fish has eaten the fly, so that they can quickly bury the hook home.
However, regardless of their attempt to remain concealed, one thing most trout can’t hide when they take a fly is the bright white color of the inside of their mouth (see photo above). Even in relatively dirty water, a quick white flash can act as a great indicator that the fish has taken your fly.. A big reason we always tell folks to fish beyond the end of their fly line, especially when using a strike indicator.
So, whether you’re bouncing nymphs, drifting flesh, or stripping streamers, if you see a flash of white in the general vicinity of your fly.. Set the hook! There’s a good chance there’s a fish on the other end. After all, as we’ve said many times before.. Hook sets are free anyhow!
More on Rainbow Trout
What’s the only thing better than landing a king salmon on a two hander? Landing two king salmon on two handers at the same time. Yes, really.
Sound good to you? We still have a few prime-time spots left! Drop us a line to get in on the action!