Three Good Articles

Fly fishing for silver salmon at Alaska West
Fly fishing! Photo: Bob Anderson.

Today we’re back with our monthly edition of ‘Three Good Articles,’ where we highlight fly fishing articles from the past month, from other websites, that we found particularly interesting and think you will too.

Enjoy!

Three Good Articles

  1. The Damaging Effects of Flies. BC West alum, Scott Baker-McGarva, offers some extremely interesting thoughts on rigging stinger hooks with the fish’s best interest in mind, courtesy of Pesqa’s Complete Fishing Guide.
  2. How to Recognize a Bear Problem. We spend a lot of time fishing in bear country, so this is a topic near and dear to our hearts. For anyone traveling to bear country, this is a good read thanks to Phil Monahan of Orvis.
  3. Simple Thoughts on Streamer Colors. A great take on the importance of fly color when fishing streamers for trout via Kirk Deeter at Field and Stream.

Other Good Articles – Chosen at Random

Bonefish On Our Mind

Bonefish
We’ll see you soon.. Photo: Peter Viau.

While we might be in the midst of our Alaska and British Columbia seasons, lately we’ve found ourselves thinking more and more about bonefishing.

It won’t be long before we’ll be stomping around the flats at Andros South, and we hope to see you there!

More on Andros South

Spooling Fly Line Correctly

Spooling fly lines correctly
Bottom to bottom. Photos: Jordan Sly.

One of the more frustrating things in fly fishing is a twisted fly line or running line. There are many ways that line twist occurs, most of which can be fixed. However, the most common culprit of line twist occurs right from the start, when it’s wound onto the reel!

Here are some tips when winding on your fly line and/or running line to avoid line twist from the get-go.

  1. Always rig bottom to bottom. Most fly lines exhibit some sort of ‘memory’ that is created during the manufacturing process. Therefore, when rigging a fly line to your reel it’s important to rig in a manner in which the fly line is wound off of the underside of the spool, and onto the underside of the reel. By doing so, the line is wound in the direction of its natural memory (i.e. the direction in which it was originally wound onto the spool). See the photo below for clarification.

    Spooling fly lines correctly
    Do this.
  2. Never rig top to bottom. Opposite of the method mentioned above, rigging fly line so that the line is passed from the underside of the line spool to the top side of the reel (or vise versa) is a great way to create line twist. Doing so causes the line to fight its own memory while on the reel causing it to twist up.

    Spooling fly lines correctly
    Don’t do this.
  3. Never pass line around the outside of the spool. We’ve seen this many times before.. The fly line is looped or knotted to the backing, the spool of fly line is placed on the ground, and the line is wound onto the reel by passing around the outside of the fly line spool. This causes more line twist than any other method and often times takes a good amount time to remove.

    Spooling fly lines correctly
    Definitely don’t do this.
  4.  Never remove fly line from the spool. The fly line is wrapped onto the spool in a particular direction on purpose. Removing it from the spool before spooling onto your reel is a great way to end up with a nest of line.

More on Rigging

Bonefish – Up Close

Fly fishing for bonefish
The object of our desires.. Photo: Peter Viau,

For some reason we really like close up shots of bonefish.. Maybe it’s because we spend so much of our time trying to see bonefish at far distances.

Lucky for us, we can count on our buddy Peter Viau to provide us with some pretty cool perspectives on bonefish.

Thanks Peter!

More on Bonefishing

Track Straight for Better Accuracy

Fly Casting More Accurately
Stay on track.. Photo: Jeff Forsee.

Whether casting to a tailing bonefish, tucking a mouse pattern under an overhanging branch, or delivering a size 18 BWO upstream of some fishy pocket water, being able to put the fly where you want it is a valuable skill in all avenues of fly fishing.

There are many potential causes for a lack of casting accuracy, but the most common fault we see on a regular basis is poor tracking. Simply put, tracking refers to the horizontal path of the rod tip. In order to cast as accurately as possible, it’s important for the rod tip to track in as straight a line as possible between BOTH the back cast and the forward cast. In other words, the most accurate cast possible will be made with a back cast directed 180 degrees from your target.

Remember, during the cast the fly line always follows the path of the rod tip. So, if you find that your fly is consistently landing off the mark in the same general direction, odds are you are a bit off track.

Straighten up that back cast, drive the forward cast directly towards your target, and your fly should be hitting the mark in no time.

Good luck out there!

More on Fly Casting

Olympus TG-3 – A Great Camera for Anglers

Why we like the Olympus TG-3 point and shoot camera for fishing
The Olympus TG-3. Photo: Kyle Shea.

Warning: This is not a super-technical review.

Photography has become a big part of the fly fishing culture. Heck, there’s a lot of cool things to capture! Surprisingly enough, a question we get asked all the time at our lodges is ‘what camera would you recommend for fishing?’

While we love our big fancy DSLRs, they can be a bit cumbersome while fishing, not to mention a huge heartbreak should they accidentally fall in the drink.  Therefore, when we’re fishing hard, we like to have a smaller point and shoot that we can throw in a waist pack or the chest pocket of our waders and get after it.

Last year, we picked up the Olympus TG-3. We’ve been super pleased with it, and today we’re going to tell you why.

The Olympus TG-3 – Why We Like It

The Olympus TG-3 has a ton of really cool features, far more than your run of the mill point and shoot camera. However, because we know not all of you are photography nerds like us, we’re going to stick with why we think the TG-3 makes for a great all around camera on the water. For a more in-depth list of features, check it out on Olympus’ website, here.

Some of our favorite features of the TG-3 are as follows..

  • It’s Waterproof. We tend to fish on or around water.. So a camera that doesn’t die when it gets dunked it pretty important to us. The TG-3 is waterproof up to 50 feet, which as far as we’re concerned, any deeper and we’re not getting it back anyhow.
  • It’s Really Tough. We’re not the most graceful bunch, so we like being able to drop our camera in the bottom of the boat once in a while. Also, yours truly likes to keep his camera in the chest pocket of his waders which is not the safest environment. The TG-3 has stood up to the abuse however, which we’re really impressed with.
  • It’s Easy to Operate with Cold, Wet Hands. We fish in some nasty conditions at times and fumbling around with a micro-sized camera with freezing cold hands is no fun. A camera that’s simple for everyone to operate is really nice. After all, fumbling a fish while explaining to someone how to turn your camera on is a bummer.
  • It Takes Really Clear Photos. Without getting into megapixels, censor size, or the like, we’ll just say we’re really impressed with quality of photos the TG-3 has dished out, far better than we expected in fact.
  • Surprisingly Good Macro Setting. In our line of work, taking photos of really small things is important. Think flies, knots, sea lice, and so on. The TG-3’s ‘microscope mode’ actually works surprisingly well for a point and shoot camera.
  • A Bunch of Fun In-Camera Editing Effects. Unless you’re a photography buff, you’re probably not going to spend hours editing your photos to your liking. The TG-3 has a bunch of fun effects that are super easy to use to produce photos with a bunch of different looks. One of our favorites is ‘dramatic tone,’ which makes a typical cloudy day in Alaska look like an epic event. Take the photo below for example.
Fly Casting in Alaska
‘Dramatic tone’ mode. Photo: Jason Whiting.

As you can probably already tell, we really, really like the TG-3. There are more features to this camera than we have room for on our blog, but If you’re looking for a new point and shoot to take with you on the water, we’d highly recommend it. And, at $349.99, we think it’s a pretty awesome deal. Just last month, Olympus released their latest TG-4 model which retails for $379.99 and now offers the ability to shoot in RAW, which we think is pretty darn cool.

For more information on the TG-3 and TG-4, check them out on Olympus’ website, here.

More on Fishing Photography

Bonefishing – Point Your Rod

Fly Fishing for Bonefish
More left, more left, right there! Photo: Hollis Bennett.

When fishing for bonefish from a boat, it’s really important to be on the same page as your guide. After all, being situated on an elevated platform, odds are they’re going to be the first one to spot the fish.

Time is of the essence, and when your guide does spot a fish, you want to be able to pick it up as quickly as possible. However, even when given a direction and distance (i.e. “bonefish 11 o’clock, 40 feet”) from your guide, sometimes it can still be hard to see the fish they’re referring to. Don’t worry, it happens to all of us!

So what do you do if you still can’t see the fish? Point your rod at where you ‘think’ the fish might be. This gives the guide a much better visual of where you are looking, allowing him to then instruct “more left,” “more right,” or “yeah, that’s him.”

When it comes to bonefishing, communication between the angler and guide is key to success, and we’ve found this little technique to work extremely well for locating fish. Good luck out there!

More on Flats Fishing