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

Bahamas Flats Fishing Proposal

Fly Fishing the Bahamas
Hope to see you here. Photo: Kyle Shea.

If you’ve spent any time during the last couple weeks around the fly fishing blogosphere, odds are you have heard about a recent proposal for new flats fishing regulations in the Bahamas. If not, you can read the current draft by clicking here.

Considering we operate a lodge in the Bahamas, we’ve received many comments over the past couple weeks asking our take on the proposed legislation. While we are keeping a close eye on this proposal, we’re happy to report that as the draft stands, we will still be able to deliver the same great trips we have for years and are looking forward to the 2015/2016 season.

We currently have representatives of our team attending a public meeting of the matter this Monday, June 29th, and will be sure to keep you informed. See you on the flats!

More Industry News

Fly Tying Tip – Cheap and Easy Bodkin Cleaner

How to make a bodkin cleaner for fly tying.
All you need. Photos: Kyle Shea.

There’s a lot of different fly tying tools out there, but if you’ve spent any time at all hunched over the tying vise, odds are you own a bodkin or two. You know, that little needle like tool.

The bodkin might be the simplest tool of all time, but nonetheless its pretty handy for everything from teasing out dubbing fibers to applying head cement or lacquers.

However, it doesn’t take long for a bodkin to become caked up with glue, and one drop on a tile floor renders it about half as useful.

So, today we present you with a cheap and easy tip, used by many tyers, to make sure your bodkin is always in top shape.

Cheap and Easy Bodkin Cleaner in 3 Steps

1. Find a Film Canister. Nowadays, this is probably the most difficult step..

How to make a bodkin cleaner for fly tying.

2. Lightly Pack Film Canister with Steel Wool. Just enough that the steel wool fills the canister, but not so much that it is tightly compressed.

How to make a bodkin cleaner for fly tying.

3. Poke Your Bodkin Through The Center of the Cover.

How to make a bodkin cleaner for fly tying.

Now, after each use, by housing your bodkin in the canister, any excess glue will be left behind by the steel wool, leaving your bodkin nice and clean. Plus, the sharp tip is always protected, making for a great way to travel with your tying tools as well.

How to make a bodkin cleaner for fly tying.
We told you it was easy..

More Simple Fly Tying Tips