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How to Tie: The Picky Eater

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In this week’s “How to Tie” video feature, Charlie Craven with Charlie’s Fly Box ties a nymph every angler should carry in their box this spring, the Picky Eater. 

Learn About This Fly:

Difficulty: Intermediate

Our trout friends are entering their happy place with temperatures consistently increasing as we inch closer to summer. Until larger hatches begin to emerge, the nymph game will likely continue to be the ticket for success. A variety of naturals and attractor patterns will cover all subsurface bases this time of year, especially when hatches are not visibly active. One nymph pattern to get you through the spring months is the Pick Eater, a fly that combines naturals with an attractor style to catch the eye of any hungry trout. 

This pattern won’t give tyers with experience trouble and will provide novice tyers some important building blocks for common nymphs. Creating a CDC dubbing brush can be tedious, but the results are second to none. As Charlie mentioned, sharp scissors are essential to this step and patience will also go a long way. For jig style flies like the Picky Eater, this body style is massively productive and the backbone for several popular nymph patterns. 

Whether fished in a European nymphing rig or under an indicator, this is a perfect point fly that will get down to the feeding zone. Make sure to tie a batch in several different sizes and test out hot spot colors to see what works best in your water. Using CDC for the collar will create subsurface movement to give this pattern life and add to its attracting capabilities. There may be nothing more satisfying than catching a fish on a fly you tied yourself and the Picky Eater is just the pattern to reaffirm that feeling. 

Ingredients: 

Now you know how to tie the Picky Eater!

Video and ingredients courtesy of Charlie’s Fly Box.

How to Tie: C-17 Salmon Fly

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In this week’s “How to Tie” video feature, Cheech with Fly Fish Food ties a pattern every angler in the western United States should keep their eyes on, the C-17 Salmon Fly. 

Learn About This Fly:

Difficulty: Difficult

Spring is in the air and soon larger insects will be as well. Mother’s Day caddis and salmon flies are two hatches that anglers anticipate all year. Unfortunately for many, they do not happen everywhere in the states, but traveling for these hatches is popular despite being difficult to time in advance. If you’re one of the lucky ones who calls a river with a salmon fly hatch home, the C-17 Salmon Fly is one to tie before they start popping off. 

When it comes to tying this pattern, take your time and focus on profile. Novice tyers may find it wise to practice on flies such as the Chubby Chernobyl due to foam work having a small learning curve. This is a great compliment to your hopper box throughout the season, as a simple color/size change allows you to imitate a wide variety of hoppers easily. The C-17 Salmon Fly isn’t a fly to rush on the vise, which is good because there is plenty of time to get started before the hatch begins. 

Fishing this pattern on 4-6wt setups with floating lines will get the job done. During hatches where trout are keened in on larger insects, you can also get away with using leader/tippet in the 2-3x sizes. This becomes useful as larger fish are often caught in these hatches and you’re able to put more pressure on them with larger diameter tippets. Get excited for early summer and tie up a batch of the C-17 Salmon Fly while enjoying your favorite afternoon beverage. 

Ingredients: 

Now you know how to tie the C-17 Salmon Fly!

Video and ingredients courtesy of Fly Fish Food

Episode 2: Southeast Fly Shop Tour now LIVE!

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From Tennessee now to North Carolina! Welcome to the season two of Fly Shop Tour!

 

Last year, the Rocky Mountain season of Fly Shop Tour was an undeniable success, leaving us with no choice but to embark on a second season. With the planning process kicking off immediately after the wrap of season one, our team delved into brainstorming the “who, what, when, why, and how” of the upcoming season. 

Last week, as Season Two kicked off with Episode One in Tennessee, we had the opportunity to venture onto the water with Fly South OutfittersLittle River Outfitters, and Trophy Guides. It was not only an enjoyable experience exploring their fly shops, but also a chance to raise funds for Music City Trout Unlimited. To watch the first episode of the southeast fly shop tour watch below:

 

14 Fly Shops, 2 Ford Broncos, and over 2,000 miles on the road, subscribe to our YouTube to watch the rest of season two!

Exclusively on 

Coming Soon:

Georgia – March 20

South Carolina – March 27

Florida Part 1 – April 3

Florida Part 2 – April 10

Special thanks to our presenting sponsors: 

 

& supporting sponsors:

 

How to Tie: The Sheep Mullet

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In this week’s “How to Tie” video feature, the Ole Florida Fly Shop ties a baitfish pattern every angler should be tying before Spring, the Sheep Mullet. 

 

Learn About This Fly:

Difficulty: Easy

With March being here, it’s official that Spring is right around the corner. Warmer weather, milder conditions, and longer days are just a couple things many anglers in the United States are desperately waiting for. Our trout friends repeatedly save our sanity during the colder months, but thoughts of predator fishing always seem to creep up this time of year. Whether you are chasing tarpon in the Florida Keys or striped bass in Maine, the Sheep Mullet is a fantastic baitfish imitation to stock your predator box with. 

 

When it comes to baitfish patterns, this one is as simple as it gets. White body materials will allow you to add coloration using a waterproof marker, which is a simple and cost friendly solution for variation among your flies. Profile is a very important aspect to tying baitfish, so taking your time on the first few is never a bad idea. The Sheep Mullet won’t give many tyers trouble on the vise and is perfect for limited time after hours sessions. 

If you’re chasing predatory fish, the odds are good that they will eat this fly. Bring this pattern with you on trips from warm water to blue water and fish with confidence. By simply changing hook size and material length, you’ll be able to imitate a wide variety of bait and fill your fly box with ease. Predator patterns don’t need to be complicated to be effective, and the Sheep Mullet is the perfect example of that. 

Ingredients: 

Now you know how to tie the Sheep Mullet!

Video and ingredients courtesy of the Ole Florida Fly Shop.

 

Far From Home EP 7: Newfoundland

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Nestled along the rugged shores of the North Atlantic, Newfoundland emerges as a haven for anglers. In the heart of this maritime province, a passion for fly fishing intertwines with the storied tales of salmon leaping against the backdrop of rugged mountain landscapes. As the rivers weave through the untamed wilderness and the scent of salt hangs in the air, anglers immerse themselves in an experience laden with lore. In Episode 7 of Far From Home, the Flylords crew joins Jeroen Wohe at Salmon Hole Lodge on the Lapoile River to pit the new Sage Spey R8 rods against Newfoundland’s esteemed Atlantic salmon.

How this episode came to be

Our friends at Sage hinted they had some exciting new two handed rods and wanted to join forces again to bring them to the water and test them against Atlantic salmon. After assessing locations around the globe we settled on Newfoundland, a place where delicacy and precision are a must, and we could really put these new double-handers through their paces from technical presentations to fighting large acrobatic fish on light lines.

 

Jeroen Wohe, owner of Salmon Hole Lodge, has Atlantic salmon in his blood. Although Jerone purchased the lodge recently, the operation has a storied history dating back over 50 years. He spent the first season fishing the river daily, learning its movements and flows, as well as the habits of the fish migrating into it. His historic experience with Atlantic salmon fishing brought a wealth of knowledge to these fabled waters.

 

 

The Lodge

Nestled along the enchanting Lapoile River in Newfoundland, the Salmon Hole Lodge stands as a testament to the allure of pristine wilderness and the pursuit of world-class salmon fishing. The lodge feels quaint and historic; an aura of history is baked into the wood. Small cabins are scattered among the property surrounding a central building with a dining room for guests to enjoy meals and recount tales of the day. Encapsulated in lush boreal forests and embraced by the serenity of nature, this lodge offers anglers an unparalleled escape into the heart of Newfoundland’s fishing paradise. The Lapoile River flows gracefully past the lodge, presenting a captivating backdrop for morning coffee on the front porch. Salmon Hole Lodge not only provides comfortable accommodations but also serves as a gateway to a fishing haven.

 

Dry Flies and Two Handers, a Chess Game

During the summer months, as the water warms, the salmon in the Lapoile River tend to look to the sky. Without rhyme or reason, these fish are prone to attack offerings drifted, skated, or stripped overhead, reacting most aggressively to flies sitting in the surface film.

When you think dry flies, your mind probably goes to catskill or parachute flies, imitating insects. The ‘match the hatch’ ideology. This couldn’t be further from reality in the world of Atlantic salmon fishing. The flies used look more like a cigar butt than an insect. It’s not about entomology, but rather precision and presentation.

Jeroen and his Guides know the river intimately and have a wealth of knowledge regarding the lies these fish hold in on certain flows. That means one part of the equation – where are the fish? – is taken care of. The part we need to figure out is fly choice and presentation. Often, these mid-summer fish responded best to dead drifted dries. Equipped with a 13’ 7wt and a midbelly integrated spey line, we would present flies at distance. The precision and control required for this style of fishing was a new and exciting challenge and the SPEY R8 rods handled it with grace.

The Takeaway

The fishing in Newfoundland feels less like science and more like art. From the weather to the river to the angler’s relation to the emotional state of the fish, It’s a connection with the natural world. Artful impressionistic flies meant to draw attention from a curious quarry and elegant two-handed fishing that brings feel and grace to the forefront of an angler’s mind. It’s serenity and connection unique to Atlantic salmon, it’s why Atlantic salmon are aptly named the “king of fish”.

Thank you to the team at Sage Fly Fishing and Fly Water Travel for making this episode possible. If you are looking for a rod setup suited for this Far From Home adventure, look no further than the new Sage SPEY R8. If you want to do this trip, you can book through Fly Water Travel HERE

 

Fishing Tips: Fly Fishing for Dorado

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If fly fishing for dorado is on your bucket list, this video is for you. In this video Reds Fly Shop outlines some of the most important tips when it comes to targeting these fish. Make sure to dial it in before you find yourself in a school.

Episode 1: Southeast Fly Shop Tour now LIVE!

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Last year, the Rocky Mountain season of Fly Shop Tour was an undeniable success, leaving us with no choice but to embark on a second season. With the planning process kicking off immediately after the wrap of season one, our team delved into brainstorming the “who, what, when, why, and how” of the upcoming season.

For months we dedicated ourselves to capturing both photo and video, driven by our overarching mission: to spotlight and emphasize the significance of fly shops within the fly-fishing community, and now in our latest season, the Southeastern Fly Shop Tour. These shops serve as the pulsating heartbeats of local fishing communities, and stretch across the nation from coast to coast.

Embarking on a journey east bound and down from our headquarters in Basalt, Colorado, our team meticulously planned a route to the southeast. Setting out on the road, we b-lined it for Tennessee to meet up with our film crew and begin shooting the second season. Join us on this southern excursion as we illuminate the pivotal role of fly shops and conservation efforts to restore the surrounding areas of the places we visited. 

Throughout our travels, we took the opportunity to give back to local non-profits through events held in Nashville, Asheville, Atlanta, Charleston, and Marathon, Florida. We invite you to join us on this journey as we explore, educate, and celebrate the soul of fly fishing in Season 2, Episode 1, of Southeastern Fly Shop Tour

14 Fly Shops, 2 Ford Broncos, and over 2,000 miles on the road, subscribe to our YouTube below: 

Exclusively on 

Coming Soon:

North Carolina – March 13

Georgia – March 20

South Carolina – March 27

Florida Part 1 – April 3

Florida Part 2 – April 10

Special thanks to our presenting sponsors: 

 

 

& Supporting Sponsors:

How to Tie: Croston’s Micro Rabbit Sculpin

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In this week’s “How to Tie” video feature, Howard Croston with Fulling Mill Fly Fishing ties a sculpin pattern to fill your streamer box with for Spring, Croston’s Micro Rabbit Sculpin. 

Learn About This Fly:

Difficulty: Easy

For many anglers, this weekend is one to celebrate. The clocks officially will “spring” forward and bless us with an extra hour of fishing on the back end of the day. If you like to fish before work, this makes life more difficult but like everything in fishing, adapting is key for success. It’s no secret that a later sunset makes nearly everyone happier, much like a sculpin meal for trout, so this week I thought we’d combine the two and tie Croston’s Micro Rabbit Sculpin. 

Working with rabbit strips is straight forward and won’t give tyers any grief. Using a jig style hook allows you to bang this fly off the bottom without immediately damaging the sharpness. The simple, yet durable, composition is ideal for getting down deep and sacrificing a couple flies to be in the zone. Croston’s Micro Rabbit Sculpin is perfect for novice tyers looking to get into tying and translate it to productivity on the water asap. 

Whether fished in a euro style nymph rig or under a bobber, this pattern will produce. If the word of an experienced competitive angler isn’t enough, the legend Joe Humphreys has also referred to sculpin as “strawberry short cake for trout.” Every angler should carry sculpin flies in their streamer box in several varying sizes and colors, and Croston’s Micro Rabbit Sculpin is the pattern to get started. 

Ingredients: 

Now you know how to tie Croston’s Micro Rabbit Sculpin!

Video and ingredients courtesy of Fulling Mill Fly Fishing.

Flylords Podcast 001: Fishing and Fire with Amanda Monthei

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Episode one of the Flylords Podcast is here! Join us for a conversation with Amanda Monthei, an angler and former wildland firefighter who now writes about how wildfires reshape landscapes and affect our fisheries. Shop the limited edition Flylords X Smokey collection in our store. 10% of all proceeds goes back to the US Forest Service. Did you enjoy the podcast? Go check out Amanda’s podcast “Life with Fire,” here on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or on the “Life with Fire” site. 

Read more from Amanda about understanding the role of wildfires and how it effects fishing in Western ecosystems below: 

Fire and Fish: Understanding the Role of Wildfires in Western Ecosystems

Fishing Etiquette: Wildfires and Water

2024 F3T Behind the Lens: Only The Salmon Knows

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Image Courtesy: Fred Campbell and Hooke

The 2024 F3T is underway – Click HERE to find a local showing and purchase tickets. 

Next in this year’s F3T Behind the Lens line-up, is Hooke’s 10th anniversary film “Only the Salmon Knows.” We sat down with Fred Campbell to learn more about this amazing film and its incredible adventures. From catching his personal best Atlantic Salmon to exploring rivers that very few people have the chance to fish in their lifetime this film takes you on a journey of love and passion for these fish and their rivers. Check out the full interview below. 

Flylords: First, we want to congratulate you on 10 years of Hooke. This film has a ton of passion and personal meaning. Is there a message you are trying to convey through this short movie?

Fred: “I don’t know the movie it just happened. It’s tough to say. Sometimes things just happen, and you don’t really know why they happened. All 3 of the rivers in the film are wild rivers with private access and you have to win a draw tag to be able to fish them. That year my co-worker won the Causapscal draw, I won the Patapedia draw, and the Restigouche was through another friend. We just said you know what let’s film it and see what happens. And you know it all kind of aligned, the river gave back to me, the timing was great, and the water conditions were perfect.”   

Image Courtesy: Fred Campbell and Hooke

Flylords: Fred, Like most fishing films there’s so much footage filmed, and such a small amount gets used. What were some of your favorite moments that didn’t quite make the final cut? 

Fred: “I don’t know. Haha there’s so much footage, I put it in the festival this year and I showed it at an Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) dinner as well. It was the best Salmon fishing I’ve ever had we have so many fish on camera. The first fish I hooked in the film we think was close to a 40lb-45lb salmon. I couldn’t move it and ended up losing it. It was a heartbreaker we thought the film was screwed. But then the river just kept giving us chances. We chose not to focus on the fish catching and decided to make a more passion-driven film that focuses on the wildness of those rivers.” 

Image Courtesy: Fred Campbell and Hooke

Flylords: For those who don’t know a ton about Atlantic salmon, what makes them so unique in comparison to other Salmon species and Steelhead?  

Fred: “There’s a lot of history with Atlantic Salmon fishing it’s got a lot of heritage similar to Steelhead. Like Steelhead as soon as they hit freshwater they don’t eat. You’re hopeful that you will get a bite but in the back of your mind, you know that it probably won’t happen. Out here the average time spent between hooking a salmon is 7 days of fishing. Nobody knows why they take the fly, some people believe that it irritates them others believe you have to imitate what they used to eat in the ocean. The water is so clear in these rivers you can see the fish most of the time. You can cast 1000 times at the fish and then for some reason the 1001st cast the fish will eat, but that’s the mystery of it that’s why the film is called “Only the Salmon Knows.”

Image Courtesy: Fred Campbell and Hooke

Flylords: Fred, why pole a canoe down a river instead of a drift boat or raft? Is there an advantage of the canoe versus a drift boat? 

Fred: ” It’s an unspoken rule. The Canoes and poling canoes down the river are engrained in the heritage of Atlantic Salmon fishing. We try to promote it as best as we can for the younger generation it’s a piece of the culture that shouldn’t be done differently. However, there are no regulations that say you can’t use a raft or a drift boat but it’s not a great look. We’ve been seeing it slowly gain traction but the hardcore people and the old-timers want the younger generation to know that a wood canoe with a wooden pole is the traditional way. It’s better to arrive with an open mind and willingness to understand the traditional culture than to try to push something new. It’s a way to respect the river, the fish, and the culture of Atlantic Salmon fishing.” 

Image Courtesy: Fred Campbell and Hooke

Flylords: What made these 3 rivers so special to you? Was there one river you had been wanting to fish more than the others? 

Fred: “I hadn’t fished any of the rivers. I had fished the Restigouche at the mouth for the first Hooke film we shot but I wasn’t on the shoot. But the Causapscal and the Patapedia are permits that I’ve been trying to get for the last 15 years. There are 122 rivers in Quebec and there’s a tag for each one. It’s a very unique fishery. When driving through the Gaspe to other rivers you drive over the Causapscal and I had always dreamed of fishing it. It’s such a hard draw to win and there’s only one access to the river. The Causapscal is just mystical, it’s so pristine and wild. When I was a kid I worked at a sawmill in that area and I just remember hearing so many stories about it. It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for me, some people win $50,000 on a scratch-off ticket but for me, I won this permit.       

Image Courtesy: Fred Campbell and Hooke

Flylords: What fishing gear was brought on these expeditions? Were you guys fishing sinking heads, two-hand setups, or more traditional single-hand setups as well? 

Fred: “For that time of year it was really high water but my rod of choice was an 11’5 7 Weight with a floating line. We were throwing big flies and needed to reach the other bank. On the Restigouche, I used a 10′ 7 weight single-hand rod out of the canoe which was a bit unique. Those are typically the two rods me and my buddies use. We don’t like going too big when you start to get into the 13’8’s, the 14’s it’s like fighting a fish on a tree. I prefer lighter tackle, sometimes we can use an intermediate line but you have to be careful out here cause a lot of rivers don’t allow sinking lines. It depends on the time of year and where but we aren’t allowed weighted flies as well, it’s complicated but that’s what keeps its tradition and makes it harder.” 

Image Courtesy: Fred Campbell and Hooke

Flylords: Was there a fly that you found that worked across all 3 rivers? What is your decision process for choosing flies? 

Fred: Yeah it’s crazy. Since it was the 10th anniversary of Hooke we asked our friend and amazing fly tier Marc Leblanc if he could invent a special fly for us. He likes to drink Gin and loves Bombay Sapphire so he based that special fly off of that. He gave us a set but I only used that one fly cause it worked so well. When we got to the Restigouche we got introduced to a guy named Gilbert who had been fishing the river for 50 years! Gilbert gave us a simple orange fly and said this is what you need. I caught the 45″ and the 48″ on that fly it was amazing.         

Image Courtesy: Fred Campbell and Hooke
Extras: 

Flylords: We noticed that you flashed a HOOKE-branded beer after your first fish. What’s the story there?  

Fred: ” It’s so crazy you ask, typically it would be a cold beer but our guide on the Restigouche had started this crazy production of his own Maple Syrup. Before we started fishing we all drank some and then we caught that first fish and we all sipped some more! We think it brought us luck for that trip. Not only on that trip but on most trips we know we are going to walk a lot so we save the beer in the cooler to ensure we’ve got a nice cold beer to enjoy.” 

“Also, That year we partnered with a local brewery in Quebec and made our own Hooke beer. It was super fun, they produced and sold it all around the region here. So while supplies lasted that was our beer of choice. That was a one-time thing and then more recently we made a Gin which was really fun.” 

Image Courtesy: Fred Campbell and Hooke

Flylords: To wrap things up here Fred, a 48-inch Atlantic salmon! Has the search for a 50-inch fish started? 

Fred: “No man. It’s not possible it’s barely been heard of. The only places that 48″ could’ve existed in the Northeast were those rivers. There are maybe 10 rivers in the world that MAY hold a 50″ and you’d have to dedicate years of travelling to chase them. For some people, it’s their dream to ascend the tallest mountain, that 48′ was the tallest mountain for me. It was perfect, we were able to film it, take great care of it, and release it. It kinda was the end for me, all my new projects are based more on conservation and giving back. It helped to close the 10-year chase for me. Our guide had been guiding the river for 30 years and he said that’s the biggest fish he’s ever netted. Not many people get graced by a fish like that, I soaked it all in. It could’ve never happened it’s like a dream come true. The next step for me is to have a positive impact on Atlantic Salmon.”   

Image Courtesy: Fred Campbell and Hooke

Flylords: Last but not least, with 10 years of Hooke what’s next? Is there a big film or project you’ve been working on?

Fred: Yeah man, actually we just launched a new film called “The Call of the Wild” following the footsteps of Lee Wulf. He invented catch and release practices and the fly fishing vest among other things. He explored Newfoundland for 30 years under a contract with the Provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador. This film is going to focus on me following his footsteps and exploring his adventures. In 1938 he stated that “game fish were too important to only be caught once.” But it’s a constant evolution here at Hooke we are always working on the next thing and looking for the next story to tell. We’ve got some great films on deck that were shot across Canada and then giving back to the local community and conversation organizations as well.”                    

Image Courtesy: Fred Campbell and Hooke

From 2014 to now and beyond Hooke was started with the idea of catching Atlantic Salmon and sharing the emotion that it brings. A huge thank you to Fred Campbell and the Hooke team we can’t wait to see what you guys release in the future. If you haven’t already be sure to check out Hooke.ca and remember to get outside by the river. “We wanted to create distinctive productions and products, to share our passion with a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts, and to get more people on the rivers with greater awareness for the environment and species preservation.”    

Buy your Fly Fishing Film Tour Tickets HERE! 

 

2024 F3T Behind the Lens: Transitions – The Bow

2024 F3T Behind the Lens: Visibility

2023 Behind the Lens: “After You’ve Gone”