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Gear Review: Smithcreek Net Holster

Gear Review: Smithcreek Net Holster

Quick Draw McGraw! Me sporting a Smith Creek net holster I'm not a big fan of a lot of doo-dads hanging off my person when I fish, be it on a pack, a lanyard a belt or anything else. In fact, if I'm going to fish a certain area for a longer time, I'll take my pack and bags off and set them on the ground so as to fish unencumbered. So when I saw this net holster from Smith Creek, I just had to try it out. I don't like my net swinging around hanging from behind me on a pack getting caught on all sorts of things and they're inherently difficult to retrieve. Professional Smith Creek model showing off the holster The idea behind the Smith Creek Net Holster is that you simply attach it to your current wading belt, a Smith Creek Wading belt or even the belt you use to hold up your trousers and you stick the net in it by the handle.  The first thing I noticed was that the net is held surprisingly stable. I was worried that my movements might jar it

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Butt Muncher - Carp Fly

Butt Muncher - Carp Fly

No carp will resist these hot spots Butt Muncher carp fly So, before we start getting complaints about the name of this fly, it was impossible to assign any other name due to the makeup of the hind end of this sucker.  We have been playing with Allen Fly Fishing's new line of carp flies, and they have been super impressive thus far.  If you bend one of these out on a carp, congratulations to you sir/maam...  You are a true american hero.   The butt muncher has all the hot spotty, wiggly parts that carp love.  Whip this one up, rub it in some mud, and go bust some golden bones! Recipe: Hook: Allen Flyfishing MP002 #1 BUY HERE Thread: MFC 3/0 pink BUY HERE Eyes: MFC Sparkle Eyes gold/yellow - med BUY HERE Tail: Ultra chenille - worm brown BUY HERE Tail hot spot: Loon UV paint - orange BUY HERE Body: Speckled chenille - lime olive BUY HERE Collar: Coq de Leon hen saddle - speckled yellow chartreuse BUY HERE Thorax/head: UV Ice Dub - tan BUY HERE

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Belly Flop Balanced Damsel Fly

Belly Flop Balanced Damsel Fly

Expand the stillwater arsenal As most people can attest by reading our antics on the site here, we mess around a LOT with a LOT of different patterns and materials. So, a while back when I saw the concept of a balanced fly pattern from Jerry McBride, via  Phil Rowley's website , I was understandably interested. As it happened, I was looking for a good way to present some damsel nymphs and emergers on top of and amongst the weed beds on the shallow weedy end of a lake I fish that contains some big cutthroats and rainbows. Indicators seemed to be the ticket, allowing me to vary the depth (as opposed to floating or intermediate lines), but as I watched the naturals in the water, they didn't hang vertically -- they swam horizontally (well fairly squiggly if you're going to draw a representation of the squirrelly damsels as they swim). So the balanced style fly would seem to be a great fit. Belly Flop Balanced Damsel at work As I began to formulate the pattern, I ke

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BBBB - AKA Big Ben's Brown Bugger

BBBB - AKA Big Ben's Brown Bugger

A fly you should ALWAYS have in your box. The BBBB Ben Porter...  You are a true American hero. Uncle Drew with a nice BBBB fish I had to start this article with that line because this fly has turned many mediocre trips into great trips.  One in particular came on one of our favorite stillwaters in Eastern Utah.  Several times a year we go to this lake in hopes to find hungry, fat, and aggressive rainbow trout that fight like crazy.  Ben has come along with us several times, and one thing we learned about Ben is that the dude is just plain fishy.  Not only does he smell like fish on a daily basis, the guy has stillwater fishing dialed in.  On this particular trip, the water was a bit off color, so we heard Ben say "Time for the BBBB in this tea colored water."  Ben started out fishing an opposite shore line, and we saw that he was hooking up about twice as much as everyone else.  A few hours of this, and we ashamedly drifted our way over there to have our

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Book Review: 25 Best, Most Versatile Flies by Al Ritt

Book Review: 25 Best, Most Versatile Flies by Al Ritt

A Fly Pattern Book When the publisher sent over our friend Al's new book, the "25 Best Most Versatile Flies, Their Histories, Stories & Step-by-Step Tying Photos", it was immediately apparent this book was meant for the fly tying desk. The book is spiral bound, great for laying on a flat surface or on a book easel to keep it open to a given pattern without having the book close on you. Plus the cover is a sturdy construction without being a hardback inflexible book that would be more difficult to adjust and accommodate at the desk. Now for the content. Each pattern featured has a great summary write-up talking about its history, its uses and any other tidbits about the fly, especially focusing on its ability to be a versatile fly pattern. Plus, Al's selection of patterns is a great mix of old and newer patterns, so you get a good variety of flies from which to learn. I think, for me, the biggest draw for any fly tyer is the variety in this book and the angle A

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Callibaetis Comparadun

Callibaetis Comparadun

A Must-Have Stillwater Pattern Back when I was a starving college student and didn't have two dimes to rub together nor any money to buy more than crappy Indian neck hackle for my dry flies, I was frustrated while fishing a great Baetis hatch as the fish ignored my mostly sinking dry fly offerings. Granted, the hackle was horrible and acted more as a soft hackle, but I was getting beat up pretty good. A turning point in my fishing life came when a nice guy down the river from me, handed me a comparadun pattern as he left for the day. My first cast resulted in a nice thick Brown Trout and I was sold on this hackle-free miracle dry fly. Now years have passed and while I tend to gravitate to a lot of other patterns these days, the comparadun is still a great pattern and in this instance a great one to imitate the stillwater staple: the Callibaetis. So for you stillwater guys, pay attention . This fly is one that you'll want to have at your disposal. So, in this pattern,

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Simi Seal Leech

Simi Seal Leech

the ultimate in simplicity and effectiveness Simi Seal Leeches of many colors Complexity of Canadian Black About ten years ago, I was in Phoenix on a business trip, and I decided to find a local fly shop in the area where I was working.  Like I often do, I asked one of the shop employees if they had any local patterns that they could show me.  He pointed to a wall of dubbing behind him and said "You ever heard of Arizona Simi Seal dubbing?"  I hadn't heard of it before, but I told him that I had some real seal the I used quite a bit.  He explained that Simi Seal was a completely different animal even though it bore the name "seal." He sat me down at a vise and quickly showed me how to tie one, and man was it simple...  The whole fly was made of the same material, but it looked really good!  He gladly assisted me in helping me spend about $50, and off I went.  I would later return to the shop a few months later to tell them how great this bug fis

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The Biot Body Primer

The Biot Body Primer

What you need to know to tie with Biots Biot Bodied Callibaetis Spinner Out of all the possible materials for fly bodies -- especially midges and mayflies -- I'd say biots are probably one of the more under-utilized yet cool-to-tie-with materials out there. Let me nerd out (as Cheech puts it) for a few sentences. <NERD OUT> Biots are basically the shorter stouter feathers on the leading edge of a bird's primary flight feathers. These parts of the feather lay relatively tightly against each other to form a ridge against which air can pass over to the longer tapered and more delicate fibers on the rear side of the feather, providing lift. As such, these leading fibers tend to be more compacted against the quill and are typically stiffer than the fibers on the back side of the feather, thus providing us some nice material for fashioning tails, wings and bodies for all sorts of fly patterns. Because of this requirement for flight feathers, biots go beyond the norm

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Gear Review: Maui Jim Sunglasses

Gear Review: Maui Jim Sunglasses

Fishing Glasses Worth the Look Kipahulu Polarized Glasses from Maui Jim So a number of years ago, Cheech somehow snaked a pair of Maui Jim glasses from our buddy Bryan Gregson and I remember his surprise at the quality and effectiveness in terms of polarized fishing lenses. Fast-forward to a few months ago, as I'm looking around for some back-up or alternative sunglasses to use with my normal Costa's. I knew the general color and style I wanted, but decided to look outside of the Costa lineup. After a few days of searching, I decided on Maui Jim's since I'd always wanted to try a pair myself. So when I first tried on the glasses (I ended up with the Kipahulu model), I had a similar experience the first time I gazed through my Costas. "Wow, that's crazy clear and sharp". So yeah, these are killer glasses. I won't go into any sort of direct comparison of Costa's vs Maui Jim's because I like both and will be using different glasses for

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Scuds are the Skittles of the Sea

Scuds are the Skittles of the Sea

High Calorie Snacks. This Rainbow likes junk food.   What do you do when you get out of the water and realize that you have literally thousands of scuds attached to your waders? Skittle Scud Curtis and I have a tradition of hitting my old stomping grounds at least once per year to check up on our friendly obese rainbow trout in a series of lakes.  The Utah DWR finally realized that they had the potential for making a great trophy fishery, changed some regulations, and VIOLA!! Big trout!  (Yeah.  I know... shocker .)  We have specifically hit it hard for the past two years and we have done pretty well throwing chironomids, leeches, callibaetis, etc, at them.  After a day last year, I looked down and realized that my waders were so covered in scuds that I could scoop them off by the handful.  Now, when a situation like this happens, my first instinct is to tie on something that looks exactly like the bugs that I find.  Last year I did this, and guess what... no dice.  The fi

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