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Technical Clothing - a great option for sun protection

Technical Clothing - a great option for sun protection

An alternative to sunscreen Patagonia Sun Hoodie and a bruiser Brown Trout A few years ago I decided to start being a bit more mature (as my wife would put it) with my sun protection efforts after seeing some of the aftermath of skin cancer that some dear friends have had to endure.  This meant slathering myself up a few times a day with sunscreen and trying to follow the recommendations on each tube of paste that I was using.  I say "paste" because that's how it felt on my skin... in other words, I HATE sunscreen.  I don't hate the fact that it helps keep my skin protected from the sun, I just hate the feeling that my skin is coated with a thin layer of elmer's glue.  I still wanted to protect myself from the sun, but I wanted to find a way to do it without dealing with sunscreen.  I kind of went through a progression of products until I found stuff that I like, but I'm 100% satisfied with where I ended up.  The good thing is that many manufacturers

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Review: Tacky Fly Box

Review: Tacky Fly Box

A new concept in fly storage When I first saw the Kickstarter launch of the Tacky Fly Box, I'll admit I was a bit intrigued but yet fairly skeptical. I've seen a lot of gimicky fly box ideas float around over the years and hardly any hold up to the standard foam or slotted foam styles we've all used. However, the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of using silicon instead of the standard foam that fly boxes have been using for years. So without having used the Tacky box, I had a few main gripes about my current box setups that I hoped the Tacky box would overcome.  The slots on my slotted foam boxes tend to grow wider as I move flies in and out -- to the point where they won't even hold a fly. I have several foam boxes where, after sitting in the hot sun for a time, the foam and adhesive used to glue them to the box would delaminate and the foam would warp or just peel off. I've had a few instances where my plastic foam slotted boxes

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The Universal Chironomid Pattern

The Universal Chironomid Pattern

The Hamburger of Chironomids Universal Chironomid with goose biot wing pads So if scuds are the skittles of the sea , then chironomids are likely the equivalent of fast food for the hungry trout. With a laser focus, when chironomids are out and about, the fish will gorge themselves on this plentiful meal ticket. Very rarely will we see stomach or throat samples from stillwater fish that DON'T contain some amount of chironomids in them. As luck would have it, we like to fish with chironomids in our stillwater fishing and do it quite often. In fact, I have a large chunk of my stillwater nymph box dedicated to chironomids of all shapes, sizes and colors. OCD Fly Collection Sometimes, I have to dial in a specific size and color just depending on what the fish are focusing on that day and time. But I have found, more and more, that regardless of various sizes of bugs present, there is a pretty universal size and color that will work most any time on any stillwater -- w

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Drakes -- Fripple Style

Drakes -- Fripple Style

A very effective big bug style mayfly pattern Based on the great success of the latest version of the Baetis flavored Fripple ( see tutorial here ), it stands to reason that the same effectiveness should translate to really any kind of mayfly -- big and small. A few weeks ago, we fished a stream that had some large gray drakes hatching and for which I was largely unprepared. Luckily, there was a lot of non-Drake bug action popping, so it didn't matter, but it got me to thinking about taking the Fripple to the next level. There are only a couple of small tweaks to the original pattern in the form of deer hair substituted for the snowshoe hare toe fur and the addition of hackle to further aid in flotation as well as give a bigger footprint on the water. The butt still slices into the water and hangs there taunting the fish to eat it. I think that is very key to its effectiveness. Anyway, clinical trials began shortly thereafter and the results were actually pretty am

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Enjoying the Smaller Things

Enjoying the Smaller Things

Sometimes we have to take a step back and enjoy what we can. A few months ago on a very snowy and blustery Saturday morning in November, I sat in front of my vise in my warm and cozy manly man-cave watching the powdery Utah snow piling up outside my window. I felt a little like Clark W. Griswold as he stood before the frost-laced window staring out at the fantasy scene unfolding in his yet-to-be-built swimming pool as my mind drifted to summer meadow streams full of colorful bikini-clad cutthroats. In my Griswold stupor, I could smell the grasses, trees and water as they combined to form one of those scents you don't easily forget. I could hear the wind in the trees and the splashy rises of fish greedily taking terrestrials from the surface. And as Ruby Sue roused me from my day dream, I was harshly reminded of the months ahead locked in Winter's grasp. But as I sat there and tied flies that day, I had an epiphany of sorts. I was playing around with some very clean c

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Gut Bomb Damsel Fly Nymph

Gut Bomb Damsel Fly Nymph

Gut Bomb Bloodworm meets damselfly nymph Gut Bomb Damsel A few years back when Curtis created the Gut Bomb Bloodworm I was really impressed at how he was able to manipulate the body to seem almost see-through, and I started thinking of ways that the "gut bomb" technique could be added to other types of patterns.  I had tried it on many different iterations of bugginess from the vise until one of the flies really clicked; it is now called the Gut Bomb Damselfly Nymph.  I really like to fish damselfly nymphs in the early summer, and this one was quickly added to the arsenal full time after several successful trips with it.  I think the keys to a realistic damselfly nymph are eyes and a slender profile, which are achieved with the gut-bomb body technique and burnt monofilament eyes.   This Bonneville Cutthroat couldn't resist  There are several damsel patterns that I will fish quite a bit, but if I know the fish are feeding on damsels but are being picky

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