Monday, June 21, 2010

On The Way Back From Spey Nation.....

On the way back home from the Spey Nation III event, I got an invite from Rick Kustich to spend a few hours with him on the upper Niagara River near Grand Island, NY. Rick is a Scott Rod Pro and best known for his books and work in the steelhead arena. He is also a die-hard warm-water fly fisher and has a particular fondness for over-sized smallmouth bass and an obsession for chasing musky with a fly rod.

Here Rick shows a healthy Niagara bronzeback that ate one his favorite Deep Minnow colors- shad with red eyes. Fished behind a 300 gr. Steamer Express line, this pattern accounted for a number of large river fish this evening.

Scott Rod Custom "Kayak Special"

Scott Fly Rods has had their Custom Shop open for around 6 months now with great success. This allows and individul to go online, select a rod model, and then customize it for their personal specifications. As you follow the steps, you can see the rod being built until the final product is assembled. The customer can then forward the info to a Scott Custom Shop Dealer to have the rod built.

Dealers can also have a specific model built to their specs. Here is a rod I had built through Scott Custom Shop I call the Kayak Special. It is done, on the A3 8 foot, 8-wt. platform but has the components off the S4S saltwater rods. This rod loads quickly for short-range accuracy, but still has the ability to push out longer casts when needed. Plus, it effectively fights fish at close quarters.

Spey Nation III

I had the chance to attend the recent Spey Nation III event on the Salmon River at Pineville, NY. Around 300 folks attended the event, from beginners to hard-core Spey geeks. A number of companies displayed product and top Spey talent from around the U.S. and Canada gave demonstrations.

Here Patagonia Fly Fishing Ambassador, Topher Brown, gives an on-water explanation of two-hand rods and casting techniques. You can watch Topher, along with Greg Pearson, and Dr. Way Yin on a great DVD, Spey to Z.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Here is my interpretation of Bill Sherer's Figure 8 streamer. Bill says this pattern has accounted for more fly caught muskies than any other fly. I tied this one up in a perch/sunfish coloration and this particular fly caught the fish I'm holding in the previous picture. The fly is not complicated to tie, but there are a number of steps involved. It has a large profile in the water, but the materials compress significantly when out of the water, making the fly easy to cast. This fly is usually tied to be 5"-10" in length. It will also catch pike, oversized smallmouth and a host of other predators.

Contact Bill at for a material listing.

River X Musky

Here is a nice musky caught recently in northern Wisconsin. JD and a group of intrepid dog friends teamed up with Capt. Bill Sherer for a couple days floating for smallmouth bass and Esox majors. Here the Freedom Hawk 12 UL is in expedition mode, all set for a long days float. Over 3 days the guys covered nearly 30 miles of VERY fishy water. A special woof of the dog "thank you"to Jim Linehan for his awesome on-water photography.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kayak On The Bay

Presque Isle Bay, at Erie, PA, is favorite spot for spring and early summer anglers. Lake smallmouth move into the shallows to spawn, along with pike and also musky. The Bay also has a large population of largemouth bass available to fly fishers all summer long. With the smallmouth spawn over, Jeff Liskay worked weed edges in deeper water with his Freedom Hawk 12 Kayak. Fishing his Scott S4S 9' 8-wt. and a 300 gr. SA Streamer Express line teamed up with a chatreuse/white Deceiver, Jeff had a productive evening with post-spawn smallies.

'Gills On Beds

Here is a group of bluegills guarding spawning beds from unwelcome intruders. The eggs are laid on an area that is cleared of any silt or mud. The nest is then protected until the eggs hatch and the fry swim off. Any invaders looking for an easy meal are chased away by the guard 'gills.

Capt. Jon Ray shows a sizeable Lake Michigan golden bonefish taken in Grand Traverse Bay. This style of flats fishing has opened up a whole new arena for Great Lakes Anglers. Carp like this are available to fly fishers on hard bottom areas throughout much of the Great Lakes. Be sure to take an 8-wt rod and a reel with a solid drag system and a lot of backing. These fish are fairly opportunistic feeders, so most creepy crawly looking flies have potential. Keep the flies fairly small- up to 3" or so length and use a strong hook. Crayfish, damsel nymphs, Hex nymphs, and at times even Buggers will work. These fish run slower than a bonefish, but with a LOT more endurance, kind of like a diesel locamotive.

Capt. Jon works with Hawkins Fly Fishing Outfitters and also has his own photo/video production company, Mangled Fly Media.

Friday, June 11, 2010

On The Move

Here is the Freedom Hawk 12 UL on carp patrol. The new dual position pontoon allows the boat to be easily paddled with the pontoons extended. This lets the moving angler pull up quickly for better visibilty and to get into casting position. Stayed tuned for more Freedom Hawk adventures.

Geared Up & Ready To Go

Here is the Freedom Hawk 12 UL being put to work on Grand Traverse Bay off Lake Michigan. I linked up with Capt. Jon Ray of Hawkins Fly Fishing on a carp expedition. The boat proved perfect to cruise the shallows and locate groups of golden bones. Special thanks to Jon for the photo work.