Thursday, May 21, 2020

Live from Silver Creek

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Live the Stream- Joe Humphreys

I've had the pleasure of spending some time with this man.  He has forgotten more about fly fishing than many of us will ever know.   Take some time during the #Quarantine to check this out.  Available on Amazon Prime.

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Undercover Fly Shop Visit: Fly South

Recently I had the good fortune to be in Nashville, Tennessee and of course,  I found myself sneaking into an excellent local fly shop.  Fly South is tucked away just off  Broadway near Vanderbilt University.

As an added perk, Fly South just happens to be across the street from the legendary Hattie B's Hot Chicken.

Fly South is the favorite haunt of's occasional correspondent and our fishing buddy, Jay Moore.   As soon as we walked through the door we could tell why he liked it.

The requisite long shot down the fly bin.  Huge selection and all species covered

They kept the "meat" in jars

Appealing to the PBR set.  I may or may not have purchased this shirt.

If you tie flies this shop should be on top of your list.  The materials department was massive. 

Mr. Whiting's Mutant Hackle Beast

Dubbing upon Dubbing

Note the tying area in the foreground.  These folks are fly tyers.

I suppose I was so overwhelmed by the flies and materials that I neglected to get shots of the rods, reels, and waders that they also sell.  Suffice it to say that they can fix you up on any of that as well.

I visited close to closing time and the staff was attentive. They asked me several times if they could help me find something and seemed to take my answer of, "No, I just like to look around fly shops." with a puzzled nod and left me alone.  Towards the end of my visit, they seemed to be getting a bit curious about the guy roaming the shop snapping photos, so I purchased a Fly South tee shirt and headed for the door.  On my way out I couldn't help but wonder if they had any job openings at this great example of a full-service fly shop.

Keep an eye out for more Undercover Fly Shop visits in the future.  You never know when might show up and wander your local purveyor of fly fishing goodness's aisles. 

Friday, December 06, 2019

Rewriting fishing books or movies as clickbait headlines...

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2019

Flyfishing Video: Tanner Goodman of Carolina Wild

Tanner Goodman prowls some of our old "stomping grounds" (that is a Southern technical term) and comes away with a nice brown trout.  Check out his Troudex videos.   

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Ross Reels debuts 2020 Catalog

Ross Reels has released their 2020 catalog.  Have a look at some very nice gear via this link.  Their new San Miguel reel will be shipping December 2nd and is available for preorders. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

#WednesdayWisdom: YC Edition

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween: Things that scare fly fishers

Scary Things

The Pebble Mine
Selling off our public land
Shrinking stream access
Gill Nets
Hard Seltzer
Zebra Mussels
Plastics in our water supply 
Asian Carp
Political Correctness
Opioids in our water supply
Bobbers ..just kidding I fish bobbers all the time.
Pretty much anything in our water supply that aren't fish, bugs, or water.
Powerbait - don't at me
The phrase "don't at me"

Feel free to add your own via the comments. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

#WednesdayWisdom: Mountain Edition

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

#WednesdayWisdom : Be The Grizzly Edition

Monday, September 30, 2019

A Schooling on Silver Creek

The Editorial Trophy Wife has three rules related to her annual birthday trip. I have to take her out of Texas, she has to be in the mountains, and she has to have an adult beverage in her hand on the day of her birth. The astute among you will note that me going fishing is not on her list. However, the good news for me is that she is usually receptive to the idea, as long as she doesn't have to accompany me. She has caught her share of trout in the past but these days she takes a been there done that approach to fly fishing.  So much for 50/50 on the water in our house.  

With that said, you can imagine I was pretty pleased when she selected the Sun Valley area of Idaho as this year's destination.  After all, Papa Hemingway and his son Jack's old haunt had to have some pretty nice trout water close at hand. I did the required internet research, reached out to friends, and got advice from a social media group of which I am a member. To a person, everyone gave the same answer. Yes, I could fish lots of places close to Sun Valley, but whatever I did, I had to fish Silver Creek.  

There was one small problem that kept coming up. To a person, everyone who recommended Silver Creek also added the caveat that it was quite possibly the hardest place on the planet to catch a trout. I was assured to see massive numbers of wild trout, huge Trico hatches, and most likely not be able to catch a single trout. Words like "technical water", "tiny flies", "flat water" and "educated trout" were thrown around carelessly. These are all words that give pause to a southern blue line nymph fisher (usually with a bobber strike indicator). When I expressed my discouragement, my advisers were quick to say that the scenery would more than make up for the lack of catching. Being a risk-taker at heart, I decided to go for it and did the only sensible thing. I shelled out a tidy sum and hired a guide.  After all, you can't take it with you. 

VA Hokie and fly fishing guide Andrew Thomas
Enter Andrew Thomas of Picabo Anglers.  As fortune would have it, Andrew also grew up fishing Southern waters, although I doubt he used a strike indicator.  He quizzed me a bit about where I had fished and tried to gauge my skill level. I mentioned that I had fished for a while but made sure he got the message that fishing the most technical water on the planet worried me.  He seemed confident but also mentioned that the scenery was wonderful and that I would enjoy the day.  Hiring Andrew turned out to be money well spent.

One thing was evident as soon as we arrived at the river.  A massive Trico hatch was already well underway.  The air was thick with tiny bugs and trout were rising all around. I threw on my waders and boots while Andrew rigged up my Orvis H3 five weight for its first real test.  Accurate from anywhere? I guess we would know soon enough.  

Undercut banks and tall grass on Silver Creek

The banks of Silver Creek are deeply undercut and lined with tall, unforgiving grass. This wasn't really a problem during the morning Trico hatch.  Trout were feeding boldly with some even cruising the surface with mouths agape, scooping up as many emerging bugs as possible  Even while feeding with abandon it became very clear that a presentation with any amount of drag would be ignored.  Andrew gave great advice on when to mend and helped me with my reach cast and within a few minutes of entering the water, I had long line released a nice trout.  Andrew, ever the generous guide, assured me that, on Silver Creek, that fish counted.   At this point, I am sure he still had some concerns about my abilities but I felt I was starting to get the hang of things. At least when I got back to the hotel I could say I had hooked fish.   As the hatch continued, we moved from pod to pod of rising trout.  All were eager but none would tolerate a muffed cast or any drag. Any missteps on the part of the angler and the pod was busted and you had best move on.  I managed a few more trout and we actually got them into the net.  While I would call the morning a success, It was clear that for every fish we brought to the net, I had missed or scared away what felt like fifty more.  Technical water?  I'll say.

The hatch was intense and both my guide and I wanted to make the most of it. This meant there was little time for "grip and grins" but I knew I had to have proof. Trust me, I am grinning.

Those undercut banks would come into play after lunch.  The morning hatch had ended so we ate our sandwiches while dodging cows as we drove through the pasture to the river. We tied on hoppers, stepped into float tubes, and got in the water.  With no hatch to be seen, the plan was to cast a hopper as close to the grass as possible and coax fish out from under the bank. When I say close to the bank you should know that meant within one to two inches of the grassy bank.  My biggest nemesis for the rest of the day would be that wall of tall grass on the bank.   I would try to zing a cast up against the bank and, at the last minute, thinking I was going to get hung up, pull back.  My fly would land two to three feet from the bank.  As you can guess the trout weren't in any mood to come three feet from the bank, even in search of a tasty grasshopper.  To Andrew's credit, he stopped me and reminded me that he didn't care if I lost a fly, or got hung up, and to please, for the sake of all that is holy, cast up against the bank (I paraphrased this but you get the idea).   His pep talk must have helped both my confidence and my casting because as long as I didn't overthink it, I started getting casts into the zone and we started catching fish.  Later Andrew would remind me that we didn't lose a single fly all day.

A nice Brown Trout coaxed from the undercut bank.

Silver Creek Rainbow

Silver Creek was definitely a fly fishing education.  I came to Idaho worried that I might not be up to the task and in many ways I was not.   I stacked the deck in my favor by hiring Andrew as my guide and the Orvis H3 was way more accurate than me "from anywhere".  It paid off with a dozen or so trout out of the hundreds I had an opportunity to catch, all on dry flies. I got schooled, but if you really think about it, every day for a fly fisherman should be like a day in school.

Editors Note:  Andrew Thomas is a guide with Picabo Anglers in Picabo, Idaho located on the banks of Silver Creek.  I can definitely recommend him that you hire him like I did.  Whether you fish Silver creek with a guide or on your own, put it on your list of places you must fish.