December, 2015

Five Tips for Tutoring Your Youngest Fishing Buddy

Five Tips for Tutoring Your Youngest Fishing Buddy

How old were you when you cast your first fly? Do you remember that combination of wonder and excitement? Whether you started out as a kid or tackled fishing a little later in life, it’s fun to think back on those days when your lack of finesse didn’t matter. Learning how to do something that calls to your spirit is one of life’s better joys. Passing along that passion to a child connects you both on levels that stay strong for a lifetime. When you’re ready to tutor a young fishing buddy in the ways of Alaskan fly fishing, focus on these five productive tips. 1. Bait That Natural Curiosity If a child watches intently and wants to know why you put together those bug-looking things, he’s a good candidate for the river. If he likes to explore the tackle box, show him your case, and tell him why different fish chase different flies. Most young anglers don’t care about the details, but they’ll listen when you explain that fish are like people with different appetites. The fact that you sit at a table making fake insects is enough to impress any curious kid, so show him how to tie a wooly bugger. Ask him if he’d like to try it out, and watch that little face light up as you start planning a day together on the water. 2. Fit the Gear to the Kid As much as you love your old gear, your youngest fisherman really wants his own stuff. Resist the temptation to pass off your favorites as sentimental hand-me-downs, and head for the pro shop. From kid-sized rods and waders to pint-sized hats and shades, you’ll find everything for outfitting a short-statured novice. Let him try out a few rods for size while you consider weight options. Most 6-weight rods are heavy enough for a child’s cast, but you might want a 4- or 5-weight for someone small who doesn’t need as much stiffness. A kid’s enthusiasm goes a lot further when he’s not worn out from working a rod that’s hard to handle. 3. Don’t Make Casting Complicated Your littlest angler won’t master the perfect cast in one season. You can fine-tune techniques later, so concentrate on the basics for now. Try a simple approach to casting that starts with a two-hand hold on the rod and thumbs on top. Instruct your young student to quickly lift the rod, and then give it a sudden stop even with his ear as the line goes straight behind him. Follow through with a smooth forward motion that puts the tip at eye level to loop the line and deliver that fly. Never underestimate the power of patient encouragement and sincere compliments as he starts to get the drift. 4. Make Everything Easy to Enjoy Getting a kid hooked on fly fishing should always be about having a good time. Give that budding fisherman a fighting chance for a great start in water that you know promises plenty of […]

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Our 10 Favorite Fly Fishing Writers

Our 10 Favorite Fly Fishing Writers

We considered putting together a list of the best, but that started too many arguments. Instead, we offer a collection of our 10 favorite writers who always manage to translate the fly fishing experience into words that we really enjoy. The next time you’re stuck inside waiting for the weather to break, break out one of these authors. For easy reference and an end to friendly disagreements, we’ve alphabetized our list. 1. James Babb Editor emeritus is a pretty impressive title, and Babb earns it with unmatched wit and style at Gray’s Sporting Journal. While we admire his well-earned literary credentials, he could be a lonely guy writing from the bed of his truck and still make this list with his book, “River Music.” He’s that good. When our copy of Gray’s hits the mailbox, we hit Babb’s fishing essay first. 2. Kirk Deeter If you ever thought that you missed your calling as a fly fishing guide, read Deeter’s essays on what the professional’s life is really like. If you want to know everything about every type of fly, knot and line, snag one of his reference books. Deeter knows his stuff, and he generously shares it all with his blog over at Field and Stream. We admit it. We also enjoy the great photography. 3. John Gierach Anybody who writes a book titled “Sex, Death and Fly Fishing” earns a place on this list. We won’t give away the first essay in this highly entertaining volume, but it involves mayflies. Gierach does more than put a knowing smile on your face. The original trout bum’s advice, strategies and river wisdom make any one of his 33 books a must-have for your fly fishing library. 4. Ted Leeson We have a real winner here. Leeson snagged the IFFF’s Roderick Haig-Brown Award for outstanding fly fishing lit back in 1996, but you probably know him better from Field and Stream. If our sport had a philosophy professor, it would be Leeson, and his volume, “The Habit of Rivers,” would be the only class assignment anyone would ever need. His writing captures and celebrates the spirit that makes us all love fishing. 5. Nick Lyons No fly fishing book collection is complete without several well-worn classics including a copy of “Spring Creek.” Lyons is a prolific writer and independent publisher, and we’re still turning his pages after more than 30 years. His ability to string together wisdom and humor makes us all proud of our collective fly fishing obsessions. We salute both his talent and longevity. 6. Thomas McGuane Settle in, and travel from Florida to Russia and Montana to Iceland. You’ve probably never imagined fly fishing in the Andes, but McGuane puts you there as he paints pictures with words that capture the essence of some of the world’s most beautiful rivers and lakes. His essays are timeless, he’s been writing for more than 30 years, and he’s very funny. 7. Howell Raines A Pulitzer Prize for journalism isn’t necessary to […]

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