May 15

Flatswalker and Casting and More

It had been a while since I had wandered over to Flatswalker and what do I see when I get there? All manner of goodness.

Example? Sure. How about this post, with some casting tips. Really, he’s got loads of casting tips on there and you should check it out.

Davin will be in the Keys here in a month and we’ll fish together again and that is good.


Feb 15

Because, wind

Before you take that trip of a lifetime… spend some time getting your cast straight. Pity to go allllll that way and then have the wind kill your trip. There is wind. Almost always and even if there isn’t wind, there will be and it will blow so hard and you’ll think “I can’t cast in this!” and you’ll be right if you don’t work on it. Maybe you can lay out some line when throwing that caddis out on the lake or that 30′ cast on the big river, but the flats are not like that. The wind is sometimes unrelenting and sometimes right in your face as the fish are coming at you.

The wind can be your friend. The chop makes the fish feel a bit more comfortable. It can mask your movements and your noise. A windless day is tough, sometimes tougher than a really windy day.

Wind is a reality. Learn to cast in the wind. It is a skill you can pick up and you can remove that from the list of limiting factors.

So… Mr. Windknot, take it away.

Feb 14

Flatswalker goes to Acklins

Flatswalker is good stuff. Recently, he went to Acklins and, luckily, he wrote about it.

I reach the hotel bar: dry, plainly furnished, with a quartet of anglers drinking in the corner. In place of a bartender there’s a ledger with a number of hash marks. Ah. The honor system. There’s a picnic cooler with an assortment of beer. A little digging surfaces a Kalik and after the first swig I feel my hopes rising. Surely the weather will clear to the east, right? Bound to. Surely.

Nov 13

Thoughts from Flatswalker

Flatswalker wrote a great little bit about casting, about the cast being the heart and soul of fly fishing and about how casting is not about strength, but about finesse.

Of course, I now realize that it was exactly my own effort that defeated me. Casting is about finesse and control, not strength, and certainly not anger.

I pretty much agree with all of that. I think about how little energy it takes a casting master to lay out their line and then contrast that with the effort less accomplished anglers put into their casting strokes and you can see a clear distinction.

Davin, in FL

Davin, in FL

However, I have a different view about where the heart and soul of our quiet sport can be found.

For me, it is the fly that sets us apart. When we catch a fish we have fooled it with the fly… something that is, on its own, scentless and lifeless. It might be easier to attach a shrimp to a hook, or a crab, the actual food these fish are seeking. It might be easier to put some scent on the fly to light up the olfactory senses of our target species. But we don’t do those things. We throw bits of metal with feather and fur and we inject life into them.

It’s like robbing a bank with a picture of a gun drawn on a post-it-note. It is artistry, both in the fly and in the presentation of the fly.

Oct 13

A little Flatswalker for your Sunday

Ah…. always enjoy a bit of goodness from Flatswalker.

To really know such places requires time, and memory is built slowly, in layers. It is accreted, like the new sand of a high tide or the detritus of a storm. There is meaning there somewhere.

Love the smile here. This stuff is fun.

Love the smile here. This stuff is fun.

Aug 13

Flatswalker on the DIY Debate

Yesterday’s post was about the DIY debate from This is Fly. Flatswalker waded (see what I did there?) in with a thoughtful reply.

“If I can slip back into my guide boots for a minute, I can attest that I’ve seen a flat take over 2 weeks to recover after being pounded every day for a week by a single DIY angler.”

Some good stuff there. Go read it (please).


Apr 13

The Florida Crew – Flatswalker

If you’ve been around the blog for a while you know that I have a lot of respect for the Flatswalker blog. I dig his work and his writing. Davin was one of the writers in the first Pulp Fly and he’s a guy I’ve been in touch with over the last few years. So, it was great to find that he could make the Florida trip happen. I’ve never met him, although we’ve talked on the phone a few times.

That’s one of the great things about this trip… getting to fish with folks I’ve wanted to fish with. Davin is one of those guys and don’t worry Davin, I’ll bring a rain jacket.


Apr 13

The RIO Quickshooter

I was going to do a review of the RIO Quickshooter Bonefish Fly Line.  Then, I read the review of said line over at Flatswalker.com.

He crushed me both in time to evaluate the line, useful insight into what makes the line work so well and word-count.

Basically, a line should do what the box it came in advertises. It doesn’t have to have some trippy nano-texture copied from a Jesus Lizard or slide through the rod guides faster’n a greased up snake. It just has to not tangle, load the road and not fall apart too soon.

Classic. Read the rest of this too.

Here is what I had written about it:

If you look riiiiiiiight there, you can see the Quickshooter line.

If you look riiiiiiiight there, you can see the Quickshooter line.

The idea behind the Quickshooter is this… when you need to load a rod quickly, especially the ultra-fast rods you find on the flats today, you need a line capable of loading the rod with very little line out. This is a wading line for when you see the fish at 30 feet and need to send something pointy down range quickly.

I can say it works. Two of the fish I caught were while wading and one was probably about 35 feet away. I had no problem loading the rod quickly and making the shot.

I’d say I think the line is slightly less ideal for fishing out of a boat on a windy day when you want to keep line on the deck. The thin running line can get a bit FUBAR if not watched closely or if you are fishing with flats beginners who don’t understand their role in keeping your line from birdnesting.

I like the line and will fish it in the future for sure, especially if I think I’ll be doing a lot of wading.

*This line was sent gratis by RIO.


Mar 13

A word on casting… but not from me

I was watching a video of a guy fishing in Cuba. Love Cuba. Beautiful place and the fishing? Please.

However, hated the guy’s casting. It was painful. Jerky. The opposite of smooth. I was almost offended.

You ever had a Bahamain guide borrow your rod and cast, effortlessly, the whole damn line? Yeah… I have. Humbling.

Here is a Caribbean guide with some pointers (and yes, that is Davin, from Flatswalker).


Jan 13

Island Paradise Lost

Flatswalker has a bit to share about what island life is really like…

The strange truth about paradise is that it eventually gets to be boring and, quite frankly, depressing.

Now, he goes on to share some of the good as well, but it is an interesting read.

I’ll try to remember paradise isn’t paradise as I slog the 2K miles a month to work and school and home in a maddening OPEC merry-go-round.

We have seasons here in the Bay Area.  Three of them, really. We have summer… I love summer. The sun is up until 9 at some point and it feels like you have time to do pretty much anything. Then we fall. Fall, in the Bay, lasts until spring. It goes from about October until March. Spring is a short thing… April to May. We have other seasons we can drive to and every once in a while the mountains around the Bay (kind of big hills, really) show a dusting of white, but it tends to melt by 2:00 and there are no plows or road salt.

I will go on with my ideal vision of the tropics.

I saw a bumper sticker in Kauai onces that read “Kauai, a great place to visit. Don’t move here.” That kind of gets in the way of the fantasy.

The Slack Tide Bar... one of my most favorite places on this planet.

The Slack Tide Bar… one of my most favorite places on this planet. Don’t mess with the fantasy.