Monday, December 29, 2014

Dave Whitlock- Meeting A Legend in Fly Fishing

Years ago, my friend Cameron Mortenson introduced me to Fly Fishing.  After practice casting a "noodly" old fiberglass fly rod on the lawn, I decided to look for a book for information on this intriguing new sport.  I purchased the L.L. Bean Fly Fishing handbook written by Dave Whitlock, and read it several times, incorporating the tips and advice that Whitlock shared as I learned how to fly fish.  I still have that book in my library, and look through it on occasion, since the advice is timeless.

As well as being an accomplished writer, Dave Whitlock is an outstanding artist.  I've seen him at Fly Fishing Shows in the past, and had always wanted to purchase some artwork and talk with him. Last January, while at the Denver Fly Fishing Show, I decided to take the opportunity to pick up a couple of prints.
Whitlock is one of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever met.   We spoke for quite awhile and I shared my memories about the LL. Bean book he wrote.   He was very gracious and humble, and gave me some interesting insight on that specific book and others he has written.   I asked him if he would sign the prints I had purchased, and he said that he would be happy to do so.   When I handed him the prints, instead of just signing his name,  he pulled out a set of coloring pencils and took several minutes hand coloring the prints while we talked.  He was very careful and thorough with his work, and did an outstanding job of bringing the prints to a new life.  He then signed and personalized both prints.  I've framed both prints, hanging one in my fly tying room, while the other one is displayed in my office.  The experience I had with Dave and his wife Emily was great.   They are both great people, and it was a pleasure meeting them at the show.

Cameron took several photos of the experience, which I've shared in this post.  Dave Whitlocks's art is fantastic, and I would highly recommend that you visit with him when you have the chance.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you!  Thanks for visiting this site during the year.   It's been a fun journey, and I've enjoyed the many friendships that I have made through the fly fishing community.

Enjoy the day with your family and friends, and I will see you on the river before long.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

New book- My life in Fishing by Stu Apte

Stonefly Press just released a new book by Stu Apte called My Life in Fishing.  I just received a copy, and I'm looking forward to reading it fully this Christmas season.   I've already read a couple of stories, and could hardly put the book down.    I'm a big fan of history, and really enjoyed a story about Apte guiding President Harry Truman and his wife while fishing for bonefish.  If you are looking for a stocking stuffer for the fisherman in your life, this would make a great gift.

Here is a description of the book from the publisher:

In My Life in Fishing, as only the most accomplished captain and guide can, Stu Apte shares his tips and insights gleaned from his lifelong pursuit for any and every species. These are his favorite personal stories, about world records, and winds, and tides, and patterns, and flies, but also about the remarkable people who have fished their way through his life. There are stories and glimpses that you won’t find in other history books – an amusing episode with Harry and Bess Truman on board Stu’s skiff, an impromptu side-of-the-road meeting with baseball hall-of-famer Ted Williams that led to a forty-year friendship, and an afternoon of drinking Cuban mojitos aboard Pilar with Earnest Hemingway that includes Hemingway’s own mojito recipe. My Life in Fishing is more than a collection of engaging stories and fly fishing pointers; it is a glimpse of the development and evolution of the sport, and of saltwater fly fishing at its highest level, through the eyes and anecdotes of the only man who can tell the stories. 

Check out this book, along with other great books (including one of my past favorites, 50 Best Tailwaters to Fly Fish), at

Sunday, December 7, 2014

RIO Products- In Touch RIO Grand Fly line review

The primary objective of the annual Gunnison trip is to catch big fish.  This requires that I get my fast action Sage VPX 6 weight out of the bag when fishing big water in pursuit of the large trout and salmon.  When I fish a fast action rod, I like to use a fly line that is a bit heavier so that I can load the rod to take advantage of it's capabilities.   I was looking for a line to use for this year's trip, and discovered the RIO In Touch RIO Grand WF6.

The line has several features that I liked immediately.   There are two loop connectors on each end, and the colors are bright and visible.   This fly line uses different colors to indicate the different parts of the line, including the front taper, the body, and the running line.   This intrigued me, since I am a "feel" caster, and not very technical.   While casting the line at distance on the Gunnison, I found it extremely helpful to note the different colors when loading the rod.    I was able to get more distance, and more accuracy by noting the different sections of the line as they flew through the guides.

The In Touch RIO Grand line is one full line size heavier than the industry standard, which I really appreciated in my fast action rod.  Rio says that this line contains an ultra-low stretch core for easier line lift, more precise mends, and better cast timing.   Time spent with this line verified these claims as accurate, as I noticed that the line seemed more "connected" to the rod and the reel.   Hook sets also seemed to be better...while impossible to truly quantify, it seemed as though I lost fewer fish on the hook set, which would be due to the low/no stretch core.

Color different between the body and running line.
I cast streamers and heavy flies with ease during the time on the water.   On one occasion, the trout started looking up, and I spent an afternoon fishing a size 14 parachute adams using this fly line.   I was able to cast this line into tight spots landed quite a few trout on the dry fly.

This fly line is very impressive, and I would recommend it.   The coating is very slick, and the weight of the line felt perfect for a fast action rod.  The line retails for about $89.

BDF uses a three tiered gear rating system for gear reviews.

Dry Fly =       Great Product
Emerger=       Good product with potential
Nymph=         Could use improvement   

The In Touch RIO Grand fly line earns Dry Fly status.

For more information on this line, please check out RIO's website