10 Gifts For Your Favorite Angler This Valentine’s Day

10 Gifts For Your Favorite Angler This Valentine’s Day thumbnail

Buying gifts for fishermen is hard. They’re notoriously picky, and with all of the rods, reels, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs, boats and lakes on the market, it would be overwhelming to search for the right gift for you Fishing Valentine. So, we found them for you. Here are 10 perfect Valentine’s Day gifts for fisherman!

1) Daiwa CG 80 Casting Reel

The Daiwa CG 80 Casting Reel is a high performing reel at a price point that fits within the budget of most anglers. Built around a carbon-graphite frame this reel not only feel lighter but it also sits lower in the reel seat allowing for added comfort. The Daiwa CG 80 has everything an angler needs and is built by one of the most recognized brands in the industry.

2) Mystery Tackle Box Gift Certificate  

The MTB Gift Certificate is one of the easiest to gifts to give while also being well received. We all know anglers are very picky about their fishing equipment and if you don’t know the ins and outs of what the fish and where they fish then you probably will get them the wrong lures. Order in minutes and you’ll have the perfect gift for the angler in your life while leaving the heavy lifting up to us.

How Do The Gift Options Work 

3) Dobyns Fury Casting Rod

The Dobyns Fury Fishing Rods line comes in both spinning and casting options with all models being well thought out from end to end. For the price point, it’s hard to find a better rod than the Fury, and, when it comes to well-respected rod brands it’s harder to find someone that ranks higher than Dobyns.

4) The Catch Co Necko

MTB Beard Shield Necko

The Catch Co Necko bandana will keep you protected from sun, insects, wind, cold, and any other harsh elements a day on the water will throw your way.

5) Pflueger President Spinning Reel

The Pflueger President is one of the best valued and long-lasting spinning reels there is. Guides, pros, and entry-level anglers all enjoy the smooth drag and quality components of this time tested reel. If you’re in the market for a spinning reel and you don’t feel breaking the bank, there is no better option than the Pflueger President.

6) Strike King Polarized Sunglasses

Strike King Optics Okeechobee Sunglasses

Keep your Valentine stylin’ on and off the water with the Stike King Optics Sunglasses. The glasses are designed to increase visibility thanks to advanced lens technology while providing protection from harmful UV Rays. Available in multiple styles options all at a price that is hard to beat.

7) Mystery Tackle Box Grab Bags

The Mystery Tackle Box Grab Bags come in Freshwater, Bass, and Saltwater options with each box containing featured favorites from previous MTB boxes. You can expect Cranks, Jigs, Swimbaits, and other useful lures and terminal tackle included in each bundle. For $28 (or under $20 for Karls Members) load up on over $41 worth of quality products from brands that you can count on.

8) Rapala Fisherman’s Mini Headlamp

Rapala Fisherman's Mini Headlamp

Getting up before the sun or being out into darkness isn’t always fun but it’s a reality of someone who likes to be outside. Having a good light from a brand you can depend on is vital during these times and there are few fishing brands more respected than Rapala.

-Batteries Included
-Multiple Settings
-Water Resistant

9) Flambeau Organizing Tackle Box

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Storage space for even the most well-equipped fisherman, this soft tackle box comes with 4 TuffTainers to organize tackle, and a shoulder strap to securely and comfortably get it wherever you need to go

10) Karl’s Fish For Something T-shirt

Fish For Something T-shirt

This shirt was created after the success of our most popular memes, Karl’s Fish For Something shirt is a great way to poke fun at yourself and look cool on the water. “Fish for something, even if it means catching nothing,” is Karl’s new motto.

When You Should Be Fishing With A Barrel Swivel

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Barrel swivels are certainly one of those topics in the fishing world that isn’t that glamorous but it can be very important. A swivel is a valuable (but relatively inexpensive) piece of terminal tackle that enables anglers to be more efficient on the water. This small piece of hardware can be the difference maker between a good and a bad day of fishing. They have numerous uses and anglers need to know when and why to use swivels. In fishing, there are a few types of swivels and each has its time, place, and purpose.

What Is A Barrel Swivel?

Barrel Swivels

When you hear the word “swivel”, your mind probably pictures the most common type; the barrel swivel. A barrel swivel is nothing more than an (oftentimes) small line “connector”. In the most basic terms, this type of swivel allows an angler to tie two separate sections of line to each of its ends. The swivel then allows each section of line to rotate independently of each other.

Using Barrel Swivels In Deep Water

Barrel Swivels

Barrel Swivels are particularly useful when fish ultra-deepwater with a drop shot rig and the fishing line has the tendency to twist many times when reeling in. This twisting decreases the overall strength of the line and can cause breakage well below its poundage rating. Barrel swivels are also useful when fishing baits like weightless flukes, senkos, and pre-rigged worms. The constant flipping and twirling motion of these baits tend to also cause line twist and cause bad hook sets and unnecessary breakages.

Typically, anglers will use a two to four-foot section of line between the barrel swivel and the lure. This ensures the lure is far enough away from the swivel and its natural action is not impeded. The use of a barrel swivel also allows anglers to use two different types of line if they so choose but is not necessary.

Double Up With A Barell Swivel

Barrel Swivels

For example, when fishing a fluke, many fishermen will use a braided line as the “base” line, or the line attached to the fishing reel. This allows for longer casts, better accuracy, and no-stretch hooksets. For their “leader”, or the line from the bottom of the barrel swivel to the lure or hook, anglers will oftentimes use fluorocarbon line. Fluorocarbon is virtually invisible to fish but is typically stronger than monofilament. With this approach the angler’s finesse rig gets the best of both worlds; a strong setup that is unseeable to fish.

Line twist is a big deal. Losing the fish of a lifetime to this common pitfall is no fun and will make an angler rethink the basics of terminal tackle. The barrel swivel is an often overlooked piece of fishing equipment. However, just like other unglamorous aspects of the sport, it is necessary for anglers to know when and where to use this invaluable tool.

7 Best Cars For Fly Fishing

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A fisherman’s rod and reel are as important as the vehicle that gets them there. Whether it’s a 5-minute drive to your local stream or a cross-country trip, you will need a set of wheels. Some prefer a more comfortable and luxurious transportation others prefer the “trout bum” look for their ride. This list includes a range of vehicles that standout for all types of fly fishing crazed individuals.

1. Guide’s Ride: Toyota Tacoma Polar Expedition

Photo by Thom Briggs 

Probably one of the most popular and fishiest vehicles in the market, the Toyota Tacoma. This classic “Guides” ride is a brilliant midsize pickup that handles all terrains. With a rugged exterior, you can beat it up and still have it last you longer than most vehicles.

Photo by: Thom Briggs

The Tacoma is also known for abstaining from any flashy features. Pickups with off-roading capabilities tend to stay towards the utilitarian interiors and focuses on more important needs. Like, tow capacity and overnight adventures! You can tow any vessel and carry all the fishing cargo you need in one of these babies.

2. Motorcycle: Kawasaki KLR650

Photo by: Mark Quigley http://troutbumming.com/mctb.htm & http://www.naturalresourcephotography.com

For you crazy anglers that prefer to travel light with the ability to trail ride along rivers, the Kawasaki KLR650 is your way of transportation. This motorcycle allows you to reach narrow-untamed roads and trails that no other vehicle can handle. With the large saddle bag attachments and other compartments, you can pack all the fishing gear plus overnight necessities.

3. Fuel Economy: Subaru Outback

Photo and vehicle by: Scott Leuthold 

If you don’t want a mainstream – adventure vehicle, the Subaru Outback is a solid choice. It made the line-up due to its all-around capabilities and awesome fuel economy. Many believe that this car can’t go off-road and is more of a “soccer mom car”… Even though this vehicle sits lower to the ground, the Outback can make all roads accessible and handle any climates. It also holds more than just soccer balls…

Photo and vehicle by: Scott Leuthold 

Large SUVs and trucks aren’t the only vehicles that can tow your drift boat. The Outback’s flat engine design even has the ability to tow over 3000 pounds! This flat design allows for a quiet ride that will lead to more longevity for the engine.

Photo and vehicle by: Scott Leuthold 

4. Luxury: Bentley Bentayga Fly Fishing Milliner

Bentley Bentayga, Iceland, July 2016 Photo James Lipman

For those who prioritize comfort, luxury, and speed, Bentley Motors has launched the Bentayga Fly Fishing Mulliner. This incredible craft has the ability to hold all of your equipment in a stylish manner while reaching incredible speeds.

Bentley Bentayga, Iceland, July 2016 Photo James Lipman 

Four rods can be stored in special tubes trimmed in leather, landing nets in matching leather bags are stored in the carpet-trimmed hard pocket, and waders and boots are conveniently stowed in a leather-wrapped wood trunk, lined with hard-wearing neoprene material to keep the items in a waterproof environment after use. At the heart of the Bentayga are three individual units: a master tackle station, a refreshment case, and waterproof wader-stowage trunk. These units house a fly-tying vice and tools, aluminum reel cases, food compartments, metal flasks, and a set of Mulliner fine-china tableware.

Bentley Bentayga, Iceland, July 2016 Photo James Lipman 

This vehicle allows anglers to fish with class and brings all the comforts to the stream; however, it will definitely hurt the bank account.

5. Muscle SUV: Toyota 4Runner

The Toyota 4Runner is one badass looking vehicle. A muscle SUV that can haul your water vessel to the most difficult access points. With innovative storage, you can jampack everything you need and ditch a rod holder. Store your rods inside the car without breaking them down and store everything else on the roof!

Photo by: @doublehaulfishing

SUV-hungry buyers should definitely consider the 4Runner. It is a distinctive vehicle that is rugged and has off-road capabilities, yet it’s spacious and family-friendly. Sure, it lacks many of the technical features you’ll find in other SUVs, but there’s an honesty to the 4Runner and just-right goodness that keeps it relevant. It won’t be for everyone, but it’ll be exactly what a great many want.

Photo by: @doublehaulfishing

6. Cross Country Vehicle: Mercedes Sprinter 4×4 Van

Photo by @sportsmobilewest

If Godzilla ever got married to a vehicle, the Mercedes Sprinter 4×4 Van would totally be it. Leg room will never be an issue and neither should the overnight adventures. Pack a family of fishermen along with the dog and drift boat, because this giant can take you through the snowy mountains all the way to the sandy beaches. Qualified for off-road trails, this van can still give you lateral stability and traction no other van can provide.

7. “The Trout Bum’s Vehicle”

Photo: Gabe Boline (@gabeboline7)

The trout-patterned paint job will immediately let everyone know where they are going… straight to the water. This trout mobile owner makes it known to others his true love and is not ashamed to show it.

Photo by: Chad Chorney (@rchadchorneyphotography)

The true bum vehicles have cracked windshields from extreme temperature changes, flies stuck to the roof, prostaff hats sitting on the dash, fly rods that separate passengers, stickers on the rear window, snack wrappers on the floor, and last but not least, the best vehicles have paint the color of the fish they target!

Photo by: Mark Lance (@riverlightimages)

Some anglers prefer the “rundown” look and have the ideology that as long as you can get to the water, you’ve got a good ride. Fly fishing is known to be thought as a simplistic way of being with nature and like to demonstrate their simplicity through their rides.


This article was written by Flylords Team Member Collin Terchanik .

Header photo by Gabe Boline.

Check out these other articles from Collin Terchanik:

Tips for Catching Brook Trout: Pennsylvania’s Gem

Celeb Spotlight: Dylan Efron

20 Celebs that Fly Fish

Photographer Spotlight: R. Valentine Atkinson

Trouts Fly Tying – Tying the WD-40

One of our go-to patterns when Marie and I were plying some of Wyoming’s finest tailwaters.

Mark Engler’s midge emerger the WD-40 is a must have in your wintertime fly box. While originally designed to mimic an emerging midge, it does a killer job when fish are keyed in on blue-winged olive nymphs, as well. Trouts Guide Josh Diller dropped by the Trouts Frisco location on a snowy January day to throw this video together.

MATERIALS
Hook: Umpqua U201 size 16 – 24
Thread: Olive UTC 70 Denier
Tail & Wing Case: Mallard Flank
Dubbing: Olive Dub
Adhesive: Hareline Hard as Hull Head Cement

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I Heard About this Spot

I Heard About this Spot thumbnail

I heard about this spot where there’s supposed to be trout.

Not just any trout. Brook trout. Wild. Native.

And this spot is quite close. And it is surprisingly urban. And it seems too good to be true.

This knowledge, like any lead on buried treasure or city of gold, was stumbled into. A chance encounter. I was supposed to talk to person A. We had planned it and it was all set. Then person B was there instead. He was Person A’s substitute. Person B lives thousands of miles away, but just so happened to grow up right where I live. He fly fishes, he has an interest in native brook trout, and he knows about this spot.

Furthermore, he did the very un-fly fisherman thing in sharing this spot. With me.

Continue reading “I Heard About this Spot”

Blade Bait Tricks For Early Spring Bass

The blade is traditionally a cold water presentation but its effectiveness doesn’t stop there! Keep the blade on deck in Early Spring and you might be surprised how the bass react. In this video Matt shows his favorite blade baits, what each is for, and how to modify them to get the best hook up ratio.

Blade baits come in all shapes and sizes. From the original Silver Buddy to modern offerings like the Damiki Vault, there is always a bait to fit your need. Color schemes have come a long way as well which has extended the blades effectiveness in late Winter and early Spring.

With any blade bait its imperative to upgrade the hardware and carefully select your gear in order to maximize your hook up to land ratio. These baits are inherently heavy and are easily thrown by wary bass if care isn’t taken to prevent it. Below is a breakdown of the baits, equipment, and hook upgrades that we use with our blades.

The Blade Baits…

-Damiki Vault: http://bit.ly/2rnO7e2

-Silver Buddy: http://bit.ly/2AcTelj

-Molix Trago Vib: http://bit.ly/2Q5X4jf

-Khan Baits Vibrato: http://bit.ly/2RNNL8O

-Damiki Vortex: http://bit.ly/2BqKoyW

-Sebile Vibrato: http://bit.ly/2rlZmDW

Best Colors… Silver, Gold, Shad

Hook and Hardware Upgrades…

(Size 4 for 1/2 oz or heavier blades, Size 6 on smaller blades)

-Gamakatsu EWG Treble (Light Wire): http://bit.ly/2cZrsbY

-Owner ST-36 Stinger Treble (Medium Wire): http://bit.ly/2cWpeyw

-Owner ST-56 Treble (Heavy Wire): http://bit.ly/2cVg7xW

-Owner Hyperwire Split Rings (Size 2 or 3): http://bit.ly/2v8ArBX

Matt’s Preferred Combo…

Rod- G Loomis 845 CBR: http://bit.ly/2og0BmK

Reel- Curado 150 DC HG: http://bit.ly/2yHtsp4

Line- 40 lb Power Pro Maxcuatro Braid: http://bit.ly/2clBRiQ

Leader- 12 lb Maxima Ultragreen: http://bit.ly/2ae97J9

Budget-Friendly Combo…

Rod- Dobyns Colt 705CB: http://bit.ly/2lU0LfV

Reel- Shimano SLX HG: http://bit.ly/2NfdOnk

Line- 15 lb Sunline Assassin: http://bit.ly/2h4LNjm

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Need Apparel? Tacticalbassin Gear is in stock! Get your hats, hoodies, and sunshirts by emailing Tacticalbassinapparel@gmail.com

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How To Use A Trolling Motor With A Foot Pedal

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There are many cool gadgets on today’s fishing market. One of them being the trolling motor. Technology has come so far and enabled anglers to do things we never thought possible. However, with all this innovation can come confusion. If you do not know how to operate these advanced pieces of tech, what good are they? Never fear, our guide on running a trolling motor is here!

Deploying A Trolling Motor

How To Use A Trolling Motor

The first step in using your trolling motor is deploying it into the water. All bow mount trolling motors come with some form of handle to help anglers launch the motor into the water. Simply pull the cable or cord backwards/towards yourself to release the locking pin. This pin allows the trolling motor to stay put while in transit. Typically, you will hear the pin move. While still pulling backwards, lift upward on the cord or cable to move the motor from its travel-mounted, flat position to its deployed position. Some higher end trolling motors have a hydraulic arm built in that assists the angler in both deploying and pulling up the motor. If your trolling motor does not have this, it is not a big deal. You will just have to use a bit more power to deploy and stow your trolling motor.

When it is time to pull up the motor, again you must pull the cable backwards to release the locking pin. Pull the trolling motor out of the water and place it back in its initial, flat position. You should here the locking pin click into place and at this point your trolling motor should be secured for travel.

Avoiding One Of The Most Common Mistakes

How To Use A Trolling Motor

An all-too-common mistake even veteran anglers make is thinking their is something wrong with either the trolling motor itself or their batteries. Oftentimes, they have forgotten to turn on the trolling motor. Most motors have a master power switch located somewhere on the foot pedal. Make sure this switch is in the ON position. Additionally, the speed dial on the foot pedal must also be turned to a speed setting and away from the OFF position.

How To Steer A Trolling Motor

How To Use A Trolling Motor

Most all of today’s trolling motors have a directional arrow on the head of the trolling motor. This indicates the direction the motor will take the boat if the trolling motor is turned on. If you are first time user, get a feel for how much pressure you need to apply on the steering pedal to get the boat to go a certain direction. Typically, when the steering pedal is pushed forward (toe downwards, heel up), the trolling motor will turn to the right. When using your heel to push the pedal backwards (toe upwards, heel down). The best way to get the hang of steering and operating a trolling motor is practice.

Don’t Overwork Your Motor

How To Use A Trolling Motor

Don’t make your trolling motor and batteries work harder than they have to. If you are using a bow mount trolling motor, most likely you will run into vegetation at some point. With the new and improved propellors for these motors, oftentimes you are able to drive right through weeds without problems. However, sometimes vegetation becomes too thick and the motor can not get through by simply turning the speed up or turning the motor back and forth to try and shake them off. Take the few seconds, pull the motor out of the water, and remove the weeds by hand. These motors are built tough, but too much unnecessary use with weeds wrapped tightly around the prop or shaft can cause parts to wear out or break.

Bonus Pro Tips

How To Use A Trolling Motor

1. Pull your outboard up to reduce drag on the boat. This ensures the outboard doesn’t collect unnecessary vegetation and drag, putting more strain on your trolling motor and batteries.

2. If possible, try not to constantly adjust the trolling motor. These inconsistent blurbs of power drain your batteries quickly and can scare fish.

3. Get an onboard charger with float charging capabilities if you don’t already have one. Plug in your batteries after each outing to ensure a full charge every time you get on the water.

Just When You Think You Know It All…

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Mike Iaconelli
Mike Iaconelli

Just when you think you know it all something comes along that you’ve never heard about, not even thought about. That’s what happened to me this winter on the Upper Mississippi River when I was fishing Pool 2. I was introduced to the tumble rig.

We were fishing near a power plant with a warm water discharge. Typically that’s where you find a lot of fish in a small area, and that’s exactly what we found. But, even though we were catching fish, the bite wasn’t anything close to what we expected.

That’s when the fellow I was fishing with said we should try a tumble rig. Somewhat embarrassed, I told him I didn’t know what that was and probably didn’t have the tackle to rig one. No problem, he had what we needed.

The idea was to fish suckers, a swimbait or a plastic minnow on a live line but make them look dead. All you really do is hook them, cast them out and let them tumble along the bottom with the current. It was amazing! We immediately started catching more fish and bigger fish. Honestly, I can’t remember a fishing day turning around so quickly with only a change of bait.

We fished in a fairly strong current but I’m thinking it’ll work just as well in a reservoir or when the wind is making current. If the current isn’t strong enough to move the bait, you can always help it along a little. But, I mean just a little. Think natural when you fish a tumble rig.

The one problem with it is that it will twist your line. But we solved that by using a VMC Spin Shot Hook. There are three models to choose from — the Neko, the Wide Gap, the Power Shot. They’ll all work depending on what bait you choose and how you hook it. Grab the one that works for you.

VMC Spinshot HooksWe hooked ours in a variety of different ways. Open point worked best — nose or back — if the bottom was relatively clean. If it was covered in drift and other stuff, we Texas rigged the hook with the point skin hooked. And sometimes we just skin hooked the bait almost anywhere.

Berkley Powerbaits
Berkley Powerbaits

We were using spinning tackle so we tried not to bury the hook too deep because it was difficult to get a good hookset that way.

Our swimbait choice was a Berkley Powerbait Power Swimmer Swimbait. It looks good tumbling along and it feels natural when they bite it. We also used a traditional Berkley Powerbait Jerk Shad. I’m thinking, though, that you could also use a Gulp Jerk Shad, a Gulp Alive Jerk Shad, a Powerbait Jerk Shad or a Powerbait Maxscent Flatnose Jerk Shad. They all look and feel natural.

My rod was an Abu Garcia Ike Finesse Series Spinning rod. The 7 foot medium action and 7 foot, 6 inch medium heavy action worked best for me.

Abu Garcia IKE Finesse Series Spinning Rod & Abu Garcia REVO IKE Spinning Reel
Abu Garcia IKE Finesse Series Spinning Rod & Abu Garcia REVO IKE Spinning Reel

I’d suggest a 20 or 30 size Abu Garcia REVO Ike Series Spinning reel — your choice. I used both.

The best line setup is 6-10-pound-test braid to fluorocarbon leader (long) or a straight fluorocarbon spool. I like the straight fluorocarbon best because I helps keep the bait down on the bottom where it needs to be to attract the better size fish. All my lines are made by Berkley, either X5 or X9 Braid or Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.

Berkley 5X Braided & Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon lines
Berkley 5X Braided & Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon Lines

I know this sounds crazy to some of you. A dead minnow tumbling along the bottom? Really? Come on Ike? We know better.

It goes against everything we know as anglers. I’ll be the first to admit that. But I’m telling you that this is a super good technique. I don’t write about anything that doesn’t catch fish. That’s not who I am, and I’m telling you this is the thing.

Give it a try. Let me know what you think.

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Like Ike on Facebook,  and follow him on Instagram for fishing and fun content.

Subscribe to Mike’s YouTube channel, Going Ike,  to ensure you see every adventure video.

Return to Mike Iaconelli’s website

Chasing Natives with Cameron Cushman

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Flylords: Tell us a little about yourself, Cam?

Cam: Well, my name is Cameron Cushman and I’m a husband, father, fly fisherman, glass geek, and a filmmaker/photographer. I spent six years of my life as an Infantryman in the Army which brought me to Georgia, Texas, Alaska, California, and Afghanistan. That was a pretty exciting time of my life and now I’m back home with my family in Florida trying to catch fish and share the passion of fly fishing with others.

Flylords: How did you get your start fly fishing?

Cam: I’ve always been a fisherman. Whether it was chucking shiners for bass or doing kayak fishing tournaments, I’ve always had a rod in my hand. While stationed in Alaska I picked up my very first fly rod, I think it was a Redington combo I bought from Sportsman’s Warehouse. I watched some YouTube videos and gave it a go on the Chena River just outside of Fairbanks Alaska in hopes of catching some Grayling. On one of my first trips, I had brought my wife and she started laughing hysterically, saying I looked like one of those dancers who twirl around the flags. Thinking back on it, I’d imagine I did while learning. I kept with it though and shortly after learning we moved to the hill country of Texas where I really dove head first into it. After running into some health issues, I dove even deeper into it and since then have looked as it as a medicine.

Flylords: What inspired you and your team to make the film?

Cam: I had actually been trying to convince Marcos to come out west with me in pursuit of Rio Grande Cutthroat for several months before he finally agreed. When we started the planning, it was supposed to be us just going to fish for a few cutthroat species in Colorado before heading to the Fly Fishers International expo, where I had been invited to speak on DIY fly fishing Florida saltwater. We kept talking about it and before we knew it we set the goal to chase ten native species across the west in a period of about fifteen days. Both of us being filmmakers, we knew we had to make a short film out of it. The reality was we had hoped to make a longer one, but ended up being super happy with the short film it turned out to be.

Flylords: Does any single fish stand out to you from the trip?

Cam: That’s a super tough question that both Marcos and myself have been asked often. We chased a total of ten species, Rio Grande Cutthroat, Greenback Cutthroat, Bonneville Cutthroat, Colorado River Cutthroat, Bear River Cutthroat, Yellowstone Cutthroat, Lahontan Cutthroat, California Golden trout, Kern River Rainbow, and the Apache trout.

I think Marcos often answers with the Golden, probably due to it being his first trout species ever earlier in the year. In their defense, they live in some absolutely incredible waters and the surrounding landscape is amazing. It’s a tough question for me and I’m normally stuck on it for a few moments before coming up with an answer. I’d have to say the Apache trout was my most memorable and favorite species from the trip. That may be due to it being our last species of the trip, or that it was the worst weather we came across on the entire trip with freezing cold rain, foggy conditions, and howling winds. The whole thing was an intense hiking experience, we hiked deep into a canyon all while realizing we had a mountain lion following close behind us. It seems strange saying that the most miserable experience was my favorite but I think that’s how it usually works. Plus they are an absolutely gorgeous species.

Flylords: What fly pattern was the most effective for you?

Cam: Marcos probably had the most effective pattern of the trip because he never changed it. He stuck with a purple Parachute Adams for every species, I think I convinced him to change it once and he went right back. He was throwing between a size 12-18 and probably averaged with the size 16.

I like to use multiple patterns so I rotated through a lot but ended up being most successful with size 14 stimulators in various colors. Funny enough we only used dry flies for the entire trip, despite fishing some freezing temperatures.

Flylords: What is the most memorable story from the expedition?

Cam: Oh man, that’s a tough one. There’s definitely a few stories that stick out the most. We happened to blow all four of the tires on the trip, what’s funny is they went out in pairs. First, we blew the front two in Colorado about three hours into the mountains with no way to fix them after our first patch job from another angler. We burned through the mountain roads and when we finally hit the pavement, we had 6 psi in the front left and 11 in the front right. We stopped at an Amish community where they were kind enough to fill the tires back up and point us in the direction of the nearest tire shop. The second time it was a similar situation but in Utah where we blew the two rear tires out in the middle of nowhere. The other big memorable story was when we took a one day detour into Las Vegas and were immediately asked if we needed any cocaine after walking out of the hotel. We politely declined.

Flylords: What would you say to someone who wants to make a similar journey?

Cam: Just do it, don’t get caught up in the logistics of how far to drive each day, or where to stay. We slept in the car almost the entire trip because we were either not near a campground or tired from driving and just needed to crash.

With some googling you can find a lot of good information on the native species and the areas they can be caught, so finding the fish is probably the easiest.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to people on social media and ask for advice.

Make sure you have a good spare tire, an air compressor, and some tire patch kits. You’re more than likely going to blow a few tires on the adventure.

We covered 7,992 miles when we pulled back in my driveway, but your trip doesn’t have to be that long. Start small and work your local area, then once you’re comfortable with big adventures where you don’t know what’s around the next corner, just go for it.

Flylords: What do you hope viewers will take away from it?

Cam: I think our biggest goal is that more people will find an appreciation for the native species that call this country home. Everyone gets hyped up for the big browns and bows, and I’m not complaining either. But our little and sometimes not so little natives deserve some love and as I always tell people, there’s something special about catching something where it belongs.

I also hope people realize it’s not just about the fish but about the adventure and the people you meet on these journeys. I’ve got some major health issues and I hope that I can pass along the medicine fly fishing has to offer to others.

Super stoked for what’s next to come with our big Chasing Natives Film! 

To see updates about the upcoming film, follow @chasingnativesfilm on Instagram. To see what Cam’s up to follow him on his personal account, @cameroncush on Instagram.

Continue reading “Chasing Natives with Cameron Cushman”

FAIL – 10 Pound Bass Comes Off At The Boat!!

Matt hooked a truly giant bass! The giant fish tail walked up and down the side of the boat giving huge head shakes as she went. Everything looked like it was going perfectly until disaster struck! No matter how much preparation you do, sometimes the big bass get away. Let’s check it out…

This fish ate a heavy flipping jig rigged with a big senko as a trailer. Its not a traditional rig but its incredibly effective! Sometimes the key to getting big bites is just showing the bass something they haven’t seen before. Think outside the box this Spring and you might get your own shot at a fish of a lifetime like this.

Whether you’re fishing for monster bass with a 3/4 oz jig or downsizing to a little finesse jig, trying the senko as a trailer might be worth your time. Match a big jig with a 7″ senko, smaller jig with a 5 or 6″, etc. Below is a breakdown of the gear used in this video.

The rig…

Jig- Dirty Jigs 3/4 oz Flipping Jig (Okeechobee 420): http://bit.ly/2fx8YBI

Trailer- Gambler 7″ Fat Ace (Green Pumpkin Black Blue): http://bit.ly/2aJq2AO

The Gear…

Rod- Expride 7’6″ Heavy: http://bit.ly/2nTq9FL

Reel- Metanium DC: http://bit.ly/2qrSZvs

Line- Power Pro MaxCuatro 65 lb: http://bit.ly/2clBRiQ

Leader- Maxima Ultragreen 20 lb: http://bit.ly/2ae97J9

Other Jigs/Trailers…

Yamamoto Senko: http://bit.ly/2axAmNS

Yamamoto Cut Tail Worm: http://bit.ly/2iXlzPu

Football Jig 1/2 oz: http://bit.ly/2d0iJbd

Pitchin’ Jig 1/2 oz: http://bit.ly/2amL3of

Filming Location: http://bit.ly/2MDiiVR

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Lost bass for Web.jpg