15 Fly Fishing Gifts Your Dad Will Love This Fathers Day

15 Fly Fishing Gifts Your Dad Will Love This Fathers Day thumbnail

15 Fly Fishing Gifts Your Dad Will Love This Fathers Day

Well, It’s just about that time of year again where we set aside a day for the man in our lives who taught us some of the most important lessons we never knew we needed to learn. Dads around the world spend the year tirelessly dedicating themselves to bettering and caring for the next generation. Whether you plan on spending this Fathers Day alongside your old man on the water, or simply sitting down with him for a dinner at his favorite restaurant; show him your appreciation by getting a gift that goes above and beyond the typical “#1 Dad mug”.

Here is our list for the top 15 gifts to give the angler in your life this fathers day.

1. Mountain Khakis Trout Webbing Belt

fathers day belt
photo courtesy of Mountainkhakis.com

Step aside boring wading belts, the mountain Khaki trout belt is here to make a statement. This Belt is not only 100% American made but is also quick dry and stain resistant. Available in 4 different styles (Brook, Brown, Rainbow, and Cutthroat), dad can match the hatch and represent his favorite catch anywhere he goes. Oh, did we mention the buckle doubles as a bottle opener?

Buy it here

2. Orvis Magnifier Table Lamp

fathers day fly fishing lamp
Photo courtesy of Orvis.com

Whether he’s just starting to tie flies, or already an expert, one thing is for certain: nothing is more strenuous to the eyes than squinting at tiny beads, hooks, and strings for hours on end. Tell Dad to ditch the dollar store reader glasses, and upgrade his fly tying game with a 4x zoom as well as focused 12w natural lamp light to make sure every fly tied comes out store bought quality.

Buy it here

3. Abel TR Click and Pawl Fly Reel

fathers day fly fishing reel
image courtesy of Abelreels.com

While we know Dad’s are generally stuck in their traditions, they may not realize the potential an unrusted, new reel can bring forth. Coming straight from our favorite Reel providers, the Abel Reels TR C&P is one of the most versatile, and affordable high-end reels on the market. Made in the USA, this reel utilizes a time-honored click-pawl system that protects light tippet while preventing overrun within a Quick-change spool with a threaded release cap and large-arbor design. If that’s not enough, all Abel Reel designs can be personalized to match the heart and soul of the angler you know and love.

Buy it here

4. The Angler’s Pint Glass

fathers day fly fishing cups
Photo courtesy of bearsden.com

For those looking to get dad something he’ll never lose, but don’t want to break the bank; The Angler Pint glass is a fun, and unique gift to show dad you care. With a selection of styles, this glass appreciates the most important measurement when it comes to pouring a drink, the angler’s pint. This glass is dishwasher safe and holds a generous serving of 21.5 oz for Dads favorite frothy beverage. This gift is sure to become dads favorite vessel for thirst relief, and the staple of anytime between getting off the water to football Sundays.

Buy it here

5. Costa Fantail Sunglasses

fathers day fly fishing glasses
photo courtesy of sportfish.com

The folks at Costa is notoriously known for their commitment to quality, and these sunglasses show no exception. With impact and scratch resistant lenses, these shades are backed for life and will ensure your dad is the coolest looking guy on the skiff and at the barbecue. Don’t let us forget to mention, Costa accommodates for aging eyes and can easily add prescription specifications to any pair of Costa Sunglasses.

Buy it here

6. Scientific Anglers Amplitude MPX Fly Line

fathers day fly fishing fly line
photo courtesy of sportfish.com

“The weather was terrible.” “Water was too crowded.” “They just weren’t biting today.” It seems as if every dad has an arsenal of excuses as to why they came off the water empty-handed. Don’t let tattered, sub-par fly line be one of them! Scientific Anglers is the best in the game when it comes to making fly-line, so why give your old man anything less. This fathers day bestow the gift of more fish with SA’s patented shooting texture technology found with SA Amplitude line.

Buy it here

7. Benchmade Grizzly Ridge Knife

fathers day fly fishing knife
photo courtesy of everydaycarry.com

Any outdoorsman who knows a thing or two about going out in the woods can agree on one thing, never leave camp without a knife. Whether your pop is tripping through the harsh Alaskan tundra, or just enjoys hikes 10 minutes from home, rest easy knowing the Grizzly Ridge has got his back. This knife is made of dependable steel and has a hunter orange casing to assure that no matter where it may fall, any eyes, young or old, can spot it. when it comes to carrying a knife like this in the woods/on the water, you never know when you’ll need it until you need it, and when that time comes, you better have it.

Buy it here

8. Duck Camp co. Mallard Green Trucker Hat

fathers day fly fishing hat
photo courtesy of duckcamp.com

Looking for a cheap, yet meaningful gift for this fathers day? Look no further than the adjustable Mallard Green trucker hat made by DuckCamp. Their classic, adjustable trucker fit will match any dads style and will make a great gift for anglers and hunters alike. While you’re there, check out the DuckCamps Dad’s gift guides to find the perfect pairing for his new hat

Buy it here

9. Rail Riders Cabo Cantina Shirt

fathers day fly fishing shirt
photo courtesy of Railriders.com

Not much needs to be said for this fatherly must-have. This featherweight Nylon-polyester build is sure to keep anyone comfortable whether their hanging on the beach (socks and sandals equipped) or targeting tarpon in the hot Florida sun, these shirts are not only fashionable, but they’re functional. With wrinkle-free and quick dry technology the man in charge never has to worry about changing no matter the occasion (though a wash every couple weeks or so is encouraged)

Buy it here

10. Flylords Grateful Dead Bear Teefathers day fly fishing t shirt

Hey, if we wouldn’t buy the stuff we offer, we wouldn’t sell it in the first place. We here at Flylords all have a bit of our fathers in us, and with that comes a love for those dancing bears. These butter soft tees show off our favorite bear rocking a brown trout pattern above the signature Flylords name. They come in navy and olive, and of course, are officially licensed by the Grateful Dead. This holiday, don’t sail on the ship of fools, get the gear that’s voted the Bears choice, and head over to our store before these sweet shirts are all gone.

Buy it here 

11. Seaholm Offshore Dive Watch

fathers day fly fishing watch
photo courtesy of districtangling.com

When it comes to watch companies, there are few that can rival what Seaholm does. The Offshore Dive Watch is a testament to their ingenuity and commitment to quality. When it comes to durability and longevity, no other watches match the Offshore Dive. This watch features a divers 200m designation, assuring that each piece has undergone rigorous testing to ensure it is of the utmost quality. Available in 3 colors; cool grey, offshore blue, and black, this watch comes with a stainless steel bracket, as well as an interchangeable NATO band, making it one of the most versatile watches of its time. If your dad spends time on the water, get him something that will last, and remain a valuable asset for many years to come.

Buy it here

12. Sightline 20 oz. Yeti Cuff

fathers day fly fishing yeti
photo courtesy of sightline.com

Great thinking, you got your dad a Yeti Rambler. But, there’s still something missing. Right now it’s just a cup just like all the other ones sitting on the hardware store shelf. This fathers day go above and beyond and get dad something that’ll stand out. Make his iconic rambler like no other and deck it out with the Sightline Yeti Cuff. Each cuff is made of handcrafted leather and stainless steel, bringing life to any rambler. Available in a variety of styles such as dry fly, tarpon, trout, and tectonic rush; this accessory is sure to make dads new yeti stand out from the rest.

Buy it here

13. Buff USA Aqua Gloves

fathers day fly fishing gloves
photo courtesy of buffusa.com

As we get older, our skin needs more and more protection from the harmful elements. However, this shouldn’t mean we need to spend any less time in the great outdoors. Luckily, Buff USA has got you covered (literally), providing durable, smart, and protective gear for anglers young and old. For years their trusted Aqua gloves have been the go-to when looking for a stylish and functional pair of fishing gloves. With 50+ UPF sun protection, you and dad can stay slaying fish all day worry free. Not to mention, these gloves are engineered to be durable and dependable, making certain your old man will have them around for years to come.

Buy it here

14. Casus Grill Instant Barbecue

 

fathers day fly fishing camping
photo courtesy of amazon.com        

His second office is in front of the grill, he’s been wearing the same bbq stained apron since 1994, and he never fails to cook the burgers just a little too long. Your dad IS the grill master. So, why should his grilling stop once he leaves home? Well, lucky for him now it doesn’t have to. With the innovative Casus Grill, firing up the charcoal is as easy as setting up a few pieces of cardboard and slapping some meat on the flame. The Casus is a new way to take outdoor excursions to a whole new level, and most importantly, it’s completely eco-friendly. Once your done prepping dinner, just send the little guy into the fire and enjoy your meal. This is the perfect gift for dads who are out for adventure but still want to enjoy a slice of home.

Buy it here

15. Patagonia Storm Front Hip Pack

fathers day fly fishing tackle box
photo courtesy of patagonia.com

There’s something to be said about an old faded vest accompanied by the remnants of a sheep’s wool patch that’s older than you. In fly fishing, tradition is one of the most important aspects to value and is a defining feature of the sport we know and love. However, there is always room for improvement. By upgrading dad to the gear of the future, you’re not just giving the pack itself, but you’re giving the gift of better days on the water. Patagonia’s line of hip packs are made to revolutionize the way you fish through the gear you use. The Storm Front is made to be 100% waterproof, ensuring the safe passage of the important equipment inside. Not to mention it’s adjustable low profile hip strap and padded shoulder sling optimize weight distribution for the aging joints of the user, thus ensuring a long and comfortable day on the water.

Buy it here

Product List:

Mountain Khaki Webbing Belt

Orvis Magnifier Lamp

Abel TR Click and Pawl Fly Reel

Orvis Anglers Pint

Costa Fantail Sunglasses

SA Amplitude Mpx Fly line

Grizzly Ridge Knife

Duck Camp Mallard Trucker Hat

Rail Riders Cabo Cantina Shirt

Flylords Grateful Dead Bear Tee

Seaholm Offshore Dive Watch

Sightline Yeti Cuff

Buff USA Aqua Gloves

Casus Grill Instant BBQ

Patagonia Storm Front Hip Pack

 

*feature photo courtesy of outdoorlife.com

 

Article written by Flylords Team Member Wills Donaldson 

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Vests and Deep Water

Vests and Deep Water thumbnail

I had never been fly fishing, but I decided that a fly fishing vest would be a good investment.

In junior high, the multi-pocketed khaki vest certainly didn’t have anything to do with style. Tommy Hilfiger t-shirts, baggy jeans, and puffy white Filas were preferable. As is probably the case with everyone, I must have looked ridiculous. Realistically, wearing the vest was a 50/50 proposition between being stuffed in a locker or setting a trend.

Back then I made the purchase because I was going fishing. Camping, canoeing, and fishing, to be more accurate. I was headed off to central Virginia, to a cabin on the banks of a flooded quarry. At the time I had an enormous tackle box, filled with all manner of conventional lures. Rapala minnows, Berkeley worms, Rooster Tail spinners – everything I’d seen the guys use on Saturday morning TV. Dozens upon dozens of lures, all lined up in a giant Plano; a place for everything and everything in its place. Even as a teenager, bringing that monstrosity onto a small watercraft seemed ridiculous. A vest made sense.

After arriving to the cabin and throwing sleeping bags up on top bunks (teenage boys covet top bunks) we set off to fish. Smallmouth and sunfish were caught from shore. Logically, we thought, bigger smallmouth and sunfish would be caught off in deeper water. Illogically, we left fish to find fish.

Four vessels disembarked. Three with two teenagers, one with an adult. John was in my canoe. He had a penchant for quoting South Park and WWF wrestlers. He also had a monstrous tackle box, which accompanied us in the canoe.

Continue reading “Vests and Deep Water”

Early Summer Fishing- Catch A Giant Bass Right Now!

You only have a few days! There is a short window during the full moon in June that you can specifically target MONSTER bass with swimbaits. Once this window closes you’re in to Summer patterns and typically have to wait until Fall for your next shot with the giant baits. Don’t miss your chance, get the info and head to the lake now!

You only have a few days before the full moon arrives. Its time to head to the lake! Our primary bait for this window is a wake bait. If the fish won’t come all the way to the surface with switch our attention to a glide bait. If the glide doesn’t seem to fool them, we head a little deeper with paddle tail swimbaits. All 3 options have a shot at putting a truly GIANT bass in the boat for you this weekend.

Below is a breakdown of the lures and equipment we use for this big bait approach to Summer bass fishing. Remember, its a short window so get out there and catch them while you can!

Wakebait…

-Spro BBZ 8″: http://bit.ly/2cU1x5P

-Evergreen Noisy Dachs: http://bit.ly/2JbrbaM

-Megabass Garuda: http://bit.ly/2ILgfxc

Glide Baits…

-S-Waver 168 and 200: http://bit.ly/2aiu8Sh

-Baitsanity Explorer Glide: http://bit.ly/2DcI1yM

Boot-Tail Softbaits…

-Osprey 6″ and 7″ Tournament Talon (Top Hook): http://bit.ly/2bqsLS0

-Osprey 6″ Winged Talon (Belly Hook): http://bit.ly/2IBlDTG

-Keitech 6.8″ Swimbait: http://bit.ly/2ab7s8v

-Matt Allen Swimbait Head 1 oz: http://bit.ly/29RrTYN

-8/0 Owner Beast Hook: http://bit.ly/2ancP66

Bonus Swimbaits…

-Mattlures Shad: http://bit.ly/2vM8cKF

-Scottsboro Tackle Swimbait: http://bit.ly/2LBssth

-Jackall Gantarel: http://bit.ly/2adZI3R

Matt’s All Around Swimbait Combo…

Rod- G Loomis IMX Pro 966: http://bit.ly/2x9kxuS

Reel- Shimano Tranx 300 HG: http://bit.ly/2kYsvRw

Line- 80 lb Power Pro Maxcuatro: http://bit.ly/2clBRiQ

Leader- 35 lb FC100 Sunline: http://bit.ly/2O4UElB

Alan+Henry+8+with+Sierra-01.jpg

Monofilament versus Fluorocarbon

Monofilament versus Fluorocarbon thumbnail

Ah, the classic debate, which is better Monofilament or Fluorocarbon? While much of this is up to debate based on opinions, here is a more scientific breakdown of the difference between monofilament and fluorocarbon that will help you understand each materials’ strengths and weaknesses.

What is Monofilament (Mono)?

As its name implies, monofilament fishing line is a single strand of material extruded from nylon. Depending on the brand, different varieties of nylon are often blended together to produce varying degrees of stretch, strength, abrasion resistance, density and other attributes.

Handling:

Due to its flexible, supple nature, mono is easy to work with, which makes it especially more manageable to cast than stiffer lines.

Stretch:

Most mono stretches more easily than fluorocarbon which can be advantageous when fighting a fish. A downside of stretch is that more stretch means less sensitivity.

Sink Rate/Density:

Mono is generally a larger diameter which is directly linked to a slower sink rate. The slow sink rate, coupled with its near-neutral buoyancy, makes mono a great choice for dry fly fishing or suspended subsurface presentations.

Strength:

Mono has a lower tensile strength than fluorocarbon which means that it has a thicker diameter at a given break strength. Additionally, mono is permeable to water and slowly absorbs water throughout the day, causing it to weaken. Over the long term, mono is also susceptible to conditions like U.V. rays, rain and humidity, and extreme temperatures.

Visibility:

While many companies create monofilament with different tints and colors to make it more invisible to the fish, most monofilament, especially in brighter conditions, tends to make fish visually aware of its presence.*

Knotability:

Due to its great handling, mono has superior knotability compared to fluorocarbon. For this reason, mono is also the preferred choice for big game fishing because it allows big diameter lines to seat better to avoid knot slippage or breakage.

Price:

Monofilament is one of the most affordable of all line choices and is relatively inexpensive in comparison to fluorocarbon. You can pick up some of your own, here

Best Applications:

Dry fly fishing, wet fly fishing, emerger fishing, fishing that requires large diameters.

What is Fluorocarbon (Fluoro)?

Fluorocarbon is a family of synthetics and compounds including fluorine, chlorine, and carbon that is extruded into a single strand similar to monofilament. However, because fluorocarbon’s molecules are more tightly packed, the line is denser and has better tensile strength than mono.

Handling:

Harder, less supple and thus more difficult to handle than mono. Fluoro is more prone to line memory.

Stretch:

Due to its tightly packed molecules, while fluoro has less stretch, it transmits more energy than mono which gives you much more sensitivity. The lack of stretch allows better telegraphing of information from the end of the line to your rod tip, such as subtle bites or being able to feel your fly ticking along the bottom.

Sink Rate/Density:

Fluorocarbon is tightly packed and therefore much more dense than mono. This density allows it to sink much faster, even at smaller diameters.

Strength:

In short, fluoro is a much heartier material which results in higher abrasion resistance that is useful in situations such as tight line nymphing or fishing heavy cover. Unlike mono, fluoro does not absorb water throughout the day and is extremely resistant to the various conditions mentioned before which makes it a much more reliable line for constant, all-day use.

Visibility:

The light refractive index of fluoro is very similar to that of fresh water, which means that it is much less visible in water than mono. Additionally, the high tensile strength allows you to use smaller diameters with high strength and still maintain low visibility.

Knotability:

Fluoro’s stiffness does not lend itself well to knots. Particularly with larger diameters, knots do not seat well which often causes slippage or breakage.

Price:

One of the greatest downsides to fluoro by far is its price. Often you will see 30yd spools of tippet going for almost $30 dollars, but sometimes its benefits outweigh its high price point. Pick up some of your own, here.

Best Applications:

Nymphing, fishing around heavy cover, anything where you need the extra sink factor and abrasion resistance.

So, there you have it. Each line has its own advantages and disadvantages and hopefully, this breakdown will help you buy the right line type. Be cognizant though, there are many variations even within lines types depending on the manufacturer.

Article written by Media Intern Matteo Moretti.

*Based on results from this scientific paper.

Continue reading “Monofilament versus Fluorocarbon”

Rising Water, Rising Fish — Falling Water, Falling Fish

Rising Water, Rising Fish — Falling Water, Falling Fish thumbnail
Mike Iaconelli

This spring has been unbelievably wet. It seems like it rains every other day, sometimes not even every other — just every single darn day. The lakes and rivers are high. The fishing is tough but it’s still possible to catch them if you keep a few basic things in mind.

First, when water rises the fish will rise with it. They’ll follow it all the way in as far as they can go. They don’t care about houses, campgrounds or baseball fields. But, the good side of that is that their locations are predictable. They’ll usually be found in the thickest, heaviest and nastiest cover they can find. And so, that’s where you should be fishing.

I flip and pitch that kind of cover. I go right into the middle of it and worry about how I’m going to get them out after I hook them. It’s about first things being first. 

For years my most productive baits were jigs, Texas rigged plastics and, more recently, a punch rig. But that was then. Things have changed.

VMC Tokyo Rig

The VMC Tokyo rig is my go-to setup now. It has everything you need except for the weight — you’ll want to pick your own depending upon conditions — and a plastic bait. The thing that’s so great about the Tokyo rig is that it holds the bait up, off the bottom regardless of how much muck and mud is DOWN there. That’s important because bass won’t root through the mud to get something. They aren’t scavengers. 

Berkley Powerbait Jester Craw
Berkley Powerbait Jester Craw

My favorite bait is a Berkley Powerbait Jester Craw. It’s basically a creature bait with flappers, several appendages and a ribbed body. I don’t care how dirty or muddy the water is that you’re fishing, the bass won’t have any trouble finding this one.

A much tougher situation than when the water’s rising is when it’s been high and starts to fall. The bass move out with it but they don’t necessarily follow the water line exactly. In most cases they go back to the original bank line regardless of how shallow or deep it might be at any given time. I’m guessing they sense a measure of security when they do that, something they know. 

The best bait for this scenario, bar none, is a heavy spinnerbait. It’ll give off plenty of thump and is easily controllable by almost any angler.

Molix Venator
Molix Venator

My preference here is a 5/8-ounce Molix Venator. The wire is flexible and so it has a lot of thump. That’s what I’m looking for in a spinnerbait under these conditions. As good as it is right out of the box, though, don’t be afraid to customize it with different blade combinations. Sometimes that makes a big difference.

You’ll notice I haven’t said anything about color. That’s because I’m a firm believer in matching the hatch. Whatever the bass are eating in your waters is what you should try to match. That’s true for any plastic or hard bait that I’ve talked about in this blog.

Tip: Learn to search the Internet for information about lake levels, where they’ve been and where they’re going. If you can’t find information about water levels where you’re fishing, ram a stick down into shallow water and check it periodically. That’ll let you know what’s happening and how fast it’s happening.

Don’t let this bad weather get you down. There are still plenty of fish you can catch.       

___________________________________________

Ike Talks Tokyo Rig

Click Here to listen to Mike talk about the Tokyo Rig

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Return to Mike Iaconelli’s website

Payara “Vampire Fish” – Everything You’d Want to Know and Tips for Catching

Payara “Vampire Fish” – Everything You’d Want to Know and Tips for Catching thumbnail

Presented by Scientific Anglers

The Payara, Hydrolycus scomberoides, or “Vampire fish” is a species of dogtooth tetra. The predatory fish is found in the Amazon Basin in tropical South America. Payara are hands down, one of the most incredible fish I have ever experienced on a fly, they look badass and getting the chance to come close to these fanged monsters was nothing slight from unforgettable.

Here are some tips I found that can help you increase your chances of landing one for yourself:

Tip #1 Proper Gear: Payara live in gnarly, fast, deep rapids so you will be fishing deep majority of the time. 400 to 500 grain sink tips or full sinking lines will help with keeping your fly down deep. You’ll want to pair that with 10wt to 12wt rods. Make sure you have a wire bite guard or tippet. You can fish 50lb mono or fluoro and 50-pound wire. 3 to 3.5 ft leader/tippet will work and test your knots!DSC09019.JPGWe used the Scientific Anglers ESOX SPECIAL premium wire leader.

Tip #2 Do Not Trout Set!!! You are stripping your fly through the deep, strong water so when you feel that line go tight, strip set as hard as you can. Payara have big strong mouths filled with big fanged teeth, which can make the strip set difficult to get them hooked, especially since at times, they will follow your fly all the way to the boat or shore and strike the fly close, so always be ready for a take at any moment.

Tip #3 Minimal Casting: No long casts are needed really, just cast into the rapids and mend your line to help your fly sink. After your fly hits the water, feed about 40 to 60 feet of line out and wait for your line to straighten or go tight and your fly has sunk a bit, then begin to strip. Try the slower water right next to the rapids. You can also cast upstream and then work your fly across the current. Try the swirls in water by casting and letting your fly sink a few seconds and stripping it back.

Tip #4 Proper Retrieve: You can strip with one hand, going from slow to fast, or what I liked best is the double hand strip. Payara are chasing swimming fish in fast water so the fast stripping worked the best for me. But always try slow and then increase the speed of your strip.

Tip #5 Be Prepared for a Battle: These fish fight just as hard as they look, so when you do hook into one be prepared for a fight. They will be into your backing in seconds and use the fast, strong rapids to their advantage and because of this don’t set your drag too hard initially, you risk breaking them off (or getting your rod pulled out of your hands) and there is no stopping them in that fast water, just increase the drag while fighting and enjoy the cartwheel show they put on!

Tip #6 Fly Selection! The bigger, flashier the better! In order to trigger a strike from a Payara, the fish needs to see that fly so the silhouette and flash appeal is necessary. I tied from 8-12 inch flies in red/white with some flash and also yellow/black/orange and pink/blue/yellow. It seemed all of these color combos worked, so just a matter of catching their attention.

Tip #7 Fish from a Boat: You may also drift in the boat, that is also a good way to fish for them just check out how secure you feel in those rapids while standing up.

Article from Kayla Lockhart and photos from Jesse Packwood of Team Flylords on their recent adventure down to Columbia.

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A Guide to Flats Fishing with Toddlers

A Guide to Flats Fishing with Toddlers thumbnail

Disclaimer: This article is not about teaching toddlers how to fly fish on the flats… that comes later in life. It’s hard enough taking a toddler spin fishing on the flats for bonefish and redfish. The question is: Can you accept the fact that you will have to give up fly fishing for a little bit in order to create and educate your lifelong fishing companion?

Before my wife and I got proficient at it, the sound of those four words—Flats Fishing with Toddlers—made fishing sound more like a punishment.  Like running a skiff in skinny water, you’ve just got to throttle down, trim her up, and ride the lightning. Luckily for you, there’s water ahead to keep you afloat. With some toy dinosaurs and a lot of snacks, I mean a lot of snacks, it can be done and it can be done effectively. The way I have been able to keep my sanity on my skiff is by creating an adventurous environment and culture.

Critical to this is to also keep an open mind while flats fishing, seek out toddler-friendly fish, use any and all equipment necessary to ease my day on the water with the kids, and the embrace the most important word in fishing: patience. All of these are paramount to catching fish and equally keeping the kids happy on the skiff. Understand, this process does not happen overnight and certain fishing styles will have to be sacrificed for a little bit. If your three-year-old has the discipline to keep watch for fins and shadows and can double haul to a tailing permit this article will be of no use to you.   

I’m Scott Brown, father to a three-year-old boy named Grayton, who is obsessed with dinosaurs and fishing. I also have a three-month-old girl named Chandler, who at the moment just lies in the bottom of the skiff in her life jacket either smiling or scream crying. Luckily, when I’m on the verge of throwing in the towel because a green triceratops is tangled in my fly line I have my wife, who is equally invested in the culture, to help control the chaos and educate my kids properly.

Recently people have taken notice of my son, who just turned three in April, casting a spinning rod very accurately onto the edge of the mangroves and pulling out mangrove snapper. What’s interesting to us is we never taught him how to cast. What we did do is saturate his world with nothing but rods, reels, lures, flies, and just the angling culture in general.

My kids are involved in the entire angling process from scouting for new spots on maps to tying flies, leaders, and even maintaining our skiff. Currently, my son is obsessed with filling his empty tackle box that my friend Nicholas Calabro gave him. All of this feeds into fostering a new and exciting environment for kids that gets the stoke level skyrocketing and leaves them with the mindset to want to learn.

Dress them like they are pro angler. You don’t have to go to your local outfitters and start raining cash on clothes he’s going to grow out of in the next 6 months but remember they want to look and be like you, so if your wearing your SPF 50 long sleeve with board shorts and your favorite Orvis hat then you best believe little man is rocking it also because in their eyes you are the pro. 

Let’s talk tactics… In order to take toddlers flats fishing, you must keep them occupied.  Say goodbye to poling your boat around like a ninja while scanning for shadows on the sand because if there’s a toddler on the boat it’s the equivalent to a “screaming hurricane.” Every kid’s attention span is different, but luckily for me I’ve found that if I have live mullet in the bait well or any type of live bait, my three year old will stay out there all day long with an unlimited amount of snacks, of course, as he goes back and forth between fishing and playing with the baitfish. We naturally break out the umbrella and take a break at our favorite sandbar for lunch and let Grayton play and swim. Unfortunately, that means little to no fly-fishing.  

Every once in a while, Grayton has the patience to let my wife stand up on the casting platform while I pole the flats. This, however, becomes boring for a toddler who would rather tangle up your fly line or stand right underneath you asking if you can get closer to the mangroves because he has learned it equals easy catching mangrove snapper. You have to pick your battles.

I try to use visual fishing techniques; I love using popping corks with mullet. The popping cork gives your kid something to focus on and it blows their mind when some sort of sea monster drags it to the depths. The mullet tends to stay on top of the water and makes for a spectacular show when they try to evade giant redfish and tarpon.

Target fish that are easily caught. You may not be able to sight fish as effectively for bonefish with a toddler in your boat making a racket so instead change it up and chum those fish in with shrimp and use a 2/0 circle hook with a piece of dead shrimp on a knocker rig. It’s easy for a toddler to cast, they can set the pole down in the rod holder, watch the tip of the rod dance and listen to that drag start screaming! They will absolutely never forget the experience. If your exclusively a fly fisher, you may not like or typically use these tactics but remember it’s not about you, it’s about getting your kid stoked on fishing.

What to bring? Let’s talk toddler packing list and flats fishing equipment. In order to sustain some sort of peace and quite, bring an Ungodly amount of snacks. I’m not talking a bag of chips and some cookies. You need every type of bar, chip, fruit…if it’s edible bring it, because like a tarpon cruising the flats in the keys you never know what fly is going to make or break it. With toddlers it’s the exact same thing, you can never have enough snacks or enough variety of snacks.  Yeah, they have their “go-tos,” but sometimes that’s not enough. Sometimes your kid is having a mental break down over you not opening the live well so he can see the mullet you pulled in with the cast net, so play it safe and break out that ice cream bar out of the cooler… chances are it could save the day. Speaking of saving the day, no body outranks officer safety.

First thing I thought about when I started taking Grayton on the skiff is how can I make my skiff safer. Wear your emergency shut off leash; you may survive the fall out of the boat but your toddler will not if the vessel continues underway with no one at the helm and crashes. Invest in a comfortable life jacket and make sure your toddler is wearing it properly when underway or fishing in deeper low visibility waters with a current. When we fish the crystal clear flats in the keys, my three-year-old does not wear a life jacket. My wife and I are usually right near him and it’s typically crystal clear and only 1-2 ft deep. He will be doing more walking than swimming if he decides to jump out while staked or anchored. 

A more important note is if you are a weak swimmer or out of shape and aren’t confident you can save your kid in the maritime environment; you should consider sticking to shore… it’s not worth the risk. Just use sound judgment and abide by your state’s watercraft laws and you will be fine.

Trolling motor… go buy one. You need two adults in the skiff if you want to push pole because either your toddler is trying to get up on the poling platform with you or they are going overboard to swim with the fish. The trolling motor gives you the ability to be almost equally as stealthy in shallow water and allows you to teach and supervise your kid while maneuvering the boat in shallow water. A power pole also makes fishing with toddlers a lot easier since you can stake your boat with the push of a button while maintaining attention on your kids. 

Patience and positive reinforcement has to be the most important tool you could use on the skiff and that is why I’m handing the reins over to the subject matter expert: my wife. Patience certainly isn’t an easy thing to come by, especially when your child is having the inevitable breakdown.

We play a lot of ‘I Spy’.  We also talk in whisper voices like everything is a special secret. We see who can find the first starfish or giant hermit crab in the water while dad looks for the fish. When the fit does start up, and boy will it ever, just remember, kids, are not receptive when they are crying. Wait for them to stop crying before even trying to solve the problem.

My go-to is “as soon as you’re done crying I will be happy to help you ‘xyz’”.  It probably won’t work the first time, but they eventually figure it out. Also, remember you change far more behavior by praising the good than punishing the bad. This can range from phrases such as, “I really liked the way you waited for your dad to help you with the lid of the bait well. You are very patient.” To “Good job keeping the rod tip out of the water.” Or “thank you for being a good listener”. It’s all about noticing and celebrating the little victories. Bottom line is: it has resulted in more fish and great times than anything else I can think of.

I hope this perspective gives parents and future parents some useful info and cuts down on the fear of taking your kiddos out on the ocean. Be a responsible mentor for the future generation and enjoy your time with them on the water. I can’t think of any other better place to be able to pass information to receptive minds. There is a lot of history, culture, and lessons to be learned on the water. Teach them what it means to be an angler and a custodian of our waters and nature. Teach them to pick up trash and always leave a place better than when you arrived.

Learn to be patient and accept there will be broken rods, fleeing fish, screaming, crying, mental break downs by both you and your child…the list goes on.  Ultimately, you’re building and investing in a life long fishing buddy and ensuring the next generation is taking care of our environment and natural resources the way it’s supposed to be done. 

Article and photos from Scott Brown and his wife Lindsay Brown. Follow along with the family adventures on Instagram at @push_it_good_inshore or https://pushitgoodinshore.com/.

10 Tips for Fishing with Your Kids

Why My Kids Think Fly Fishing is all Sunshine, Rainbows, and Unicorns

The Tiny Angler

Where Do Bass Go In Summer? (And How To Catch Them)

Summer bass fishing is really fun once you know where to look! You can catch fish all day long, even in the heat of the day. Summer gets a bad wrap amongst fishermen because they don’t understand bass movements and feeding patterns. Once you get ahead of the fish, its non-stop action! Let’s take a look at where they are and how to catch them.

During Summer the bass break into two distinct schools. The first goes shallow into cover and the second heads out to main lake structures. The shallow fish are fun because you can target them with a variety of power fishing techniques, our favorite are frogging, flipping, and throwing swim jigs. The fish on outside structures group up around current when available and large structures when the water is calm. These fish can be caught on crankbaits, worms, jigs, and a variety of other lures.

Don’t let the pressure steer you away, summer is prime time for bass. Don’t be surprised if you find bass stacked up in current and catch 100+ fish a day, and who knows, there might even be a GIANT bass in the mix!

Below is a breakdown of the lures and equipment we use to target Summer bass. We’ll begin with cover-oriented options and end with offshore options.

Frogs…

-River2Sea Bully Wa 2 65 (Little Allen, Ghost): http://bit.ly/2axyR2a

-Jackall Gavacho (Gill, White): http://bit.ly/2L7KsWS

Flipping…

-Jackall Archelon: http://bit.ly/2uo4sN5

-Vike Tungsten 1.5 oz Flipping Weight: http://bit.ly/2DUIxB4

-Gamakatsu Superline 4/0 EWG Hook: http://bit.ly/2ac92XG

-6th Sense Peg X: http://bit.ly/2bHjowk

Swim Jigs…

-California Swim Jig 3/8-3/4 oz: http://bit.ly/2auXfmx

-Keitech 4.3″ Fat Swing Impact: http://bit.ly/2ab7s8v

Senko…

-Yamamoto Senko (5″-7″): http://bit.ly/2axAmNS

-Wacky Hook (1/0-4/0): http://bit.ly/2aKGmHM

-Texas Hook (3/0-6/0): http://bit.ly/2ac92XG

-Squarebill Crankbait…

-Rattling- River2Sea Biggie Poppa (Abalone Shad, Horizon Shad): http://bit.ly/2ahCzvo

-Silent- Lucky Craft 2.5 (American Shad, Citrus, Gizzard Shad): http://bit.ly/2BGxKPa

Deep Crankbait…

-Strike King 6XD: http://bit.ly/2ery44M

-6th Sense Cloud 9: http://bit.ly/2BQ4uDs

Shakey Head Worms…

-Canterbury Shaky Head: http://bit.ly/2aFOs0V

-Netbait T Mac Worm: http://bit.ly/2jndwj9

-Zoom Trick Worm: http://bit.ly/2aWkG7E

Jigs…

-Football Jig: http://bit.ly/2d0iJbd

-Pitchin Jig: http://bit.ly/2amL3of

-Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver: http://bit.ly/29W3RZW

-Reaction Innovations Spicy Beaver: http://bit.ly/2MPuma1

-Strike King Rage Bug: http://bit.ly/2aAsuiV

Favorite Flipping Combo…

Rod- Expride 7’11” XH: http://bit.ly/2nTq9FL

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

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

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The BioSpawn Exoswim Has Changed The Swimbait Game

The BioSpawn ExoSwim is a soft plastic paddle tail swimbait designed with a unique exoskeleton to displace water and create a very desirable and realistic swimming action. Originally, we launched a 4” swimbait, and it didn’t take long for baits to begin flying off the shelves were flying off the shelves and anglers all over the country catching bigguns.

The 3.25″, 4″, and 4.75″ BioSpawn ExoSwims

After continued success with the 4” Exoswim, it became apparent that we needed to add more sizes to the line-up. We’re excited to announce the launch of both 3.25” and 4.75” versions of the ExoSwim. The 3.25” size allows for anything from finesse fishing to trailers on an Alabama Rig. The larger, 4.75” size will help get big bites when fish are looking for big meals.
With these new sizes hitting the market, anglers from all over are presented with much more variation and can easily keep one of these baits tied on year round.

The Biospawn Exoswim is gator approved.
PC: Sam Kim

Let’s talk about the smaller, 3.25 inch, size first. We saw a need to make a size smaller than 4 inches in order to help not only catch those pressured finicky bass, but also for those who love to fish for smallmouth. Due to the versatility of a smaller profile, this size should find plenty of use regardless of the location. This bait can be a trailer for a finesse jig, thrown on an a-rig, or simply rigged up as any paddle tail would, with a swimbait hook, underspin, or jig head. At this size, the bait could even be thrown on a drop shot. These options allow for this bait to be thrown year round in a variety of different conditions. We believe this bait will excel especially in the spring when baitfish are a bit smaller.

I like to throw the 3.25″ in the Spring, the 4” in the summer, and the 4.75 in the fall

As the warmer weather starts to show up, the baitfish will start to increase in size. The average size of bait fish around the country is typically around 4 inches, and therefore the original 4 inch ExoSwim is a standard go to bait when fishing under typical conditions. This bait still has a multitude of rigging options and ways to fish, so you can always tie one on with confidence. I love to throw this bait on an underspin as a great alternative to a spinnerbait.

This musky nearly broke the Ohio state record and was caught on a 4” BioSpawn Exoswim. PC: Zackbhall

We knew when we talked about new sizes, that it was equally as important to go bigger as it was to go smaller. The 4.75 inch ExoSwim is a bulkier addition to the lineup for those who love to throw bigger baits. This bait will be a great fall option as anglers continue to match the size of growing bait fish throughout the year. This bait will please anglers around the country as it will help get those bigger bass that are looking for a bigger meal. The increased size and water displacement will even stand out to anglers looking to catch other species. This size will be attractive to big predators like pike and musky, while also giving saltwater anglers a great option as well.

Keel weighted swimbait hooks are excellent for fishing near weeds. Use an underspin for added flash.

As an angler myself, I very rarely used to throw paddle tail swimbaits until I started to get some practice with the ExoSwim. With a lot of hard work, we found a formula that makes this bait one of the most durable soft plastic swimbaits, while still producing very lifelike action in the water. Due to this great action and durability, I started to throw swimbaits on their own, where before I often only used them as trailers for swim jigs and chatterbaits. Now I have come to love the realistic look and colors to catch more and more bass on these baits. With the new sizes, I believe this bait will continue to produce tons of quality bass not only for me but also for anglers from all over.


Igloo Coolers Announce Leeward and Mission Series

Igloo Coolers Announce Leeward and Mission Series thumbnail

With summer on the horizon and fishing gear in tow, Igloo announced the release of its Leeward and Mission series coolers today. On a boat or in the wilderness for a weekend, the two new Igloo series are sure to be staples for every adventure ahead.

“We are very proud of the release of these new products that cater to all types of adventurers,” stated Brad Blankinship, VP of Igloo. “Leeward and Mission are fantastic, versatile companions for fresh and saltwater anglers, road trips, camping and tailgating.”

Igloo Contest

Igloo Coolers Mission Leeward Payne OutdoorsTo celebrate the launch of the Leeward and Mission Series, Igloo has produced The Ultimate Fishing Giveaway. Igloo fans across the country can register to win an all-expense paid trip to California, full day charter boat trip, new Igloo products, and thousands of dollars in fishing equipment and accessories.  Enter to win here:

https://www.igloocoolers.com/pages/ultimate-fishing-vacation-giveaway

Igloo Leeward

Igloo Coolers Mission Leeward Payne OutdoorsWhether you’re a serious tournament angler or casual weekend warrior, Igloo’s Leeward series is designed to keep your food, drinks and day’s haul fresh. The Leeward series is built for every adventure and includes:

  • Ultratherm® insulated body and lid provide up to 8 days ice retention*
  • Food grade silicone rubber lid gasket
  • Lockable lid for security
  • FDA approved food grade liner
  • 2-way tie-down points for secure transport
  • Oversized latches for secure lid closure
  • Fast/slow dual drain release function
  • Non-slip, heavy-duty grab handles with integrated tie-down brackets
  • Fish ruler molded into lid
  • Non-slip rubber feet
  • Body brackets for corner protection and additional durability
  • Wire basket and cutting board included
  • *Tested at 90°F controlled test conditions

Igloo Mission

Igloo Coolers Mission Leeward Payne OutdoorsFrom the backyard to a spontaneous adventure in the wild, the Mission series was created with all the best features of Igloo’s hard-side coolers in mind. Designed to provide multiple days of ice retention, the new Mission series includes:

  • Ultratherm® insulation in body and lid provide up to 8 days ice retention*
  • Food grade silicone rubber lid gasket
  • Lockable lid for security
  • FDA approved food grade liner
  • 2-way tie down points for secure transport
  • Oversized latches for secure lid closure
  • Fast/slow dual drain release function
  • Heavy duty grab handles with integrated tie-down brackets
  • Fish ruler molded into lid
  • *Tested at 90°F controlled test conditions

The Leeward and Mission series are available now at: https://www.igloocoolers.com/

 

About Igloo

Born from a modest metalworking shop back in 1947, Igloo has been instrumental in redefining how we live, work and play. What began with bringing clean water to the worksite quickly moved into super-functional, best in class ice chests. Igloo products made the family outdoor recreation movement of the 20th century possible. Suddenly, taking your kids camping on the weekend became easy and cross-country road trips became a summer vacation staple.

As we approach our next century, Igloo is 1500 employees strong. We are proud to call—a 1.8 million square-foot, three-building facility in—Katy, Texas home. With more than 500 products sold at thousands of retailers around the globe, we can confidently call ourselves the number one cooler manufacturer in the world.

And through it all we haven’t lost sight of our original goal—to create products that enable the pursuit of happiness (however you define it). That’s why we’re still working hard every day to innovate, create, and make it easier for you to get out, work hard and play even harder.

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