Make plans to attend next year's Maryland Fly Fishing Show. It promises to be a really great event loaded with a lot of vendors from every aspect of fly fishing, rod makers, collectibles dealers, fly shops, & more. Guest speakers at the show will include nationally recognized fly fishing writers speaking on a variety of fly fishing & fly tying topics, & even fellow rod maker Per Brandin. It will no doubt be a very fun & educational time!
Be sure to save these dates & get ready to have a blast at the show!!
Originally published in 1955, "How to Fish from Top to Bottom" by Sid Gordon is an older book that is filled with good information that is still very useful for any angler today. The title, however, might be slightly misleading, as it's more than just a 'how-to-fish' type of book. No, it has much more important info for the angler.......
Sid Gordon was a fishing writer & a skilled angler. In addition to that, he was employed throughout his career as a fish technician for the states of Wisconsin & Michigan at different times. This job also called on him to research fishing environments in other locations as well. As a result he examined the fishing waters of many places across the United States & Canada, learning how the fish live in different types of water along the way & seeing the best methods of preserving rivers, streams, & lakes.
For those of you who are wondering more about the world of fresh water fishes & how to catch them, this is a must-read book. In it you will learn easy steps on how to judge water quality simply by knowing what to look for when you gaze at a stream or lake. You will learn how to read the water. Gordon will show you how to make stream & lake improvements - great info for any club or organization looking to make better fishing conditions. You will also learn how to take accurate water samples & how to test them to know exactly what is going on in your favorite fishing spot.
In addition to all these lessons, Gordon also gets into detail about specific types of game fish & what conditions the need for survival. Bass, pike, muskie, trout, etc are all covered in this book & you can learn what to look for when pursuing any of these species of fish.
Of course a book with a title such as this one would not be complete without some actual fishing techniques. Gordon also gives you detailed & time tested methods for catching all of the different popular game fish, covering fly fishing, spin, & bait casting as well.
The fist chapter of this book is titled "Water Can Be Read Like a Book" - & that sums up the general theme of the entire work. Fishing from a boat, on shore, wading in a stream, & for all types of fish it's all covered here in an easy to understand book. To me the really valuable information here is the water quality explanations. After reading this, I recalled different places I had fished before & some things clicked in my mind. It all made more sense to me about the conditions at certain fishing spots.
In my opinion, this is a book every angler should read, no matter where you fish, how you fish, or what you fish for. It is one of the most overlooked "important" books on fishing written in the 20th century. I believe this book is currently out of print, but good used copies can be found & purchased for very little cost, so pick up a copy for yourself. You will learn something very useful before you put the book down.
Yesterday a good friend showed me this very informative & entertaining video that discusses different types of leaders & their uses for trout fishing (thanks, Terryll).
One thing that I admit I should do in my fishing is to pay more attention to my leaders than I do. About the only time I ever really do what I should with my leader is when I'm fishing very low & very clear water where I know I could easily scare the trout. Otherwise, I'm that clod you see using a knotless tapered leader that has gotten way too short & is half straight tippet because I'm too busy fishing - or too lazy - to change to a new leader. I admit it. I'm not proud.
So I've always been interested in nicer, furled leaders. I've heard good & bad things about them from folks (mostly good things) & it's something that I really should give a try. Also, I'm curious about tippet rings. I've never tried them, but I like the concept. You see, I'm pretty old-school when it comes to all this stuff. Again, I admit it. Again, I'm not proud.
If you have any strong opinions about leaders & tippet rings, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Let me know what you think & help me to decide to either get out of the 1960's or to stay there. If you're like me & really are not 'leader aware', then the video below will help to shed some light on the subject while watching a skilled angler catch some beautiful trout.
I hope you all have a safe & relaxing Labor Day, & if you must be at your job over the weekend I thank you for being there.
Have a great Labor Day, everybody!!
I fish a soft hackle wet fly a lot. It's my favorite style of pattern for many reasons. They're also pretty simple to tie, no matter what the specific pattern. Hungarian partridge feathers are a typical hackle feather used on these flies. These feathers can be a little tricky to work with &/or to get the results you want tying with them. There are a few tricks you can use & the video below shows a pretty clear, straight forward way to handle them.
Partridge & orange, partridge & green, partridge & yellow, etc, etc these three patterns can cover most of your year along the trout stream. Take just a few minuets to learn these quick tips on tying with partridge.
(I'm not affiliated in any way with the dealer who made this video. I show this only for the advice this video demonstrates).
I recently listed a new Classical Series bamboo fly rod to the listings over on the Available Rods page of this website. This one is a 7'-0" 2 piece / 2 tips, moderate - fast action rod made for either a 3 or 4 wt line.
The moderate / fast action of this rod is perfect for those who like a slightly more brisk rod. This rod's action could easily be described by that old term "dry fly action" - though casting with wets, nymphs, & some small streamers is also a delight with this rod. You will comfortably cast this rod all day long as it's light in the hand & very responsive.
This rod features:
-Moderate / Fast "dry fly" action which is also great for wets & nymphs, too.
-Screw locking, up-locking reel seat with aluminum hardware & a gorgeous maple burl wood spacer.
-Reverse half Welles grip.
-Nickle-Silver winding check (ring above the grip).
-Nickle-Silver 'strap & ring' style hook keeper.
-Chromed, stainless steel stripping guide, line guides, & tip tops.
-Dark red silk thread guide wraps tipped in black silk.
-Custom fit black soft cotton flannel rod bag & a black canvas covered PVC rod tube with padded ends, zippered closure, & leather name tag describing the rod inside - also made to a custom fit for the rod.
This fly rod will cast well with either a 3 wt or a 4 wt fly line, depending on your preferences. With a 4 wt line, the rod would be a little bit slower than with a 3 wt line. For example, if I knew that I would only be casting dry flies on the rod that day I might line it with my 3 wt fly line. If, on the other hand, I might also be casting wet flies or nymphs along with dry flies, I'd probably use it with a 4 wt line that day. This is a pretty versatile rod & the livelier action is perfect for those making the transition from graphite fly rods to bamboo.
For more information & to see more detailed photos of this fly rod, please visit the Available Rods page.
If you have any questions about this rod - or anything else - please feel free to contact me.
By far, one of the coolest things about being a full time rod maker is all the nice people I get to meet & interact with. It's the biggest "perk" of the job. I get really jazzed when folks share with me their fishing stories & photos from all over the world. I can't tell you how awesome it is to get an inside view of the fishing in places I've either never been to, or places I was at once but haven't seen in many years.
So, if you're using any of the fishing equipment I make - or even if you're not - I'd love to hear all about your fishing adventures & see any photos you want to share.
One other reason I like to hear from folks & read about their fishing, is to learn how they caught their fish & what works for them. You see, that's my little secret - I get to learn from all of you!! It doesn't matter how many decades I've been fly fishing, I know that I can learn from everyone. So, what works for you might also work for me on my local waters.
I hope that you've all been having a fantastic summer out there on the water. I hope it's been filled with lots of fun & great fish bending your fly rod. I've added a few photos to the Beyond The Rod Shop page of some folks who shared their adventures with me. If you have any stories of photos you'd care to share with me, please feel free to contact me. I'd love to hear from you.
Thanks to all of you who keep me in the loop & share your knowledge & fishing with me. I appreciate it more than you know!!! Good luck on the water!
Here is a fantastic old movie featuring the baseball legend Ted Williams fishing for Atlantic salmon. In the video we get to see, & have Ted explain, the gear he uses, the flies he ties, his casting techniques, & all the preparation he put into his fishing. You can see the work ethic that he put into his baseball playing is the same that he applied to his fishing. He was a very skilled angler indeed.
If you have half an hour, sit back & enjoy this gorgeous & fascinating look back at some great fishing for the beast that is the Atlantic Salmon!
The "tuck" cast is a very cool specialty cast that is designed to get your fly down deeper in the water much faster than a normal cast can do. Obviously, based on that description, its a cast that's used for fishing near the bottom of the stream with nymphs, streamers, or wet flies. It is particularly useful when you're fishing submerged flies upstream.
It's not very hard to do - but it can take a while to get the hang of it. The trick is to overpower your forward cast. Really jam that line forward hard & then stop the cast very quickly, all of a sudden. This causes the leader to tuck under the line. Your fly then comes crashing straight down to the water, as if it has fallen from the sky. This allows your fly to sink down deeper a lot faster. Its a cast to use in situations where the sooner you get the fly to the bottom, the better.
The first time I performed the tuck cast it was by accident. I was casting into a fairly stiff breeze that day, foolishly. On one cast the wind let up just as I was trying to punch my forward cast through. I realized this & stopped the cast very quickly. The result was a beautiful tuck cast - even though that wasn't what I was trying to do!! After realizing what had happened I tried to recreate this cast. It took me a while, because at first it feels wrong (at least to me it did). Casting, so I thought, was always supposed to be smooth & graceful. Indeed, the tuck cast is, but it took me a while before I got the feel of the abrupt stop to the cast.
The best way to explain the tuck cast is to show it. The short video below is an excellent demonstration & explanation of the tuck cast. If you fish below the surface, this is a great cast to have under your belt. It will help you pick up more fish when you need to use it. The best part is that it's an easy cast to learn.
The Pliant Rod
News from the shop of Chris Lantzy, Custom Rod Maker along with industry news, profiles of interesting characters, reviews, history, & whatever else strikes our fancy. Your comments & feedback are welcome. Please email me your thoughts.
These rods are available right now. please Go to the "Available rods" page for more details: