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“The Best Bass Flies – How to Tie and Fish Them” Jay Zimmerman – Book Review

| December 14, 2017

How to Tie Bass Flies That Work

Best Bass Flies by Shannon Drawe Photography

The new fly tying book, “The Best Bass Flies – How to Tie and Fish Them,” by Jay Zimmerman, is a great introduction to tying flies, and learning techniques for catching our dominant southern species – the largemouth bass.

One of the first questions Texas fly fishers typically get is, “You can fly fish for bass?”

The answer is always “yes,” and many conventional tackle fishers probably have little idea how much time Texas fly fishers actually spend pursuing bass on the fly. To pursue a bass on a fly rod may seem like bringing a knife to a gunfight, but from the fly line, to the rod to the fly, the US fly fishing industry has heard the cash registers ring, and developed fast action 7’11” bass fly rods, fly lines, leaders and flies to more easily target our abundant warm water bass.

Once a fly tier and fly fisher gives in to the truth that a conventional fisher will out-fish them on a consistent basis, it’s up to the fly tier to adapt his fly tying materials and patterns to flies that often look and act like hard baits, frogs, soft plastics and whatever else he sees working in the conventional fishing world of his own waters.

Along with the conventional categories comes the conventional use for flies, including topwater, suspending and deep flies. These patterns are created using what most fly tiers call “recipes” that include all the materials used in creating the fly. The flies illustrated in “The Best Bass Flies” does a great job of representing each category without burying the fly tier in the dozens of variations and different flies in each category.

This book does a great service to beginning bass fly tiers by emphasizing the need for tough flies that will take abuse, and the photography of the different fly tying steps are very easy to follow. The range of difficulty in tying moves pretty quickly from simple to complex.

Just as important as the fly, a fly fisher has to adopt the hard driving techniques employed by conventional bass fishermen. The how to “Fish Them” part of this book is what gives a new bass fly fisher a good start at recognizing and fishing the rough-and-tumble habitat notorious for holding big Texas bass.

In a day-and-age where most of the fundamentals of fly tying and fly fishing are found on YouTube internet videos, it is always reassuring to have a hard copy, once called books, of fly tying recipes that sit on a page without having to be paused or rewound again and again. Zimmerman also does a good job of weaving in some storytelling that keeps the reader interested.

“The Best Bass Flies” is a great beginning book that covers the bases. If you have never tied a fly before, there’s plenty of information about the tools and materials needed for fly tying. In addition, you will learn fly patterns and techniques fishing your fresh flies. This book is certain to get a lot of use by someone wanting to tie the flies and learn the techniques needed to catch bass on a fly rod.

Who’s Your Daddy? Here’s What Dad Really Wants Father’s Day

| June 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

WHO’S YOUR DADDY? Fly Fishing Father’s Day Gifts 2017

We’re getting down to brass tacks. Have you done your Daddy right for this FFFD – that’s Fly Fishing Father’s Day? Those of you lucky enough to be Dads, thank your god for your good luck, and pass this story along to the people that matter.

I bet Dad already has all the fly fishing gear, dangling jangling trinkets, pants, shirts, boots and trout suspenders he will ever need. And, he looks a little funny in some of the hipster fly clothing – you might like; bright colors he’s never seen before, designs that are a little slim in the midsection and prices that will take away a few cases of your favorite hipster beer from this weekend’s event. So let’s keep Dad grounded with a list of gifts that keep on giving, from this Dad’s Day onto the next.

KEEP IT SIMPLE
You can keep it simple for good old Dad, and just book a guided carp trip right here, right? Look no further, give that big extra gift to Dad today – by clicking the PayPal button in the side bar, and simply look no further. You really love your Dad, right?

And it’s still simple to give a subscription to the Pay-Per-View content on this site! Last week had a timely post on where / what / how of the current technical aspects of fly fishing for carp here in North Texas! This is the kind of information that saves a lot of time for dear old Dad, so that he can take you out to eat, buy you new stuff and keep your hipster lifestyle in tact. Read more about subscription benefits at Subscribe to Texas Fly Caster.

TPWD
How about a subscription to Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine? I was published there last year, so of course that magazine is in favor with me right now. And it was a favorite as a kid as well. Anything that makes Dad smarter can’t be all that bad can it?

THE DRAKE MAGAZINE
How about a subscription to the edgy Drake Magazine? Another of those magazines I am currently published in, and one I look forward to writing and photographing for in the future; Drake covers a lot of ground, sometimes with reverence and at times irreverent, but typically with great images and creative text.

THEME? FREE DAD’S MIND – THE REST WILL FOLLOW

As you can read, this year’s gift giving theme is EXPAND DAD’S KNOWLEDGE. Besides the reading material, the music below will free his mind, lift or sober Dad’s spirits and provide the escape from reality – an escape that is much needed these days. Some of it harkens back to his youth, with the taste of Pink Floyd (from Roger Waters), new Beatles remaster “Sargent Pepper’s … ” ,  to the way way back sounds brought to us by ultra-cool and modern artists featured on the fantastic release – “American Epic,” which is destined to be a Top 10 for 2017 (zero doubt about that!).

Weekend Of Thought Gathering Perhaps

| June 3, 2017 | 0 Comments

Which is Worse

I am still deciding which is worse; blunt force trauma to the head, or 35 rounds of radiation to the head-and-neck. But since I never suffered blunt force head trauma, that I remember, I guess I will have to go with radiation.

Needless to say, the weather has smashed an otherwise fabulous weekend to smithereens – not good enough, not bad enough to make me challenge or retreat … just enough to stop outdoor life, and send me to the sound room where I am spinning the new Roger Waters while contemplating.


Speaking of guides, and stories, photography and such …

What do we say of the new cover of local magazine “D” (as in Dallas)? Rob Woodruff, Orvis Endorsed Guide (lest we forget to mention) graces the cover this month! Is that amazing, or what? Rob has obviously worked very hard to get where he is, and this is about as close* to the pinnacle of free advertising that any Texas (spelled Oklahoma) guide could ever hope for – in an entire career. Since Rob has apparently made lemonade out of the lemon that became of Beaver’s Bend after the floods, this marketing feat is even more impressive to little old me. I’d sure like someone to tell me my name rolled off his lips – even oncemuch less the 231 times he’s been mentioned here over the years.

For those readers (and haters at the extreme fringe of readers) who think this writer is about his own journey? I only wish you were right. Because if you were right, I would have written about myself in the Summer edition of Drake Magazine. Instead, you will find an article on Danny Scarborough** in the magazines “urban fly fishing” department for the, yet to be released, Summer of 2017. I certainly enjoy working with Danny to expose what he’s doing in Houston to a larger audience, a MUCH larger audience. What will it do for me?

I am hopeful that with a little luck and divine intervention, the new article will finally attest to the fact I am about writing about and photographing OTHER fly fishers and guides for publications – more than myself. And perhaps, just perhaps a few guides and readers (anywhere and everywhere) will get the idea (finally) that maybe what they do is worthy of print and photography. Stories need to come to me now, and in volume …

And believe it or not, my writing is not limited to knowledge of the subjects you find here! Test me if you like, about anything but math of course. For example, if you pick up the latest issue of Lone Star Outdoor News, you will find a story on artist Mike Quinn out of Santa Fe, Texas. So besides all the other subjects I write about, add art and history to the list (yeah, the art minor and the economic history minor may help a little bit).

***So who really hits the pinnacle of free press for Texas fly fishing guides this month / this first half of the Texas year? You tell me. I would love to hear from you. And if you know of other publications I should be begging at the door of, let me know about that too – for goodness sake!

Thanks for reading. Stay dry. Have a great first weekend in June, and maybe I will have something interesting to say by Monday Morning! Shine on you crazy diamonds!

 

“Back Seat With Fish” by Henry Hughes – Fly Fishing Book Review

| May 9, 2017 | 0 Comments

Poet Henry Hughes’ book, “Back Seat with Fish – A Man’s Adventures in Angling and Romance,” is a far ranging autobiography that documents Hughes earliest fishing experiences and memories on Long Island through growing up and into a life as an observer writer of his observations.

I asked Dr.Hughes about his memories of his early fishing years, and how he documented them. “I’ve kept a journal off and on, and wrote and received lots of letters since high school … I kept detailed journals in college and during my time in Asia. The early years on Long Island were retrieved through memory and in revisiting all those places and talking to lots of people.”

henry hughes back seat with fish

As the book unfolds, and Hughes matures through life, his writing also matures and the horizons of his fishing adventures take him across oceans to Japan, China, Malaysia and Alaska are all penned on his map. Not only does he fish these faraway places, Hughes also drinks in the culture, eats fish we would never imagine.

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Friday FISH FLASH Zero Birthdays and The Drake Magazine

| April 28, 2017 | 1 Comment

Heading around the horn, around the bend and down the road.

Welcome to your FISH FLASH for the weekend. Of course I’ll be putting information about a lot of things behind the .25-cent curtain, which few afford to lift – and helps thin crowds, separating the pretenders as it were. There’s a deep tip on where to find huge grass carp on Ray Roberts (remember last year’s tails?), a heads-up on The Drake Magazine, and finally some tips for what to do with your spouse if one of those treacherous “0” birthdays is upon you.

FISH FLASH

These weather patterns are perfect for finding grass carp

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