Tag: TFO

Friday Fly Fishing Report Holy Carp! Results Bass World Results

| May 25, 2018 | 0 Comments

Where to Fly Fish This Weekend in Texas

If you have to fish amigo, make it fly fishing. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to stay away from Texas lakes and other water bodies. I guess if you went deep sea fishing it would be the safest bet! That’s just how we roll here in Texas.

This video contains the tournament results for Holy Carp!, tournament results for the Bass World Championships in Lake Fork, a report from Danny Scarborough, my local report, and the scroll of fresh and saltwater fishing throughout Texas. I have a tip or two on what flies would most likely take big bass right now and what kind of ingredients go into tying flies for Texas jetty fly fishing.

I am running through this because I have to get to TFO in Dallas, and back before the traffic window slams shut on my scrawny little neck!

On Set – Day Two with Lefty Kreh

| February 21, 2013 | 0 Comments

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By the time everyone made it over to the sound stage, a get-it-done mentality was taking over. Everybody settled in to that row of chairs I mentioned the previous day, and the magicians of video and lighting took over. Those of us not involved in that magic were still dragging a bit from the previous day’s schedule. I hadn’t even done anything, and I was dragging a bit too!

Lefty already knew he wasn’t first up for his part of the video being made, so he settled on back into a chair brought out especially for him by the studio lighting expert. Lefty settled in, and took a snooze while Ed Jaworowski did his science and magic. These two days of shooting video – the most visually understandable casting video I’ve ever seen – are part of what will be put together with outdoors casting demonstrations to be shot later this year.

I decided to make myself useful and shot some video (making the 4th camera on set) with my DSLR, which the motion picture industry now deems worthy due to its trendy appearance.

During a break, I sat down to keep Lefty company and he told me one of the stories that lead to his dislike of his “celebrity status.” I won’t go too into specifics, but he was being transported to the hospital in an ambulance somewhere near Jackson Hole, and the lady in the ambulance was taking down his name, “Bernard Kreh.” “Is that any relation to Lefty Kreh,” she asked? He confirmed that’s who he was, and she threw down the clipboard she was writing on, and dialed up her husband. “Honey, you won’t believe who I have here … Lefty Kreh!” She hands Lefty the phone and says, “Here! Say hi to my husband!” Needless to say, that story sticks with him. In an ambulance, being transported, the paramedic makes a celeb call to her fly fishing husband …

After another day of casting magic lessons (for video, not for me), Lefty did an endorsement on green screen, and was out of the sound stage with his entourage. He may not want to be a celeb, but he sure rolls like one. And that’s really how it should be at 88, don’t you think?

Tailwaters Anniversary Bash Wrap Up

| June 6, 2012 | 0 Comments

Sitting on the front porch, with the rain pitter patting like a million mellow metronomes, and loving every minute of the much needed rain to finally hit us here in North Texas. It’s hard to actually wrap up the Tailwaters Fifth Anniversary Bash last Saturday, but with the help of a Partagas 1845 and a beer, maybe I can do it justice.

Tailwaters Dallas Fly Shop

If you are a fly fishing industry watcher, then there are times when you can’t help but wonder who or what is the next big thing. On a micro level, it was quite reassuring to see the vendors who were able to make the Tailwaters party last Saturday, and personally stumble upon some interesting finds.

Howler Brothers at the helm
Howler Brothers at the helm.

Texas fly fishing businesses like Howler Brothers not only provided the much needed edge in outdoor casual and fly clothing, but they also were the killer musical guests – Wrinkle Neck Mules as well. Realistically, I ask myself just what can’t they do? If you haven’t taken a look at the Howler Brothers clothing line, you should. Their clothing is original, uses unique design and fabrics well, and has the common thread of being well made and durable. I put the Pescador shirt to the test at Matagorda, and not only did it perform well, the fabric, drenched in surf saltwater after going BTB on a kayak ride, dried more quickly than any top-of-the-line fly shirt I have ever owned.

Wrinkle Neck Mules are the Howler Brothers
Yes, the Howler Brothers really are the Wrinkle Neck Mules. I heard it for myself.

Between representing their line in the Howler booth, the erstwhile Wrinkle Neck Mules braved serious heat to play an acoustic set that everyone should have paid good money to see. Unfortunately, my poster arrived in Denton while I was at the party, so the “Let The Lead Fly” shotgun blasted poster will go without autographs for now. With permission, I will post a video of their performance at a later date.

TFO owner Rick Pope at Tailwaters anniversary party
Rick Pope talks to Clay Knight of Safarious.com about TFO fly rods.

Temple Forks Outfitters, famous for their affordable line of fly rods, reels and other items under other names, was solidly represented by none other than owner Rick Pope, and he was backed up with dozens of rods and outfits to give those interested a chance to cast their rods and see what newer lines like the BVK line of rods are all about. Of course they also have the new zero BVK fly reel as well, and that is a reel to consider if you are looking for a new reel for your small trout small stream rod.

At the other end of the spectrum, and a place I tend to spend a lot of time actually, Hardy saltwater rods left a very large impression on me. I threw the six weight in the saltwater line, and was impressed at how relaxed and slow the casting speed was for such a fast stick. It seems like its spine reaches all the way up to the third guide down (very high tip flex), and doesn’t seem to like to be hauled or manhandled with a power stroke. I wasn’t wearing my typical magnifying glasses, but I did spy a little round sticker on the rods which I later came to find out said, “Made in Korea.” That hurts when the rod I was casting is priced in the $700-dollar range. That little bit of information leaves me with more questions than answers, but at least it’s a British company doing the importing (rationalizing a bit to justify purchasing one?). Mark Shelton, of Redtail Sports Manufacturer’s Rep casted the rod with me, and talked me down from the driving power stroke to a more tame cast that rod seems to like.

A Texas juggernaut YETI Coolers had a well stocked booth, and I saw at least three coolers sold and one won as a prize (heck of a win!). Looking at some of the accessories on site lead me to purchase a lockdown for my coolers so that I can put them in the back of a pickup and not worry about being a passenger with an expensive cooler in the back bed. It kind of does away with the main comment about YETI, “So expensive someone would steal it.” I ordered some YETI swag from Austin the very next day.

The other unexpected thing I found at the Tailwaters Anniversary Bash was a booth by some up and coming flip flop folks. Hari Mari, a Dallas, Texas, based company, has these cool looking, simple straight forward flip flops with a twist. My main complaint about flip flops is the footbed gets slippery when they’re wet, and what fly fisher doesn’t get their feet wet? I certainly don’t want to spend nearly $100. for the leather flip flops. The guys at Hari Mari have brightly colored flip flops that have a fabric footbed that feels so good on the bottom of your feet that … I splurged and bought a pair – bright safety orange (easy to find in a dark old house) – and put them on and wore them the rest of the day. Tailwaters has a brand new display of Hari Maris in the shop.

I had one of the increasing popular Diablo Paddlesports boats to show and tell at the party, and answered plenty of questions about the boat and tentatively scheduled some demo rides of the Adios.

crowds wait in line to get to the register at Tailwaters
Crowds wait in line at the register.

Of course Tailwaters always uses their anniversary parties to move some merchandise at sale prices – Hatch reels were going for $350., clothing was as much as 40-percent off, and I even saw a couple of Sage fly rods depart at $100. each. I snagged a pair of soon to be discontinued Simms Flats Boots at 40-percent off. This is the boot you want for wading flats for carp here in Texas (sizes run pretty true on these).

Something completely different, a new website that focuses on the broadest outdoor genre of photography – Safarious – was demoed to me by creator Clay Knight, and as a professional photographer, I really liked what he showed me. The site has the ability to upload addresses, group them, distribute new photographic portfolios to those groups individually, and also participate in a voting system that pushes good work to the forefront of the site. The organizational capabilities alone are impressive, but take a look for yourself at www.safarious.com. Clay said that more functionality is on the way, and they are working on modules that will allow for uploading from mobile phones as well as other exciting features.

I saw, with my own two eyes, significant numbers of top shelf rods being sold – as well as more than a few top shelf reels, like the Tibor Reels, finding fresh new owners as well. Honestly, they were selling a lot of everything, and I later heard it was their best ever birthday party.

Sean Polk talks to the crowds at Tailwaters Anniversary Party
Sean talks to customers at Tailwaters Anniversary Party

Lest I forget, the Fifth Anniversary Party also saw the official rollout of a new member of the Tailwaters crew as well – Sean Polk, who moved just last week from the Orvis store on Preston in Dallas, was working hard to answer questions, and socialize with their largest crowd to ever attend a Tailwaters Anniversary Party event. Look for a story on Sean coming out later this week.

Huge crowds and free mudbugs at Tailwaters Dallas
Free food and drink at Tailwaters Anniversary Party.

If you missed the party, make sure to put it on your calendar for next year, and tell the Tailwaters crew where you heard about it. This really appears to be the event that puts Tailwaters over the top as the leading fly shop in North Texas.

TFO BVK Fly Rod Review – Tried and True

| November 4, 2010 | 4 Comments

In another bimini twist of fate, I managed to get my hands on the Bernard Victor Kreh or BVK, a new fly rod by Temple Forks Outfitters. I stopped in at Dallas’ only mom-and-pop, Tailwaters in Dallas, Texas, this morning to see if I could get that burning sensation out of my pocket, caused by a birthday gift certificate from my thoughtful (OK it really didn’t take much thought) sister.

Rather than burden you with all the neato new things I saw at Tailwaters, I will cut to the chase, and tell you that I did get to cast the BVK, and, with the only caveat being I threw a 5 weight, let me say that TFO got this one right. (Somehow or another, I have my sights set on a 5 weight.)

Throwing the BVK comes on the heels of throwing the new Winston GVX only a few short days ago. You may recall that I guessed, from what I had read, the BVK was going to be competitive with the Winston, and that the BVK would have a firmer backbone. Not only does it have backbone, for my feel and cast, that backbone reaches pretty far up the blank. Distance and accuracy go to the BVK. Recoil-to-dead ratio feels like a tie between the Winston and TFO … hard to believe at half the price. It would probably be more interesting to put the BVK up against something in the Sage line, like the Flight, and see how it fares, but I have yet to throw a Flight in a 5wt.

You may also notice, I am trying to break the code of talking about how good a rod looks, and words like “sexy, translucent, brilliant, beautiful” or whatever, so unless it’s butt ugly, you can expect almost all manufactured fly rods to have some redeeming cosmetic qualities. This one does.

Instead of holding back and smoothing everything out, the BVK can take a little more throttle without slapping yourself silly on the forward cast. The tip, again soft, makes for nice loops and gentle presentations. According to TFO’s site, that’s what they designed the rod for – presentation and distance. They call it “Fast,” and within its category, throwing the 5wt today, I would vouch for that. If you think there’s any speed comparisons to the X’s or Clousers weight-for-weight, I’m thinking apples and oranges … apples and oranges, but we’ll have to just wait and see.

Right now TFO has the BVK fly rod available in 5-8 weights (9-footers), with the BVK 3wt at 8′, BVK 4wt at 8’6″, BVK 5wt at 8’6″, BVK 9wt and 10wt both at 9′ weights scheduled for roll out very soon. My mind goes to the soon to be available 3wt and the 5wt in the shorter length. If you’re fishing in Texas freshwater, you will own a BVK, sooner or later, you will own a BVK.
Thanks Lefty, and thanks to my sister – for the new DVD “Eastern Rises.”

I do not work for TFO. The TFO BVK is made in South Korea.

TFO Prism Machined Reel Report Testing the Testers

| October 1, 2010 | 2 Comments

There’s a fine line when it comes to finding fault in today’s exploding selection of everything related to fly fishing.

The primary reason I originally purchased the TFO Prism reel in a 7/8 was I wanted to give the reel a chance, score a bargain on a large arbor machined aluminum reel, and have the luxury of testing the reel over an extended time frame.

Plenty of bloggers and fly related web sites dance all around the minefield of testing equipment. They go out of their way to let us know that they “purchased” the equipment, and therefore can assure us of objective reviews of their products, and on and on …

If these same sites have advertising from the manufacturers they are testing, don’t we realize they are already suspect? Here at Texas Fly Caster, we don’t have any conflicts of interest with any manufacturers. The advertising is, thus far, limited to retailers who carry a wide variety of manufacturer’s goods

If TFO, Sage, Lamson, Tibor, Simms, Mitzi, Dargel or anyone else cares to put the newest, latest and greatest in our* hands, under our feet or hitched to our test vehicle for testing, which is only logical at this point, we will gladly test your products and provide the most comprehensive and long term reviews known to the industry. We will test your products today, tomorrow, and a year from tomorrow, if that’s what it takes to get the real feel for a product. Actually, there is no time limit to reviews at Texas Fly Caster. Those reviewers that take pride in paying for the gear they review never mention whether they actually paid full retail for the gear, or if they are living off pro-deals, or some other means of acquiring top shelf reviewable gear of interest.

Initial reviews are just that “initial,” and most, if not all, the reviews of fly fishing equipment begins with the “high” of a visual description of the product followed quickly by the feel of the product and finally the performance of same product. And fly fishing in general has a reputation for visual over everything else – not that there’s anything wrong with that. If you are a regular reader of Texas Fly Caster, you have already separated yourself into someone who likes and / or appreciates the visual more than the average fisher.

Heck, I had a visual high this week when our plumber unloaded a sweet little box holding our new Rennai hot water heater. The darn thing was about one fourth the size of the old school water heater sitting in the driveway. It looked like a component off the Space Station, and we now have efficiency, silence and a new closet once occupied by a giant 20th. century water heater. Forget the fact it costs as much as the Space Station – Barack’s going to offset that anyway. What a world.

TFO Machined Prism Reel

In this day and age, with much of what we consume being made overseas, is it any wonder that we can get a lemon every now and then. Sure, Chinese and Mexican nails bend quicker than US manufactured nails, but now we just expect to bend nails all the time right? I would pay double the cost to do away with the frustration of Chinese nails, but I must be the only one. So is it any wonder that when a reel such as the TFO Prism Machined comes out, there could be one or two with a “problem?” If they are importing them by the pallet, is it possible for more than one or two to have a “problem?” Sure it is. However, this reel could be the only one in the entire run of TFO Prism Machined reels to have this problem. I have not read anything anywhere else about this reel – reviews or problems.

The excitement over the TFO Prism Machined reel was in the air when the reel, also offered in a cast version, hit the market. Finally, a good looking (visual) reel that was lightweight (feel) and had the Rolls Royce cork drag system. All of this was priced to sell as well. I had to get one for a couple of reasons; 1) I wanted to see how I liked a large arbor, and 2) I wanted to give it a go – see how good it really was – and report about it to readers of Texas Fly Caster.
The reel sat around for weeks, until I got the backing and line I wanted on it, and by the time my first writing on the TFO Prism came out, the door was slammed on it almost instantly – they were no longer going to make the machined version and would continue to make the cast version. Hmm, that, in the manufacturing world, can’t be a good sign. This real was a real bargain, and either it wasn’t selling, or there was a “problem.”

I used it a few times and it performed quite well. I had to have something to replace my Orvis BBS Mid Arbor IV, since the drag on it had only two settings – off and on. (Inside HInt; Orvis has a long term problem with drags on that reel.) My initial review of the reel was positive even if there were some obvious misgivings about the finish of the reel (visual).

Then, out of nowhere, I was fishing with it one day and had been fishing for hours, and I went to strip out more line or reel in, and the line was behind the top post of the frame. I thought I had just neglected to pay attention, popped off the spool, brought the line back under the post and kept fishing. I was at about the 75 foot range, so there was a lot of commotion going on when it happened again. This time, I started thinking I must be losing it; how could I Houdini the line from around the spool having it come out of the back of the reel again? I stared and stared at the reel, and it never told me how it did that trick. Maybe I was being visited by supernatural fly casters.

Fast forward to the next time I was fishing with the TFO Prism Machined aluminum reel, and I was again stripping out line, way back into the running line at about 85 feet, and I heard a sound .. a “ting” for lack of a better term. I looked down, and the line was around back again. Now at least I knew I wasn’t crazy. I reeled in a little, left the drag set pretty high and stripped out some line again. “Ting.” The line was slipping in between the spool and the top post of the frame.

I am no Great Brown Fisherman, but imagine if that fish, THE FISH, came along and decided to take your fly for a ride with your line wrapped around the back of the reel and hugging the reel seat! What we have here is a sudden death experience. In this case, a sudden reel death experience.

Today, I stopped back by the TFO warehouse in Dallas to see if I could run this problem by the guys, but they are apparently on a junket to Arkansas. I managed to gain the confidence of one of the guys in the office enough to get back into the warehouse and strip out some line with the reel attached to the butt of my Clouser rod. Once I was into the running line, with the drag set, “ting.” He was … amazed.

So we replaced the reel and I tried the same micro maneuver again. This time the reel held, and the line did not pass through the eye of a needle). Of course the reel looks great, and feels great, but only time will tell just how great the new reel works. AND, that’s why Texas Fly Caster is here – to bring you all the information that fits in print, no, no, to bring you all that’s fit to print. If anyone wants to take me fishing somewhere I can use a massive TFO Prism reel and Clouser eight weight rod, just send me a message, plane ticket and pocket change, and we can finish this review under real water conditions.

I am hopeful that I only need go a little way down the road to put this line on some deep running hybrids, or first cool front freshwater redfish at Fairfield.

In all seriousness, the problem I had with this reel has lead directly to research and discussion about aluminum, yes aluminum. We are going to go into great detail about what makes aluminum aluminum, and the aluminum used for machined and cast reels. Some of the preliminary answers may surprise you, no, they will surprise you.

At this writing, I am convinced I am the only person who owns a (my second now) TFO Prism Machined aluminum reel, but if any readers have one of these, and have anything to say about their performance, inquiring minds always want to know.

*our hands = a cadre of fly fishers of varying skills and experience waiting to fondle equipment at a moment’s notice, use and abuse it, and then report back to me with brown bags over their heads therefore maintaining professional and personal relationships with industry moguls.