Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cool New Products

This time of the year is one of my favorite times as a fly shop owner. It is the time of the year when new products are unveiled from manufacturers and distributors from around the world. Just as every year, there are quite a few items that stand alone in their respective categories- MooseKnuckle Lanyards, Sculpin Helmets, and the Buff Bugslinger UV Buff to name a few.

As a tier, I am most intrigued by the J:sonSweden System which was designed and developed by Claes Johansson from Sweden. Some may say that his system is crossing the line between tying flies and creating lures but Id have to say PHOOEY. Synthetic materials are synthetic materials and natural materials are natural materials. Fly tying is about creating so it shouldn't matter what we use as long as we sit at the tying bench and create with tying tools, thread and the necessary materials.

Once again, what is a purist? I guess I'm a purist in my own right but my school of purist thought is that anglers and tiers can do what they want if it gives them pleasure and remains within the bounds of the law. After all, we all participate in the wonderful world of fishing and tying because it makes up part of our soul. One technique isn't better than another. All that matters is that we all reach a sense of individual satisfaction and gratification, and we're all comfortable with the way we achieved those feelings.

The J:son System is really cool. Tiers can now create ultra realistic dry flies, emergers, pupae, nymphs and larva without having to spend a ton of time doing it.

The wing and wing pad burners are brilliantly designed from stainless steel and the detached body pins aren't too shabby either.

Click here to check out the J:son System in detail. 

Click here to find free step by steps. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Sight fishing to large trout (or any fish for that matter) is one of the situations that I live for. The video below is a moment that is now in my permanent memory bank. These are the moments that I reminisce on for a long time.

Note: I eventually landed the fish and she was around 24 inches in length. Sorry for the bad camera work. I was holding the camera with my left hand and the rod in my right hand. Time for a headcam!

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Daily Fluff

I find myself sitting at the bench on a daily basis (sometimes for 2 hours, sometimes for 6 but Im usually somewhere in the vicinity). Here is my Daily Fluff for the day.

hook: Daiichi 1750
tail: Mottlebou
body: Mottlebou spun up in a dubbing loop and palmered
pec fins: Grouse Rump
wing: Grizzly Marabou (Golden)
head: Skulpin Skull

Note: I have been fortunate enough to field test the Skulpin Skulls before their unveiling this week at the AFFTA show.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dog Days Trout

This past Friday, I went to Little River (Virginia) for a morning of angling recon and had little idea of what to expect. We've had an extremely hot summer so I assumed water temps would be too warm for a productive day of fishing. Boy..... was I wrong. Morning air temps were in the low 60's and water temps followed suit. Typically, summer water temps and nighttime temps seem to correspond to one another in many of the mountain streams of Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina (other than the tailraces). Also, keep in mind, the stretch of water I was fishing is only 7 miles from where 3 aquifers emerge from the ground. As a result, water temps stay relatively cool in comparison to many of other streams in the area. This is one situation to focus on if you decide to go trout fishing during the "dog days" of summer. 

I started out with a deep nymphing rig and quickly changed to a giant hopper and nymph/squirmy dropper rig. The fishing was red hot from the start. Just like summers past, the fish rose to the surface (beginning around 10am), where they held and picked off mostly any terrestrial that came across their path. I have discovered that this conditioned response seems to coincide with the rising decibels of the daily song of hoppers, katydids and other singing terrestrials.

I flailed on several large fish but landed many others. All in all, it was a great day of angling. The Donkey Kong Hopper, Fat Albert, Hetero-genius Nymph and Squirmy Wormie were the flies of the day. Below is a short video of what went on throughout the morning.

Hint: Be sure to cast in (and follow) the shade/sun lines. Trout will use these lines as perceived cover and feel comfortable enough to use them as feeding lanes. Dont look for fish, look for tails, heads, and flash/movement. Often times, there is too much glare in these areas to spot fish effectively but that is definitely where the fish like to hold.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Featured Fly

Hise's Ooey Gooey Grub

Simply put, it's a grub (and a very easy one to tie). Ooey Gooey Grub™ follows the old adage, "simple yet effective." The previous 8 years, it has been one of the best selling patterns of all those created by those tiers that are part of the Orvis Fly Design Team. Created and tied by Dave Hise- 2005 Orvis Fly Tier of the Year, Orvis Fly Designer (since 1997), 2011 Orvis Endorsed Guide of the Year Runner-Up.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Nothing like a true ass beating early in the morn. Join Casters Fly Shop this fall as we travel to West Michigan for our bi-annual steelhead trip.


Fly of the Month

Hise's Hot Spot Hetero-genius™ 

The hetero-genius nymph pattern provides a realistic design with a hint of flash and color.

I have fished this nymph pattern, religiously, since the early 90's and it has fooled trout in streams throughout the world. Skeptics say it slays the "stockers", which is true. However, I've had a multitude of testimonials from anglers who have used it with great success in locales like New Zealand, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Argentina, Germany, California, Canada, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, you name it.

Why is it so productive? It is a great searching nymph but also shows characteristics of a multitude of mayfly and caddis species. The "hot spot" seems to be a trigger and there are a various theories of why that is. Consider this pattern the represent all nymph of all represent all nymphs. High stick nymph it or fish it under an indicator for the best results. Blue, yellow, chartreuse, hot orange, or hot pink hot spots have been the most productive; particularly hot orange and yellow.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Multiple Meanings.....

I have a Mooseknuckle.

Follow Mooseknuckle Lanyards

Daily Drivel

To nymph or not to nymph? That is the question. Sure, we all enjoy catching trout on the surface on a dry fly but that isn't a reality most of the time. As trout fisherman, our best line of attack is to abide by the old adage that trout feed under the surface roughly 90% of the time throughout their life. Sure.... we have the opportunity to catch fish on the surface that other 10% but that doesn't seem like good odds. Go with the percentages. Fish nymphs, pupae or emergers a majority of the time and your fish hooking rate will increase dramatically. Putting the fish in the net is another topic.

8lb. 'bow taken on a size 16 Hetero-Genius nymph

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Casters Fall Steelhead Trip- Nov. 19-22

Dont miss out. Book Now!

Join us as we travel to western Michigan, where we will be fishing one of the finest steelhead waters in the world, the Mighty Muskegon River. Spey and traditional fly fishing gear will be used to employ various techniques; which include indicator nymphing, bottom bouncing, and/or swinging streamers. The first 2 days we will be fishing from jet/drift boats with Gray Drake Outfitters. The third day we will be on our own (walk and wade). We will be staying at the Gray Drake/Trout and Eagle Lodge.

Steelies or "chromers", as they are affectionately known, are an exceptional fish. They are known to be extremely aggressive, consuming almost anything that comes across their path; sculpins, trout, and other forage fish are prime targets; as well as, many aquatic nymphs, larvae, crustaceans, and (of course) EGGS. The "fall" fish usually begin their migration out of the Great Lakes in October and the "spring" fish start making their move in late February in preparation for their annual spawning ritual. Middle November is historically "peak" for these rockets. Fall steelhead are one of the hardest fighting fish in freshwater. They are amazingly acrobatic, employing cork screws, alligator rolls, high flying aerials, and reverse somersaults. They are fired up on "egg energy". In fact, their migration is triggered by several factors but the main attraction is the smorgasbord of food that the spawning salmon are offering as tablefare. Join in on the excitement and possibly catch the fish of a lifetime!

Only 3 spots are left. A deposit of $250 is required ASAP. 
  • The price for 2 days of guided fishing and 3 nights of lodging is $650.
  • The 3rd angling day is a FREE DAY wading on one of the areas tributaries.
  • Be sure to bring along a trout outfit and a steelhead oufit along with the appropriate terminal tackle.
  • Receive 15% off all clothing and gear if you decide to join us on this trip.
  • Airfare, transportation, gratuities, booze, and meals are additional expenses.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Burrowing Mayflies Abound

Hise's Burrowing Mayfly Nymphs and Nymph-o-Minnow-ac are in the house.

New and Improved

Check out the updated version of  the Casters Fly Shop Website. You'll find fly tying instructional videos and step by steps, river reports, USGS stream flow data, state fishing license information, articles, hatch charts, knot tying instruction, fish porn, and much more. Its a barn burner of a site.

Also, has been entirely updated. Check out the full selection of Orvis rods, reels, waders, packs, apparel, and tools and accessories; plus, dont forget the off the hook selection of fly tying tools and materials. We offer one of the most extensive fly tying product lines available. You'll find the bread and butter products but we also pride ourselves in having a great selection of hard to find and unusual materials. Sorry, the hair and jewelry artisans have cleaned out the supply of genetic hackle so dont expect to find any until the end of the year :-(

FREE US SHIPPING and NO SALES TAX (for orders placed and shipped outside of North Carolina)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

July FREE Fly Line Promo

 Have you been thinking about a new fly reel but haven't been able to seal the deal for one reason or another? Well, here is your chance to get the best bang for your buck. Casters Fly Shop and Orvis are offering FREE Orvis Wonderline with the purchase of an Orvis Mirage, Hydros Large Arbor, or Access Mid Arbor fly reel.

To sweeten the deal even more, Casters Fly Shop is also offering FREE SHIPPING to the lower 48 states. Up to a $79 value plus free shipping.

Link to Casters Online Fly Shop
Link to the NEW Casters Online Fly Shop

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fly Tyers From Across The Globe

The Fly Tyers From Across The Globe section of the Casters Online Fly Shop is a masterpiece in the making. The main goal of this section is to help promote the masterful talents of some of the superb tyers/anglers from around the world. All of these individuals, in my opinion, are doing really cool and innovative work at the bench. I would like to broaden this section as much as possible so tyers/anglers have a "hub" for locating such talents. So far, we are blessed to have the flies from such talents as Andres Touceda, Fred Hannie, April Vokey, Dave Hise, Matt Erny, Nick Garlock, Chris Bentley, Al Ritt, Ulf Hagstrom, Tyler Legg, Pat Cohen, Luke Fastabend, Chris Soule, Michael Schmidt (and hopefully more to come). Please show your support and view their bios and innovative patterns.

Fly Tyers From Across the Globe

Monday, March 21, 2011

Current Fishing Report

Wellllll...... pretty tough fishing this weekend. High and milky water on all the streams I frequent. Saw tiny winter blacks in the morning, early black stones in the early afternoon, and small crane flies and tan caddis in the afternoon. High 40 to low 50 degree water.

Saturday we only put 4 fish in the net and probably missed a few more. White streamers were the ticket (woolly buggers, little rascals, etc.). Sunday was an even tougher day. Peter and his brother, John, jumped 3 fish the entire day. Again, white streamers were the ticket. By 5pm, we still hadn't put a fish in the net. 

It was now 5pm and the "skunk" seemed to be immanent. Then, all at once our luck changed. I was scanning a particular run that has been a good producer for me through the years. The water had cleared a bit but was still quite murky; therefore, I could make out shapes and objects but it was still difficult to differentiate snags and rocks from fish. At one point, I noticed a rather large figure in the milky water that I hadn't seen in the past but also figured the prolonged high water that we've experienced this late winter may have moved things around a bit. 

As a last ditch effort, I had the guys throw some casts in the run while still eying the dark shape I had spotted. Roughly 10 casts later, the object turned and I yelled "set the hook." The fight was on. The end result is below (this is the best pic we got; even the cameraman was trembling). 

The moral to the story is, never give up until its over :-)  

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hise's Hemo-Goblin Bloodworm Step By Step

Hise's CarpNasty Step By Step

Hise's CarpNasty was designed by Dave Hise some 15 years ago and has evolved since that point. It was designed as an impressionistic pattern to represent various small critters that many freshwater fish consume; carp and smallies particularly like it. It can also be used for various saltwater species, particularly redfish (use a stainless steel hook).

Hise's CarpNasty

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fly of the Week

Along with spring comes high, murky water which results from snow melt, thawing of the ground, and torrential rains. Prepare yourself now and fill your streamer box with your favorite patterns.

Big fish are always on the prowl during high water periods, looking for unsuspecting prey which are disoriented from the heavier flows and murky conditions. A perfect recipe for the giant, ambush predator to find a meal. Tans, browns, and creams tend to blend in to the stain of the water so use dark and/or bright patterns; white, black, yellow, pink, and blue hues are all excellent choices. I like patterns that have the silhouette of the prey in the area I am fishing in. Below is one of my favorite patterns for such conditions; however, it is also quite productive in clear water situations, as well.

hook: Orvis 8808
tail: crosscut rabbit (white)
underbody: UV Polar Chenille (red)
undercollar: Emulator Flash (pearl)
wing: Hareline Tiger Barred Rabbit 1/4"
collar: Hareline 2-Tone Rabbit
head: Flymen Fish Skull

Link to Casters Fly Shop Website

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Is it a nymph or a minnow? Nymph-o-Minnow-ac

In actuality, it doesn't really matter what this pattern represents since the trout, bass, and steelhead love it. Nymph-o-Minnow-ac was designed to be suggestive of a wide array of aquatic life from small forage fish to larger mayfly nymphs (Hexagenia, Litobrancha, Ephemerra, etc.). The articulated feature gives this pattern unparalleled action and flutter. Give one a go!


Rear Hook:
tail- griz marabou
overbody- griz marabou
underbody- nymph skin
collar- pheasant aftershaft

Front Hook:
top junction- opossum
bottom junction- cream opossum
hackle- grouse rump
dubbing- UV lt. yellow Ice Dub
wing- opossum
eyes- mottled bead chain
bullethead- Haree Ice Dub
Casters Online Fly Shop- Nymph-o-Minnow-ac