596 | Predator on the Fly: Mako Shark Fly Fishing with Conway Bowman

Mako Shark Fly Fishing

Try to imagine what a 200-pound shark hooked up on the end of your fly rod and jumping 20 feet out of the water would feel like. Hooking sharks on the fly is what today’s guest specializes in.

In this episode, Conway Bowman is going to take us into his wild world of mako shark fly fishing. Find out where to find these fish, how to pop your fly to these giants, and the thrilling experience of fighting a top predator on a fly rod.

Show Notes with Conway Bowman on Mako Shark Fly Fishing. Hit play below! 👇🏻

 

 

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)

 

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Mako Shark Fly Fishing

Episode Chapters with Conway Bowman on Mako Shark Fly Fishing


2:00 – Conway Bowman’s passion for fishing began at a young age. He grew up around the water and spent summers in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. His journey into fly fishing for Mako Sharks began when a friend suggested it, leading Conway to explore offshore waters until he finally hooked his first Mako.

7:55 – Despite not seeing himself as a rockstar in fly fishing, Conway’s focus on targeting Mako Sharks has made him a recognized figure due to his unique approach and expertise.

Mako Shark Fly Fishing
https://www.instagram.com/conwaybowman

The World of Mako Shark Fly Fishing

8:60 – Between 2007 and 2013, the demand for Mako Shark fly fishing surged, leading Conway to expand his operation and hire additional guides.

At one point, there were a few guides besides Conway involved in Mako Shark fly fishing, but due to the physical demands and logistical challenges, he became the primary figure in the field.

Mako Shark Fly Fishing
https://www.instagram.com/conwaybowman

The Mako Shark: The Ultimate Game Fish

Makos are true predators, actively tracking and attacking live prey, which adds to the thrill of targeting them on the fly. They are known for their acrobatics, being the only sharks that can jump up to 20 feet out of the water.

18:00 – Depending on the size, landing a Mako shark can range from 15 minutes to over three hours. When landing, a release stick is used to safely handle the fish, applying pressure to release them.

Mako Shark Fly Fishing
Photo via https://conwaybowman.com/

24:00 – Conway primarily uses poppers when fly fishing for Makos. Other species like leopard sharks and blue sharks can also be targeted with poppers, especially off the beach for leopard sharks.

Mako Shark Life History

26:00 –  Mako Sharks typically arrive in Southern California around May to breed, with large females giving birth to 5-10 live pups.

Mako Shark Fly Fishing

Pups stay in the safer Southern California waters until they’re a few hundred pounds, feeding on smaller fish like tunas and barracudas. As they grow to 300-400 pounds, their diet shifts to larger prey like seals and sea lions.

During colder months, Makos migrate, possibly to regions of Mexico, before returning in waves from April to November, with peak presence from June to August

Best Time to Visit for Mako Shark Fly Fishing

28:22 – Conway recommends mid-May through August and then October through November for Mako Shark fly fishing in Southern California. July is considered prime time for Mako Shark fishing.

Mako Shark Fly Fishing

Gear for Mako Shark Fishing

Conway uses specialized equipment tailored for handling these powerful predators. Here’s a breakdown of the gear he uses:

  • Rod: Starts with a 14-weight rod and then uses custom-made one-piece rods for larger Makos above 200 pounds.
  • Reels: Various big game reels suitable for marlin or tuna fishing, with 800 yards of backing.
  • Casting Technique: Uses an anchor cast technique, avoiding false casts, to efficiently get the fly from point A to point B within 30 feet.
  • Fly Design: Employs a tube fly that slides up and down the leader, ensuring easy release and retrieval without leaving a big hook hanging from the shark’s mouth.

Mako Shark Fly Fishing

Follow Conway on Instagram: @conwaybowman

Check out their website at ConwayBowman.com

 

Related Podcast Episodes

594 | Bonefish, Tarpon, and Permit Habitat Conservation with Mark Rehbein of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below



Mako Shark Fly Fishing

Conclusion with Conway Bowman on Mako Shark Fly Fishing

That was a nice quick one.  I’m excited to learn more about this. If you are interested in doing this trip, you can send an email. And if we get enough interest, we can potentially put together a hosted trip down there.

In the Bucket #4 | Tales from Behind the Lens: Dano and Darcy on Snowboarding, Fly Fishing, and the Art of Photography

Join us in this episode of In the Bucket where Dano Pendygrasse and Darcy Bacha, renowned snowboarding photographers, dive into the vibrant world of fly fishing through their lenses. Discover how their decades of experience in snowboarding have shaped their approach to capturing the serene beauty of fly fishing. Dano and Darcy discuss the transition from the adrenaline of snowboarding shoots to the tranquil riversides, reflecting on the artistry and patience required in both disciplines. They share personal stories and professional insights on making passions into careers, the challenges of photography in extreme conditions, and the unexpected joys of exploring new waters. Whether you’re a fan of their snowboarding work or looking to improve your fishing photography skills, this episode offers a unique perspective on embracing change and finding new passions.


Show Notes with Dano Pendygrasse and Darcy Bacha. Hit play below! 👇🏻

 

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Episode Chapters

  1. (0:00:05) – Introduction to Guests – Introduction of Dano Pendygrasse and Darcy Bacha, discussing their backgrounds as iconic snowboarding photographers who have transitioned into the realm of fly fishing photography.
  2. (0:05:22) – The Link Between Snowboarding and Fly Fishing – Exploring how skills and experiences from snowboarding photography have influenced their approach to capturing the essence of fly fishing.
  3. (0:14:39) – The Shift from Snowboarding to Fishing – Darcy and Dano discuss their personal reasons for shifting their focus from the dynamic world of snowboarding to the more serene and reflective activity of fly fishing.
  4. (0:22:10) – Photographic Techniques in Extreme Conditions – Techniques and challenges faced while photographing in various environmental conditions, from icy mountains to humid riverbanks.
  5. (0:30:45) – Balancing Passion and Work – A discussion on the importance of maintaining passion in your work and the balance between professional photography and personal fishing time.
  6. (0:41:33) – The Evolution of Photography Gear – Insight into the evolution of photography equipment over the years and how advances have affected their work in both snowboarding and fishing photography.
  7. (0:51:17) – Stories from the Field – Engaging stories from their careers that highlight unexpected moments and the personal growth they experienced through their professional journeys.
  8. (1:03:50) – Future of Photography with AI and Technology – A conversation about the potential impacts of AI on professional photography and their views on the future of capturing images in natural environments.
  9. (1:15:28) – Advice for Aspiring Photographers – Practical advice for up-and-coming photographers on how to succeed in the competitive field of sports and outdoor photography.
  10. (1:27:45) – Closing Thoughts – Final thoughts and reflections on the importance of following your passions, whether in the wilds of nature or through the lens of a camera.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Explore diverse environments. Exploring different fishing locations can not only improve your skills but also renew your passion for fly fishing. Changing scenery adds excitement and new challenges to conquer.
  2. Leverage photography skills. Utilize photography to enhance your fishing experience. Capturing moments on the river can help you observe natural patterns and details you might otherwise miss.
  3. Adopt new technologies. Stay updated with the latest gear and technology to enhance both your fishing and photographic exploits. New tools can offer unexpected advantages in traditional practices.
  4. Embrace the offseason. Use the offseason to develop skills or explore related interests, like photography, which can enhance your appreciation and understanding of fly fishing landscapes.
  5. Balance passion with professionalism. If you’re considering turning a passion into a profession, maintain a balance to keep your passion alive. Keep certain aspects purely for enjoyment to prevent burnout.
  6. Experiment with different techniques. Whether it’s a new fishing technique or a different photographic style, experimentation can lead to personal growth and innovation in your approach to fly fishing.
  7. Connect with the community. Engage with other anglers and photographers. Sharing experiences and tips can lead to new insights and enhance your enjoyment of fly fishing and photography.
  8. Document your journeys. Keep a record of your fishing trips with notes and photos. This not only preserves memories but also helps you track patterns and improve over time.
  9. Prioritize learning over equipment. Focus on enhancing your skills rather than solely investing in high-end gear. The best equipment won’t replace the knowledge gained from experience.
  10. Seek inspiration from other fields. Look for inspiration in unrelated fields to bring fresh perspectives to your fly fishing practices. Cross-pollination of ideas can lead to unique and effective techniques.


Follow them on Instagram 👇🏻

Dano 👉🏻 @danopendygrasse

Darcy 👉🏻 @bacha.photo

Website 👇🏻

DanoPendygrasse.store

Bacha.Photo


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In The Bucket #3 | Steelhead Secrets: Insights from Pacific Northwest Guides with Dax Messett and Scott Baker McGarva

Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below


Conclusion

In this episode of In The Bucket, Dano and Darcy, both legends in the world of snowboarding photography, delve into their seamless transition into the art of fly fishing photography. Sharing captivating stories from their careers, they draw fascinating parallels between capturing the extreme elements of snowboarding and the serene moments of fly fishing. Their journey underscores a broader narrative about following one’s passion and the continuous learning and adaptation that it entails. Dano and Darcy’s insights not only illuminate their professional evolution but also serve as an inspiration for anyone looking to bridge their professional skills with personal passions, highlighting the importance of balance, innovation, and the joy of discovery in both fields. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast or an avid angler, this episode offers valuable lessons on integrating your interests to enrich your professional and personal life.

594 | Bonefish, Tarpon, and Permit Habitat Conservation with Mark Rehbein of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to reel in a massive tarpon? Or perhaps you’re curious about the critical factors in preserving bonefish, tarpon, and permit populations?

Today, we dive deep into conservation with Mark Rehbein from the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. Join us as we unravel why these three species are important for conservation efforts and explore the key habitats that need protection.

Show Notes with Mark Rehbein on  Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. Hit play below! 👇🏻

 

 

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)

 

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Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

Episode Chapters with Mark Rehbein on Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

2:40 – Mark Rehbein started fly fishing at a young age due to his father’s involvement in making Potomac River bass fishing videos. This project led them to connect with Lefty Kreh. His journey eventually took him to Alaska, where he lived in a tent and worked at a fly shop.

Mark Rehbein’s Journey to Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

09:25 – After following BTT for years and growing up with a love for bonefishing, Mark transitioned from a corporate job and internships to landing an entry-level events position at BTT.

Despite having no prior events experience, Mark embraced the challenge and grew within the organization, eventually becoming the Director of Development.

Mark also highlights two upcoming major events hosted by BTT: the Circle of Honor in May and the New York dinner in October, where notable individuals like Captain Rick Ruoff, Captain Joe Gonzalez, and Travis Holeman will be honored.

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust
Photo via https://www.instagram.com/saltwater_bae/

Bonefish, Tarpon, and Permit Conservation Efforts

19:38 –  BTT focuses on the conservation of bonefish, tarpon, and permits. These species are crucial because protecting them also ensures the preservation of their habitats and benefits other marine life.

BTT’s initiatives involve extensive research, including tagging programs and mark-recapture studies, to gather essential data for informed conservation strategies.

The focus revolves around three key areas: habitat preservation, water quality improvement, and effective fisheries management.

“You gain credibility by the thimble full and lose it by the bucket full.” 

– Dr. Aaron Adams

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust
Photo via https://www.instagram.com/bonefishtarpontrust/

In places like the Florida Keys, BTT utilizes tournament catch records and collaborates with organizations like the IGFA, Lower Keys Guides Association, and Florida Keys Fishing Guides Association to track trends in tarpon encounters, releases, and jumps.

Life History of Tarpon

33:40 – Tarpons start with their offshore spawning in deep waters, where they release eggs that develop into Leptocephalus larvae. These larvae drift with ocean currents until they reach suitable habitats.

As juveniles, tarpon thrive in mangrove estuaries, where optimal habitat conditions support their growth and development. Tarpons can live up to 80 years and spawn multiple times.

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust
Photo via https://www.instagram.com/bonefishtarpontrust

The Importance of Mangroves 

45:37 – Mangroves serve as crucial habitats for various juvenile fish species. They provide protection, food sources, and growth opportunities. Mangroves also contribute to coastal resiliency and are essential for maintaining healthy ecosystems.

Lefty Kreh’s Legacy and One-Liners

53:35 – Mark shares anecdotes about Lefty Kreh’s humorous and multifaceted personality, highlighting his knack for memorable one-liners. Despite his fame as an angler, Lefty’s true legacy lies in his kindness, passion for fishing, and impact on those he encountered.

Mark reflects on the impact Lefty had on him and how he strives to uphold Lefty’s legacy by emulating his positive attitude and dedication to angling.

 


Follow Bonefish & Tarpon Trust on Instagram @bonefishtarpontrust

Visit their website: BonefishTarponTrust.org

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

Related Podcast Episodes

WFS 474 – Lords of the Fly with Monte Burke – Homosassa, Tarpon Fishing, Nick Saban

Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below


Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

Conclusion with Mark Rehbein on Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

Mark Rehbein really brings the excitement of fishing and conservation to life in this episode. He dives deep into the crucial work being done at Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, highlighting the importance of habitat restoration, the fascinating life cycle of tarpon, and the vital role of mangroves in coastal ecosystems.

And those Lefty stories? Pure gold! They remind us all of the impact a passionate angler can have on our love for fishing and preserving our beautiful environment. Here’s to more adventures and conservation wins ahead!

593 | Fly Fishing Belize with Damien Nurre – Blue Horizon Lodge, Belize School, Lincoln Westby

Photo via: https://www.instagram.com/bluehorizonfly

Join us as we dive deep into fly fishing Belize with Damien Nurre, the guiding force behind Blue Horizon Lodge, renowned for its world-class fly fishing and unbeatable local guides. Damien shares his transformation from a snowboarding enthusiast to a fly fishing guide and lodge manager in one of the most coveted angling destinations on the planet.

This episode is a treasure trove for fly anglers dreaming of the ultimate Grand Slam, offering insider tips on tackling Belize’s elusive permit, bonefish, and tarpon. Whether you’re plotting your next fishing adventure, Damien’s insights and stories will transport you to the abundant waters of Belize, promising an experience you won’t want to miss.


Show Notes with Damien Nurre on Fly Fishing Belize. Hit play below! 👇🏻

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fly fishing belize

Episode Chapters with Damien Nurre on Fly Fishing Belize

1:35 – Damien Nurre shares his journey from being a snowboarding enthusiast in the Midwest with no knowledge of fly fishing to becoming deeply involved in the sport. His curiosity was sparked at the University of Montana, where his roommate’s passion for fly fishing influenced him. Damien’s first fly fishing experience was on the Bitterroot River, and despite only catching one fish, he was fascinated by the process.

This interest led him to become a fly fishing guide in Oregon, manage a lodge, and eventually move to Belize to work at Turneffe Flats, focusing on managing and running the fishing program. Later, he was approached by the parent company of Blue Horizon Lodge to evaluate the lodge’s business performance. After a thorough assessment, he was asked to manage Blue Horizon and other lodges in Southern Belize since 2018.

5:43 – He details his progression into guiding on the Deschutes River, starting by purchasing an outfitting business from Num, alongside Chris O’Donnell. After parting ways with O’Donnell, Damien partnered with Full Line Field Outfitters, where he took on a significant role. Eventually, he seized an opportunity to buy a property and launch his own business, Deep Canyon Outfitters, focusing primarily on trout fishing camp trips along the upper Deschutes and steelhead fishing in the fall.

7:03 – He shares his experiences when he joined Blue Horizon, particularly focusing on Lincoln Westby, a well-known and elderly gentleman associated with the lodge. Despite having heard negative opinions about Lincoln from competitors and facing initial apprehension, Damien’s interaction with Lincoln completely changed his perspective.

fly fishing belize
Photo via: https://bluehorizonbelize.com/team

9:19 – We dig into the unique aspects of Blue Horizon Lodge, particularly emphasizing its exceptional guide staff. Damien highlights that, unlike other fishing lodges, their guides share meals and happy hour with guests, fostering a deeper connection beyond the fishing experience. If you also want to experience their top-notch guiding service, join our ongoing Belize School giveaway at wetflyswing.com/giveaway.

fly fishing belize

12:00 – Damien emphasizes that all their guides are local Belizeans. Belize has a unique regulation requiring tour guides to be naturalized citizens, which involves living in Belize for a calendar year and passing a comprehensive guide school course. Lincoln stands out at 83 for his enthusiasm and skill in guiding, despite having some health issues. Lincoln is portrayed as a mentor to younger guides, ensuring the continuation of quality guiding. Among the guides, Dan is highlighted as one of the top requested guides, having dedicated himself to fly fishing and becoming well-known in the community for his expertise, especially in catching permits.

fly fishing Belize
“BH Guide Dan knows where to find the permit!” (Photo via: https://www.facebook.com/bluehorizonfly)
fly fishing belize
Photo via: https://www.facebook.com/bluehorizonfly

18:06 – We talk about the unique fishing opportunities at Blue Horizon, focusing on catching permits. Damien explains that while permits are universally challenging to catch, Blue Horizon offers a distinct advantage due to the consistency and number of opportunities anglers get to catch them. On average, it’s realistic to expect about 10 shots at permit each day and more during good conditions. The fishery’s shallow waters make the experience visually exciting and more challenging, as permits in shallow waters tend to be more wary.

fly fishing belize
Photo via: https://www.instagram.com/bluehorizonfly

He also highlights the benefits of fishing during the summer months, noting that while the popular season starts in mid-February and goes through early June, the summer offers more solitude and less pressured fish, making it his favorite time to fish. Despite fewer anglers, the quality of fishing remains high, with a good chance of catching migratory tarpon in addition to permits. Bonefish are available year-round, providing a nearly guaranteed catch.

21:49 – Damien walks us through the logistics of visiting Blue Horizon Lodge, highlighting the lodge’s unique location and the journey to get there from the US. Travelers can fly directly to Belize City from several major US cities, then take a short commuter flight to Placencia, where a driver from Blue Horizon picks them up for a boat ride to the lodge. Their area is characterized by hard coral flats, deep channels, and abundant marine life, making it ideal for permit fishing and snorkeling.

Photo via: https://www.instagram.com/bluehorizonfly

26:05 – We talk about Damien’s experience working at Blue Horizon since 2018 and how it compares to his previous fishing activities in Oregon. Damien describes the fishing in Belize as significantly different, emphasizing it as more of a hunting game that requires stealth, precision, and understanding the cautious nature of fish like permit, which are notorious for inspecting flies closely before often rejecting them. Despite these challenges, Damien highlights the similarities between the two experiences, notably the joy of being immersed in nature and escaping the routine of daily life.

27:30 – Regarding fishing opportunities during August, Damien mentions a high chance of catching the grand slam—permit, tarpon, and bonefish—due to the unique conditions of the summer months. He explains that the summer offers less pressured fish and more solitary experiences, unlike the busier seasons. Mornings might start with tarpon fishing near the lodge, followed by targeting permit, and ending with bonefish, generally considered the easiest of the three to catch. Damien’s enthusiasm for summer fishing underscores the potential for excitement and success in Belize’s diverse and vibrant fishery.

fly fishing belize
Photo via: https://www.facebook.com/bluehorizonfly

29:49 – He tells us the criteria for achieving a Grand Slam in Belize’s fly fishing scene, clarifying that it involves catching three out of four specific species—bonefish, permit, tarpon, and snook—in a single day. Catching all four qualifies as a Super Slam, a feat recently accomplished by an angler at Blue Horizon. He also provides insight into the operations and daily routines at the lodge, located on Northeast Key, where guides and guests coordinate based on tidal conditions to plan their fishing outings.

31:32 – Damien explains that the temperature around the ocean in Belize typically stays around 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. He points out that May is the hottest month due to lower wind activity and being the driest month. While temperatures during fishing can get up to 90 degrees, exceeding that is rare.

32:50 – He describes Blue Horizon Lodge as an intimate and friendly place, ideal for fishing vacations with friends. The lodge has five guestrooms accommodating up to ten guests, featuring full-size beds, air conditioning, private bathrooms, and island-wide Wi-Fi, ensuring connectivity throughout.

fly fishing belize
Photo via: https://www.facebook.com/bluehorizonfly

36:49 – Damien offers several key tips for anglers heading to Belize, especially those who aim to catch permit, a notoriously challenging species. He emphasizes the importance of casting the fly as close to the fish as possible, aiming for it to land in the fish’s line of sight rather than far ahead of it. Damien notes that direct casting might seem counterintuitive as it could spook the fish, but it often results in a hookup. He advises against panicking if the fish is spooked, suggesting instead to let the fly sit, as the fish might return to its original spot.

Another crucial tip is about the stripping rate; slow and short strips are more effective, especially when using crab flies, mimicking natural prey behavior. Damien highlights that stopping the fly’s movement altogether can be a successful strategy to entice a bite, as it imitates a crab trying to hide. These strategies are grounded in understanding the behavior of the target species and adapting techniques to mimic natural prey movements accurately.

44:28 – He tells us the types of flies that are effective for permit fishing at Blue Horizon, mentioning that while each guide has their favorites, certain flies are consistently preferred, such as the Bauer’s Flats Crabs, Camo Crabs from S.S. Flies, and Contraband Crabs. You can check out their recommended fishing gear and equipment here.

fly fishing belize
“Matching the hatch, Belizean style. Does anybody know this crab pattern?” (Photo via: https://www.facebook.com/bluehorizonfly)

46:12 – He encourages exploring the Belize mainland, citing Placencia Village for its accessibility and vibrant community, the Cayo District for its jungle adventures, and the ATM Cave for its historical and adventurous appeal. He suggests Belize as a great destination for families, offering a range of activities beyond fishing, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and relaxing on the beach. With options to stay in various family-friendly resorts operated by Blue Horizon’s parent company, visitors can combine fishing expeditions with family vacations, ensuring a comprehensive experience of Belize’s diverse attractions.

53:17 – He compares Turneffe Flats to Blue Horizon, highlighting that the former is located about 30 miles off the coast of Belize City and offers a different fishery, with a stronger focus on bonefish and good opportunities for permit fishing. Tarpon fishing is available year-round, similar to Blue Horizon, but the best tarpon fishing occurs in summer.

Photo via: https://www.facebook.com/turneffeflats

54:18 – In the conservation segment, Damien praises Craig Hayes, the owner of Turneffe Flats, for his significant contributions to conservation in Belize, more so than any NGO according to Damien. Hayes was instrumental in enacting catch-and-release laws and played a pivotal role in banning gillnets in Belize, known for their indiscriminate impact on marine life. The ban, established in the fall of 2020, allows guides and the fisheries department to remove gillnets found in the water. Damien notes that some guides take the initiative to destroy gillnets they encounter, though this action carries risks.


You can find them on Instagram @BlueHorizonFly.

Facebook at Blue Horizon Belize: Fly Fishing


Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below




fly fishing belize

Conclusion with Damien Nurre on Fly Fishing Belize

In our chat with Damien Nurre, we uncovered the allure of Belize as a premier fly fishing destination, celebrated for its vibrant culture, diverse ecosystems, and exceptional fishing opportunities. Damien shared insights into the lodge’s history, its commitment to conservation, and the unique aspects that set Blue Horizon apart, such as the legendary guides and their intimate knowledge of the waters.

As we wrap up, we’re thrilled to invite you to participate in our online giveaway. This is your chance to win a spot at our upcoming Belize School, along with an assortment of gear to ensure you’re fully equipped for the experience. Imagine yourself casting in crystal-clear waters, guided by the expertise of local legends, and perhaps even achieving the coveted grand slam. Don’t let this opportunity slip by—join us in celebrating Belize’s rich fly fishing heritage and making unforgettable memories at Blue Horizon Lodge. Visit wetflyswing.com/giveaway to enter!

Traveled #17 | The South Fork Experience with Oliver White: Big Browns, Iconic Hatches, and a Lodge Like No Other

south fork lodge

In this episode of Traveled, we journey with Oliver White to the breathtaking South Fork Lodge in Eastern Idaho, where the legacy of fly fishing is as deep as the river’s own stories. From revealing why celebrities like Jimmy Kimmel and Huey Lewis are drawn to the serenity and challenge of the South Fork, to exploring how the lodge stands as a beacon of conservation and community after being rebuilt from nature’s wrath, Oliver opens up about the transformative power of connecting with nature through fly fishing. We talk about the tales of big Browns, the perfect timing for fly hatches, and the unique blend of luxury and wilderness that makes South Fork Lodge a must-visit destination. Whether you’re an avid angler or someone curious about the lure of fly fishing, this episode promises insights into making your next fishing trip unforgettable, underscored by Oliver’s passion for sustainable angling and the pursuit of the catch.


Show Notes with Oliver White. Hit play below! 👇🏻

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)

 

Sponsors and Podcast Updates

south fork lodge
Oliver White

Episode Chapters and Timestamps:

[01:24] – Celebrity Anglers and Lodge History:
Discussion of celebrities like Huey Lewis and their involvement in the lodge’s history and fishing culture.

 

[03:09] – Oliver’s Transition from Bahamas to Idaho:
Oliver talks about his move and the personal and professional motivations behind it.

 

[03:32] – Choosing South Fork for the Lodge:
Reasons behind selecting South Fork for the lodge location, focusing on its geographic and environmental attributes.

 

[06:14] – Ecosystem and Fishing Season Start:
Details on the prolific insect life at South Fork and the beginning of the fishing season in May.

 

[07:56] – Fishing in High Water Conditions:
Explanation of how the lodge manages fishing activities during various water flow conditions.

 

[10:56] – Structure of Fishing Trips:
Overview of the typical trip duration and daily activities during a stay at the lodge.

 

[12:10] – Lodge Amenities and Hospitality:
Description of the accommodations and hospitality services that set the lodge apart.

south fork lodge

south fork lodge

[22:42] – Streamer Fishing Techniques:
Discussion on different techniques and strategies for successful streamer fishing.

 

[24:22] – Social Aspects and Community at the Lodge:
How the lodge fosters a community environment among guests and staff.

 

[30:26] – Jimmy Kimmel’s Involvement:
Oliver discusses Jimmy Kimmel’s partnership in the lodge and his passion for fishing.

 

[33:19] – Huey Lewis’s Influence on Fishing Preferences:
Insights into Huey Lewis’s impact on fishing culture and his preferences for dry fly fishing.

 

[36:09] – IndiFly Conservation Efforts:
Oliver highlights the work of IndiFly in promoting sustainable fishing practices and supporting indigenous communities.

[41:04] – Closing Thoughts on Trip Expectations:
Final discussion on managing guest expectations and ensuring a relaxing and fulfilling fishing experience.

 

[43:08] – Conservation Partnerships:
Oliver mentions key conservation groups the lodge partners with to promote environmental stewardship.

 

[45:22] – Future of Fly Fishing and Conservation:
Reflections on the future challenges and opportunities in fly fishing and conservation efforts.

south fork lodge
Oliver White and Jimmy Kimmel at the South Fork Lodge
south fork lodge
Jimmy Kimmel

Key Takeaways:

  1. Visit during May: Experience less crowded waters and the chance for big Browns before the runoff. It’s a prime time for anglers.
  2. Try different techniques: Whether you’re nipping, dry fly fishing, or streamer casting, the South Fork offers diverse opportunities to refine your skills.
  3. Focus on conservation: Understand the impact of your fishing practices on the environment and engage in sustainable angling to protect the waters you love.
  4. Learn from the experts: Leverage your time at the lodge to gain insights from seasoned guides, improving your technique and understanding of the river.
  5. Embrace the outdoors: Beyond fishing, immerse yourself in the natural beauty and tranquility of Eastern Idaho for a rejuvenating experience.
  6. Prepare for variability: Weather and water conditions can change; adapt your strategies and expectations to make the most of your trip.
  7. Engage with the community: Share stories, tips, and camaraderie with fellow anglers at the lodge to enhance your overall experience.
  8. Support local conservation efforts: Your visit contributes to the lodge’s commitment to preserving the pristine condition of the South Fork and its surroundings.
  9. Explore the region: Consider extending your stay to fish other legendary waters nearby, enriching your fly fishing journey.
  10. Reflect on the experience: Take time to appreciate the moments of connection with nature, the thrill of the catch, and the stories shared along the river.

south fork lodge

south fork lodge


Follow Oliver on Instagram 👉🏻 @oliverwhitefishing

Also South Fork Lodge 👉🏻 @southforklodge

Visit Oliver’s website at 👉🏻 OliverWhiteFishing.com

south fork

Book a trip with SouthForkLodge.com

south fork


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Related Episodes

WFS 342 – Indifly with Matt Shilling – Wind River Fly Fishing, Ecotourism, Native Guide Academy

Traveled #16 – Snake River Cutthroats with Dave Pace – East Idaho Fly Fishing Expo, Trout Unlimited, Idaho Falls

Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below


 

south fork lodge

Conclusion

Concluding this episode of “Traveled” with Oliver White, we traverse the captivating journey of fly fishing in the heart of Eastern Idaho, at the South Fork Lodge. Oliver shares his profound connection to the wilderness, from the clear, flowing waters teeming with trophy Browns to the luxurious, yet laid-back atmosphere of the lodge itself. His insights illuminate the essence of fly fishing—not just as a sport but as a way to forge deep connections with nature, foster community, and advocate for conservation. Through stories of resilience, celebrity anglers, and the allure of the great outdoors, this episode not only paints a picture of the idyllic fly fishing experience but also underscores the importance of sustainable practices and the preservation of natural beauty for future generations. Whether you’re an experienced angler or new to the sport, Oliver’s journey from the Bahamas to the South Fork, and his vision for a sustainable fishing future, are bound to inspire and inform.

591 | The Future of Drift Boats with Justin Waayenberg – Adipose Boatworks, Helena, Missouri River

drift boats

In this episode, we chat with Justin Waayenberg from Adipose Boatworks to delve into the groundbreaking world of resin infusion in drift boats, offering anglers the ultimate guide to navigating the transformative trends in boat durability and weight. As we unravel the secrets behind choosing the perfect drift boat for your adventures on the Missouri River and beyond, listeners are treated to invaluable safety tips, ensuring an unmatched fly fishing experience.

This episode promises to equip you with the knowledge and inspiration to take your fly fishing journey to new heights, all while emphasizing conservation and the deep-rooted passion that connects us to the rivers we cherish.


Show Notes with Justin Waayenberg on the Future of Drift Boats. Hit play below! 👇🏻

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)

 

Sponsors and Podcast Updates

 

drift boats

Episode Chapters with Justin Waayenberg on the Future of Drift Boats

3:05 – Justin discusses Adipose Boatworks’ dedication to producing high-quality, top-tier boats, comparing their brand’s quality to well-known companies. A significant focus of the discussion is on the adoption of resin infusion technology, a method that Adipose has been researching and perfecting for over three years. Additionally, he touches on the environmental considerations of their manufacturing process and how it compares to using materials like carbon fiber.

drift boats
The future is now. #resininfusion #adiposeboatworks #madeinmontana (Photo via: https://www.instagram.com/adiposeboatworks/)

14:37 – He talks about their range of models and the design philosophy behind them. Adipose offers three main models: the Flow Skiff, the Runoff, and the South Fork Skiff. The Flow Skiff, their flagship model, is designed for the specific needs of western Rocky Mountain rivers, offering stability, low draft, and maneuverability in shallow waters and windy conditions. It’s particularly suitable for fishing with three people, a common scenario among fly anglers.

drift boats
Photo via: https://adiposeboatworks.com

The Runoff model caters to those needing a boat that can handle bigger water and class three rapids, featuring a larger bow for more significant wave trains while maintaining maneuverability. Unlike traditional dory designs meant for navigating big rapids rather than fishing, Adipose’s designs aim to provide a versatile solution for anglers.

drift boats
Photo via: https://adiposeboatworks.com

The third model, the South Fork Skiff, is a traditional design dating back to the late ’80s, characterized by its flat bow (pram design) and low sides, making it ideal for two anglers. Despite not being a big seller, it has a cult following among those who appreciate its design for specific fishing conditions.

drift boats
Photo via: https://www.facebook.com/p/Adipose-Boatworks-100040565694229/

21:57 – Justin highlights the thoughtful design considerations that go into each model, such as optimizing space for gear storage, ensuring stability, and enhancing maneuverability. These skiffs are not only capable of handling multi-day trips on rivers like the Smith River in Montana but also excel in efficiently utilizing space to accommodate gear and providing a stable fishing platform.

29:24 – We talk about his home waters. His go-to river is the expansive Missouri River, stretching from Tosin and Three Forks to Fort Peck and the North Dakota border. This river offers a diverse fishing experience, from fly fishing for trout to casting for pike and carp.

He also highlights Helena, Montana, as an ideal spot for anglers due to its central location. From Helena, numerous renowned rivers like the Blackfoot, Big Hole, Yellowstone, Madison, and others are within a two-hour drive, offering a variety of fishing experiences based on weather conditions and target species.

Photo via: https://www.facebook.com/crosscurrentsflyshop

32:49 – For those seeking guidance or local insights on the Missouri River, Justin recommends several fly shops, notably Headhunters in Craig and Trout Montana in Cascade, known for their expertise and willingness to share information with anglers. Other notable mentions include Montana Fly Goods in Helena and Wolf Creek Angler. These shops are praised for their knowledgeable staff, extensive fly selection, and up-to-date river reports, making them invaluable resources for anyone fishing the Missouri River.

34:34 – Justin tells the optimal times and strategies for fishing the Missouri River. Early spring, particularly mid-April to late April, is recommended for experiencing significant dry fly hatches, with the river temperature climbing into the high forties and low fifties.

For those willing to brave the colder temperatures, Justin notes that fishing conditions on February 19th, for instance, could allow an angler to catch a hundred fish in a day. The conversation also covers the importance of following weather patterns and choosing fishing techniques based on seasonal changes. Justin mentions that as the season progresses, anglers can expect a variety of hatches, including PMDs, Tricos, and Caddis, but advises caution in late summer and fall when weed growth can complicate fishing.

drift boats
Photo via: https://www.instagram.com/adiposeboatworks/

40:35 – The conversation touches on the geographical and ecological transitions around Helena, the Continental Divide, and the historical significance of areas like the Gates of the Mountain, described by Lewis and Clark. Justin highlights the rich fishing experiences available across different water types in Montana, from tailwaters to freestones and reservoirs, underscoring the state’s commitment to natural river management and the absence of river stocking since the mid-20th century.

45:19 – We talk about an upcoming drift boat clinic organized by Adipose Boatworks, scheduled for April 27th. This clinic, offered in collaboration with Mending Waters Montana—a Helena-based veterans organization—aims to educate participants on all aspects of drift boat handling. Mending Waters Montana is dedicated to supporting veterans through fishing trips, rod building, fly tying, and offering access to exclusive private waters and popular fishing destinations like the Missouri River.

The clinic covers a comprehensive range of topics from the basics of drift boat design differences, preparation and launching techniques, to rowing strategies and fishing from a drift boat. The event is free, with attendees encouraged to donate to Mending Waters Montana. Those interested in participating in the clinic can contact Adipose Boatworks via email to register.

drift boats
May 5, 2022 “The Drift Boat 101 Clinic was a great success and everyone had a great time. We also helped raise a little over $2,000 for Mending Waters Montana. Thanks to all those that came out and those that supported us.”
drift boats
Photo via: https://www.instagram.com/adiposeboatworks/

48:41 – We dig into safety tips for drift boat handling, which are crucial for anyone attending their drift boat clinic or navigating rivers independently. Key safety advice includes:

1. Always Pull, Never Push: Justin emphasizes the importance of pulling rather than pushing to slow down and maintain control of the drift boat. This technique gives the rower more time to react to obstacles by slowing the boat’s speed, allowing for better maneuverability.

2. Avoid Tying Knots in the Anchor Rope: A common mistake is tying knots in the anchor rope to prevent losing the anchor. However, Justin advises against this because, in situations where the boat starts behaving unpredictably, it’s safer to let the anchor rope go to avoid the boat capsizing. The cost of replacing an anchor is minimal compared to the potential loss of the boat or, more importantly, a life.

3. Don’t Drop Anchor in Fast Water: Dropping an anchor in fast-moving water can lead to dangerous situations, including the boat getting lodged and potentially sinking. Justin recounts a tragic incident on the Missouri River where a boat capsized and resulted in a fatality due to the anchor being dropped in fast water. He advises rowers to anchor in calmer water or eddies where the bottom can be seen and the risk of getting the anchor stuck is minimized.

4. Floor Release Anchor Systems: Most drift boats come with a floor release anchor system. In case of emergency, rather than reaching for a knife or attempting to untie knots, the best action is to simply release the anchor by stepping on the floor mechanism, allowing the boat to free itself from the anchor’s hold.

53:26 – Justin provides a variety of restaurant options in Helena ranging from casual to slightly more upscale, catering to different tastes and budgets. For a local beverage after fishing, Justin suggests visiting one of Helena’s breweries, highlighting Lewis and Clark Brewery as a nationally recognized establishment.

56:27 – Justin emphasizes the appeal of Helena, Montana as a family-friendly town with plenty of outdoor activities, devoid of the college town atmosphere. He also highlights local attractions like the state capital building and Blackfoot Brewery, and emphasizes Helena’s growing scene that caters well to families and outdoor enthusiasts alike.


You can find them on Instagram @adiposeboatworks.

Facebook at Adipose Boatworks

Visit their website at adiposeboatworks.com.

drift boats


Related Podcast Episodes

WFS 187 – The Fiberglass Boat and River Skiff with Adipose Boatworks Justin Waayenberg (Drift Boat Series Ep. 6)


Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below




drift boats

Conclusion with Justin Waayenberg on the Future of Drift Boats

For those interested in exploring the world of fly fishing or looking to upgrade their equipment with the latest in drift boat technology, Adipose Boatworks presents a compelling choice. Their commitment to innovation, quality, and customer safety, coupled with the rich fishing opportunities in Helena, Montana, make for an enticing invitation to both seasoned and novice anglers. To learn more about their offerings and plan a memorable fly fishing trip, visit Adipose Boatworks and discover the beauty and challenges of fishing in Montana.

590 | Alaska Unleashed: Tactics for Togiak River Success with Jeremy Freisz – Togiak River Lodge

Togiak River

Have you ever heard someone say, you need to twitch your fly or you need to twitch it more? Have you heard about jigging or using jigs in fly fishing and how this is such an effective method today? We bring both of these together as we jump back into Alaska and Northern Bristol Bay.

Jeremy Freisz is here to share the twitching jig method and why pink is the only color you need for Togiak River success. Learn how to plan your trip and the exact tips you need for success in Alaska this year.

Show Notes with Jeremy Freisz on Tactics for Togiak River Success. Hit play below! 👇🏻

 

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)

 

Sponsors and Podcast Updates

 

Togiak River

Episode Chapters with Jeremy Freisz on Tactics for Togiak River Success

02:00 – Jeremy Freisz shares his journey of discovering fly fishing later in life, initially influenced by his family’s outdoor activities.

Over the years, Jeremy’s passion grew, leading to summers in Alaska at Togiak River Lodge and even starting to guide for Red’s Fly Shop.

Check out our episode on Reds Fly Shop with Joe Rotter.

Jeremy recently bought a customized Bighorn Skiff from StealthCraft.

Togiak River
Photo via @jfreisz2_fly_fishing on Instagram

Twitching Jig Method

07:37 –  Jeremy discusses his evolution as an angler, from novice to adapting new techniques like bead fishing in Alaska.

Over the years, he has experimented with Twitching Jigs, initially inspired by his uncle’s success with them on spinning rods.

12:40 – Jeremy emphasizes the effectiveness of pink-colored flies. He ties all his flies for Togiak in pink.

He emphasizes the importance of the sparkle in the fly to catch their attention, especially for resident dollies and sea run dollies that are active in the salt and likely associate pink with shrimp.

Togiak River

Timing and Fishing Conditions in the Togiak River 

17:00 – Jeremy notes that the timing of tides does impact fishing at the lodge, especially regarding water clarity and fish behavior. When the tide is coming in, the water gets murky, influencing fish activity.

Conversely, when the tide is going out, the water becomes clearer, and fish tend to be more reactive. However, these tide effects diminish about two miles upriver from the lodge.

Togiak River

Jeremy recommends timing your trip to Togiak based on your fishing preferences. For targeting Chinook salmon. However, for the best trout fishing experience, Jeremy suggests going later in the king salmon season, around the end of July.

Togiak River Lodge

22:35 – Jeremy paints a vivid picture of the Togiak Lodge experience. The lodge sits amidst breathtaking tundra landscapes, with braids of the Togiak River weaving through, and numerous ponds dotting the terrain.

Behind the lodge lies a pike pond, offering anglers the chance to catch pike alongside other Pacific salmon species, rainbow trout, dolly varden, and grayling.

Togiak River Lodge

Bugs and Bears

Jeremy acknowledges the concern about bugs in Alaska, particularly the relentless mosquitoes in the Togiak region. He shares his experience with giant mosquitoes, emphasizing the need for mosquito netting when venturing into mosquito-heavy areas.

Additionally, he mentions encountering grizzly bears, especially in late July, adding an element of excitement to the wilderness experience.

Togiak River

Being Prepared for Alaska’s Weather

Jeremy recounts experiences of continuous rain and cold winds during his time at Togiak Lodge. He recommends specific clothing items for fishing in such conditions, including:

  • Good quality waders
  • Sturdy rain jackets, preferably full rubber for river floats
  • Electric clothing like vests for staying warm
  • Carrying multiple rain jackets and a dry bag for extra clothes

Togiak River

Key Takeaways for an Alaska Fishing Trip

Jeremy offers three essential takeaways for anyone planning an Alaska fishing trip:

  1. Manage Expectations: Understand that fishing can be unpredictable, and not every day will yield abundant catches. Enjoy the adventure regardless of fishing outcomes.
  2. Be Prepared for Bad Weather: Expect challenging weather conditions, delays, and travel disruptions. Embrace these as part of the Alaskan experience rather than letting them detract from your enjoyment.
  3. Consider Group Travel: Opt for traveling with a group for a more enjoyable experience, fostering camaraderie, shared experiences, and lasting memories.

Follow Jeremy on Instagram @jfreisz2_fly_fishing

Visit Togiak River Lodge

[keyword] Videos Noted in the Show

Related Podcast Episodes

Reds Fly Shop with Joe Rotter  — Blue Winged Olive Mayfly Hatch, Yakima River (WFS 186)

WFS 379 – StealthCraft Boats with Mike Batcke – Driftboats, PowerDrifters, Rafts

WFS 406 – George Cook on Fly Fishing for King Salmon in Alaska – Kanektok River, Spey, Alaska West

Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below


Togiak River

Conclusion with Jeremy Freisz on Tactics for Togiak River Success

So there you have it! Jeremy Freisz shared some incredible insights into Alaska fishing, from the twitching jig method to the importance of pink-colored flies.

Remember, managing expectations, being prepared for the weather, and considering group travel are key takeaways for a successful trip. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Alaska!

589 | Casting Back in Time: The Art of Bamboo Rodmaking & Traditional Fly Fishing with Ed Few

Ed Few, a distinguished craftsman of custom bamboo fly rods, shares his extraordinary journey from traditional boatmaking in England to mastering the art of fly fishing with hand-built gear. Delving into the essence of fly fishing’s heritage, Ed brings to life the thrill of using bamboo rods, silk lines, and horsehair leaders, all while chasing steelhead in the Great Lakes. Listeners will be transported back in time, learning not just about the meticulous process of creating these traditional tools, but also how they can elevate their own fishing experiences. Ed’s stories of craftsmanship, passion, and the pursuit of the perfect catch with historic gear promise to inspire and ignite a curiosity for the timeless art of fly fishing.


Show Notes with Ed Few. Hit play below! 👇🏻

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)

 

Sponsors and Podcast Updates

bamboo rodmaking

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The transition from traditional boat building to crafting bamboo fly rods
  • The unique allure of fishing with hand-built custom bamboo rods and traditional gear
  • The process and passion behind selecting materials for rod building, including sourcing bamboo and creating silk lines
  • Techniques and benefits of fishing with horsehair leaders and hand-tied flies
  • Ed Few’s memorable experience catching steelhead in the Great Lakes with a bamboo rod he crafted

bamboo rodmaking

  • The significance of preserving fly fishing traditions while integrating them with contemporary practices
  • Insights into the craftsmanship of rod building without power tools, emphasizing the artistry involved
  • The potential for bamboo rods in modern fly fishing, including trout and saltwater applications
  • The concept of a community-shared bamboo rod to connect anglers and stories across the globe
  • Ed Few’s vision for the future of traditional fly fishing gear and his contributions to the sport’s heritage

bamboo rodmaking

Key Takeaways:

  1. Explore Traditional Gear: Dive into the world of bamboo rods, silk lines, and horsehair leaders. These tools offer a unique, tactile connection to fly fishing’s history and can enrich your experience on the water.
  2. Craftsmanship Matters: Appreciate the artistry behind handmade fishing gear. The careful selection of materials and meticulous construction processes of bamboo rods highlight the craftsmanship that elevates the fly fishing experience.
  3. Embrace the Slow: Fishing with traditional gear encourages a slower, more deliberate approach. This not only enhances the joy of the sport but also connects you more deeply with the environment and the art of angling.
  4. Preserve the Heritage: Engaging with traditional fly fishing practices is a way to honor and preserve the sport’s rich history. It’s about more than catching fish; it’s keeping alive the stories and techniques passed down through generations.
  5. Share the Experience: Consider participating in community initiatives like the bamboo rod share program. It’s a unique opportunity to connect with other anglers, share stories, and be part of a larger narrative within the fly fishing community.

    bamboo rodmaking

  6. Seek Knowledge: Take the time to learn about the history and craftsmanship behind traditional fly fishing gear. Understanding the why behind the tools you use adds depth to your fishing adventures.
  7. Value Patience: Whether building a rod or waiting for the perfect catch, patience is a virtue in fly fishing. The process is as rewarding as the outcome, offering lessons in patience and perseverance.
  8. Connect with Nature: Traditional gear often requires a gentler touch and a more nuanced understanding of the water. It’s an invitation to deepen your connection with the natural world.
  9. Challenge Yourself: Fishing with traditional equipment can offer a new set of challenges and rewards. It’s an opportunity to grow as an angler and experience the sport in a new light.
  10. Pass It On: Consider teaching others about the beauty of fishing with bamboo rods and traditional gear. Sharing your knowledge helps ensure that these cherished traditions continue for future generations.


Follow Ed on Instagram 👉🏻 @bamboofew

bamboo rodmaking


bamboo rodmaking

Related Episodes

WFS 343 – Bamboo Fly Rod Making Class with Bill Oyster – Oyster Bamboo

Full Podcast Transcript



bamboo rodmaking

Conclusion

In this episode with Ed Few, listeners were treated to a deep dive into the world of traditional fly fishing, exploring the art and dedication behind crafting bamboo fly rods, and the nuanced joys of using horsehair leaders and silk lines. Ed’s journey from boat building in England to becoming a craftsman of fly fishing rods in the U.S. not only highlights the intricate bond between angler and tool but also serves as a testament to the enduring allure of fly fishing’s heritage. Through stories of personal experiences and a shared passion for the sport, this conversation promises to inspire anglers to explore the roots of fly fishing, embracing the traditions that connect us to the past and enrich our experience on the water.

588 | A Guide to Adirondacks Fly Fishing with David Brotzman: Ausable River, TroutRoutes, Van Life

Adirondacks Fly Fishing

In this episode, we dive deep into the heart of the Northeast, where the wilderness rivals the vast national parks of the West. Join us as we follow the adventures of David Brotzman, who embarks on a journey through Adirondacks fly fishing, armed with the newest gear and a van life setup that brings him closer to nature. David shares invaluable insights on preparing for a remote trip, the allure of van life for modern anglers, and the conservation efforts vital to preserving these pristine waters. Get ready to explore hidden fly fishing treasures in the East and learn how to make your next outdoor adventure successful and sustainable.


Show Notes with David Brotzman on Adirondacks Fly Fishing. Hit play below! 👇🏻

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Find the show:  iTunes | Stitcher | Overcast

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)

 

Sponsors and Podcast Updates

 

Adirondacks Fly Fishing

Episode Chapters with David Brotzman on Adirondacks Fly Fishing

2:00 – David shares his relatively recent journey into fly fishing, a passion ignited during the COVID-19 lockdown. With a background in outdoor activities and fond memories of spending summers in the Adirondacks during his youth, David was drawn back to nature and fishing as an escape from the indoor restrictions of the pandemic.

7:23 – His breakthrough came when a friend introduced him to fly fishing, leading to an exhilarating experience of catching a Chinook salmon on one of his first attempts. This encounter and the fascinating complexity of river ecosystems and trout behavior deeply hooked him into the sport. David emphasizes the importance of not getting overly fixated on gear for beginners and highlights the joy and tranquility fishing brings, beyond the thrill of the catch.

10:29 – David recounts his restoration project of a 1965 vintage mirror craft boat, emphasizing the joy of blending his newfound fishing passion with family bonding and the allure of waterborne adventures, even on the historic Erie Canal near Rochester, New York.

13:05 – David, alongside a friend, creates a film that encapsulates their fly fishing adventures, focusing on the distinctive aspects of Eastern versus Western fly fishing. They aim to highlight the contrasts and similarities, particularly emphasizing the need to adapt techniques and understand the local ecosystems.

20:00 – Our chat touches on the choice of equipment emphasizing the distinctive quality and depth that professional cinema cameras bring to the narrative, allowing him to paint with footage and add his unique touch as a storyteller.

adirondacks fly fishing
Photo via: https://www.instagram.com/verygoodflyfishing/

27:10 – David emphasizes the pivotal role of TroutRoutes in their adventure. Their trip, initially challenging due to the season and the unfamiliarity with the Adirondacks’ fall conditions, was streamlined with TroutRoutes’ comprehensive features. The app’s river grading system, river flow data, and the newly introduced river miles feature proved invaluable for selecting suitable rivers, ensuring safe navigation, and avoiding restricted areas.

adirondacks fly fishing
Photo via: https://www.instagram.com/verygoodflyfishing/

33:20 – He shares his memorable trip to the Ausable River in the Adirondacks, a renowned river known for its clarity and the quality of trout fishing it offers. Despite its fame and the potential apprehensions associated with tackling such a well-known location, David leveraged thorough planning and use of resources like TroutRoutes to feel well-prepared for their adventure.

36:17 – Beyond digital tools, David suggests leveraging a wealth of information available through simple Google searches, including blog posts and articles from individuals who have previously fished or floated the river. These insights offer contextual knowledge that can complement apps, helping anglers to make informed decisions about where and when to fish.

He also stresses the significance of visiting local fly shops for real-time advice and updates on river conditions. This step is crucial for understanding the current state of the river and any potential hazards, as conditions can change rapidly and impact the safety and success of the trip.

38:25 – David recommends going on a trip in the Adirondacks in spring as the prime season for such adventures, especially in the Ausable, based on local advice and their own experiences. Sring offers higher water levels due to snowmelt, leading to more active fish movement and the potential for early dry fly hatches.

40:21 – David highlights the distinct appeal of the Adirondacks. He also emphasizes the sheer size of the park, which is so vast that it can encompass multiple national parks within its boundaries, including Yosemite.

45:36 – He talks about an unexpected challenge they experienced, including a nearly 60-foot waterfall adjacent to their planned route. This discovery underscored the potential dangers of navigating the river, highlighting the necessity of constantly checking maps and staying alert to the terrain’s unpredictable changes.

48:06 – David also praises the gear that supported their expedition, particularly highlighting the innovative design of Kokopelli’s Rogue R-Deck rafts. These rafts, equipped with internal storage within the tubes, offered a perfect blend of durability, buoyancy, and convenience, proving instrumental in navigating the challenging waters while keeping their gear dry and secure.

Photo via: https://www.instagram.com/verygoodflyfishing/

58:26 – We delve into the intricacies of van life, sparked by David’s transition to living and traveling in a customized Ford Transit. With his wife’s support, he ventured into van life by transforming an empty Ford Transit into a fully equipped mobile home.

David’s project, “The Very Good Van Build” series, is documented on Instagram and TikTok, offering glimpses into the van’s layout and the lifestyle it enables. Despite lacking a full interior tour online, plans are in place to share more about their unique home on wheels as they continue their travels and adventures.

@verygoodflyfishing

PART 9 in the Van Build series – plumbing, structure and more. Tag along as we start to finish up this build!!! LIKE AND FOLLOW FOR MORE. #vanlife #vanbuilds #vanbuild #fishinglife #flyfishingnation #flyfishinglife #blundstoneusa #blundstone #blundstoneboots #fishing #construction #plumbing #electrical #acunit #dometicac @dometic @renogyofficial @blundstoneusa @ford @loweshomeimprovement @project.vanlife

♬ love nwantinti (ah ah ah) – CKay

1:13:00 – David highlights the Starlink internet service as a game-changer for remote work and entertainment, providing reliable, high-speed internet anywhere, which is particularly beneficial for those living the van life.

1:18:10 – David revisits the topic of luxury items brought on their trip, highlighting the Outin espresso maker as a standout addition. He and his wife, having backgrounds as baristas, highly value quality coffee. This portable espresso maker, resembling a thermos, allows them to prepare authentic espresso shots remotely, without needing to plug it in, thanks to its battery and water heater.

Nano Portable Espresso Machine (Photo via: https://outin.com/pages/outin-nano)

1:20:25 – David expresses genuine affection for freeze-dried food, particularly Mountain House. He specifically praises the Beef Stroganoff, noting that its noodles and beef rehydrate well, and he enjoys it with a bit of Tabasco for extra flavor.

Photo via: https://mountainhouse.com/collections/adventure-meals/products/beef-stroganoff-pouch

You can find David on Instagram @verygoodflyfishing

Facebook at Very Good Fly Fishing

TikTok @verygoodflyfishing

Adirondacks Fly Fishing


Related Podcast Episodes

WFS 532 – Backcountry Skinz with Kelly Reaume – Wading Gear, Bull Trout, Fly Fishing Canada

 

 

Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below




Adirondacks Fly Fishing

Conclusion with David Brotzman on Adirondacks Fly Fishing

For anyone inspired by David’s story and looking to go on their fly fishing adventure, especially in the vast wilderness of the Adirondacks or similar regions, it’s crucial to research, plan, and equip yourself properly. Engaging with local communities and leveraging tools like TroutRoutes can significantly enhance the experience and safety of your journey. And, of course, embracing the adventure spirit with respect for nature and local regulations is paramount.

587 | Fly Fishing the Ausable River with Dry Flies – The Hungry Trout with Evan Bottcher

Fly Fishing the Ausable
Photo via https://www.facebook.com/TheHungryTroutResort

Have you ever experienced the frustration of a dry fly being swirled up by a fish but not taken? Or struggled to keep your dry fly afloat on the water?

Today is your lucky day because we have Evan Bottcher, owner of the Hungry Trout, to guide us in fly fishing the Ausable with Dry Flies.

Get ready to dive into the beauty of the Ausable River in the Adirondacks as Evan shares three crucial tips to help you land more fish while fishing with dry flies this year, especially in pocket water.

In this episode, Evan will guide us through selecting the right fly size, determining the ideal distance from the bank for fishing, and mastering skittering a fly to entice the fish.

Show Notes with Evan Bottcher on Fly Fishing the Ausable. Hit play below! 👇🏻

 

 

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Find the show:  iTunes | Stitcher | Overcast

Subscribe on Android | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)

 

Sponsors and Podcast Updates

 

Fly Fishing the Ausable

Episode Chapters with Evan Bottcher on Fly Fishing the Ausable

02:00 – Evan Bottcher shares his childhood memories growing up on the property along the Ausable River. His family purchased the Hungry Trout in 1981, initially a motel with a small restaurant, and transformed it into a renowned fly fishing destination.

8:15 – Evan learned from the seasoned anglers at Hungry Trout, including guides like Rachel Finn and Jeff Kirschman.

Fly Fishing the Ausable
Photo via https://www.instagram.com/hungrytroutresort/

11:00 – Evan delves into the origins of Hungry Trout, a blend of the iconic Sable River’s allure and his father’s visionary approach.

Through strategic additions like RF McDougall’s Pub and a dedicated fly shop, Hungry Trout evolved into a comprehensive hub for anglers seeking the unique charm of the Adirondacks.

Fly Fishing the Ausable
Photo via https://www.instagram.com/hungrytroutresort/

The Unique Charms of the Ausable River

14:50 – Evan paints a vivid picture of the Ausable River’s unique character, contrasting it with other rivers in the region.

The Ausable River stands out with its steep topography, dramatic waterfalls, and pocket water, offering a thrilling experience for anglers.

21:00 – Evan discusses the importance of stoneflies in the Ausable River, especially during the active months from May through June. He also touches on the dynamic hatch schedule throughout the year.

31:00 – Evan reflects on Rachel’s exceptional personality and her ability to see life beyond conventional destinations.

The movie “After You’ve Gone” by Fly Lords portrays Rachel’s journey of coping with personal challenges like cancer and her husband’s passing.

The Hungry Trout Lodge 

Evan discusses the transformation of their family’s lodge and restaurant, which they sold in 2022 while maintaining the operation of the fly shop and fishing business.

The lodge offers a 21-unit motel, a restaurant called the Hungry Trout Restaurant, and RF McDougall’s Pub, creating a bundled experience with lodging, guiding, and river access.

Fly Fishing the Ausable
Photo via https://www.facebook.com/TheHungryTroutResort

Tips for Fishing the Sable River

51:50 – Evan emphasizes the importance of sizing up flies when fishing the Ausable River in May and June. A size 16 fly at home might equate to a size 14 or 12 on their river.

He recommends using dry droppers and fishing closer to the riverbank, starting with a short cast of about 10 feet of fly line, which can cover a significant portion of the river’s width.

54:00 – Evan suggests using flies like the Ausable Wulff or Ausable Bomber.

Fly Fishing the Ausable

Euro Nymphing on the Ausable River

1:04:00 – Evan discusses the rise of Euro nymphing in their area, thanks to clinics by Loren Williams.

While dry fly fishing remains a classic choice, Euro nymphing has become more widespread among anglers.

 


Follow them on Instagram: @hungrytroutflyshop  @hungrytroutresort

Visit their website: The Hungry Trout Resort  The Hungry Trout Fly Shop

Fly Fishing the Au Sable

 

Fly Fishing the Ausable Videos Noted in the Show

Related Podcast Episodes

WFS 072 – Ausable River with Rachel Finn – Adirondack Fly Fishing, Hungry Trout, Cigars and the Hang

Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below



Fly Fishing the Ausable

Conclusion with Evan Bottcher on Fly Fishing the Ausable

Evan Bottcher shares the evolution of the Hungry Trout into a renowned fly fishing destination along the Ausable River. He shares insights into the unique charm of the Ausable River and its dynamic hatch schedule.

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