THE TROUT PRIMER ISSUE
The International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) today announced two films, Dollar Dog and Father + Nature as the winning films of the 2023 run of the festival.
Dollar Dog, a film from award-winning filmmaker Tim Myers, tells the story of the most unlikely of fish bums – Ella. A four-legged vagabond whose love for Atlantic salmon rivals that of her angling counterparts. A well-crafted story – a tale – of the place and the fish, from which legends, like Ella, are born.
“What an honor to have Ella with us as this collection of films traveled around the world”, says IF4 Executive Producer Chris Bird, “the team behind Dollar Dog, led by renowned filmmaker Tim Myers, captured a special story that touched the hearts of audiences in every city. Ella’s star shines brightly and she will forever have a home in the room of angling legends.”
Father + Nature, a film from award-winning filmmakers Hilton Graham and Lucas Krost, tells the story of a ranching family located along the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park; one of the most beautiful river corridors in the world. The film celebrates John Turner, a conservation icon who changed the landscape of the West, who helped conserve over thirty million acres around the world and who was instrumental in the founding of Earth Day.
“The story of the Turner family in Father + Nature reminds us, as did A River Runs Through It, that deeply woven through the soul of fly fishing is faith, family and friendship”, says IF4 Executive Producer Chris Bird, “Through his example, John Turner reminds us that anglers are the valued stewards of conservation and the waters in which we play. He provides an incredible example that one person can make a significant difference; and a challenge to protect things wild for many generations to come.”
Bird goes onto say that, “It has been incredible to watch as audiences returned in large numbers to celebrate the films and shared passions. We are excited about the future and, most importantly, about the fly-fishing community that a new collection of films will create.”
About IF4: The International Fly Fishing Film Festival is the world’s leading fly-fishing film event, consisting of films produced by professional filmmakers from all corners of the globe and showcases the passion, lifestyle, and culture of fly fishing. It is the gathering place of the fly-fishing community and a celebration of friendship, stories and stoke. flyfilmfest.com
Simms Fishing Products, preeminent manufacturer of waders, outerwear, footwear, and technical fishing apparel launches a platform to give back to multiple conservation groups supporting healthy and sustainable fisheries. The brand has initiated four give-back campaigns on their ecommerce site and are funding NGO partners via a 1% contribution of sales at no cost to the consumer.
In this Fly Fusion Magazine podcast, Jim McLennan and Derek Bird continue their discussion about streamer fishing. This is part two of a two part podcast (click here if you missed part one) and in today’s instalment they talk about cutting down on leader length, how to adjust the casting stroke for heavy flies, and Jim’s aversion to rabbit strip streamers.
In this Fly Fusion Magazine podcast, Jim McLennan and Derek Bird talk about a variety of streamer techniques. This is part one of a two part podcast and in today’s instalment they cover fishing streamers from a drift boat, swinging streamers and dead drifting streamers. Visit us again tomorrow for part two when Jim and Derek finish up their conversation by discussing how to adjust the casting stroke for heavy flies and Jim’s aversion to rabbit strip streamers.
Image: Paula Shearer
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The Humpy, an absolute true classic when it comes to dry flies and yet it strikes fear into our hearts when we think about tying it. The original method of tying the Humpy was unforgiving, as the same portion of Elk hair was used for both the hump and the wings. If you were off, even by a small amount, the proportion would be out of whack and you were left with another fly to give to a friend. I personally still tie it this way as I think it looks cleaner in the end, but I cut away some of the Elk hair for the hump. I find I want a lot of hair for the big wings, but then the hump ends up being too large.
There are other ways to tie this pattern as well which can be seen in the photo. The wings are actually Mallard flank and not Elk hair at all. This can be a great way to get some nicely coloured split wings while not having to battle the Elk hair. The hump and tail still remain true to the original though.
The Humpy should not be overlooked as it is one of the great Trout flies that exist today. The fly may not be as popular as some of the fancy patterns springing up these days and it certainly isn’t matching any hatches. All in all, it does have fish catching power and that is something some flies will never have.
Hook: TMC 100SP-BL
Thread: UTC 70
Tail: Nature’s Spirit Select Cow Elk
Hump: Nature’s Spirit Select Cow Elk
Wings: Mallard Flank
Hackle: Whiting Farms Furnace Brown
A basic mend involves moving the rod tip in a half-circle motion that positions fly line upstream of the leader, flies, or indicator. This removes the tension applied by the moving current and helps you improve the depth and control of your presentation. The downside of the basic mend is how long it takes to perform, and the water-disturbing and fish-disturbing movement it imparts to the fly.
When I was younger, I not only spent as much time on the water as I could, but I read every fly-fishing book on the shelf over and over again. I also watched instructional videos. Doug Swisher, who presented his Mastery Series of videos with Scientific Anglers, is one of my teaching idols. In his video on selective trout, he demonstrates the stack mend for use with sinking flies. It’s performed by throwing a mini-cast with a “micro-second wrist” toward the flies or indicator. This places slack line out near the fly where it is most beneficial. Several stack mends are made in quick succession, which allow the fly to sink quickly and drift naturally.
Years ago I started using the same method with a sideways approach to replace the standard mend. I call it “shoot mending.” I make the same micro-second-wrist cast with the tip of the rod moving forward only one foot. I then lift the rod up two to three feet to allow clearance for the line. Then, by quickly making one or two mends while the line is in the process of shooting, I get a mend that’s already in place when the line lands on the water. It’s also a very effective technique for shooting mends through wind and over chop in still waters without taking the indicator or dry fly away from the target.
Erik Svendsen started tying flies a few years ago and has enjoyed it so much it’s become a lifelong hobby. As a stress relief from his day job, he loves to try new patterns, materials, and techniques. He is a busy father of three young children and owns his own company; he tries to fish every chance he gets but usually finds himself at the vise almost every night. He is known for his fun approach to fly tying on social media and loves to teach people any chance he can get. @svenddiesel
Check out all of Svend Diesel’s Fall patterns, as seen in the Fall 2020 issue of Fly Fusion…
My first encounter with the secret river occurred in the summer of 1956, just after my twelfth birthday. It was early
morning, and I had walked to a new section of the large trout stream near home. It was a long walk, but I was an initiate fly fisher, and I set out in eager anticipation of using my newfound skills to finally conquer the big browns that I knew inhabited the stream.
I was slogging along in the shallows at the edge of a long riffle, headed for a big, downstream corner pool. My oversized hip boots (“He’ll grow into them”) slipped and slid on the rocks, and I moved slowly, afraid of twisting an ankle. Suddenly, right there in front of me, was a truly big brown trout. We saw each other in the same instant, and the fish’s reaction was as startled as mine. It blasted out of the inches-deep water into the heavy flow of midstream, as I cast furiously after it. I later understood that it had been in the shallows hunting Isonychia mayfly nymphs that were hatching at that time of year.
Advance 30 years, and my wife, Nancy, and I were fishing near Twizel on New Zealand’s South Island. The evening was mild beneath a deepening blue sky, and the fish were rising. Nancy fished a long riffle and was into fish immediately. I headed up to the long pool above. Standing at stream edge and scanning the quiet, dark surface, noticed a big nose poke out about 40 feet upstream, close to shore. It was an easy cast. No trees behind, and none overhanging the water. The 4-weight line settled quietly to the surface. But that was the end of quiet. The water erupted as several big fish tore out of the shallows in panic. Foolishly I had not thought that other fish could be in the secret river.