Tag Archives: trout

Deck The Walls -An A.D. Maddox Hatch Is Coming Off

We love art at Salt Bum HQ.  It provides us with a daily reminder of what we love through the eyes of the artists that created the works we’ve been lucky enough to collect.  When we come across something that sparks our interest, we often have to re-hang and adjust the collection to make more room for another addition.

We’ve found just such an opportunity in A.D. Maddox.  If you haven’t seen her work, you owe it to yourself to seek it out.

Known for her vibrant work, creating amazing  paintings of trout and their bold colors, artist A.D. Maddox  has just released a new series of recently finished originals depicting various fly patterns.

Serious collectors will likely be snapping up these stunning works, so if you plan on getting in on the action, get on it before the hatch is discovered by the masses.

A small sampling of our favorites from her new releases are shared below.



To see all of her works, including limited edition prints of her past originals, visit:  http://www.admaddox.com



Sight Fishing With Kate & Mighty Mouse

A lot has been said recently about an Arctic Grayling’s voracious appetite for rodents. No doubt about it, when you’re throwing a mouse pattern in Western Alaska for rainbow trout, you’re going to see your fair share of this:

Grayling Love Rodents Too

Fly Out Media got out the camera recently when the rainbows were more than happy to oblige.

A Lesson Learned 4200 Miles From Home

Sight fishing in the gin clear waters of an estuary where you routinely hear waves pounding the shore just over the dunes can lead you to believe you’re dialed in when it comes to how you handle a fly rod. Sure, you’ve got to be vigilant, eye on the ball at all times and ready to get in the game the moment a fish appears, but for the most part it becomes a matter of routine. Leading a redfish or trout is a calculation that happens in the blink of an eye, or rather the moment in time that it takes to develop a backcast and shoot line to the spot where you want the intercept angle to originate.

Recently a trip to Alaska opened my eyes to line control in a big way. I spent two weeks, nearly 16 hours a day immersed in a clinic put on by two guys that dissect water in a way that had my attention. Seriously, there was no end to the nuance of the ways they covered every possible spot a fish might be laying in wait for a passing meal.

A lot of humor comes at the expense of trout anglers when they’re on the pointy end of a skiff facing an onshore breeze that seems to keep their intended target just outside of casting range. Guides can spin yarns at the dock over a morning cup of coffee that will have you in stitches as they recall a sport that nearly started a tropical storm whipping fly line to and fro in a panic at the sight of a fish.

For the record, I’ve told a few of those stories as well.

Now, I have to tell you there is some modicum of truth to the generalizations made relative to casting skills between trout anglers and someone who spends most of their time in salt. Its simply a fact of life. The clinic I witnessed in the wilds of Alaska changed my overall bias towards the skills required to fish successfully on a river or stream.

In its most simple form, I’ll call it line control. The cast is merely an introduction from what I saw. A howdy-do, per se. The conversation that follows was the interesting part of the encounter. While it wasn’t 100% sight fishing, it was so akin to it, the line control I witnessed made it clear to me that the essence of it was the exact same thing.

Just like in shallow water sight fishing their is a point where the magic was going to happen. The point in space where a collision was going to occur and the line would come tight. The tug.

Anytime I was on the down current end of the raft, casting to a spot where I thought a fish would be lying in wait; from time to time, there was. Fish on. Yet, when I was on the oars, I would watch these two cast to a similar target, yet their fly would skate or drift through the same point in slow motion, lingering in the sweet spot begging to be eaten. The difference being plainly, my offering was there and gone in the blink of an eye.

They caught fish at a rate of 3 to 1 compared to my effort.

As I watched them, I started to realize that they were more connected to what the fly did once it was in the water. Getting it there was just the beginning compared to my approach which was to have it arrive at the destination.

Mend. Mend. Mend, Goddamit!

Well, its not just for trout fishing anymore in my mind. What?!?

Mending in saltwater sight fishing? YES.

But thats a technique to reduce line drag to ensure a dead drift for wary trout…

Agreed, but the principles of it apply to feeding fish on the flats as well. After making a cast to a moving fish, the ability to adjust the angle of a retrieve more subtlety is invaluable. If you can do it without picking up fly line and recasting you avoid spooking a fish by having line in the air.

I now find myself kicking out line to drag an angle to an arch or raising the rod tip to sweep the fly line to one side or the other to get the fly to where I want it, the point of collision, rather than re-casting.

This change in tactics has accounted for plenty of hook-ups where in the past they likely wouldn’t have happened.

I’ll never look at a trout fishing the same way again.

That Guy Can Cast

You’ve been there and seen it with your own eyes, That Guy, the one who saunters out to the casting pond at the fly fishing show in full on “tactical”  gear and starts sending a little piece of yarn down range at distances over 60 – 70 feet.  Its impressive, he thinks and if you remain engaged and don’t avert your eyes away from his greatness you’ll see him survey the fringes looking for approval.

That Guy is the last dude I want on the dance floor on the pointy end of my skiff.  If I’m going to expend energy poling around the flats in search of fish to target, I want someone who’s capable and fishy, not That Guy.

I’m sure That Guy has the best intentions and wants to catch fish, but the mentality that accompanies the and enables the public display of casting hero isn’t a good fit in the real world.  Perhaps I’m being too quick to judge, but based on my experience its nearly always true.

distance casting flyfishing hero
Fly Casting Ain’t Fly Fishing

My experience on the water has taught me that the unexpected close range shot is more likely the one that results in feeding a fish than the 60+ foot cast.

The wind and short window of opportunity that exists in the real world makes that longer shot, a long shot.

Angles change quickly in the salt world and with more line out, the less likely an angler is going to be successful in picking up from a bad cast to adjust to a fish’s movement.  Angles are very important.  Its  called angling and on a shallow saltwater flat, its a killer.

When a fly makes an unnatural move towards the would be hunter, the reaction is abrupt and typically unforgiving.  Opportunities are lost in the blink of an eye.

The sheltered and static calm of the casting pond is a thing of the past when a fish and the skiff is moving as well as the nearly ever-present breeze.

Don’t be That Guy. Stay frosty and study the angles, make a decision and cast.  You’ll have about a second to do it.

The next time you’re at a show, enjoy time with the guys that avoid the pond, you’ll likely be rubbing elbows with the fishiest dudes there.