Recap- Hardly, Strictly Musky – The Southern Classic





The 2014 Hardly, Strictly Musky – The Southern Classic was a great success this past May, as dozens of anglers bounded upon McMinnville, Tennessee.

Jim Shulin of TFO was on hand not only to fish with Advisory Staffer Blane Chocklett (Oh, and TFO’s Bob Clouser also fished the tourney!), but, also to unveil the new TFO Esox Series.

Photo courtesy of Blane Chocklett.

Photo courtesy of Blane Chocklett.

Here is a link to a short write-up by Pile Cast Fly Fishing.

There was also a great write-up on the event by Dave Hosler in the latest edition of American Angler Magazine.

Check out their Facebook page: Hardly, Strictly, Musky-Southern Classic for some bad ass photos from the weekend.

Team TFO of Blane Chocklett, (left) and Jim Shulin (right) prepping for a weekend of slinging big flies.  Photo by Jim Shulin, TFO.

Team TFO of Blane Chocklett, (left) and Jim Shulin (right) prepping for a weekend of slinging big flies.
Photo by Jim Shulin, TFO.

Check out this first Texas Council of Fly Fishers Expo this weekend!




Starting on June 13, the first ever Texas Council (International Federation of Fly Fishers) will be holding their Fly Expo, in New Braunfels, Texas.

Join TFO, fly vendors and fly fishing enthusiasts on June 13-14, in New Braunfels at the Civic Community Center, and Cypress Bend Park.

The expo will be in multiple locations, so fly anglers can take full advantage of classroom and on the water situations.

Photo illustration courtesy of the Texas IFFF.

Photo illustration courtesy of the Texas IFFF.

Cypress Bend Park will be the location we use for the Casting Programs, Certifications, and on the water classes being offered.

There will be plenty of free parking available and a shuttle service will take you back and forth to the Civic Community Center.

Thursday night the 12th, there will be a Welcoming Dinner to get to know each other, and set the stage for the days to come. Friday night the 13th, we will be hosting the Fly Fishing Film Tour. Saturday, June 14, there will be an Awards Dinner, Auction with BIG Time Raffles and a Special Guest Speaker.

The main Fly Fishing Expo will be on the 13-14.

For more in formation on the Expo, please visit:


Joey Nania Takes First in Mark’s Outdoor Annual Tournament




Angler Joey Nania of Cropwell, Ala. overtook 486 anglers and several Elite Series pro’s this past weekend in the Mark’s Outdoor Annual Tournament on Logan Martin Lake.

According to Nania, the pair (along with co-angler Kolby Tishler) went directly to structure offshore and caught a small limit.  Nania landed most his fish on 8-pound fluorocarbon, a 3/16-ounce shakey head and the TFO Shakey Head GTS rod. 

Nania finished the day with 20-pounds, 7-ounces.

The anglers combined for over 30 fish during the one-day tournament.

Photo courtesy Joey Nania.

Photo courtesy Joey Nania.

Nania’s day was further complimented by his finish over some of the Elite’s Series top anglers. Pitted against seasoned anglers like: John Crews, Brandon Palanuik, Hank Cherry, Mark Davis, Randy Howell, Bill Lowen, Mike McClellan and several other Elite Pros.

The duo edged out Elite Series angler John Crews by 1-ounce, who caught all of his on a frog.  Hank Cherry finished the day at No. 3.

Fly Rods and Ferrules

 Courtesy of Ray Schmidt and Kate Smith


Because of the strain and pressure placed upon fly rods during a cast, rods must be manufactured to exacting standards, especially the joints (ferrules) that hold them together.

When rod sections become unseated, fly rods can break. When failures like this occur, they are typically seen at the joint near the loose ferrule.

It is recommended that anglers assemble rods by putting sections together with what is referred to as, a “twist lock.”

Exposed blank on the Professionall II Series fly rods.  Photo by Temple Fork Outfitters.

Properly secured ferrules on the Professional II Series fly rods.
Photo by Temple Fork Outfitters.

This is done by intentionally miss-aligning the rod sections as they are pushed together to seat the sections. By setting the guides apart, at a 90-degree angle, then twisting the sections into alignment an imperceptible seal or “lock” will form, keeping the sections together.

To disassemble the rod, simply twist the sections so the guides are oriented at a 90-degree angle, than pull apart.

With heavier weight rods, the same process should be utilized.

With long, two-handed rods or big streamer rods, casting heavily weighted lines and shooting heads can twist rod sections while under load. Although, the argument can be made for taping ferrules, the best remedy is to follow the “twist lock,” method and regularly check rod sections to ensure they are tight.

If multiple failures occur, than it may be best to use surgical or electrical tape on the ferrules to secure their fit.

TFO on the Situk River in Alaska

TFO By Robert Jones for Temple Fork Outfitters


TFO rep (Rockies/West) and owner of Glade Park Associates, Bobby Jones, recently returned from a steelhead trip in Alaska.

Below is his report from fishing the Situk River in Southeast Alaska.

“Water flows hovered around 100 CFS on the Situk, about half of what would have been optimum flows.

Bobby Jones with a nice steelhead from the Situk.  Photo by Bobby Jones.

Bobby Jones with a nice steelhead from the Situk.
Photo by Bobby Jones.

With the lack of rain and mostly sunny days, conditions were not the best, but, we still managed to catch some fish.  Because of the low water, we were not seeing  fresh fish moving up into the river from the estuary each day, although some were coming on the high tide during the night.

Early morning and late evening was the best of it when the sun was behind the trees and the water was shady. It was getting light at around 5 a.m. and not getting dark until around 9:30 p.m.

The deeper pools held the most fish which made it more challenging for fly fishing around all the sweepers and snags in the pools, so, our group ended up catching a good number of fish in these buckets on gear, both spinning and baitcast. We used jigs under floats and some spoons in the holes.

I spent a good amount of my time with the fly rod and quickly found out that the fish holding on the gravel just above the tail outs in very low sunny water were incredibly spooky and were very difficult to get to eat.

I had the best luck using a Teeny Mini-Tip line with a single yarn egg pattern with dumbell eyes or some variation of that with some maribou and estaz in pinks and purples and black, orange and red combos. line was 8-pound P Line CFX fluorocarbon.

I was using the 8-weight Mangrove mostly, with some time on the 8-weight BVK. My reel of choice as the BVK III.  Both were perfect outfits for this type of fishing in some tight water.

It started raining the second to last day and the water tinged up to a more stained color, which improved conditions a little.”

Pontoon rigged and ready to float the Situk. Jones fished the Mangrove series fly rods as well as the four-piece TRS/TRC rods.  Photo courtesy Bobby Jones.

Pontoon rigged and ready to float the Situk. Jones fished the Mangrove series fly rods as well as the four-piece TRS/TRC rods.
Photo courtesy Bobby Jones.



Gearing up for the Situk. Jones fished both fly and conventional gear throughout the several day float. Despite low water conditions, Jones and the group managed to land a few fish.  Photo courtesy of Bobby Jones.

Jones fished both fly and conventional gear throughout the several day float. Despite low water conditions, Jones and the group managed to land a few fish.
Photo courtesy of Bobby Jones 

Temple Fork Outfitters GTS Rod Review GTS C695-1

TFOLogo-NoTextBy G. Wayne Byrd



First Impressions/Technical Specifics:

Gary Loomis and TFO have teamed up and put together yet another great versatile rod called the C695-1. A few of the first things that come to mind are …lightweight, balanced, tough-as-nails, clean and precision crafted with attention to details.

In The Field:

I have used the C695-1 for everything from worms, stickworms, tubes, small jigs, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, cranks and lipless-cranks. This stick has performed remarkably well in all areas, but I really would have to call it my go to rod for spinnerbaits. Most manufactures these days label their medium heavy rods in the 6’6” to 6’10” range as spinnerbait rods. To me, 6’9” is the perfect length for spinnerbait usage and TFO has one again produced a rod to fill in that important niche in their Tactical Series line-up. The rear grip/handle section is the perfect length and it’s long enough to get the leverage you need when throwing deep pockets but not so long that it will catch on your jacket or shirt when retrieving and putting action on the lure. The Tactical Series guides are exceptionally smooth and slick guides and perform very well and they are nice and quiet. I have used everything from 8lb P-Line Floroclear to 20lb line and have even used 20lb braid on the C695-1 and had great results.

@Temple Fork Outfitters

@Temple Fork Outfitters


Casting the aforementioned lures with the C695-1 is very pleasurable. I was more than able to throw the lures out there as far as I needed to with ease. During a typical day of practice or tournament fishing, I usually make over two thousand cast and a rod that loads properly and is easy to cast is a huge advantage. The C695-1 loads up from the tip and becomes progressively stiffer the more it loads. Being of a lightweight nature, this rod is an ease to cast and feels great in my hands. I would put this rod on the “must-have” list for all bass anglers arsenals!


Sensitivity is very important when throwing spinnerbaits and more important when trying to detect the subtle hits you often receive when rolling lightweight spinnerbaits over weed beds. Many times, you don’t actually feel a hit on your lure, but you can feel the extra weight when you lift the tip. When running spinnerbaits over weedbeds you can feel the hook and trailer hook grazing over the top of the grass which is exactly what you want to feel. As you run your spinners through sand or bounce them off rocks, wood and structures, everything can be felt through this extremely sensitive blank and these factors in turn mean more hook-ups for you the angler. The C695-1 is one sensitive rod!


The C695-1 is rated as Medium Heavy power and I feel that it’s rated properly even though it seems to possess a bit more power than your average Medium Heavy power rod. I would not call it a Heavy power by any means but maybe somewhere between the two such as a Medium Heavy and a 1/2. When throwing lures in the recommended weight range or slightly over and under, this rod performs impeccably well. If you are trying to horse a heavy fish out of cover, the C695-1 has plenty of backbone to get the task accomplished. The rod is rated for 3/8 to 1-ounce lures and my findings reveal that the sweet spot for this rod is right around the 1/2 to 5/8-ounces range for my spinnerbaits although I have thrown 1-ounce spinnerbaits and done so with great sensitivity, power and outstanding results.


If you are looking for a rod that has an abundance of sensitivity with a great dose of backbone, give the C695-1 Tactical Series casting rod a try! Another great feature on all GTS casting rods is the placement of the hook keeper. It is located and set on the bottom of the rod between the split grips and allows you the angler to keep your rods from getting tangled up especially when storing rods in a boat’s rod locker.



G. Wayne Byrd is a Professional Angler/Outdoor Writer & Seminar Speaker sponsored by the following manufactures:  BassWax, Buckeye Shad, Cablz, Gamakatsu, HooRag, Keen Footwear, P-Line, Rat-L-Trap, Reel Grip, Rudy Project Sunglasses, Shark Tooth, SmartShield Sunscreens, TackleTech, Temple Fork Outfitters/TFO Rods, Tuf-Line and Wave Spin Reels.

Things You Need to Know About Catch-and-Release

TFOCourtesy of Mia Sheppard, Teddy Roosevelt Conversation Partnership.


Mia Sheppard is an accomplished guide, casting teacher and conservationist. Recently, she penned this article about ‘catch-and-release’ and some of her tips on how to protect the resource.

For more on Mia and her work for the Teddy Roosevelt Conversation Partnership, please visit:

©Nicholas Conklin.

©Nicholas Conklin.

“When our daughter was three she watched her dad harvest a hatchery steelhead; it was the first time she had ever seen one of us kill a fish. Horrified, she almost started to cry. We had to console her and explain that it was OK, that the fish was from a hatchery and was produced for take. In her mind, all fish should be catch and release, and to this day she still believes all fish should be returned to the water.

I practice catch and release, but don’t take me for a purist. I love to eat fish! I commercial fished in Alaska for three years, harvesting millions of pounds of crab and salmon for consumption. I indulged in eating the catch of crab, sockeye, kings, cod and halibut. The decision to catch and release is a personal choice.

Sport fishing isn’t just about the catching; it’s an excuse to see beautiful places, fish new water and, when I’m lucky, feel the take of a curious fish, watching my reel spin and hang on for the ride. It’s the experience of connecting with a life form that is powerful and mysterious.  Catch and release is also about healthy returns for future anglers.

I believe every fish returned is an opportunity for another angler. Returning fish also gives that species a chance to spawn, and more spawners contribute to more angling opportunity and healthier runs. Plus, older fish produce more offspring.

As a sportswoman, I want to see more fishing opportunities in the future, and if releasing fish will increase my opportunity for healthier runs then it’s one less fish in the cooler and one more fish for the future.”

For Mia’s techniques on the best way to practice catch and release, read the rest of her blog post here, Three Things You Need to Know About Catch and Release.


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