Light, Fast and Crisp- TFO BVK Spey

By Temple Fork Outfitters

Arrive at any boat ramp, or lodge from Northern California to British Columbia and you’ll see some of the finest two-handed rods ever built.

From traditional lines, to modern scandi lines and mid-bellies, this three-rod BVK family features a faster, stiffer feel that melds perfectly with swift, touch-and-go style casts.

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The BVK two-handed rod getting a workout on the Oregon coast. Photo by Oliver Sutro. 

The 12’8” 6-weight, (400 to 600 grains), rod is the stand-out dry line/summer run rod for steelhead. Ideal for floating tips and dry line work in Oregon and Nor. Calif.

Middle of the fairway grainage on this rod should be about 425-480.

There is a reason why 13-foot, 7-weight two-handed rods are so popular. They can cover just about any species specific technique, whether it’s battling steep banks or wind ripping up the canyon from your favorite run, this rod is small enough to cast in tight quarters while maintaining enough length to lift longer lines off of the water. The ideal grain window for the 7-weight, are lines between 450-650 grains, with the sweet spot being 480-575 grains.

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The ideal rod for mid-length heads and lines. The BVK Spey can effectively handle everything from traditional style flies, to medium size intruders. Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Motlow. 

The 13’4” 8-weight, (500 to 700-grains) model has a thin profile, and a light in hand feel, but, make no mistake it was built to handle big water and big fish. Triple density, floating lines and a variety of longer line approaches feel right at home on this rod. For those who desire to go after big salmon and steelhead in deep, fast water with big flies, heavy heads and tips, these rods have the power for the job.

Rods are finished with Tactical Series stripping guides and ultra-lightweight chromium impregnated stripping guides. A trimmed down, reconstituted cork handle allows for ergonomic handling and durability in the wettest fishing conditions.

BVK two-handed models retail for $485.95-$495.95.

For more information please contact Temple Fork Outfitters at, info@tforods.com or by telephone, (800) 638-9052.

 

 

Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival Comes to North Dallas

On March 11-12, 2017, the first annual Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival (TFFF) comes to the Plano Centre.

“If even one parent leaves our event understanding for the first time that he or she can haul the kids down to a Texas farm pond after work and have a blast just landing largemouth bass until dusk, I call that a win,” said festival director Beau Beasley. “At the same time, the region and the country offer opportunities to land every imaginable species–from reds on the Gulf Coast to trout in Tennessee’s South Holston River to every variety of salmon in Alaska. Contrary to popular belief, fly fishing is easy, affordable, family friendly, and fun,” Said  Beasley, who also directs the TFFBF’s sister event, the Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival.

Dallas-based fly rod manufacturer Temple Fork Outfitters, (TFO) and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) are early sponsors of the festival. “The region has been waiting for an event just like this one–for a new approach to fly fishing,” said TFO owner Rick Pope.

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“Texas is an important state to the fishing community and we’re pleased to support the TFFF,” said Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) President and CEO Frank Peterson. “We need to encourage the next generation of anglers and boaters – a key source for wildlife conservation efforts – to get out on the water, and this festival is a great vehicle for doing just that.”

Much like its sister event, the Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival, RBFF will be sponsoring the “Family Fly Fishing Classes” where Entire families can learn the basics of fly fishing free of charge, in a family setting.

In addition to the 3FC series, the Texas Fly & Brew will feature lectures and classes throughout the weekend on techniques and tactics for novices and advanced casters alike, exotic fishing locales, fishing etiquette, and much more. Also offered are free Women-Only Casting Classes as well as one-on-one instruction in basic knot-tying skills. Attendees can sit down at the vise for hands-on fly-tying instruction from members of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, a nonprofit organization that helps rehabilitate wounded veterans through fly fishing and fly tying. Experienced anglers may consider enrolling in more advanced distance-casting or Spey-casting classes with expert specialized instructors. Fly fishing icon Lefty Kreh will speak as well as cast at the event; the names of additional fly fishing luminaries will be forthcoming.

Unique to the Texas festival is local micro-breweries. Festival attendees 21 years and older will receive a series of tasting tickets with their paid admission. Local brewers will offer free classes on what sets micro brewed beer apart, why and how certain ingredients yield different flavors, and how to brew and taste different types of beer. Beer will also be available for purchase during the festival.

For more information, visit txflyfishingfestival.org or call 703-402-8338.

Set the Pace, with the New Pacemaker Series by TFO

By Temple Fork Outfitters

Designed by Bassmaster Classic Champion Cliff Pace, the TFO Pacemaker Series rods offers a wide arrange of action and technique specific tools for every angler from the hardened Elite Series pro to the weekend warrior.

This 14-rod family is composed of Cliff’s favorite rod lengths and actions, (both spinning and casting models).

Cliff’s series is a major jump forward in rod design, specifically directed to bass anglers. Here is what Cliff had to say this past summer during ICAST 2016: THE TFO PACEMAKER SERIES.

The series ranges from his go to 7-foot crankbait rod for tossing his signature Black Label Tackle Ricochet squarebill crankbaits, to an 8-foot flipping stick for working thick, matted vegetation.

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The NEW TFO Pacemaker series designed from start to finish by Bassmaster Classic Champion Cliff Pace. Photo by Brad Amy. 

This series features TFO’s proprietary Tactical Series guides, rubberized reel seats for comfort and a natural cork split grip.

The Pacemaker Series of rods are tastefully finished; simply polished, with a thin layer of matte clear coat to enhance the natural luster of the fibers and TFO’s trademark Color ID Split grip.

Pacemaker rods retail for $189.95-$199.95.

For more information please contact Temple Fork Outfitters at, info@tforods.com or by telephone, (800) 638-9052.

 

Fly Fishing Shows 2017

By Temple Fork Outfitters

Temple Fork Outfitters is proud to announce the 2017 line-up for the Fly Fishing Shows.

TFO will be exhibiting at all seven FFS events,  including the NEW Atlanta, Ga., venue.

For more information, please visit, flyfishingshow.com

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The Pandion-Not just a Two-Handed Overhead Rod

By Temple Fork Outfitters

The Pandion series is undoubtedly the premier over-head tool in the TFO line-up.

But an often overlooked use for this rod is as a sustained anchor, skagit style casting rod.

The Pandion Series two-handed rods designed by renowned expert Nick Curcione, have a very smooth medium-fast action, with a medium fast stiffness for lifting and casting more modern style heads and tips.

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A perfect tool for skagit heads and heavy sink tips. The Pandion Series a an effective rod for working steelhead runs from British Columbia to the Great Lakes. Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Motlow.

Pandion rods are built with our Kevlar Axiom technology making them incredibly smooth with remarkable distance and damping qualities.

Rods come finished with Tactical Series stripping guides and ultra-lightweight chromium impregnated stripping guides. A trimmed down, reconstituted cork handle allows for ergonomic handling and durability in the wettest fishing conditions. When the rains of the PNW are dumping and the snow in the Great Lakes is blinding, this improved handle will ensure a tight grip, and a consistent cast every time.

Pandion rods are offered in a 6, 8 and 9-weight models in lengths from 12’9″-13’9″ and retail for $449.95.

For more information on the Pandion Series, please visit, tforods.com or your local TFO dealer.

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The updated Pandion rod features improved stainless guides and a slim reconstituted cork handle for increased durability and grip. Photo courtesy of TFO.

 

Line Recommendations

MODEL LINE LENGTH SKAGIT SCANDI
TWO-HANDED OVERHEAD
TF 06 129-4 P
6 Wt. 12′ 9″ 380-500 grains 420-460 grains 380-475 grains
TF 08 133-4 P
8 Wt. 13′ 3″ 500-570 grains 500-550 grains 480- 550 grains
TF 09 139-4 P
9 Wt. 13′ 9″ 600-725 grains 600-650 grains 580-650 grains

 

Demo Day at Mission Bay Boat and Ski Club

 

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False Albacore-East Coast

By Nick Curcione, TFO Advisory Staff.

In the previous article I dealt with the long finned albacore we find off the west coast. In this piece I want to take up another member of the clan that concentrates along the east coast known as Little Tunny, or more commonly, false albacore.

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Nothing ‘false’ about these fish. Photo by TFO. 

From the standpoint of sporting qualities the latter designation is not an accurate description and if you tie into one you’ll know why. There is nothing false about the tenacity of the struggle you’ll experience when one nails your fly. These dynamos of the tuna family can rip off-line with a speed and determination that will put many other star pieces to shame.   For more years than I care to recall I’ve been battling members of the tuna family and every one of the clan is a tough, race- bred adversary. On the long-range trips out of San Diego where the primary target are “gorilla,” size yellowfin I used to warn newcomers to the sport that  “there is no such thing as an out of shape tuna” and that applies to every member of the clan regardless of size and false albacore are no exception. Nail one on fly gear and you are in for an exhilarating experience.

Like other members of the tuna clan, nature designed the little tunny to be blitz type feeders, constantly on the move.  It’s remarkable when you think about it but they never stop moving. Like other tunas, because they are negatively buoyant in the water they’ll sink if they stop swimming. Moving along in a relaxed mode, they can swim a distance equal to their body length per second. That kind of constant activity creates enormous energy demands which means that they have to be constantly on the move in search of a meal.

Whether you’re off the northwest coast of Florida, the mid Atlantic or the Northeast, your best indicator of their presence are birds working overhead. The pattern of bird activity will give you a good idea of how the fish are feeding. If the flock doesn’t linker long in a particular spot it means the bait is being pushed elsewhere and you’ll have to be ready to move in pursuit. On those rare occasions when they are feeding right along the beachfront it can result in some wild footraces up and down the sand that will make you feel like you’ve just completed a marathon. Whether you’re on foot or in a boat, it’s one of those qualities that make this fish such a challenge. One minute they are feeding in one spot and seconds later they can be a hundred or so yards off in another direction. However, this doesn’t mean that the albie’s feeding patterns are completely erratic. Bait tends to be carried along in the current and if you learn to read the current seams in a body of water, you might be able to anticipate where these “fatties,” are about to pop up next. There are guides who are very proficient at this.

Captain Joe Blados on the north shore of Long Island (creator of the Crease Fly) is a master at this game. Even without the presence of birds, many times he simply re-positions the boat along a current line in anticipation of where they’ll congregate in the flow, waits a few minutes, and often times is rewarded by albies suddenly slashing into the terrified pod. When the albies are on the move he has the rig to get you into to them. He runs a 21-foot Maverick flats skiff with a 250 hp Mercury XS racing engine on the transom. With this kind of speed if there’s other boats in the area he’s often the first one into a feeding school. If you don’t have access to a boat or have never fished the albies before, it’s certainly worthwhile to book a guide who is experienced in this type of fishing.

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Albies are aggressive feeders and explode on balls of bait with vengeance. Photo by Jim Shulin, Temple Fork Outfitters. 

Given their demanding metabolic needs albies are voracious feeders and will target a variety of bait sources-anything from bay anchovies, to bunker and squid. Be advised however that they can also be very selective in their choices. Like many species if they become focused on a particular food source, like a bay anchovy for example, they can steadfastly refuse offerings that don’t bear a reasonable resemblance to what they’re feeding on. This is compounded by the fact that they have very keen eyesight. They are open water predators and to survive in this environment nature equipped with sharp vision.

What this means to the fly angler is taking care to use appropriate size leaders and fly patterns.  I feel the most important consideration in leaders is the diameter of the material you select. Diameter is a function of the rated break strength, and though brands differ, the norm is that the higher the break strength of the line, the larger the diameter. If the fish tend to be wary and the water is clear generally I don’t fish leaders much stronger than 12-pound test. For leader length as a general rule of thumb when fishing false albacore I make it roughly the length of my rod, around 9-feet. If I’m using a fast sinking shooting head I go as short as 5 or 6-feet. There are folks who will tell you that you are handicapping yourself in this fishery if you don’t use fluorocarbon leaders. In my own experience at least, I haven’t found this to be the case. I have used fluorocarbon leaders extensively over the years but honestly cannot determine if this has resulted in more hookups.

The way you construct your leaders is another matter. Because these are very powerful fish you want to use fail safe connections. That means the knots you select should have 100% breaking strength or close to it. For a simple loop-to-loop connection between the leader and fly line you can’t go wrong with a bimini loop fastened in the tag end of the leader.  I like to cut the loop, twist the resulting two strands of line together, fold this over itself and tie a double overhand, (surgeon’s) knot. This will give you a two-strand loop. I interconnect this leader loop to the end loop in my fly line. Tied properly, this should give you a connection with 100% of the rated breaking strength of your leader. The knots are kept to a minimum and a complicated tapered leader is not necessary. Except in cases with larger tuna where a bite leader is recommended I use a single length of leader from the fly line to the fly. And because the leader is looped to the fly line, it’s simple and quick to change. All you have to do in unlock the loops. To tie the fly on I often use a non-slip mono loop knot because it gives the fly more freedom to swim, especially when you’re working a current line.

In terms of flies, as mentioned above, false albies are one species where it’s wise to try to present a pattern that bears a fairly close resemblance to the bait they are feeding on. That doesn’t mean you must strive for an exact imitation, but size, silhouette, and color can be important considerations. If I had to go with one color it would be white. For some reason, all members of the tuna family respond well to this color. If you want to darken the top section of the fly to match a particular baitfish coloration, simply use a waterproof marking pen. Bob Popovics’ Surf Candy series is a very effective pattern for these fish. The Tuffleye acrylic coatings he uses on the body gives the fly a durable as well as a realistic appearance and they’re easy to cast. In addition, his Fleye Foils make tying realistic Surf Candies a breeze. Another great pattern to throw particularly when these fish are blitz feeding on the surface is a small Crease Fly approximately 1 ½-inches in length. You can fish this with a floating or intermediate line. Admittedly I find it difficult to do because I always want to give action to a fly, but sometimes the best strategy is to simply allow the Crease Fly to float listlessly on the surface and not impart any movement at all. I think the albies mistake it for a wounded or stunned baitfish and when they suddenly scream by and crash it, your adrenaline rush will immediately peak to the extreme zone.

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Matching the hatch, applies to more than just trout anglers. Photo by TFO. 

Even though the surface action is the most dramatic, similar to my west coast bonito fishing I often resort to fast sinking line shooting heads. After all these years I’m convinced that shooting heads for this type of fishing is the way to go. You will find that you can cast further with them and as a result cover long stretches of water. Many times it’s not possible to slide in close to these fish because they will spook so the ability to make casts in the 80 to 100-foot range can be a definite advantage.

Over the years I’ve used many different rod models for these fish and one of my favorites is the TFO 8/10 Mini Mag. When members of the tuna clan make for the depths you can’t beat the pulling power of these sticks. Lately I’ve also been outfitting myself with the new Edge 8-wt fly rod. This stick is one of legendary Gary Loomis’s latest creations and it certainly lives up to all the positive things I’ve heard about it. It’s very light in the hand but also incredibly strong and the components are the finest you’ll find on any rod. They cast great with all the lines I thrown with them, from weight forward floaters to ultra fast sinking shooting heads and they have the power to enable you to really put it to incredibly strong pulling fish like the tuna clan. I like to match this with rod with one of the new Atoll reels. For false albacore I opt for the number II model. Like all the series the drag is silk smooth and the ergonomics afford rapid cranking ability when a fish suddenly decides to run back to you.  Go out there with the right stuff and you’ll find a day with the false albies is sure to be a memorable one.