The Fish Picture

tfo_logo_ovalBy Lefty Kreh and TFO

The fish photo is often a visual reward for that long planned trip and hard earned catch. But, in all of the excitement of hooking and landing a fish, anglers often forget that a sudden jerk out of the water and a tight grip can harm the fish.

Here an angler demonstrates poor hand placement when holding a fish in a lip grip.

Here an angler demonstrates poor hand placement when holding a fish in a lip grip.

Even the angle at which a fish is held can impact its chances of survival.

A common pose with salmon and steelhead anglers, the "dig in," can have negative consequences for the internal health of the fish.  ©Nick Conklin, Temple Fork Outfitters.

A common pose with salmon and steelhead anglers, the “dig in,” can have negative consequences for the internal health of the fish.
©Nick Conklin, Temple Fork Outfitters.

The most common catch photo is of the angler holding the fish with one hand in a vertical angle. This pose is most popular with largemouth and smallmouth bass anglers; however, toothy fish have often bared the brunt of this “dangling” pose. Whether held by the lip or the bottom of the tail (permit anglers we’re looking at you!) dangling a fish by either end can cause severe internal injuries. Popular among salmon and steelhead anglers is the “digging in” pose. The fish is held with the head at a downward angle and tail end pointing up. Poses like this can be especially damming, as internal damage can result. Similar to deer and humans, a fish’s organs are contained in a thin sac. When held vertically or at odd angles, gravity can cause the weight of their organs to fatally tear though the thin lining. Don’t handle the fish if possible. The best scenario is to bring the fish close, but, while still in the water remove the fly or lure.

Fish can be fatally harmed if held improperly with a lip grip. ©Nick Conklin, Temple Fork Outfitters.

Fish can be fatally harmed if held improperly with a lip grip.
©Nick Conklin, Temple Fork Outfitters.

Some states even have strict regulations against lifting fish out of the water to be photographed. So, before hoisting that fish out of the water for a photo, check the regulations, or else that toothy smile may turn into a frown.

Tuna on the Fly- In PORTO BARRICATA Italy

TFO oval logoBy TFO

Stefano Mantegazza of Alpi Flyfishing has been landing some huge tuna on the Heavy Duty Bluewater rod.

Check out a brief report of some of the fishing he has been doing:

“Outside Italy nobody knows that we have such great fishing for tuna. Our location, Porto Barricata is about 90 km (about 56 miles),  south of Venice on the Delta Del Po.

The PO is the biggest Italian river which flows across the country  and enters into the Adriatic sea in Porto Barricata…What is interesting is that those blue fin often eat on the surface…..why?? we believe because the sea is not very deep. You go out 20 miles and the sea is only 35 meters deep, (about 115 feet deep)…. the big PO river moves a lot of water and those Tuna love to be there because a lot of sardines and anchovies congregate there.”  

© Stefano Mantegazza

© Stefano Mantegazza

© Stefano Mantegazza

© Stefano Mantegazza

© Stefano Mantegazza

© Stefano Mantegazza

The Most Common Rod Break You’ve Never Heard of

All fishing rods are not created equal.

Rods are made from a mixture of composite fibers such as S-Glass and Kevlar and combined with graphite, can almost bend to the point where they can be tied into a knot. While these rods are almost indestructible, they lack the capacity to cast long distances and have poor sensitivity.

Here, an angler puts far to much pressure on the tip of the rod. This not only increases failure rate, but always puts unnecessary pressure on the angler.

Here, an angler puts far to much pressure on the tip of the rod. This not only increases failure rate, but always puts unnecessary pressure on the angler.

This is not the case with high modulus carbon rods. While they can offer maximum casting distances and ultimate sensitivity for an angler, there are limitations in amount of bend that can be applied to these rods.

High modulus carbon rods cannot withstand the abuse and stress that lower modulus and spiral wrapped graphite rods can handle.

We often see rods sent in for warranty attached with an angry note, blaming us for their rod failing.

WRONG! In almost all circumstances it is not the rod that failed, rather, the angle at which the angler chose to fight the fish.

When these breaks, called “hi-stick” breaks, occur it is often do to the angler choosing to fight the fish off of the tip of the rod rather than the butt.

“High sticking,” a fishing rod is when you pull back on the rod so far that the rod forms more than a 90 degree angle to the water. There is no doubt that the higher the modulus of a carbon rod, (like the BVK rod); the easier it is to break the rod and the less (angler) abuse that it can endure.

Below are three links to outside sources that can validate issue’s common breakage issues associated with any high modulus graphite rod.

GTS Drop Shot Series Rods- Review

TFOLogo-NoTextBy G. Wayne Byrd, TFO Pro Staff

First Impressions/Technical Specifics: 

My first thoughts when I pulled these rods out of the shipping tubes were…lightweight, balanced, clean and precision made tools.


Photo illustration by Nicholas Conklin, Temple Fork Outfitters.

The blanks are clean in appearance with well-appointed winding checks, wraps, logos and components.  The rods are finished with a thin layer of matte clear coat over polished graphite which produces an immaculate rod that is both durable and striking.

From the natural high grade hand contoured cork grips, to a two piece split-grip reel seat for greater sensitivity and weight reduction. On the rear of the rods you will find TFO’s trademark Color ID System for quick and accurate rod power selection. The GTS series has no fore grip which reduces weight and improves balance but also makes it possible to place your forefinger directly on the blank for added sensitivity. The guides are appropriately labeled “Tactical Series Guides” and are a proprietary guide that is super hard-chrome anodized, stainless steel insert pressed into a machined, hard-anodized, and chromium impregnated stainless steel.

What does all this technical talk mean to you the angler? Simply put, you the consumer will receive a set of guides that are braid safe, saltwater safe, won’t pop-put and are 30 percent lighter than standard SiC guides.

TFO GTS DSC733-1 & DSS733-1 Drop Shot Rods: 

Both rods are technique specific rods that are designed for drop shot, finesse applications. DSC is the acronym for drop shot casting, and DSS is the for drop shot spinning.

The 733-1 denotes 7’3” length in Medium Light Power and a 1 piece rod construction. Both rods are rated for a lure weight of 1/8-ounce up to ½-ounce with a line weight rating of 4 to 10-pound line.

On the DSC model, I paired the rod with a baitcast reel spooled with 6lb fluorocarbon line.

The rod loaded farther up the blank than many drop shot rods I have experienced. The benefit of fishing a faster taper rod in a 7’3” length is very apparent when you hook into a large fish and are able to feel the rod’s powerful backbone.

One characteristic that really stood out for me was the rod’s accuracy. This was especially evident tossing baits under low hanging branches. The 7’3” length of the DSS spinning rod took a little practice to get dialed in as I was used to tossing a drop shot rig with a shorter rod. I felt like the accuracy was due largely to the fast action and taper of the rod. Also, the handle of the DSS rod is shorter than many spinning rods on the market which worked well because it would not get hung up on my clothing, or arm like many spinning rods are inclined to. Even though the handles are slightly shortened; the rod balances perfectly.

Photo courtesy Wayne G. Byrd.

Photo illustration by Nicholas Conklin, Temple Fork Outfitters. 

Photo illustration by Nicholas Conklin, Temple Fork Outfitters.

Photo illustration by Nicholas Conklin, Temple Fork Outfitters.

I fish baitcasting rigs close to 85 percent of the time; the GTS DSC casting model was accurate right out of the gate and required no adjustment period to become familiar with. It was very nice to be able to throw a 1/8-ounce finesse rig with a casting set-up.

When fishing light line finesse techniques, sensitivity is imperative. I was able to feel every rock and piece of structure I came into contact with and every little tick…tick…tick from the fish was felt and the majority turned into a nice hook up.  If you feel the 7’3” length might be too long for you, TFO has remedied this situation and produced an alternative with a 6’9” ML power drop shot rod in both a casting and spinning models. These shorter models are the GTS DSC693-1 for the casting model and GTS DSS693-1 for the spinning. If perhaps you discover that you need an even lighter power rod, TFO also produces several Light power drop shot rods in the GTS spinning series. These are available in  6’3” GTS DSS632-1, 6’9” GTS DSS692-1 and a 7’3” DSS732-1.

G. Wayne Byrd is a Professional Angler/Outdoor Writer and 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.  Questions/Commentary/Bookings? Contact:

Dally’s Fly Fisher and Dry Run Creek

TFO oval logoBy Temple Fork Outfitters


Steve and the rest of the gang at Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher spend most of their time guiding and teaching on the various ‘big name’ waters around Northern Arkansas. However, they do get to take younger folks to Dry Run Creek and offer them the opportunity to experience something very special.

Steve sent of this video with some highlights of younger anglers on Dry Run Creek.

For those unaware, Steve says,

“Dry Run Creek is a jewel of a stream nestled in our quiet corner of the Ozarks. Dry Run is open to children under 16 and qualified mobility handicapped anglers. There is no finer kid’s fishery anywhere in the world. And for adults it’s a living lesson in trout behavior. The creek is an artificial only, catch and release stream.

Whether your children, or grandchildren are on their first fly fishing trip, or chasing a trophy trout, the gift of Dry Run Creek will last a lifetime.

This is a very special place we have raised our own kids.

For more information on Dry run creek, or any of the waters around Northern Arkansas please contact Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher, or visit their website,




Mad River Outfitters/Flip Pallot Saltwater Fly Fishing School

The Mad River Outfitters/Flip Pallot Saltwater Fly Fishing School will be held in San Pedro- Ambergris Caye in Belize from Saturday, April 12th- Friday, April 18th. 2014.

Photo courtesy Flip Pallot.

Photo courtesy Flip Pallot.

Included in this trip: Transportation from San Pedro airport to the villa, 6 nights lodging, all meals, Flip Pallot School, 3 days guided fishing, tons of fun

Trip Cost: $3595.00 per angler

***Trip cost includes a FREE TFO Mangrove Fly Rod- designed by Flip Pallot himself!!
Click Here to view the rods!

For information on the school, please visit:

Joining Flip will be the founder and owner of one of the largest fly fishing outfitters in the country, Brian Flechsig of Mad River Outfitters. Brian is the host of the Mad River Media series of instructional fly fishing videos, author, fly designer and a veteran instructor. Not to mention, of course, he’s a world-class saltwater angler with over 30 years of experience. Brian and Flip began working together over 14 years ago when they filmed a mess of episodes of the Walker’s Cay Chronicles together.

“It Really is Bigger in Texas”- GAFF MAGAZINE

Check out this cool Texas-style fishing article in the September/October issue of Gaff Magazine, entitled “It Really is Bigger in Texas,” By Dustin Catrett.

TFO friend and accomplished guide, Ben Paschal is highlighted in the write-up on sight casting for redfish in the Lower Laguna Madre. Below is a brief portion of the GAFF Magazine article. For the complete article, and more tips on fly fishing for reds, check out, GAFF Magazine.

By Ben Paschal, Laguna Madre Outfitters.

By Ben Paschal, Laguna Madre Outfitters.

“Most of my clients are usually shocked when they see the amount of sight-casting opportunities we have here,” says Paschal, who also doubles as a talented photographer putting clients in front of fish, and then capturing the moment from behind the lens. “Depending on the time of year, I enjoy looking for tailing or backing fish until the sun gets up high enough to be able to spot fish on the sand,” He adds. “Guys are overwhelmed by this, as it is unlike anything you would expect to see in Texas.”

From the bow of his 17-foot Maverick, anglers can take shots at anywhere from 20 to 50 fish per day, given decent conditions in water less than knee deep, while being slowly poled across the great expanse of the Laguna. For sight casting to these drum, Paschal prefers the fly rod over conventional tackle, using a TFO BVK 8-weight rod, matched with a Hatch fly reel, and a long 9- to 12-foot leader with a 10- to 15-pound tippet. The flies that bring most of his fish to boatside are small crab or shrimp imitations tied on with #4 or #6 hooks.”