After a few minor complications that have been fully cleared up, FLY GEAR is here.

This was an exciting book to write, with a deep look into the gear than makes fly fishing such an interesting sport. Until February 15th it is being offered at the Just-released price of $25.00, which includes shipping and handling. I will personalize the book to you, or to the person you designate when you order it. Please, if you are ordering it for someone else, don’t forget to tell me so, and give me that person’s name. Otherwise, I will sign it to the person who orders the book.

There’s a saying in fly fishing that equipment isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. And that’s certainly true. Especially when we understand that our equipment is the only thing between us and the fish. Fly Gear is a full 224 pages. And what a great 224 pages are they are, crammed with an abundance of detailed information on the gear that we love. The primary emphasis is on rods, reels, lines, and leaders. These tackle items are not just discussed from the current view-point, but from the whole of fly fishing, its evolution to modern tackle (which began around 1850), and on to today’s marvelous equipment. There are charts and diagrams that help the reader to clearly see the “why” as well as the “how.” There are page upon page of reasoned guidance in tackle selection, and a thorough look at Bill Hanneman’s CCS system for rod evaluation. Two full chapters are devoted to leader development, including a deep look at Gary’s much lauded Uni-Body leader system. There’s a full chapter on the most used knots, replete with very clear photos of their construction. Fly lines, our most unique piece of fly fishing equipment, receive four chapters, discussing them in great detail so that the reader is totally prepared to select that just right line for any circumstance. Likewise four chapters are devoted to details of modern fly rods. Knowing them in intimate detail, from bamboo to glass to graphite to boron, allows the angler to not only select the best rod for any situation, but also allows the fly fisher to discuss topics such as action, swing weight, prepreg, mandrels, and more with total authority and accurate knowledge. This is a book designed by a fly fisher for every serious fly fisher.

To order this new book, click here: ORDER FLY GEAR






The Perfect Cast I discusses and demonstrates the three casting Methods: Wrist Casting, Forearm Casting, and Whole Arm Casting, noting their best uses, and clearly illustrating the “how-to” of each method. Gary discusses grip and stance, including detailed instructions for The Three Point Grip. There are clearly illustrated demonstrations of the Bow and Arrow Cast, the Elliptical Stroke, Across the Head Cast, Hook Curve, Reach Mend, Curve Mend, Puddle Mend, Roll Cast, Switch Cast or Forward Spey, Shooting Line, Long Distance Casting. Gary discusses and illustrates the details of the backcast with its lift and flip, the pause, the forward cast, A.L.E., Loop formation, tailing loops, pantomiming, false casting, casting in the wind, pickups, including the “C” Pickup, change of direction pickups, mending, and more. Unique shots from above dramatically illustrate Gary’s discussions of the casts and mends. All this in a 72 minute DVD for only $16.50 postage paid

Gary’s clear and easy to follow teaching style was developed in over 40 years of teaching internationally on all aspects of fly casting and fly fishing at the professional level. He produced the first-ever instructional video on fly fishing (Nymphing, 1982), was the Midwest Director of the Fenwick Fly Fishing Schools, and a founding Board Member of the FFF Casting Certification Program. He writes and lectures internationally on all aspects of fly fishing. Music on this DVD from the CD, “My Madison,” by Gary Borger and John Beth. To order the CD or see other ongoing information, visit

To order this great new DVD click here: ORDER THE PERFECT CAST I DVD





In this unique collaborative work, Gary and John have joined the best of their writing and musical composition and performance skills to celebrate their joy in this magnificent fishery. They envision the river’s seven segments in prose and music: the headwaters of the Gibbon River and the Firehole, the Upper Madison that feeds Hebgen Lake, Quake Lake with the lost campers under its huge slide, the 55 mile riffle down to Ennis Lake, and the Lower Madison through the Beartrap Canyon and on to the formation of the Missouri at Three Forks. John’s delightful music gives song to the grand sweep of the whole river, and Gary’s poetry in prose paints a unique picture of this unique river. “MY Madison” was awarded First Place in the 1994 Broadcast Division by the American Association of Outdoor Writers. This prestigious award is celebrated in this 20th Anniversary Release. This 14 track CD is priced at only $11.50 postage paid. For ongoing information visit Copyright 2015, All Rights Reserved

To order this great music CD click here: ORDER MY MADISON MUSIC CD

Spectacular Gray Drakes

My friend, Jim Hagar, is a member of the Pere Marquette Rod and Gun Club and fishes its waters regularly. On May 19 he encountered the most spectacular Gray Drake spinner fall that he’s seen in 37 years of fishing the Pere Marquette. It must have been something because I’ve fished that spinner fall with Jim several times, and it was always fantastic. The spinners began dropping at 3:45 instead of close to dark, and continued until about 6. The fishing was stunning and Jim took full advantage of it. Below are a few photos of fish from the many that he caught. Let’s hope this is a harbinger of the Brown Drake and Hex hatches yet to come.

Blues are Nippin’

Spring has sprung in the NE and the blues are close in. Theo Bakelaar has been chasing them and found this beauty.

The Blues that make you smile!!

Lahontan Cuts

The Lahontan Cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki henshawi) is the stuff of legends. I well remember, as a kid in the early 1950s, reading stories of the monsters that came out of Pyramid Lake. And then in the lat 50s and through the 60s, the population crashed and the legends disappeared from the lake, completely. This was primarily attributable to dam and diversion structures, habitat fragmentation and degradation throughout the species range, in addition to the the introduction of non-native trout species.

The Lahontans are also found in a three lakes in Washington, Omak. Grimes, and Lenore. These fish get big, but not genetically matched to the legends of Pyramid. So, those interested in adding the species to a life list often headed north to the eastern side of Washington to fulfill their dream.

But then in 1970s, biologists found a few small cutthroat in a stream near Pilot Peak along the Utah border. They were a genetic match for the original monsters of Pyramid Lake. Four decades of work has the lake producing its legends again. At the Fly Fishing Shows this year, I talked to several guides, anglers, and outfitters that regularly fish the lake, and was told that the big boys are indeed back. Not yet the 41 pound monster that holds the world record, but certain those in the 20 pounds range—with every possibility that they will get even larger in years to come. Keep you eye on this one. This is one of several sites you can explore.

Bluesman Keith Scott with an very nice Lahontan Cut from Omak in Washington.

Spring Steelhead 2017

It’s that time again. Steelhead are starting to run in the rivers of the Lake States and in the Pacific Northwest. Waters are high in both areas due to unprecedented rains and snow melt, but high waters never stopped the fish—only the fishermen. Still, the fish are there, and if one knows the waters, one may well find them.

My friend, Keith Scott, wild blues guitar man, loves to fly fish, and gets some good chances as he tours the US with “ax” in hand. He confirmed the steelhead run the other day on Michigan’s Manistee River with guide Jon Lindy. At least he wasn’t singing the “Steelhead Blues.”

Get thee to the river, the steelhead are in.

Theo’s Huge Pike Fly

Theo Bakelaar sent along a great photo of the huge pike fly he uses so effectively in the rivers in Holland. While some may think it’s too big, the pike really don’t think so, proving the old adage, “Big fly, big fish.”

Now there’s a handful–or should I say a pike’s mouthful.

Spring has Sprung

Spring has sprung, the grass is rise, I wonders where the big pikes is? They’re in Theo’s hands! Our friend, Theo Bakelaar, has been out “prospecting” the big rivers in Holland with some really big flies and finding success with some really big pike.

It’s a big early here yet, in the Pacific Northwest, for bass and pike, but the steelhead are running and the spring Chinooks will be here soon. Let’s hope the weather modulates a bit so the rivers can drop back to more or less fishable conditions. We broken several records for rainfall here in the NW this winter, and the rainy season is not yet over.

Big fly, big pike. Look at the length of the fly hanging from the pike’s mouth.

Chuck Furimsky Fly Tyer

The Fly Fishing Shows, held across the nation, are the result of a fly tyer’s love of sharing information about feathers, fur, and steel. Chuck Furimsky started the Shows in 1989. This year, the Shows offered events in Denver CO, Marlboro MA, Somerset NJ, Atlanta GA, Lynwood WA, Pleasanton CA, and Lancaster PA. The Somerset Show is the largest fly fishing show in the world (see Shows). In 1989, Chuck also founded the International Fly Tying Symposium, held annually in Somerset, NJ the weekend before Thanksgiving (see Symposium).

All well and good, but Chuck is always so busy at the Shows and at the Tying Symposium that he never ties. A real pity, because he is an innovative tyer, especially when it comes to using his “Bugskin” material. Specially skived and treated New Zealand lambskin, Bugskin is tough and very soft. It makes great leeches, worms, and other flies that require a highly flexible tail or body. In addition, it makes a great material for the back on nymphs, crustaceans, and the like. (Go here, and then page down to find Bugskin)

This year it’s a different story. Chuck will be tying at the Midwest Fly Fishing Expo in Detroit, and demonstrating his Turbo Tail series. These flies use a twister tail cut from Bugskin, and I can tell you, they have action second to none. His smaller sizes reflect the notion of the Woolly Bugger, and he calls them his Turbo Tail Buggers. His larger sizes haven’t been named yet, but the medium sized ones are excellent for bass, big browns, smaller pike, and the like. The big ones are great for big pike, muskies, and salt water fish like blue fish and stripers. He also dresses some in slider configurations, like the Black Snake shown below. These really create top water commotion.

If you’re anywhere in the Detroit area, get to the Show and watch Chuck whip out some of these really active imitations, March 17 & 18, 2017. Check it out at Expo.

For those you in distant places go to Utube to see Chuck tie the flies.

Turbo tails (top) Large for pike, muskie, blues, stripers, etc., (middle) Medium for bass, big browns, salmon, redfish, etc., (bottom) Turbo Tail Bugger, great for trout, bass, bones, and so on.

The top water blacksnake is a real commotion creator.

Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show 2017

This weekend, February 24-26, 2017, was the Fly Fishing Show at Pleasanton, CA. Friday the hall was almost instantly filled with enthusiastic fly fishers, testing rods, attending programs and demonstrations, chatting with fly tyers, discussing travel opportunities and a huge variety of fly fishing products, and even sampling aged, flavored balsamic vinegars (I flipped out over the elderberry). Saturday was elbow to elbow in the aisles, and the vendors and other exhibitors were busy, busy, busy. Sunday was another great day at the show, with a crowd equal to that of Friday.

My friend, Dave Blackburn, played banjo over the lunch hour each day, and for an hour before the Friday night Fly Fishing Film Festival.

My casting demos were thickly attended, and everyone had a great time running though the pantomimes of casting. The fly tying demos were fun because the Show founder, Chuck Furimsky (who is a very fine fly tyer) came in and cut some twister tails from his BigSkin material, and I used them to tie TwisterTail Down and Dirty minnows and sculpins. And my Power Point Programs on Fishing the Big Fish Flies, Really Matching the Hatch, and Fishing the Film drew plenty of great comments. Thanks everyone.

The crowd each day filled the aisles. The roar of the crowd was nearly overwhelming.


Bruce Taylor’s beautifully carved and painted trout are always a hit at the Shows.


One of the “exercises” we do at the casting demos is looking at the angle that the “opposable digit,” (thumb) makes with the bones of the forearm and the angle that the pointer finger makes, as I discuss the Three Point Grip. So, these are the “Pleasanton Palm Readers.”


“Palmers” on the other side of the pond.

Extra-Select Craft Fur

When I do tying demonstrations at the Fly Fishing Shows, I often use Extra-Select Craft Fur rather than natural furs. It’s easier to carry and comes in a host of colors not available in natural furs. Of course I get many question about the material, so here’s where you can get it–Feather Craft:

Black Nose Dace tied with Extra-Select Craft Fur

Lynwood Fly Fishing Show 2017

The Fly Fishing Show  at Lynwood is always fun. And Saturday was a hoot. The crowd around the casting pond was astonishing. As always, they willingly participated–in both the physical exercises (all pantomime) and the jokes. Sunday’s crowd was equally enthusiastic, and we all had a fun time learning a host of casting and mending tactics. Thanks to all the great “Lynwood Pointers.”

Next weekend, February 24-26, 2017 is the Pleasanton, CA, Fly Fishing Show. I’ll be there all three days. Come by and say “Hi.”

Saturday’s crowd was densely populated and ready to point, point, point.


The other side of the pond on Saturday. The “Lynwood Pointers” were an eager group.


Sunday’s pointers were every bit as enthusiastic–why are they always so eager to point at me?


I love the smiles and laughs. We always have a fun time and lean a great deal about casting.