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

“Jousey” Sharks

No, not the mafia—real sharks. My old friend, Chuck Furimsky, recently returned from a toothy critter trip for Northern Pike (which see). He then decided that pike teeth are not nearly toothy enough. So out on the big water off the coast of New Jersey to catch some big sharks—yes you have to use wire tippets. He used his incredibly effective “Chunk Head” fly, pulling the sharks close with a cut fish chum before showing them this cut bait fly. By the way, one does not unhook them with one’s hand—use a very long hook disgorger to do the job.

These were a bit bigger than the normal ones Chuck catches–very exciting to unhook.


Notice the wire tippet–essential on sharks of any size.


Yes, the Chunk Head is tied to look like a part of a baitfish.

Wisconsin Spring Creeks

My old home state, Wisconsin, has some great spring creek fishing, especially in the “Driftless Region,” so called because it was not glaciated in the last ice age. My old friend, John Beth, lives on the edge of the Driftless, and worries its trout–when making knives and playing piano and guitar will allow him to do so.

On his last visit, the summer vegetation had taken over, and he had to work to find places to cast without getting hung up in the tall prairie grasses and forbes. Well, he did find a few places, and found some good trout there. I especially like the coloring of the big brown and big brookie that he managed on his last outing.

A very nice brown on a tiny dry.


Great color on this lovely brookie from the Driftless.

Georgetown Lake, MT


My friend, bluesman Keith Scott, has been performing in MT, and has had a chance to fish some prime water. He visited Georgetown Lake (headwater of the Beaverhead). It’s a big lake—a big trout lake. I’ve also has some great carp fishing there. He had a great day with some nice fish, including a big brookie. Keep after ‘em Keith. Will there be a new song entitled “Georgetown Blues”?

Keith with a very healthy Georgetown rainbow.


A big Georgetown brookie.


Another great Georgetown rainbow.

MMM–May is Mentoring Month

Chuck Furimsky, founder of The Fly Fishing Shows, is, as you would suspect, an avid angler. He is also an avid promoter of the sport, especially to the younger generations. He recently issued this challenge to the fly fishing industry:

“Pick a day and take a child, teenager, cousin, wife, or friend for a day of mentoring that just might change their lives forever. I want you to steal my idea. Every T.U. club, FFI chapter; fly shop, manufacturer, and fly fisher who wants to pass along their passion for our sport must band together and create a mentoring movement. Share your success on social media and make everyone, everywhere, and every day in May special for the future of fly fishing.”

For his MMM trip he fished with the two boys of the women that work in his office—Jenny Barkman’ 9-year old son, Ben, and Missy Schultz’s 5-year old boy, Diem. They had a great day, catching not only a goodly number of fish, but several species as well. As Chuck was helping Ben land the last of 14 fish for the day, he looked up at Chuck with a smile and said, ‘When I grow up I want to be a professional fly fisherman.’

Notes Chuck: “My goal was to perhaps introduce someone to fly-fishing and help grow our sport. Never did I imagine I might be mentoring the next Lefty Kreh.”

Note: In the movie, “A River Runs Through it,” there is a great scene where young Norman and Paul are lying on their backs in the grass, and Norman asks Paul what he wants to be when he grows up. Paul replies, “Mmmm, a professional fly fisherman.”

Note 2: Any month can be a mentoring month. Go for it.

Ben with a nice perch, Mentor Chuck smiles.too.


Nothing like fifty bass to hook you on fly fishing.


Diem nailed a really nice sunfish!


Ian’s Record Brown

My friend, Ian Gordon, is a teacher of two-hand casting in Scotland, and a very fine angler, guiding for Atlantic Salmon on a variety of Scottish rivers. And what does he do for relation–go fishing. This time in Iceland for huge browns on Lake Thingvallavathn, the largest lake in that country. The browns get enormous because the waters are warmed a bit, year round, by hot springs in the bottom of the lake, allowing the fish to grow uninhibited all 12 months.

Not knowing what to expect, but being told it was single-hand casting water, Ian, none-the-less, stuck in his Hardy switch rod. And good thing. Thingvallavathn is a vast lake that gives the wind plenty of fetch to get going, and going very strong–like the zephyrs of Terra del Fuego. On one particular day, Ian found himself in an ideal spot, but not ideal for casting with the single-hand rod. So out came the 7-weight switch. The line weight for a 7 wt, 2-hander is basically the same as a 10 weight for a single hand, allowing Ian to heave his streamer the long 100 feet that he need to reach the spot where he’d seen a tail that size of a big Atlantic salmon’s. The fly sank for a count of 15 and on the first strip, the fish was on. And on, and on, and on.

Wrestled in at last, it topped out at 26 1/2 pounds, a true monster, and new lake record. Want to see it on video? Go here, and page to the bottom–read all the good info on the way down.

Now where is my switch rod….

Hey, Ian, that is one serious brown trout!

Turbo Tail Strikes Again

Chuck continued his week at Gangler’s Lodge in northern Manitoba with more pike rippin’. They decided to put Chuck to the test and took him to “Frustration Bay,” where the gin clear water showed every 36-40” pike as clear as day. These fish were all “frustration” trained. They would follow the lure or fly right to the boat, thumb their noses, and slide away. That is, until Chuck showed them the Turbo Tail flies. Then it was catchin’ time. The biggest was 42 inches; it just couldn’t stand the action and flash of a Silver Turbo Tail.

If you haven’t tried this design, it’s simple but, “Oh” so effective. Chuck uses his Bug Skin material for the tail, cutting it into a question mark, and lashing it firmly to the hook before dressing the rest if the fly (which can be dang near any style you like). Create deep divers, medium weight ones, and some top water beauties.

By the way, in the appropriate sizes, these are food for bass and trout, and anything else you want to heave them at.

Serious pike!


Turbo Tails ready to fish.

Pike City 1

My good friend, Chuck Furimsky, is yanking pike out of Canadian waters with determination this week. He managed 90-100 in the first two days, with the 40-inch beauty below as the biggest. He didn’t tell me what he caught them on, but I know he was tying a series of big flies with twister tails cut from his Bug Skin leather. He’s off to bigger fish waters the next couple of days, and promised more reports. I will get info on the flies he used, and any stories he has about the trip.

Best so far–40 inches of northern.

Bug Skin Crab Fly

My good friend, Chuck Furimky, recently developed a new crab imitation using his justly famous material, Bug Skin. Out on a flounder fishing expedition with his fly rod, he took this beauty. When he opened the stomach, lo an behold, it was filled with crabs that imitated his imitation. I can just taste those filets!

Nice fly, Chuck! I’ll bet Permit would gobble this imitation, too!

That’s a big flounder, Chuck. What’d ya git ’em on?


Aha! Chuck’s Bug Skin Crab along with real ones from the flounder’s stomach. Tasty looking flies! The flounder thought so, too. 

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!!