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

New Hardy Website for 2016

Hardy has just posted its new web site. There’s a great piece by Howard Croston, Hardy’s Brand Manager on French style nymphing, both the original form and the newer modified version. In addition, there’ great info on the new rod series, and the new reels, like the Duchess and mid-sixed arbor reels. These are great items in the new line-up. You need to have a look. Hardy.webloc


The Duchess is a wonderful trout reel with truly great features. Have a look.


The new MA (Medium Arbor) reels give the angler a bit more line capacity and head room than the large arbor models. I love ‘em.

Theo Finds a Striper

The International Fly Tying Symposium is coming up this weekend, and Chuck, Theo,  and Harry are in Ocean City hunting stripers and blues. There are so many bunkers about that finding the stripers is a bit difficult. But, Theos Eelskin Sandeel found a nice one. If you get to the Symposium, stop and see Theo his eelskin creations. Say “Hi” for me.


Theo with a nice stripe on his eelskin fly.

Golden Dorodo

My friend Pablo Perez is hosting a TV series in Argentina for Latin American ESPN. It’s called Patagonia Waters.

Recently they shot footage at Rio Dorado, Salta, Argentina, where the golden dorado occupy clear waters. Whew, makes me want to grab my fly rod and head off south of the border. And maybe I just will. I’d love to see my photo holding a nice one like this.


This is the kind of place that I want to fish for golden dorado.


Yup, I would be grunting too! That’s some fish!


Albie Season

Our friend, Jake Jordan, is ripping albacore. Nice ones, too. The kind that nearly pull one’s arms out of the shoulder sockets, and that before they get serious. If you ever want to feel what a fish is capable of, this is where you should cast your line:


Paul McGarvie with a very nice albie.

Chuck, Theo, and Harry into Real Fish

Well, enough of aliens. The fearsome trio of Chuck, Theo, and Harry headed to the hills for some real fish—trout in this case. And they found some very nice ones. Question is, will they have enough will power to leave real fish and go to the International Fly Tying Symposium in Somerset next weekend (Nov. 21-22) (international fly tying symposium). Will power or not, they all have to be there, so they will be.

Unfortunately, I will not be. I wish it were because I will be catching real fish. Actually I’m trying to catch some real estate—somewhere in the Portland, OR, area. Nancy and I are camped in our motorhome, enduring the November rains, and reaching out into the area for the best place for us to live. We will be close to Jason and Kelley and Brooke, and will be able to fish, picnic, hike, and generally live life together much more easily than when we live in central Wisconsin and they were out here. By the way, the dogs love the motorhome; they think it’s a giant kennel that we have to stay in, too.


Finally. Harry with a real fish. A very nice brown.


Even Chuck had to get in on the action. That’s quite a rainbow!


Cohos and Chinese Food

My blues picking buddy, Keith Scott, is twanging up a storm in the Seattle area and taking every chance possible to sample both the Chinese food and the fishing. He’s found great examples of both. I love the chrome bright coho–it would make a really great salmon-over-alder-wood-fire dish. If he’s playing anywhere in your area, go hear him, and tell him GB sent you.


What a magnificent backdrop to a day’s fishing.


This is the color I like them!

Aliens and Whales You Say?

How does he do it? Chuck Furimski was fishing with our mutual friends from Holland, Theo Bakelaar and Harry Schoel, for stripers and blues. They managed no fish, but did get all sorts of “aliens.” Chuck nailed a nice squid, Theo hung a dog shark, and then a ray.  Now that’s a fine assortment if you ask me. Harry?   Well, he was fishing for a really big striper, a whale of a fish. Suddenly, their dreams came true. A whale-no not a whale of a fish, a real whale. Not many anglers get to cast to real whales. But, like the stripers and blues, the whale merely ignored their flies, and gave them the “tail” before he left, rather indignantly.


Calamari anyone?


This is my pet dog, “shark” is his name.


Is there even a “ray” of hope for us today?

whale“You can’t catch me, na, na, na, na, na.”


“Here’s what I think of you.”

Fall Salmon Report

While Nancy and I were driving west and settling in an RV Park—where we will live until we find a home—John Beth was out ripping lips. Not a lot of them because the food base in Lake Michigan was greatly diminished this year. As John noted in a recent email to me, “this marks my 40th year of tributary fishing.. October and November (and up until freeze up..) offers outstanding fly fishing in Wisconsin. Below is a photo of my friend Scott Allen – president of the Aldo Leopold chapter of TU – with an amazingly colored male coho that he landed on a beautiful November day – I took Scott on his inaugural “salmon on a fly” trip and he had a great day – landing five and hooking several others – all on streamers.”

It sounds as if the Lake Michigan anadromous run numbers and size of the fish are way down – as will be the stocking programs to try to adapt and adjust to a diminishing forage base in Lake Michigan (thanks a lot Zebra Mussels).

But a good day of “fish hunting” can still prove the skeptics wrong now and then. And a beautiful day on a fall river is a special experience – if one catches a fish or two – so much the better !


A very happy Scott with a brightly colored male coho.

NAFF Casting Notes

One of our main goals at the Northern Arkansas Fly Fishers clinic this past weekend was an involved discussion of casting. Casting is the physical skill of fly fishing, and often times the enjoyment of an angling day comes from our ability to readily execute the needed cast and/or mend to take a particularly difficult or highly selective fish.

Of course, understanding the foundation casting principles is essential if one is to build such variations as a Puddled Reach, a Puddle Mend followed by a Hump Mend followed by a Dancing Line Mend. Or, an upward climbing Hook Curve on the backstroke; perhaps an Across the Head stroke followed by an Overpowered Negative Curve Cast. Maybe a Curve Mend half way out to the fly, and so on. We all had a great time, with plenty of Q & A, and hands on to try the Three Point Grip and the 30/90 casting stroke.

Of course in the process of demo-ing what to do and what not to do, I tied several real “doosies” of a knot. They were potential award-winners.

Bill Barksdale generously shot a series of photos of the whole weekend, and supplied me with the shots below. Thanks Bill for your thoughtfulness.


Coming together to see the Three Point Grip up close and personal.


The perfect stop point on the forward stroke for a great size loop for fishing.


The lift after a vertical Overpowered Curve Cast so that the line has time to tuck.


One of my professionally tied, award-winning knots.

Clinic for Northern Arkansas Fly Fishers

I was invited to do a fly fishing clinic this past weekend (10/31-11/1) for the Northern Arkansas Fly Fishers in Cotter, AR. There was a bit of rain, but nothing that interfered with our time outside to discuss casting. Indoors, I tied flies and gave several PowerPoint presentations on The Angler as Predator, Nymphing from Top to Bottom, Reading Waters, and Really Matching the Hatch.

The Northern Arkansas Fly Fishers are great hosts, and Saturday evening we had a fun party featuring world-recognized pizza from Gassville, AR. Sunday morning, I offered a ½ hour Bible Study (Jacob’s Well) before our fly fishing classes began. And Sunday evening, several members of the Board took me to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant.

The Midsouth has experienced so much rain this summer that the White River has not been wadable since April 11. This past weekend the water levels were dropped a bit, and if the weather holds the river will be ready for wade fishing in a few more days. Good news for everyone.


The crowd was a good mix of ages and personalities; everyone was enthusiastic.


The right side of the room was a bit more open than the left side, but the enthusiasm was the same.