Somerset Fly Fishing Show days 2 & 3

Even more than usual, days 2 & 3 of the Somerset Show were jam packed with people. A light snow Friday evening and early Saturday did not deter the crowd from pouring into the show in what seemed to be record numbers. My casting demonstrations were lined with people 4 and 5 deep, all eager to listen and participate in the casting antics that I lead them through. When discussing the Three Point Grip, I have all of them point at me to emphasize that the index finger is the pointer finger, and not the thumb. With the Three Point Grip (which see here) the riod is positioned across the palm from the heel of the hand to the tip of the index finger. This rod positioning allows the caster to bend the wrist full on both the back cast and forward cast, eliminating the constant harassment of not bending the wrist. In fact, the wrist is used fully in the cast, making the casting stroke much more comfortable and much easier to execute.

Of course there was the usual mix of PowerPoint presentations, book signings, and fly tying demonstrations, too, all well attended. The audiences were eager to learn, and the buzz of fly fishing was everywhere in the air. The world’s largest fly fishing show was again a great opportunity and very satisfying experience for all involved.


Casting classes were held in the grand ballroom of the Holiday Inn. Students practiced pantomime moves, and got to cast, too, using the top halves of their rods.


Saturday’s casting demo was attended by a great group of pointers, not a setter among them.


The other half of Saturday’s demo audience all had a good laugh at the idea of being pointers and not setters.


The PowerPoint presentations were packed; good evidence that the love of fly fishing is ever with us.


The crowd at the casting demo on Sunday had to prove that they were equally as good at pointing as those on Saturday.


The Three Point Grip in its primal state, soon to be molded into the best grip ever used for fly casting.


After each casting demo the crowds surged to The Anglers Bookstore to buy the DVD, “The Perfect Cast I.”

2015 Somerset NJ Fly Fishing Show day 1

I had breakfast with by old friend, Mike Lawson, and his son Chris. We had a chance to get caught up a bit on each others’ lives and talk about New Zealand, the Henry’s Fork, the Madison, grandchildren, and other topics about life in general. What a delight to spend some time with friends that I only get to see once a year, if that often.

The world’s largest fly fishing show did not start with a bang—it started with an explosion. The door opened at 10:00 am today to a surging crowd that filled the aisles to capacity in only a few moments. What a way to start. I foolishly thought that I would get around the show to have a quick look at all the exhibitors booths, but when the crowd is heavy, the walking is slow, and the talking is fast. Great to see such an enthusiastic crowd of fly fishers.

In the afternoon I spend some time in the Hardy Booth, chatting with people about the rods and reels that Hardy has on display. Their parent company, Pure Fishing, also owns Fenwick, and as the Midwest Director of the Fenwick Fly Fishing Schools during the years they were in existence, it did me good to see the great HMG series resurrected so magnificently. Other models have been added to the Fenwick line, and the series holds great potential for all fly fishers, from tiny spring creeks, where Wrist Casting with a 4 weight is necessary, to the brawling rivers of the pacific Northwest where two-handed rods come into their own.

Of course, the Hardy rods cover the water with their delightful rods, too. The rods in the Zenith series, with their Sintrix nanotechnology, cast line as straight as an arrow, and throw curves with the greatest of ease. I do my casting demos with the 9 foot 6 weight, and the rods enhance my casting and help me to clearly and easily demonstrate what is possible in casting and mending.

I finished my day with a very pleasant dinner with my wife, Nancy’s, sister MaryAnn and her husband Richard. It was nice to have a relaxing evening because tomorrow will be a fast paced day with a casting class in the morning followed by a casting demo, a PowerPoint presentation, a fly tying demo, and a book signing session. There will be no time for lunch, but that’s OK; I will eat a hearty breakfast


The crowd swooshed into the hall with unrestrained enthusiasm.


Mike Lawson, and his son Chris. It’s always great to see long time friends and have a chance to get caught up on life.


Lyle Graff demonstrating his great Rite bobbins. We sat next to each other on the flight from Minneapolis to Newark and had a chance talk and compare notes on a variety of fishing topics. A rare chance for me to visit with a friend.


Another long-time friend “Sir Simon of Rio.” We only got a chance to shake hands and say “Hi.” Once the show starts, the day belongs to the attendees.


Long-time friend Lefty Krreh doing what he loves most–teaching casting.


The Hardy booth where I was able to spend some time visiting with people. Tomorrow I will going into the booth to grad the Zenith 906 for my casting demonstration.


The new Hardy Ultralight DD reels are very light weight, have a great drag system, and come in silver or black. Nice!


Great to see the famous Fenwick eagle logo back on the rack again and representing great rods.


Somerset Here I Come

This coming weekend (Jan 23-25, 2015) is the big Somerset, NJ, Fly Fishing Show, the largest dedicated fly fishing show in the world. I will be there with bells on–well not really. I will be there and ready to speak and demonstrate and sign books. NEW THIS YEAR–a new DVD that I shot entitled “The Perfect Cast I”–see announcement at the top of the blog– (yup, there will be a Perfect Cast II). It’s 72 minutes long and retails for just $15.00. It will be available at The Angler’s Bookstore along with copies of my newly released book, Fly Gear.” I am ready and willing and able to sign books, DVDs, your hat, whatever. See you there!





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

Denver Fly Fishing Show, day 3

Today was expected to be a bit slow because of the football game at Denver, but it was not slow at all. It was a great day with plenty of excited people in attendance. I offered a morning Bible Study for about 20 people, and then conducted a fly casting class. As with yesterday, all the students in the class received a copy of my new DVD, “The Perfect Cast I.” The casting class was followed by a PowerPoint talk on “Fishing the Film.” I was able to spend time in the Hardy Booth discussing rods before my casting demo, in which the attendees participated in all the antics that I asked of them. But they learned a great deal and had plenty of fun doing so. My day ended with a book signing session at the Author’s Booth. This year’s show was a great one. It had expended booth space, a wonderful crowd, and plenty of talks for everyone to attend. See you in Somerset.


These are not setters, they are pointers! Pointing is done with the index finger, and with the Three Point Grip, casting is as easy as pointing.

Denver Fly Fishing Show, day 2

Today, Saturday, January 10, 2015, the second day of the Denver Fly Fishing Show, was “packed to the gills” with eager attendees. I held a casting class from 8:30 to 11. The nine students learned well, and fast. Watch out fish. Then I had a break for lunch, and spent some time in the Hardy Booth. I use the Hardy Zenith 906 for all my casting demonstrations, and so at 1:15, I grabbed a rod, added a reel with a fluorescent orange line, and gave a casting demonstration. At the end of the demo, I had a short break to go and collect my computer and give a PowerPoint program on “The Angler as Predator,” and then it was time to head to the author’s booth to sign books. The day was full of talking, teaching, signing books, and just enjoying the show.


The crowd filled the isles and the exhibitors’ booths. They were eager to see, eager to talk, and eager to buy the newest and best tackle out there.


Another great crowd of pointers learning to use the Three Point Grip and all that it offers to the fly fisher.

Denver Fly Fishing Show, day 1

I realize that it has been too long since I posted anything, and I apologize. I was editing the new DVD, “The Perfect Cast I” which consumed nearly every spare moment. But that’s done now, and I will post details on it and the new book, “Fly Gear,” this week. Currently I am at the Denver Fly Fishing Show, and the opening day was very good. Although it was Friday, the crowd was reminiscent of Saturday. I gave a casting demonstration at 11:15, and the crowd was very large. They were also in a great mood and participated readily in all the pantomime directions that I gave for casting, the hook curve, the reach, the Curve Mend, and more. All in all, a great time was had by all.

I spent time in the Hardy Booth, answering casting questions right after the demo. Then, I answered questions about the rods and talked with visitors for the remainder of the hour. I have been using the Hardy Zenith rods in my casting demonstrations since they first came on the market, and have now entered an endorsement agreement with them. Interestingly, the parent company also now owns the rights to the Fenwick rods, and is producing a series of fine casting instruments under that once much heralded name. I really enjoyed seeing these rods brought back into circulation because I was the Midwest Director of the Fenwick Fly Fishing Schools from their inception until Fenwick was sold (about 15 years). In those days, Fenwick was THE name in fly rods, and so, to see them being re-introduced as the quality rods they were was very pleasing, indeed.

I also signed books, gave a fly tying demonstration on unique and different hackling techniques, and a PowerPoint presentation on Nymphing from Top to Bottom. All in all a very busy, but very pleasing day.


“Point at me” and they did. This was to prove that the index finger is the pointer finger and so, using the Three Point Grip is a natural way to point the rod where it needs to go.

The Perfect Cast I

My blog has been neglected these last few weeks because of The Perfect Cast I, my next book in the Fly Fishing Series, and a new DVD that I shot this fall. Editing the DVD is a very time consuming process, but a rewarding one as well. The DVD will certainly be ready for the show season beginning in Denver on January 8th, 2015. The book is progressing very nicely, too, and should be ready later in the spring.

Watch for announcements to come.


The Perfect Cast is the one that catches a fish, and in the book and DVD I cover a wide ranging look at fly casting and all that it offer us as anglers. Watch for more info coming soon.

Theo’s New Tying Material

Our friend, Theo Bakelaar from Holland has started growing his nose hairs for fly tying material. They tend to be a little curly, but make very good, inexpensive flies, especially for pike–according to Theo.


International Fly Tying Symposium Day 2

The show is over, and rather than showing the isles filled with crazed tyers, I opted to show a photo of the crazed exhibitors getting ready to break down the show. Looks empty, huh? Well in about 2 hours the hall will be totally devoid of all traces of the show. It was a good show with plenty of talking (almost too much), and a good class and good demos on hackling. I showed several “down and dirty” hackling tactics that greatly cut time, and actually improve fly floatability, in addition to hackling with elk hair, using big feathers to hackle tiny flies, and more. There were many aha! moments for the crowd, and I can see all of them now, trying loops, crimped stems, and simplified winding. Go for it.


The isles are empty, and soon will be no more. It was a good show.