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My dad's best friend was a gruff old geologist and a graceful fly fisherman, and he told wonderful stories. I idolized him, although I knew even then that most of his stories were embellished if not outright fabricated.

Somewhere around age 7 or 8 they were teaching me to use a compass for orienteering, and the old geologist went off on a minor did-you-know tangent about how scientists had found evidence that the north and south poles have switched multiple times...and that it was going to happen again. Soon. In fact, we're overdue.

That's all true, but either he neglected to add that polarity reversals happen on the scale of tens or hundreds of thousands of years, or he did and my adolescent head couldn't grasp it....because I checked my compass every damned night for like two fucking years to make sure the poles hadn't switched without me noticing.

Agreed with the other answers: it's completely normal and natural, and there are no structural benefits or disadvantages associated with gentle waves like that. If they affect the sound or maturation of the sound over time, it's probably incremental and would be extremely difficult to quantify.

A few really picky collectors get fussy about wanting perfectly straight grain, but usually only on pristine instruments that'll never get played anyway. If you're playing it, don't sweat it.

I actually really like those minor 'imperfections' in my instruments. They remind me that I'm playing something that took years to grow somewhere outside, that it was selected and shaped and assembled....not grown in a lab or fabricated in a factory.

8 points · 15 days ago · edited 15 days ago

If you're interested in knives from knife import, send an email to Jon, he will be the best to assist you with what you're looking for. He has helped me in so many ways. For me, if I were to choose carbon, I would suggests stainless clad since you have to take into considerations that you may not always be able to wipe off the blade as much as you think. So it's best to avoid the rusting. I would look into Kintaro [known as Kanehiro on Chefknivestogo] as a work horse. Hope I help. Kanehiro/Kintaro


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Another vote for Jon at JKI. I've had great interactions with people at other sellers as well (like JNS and CTG), but Jon gave me a great deal of time and unvarnished advice, and he's clearly a student of the history and culture - and he cracks me up. Good luck!


Note to self: never travel without at least one decent knife.

Damn near starved my kids tonight because I spent half of my dinner prep time at a dear friend's house trying to sharpen a crappy knife on the bottom of a ceramic plate and the other half trying to hide what I was doing from his partner because we were sure he'd flip out over me using one of his precious plates to sharpen a knife or be insulted that I thought his knives were dull - or most likely, both.

His knives aren't dull...they're blunt. I was struggling with mushrooms. How the living hell do people live with this??

Hot take: if you have to hide doing something from someone maybe you shouldn't be doing it. I mean, I wouldn't be stoked if I saw someone doing something to my knives so I wouldn't mess with the guys plates. Shoulda mentioned they are dull and asked if he had a steel or another knife. I find that most people have a standard knife set and never use the utility/petty so I got with that one.

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Original Poster5 points · 19 days ago

Fair point. In this case I did ask about a stone or steel, and they have neither. We pulled out all the knives they're got, and none of them would've retailed for more than $10. I'm a fairly experienced sharpener working on a $3 knife that was lurking at the back of the drawer, so the downside there wasn't bad. The biggest risk would've been damaging the plate, but it's not my first go-round for guerrilla sharpening with whatever's available; I was careful in choosing the plate and the execution, so that went smoothly as well.

They're both delighted with the sharper knife now, too. All's well that ends well?

I appreciate your point about how upset I'd be about somebody messing with my knives, but that's actually gets close to the point I was trying to make: my knives stay sharp because it's important to me to have sharp knives. Apparently it isn't that way for everybody, even some people who profess to be serious about food and cooking.

That's fascinating to me. Partly because it reveals yet another way in which I live in a bubble and have made faulty assumptions about the universality of my priorities, and partly because I really can't fathom how they get any cooking done if it involves knife work. I don't love these guys any less because they have different priorities, and I think it's very healthy to have our eyes opened to life outside our bubbles. And perhaps my obsession with edginess can enrich their kitchen experiences too...after I get back from the store later today with a stone and a knife that'll actually hold an edge.

2 points · 18 days ago

You could also buy some decent chef knives and present them as gifts for hosting. That way you can thank them for hosting and have a decent knife to use for cutting all the goodies

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Original Poster1 point · 18 days ago

Indeed. That's the plan for this afternoon!

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May 2018 /r/flyfishing Story + Photo Contest

Howdy, gang! It's been awhile since we've run any kind of contest here, and it's time to spice up the endless stream of your glorious grip-and-grin photos with a bit of variety and some fishy stories.

Yes, we're offering PRIZES. Step right up to win some fantastic fly fishing swag!

Here are the ground rules:

  • Each original story must be accompanied by an original photo. Post your submission to the sub and make sure that your subject starts with "WADER TALES" so we're able to find them easily. Please observe the usual content and redditquette guidelines; standard text post character limits apply.
  • Submissions must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation.
  • We're fishermen too, so we're fully expecting lies. Be artful and creative with your untruthyness. We aren't particularly concerned about accuracy so long as the story is entertaining and well-told. An unbelievable fish tale holds less water than a simply outlandish one.
  • Do your own work. We want to see your pictures, not photos you've scraped. Tell us your stories, not fishtales you've plagiarized. We will be checking for originality on any final candidates for prizes; if you manage to fool us, that's fine - but the fish gods will not be amused.
  • We'll run a contest every other month until we run out of prizes or get bored. Each contest will run for roughly 30 days. The announcement will be stickied, and reminders will be posted as the deadline looms closer.
  • Participants must be subscribers to /r/flyfishing. Otherwise it's completely open to anyone from any country where such contests are legal.
  • There will be four prizes for each contest: first place, a runner-up, third place, and a disconsolation prize for an especially terrible entry.
  • Winners will be announced roughly one week after the deadline for each contest. Decisions will be made exclusively by the mods, possibly with input from their significant others, children, fishing buddies, and trustworthy pets. All decisions are final.
  • Prizes will be shipped to the winners after private communication of addresses with the mods. We'll pick up the shipping.

A number of independently-owned shops and small fly fishing companies will be generously donating the excellent swag that you're competing to win. We've intentionally chosen to give exposure to smaller companies - not because we're hostile to the bigger players, but because we genuinely appreciate the hard work that entrepreneurs do to push our sport forward.

We're grateful to these sponsors and encourage patronage of their brands. Prizes for the first round will be provided by these purveyors of fine fly fishing goods:

Without further ado, here's the theme for our first contest: Post a photo of your well-loved waders (and/or wading boots, shoes, or sandals) accompanied by a colorful story about how they ended up torn, patched, stained, etc.

DEADLINE for submissions: 10th June 2018 at midnight, EDT US Time

Let the games begin!

Original Poster1 point · 22 days ago

Well, meh. I'm killing this contest due to insufficient participation. I'd love to hear ideas about why this didn't take off - feel free to sound off this week, but then the sticky will go away.

Were the winners announced?

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Original Poster3 points · 1 month ago

No. The response has been....underwhelming, to say the least. I shall confer with the other mods and decide on next steps.

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Aw, I’m glad I’m not the only parent that bought small shovels for the express purpose of sending the kids outside to dig holes. One time they dug a trench and “buried” each other- made a game of it where the buried person was a zombie coming out of the grave and whoever they caught had to be buried next.

Shit, about 5 years ago me and my friend went out to this marsh area where there are old military bunkers and dug out the bunker just for fun. It was a great workout. 10/10 will dig again

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Yes, but did you also bury stuff for them to find? Because I think that's what I'm going to do in my backyard. Especially when I need some new holes for fenceposts....

1 point · 25 days ago

Where there is water, there is carp.

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I generally agree with this. I don't know your local area, but most ponds and lakes in most areas in most of the country are going to hold carp unless it's brand new or there's been some kind of serious effort to eradicate them.

I just had a quick look at the map for your area, and there are probably a few dozen lakes within an hour's drive from Auburn that are highly likely to hold carp. Whether or not you're highly likely to get arrested or shot trying to fish them....that's another story.

But seriously, spend some time scouring online maps for possibilities, mark them, and scout them in your free time when you've got good light for spotting fish. Be sure to observe all laws and private property regulations. I don't know about your area, but in most of the places I've been folks take those things pretty seriously. And they're likely to be heavily armed. Just sayin'....

I maintain a private Google Map that's covered with pins of potential target water and notes from my scouting. It keeps me off the streets. Good luck!

Some people love 'em, some of us hate 'em. They're fairly common, but they're still worth a few bucks on eBay. Maybe not so much dented and used, but it'll still be plenty useful so long as it closes cleanly.

If you run across an old Wheatley, those are usually more collectible.

Ugh. I usually use the "if I can't see them, they can't see me" approach. Or, if I'm feeling particularly saucy, the "they're more afraid of me than I am of them" rationale. But most of the time I just play the statistical lottery and hope not to hit the unlucky jackpot.

I grew up around rattlesnakes, and my hearing and reactions are still hyper-tuned to that unforgettable rattle. But it wasn't until coming to Texas that I realized how much I appreciate a snake with the decency to tell you it's there.

For extra credit, careful observation of the rise forms that you see can sometimes provide clues as to what the fish are eating. There are lots of videos and articles about this, but my favorite is still a deeply old school book called "In the Ring of the Rise" by Vincent Marinaro. It was originally published in 1976, but I hauled it out and had a look again last year, and I still found it fascinating. But of course, I would - I'm a sucker for those old books. Surf on it a little, you'll find videos summarizing his ideas and other people's thoughts.

Hmmm. It's interesting that the solution that I thought was most secure and versatile hasn't been suggested yet: to make a loop out of the fly line and secure it with 2-4 nail knots and superglue. Then you can loop backing in and out anytime you like. It works on the leader end of the line too, not just on the backing side.

Caveat: I spend most of my time fishing saltwater these days, and we tend to be psycho about backing and backing knots. Back when I was growing up and spending most of my time fishing for trout, I think I might've seen my backing....once? Twice? And probably because I was trying to let a fish run so I could say that I'd gotten into my backing.

But if you're chasing certain saltwater species - as well as steelhead and salmon - it's not uncommon to get into your backing multiple times per day. With some species, it's on almost every fish. Those connections really, really matter.

My usual recipe - certainly not the only one, but probably not uncommon among salty types: use backing or braid or mono (say, 20-25#) to create nail knots securing a loop in the end of the fly line - this video is a perfect explanation.

That might be as much as you need if you're targeting trout - a simple loop in your backing that you can connect to the loop you've just created using (wait for it) a loop-to-loop connection. But I add a double-bimini loop in the end of my backing and double- or triple-thread it into loop in the fly line created with those nail knots. I use superglue or rubber cement on everything.

And yes, I do all of that stuff even on my ultra-light rigs where it's complete and utter foolishness and overkill. Why? Because the bimini twist is just so damned cool, that's why. Seriously, it's a really fun knot once you get it figured out.

Ah, that's always a fun question....

You might spend a few minutes surfing through our FAQ and searching for threads with the brand names that interest you, but here are a few thoughts of my own.

First, are the big brand names worth it? I think that many of the big brand names do represent good quality, and also a decent warranty with a relatively high degree of confidence that the company will still be around in a few years to provide warranty service. That said, are their products that much better to merit the much higher prices?

I think that answer fades into your second question: is it more about the rod than the reel? If you're talking about trout, the answer is definitely yes. For the vast majority of freshwater trout situations, the reel is mostly there to hold line and look shiny. Only the largest trout in the heaviest water (or a lake where you can't follow them) would really necessitate a powerful drag, and most of the cheaper reels on the market today (say, $75-200) are more than capable of handling even those situations.

If you get into the salt where you're chasing big fish who spend all of their time being faster than the bigger fish, having a high-quality reel becomes MUCH more important. Ditto for salmon and steelhead. But for trout, go cheap on the reel and think hard about spending a bit more on the rod.

About the rods: I think we're living in a golden era of excellent quality and affordable rods. I would argue that the top rods from the famous brands do offer some performance advantages that the sub-$300 rods don't, but I think those extra umphs can really only be exploited by experienced casters. Note that I didn't say they can't be appreciated by just anyone....the fit and finish on those fancy rods is usually superb, and even novice casters might enjoy casting an $800 rod more than a $250 rod. But in terms of real fishability for the beginning caster, there's no reason to drop more than $300 on a rod unless it's something you really want to do.

You might hear that most trout fishing is done inside of 30-40 feet, and I think that's generally true. The degree to which an $800 rod improves your chances of catching fish inside 40 feet is, in my opinion, minuscule - even if you're an expert caster.

When you're a serious caster and you need to punch a heavy fly into a 20mph headwind down in the salt, yeah....I think you want to be throwing one of those top-shelf rods. But inside 40 feet for trout? Nah, go for the sub-$300 rod category and a $100-ish reel and spend that extra cash on a whole separate rod and reel in a different weight. Or on flies.

Or better yet, on casting lessons! Hope that helps....

fishnogeek commented on
r/AskRedditPosted byu/[deleted]

Refusing to check Wikipedia because "it might be biased".

Of course it might be, dumbass. You shouldn't accept anything you read online (or in books, or see on television, or hear on the radio, or....) at face value as ultimate truth. But humanity has never invented a better place to start (not end!) a research project than Wikipedia.

Dropping a passive-aggressive political grenade, then backing off when they're confronted with some variation of "Hey, don't get so defensive! I'm just asking questions here, not trying to pick a fight...."

Being unwilling to Google things that they don't know. I suppose that's less reflective of educational level and more about how dismissive someone is about accuracy. Or they simply lack curiosity.

But anybody who won't spend a couple seconds fact-checking before (or even after) shooting their mouth off should expect my respect for them to crater.

For me it depends on where I'm fishing. For the salt, I'm down to glasses, hat, nippers, pliers, a single fly box (a Cliff's Bugger Beast Jr), and a small dry bag with a few essentials (sunscreen, tippet, headlamp, first aid kit, etc.) that I keep in the yak or skiff. If it looks stormy I have a slightly larger dry bag that'll hold a rain coat and keep the other stuff dry too.

And water. LOTS of water.

For the surf I'm down to just a hat, glasses, pliers, stripping basket, and a lanyard with a few flies, two spools of tippet, and nippers.

For warmwater and carping, I've got a small sling: tippet from 0X to 4X, nippers, four fly boxes (carp flies, meaty streamers, poppers, and nymphs + dries), and hemostats, plus the usual hat, glasses, and pliers.

For trout...well, I started off as a vest guy, then went to a small sling but discovered that I couldn't seem to approach coldwater confidently without at least eight or ten fly boxes, a net, and a staggering assortment of sighters, strike indicators, weights (puddy and split shot and coneheads, though more recently I'm leaning towards tungsten-loaded flies), floatants, dessicants, fresh tapered leaders, tippet from 0X to 7X, sink tips, stats, pliers, nippers, a headlamp, lunch, whiskey, a spare thermal layer, a rain coast, hat, glasses, waders, boots....and probably ten other gadgets.

Suffice to say, the small sling didn't work. I went to a large sling...still sorta meh. So I seem to be back to a vest.

It's a slippery slope, pal. You've been warned.

It's been a long time and you should check the regs, but I used to rough camp up above Clear Creek Reservoir, which is just west of Hwy 24 where 390 hits it, just south of the turnoff for Twin Lakes and Independence Pass. Here, roughly:

There's a semi-formal campground just above the lake (check HERE), but I usually drove further up 390 and picked out my own spot near one of the ghost towns. This site says there are four of them up there, but I only explored Vicksburg and Winfield - didn't want to take too much time away from fishing, you understand.

There really isn't any fishing up 390, but it's pretty country. The stretch of the Arkansas just across from that turnoff doesn't fish well either...unless you've got a kayak and a death wish. I usually fished downstream, below Buena Vista and Browns Canyon, or upstream above Hwy 82 and south of Leadville. Access was always a little dodgy - much of the land near the river itself is private, which is why I usually ended up camping off the river and away from the fishing. Check current maps and be careful and respectful. Good luck!

I'm not sure this will make you feel any better, but I've realized that preparing for a trip - including the hours spent poring over maps agonizing over decisions about when to hit which water and where - is actually one of the things I enjoy most about fishing.

I mean, aside from the times when a trip gets canceled at the last minute, nothing disrupts the joy of anticipation. Once you actually get underway, a zillion things can go wrong - bad weather, traffic, uncooperative fish, mechanical problems, busted gear, unreliable fishing buddies, lost passports (here's looking at you, J), empty beer coolers, pirates....but the night before, it's all good.

It sounds odd, but I've come to appreciate and anticipate the anticipation / planning phase of a trip almost as much as the trip itself, and shuffling gear is particularly enjoyable for me.

Step back and think about how lucky you are to have a trip to plan, then enjoy that part too!

Original Poster6 points · 1 month ago

It's rare for the stars to align on a weekday morning when I can dodge my responsibilities for a few hours and sneak out in the yak when the redfish are schooled up and tailing all over the flats, but it's awfully sweet when it does.

For a real answer deaf people usually play really bass heavy music (edm, dubstep, etc.) because they can feel the thump and vibration even if completely deaf.

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Hearing person here, dated a deaf woman for a number of years. Deaf parties are awesome, but they're incredibly loud if you aren't D/deaf or HOH. I usually wore ear plugs. Loved it, though.

I work in Clear Lake during the week, and I've noticed people playing on the sand courts at Chester L Davis Sportsplex (1251 TX-96, League City, TX 77573). I don't know if it's league-only or if there's open play / pickup ball sometimes. Anybody know more?

And it seems like GPA means nothing if you arent going to grad school. You are either magna cum laude, cum laude, or nothing.

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Came here to say this. If you get the degree, nobody cares.

And I think that logic works for every degree level. You could finish dead last in your MBA class and still grab all the immaculate glory that comes with having a MBA.

Know what they call the person who finished last in Med School?

I kept logs for a number of years, way back when. For me it was more about the number of days fished and the spots. I'd scribble notes on a calendar about where I fished and roughly how many fish I caught, plus a few other details if they seemed important. I also made fairly detailed notes in a key map.

These days I do some tracking of spots on a custom Google Map, but I don't log my days for fish anymore. Part of it is actually that it wouldn't be helpful for my wife or boss to see a log of how many days I've actually fished instead of being responsible!

I think it's a valid question, and I welcome the discussion. My highly-unscientific thinking is that fly anglers divide roughly into three socio-economic groups:

  • Fish bums who spend months surfing couches and living in tents, resentful of school and employment because it cuts into fishing time. These are the guys you see in camp who scarf cheap ramen and cold green beans from the can while poring over a decade-old USGS topo maps they bought at a garage sale.
  • Former fish bums of the first ilk who've since gone respectable and made some money. They don't fish as much anymore, but they don't love it any less. They fish better gear than they did when they were younger and more broke, but they feel slightly guilty about it.
  • Wealthy folks who were affluent when they came to the sport. They often fish top-shelf gear with guides in exotic places. This group includes some talented anglers who really get it as well as some who talk a bigger game than they can cast or catch.

I'm half-joking about that breakdown, so treat the categories as illustrative discussion starters rather than points to be finely debated. Here's the most important point: that last group is probably the only face of fly fishing that the rest of the world ever sees.

I think that's both a blessing and a curse - it isn't just one thing that's inherently good or bad.

Last year by random chance I sat next to a famous bass fisherman on a flight, except that I didn't know him from Adam - only found out later when I looked him up. We struck up a conversation, and it turns out that he's on the conventiongal gear prostaff for a famous rod manufacturer which also makes fly rods. He expressed utter incredulity at the prices that top-shelf fly gear commands; his sensitively-expressed opinion seemed to be that a large segment of the fly fishing world trades heavily on image, actively marketing itself as an upscale sport in order to appeal to an affluent audience that can afford to pay "too much" for gear. He was articulate and respectful, and he didn't seem miffed or resentful. I suspect his comments are fairly characteristic of the non-FF crowd, some of whom wouldn't bother to be polite.

Thing is, if you worked at it and stalked used stuff, you could get into a perfectly serviceable fly setup for under US$200 - maybe under $100. Almost anybody who catches the bug can figure out how to throw bugs on a budget and catch fish. Fly fishing absolutely is not exclusively a rich person's playground. It can be incredibly expensive, but it doesn't have to be.

I think I'd rephrase the question slightly: to what degree do high prices and the upscale image discourage worthy prospective anglers from getting into the sport because they either think they can't afford it or don't want to be thought pretentious?

Then comes the double-edged kicker: first, what can we really do about that? And second, given that the higher margins supported by top-shelf fly gear funds much of our R&D, should we do anything about it?

Interesting discussion with the bass fisherman. I don't disagree with anything he says, but can he explain to me why I see all kinds of recreational bass guys on boats with 150hp+ motors. Why in the world would someone who fishes lakes and isn't racing other pros to prime spots need a 150hp motor if it isn't image related?

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I have no idea. I can never see past the glare of the sparkles to read the HP on their outboards.

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Hmmm. Tough to say on that one. I would've thrown out the same advice that you got at the shop, that you should go with a general 6wt. Today's rods have generally gotten much faster / stiffer than they were 20-ish years ago, so the lines also seem to have gotten a bit heavier than they were. In other words, a modern WF6F probably packs a more aggressive WF taper than a WF6F from a couple decades back. That's the 6.5 idea, and it sounded good.

But if it doesn't really load, then yeah...try a 7wt. It can't hurt to try returning it - the worst they can say is no. And then when you make them feel really guilty, maybe they'll at least loan you a 7wt (and even an 8wt) demo line so you can try it.

Make sure to have the rod in the car!

"There are very fine people on both sides."

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