The Braided Wing

Topic: Articles

  • First Trout

    First Trout

    Four years ago when I met my fiancé Laura, she wouldn’t have known the difference between A-Rod and a fly rod. Being a Texan who spends much of his time backpacking, camping, and fly fishing, and the rest of the time writing about it all, I took it upon myself to teach Laura to fly fish. Despite living in the DFW Metroplex for the last ten years, she nonetheless loves the mountains and the outdoors and seemed open to the idea.
  • Schweitzer's Top National Parks to Fly Fish

    Schweitzer's Top National Parks to Fly Fish

    I’ve heard it said many times that fly fishing is one of the most written-about subjects. I cannot support that claim with hard facts…and I find it difficult to believe. Some other sporting hobbies just seem to occupy more shelf space at the bookstore – golf, the shooting sports, cooking, loosing weight and tennis to name a few. So when it came about that Stonefly Press approached me to put together a book on America’s top 25 fly fishing-friendly National Parks, I thought to myself, “that book has already been written!” But it hasn’t, and it’s about time it gets done.
  • Al Ritt and Adaptable Multi-Species Flies

    Al Ritt and Adaptable Multi-Species Flies

    One of the great fly tyers, Al Ritt has a professional resume as long and winding as the Great Wall. A lot of folks know him as Brand Manager for PEAK Fishing, a manufacturer of premium quality fly tying vises and bamboo rod-making planing forms and tools, for whom he does numerous fly shows across North America. But that's really just the beginning.
  • Conway Bowman & the IGFA Redfish Record

    Conway Bowman & the IGFA Redfish Record

    Conway Bowman is perhaps best known as the guy who stalks Mako sharks on the fly, but that's just scratching the surface. You may better recognize him as the current host of Sportsman Channel's popular Fly Fishing the World series, or as the former host of ESPN’s In Search of Fly Water, Primal Predator and Versus Network’s Dollar Wise Fly. He is also sole owner/operator of Bowman Bluewater out of San Diego, Southern California’s premiere saltwater fly fishing guide service, and principal owner of the Ragged Edge Fly Fishing School. His name has become synonymous with “extreme” fly fishing, while traveling the world in search of Atlantic salmon, steelhead, wild trout, redfish, bonefish, and tarpon.
  • Williams & McPhail in the Gila Wilderness

    Williams & McPhail in the Gila Wilderness

    Mark D. Williams and W. Chad McPhail, authors of the soon-to-publish An Introduction to Fly Fishing for Trout (Stonefly Press, 2013), share a hilarious story from a hike-in trip to the Gila Wilderness in southern New Mexico. This behind-the-scenes story is a hallmark of their work - personal, reflective, and funny. Their books will add the strategies and really practical tips we all love - what to fish, where to fish, how to fish, what to wear, even where to get a cold drink - but here they take a second to share a funny moment about the crazy shit we all go through at times to reach the fish. Great stuff, and we're looking for more in their future books, 50 Best Places to Fly Fish the Southwest (Stonefly Press, 2013) and New Mexico Fly Fishing (Stonefly Press, 2014).
  • Robert Tomes & Muskie on the Fly

    Robert Tomes & Muskie on the Fly

    Fly fishing for muskie is not for the impatient, nor for the faint of heart. The rewards with this warmwater species are simply jaw-dropping - colossal, aggressive, smashmouth takes, often with an aerial show. It's a warmwater gamefish whose rapidly growing popularity is expanding the fly fisherman's portfolio, without requiring a passport and a hefty bank roll. Robert Tomes, the author of Muskie on the Fly, arguably the most definitive book on the sport from a guy that has dedicated more time to the species than almost anyone else alive, was gracious enough to write a guest blog for us. In it, he shares an anecdote from his field research for his upcoming Stonefly Press book about the premier places to fly fish for muskie. If you want to expand your fly fishing portfolio, and get a massive payoff in the process, get to know more about muskie fly fishing.
  • Fly Fishing Through Smoky Mountains Rain

    Fly Fishing Through Smoky Mountains Rain

    So sometimes it rains, right? After driving six hours to the Smokies, stopping along the way to pick up a buddy from Lexington (KY), and driving through the Pigeon Forge wasteland, we arrived just after sunrise at the Elkmont Campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Beautiful morning, sunshine, but with a forecast for rain that we knew was coming. The picture above of a nice brown trout from the Little River that looks just about how the day looked throughout - misty, foggy, and frequently just downright pouring. I'm sure better pictures can be taken in the rain. Just none that I took. The brown actually came from the lower stretches of the Little, well below Elkmont. Continue reading

  • Where the Wild Things Are

    Where the Wild Things Are

    It isn't always about the fish.... "There are so many wild things in the world which I will have to leave when I die" - Maurice Sendak If you follow our Twitter account, you know we follow American Rivers and retweet quite a few of their posts. We will be donating a portion of our revenues to several water conservation groups, American Rivers among them. But our love of rivers goes beyond conservation, or water quality, or protection of our industry's key resource - all of which we love and support. It's also a just a simple fascination with the wildness of running water and the world through which it runs.
  • Kirk Deeter & Fly Fishing for Carp

    Kirk Deeter & Fly Fishing for Carp

    I get asked: “How you doin’, man?’ I usually answer:  “I’m good… busy… but doing great.” Sometimes, there’s a follow-up… “Yeah, I noticed you have a lot going on… any books happening?” they ask. I answer: “I do… the next one is on carp fishing, as a matter of fact.” And right there is where I carefully watch the face...
  • Big Smallmouths, Small Streams

    Big Smallmouths, Small Streams

    Indiana weather, as most of the Midwest in Spring, can be pretty frustrating. The typical scenario is a beautiful, warm, sunshine-filled week, with rain setting in on Friday evening and blowing out the streams for the weekend. The first week of May was no different, with rain forecast Friday - Sunday once again. David and I decided to jump the weather and head out after work on Thursday instead. I drove straight from Chicago on Wednesday to southern Indiana and a favorite smallmouth stream. The water was still high and fairly fast after the past weekend's rains, but it was definitely starting to settle down. I hooked one smallie in about 20 minutes, and then started making plans for the following day when the water was milder. Thursday conditions were perfect for smallmouth streams. Continue reading

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