SA Frequency Magnum Glow Line

SA Frequency Magnum Glow Line – Product Review

SA Frequency Magnum Glow Line

SA Frequency Magnum Glow Line

SA Frequency Magnum Glow Line

The SA Frequency Magnum Glow Line is a specialty line for those that enjoy the pursuit of big brown trout in the dark.  I have been fortunate to use this fly line guiding since it’s release.   Scientific Anglers is based in Midland, Mi.  This glow line was tested by the pros on the AuSable and Manistee Rivers.  This is home of some of the best night time fisherman in the country.  Michigan has had a long history of night fishing because of some of our mayfly hatches. Some believe mousing was actually created by anglers in Michigan.

Better Dead Drifts

The SA Frequency Magnum Glow Line main goal is to help anglers achieve a better dead drift.  One of the secrets to hooking big brown trout is having a perfect drift.  Big browns are big for one reason, they are wary.  One of the most difficult things about fishing in the dark, is knowing what your fly is doing.  The SA Frequency Magnum Glow Line is charged with a headlamp or small UV light. You  actually see what your line is doing. This works even in some of the darkest corners where the big trout live. Read more

Costa Sunrise Silver Mirror

Costa Sunrise Silver Mirror Glasses

Costa Sunrise Silver Mirror

For the last year or so I have been wearing  Costa’s Sunrise Silver Mirror glasses. At first I was thinking I would only use this color lens for a hour in the morning and a hour in the evening. I assumed they would fit a niche time of day when the darker, daytime Costa Sunrise Silver Mirrorlenses where too dark. I was dead wrong! The sunrise silver mirror was far more of an all day lens than I thought it would be. Even though the sun rise silvers are a lighter color lens I was impressed with the way they cut glare and how well you can see in to the water.

Overcast Days

The sunrise silver lens really shines for me on overcast, drizzly days. The low light days where the light conditions don’t change. The days that you feel like every fish in the river should be biting. The first time I had these lenses on in dull light conditions I was amazed. The way they seem to gather the light and still cut the glare was a true eye opener. Another big plus is the way the sunrise lens performs in the dark.  If your are fishing dry flies at night for nocturnal brown trout or fishing bridges at night for tarpon they have got you covered. This is very important because we should always wear glasses while fishing.  Now there is a lens that allows us polarization without the dark shade. Its very hard to see a fly heading your way in the dark and there is no replacement for our eyes.

Changing Lens

I do tend to change out the silver sunrise lens to the green mirror copper lens when the day goes to blue bird conditions . High sunny skies are a bit to bright for the silver sunrise. The green mirror is a great choice for river and backcountry fishing on sunny days.
Now that Costa offers the sun rise silver in the 580 glass lens, they have all the bases covered. The 580 lens cuts haze and glare for a more crisp view. The 580 also filters out the yellow light enhancing colors of blues and greens helping in reading water.
With the number of frames styles to choose from and it being offered in the 580p and 580g there is a pair for everyone. Check out Costa Sunrise Silver Mirror at your local fly shop. Working on the water in Michigan and Alaska this lens has been the best choice for me most days.

Jeff Topp

American's Favorite Flies

American Favorite Flies, New Book

Chuck Hawkins and Russ Maddin featured in a new book, America’s Favorite Flies

American's Favorite Flies

This is a new book, America’s Favorite Flies. It showcases 224 favorite flies from such notables as Yvon Chouinard, Lefty Kreh, Joan Wulff, Craig Mathew, Huey Lewis and others including Russ and I. All of the profits are given to two nonprofit organizations. They are the Native Fish Society and the James River Association.

America’s favorite Flies is fun to read. In addition to Russ and I, I’ve seen other Michigan anglers featured. John Kluging and Dennis Potter are in the book. Each fly tier answered some questions and did a write up about themselves and or the fly the called their favorite fly. I’ve enjoyed both the stories and the photos,  I’m sure you will too . There is also a ton of artwork by well know artists including Dave Ruimveld, Bob White and others. This is a substantial book, 656 pages, 1700 color images, it weighs 7 1/2 pounds! It is is a great coffee table book for the avid fly angler! You can get more information about it at American’s Favorite Flies.

How to Purchase America’s Favorite Flies

America’s Favorite Flies is available for sale for $145, shipping included, directly from the printer. It may be purchased by emailing me at chuck@hawkinsflyfishing.com or by calling 231-228-7135. If you would like Russ and I to sign it, we will be happy to! Just add $10 to the price to cover the extra shipping.

As Jason Borger says in the introduction “These pages represent the diverse fly patterns of a diverse group of anglers,but more than that  these pages celebrate experiences and revere waters. With an underlying mission of preservation and conservation, America’s Favorite Flies is a visually engaging storybook for all fly fishers who share such ideals”

Many thanks to John Bryan and Rob Carter for inviting Russ and I to participate and for creating such a beautiful book.

Capt. Chuck

Plan D Boat Articulated Fly Box

Plan D Boat Articulated Fly Box – Product Review

Plan D Boat Articulated Fly Box

There are a lot of fly boxes on the Market today and most of them are designed very well, but tend to be somewhat repetitive.  Today’s current fly tying craze incorporates a lot of “shanks” in the fly design and the current fly box designs on the market today do not allow these flies to be secured properly.  articulated-fly-box-steelhead

We tie a lot of “intruder” style spey flies for steelhead in our region and the fly design typically has a hook in the rear of the fly attached to a “shank”.   This style of fly doesn’t store well in most of todays fly box designs and usually creates a mess of flash and fur over time for me to sort through.  Well, there is a new fly box design on the market that is designed to work exclusively with a shank to rear hook fly design.

Enter PlanD Fishing Solutions and the New Plan D Boat Articulated Box!!  We were able to get our hands on one of these new boxes and put it through a “guide” test and I must say it surpassed all of our expectations.  The design is simple and compact, very durable, and more importantly it is easy to use and includes a foam patch on the outside to dry your flies after each use.  More importantly the foam slits and stainless steel hooks secure your flies and keep the flies locked in place even after bouncing down the road and getting tossed about the boat.

Plan D Boat Articulated Fly BoxThe Plan D Boat Articulated Box compact size still allows you to carry 56 articulated streamers and will fit in most of todays standard boat bags without taking up a ton of space.    Plan D Fishing Solutions also has a couple of other fly box configurations including an all articulated design (Pictured), a 50/50 configuration, and a standard foam slit design for standard flies.  They also sell a couple of other models that incorporate a more compact fly box design with the same articulated fly configuration in a Pocket and Pack model for the walk in angler.  I highly recommend this product and you can check out the boat box and their entire line of products on their Plan D website.

Support your Local Fly Shops.  You can find the Plan D Boat Articulated Fly Box at the Northern Angler, Great Lakes Fly Fishing Co, and Schultz Outfitters.

Ed McCoy

 

Sonar Cold Lines

Cold Sinking Lines from Scientific Anglers

Cold Sinking Lines from Scientific Anglers

Manistee River Trout Fishing

Scientific Anglers has created a couple of lines that couldn’t be more perfect for the conditions we encounter here in Michigan and for rivers that we fish in Patagonia and elsewhere. The  Cold Sinking Lines are available with either 25 or 30 foot heads. They have a distinct advantage over conventional sink tips. In cool to cold temps they don’t tangle after being stripped in. This allows you to quickly and effectively recast. Perfect for robo casting hunting big fish.

The Sink Cold 25  has a twenty five foot had followed by a floating running line. I have fished it in the 250 grain weight and it performs flawlessly. The running line doesn’t tangle at your feet, you can throw it a mile, and it sinks quickly. Strip the color change into the tip and roll cast it to the surface. Make a back cast, haul on the forward stroke and watch it go! It makes for easy run and gun streamer fishing.

The Sink Cold 30  has all the same advantages as the 25 Cold but is a very different line in a couple of ways. The thirty-foot head is followed by an intermediate line, which slowly sinks. I fished the line in Patagonia using a 300 grain weight, it got down very quickly! This made it an ideal, and simple line to swing flies with on the Limay Medio. That is the guides preferred method to catch the migratory hog browns. The longer head did require a little more work to get it on the surface to cast especially the 300 grain. The effort was well worth the result. It sank quickly and swung beautifully. I have also stripped it on some of our larger waters like the Lower Manistee and have been very satisfied with it’s performance.

These lines cast easily, sink quickly and don’t tangle at your feet. It can’t get any better, at least until the folks at Scientific Anglers surprise us with something even better. Give the Cold Sinking Lines a try; you’ll be pleased you did.

Hawk

Orvis Recon Short Rods

Orvis Recon Short Rods

 

Orvis Recon Short Rods

There has been a lot of talk lately about the value to an angler throwing streamers using “short rods”. These are rods that are usually between 7 and 8 feet long. I decided to buy a couple of Orvis Recon short rods and give them a shot. I purchased the eight and nine weight Orvis Recon short rods. They are seven feet eleven inches long.

The advantage of shorter rods is lees air resistance during your casting stroke and greater leverage when fighting large fish. Short rods also load fly lines with short heads very quickly. This allows you to deliver large bulky flies very quickly and accurately. These  Orvis Recon short rods are extremely light and coupled with a very light reel are a pleasure to throw all day long. In particular my guides are using them to fish for muskie, pike, salmon and to robo cast big streamers hunting trophy trout. They do an exceptional job for anglers fishing from boats for the above species especially throwing big offerings.

As great as they are in the above circumstances they do have shortcomings (no pun intended). The biggest weakness is if you are the rear angler in a drift boat using these length rods. If the anglers are fishing the proper direction out of the boat (approximately 45 degrees) it is very difficult to deal with the guide’s oar. You are all over that oar. Roll casting takes a little more work with less height as well as casting over foliage behind you.

The bottom line…for good casters, chasing big fish with big offerings, they are great. Use some of the short head lines like the Scientific Anglers new Cold Lines and stay in the front of the boat you’ll find these Orvis Recon short rods can’t be beat.  For average casters, wading their favorite streams using normal lines the work required to fish them probably isn’t worth the benefit.

Hawk

orvis underwader pant review

Orvis Underwader Pant Review

Orvis Underwader Pant Review

orvis underwader pant

Orvis has recently produced an upgraded version of their Underwader Pants and I must say it is a significant upgrade! Boasting a dark charcoal color and chartreuse stitching these pants offer a comfortable contoured fit. The pants are very warm and will keep your pant legs from crawling up your legs as they easily slip into your waders. I also find the Underwader Pant great for lounging after a long day on the water or afield yet stylish enough to run my errands or grab a bite to eat on the way home.  Other features include two deep front pockets, zippered rear pocket, elastic waistband, and a drawstring to fine-tune your fit. Hands down my favorite under wader pant on the rack, TWO THUMBS UP!