Thursday, February 22, 2018


Scott Hunter of Vedavoo is passionate about many things but one flag that he waves proudly each year is his work with the Reel Service Project which is entering into it's fourth year and continues to benefit Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing for the benefit of active military service personnel and disabled veterans.

This year's Reel Service Project line up includes fourteen artists, fourteen Vedavoo Messenger Bags, and fourteen chances to win this annual giveaway.  You should get in on this.

From Vedavoo...  "We are proud to announce the return of the Reel Service Project IV – a pairing of the angling industry’s finest artists with our hand-built craftsmanship to create a series of truly one-of-a-kind messenger bags. Each bag is original, unique and artwork ranges from abstract trout patterns, to a tarpon, to a salmon fly.  All construction, materials and artwork are will be donated to benefit our vets through Project Healing Waters.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. is an organization dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings.

Participants can enter to win a one-of-a-kind Vedavoo messenger bag by signing up no-purchase-necessary drawing to be held on April 15, 2018.  Reel Service Project IV is meant to raise awareness and encourage donations Project Healing Waters."

So, as it says above, "no purchase is necessary" but my suggestion would be to take a few minutes and check out the Reel Service Project IV webpage.  Enter the giveaway with your name and email address.  See the hard work that has been done by the artists involved in this year's messenger bags.  Visit each of the artist's websites to see more of their work.  And finally, consider making the donation that you can to support Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing.  It's important and your money goes a long ways in making a difference.   

LOON LIVE: Spring Is Coming... Right?

It might not feel like spring where you're at but we've been in the 70's and 80's this week.  I guess our winter is over and it's time to make sure the fly boxes are ready.  One of the "chores" this weekend will be to set up the gear bag, fly boxes, and tools for upcoming pond sessions. 

Are your nymph boxes kind of lacking?  Jump in on tonight's Loon Live session where Matt will be teaching the Runoff Stone and Free Range Caddis.  You need both of these patterns in  your box.

Visit the Loon Outdoors website for more information and sign up for tonight's session or view past sessions on the Loon Live page.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

LIMNOLOGY FLY RODS - My First Epic Fly Rod Build

Proving that building your first fly rod can and will lead to wanting to build many more fly rods, Jason Beard of Tasmania, Australia recently posted a few images on his Instagram page of his Swift Fly Fishing Epic 476 Ready To Wrap Fly Rod Kit build which came out stunningly.

Jason is a good sport and was kind enough to share a few images along with some narrative of how this fly rod build came together for this T.F.M. post.  I don't think he could have gotten that color match any better with the fly reel and thread wraps.

Jason wrote...  "My first fly rod build was an Epic 764 three piece kit that I purchased a couple of years ago, just before they decommissioned that model and started making them in four and five piece configurations. The kit sat in storage for about a year before I started building my rod.  During this time I started planning out the color scheme.  I wanted a rod and reel combination that matched or at least, complemented one another.  Oddly, the development of the chosen color scheme on the fly rod started with my old black Bauer M2 fly reel with a silver spool. It was really beat up with rock rash but it's such a cool retro looking reel that I thought would go really well with a fibreglass blank.  Even though the reel was still functionally perfect, I decided to have the reel re-anodized to a blue color as it wasn't as pretty as it used to be and it hid the rock rash.  I had the reel foot anodized to a natural silver color to match the spool.  I then trialed a few different color backing options but it really was a no brainer, orange backing on a blue reel with a silver spool was the perfect combination.  I used the blue and black YLI thread that I ordered with the kit and purchased orange YLI silk and an orange agate stripping guide.  These were the only additions I made to the kit.  I then sat down with some colored pencils and a sketch book and came up with the color combination of blue, orange and black that I thought would work.  In the end I stuck with the snake guide color combination but changed the number of thread wraps for the color scheme on the stripping guide, ferrule wraps, winding check and hook keeper as my original plan didn't look as good in real life as it did on paper.

I practiced wrapping my threads and applying epoxy on a piece of dowel first before wrapping the guides on my rod.  I used a fair amount of thread during the process but it was worth it, as I my thread work came out fairly neat. For rod building references I used the Epic manual extensively and a number of different you tube videos.  I practiced all the techniques but in the end, through trial and error I found what works best for me.

I had many challenges along the way, if a mistake could be made, I made it. Some of them are hilarious and just plain embarrassing! The two biggest challenges I had was color preserving the silk thread and applying the epoxy.  For those about to embark on their first rod build, color preserving silk threads (if you are using silk) is challenging. You need way more color preserver than what is recommended on the bottle, triple the amount in fact! My first attempt at applying epoxy was a disaster.  The room temperature was too low and the epoxy didn't cure.  I had to strip off the epoxy and threads, clean the blank and start over again.  I learned from my mistake and got it right the second time around, well almost, near enough!  Applying epoxy is still difficult but I know it become second nature with practice. I found that applying several thin coats (with a little sanding between coats if needed) gave me the best results.  I ended up with what you see here in the pictures. I guess the moral to the story is with a bit of patience, perseverance and a willingness to learn from your mistakes you can build a rod that looks okay.  I'm already looking forward to my next rod build."

Follow along with Jason's future fly rod builds on the Limnology Fly Rods Instagram page.

Want to build your own fly rod?  Check out the Ready To Wrap Fly Rod Kits from Swift Fly Fishing.

Blackfoot Fall

Here's your 42 seconds of Zen in black and white from Mr. Mark Portman...

Follow Mark on Instagram and hopefully he'll be adding more magic to his Vimeo page as well.

Saturday, February 17, 2018


Scribble it down on your day planner that the Orvis Down the Hatch Fly Fishing Festival is coming to Asheville, North Carolina on April 14, 2018.  This will be an afternoon of music, "Guide Olympics", good food and drinks at Highland Brewing and of course films.  There will also be a truck load of raffles and giveaways to get yourself in on as well.

I've attended Down the Hatch events in both Missoula and Asheville and the friends at Orvis know how to throw a party.

Proceeds from ticket sales and .50 cents from each pint will be donated to the conservation efforts of Trout Unlimited Land O' Sky Chapter.

Need more information?  Visit the Orvis Down the Hatch webpage

Get your tickets HERE before they are all gone.


The trailer to this cut from what will be a 90 minute film was shared the other week on T.F.M. and these nine minutes go deeper into what the Finding Joe Brooks film project will cover in depth.  I can't wait to see the whole story which should be released around Father's Day.

Visit The Joe Brooks Story website for more information and follow the latest updates on this film project on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Friday, February 16, 2018

BONAFIDE KAYAKS - The SS127 Overview

For almost a year now I've been following along with Bonafide Kayaks and watched as their innovative ideas in kayak design have become a reality with the feature rich SS127 which will soon be followed by the smaller SS107

In this video Bonafide Kayaks Founder/CEO Luther Cifers breaks the SS127 down feature by feature with follow up videos in the works which will be posted on their YouTube page.

Visit the Bonafide Kayaks website for more information and follow along with the latest announcements on the Facebook page.

Want to see a Bonafide kayak in person?  Visit your local dealer.