Category Archives: Fly Fishing

The Beard Chronicles – Gear Review – Douglas Sky 490-4

I enjoyed watching Marc Crapo and The Beard Chronicles this morning, so I thought you guys would too. Check it out!
-Paul-FrankenFly

From Marc Crapo:
“You only need enough information to decide whether or not you want to cast this rod. It’s a “fast” action stick with tons of backbone and heaps of soul. For more info visit: http://douglasoutdoors.com/

If you have a suggestion or a question or you want to throat punch me don’t hesitate to leave a comment or hunt me down on FB or Instagram @vonbeardly (don’t worry, sometimes I want to throat punch myself. So you’re in good company) ;-)”

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Fly Fishing Iceland “Highlands” – Wish4Fish

From Ken:
“Ken Tanaka of Wish4Fish is back on the water! This time Fly Fishing in Iceland!

Started off the trip in the Southern region of Iceland in the Highlands. Known for BIG Brown Trout and Artic Char. I teamed up with Fish Partner for 11 days of epic fishing. First stop was Tungnaá (Tungnaa) and Kaldakvísl (Kaldakvisl) River. “

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Grayling, Michigan 2017 – FrankenFly


Well, another trip up to Grayling in Northern Michigan is in the books. This trip will definitely be one to remember because I couldn’t have asked for better fishing. Although, there was a really big one that got away, but I’ll explain that in a bit.

We stayed at a nice place right on the Au Sable River, which supplied nice wade fishing. I went out right away and caught a handful of brookies. The largest being about 9 inches long. Which is not too bad in this stream. What was great about this stretch, was that my son was enticed enough to ask me to take him fly fishing for the first time. He had used a Zebco type setup in the past, when he was around 7, but hasn’t fished in a couple of years. He is now 12. To my surprise, he came out and asked me to teach him how to fly fish. So I tied on a bright foam Chernobyl dry fly and taught him how to dry fly fish. He was moving down the stream and casting really well. We were able to land him a little brookie and he loved it! This was a fabulous part of the trip and another experience that made this trip memorable.

One day, I met up with Brian Kozminski of True North Trout, for an evening float. Brian’s truck was in the shop because of a collision with a deer, so one of Brian’s other guides, Randy Monchilov, brought his Adipose drift boat for us to use. All three of us went out and had a nice evening of fishing, catching many brookies and browns. I have to say, the Adipose boat is a dream to float in. It has great stability and I like the low side walls. One other item to mention, is that Brian had the Temple Fork Outfitters Axiom II fly rod with him, so I was able to cast this and get the feel for the rod. I loved it! I like the backbone this rod has. If you are familiar with TFO rods, it was like a BVK but with more backbone.
Brian and Randy are nice guys and know their stuff. If you are looking for a guide up in Northern Michigan or you want to use some TFO fly rods or float in an Adipose boat, contact True North Trout. They will no doubt get you into some fish!

In between fishing, I made some other stops into some fly shops, like Gates Au Sable Lodge & Fly Shop, Ron’s Fly Shop, and even drove over to Traverse City and visited The Northern Angler.

I went out on a couple of other special fly fishing excursions, with my good friend, Chris Lessway. First, we spent an entire day and evening fishing for smallmouth bass. We floated in Chris’s older, but still quite capable, Hyde drift boat. I shared time on the sticks, so Chris could fish as well. I want to thank Chris for putting up with my rowing. Even though I’m getting better in this area, I am still learning to keep the boat in the fishing zone. It takes time.

We were catching fish right off the bat using my Thunder Mutt streamer. As we fished throughout the day, we learned that the smallies were a little finicky on that day. They were always hitting on the pause. It helped that we were able to see them most of the time. So I would pause it for even longer and wait until they hit, to try and set the hook. We switched up and went through many flies, trying to find a fly they might like better. But in the end, it was the Thunder Mutt which I had in a Chartreuse/Olive and a white streamer that worked the best.

However, things changed when the evening came. Since the sun was going down, we decided to start throwing poppers. Besides morning, this is the best time to do this. We were also on a different stretch of river. The pause didn’t change in this regard either. I was getting most of my fish by doing a pop, a twitch, and then letting it sit. Then BAM!

So this brings me to the fish I mentioned in the beginning. I did a pop, twitch, and then let it sit. I saw this smallie coming up from the side and munch down on the popper. I set the hook and it felt like a nice fish, but I didn’t realize how nice. Then it started pulling line out and then it took its first jump and Chris and I at the same time, said, “Holy Crap!” This thing was a monster. I have never seen a smallie this big. It proceded to take 4 more jumps and I continued to fight it and give it line when needed. After the 5th jump, it pulled a bit and the line came loose. The thing you never want to happen, happened. The biggest smallie I had ever seen, broke the line and was gone. It was gut wrenching. Chris and I talked about that fish the rest of the week and I stil think about it. What a fish…

Then Chris said, “We will get another one.” So we continued on downstream and I continued to throw a Rainy’s popper that I had tied. Chris was right, we did get another good one. Granted, it was not near as big as the one we lost, but it was a really nice fish! This time, I was able to land it after a great fight.

Chris netted it for me and it was in the boat. This is the smallie that is pictured. I was extremely happy to get that fish. Needless to say, it was a fantastic day of smallie fishing.

The final time I went out with Chris, was a quick morning float, we did early one morning. This time we were after some trout. It was an overcast morning with slight sprinkles of rain at first, but that tapered off to be just a cloudy morning. We tried some streamers at first, but with no luck, we switched back to dry flies. Terrestrials seemed to be what was on the menu, so I stuck with that, catching some brookies and a nice little brown trout. As we made out way downstream, I kept casting to various spots, and then it happened. My personal best, brown trout, sipped in my dry fly and doubled my 7 weight rod over. Of course, after losing that monster smallmouth, Chris and I were on the edge of our seats, as I tried working this brown trout to the boat. Chris was calling out logs that the fish was trying to run under and I would guide it away from. Finally, I worked him to the side of the boat while Chris had the net ready and I was able to guide him in. The largest brown I had ever hooked, was landed!


Chris Lessway guides for the North Branch Outing Club, located in a small area called Lovells, right outside Grayling, Michigan. The NBOC provides lodging, a guide service, and a fly shop right on the Au Sable River. Chris is the head guide there. So, if you are looking for a terrific guide, give Chris a call at the North Branch Outing Club.

So this ended an awesome trip up to Northern Michigan. I want to apologize for not having the time to meet up with Jeff Marsh of High on the Fly and Michael Williams of Green Bus Designs. I had to cancel, but will definitely meet up with these two the next time for some fly fishing action!

Thank you for reading FrankenFly!

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Filed under Dry Fly, Fly Fishing, Foam, FrankenFly, Michigan, Poppers, Smallmouth, Streamers, Trout flies

Salmonfly Hatch on the Henry’s Fork – Wish4Fish

From Ken Tanaka:
“Wish4Fish is back on the water! This time back to Idaho chasing the famous Salmonfly hatch on the Henry’s Fork. No better time to Match the Hatch! I did catch a beauty Brown Trout on my own pattern although Mike Lawson’s Salmonfly pattern was my go to fly this trip. I was using my Douglas Outdoors Sky 5wt with my Ross Reels Colorado LT. “

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Vlog 5 – Big Smallmouth and Topless Jeeps!!

Brian fishes smallmouth with Jeff Trigg of Ozark Sweetwater Guides.
Check out Jeff’s site: www.ozarksweetwater.com

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Filed under Brian Wise, Fly Fishing, Smallmouth

Micro Skagit Commando Floating Tips – OPST

From OPST:
NEW!!!! Our Tapered Micro Skagit Floating Tips are here just in time for Trout season! Our tips are constructed from PVC and have a core strength of 25# Test. Welded loops on both ends allows for a quick loop to loop tip exchange.

Micro Skagit Tapered Floating Tips allow for a delicate presentation, while not sacrificing the power and cast-ability of our OPST Commando Skagit Heads. Available in 5′, 7.5′ and 10′ lengths to accommodate rods 6′ to 11′.
Find them at your local fly shop or at: http://www.opskagit.com/store.html#!/Commando-Floating-Tip/p/82846575/category=7107639

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Filed under Fly Fishing, New Product

No Back 40 Mine

Why the Back 40 Mine Should Be Stopped.

Toxic – uses cyanide to extract gold, produces sulfuric acid
Unsafe – 150 feet from the Menominee River, not built to withstand large floods
Harmful – endangers drinking water supply and aquatic life such as lake sturgeon
Immoral – desecrates sacred Menominee Tribe cultural sites
False economics – benefits a Canadian corporation, harms the local economy

Go to this link to find out how you can help.
https://www.wisconsinrivers.org/noback40mine

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Fly Fishing Streamers on Spruce Creek “Tanaka Your Socks Off and W4F Rainbow Bite”

From Ken:
“Ken Tanaka of Wish4Fish is back on the water and back at it in Pennsylvania to the famous Spruce Creek! Andrew Trelease of Trout Haven invited me back up for a killer 4 day weekend! Unfortunately like last time I brought the bad weather with me and was only able to fish 2 days out of the 4. I wasn’t able to fish dries as planned but was once again able to kill it with some streamers! I was nailing fish on the Tanaka Your Socks Off and W4F Rainbow Bite. Was also able to land a couple on the W4F Pink Power Ranger. ”

Trout Haven : http://www.trouthavenguide.com/

Fly Fishing Gear
Douglas Sky 9′ 6wt – http://shop.wish4fish.com/products/do…
Douglas DXF 10′ 4wt – http://shop.wish4fish.com/products/do…
Ross Reels Evolution R – http://amzn.to/2owXSDP
Ross Reels Colorado LT – http://amzn.to/2nigHXb
Rio In-Touch Gold – http://amzn.to/2qZVpjV
Rio In-Touch Streamer Tip 6ips – http://amzn.to/2q1AO0I

Check out our store
http://shop.wish4fish.com

Flies – Tanaka Your Socks Off, W4F Rainbow Bite, W4F Pink Power Ranger

Camera Equipment
Sony Action Cam FDR x3000v – http://amzn.to/2mShv4G
Sony Action Cam FDR x1000w- http://amzn.to/2mSd9L7
Sony RX100v – http://amzn.to/2np1oje

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Photography of Kevin Feenstra

Kevin Feenstra is a fly fishing guide in Michigan. He is the owner of Feenstra Guide Service. If you don’t already follow Kevin on Instagram, you really should! He has some beautiful photos to share. You can find him on Instagram @kevinfeenstra
I have selected some of Kevin’s photos below, but there are so many that are good, I couldn’t include as many as I wanted. Enjoy!
-Paul

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Filed under Bowfin, Fly Fishing, Smallmouth, Steelhead

W4F – Fly Fishing Tennessee and North Carolina “Early Spring Tips”

Ken Tanaka of Wish4Fish is back on the water. This time in Tennessee and North Carolina on the Watauga River.

From Ken:
“I was switching up tactics from Streamers, Dry Dropper and Tight line nymphing throughout the day. Before all the good hatches start, early spring is all about being on your toes and being versatile. Finally caught some fish on the new Ross Reel Evolution R as was as the Flut Rod Company prototype. Can’t wait till spring really starts kicking off!”

Check out our store
http://shop.wish4fish.com

Fly Fishing Gear
Ross Evolution R – http://amzn.to/2owXSDP
Flut Rod 9′ 5wt – http://www.flutrodcompany.com/
Ross Colorado LT – http://amzn.to/2nigHXb

Flies – Tanaka Your Socks Off, WD40, Prince, Adams

Camera Equipment
Sony Action Cam FDR x3000v – http://amzn.to/2mShv4G
Sony Action Cam FDR x1000w- http://amzn.to/2mSd9L7
Sony RX100v – http://amzn.to/2np1oje

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