Four reasons to love winter fishing

Many anglers spend the winter season dreaming of summer days casting dry fly's to foolish fish, while their rod and reel are gathering dust in the garage or closet. Don't get me, I love fishing the warm summer months as much as anyone, but I tend to spend my time daydreaming about those large winter trout more than anything else! Fall and Winter is the time I love being on the water! Right now you are probably thinking "WHY"? Here are four reasons you need to get on the water this winter!

1. Solitary Bliss - In our neck of the woods, there is some great tailwater fishing. My problem with tailgaters is the crowds and fishing pressure! When I fish I want to be alone in the blissful wonder of a solitary day on the water, not fighting for a hole with some random stranger. Winter thins the crowds... dramatically! I have had days alone on a stretch on water in the winter, when the norm is huge crowds during the warmer days. Because the fish have less pressure they are also a more willing to play in the winter. Its a win-win, less people and fish with a bigger appetite. 

2. Big Fish - Catching 50 dink trout on the 3wt is fun and everything, but there is nothing like hooking up with Grandaddy trout! Big fish come to play during the colder months. Browns typically in the fall and rainbows in the spring will move out of their deep holding water, looking for a place to spawn or for a warmer stretch of water to take refuge in. The same stretch of water where you only saw little guys in the summer can often hold the big guys in the winter! If you are looking to catch larger fish, winter can present some great opportunities. 

3. Water Clarity - I love sight fishing! There is nothing like seeing a trout smash your fly with your own two eyes! The water clarity in the winter can be fantastic (especially across the rockies) and this can make for a really good time. Winter can be the best opportunity to sight fish for large trout!

4. Streamers, streamers, and streamers - Nymphs, drys, midges, etc... are all great, but nothing compares to throwing large meaty fly's! Winter is prime time for chucking meat!I love tying streamers, throwing streamers, I love the take on streamers, I love watching fish chase streamers, and I love the fight on streamers. Big fly's = Big fish!  Nothing beats a large aggressive brown trout trying to murder your fly with pure aggression! 

Winter is a fantastic time to fish, so stop reading this blog and go string up that rod and reel, because its time to do some winter fishing! 

Tight Lines

The Small Things: How to Catch More Fish on the Fly

This year I have taken many trips with both beginner and intermediate fly casters. The one question I am often left with at the end of a trip is why one person catches more fish than another? Is it the cast, the mend, the fly, the drift, or just pure luck? Throughout the year I have made a small list of things that can dramatically improve your chances of catching fish. This isn't a list of major things like longer casts, matching the hatch, or even how lucky you are. This is a list of six subtle techniques that will improve your fish count. 

1. Set the hook by pulling down stream from the fish - It's common knowledge that fish normally feed facing upstream into the current. Many fly fisherman make the mistake of setting the hook by lifting the rod straight up in the air when they get a bite. The problem with this is that you will frequently pull the fly out of the fishes mouth by setting the hook this way. One of the best ways to set hook is by pulling the rod down stream towards the fishes tail. You do this by pulling the rod in a diagonal motion away form the fishes mouth. This allows your fly to set right in the corner of a fishes jaw, instead of running the risk of pulling the fly out of the mouth. The direction you set the hook can dramatically improve your hook up percentage. Give it a try!

2. Stealth Matters - Trout are spooky little fellas. They see, hear, and sense danger in order to protect themselves from predators. When fishing for spooky trout (or other fish) it's important to do all you can to avoid spooking fish. Her are some things I do to stay sneaky. 1. keep a low profile - I like to hide behind grass, boulders, trees, etc. I often cast from a crouched position when hunting spooky trout. 2. Wear colors that blend into your surroundings. 3. Avoid a false cast if you can - Fish can see and sense your line in the air. 70% of my casting on freestone streams is a roll cast of some type. Learn to master the long roll cast. It can save the day in a tight space. 

3. Get your fly at the right depth - While trout will of out of their way to feed, they mostly like to eat what is placed right in front of them. Most people think making a good cast is enough, but big fish commonly feed deep. You can place the fly directly in front of a feeding trout only to get the snub, because the fly isn't deep enough. Tungsten bead head fly's, split shots, fluorocarbon tippet can be lifesavers when it comes to sinking flies quickly. Next time a fish gives you the snub, try going deeper!

4. Keep your line wet - On slow fishing days people get frustrated. Common signs of frustration are changing flies numerous times, getting stuck on trees and branches (more than normal), wind knots, tangles, and too much time sitting on the bank. The best thing you can do to catch more fish is to keep your line in the water as much as possible. Keep casting, moving, and trying. Sometimes the fly isn't the problem, it's just slow. The more time you spend fishing, the more fish you will catch. I know this seem obvious and overly simple but too many fellas are stuck on the bank when they should be catching fish!

5. Go small - Small flies work. If I have the right fly but it's simply not producing I will often go the next size down. I do this with streamer's, nymph's, midge's, and dry's. Small flies work

6. Keep moving -  Don't get stuck fishing the same hole all day. When I fish I like to move. I have no problem fishing miles of water in one day. Don't get me wrong I will stop and spend time targeting a particular fish, but coving more water is one of the best ways to catch more fish. The more water you can set foot in, the more fish you will come in contact with. 

I hope some of those small tips help!

Tight Lines,

Matthew Taylor

Designing better fly reels...

When we first started Taylor Fly Fishing in early 2013 the most common question people would ask us was "why make ANOTHER fly reel"? The question was simply trying to tell us "isn't there already enough fly reels out there already". While the question was a bit annoying to us at the time it did have a valid point; why should we make another fly reel? For us the answer was simple, we believed we could make a better looking, better performing, more durable, and less expensive fly reel than what was currently available. The average fisherman can't walk into a shop and throw down $700 for that fancy new piece of machining, but does that mean they have to settle some something less than greatness? For us the answer is no. For us designing a better fly reel means keeping to our core values: durable, stylish, and affordable. Durable means that the reel can handle the abuse of long days on the water, slips and falls, getting knocked around guide boat, etc... For us stylish means perfect machining, slick look and feel, and colorful options. For us affordable doesn't mean cheap but value. You shouldn't have to refinance your house to purchase the reel of your dreams or choose between putting food on the table or that beautiful piece of machining. So far we feel like we have designed reels that reflect our values. We still have more we want to accomplish: new innovations, new designs, and new breakthroughs. Designing better fly fishing products is our passion and our hope is that our passion leads you to more fish! 

Everything you need to know about the Phenom Kickstarter

1. What is Kickstarter? Kickstarter is a crowd funding website that allows organizations and individuals to release new products or ideas to the world and gain funding at the same time. Kickstarter works like a pre-order. When you purchase on Kickstarter you are funding an idea to become a real life product.

2. How does Kickstarter work? On kickstarter you purchase a product by making a pledge to a particular category on the product page. You choose the pledge/rod you want and pay like any other website. On Kickstarter pledge is the same as purchase. 

3. When will the Phenom be on Kickstarter? The Phenom will be on Kickstarter starting July 1st at 9:00pm MT. The campaign will last for 30 days. The best time to purchase on Kickstarter is at the launch. There will be special discounted rods available at that time. 

4. Why Kickstarter? There are several reasons why we chose to use Kickstarter for our products release. The first reason is that Kickstarter helps us gain a huge amount of publicity. Many blogs, forums, and individuals look to Kickstarter to find new products. Every time we use Kickstarter our company profile expands. Another reason is that Kickstarter brings in a whole new generation of customers. People who would never heard about our company now have been exposed to our products because of Kickstarter. Another reason is that Kickstarter helps us offset the costs of creating a new product. Kickstarter is like a booster shot at the launch of a product. 

TIPS TO PURCHASING ON KICKSTARTER

1. Don't go for the $1.00 rod. Instead of going for the $1.00 rod go for the other rods we will have discounted. We will have twenty rods available for $250. If you go straight for the $250 category your chances of getting a discounted rod will expand exponentially. 

2. Create a Kickstarter account ahead of time. By creating an account before launch day your chances of getting a discounted rod improves. You have not officially purchased a rod on Kickstarter until you have gone all the way through checkout and have recieved a confirmation email. Having an account ahead of time will make the checkout time much faster. 

3. If you want the $1.00 rod or one of the twenty discounted rods go directly through Kickstarter.com and keep searching and refreshing at 9:00pm on launch day until the page is live. You won't be able to find the page until the second we go live. 

4. Continue to share and promote our Kickstarter page via social media, forum, and word of mouth throughout the entire month. The success of this Kickstarter will help determine when our next products will be available. 

5. If we could give a final piece of advice it would be to have fun and celebrate with us through the experience. We know Kickstarter may be new to some people but it is an excellent opportunity for our company. Thanks for being apart of our Kickstarter campaign and the Taylor Fly Fishing family!

Enigma Shipping

We released our Enigma reel on kickstarter in mid January. The reels were popular immediately and we sold 27k in reels in 30 days! The release of a new reel is always hugely exciting. We estimated a mid-April shipping date. Shipping dates are always tough because in the reel manufacturing business things rarely go to plan. This time things went really smooth throughout most of process. We hit a small hick-up in one of the last phrases and thats anodizing. Anodizing is a fairly simple straight forward process. Our issue was that the color samples kept coming back incorrect. We will never compromise quality for speed. We believe every detail of a reel matters. Every curve, every cut, and every color matters. I think it's one of the many reasons people love our reels so much. With that said the reels are truly almost done with production. Our delay maybe one or two weeks. We can promise you this, these reels will be top of the line in both quality and performance. Thanks for your continual support! 

Why Taylor Rods?

Over the last couple years our company has grown from an idea to a up and coming competitor in the Fly Fishing Industry. When we started we saw ourselves as a reel company and didn't really consider the addition of any other products. We wanted to make reels that were durable, stylish, and affordable so the average fisherman didn't have to compromise according to their budget. 

About a year after starting our company we really recognized that like reels, a quality fly rod was often too expensive for the average consumer. While there are many great rods out there at a affordable price, pick up a $600-$900 rod and you can see and feel the difference. We knew we could design and build a high end fly rod with all the look and feel of top rods at an accessible price point. The decision was made in the spring of 2014 to design our own fly rods. It is now two years later and our first rod is ready to hit the market. 

Our first step is designing rods was to ask one simple question "what makes a fly fishing rod great?" Our research began by gathering many of the rods that top casters, industry leaders, and fly fishing professionals considered the best. We took those rods and we cast them over, and over, and over. We analyzed the rods, researched them, broke them, and fished them. We also researched the blanks, components, cork, and finishes of the rods. We began to get a really good idea of what separates the top rods from everything else. Here is a small list of what we found made a great fly rod (Some of this was specific to our 5wt criteria but most of it was consistent across the board regardless of rod size).

1. The Graphite and Resins- While performance graphite isn't a new technology new innovations are constantly being made. Rods are being made stronger and lighter because of state of the art graphite and resin technology. The best rods use the best graphite and best resins to reduce weight and improve strength.

2. Performance- The best rods can delicately present a fly at close distance while having the backbone to perform consistently and accurately at a long distance. Certain rods can cast long but felt like broom stick up close and others can gently lay down a dry fly under 25' but felt like a wet noodle at any distance past that. The best rods could do both! This made us ask, why? We found three consistent characteristics in the best rods. 1. Stiff/Fast responding butt section of the rod was needed for distance. 2. A soft tip was needed for an accurate and delicate presentation up close 3. Rod action needed to be fast yet progressive through the blank. (Action is an open ended term that means a lot of things to a lot of people in fly fishing. The best way to accurately describe action is a combination of taper [where the rod bends] and stiffness [the rods recovery time after being bent]). All the best rods had those three things in common. 

3. Hardware- Many fly rods use similar hardware. The best rods have the best hardware and pay attention to all the little details. Some of the small details like double locking reel seats, winding checks, and stripping guides can make all the difference. 

4. Cork quality/rod handle- Not all rod handles are the same. They have different shapes, details and cork quality. The best cork might not make you a better caster but it does improve the look and feel of the rod.

5.  Reel seat- Out of any part on a fly rod the reel seat is the one that is most subject to style and preference. While the weight and locking mechanism can effect performance, most of the reel seat is all about style. 

6. Craftsmanship- The finish, thread wraps, epoxy, color consistency, etc... all make the difference between a good and great rod. You need the right hands doing all the finishing touches in order to make a great rod. 

While there is a grain of truth to the notion that rod action and performance is a matter of personal preference, the best rods simply look, perform, and feel better. The six items we just listed are the reasons why certain rods are just plain better than others. In 90% of your fly fishing scenarios this remains true except where specialty rods may better suit your needs.  

When we designed the new Taylor Fly Fishing Phenom rod we focused in on perfecting those six characteristics. We wanted to design a rod with maximum performance, the best hardware, a great handle, the beautiful reel seat, and the best craftsmanship. 

The Phenom rod uses our new X-Tempo rod design. When hunting for a buried treasure they say X marks the spot. Our X-Tempo rods perform at the perfect merger of tempo and stiffness. We consider it a fast action rod with the feel of a medium action. We really believe we hit the sweet spot when it comes to rod performance in the Phenom. 

We designed the Phenom using top quality high modulus graphite. It's more expensive but we know the only way to make a great rod was to use the best materials. The rod also uses hard-chrome snake guides and an SIC stripping guide. 

One of the unique details of the Phenom was that we chose to use composite cork for the rod handle. We loved the look and feel, and it has the added benefit of being more durable than traditional cork. 

One of our favorite aspects of the rod is that we chose to use a raw unhanded blank with only a clear coat. You can still see the tape marks on the blank and raw graphite has a beautiful look. The thread wrapes are trimmed in silver, the alignment dots also list the rod wt. and length, and the label is a two tone white and grey. We chose a carbon fiber reel seat because it perfectly accented the blank and it reduced the weight of the rod. 

The Phenom will be available for pre-order in May via Kickstarter.com and it will ship mid-summer.