The Fly Fishing Show, Tim Flager, & Jurassic Lake

Lancaster, PA Fly Fishing Show

ffsMarch 7 & 8, 2020

This is the last fly fishing only show of the season so don't miss it. Fly tiers, seminars, demos, theaters, authors, the show has everything.

Check out the web site for hours, details, directions, and more.

Tim Flagler in Fly Tyer

timflagerIf you have followed our blog for very long you know that I am fond of Tim Flagler’s fly tying videos and feature them often. He has a very engaging voice and I love the way he can simply and clearly describe each step in tying a fly. I’ve always wanted to meet the man but our paths have not crossed. To my surprise Fly Tyer Magazine profiles Tim in the current issue. And now that I know he lives next door in NJ, I am going to make sure to meet him one day soon!

Pick up a copy today!




Laguna Verde
a.k.a. Lake Strobel
a.k.a. Jurassic Lake

We just got back from Laguna Verde and we have to say that it is perhaps the most interesting (bizarre?) trout fishing we’veRandy 8617 ever done. Yes, it’s a lake, but it’s so big that it feels like the ocean at times. When the wind comes across the lake it feels like waves breaking on the coast of New England. Big rocks, wide open space, and protected bays are home to double digit rainbows (we mean pounds not inches!).

The biggest fish for the week was 19-1/2 pounds. An amazing fish on a dry fly. Many fish were caught in the 15-19 pound class and on a size 4 Fat Albert twitched across the surface — it is quite exciting. We’re already planning our trip for 2021.

Click here for a few shots from the trip. Put it on your Bucket List!

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Laguna Verde, Simon's Roll Cast, & The DPD Nymph

Laguna Verde Checking In

Barry and Cathy are wrapping up their week at Laguna Verde. It sounds like the group is having a good trip and catching some very nice fish. We’ll have more when they get home, but here are a few shots Cathy sent that were taken by our guests and guides. 

Simon’s Roll Cast

Roll Casting Tips – Point P” From RIO’s excellent “How To” series. Simon’s innovative ways of looking at casting is always fun to watch and listen to. Today he talks to us about the roll cast. Only 42 seconds long, but worth every second of it.


 The DPD Nymph

Tier Tim Flagler gives us a great early season nymph designed to drop quickly to where the fish are sitting in cold early season trout streams. This depth charger will do the trick!



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Suinda & Pira, The Maverick from Sage, & Simon Says...

Suinda & Pira Lodges

We recently returned from our first trip to Suinda & Pira Lodges in Argentina where we and a small group of friends fished for golden dorado. Suinda Lodge is on the Parana River and it's big water and big fish. Pira Lodge is in the Ibera Marshlands, fairly shallow water, smaller dorado, 8-12 pounds, but lots of them.

The birdlife was amazing, superb lodging and meals, wonderful guides. We invite you to view some of our favorite photos from the trip here and hope you'll join us next time around....and there is sure to be a next time!

The Maverick from Sage

Sage MaverickFrom ankle-deep Bonefish flats to bait balls in bluewater, the MAVERICK has been designed from the ground up with Konnetic Technology to be fine-tuned to the demanding needs of saltwater specific applications.Tailored for quick shots and hearty fights, it’s the perfect tool for any angler stepping into the saltwater arena where speed is of the utmost importance. With a true saltwater specific backbone and design, the MAVERICK is ready for any salty challenge thrown its way.

In line weights 6 to 14, the Maverick will get a quick cast into “the zone: for high odds at a hookup. Designed to maximize quick-shot opportunities with a powerful tip section to drive the casting load down to more robust lower sections making it easier to fire quick efficient casts. Priced at $550, it comes in at a popular price point while still meeting the demanding needs of the saltwater angler.

Check it out now. // https://www.sageflyfish.com/product/saltwater/maverick

Simon Says Mass Moves Mass

For our spey anglers. MOW Tips, T Tips, Replacement Tips....If thinking about sink tips gives you a headache, this video is for you! RIO's brand manager Simon Gawesworth simplifies understanding all the different types of sink tips and how to choose the best one for your fishing situation. I know it sure helped me! Nobody does it like Simon.



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Dead Drifting Streamers, Turneffe Flats, February Special, & AA Mag

Dead Drifting Streamers and Buggers

This week our head guide, Jim Kukorlo, gives us some pointers on dead drifting streamers. I know, you always strip and retrieve your streamers. Well, Jim has some new ways for you to fish your streamers.

The majority of fly fishermen associate fishing streamers with casting across or down stream and retrieving the fly by stripping line and changing the speed of the retrieve to entice the trout to eat the fly. This is probably the most common method of fishing a streamer not only for trout but other species of fish and it's a very productive way to catch fish on streamers!
 I will be the first to admit that fishing streamers is one of my weaker forms of fly fishing. Knowing this, I will sometimes dedicate a day on the water to fish streamers exclusively regardless of whether I'm catching fish or not. On this day I like to try out new patterns and techniques to improve and gain confidence in my streamer fishing.
 One day,  many years ago I was fishing a streamer and one of my sons was having an issue with his fly line, so I let the streamer drift along the bottom of the stream while I helped my son and a trout picked the fly off the bottom. Some days it is better to be lucky than good….. or so I thought at the moment.
 After landing the trout I continued casting and retrieving the streamer with no success. My son yelled over to me “Dad, why don't you just let it drift to the bottom, it worked before,” so I cast upstream allowing the streamer to dead drift down through the hole and I caught another trout.
 I was surprised by catching a trout dead drifting a streamer. It was to become a technique that I often use when fishing a brown or black wooly bugger.
 Next time you are on the water take a close look along the side of the stream at all of the minnows, bait fish and crayfish you see dead or dying in the water. Dying or wounded bait fish makes an easy meal for a hungry trout.
 Fishing Technique – The streamers I use for dead drifting are light weight and streamline so they drift naturally along the bottom of the stream. If I need any weight to keep it on the bottom I add split shot 18 to 24 inches above the fly so it can move with the current showing signs of a struggling dying fish.
 Cast the fly upstream and fish it like you would dead drifting a nymph pattern. On occasion I will use a strike indicator to keep the fly in direct contact with the fly line and to increase hooking ability. Twitching the fly as it drifts downstream can add life to the fly and be sure to do a slow strip retrieve at the end of each drift.white zonker 0423
   Streamer Patterns – Marabou streamers, white wooly buggers and white and natural rabbit fur zonkers are my favorite streamers patterns tied on size 10 and 12 streamer hooks. 
 Dead Drifting Wooly Buggers and Cathy's Super Buggers – For me a wooly bugger-type fly is a totally different animal than a streamer fly. I always think of bugger flies as a crawfish, hellgrammite or large stone fly imitation. I know most fly fishermen will fish a wooly bugger fly by stripping and retrieving it like a streamer. I hardly ever do, I prefer to dead drift and jig the fly off the bottom of the stream as it moves downstream through the pool or riffle. Keep slack out of the line by using the three finger retrieve and lift the rod tip to jig the fly off the bottom of the stream. At the end of the drift I will do a stripping retrieve to see if any trout were following the fly. Fishing buggers and super buggers is great way to cover water and search for trout.
 Jiggy Buggers
bare hook 0436I tie my buggers several different ways for use in different water conditions throughout the season. In shallow riffles and quiet pools I use a brass bead head and add a few wraps of lead behind the bead head. If you don't tie your own flies you can add a split shot to your leader and slide the split shot down to the knot above the fly. This is a technique that we used in the early 70's way before bead heads were available to put on the hook. With the split shot down on the knot the fly now becomes a jiggy bugger.
 Tungsten beads on a jig hook work well in faster and deeper water conditions. For those really high and fast water days, I will add extra wraps of lead wire behind the tungsten bead along with a sinking tip line to get the fly down in the trout zone.
 Cathy's Super Bugger with the dumb bell eyes is the perfect design for a jiggy bugger. The thicker body and rubber legssuperbugger 0421 move water as the fly is being retrieved or jigged along the bottom and everything about the fly makes it life like. Black, brown and olive are my favorite colors and is the most successful bugger pattern I have in my fly box.
 Another twist to dead drifting a bugger fly is to add two feet of 3x tippet to the bend of the hook and trail a smaller fly behind the bugger. The bigger fly can get a trout’s attention and he will almost always opt to take the smaller fly. The trailing fly can be anything from nymphs, eggs, worms, and even a smaller bugger or streamer.
 This technique works well in deep swirly pools with current moving in several different directions making it difficult to add enough weight to get a nymph to the bottom.
  Fly Rod, Reel and Line – I always have a 9ft 6wt fly rod with a fighting butt rigged in my SUV ready to go. I carry two reels, one has a RIO Streamer tip line and the other has a RIO 24ft 250 grain sinking tip for high and fast moving water. When using the 250 grain line I switch over to a 7 wt fly rod to handle the heavier sinking tip line.
 As a complete fly fisherman, you want to fish and tie flies that imitate what fish eat. If you have fished during a spinner fall you can relate to fishing dying insects. It's the end cycle of the mayfly and an easy meal for the trout feeding on dead mayflies lying spent on the water.
 A crippled or dying minnow or crayfish is an easy meal for a hungry trout. Dead drifting a streamer or wooly bugger is another technique for the fly fisherman to present his or her fly to the trout. Dead drifting streamers and wooly buggers could be just the thing to make or break a day on the water. I find it exciting and fun to try new techniques and to think outside of the box.
   If you have questions or comments please feel free to contact me through the Comments section below if you’re reading from a browser. If you’re reading from email, go to the top of the blog and choose to view online.

1 Room at Turneffe Flats

turneffe1We have one room for 2 anglers or 1 angler and 1 non-angler at Turneffe Flats Lodge, April 25-May 2, 2020. Turneffe offers not only great flats fishing for all the species – bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, etc., but also a variety of superb accommodations and non-angling activities. Our group is a nice mix of singles, couples, and non anglers. Check out the details and then call Frontiers (800-245-1950) to grab the last room!

February Fly Special

Feb Special 7443Our February Fly Special includes a dozen bead head Hare's Ear Nymphs and a dozen bead head Pheasant Tail Nymphs, each selection boxed, with a RIO Powerflex Plus 3X leader (a $45 value).  Get your boxes ready for spring and save money too!  $37.00

American Angler Magazine

AA 7436We knew it was coming but what a surprise when we opened our current issue of American Angler and saw the profile on us! Thank you Tom Keer and American Angler.


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Safari, Salt-Water Season, & The Fly Fishing Show

East Africa Safari -July 25 – August 8, 2021

AFRICA 2015 12176 The finishing touches have been added to our 2021 East African Safari and we're excited to share it with you. Four of the most interesting lodges in Kenya and Tanzania, from Hemingway themed Serengeti Under Canvas to the luxurious Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, and timed for the Great Migration. Review the itinerary and then join us for this incredible experience. It truly is a trip of a lifetime.


Sage's Saltwater Season-by Cameron K. Scott

It's a permit bowing to crabs in the grass. A barracuda on the prowl, scattering the smaller denizens of the flat. Bonefish scuttling happily, fighting over the fly. A tarpon at the end of a knuckle-buster run, cartwheeling across the sky. This is Saltwater Season.
By Cameron K. Scott. Thank you Sage and Cameron.



Edison, NJ, Fly Fishing Show   flyfishingshow

Don't forget the Edison, NJ, Fly Fishing Show starts Friday and runs through Sunday. Flip back to last week's blog for details or go to https://flyfishingshow.com/edison-nj/ for a complete schedule of seminars, tiers, demonstrations, classes, manufacturers, celebrities, destinations, directions and floor map. Stop by the Sage booth. We'll see you there!


2020 Beck Hosted Departures:

January 11-21 Suinda & Pira, Argentina (dorado)
February 6-18 Laguna Verde, (Jurassic) Argentina (trout)
February 16-20 Dorado Cruiser, Argentina (dorado)
March 13-20 Villa Maria, TDF, Argentina (sea run browns)
March 19-30 Estancia Tecka, Argentina (trout)
April 27-Apr. 6 San Huberto, Argentina (trout)
April 25-May 2 Turneffe Flats, Belize (bones, tarpon, permit)
June 23-July 5 Ireland/Scotland (trout/Atlantic salmon)
August 6-15 Reel Action, Alaska (silvers, chum, trout, char)
August 22-29 Bighorn River, Montana (trout)
August 29-Sept.5 Bighorn River, Montana (trout)
Sept. 17-24 E. Pyrenees, Spain (trout)
Dec. 1-14 Argentina Waters & Tres Valles, Argentina (trout)


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The Fly Fishing Show & Ireland Opportunity

The Fly Fishing Show:  Edison, NJ


Don't miss the fun at the Edison, NJ, Fly Fishing Show. The world's largest fly fishing show and the biggest fly fishing event in history! Classes, seminars, demos, fly tiers, retailers, manufacturers, travel agencies, personalities, lodges. Check out the FFI Learning Center, the Film Festival, and the Women's Showcase. This show has it all.  Somerset show 2272

Join Barry for the following seminars:

Friday, 12:15 in the Release Room, Dry Fly Strategies, III
Saturday, 1:45 in the Catch Room, Catching Monster Trout
Sunday, 11:15 in the Catch Room, Capture the Moment

Cathy's Casting demonstrations at the pond:

Somerset rod rack 2011 114Friday, 2:15 Pond 1, From First Cast to Double Haul
Saturday, 10:15 Pond 1, From First Cast to Double Haul

Ladies Only Casting Class with Cathy, Sunday 2:00-4:30 (registration required)

Get all the details at https://flyfishingshow.com/edison-nj/


1 Room in Ireland & Scotland

552 IRELAND 2017 Due to health issues we have found ourselves with availability for one or two anglers (1 room/1 guide) on our Ireland & Scotland departure, June 23-July 5, 2020. This is a unique departure as non-anglers have their own transportation and tour guide each day while the anglers fish. Guest can do one or the other, or mix it up. Join us for 4 days of guided trout fishing with Andrew Ryan's Clonnav Fly Fishing near Conmel, Ireland, and then our group will fly to Dublin and fish three days for Atlantic salmon on the Rivers Spey and Tay. Exquisite lodging and dining.

There is something truly special about the “Emerald Isle”. Ireland is incredibly beautiful, complemented with warm Irish hospitality and great fisheries. Travel on with us to Scotland, famous for its magnificent scenery, festivals, historical architectural sites, and of course Atlantic salmon.  IRELAND SALMON FISHING 2017 401

Read all about this departure at: https://issuu.com/frontierstravel/docs/2020_becks_hosted_ireland_scotland?fr=sMzJkNDE2MTQw
and then contact us or Frontiers. We'd love to have you with us.


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From the Fly Case & New RIO Lines

From the Fly Case

susieIt's funny how a routine forms after years of processing fly orders. No one knows this better than Susie because she pulls the flies, boxes the orders, and gets them out the door. From mid-February through the end of the year it's almost all trout, but as soon as we turn the page to January the orders flip to saltwater. It happens overnight. It won't last long, by mid-February the orders will start to lean back to freshwater, but we're definitely in our saltwater season.

Barry and I are getting ready for Argentina – where our heart is at this time of year. Don't get us wrong, we love saltwater and it's a hard choice, but Argentina definitely tugs on our heartstrings. Our first trip of the year is for dorado and we're excited to see two new lodges, Suinda and Pira. Not new on the fly fishing scene, but new on our list.

We hope you have plans to get out of Dodge this winter, especially if you live in the north and northeast. It's snowing here as I write this, and we know there is some rough weather ahead, but already days are getting longer and in just a couple months spring will be knocking on the door.

Thinking about saltwater, RIO has recently introduced two new lines. Check it out!

RIO's New DirectCore Permit Line 



permitlineRIO's new DirectCore Permit line features an easy casting taper that loads at close range, and a long back taper for fast, 2nd shot casts. The front taper and weight distribution is designed to give soft presentations so as not to spook wary permit, while maintaining enough weight to easily cast typical crab patterns. Check it out.



RIO's DirectCore Bonefish Line

The new DirectCore Bonefish line incorporates a long head and rear taper for maximum casting versatility and a hard tropical coating that will not wilt in the heat. It's high floating, easy to straighten, with a low memory core that lays true on the water. And – winner of the Best New Saltwater Fly Line at the Denver IFTD show in October.



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Happy New Year, Transplant Story, & Split Shot


Let's start the new year on a happy, positive, optimistic note. So, let today be a day to recognize good in the world and to hope that the new year is full of hope, kindness, compassion, respect, and tolerance for each other. It starts with each of us.


Passengers Give Up Their Seats So Man Can Get Liver Transplant Just In Time

We've all be at the gate when the airline announces that volunteers are needed because the flight is over sold. Here is a new twist on an old story....


Split Shot from Jim KuKorolo

Jim talks to us today about all things split shot. Color, size, type, drift, all affect the way the trout responds to your flies.

What are your thoughts?

If you read my article on Tips to Improve Your Fly Fishing or High Sticking with a Strike Indicator, you know I believe in adding weight to get flies in the strike zone. I believe it's one of the most common mistakes fly fishermen make and the reason they struggle to catch fish. I truly believe that the difference between a good nymph fisherman and a better one is one split shot.

It is critical that you be able to recognize if you are fishing with enough weight. This is where a strike indicator is very useful in helping you determine that. One rule of thumb is to add weight so that your strike indicator is moving slightly slower than the bubbles on the water. Keep in mind that the surface of the water is moving faster than the water on the bottom of the stream. When my strike indicator is moving as slow or slower than the bubbles, I know that my flies are on the bottom and in contact with my strike indicator.

blackbirdTypes of Split Shot – I prefer black, brown, green or camo color over the shiny silver types. One time I had to buy the silver ones with the tabs and I ended up spray painting them black. I prefer the smooth one type without the tabs because they are round and will roll easier on the streamblackbird2 bottom. Although you can reuse the ones with the tabs and take them off easier, it is difficult to find them in smaller sizes. The green coated shot seems to stay in place better and doesn't slide down the leader. My personal choice is Black Bird split shot in sizes BB-1 to BB-4 and they come in an easy to use dispenser.

Tungsten Putty – Putting a split shot on your tippet can pinch the tippet and weaken it. So that leads me to tungsten putty. I just recently started to experiment with tungsten putty. Fellow guide Tom Harris got a tip from George mudDaniels to put a small split shot on the tippet and form tungsten putty around the split shot in a football shape. I found that it stays on the split shot nicely and lasts a long time. It is easy to apply and easy to add to and remove. Plus it's reusable.

Tip: A lot of older guys (myself included) find small split shot hard to put on the tippet. Tungsten paste might be just the ticket to easily add weight without struggling with small split shot.

Tippet material – The size of the nymph dictates the size of my tippet. Size 12 hooks and larger I use 3x or 4x. Hooks size 14 and smaller I generally use 5x. I like to use slightly heavier tippet when fishing nymphs. It allows for hard hook sets and I don't leave as many flies on the bottom of the stream or in a trout’s mouth.

Tip: Rule of thumb, I cut a piece the length of my arm to attach my dropper nymph. Which is about two foot long.

Split shot between the two tandem nymphs

This is my standard go to set up when fishing two nymphs when I want both nymphs to be on the bottom of the stream and in the trout strike zone:

1. If both nymphs are weighted with lead wrapped on the hook or with a tungsten bead it will eliminate using split shot between the two nymphs. If I still need more weight, I add split shot between the two nymphs. I especially like this set-up for early spring and cold water conditions.

2. Dark or discolored water. I use an attractor fly such as a red or pink squirmy wormy as the lead fly trailing my nymph 24 inches behind the lead fly. In discolored water the squirmy wormy gets the attention of the trout and if the fish refuses the squirmy wormy he might pick up the nymph.

Split shot in front of my tandem nymphs

1. When I'm fishing two small nymphs (sizes 18-22) I shorten the distance between the two flies and put my split shot in front of the lead fly. By keeping the smaller nymphs close together it will help the trout to see them easier. Placing the split shot 12 inches in front of the lead fly will give you a more natural drift.

2. When I’m fishing something like a large weighted stone fly nymph as the lead nymph and trailing a mayfly nymph such as a March Brown, I lengthen the distance between the two flies allowing the trailing nymph to move freely behind and drift slightly off the stream bottom. For a more natural drift I prefer an unweighted nymph. In this situation I don't like to use bead head nymphs.

3. During the Fall season I've had a lot of success fishing an egg pattern as the lead fly and trailing a soft hackle caddis pattern. I prefer placing the split shot in front of the egg so that it is rolling on the bottom allowing the soft hackle caddis to kind of dance and move through the water.

Where I place my split shot depends greatly on water conditions, time of season, type of water and what flies I'm fishing. Split shot placement on your tandem nymph rig will determine how the flies are presented to the trout. It can be the difference between a bad day and a good day on the water.

Please let me know through the Comments section (view from a browser) of the blog if you have any questions or comments. We love hearing from our readers.

Thanks for reading. Hope to see you on the water.




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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas Messages


   As another year comes to a close, we thank all of you for reading our blog.  Without you, we wouldn't be here.  We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a new year filled with only good things. 

Barry, Cathy, Brooke & Susie





  Congratulations to our fly contest winner, Cindie Baker.  Cindie guessed the correct number of flies at 55.  Thanks to everyone who participated!


christmasgiftNeed a last minute gift?  We've got the perfect idea for you.  Our gift certificates can be used for any of our services, guiding, instruction, or for our online store and can be purchased for any amount. Contact us by Monday and we'll email you a printable certificate.  Call our office at 570-925-2392 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






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Fly Contest, Fly Sale & Report from Argentina

We Don't Have a Winner Yet!

Box of Adams 5445

Last week we ran a fly guessing contest and no one has guessed the correct number yet. Click here to go to last week’s blog and comment your best guess! https://www.barryandcathybeck.com/site/index.php/our-blog/entry/fly-box-guess-cathy-s-handbook-argentina

Fly Sale Continues

Our fly sale will soon end. These are great prices and we still have some of everything. The Tungsten BH Copper Nymphs are great early spring flies to fish alone or trail when you need some extra weight to get down. Same thing with the Ug Nymphs, big leggy weighted flies in buggy colors make great stonefly imitations or anything big. Of course the Adams is everyone's favorite dry fly, and the sculpins, super fur leeches and white coneheads are great patterns for just about anywhere, but don't go to Alaska without them! We will re-blog it here one more time:   Click here to order

Tungsten Bead Head Copper Nymphs #12, #14, #16 $1.50 each (reg. $2.25)
Ug Nymph, Weighted, brn/olv, brn/yel, blk/brn, #8 $1.50 each (reg. $2.25)
Adams Parachute Dry Flies, grey body $1.50 each (reg. $2.25)
Adams Parachute Dry Flies, black body $1.50 each (reg. $2.25)
Articulated Sculpin, natural, Size 6 $1.75 each (reg. $3.00)
Super Fur Leeches $1.75 each (reg. $3.00)
White Conehead Bomber #4 $1.75 each (reg. $2.75)

Report from Argentina

Barrry, Cathy and their groups are having warm, sunny weather in Argentina with early spring hatches and good dry fly fishing.

The first week they spent at the new Argentina Waters Lodge on the edge of Los Alerces National Park and this week they are at Estancia Tres Valles, a favorite of theirs since the lodge opened in 2007.  

Here are some photos Cathy sent of their trip.


2020 Hosted Trips:  

Hope you can join us!

January 11-21 Suinda & Pira, Argentina (dorado)
February 6-18 Laguna Verde, (Jurassic) Argentina (trout)
February 16-20 Dorado Cruiser, Argentina (dorado)
March 13-20 Villa Maria, TDF, Argentina (sea run browns)
March 19-30 Estancia Tecka, Argentina (trout)
April 27-Apr. 6 San Huberto, Argentina (trout)
April 25-May 2 Turneffe Flats, Belize (bones, tarpon, permit)
June 23-July 5 Ireland/Scotland (trout/Atlantic salmon)
August 6-15 Reel Action, Alaska (silvers, chum, trout, char)
August 22-29 Bighorn River, Montana (trout)
August 29-Sept.5 Bighorn River, Montana (trout)
Sept. 17-24 E. Pyrenees, Spain (trout)
Dec. 1-14 Argentina Waters & Tres Valles, Argentina (trout)


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