Some fishing tips from Cathy

Thoughts on Fishing

patagoniaThis is my view as I sit here alongside the road on a warm late summer afternoon in Patagonia. Miles and miles of open space. The only thing I hear is the light wind and an occasional bird. It's lovely. I fished the first half of the day, caught a bunch of rainbows from 8 to 16 inches and a couple of larger Browns. Barry, our guide Nico, and I had lunch, and now I am taking little time off to write this blog. As much as I love this wild place, I find myself looking forward to getting home to spring and the opening of our trout season.

I have had the opportunity in our line of work to fish with a lot great fishermen. All of these men are very good at what they do -- and over the years I have gotten some sound advice from them. This week I would like to share some of their thoughts.

1. Fish where the fish are. This came from the late Jack Gartside. What he is saying is don't waste your time in unproductive water. Learn to read the water and know where the fish should be holding and concentrate your fishing time in those areas.

 2. The line will go where the rod tip leads it. Lefty Kreh has told me this over and over. You may have read it in his books too. Lefty is saying that, if you have sufficient line speed, the fly will go wherever the rod tip is pointed at the end of the speed-up-and-stop (at the end) of the cast. So, point your rod tip where you want the fly to land.

3. If your leader won't turn over at the end of the cast, don't shoot line on the last false cast. I don't remember who told me this, but I think of it often when I am trying to turn over a cast with a big fly, especially into the wind. Get your line speed and distance with your first two or three false casts and present the cast to the water on the final false cast without shooting line. You'll be surprised at how well this works.

4. If your beetle (or any big foam bug) lands upside down, just strip it. Again, I don't remember who taught me this, but I was re-casting whenever my big beetle landed upside down. With one strip, it rights itself, and often gets the attention of the fish.

5. Very few fish are caught on poor casts. Again, Jack Gartside. I heard him say this in a casting demonstration. He is saying to make every cast count. Put it where it should be and fish it with confidence.

6. Get your extra power from the haul, not from the rod tip. Brian O'Keefe was helping me get ready for a Best-of-the-West competition many years ago and I kept tailing the loop on my final cast. I was "hitting" the rod tip much too hard, shocking it, and getting very frustrated. I share this advice with my double-haul students. It works every time.

7. If you can't see your dry fly, re-cast or change it. How many times do we stare into the water trying to find our fly? In the meantime, it is floating along unattended and if a fish does take it, we may never see it. Don't take the chance, change flies or positions to alter the glare, or whatever is necessary to keep your eye on the fly.

8. Adjust your strike indicator when the depth changes. This comes from Barry. He is always doing this. It's very easy to tell yourself that the indicator is okay where it is, but the fish don't see it that way. If the water gets deeper, we must slide the indicator further back on the leader to allow the fly to go deeper. Otherwise the fly will be above the fish as it drifts through the water and they won't take it. If the water gets shallow, the indicator needs to be adjusted again, further down on the leader, or the fly will snag on the bottom, or if a fish takes the fly we may be too late with the strike and will miss the fish.

9. Keep your fly lines clean. Something I've learned over the years. If your fly line is not clean, it won't shoot well, float well, or last long. If you notice your floating line is sinking or feels "sticky" on the rod, doesn't shoot well, clean it. Use a good cleaner from a reputable line or tackle company. If you're fishing a RIO line, use RIO's line cleaner. Clean it at home or in the grass before you go fishing. You'll be surprised at the difference a clean line will make.

10. Keep your fly in the water. Simple, yes? Not always. When the fishing is slow, it's easy to think about how tired you are and soon you decide that you'll just reel in and enjoy the boat ride down the river, or take a little nap by the side of the stream. Sure, there are times when the fishing is more productive than others, but you won't catch any fish with your fly in the hook keeper! Never Ever.

Want to see more tips from time to time? Let us know and we'll keep them coming. Thanks for reading our blog. Cathy

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Women's Fly Fishing Weekend in Benton, PA

BIGHORN 2015 637

We still have a few spots available at our upcoming Women's Weekend.  This would make a perfect Mother's Day gift! See below for details.


If you are interested in getting started in fly fishing or are looking to improve your skills in a relaxed and friendly environment, then this is the workshop for you. Join Barry and Cathy Beck in Benton, PA for a weekend of fly fishing instruction, new friends, superior accommodations and farm-to-table meals. Plus, you'll have the chance to swap travel stories with fellow anglers from Frontiers.

The weekend workshop will cover fly fishing fundamentals including fly and gear selection, casting, insect identification and on-water strategy. You will then apply your newly acquired skills at Barry and Cathy's home waters, Fishing Creek. This lovely freestone stream offers some incredible fly fishing opportunities and boasts a healthy population of big fish. You will be surprised by the number, size and condition of the fish. Local guides will also be available to provide individualized instruction while you're on the water.

What to Expect:

* World class instruction from two of the best anglers in the world, Barry and Cathy Beck

* Stunning lodge setting with breathtaking views at The Lodge at Raven Creek for instruction

* Farm-to-table meals prepared by local restaurateurs, Toby Diltz and Sarah Walzer, from The Blind Pig

* Superior overnight accommodations, local craft brews and evening entertainment at The Inn at Turkey Hill

Read through the full itinerary here. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Office Update

For our blog this week I wanted to fill everyone in on what's going on here at the Becks. It seems like our work changes with the seasons. As soon as the weather started to show signs of spring, we were bombarded with phone calls for guiding. I guess you were all as anxious to get outside and on the water as I am to get my gardens 0032 BC BECK   2015started! So here in the office we've been busy scheduling guides and setting up casting lessons with Cathy. Our guides tell us that the Hendrickson hatch this year here at home has been one of the heaviest in years and now anglers are looking forward to the March Browns, which should start anytime. It's been a very good season so far on Fishing Creek. Cathy took me on a tour of our 1070 SPRING FLY FISHING  2015home waters and where the guided fishing takes place and although I'm not an angler (yet!), I can see why everyone wants to come to Fishing Creek. Beyond the great trout, the scenery is just beautiful. We were walking along the stream and it felt like there was no one else around for 100 miles. How peaceful!

Anyway, we've also had some changes in the office. As I mentioned a few months ago, Nancy has mostly retired so we're all working together to keep things going smoothly. She has done such a great job that it's pretty big shoes to fill but we're doing the best we can. She's taking this time to enjoy her grandsons and I know they are keeping her very busy!

Eddie, who if you don't know him, is our techi guy. He's only in the office one day a week but we call on him more often than that. Right now he's updating laptops for Cathy & Barry's travel needs and making sure our computers here in the office are as fast as they can be. We just recently got higher speed internet out here (yes we really are out in the middle of nowhere), which means we can do more uploading and streaming. He's pretty impressed with the service we get "all the way out here".

I'm also working on updating the web site for 2016. It seems so far away but in reality we're almost half way through 2015. We have a few confirmed trips already scheduled for next year including Chile for January 9-16, New Zealand February 2-16, Argentina Feb 28-March 20, Alaska August 6-13 and Mongolia September 26- October 3. These will be live on our coverssite soon but in the meantime if anything sounds interesting to you, don't hesitate to give us a call and I'll be glad to give you more information. From our photography end, Barry and I have been busy working on submissions for late summer magazines. We just landed the covers of American Angler and Montana Outdoors for May/June. We've also been back and forth with Field & Stream for some upcoming issues that we're excited about. Make sure you grab a copy of these magazines when you're out shopping!

Cathy & Barry are at Rockwell Springs Trout Club in Sandusky, Ohio, this week conducting fly fishing schools and clinics. They've been doing RSTC clincs for 20 or so years and have made many friends and always look forward to returning each year.

As I look at their upcoming schedule, there is still one room open at Holbox, Mexico, in July that we're hoping to fill and a couple rooms open on the Bighorn in August. If you're still looking to schedule a summer fishing trip, give us a call.

We hope you are having a great Spring and from all of us here at Beck Photography, Happy Casting!

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Somerset Fly Fishing Show Starts Tomorrow

flyfishingshowThis year marks the 23rd annual Somerset Fly Fishing Show, the largest all fly fishing show in the world. This year manufacturers have expanded their presence from any previous year. All the big names in the sport are showing their latest gear for your pleasure. Dealers will be stocked with everything from show specials to state-of-the-art tackle. With more than 200 exhibits, 50 of the best tiers, over 10 presentations every hour, casting demos, and dozens of authors to sign books, this will be a spectacular weekend!

For more information, directions, and presentation schedules, check out the website at

Garden State Exhibit Center, 50 Atrium Drive, Somerset, NJ 08873
Friday: 10-6
Saturday: 8:30-6
Sunday: 9-4:30

Barry and Cathy will be in the Sage booth. Stop in and say hi.


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From Cathy's Desk

It's very cold here in PA this week.  Unusually cold for this time of year. My office looks out into thewhitetail woods behind our house and I can see a nice 8-point buck chasing three doe around.  It's a sure sign of winter and soon he will drop his antlers and wait out spring.  The deer have it made here because we don't allow any hunting on our property so they have some protection from rifle season that will start soon.  They clean up the bird seed that Barry intentionally spills every day so they are here a lot.  

We'll soon be leaving for Tres Valles, Argentina, and have been getting stuff to take down for the guides.  Today we received a Nikon lens, yesterday binoculars, we have a camera coming.  Often it's fly tying supplies.  Last year it was a coat from Cabela's.  It's a good reminder of how lucky we are to live here where if an item doesn't come overnight, we're disappointed.  Sometimes they wait a year in Argentina!

We're going to start hearing from Brooke a little more here in the blog.  She's dialed into the submissions that Nancy is working on, the upcoming changes and events on the web site, and the general pulse of what we do here.  So starting next week, she'll have something to say.  I have no idea what she will start with, but I'm sure it will be interesting to read.  Feed her (us) your questions if there is something you'd like to read about.

Speaking of Ten-Was-The-Deal-Bookreading, I wanted to share a great book with you before the holidays.  We recently had the pleasure of John & Claudia Faris, who joined us on our trip to Spain.  We enjoyed their company and now have two new good friends.  At the end of the trip John gave us a copy of his book, Ten Was The Deal, and I started reading it that night.  It's a delightful book of short hunting and fishing stories told by John of his childhood with his dad and grandfather.  Set in pinewoods, along Piedmont streams, in Lowcountry fields or along the coast of the Carolinas.  It's a lovely gift idea that will be enjoyed by all.  You can find it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or if you'd like it personalized it can be ordered directly from John at 864-573-9311 or on his website.   I think you'll like it as much as we did. Paperback. 235 pages.Cathy

I've been asked lately to share a little more about what we do when we're not traveling.  So here's what's on our agenda as of recent:  Barry and I were in Towson, MD, last night at the Maryland TU meeting.  Barry does most of the presentations but they've asked me this time so I spoke about my freshwater bucket list.  It was a nice meeting and we were glad to be invited.  I also just finished a piece for Country Magazine and we put together a feature for Overland Journal on our trip to Mongolia.  There's always something on the to do list.  For now, I'm trying to teach myself iPhoto and struggling.  Anyway, we hope you have a good week and we'll stay in touch.  -Cathy



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Important Women in the History of Fly Fishing




We are proud to announce that Cathy has been featured in Fly Life Magazine's series:  Important Women in the History of Fly Fishing. Each week the series highlights accomplishments and career profiles of influential women in our sport.  We are grateful and excited that these women, including Cathy are being showcased for their contributions.  You can follow the series and read Cathy's story HERE.  Thank you Fly Life. 

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Cathy's Fly-Fishing Handbook is here!

2013 0854 FLOWERS   As we mentioned before, we've updated Cathy's Fly-Fishing Handbook and we just received a delivery of them today so they are hot off the press!  This is her 3rd Edition and the best yet.  Here's what it includes:

-Enhanced with video via QR codes linked to a non-published website teaching the techniques written in the book

-Information covered has been updated as well as the addition of full color photographs

-All the basics-  on gear, lines, leaders and knots, and casting

-Covers bot freshwater & saltwater fishing and fly selection

-New chapter on trip preparation and traveling to fish

-Illustrations by Ray Walinchus


We're offering a signed copy for $16.95 each (they are $21.95 list price) as a 30 day introductory offer plus S&H.  You can order them from our website by clicking here

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Clinic Success

Good Afternoon.  We hope you all enjoyed the weekend.  The weather was beautiful here in PA.  We also hope you had a chance to get out on the water and do some fishing.  Saturday was Cathy's first casting clinic of the season and it went wonderfully.  Everyone had a great time and the fishing was amazing.  If you're thinking about learning to fly fish or just want to brush up on your technique, we have added another clinic to our schedule.  It's coming up on the 25th of this month.  Check out our website for details and then give us a call at 1-877-278-5638.


3824 Casting clinic   3827 Casting clinic  3833 Casting clinic

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