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    The Update

    When the Fishing is Slow, Take a Breather

    When the Fishing is Slow, Take a Breather

    It’s easy to get spoiled by good fishing after doing it for a while. As most of us spend more time on the water, we get better at fishing, and become accustomed to catching more fish. After a day of slow fishing, sometimes we catch ourselves dejected, or in a bad mood. However, when this feeling of entitlement to catch fish arises, it is important to pause, and remember why we started fishing in the first place.

    Our frame of reference becomes skewed. The first summer I learned to fish as a young kid, I remember coming home elated after spending all day on the water and catching a fish. One day I came home for dinner and told my mom I caught a record of four fish that day! I couldn’t of felt more proud. 

    That was twenty years ago, and I have come a long way from those four fish. At the beginning of spring, I took my buddy out for his first time on a river float. We targeted post-spawn pike, which should have guaranteed some nice fish. As luck (or skill) would have it, we did not see a single pike that day.

    We pulled the canoe on to the bank to break for lunch. During this breather we realized that it seemed like nature bloomed overnight. After a long winter, we were suddenly surrounded by luscious trees, chirping birds, and all sorts of wildlife coming out to play after hibernation.

    Instead of feeling dejected, I remembered those hot summer days as a four-year-old, working hard to catch a single fish. We decided to put away the rods and just paddle along the river to enjoy our surroundings instead. After simply re-adjusting our expectations, our frustrating morning turned into a great day out on the water.

    Wingo Outdoors was born out of our appreciation for the outdoors. Our fish themed products represent more than just the fish we catch, because they remind us why we love to fish. Whether you are out on the water having a fish-filled day, or just relaxing and sipping on a few cold ones out of Fish Skin Coozies like we did that afternoon, it is easy to simply get outside and enjoy the outdoors.



    We Can Make Your Custom Wingo Gear

    We Can Make Your Custom Wingo Gear

    If you are a retailer, manufacturer, non-profit, organization, or individual interested in designing your own custom Wingo Product, reach out! We have an unbelievable amount of flexibility to design exactly what you want. So much, that we can do any design, any quantity, and on top of all that, have fast lead times. You can submit a design to us, or ask our design team to send over an idea. Just take a look at some of the brands from above that we have done custom projects for. 

    So, if you are looking for a special, personal present for your favorite fishermen, or simply want to make hundreds of custom lanyards for a corporate event, let us know! We are here to help. Contact us at info@wingooutdoors.com or call 339-707-3017.

    Here is a list of products we can custom design:

    • Wading Belts
    • Everyday Belts
    • Dog Collars
    • Leashes
    • Lanyards
    • Cam Straps
    • Key Fobs
    • Reel Cases
    • Socks
    • Eyewear Retainers
    • Neck Gaiters
    • Much More!



    Your State Fish is Our Inspiration

    Your State Fish is Our Inspiration

    For ten out of fifty states, the brook trout is designated as the state fish. As the only native trout on the eastern seaboard, and a beautiful fish, it is no surprise that it is a popular fish. If you live in Georgia[i], Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, or West Virginia, the brook trout is your state fish. 

    On the West Coast, the cutthroat trout reigns supreme, representing as the state fish for seven states (CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, & WY).



    At Wingo, the creation of our prints are inspired by the popular fish we love to target. Based in Massachusetts, we are lucky to be surrounded by beautiful streams and rivers filled with colorful brook trout. And when we get the chance to visit our West Coast friends, you bet we spend our time chasing cutties.


    If you wondered why we have four variations of brook trout prints, the answer is the same reason so many states designate it as a state fish. Brook trout are meaningful; they represent the natural beauty of our water and are ideal fish to target on the fly. Our friends out West share a similar sentiment regarding cutthroats. How could we not create three different cutthroat trout prints after getting seeing all the pictures they send us?


    [i] The Brook Trout is the state cold water freshwater fish of Georgia designated by GA Code § 50-3-82 (2017) . The largemouth bass is the state fish.


    Our Top Three Summer Flies

    Our Top Three Summer Flies

    Summer is in full swing and we couldn’t be happier. Being a Massachusetts-based company, we are used to the cold winter weather, and truly appreciate every day we can walk outside now with a t-shirt, flip-flips, and a fly rod. Right now, while we are not in the office, you can find us on the water, throwing some of our favorite flies. 

    Voted on by the Wingo Team, here are our three top fly picks for summer fishing in fresh and salt water.


    1. The Chubby Chernobyl. For starters, who doesn’t love the name of this fly? Chubbies really seem to have a personality and embrace their name. They are big and meaty, always hold their ground on top of the water, and cause explosive strikes. Nothing is delicate about a Chubby Chernobyl and we love fishing them for their combination of effectiveness and excitement.
    2. The Elk Hair Caddis. Elk Haired Caddis flies sit on the other end of the dry fly spectrum from Chubbies, yet they always have a place in our summer box. We love them for their extreme versatility. With a selection of sizes to match the hatch, a trout nearly anywhere in the world will not think twice about an Elk Haired Caddis. They are cheap, simple, and quick flies to tie, and hold up well fish after fish. When there is no specific hatch occurring, but we are fishing dries, we usually tie on an Elk Haired Caddis before anything else.
    3. A giant E.P. Minnow (pictured above).  These flies are bomb proof and somehow seem to work better and better the more beat up they get. If you have caught big bass, pike, or muskie on the fly you know exactly what we are talking about. If you haven’t, we suggest taking a weekend to go target some of these monsters. There is nothing more exciting than stripping an eight inch E.P. Minnow below the surface and seeing a monstrous wake materialize inches behind your fly.



    1. The Surf Candy. This fly will catch any fish that eats small fish, which is basically any fish worth catching. A great option when juvenile baitfish are around, Surf Candies can be downsized to size 8 hooks, without losing their function. When bonito or false albacore show up, we tie on a surf candy. When stripers are feeding on top, we tie on a surf candy. When bluefish are around, we tie on a surf candy and do not have to worry about our flies getting shredded. Olive over white, tan over white, and pink over white are the three colors you need to match light conditions.
    2. The Half-and-Half. When Clouser Minnows are bred with Deceivers, you get the Half-and-Half, a wonderful fly that takes the best traits from both of its parents. With dumbbell eyes, the fly gets down into the strike zone and can be retrieved with an enticing jigging motion. And with both bucktail and saddle hackles, the fly comes alive in the current.
    3. The Bulkhead Hollow Fly. When the big fish are around, we break out a big Bulkhead and throw the 10 wt. These flies are great imitations of bunker (pogies), herring, shad, and other big baitfish. Since the flies are tied with natural materials and are hollow, they are surprisingly easy to cast and really breathe in the water. All of the trophy stripers we have caught were on variations of this fly when big bait was present.

    Getting the Perfect Shot

    Getting the Perfect Shot


    The natural beauty of a fish is challenging to capture in a photograph. Contending with the water reflection, natural lighting, a wriggling fish, and worrying about keeping both the fish and your camera protected is stressful. Regardless of your skill level, or grade of your equipment, we wanted to share our simple photography guidelines we use in the field to help you get the perfect shot of your fish.

    Setting up the shot:

    The first step is gaining an appreciation of all the fish you catch. Not all fish will be trophy fish, but oftentimes, it is the more average sized fish that make for the best photos. Smaller fish are easier to handle, and are usually less tired by the time they reach the net, so taking pictures of these fish will greatly reduce your release mortality rates. While you are setting up your shot, make sure that the fish is resting safely in the water, in your net. If you are not in a position to do this, considering releasing the fish without a photo and waiting for a safer opportunity.

    Next, take a bearing of the sun’s position. Shooting in very bright sunlight is tricky. Remember, the fish will reflect any bright light back at your camera. You can generally avoid unwanted glare from the fish by shooting in shaded settings 

    Plan with your fishing buddy exactly where the fish will be held for the shot. Before the fish is taken out of the water, aim your camera at the position and make any adjustments you predict will be necessary.

    Let your fishing buddy position their hand in a manner that will safely support the fish, but will not obstruct the view for the camera. Generally, a hand supporting its underside and a hand around its tail is best. Make sure that your buddy’s fingers are as hidden as possible so that the form of the fish is visible. When ready, give a countdown, and have your buddy lift the fish out of the net to the pre-planned shooting position. Whenever possible, the keep the fish in the water or just above the water to reduce stress on the fish. Never hold a fish over rocks to prevent injury in case it flops.

    Taking The Shot:

    Take as many pictures as you need for a couple of seconds and then have your buddy lower the fish back into the water. If you need to redo the shot, let the fish rest in the water before shooting again. Keep in mind that every time the fish is lifter from the water, it’s chances of survival post-release become reduced. 

    Finding Perspective:

     The whole point of your picture is to show off the fish. A fish looks best when it looks natural. Keeping the fish in or on top of the water not only is safest for the fish, but also maintains the connection between the fish and its environment and maintains the fish’s authority in the water. Get down on the fish’s level and shoot it as it would see you. Unless you are specifically going for a bird’s eye perspective, shooting the fish at eye level illuminates its natural form.

    In Emerson’s 1841 essay “Circles” he opens with: “The eye is the first circle; the horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end”. Think about this line when shooting a fish and focus the camera on the fish’s eye. If your buddy is also in the photo, remember that a viewer’s concentration naturally gravitates towards eyes and lines of sight. If you want the focus to be on the fish, then have your buddy look at the fish. If the main focus of the photo is meant to be your buddy, have your buddy look at the camera. 

    After the shot:

    Do not be afraid to edit your photos! Very rarely do we take raw photos that need no adjusting. You do not need professional editing programs. Adjusting settings like brightness, exposure, contrast, etc., can easily be performed right on your phone or when you download your pictures to your computer. Play around will all of your photos, even the ones that may first appear useless. You may be surprised to see that making even a small adjustment to your photo can turn it into the hero shot you have been after.