Check out the latest installment of Costa Behind the Guides presented by Costa Sunglasses. The Fly Lords team was lucky enough to catch up with Blane Chocklett. A longtime time guiding veteran and professional fly tier-based out of Roanoke, Virginia. Specializing in float trips targeting the region’s predatory fish including Musky, Stripers, Smallmouth Bass and Trout. Blane is also the creator of the versatile baitfish pattern the “Game Changer.”
Flylords: Who is Blane Chocklett?
Blane: I’m a flyfishing guide and fly designer from Virginia. Guiding for everything from Smallmouth, Musky, Striper, trout and whatever else that will eat a fly.
Flylords: How long have you been fly fishing for? How long have you been a fly fishing guide for?
Blane: I’ve been flyfishing now for 34 years and out of those years I’ve been guiding for 26 of them.
Flylords: Tell us a little bit about the fishery you guide on?
Blane: I have a very diverse fishery and am able to change with the seasons targeting the best fish during those prime periods. For example, our Musky fishing is at its best from mid-November to the first of March. This then moves me into pre-spawn Smallmouth and Striper Fishing which can last into mid to late May.
Also during the spring months, I’ll also take a week to hit the prime caddies hatch for trout the second to the third week in April. The best topwater trout fishing of the year. Then I move into the summer months targeting trophy smallmouth bass on topwater until the end of September. Then during the fall, I move back towards Striper and Musky.
Flylords: What are the most difficult parts of this fishery?
Blane: The most difficult part of my fishery is definitely the Musky. However, once you learn their behavior they become somewhat predictable. That being said they are called the fish of 10,000 casts for a reason. Other than that, weather and water conditions seem to really become an issue more and more each year. Things are definitely changing.
Flylords: What is the best part of this fishery?
Blane: The best part of my fishery to me is the diversity of different species I can target throughout the year. That being said we also have some of the best Musky river fishing in the country along with Smallmouth bass.
Flylords: Tell us a little bit about the gear you use to target these species?
Blane: The gear I use to target all the different species is as diverse as the fish I’m targeting. This has helped me over the years to help develop new rods and lines as well as flies for the species I target. Being able to work with great companies in the industry has really made my job easier.
Flylords: Tell us about the Game Changer? When did you first come up with this fly?
Blane: The Game Changer fly is simply a fly that has spines/vertebrae that allows realistic swimming motions in the water. The Game Changer has been an ongoing platform/style of tying dating back some 15 plus years. It’s still evolving today with new materials being developed as well as creative ideas that come to me as needed. What I mean by this is usually a pattern will come to existence or change based on observations on the water or a problem I may have on the water. For example refusals from fish, bouncy issues, sink ability, casting ability, etc…
Flylords: When you are on the water what Costa shades do you generally use and why? (Model and Lens Color)
Blane: Typically I use different lenses for the different fishing situations at hand. Water clarity ambient light etc.. in low light the Sun Rise Silver Mirrors are a must. The frame styles I like are the Amity and Reefton.
Flylords: If someone wants to book a guided trip with you, what is the best way to get in contact?
Blane: If someone wants to reach out and book a trip the best way to reach me is by email. firstname.lastname@example.org
Flylords: For people who do plan on booking a trip with you, what are some things they can prepare for, to optimize a day on the water with you?
Blane: If someone is wanting to get prepared to fish with me a couple of things that will make the day more enjoyable is as follows. Practice casting larger flies especially if you’re interested in Musky our average fly is 10-11 inches long. So practicing casting larger flies will better prepare yourself for a more productive and enjoyable day on the water. Other than that we provide everything needed for the day other than clothing and a great pair of Costa sunglasses! I say this half-joking because we get to sight fish quite a bit and if you can’t see the fish it makes it much harder for you to catch them and for me to lead you into the fish. So being able to visually see the Musky following your fly deep the better you can feed that fish by matching its body language to your fly manipulation.
We would like to thank Costa Sunglasses for making this interview possible. If you are interested in booking a trip with Blane Chocklett, you can reach him at email@example.com or be sure to follow him on Instagram @blanechocklettfishing.