Location: Blue Ridge, VA
Season: Year round
Species: Trout, Musky, Striper, Smallmouth Bass
Follow Blane on Instagram @blanechocklettfishing
What is your favorite water?
My favorite fish is usually the ones that are biting but I have a particular love hate relationship with Musky. Musky are considered the fish of 10,000 casts and I love a challenge, they have taught me a lot about predator/prey relationships and behavior.
You are one of the most innovative fly tiers and all around fly fisherman in the modern area… where did the desire to innovate, change things, or do things differently come from and start?
For me fly design and innovation has always been about the fish that I’m pursuing, I always want to know about that fish and it’s habits and tendencies. I’ve always had a creative mind and an art background so innovation and fly design came natural to me, but the one most important motivator is success on the water. Being a guide my success on the water with clients directly impacted my wallet and future bookings, haha! No really.
Tell us about the origin and progression of your game changer style of flies.
The game Changer platform came from an obsession of designing a fly that would look and swim like a fish. Soft plastics and swim bait lures were always the inspiration for the design, being a full time guide the flies I had at my disposal just didn’t perform like the lures. So I set out to figure out how to get these strike generating triggers. After many attempts and failures I finally went back to the drawing board and sat back and looked at what really made fish move like they do, the results became obviously clear. What makes a fish swim is there vertebrate / spines. So I took my wire benders and made a series of small shanks to create the spine of the fish and started to play around with different materials.
Why sign on with Loon Outdoors? – What drew you to Loon?
Loon has all the tools and accessories I need on the water and at the tying desk it’s a one-stop shop. The Loon culture has been around since I had my shop for some 15 years, the products work and as the slogan says “ Fishing With a Conscience” I can get behind that.
What are your favorite Loon Products? – What do you find the most useful in your tying and guiding?
Some of my favorite Loon products on the water are the Apex XL hook hone, Apex needle nose pliers and the Apex HD pliers. As for tying the UV plasma light is a must for me in my tying, this light really works well.
What does “fishing with a conscience” mean to you?
It means to try and leave no trace and to respect our fisheries and the environment. We as anglers are the watchdogs of our fisheries and as a guide the canary in the coalmine. We should lead by example and do what we can to set the standard for those to follow.
What are some of the challenges our fisheries face that are important to you?
Over fishing and poor regulations is a big deal to me, not to mention the changing environment.
Best tip for getting you son out on the water?
Take them out with little expectations and to make the day all about them. Throw rocks if that’s what they want, catch crayfish or minnows and play in the water with them if that’s what they want. The experience of being together on the water and spending time outside is what it‘s all about, the fishing will come later.