VIEW POST

View more
Commentary

The Downstream Fisher Yields to the Upstream Fisher

on
June 15, 2018

Most sports have a set of unwritten rules, generally agreed upon by those in the know. But the trouble with the unwritten rules of fly fishing is that many newcomers aren’t aware of them, and it might take seasons of error before realizing that you were pissing everyone else off…


VIEW POST

View more
Tips/Tactics Troutbitten Fly Box

Troutbitten Fly Box — The Bunny Bullet Sculpin

on
June 13, 2018
In a world of oversized, articulated streamers drenched in flash and draped with rubber legs, the Bunny Bullet is naturally sized and tied on a single hook — with just a little disco.

If the average modern streamer is an exotic dancer, then the Bunny Bullet is a stay-at-home Mom who gets shit done.

It’s olive. It looks exactly like something trout love, and it’s designed to look vulnerable. (It seems like an easy meal.) The cut points of the deer hair head provide the angler visibility from above, it fishes well with or without split shot, and It looks good stripped or drifted . . . . .


VIEW POST

View more
Fifty Tips Tips/Tactics

Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #45 — The Dry Fly is a Scout

on
June 10, 2018
The fly is an explorer tied to the end of a string. It bounds along with the current, making discoveries and telegraphing its collected information back through a line. Whether nymph, streamer, wet or dry, our fly is an investigator sent forward to probe the water and search for trout -- and to collect more information than our eyes can see.

Standing riverside, pinching the hook of a caddis dry fly between forefinger and thumb, with slack line and a rod poised to send our fly on a mission, we scan the water for signs. We look for rising trout and likely holding lies. And we look for  much more than is easily visible. The currents of a rocky, rolling river are a converging and confusing mix. And what we may decipher through polarized lenses is a mere scratch of the surface. So we send a pioneer.


VIEW POST

View more
Tips/Tactics

Finding bite windows — Fishing through them and fishing around them

on
June 7, 2018
Predicting when a trout will eat is about as difficult as predicting the weather. You get it right sometimes, but just as often you’re dead wrong. Even experts with all the tools of observation and experience can’t really crack the code. But we look at the weather report anyway, don’t we? They get some of it right part of the time, and that’s better than nothing, I guess. Correctly forecasting trout feeding patterns, and finding bite windows can turn lousy days into the most memorable ones.

The best fishermen I know seem to have a theory for everything. Fishing success is so ephemeral that we need somewhere solid to drop an anchor. We want predictable things to believe in. So we search for events that are possibly repeatable and hold onto them. We look for bite windows — the times when trout eat with regularity and (perhaps) some predictability . . . . .


VIEW POST

View more
Commentary

Is your new fly really new? What makes a fly original?

on
June 5, 2018
When is a fly original enough to deserve its own name? And do a few material changes result in a new fly, or is it the bastardization of an existing pattern?

“That’s just a Woolly Bugger with flashy chenille, bigger hackle, rubber legs, and dumbell eyes. Oh, and it’s two of them hooked together.” That’s the first comment I heard about Russ Madden’s Circus Peanut. And to that I say, sure it is. But aren’t there enough material and form changes there to be a unique fly? When we think Woolly Bugger does it really look anything like a Circus Peanut? No, not really. So I’d say the Circus Peanut deserved a name, and it got one.

I have a similar fly stored in my own meat locker. I call it a Water Muppet, but it’s mostly a Circus Peanut. I tie it smaller, dub the body instead of wrapping chenille, and I use a tungsten bead instead of dumbbell eyes. And while I have my own name for the pattern that amuses me, it’s pretty much a Peanut.

But I think there’s a genuine desire on the part of many fly tyers to get this right. We want to give credit for inspiration, and we know that all good ideas stem from somewhere. At the same time, we’re proud of the material or form changes we’ve made that catch more fish in our own rivers. And sometimes those innovations define a genuinely new fly pattern, so they deserve a unique name . . . . .


VIEW POST

View more
Fifty Tips Tips/Tactics

Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #44 — From the Wrist to the Rod Tip

on
June 3, 2018
I’ve not taken a fly casting class. I’m not Federation of Fly Fishers certified, nor do I have any similar credentials. But I daresay I can put a fly just about where I want it, within a reasonable fishing range of, let’s say, fifty feet.

I can land a Parachute Ant in a small shady pocket, upstream of the overhanging limbs and downstream of the rock. And perhaps more challenging, I can usually land two nymphs in one current stream on a tight line, with the point fly directly upstream from the tag fly -- and that’s with a moderate tuck cast providing just an instant of slack.

Is that bragging? I hope not. But lacking the aforementioned credentials, I figure I should at least state my competence for your judgement before offering any advice.

So with that preamble delivered, here’s tip #44: Good casting happens from the wrist to the rod tip. . . .


VIEW POST

View more
Stories

Walking

on
June 1, 2018
It started with a walk. When the short gravel-to-dirt trail melted into weeds and underbrush, I followed the narrowing path into the woods. And when that too ended beside the small river, I cut to the right and forged my own trail beside the water’s edge.

Abundant cold rains and a cloudy spring season had postponed much of the life to be found in mid May, and I noted the delay everywhere. I walked through budding ferns, with expectant tops waiting to unfold at the next peak of sunlight through the shadows. And where there was green, it was new — fresh-faced, clear and vibrant, standing out in contrast against the dark, wet bark and a forest floor of decaying maple leaves.


VIEW POST

View more
Commentary Tips/Tactics

The Trouble With Tenkara — And Why You Don’t Need It

on
May 30, 2018
The advantages of a Tenkara presentation are not exclusive or unique to Tenkara itself, and in fact, the same benefits are achieved just as well — and often better — with a long fly rod and (gasp) a reel.

I bought a Tenkara rod for my young boys a few years ago, because the longer a rod is, the more control the boys have over a drift. And the lighter a rod is, the easier it is for their small arms to cast. Long and light Tenkara rods flex easily, allowing them to load with minimal effort. That's great for both kids and adults.

I’ve used the boys’ Tenkara rod extensively — long enough to understand exactly what I don’t like about Tenkara and to understand that a fisherman can achieve the same things with a standard, long leader (long Mono Rig) setup.

Domenick Swentosky
BELLEFONTE, PA

Hi. I'm a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

STICKERS
STICKERS
TAGS
Grobe wildlife Orvis Spring Creek waders boys thunderstorm Boat Sawyer cookout reading water Peace nymphing Trout Unlimited tight line nymphing Resources comp fishing patience It's just fishing DHALO Discovery come on man winter fly fishing science matters knots Fly Fishing mud streamside conservation Little Juniata River Burke ice Fish Hard time public land tenkara Euro-Nymphing dorsey yarn indicator indicator nymphing walking Sighter dry fly fishing Streamer fishing wet flies Aiden trout bum Trust Backing Barrel DJS net travel Weather simplicity Baseball Galloup dog gear Night Fishing George Harvey Memories club fishing rookies History Stockies favorite Wild Mushrooms fighting fish winter fishing tightline fly patterns mistakes One Great Tip spot burning wading solitude Headbanger Sculpin carp bite windows home-stream Dry-Dropper Central PA wet fly fishing flies brush fishing Namer Floating summer Big Trout Industry Stuff family Tippet Rings leaders Mystery Quote Troutbitten Fly Box tips musician mono rig philosophy beadhead casting bar boots giveaway backcast float droppers brown trout silence winter Christmas Lights regulations Joey Bad Mother the Mono Rig DIY indicator fishing Pennsylvania friendship Camping last cast fishing tips marginal water fishing with kids rules Fifty Tips fly line fly box fly tying Press Gierach Davy Wotten wading boots dead drift Dad PA Gold TU Whiskey Drinker tracks Ask an Expert Oakiewear split shot fall efficiency etiquette Whiskey stinky bass BadMoFo small streams wild trout nymphing tips Presentations stocked trout brookies George Daniel suspender fishing rigs PSA Buggers Float Fishing backcountry friends summertime fishing Dylan How it Started explore PFBC mousing BES Wild Brown Trout Fly rods tiny flies Night catch and release dry flies mayfly Grandfather spawning poetry nymphs Jeff camera night-sighter Streamers photography Wild vs Stocked big brown trout front ended angler types tight lining Rich hiking Fly Casting montana skunked tippet