The Tactical Fly Fisher

by | Jun 24, 2016 | 0 comments


TacticalFlyFisherLogo

Tactical Fly Fisher. No doubt, Devin Olsen chose the correct name for his operation.

Every week, I  receive a few emails asking for more details on nymphing rigs and other technical fly fishing topics (keep them coming), and while I usually have some answers and ideas to share, I often find myself redirecting friends to the sources that have answered my own questions and inspired my own ideas for catching more trout. Devin Olsen is one of those sources.

Fishing is something you can enjoy at any level. Throwing a simple bobber and worm into a summer pond can bring as much satisfaction and happiness as competing in the World Fly Fishing Championship in Bosnia. Pretty sure Devin’s done both.

There’s something to be said for fishing simply. Throwing a few casts just to get on the water with friends or making the solo trip to clear your head is a good thing. But simple fishing doesn’t always put fish in the net,and taking a step forward into topics and tactics may be confusing for a while, but it pays dividends in the form of big fish numbers and bigger fish.

Digging in and learning all the adjustments and variations possible in fly fishing becomes a satisfaction all it’s own, and eventually, that thirst for the next new strategy becomes just as fun as the “simple” fishing was.

If you’re ready to improve your nymphing game, Devin’s blog at Tactical Fly Fisher is one hell of a resource.

Fair warning here: the material presented is often dense — in a very, very good way. To present some of the stuff Devin covers, it has to be … because it’s a lot of information packed into every paragraph. Devin’s technical posts are the kind you can read over and over again, finding something new with each pass. So, give things time to soak in. Try them on the water, and then come back — it may take a while. Find it too confusing? Try harder. The reward is on the other side.

Devin’s latest blog entry covers a technique for fishing in difficult, windy conditions by using an uncommon dry-dropper variation. It’s a rig that I use often, but as always, I learned something new from what he wrote, and I now have more variations to add while on the water.

Olsen writes …

… Euro-nymphing’s Achilles heel happens to be wind. Leader material held off the water is a great kite. In a good blow, if you are tight lining a Euro-rig, your leader will be at the mercy of the breeze. This makes getting a smooth dead drift and detecting strikes more than a little challenging.

… during windy weather, a normally adverse surface-anchoring suspension device helps resist the drift-killing effects of wind.

Devin walks through the rig — the variations and the whys and hows. He gives a complete and thorough coverage of what’s possible.

DevinOlsenDryDropper

Image: Devin Olsen

Leafing through Devin’s blog will keep you busy with new fly fishing tactics for months, and you’ll spend a lifetime mastering them.

Search through the rest of the blog to find fly tutorials and fishing reports. Don’t pass up the reports! In each story are invaluable tips from a truly accomplished fisherman.

Devin Olsen doesn’t just catch a lot of fish. He knows why he catches those fish, and that’s the most important part.

 

Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky
T R O U T B I T T E N
domenick@troutbitten.com

Share This Article . . .

Since 2014 and 600 articles deep
Troutbitten is a free resource for all anglers
Your support is greatly appreciated

– Explore These Post Tags –

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

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.

More from this Category

A Simple Slidable Foam Pinch-On Indy

A Simple Slidable Foam Pinch-On Indy

One of the joys of fly fishing is problem solving. There are so many tools available, with seemingly infinite tactics to discover, it seems like any difficult situation on the water can be solved. Perhaps it can. For those anglers who search for answers in tough moments, the prospect of solving a puzzle builds lasting hope into every cast. And after seasons on the water, the game becomes not how many trout we can catch, but how many ways those trout can be caught. Then, when presented with conditions that chase fair-weather fishers off the water, we rise to the moment with a tested solution, perfectly adapted and suited for the variables at hand.

There is not one way. There are a hundred ways. And the best anglers are prepared with all of them.

One of them is the slidable foam pinch on indy . . .

Tight Line and Euro Nymphing: How to Lead the Flies

Tight Line and Euro Nymphing: How to Lead the Flies

Leading does not mean we are dragging the flies downstream. In fact, no matter what method we choose (leading, tracking or guiding), our job is to simply recover the slack that is given to us. We tuck the flies upstream and the river sends them back. It may seem like there is just one way to recover that slack. But there are at least two distinct methods — leading and tracking.

Let’s talk more about leading . . .

What water type? Where are they eating?

What water type? Where are they eating?

Fast, heavy, deep runs have always been my favorite water type to fish. I can spend a full day in the big stuff. I love the mind-clearing washout of whitewater. No average sounds penetrate it. And the never ending roar of a chunky run is mesmerizing. I also enjoy the wading challenge. The heaviest water requires not just effort, but a constant focus and a planned path to keep you upright and on two feet. Constant adjustment is needed to stay balanced, and one slip or misstep ends up in a thorough dunking. It reminds me of the scaffold work I did on construction crews in my twenties. I always enjoyed being a few stories up, because the workday flew by. When every movement means life or death, you’d better stay focused. I always liked that . . .

Tight Line and Euro Nymphing: Leading vs Tracking vs Guiding

Tight Line and Euro Nymphing: Leading vs Tracking vs Guiding

Eventually, after decades of drifting things for trout, I discovered other ways of fishing dead drifts.

And now, I try to be out of contact as much as in contact. I ride the line between leading the flies and tracking them — choosing sometimes one and sometimes the other. And I’ve come to think of that mix of both styles as guiding the flies.

Think about these concepts the next time you are on the water with a pair of nymphs in hand. What is your standard approach? What are the strengths of leading the flies? What are the deficiencies? When does tracking the flies stand out as the best tactic? And when does it fail?

Why do we miss trout on a nymph?

Why do we miss trout on a nymph?

Late hook sets are a problem, as is guessing about whether we should set the hook in the first place. But I believe, more times than not, when we miss a trout, the fish actually misses the fly. However, that doesn’t let us off the hook either. It’s probably still our fault. And here’s why . . .

Loss of contact, refusals and bad drifts. All of these things and more add into missing trout on nymphs. So how do we improve the hookup ratio?

Fishing Light

Fishing Light

You’ve probably been wading upstream on a favorite trout stream and seen another angler’s lost tackle. Maybe the whole mess was in the streamside trees, with split shot and bobber attached, or a misguided F13 Rapala with rusted hooks. Maybe you’ve snagged a pile of monofilament stuck in waterlogged branches and lodged against a rock. And when you’ve seen all that mess, maybe you were stunned by how heavy the tackle was. Are you with me? . . .

What do you think?

Be part of the Troutbitten community of ideas.
Be helpful. And be nice.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Articles

Recent Posts

Pin It on Pinterest