The miles of twisting rivers and rambling streams become your home, and each one within the perimeter of a reasonable driving distance is mentally marked as either explored and fishy or explored and fishless. Until eventually, the list of the unexplored disappears . . .
Search Month: April 2022
Podcast: Find Feeding Fish — Exploring Water Types and More — S3-Ep5
Rivers are in a perpetual state of change, and the trout’s feeding patterns respond to those changes.
There are many factors that encourage trout to move into and feed in certain types of water. While the real-world conditions and events are infinite, there are five major factors that influence where and how trout feed in a river. They are: water temperature, water levels and water clarity, hatches, bug and baitfish activity, light conditions, and spawning activity.
And if we learn to recognize all of this, we have the keys to the puzzle.
Find Your Rabbit Hole
Understanding the ideas of other anglers through the decades is how I learn. It’s how we all learn. The names change, but the process remains. We build a framework from others. Then we fit together the pieces of who we are as an angler . . .
The Hop Mend (with VIDEO)
We mend to prevent tension on the dry fly or the indicator. All flies could drift drag free in the current if not for tension from the attached leader. So it’s our job to eliminate or at least limit that tension on the tippet and to the fly.
This Hop Mend is an arch. It’s a steep and quick half-oval. It’s a fast motion up, over and down with the fly rod. It’s powerful and swift, but not overdone . . .
Podcast: How to Fight Bigger Trout — S3-Ep4
Something electric happens when we hook into the fish of the day, the fish of the season or maybe the fish of a lifetime. Our hearts beat faster. The adrenaline pumps because the stakes are raised. This is the fish we’ve been waiting for, and we don’t want to lose the opportunity.
Calm and Chaos
Some of it winds and bends in line with the tall grasses in the breeze. This is meandering meadow water that glistens and swoons against the low angles of a fading sun. Trout thrive here, protected in the deep cool water, among shade lines that are artfully formed by long weeds that wag and flutter in the current. You could swear the tips of those weeds are trout tails — until they’re not. Maybe some are.
Calm river waters are a church sanctuary, requiring a measure of reverent respect — even if you don’t much believe what’s in there.
Drop Shot Nymphing on a Tight Line Rig — Pt.1
As the years pass, I’ve found a few refinements, I’ve learned a few advantages that lead me toward drop shot as the solution for more on-stream problems. It’s a tactic that has its place alongside all the other ways that I like to drift nymphs. Because the principles of dead drifting a nymph usually come down to imitating a natural drift as close as possible, but the methods for doing so are remarkably varied.
Every river scenario has a solution. And quite often, drop shotting is the perfect answer.
Podcast: Hatches and Strategies — S3 Ep3
One of the greatest attractions to fly fishing can also present one of the biggest barriers. It’s the bugs.
Understanding everything we can about these bugs and how trout respond to them is a big piece of the puzzle that we’re trying to solve out there. And sometimes, it’s the keystone. Because at certain times, the bug life of a river is the central player in a trout’s daily life . . .
Some of these caddis were swamped by the current or damaged by their acrobatic and reckless tumbling. And the broken ones didn’t last long. Large slurps from underneath signaled the feeding of the biggest trout, keying in on the opportunity for an easy meal.
Smith and I shared a smile at the sheer number of good chances. Trout often ignore caddis, because the emerging insects spend very little time on the surface, and trout don’t like to chase too often. But with a blanket hatch like this, the odds stack up, and trout were taking notice . . .
Casting Forehand and Backhand (with VIDEO)
Fly casting differs from spin casing in a few key ways, and here’s one one of them: You need both a forehand and a backhand cast to achieve effective presentations. Trying to fit a forehand cast on the backhand side is a bad habit that causes problems and limits what is possible on the water. While there’s plenty of room for personal style in fly fishing, this is not one of those places.
As you can see in the video, there are multiple reasons for developing both the forehand and backhand casting stroke. Being equally comfortable with both sides opens the doors to every angle necessary on the river . . .
Podcast: Inefficiencies That Waste Your Fishing Time — S3 Ep2
Flies in the water — that’s where we want them. A trout at the end of the line. That’s what we’re aiming for. But there are seemingly endless tasks required for a fishing trip. And how we approach those chores really defines the way our day will go — simply because our fly is either in the water . . . or it’s not . . .