The Troutbitten crew answers questions from podcast listeners. These questions range from gear talk to ethics, from fly selection to reading a trout river. This is an entertaining conversation, with both stories and tactics.
For effective, convincing underwater presentations of flies to a trout, the tight line advantage is the cornerstone concept. Nothing else is more important.
Because a river is composed of changing and moving seams, defeating that unwanted drag is the nymph angler’s ongoing battle. How do we defeat that drag? With the tight line advantage. Watch this video to see it in action.
In this episode, we discuss the head orientation of the streamer in the water — how the streamer moves with the currents or against them, and what looks more natural vs what might look more attractive.
We also dig into what added weight does to the head of a streamer, how that affects the action and how that limits or enhances the presentation styles that we have available . . .
With the river at its peak, Dad and I spent a drizzly day with no one in sight at any hour, early or late. Alone together against the odds, we landed the occasional fish purely by accident. Yes, we targeted the backwaters. Sure, we fished deer hair sculpins, worm patterns and chartreuse things. But such are the measures suggested by those who peddle wishful thinking more than experience. Nothing was consistent in those roiling waters.
Regardless, Dad and I fished. And we hoped. We were waiting on luck . . .
A great fly rod responds to the angler. The slightest motions and refinements in the cast are transmitted to the rod, and it flexes — it responds in kind. The angler’s thoughts and instincts flow through a great rod, so our accuracy and adjustments become effortless.
We can be in tune with a great rod and perfectly connect with its performance. With some time spent fishing a great fly rod, it becomes an extension of our will. The fly hits the target because we want it to. The leader lands with s-curves in the tippet because that’s what we decided. And the rod makes it happen.
A go-to fly rod is like an old dog or a good friend. We know them, and our connection is natural.
It’s the things that happen while we’re out there that make fly fishing for trout the all-consuming, never ending pursuit that it is for us. And, in truth, all of us need to LET that happen. It’s in the choices that we make regarding where we’ll fish, when we’ll fish and who we’ll fish with. Those elements, the locations, the woods, the water and the friendships make all of this special . . .
The best wild trout populations are specific to their own river systems, and they’ve adapted to the seasonal highs and lows, to whatever the decades of chance have brought to the collective population. The strength to thrive and persist is in those wild genes . . .
. . . Stocked trout are genetically different and conditioned to be different than wild trout. They feed aggressively and grow fast. That never changes. And this is nothing like our wary wild trout . . .
Many anglers shrink from the challenge of low water. They walk away or never string up the fly rod, using the excuse that trout are simply too spooky or they just aren’t eating. But I promise you, that is not true. Trout are eating in these conditions. It just takes a calculated approach to bring them to hand.
Don’t spook the fish. Achieving that is different from season to season. It’s different in various water types. And acceptable distances from the trout change even with the angles by which you approach them . . .