Podcast: What To Trust — S5, Ep11

by | Dec 11, 2022 | 7 comments

 The Troutbitten Podcast is available everywhere that you listen to your podcasts.

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One of the most captivating aspects of fly fishing is the seemingly endless variety of approaches, tactics and strategies that are available with a fly rod in our hands. There are so many things to learn that put trout in the net. And we quickly understand that there’s a lifetime of education for us if we want it.

So we combine our time on the water with conversations that we have with friends. We read books and articles. We watch videos. Maybe we listen to podcasts. And yes, we might even learn something from social media.

But with so many sources in easy reach, sorting through the flood of information can be overwhelming. How do you weigh the value or the validity of these sources? These days, conflicting information — conflicting opinions — seem to be right next to each other.

So . . . what should you trust? How do you sift through the overflowing bank of information and find what works?

That is what this episode is about.

We Cover the Following
  • Are there experts in fly fishing?
  • What is an expert?
  • Are the best anglers well known?
  • Who have you learned from the most?
  • How have you learned the most?
  • How can you pick out bad information?
  • Can we trust the trout?
  • Learning to trust yourself
  • Enjoying the experience

READ: Troutbitten | Find Your Rabbit Hole
READ: Troutbitten | Who Knows Better Than You?
READ: Troutbitten | Explore – Learn -Return
READ: Troutbitten | What To Trust
READ: Troutbitten | Never Blame the Fish

Now, on to the podcast  . . .

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Next Time

Season Five of the Troubitten Podcast concludes next week with episode 12. So look for that one in your Troutbitten Podcast feed.

Fish hard, friends.


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Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky


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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.

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What do you think?

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


  1. Hey, thanks for taking on my question. It made my son and I smile as we listened to the podcast together – this time far away from our favourite trout streams while we visit family in South Australia.

    Over here there is a closed season for trout that starts just after the browns head upstream to spawn, and finishes just after the rainbows have finished spawning. The place I was referring to in my question could potentially have stocked trout, but most of them in the river well upstream of the lake where we fish are wild. However, the places I’ve accidentally ‘discovered’ those odd tactics, and occasionally give them a whirl as per my question, were in our local streams that are wild fish only.

    You rightly pointed out that these odd techniques seem to pick up one fish on a run, but not multiples from the same run and not every run. Some fish are just oddballs I reckon, much like us fishers.

    Thanks again. Fishing hard (in the saltwater with a spin rod for the next couple of weeks), John

  2. In the car industry there is a saying “anyone who tells you they know everything knows nothing” so I avoid those self proclaimed experts. I will say with so many different aspects to fishing, be it fly, salt or freshwater, as a beginner, any information is good information if it gets you out on the water.
    Who gets credit for the picture at the top? It is hypnotizing, I’d like to know how they did it. As always great stuff guys.

    • To capture water’s flow, you’ll want a shutter speed of 1/2 a second or longer, depending on the light. The longer the shutter speed, the silkier the effect, but a very steady hand or tripod is essential to keep the stationary objects in focus You can even make the waves of the ocean look more like a low-lying mist using the same technique.

  3. Unexpectedly, this episode turned out to be one of my favorites. It got me thinking back on the fishing voices I’ve allowed inside my head over the years and how influential they have been over time. Dom, and now the wider Troutbitten crew, have been the most steadfast chorus praising, goading or chastising me over the years. I’m not into reviews, fan mail or anything like that. But I sent a “holy crap your mono rig thing is genius” missive to Dom after discovering it in the winter of 2015/2016. Like your crew said, the Troutbitten combination of an analytic approach with a lyrically-minded host was perfect for me. Finding your expert is like finding your water. That third zone that’s created when a reader processes the words of a (gifted!) writer is where true and lasting “expertise” lies. Thanks for letting me be part of the crew all these years,, whether you knew it or not !

    Funny to think back on how dismissive fishers and fly shops were around my part of Oregon back then when I’d describe things my chosen expert was describing in this forum. Now those same shops have much of the leader material, methods and instruction that have been boilerplate here for years.


    Headed to the river now with extra pep in my step…

  4. Expert: having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience.


    A person who has a comprehensive knowledge of, or skill in a particular area.

    My opinion: a person can be an expert without being perfect, winning every time, or knowing everything (or never getting skunked). It is impossible to know everything there is to know about fly fishing for trout, but a true expert makes an effort to continue to learn.

    I believe that there are trout fly fishing experts, as long as their expertise is derived more from experience than training. You can become an expert caster and knot tier from training, but you have to fish a lot on your own to become an expert angler.

    An expert fly angler is someone who:

    1. Knows how to line their own reels with backing and fly line, and can attach a leader butt with a nail knot.

    2. Knows how to tie leaders.

    3. Knows a variety of knots: nail knot, blood knot, perfection loop, davy knot, surgeons knot, clinch knot, dropper knots, a loop knot of some kind

    4. Knows a variety of casts, and can cast accurately

    5. Knows how to fish effectively with nymphs, streamers, wet flies, dry flies and dry dropper

    6. Knows the difference between mayflies, caddis flies, stoneflies, crane flies, midges, and terrestrials

    7. Knows the insect hatch seasons for their region

    8. Can go to a stream that they never fished before and have a successful day of fishing without being told where to fish or what flies to use.

    9. Can teach people who have never fly fished before how to catch trout on flies. The beginner has to catch trout while in the presence of the expert, and using techniques taught by the expert for this to count.

    10. Knows the difference between drag free and dragging presentations, and can consistently attain drag free drifts if required by the tactic being deployed.

    11. Selects flies based on season, insect activity, and water and weather conditions instead of just guessing.

    12. They don’t have to use an all mono rig to be an expert, but they should know how to dead drift nymphs and catch trout without using indicators. However, an expert high sticker or tightliner should also know how to use indicators whenever they would improve the catch rate.

    13. An expert knows and shares things that other experts don’t know.

    14. Can comprehend what other experts are saying about the subject, or can ask intelligent questions about unfamiliar aspects of the subject.

    15. If someone calls themself an expert they probably aren’t. : )

    I’ve been fly fishing for trout since 1976, and I learned a lot from experience, but I also learned a lot from your blog, especially the all mono rig and the Dorsey indicator. You are my go to expert.

    I tie all of my own flies, but I don’t believe that tying flies is a requirement to be considered an expert trout fly angler.


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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.

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