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The eight-part winter skills series of the Troutbitten podcast finished a couple weeks ago, and season seven will begin on April 10th. But in between seasons, I want to catch you up on a few things that are going on with Troutbitten.
Just a few years ago, Troutbitten was the website only. I wrote and published articles three times a week. Now it’s a multi-media company with many branches — there’s the podcast, the videos, the online shop, hosted events and, of course, the guide business.
So let me begin there . . .
My guide season starts this week, and I’m excited to get back out with so many returning clients that have become friends and to meet new faces too.
I guide less than I used to, because all the other parts of Troutbitten require time — every day I’m working on something new, and it’s a wonderful way to make a living. I’m booked about eight or ten months in advance, so my friends Bill and Austin, whom you know from the podcast, guide for Troutbitten as well.
I like guiding, because it keeps me connected to the anglers who support this Troutbitten project. My guide trips are lessons on the water. Long ago, I realized that everyone who comes to Troutbitten wants to learn, more than anything else. I love that aspect of the job, and it makes my guiding experience different from many others.
The Troutbitten Shop
I’ve fielded a bunch of questions lately, about leaders in the Troutbitten Shop.
Last month, I did another round of leader sales, and they sold out in a couple days. That was about 700 leaders. It’s always been my intention to keep the leaders in stock. I don’t like being sold out, but it always seems to happen quickly.
I’ve been building inventory again (no, I don’t tie these leaders myself anymore). So in the next few weeks, I should have about a thousand leaders for sale in the Troutbitten Shop. I’ll surely publish an article about that and post to social media as well.
If you’ve bought Troutbitten leaders before, thank you. Every leader comes on a three-inch Troutbitten-labeled spool. I sell Harvey dry fly leaders and Mono Rigs. The Standard Mono Rig comes with three foam spools for storing and changing tippet sections very quickly. I sell these leaders and this system exactly how I fish it and how I’ve shown in many of the articles and videos.
The Troutbitten website will always be the heart of the project. This is not a gimmick website that inundates you with popup ads or subscription requests. This is a free website with stories and tips, with commentary and tactical pieces that run deep. Much of the content is organized into series like . . . fishing with kids, fishing dry flies, streamer presentations and more. I’ve been writing and publishing this way since 2014, and the Troutbitten website is different from anything else out there, because in every tactics article there are multiple links to other articles. And all of this supporting information is like chapters in a book.
Take, for example, the Angler Types in Profile series. I’ve recently published some new articles to this ongoing series, exploring the different kinds of anglers that we’re all friends with. It’s a lighthearted collection. But it also considers how we approach our life on the water and how that shapes our experiences on the water. . . and sometimes how our choices affect others around us.
You’ve probably heard me say this before, but Troutbitten reads like a book. And I encourage you to explore it that way. Follow the links, pick out articles from your favorite categories and tags. And if you’re looking for something you can’t find, just email me. It’s probably there.
Because, there are now 983 articles that I’ve written on Troutbitten. That number is getting real close to one thousand, and though I’m not much of a stats guy, that’s a number that I’ve been looking toward.
Another stat or marking point that I’m proud of is the 10 thousand subscribers on YouTube. We just passed that mark a couple days ago. The growth and support of the Troutbitten YouTube channel has been remarkable.
Thanks to everyone who has reached out, with your kind words and ideas. This video medium is a lot of fun. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be creative and to reach people in a way that words in an article or even a podcast cannot.
Many of you know that my friend, Josh Darling, does the video work for Troutbitten. He owns Wilds Media, and it’s been a great partnership. I love seeing what he creates.
The latest Troutbitten video is titled Mono Rigs and Euro Leaders: Micro or Standard. Of course, there’s a companion article of the same name on the website, and I think this is one of the most important videos that we’ve done.
I’ve been working toward this one for a long time, meaning . . . there have been many articles, videos and podcasts that have laid the foundation for this one. The video is about understanding the leader build of a Mono Rig or tight line system, and how the materials, the diameters and the stiffness of those materials dictates how you can fish. The point is, there is a wide range of leader styles to use for tight line tactics. Some leaders are very specialized, and some are more versatile. But in this video, I also talk about how versatility isn’t only about changing over to dry dropper or streamers on the same leader, it’s much more about how and where the leader lands after the fly enters.
It’s a good video — and a good article. There’s a lot to it, and if you’re into this stuff, I think it’ll help you out. So find that over on the YouTube channel.
You’ve probably seen the in-content ads in the last handful of videos. Once the channel started growing fast, I decided to forgo the standard YouTube monetization model and bring in sponsors that I have a relationship with, who’s products I like, use and recommend every day. In this way too, viewers don’t have to sit through an ad for Kentucky Fried Chicken or Walmart while watching Troutbitten on YouTube. Many of these Troutbitten sponsors provide discount codes, and just like with the podcast and website ads, by using those codes, the sponsors see that you are also supporting this work.
Advertising has become a big part of what keeps this Troutbitten train moving. And I’m proud to say that I only run ads from companies who I fish with every day.
One more thing on the videos:
I’ve mentioned in a few places . . . that a Fish Along series on the YouTube channel is in the works. It is. And that’s always been part of the plan.
Much of my current YouTube content is instructional, and I’m working on a series that will show first-person-style footage of fishing. I’d like to show what happens on the water, day after day, and break down how I plan for a piece of river and then make changes and try out adjustments along the way. I just want to show the fishing.
So, I’ve been learning a lot about filming and video editing, I’ve been going through classes to learn the software, and I’ve been picking Josh’s brain a lot.
This Fish Along series should start early in the summer, just after my spring guide season ends, and I’m really looking forward to what these videos will become.
Let me also say THANK YOU, sincerely, for the generous donations that have come into Troutbitten this year.
Direct donations from you are another revenue stream that keeps this project funded. You can find the donate button at the bottom of every Troutbitten article. Many of you have contributed, and your donations, of any amount, make a BIG difference. Thanks, again.
The New Trail Event
I already mentioned how much Troutbitten has grown in the last five years or so. And we just did our first hosted event, in collaboration with New Trail Brewing Company last weekend. The Troutbitten podcast crew was there, and we had a lot of fun meeting so many of you who’ve been a big part of this project for a while now.
The tickets sold out just a few days after launch. So thank you for that. The whole night was a blast. Thanks to everyone involved, including our sponsors for the event, Smith Creek, Precision Fly and Tackle, Scientific Angler, and of course New Trail. It was a great night. We learned a lot about doing something like this, and we’ll surely do it again.
Troutbitten On the Orvis Podcast
I’m excited to tell you that I was a guest on Tom Rosenbaur’s Orvis Podcast. That conversation should be publishing to their podcast feed later this week. I was with Tom a few years ago, and we talked about streamer fishing. This time, Tom wanted a full breakdown of the Mono Rig. So we got into a little history. And again, we talked about the various styles of leaders that limit or expand your capabilities for what you can do with these rigs. That conversation dovetails nicely with the latest Troutbitten YouTube video that mentioned above (and the companion article). So you have a good evening’s worth of material there and a fun rabbit hole to explore.
Orvis has been a great partner for Troutbitten, and I can’t thank Tom and the whole crew at Orvis enough. I think you’ll enjoy our conversation over on the Orvis Fly Fishing Podcast.
The Troutbitten Podcast, Seasons 7
Last thing . . .
The next season of the Troutbitten podcast begins on April 10th. Season 7 returns to the full-crew lineup and the free-form discussion format, where we tackle a different topic each week. This season will be twelve episodes, publishing each week until the end of spring.
We have some great topics lined up, like Angler Pressure, Myths of Fly Fishing, Fishing Dirty Water, a podcast that we’ll probably call “That’s not Fly Fishing,”’ Trout Movement and Migration, Falling In . . . and a bunch more. We might even bring in a few special guests, so keep your eyes and ears open for all of that.
A week from today, I plan to publish another in-between-seasons podcast to the Troutbitten feed. I think I’ll read a favorite short story that I wrote last year. So look for that in your Troutbitten podcast feed. I’ll be back in a couple weeks with my friends, right here in your Troutbitten podcast feed. Until then, I hope you’ll check out all the other stuff Troutbitten has going on and keep in touch.
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Fish hard, friends.
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Enjoy the day.
T R O U T B I T T E N