The Troutbitten Fall Sale ’23 is here, with all leaders, hats and stickers back in the Troutbitten Shop. With this round, we have a few special items to offer, from the Troutbitten and New Trail Brewing company collaboration. There’s a Fish Hard / Drink Beer hat, sticker and t-shirt. The Troutbitten Shop is fully stocked. Hats, leaders, stickers, shirts, hoodies and more are ready to go.
The biggest misconception in nymphing is that our flies should bump along the bottom. Get it down where the trout are, they say. Bounce the nymph along the riverbed, because that’s the only way to catch trout. We’re told to feel the nymph tick, tick, tick across the rocks, and then set the hook when a trout eats. With apologies to all who have uttered these sentiments and given them useless ink, that is just not true. Here’s how and why to avoid the bottom, fish more effectively and catch more trout with a top down approach . . .
Here’s a reading of Coffee and Secrets, a story from the archives. This intermission also features a thoughtful comment from a listener and some updates from Becky, about the upcoming fall leader sale and the Recommended Gear page.
. . . If visibility is twelve inches or less, well then, things are pretty muddy.
Today, visibility was at least twice that. And I’m not saying it was clear enough for trout to make out details at two feet, but if you dunked your head under the water and looked upstream, you could probably see shapes coming from about twenty-four inches away. And if those shapes looked like food, you might be interested. Maybe not.
I have a bunch of tips for fishing this kind of water, and I’ve learned to enjoy the challenge. But all of my tips start with this . . .
Here are a few ideas and guiding principles that work for me every day on my rivers. I don’t try to cover everything. I don’t make grids, but I do make plans. I like to stay creative and follow the signs that trout give me. And for my wading approach, I break things down into three simple strategies: the typewriter, the zig zag and following up one lane . . .
I must have been in my late teens, because I was wearing hip boots and casting a fly rod. It was a short transitional time when I fished small streams on the fly and still thought I had no need for chest waders.
It’s remarkable how the details of a fishing trip stick in the angler’s brain. We recall the slightest details about flies, locations and tippet size. We know that our big brown trout was really sixteen inches but we rounded it up to eighteen. The sun angles, the wind, the hatching bugs and the friends who share the water — all of it soaks into our storage and stays there for a lifetime. Fishing memories are sticky. And for this one, I certainly remember the fly . . .
“Let them eat it. Don’t take it away from them.” I’ve burned that simple message in my brain. For many years, I focused obsessively on the motion I would give to a streamer, I now focus equally on where and when I will pause it.
Attract them with motion. Then let them eat it. Streamer fishing for trout really is that simple. But the variations within the framework are where artistry arises . . .
The truth is, too much stuff gets in the way. Simplifying our approach, our fly selection and gear selection, usually wins. It can also make for a happier fisherman who feels like they know their tools and have confidence in their techniques . . .