Search Month: January 2024

Q&A: Barbless Hooks or Barbed? Does It Matter?

Barbless or barbed hooks? How does the barb help keep trout on the hook? And is there a higher mortality rate with barbed hooks?

PODCAST: Critical Nymphing Concepts #3 — Suspension Advantages– S10, Ep3

In the third part of this critical nymphing concepts series, we consider the advantages and disadvantages of fishing with a suspender. 

We watched daylight race the river downstream

The best thing about a float is seeing miles of water as if in one frame. It’s like a filmstrip that you can take out and hold in your mind for a while. If you’ve done this long enough, then every rock around every bend carries a memory. The best island channels hold a group of those stories and offer them up as you float by. It’s a photo album: the river is a flowing film of your best and worst times on the water — moment by moment passing by. And if you’re lucky, you might create a new highlight for the reel . . .

Q&A: Can Trout Hear Your Boot Studs? (with VIDEO)

Trout can’t hear your boot studs — not in a river with any movement to it. So stud-up those wading boots and love your life. Here’s a video to prove it . . .

VIDEO: Wading Belt Carrying System

VIDEO: Wading Belt Carrying System

How can we keep our stuff with us, make it easily accessible and not be slowed down or fatigued by extra weight? Answer: Carry the heavy things on your hips.

Most anglers focus on whether to choose a chest pack, vest, sling pack, hip pack, lanyard or something else. We think of carrying fly boxes, tippet, leaders and other incidentals. But what about the net? What about water, a wading staff, a camera or anything else with extra weight? Carrying these items should not be a secondary consideration. As the heaviest things among your gear, how you carry them is of primary importance.

The heavy stuff is best carried on your hips, so the most critical part of your carrying system is probably the wading belt. And most wading belts are not up to the task.

How to stay in the fly fishing game for a lifetime

How to stay in the fly fishing game for a lifetime

I know what the game of chasing trout has given me. For over forty years, I’ve had a wonderful purpose, a focus, endless challenges, and a reason to set my feet on wooded, watery paths often enough to call these places home . . .

Fishing is as big as you want it to be. From the beginning, I’ve been in it for the long game. And in the end I plan to wade upstream, toward the light at the end of the tunnel.

Forgiving Flies

Forgiving Flies

This is one of the most amazing times to be on the water. Fishing through a snowstorm rekindles memories, ingrained from the novelty of tracking flies and fly line through the optical mystery of falling snow.

. . . This morning, I’m leaning on my favorite set of forgiving flies — just a handful of patterns I’ve noticed that our notoriously picky trout are more willing to move for and eat. These are patterns that draw attention and perhaps curiosity, but also don’t cause many refusals.

Upper Honey

Upper Honey

You can usually spot the ancient sycamore teetering bank-side, leaning over about thirty degrees, patiently waiting, month after month, year after year, for the day when it slips the bonds of its streamside earth and crashes into the water.

. . . And oh my, those roots. Underneath the massive sycamore sits an exposed tangle of underground limbs — wet, flexible pipes as thick as your leg, with a shadowy cover where no sunlight penetrates.

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We Don’t Want Easy Fishing

We Don’t Want Easy Fishing

No forgiveness. No freebies. Just wild trout that require your best effort and then some. From our best trout rivers, we’re dealt a fair game. We know what trout want. They look for something safe to eat. Something familiar. Something easy with a positive calorie reward for their effort. Something natural, with maybe just a little spark.

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