ARTICLES

Enjoy the Day

TROUTBITTEN

Troutbitten is built on words. These ideas, these stories, tips and tactics are the roots of a tree that has grown branches.

Troutbitten reads more like a book than a blog. So settle in and find something to read.

Find the category links at the top of every article and the tags at the bottom, because those lead to the archive pages for the topic.

Also within these articles, all text in orange leads to supporting content. Finally, use the search page to find what interests you most.

Thank you for your support through the years.

 

ALL ARTICLES

Angler Types in Profile: The Rookie

Angler Types in Profile: The Rookie

I’m consistently surprised by the lack of river sense that’s missing in so many anglers. I mean that literally and not condescendingly. Just as a city kid marvels at the sight of deep darkness on a moonless night, fifty miles deep into a state forest, the country boy doesn’t give it a second thought. It’s experience. And that’s all it is.

People who are new to fishing just don’t know much about rivers. And I never really get used to that. Because so much of what a river does, and what fish do in response, is organic to me. I grew up fishing and playing in small streams. As a kid, I was drawn to every runoff ditch within walking or biking distance. I couldn’t stay away. And like anything else, you grow into your surroundings. I don’t think that can be changed, whether we’d like it to be or not.

Anyway, those without that same history with rivers see the water differently, and sometimes I have trouble remembering it.

On a cool April morning, Sam and I hit the water with all his new gear . . .

STORIES

Explore | Learn | Return

Explore | Learn | Return

The miles of twisting rivers and rambling streams become your home, and each one within the perimeter of a reasonable driving distance is mentally marked as either explored and fishy or explored and fishless. Until eventually, the list of the unexplored disappears . . .

A Christmas Story, and a Troutbitten Thank You

A Christmas Story, and a Troutbitten Thank You

Growing up, my wish was not for a Red Rider BB Gun (Ralphie) It was for a flowing trout stream in my backyard. I wanted more trout at the end of my line, but it was more than that, too.

With limited trout fishing opportunities in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, I’m not quite sure how I attached myself so deliberately to trout fishing. It was a springtime thing for us, mostly. But oh my, the places we would visit. We traveled through the predawn frost over unlined two lane roads, with the steamy scent of Dad’s hot tea filling the warmth of the old Buick. We camped within earshot of the riffles, along small streams in Pennsylvania’s northern tier. And every time we arrived, it felt like someone plugged me back in, like a piece of me was rightfully back in place . . .

A Fly Fisher’s Gift Guide — Troutbitten’s Favorite Books

A Fly Fisher’s Gift Guide — Troutbitten’s Favorite Books

I still get excited about a new fishing book. And I trust that will never change. After all these years, I still look forward to shedding the dust cover, stressing the binding and digging in. Whether it’s tactics or stories doesn’t matter. If it’s a book about a life on the water, I’ll give it a look.

My uncle taught me to fish, to read water and find trout, to explore — to get away — and to enjoy fishing for more than just catching a trout. We fished bait. Mostly fathead minnows. And what I absorbed in those young years were the largest building blocks for any angler. I learned to love the river and feel at home there. And without that, the books that I later picked up would have felt like a foreign thing, like fiction, a tall tale, or like some branch of mysterious and inaccessible science.

Years later, my early tutelage into fly fishing came not through a personal mentor, but through two key books. (I’ll list them below.) And it was the enlightenment of those works that served as the gateway into so much of what has shaped my life to this day.

The words in a good book — the shared ideas — can change lives. And I’ve always wanted to be part of that, to pass on what I too have discovered, both technically and in experiential form . . .

TACTICS

Asking the Best Questions to Catch More Trout

Asking the Best Questions to Catch More Trout

Fly selection is important, but it’s one of the last questions to ask. There’s no denying that catching a few trout helps lead us to the promise of catching a few more. One trout is an accident. It’s just as likely that you found a maverick as it is that a single fish can teach you the habits of the rest. Two fish is a coincidence, but three starts to show a trend. And at a half dozen fish, there’s enough data about who, what, where, when and why to build the pieces of a puzzle.

To the die-hard angler, adaptation and adjustment to what we discover is one of the great joys of fly fishing for trout . . .

Podcast: — Guiding the Flies — Tight Line Skills Series, #7

Podcast: — Guiding the Flies — Tight Line Skills Series, #7

Guiding the flies is a blend of two skills called leading and tracking. At the core, this skill of guiding the flies is fishing the flies. And this is what anglers tend to focus on most — for good reason. It’s the longest in duration. It’s the most active, and has the most room for variation.

In truth, there are number of ways to dead drift nymphs through one seam. And the choices we make are about how much influence we want to have on the flies. A leading approach puts the angler in charge, and a tracking approach let’s the river dictate the course of the flies. Guiding the flies is an effort to mix the two . . .

NYMPHING

Why do we miss trout on a nymph?

Why do we miss trout on a nymph?

Late hook sets are a problem, as is guessing about whether we should set the hook in the first place. But I believe, more times than not, when we miss a trout, the fish actually misses the fly. However, that doesn’t let us off the hook either. It’s probably still our fault. And here’s why . . .

Loss of contact, refusals and bad drifts. All of these things and more add into missing trout on nymphs. So how do we improve the hookup ratio?

Beyond Euro Nymphing

Beyond Euro Nymphing

Euro nymphing is an elegant, tight line solution. But don’t limit yourself. Why not use the tight line tools (leaders and tactics) for more than just euro nymphing?

Use it for fishing a tight-line style of indicators. Use it for dry dropper or even straight dries. And use it for streamers, both big and small.

Refining these tactics is the natural progression of anglers who fish hard, are thoughtful about the tactics and don’t like limitations. I know many good fly fishers who have all come out the other side with the same set of tools. Because fishing a contact system like the Mono Rig eventually teaches you all that is possible . . .

STREAMERS

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

ANGLER TYPES IN PROFILE

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

BIG TROUT

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

NIGHT FISHING

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

MORE

With over 900 articles on Troubitten, there’s much more to explore than what you see above.

Use the site menu to navigate through articles collected in series. Click the categories and tags to find the archives pages for each topic.

Everything in orange, sitewide, is a link to more supporting content.

And use the search page to find what you’re looking for.

Also Subscribe to Troutbitten and follow along. (Yes, it’s free.)

Cheers, friends.

 

 

Pin It on Pinterest