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

You Don’t Have to Match the Hatch

You Don’t Have to Match the Hatch

One by one they came back to the gravel lot, all of them pleasantly water-weary and uniquely satisfied. Each had caught lots of trout — that part of the story was the same. But the hot flies were all different. Trout had come to dries, streamers and a variety of nymphs. All of the Troutbitten crew had found success, but each had come to it in a different way.

. . . I’m not suggesting to ignore the hatches. I’m saying that you could ignore the hatches and probably catch just as many trout as the next guy . . .

Slipping Contact — Tight Line and Euro Nymphing

Slipping Contact — Tight Line and Euro Nymphing

Slipping contact is the intermixing of influence and autonomy. Take the fly somewhere — help it glide along. Then surrender it to the current, and let the river make the decisions. Slip in and out, and find the balance between influence and independence to the fly . . .

STORIES

The Dirty Fisherman

The Dirty Fisherman

I walked around the bend and saw his blue truck, but I couldn’t see Gabe until the lean man sat up. He stretched and slid slowly off the tailgate, onto his feet and into his sandals. The climbing sun made the blue paint of his pickup bed too hot, and when the shadows were gone, the dirty fisherman’s rest was finished.

Gabe leaned back on the hot paint again and grabbed the duffel that he used for a pillow. The faded bag was stuffed with clothes: some stained, some clean, and most half-worn-out. He pulled a thin, long-sleeved shirt from the bag and changed, tossing his wet t-shirt toward a damp pile of gear by the truck tires. The long sleeves were his sunscreen; the beard protected his face; the frayed hat covered his head, and the amber sunglasses filled the gap in between.

Gabe was a trout bum. Not the shiny magazine-ad version of a trout bum either, but the true embodiment of John Geirach’s term: authentic, dirty, and dedicated to a lifestyle without even thinking much about it. He fished on his own terms. He was a part-time fishing guide for the family business and a part-time waiter. We never talked much about work, though. I just know that Gabe’s life was fishing, and everything else was a cursory, minor distraction.

Back to Basics — Back to Buggers

Back to Basics — Back to Buggers

Bill texted me at 2:00 pm.

“How’s the fishing, and where should we meet?” he wrote.

The day was changing from a perfectly cloudy and drizzly cool day to a pure washout. More dark sky slid over the horizon as I hustled back to the truck. Patches of heavy rain were dumping buckets throughout the region. In a few hours the whole river would muddy completely.  Some sections were still fishable, but not for long.

Under the shadow of the rear hatch, I stashed wet gear into the truck and changed into a drier shirt as another SUV arrived from upstream and turned into the dirt pull-off. The side windows slid down, and I saw three fishermen inside.

“How’d you make out?” they asked. “Is it muddy down below too?” The driver gestured in the direction of the rising river, just out of site beyond the hemlocks.

Absence | Goodbye, Winter

Absence | Goodbye, Winter

I hold on to winter longer than anyone else I know. I love winter for what it is, for what it makes me feel, for what it turns me into — for how it forces family to huddle closer, and for how exquisitely alone I feel outside.

Winter is the season of absence.

TACTICS

Podcast — Ep. 6: Reading Water, and Cherry Picking vs Full Coverage

Podcast — Ep. 6: Reading Water, and Cherry Picking vs Full Coverage

In this episode, my friends join me to share some of their best tips for reading water — seeing a trout stream, recognizing the currents in a river that hold trout and having the confidence to target them.

Then we get into the philosophy of Cherry Picking or Full Coverage. That is, the speed at which we cover water. How fast do you move from one place to the next? And what are the merits of hole hopping or trying to efficiently cover every likely piece of river that holds a trout? Because there are a couple of different ways to approach your time out there. And it’s helpful to think about the best ways to use it . . .

The Tap and the Take — Was That a Fish?

The Tap and the Take — Was That a Fish?

Using the riverbed as a reference is the most common way to know about the unseen nymph below. Get the fly down. Tick the riverbed. Touch and lift. This time-honored strategy is used across fishing styles for just about every species I’ve ever cast to. Find the bottom, and find fish. Better yet, find the bottom and know where the fly is.

But how do we tell the difference between ticking the bottom and a trout strike? My friend, Smith, calls it the tap and the take . . .

Podcast — Ep. 5: Fly Fishing the Mono Rig — Versatility and the Tight Line Advantage Taken Further

Podcast — Ep. 5: Fly Fishing the Mono Rig — Versatility and the Tight Line Advantage Taken Further

After hundreds of Troutbitten articles featuring the versatility of the Mono Rig, now there’s a podcast. My friends Josh, Austin, Trevor and Bill join me to discuss how each of us fishes this hybrid rig as a complete fly fishing system, detailing the ultimate flexibility of this amazing tool.

The Troutbitten Mono Rig is a hybrid system for fishing all types of flies: nymphs (both tight line and indicator styles), streamers, dry-dropper, wets, and small dry flies. With twenty pound monofilament as a fly line substitute, better contact, control and strike detection are gained with the Mono Rig versus a traditional fly line approach. And yet, the casting here is still a fly line style cast. Ironically, it takes excellent fly casting skills to efficiently throw a Mono Rig.

NYMPHING

Seven Ways To Get Your Fly Deeper (with VIDEO)

Seven Ways To Get Your Fly Deeper (with VIDEO)

In time, all things in a river sink to the bottom. How much time do you have? Getting our flies down is the ever-present objective. It’s what good fly anglers think about. But is it as simple as adding split shot or swapping out to a heavier tungsten beaded fly? No, it’s not.

There are seven ways to get the fly deeper. Understanding all of them, and seeing how each interacts with or affects the others, is a major key to gaining a complete picture of your underwater fishing system.

Fly Fishing in the Winter — The Secondary Nymphing Rig

Fly Fishing in the Winter — The Secondary Nymphing Rig

Every winter our rivers go through changes, and the trout follow suit. Regardless of how much water flows between the banks, I encounter a predictable slowdown in trout response at some point. Call it a lack of trout enthusiasm. Or call it hunkering down and waiting for warmer water. However you look at it, the trout just don’t move as far to eat a fly.

For some, the solution is a streamer — to go bigger. Get the trout’s attention and add some motivation to peel itself from the river bed and move to a fly. It works — sometimes. (everything works sometimes.) But just as often you’re left with an empty net and more questions than answers. I do love fishing streamers in the winter though. I use it as a chance to build body heat, to warm up by walking and covering more water. But my standard approach is a highly targeted pair of nymphs, right in the trout’s window. Served up just right, you can almost force-feed a trout that didn’t even know he was hungry.

Quick Tips: See beyond the sighter

Quick Tips: See beyond the sighter

New to tight lining? Then staring at the bright piece of colored line is a good place to start. But as soon as you gain some skills for reading the angle and speed of the sighter, when you can quickly gauge contact with your nymphs by glancing at the sag of the sighter, then it’s time to look ahead. Get to the next level.

. . . We do everything possible to improve the visibility of the sighter section in our leaders. We leave tag ends, add backing barrels and use super-bright opaque colored material. Good anglers also learn to fish from the best angles for visibility — usually with the sun or brightest light at their backs. So it’s easy to be mesmerized by those colors. And I think most nymph fishers catch themselves staring at the sighter too often, missing all the other available signals.

. . . What are those signals? Most of them are beyond the sighter — past the last visible piece of yellow, red, orange, etc. and into the water . . .

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