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

Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #4 — Fish Familiar Waters

Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #4 — Fish Familiar Waters

Easily wadeable, quick to clear after a storm, and holding stable temperatures year-round, my home water is the best classroom a trout fisherman could ask for. The trout are eager, but not easy. And that’s a hell of a good combination.

PODCAST: Night Fishing for Trout — Swinging and Drifting — S8, Ep3

PODCAST: Night Fishing for Trout — Swinging and Drifting — S8, Ep3

There’s a lot of variety within these two categories. There are many ways to do both. And every fly type may seem to have its best or most effective presentation, drifting or swinging, but when that’s not working, the first and easiest thing to do, before changing the fly type, is to simply change the direction the flies are fished, from swinging to drifting or vice versa . . .

STORIES

Back to Basics — Back to Buggers

Back to Basics — Back to Buggers

As much as I try to keep things simple for myself, I’m too often lured in by the latest, greatest, next-best-thing-ever streamer pattern to come around. And I while I do believe that reasonably sized, natural streamers catch more good trout than huge streamers, I catch myself looking at a simple #8 Bugger these days and thinking, “Oh, that’s not nearly good enough.”

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.

Fly Fishing Strategies: No Limits — Fish every type of weight available

Fly Fishing Strategies: No Limits — Fish every type of weight available

Casting to the bank with my back against the wind, the medium copper conehead on the Half Pint wasn’t enough to drop my fly through the stained water and out of site, so I needed split shot . . .

. . . I turned into the wind with my head down. The rain pummeled the hood of my raincoat, creating a buckshot spray that sounded like small hail on a tin roof. With soggy fingers poking out through wool gloves, I reached into my vest for the disc-shaped container of split shot. I plucked out two #4 shot and quickly squeezed them onto the line . . .

. . . Use whatever kind of weight makes sense. Use whatever fits the situation and matches the objectives, and I don’t limit yourself.

TACTICS

Don’t Guess — Set the Hook and Set Hard

Don’t Guess — Set the Hook and Set Hard

Here’s what I see: Too much guessing. Too much assuming that it’s not a trout rather than assuming that it is. So don’t guess. Set the hook. And set it hard.

If you’re trying to get long drifts, change that. If you’re trying to guess what’s a rock and what’s a trout, change that. If you’re trying to lift the nymph off a rock, and then you realize it was fish — bump buh-bump and gone — change that. I suggest a fundamental shift in your approach . . .

False Casting is a Waste of Time

False Casting is a Waste of Time

There are no flying fish in Montana, not in Pennsylvania, and not anywhere. Norman Maclean’s line in A River Runs Through It sums this up:

“One reason Paul caught more fish than anyone else was that he had his flies in the water more than anyone else. “Brother,” he would say, “there are no flying fish in Montana. Out here, you can’t catch fish with your flies in the air.”

And yet, anglers everywhere love the false cast. I daresay most fly fishers spend more time setting up their fly for the next drift than actually drifting it — exactly Paul’s point.

The most effective anglers are the most efficient. So they spend double, triple or a lot more time with their fly FISHING the water instead of casting in the air above it. And inevitably, these anglers catch more trout — a lot more trout . . .

NYMPHING

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 . . .

Fly fishing the Mono Rig — Thicker leaders cast more like fly line

Fly fishing the Mono Rig — Thicker leaders cast more like fly line

Thinner butt sections sag less. But the thinner they are, the more they lose that fly-line-style performance. And sometimes, that matters a great deal.

All of this is part of the the joy in being a fly fisher. There are hundreds of ways to make things work. And because every angler brings a unique set of goals and conditions, that’s why there are so many solutions . . .

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