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Distance: Know Your Weights and Measures — Part Two

Distance: Know Your Weights and Measures — Part Two

Making adjustments is the key to consistent fly fishing. It’s what long-term anglers love about this game. It’s how we solve the daily puzzles. And many of those adjustments are based on our thought processes around weights and measures.

It matters. And the easiest place to start is to know your distances. Tackle that first . . .

Nymphing: Are We Making Too Much of the Induced Take?

Nymphing: Are We Making Too Much of the Induced Take?

If there’s one thing in nymph fishing that gets far too much credit, it’s the induced take, in all forms. From Frank Sawyer’s slight movement up and out of a pure dead drift, to the Leisenring lift, nymphing anglers everywhere are enamored with ways to twitch, jig, swing and lift the nymph.

An excellent dead drift is your baseline presentation. The induced take is a variation. And do not forget that a good induced take begins with a great dead drift. That is what is so often missed . . .

STORIES

Mid-Season Form

Mid-Season Form

Sawyer isn’t afraid of the cold. He’s like a polar bear in waders — doesn’t even wear gloves on his paws. And I don’t get guys like this. I don’t understand where their warmth comes from. Is it a higher tolerance for pain or a motor that just runs hotter than most? Who knows, but Sawyer’s always up for anything, and he’s fun to fish with.

The first batch of winter roads had people a little skittish on Tuesday morning. Even the plows and salt trucks showed some unusual caution. Later in the season, they’ll be cutting close lines and motoring at top speed, plows laid flat, shooting sparks with bare steel on rock. Before long, they’ll be in a mid-season rhythm. But at 7:30 am on Tuesday morning, the highway traffic formed a line behind the yellow diesel beasts, and everyone unanimously and silently agreed to be a little extra careful. So I was late.

When I finally stepped out of line and steered left onto the winding creek side road, I was eager to accelerate. So I took my new freedom with some aggression, pushing snow with my 4-wheel drive and generally driving the way a ten-year-old boy rides a sled. You gotta love fresh snow . . .

From Pennsylvania to Montana and Back

From Pennsylvania to Montana and Back

Early August in Montana, 2007. The afternoons burned hot, but the mornings were bitter and covered in frost. Our days swam together until neither the time nor the day of the week mattered at all. Dad and I had two weeks and more, long enough that the internal nagging and questioning about how long before all this had to end were sent away. We watched no television and kept the radio off. We visited no restaurants and no bars. With two coolers and a camper-freezer full of food, we restocked at a grocery store only once.  It’s as far away from everything and anything as I’ve ever been, for as long of a time as I’ve ever known. There were timeless, surreal moments, and they were fantastically long . . .

Boys and Dads

Boys and Dads

I opened my eyes to full daylight. And the first sound I heard was rain in the gutter behind the bedroom window. I’ve learned to gauge the amount of rainfall by the dripping sounds of water inside an aluminum tube. Without pulling the window blind, I understood that the storm was steady. Somehow, I also knew it would continue all day.

Down the hall and on my way to the coffee pot, my nine year old son caught up to me, and with his characteristic excitement for everything in life, he asked, “Dad, can we fish today?”

I have a self-imposed rule for parenting. There are three things I always say yes to: baseball, music and fishing. When either of my boys wants to throw a ball, strum a guitar or sling a fly rod, I do everything I can to make that happen . . .

TACTICS

Podcasts Begin — Episode 1: This Is Troutbitten

Podcasts Begin — Episode 1: This Is Troutbitten

In this inaugural Troutbitten podcast, my friends Bill, Austin, Trevor and Josh join me to discuss how fly fishing for wild trout creates a life on the water.

We consider what it means to fish hard, how hope is the strongest trait of a successful angler, why everything works sometimes, and how fly fishers, all too often, are a little much.

We also talk about the tenets of Troutbitten, or the shared interests and characteristics about fly fishing that bring us together and keep us excited about trout fishing for a lifetime . . .

NYMPHING

Stop the Split-Shot-Slide

Stop the Split-Shot-Slide

Why so much hate for the split shot? Guys grumble about attaching it to the line, bitch about removing it and snarl when it slides. That's too much hate for such a timeless and effective tool. Sometimes, using split shot just makes the most sense. In a variety of...

Fly Fishing Strategies: Tags and Trailers

Fly Fishing Strategies: Tags and Trailers

Sometimes trout are feeding so aggressively that the particular intricacies of how nymphs are attached to the line seem like a trivial waste of time. Those are rare, memorable days with wet hands that never dry out between fish releases. More often than not, though, trout make us work to catch them. And those same particulars about where and how the flies are attached can make all the difference in delivering a convincing presentation to a lazy trout.

Two nymphs can double your chances of fooling a trout. But there are downsides. Here are some strategies for rigging and getting the most from two fly rigs.

STREAMERS

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ANGLER TYPES IN PROFILE

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BIG TROUT

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NIGHT FISHING

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