Articles in the Category Commentary

Do We Really Want Fly Fishing to Grow?

We want more anglers who appreciate the best things about fishing. We want anglers who fish hard for the experience, who reject fake fishing, who boast not about the numbers of trout caught but are proud of the miles of water they’ve explored and appreciate what they’ve been through to get there. We want wild trout advocates and woodsmen. We need knowledgeable teachers to inspire young people by revealing the complex mysteries of chasing river trout.

Be a Voice for Wild Trout — Your Most Effective Conservation Measure is Also the Easiest

The Pennsylvania Fish Commission needs to hear your comments. And a simple, short email makes a BIG difference. Stop stocking over wild trout. Let’s support all policies that eliminate the stocking of hatchery fish over wild trout. Pass it on . . .

Dry or Die?

. . . There’s a segment of fly anglers who will never see streamers, nymphs or wet flies as a legitimate offering. That’s fine. Keep it to yourself.

There’s another segment of fly fishers who believe trophy hunting for big browns with big streamers is the only way to live out there. And everything else might as well be tweed hats and waxed catgut. That’s fine too. Keep it to yourself.

The majority of us are fishermen, just having fun, trying to catch a fish and then catch another one . . .

Q&A: Long Drifts or Short — What’s Better and Why?

I play the odds. I’ve seen what works best, so I repeat it the most. And I’d rather get two or three good casts against the next log for the next thirty seconds rather than just one cast to the log and twenty five seconds of stripping away from it. This is the mindset of having tight targets, of getting short and effective drifts . . .

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.

Simplicity and Fishing

Simplicity and Fishing

. . .The fact is, keeping it simple only works when trout agree to your narrow terms.

. . . All those adjustments sounds complicated, right? What happened to simple? Well, it didn’t work so well. And it might actually be simpler (or at least more efficient) to make a few leader adjustments than to fight with dragging dry flies and short drifts all afternoon.

It’s Not Luck

It’s Not Luck

The willingness to meet luck wherever it stands, to accept what comes and fish regardless, is the fundamental attribute of die hard anglers, regardless of their region or the species they chase. We fish because we can, because we’re alive, willing and able, and because we mean to beat bad luck just as we did the last time it showed up.

A Good Fishing Pace

A Good Fishing Pace

A good fishing pace need not be fast, but it should flow and be efficient. And it might be the most important thing out there.

It comes from intention, from having a plan and following through. Surely, adjusting our plan along the way is part of the fun, but pace remains an element that every angler can set, every day . . .

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If You Can’t Fish Dry Flies, You’re Missing the Point

If You Can’t Fish Dry Flies, You’re Missing the Point

The fundamental kernel of fly fishing lies in the angler’s ability to cast and manipulate line, leader and tippet, to send not just a fly to the target, but to also control what that fly is attached to, both in the cast and throughout the drift. This is what separates fly fishing from conventional tackle. And nothing teaches or trains an angler better in this concept, revealing the options inherent, better than fishing dry flies . . .

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Let’s Stop Kidding Ourselves — The Bead on a Hook Challenge

Let’s Stop Kidding Ourselves — The Bead on a Hook Challenge

Testing rigs and flies on the water is fun. It provides the next reason to get back out there, and it center-focuses us on something new. Testing also takes the pressure off. You’re not out there to catch every trout. You’re out there to experiment — to investigate and assess results against a theory.

Do trout eat the bead-on-a-hook better than a nymph with dubbing or micro-tubing behind it? Maybe . . .

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When Gear Gets In the Way

When Gear Gets In the Way

No matter what we’re into, there’s a time when the learning of skills reaches a critical mass, when it’s time to do rather than read more about it and buy more gear.
. . .There’s a time for learning. There’s time for preparation. And then there’s time for doing — for putting all of it into practice, making the casts, covering water and catching fish . . .

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