Articles in the Category Tactics

Sensitivity in a Fly Rod — Two Very Different Ways

How much can we feel the fly at the end of the line? And how well does the fly rod transmit the flex to the angler? These are two very different kinds of sensitivity.

(VIDEO) Three Great Ways to Create Tag Droppers

With three good solutions for creating tag droppers, there’s a method for every moment. And by getting each of these under your fingers, by practicing them and being comfortable, you’ll find uses for all of these methods as you work up a river.

Why I Hate the Water Haul Cast

I don’t like using a rig that forces me into a water haul as my only option. I’m happy to use the water haul as the occasional problem solver, but for day-to-day casting, no thanks.

Are Light Nymphs More Effective? Is Less Weight More Natural?

Presenting natural, convincing or looks-like-real-food drifts is the responsibility of every angler. Whether the flies are light or heavy, whether we’re drifting weighted flies, drop shot or split shot, it’s our ability to adjust, to refine and endlessly improve that keeps us wading into a river anew with each trip.

It’s why we love the nymphing game . . .

(VIDEO) Fly Fishing the Mono Rig — Casting vs Lobbing

(VIDEO) Fly Fishing the Mono Rig — Casting vs Lobbing

Turnover is the fundamental difference between spin casting and fly casting. And all good fly casts, with fly line or otherwise, allow the line/leader to turnover in the air and then hit the water. That’s the difference between casting and lobbing. Without good turnover, we are simply lobbing the line.

Remember this: lobbing is limiting. And a good casting approach, with great turnover, introduces a wide range of options . . .

Podcast: An Introduction to Night Fishing for Trout — S3-Ep14

Podcast: An Introduction to Night Fishing for Trout — S3-Ep14

Ambition is the fundamental characteristic of every good night fisher. We wade into the darkness for the experience. And we quickly realize that the night game is an unwritten book, with just a few clues and an infinite room for learning new things. Each exhilarating hit and every trout in the net is a unique reward, because night fishing requires that you assemble the puzzle yourself.

In this episode, I’m joined by my friends, Trevor Smith and Josh Darling, for an overview on night fishing for trout . . .

Casting and Drifting | Drop Shot Nymphing on a Tight Line Rig — Pt.5

Casting and Drifting | Drop Shot Nymphing on a Tight Line Rig — Pt.5

Gaining the bottom, feeling that contact with the riverbed and then gliding over it, tap, ta-tap, tap-a-tap, maybe five to ten times throughout the drift is success. But I’ve noticed that anglers tend to get complacent. Tickling the bottom is only half of the job. And that’s not good enough. We still need to find the right speed for a drift and keep everything in one seam.

Drop shotting puts the angler in ultimate control. Be aware of every element of the drift, and make good choices, because all of them are yours. Control is the advantage of a drop shot rig. Remember this always — your rod tip controls everything . . .

VIDEO: Real Dead Drifts — Up Top and Underneath

VIDEO: Real Dead Drifts — Up Top and Underneath

A dead drift is the most common presentation in fly fishing for trout, because it imitates their most common food forms. We want a dead drift on both a dry fly and a nymph. But what is it?

It’s a one-seam drift that travels at the speed of the current without tension from the attached tippet. That’s hard to achieve, but it is possible by first understanding what a dead drift looks like, both on the surface with a dry fly and below the surface with a nymph . . .

VIDEO: The Only Way to Carry a Wading Staff

VIDEO: The Only Way to Carry a Wading Staff

This wading staff system makes strong waders stronger and fast waders faster. It allows all waders to reach even more water.

If you rig a wading staff the wrong way, it slows you down. But if you rig it the right way, a wading staff opens new worlds and speeds you up.
It gives you access to places that you couldn’t wade before.

But it has to be rigged the right way . . .

Lightning Fast Leader Changes (with VIDEO)

Lightning Fast Leader Changes (with VIDEO)

Continued success and enjoyment on the river is a result of versatility. Solving the daily mystery, adapting our approach and getting that next bite is our endless goal. Adapting and changing quickly is a critical piece of the game. Knotting on the next fly is the easy part, but swift, wholesale leader changes are more elusive . . .

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Podcast: Why It Always Comes Down to Fly Casting —  And What Matters Most — S3-Ep6

Podcast: Why It Always Comes Down to Fly Casting — And What Matters Most — S3-Ep6

It’s fly fishing. So it starts with fly casting. Here’s how to improve accuracy and control over the system with just a few key adjustments.

All fly fishing styles require the same casting fundamentals and the ability to control lengths of line in the air. And we must build casting loops with speed for the line to go anywhere . . .

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Why and When | Drop Shot Nymphing on a Tight Line Rig — Pt.2

Why and When | Drop Shot Nymphing on a Tight Line Rig — Pt.2

Drop shot nymphing on a tight line system puts the angler in control of every part of the drift. By using the riverbed as a reference, you then choose the speed, level and lane-travel of the flies.

That control is a double-edged sword. While the benefits of contact and control are infinite, there is a downside — you must get everything just right. Ultimate control is a big responsibility. And in many ways, it’s easier to choose a pair of light nymphs with no shot and simply track the nymph’s progress downstream, letting the river make all the important decisions.

Learning and refining that presentation is a daily challenge. . . .

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Podcast: Find Feeding Fish — Exploring Water Types and More — S3-Ep5

Podcast: Find Feeding Fish — Exploring Water Types and More — S3-Ep5

Rivers are in a perpetual state of change, and the trout’s feeding patterns respond to those changes.

There are many factors that encourage trout to move into and feed in certain types of water. While the real-world conditions and events are infinite, there are five major factors that influence where and how trout feed in a river. They are: water temperature, water levels and water clarity, hatches, bug and baitfish activity, light conditions, and spawning activity.

And if we learn to recognize all of this, we have the keys to the puzzle.

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