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 . . .

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. . . .

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.

The Hop Mend (with VIDEO)

The Hop Mend (with VIDEO)

We mend to prevent tension on the dry fly or the indicator. All flies could drift drag free in the current if not for tension from the attached leader. So it’s our job to eliminate or at least limit that tension on the tippet and to the fly.

This Hop Mend is an arch. It’s a steep and quick half-oval. It’s a fast motion up, over and down with the fly rod. It’s powerful and swift, but not overdone . . .

Drop Shot Nymphing on a Tight Line Rig — Pt.1

Drop Shot Nymphing on a Tight Line Rig — Pt.1

As the years pass, I’ve found a few refinements, I’ve learned a few advantages that lead me toward drop shot as the solution for more on-stream problems. It’s a tactic that has its place alongside all the other ways that I like to drift nymphs. Because the principles of dead drifting a nymph usually come down to imitating a natural drift as close as possible, but the methods for doing so are remarkably varied.

Every river scenario has a solution. And quite often, drop shotting is the perfect answer.

Podcast: Putting It All Together — Tight Line Skills Series, #9

Podcast: Putting It All Together — Tight Line Skills Series, #9

Here we are at the finish line. In this ninth installment of this Troutbitten Skills Series, my friend, Austin Dando, and I walk through some of the best tips for putting it all together. Because this set of skills, performed in order and flowing from one to the next, results in a great drift that starts and finishes with a convincing, trout-catching presentation.

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Asking the Best Questions to Catch More Trout

Asking the Best Questions to Catch More Trout

Fly selection is important, but it’s one of the last questions to ask. There’s no denying that catching a few trout helps lead us to the promise of catching a few more. One trout is an accident. It’s just as likely that you found a maverick as it is that a single fish can teach you the habits of the rest. Two fish is a coincidence, but three starts to show a trend. And at a half dozen fish, there’s enough data about who, what, where, when and why to build the pieces of a puzzle.

To the die-hard angler, adaptation and adjustment to what we discover is one of the great joys of fly fishing for trout . . .

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Podcast: — Guiding the Flies — Tight Line Skills Series, #7

Podcast: — Guiding the Flies — Tight Line Skills Series, #7

Guiding the flies is a blend of two skills called leading and tracking. At the core, this skill of guiding the flies is fishing the flies. And this is what anglers tend to focus on most — for good reason. It’s the longest in duration. It’s the most active, and has the most room for variation.

In truth, there are number of ways to dead drift nymphs through one seam. And the choices we make are about how much influence we want to have on the flies. A leading approach puts the angler in charge, and a tracking approach let’s the river dictate the course of the flies. Guiding the flies is an effort to mix the two . . .

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Streamer Presentations — Jigging the Streamer

Streamer Presentations — Jigging the Streamer

By mixing jigging into our streamer presentations, we add a new dynamic. We no longer just slide and glide, cross currents and hover. Now we dip and rise, dive and climb through the column. It’s another dimension to be explored. Offer it to the trout, and let them decide.

You do not need a jig hook to jig streamers. Can you jig a big articulated fly? Absolutely. And while the up and down motion may not be as pronounced as a smaller, thinner, head-heavy fly, jigging works with big and bulky flies too.

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Podcast: Locating the Strike Zone — Tight Line Skills Series, #6

Podcast: Locating the Strike Zone — Tight Line Skills Series, #6

Unlocking this knowledge — understanding the strike zone — and then finding it and drifting your flies there, is perhaps the most pivotal moment in your nymphing skills progression. It changes everything.

Most of what happens in a river occurs in the strike zone. It’s where the trout spent most of their time. It’s where the bugs and baitfish live. And understanding everything about the strike zone allows us to know exactly how and where we want to present the nymph . . .

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