Side pressure pulls the trout from its lane. While the fish faces the current and tries to hold a seam, side pressure moves that trout from its comfort zone and forces it to work against the force of our bent fly rod — all while keeping the trout low. And while we never want to play a trout to exhaustion, the art of a good trout fight is in taking them to the point where we have more control over their body than they do.
My transition to a catch and release angler paralleled the wild trout takeover of Laurel Run. And like that stream and its wild trout, it was a gradual process. I eventually replaced the excitement and anticipation of a full creel with the joys of fooling trout and knowing that I might catch the same fish again . . .
Polarized lenses are essential gear for fly fishers. Not some of the time — all the time. Because seeing just a fraction more of the riverbed is a huge advantage. And recognizing the color change of depth makes a big difference when fishing underneath. Even if the lenses help just a bit more, the overall result is a more complete picture of the water ahead . . .
Don’t be a bobber lobber. Bobbers are an amazing tool in certain situations. But learn to cast it with turnover first. Avoid the lob.
Instead of using the bobber as a shortcut to getting the line out there, first learn a good casting stroke — with speed, crisp stops and turnover. Then, attach the bobber and see the supreme advantage gained when the fly hits first and the bobber comes in downstream, with the fly and indy both in the same current seam. Oh, hello dead drift. Nice to see you . . .
With the hand on the cork, squeeze it at the end of the power stroke.
This small squeeze packs a big punch. Casting is most effective with small and crisp motions. And there is power in the squeeze as the rod tip is forced to flex and accelerate even more. Then it abruptly stops.
This simple technique provides the accuracy and power needed for next-level type of fly casting. . . .
Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.