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Podcast: Stick the Landing — Tight Line Skills Series, #3

Part three of this Troutbitten Skills Series focuses on sticking the landing. Because after putting ourselves in great position to present the fly, we shouldn’t waste the perfect tuck cast and delivery. As the fly hits the water, all the elements of our system are in position and ready to drift. That’s sticking the landing.

Like a gymnast who tumbles, somersaults and then lands on two feet with no body movement, the best completion of a cast happens with no extra movement. Instead of landing and then recovering or correcting, we stick the landing, ready to drift.

Strategies for Pressured Trout — Something Different or Something Natural?

Trout learn to see some colors, some materials, some shapes and movements as fake. And when they see the same fake fly often enough, they stop eating it. That’s what we mean by angler pressure. So, part of the game becomes a guess about what flies the trout have learned to reject and how we can turn the fish on again.

That’s the unnatural thing about trout seeing too many fishermen and too many flies . . .

How to pee with your waders on

That extra morning coffee you drank on the way to the river, the auxiliary ounces you used to fight off the sleepyhead before dawn, it now settles into your bladder and brings on the urge about fifteen minutes after you finally wade into the water and start fishing.

The thing is, how to take a leak streamside isn’t real obvious to most anglers. It’s the waders. No, actually it’s the suspenders. That’s where the trouble starts. But here’s a trick . . .

Podcast: Turnover and Tuck Casting — Tight Line Skills Series, #2

Part two of this Troutbitten Skills Series focuses on the tuck cast. A good tuck is a turnover cast — where the loop unfolds completely in the air. In fact, a tuck cast is a fly-first entry, and it’s perfect for setting up the tight line advantage, where we keep everything up and out of the water that we possibly can.

We tuck cast not just to get deeper, but to setup the fly, tippet, sighter and leader in the best possible position to drift the flies down one seam. Accuracy starts with a good tuck, and not just accuracy over where the fly goes, but where all the parts of the leader go too . . .

Podcast: Angle and Approach — Tight Line Skills Series, #1

Season Two of the Troutbitten Podcast is a mini-series of connected episodes that build out specific tactics. This series is an advanced course in the nine essential skills for tight line and euro nymphing. The first skill is angle and approach — it’s a detailed look at setting up for the right range and the best angles for tight line and euro nymphing . . .

How to stay in the fly fishing game for a lifetime

I know what the game of chasing trout has given me. For over forty years, I’ve had a wonderful purpose, a focus, endless challenges, and a reason to set my feet on wooded, watery paths often enough to call these places home . . .

Fishing is as big as you want it to be. From the beginning, I’ve been in it for the long game. And in the end I plan to wade upstream, toward the light at the end of the tunnel.

The Advantages of Working Upstream

For the majority of our tactics, fishing upstream is the best way to present the flies. And sometimes it’s the only way to get the preferred drift.

So too, working upstream allows for stealth. The angler becomes the hunter. With a close, targeted approach to smaller zones, we get great drifts in rhythm, one at a time . . .

The Knot Strength Thing — Can knot strength be calculated? Does it matter?

Knots are personal. I don’t believe in any of the knot strength tests because there are too many variables. And what I know about the performance of my favorite Davy, for example, conflicts with the (I’ll say it) myth of its inferior breaking strength. My Davy’s are strong. But I don’t know about yours. That’s for you to find out . . .

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THIS IS TROUTBITTEN

We are passionate and ambitious anglers committed to fishing . . . because we love it. Because it awakens our lives in a way that nothing else ever has, and because fishing is sometimes hard and sometimes it’s easy.

In truth, we fish because we have to. Because, without cold water flowing around us for some time, our spirit dries up a bit. And while standing in a river facing upstream, the water moves through and restores us. It fills us. It mends us. And then it washes away all of those things that just need to be washed away once in a while.

Because working around a stream bend to which we’ve delivered a thousand casts a dozen times before forges a connection with our own past, creating vivid recall of partners who’ve shared the same water which no photograph can ever reproduce. Because we have memories deeper and richer with more emotion when our hands are wet and our legs are weak from hours spent hiking a water-filled path against the current. Our best friends are all fishermen. This is Troutbitten.

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