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Fly Casting — Squeeze It

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. . . .

Why Everyone Fishes the Same Water — And What to Do About It

For every big name piece of water that’s overcrowded, there are hundreds of miles of trout water that are rarely seen by any angler. If ten percent of the water sees ninety percent of the fishermen, then be that small percentage angler who finds wide open places in a high percentage of water.

Calm and Chaos

Some of it winds and bends in line with the tall grasses in the breeze. This is meandering meadow water that glistens and swoons against the low angles of a fading sun. Trout thrive here, protected in the deep cool water, among shade lines that are artfully formed by long weeds that wag and flutter in the current. You could swear the tips of those weeds are trout tails — until they’re not. Maybe some are.

The calm waters of a river are like a church sanctuary. They encourage a measure of reverent respect, even if you don’t much believe what’s in there . . .

Eat a Trout Once in a While

I stood next to him on the bank, and I watched my uncle kneel in the cold riffle. Water nearly crested the tops of his hip waders while he adjusted and settled next to the flat sandstone rock that lay between us. He pulled out the Case pocket knife again, as he’d done every other time that I’d watched this fascinating process as a young boy.

“Hand me the biggest one,” my uncle said, with his arm outstretched and his palm up.

So I looked deep into my thick canvas creel for the first trout I’d caught that morning. Five trout lay in the damp creel. I’d rapped each of them on the skull after beaching them on the bank, right between the eyes, just as I’d been taught — putting a clean end to a trout’s life. I handed the rainbow trout to my uncle and smiled with enthusiasm . . .

Fly vs Bait

I know this is a minority opinion. The average angler assumes that bait will fool more trout than an artificial. Just yesterday, I came across the frequently repeated assertion that bait outperforms flies. I saw it in print and heard it in dialogue on a podcast. It was stated as fact, as though no one could possibly argue otherwise. But it’s wrong. It’s a common wisdom that isn’t very wise. And I think those who believe that bait has the edge over flies have probably spent very little threading live bait on a hook and dunking it in a river . . .

Troutbitten on the Unhooked Podcast

I was pleased to be one of Spencer Durrant’s first guests on his new Unhooked podcast. We talked back in late March, and the conversation is now published and live . . .

Obsessions

We traded lengths of colored monofilament with the observational fascination and the collector’s bond of middle-school boys.

You Already Fished That

If you’re committed to working a section of river, then once you’ve done your job in one lane, trust what the trout tell you. Don’t re-fish it, and don’t let the next cast drift down into the same spot again either. Sure the water looks good, and that’s why you fished it in the first place. But you’ve already covered it. So let it go, and focus on the next target. Trust the next opportunity . . .

Fear No Snag Emblem Sticker

$5.00

Fear no snag. Have a little faith. Dare to make the next cast far back under the tree limbs and into the shadowy pockets. There ya go. Fish on!

— — —

  • Sticker is 5X5 inches
  • Printed with a UV and weather resistant finish
  • When mounted as a window decal on your vehicle, this Troutbitten sticker serves as inspiration to go fishing instead of running errands, every time you get in the car.

Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #23 — Don’t be a hero — Get closer

“You wanna put me a little closer to the bank?” asked Burke. With his back toward me, he stood at the bow of the boat, on a solid platform beyond the front seat. “Say please,” I taunted. I struggled with the oars a bit, until I felt the current push against the broad...

Fly Fishing Strategies: Over or Under? Your best bet on weight

When nymphing or fishing streamers, I think most of us are trying to use enough weight to get the fly down and keep it there, and yet not so much that the damn thing snags a rock with every cast. You might think there’s a fine line to this, but honestly . . ....

Nymphing: A two diameter solution to a one diameter problem

Good nymphing requires a few adjustments to the leader. And failing to make these adjustments results in mediocre fishing, at best. The basics of leader design change when delivering flies underneath, especially if the goal is a natural dead drift. So what else...

Fly Fishing Strategies: No Limits — Fish every type of weight available

Do you use weighted flies or split shot? It’s a common question with a flawed premise. Why choose? Why limit yourself to one or the other? And why use only one at a time? Unless you’re a dry-fly-only angler, you need weight to get flies under the surface and down to...

Of Nets and Holsters — The Smith Creek Net Holster

Things fall apart. That’s why I don’t do many gear reviews. Usually sooner than later, everything I fish with breaks, separates, leaks, delaminates or disintegrates, so I don’t recommend things very much. Entropy swallows up fishing gear pretty quickly. But the [eafl...

Fighting Big Fish — Keep ‘Em Down

Six years. From ‘03 to ‘09, I was in a rhythm. Rise early, fish into the afternoon, have dinner with my wife back home and then make money playing music. (I held steady gigs at many venues across the region.) I fished only weekdays and skipped the weekends. When I...

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