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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 Tee

$25.00

Clear

It’s not the leaves. It’s the structure — the wood itself — the branches and the roots. As anglers, the trees surrounding these trout waters are our constant companions. But like any good friend they are both helpful and, at times, a source of great difficulty.

Fear no snag. Have a little faith. Dare to make the next cast far back under the tree limbs and into the shadowy pockets.

Features the Tree Emblem design.

— — —
This Troutbitten design is printed on a high-end, Gildan 6400 tee. A ribbed knit collar retains its shape, and twill taped shoulder seams stabilize the back of the shirt. This is an excellent quality, super soft cotton tee shirt.

  • Runs true to size
  • 100% ring-spun cotton
  • 4.5 oz/y²
  • Tear away label
  • Pre-shrunk
  • Shoulder-to-shoulder taping
  • Catches big trout

Troutbitten Fly Box — The Bunny Bullet Sculpin

In a world of oversized, articulated streamers drenched in flash and draped with rubber legs, the Bunny Bullet is naturally sized and tied on a single hook — with just a little disco. If the average modern streamer is an exotic dancer, then the Bunny Bullet is a...

How to pee with your waders on

This shouldn’t take too long. But knowing my propensity for long-winded descriptions of the sometimes obvious, we can probably run this into eight-hundred words. The thing is, how to take a leak streamside isn’t real obvious to most anglers. It’s the waders. No,...

Streamside | Stalking the Seam on Soft Hackles

Matthew Copeland can tell a story (there's no doubt about that), and Stalking the Seam has become one of my favorite reads on the web. In Stuff That Works, Copeland tells a short story around the effectiveness of soft hackle wet flies -- and so much more. Year after...

Mid-Season Form

** Note ** This story is from December of 2017, just before the best wintry stuff really got started last year. Sawyer isn't afraid of the cold. He’s like a polar bear in waders — doesn’t even wear gloves on his paws. And I don’t get guys like this. I don’t understand...

Tight Line and Euro Nymphing: How to Lead the Flies

This is Part Two of a Troutbitten short series on leading, tracking and guiding the nymphs in a tight line and euro nymphing system. This will all read a lot better if you first check out the overview of these multiple styles from Part One. (Part  Three is linked at...

Dry Flies on the Mono Rig

For many years, I never much considered casting dry flies on a Mono Rig as a viable option. I enjoyed the art of casting a dry with a traditional fly line. And if you asked me about dries on a long leader system back then, I’d shake my head and tell you something...

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