READ

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 Tee

$25.00

Clear

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!

This same t-shirt design is also available with the Letterman print on the shirt back. Find it here.

— — —
This Troutbitten design is printed on a high-end, Bella & Canvas 3001 tee. A ribbed knit collar retains its shape, side seams lend structural support, and twill taped shoulder seams stabilize the back of the shirt.

  • Runs true to size
  • 100% combed and ring-spun soft cotton (heather colors contain polyester)
  • Fabric weight: 4.2 oz / yard
  • Pre-shrunk
  • Shoulder-to-shoulder taping
  • Side-seamed
  • Catches big trout

The River Doesn’t Owe You Anything

  ** NOTE ** This article now has a companion Troutbitten video with a reading of the story. You can find it HERE on Troutbitten, or on YouTube directly. The river doesn’t owe you anything. It's been here for millennia. It has bent and grown, widened and shaped...

Maybe You’re Holding the Fly Rod Wrong

You might think it would be intuitive. And I guess I did. How to hold a fly rod never seemed like an important point to make, until recently. But the more I guide good anglers, the more I pick apart the intricacies of their game. I learn, and I teach. We all know that...

What about the wading staff? Thoughts on choosing and carrying a wading stick

The first time I carried a wading staff, I was on a trip to the Youghiogheny River in western PA. With its big gnarly rocks, heavy currents and unpredictable footing, the wading situation on this deep and wide river is never easy and often precarious. While traveling...

A Simple Slidable Foam Pinch-On Indy

One of the joys of fly fishing is problem solving. There are so many tools available, with seemingly infinite tactics to discover, it seems like any difficult situation on the water can be solved. Perhaps it can. For those anglers who search for answers in tough...

Trout Like To Line Up In Productive Seams

Good fishing comes in patches. We wade into a prime spot, catch a few trout and miss another, until the action tapers off and we move on. Maybe an unexpected handful of fish comes in a piece of side water, but we find no takers in the next dark pocket. It’s...

Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #5 — Find Your System

Efficiency is a guiding principle for me on the water, and it runs strong through the pages of Troutbitten. I believe most anglers mismanage their time on the water too often (myself included). Being thoughtful, intentional, and making the decisions that catch more...

Pin It on Pinterest