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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 . . .

Horizon Logo Mid-Weight Hoodie

From $49.00

Clear

Find your water. Show up early and stay late. Fish hard.  The Horizon design blends the Classic logo and the Circle Logo from Wilds Media.

— — —
The perfect fit and super soft — this Bella Canvas 3719 adult unisex hoodie weighs in at 7 oz/yd, and is perfect for chilly river walks or sun protection in the sunny valleys.

• 52% airlume combed and ring-spun cotton, 48% poly fleece
• Hood
• Side seamed
• Retail fit
• Fishes real hard

Fly Fishing Strategies: Tippet Rings For Tag Droppers? No Thanks

Fishing dropper rigs should be easy. But judging from the amount of questions I field about knots, dropper types and tangles, fishing two or more flies causes a lot of angst out there. Last week, I wrote about fishing tangle-free tandem rigs, and a popular question...

This is the End

The fisher awoke before dawn. He put his boots on. He took the rod from a gallery of graphite and cork and walked down the forest hall. He moved through thick, hazy darkness -- miles toward the island, with no sound but the crunch, crunch, and rustle. Footfalls on...

Fly Casting — Shoot Line on the Back Cast

** NOTE ** This is a companion to the article titled, “Fly Casting: Shoot Line on the Pickup." These are related concepts, but separate skills. To me, fly casting has always been instinctual. Maybe not from the beginning, because I’m sure I struggled like everyone...

The Trouble With Tenkara — And Why You Don’t Need It

The advantages of a Tenkara presentation are not exclusive or unique to Tenkara itself, and in fact, the same benefits are achieved just as well — and often better — with a long fly rod and (gasp) a reel. I bought a Tenkara rod for my young boys a few years ago,...

Dry Fly Fishing — The Forehand and Backhand Curve

Try making a perfectly straight cast. It’s nearly impossible. To do it, the rod tip and rod hand must be in flawless, vertical alignment. So too, the loop coming forward must be perpendicular to the water, or the line will angle to one side or the other. Straight-line...

The first time out, a fly needs a good showing

“What’s this doing in here?” I plucked the oddball fly from its slot on the backside of a swing leaf in my nymph box, from a place reserved for trial runs and rarely used once-or-twice-a-year kind of stuff. Holding the flashback fly between my thumb and first two...

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