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Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #20 — Find the Best Light Angles, and See What You’re Fishing

Finding these angles becomes intuitive. Without thinking much about it, I usually set myself up with the sun behind or to my side, avoiding the surface glare of direct light. As I fish upstream I might work left bank to right, moving perpendicular across the stream flow until I reach the right bank. Then I quickly wade left again, back to the left bank, to start over on the next line — like a classic Underwood typewriter printing out one sentence at a time, just to see into the water, see my fly or watch my sighter . . .

Podcast — Ep. 4: Wild Trout vs Stocked — The Hierarchy of River Trout

My friends join me for an honest discussion about the trout we pursue. All of us fish for every kind of trout on the list: wild trout, stocked trout, holdovers, fingerlings and club trout. And all of these trout hold value — but not equally. There are major differences in the types of trout we catch, and stocked fish are often nothing like their wild counterparts . . .

#8. The Strike: Nine Essential Skills for Tight Line and Euro Nymphing

The strike is the best part of fishing. It’s what we’re all out there waiting for, or rather, what we’re trying to make happen all day long. And the trout eats because we get so many things right.

We fool a fish, and we fulfill the wish of every angler.

When the fish strikes, we strike back. Short, swift and effective, the hook finds fish flesh. Then we try to keep the trout buttoned and get it to the net.

In the next article, this series concludes with the focus on putting it all together . . .

The Backing Barrel Might Be The Best Sighter Ever

A simple piece of Dacron, tied in a barrel, is a visible and sensitive addition to your tight line and euro nymphing rig. The versatile Backing Barrel serves as a stand-alone sighter, especially when tied with a one-inch tag. Better yet, it draws your eyes to the colored monofilament of any sighter and enhances visibility threefold. The Backing Barrel adds a third dimension of strike detection, with the Dacron flag just stiff enough to stand away from the line, but just soft enough to twitch upon even the most subtle takes . . .

Podcast — Ep. 3: Night Fishing, and the Mouse Emerger Concept

My night fishing friends, Josh and Trevor join me for a fun and detailed discussion about mouse emergers. This style is about taking the benefits of a top water pattern at night and making it a little harder for the trout to resist. Then, sometimes, we fish similar patterns that remain in the first 3-12 inches of the water column. My friends and I also trade night fishing stories about the scariest and most unusual things that happen while fly fishing after dark.

Waiting On Luck

With the river at its peak, Dad and I spent a drizzly day with no one in sight at any hour, early or late. Alone together against the odds, we landed the occasional fish purely by accident. Yes, we targeted the backwaters. Sure, we fished deer hair sculpins, worm patterns and chartreuse things. But such are the measures suggested by those who peddle wishful thinking more than experience. Nothing was consistent in those roiling waters.

Regardless, Dad and I fished. And we hoped. We were waiting on luck . . .

Troutbitten Fly Box — The Full Pint Streamer (with VIDEO)

The Full Pint is one of the only permanent additions to my streamer box in the last few years. I test a lot of patterns against my confidence lineup, and very few flies make the cut. My box of long flies covers all the bases, really. And because I’m (mostly) a minimalist, I don’t add anything that is similar to other flies that I already carry.

But the Full Pint dazzled trout at the first dance. It had a big night the first time out. Then, day after day when I set the hook on a swirl or felt the jolting stop of a large trout slam the fly in mid-strip, I marveled at the Pint’s effectiveness . . .

Nobody Home | Nobody Hungry

Nobody home means there’s no trout in the slot you were fishing. And sometimes that’s true. Nobody hungry suggests that a trout might be in the slot, but he either isn’t eating, isn’t buying what you’re selling, or he doesn’t like the way you are selling it.

Does it matter? It sure does!

Stonefly Dead Drift Heavyweight Hoodie

From $49.00

Clear

Stoneflies are the perfect trout meal. With a two year life cycle, both juveniles and adults are always available for trout snacking. And big trout are a little more willing to move for a bigger lunch (sometimes). Eat more stones. And get a dead drift.

This t-shirt features the Troutbitten Stonefly.

— — —
With premium-soft heavyweight fabric, this Gildan 18500 hoodie is designed for comfort on the riverbank, back at camp or in your easy chair. Durable print and sturdy fabric.

  • Classic fit
  • 50% pre-shrunk cotton, 50% polyester
  • Fabric weight: 8.0 oz/yd²
  • Double-lined hood with matching drawcord
  • 1×1 athletic rib-knit cuffs and waistband with spandex
  • Double-needle stitched collar, shoulders, armholes, cuffs, and hem on front pouch
  • Keeps your casting arm primed for dead drifting
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Fly Fishing Tips: #53 — Nymphing: Set On Anything Unusual

Dry fly takes are easy. It’s all visual. The trout eats. You set the hook fast (or after a slight pause), and the fish is either on the line or he’s not. At least you know when a trout hits your dry fly. But determining takes on a nymph is one of the most difficult...

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...

Waves and Water

I tend to do what others don’t. It’s not for any defiance or bravado, either. And I’m not trying to prove anything. I just like going where most people don’t. And I like trying stuff that others won’t. Because when everyone is off doing one thing, I know I can have...

Regarding Classic Upstream Nymphing

Around here, we entered the winter with our rivers under sustained drought conditions that began in mid July. Somewhere before Christmas, we were granted a deep pile of snow that melted slowly and pushed the rivers to normal flows for a week or better, and the result...

At the front door of every rock

Smith shook his head as I waded to the riverbank toward him. I chuckled and shrugged my shoulders when he motioned to the center of the boulder field. He was yelling something I couldn’t make out over the whitewater wash behind me, but as I slogged through the...

The Impossible Shot

I must have been in my late teens, because I was wearing hip boots and casting a fly rod. It was a short transitional time when I fished small streams on the fly and still thought I had no need for chest waders. It’s remarkable how the details of a fishing trip stick...

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