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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 . . .

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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** This Troutbitten article is part of the Night Fishing for Trout series. You can find the full list of articles here. ** The allure of night fishing arises from a mystery. We pursue unknowable things into the darkness and sort through the unpredictable behaviors of...

Night Fishing for Trout — Backstory: Drifting and Swinging

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Distance: Know Your Weights and Measures — Part Two

**NOTE** This is Part Two in a Troutbitten Short Series about weights and measures. This will all read a little better if you back up and read Part One first. However, the information in this article also stands alone.  I performed a single haul on the back cast, and...

Right Here

I guess I’ve been searching for something. For months now, I’ve spent my time on the water fishing progressively more remote locations. Turning down offers to float and cast over abundant wild brown trout on our major rivers, I thought I was looking for solitude. What...

Quick Tips — Unbutton Snags from the Backside

Get your nymphs down to the fish. Put them in the strike zone — low — where the trout live. Keep your streamer near the rock bed because that’s where the baitfish are. Cast your flies over by that wet log. Trout love structure. It’s all true. And to fish well, to be...

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