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How the Bobber Hurts a Fly Fisher

Don’t be a bobber lobber. Bobbers are an amazing tool in certain situations. But learn to cast it with turnover first. Avoid the lob.

Instead of using the bobber as a shortcut to getting the line out there, first learn a good casting stroke — with speed, crisp stops and turnover. Then, attach the bobber and see the supreme advantage gained when the fly hits first and the bobber comes in downstream, with the fly and indy both in the same current seam. Oh, hello dead drift. Nice to see you . . .

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.

Stonefly Dead Drift Tee

$28.00

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 good dead drift.

This t-shirt features the Troutbitten Stonefly on the back and the Classic Logo up front.

— — —
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 and lightweight fabric
  • Shoulder-to-shoulder taping
  • Side-seamed
  • Looks delicious

High Light — Low Light

My article, "High Light -- Low Light," is over at Hatch Magazine. Here are a few excerpts..... -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ... Finding the shady cracks that harbor resting and wary trout is a good challenge on bright days. Offering the flies to them in those small...

Peace In the Valley

Dad and I didn't set up camp in our usual spot. For as long as I can remember, we’ve chosen primitive, state forest lands rather than campgrounds. It’s quieter, and there’s more of a sense that you’re truly getting away from everything for a while. But this year the...

Nymphing: How to read a fly fishing indicator — What you might be missing

I know, I know. You don’t like to fish with indicators, right? You think an indy removes the angler from contact with the nymphs. You believe a fly fishing indicator actually gets in the way of strike detection more than it helps the situation. Granted, there are big...

What Can You Do for TU? How Trout Unlimited Can Save Your Soul

There's an army of altruistic do-gooders out there, largely unseen and unnoticed. Engineers, operators, volunteers, planners, clerks and office hats are making the rivers better while you’re not looking. They’re preserving, protecting and enhancing the streams you...

slowfloat

Good thing we don't just go fishing to catch fish, because there wasn't a whole lot of that going on yesterday. Burke and I teamed up for a Sunday float, and we tried to make the Steelers' playoff loss quickly drift away into a fading memory by rowing through some...

Resources for Tight Line and Euro Nymphing

[There’s no doubt we are in the golden age of information — for fly fishing too. Never before has it been so easy to open a browser and click a couple links to learn where the trout are and how to catch more of them. A third of what I know about fishing came from...

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