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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 Flat Circle Hoodie

From $49.00

Clear

Bugs — a trout’s favorite meal. Sure, fishing baitfish imitations on a big steamer platform is fun too, but the best trout anglers know how to fish bugs.

Features the Troutbitten Stonefly design by Wilds Media.

— — —
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
  • Air-jet spun yarn with a soft feel and reduced pilling
  • 1×1 athletic rib-knit cuffs and waistband with spandex
  • Double-needle stitched collar, shoulders, armholes, cuffs, and hem on front pouch
  • Comes with an honorary entomology degree
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Ask an Expert | For Euro Nymphing or the Mono Rig, what leader material do you like for the butt section?

Fly fishers are a funny bunch. We ask questions, get answers, then go off and do our own thing anyway. Truth be told, some of the best innovations come from our unique brand of intemperate independence. We’re at our best when we modify ideas and build on the creations...

You Already Fished That

If you’ve fished a piece of water well, why cast into it again? If you’ve gotten effective drifts, shown the trout what you believed they were looking for and maybe even repeated it a few times, why waste another cast showing it to them again? We all know the answer,...

Following Through

This morning should have been like any other. Kill the alarm and hate life for the first five minutes as my body begrudgingly catches up to the will of ambition. Coffee helps. So does the routine, because the inevitability of repetition and pattern seems certain. It...

Polish Yer Beads — Rejuvenate a fly’s tarnished bead or conehead

Dull metalheads mess with my confidence. I fish with copper, gold or silver beadheads and coneheads because they’re shiny. And when picking out my next fly, I avoid ones with a metalhead that’s lost its luster. Weather, water and time tarnishes the finish on both...

Tight Line Nymphing: Drift with a Stable Sighter

A simple piece of colored monofilament might be the most important element in a tight line nymphing rig. The sighter, placed just above the tippet section of the leader, shows us everything about the drift. When fished well, a Mono Rig or a euro nymphing setup...

Fly Fishing the Mono Rig: It’s Casting, Not Lobbing

Most of my weekday mornings start somewhere in a gravel or dirt space that’s large enough for a couple of cars. Surrounded by hemlocks, ferns and flowing water, it’s a privilege to guide the wild trout rivers that I’ve loved and fished for much of my life. Most...

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