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A Slidable Dry Dropper System

A friend of mine once described a truly slidable, easily movable, dry dropper as the Holy Grail of fly fishing. I suppose it depends on where your goals and interests lie, but if you like fishing nymphs under a dry, then you’ve surely wished the dry fly was easily re-positioned without tying more knots. There is a way . . .

Turnover

In short, turnover gives us freedom to choose what happens with the line that’s tethered to the fly. How does the tippet and leader land? With contact or with slack? And where does it land? In the seam and partnered with the fly, or in an adjacent current? By having mastery of turnover, we dictate the positioning of not just the fly, but the leader itself. And nothing could be more important . . .

Find Your Rabbit Hole

Understanding the ideas of other anglers through the decades is how I learn. It’s how we all learn. The names change, but the process remains. We build a framework from others. Then we fit together the pieces of who we are as an angler . . .

Fly Fishing in the Winter — Ice in the Guides?

Nothing about having a winter system or using a specific nymphing rig makes any difference if the guides of your rod are frozen. And every fly fisher who has stepped into a winter river with the air temps below, let’s say, twenty-five degrees has dealt with some kind of trouble. Every angler has his own advice about eliminating guide ice too. And here I guess it’s time to give you mine . . .

Regarding Classic Upstream Nymphing

Classic upstream nymphing feels a lot like fishing dry flies. The challenge of making precision casts is there; it can be employed at extra distance if necessary, and it’s most often performed with tight loops and light flies than don’t change the cast.

While pure tight line nymphing is performed with no line on the water, classic upstream nymphing does the opposite.

Then there’s the induced take and floating the sighter . . .

The Case for Shorter Casts

Find water you can fish close up, and work on deadly accurate casting. You’ll find that, when fishing shorter, you can fish harder. Instead of hoping a trout eats or wishing for a strike, the kind of precision possible at short range lets you make something happen with intention . . .

Smith and the Tree

Right on time, Smith’s signature worn-out ball cap crested the hill on the north side of the gravel pull off. When his full frame came into view, I motioned to the propane grill and smiled with a nod. It was preheated. Resting on a large chunk of limestone, I had the portable grill ready for meat. When Smith approached, I handed my friend a beer without a word. Glass chimed and we nodded again.

This is what I like about Smith: We planned for noon, and he’s so reliable that I knew it was worth lighting the propane at 11:50 . . .

When Drifting Low Isn’t Low Enough

The next time your beautiful dead drifts are ignored in the strike zone, consider getting dirtier. Sure, you’ll stick some rocks and tree parts down there. You’ll lose more flies and waste more time retrieving snags. But you may quickly find more trout in the net too. Live on the bottom for a while, and see what happens . . .

Stonefly Go Under Tee

$25.00

Clear

Ninety percent, right? Trout feed below the surface ninety percent of the time. It sounds like somebody just made that number up, but it also seems about right. Nymphs are fish catchers. So take your flies down to the fish. Get deep. Go under.

Features the Troutbitten Stonefly design in a “distressed” print.

— — —
This Troutbitten design is printed on a high-end, Gildan 6400 tee. A ribbed knit collar retains its shape, and twill taped shoulder seams stabilize the back of the shirt. This is an excellent quality, super soft cotton tee shirt.

  • Runs true to size
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  • 4.5 oz/y²
  • Tear away label
  • Pre-shrunk
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  • Improves your dead drift
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When should you change the fly?

My buddy, Smith, is stubborn. Whether he's traveling across the country or fishing our local rivers, he fishes the same handful of flies, year round. Smith can literally hold his selection of nymphs, wets, dries and streamers in one hand without them spilling over....

Six Knots to Know for Trout Anglers on the Fly

One simple thing can change an angler’s enjoyment and success on the water, maybe more than any other — knot tying skill. But I meet too many otherwise excellent fly anglers who complain about knots or lament the amount of time it takes to make tactical transitions on...

The River Doesn’t Owe You Anything

  ** NOTE ** This article now has a companion Troutbitten video with a reading of the story. You can find it HERE on Troutbitten, or on YouTube directly. The river doesn’t owe you anything. It's been here for millennia. It has bent and grown, widened and shaped...

Six Ways To Get Your Fly Deeper

Get to the bottom. Keep the fly in the strike zone. Get down to the fish. Anglers have a bunch of different ways to say the same thing — put the flies near the riverbed and keep them there. When fishing under the surface for trout, my target is near the bottom — most...

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...

Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #11– Tie your own flies — Here’s why

Every top-notch fly angler I know ties his own flies. The only exceptions are a couple friends who used to sit behind the vise but now have friends who tie custom patterns for them. Custom. That’s the important word here. And having your own set of flies, tied just...

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