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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.

Trout Patch Five Panel Hat

$25.00

4 in stock

The wild trout. No other game fish inspires such dedication in an angler. But it’s not just the challenge or the beauty of a trout that lures us — it’s the wild places where the pursuit of those trout take us. That’s how our passion settles in. Fish hard.

This snapback, mid-profile, structured cap features the Trout patch design on a Richardson 112FP in Grey/Amber Gold. The mesh back keeps cool river air flowing through on the warm days. And you can throw your hood up on the cold days.

— — —

  • Richardson 5 Panel
  • Mid-Profile
  • Cotton-Poly/Nylon Mesh
  • Pre-curved Visor
  • Cotton Sweatband
  • Adjustable Snapback Closure
  • One Size Fits Most

Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #14 — Tippet Rings — Thank you, tiny circles

“Those tiny rings change everything,” said my father. He stood in the water beside me, looking curiously through his glasses at my little metal circles. “Sure do.” I replied, and I neatly swapped out a double nymph rig for a two streamer rig in about a minute. Dad...

A Better Streamer Box

After many years of carrying a select group of my favorite streamers in a fairly small box, I now find myself in an experimental phase with the big bugs again.  I'm generally in the camp that believes presentation is far more important than pattern, but trying new...

The Far Valley

Thirty minutes following the morning alarm, an hour-and-fifteen on the winding roads, ten under the hatch of the 4-Runner, and twenty more minutes hiking through a dawn drizzle that taps on the hood of your raincoat, the atmosphere feels soft here — and still. It’s...

Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #30 — The best-laid plans of fishers and men often go awry

One of the particular joys of fishing is the preparation, the planning, the thinking and dreaming of what may come on our next trip to the river. We tie flies, check water conditions, pour over maps and share stories about the way things were last time. And so we...

Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #16 — You don’t need big flies to catch big trout

I'll get right to the point: Your best bet for catching trophy trout is with medium to small flies. More specifically, large nymphs or small streamers are the perfect size. I’ve written about making the choice between going for big fish or for a bunch of fish, arguing...

Fighting Big Fish — How Strong Are Your Tools?

I think most anglers walk to the river with a fly rod and a matching reel, strung up with a leader and tippet that they’ve never tested. In fact, I daresay they haven’t tested the rod much either. Oh, they’ve fished it, but most anglers don't know the limits of their...

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