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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 . . .

Canyon Caddis

Some of these caddis were swamped by the current or damaged by their acrobatic and reckless tumbling. And the broken ones didn’t last long. Large slurps from underneath signaled the feeding of the biggest trout, keying in on the opportunity for an easy meal.

Smith and I shared a smile at the sheer number of good chances. Trout often ignore caddis, because the emerging insects spend very little time on the surface, and trout don’t like to chase too often. But with a blanket hatch like this, the odds stack up, and trout were taking notice . . .

Play It As It Lies

The shifts and evolutions that a river succumbs to is captivating to watch. It’s a slow motion reel in your mind, spanning twenty years of fishing around the same small island. Until one day, after the flood waters recede, you walk down the trail to find the whole island gone.

I want an experience as close to what nature intended as possible on this twenty-first century planet. And messing with a river’s placement of things just isn’t for me.

It’s the river’s decision.

Keep it wild . . .

Natural vs Attractive Presentations

. . . Let’s call it natural if the fly is doing something the trout are used to seeing. If the fly looks like what a trout watches day after day and hour after hour — if the fly is doing something expected — that’s a natural presentation.

By contrast, let’s call it attractive if the fly deviates from the expected norm. Like any other animal in the wild, trout know their environment. They understand what the aquatic insects and the baitfish around them are capable of. They know the habits of mayflies and midges, of caddis, stones, black nosed dace and sculpins. And just as an eagle realizes that a woodland rabbit will never fly, a trout knows that a sculpin cannot hover near the top of the water column with its nose into heavy current . . .

Troutbitten Standard Mono Rig

$20.00

Out of stock

** NOTE ** Two-hundred Troutbitten leaders sold out within the first fifteen hours. So I underestimated demand.  : -)  I sincerely appreciate the interest and support. We’ll tie more leaders. And please check back soon.

— — — — — —

The Troutbitten Standard Mono Rig is an extremely versatile tool for the tight line angler. It is the base of a hybrid fly fishing system, built for fishing tight line and euro nymphing styles, indicator styles, dry dropper, streamers of all sizes, wet flies and even dry flies.

This is the leader I’ve written about extensively on Troutbitten.

  • Troutbitten Standard Sighter (with Backing Barrel) is built in.
  • Includes two high quality, black, 1.5 mm tippet rings on both ends of the Standard Sighter.
  • Leader concludes at the end of the sighter. Angler adds appropriate length of tippet.
  • Includes two feet of 1X Rio Bi-Color. Add this to extend the sighter for a longer sagless reach with lighter flies.
  • Comes on a three-inch plastic spool, perfect for storing long leaders.
  • Includes three rigging foams, for swapping and storing tippet sections: two nymphs, a pair of streamers, dry dropper, etc. (Rigging foam colors may vary.)

Also Offered: All three Troutbitten Mono Rigs are available as a full kit — found HERE.

Learn more at this Troutbitten article:

Design and Function of the Troutbitten Standard Mono Rig
The Full Mono Rig System — All the variations with formulas and adjustments
Beyond Euro Nymphing

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