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Podcasts Begin — Episode 1: This Is Troutbitten

In this inaugural Troutbitten podcast, my friends Bill, Austin, Trevor and Josh join me to discuss how fly fishing for wild trout creates a life on the water.

We consider what it means to fish hard, how hope is the strongest trait of a successful angler, why everything works sometimes, and how fly fishers, all too often, are a little much.

We also talk about the tenets of Troutbitten, or the shared interests and characteristics about fly fishing that bring us together and keep us excited about trout fishing for a lifetime . . .

Angler Types in Profile: The I’ve been doing that forever guy

Fly fishing is full of it — full of anglers who take themselves too seriously, and full of others who support it. Everyone knows everything . . .

So as fly fishing churns out newish concepts like articulated streamers and euro nymphing, it’s no wonder there’s some resistance to it all. No wonder  at every turn we find guys with arms folded, shaking their heads and saying, “Nah, I’ve been doing that forever. . .”

Fishing With Kids — The Independence Marker

At thirteen years old, he has enough experience with the woods and water that I don’t think twice about dropping him off to fish for the evening, awaiting his call when he’s either fished out or it’s getting dark. When I pick him up, he’s full of excitement and stories, or he is calm and peaceful in a way that I don’t often see him. I let him be, in those times, and allow the experience for him to soak in, as he processes a return to the world after a long outing. Leaving the water to rejoin life is sometimes a hard turn.

Kids soak in the rhythms of nature. And later in life, maybe around twelve years old, that base of experience pays off . . .

Night Fishing for Trout –The Wiggle and Hang

Lifting the rod slightly, I shake the rod tip left and right. Easy, rhythmically, I wiggle the tip and feel the line wave as I see it dance and glow in the dark. The fly shimmies and sends a pattern of waves through the surface and beyond, calling to any trout within who-knows-how-far.

Pick One Water Type and Fish It

Fishing all the water ahead of me is my favorite way to fish, but I don’t do it all the time. In fact, I probably don’t fish that way even half the time. Instead, I often stay with one rig for hours on end, and I skip all the water where that rig isn’t the best option.

Setting aside a day, or even a long morning, to work with one rig in one water type, skipping over everything that isn’t a good match, really pays off . . .

May We Have the Hook Dimensions, Please?

So, if there will be no industry standard on sizing and strength for hooks (and there won’t be), can we at least have the dimensions for each hook that we’re sold? Give us the measurements: hook length, wire diameter, gap width. Why is this so hard?

. . . Given the proliferation of hook brands — many of high quality — this seems the only logical thing to do. Give your buyer the information. Tell them what they are buying. This is the information age, friends! Yes, we can handle this!

#7. Guiding the Flies: Nine Essential Skills for Tight Line and Euro Nymphing

We overweight to lead the flies, and we underweight to track them. But to guide the flies, we must find the middle ground, with enough weight to control the flies against the effects of the current but not so much that the flies cannot be permitted to drift at the will of that same current.

This may sound like a bit of hocus pocus. But in truth, it’s an intuitive process that becomes natural with trial and error . . .

Does a Stocked Trout Ever Become Wild?

The best wild trout populations are specific to their own river systems, and they’ve adapted to the seasonal highs and lows, to whatever the decades of chance have brought to the collective population. The strength to thrive and persist is in those wild genes . . .

. . . Stocked trout are genetically different and conditioned to be different than wild trout. They feed aggressively and grow fast. That never changes. And this is nothing like our wary wild trout . . .

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Dry Fly Fishing — The Pre-Cast Pickup

The parachute post on your size-twelve March Brown dances down-current. The fly drifts in harmony with the surrounding bubbles that were formed fifty feet upstream, where the river rolls over the riffle and begins widening into this shady flat. Dressed with a dose of...

Spring Camp With Two Boys | 2016

My Dad and I have often visited a campsite in the same remote spot atop a state forest mountain for almost fifteen years now. The spring trip is a four or five day event focused on fishing for wild brown trout in the limestone waters at the bottom of the mountain, and...

Fly Casting — Five Tips For Better Mending

Mending is a bit of a lost art in fly fishing. I meet fewer and fewer people with much skill for it. And in some ways, that’s just fine. I strongly prefer setting up the angles and  curves of my line and leader in the air, rather than mending after the line touches. I...

Canyon Caddis

The flow of the river followed the curve of the valley wall. A huge, flat, vertical sheet of rock provided a bumper, as the streamflow deflected against the limestone karst. Then it dramatically changed directions. While the river we’d been fishing had been flowing...

Hell-Hot Sun and the Strawberry Moon

Note: This story was first published to Troutbitten in June, 2016. It is updated and revised here. I’m not a big fan of summer. It’s the heat. Thing is, you can’t really get away from it. If you want to be outside in all seasons (and I do) you have to somehow make...

Quick Tips: Fish what you can, and leave the rest

We’re in an extended high water period in Central Pennsylvania. Honestly, I love it. When the creeks are full the trout are happy, and so am I. I’ve heard the lament of so many anglers across the region about unfishable conditions and poor results. But that’s not the...

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