Today's article is a Remix from 2016. It's one of the most important pieces on Troutbitten. You can find it here: Fly Fishing Strategies: Tags and Trailers Enjoy the day. Domenick Swentosky T R O U T B I T T E N firstname.lastname@example.org [the_ad...
This one is simple. Line, leader or tippet laying on the water drags. It’s a plain truth staring right back at us. Meaning, it’s pretty easy to see the results of drag on the water’s surface. It’s harder to see drag happening under the water and out of sight, but once...
For the last five years, I’ve written Troutbitten articles that describe a tight line fly fishing system called the Mono Rig. The details of the system and how it fishes are laid out across nearly fifty entries on Troutbitten. If read consecutively and in total, a...
All long term anglers find a set of files to believe in. We attach a confidence to these patterns that carries over from the moment we form the knot to the hook eye. We fish better with these flies. We make them work. With more focus, we refine each drift with our...
Put the nymphs on the bottom. I heard it from everyone I talked with and everything I read, so that’s what I did. I added weight to get the nymphs down — to touch the river bottom with my flies. And on most days, the experience was something between frustrating and maddening. It was a long series of snags, hangups and breakoffs, mixed in with the occasional burst of fish catching — when I somehow got the drift just right.
Twenty years ago, this is how I learned to nymph. I thought snagging up a bunch was just part of the nymphing game. I dealt with it because I caught trout. And I learned to tie knots and put up with lost flies. But, I would argue, this is one of the main reasons many anglers don’t enjoy nymphing. We want to fish. We don’t want to re-rig tippet sections and tie on new flies all day.
One foggy fall morning on my favorite limestoner changed all that. In a couple hours of fast pocket water action, I stumbled upon one of the most important lessons in nymphing: The nymphs do not need to be on the bottom. In fact, gliding through the strike zone and staying off the bottom results in far more trout to the net . . .
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...
On a first drift through the lane, you may very well set on anything. But maybe that line hesitation was just the flies ticking the top of a rock. Good. Now you know.
Don’t set on anything. And don’t wait for a sixth sense to kick in and grant you the superpower of sensing trout takes. Instead, pick a lane and learn it. Use the nymph as a probe to draw a mental map of a specific lane. Refine the drift. And all the while, set on anything unusual.Let’s break it down real quick . . .
During our lunch, I asked George when and why he chooses to float the sighter.
We then talked about a mistaken perception about floating the sighter. An angler may think he’s able to suspend a heavier fly with a greased sighter, just because it doesn’t sink under the surface. But the sighter may simply not be in touch with the flies. It’s an easy mistake to make.
John and I always keep count. He’s the only fishing friend who can pull me into such a race, and I’m not sure why.
Like all fishermen do at some point, I used to keep count of my catch. I even roughly calculated my catch rate at the end of the day, like this:
“Let’s see, I fished for five hours, but I took a twenty minute break around lunch. Walk in time was fifteen minutes, so subtract that too. I caught twenty-six trout, but I COULD have caught those couple of trout that came unbuttoned if I was more careful, so let’s add those in and say thirty. Multiply, divide and there’s my catch rate.”
But I don’t do that anymore. I don’t like to compete against anything but the river and the trout. And I don’t mind losing on occasion. Loss is a wonderful teacher.
John baits me back into counting every time we fish together. And there’s no fuzzy catch-rate-math involved either — just straight up fish counting . . .
This simple nymph is a winner. The Bread-n-Butter looks enough like a mayfly nymph, enough like a caddis, or enough like a small stonefly to be a very productive pattern. Whatever trout take it for, it gets attention and seals the deal frequently. It’s on my short list of confidence flies.
Yes. It looks like a Hare’s Ear nymph. Half the stuff in my box looks like a Hare’s Ear or a Pheasant Tail. When you turn over rocks to see what kind of bugs trout are eating, most of what you find fits under the category of “little brown things with some moving parts.”
My theory of fly selection is based in simplicity. I don’t carry hundreds of patterns, because I’ve found that I don’t need to. And carrying fewer flies forces me to adjust my presentation — to fish harder — instead of blaming the fly and changing what’s on the end of my line.