Articles With the Tag . . . strategy

Carry the Fly Rod In Front or Behind? An Eternal Debate Continues

Maybe this is something you’ve never given any thought to. And maybe you’re tired of cursing the limbs and brush while untangling and undoing unintended knots. Maybe not.

Keeping the tip behind you results in far fewer hang ups. Truly, the rod tends to glide along easier through places you’ve already been . . .

Tip — Don’t Rig Up at the Truck

Why guess about what the trout will be eating? Why decide how much weight you will need? Why even choose nymphs over dries or streamers until you see the water? Unless you back the truck down to the river’s edge and drop the tailgate right there, you don’t really know what the water will look like. And you don’t have enough intimate detail about where you’ll make the first cast . . .

They Don’t Have to Eat It to Learn to Reject It

You’ve probably heard this a lot: “These trout have been caught on that fly before, so they won’t take it.”

Or this: “Once trout are caught on a fly a few times, they learn that it’s a fake.

But trout don’t have to be caught on a fly to learn that it isn’t real. In fact, just seeing one bad drift after another is enough to put trout off of a particular pattern . . .

Never Blame the Fish

When everything you expect to work produces nothing, don’t blame the fish. Think more. Try harder.

When your good drifts still leave the net empty, then don’t settle for good. Make things perfect. Never blame the fish . . .

Tip — Don’t Rig Up at the Truck

Tip — Don’t Rig Up at the Truck

“What fly are you starting with?” “I don’t know yet.” “How much weight are you using?” “Not sure.” “How long of a tippet are you tying on?” “I haven’t decided.” At the start of the trip, after lacing my boots and grabbing the fly rod, I’m gone. I don’t rig up at the...

They Don’t Have to Eat It to Learn to Reject It

They Don’t Have to Eat It to Learn to Reject It

There are many myths in fly fishing. Common confusion and conjecture comes from a sport where only a small fraction of anglers get much time on the water to really learn things first hand. So almost no one gathers enough data to find their own answers. And those...

Never Blame the Fish

Never Blame the Fish

Most of the trout are holding and feeding in shallow bank water from six to twelve inches deep. It’s the stuff you’ve been walking through all morning, ignoring the edges in favor of the deeper runs and shadowy, irresistible guts. You couldn’t bring yourself to...

You Already Fished That

You Already Fished That

If you’ve fished a piece of water well, why cast into it again? If you’ve gotten effective drifts, shown the trout what you believed they were looking for and maybe even repeated it a few times, why waste another cast showing it to them again? We all know the answer,...

The Case for Shorter Casts

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 . . .

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Tight Line and Euro Nymphing — The Lift and Lead

Tight Line and Euro Nymphing — The Lift and Lead

The Lift and Lead is a cornerstone concept for advanced tight line nymphing skills.

Most euro nymphing or tight line studies seem to ignore the lift, focusing only on the concept of leading the flies downstream. For certain, the lift and lead is an advanced tactic. But if you’re having success on a tight line for a few seasons now, you’re probably already incorporating some of this without knowing it. And by considering both elements, by being deliberate with each part of the lift and lead, control over the course of your flies increases. The path is more predictable. And more trout eat the fly . . .

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Be the Heron

Be the Heron

We can learn much about wading a river for trout by observing the heron. Take time to watch these compelling predators — these master hunters of the river. Because the lessons of incomparable stealth are unforgettable once you’ve seen them . . .

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The Spooky Trout: Find Their Blind Spot

The Spooky Trout: Find Their Blind Spot

Understand that trout can’t turn their heads, and they don’t look behind themselves casually.

And from a fisherman’s perspective, as one who has spent decades accidentally scaring the fish I intended to catch, I assure you that the best way to approach a trout is from behind . . .

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Are You Spooking Trout?

Are You Spooking Trout?

All trout continuously adapt to their surroundings — they learn what to expect, and they spook from the unexpected.

So, stealth on the water and understanding what spooks a trout is foundational knowledge in fly fishing. Trout are easily scared. Are you spooking fish?

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