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Fighting Big Fish — Keep ‘Em Down

A top-tier river trout is a beast. The inherent nature of a river, with the endless obstacles, rocks, tree parts, current breaks, high gradient runs and undercut banks challenges the angler at every bend. So when you finally hook up with a Whiskey, a new game begins. It’s a match up between trout and fisherman. Who will win that fight?

Bringing a trout to the net requires a series of accurate calculations, thoughtful moves and a good dose of luck. But with a few guiding principles and a bit of experience, you can minimize the luck required and get a good handle on the outcome. One of the best of those principles, is to keep ’em down . . .

Test Without Bias

Of all the reasons why I fly fish for trout, two captivating things keep me coming back: refining a system, and breaking it all apart.

Go into any new exploration with a clear head and without expectations. Remove your prejudices and forget your preferences. Achieve this, and you may well be surprised by what you find with a fly rod in your hand. Ignore this, or fail in the attempt, and you’ll likely learn nothing. Worse yet, you may learn the wrong thing.

Let the river teach. Let time be the gauge. Let the fish have their say. Forgo conclusions and look instead for certainty in trends. Test honestly and without bias — always . . .

Trout Like To Do What Their Friends Are Doing

If you fish hard and pay attention to the details, you’ll often catch, miss or turn enough trout to learn something. At the heart of the puzzle is an eternal question: What do the trout want?

The best days start by learning what most trout in the river are doing. So, gather data toward those questions, and then branch off from there.

The Inefficiency of Inexperience

The way you move on the water, the way you carry gear and how you adapt, has a big impact on your experience out there. Yes, we all enjoy the scenery and solitude. We love the sites and sounds of a river. But when that novelty dulls a bit, the process of solving problems and seeing the results of our solutions is what keeps us in the game for a lifetime . . .

100 Day Gear Review: Simms G3 Guide Vest

When a big part of your life is fishing, how you carry fishing gear is a big deal. The Simms G3 Guide Vest starts with a classic design and modernizes it in all the best ways.

With a stacked layout, molded pockets, bulletproof materials, dual front closure, a unique collar and massive rear storage, the G3 is built for fly fishers.

The G3 is the versatile angler’s perfect, efficient carry-and-access system . . .

Tight Lining — Not All That Tight

There are times for constant contact. But on most days, the best tight line presentations are not about feeling the action of the fly or the weight on the bottom. It’s not about a perfect tight line with the rig. Rather, it’s about slipping in and out of contact with the fly on a small scale — staying somewhere between tightline and slackline — that’s where the magic lies.

Winter Welcome Home

Winter is a quiet ghost.

When he days are dark and at their coldest, the woods are barren — void of life, save for the chickadees and a few eager squirrels. Most of the mammals hunker down in burrows, inside hollowed out trees and underneath hemlock bows. You might miss all this if you don’t slow down, find a log and just sit for a while to listen to the silence. It’s different.

The forest is a widow in the winter wind.

Fly Fishing Leader Design

At the heart of every good leader design is an intentional balance between turnover and drag. Nothing is more important than the leader.

Material diameter and material stiffness. That’s what matters. And these two qualities determine a leader’s turnover power and the amount of potential drag . . .

The Word Cloud

Five hundred and fifty-thousand. That’s how many words fill the pages of Troutbitten. It’s enough for six long books (or one very heavy twenty-two-hundred page hardback).

Among these chapters — these stories, thoughts, philosophies and fishing tactics — a handful of ideas stand out.  These recurring themes are the building blocks. This is the foundation of Troutbitten.

The Troutbitten Word Cloud was created by Josh Darling of Wilds Media. And Josh says this one took a while.

 

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