Fish Hard

I published the first Troutbitten video in the spring of 2017, in an effort to show the things that cannot be written or photographed.

Years later, I brought Josh Darling, owner of Wilds Media, into the project. His art, his eye and his film expertise make Josh the perfect partner for this work.

In 2022, Josh and I began the Troutbitten Tips series on the Troutbitten YouTube channel. These are short, helpful and unique tips for a life on the water.

We’ve also added a series called, Fly Fishing the Mono Rig. This ongoing collection of videos highlights the versatility and the nuances of this hybrid fly fishing system.

A dedicated Gear Review series just launched on the channel, and who knows what’s next.

Troutbitten videos teach tactics and share stories that keep the river in our minds and in our hearts.

From the video, The River Doesn’t Owe You Anything. (Fall, 2020) Photo by Josh Darling


All Troutbitten videos are found on the Troutbitten YouTube channel.

Explore the playlists. Subscribe to the channel, and Leave a comment.

Every Troutbitten Video also has a companion article, with more information and an embedded video link.

Thanks for watching.

VIDEO: The Golden Ratio of Nymphing

VIDEO: The Golden Ratio of Nymphing

One rod length over and two rod lengths up. That’s the Golden Ratio. That’s the baseline, and it’s where trust in our drift begins. There are surely moments and situations that call for something different. But a good tight line style starts here, within the Golden Ratio of nymphing . . .

VIDEO: Wading Belt Carrying System

VIDEO: Wading Belt Carrying System

How can we keep our stuff with us, make it easily accessible and not be slowed down or fatigued by extra weight? Answer: Carry the heavy things on your hips.

Most anglers focus on whether to choose a chest pack, vest, sling pack, hip pack, lanyard or something else. We think of carrying fly boxes, tippet, leaders and other incidentals. But what about the net? What about water, a wading staff, a camera or anything else with extra weight? Carrying these items should not be a secondary consideration. As the heaviest things among your gear, how you carry them is of primary importance.

The heavy stuff is best carried on your hips, so the most critical part of your carrying system is probably the wading belt. And most wading belts are not up to the task.

How We Cover Water (with VIDEO)

How We Cover Water (with VIDEO)

Here are a few ideas and guiding principles that work for me every day on my rivers. I don’t try to cover everything. I don’t make grids, but I do make plans. I like to stay creative and follow the signs that trout give me. And for my wading approach, I break things down into three simple strategies: the typewriter, the zig zag and following up one lane . . .

VIDEO: Tight Line and Euro Nymphing — The Lift and Lead

VIDEO: Tight Line and Euro Nymphing — The Lift and Lead

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

Lift to allow the fly to fall into place. Lead to stop it from falling and to keep it gliding through the strike zone.

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. Efficiency with weight improves.

The path is more predictable. And more trout eat the fly . . .

(VIDEO)  The George Harvey Dry Fly Leader — Design, Adjustment and Fishing Tips

(VIDEO) The George Harvey Dry Fly Leader — Design, Adjustment and Fishing Tips

The George Harvey Dry Fly leader is a slackline leader built for dead drifting. With intentional casting, with the right stroke, the Harvey lands with slack in all the right places, with curves and swirls through the entire leader and not just in the tippet section. The Harvey is a masterful tool built for the art of presenting a dry fly on a dead drift. But success begins by understanding how the Harvey is different, and why it works.

(VIDEO) What’s In That Vest? Laying Out the Essentials and More

(VIDEO) What’s In That Vest? Laying Out the Essentials and More

The key to a good carrying system is efficiency. Carry lots of gear or be a minimalist. But however you carry your gear, make sure it works for you. Think it through. And then change something if the system is holding you back, if it’s getting in your way or taking you out of rhythm. A carrying system should be designed around the way you fish, and not the other way around. Think about that. Don’t change the way you fish to suit a poorly chosen pack.

My vest is the most important piece of gear that I own. Because it holds everything that I work with. And having things laid out with a purpose keeps me efficient and ready to adapt. 

(VIDEO) The Fly Rod Dip and Swish — A Useful Trick You Might Have Missed

(VIDEO) The Fly Rod Dip and Swish — A Useful Trick You Might Have Missed

What do you do when the fly line to leader connection comes back through your rod guides? How do you get to fly line back out there? And if you’re using a long leader system or a tight line nymphing system, and the butt section of your leader wraps around your rod tip, how do you get it unwrapped?

The fly rod dip and swish. That’s the answer you do. It’s a really useful tool that solves a lot of problems . . .

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