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Orvis last won the day on June 15 2017

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Cutthroat Trout

Cutthroat Trout (6/10)



  1. Can you really catch giant cutthroat trout in the desert? Are they truly a native species? And do they really fish with ladders? You'll find out in my interview with Orvis-endorsed guide Mike Anderson [45:23], who guides for the Reno Fly Shop. In the Fly Box this week, we have some wonderful comments and thought-provoking questions, including: I can keep the knots in my rubber legs on hopper patterns. How do you do it? What common fly-tying materials can I get from animals I have harvested, what parts should I use, and how to you prepare and store them? What is the advantage of going from 140 denier tying thread to 70 denier and when and why should I use it? A listener explains why he welcomes new people to the sport. I just got an intermediate line for fishing in lakes. Will it be useful in streams? I have an old rod with a loose ferrule. Is there any way of fixing it? Is my 9 ½ foot 6-weight rod too light to throw big articulated flies for bull trout? I know trout lie in seams in a river. Will steelhead be in seams as well? Can I use sewing thread for tying flies? My double surgeon's knots keep breaking. What am I doing wrong? Are there special fighting techniques when you hook a fish on a downstream drift? Why do people tell me to fish at high tide, when I can walk out farther at low tide? Can I swing a streamer in salt water? Do changes in air temperature affect fish in the ocean as much as in fresh water? What do I do to take my trout fishing to the next level? What should I concentrate on? Why are bamboo rods typically shorter than graphite, and how do I travel with a two-piece bamboo rod? I am losing more fish with large flies than I do with small flies. What is the issue? View the full article
  2. Bill Sisson [27:29] is the founding editor of Angler's Journal magazine and his recently published book, Seasons of the Striper, is an elegant pictorial love letter to striped bass fishing. Bill has seen many changes in the striped bass fishery over the years, and his family goes back for generations of striped bass anglers — both sport and commercial fishing. He tells some great stories of past striped bass escapades, which I know you'll enjoy listening to. In the Fly Box this week, we have some solid questions and some informative information from listeners, including: On a recent podcast a listener described a method of pre-tying nymphs on a dropper with a perfection loop, but I can't figure out how to attach them to my dry fly with a loop-loop connection. How do you accomplish this? A listener gives us some great background on the history of public stream access in the United States. A listener warns of of an alarming trend of beaver misinformation Why do I keep losing trout on my barbless flies? Am I putting too much pressure on the fish? What tips can you give me on fishing with my fiberglass rod in salt water? I fish for bass in spring creeks. Do you think they will be active in late fall and winter? How do the gases in the exoskeleton of a midge pupa form? Is there any hope of fishing a dry dropper in winter? Do you have any tips for fishing small streams when there is ice in a creek? View the full article
  3. I get a lot of questions about midges and their life cycle, so I thought I would invite a professional entomologist to give us an overview of these insects and how to imitate them. Rick Hafele [3816] has not only been an entomologist all his working life, he's also a superb angler and fly-fishing author and perhaps one of the best authorities on aquatic entomology we have. Learn about what color midges to imitate, which part of their life cycle is most important to trout, and how to effectively fish these imitations. In The Fly Box this week, we have some thought-provoking questions and some terrific suggestions from listeners, including: I have used both rubber and felt soles and I still have problems wading. I am in good shape and have good balance. What wading shoes do you suggest? I witnessed a huge hatch of insects but only caught largemouth bass. Is there a depth and current speed where fishing a dry fly is futile? What type of poly leader would you suggest for my 5-weight rod? How long should my leader be when fishing a poly leader? What CFS do you consider safe to wade in a river? If I catch a wild brown or rainbow in a brook trout stream, should I relocate that fish below a waterfall? What is the purpose of releasing large hatchery brood stock trout into wild trout streams? Do they have any effect on a wild trout population? How would you fish a slow, tannic river with a mud and sand bottom? How long do you stay in one section of a river? Should I match the diameter of the butt section of my leader to the diameter of my fly line? What should I do if I hook a large striped bass and it thrashes close to me but does not take line. Should I try to get the line on the reel? Some great tips from a South Dakota angler on how to find superb fly fishing close to home. View the full article
  4. My guest this week is Steve Carew [40:58] of Fulling Mill Flies. Steve is the guy who gets fly patterns from an original sample to those gorgeous flies you see in the fly bins of your local Orvis store or dealer. How do commercial flies get made? Who are these people who tie flies for a living? Do they actually fish? How good are they? And how do they produce such consistent, high-quality flies in large volumes without sacrificing quality? In the Fly Box this week, we have some helpful tips from listeners as well as some interesting questions, including: A great tip on how to protect the tip of a fly rod when carrying it inside a vehicle fully assembled. How do I know what color midge to use? Are there seasons and times when different colors work better than others? I saw a carp feeding but tried a dozen flies and none of them worked. How can I catch these fish? I fish a lake with trout, bass, pike, walleye, and perch in it. How can I target each one of these fish? I am going to fish a lake and want to know what two fly lines I should take. Does the newer technology Orvis uses in its fly rods make older rods obsolete? I am fishing an older fiberglass rod and lost a bunch of fish. Do you think the rod is the problem? I fish an aqueduct with steep banks that prevent a back-cast. Do you have any suggestions on fly lines? A tip from a listener on gluing an aquarium thermometer to his net. Do you think the occasional flip of my fins when using a float tube will spook fish? Do you have any tips for mending a dry dropper rig without moving the fly? What is Tom's favorite fly to tie and favorite fly to fish? I purchased an old bamboo rod. How do I find out what line size it takes? I saw some brook trout actively working a redd. Does that mean I should quit fishing that stream entirely? View the full article
  5. My guest this week is Alex Waller [41:36] from New Zealand. You've likely seen his great videos on Orvisnews.com or on You Tube, in his channel Trippin on Trout. Alex shares his techniques for fishing nymphs in late fall and winter with us, and his techniques are a bit different than what most of us use, so you make pick up some tips for your own trout fishing wherever you live. And because he often fishes for migratory rainbows coming out of giant Lake Taupo, his techniques will play well with Great Lakes "steelhead". In the Fly Box this week, we have a host of interesting questions, including: What is the most buoyant natural material for dry flies? Does adding UV resin to dry flies affect their buoyancy? What is the best way to carry and store tube flies? Is there a universal rule for what size nymph you can use on a dry dropper? How do I keep my hook gap clear of materials so I don't miss strikes? What should I do when a big fish shakes its head when fighting? If black is the most visible color for flies, why do some anglers prefer black hooks when fish are spooky? If black is most visible in murky water, why do some people recommend bright flies under these conditions? I am stuck in the rolling plains of the Midwest, four hours from a trout stream. Can I still go fly fishing? A local river is highly pressured with very clear water, so everyone uses tiny midges. Would a bigger fly work sometimes? What is the best upgrade I can make to my Clearwater outfit, without spending hundreds of dollars? Do you ever swing wet flies in small streams? If so what leader do you use? When do you use a strike indicator instead of a dry dropper? And what kind do you use? I have a floating line for striped bass fishing and have done well with it. What other line would you recommend? What do you suggest if I want to try night fishing for striped bass? View the full article
  6. This week, my guest is Dave DiBenedetto, Editor-in-Chief of Garden & Gun Magazine, who is a lifelong fly fisher. If you read the magazine, you can see that they frequently publish fly-fishing stories, and also that they stress conservation. In their latest issue, they make public their Champions of Conservation Awards, which go to people who are making a difference at the grassroots level in all areas of conservation. Recipients range from Capt. Bennie Blanco in the Florida Everglades; to Savi Horne, who works to keep agriculture sustainable for Black farmers; to Dr. Jennifer Rehage, who has discovered shocking levels of pharmaceuticals in Florida's bonefish population—and seven other fascinating individuals who have made a difference. We also talk fishing, from marsh redfish to small-stream trout in the mountains of the South. In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and more: What is your take on small river fishing from a kayak for smallmouth bass? What is the best way to travel with a fully assembled fly rod inside an SUV or Jeep? Can I fish a dry/dropper or indicator with my 10-foot, 3-weight Euro rod? What is the minimal number of fly rods one can own for the most diverse situations and number of species? And what rods should they be? Is there any way to have a smooth connection from line to leader with the convenience of a loop-to-loop connection? Do we need to be as careful when releasing bluegills and bass as we are with trout? Is there anything wrong with adding colored marks to the end of my fly line and Euro-nymphing with a short leader? Will trout that are eating tiny flies take a bigger dry at last light? Can I Euro nymph in small streams with a short rod? What is the minimum and maximum amount of gear you would take for an afternoon of fishing? The fish I get in my net quickly often struggle a lot. Should I play them longer? Is there an app to analyze your casting? Someone suggested using thinner-bodied Zebra Midges. Is that a good idea? View the full article
  7. I've long been fascinated by the way geology affects the character and richness of a trout stream, and I know other anglers are as well. My interview this week is with geology professor Dr. Nelson Ham [40:36], who has been studying the effects of both geology and historical land use practices on the character of our trout rivers. The discussion also goes into the value of ground water on how productive our rivers can be. I learned a lot in this interview and I know you will as well. In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting an unusual questions and comments, including: I have six Helios 3 rods and want to sell one. Which one should I sell? Do you think the affect of COVID on swelling the ranks of fly fishers will go down? I found an Orvis 1856 bamboo fly rod in the attic of my new house. Was it really built in 1856? A listener encourages me to keep making fun of various kinds of fly-fishing methods. In places I used to catch brook trout I am now only catching chubs. Do you think trout will re-inhabit these streams? A listener reminds me that organizations like Project Healing Waters promote the therapeutic value of fly fishing in young veterans. Do you think tube flies would be effective for golden dorado? If it's legal, how many flies do you think are too many on a single leader? When I fish a dry dropper, why do the smaller fish take my small Zebra Midge and the larger trout take a poke at my dry fly? What flies and gear are recommended for catching Atlantic mackerel on a fly? If I don't want to use head cement, is a double whip finish a good way to increase the durability of my flies? When I use a throat pump on trout, why do my samples sometimes come up empty? View the full article
  8. This week we take a trip Down Under to talk to guide Angus Reynolds [41:21] in Australia. Angus customarily guides trout anglers, but because of the recurring drought in Australia he has been pursuing alternate species and carp are one of his major targets. I thought we could learn some techniques to try on our North American carp, which are the same species, and Angus has some interesting tips on fishing a sunken dry fly for them. He also tells some great stories about catching Murray cod and eels on a fly rod! In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions and comments, including: Can I use my 11-foot, 3-weight Helios Blackout rod for trout Spey? If so, what grain weight should I use? When should I use jig hooks and slotted beads as opposed to regular nymph hooks and beads? Do you have some tips for Eastern stillwater trout fishing? Is it much different than what they do in the West? Is there a reasonable do-it-yourself repair kit for fly rods I can take into the field with me? Does UV resin attract trout? And are UV materials really attractive to trout? A listener from the UK says the whole idea of public water in North American blows his mind. He asks if it is really true that we can fish any river we want? A listener takes me to task for insinuating that people who use Euro nymphing techniques are only after racking up numbers of fish. What is the difference between graphite and fiberglass rods for small streams, and which is better? If I see a beaver on one end of a pond and an otter on the other, which one should I stay away from when fishing? A listener shares his experience of brown trout favoring one fly on his nymph rig and rainbow trout the other fly. View the full article
  9. Originally Released Jul 09, 2021 This week I am delighted to have biologist John McMillan back as my guest [46:00]. John gives us a detailed view on the affect of water temperature on a trout's metabolism, particularly at the upper end of their safe range. In this summer of low flows and high water temperatures nearly everywhere in North America, it's a critical topic. And as usual, John puts his critical eye on how we, as anglers, can mitigate these effects by changing our fishing behavior. John is never without optimism, and I think you'll enjoy his discussion and learn more about trout biology and how we can be more responsible anglers. In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and tips from listeners: Why did my guide tell me to use heavier tippets? Why did she suggest this would put less stress on the fish? A suggestion from a listener on getting an old bamboo rod and refurbishing it to bring one back to life. What is the difference between hen and partridge? How do I know where to find trout streams? What size should I tie my ants in? A new way of tying a clinch knot with heaver hooks is suggested by a listener Why, when fishing with a dry dropper, do I only catch browns on the nymph and only cutthroats on the dry? What do you suggest for catching pressured largemouths in summer? A belated Father's Day message Can I use the Euro nymphing method from a drift boat or float tube? Why am I having trouble mending at 30 feet with a dry dropper? When tying a Chubby Chernobyl, how do you get the legs to separate? When you see a large mammal like a beaver or otter in the river, is it time to move on? Why do I catch myself with my fly when casting? Is it OK to dry my waders and boots in the sun? How should I handle my gear for air travel? Why do I keep losing fish when using bead head flies? Does using a frog pattern change the flex of my rod? Why do Scandinavians hold their rods so high when playing a fish? View the full article
  10. Anyone involved in the world of fly fishing knows that young people are getting involved at a rate greater than any time in its history. Why? What do they want out of fly fishing, why does it appeal to them, and what do they see as the future of fly fishing? This is Part two of a podcast series where I interview young people about these questions, and this week my guest is a college student, Lukas Draugelis [37:14], president of the University of Vermont Fly-fishing Club—a very vibrant organization. In the Fly Box this week we some great questions, as well as a bit of humor, including: I get my fly line, rod tip, net, and flies stuck in trees and bushes, sometimes at the same time. Does this happen to anyone else? How do bursts of rain and muggy days affect fly fishing? How about barometric pressure? I have never seen a good hatch on a river. What kinds of environmental cues trigger a hatch? What grain weight should I put on a fiberglass rod that calls for a 5/6 line? What does the term “boat rod” mean in fly fishing? I fish a wild trout stream with numerous small fish with the biggest around 14 inches. How many and what size can I safely harvest? Any tips on how to make my first casts in a pool as good as the ones I may 15 minutes later when I am “warmed up”? How can I avoid foul hooking fish, and am I killing fish that I foul hook? What does a fish sound like when it is spooked? If I came fly fishing with you on small streams, what rod, leader, and flies would you be using? Is there a good way to make an adjustable dropper on a dry/dropper rig? View the full article
  11. This week, my guest is Austin Boswell [37:57], owner and guide for Eastern Oregon River Outfitters. I wanted to talk to Austin because I'm doing a two-part series on why young people are suddenly getting into fly fishing after many years of it being mostly an older person's pastime. I got into fly fishing at a young age, but in those days all the fly fishers I knew were older, and today we're seeing a great influx of young people taking up the sport. Why? I don't have any answers so for the next two podcasts I am going to be interviewing two fly fishers under the age of 30 to find out why it is so intriguing to them. In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions and comments, including: I found my fly line wrapped over itself on my reel. How did that happen and how can I prevent it? My normally easy-to-approach brook trout have become really spooky in the low water of summer. Will they be easier once the water levels come back up? Is my fly line scaring them and what can I do? How long do felt soles last? When did Orvis stop impregnating bamboo rods and why? A great quote on harvesting fish by blogger and author Bill Robichaud Is there a standard for reel foot sizing? Are the reel feet different in different-sized reels? What taper model are the various Recon models based on? Why do my Chubby Chernobyl flies not float well? Do trout eat woolly bear caterpillars? How do I cast an open loop when using indicators or dry droppers? Why do caddis flies and midges have a pupa stage and mayflies don't? How do I mix dubbings with different textures in a coffee grinder? View the full article
  12. We all get occasional aches and pains from casting, or as we get older we worry about getting them. Dr. Jason Smith [51:14] is an expert in sports medicine and has worked with many professional athletes in developing routines from strengthening muscles and connective tissue. He has some great advice on avoiding casting injuries, types of therapy to alleviate the pain of these issues, and also some easy exercises to avoid injury in the future. Fly fishing is supposed to be fun and any way we can take the pain out of it is welcome advice. In the Fly Box this week, we have some controversy and some great questions, including: If I am fishing an articulated fly in a place where only a single hook is allowed by law, should I cut off the back hook or the front hook? I’ve tried night fishing without any success. What do you suggest? If I am using a dropshot rig in very deep, fast water, how many split shot is too many? A tip from a listener about a great suggestion for casting he got from George Daniel If I am fishing two or three flies, is there any rule as to where I should place my heaviest fly? I only have a 5-weight and a 10-weight rod and I want to fish for bass. Can I use my 10-weight for bass fishing? It’s still hard to reconcile catch-and-release fishing for ecological reasons with a carbon footprint from cross-country trips. And I heard that there is at least an 11% mortality rate in catch-and-release fishing. Do trout eat whirligig beetles and water striders? And what do they tell me about a trout stream? How should I adjust my fishing tactics when it rains? I fish a catch-and-release pond with picky fish and heavy fishing pressure. If no one fished this pond for a year, would the trout get less selective? A listener takes me to task for saying I try to avoid fishing for stocked trout. And then asks me what I would do if I lived in an urban area where there were only put-and-take fisheries for trout. A listener is confused by the different sizes of aquatic insects and asks if the same ones hatch in different sizes. A physicist weighs in on how to stalk trout, knowing how the physics of refraction works. A listener gives me a list of the rods he owns and asks if there is something missing in his arsenal, especially for small streams. View the full article
  13. Catch-and-release fishing for trout is not a conservation tool. It’s a way to manage trout populations for larger fish, based mainly on sociological or even political pressures. Sometimes it doesn’t even produce larger fish, and it can backfire when it inflames local anglers. Tim Traver [38:50], author of Lost in the Driftless, has spent years studying the effects of fishing regulations on both fish and human populations and I think your eyes will open to the limitations of regulations like “fly-fishing only” or “catch-and-release”. In the Fly Box this week, we have lots of interesting questions and comments from listeners, including: What can I do to avoid crowds on a heavily pressured eastern trout stream? What is the best way to carry a net when using a sling bag? A listener has some great comments on why bamboo rods are so special. Why am I consistently breaking off large brown trout using 6X tippet? If I don’t have a fishing backpack or vest, how can I carry a net? How can I fish very fast water effectively with a dry dropper rig? If most fish food is dull colored, why do we use so many wild colors in our flies? A listener makes some great points on why fishing close to home is desirable. A physicist weighs in on what a trout can see from underwater. Can I effectively Euro-nymph with my 9-foot, 5-inch Blackout rod? What are some good uses for squirrel tail in fly tying? What is everyone doing in the northeast for fly fishing during the drought? View the full article
  14. My guest this week is Sean Carey [48:31], drummer and keyboard player for the indie folk band Bon Iver, who also records solo work as S Carey. Sean has been fly fishing for many years, beginning when he was in high school, and we spend a lot of time discussing the concept of “growing where you were planted” or learning the pleasures of discovering fly fishing close to home. And of course we talk about how fly fishing has influenced his song writing, and also what the theoretical difference might be in the way a classically trained musician approaches fly fishing as opposed to the way a jazz musician might. At the end of the podcast is a special treat—a recording of his song “Yellowstone” (but no it’s not a fishing song even though we all associate that area with fishing). In the Fly Box this week, we have a bunch of thought-provoking questions from listeners, including: If I can see a fish in the water, does that mean it can see me? Or does a trout’s “window” work in reverse? What do you think of tying the dropper onto the eye of the dry fly instead of the bend when using a dry-dropper rig? Are those rock dams that people make in streams bad for trout? What is your opinion of Jack’s Knot? Will Tenkara fishing work on small, clear spring creeks? W hy does the Crackleback fly work? If I have a bunch of old reels with lines on them, can a fly shop tell me what size they are? What kind of additional flies and gear do I need when moving form smallmouth bass fishing to tailwater trout fishing? What do you do for protection in bear and cougar country? What is your preferred method for fishing a nymph under an indicator? I got an H3 rod as a gift and I don’t feel I am good enough to use it yet. What do you think about this? Shawn Brillon gives me the answers on four questions about bamboo rods as a follow-up to his recent podcast Would my 10-foot 7-weight rod be OK for bonefishing in the Turks and Caicos? Bass keep throwing my heavy cone-head streamers when they jump. Would keeping tension on them when they jump prevent this? How do you know what rod size to use? How do you know what tippet size to use? View the full article
  15. I get a lot of questions from listeners on how to get kids into fly fishing--what's the right rod outfit, what species to go after, how to structure (or not structure) a day on the water, what resources are available, and how to instill a sense of ethics and conservation in kids. My guest this week is an expert on the subject. Marsha Benovengo [40:20] is state chair of New Jersey Trout Unlimited, and this year she received the coveted Mortensen Award from TU for her volunteer service and dedication. She has a host of great tips for guiding kids through their fly-fishing education. In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions and tips from listeners, including: I noticed trout living in a polluted pond near a garnet quarry. Don't trout always live in completely pristine water? I have a kink in my fly line that I can't remove. Do you have any tips on getting it out? What do you do to help your feet after a day of wet wading? Can I travel with fly rods in a duffel bag? A tip from a listener on using Lycra dive socks for wet wading How exactly do you check the balance on a fly rod? Does Tom ever get to fish anymore? How can I get more distance when surf fishing for snook? I am doing well using Euro-style jig flies with an indicator and a standard 9-foot 5-weight rod. Would I be even more successful with a Euro rod? And how do they fish dry flies with those 10-foot 3-weight rods? Should I attach my nymphs with a loop knot? How can I fish a high mountain lake with extensive weed beds? Would my 12-year-old son be better off with a double taper line than the weight-forward line he is currently using? A great story from a listener in Sweden who has a friend that has caught 100 species of fish native to Sweden, all on fly tackle. Will fishing my "cold water" Bank Shot line in warm water and air temperatures damage the line? How can I clean some peacock feathers I got from a friend? How can I keep my fly lower in the water column when swinging streamers for smallmouth bass? I have a small spring on my property and would like to see if it will hold trout. Should I dig it out and clean out all the willows around it? View the full article
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