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Orvis

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Orvis last won the day on June 15 2017

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  1. Initially posted on July 28, 2019 This week, my guest is Davy Wotton, who is originally from Wales but now lives and guides on the White River in Arkansas. I get frequent questions about swinging soft hackles and wet flies, a technique that I am not the best at, so I brought in the angler whom I consider the ultimate expert on this kind of fishing. Davy blends the British traditions with American conditions, so he really has the best perspective on this kind of fishing, which can be both challenging and subtle—especially when fish are taking emergers. It’s a long podcast, but since I have never done one on this topic, I make up for lost time. And Davy had many interesting points to make. The Fly Box is a bit shorter this week because the main podcast is so long. But we cover some interesting questions, as usual: What can I do to keep my Stimulators floating? When do you fish a nymph and when do you fish a streamer? Can you use weed guards on trout flies? Why am I breaking off so many fish? Do some rod guides work better than others? More on pressure and its effects on fish What is the difference between a freshwater and saltwater rod? How can I see my fly in a fast riffle? How do I know if small streams hold trout? Why do trout bump my flies and why do they come off quickly? View the full article
  2. This week my guest is Sascha Clark Danylchuk [1:05:54], executive director of Keepfishwet.org and a fish biologist who has intensively studied the science of releasing fish in a responsible manner. We've talked a lot about trout lately in the podcast, so this one is on recommended release techniques for bass, panfish, pike, bonefish, redfish, and tarpon--plus a little on cold-water releases of trout. In the Fly Box this week, we had an unusually good collection of questions and tips--maybe because I was out of the office for a couple weeks so I had a lot to choose from. I want to write a fishing book. What do you suggest? What is the proper etiquette when I see other people on the river? I need a Yellowstone cutthroat to complete my Utah cutthroat slam. They are only found in a small stream. How should I go about approaching this stream and what techniques should I use to make sure I complete my Slam? Why is wet-fly fishing often called a "lost art"? Why do I have trouble landing small brook trout on barbless hooks? Why do the trout in France bump my hopper flies and not always eat them? How do you approach a situation where insects are hatching but you don't see any trout feeding? How can I catch large trout rising infrequently in a very slow pool? A tip from a listener on how to get more fly-tying time Do lakes and ponds fish well in the rain? Some great advice from an Orvis-endorsed guide on fly-tying tips for beginners. Why don't fly-rod manufacturers use foam instead of cork for rod handles? How can I land large trout feeding on small flies? A tip for using a common kitchen product for cleaning cork handles on rods. Do modern ferrules still need wax? Is it possible that the large rainbows in Colorado reservoirs could be fall spawners? View the full article
  3. This week's podcast guest is especially exciting to me as he is one of my literary heroes. John McPhee [24:10] is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author (Annals of the Former World), and in his numerous other books he has written about such diverse topics as nuclear energy, the merchant marine, basketball, Alaska, bark canoes, oranges, continental drift, flood control, tennis, farmer's markets, and many other eclectic topics. Whether or not you are interested in a subject, you can be sure you will be when you finish reading one of his books you will be fascinated. John has also been a staff writer for The New Yorker since the 1960s. In our interview, he talks about his two favorite fish to catch on the fly rod--the American shad (which he wrote an entire book about, The Founding Fish), and the chain pickerel, which he did not write a book about but did pen a short essay on in his collection of stories The Patch. (I doubt is anyone in the world who would count those two fish in combination as their favorites--but he is never conventional.) I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I enjoyed talking to him. In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and tips: A reminder from a listener that I wrote an encyclopedia of fly fishing Some great tips from a listener on using tippet rings A question about what constitutes a watershed when concerned about transporting aquatic invasives A suggestion from a listener on ways to offset your carbon footprint when taking fishing trips Which is a better rod for fishing the surf and jetties--a traditional 9-foot 9-weight rod or a two-handed rod? Do you always recommend using a net? A listener calls me on the carpet for my flippant remark about manhandling carp. A great thought from a listener that sometimes taking photos of fish hinders the moment. View the full article
  4. This week my guest is the great Amelia Jensen [53:09], one of the best trout anglers in the world and also a superb videographer. Our topic is one that is top of mind to a lot of people in the fly-fishing world this summer: how we can continue to fish for trout and get photos of them while minimizing mortality to the fish and reducing handling time. One of the best ways to do this is to take photos of fish (especially trout) without taking them out of the water. This does present challenges but it's not impossible to get a great photo of a trout while water is still running over its gills. Amelia shares the tips she has learned over the years. Lots of questions and tips from listeners in the Fly Box this week, including: How do I clean up the cork grips on my fly rods? Is there any difference in performance with a dry dropper when the nymph is tied to the eye of the dry fly instead of the bend? Is it true that by keeping trout larger than 15 inches we'll make more room for smaller trout in a stream? How do you know when to leave an area or continue fishing it? A great pep talk from an experienced angler on learning fly fishing without a mentor How can I get rid of clumps in my rabbit fur dubbing? How can I catch spooky catfish on a fly rod? Is there any difference between tying dumbbell eyes on top of the shank or under the shank? Some great tips on carp fishing from an experienced carp angler from Germany Is it a good idea to freeze my wading boots to kill aquatic invasives? How can I decide between a vest and a sling bag? Can I fish dry flies with my Euro nymphing line? Do brook trout migrate to get away from warmer water? Where do you use tippet rings? Is it a good idea to build knotted trout leaders with loop-to-loop connections? What should I look for if I am going bonefishing without a guide and I have never fished in salt water before? I am going bonefishing but to date have only fished for trout. What adjustments do I need to make? I need advice on setting the hook on steelhead when swinging Intruders If I bend a small hook in my tying vise, can I put it back into shape without ruining it? View the full article
  5. This week my guest is Colby Trow [38:08] of Mossy Creek Fly Fishing, one of the best smallmouth bass anglers I know. Colby talks about successful techniques in catching these critters in late summer, when they can be harder to catch than earlier in the season. The good news is that it's one of the best times to catch them on a surface fly like a popper or hair bug, which is always the most fun. In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions and tips from listeners: A listener who makes the point that it's quicker to land trout on light tippets with a Euro rod Can I fish carp flies with an indicator? Are treble hooks more harmful than single point barbless hooks? What do I do when trout take my hopper patterns deep? Should I leave the fly in them? I have trouble catching smallmouths in clear water. Any suggestions? Where do you store your leader between fishing trips? A tip from Sam, fishing manager at Orvis Houston, on catching redfish in dirty water What are the advantages and disadvantages in using a pedestal vise as opposed to a C-clamp? How do I choose which size hair stacker to use? How can I fish size 18-22 nymphs in four feet of fast water? A suggestion for using 7 1/2-foot leaders in small streams in the Driftless Region Can I put a 7-weight sinking line on my 5-weight rod? If I am catching trout in small mountain streams where the water is cold enough, do I need to worry about them moving downstream into warmer temperatures after I release them? How many phone calls and questions do you get per week? When I switch from Euro nymphing to my regular trout rod, I keep breaking off fish. Is this normal? View the full article
  6. This week my guest is David Coggins [42:24], author of the new book The Optimist, A Case for the Fly Fishing Life. David is a traditionalist and I give him some good-natured ribbing about being an anachronism, but David handles it well and tells some great stories as well. In the Fly Box this week, we have lots of questions and tips from listeners, including: What is the best way to tie a fly for gar and how do I fish for them? Why did I foul hook two trout in a row on dry flies? What kind of rum do you prefer? A great tip from a listener that rubber soles on wading shoes are far preferable to felt in the snow. A tip from a listener that when urban fly fishing, make sure you look behind you as many people don't know you are flinging a hook through the air. Do I need to worry about my rod and reel in a car-top carrier in the hot Georgia sun? A tip from a listener on using heavier nymph hooks on foam dry flies to keep them from tipping over. A listener asks me my preferences in fly-tying vise brands. A listener asks about Orvis' commitment to diversity and climate activism and asks why we don't have a government relations office. A suggestion from a listener for developing self-bailing waders Why did I see a bunch of smallmouth bass jumping out of the water like crazy when there was not an insect hatch? What can I do if I don't like a loop-to-loop connection on my leader? How do I fish a bass popper in a fast-flowing river? How can I get my crayfish pattern deeper? View the full article
  7. In our campaign to take pressure off our over-stressed trout rivers during this hot, dry summer I figured a great topic would be how to find carp fishing spots. Not every place that holds carp is conducive to fly fishing, but when you find the right spot, you'll find endlessly fascinating opportunities to catch these often difficult gamefish that will test your drag like no other freshwater fish (besides steelhead and salmon). So I enlisted Dan Frasier [46:00] to talk about how to find the best carp spots, when and where to target them, how to present the fly, and how to determine when a carp has eaten your fly. Carp are tough and resilient and you don't need to worry about hurting them, no matter how warm the water temperature. Next to trout, they're the most interesting fish to chase in fresh water and the closest you'll get to saltwater flats fishing without leaving home. In the Fly Box this week, as usual we have some great questions and tips from listeners, including: Do certain trout get acclimated to either very high or low temperature regimes? Why do I foul hook a lot of fish when Euro nymphing? Why does my Euro rig break above the tippet ring? A casting tip using the analogy of a tomato on a stick Does Orvis have a secret warehouse full of older discontinued products? How can I keep track of tiny emergers in the surface film? Do you recommend felt soles or rubber with cleats for wading boots? When fishing for panfish, does having an indicator on the leader hinder my presentation when I strip the fly? Why are my surgeon's knots breaking when using 10-pound test for panfish? What is the difference between regular CDC and CDC puffs? Some tips from a listener on traveling with fly-fishing gear Is it OK to hold a fly rod on the blank above the grip when playing a large fish? A tip from a listener on using a lint roller to keep the fly-tying desk clean Is there any reason to put fly dressing on a yarn strike indicator? Will my freshwater reels work OK in salt water? Why do my foam dry flies sometimes land upside-down? View the full article
  8. This week we continue our exploration of Trout in Trouble, specifically in Montana. Pat Byorth [52:56], Montana Fish Commissioner [52:56], and I discuss the current decline of brown trout in southwest Montana, what you should do if you fish there during this hot, low-water year, and what the future may hold. He'll give some good advice on being a responsible angler during this tough period. In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions, comments, and tips, including: Not all Scandinavians hold their rods high when playing fish What can I do to find trout in pools in big rivers? Whay would a trout refuse my size 14 mayfly and then take a stonefly nymph? Why is my back cast dropping? A tip for making copper tungsten beads into matte gray beads with a lighter How do I teach kids how to cast a nymph rig? Why do my Elk Hair Caddis flies only float briefly? What is the best way to renew a dry fly tied with snowshoe rabbit fur? Some tips for a listener who had trouble mending line How often should I fish with a guide and how often should I fish alone if I want to learn more? Where is there no zonked gray squirrel available? How do I repair streamers where the coneheads, beads, or dumbbell eyes twist after a few uses? Why did I use five bluefish in a row? Can you fish tandem streamers? A listener corrects my physics knowledge How can I fish nymphs on a day so windy it blows my indicator downstream? A tip from a listener on using Euro nymphing techniques with an indicator. Is there a standard for hook wire gauge so I can determine when a clinch knot won't work? View the full article
  9. This week I am delighted to have biologist John McMillan back as my guest. 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 partidge? 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. This week I have no guest interview but a ton of questions waiting in the podcast mailbox so I did an all-Fly Box podcast to catch up on questions. By popular demand, I've started to recommend some books on the podcast. This week I recommend my three favorite books on trout biology and natural history. In the long Fly Box this week, we have these great questions and tips from listeners: A tip on putting a four-piece rod together A tip on where to park your rod when landing a fish Can I use my 9-foot, 5-weight rod for saltwater fishing in the Bay area? Do you think we are in danger of interfering with the natural spread of species, for instance by removing musky from lakes that were not there historically but have spread there naturally? Why do I keep breaking off large trout on a 3X tippet? A very generous offer from a listener to pay for a guide trip for a young listener (from a past show) who has taken 60 trips for trout and has not caught one yet. Should I use a sinking or intermediate line for stripers in the Bay area? Are there any casting techniques I should practice before throwing bigger flies in salt water? A tip from a listener (after getting a tip from me) on the proper way to insert Orvis studs in wading boots. A great tip from a listener on using yellow sticky pads to keep coiled leaders in place. While stripping in my coiled line gets tangled. How can I fix that? How long do you use a fly before changing? And when do you decide to move? Do you believe "Right to Roam" laws like they have in Scotland would be beneficial to Americans? How do you properly de-barb a hook? What midge patterns should I use in Wisconsin? What would a well-rounded fly rod quiver for the eastern United States look like? I keep bumping my rod guides when taking apart my rod. How can I fix that, and how can I fix a loose guide? A caller letting me know that a co-host on one of our live events mis-spoke about how to assemble a rod. I can catch fish on a Parachute Adams and swung wet flies in a small stream but can't catch them on nymphs. What am I doing wrong? A listener who fixed a problem with breaking 4X tippet tied to a size 6 hook makes a suggestion on some great products. I am curious to buy a bamboo or fiberglass rod. Where should I start? What fly-fishing magazines does Tom read? View the full article
  11. This week, my guest is Carolyn Parker of River Run Outfitters in Branson, Missouri [51:39]. Carolyn is a 20-year veteran of guiding tailwaters and a recipient of the Orvis Endorsed Program's Lifetime Achievement Award. Her specialty is fishing tailwaters, and you'll learn a lot about how to deal with fluctuating water levels and how to fish a river that has mostly midges and crustaceans instead of mayflies and caddisflies. In the Fly Box this week, we have lots of questions and some long-winded answers, including: Why don't more people use furled leaders? When you say "don't land your fly line on the fish", does that include your leader and tippet? Why do you recommend fishing worm patterns in high, dirty water? How can I land striped bass in the surf? For two-fly rigs under indicators, do most guides prefer the second fly "in-line" or on a separate tag? How do you rank various considerations when picking a fly? When you are on new water and don't know what bugs are around, how do you pick a fly? Is a 9-foot 7-weight a good rig for fishing bass and streamers for trout? Why do some rods like the Superfines have cork reel seat inserts? Why does my leader kink when I use the Dorsey indicator method? What would you do if rain started and the trout stopped feeding? What rod should I pick to start fly fishing in smaller streams in West Virginia? If I want to upgrade my rod collection to some higher-end models, how should I prioritize my choices? Are centipedes a threat to fly-tying materials? A suggestion for removing epoxy from the eyes of flies with micro drill bits (with a caution from Tom) Suggestions for fishing for striped bass on the rocky shoreline in Rhode Island Why does my dropper connection always break instead of my tippet-to-fly connection? Why can't I catch any trout? View the full article
  12. This week my guest is Neville Crabbe of the Atlantic Salmon Federation [39:13]. He tells us the details of a major project to eradicate smallmouth bass from the famous Miramichi River, one of the most productive salmon rivers in the world. We all love smallmouths, but they don't belong in this river system and were introduced by misguided anglers. In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions, including: How should I fish an emerger? Can I fish it by itself? Any tips on catching grass carp? What's on Tom's bucket list for destinations? Will packets of desiccant gel help keep my fly boxes dry? Will cracks in my fly line change its grain weight? Why do fish keep "bumping" my swung wet flies? Any tips for fighting trout in shallow water? Why do steelhead roll? What is that little ring on the back end of the Chubby Duo Hopper fly? What are the differences between the various trout species? When Tom fishes with guides, does he use his own flies? Will a two-handed rod help my casting when I have tennis elbow? What fly line should I use for fishing for carp, bass, and pike in 10 to 15 feet of water? View the full article
  13. My guest this week is Phil Rowley [55:20], author of the just-released book The Orvis Guide to Stillwater Trout Fishing and fellow host for The New Fly Fisher TV show. Phil is a stillwater genius and he helps us untangle the confusion around fly lines for fishing in lakes and ponds, and exactly which lines you need. In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions, including: I have switched from a medium to fast action rod. Should I set the hook differently? How do I fish beaver ponds? Questions about Euro nymphing with a standard 9-foot, 5-weight rod and reel Do brown trout move in and out of bigger, warmer rivers? What is the best way to fish with midges? Will a floating tippet hurt my dry-fly presentation? What is the difference between up-eye, down-eye, and straight-eye hooks? Which dry flies do you apply flotant on? Where can I find good prescription polarized sunglasses? Are lighter wire hooks better for hooking fish on a downstream presentation? Why do fish follow my wet flies and not take them? A listener takes me to task for badmouthing the Madison River (and I deserved it) Why is Coq de Leon used so much for nymph tails? How do I fish a low-gradient stream with large boulders? How much backing do I put on my reel? What is the best rod for small-stream trout fishing? View the full article
  14. This week my guest is George Revel of Lost Coast Outfitters [@50:42], the only fly shop in downtown San Francisco. George is a lifelong fly fisher (he was a tournament caster when he was a teenager) and has intimate knowledge of the best fly-fishing spots in California. Whether you live on the West Coast and are looking for new places to explore, or if you plan a visit to California, this podcast is a must. In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and comments, including: If you are unsure where the fish are, how long should your drift be and where should you place your fly? I have a 9-foot 5-weight rod and want one other rod to do everything else, from bass to steelhead to salt water. What additional rod should I buy? Why am I foul-hooking so many trout this year? A comment from a listener on why permit systems for our more crowded rivers may be needed. In cold water, will trout feed deeper than four feet? How important is it that my indicator and flies land in the same current? What kind of line, or weight on my leader, should I use when trolling for pike? Where is the best place to find an in-person fly-fishing mentor? Would it be harmful to my boots or waders if I spray insect repellent on them to keep ticks away? How far should you lead a trout you can see in a clear stream? What surface flies should I use for stripers on Cape Cod in late summer? How can I train my dog to be a good fly-fishing companion? Will steaming an old cork handle off a fly rod hurt the blank? View the full article
  15. Overcrowding is an issue on many of our more popular trout streams, and there is no easy solution. This week I join journalist Spencer Durrant [@40:06] to discuss what he sees are solutions to some of the problems, both in finding alternate places to fish and also how to behave if you find yourself on a crowded river. In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions and comments: Are all gloves bad for handling fish? What section of a river should I fish and what areas of a river should I target at different times of day? Should I always fish a dry with a dropper and can I use this method in fast water? Can I get permission to get a tattoo of Tom on my arm? Are there any significant advantage of a 6-weight rod over a 5-weight? How can someone get into raising poultry for the fly-tying industry? How beat up can a streamer get and still be effective? Any insight in getting a fly-fishing class set up in my school? What do you think about people playing bluetooth speakers on steelhead rivers? How do I decide what flies to bring on a trip? Any old school tips you can share with us? Some great tips from a listener on the use of game bird feathers. View the full article
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