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Everything posted by Orvis

  1. This week, my guest is Orvis casting guru Pete Kutzer, and we talk about casts for difficult trout. Often you don't need great casting skills or special casts to catch trout, but there are times when a little razzle-dazzle will make the difference. Pete talks about those situations and what to do--and he also introduces a new way of making a Bow-and -Arrow cast that was new to me. I think anyone can benefit from Pete's advice. In the Fly Box this week, we have these great questions and tips from listeners: What do you think about tying on eyeless hooks and making eyes out of silk bead cord? What do you mean by the term "swinging flies"? Can I target grass carp on a fly? Can you ice fish with flies? How do I fish a lake for trout from my kayak? What do you think of the electric socks that are controlled by an app? A great tip from a listener on avoiding spooking trout in small streams. Can a figure-8 knot be used in fly fishing? What do you recommend for a rod for fishing larger eastern rivers? How can I correct a casting issue where my fly gets caught on my line-to-leader connection? Do I need to buy a specific saltwater outfit for Belize or will my current steelhead rod work? Do you recommend weed guards for fishing in Belize? How much do brown trout move in the fall? Do you think it's possible that a stocked tiger trout could have moved 30 miles from where it was stocked? Can I overline my 3-weight rod by two line sizes for really short casts? My wife has problems with glare on the water. Do you think there is something wrong with her eyes? Which precautions should I take releasing trout in subzero weather? View the full article
  2. I frequently get questions about CDC or Cul de Canard, a special feather found on ducks that makes very effective dry flies, emergers, and nymphs. What is it? Where does it come from? Why is it so special? What kinds of CDC are there, and how do you use it? And when fishing these flies, how do you treat them. My friend (and friendly nemisis from our monthly fly-tyig tie-offs) Tim Flagler [46:41] and I tell everything we know about CDC and its uses. I hope this answers many of your questions. In the Fly Box this week, we have great tips from listeners and questions, including: A tip for fly fishers who suffer from arthritis Would it be better for me to take lessons on the water or hire a guide? What are the best saltwater knots? How do I avoid hitting myself and other people in the boat when fishing a heavy streamer? Tips from a listener on repairing old bamboo rods, and advice for finding them at tag sales and reconditioning them How do I pick up small hooks and beads that I drop off my tying table? Can I overline my 3-weight fiberglass rod by two line sizes for fishing small streams? Advice from a listener on cleaning and maintaining cork grips What do you wear under electric socks? Can I take some old flies and add a parachute to them? What do you recommend I tie with all these game bird feathers I have been saving from my hunting trips? When do you use wire, and when do you use beads on nymphs? Do stocked fish push wild fish out of their normal places? How do I keep my Elk Hair Caddis wing from rotating after I fish them for awhile? View the full article
  3. Todays guest might make you mad. If you’re a trout angler he will certainly make you feel uncomfortable. Doug Thompson [37:29] is the author of The Quest for the Golden Trout, and the book is not what you think it might be from the title. He is a professor in geoscience and environmental studies and does research in geomorphology and hydrology. In examining critically what we do to ensure trout fishing, Douglas Thompson gores some sacred cows, including our obsession with stocking trout, non-native species we introduce, the way we manipulate the physical structure of rivers to benefit trout, and even the fishing tackle industry itself. You might think this book would make me angry, but it’s carefully researched and argued and has made me look differently at the structure of our entire trout-fishing industry. In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and tips, including: How do I repair an exposed thread and a bent ferrule on my bamboo fly rod? How do I know when it's time to replace my sinking line? How can I distinguish between weighted and unweighted flies? Do people fish for walleye and American shad with a fly rod? If so how do they do it? Why do I foul hook fish when fishing with two nymphs? Which floating line is best with my 10-foot 3-weight Clearwater? Do you have some tips for casting with a sinking line? A tip on feeling better about getting skunked A story about why we should always debarb our hooks What does Tom do when he is in a slump? View the full article
  4. This week, my guest is Tim Landwehr [43:50], of Tight Lines Fly Fishing De Pere, Wisconsin. Tim has decades of experience guiding for smallmouth bass and is co-author of a book on fly fishing for smallmouths. He shares some innovative and modern techniques for catching difficult smallmouths under all conditions, some you have probably never heard of or thought about. In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions, including: When I am Euro nymphing, why do trout always take my fly on the swing, after it has finished its dead drift? I have trouble seeing my beetle imitations on the water. What can I do? Why did trout, after refusing countless dead drifts during a spinner fall, take my fly as I stripped it back to me? If you had to fish nymphs that only imitated one order of insects, which one would it be? If I simplify my nymph collection to more generic imitations, will I do as well as if I worry about imitating specific insects? What is the difference between a Comparadun and a Sparkle Dun and which one is better? If I have the same guide two days in a row, should I tip him or her both days? How many indicators should I carry for a day of fishing? Do you prefer the Helios 3 D or F model in a 9-foot, 5-weight rod? A fly shop owner told me not to submerge my reel. Was he right? What is the best way to store dry flies? A listener gives another good reason to always tie or buy three flies of the same pattern How can I eliminate wind knots in my dry dropper rig? What is the best way to fish in the surf? View the full article
  5. This week, my guest is Todd Tanner [39:47], a journalist who writes for many of the fly-fishing websites and magazines and is Fly Fishing editor of Sporting Classics magazine. Todd is also the president of Conservation Hawks, an organization dedicated to educating fishers and hunters on the threats of climate change, and is the president of the School of Trout. Todd is a thoughtful guy, and he discusses the ten things he sees as essential to becoming a great fly fisher. And no, we don't talk about choosing the right fly or using the correct knot. I think some of his thoughts about this topic will surprise you and may make you think differently about your path to becoming happier and less insecure on a trout stream. We have some great questions and tips in the Fly Box this week, including: I want to start Euro nymphing. What's most important--should I look at a new rod, a new reel, or a new line? Which is better for a bonefish leader--nylon or fluorocarbon? A high school senior informs us of a conservation issue and an innovative way to raise funds for the cause. What books should I get as a guide to western hatches? Is it a good idea to attach my leader to a permanent section of monofilament with a blood knot as opposed to a loop-to-loop connection? Tips from a listener on the value of journaling and how to make an insect seine out of your landing net. Should I be using fishing clasps on my trout flies? Is it OK to practice casting in the snow? What should I look at when upgrading my small-stream trout rod? Can steelhead mate with resident rainbows? A suggestion from a listener on why a "dangling" fly is attractive to trout. View the full article
  6. As part of Trout Unlimited's weeklong emphasis on the Snake River salmon and steelhead restoration plan, my guest this week is Chris Wood [50:25], president and CEO of Trout Unlimited. Our topic is the plan to remove four dams on the lower Snake River, a monumental project that offers great benefit to this river's historic anadromous fishery, which has been in great decline over the past 50 years. When I first heard of this, I thought it would be a pipedream to even think of removing these dams that supply hydropower, transportation, and irrigation. But Chris has convinced me that those beneficial uses can now be replaced with alternative means, and there is a real possibility of seeing these dams removed in our lifetime. Hopefully, he'll convince you as well. In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and tips shared by listeners, including: How can I land large trout on tiny size 22 nymphs? What can I do to move a big fish that sulks on the bottom? Can you share a few of your DIY hacks for your fly-tying desk? A tip from a listener never to buy or tie just one of a particular pattern. Can I use an old Battenkill 3 reel on my new Clearwater 10-foot 3-weight for Euro nymphing? If you hook a fish deep in the mouth, is it OK to leave the fly in the fish? What is the best way to fish a dry fly directly downstream? Are there special casts I can use? Why did the brown trout in my stream disappear around the middle of October? Why do trout eat my nymphs after they have been hanging below me for 10 seconds? What is a formula for a 15- or 18-foot knotted leader? If I see creek chubs in a pool, should I expect brook trout will be there as well? What is Tom's opinion on the practice of stocking cutthroat trout in eastern rivers? A tip for keeping Sink Putty from sliding up your leader. What are Tom's thoughts on what social media has done to fly fishing? What are some techniques for catching trout that live in undercut banks? View the full article
  7. I get frequent questions about fishing emergers and it's a confusing subject. Do I fish one like a nymph, or do I fish one like a dry, and how deep should I fish it. My guest this week, Tim Cammisa [41:06], is a well-known fly tier who specializes in doing presentations on tying and fishing emergers, so I thought it would be great to get his tips on them. In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions and thoughtful tips from listeners, including: How do you deal with adding and removing split shot? What should I use to touch up the finish on an old bamboo fly rod? I have some old leader material that is difficult to tighten. Is it because the nylon is old? Why do we think we need so much backing on reels? And why are light lines as long as heavier lines? Can I wear hunting waders for winter fishing? Will stocked trout spawn in rivers if they survive to spawning season? A great tip from a listener on handy modifications you can make to any fly-tying vise Do you know of one pair of sunglasses that will adapt to changing light situations? I am confused by all the hook styles and bead types for Euro nymphs. Can you narrow it down to three styles of hooks and beads in various sizes? What do you think of fishing pegged beads? If I tie a mono rig, can you clinch knot the mono directly to the permanent loop in the fly line? For prescription sunglasses, what color lens and brand do you recommend? View the full article
  8. This week, my best is Dr. Guy Fleischer [35:30], science advisor for the Wild Steelhead Coalition (wildsteelheadcoalition.org). We discuss the proposed closure of steelhead fishing on the Olympic Peninsula, how ocean changes affect steelhead survival, and the steelhead life cycle, with an emphasis on how resilient steelhead populations are if we give them half a chance. (we'll also be publishing a podcast in the next two weeks with Chris Wood, CEO of Trout Unlimited, on the potential removal of four dams on the lower Snake River). In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and tips from listeners, including: What flies do you like for the Green Drake hatch? What should I do in the winter months to get ready for next season? Can I land big fish on a Euro nymphing rod without worrying about the rod breaking? When is it time to tie a whole new leader onto your line? How can I catch smallmouth bass in cold water? How do I wade a body of water without spooking fish? Advice from a listener on how to find spawning white bass Tips from a listener on a good way to create a fishing journal using free web resources. How do I fish an emerger just a couple inches below the surface? Would it be geeky if I took a bunch of Frisbees or other targets to a fly shop to evaluate a new rod at varying distances? Has anyone been able to distill nine fly boxes into one to eliminate the bulk and clutter? View the full article
  9. There is nothing more magnificent than a wild steelhead on the fly but because of poor returns this season fishing for them will be limited. That's no reason, though, to park your fly rods in the garage. The PNW has some alternative species that although are not native, they are a worthy target on a fly rod: carp and smallmouth bass. And they're not going away so we might as well enjoy them. Join my guest Kelsey Rosborough [52:15] from the Orvis Outfitter Team (those knowledgeable folks who answer your technical questions when you call, e-mail, or chat about fishing products) as he tells us where to find these fun fish and how to target them. In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions and great tips from listeners, including: How can I stop crowding the heads when tying flies? Where does the saying "bright day-bright fly, dark day-dark fly" come from and is there any scientific basis to it? Why do I get left with curly ends when tying a clinch knot? My fly line always gets tangled when walking from one spot to another. How do I fix that? Should I expect spawning striped bass/white bass hybrids in inlets to a lake? Recommendations from a listener in Sweden about how to stay warm when fishing in the winter. How long is too long when playing a fish? What is the right balance between not horsing them in and getting them in quickly? How long does a typical fly last? What do other people do regarding fly-fishing journals? Does Tom keep one? Two tips from a listener on handling wires when tying flies A listener in Australia wonders why he has more success with an Elk Hair Caddis than an X-Caddis View the full article
  10. This week my guest is Charlie Robinton [52:00], one of the experts from the Orvis Outfitter team (the people who answer your technical questions when you call, chat, or e-mail). Charlie is an expert in California fishing, and he gives us a grand tour of northern California rivers and what to expect when you plan a fishing trip there. Lots of solid information form a lifelong fly fisher and California native. In the Fly Box this week, we have some great tips and questions from listeners (as well as a complaint), including: Is there a way to determine what size fly line is best on an unmarked rod at home? What is your advice on fishing stocked-only streams? Can I practice my double haul with the Practi-Caster? A listener takes me to task for saying on a previous podcast that if I were back in the 1880s and had the choice of whether or not to stock brown trout, would I do it? As well as avoiding reds during the spawning season, shouldn't we take care not to step on them throughout the winter? Any advice for fishing for carp in moving water? I forgot my leader and had to fish with just a couple pieces of tippet material, 3X and 5X. What would you have done? How does the time of day and the moon phase affect trout fishing? I am fishing large bass flies and have little back cast room. Any advice? I can't catch fish on beetle imitations. Any advice? What advice do you have for someone who is used to small streams and wants to fish big water? Why don't saltwater guides use nets? View the full article
  11. This week my guest is Orvis-endorsed guide Erica Nelson [36:12]. Erica gives us tips on how to hire a guide, how to find the right guide, how to manage expectations with a guide, how to tip a guide, and what to do if your guide trip is a disaster. In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and comments, including: Can I use the 10-foot, 3-weight Recon rod for both Euro nymphing and small-stream trout fishing? What has Tom learned lately? Has he had any "aha" moments? A listener makes the point that the overharvest of menhaden, a valuable forage fish, threatens our saltwater gamefish populations on the Atlantic Coast, and gives a great book recommendation on the topic. A listener asks if he should consider the shorter 8-weight Blackout rod for a wide variety of fishing situations. Thoughts from a listener on the value of native fish populations A suggestion from a listener on two items every fly fisher who goes off the grid should carry I had a rainbow trout nose my fly and slap the fly with its tail six times. Why did the fish do that? View the full article
  12. Everyone should experience Alaska at least once in their lifetime, and if you are a fly fisher it is a place like no other. But there are different seasons, even during their short summer, and if you have your heart set on a particular species you need to pay attention to the timing of your trip. Reed Teuscher [32:21] is one of 14 people in our Outfitter Group, full-time Orvis experts who handle your fly fishing questions when you e-mail fishing@orvis.com, call 888-709-4732, or when you use the chat on our web site. This team includes guides, past Orvis retail store fishing managers, and other experts. You're not reaching a random call center, you're connecting with experts in the field who understand fly-fishing conditions and tackle. Reed was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, earning his fly fishing stripes chasing trout on Willamette Valley rivers and their tributaries. After relocating to central Oregon, chasing steelhead on the North Umpqua and Deschutes rivers honed his passion for 2-handed rods. Having now been in the fly fishing industry for almost 2 decades, 2 ½ of those with Orvis, he’s chased fish around a good portion of the world. Besides working in and running fly shops, he’s guided in the Pacific NW, western NY, and Alaska. I n the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions from listeners, including: Is casting a 10-foot, 3-weight Euro nymphing rod with a dry fly different from other fly casting? If I am not very tall, should I consider a longer Euro nymphing rod because I can't wade as deep as some people? How do you measure leaders and tippets? When fishing a dry dropper, what is the percentage of fish caught on the dry as opposed to the dropper? Why does Orvis no longer make one-piece fly rods? What should I do when I see people keeping undersized striped bass? Are bluefish declining? Any thoughts on using tube flies? How do I figure out fly sizes when picking them out of my box? When is the best time to use a blood knot instead of a triple surgeon's? When you only catch small fish in a spot, is it because they are easier to catch or because you are just fishing a spot where there are only small fish? How can I stay off brook trout redds in the fall? When fishing a dry dropper rig in a stream with brook and brown trout, I only catch brookies on the nymph but catch both brown and brook trout on the dry. Why is that? Transcripts of Tom's shows are available 1-2 weeks after a show has been posted You can find them at howtoflifish.orvis.com. View the full article
  13. This week my guest is Steve Ramirez [41:24], author of the book Casting Forward and the upcoming book Casting Onward. Steve is an articulate and passionate writer, and in the podcast we talk about the philosophical and personal aspects of fishing for native species, in his beloved Texas Hill Country and beyond. In the Fly Box, we have some terrific questions this week, including: Can I use my 7'11" 8-weight rod with a 5/6 reel and a 7-weight line? I can hook fish on streamers using a floating line, but when I fish a sinking line I get lots of strikes but no hookup. What am I doing wrong? An angler tells a tale of woe after getting scammed trying to buy a fly rod from an online swap forum. I keep hearing about people catching 20 and 30 fish in an outing. Why can't I do that? You said you throw out all your old nylon tippet after a year. Do I need to do that with heavier mono and old unused leaders as well? I need a heavier rod than my 5-weight for redfish, pike, bass, and carp. Is a 9-foot, 8-weight Recon the right rod? I have trouble casting a 12-weight and need help with my strength. What can I do to make longer casts with this rod? Why is Euro nymphing more effective than fishing the standard way with an indicator and split shot? Is it because you spook fewer fish? Why do people say fly fishing is not like it used to be? I use an 8 1/2 foot 4-weight for brook trout but want to try a lighter rod like a 2-weight or 3-weight. What are the advantages and disadvantages of going to a lighter rod? Where on a trout are the taste organs? View the full article
  14. My guest this week is Peter Jenkins [33:40], longtime striper angler and owner of the Saltwater Edge Fly Shop, outside of newport, Rhode Island. Peter talks about the seven different seasons of striper fishing on the coast, and also about the plight of the striper populations in the Atlantic. It's still an awesome and productive fishery, however we know it could be even better with proper conservation measures. In the Fly Box this week, we have some thought-provoking questions and comments, including: A comment on the lack of small fly shops these days and the bewildering variety of equipment Do I want a Spey rod for shoreline fishing and smaller steelhead rivers? Do you think that trying different fly sizes is something that applies universally Should tiers have more than one fly-tying vise? Since most people fish nymphs these days and they catch more fish than other methods, should we be limiting the number of fish we catch and release> Is there ever a time when you should go a size or two larger on a fly? What feathers should I save from grouse, pheasants, and wild turkey? I lost two large rainbows because I had trouble handling my slack line. What can I do to prevent this? View the full article
  15. Leigh H. Perkins, or LHP as he was known, was the driving force behind Orvis from 1965 into the 1990s and was a legendary marketing and outdoorsman. He passed away this summer and I wanted to interview some of his favorite guides and fishing buddies to give people a sense of what he was really like in the field [47:52]. He was fearless, always cheerful, and never had a bad day of fishing no matter what the conditions--a lesson for all of us. I hope you'll enjoy LHP stories from John Kowalski, Lori-Ann Murphy, and Rick Ruoff. In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions, including: Which kind of poly leader should I get? How do I keep my hands warm when fly-fishing in the winter? A new fly fisher shares stories of rudeness and kindness on the water I have been fishing a variety of fly patterns on a North Georgia stream, all in size 14, and can't catch any fish. What am I doing wrong? If I am catching whitefish and suckers, am I fishing in the right place? How do I sort out the trout from the whitefish and suckers? Why are the trout that used to eat my black Woolly Bugger still striking at it but not connecting? Can I fish tenkara-style with a standard fly rod? Does Tom have any questions for the listeners? Are species-specific fly lines any good or is it just marketing? I have some hooks that are marked as 2X long with a 2X extended gap. Aren't these just hooks that are one size larger? View the full article
  16. My guest this week is Daniel Ritz [1:00:58], who recently completed the Master Caster level of the Western Native Trout Challenge. We talk about how he did it, what flies worked, and had a lot of discussion about what actually counts as a subspecies of trout. If you want to view his entire journey, it can be found at www.tu.org/magazine/author/daniel-ritz/ In the Fly Box this week, which was unusually long (either I talked too much or chose too many questions), we have these questions and tips: Why does my line get twisted when I try to shoot line? How do I know if the fly pattern I developed is really something new? What would you recommend for a wing material on bonefish flies? A question on exactly what hook shank measurements like 1X and 2X long mean, and what are they compared to? Does a 10-foot 5 weight Recon have a softer tip or a heftier butt section as compared to shorter rods? Is a 7-weight rod too light for pike fishing? How do fall leaves in the water affect fishing and what should I do? How do I get a non-weighted streamer deeper in the water column? My old floating fly line has a tip that is sinking. Is there any way of fixing this? Do brookies really drop down lower downstream in the fall after spawning? I fish a small high-altitude stream and only catch small trout. Do you think there could be larger trout there? What is a good step up from a cheapo fly-tying vise? How do you gauge your speed on how fast to move in a small stream? How do I catch the large trout in a small, clear stream with slow current? Is it ever appropriate not to tip a guide? A transcript of this podcast will be available in approximately three weeks at howtoflyfish.orvis.com. View the full article
  17. In this week's podcast, my guest is David Brooks [43:45], executive director of Montana Trout Unlimited. With prevailing drought conditions in the western United Sates and increased demand from many users, from agriculture to municipalities to recreational angling, how can we balance the use of water? David explains the difference between the riparian doctrine used mostly in the eastern United Sates, and the prior appropriation doctrine used in western states, and explains how users have come together to apportion water for human use and for keeping enough water in rivers to support healthy trout populations. It's not easy and often contentious but it's a fascinating issue and there is hope that with wise use of water by all stakeholders we can support ranchers, farmers, cities, and healthy trout populations. In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions and tips, including: A note from The Mayfly Project on cities where they're looking for volunteers to help mentor foster kids in fly fishing When I catch a fish and it jumps all over the pool, does that spook other fish? What is the best way to kill and prepare a trout for eating? How much distance do you gain from the double haul? What are the reasons for strip setting in salt water and not for trout? A tip on keeping your fly line from falling back inside the guides when making shorts casts on small streams A heartwarming thank-you note to Nick Lyons How can I keep my flies in the strike zone longer in fast-moving saltwater current? What is the best way to light a fly while it's in the vise? Why did people in a fly shop tell me that Euro nymphing is cheating? What is an appropriate amount to tip a guide, and is it the same from multiple days as it is for a single day? When the kokanee start running up into my trout stream the trout stop biting. Why? Which way would you lean for a dry-fly specific rod? My guide puts his thumb in the mouth of smallmouth bass to revive them. Is this effective and would it be valid for other species? View the full article
  18. [This episode was originally posted in April of 2018] This week I have a chat with Amelia Jensen, perhaps the best trout-spotter I have ever seen. I have always thought I was pretty god at seeing trout in the water, but Amelia can see fish I would never have spotted. Learn some of her secrets in this week’s podcast—you’ll be surprised at how often you can spot trout if you know what you’re looking for, even in fast, deep, or slightly off-colored water. In the Fly Box this week we have the following tips and questions: · A tip from a listener on how to carry long pre-rigged fly assemblies · A question about what fly to fish along with a streamer when swinging for spring trout · A question on tips for spotting bonefish · How should I fish the tails of pools? · A listener tip on how to keep your hands warm when fishing · Flashy vs. non-flashy nymphs and where to put them in your nymph rig · A question about why fish get picky after catching a bunch of them from the same run · Why do trout take dry flies when I don’t see any rising? · Tips for avoiding spawning rainbow redds View the full article
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
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