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The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast

Produced by The Orvis Company and hosted by Tom Rosenbauer, author of The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide, this podcast will provide you with tips on how to get the most of your time on the water. Read more about Orvis at

My apologies for the lack of recent podcasts—Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a week of vacation made it necessary for me to concentrate on my day job as marketing director over the past few weeks.  But this week we have a nice long podcast, including some detailed fly box topics on everything from choosing a fly reel to fishing droppers to using beads for steelhead.  In the main part of the podcast is an interview I did with Dr. Aaron Adams of Bonefish Tarpon Trust on how to find saltwater fish on your own by knowing their habitat preference.

Direct download: Its_the_Habitat_Stupid-_Secrets_to_Finding_Fish_in_the_Flats.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:06pm EST

This is a "Best of Tom" Episode from the Archives.

In this week's podcast I announce the winner of the Podcast Suggestion Contest, who won a signed copy of my latest book Essential American Flies. The topic is sure to be a crowd-pleaser to most of you--targeting bigger trout. In the podcast I give you 10 suggestions for targeting the biggest trout in a pool or in a stretch of river. There were lots of great suggestions in the podcast contest, and I used a couple for the short Fly Box section at the beginning of the podcast: How to cure the fall blues after a tough fishing season, and how to pack for a business trip where you might grab a few hours fishing. Plus a terrific tip on rigging dry droppers on our podcast request line from a listener in Georgia.

Direct download: Best_of_Tom-Ten_Tips_for_Targeting_Large_Trout_4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:04pm EST

It's getting cold out there. Get the most of your time on the water this winter it with this popular episode from the archives.

Direct download: Best_of_Tom_-Top_Ten_Tips_on_Winter_Fly_Fishing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:24pm EST

This week I interview our rod and reel designer, Shawn Combs, whose nickname around the office is Didymo (you have to listen to the podcast to find out why).  Shawn is a streamer fanatic, and the best at streamer fishing for trout of anyone on our staff, so I asked him to tell all his secrets of fishing for late fall and winter trout with streamers.  It’s an educational podcast for sure, but it’s also a fun one.

Direct download: Secrets_of_Winter_Fly_Fishing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:18pm EST

In our continuing steelhead series, we’ve moved a little further east and this week we cover the streams of New York and Pennsylvania.  We don’t give specific recommendations on rivers, but Shawn Brillon, our resident Great Lakes steelhead, Spey casting, and fly tying expert, shares his knowledge on how to time your steelhead trips on Great Lakes tribs, tackle to use, when and how to swing flies, and how to fish egg flies and nymphs.  It’s a long podcast with a substantial Fly Box section at the beginning, so sit back and relax and daydream about steelhead.

Direct download: Catching_Eastern_Steelhead.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:21pm EST

This week we continue our coverage of steelhead with a podcast interview with Steve Kuieck on the basics of Great Lakes steelheading.  Steve concentrates on the techniques used on his home waters in Michigan, but the advice he gives is valid for steelheaders in all the Great Lakes tributaries, as well as steelheading on the West Coast.  And of course we cover the gamut with quick tips for listeners who have asked questions via e-mail and our podcast request telephone line—802-362-8800.

Direct download: East_Coast_Steelhead.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:45am EST

This week we have a long podcast, well over an hour, because Damien Nurre of Deep Canyon Outfitters and I got all wound up about steelhead.  We could have gone on for hours about tackle, reading water, fly selection, how to hook them, and how to time your trip properly.  Damien gives some expert tips on how to catch steelhead and reminds us that it’s mostly a matter of luck and persistence.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t stack the deck in our odds.  Damien is an articulate and thoughtful angler and teacher with lots of solid tips, so if you fly fish for steelhead or if you’ve ever wanted to, here’s your chance to get some world-class information.

Direct download: West_Coast_Steelhead.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:41pm EST

This week’s podcast is timely—it’s on one of my very favorite fly-rod fish, the false albacore or little tunny (also known as albies, bonita, fat alberts, and boneheads).  They are gorgeous, much faster than bonefish, and available from northern Cape Cod to Florida and throughout the Gulf Coast.  Fall is the best time to fish for them close to shore, although in their southern range they can be caught on a fly year-round (you just might need a longer boat ride).  There is no other fish I know if that causes such havoc with tackle and produces such idiotic and crazed behavior among anglers (and I include myself in that category).  

One thing I neglected to mention in my podcast is the excellent book by Tom Gilmore titled False Albacore.  It’s the only book written on the subject and a terrific resource.  Get out there and sample a bit of this insanity yourself—you will never be the same.

Direct download: FalseAlbacore.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:44pm EST

Unless you live in one of the rare parts opf North America that isn't in drought conditions this summer, or you've been lucky enough to be fishing tailwater waters with an abundance of cool water, you're probably faced with very tricky conditions. Trout fishing is not impossible this time of year, but you have to adjust your tactics to lower flows, clear water and paranoid trout.

We have LOTS of questions in the fly box this week which makes for a pretty long show. 

Direct download: Toms_10_Tips_for_Low_Water.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:13am EST

This week, I decided to answer 10 listener questions, sort of an enlarged fly box section.  As a special bonus, I have three great suggestions from other listeners that I know you’ll benefit from.  I won’t spoil all the surprises, but we talk about fly lines sinking, leaders twisting, fish getting away, fish getting hooked in the belly by mistake, and fish refusing flies.  I won’t even come close to answering all these questions but I can at least give you some ideas to think about.

Direct download: Ten_Listener_Questions_and_Some_Great_Suggestions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:16pm EST

This week, after a special introduction from my son who visited the studio this week,  two self-described carp addicts talk all about carp fishing, from finding them to presentation tactics to tackle and flies.  I interview my co-worker Tim Daughton, who is by far the most experienced carp fly fisherman on our staff--to put it more precisely he's obsessed with carp fishing and will pass up trout fishing most times to chase carp.  We've had lots of requests to do more podcasts on these very challenging fish, available to most people in urban and rural locations throughout the world.  In the fly box, we ramble from how much to spend for a fly rod to when to replace a fly line to fishing in foul weather to a few steelhead tips.  And a couple more.

Direct download: Carpocalypse_Interview_with_Carp_expert_Tim_Daughton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:02pm EST

This week we're publishing an interview I did with Daniel Galhardo, founder and CEO of Tenkara USA, on guess what?  Daniel was here to sample some of our Vermont small stream fishing, which he loved, and we had a ball fishing together.  He explains Tenkara, whether he considers it fly fishing, and the basics of how to use a Tekkara outfit.  In the fly box, we talk about dealing with fishing gear in hot weather, dries vs. emergers, and setting the hook on downstream fish.

Direct download: Tenkara_An_Interview_with_Daniel_Galhardo_of_Tenakara_USA.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:01am EST

On this week's podcast, after a week on Cape Cod I'm prepared to tackle the subjetc of fly vs. spin, something I was reluctant to discuss before because I just have not used a spin rod much since I was a teenager.  But we'll talk about the relative advantages of both methods of fishing, and when a diehard fly fisher might want a spin rod handy.  In the short Fly Box topics this week, we further our discussion on releasing fish unharmed, where to position your rod when playing a fish, DT vs. WF lines, getting the fly line wrapped around the reel seat, and a few other goodies.

Direct download: Fly_vs_Spin-_Pros_and_Cons.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:48pm EST

This week we explore a topic that has not been requested by a listener but is something that struck me over the past few weeks of fishing over some difficult trout. It's the concept of keeping your fly line away from fish, and it's an important issue in nearly every kind of shallow water fishing--from bonefish and tarpon and striped bass to trout and carp. I include 10 tips to help you keep from "lining" fish

Direct download: 10_tips_To_Keep_You_from_Lining_Fish.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:03pm EST

This week we're exploring the wide open world of warm water fly fishing, and not just for bass.  We talk about landlocked stripers and gar and bowfin and northern redhorse--and especially shad and carp.  Basically, it's about finding the fish and experimenting with retrieves--tackle and flies are the least of your worries.  Most of us have some sort of warm water close to home, so it's like that old Stephen Stills song, "if you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with". 

In the fly box, we answer phone calls about how to measure the length of a fly cast, how long lines, leaders and backing last, keeping fish for the table and when to fly and when to spin.

Direct download: Ten_Tips_on_Warm_Water_Fly_Fishing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:19pm EST

A  great show this week!

I had the chance to sit down and talk with Simon Perkins, the newest addition here at Orvis Rod & Tackle about the Fly Fishing Film Tour as well as his own short film, Sipping Dries. We ran the trailer in the podcast feed a few weeks ago. As the main event, I interview my friend Dave Brown of Dave Brown Outfitters on fishing taiwaters, as it seems you guys can't get enough of this topic! In addition, I take a few questions from the podcast listener line.

We moved the podcast studio, again. As a result we have had some tech issues with the sound which kept us "off the air" last week. I think it's all worked out. Thanks for sticking with us!

This week, in preparation for the best months of saltwater fishing from Maine to Florida (May and June) we explore the idea of moving from freshwater to salt.  Trout anglers are seldom prepared for the transition to saltwater fly fishing--although the equipment requirements are easy enough to understand and you only need a few extra knots, it's mainly the casting and the expectations that throw trout anglers a curve ball.  There are 15 tips for making this transition easy and fun.  Also in the Fly Box this week, we answer questions about the Surgeon's vs. Clinch knots, knots for attaching wire bite tippets, polarized sunglass colors, hook styles on nymphs, trout stream ettiquette, and how to balance a reel with a rod (or not).

Direct download: Fifteen__tips_for_Switching_from_Fresh_to_Salt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:12am EST

In this week's podcast I interview Captain Jim Barr from Rhode Island and we talk about the effects of barometric pressure changes and moon phases on fly fishing, both in Jim's arena of striped bass fishing and also on various freshwater species.  If you're looking for easy answers you'll be disappointed, but I think you'll enjoy hearing us talk about the empirical observations we've made over the years.  In the Fly Box section this week we discuss methods of weighting flies with non-toxic materials, why you catch bigger fish on worms than you do on flies, and an explanation of the term "turning over" a fly and what you can do to make sure your fly turns over.

Direct download: The_Effect_of_the_Moon_and_Barometric_Pressure_on_Fishing_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:20am EST

Well, be careful what you wish for.  Last week I whined that we weren't getting enough response from you on Fly Box questions, so in the past week we've been inundated!  I thought I would try to answer the best 20 questions we got over the past week, both e-mails and phone calles.  We received suggestions from Sweden and Los Ageles and Connecticut and South Dakota and everything in between last week.  In our 20 questions podcast we'll explore overlining a fly rod, fishing giant warmwater rivers, how to store a leader between fishing trips, fishing without indicators, and whether to play a fish from the reel or by stripping--and lots of other goodies!

Direct download: 20_Questions_with_Tom_Rosenbauer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:53pm EST

Our own Simon Perkins has a film in this year's Fly Fishing Film Tour. We are going to have him on the show to discuss his film "Sipping Dry" in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out the trailer.

From the website at

There are plenty of addictions to get hooked on in the world of fly fishing.  One of the most consuming is the obsession with the dry fly, which explains why anglers travel the globe in search of epic hatches and large trout rising on the surface.  "Sipping Dry" takes you to a place many refer to as the "dry fly capital of the world"--the upper Missouri River near Craig, Montana.  The film introduces a handful of characters who have altered their lives to revolve around this fishery and attempts to convey their infatuation with sipping trout, insane hatches, and the river they consider to be the ultimate in the world of dry fly fishing.

Direct download: Sipping_Dry_by_Sharptail_Media.m4v
Category:general -- posted at: 3:32pm EST

In this week's podcast we first talk about nets and bluegills. I'm not getting many nice short, concise, specific questions for the Fly Box  section so I haven't had many to answer lately.  Please send your nagging questions to or call me at 802-362-8800 and leave a message letting me know what you'd like to hear about.  And in the main part of the podcast, Should I Stay or Should I Go? (what do you want to bet James will have some music to go along with that?) we talk about when to move and when to stay put, on everything from trout streamers, nymphs, and dries, to Atlantic salmon, bonefish, and steelhead.

Direct download: Should_I_Stay_or_Should_I_Go.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

This week in the Fly Box we first talk about what to expect when fishing for king salmon in Alaska, the half hitch vs. the whip finish in fly tying, and etiquette on salmon rivers. Then, in the main event, we explore the fascinating world of what some people call "junk" flies--worms, eggs, and scuds. 

These flies are fished like nymphs and are just as much a "match the hatch" situation as elegant mayfly nymphs (at least in my opinion).

Direct download: Junk_in_the_Trunk-_Eggs_Worms_and_Scuds.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:22pm EST

In this week's fly box we talk about hook styles, casting on snow, and fly-fishing jargon.  Then on to the main podcast, which is on the perenially popular subject of leaders:  When to change tippets, how to modify your leader, the differences between the various types, fluoro vs. nylon, saltwater leaders described, and much more.  It's a topic that is mystifying to many people and we hope we both intrigue and educate you this week.

Direct download: 13_Tips_on_Leaders.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:32pm EST

This week we have a great interview on redfish (and also speckled trout and snook) with Captain Dave Hunt from Florida.  In the Fly Box, we also talk about grayling, brass and tungsten beads, and about the question of whether the term 'dry fly rod" is valid today.  Plus I tip our listeners off to an exciting new development on the web--but you'll have to listen to find out!

Direct download: On_the_Hunt_for_Redfish_with_Captain_Dave_Hunt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:59pm EST

In the fly box this week, we talk about where fly tying materials come from, getting wet flies to swing deeper, fishing logs, and fishing small flies under water.  In the main topic, we discuss different kinds of trout and how to fish for them--hatchery vs. wild, and pressured trout streams vs. remote trout streams.  We've had some great suggestions for podcast topics lately so keep them coming

Direct download: Trout-_Hatchery_vs_Wild_Pressured_vs_Remote_Waters.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm EST

This week I have a special guest, Brian O'Keefe, who owns the fantastic electronic magazine called Catch Magazine, along with his business partner Todd Moen.  Brian has been in the fly fishing business as long as I have, and he's one of the best fly-fishing photographers out there.  He's traveled all over the world to photograph some of the most exotic fly fishing locations, as well as plenty of cool places closer to home.  We ramble a bit about the old days, but the podcast is mainly about tips for the novice fly-fishing photographer.  This podcast is longer than usual so I left out the usual Fly Box section, which will return next week.  Lots of good questions these days so I have a good list of topics to cover!

Direct download: Taking_Great_Fishing_Pictures_with_Catch_Magazine_Editor_Brian_Okeefe.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:56am EST

The main part of the podcast this week is 10 Tips on Fishing Caddis hatches, some tips I’ve learned over the years for successfully (sometimes!) fishing caddis hatches.  Caddisflies are one of the most abundant aquatic insects in trout streams, and the fishing can range from incredibly easy to downright frustrating.  But trout almost always love to eat them so we need to pay attention.  Also in this podcast we talk about bedraggled flies, tailwater insects, and one of my favorite subjects, using roadkills for fly tying.

Direct download: Ten_Tips_on_Fishing_Caddisflies.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:27pm EST

This week I discuss a frequently requested podcast this time of year--how to set up your fly-tying area.  I talk about what you need to get started and what tools and threads you should begin with.  I also discuss storage and lighting and magnification and about how to stay organized.  In the Fly Box section we have another tip for essential safety items in a fishing vest or pack, and the difference between Blue-Winged Olives and PMDs and Pale Evening Duns.

Direct download: 15_Tips_for_Setting_up_the_Ultimate_Fly_Tying_Bench.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:07pm EST

We posted an episode a few weeks ago on how to best stock your dry-fly box. We had a number of requests for one on nymphing. Let us know what you think of this list!

Direct download: Stocking_a_Deadly_Nymph_Box.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:23pm EST

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