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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

This week I interview Simon Perkins, youngest member of the Perkins family (the owners of Orvis) on our staff.  Simon is in charge of our travel, schools, hunting, and guide programs and was a guide himself in the past.  This week he gives valuable advice on picking the right guide or lodge—a big investment in time and money, and a decision you should not take lightly.  Also this week, in the Fly Box, we discuss the value of head cement, tippet rings, cleaning saltwater gear, and why you might want a Spey rod for winter steelhead.

Direct download: Simon_Says__A_Guide_to_Guides.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:08am EDT

This week I interview Dave Perkins, one of the members of the family that owns Orvis and Executive Vice Chairman of Orvis.  Dave is one of the most well-traveled and experienced fly fishers I know, but he still enjoys fishing close to home as well.  In this case he is sharing his tips on catching Eastern, lake-run steelhead from smaller Great Lakes tributaries.  Dave has been doing this for many years so his tips are solid and helpful.

In the fly box, we talk about the ethics of fishing for spawning fish, how many turns to take on a clinch knot, tips on making dubbed bodies, Mysis shrimp, and use of sinking lines for nymph fishing.

Direct download: Steelhead_Tips_with_Dave_Perkins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:43pm EDT

In addition to your questions in the Fly Box, Tom is joined in the studio by Orvis News Editor, Phil Monahan. Tom and Phil discuss what makes a great fly-fishing video, touching on subjects such as the ideal length, the proper use of a GoPro, and considering the amount of profanity in your soundtrack.

Phil also introduces the new Orvis fly-fishing video theater, The Tug, which has been completely redesigned and updated, with over three hundred of the best videos online. Check it out at

Direct download: The_Secrets_to_a_Good_Fly-Fishing_Video.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:51pm EDT

In this episode, Orvis Vice-Chairman, Dave Perkins and I interview Whit Fosburgh about the impacts on our saltwater fisheries by recreational and commercial fishing and what the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is doing to help protect them. 


I had a lot of interesting emails this week and a couple of phone calls, so there is a bit of an extended Fly Box  section to answer all of your great questions.

Direct download: The_Most_Important_Saltwater_Podcast_Weve_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:16pm EDT

This week I interview Shawn Brillon, the King of Swing here at Orvis.  He’s a master at strategizing on swinging flies for both Atlantic salmon and steelhead, and his strategy works for trout streamers and wets as well.  It should serve to get you jazzed up for steelhead season—I know it did for me.  In the Fly Box, we talk about landlocked Atlantic salmon, best all-around line for a switch rod, a basic saltwater outfit and flies for almost anywhere in the world, plus I get pressed to pick which three fly rods I would pick if I could only have three for all of my fishing. 

Direct download: The_King_of_Swing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:22pm EDT

Did you know you can catch halibut on a fly rod in the Bay Area?  How about striped bass, surf perch, sand sharks, tiger sharks, and jack smelt?  Nathan Cooke of Orvis Sacramento gives us a great roundup of how to find these fish and how to catch them on a fly rod.  He also has some great tips or fly fishing in the surf that will be helpful in any coastal area.  In the Fly Box, we talk about tags ends for droppers, trout with full bellies, taking fish photos when you are in the middle of a river, how to pick a fly for a One Fly event, and a philosophy for a backup fly rod on trips—as well as a podcast listener who has been having dreams of conversations with Joe Humphreys!

Direct download: West_Coast_Saltwater_Fly-Fishing_Tips.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:24pm EDT

In this week’s podcast I interview my good friend and fishing buddy Aaron Adams on tailing redfish.  As a marine scientist, director of Bonefish Tarpon Trust, and a great all-around saltwater fly fisherman he gives some great tips on finding tailing (or otherwise) redfish and how to select a fly and present it to them.  On this week’s Fly Box we concentrate more on freshwater fly fishing, and cover such topics as cracked fly lines, night fishing for trout, circle hooks for streamers, and pigtails above knots on light tippets.  Then I try, unsuccessfully, to resolve a dispute between two brothers.


Direct download: Tailing_Redfish_With_Aaron_Adams.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:14pm EDT

This week we take a break from our typical how-to podcasts (don’t worry The Fly Box is in there this week, with tips on tippet material, keeping hands warm, and a what to pay most attention to in a fly-fishing class) and look at the passions of two very interesting people.  One is Scott Hed, from the Alaska Sportsman’s Alliance, with some really good news on the Bristol Bay issue and what you can do to finally put this to rest.  The other is an interview with the guitarist from a heavy metal rock band, what he gets out of fly fishing, and how he compares it to composing music.

Don’t worry, I have several upcoming podcasts in the hopper, with hard-core tips and tricks in them.



Direct download: Bristol_Bay_Update_and_Heavy_Metal_Fly_Fishing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22am EDT


In this week’s podcast, I interview my old friend Brian O’Keefe, founder of Catch Magazine, on tips for catching warm weather steelhead.  Brian is one of the best anglers and teachers around, and I think it’s a particularly helpful interview full of good solid information.  Plus it’s always fun to have Brian on the podcast.  In the fly box, we talk about “buddy fish”, the utility of stripping baskets, a recommended rod for moving up from trout fishing, plus other short topics. 

Direct download: Tips_for_Catching_Warm_Weather_Steelhead.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:53am EDT

In this episode I interview my old friend Reynolds Wolff of the Weather Channel on the impact of weather on fishing conditions. As it usually happens on this show, we get off the main topic quite a bit. I am not sure who was interviewed more here, Reynolds or me, but we cover a lot of ground on various topics.

As usual, I answer your questions in the Fly Box.

Direct download: The_Weather_and_its_Impact_on_Fishing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:21am EDT


After a hiatus for family vacation, a trade show, a tarpon trip, and just plain sloth and procrastination, we finally have a new podcast and it’s a long one, well over an hour.  In the podcast we talk about keeping hold of big brown trout, big browns chasing hooked fish, rusty hooks, broken hooks, and dubbing problems.  Quite an eclectic mix.  The main part of the podcast is “Five Reasons for Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone” and I think you’ll be surprised at some of the benefits of trying new places and new techniques.  There is a bonus feature of Big Pete Kutzer explain Tom’s big casting mistakes on long casts with big rod—hopefully pointing out my problems will help you as well.

Direct download: Getting_Out_of_Your_Comfort_Zone.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:50pm EDT

This week, a few people take me to task for not answering questions properly (I have addressed them in this week’s podcast) and we also talk about nymph/adult size and color correlation in insects, how to carry a second rod, using poly leaders, whether keeping gear in a hot car will hurt it, and a bunch of other questions.  But the main event is a long conversation with Steve Hollensed from Texas on his secrets to largemouth bass fly fishing in big lakes.  Just to pique your interest, they are not always in deep water during the day, and fly selection is probably the least important decision you make.  So download this week’s episode and relax in an easy chair, cut the lawn, or make this week’s commute a little more tolerable.

Direct download: Largemouth_Bass_Fly_Fishing_in_Big_Lakes_with_Steve_Hollensed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:11pm EDT


This week I have a chat with Jess McGlothlin—author, blogger, photographer, conservationist, and a very accomplished fly fisher.  She’s a Montana native and had her own business in the equestrian business before she fell in love with fly fishing and decided to devote her life to writing about it.  You have probably read pieces with Jess’s byline over the past few years, but you’ll be reading more of her in the future as we hired her last winter as our outdoor copywriter—but Jess adds so much more to our team than just words on paper or on a screen as you’ll learn in the interview, where we compare Eastern to Western fly fishing.  We have the usual fly box topics like when to wear landing gloves, when to use a “hitched” fly, how to set up your fishing vest, and a philosophy for tying or buying flies by size—in other words, if someone recommends Prince nymphs in sizes 14-18, can you just get away with a size 16?  In case you don’t get to the podcast until later in the week, I’m speaking at Orvis Pittsburgh this Thursday (June 12) on Fishing Small Streams at 3 pm and Reading the Water at 6 pm.  The seminars are free and I’ll be in the sore all day if you want to stop in and give me your podcast suggestions in person.  Should be fun and I am looking forward to it.

Direct download: East_vs_West_with_Jess_McGlothlin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:23pm EDT

This week’s podcast is 8 tips on indicators—or probably more but I’m calling it 8 and sticking to it.  We’ll talk about types, depth, how to rig, weights, and a couple special tricks on how to slow down the drift of your nymphs.  In The Fly Box, we range from how to prepare for a saltwater trip to barbless hooks to sunken terrestrials to rod/reel balance.  And lots more—even without a special guest I rambled for over an hour this week so I hope I can cover at least one of your daily commutes or a lawn mowing session.

Direct download: Tom_Rosenbauers_Tips_for_Using_Indicators.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:09pm EDT


This week we have an advanced pike and musky podcast.  It’s about time for these toothy guys to prowl the shallows after spawning and they are ravenous.  But you might be surprised by the retrieve speed my expert suggests, as well as many other hot tips on catching pike, including tips on the best place in the world to catch big ones on the fly.  Colin McKeown, host and producer of The New Fly Fisher TV show (WFN and PBS) joins me this week as my expert witness.  We have a short fly box on tying streamer heads, getting your fly out of a tree, and a couple tips on how to choose between a graphite and fiberglass rod

Direct download: Fly_Fishing_for_Pike_and_Musky_with_Colin_McKeown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:56am EDT

This week I had a great talk with Henry Cowen on freshwater stripers.  Henry is a saltwater angler and fly tier of great experience who brought his talents to freshwater stripers, and he has some wonderful tips for finding these big guys, flies to use, and techniques to get them to eat your fly.  Also, we have lots of good fly box questions on saltwater fly tying, bad loops on fly lines, and other tidbits.  Also a young listener takes me to task for banning cell phone calls to the request line and I should have known better.  He says the only people he knows who have land lines are his parents.  Guess I am showing my age, so please do use your cell phones for the podcast request line—just please not from your car and from a place with good service!


Note: A listener named Trevor called in with a great question about canoes vs kayaks. Please call again Trevor as we could not locate your call when it came time to produce the show.

Direct download: Fishing_for_Freshwater_Stripers_with_Henry_Cowen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:24pm EDT


This week I don’t have much of a Fly Box, because I just have not been getting many questions from listeners.  Where are you?  I’m lonely here.  But I do have a big interview with the great Joe Humphreys, a savvy, iconoclastic fly fisher that I’ve admired for many years.  He has a unique take on nymph fishing and has never used an indicator, so you may get some new ideas on how to fish nymphs on this one.  By the way, Joe will be at Orvis Pittsburgh this Saturday and Sunday morning, so if you want to see him in action or ask some questions, get over to Orvis Pittsburgh.

Direct download: Nymphing_with_Joe_Humphreys.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:29am EDT


Warning—this week’s podcast, besides the usual Fly Box questions, contains a blatant commercial plug.  I am often asked the difference between the original Helios and Helios 2 rods, and I think we have spelled it out pretty well in our marketing, but I figured a better way was to ask some of the best anglers and testers in the industry to articulate the differences they see between the two rods.  So you’ll hear interviews with people like Brian O’Keefe, Spencer Higa, Dave and Amelia Jensen, and John Herzer—but the real treat is to hear what the amazing Hank Patterson has to say about H2 rods.  I think you will enjoy all of these, but of course for the real truth don’t miss Hank’s interview.

Direct download: H1_vs_H2_and_the_Fly_box.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:18am EDT

This is a special time of year for me as it is the start of trout season in my hometown. I treat today like a religious holiday. it seems appropriate then that I should interview my mentor, and someone who many view as a fly-fishing god, Lewis Coleman. Lewis has taught some of the best in the world his techniques and he will share some of those with us today. 


There is no fly-box section in this show as I wanted to give Lewis as much time as we could to go over his insight into spey casting, how he is pushing the limits in Tenkara and all about how he runs his lodges all around the world. We are lucky to have him on the show.

Direct download: Tom_Interviews_his_Mentor_the_Legendary_Lewis_Coleman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT


This week we have what I feel is one of our best podcasts ever—an interview with Colby Trow of Mossy Creek Fly Shop on his advanced tactics for catching smallmouth bass.  I learned a ton in this podcast and it makes me want to head south to chase some right now.  And in this extra-long podcast there are plenty of fly box questions:  Using a stomach pump on trout, how to keep your indicator from sliding, whether bright silver and gold beads are a thing of the past, how to find secondary feathers on a goose wing, and good substitutes for deer hair on a Comparadun wing.

Direct download: Smallmouth_Bass_Tips_with_Colby_Trow.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:34pm EDT


It’s still fly-tying February, with our Fly Tying photo contest going on, plus 20% fly tying materials on our web site and in our stores.  So although I do answer a question about poly leaders in lakes and one on whether to take a spinning rod when fishing with a 10-year-old, most of it is about fly tying, and should be helpful to anyone from a total novice to advanced tiers.  I know I learned a number of very cool tricks in my interview with Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions (who does our awesome weekly tying videos).  In the Fly Box, I also answer questions about hook quality, wool for fly tying, what to use for Comparadun wings, fly quality, and some theories about why we attach certain materials to a hook.  I apologize in advance—Tim and I ramble quite a bit, but with a fly tier of Tim’s caliber the ramblings are interesting and educational.

Direct download: Tom_and_Tim_Talk_Tying_Tips-_An_Interview_with_Tim_Flagler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EDT

This week is all about fly tying.  I took a whole bunch of questions that came in over the past week (thank you very much for your great questions) and we spend about an hour going over some tricky and not-so-tricky questions.  The hardest one for me was to list the essential fly tying materials every tier should have on his or her bench (and I was not allowed to use CDC, rabbit fur, or peacock herl, which made it even tougher) and it took me two days to decide on that one.  I ended up cheating and coming up with a trout list and a saltwater list.  Other questions included emergency procedures for when you break your thread, when to use wax, most under-utilized materials, substitutes in fly-tying recipes, tips for tying with deer hair, and many others.  Don’t forget that this month, fly tying materials at Orvis are 20% off, so now is the time to think about what you’ll need for next season.

Direct download: Fly_Tying_Tips_and_Hints.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:26am EDT

This week we talk to Paul Moinester, who we should all envy.  He quit a good job in DC to simplify and de-stress his life, and spent 6 months traveling the US to finds out more about fly fishing.  He drove from the Keys to Alaska, fishing along the way, and came up with some very eloquent pointers on improving your fly fishing game, based on his many experiences.  These are great tips from the perspective of a relative novice (at least he was when he started his trip!).

Direct download: Leaving_the_9-5_to_Fly_Fish__An_Interview_with_Paul_Moinester.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:26pm EDT

**This is a fixed version of "The Return of Fiberglass Rods". The originally posted version contained an editing error.** 

We’ve had a lot of requests to do a podcast on fiberglass fly rods, but I wanted to wait until the Orvis rods were in stock before I did one.  The Orvis Superfine Touch Fiberglass are now in stock and on our web site, so this week I cover the basics of fiberglass rods:  A little history, some brief technology notes, and why you might want to at least test cast a fiberglass rod to see what all the fuss is about.  They are not like the glass rods you remember from the 60s or 70s!

Direct download: The_Return_of_Fiberglass_Rods-fixed_edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:38am EDT

We’ve had a lot of requests to do a podcast on fiberglass fly rods, but I wanted to wait until the Orvis rods were in stock before I did one.  The Orvis Superfine Touch Fiberglass are now in stock and on our web site, so this week I cover the basics of fiberglass rods:  A little history, some brief technology notes, and why you might want to at least test cast a fiberglass rod to see what all the fuss is about.  They are not like the glass rods you remember from the 60s or 70s!

Direct download: The_Return_of_Fiberglass_Rods_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:06pm EDT

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