Thu, 27 February 2020
Interview starts at 41:08
New York State’s Salmon River—you either love it or hate it, and some of us love and hate it at the same time. It’s an amazing resource, with large quantities of high-quality fish that are often chrome-bright and every bit as hot as their ocean-going relatives. It’s a beautiful river. It’s got great water for swinging flies. And then there’s the tough news. A river this productive will draw crowds, and some of them are not as well-behaved as most of us would like. But you can get away from crowds on this river, and Matt Ertzinger, veteran guide with Tailwater Lodge, shares his secrets on when to fish the river, how to avoid crowds, and what flies and tackle to use. Is it worth the trip? This podcast may help you decide.
In the Fly Box this week, we have the following tips and questions:
- Should I feel dirty about using Squirmies and similar flies?
- What rod can I use for bass in Mississippi and trout in Arkansas?
- Are there scuds and sowbugs in Eastern rivers?
- What advantages do the new Recon Euro-nymphing rods offer?
- Can I put a 9-weight line on my 6-8 weight reel?
- Can I prevent my fly line from stacking to one side of the spool?
- How can I fish a tiny, brushy stream in southern California?
- How can I get my flies deeper in fast, deep water when fishing for sea-run brook trout?
- What is the best ay to fish for pike in a small stream?
- How can I put the hatch guidebook that I bought to good use?
Direct download: Secrets_of_the_Salmon_River.mp3
-- posted at: 8:48pm EST
Thu, 20 February 2020
This week we talk about Project Healing Waters and the amazing things it has done for veterans with both physical and mental issues due to their service. Over 8,000 veterans have been introduced to the healing properties of nature and fly fishing in this program, with hundreds of chapters throughout the country and thousands of volunteers. Todd Desgrosseilliers, decorated Marine veteran and a beneficiary of this program personally, is now the president of Project Healing Waters and he talks frankly about his experiences as a participant and then as an administrator. Learn about the program and how you can get involved, whether you are a veteran in need of healing or as a possible volunteer.
In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions and tips:
- What effects on fishing will the Australian wildfires have?
- If I see a lot of tiny black stoneflies in the water, does that mean I should be fishing imitations of them?
- A great additional suggestion on the benefits of a rotary fly-tying vise
- A stream near me is stocked with brook, brown, and rainbow trout but it can support wild trout. Why are there only wild rainbows in this stream?
- Can flies be made by machine?
- What stream conditions are best for a single-handed Spey cast?
- How do I tie a second streamer behind an articulated streamer?
- What should I teach my wife, who has never fly fished, before we go on a guided trip together?
- How can I practice for a tarpon trip if I only have an 8-weight rod?
- What technique would you use on the Green River in Utah?
- Is my 8 ½ foot 7 weight rod enough rod to use on the Salmon River in New York?
Direct download: Project_Healing_Waters.mp3
-- posted at: 10:26pm EST
Thu, 13 February 2020
Interview starts at 51:28
This week’s podcast is a spirited discussion with Dr. Andy Danylchuk, Professor of Fish Conservation at UMass Amherst, Science Advisor for Keep Fish Wet (www.keepemwet.org) and Research Fellow for Bonefish Tarpon Trust. My question to Andy was about the effectiveness of catch-and-release as a conservation tool, and as always when talking with a scientist it depends on your definitions. Like “What is conservation?” and predictably that varies with a person’s values and experiences. I thought it was a thought-provoking conversation and hope you do was well.
In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and tips:
- How do you put the hackle on a Stimulator?
- What’s the best way to be ready for smaller cutthroats or big bull trout at the same time?
- How can I maximize my success when fishing with my 4-year-old?
- How can I plan trip to fish the Rocky Mountains?
- Why do I keep losing fish?
- Where do natural fly tying materials come from?
- What is the best way to cast big streamers or nymph rigs?
- What rod do you recommend for fishing Chesapeake Bay?
- A tip for a great, inexpensive seine for trout streams
- Where do you draw the line between ethical and unethical use of electronics when fishing?
- What do you think of ultra-light fly fishing?
- Should I get a saddle or cape for tying flies?
- Do you recommend upgrading to a premium fly-tying vise?
- Can you explain the difference between tailwaters, headwaters, and freestone rivers?
Thu, 6 February 2020
Interview segment begins at 43:02
I get regular and frequent questions on the differences between nylon and fluorocarbon tippet—when and where to use them, appropriate knots, special properties, and shelf life. I used to be involved in the development process of tippet and have visit many places where tippet is made. But that was years ago and a lot of progress has been made since my time in product development. So I invited Josh Jenkins, R&D manager at Scientific Anglers, to talk about recent innovations in tippet material. Josh is intimately involved in the development and testing of tippet for both Orvis and Scientific Anglers, and his knowledge is far greater that mine. I think you’ll learn some surprising tips on both tippet material construction and knots because I learned a lot in speaking with Josh.
The Fly Box this week is a little different. This one was recorded live at The Fly Fishing Show in Edison New Jersey. Rather than telling you what kinds of questions were asked (none of which were prompted or ones I had heard beforehand) I’ll let you discover these on your own. You never know what might happen in New Jersey…
Thu, 23 January 2020
Being a camera gear geek, I was delighted to interview Chris Niccolls (interview starts at 47:16) of DP Review TV. (If you are also a camera geek, you probably read DP Review regularly.) Chis is a photography teacher as well as a video star, has worked in camera shops, and currently works in a fly shop in Calgary. In the interview, he gives some fantastic tips on how to take better fish and fishing pictures in both the video and still formats. He also suggests some brands and models of phones, cameras, and drones that he feels are best suited for fishing photography. I know I learned a whole mess of new tricks for taking better fishing pictures, and I am sure you will, too.
In the Fly Box, we cover plenty of topics that may help answer questions you have had about fly fishing:
- Should I get a 6½-foot or 7½-foot rod for small streams? What weight line is best, and should I get a Double Taper or Weight Forward line?
- Do you carry a small seine with you when trout fishing?
- How many wind knots should I expect in a day of fishing?
- I fish for salmon and stripers. Should I get a full-sinking or sinking-tip line in addition to my floating line?
- How do you travel with fly rods? Do you carry them on or check them?
- Would a 12-foot, 6-inch two-handed rod be OK for both stripers and smallmouths?
- What do you think offly clips?
- Should I use nylon or Fluorocarbon tippets for dries and nymphs?
- I have lost my passion for fly fishing. Does this ever happen to you?
- A suggestion from a listener on targeting white bass in Texas on their spawning runs
- If I only had one type of line for stripers, bass, and pike because of expense, what line should I buy?
- Do you have any suggestions for catching stocked trout when the spin guys are catching tons of them using corn as bait?
- Is there a big difference between the Battenkill IV Spey and Battenkill IV disc?
- Is there an advantage to using a rotary vise?
- How long does it take trout eggs to hatch?
Sat, 18 January 2020
I get frequent requests for suggestions on what fly-fishing literature to read during these long winter nights when you want to enjoy fly fishing but don’t want to snuggle up to something lighter. I invited David Van Wie (interview starts at 45:10), author of the recently published book Storied Waters—subtitled “35 Fabled Fly Fishing Destinations and the Writers and Artists Who Made The Famous”—to share with me his favorite writers and books. It is pretty much an eastern-oriented tour of these books, but don’t worry. I have an idea for someone to do a similar podcast on western North America writers on a future podcast so stay tuned.
In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and suggestions from listeners—and one who slapped my hands:
- A listener who took me to task for encouraging another listener to try to introduce mayflies from one watershed into another. Shame on me. I didn’t think about also transferring other unwanted critters and I should have known better
- Can I use the same nymphs under an indicator that I use when Euro nymphing and vice versa?
- A suggestion from a listener about the great classes available at Orvis stores
- What are the pros and cons of indicator vs. non-indicator nymphing?
- What is your opinion on click-and-pawl fly reels?
- Does anyone rent waders? I don’t want to pack them into my luggage.
- What gear do you carry when saltwater fly fishing that you would not carry on a trout stream?
- Can I attach droppers to a tippet ring?
- Why can’t I catch stocked trout when conventional anglers are yanking them in on Power Bait?
- I had a trout take my plastic strike indicator. Does this ever happen to you?
- Does perfection matter when tying flies? I have trouble tying a size 20 Purple Prince.
- Do midges migrate to Indiana during the winter?
- Why can’t I catch stocked trout on surface flies?
Direct download: Storied_Waters_with_author_David_Van_Wie.mp3
-- posted at: 6:53am EST
Thu, 9 January 2020
Tired of crowded trout streams? Looking for a new fish to catch on a fly rod that will give you a tussle and challenge your skills? Look no further than the white bass, which is a common fish in many parts of the US, from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi drainage and has even been introduced into some western lakes. My friend Jim Weatherwax is a white bass fanatic (he also fishes for wipers in the same waters, which are a freshwater sterile hybrid of a white bass and a striped bass) and offers solid advice on where to find these great fish, what tackle to use, and best techniques to catch them. Warmwater fish like this are great ways to spread out the fishing pressure that we all experience from time to time.
We have a long fly box this week, with lots of interesting questions and tips from listeners, including:
- What does it mean when a fly rod is rated for more than one line size, like 5/6?
- Should I use a full fluorocarbon leader when fishing with indicators?
- A suggestion on looking for blue cheeks and clean halos when trying to tell if a brown trout is wild.
- What is the difference between the new Recon 2 and the Helios 3 rods?
- Should I buy a wading shoe one size larger than my shoe size when buying wading bots online?
- What do you think of using 2X short hooks for small nymphs?
- I am not able to catch fish on streamers during the winter in a tailwater. What am I doing wrong?
- Are fluorescent hot spots on nymphs effective?
- Is it ethical to trim small tree branches in trout streams?
- Why do trout only take big attractor dry flies right after they land on the water?
- Are UV resins really effective?
- Why am I losing so many trout when fishing small nymphs? Am I setting the hook wrong?
- Do you have some suggestions for catching American shad?
- Is it worth it to tie your own leaders? And if I do, how can I attach them to my fly line without a loop-to-loop connection?
- Why do small brown trout attack huge streamers?
- Should I get a Helios 3 D or F version for fishing UK chalk streams?
- A suggestion for wearing nitrile gloves for winter fishing.
Direct download: Chasing_White_Bass_with_Jim_Weatherwax.mp3
-- posted at: 9:17pm EST