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The Orvis Fly-Fishing 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, 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.

Direct download: Ten_Ways_to_Be_a_Better_Fly_Fisher.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:06pm EDT

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?

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

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?

Direct download: Emergers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:05pm EDT

This week, my best is Dr. Guy Fleischer [35:30], science advisor for the Wild Steelhead Coalition ( 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?

Direct download: The_Resiliency_of_Steelhead.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:26pm EDT

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

Direct download: PNW_Alternative_Species.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:02pm EDT

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?

Direct download: California_Trout_Fishing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:52pm EDT

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?

Direct download: how_to_find_a_guide.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:45pm EDT

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, 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

Direct download: Your_dream_trip_to_Alaska.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:02am EDT

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?

Direct download: Stteve_Ramirez.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:22pm EDT

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?

Direct download: Seven_Seasons_of_Streamer_Fishing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:14pm EDT

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?

Direct download: sportsmans_life.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:44am EDT

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

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

Direct download: Western_Native_Trout.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:32pm EDT

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?

Direct download: David_Brooks_on_Saving_Water_for_Trout.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:17pm EDT

[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

Direct download: The_Art_of_Spotting_Trout_with_Amelia_Jensen_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:48pm EDT

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?

Direct download: Ultimate_Wet_Fly_Podcast_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:57pm EDT

This week my guest is Sascha Clark Danylchuk [1:05:54], executive director of 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?

Direct download: Species_specific_release_techniques.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:29am EDT

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.

Direct download: Shad_and_Pickerel_on_the_Fly_with_John_McPhee.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:38pm EDT

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?

Direct download: Amelia_Jensen_on_Better_Fish_Handling_for_Great_Photos.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:58pm EDT

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?

Direct download: Smallmouths_with_Colby_Trow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:49am EDT

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?

Direct download: The_Optimist_with_Dave_Coggins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:06pm EDT

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?

Direct download: Save_the_trout_Fish_for_Carp.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:03pm EDT

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?

Direct download: Are_Montanas_Trout_in_Trouble_With_Pat_Byorth.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:37am EDT

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 partridge?
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?

Direct download: How_does_water_temperature_affect_trout_behavior.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:49am EDT

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?

Direct download: An_all_Fly-Box_Episode.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:49pm EDT

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?

Direct download: The_Tailwaters_of_Missouri_with_Carolyn_Parker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:14am EDT

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?

Direct download: Atlantic_Salmon_and_the_Miramichi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

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?

Direct download: Unraveling_the_Secrets_of_Stillwater_Fly_LInes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:18pm EDT

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?

Direct download: Best_Fly-Fishing_Spots_in_CA_with_George_Revel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:53am EDT

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.

Direct download: Orvercrowding_on_Trout_Streams.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:41am EDT

My guest this week is Josh Nugent of Out Fly Fishing Outfitters, an Orvis-endorsed outfitting service and fly shop in Calgary [@52:23]. Josh is a lifelong student of fly fishing and actually did a college-level study on the eye movements of expert fly casters. His findings will open your eyes (no pun intended) to some little tricks that will improve your casting accuracy.

In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and comments, including:
Will stocked trout move around after they are initially stocked?
How do I keep from losing my droppers when using barbless hooks?
Can you give me some tips in fishing for bass in ponds in early season?
Where do our fly-tying materials come from? Are they just repackaged products from other industries?
How do I keep my rod sections from coming apart?
A listener suggestion for books on hatches in east Tennessee from a question on a previous podcast
I want to fish for smallmouths in a river and stripers in the ocean. What fly line should I get?
What fundamentals go through your head on every single cast?
A listener (and professional fisheries manager) takes me to task for badmouthing triploid trout.
I am having trouble hooking fish in a lake when using a sinking line from my kayak. What am I doing wrong?
I have an old South Bend bamboo rod. How should I fish with it?
How do I eliminate "creep" in my cast?
How can I get Dragon Tails to hold up better?

Direct download: Seven_Deadly_Sins_of_Fly_Casting.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:46am EDT

This week, I have a special guest--the world's foremost authority on the life cycle of cicadas and the most knowledgeable person in the world on techniques for fishing this "hatch". I've had a lot of questions on this topic and I've finally found the person who can answer them [32.53].

In the Fly Box this week, we have a number of very interesting questions, including:
Do you think fish decoys will work for attracting trout?
Can you tell us about the new electric fly rod coming out of Japan?
What is your technique for making a dubbing loop using a Bimini Twist knot?
Can I use UV cure epoxy for dry flies?
I found a dead possum in the road. Can I use this for dubbing, and how should I prepare the skin?
A listener who thinks his tippet material is defective
What is the correct way to tie a loop knot?
Advice on fishing a couple rivers in Montana
A question about swinging flies on New York's Salmon River
Is what I have done tenkara fishing?
Advice to a gentleman who wants to become a permit guide
Are egg patterns and San Juan Worms considered bait fishing?

Direct download: Mastering_the_Ultimate_Hatch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

My guest this week is Cheech from Fly Fish Food [@36:00], a highly regarded tier and teacher whose videos are popular with serious fly tiers.  He's an engaging character who knows fly materials inside and out.  We talk fly material substitutions, particularly hook styles, and ramble on all sorts of things related to fly tying.  I hope you find it as fun to listen to as I did to record it.
In the Fly Box this week we have these questions and comments:
  • What do I use for leader formulas?
  • I am used to graphite; what should I expect from a short, delicate glass rod?
  • Can I vary from the 60:20:20 formula if I tie my own leaders?
  • A discussion of brook trout habitat and survival
  • I broke four inches off my old Trident TLS rod.  It's no longer under the 25-year guarantee as my dad bought it in a pawn shop.  Is there any way I can still use it?
  • What is a simple buggy nymph I can tie up, as a novice fly tier?
  • Why is my casting more accurate with my short fiberglass rod than with my longer, heavier graphite rods?
  • Do all fish behave the same?
  • Can you recommend a good hatch guide for Tennessee?


Direct download: Fly_Material_Subsititutions_with_Cheech_Pierce_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:26am EDT

This week my guest is Havard Stubo [@40:23] of Jazz and Fly Fishing. If you have not enjoyed one of their videos, it's a group of jazz musicians who also love fly fishing and decided to make some videos of their exploits. We think their films are quite entertaining and I think you'll appreciate their dry humor as a welcome respite from what you typically see in fly fishing films. Havard talks about fly fishing in Scandanavia, the relationship between jazz music and fly fishing (and tying) and other offbeat topics.

In the Fly Box this week, it seems like we have a spate of basic equipment questions, so unless you need some advice on rod, reel, and line selection you may want to skip right to the interview. Some of the questions include:
I am interested in a lighter fiberglass rod but I have noticed some manufacturers recommend two lines sizes, like a 3 or 4. Which one should I pick?
I want to fish a Depth Charge line down to 20 feet with my 8-weight. Should I get a 250 grain or 300 grain line?
If I want to fish 5 to 6 feet under the surface, should I get a sink-tip or intermediate sinking line?
Any advice on hook sets and fighting fish for rookie anglers?
What is the maximum size fly I can use on my Clearwater 9-foot 5-weight rod?
In nymph fishing, should I be watching the line or waiting to feel the strike?
What would be a good rod for backpacking into lakes?
Which sink rate should I choose when I buy a poly leader?
How do I tell if an old fly line that was given to me is still usable?
Should I get a 5-weight Clearwater or a 6-weight Clearwater for fishing small streams and small bass ponds in Pennsylvania?
Why don't I see fiberglass rods heavier than an 8-weight?
What are your thoughts about fishing for bass when they are spawning?
What do I think of pink flies? And how important is color anyway?
What do you do when a fish takes you down to your last couple turns of backing?

Direct download: Northern_Norways_Jazz__Fly_FIshing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:44pm EDT

Ever wanted to take a fishing trip to Montana (who doesn't)? For a first trip to the Rockies, generally I suggest people center in the greater Yellowstone area because of the vast amount of public land and great trout streams in that area, which includes portions of Wyoming and Idaho as well as Montana. This week I have enlisted a real expert on that area (not a tourist like me). Joe Moore [@48:55] is a longtime guide and owner of Big Sky Anglers located right in the middle of downtown West Yellowstone. Joe gives us some great tips on timing, tackle, and suggested rivers. Essential knowledge for your post-Covid road trip.

Lots of great questions in the Fly Box this week, including:
How much backing should I put on my 6-weight reel? Is there such a thing as too much backing?
How do I get my significant other into fly fishing?
How can I fish for freshwater stripers in deep, murky water?
Can I use barbless hooks for bass, pike, and musky?
What is the best method for taking water temperatures?
How important is it that nymphs drift in the upright position?
I am taking a high mountain backpacking trip and only want to take one rod. Should I take my 3-weight or my 5-weight?
What is that little spring behind the jaws of my vise?
Do "triggers" on fly patterns work?
Do weed guard interfere with solid takes?
Do jig hooks really hang up less often that standard weighted patterns?
How can I repair a fly line with a cut in it?
Do you know anyone who has switched from casting right-handed to casting left-handed?
Why are triploid trout stocked?
Can I use a sinking poly leader for striped bass fishing?

Direct download: Planning_a_Big_Trip_to_Big_Sky_Country_with_Joe_Moore_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:41pm EDT

This week my guest is Henry Cowen [@49:05], author of the new book Fly-Fishing for Freshwater Striped Bass, which is really a complete guide to chasing these great gamefish. They get huge, they often feed in shallow water, and are just about the perfect fish to chase with a fly rod. You'll learn their seasons, how to present your fly, and what tackle and flies you'll need to chase them.

In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions from listeners, including:
How do newer Orvis rods compare to older ones like the All-Rounder?
Any tips for casting from a kayak?
How do the Orvis Hydros and Pro lines compare? Their tapers look very different
What do you think of Bob Wyatt's philosophy on trout in the book What Trout Want?
What direction should I cast when fishing streams?
Can all bead head patterns be tied with tungsten beads?
Why are my head cements too thick?
When looking for a new river to fish, what structure should I look for?
A tip from a listener that sometimes beaver activity seems to attract trout.
Does it matter which direction I twist my dubbing?
How will the 17-year cicada affect fishing?
Can I tie a piece of tippet to the main tippet above my lower fly with a clinch knot?
Why do people always tie their heavier nymph on as the lower fly? I have better luck tying the heavier nymph above my smaller fly.
Can I use the Palomar Knot to add a second fly above my lower fly without removing the lower fly?

Direct download: Freshwater_Stripers_on_the_Fly_with_Henry_Cowen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:36am EDT

In this week's podcast, we'll visit with the dynamic co-founder and president of Western Rivers Conservancy, Sue Doroff [34:50]. Over the past 30 years, Sue and her small, lean staff have protected nearly 400 miles of rivers with names like the Madison, Hoh, Klamath, and John Day--rivers beloved by fly fishers. If you've ever parked at Three Dollar Bridge on the Madison River, you can than the Western Rivers Conservancy for protecting that stretch of river from development and for maintaining public access. Find out about their unique special sauce and how they do this.

In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and tips from listeners:
I know you should keep a fish upstream of you when fighting it. What do you do when fishing downstream?
A warning and tip from a listener on the dangers of shelf ice in winter
Should I use big articulated streamers like the Drunk & Disorderly for steelhead?
Is a 9-foot 8-weight rod a good one for wading the beaches of Florida?
I don't want to fish weighted flies and I don't want to fish more than one fly. How can I get a good dead drift with my wet flies and nymphs?
I mainly tie steelhead flies, but for a trout fishing trip, is it more economical to buy or tie some dry flies?
When fishing across several lines of current with a floating line, what technique should I use to get a good drift?
How do you deal with casting an indicator rig when the indicator is set 6 feet or more above your flies?
A great tip on tapering synthetic fibers when tying streamers.
Should I use hemostats or small pliers for trout fishing?
What are the pros and cons of bead chain vs. solid metal eyes?

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

Swing, hit, and miss--why did you not connect with that fish? Did it just miss your fly? Did you strike too soon? Did you strike too late? Or did the fish refuse your fly even though it looked like a take? Dave Jensen and I [@44:47] discuss how you can (maybe) tell why you didn't connect--and it may not always be your fault.

In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and tips from listeners, including:
Why does my 7-foot, 4-weight rod make most things more difficult than my 9-foot, 8-weight rod?
Can I use a float tube in a river?
I have trouble getting my indicator or dry fly to flaot when fishing double tungsten nymphs. What can I do?
Is there one fly rod I can use for trout, bass, and panfish?
When fishing with unweighted leeches in a lake, the rainbow trout I catch keep getting off before I land them. What can I do?
What are your expectations when you go winter fishing?
Are traditional featherwing streamers as effective as more "modern" streamers?
How close can I get to stripers breaking on the surface?
Why do the dumbbell eyes on my Clousers keep breaking?
When fishing with an indicator and sight fishing, how can you tell exactly where your fly is drifting?
A great suggestion on labeling fly boxes and using reflective tape to help find lost ones.
How do I tell if old fly lines are still good?
Are cedar blocks a good alternative to mothballs for fly-tying materials?
I need a 10-weight rod for an Alaska trip. Should I get the Clearwater or Recon and will the fly line I use in Alaska be OK for saltwater and pike fishing?
I want one rod and one leader to do everything in my trout fishing. What do you recommend?

Direct download: Why_did_i_miss_that_fish_With_Dave_Jensen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:59pm EDT

When Ernest Hemingway was a kid, he took great pride in catching trout on worms and jerking them out of small streams as quickly as he could. Later in life, he lived near excellent trout fishing in Sun Valley but didn't really like it much. He owned a lot of fly-fishing gear, but it didn't get much use. This week, I interview Hemingway Scholar Paul Hendrickson, author of the terrific book Hemingway's Boat, and we learn some interesting things about the man, including the sad story of why he finally gave up trout fishing for good, and how he influenced how we fight big fish on fly rods today.

In the Fly Box this week, we have many interesting questions and tips, including:
Am I missing out by not using split shot on my nymph rigs?
I spot fish from one angle, and then when I move into better position to fish, I can't see them. What can I do?
A tip on setting the hook based on current speed
My parachute hackles keep coming out at the tip. What can I do to prevent this?
An update from a young man whose parents did not approve of his fly-fishing habit
Are there advantages or disadvantages in using glass beads for fly tying?
How can I store longer pheasant tails and turkey feathers?
Should I use moth balls on my tying materials?
Do you see any disadvantages in using UV cure resin to attach slotted beads to hooks?
What type of single-handed rods are best for Spey casting?
A guide told me that stomach pumps are bad for fish. Do they really cause mortality in trout?
Should I use a loop knot on small dry flies?
When I try to do a dubbing loop, the materials wrap around the thread instead of getting trapped in it. How can I fix this?
A tip on keeping hands and feet warm by keeping your core warmer.

Direct download: Hemingway_was_a_lousy_fly_fisherman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:38am EDT

You may not be able to fish without a jacket every day on the Arkansas tailwaters but some day it's a possibility. A nice change at this time of year. I talk with Jamie Rouse of Rouse Fly Fishing [42:53] on what kind of conditions he sees during the winter, what tactics and flies he uses, and how to avoid late-spawning fish. Makes me want to head south.

In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and tips:
What can I do to make the flies I tie float like the ones I buy in the fly shop?
Can you recommend any manufacturers of good quality barbless hooks? (Hint--it starts with an O)
A tip for twisting chenille and hackle together for making a more durable Woolly Bugger
Is it OK to remove a root ball in a river that is causing snags?
Is it OK to remove small trees along the bank to get more back-cast room?
Is it OK to shuffle downstream and then fish the chum line you create?
Can I get a regional fishing license for multiple states?
How do you train a dog to not run in the river and spoil the holes? Is there any etiquette for fishing with a dog?
Is there a reason NOT to put mono weed guards on a fly?
Do natural fly-tying materials have a shelf life?
Why do you like a sling bag as opposed to a vest or chest pack?

Direct download: Winter_Fishing_in_Shirtsleeves_with_Jamie_Rouse_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:42pm EDT

This week, continuing our series of podcasts on winter fly fishing for trout, I interview George Daniel, author and guide. George is also an Orvis ambassador and field tester, and teaches fly fishing at Penn State. As you'll discover, there are many similarities with winter fishing in other parts of the country, along with some flies and techniques a bit more appropriate for the Northeast.

In the Fly Box this week, we have some great tips and questions, including:
Do you use touch dubbing, split thread dubbing, and composite loop dubbing techniques?
I'm looking for a fly line to fish streamers for bass, trout, and panfish. Which line should I get?
What leaders do I need for my Clearwater Trout Spey setup, for both Skagit and Scandi lines?
What's your technique for catching largemouth bass, and what are your favorite flies?
Why can't I get my dubbing noodle to behave?
Which intermediate line should I get for fishing streamers and indicators in four to eight feet of water?
A great tip on a method for wetting marabou and other materials without putting them in your mouth.
I went fishing before a cold front and got skunked. I thought fishing was supposed to be good before a cold front.
What line and leader and tippet would you use for trout in lakes in 15 feet of water?

Direct download: George_Daniel_on_Winter_Fly_Fishing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30pm EDT

This week my guest is artist Bob White [36:41], a beloved painter of fly-fishing and bird hunting scenes. Bob has illustrated John Gierach's magazine pieces for years and also illustrated the current version of The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide. Bob talks about making a career in the fly-fishing world, how he balances his painting life with his fishing life, tips for budding wildlife artists, and how his art affects his fly tying.

In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions and tips from listeners:
How do I encourage guiding operations to hire more female guides and people of color?
I just bought a fly rod and am having trouble casting a 1/16 oz. spoon on it. What am I doing wrong in my casting? Should I go to a heavier lure?
Since I will never cast 90 feet with my light fly rod, can I cut off some of the fly line to get more backing on my reel?
People say there are no hatches on the streams I fish. So why am I catching trout on nymphs all the time?
What part of my line should I stretch? If I am using a Skagit setup, should I stretch my head? And do you stretch cold-water lines any different from warm-water lines? And should I use a leader straightener tool?
What resources can I use to figure out what parts of birds and animals I hunt should be saved for fly tying? And where can I learn the fundamentals of fly tying?
A tip from a listener on the best gift you can buy yourself--virtual fly-casting lessons.
Why do you want the trailing hook so far back on an Intruder fly?
A tip on wearing Nitrile gloves over thin merino gloves for fishing
The trout seemed to have disappeared from my river this winter. It runs into a lake. Do you think the fish have gone there?

Direct download: The_Classic_Sporting_Art_of_Bob_White.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:26pm EDT

My guest this week is Rachel Leinweber [39:38], general manager of The Angler's Covey fly shop in Colorado Springs. One in a series of podcasts about winter fly-fishing tips, Rachael has some great ones for us, and it's been interesting to see how each guide we've talked to has a slightly different take on effective winter tactics.

In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions and tips:
Is there an easier way to balance a fly rod than buying a heavier reel?
How can I get my parents to approve of my fly-fishing passion?

When fishing large streams, and making casts too long for a roll cast, how do you get your fly out without catching trees and bushes?

Do ducks and muskrats and beavers spook trout?

Will the techniques I have learned on my local tailwaters in Utah translate to freestone (non-tailwater) rivers in Wyoming?

Can I use BigEye dry flies as sliding indicators on a dry-dropper rig?

How can I tell a wild from a hatchery fish?

Why did trout take my indicator and ignore my nymphs?

A tip that sometimes catching a trout from a pool does not spook the rest of them.

Why don't manufacturers put handles on both sides of a fly reel?

Direct download: More_Winter_Fishing_Tips_with_Rachael_Leinweber_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:13pm EDT

This week, we're continuing our series on winter fly fishing for trout.  I interview Antonio Rodrigues [42:50] manager of Front Range Anglers in Boulder, Colorado, and he has a different take on winter fly fishing, and some different methods.  I've found it fascinating to see how each guest approaches this differently and hope you pick up some tips as well.

In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and tips from listeners:

What do you use for a fly box when surf fishing?

I have not had good luck with guide trips and want to know what you recommend so I get a better trip next time.

Are fly rods built on continuous blanks and then cut into sections, or is each section made separately?  And are sections interchangeable from one rod to another?

What is the purpose of adding flash to nymph patterns?

A tip on using special flies for casting practice.

What do I do about fishing places where lots of swimmers have been?

Are wire bite guards worth it?Can I tie a 3X tippet to a 3mm tippet ring?

Are all Orvis leader lengths built to the same basic taper or are they different?

Another suggestion on where to donate flies you don't want.

What uses do you have for magnets when fishing?

What do I use huge streamer patterns like the Manbearpig for, and how should I fish them?

Direct download: Winter_Fishing_Tips_from_Boulder_with_Antonio_Rodrigues.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:26am EDT

This week, it was my great pleasure to interview Nick Lyons, who I consider to be the godfather of modern fly-fishing books. Nick has edited and published books by some of our most famous fly anglers--Lee and Joan Wulff, Lefty Kreh, Dave Whitlock, and Swisher and Richards. He was also my first editor and I have so much to thank him for. Nick tells stories of the early days of fly-fishing books--his successes and failures and his journey through the past half-century of fly fishing.

In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions, including:
When fishing an in-line dropper, I have problems with the dropper slipping off my upper hook. How can I fix this?
I want to fish flies for sauger along the bottom. What type of fly should I use?
My hunter friend has offered me some duck and goose feathers. What feathers should I ask him to keep?
Any tips on catching stocked trout in a pond?
What line would you recommend for trolling from a float tube?
Why is trout fishing more productive in Montana than in North Carolina?
Do you think those big "American-type" articulated streamers will work in Finland?
What kind of stream fish can I catch with a fly rod in northern Alabama?
A tip on finding trout at the mouth of cold-water feeder streams in summer.
Are "planted" and "stocked" trout streams the same thing? And do stocked trout ever reproduce naturally?
Can I attach backing to a welded loop with just a clinch knot?

Direct download: The_Godfather_of_Modern_Fly-Fishing_Books_Nick_Lyons.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:20pm EDT

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