Fri, 5 March 2021
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?
Fri, 26 February 2021
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?
Sun, 21 February 2021
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
-- posted at: 2:59pm EST
Thu, 11 February 2021
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
-- posted at: 7:38am EST
Sat, 6 February 2021
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?
Sat, 30 January 2021
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
-- posted at: 4:30pm EST
Thu, 21 January 2021
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
-- posted at: 11:26pm EST
Thu, 14 January 2021
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?
Fri, 8 January 2021
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?
Fri, 1 January 2021
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?