Thu, 30 December 2021
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.
Fri, 17 December 2021
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?
Fri, 10 December 2021
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?
Fri, 3 December 2021
This week, my best is Dr. Guy Fleischer [35:30], science advisor for the Wild Steelhead Coalition (wildsteelheadcoalition.org). 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?