Fri, 25 February 2022
This week my guest is Noelle Coley [41:25] of Blackfoot River Outfitters in Missoula, Montana. Noelle is a serious winter fly fisher, with experience both in Colorado and Montana. She gives us great tips on flies, techniques, and of course dressing to keep warm. WE can all benefit from her experience and have more fun—and stay more comfortable—while fishing in the depths of winter.
In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions form listeners, including:
What do you think about shaming on social media about how people handle fish?
What should I do if I see someone spin fishing in an area that is clearly marked “Fly Fishing Only”?
Will my 6-weight rod be enough for fishing for bonefish in the Florida Keys?
Which rod should I use for swinging wet flies?
What tips do you have for taming deer hair when tying Comparaduns?
What should I do with a bunch of older fly rods that I no longer need?
Can a dropper fly on a two-fly rig create problems with hooking trout?
Why do fly fishers use such light tippet when conventional anglers can get away with using heavier line?
What do you suggest for a natural material to replace Antron on an emerger shuck?
I fish three nymphs on a rig. What’s a good strategy for replacing patterns if the ones I am using are not working?
I have a 4-weight line and want to buy a fiberglass rod for fishing small streams. Should I get a 3-weight and overline the rod or stick to a 4-weight rod?
What tips do you have for traveling with fly-fishing gear?
I have an Encounter 5-weight rod and am just starting out. When will I know when it’s time to upgrade, and how much difference will an upgraded rod make?
Fri, 18 February 2022
Finding those tiny, unpressured trout streams is a delightful form of exploration. You won’t find them on the internet or in books or magazine articles—at least the ones you really want to fish. But finding a small stream that you’ll probably have all to yourself and discovering the delights of catching eager trout on dries and nymphs—and sometimes small streamers—is one of the purest ways of enjoying fly fishing. Donna Smith [48:38], a member of the Orvis Outfitter team and an expert on small stream trout fishing tells us how to go about it.
In the Fly Box this week, we have some perplexing and interesting questions, as well as some tips from listeners, including:
Do textured lines spook fish when making noise going through the guides?
What happened to the Orvis Superfine Fiberglass rods? I
have a very fast action 10 weight rod and it’s difficult to feel it load with a 10-weight line. Do you think I can put an 11-weight line on it?
Any thoughts on de-barbing bonefish and permit flies?
How about stocking minnows and crayfish in streams. Do you think it’s a bad idea?
If I am fishing a bunch of rising fish and a bunch of anglers are standing on the bank waiting for me to leave, what should I do?
Why can I catch lots of fish when I go out into the wilderness but not when I am fishing the stocked river that’s right in town?
If trout are so sensitive to drag on a dry fly or nymph, why do they take a swinging soft hackle?
Great suggestions from a listener on how to avoid over-pressuring fish by modifying our behavior.
What does Tom think are the most difficult techniques in fly tying?
Why are there no sea-run rainbows in Connecticut?
Is the casting technique you use to cast poly leaders the same as you would use for an over-lined rod?
Thu, 10 February 2022
This week, my guest is the executive director of the Native Fish Coalition, Bob Mallard [42:09], who tells us why the organization was formed and what they do. His group took issue with some of the sentiments expressed in last week's podcast with Kirk Deeter, so to give everyone a broader view of the issue of wild native fish (as opposed to just wild fish, and Bob explains the difference in the podcast) I invited Bob to come onto the podcast to explain to us just how precious native or indigenous species are. There is much food for thought here and I hope it makes everyone think about the issues involved.
In the Fly Box this week, we have the usual roundup of interesting and sometimes tricky questions, and some great tips from listeners, including:
How even native black bass in the South are threatened by stocking of non-native varieties
Why doesn't the Orvis Learning Center talk about the spiritual value and nature of fly fishing?
What is the best all-around color for polarized sunglasses?
What's up with bead heads? Insects don't have metal heads.
A great tip from a listener on how to apply eyes to minnow patterns without getting your fingers stuck together with Super Glue.
How can I straighten a bunch of old saddle hackles that have a kink in them?
How do you deal with negative attitudes you hear spouted on the water?
A tip from a listener on how to magnetize or demagnetize a pair of forceps or a dubbing needle.
What fly-tying material does Tom feel is underutilized?
A comment from a listener on how something said on a podcast had a big influence on him regarding the "hero shot".
Why am I only catching whitefish, and do people like catching them?
Why haven't we tried restocking aquatic insects in rivers where they have become scarce?
What is Tom's favorite non-fish wildlife encounter on the river?
Fri, 4 February 2022
Have we gone too far with native species? with Kirk Deeter This week, my guest is Kirk Deeter, editor of Trout Magazine. Kirk is never one to shy away from controversy, and our topic this week is the concept of native species and the feasibility of trying to turn back the clock. We also ramble a bit about the state of the fly-fishing world in general, but as always Kirk is thoughtful and incisive in his views.
In the Fly Box this week we have some especially great tips from listeners and some interesting questions:
Some great tips from a listener on how to hook gar on the fly without resorting to yarn
A comment from a listener on the probability of tiger trout being produced naturally in wild trout populations.
Do I need a click-and-pawl reel on my bamboo rod, and do I need to get a special fly line?
Do you have some tips for catching bonefish in the Florida Keys by wading from shore?
How should I clean my waders if I fish multiple watersheds in a single day?
Because mayfly nymphs wiggle their tails in the water, why don't we tie more nymphs with flexible tails?
What are the essential fly materials to take if you're going to tie on a fishing trip?
How can I catch smallmouth bass on a fly in deep lakes?
A great tip from a listener on how to pick up beads and hooks around your tying bench--and also to recapture flies that fall out of your box on the river.
A great tip from a listener on how to practice casting heavily weighted flies.
I found a fly line that had been soaking in salt water.
Do you think it's still good to use?
How do I de-magnetize a pair of forceps?
How can I target trout in small creeks during the winter?