Fri, 31 March 2023
I did a podcast a few weeks ago that was billed as a canoe and kayak podcast but my guest and I spent a lot of time on Kayaks and not much on canoes. Some of you took me to task and asked for more information on fly fishing from canoes, so I asked retired president and CEO of Orvis, Perk Perkins [49:06], to share his tips with us. Perk fishes from a canoe more than anyone else I know, and has been using these craft all his life. He gives us some great tips on making fly fishing from a canoe more fun and productive.
In the fly box this week, we have some fascinating questions from listeners, including:
Should l I use a double taper or weight forward line on my small stream rod?
If you fish barbless dry flies with a dry/dropper rig, won't the knot slip off the hook?
What can I do to lessen my shoulder involvement in casting?
I have severe arthritis in my right shoulder. Should I learn to cast left-handed?
Do tippet rings make tying on a dropper less fussy? Won't the fish see a tippet ring?
What is your opinion on attractor patterns?
What do you think of UV resins and tying materials?
If I want to fish a leader with a light butt section, what diameter should the permanent loop be on my fly line? The permanent loop on my fly line got damaged.
My fly line says "cold to moderate temperatures". Can I also use this line for fishing for bass during the summer?
Do flies need to be perfect and symmetrical? I
s road kill of any use in fly tying?
We were catching hickory shad on spoons we made using Krystal Flash and UV resin. People told us we weren't fly fishing.
What's your take on flies that aren't really "flies"?
How are fly rods most often broken?
What rod do I need to make my mono rig work better?
I see many color variations in pre-made dubbing blends, for instance one March Brown dubbing is brown and another one is light tan. Do insects vary in color? Does color even make a difference?
Thu, 23 March 2023
This week, my guest is Dom Swentosky of the Troutbitten blog [33:16], podcast, and guide service. If you have not seen his stuff it's definitely one of the most informative and thoughtful fly-fishing blogs out there. Dom devotes a lot of his blog to the mono rig, which is sorta like Euro-nymphing in that it uses a long leader and no fly line, but it's more of a method for everyday anglers than pure Euro nymphing, which is based on competitive rules that prohibit things like split shot. Dom goes through why it is such an effective method, how he builds his leaders, and how he presents his flies this way. It's just one more thing to try if you're interested in new ways of using a fly rod.
In the Fly Box this week, we have some helpful tips from listeners and an assortment of questions from rigging to watercraft to fly tying, including:
If I am using a drop-shot rig with a single nymph, can I just tie the weight on a long tag from the clinch knot I use to tie on my fly?
What is your opinion of traditional Catskill-style dry flies?
Could spawning affect a trout's diet?
In your canoe and kayak podcast, you didn't say enough about canoes. If I want to use my canoe for fly fishing, what considerations should I have? And should I put a trolling motor on my canoe?
I have a stream nearby that has nice gravel, cold water, deep pools, and nice riffles. I have not caught any trout there. How can I find out if trout even live there?
A great tip from a listener for finding tiny leaks in waders
Do trout use shelf ice as cover?
A listener suggests the float tube as a great option in the inflatable category, which I did not mention in my recent podcast on inflatables.
A great tip from a listener on how to cover up items in a boat that could snag your fly line.
When do you switch from a floating to a sinking line in streams?
A great tip from a listener on using forceps to hold tiny flies when tying them on.
I am looking at monofilament thread. What is the difference between 6/0 and G size, and where did the G designation come from? And is there any application in tying freshwater flies with monofilament thread?
Thu, 16 March 2023
This week, we delve into the confusing world of inflatable watercraft. There are so many styles to choose from, including SUPs, kayaks, and rafts. Which are best for fly fishing? What are some tips on how to fish from one? How do you handle anchoring and paddling while being ready to make a cast? Regardless of which type you choose, they are lightweight and packable (except for the larger rafts) and they'll get you into places where drift boats and motorboats can't go. Mike Dolmage is a fly fishing fanatic and is in charge of marketing fishing craft for NRS so his knowledge will help you make an informed decision and give you some tips on fishing from your inflatable.
In the Fly Box this week, I try to answer some easy and difficult questions. Some of the questions include:
Would you recommend a Power Taper or Bank Shot fly line for fishing for largemouth bass form shore?
How can I catch striped bass on the Hudson River?
I have a 6- and an 8-weight rod and I want to streamer fish in Montana. Do I need a 7-weight?
How can I get permission to fish private land when bluelining?
I am catching big trout on nymphs and want to get a rod longer than 9 feet. Can I fish Euro-style and still land big trout on a 10-foot 3-weight, or should I look at a 10-foot 4-weight or 5-weight?
How long do you think is too long to play a trout?
Can I use a sinking Polyleader with an intermediate line?
How do you fish attractor flies?
Do I just throw one out there or should I pay more attention to hatches?
What line should I get for tarpon fishing with my 11-weight rod?
Do brown and rainbow trout have different feeding strategies?
Is there a sinking fly line I can use with both streamers and nymphs?
Fri, 10 March 2023
Learn how to decide between a canoe and a kayak, what kind to get, and how to maneuver and cast using these hard-sided watercraft (next week I'll be doing a podcast on inflatables). Ryan Lilly [47:30] is a fly fisher and Old Town's expert on fishing from these craft, and has many great suggestions for how to make the most out of your canoe or kayak experience.
In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions that I'm sure will be of interest to many of you, as well as some thoughtful tips from other listeners, including:
What do bead-head nymphs imitate?
Aren't flies tied without beads more natural in the water?
Isn't it more natural to use a nymph without any added weight?
How do you fish wet flies?
Do you use a single one or more than one? And do you ever use weighted wet flies?
I recently saw a bunch of large carp in a pond in Florida. Why didn't I see any smaller ones?
I had trouble getting a good drift against the slow water on the far bank of a river. Every time I tried to mend my line the small dry fly sank. What else could I have done?
Can I fish two dry flies at once?
A suggestion from a listener on why upgrading from an entry level fly line is a wise investment.
Are there any performance differences between a 6-piece rod and a 4-piece rod?
How can I get an extra tip for my Orvis rod?
A great tip from a listener on how to make a device to hold scrap pieces of tippet using two pieces of Velcro.
I am going to a place where they have stocked golden rainbows. Do these fish behave any differently from normal rainbows?
Can I use a Poly Leader for tarpon?
Is there any difference between up-eye and down-eye hooks?
A tip from a listener on how to change thread colors with a permanent marker.
A tip from a listener on how to keep a partially used tube of Aquaseal stay fresh.
Why do people hold bass by the jaw? I have heard that this can dislocate their jaw.
I am taking my first guided trip. Should I do a float trip or a walk/wade trip?
Fri, 3 March 2023
Back in 2008 when I first began this podcast I had two dreams—that I would have my two literary heros, John McPhee and Thomas McGuane as guests (they are both passionate fly fishers). I was lucky enough to record a podcast with John in August of 2021 and this week's podcast is with Tom McGuane [44:36], author of 20 highly regarded novels, screenplays, collections of short stories, and what is in my opinion the finest book of fly-fishing essays ever written, The Longest Silence. Most people who interview Tom want to talk about his crazy days in Key West in the 1970s, , fishing for tarpon with Jim Harrison, Guy de la Valdene, Jimmy Buffet, and other notable characters. However, in the podcast we talk about what he is doing now—his fascination with small-stream trout fishing, why he would rather wade than fish from a boat, his opinion on guides who yell at their clients, and how to grow old gracefully and still continue to fish with a fly rod. It was a real honor to chat with him and I know you'll enjoy this very special podcast.
In the Fly Box this week, we have some wonderful and thought-provoking questions and tips form listeners, including:
What is that white rod that Pete Kutzer uses in your casting videos?
Is there a written history of Orvis?
What is the best reel lubricant, and how should I maintain my cork drag surface?
Can dumbbell eyes damage fly rods? If so, what should I do to keep flies tied with them from hitting my rod?
Do trout eat those little black and brown stoneflies that hatch during the winter and early spring?
Can you explain when I would use weighted flies vs. split shot vs. poly leaders when fishing nymphs?
Can you compare the relative advantages of the 10 1/2-foot 3-weight and the 11-foot 3-weight Blackout rod?
I saw people catching fish on nymphs. I tried exactly the same patterns and didn't catch anything. Why?
I have a reel that takes a 9-weight line. Can I get an extra spool and put it on my 7-weight rod?
Why am I not catching anything when fishing nymphs in the winter?
Great tips from a world traveler on taking your vaccination records with you, and warnings about carrying gear when traveling to Mexico or New Zealand.
What environmental cues will tell you when specific flies are hatching?
Is it true that emerger patterns are more effective when they look messy?
How do you explain when trout take smaller insects and ignore bigger ones?