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The Orvis Fly-Fishing Podcast (general)

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 www.orvis.com/podcast.

This week my guest is the great guide and fly tier Blane Chocklett [39:45]. We talk about his development of innovative fly patterns like the Gummy Minnow and Game Changer, but also about his philosophy of imitating baitfish and how to choose the right streamer depending on conditions. I know you streamer, musky, and saltwater junkies will learn a lot in this one.

In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions and tips from listeners:
How do I know what color combinations to use on my flies?
Can I put a 225-grain sinking line on my 7-weight fiberglass rod?
I have an 8 1/2 foot Clearwater 4 weight. What rod should I add to my arsenal for bass fishing?
How can I catch those difficult carp on my local lake in Norway?
What should I do with all the extra flies I tie?
How do you know when a nymph should be tied on a curved hook?
A great tip for organizing materials for single patterns by putting all of the materials in a tray.
Trout are supposed to be in deep, slow pools in cold weather but I see them in riffles and pools. Why?
Another great tip on organizing fly-tying materials using duct tape, ziplock bags, and a 3-ring binder
What is the nest leader for small-stream fishing, when you are mostly casting just the leader?

Direct download: Blaine_Chocklett_and_his_Baitfish_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:10pm EST

Many fly fishers have dreaded the thought of visiting their favorite trout streams after wildfires devasted many areas over the past few years.  As threatening as they are to human lives and property, wildfires are not all that bad for trout stream ecosystems, as you'll discover after listening to this week's podcast.  Becky Flitcroft [interview at 39:03], a fisheries biologist with the US Forest Service and an expert on disturbances to trout streams, presents some surprising results in the wake of fires.  Not only are they not horribly destructive, they are actually beneficial in many cases.  Should you visit a trout stream that was in a burned area next year?  What will the future look like?  Although every stream is different, Becky tells us what to expect over the coming years.

In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions and tips:

I have trouble seeing my dry flies on small streams.  What patterns do you recommend, and how can I spot them better?

Do you think it's necessary to replace nylon and fluorocarbon leaders each year?

Can I extend the length of my 7 1/2 foot leaders to 9 or 12-feet by just adding tippet?

Should I use my Clearwater Reel in salt water?

Can I use shorter or longer hackles than the traditional length on my dry flies?

What techniques would you recommend for fishing after dark during the winter?

A good tip on how to practice specific techniques in fly tying.

What would be a good rod for both salmon/steelhead rivers and bass lakes?

How can I practice my fish-fighting technique in the off-season before I go salmon fishing?

Direct download: Wildfires_and_Trout_with_Becky_Flitcroft.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:13am EST

[This week's podcast is in two sections. This sections contains the interview with Brittany. The listener-questions section, or the Fly Box, is in part one.]

This week, I have a very special guest for my interview--Brittany Howard, the frontwoman for the wildly popular band Alabama Shakes, who also has a new (2019) album out, "Jaime", a solo effort that explores a wide range of musical styles. Brittany has performed with Sir Paul McCartney and at the Obama White House, and her albums with the Alabama Shakes have won four Grammy Awards. Her first love is music, but her second love is fishing, and she is a passionate fly fisher. Unlike some celebrities who have taken up fly fishing because it's a "thing", Brittany has the soul of an angler and has been fishing all her life. She ties her own flies, modifies her kayak for fly fishing, and when she is on tour she always prioritizes sneaking away to do some fishing. She's the real deal and a great storyteller, and I know you'll enjoy her tales of fishing on the road and her encounters with gender and racial bias while fly fishing. And as a special treat at the end of the podcast, we've included one of my favorite songs, "Future People."

We have some great questions, and some helpful tips from listeners, including:
A suggestion from a listener on the benefit of bootfoot waders for cold weather fishing
Can I catch shoal bass on a fly rod?
My 8-weight rod is not quite up to the task of surf fishing. Can I put a 9-weight line on my rod?
Why do some rods come with aluminum tubes and others with nylon-covered cases?
A suggestion from a listener that maybe I missed the point when asked about how I organize my fly-tying materials.
What is the best line for my 7-foot, 3-weight glass rod?
A suggestion from a listener on why some anglers fishing a Euro technique for steelhead lose fish on the jump.
Can I tie a Pat's Rubber Legs with dubbing instead of chenille?
I got a bunch of pheasant feathers from a hunter friend in a plastic bag and they stink. Can I salvage them?
Where should I half-hitch my bead head nymphs--behind the bead or in front of it?
I decided to take the plunge and buy good quality hackle capes. I have brown, grizzly, light ginger, medium dun, and cream. What other colors might I need?
Why are some wild trout streams with spawning fish open year-round and others closed?
How do I avoid getting hooked on the river?
How should I do the naked nymphing technique?

Direct download: Brittany_Howard_part_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:08pm EST

[This week's podcast is in two sections. This is the listener-questions section, or the Fly Box. The interview with Brittany Howard is in part two.]

This week, I have a very special guest for my interview--Brittany Howard, the frontwoman for the wildly popular band Alabama Shakes, who also has a new (2019) album out, "Jaime", a solo effort that explores a wide range of musical styles. Brittany has performed with Sir Paul McCartney and at the Obama White House, and her albums with the Alabama Shakes have won four Grammy Awards. Her first love is music, but her second love is fishing, and she is a passionate fly fisher. Unlike some celebrities who have taken up fly fishing because it's a "thing", Brittany has the soul of an angler and has been fishing all her life. She ties her own flies, modifies her kayak for fly fishing, and when she is on tour she always prioritizes sneaking away to do some fishing. She's the real deal and a great storyteller, and I know you'll enjoy her tales of fishing on the road and her encounters with gender and racial bias while fly fishing. And as a special treat at the end of the podcast, we've included one of my favorite songs, "Future People."

We have some great questions, and some helpful tips from listeners, including:
A suggestion from a listener on the benefit of bootfoot waders for cold weather fishing
Can I catch shoal bass on a fly rod?
My 8-weight rod is not quite up to the task of surf fishing. Can I put a 9-weight line on my rod?
Why do some rods come with aluminum tubes and others with nylon-covered cases?
A suggestion from a listener that maybe I missed the point when asked about how I organize my fly-tying materials.
What is the best line for my 7-foot, 3-weight glass rod?
A suggestion from a listener on why some anglers fishing a Euro technique for steelhead lose fish on the jump.
Can I tie a Pat's Rubber Legs with dubbing instead of chenille?
I got a bunch of pheasant feathers from a hunter friend in a plastic bag and they stink. Can I salvage them?
Where should I half-hitch my bead head nymphs--behind the bead or in front of it?
I decided to take the plunge and buy good quality hackle capes. I have brown, grizzly, light ginger, medium dun, and cream. What other colors might I need?
Why are some wild trout streams with spawning fish open year-round and others closed?
How do I avoid getting hooked on the river?
How should I do the naked nymphing technique?

Direct download: Brittany_Howard_part_I.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:03pm EST

In this week's podcast, I interview Jess Westbrook, co-founder of The Mayfly Project. This organization, a winner of an Orvis Breaking Barriers award, brings the joys of fly fishing to foster kids through individual, one-on-one mentorship throughout the country. For obvious reasons their programs have been put on hold for this year (I was looking forward to being a mentor myself last spring), but the organization moves forward, making plans for a time when we can comfortably get together in person. Jess has some heartwarming stories to tell of past successes that will make you smile and feel good about the fly-fishing community.

In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and I hope my answers are helpful to you. They include:
I recently got a new fly reel and when it's filled with line it's too tight.
What can I do to solve this?
A story from a listener on catching a channel catfish on a fly tied for swinging for trout--a Montana Intruder that he tied during one of our Monday live fly-tying sessions.
Why do the eyes on my saltwater flies keep coming off?
What feathers on grouse and woodcock can I use for fly tying?
Can you recommend some books so I can learn more about how watersheds work?
Why does my fly line keep catching itself on my forward cast and how can I fix it?
Can I use weighted streamers to catch walleye?
Why would a bunch of large trout be holding in slow, shallow water during a hatch?
What is the best saltwater floating line for Northeast fly fishing?
I have some fly materials with bugs in them. Would repeated thawing and freezing kill them?
What is the difference between a sink tip and an intermediate fly line?
Why does anyone ever use flies smaller than size 18? I can't see them on the water.
Why do I keep losing steelhead when they jump?

Direct download: The_Mayfly_Project_with_Jess_Westbrook.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:27pm EST

This week I interview Greg Vincent of Grand Bahama Island and co-owner of H2O Bonefishing [40:13]. Greg shares his tips for what distinguishes a great bonefisher from someone who just goes fishing for bonefish and permit. There's a big difference. Greg is the only person I know who has gotten a Super Grand Slam (bonefish, permit, tarpon, and snook) in just four casts. He also tells a great story and I am sure you'll thrill to his tales of chasing these fish on the flats.

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

I have a random assortment of grouse feathers from a hunter friend. What patterns can I tie with them?

If there are only a few good holes in an area, how long should you fish a spot before letting another angler try their luck?

I am a new fly fisher and have been fishing just with a tenkara rod and doing OK on panfish but not trout. What is a mistake that new fly fishers often make that prevents them from catching fish?

I want to fish the Charles River in Boston and Long Island for saltwater species. What two rods should I get?

How should I treat my waders if I move from one state to another?
Have you ever made your own amadou?

Havaard from Jazz and Fly Fishing wants to fish in Montana next May and wants advice on what town to base his travels out of. And is May a good time to fish in Montana?

What leaders and tippets do I need for salmon in the Pacific Northwest?

A great idea from a listener on using a streamer as an indicator when dead-drifting a nymph/streamer combo

Direct download: Bonefish_and_Permit_Secrets_with_Greg_Vincent.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:26pm EST

This week I have a chat with Jonny King [41:00], one of the most creative and innovative fly tiers I know.  Patterns like the Kinky Muddler and Splitsville dry flies come from his creative mind.  I am always interested in where the idea for new patterns come from, how they are developed, and how they get evaluated.  Join me as we ramble and discuss his creative process.

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

Where can I get a copy of your book on Small Stream fly fishing?
Can I leave my fishing gear in a very hot or very cold car? 
How can I fish the shoreline of a lake without getting caught in trees, and how far do I need to cast? 
Why do I keep breaking fish off on a strike? 
How can I include a shock absorber into my outfit?
I have an old bamboo rod in good shape.
Is it OK to fish with it, and how can I find out what line size it takes?
What do you recommend for wading boots if I do a lot of hiking?
I can cast OK with nymphs but I can't get my dry flies to lay out with a roll cast.  What am I doing wrong?
Where should I look to catch Pacific salmon in BC?
How do I handle spooky trout in small streams that hide under rocks?
How do I know for sure when trout are spawning?

Direct download: Secrets_of_Fly_Design_with_Jonny_King.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:55am EST

This week, my interview is with Kip Veith [38:55], Orvis-endorsed guide and author of The Orvis Guide to Musky on the Fly, which has just been released.  Fresh from lots of research and in the middle of his season, Kip has some great tips for those of you who want to chase this giant freshwater predator--and fall is known as the best time to chase them with a fly rod.

In the Fly Box this week, we have lots of interesting questions and some great tips from listeners, including:

I have some flies I tied that I don't like and want to salvage the hooks to use again.  What's the best way to do this?

With big pike flies, I have trouble getting the fly moving on the first few false casts.  How can I do this easier?

My floating line is sinking.  What can I do to make it float, and if I can't make it better can I use the line for streamer fishing?

My yarn indicators won't float.  What am I doing wrong?

How do you do the Joe Humphreys Bow-and-Arrow Cast?How do I use a BIgEye dry fly as a sliding dropper?

I lubricate my clinch knots with Chapstick.  Why doesn't the knot hold?

My Dad raises chickens.  Do you think I can use some of their feathers for fly tying?

When do most anglers change their leaders?

A tip from a listener on preventing gel floatant from exploding when you change altitude.Can I go from 5X to 7X using a tippet ring?

A great tip from a listener on how to politely engage someone on the river who is using poor fish-handling technique.

How do you cut Body Wrap when making Game Changers? 

Direct download: Musky_Time_with_Kip_Veith.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am EST

The issue of freshwater flow through the Everglades is an issue that Orvis has worked on for a number of years as one of our major conservation projects, and we've worked with some strong partners on the ground, like the Everglades Foundation, Captains for Clean Water, Now or Neverglades, and Bullsugar/Friends of the Everglades.  This week we have a double feature on this national treasure.  The first part of the podcast is with scientist Steve Davis of the Everglades Foundation [41:05], who discusses the recent progress and environmental conditions in the Everglades, in times of poor freshwater flow and healthy flows.  The second part of the podcast is with Orvis-endorsed guide Jason Sullivan [1:28:17], who spends nearly every day in the Everglades and depends on its health for his livelihood.  And yes, don't worry we talk fishing and what it's like fly fishing in the everglades--for tarpon, snook, redfish, and even tailing tripletail!
And in the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions to answer, including:

Can a clear fly line be made?

Why are cane fly rods so great?

If I can legally fish only one fly, how do I get my fly down to the fish when Euro nymphing?

How does a full moon affect fishing?

If a season for a species is closed, when is it OK to fish for them if I practice catch-and-release?

How does intellectual property work with fly patterns?

Is it worth it to pay to fish spring creeks?

Why can't I sharpen my hooks?

Is there any role in whimsy or "bluffing" when picking a fly pattern?

Can I use floatant on my Master Splinter fly?

Can I use unweighted streamers with a floating line?

Direct download: Double_Feature_on_the_Everglades.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:54am EST

I get frequent questions on targeting introduced Pacific salmon in the Great Lakes region, so I invited an expert [interview starts at 33:13] to give us guidance on where and when to fish for them, tackle to use, and recommended flies. Trent Jackson, fishing manager of Orvis Grand Rapids, is a lifelong Michigan resident and has been fishing for Great Lakes salmon and steelhead his entire life. He gives us a great overview of this fishery, and is a great example of the rich talent we offer in our retail stores.

In the Fly Box this week, we have a number of perceptive questions and suggestions from listeners, including:

Why do I have trouble hooking trout with a 10-foot, 3-weight rod when using unweighted flies?

Can I use the Hydros Salmon/Steelhead line for tightline fishing with a 20-foot leader?

If I have both smallmouth and stocked trout in my river this fall, how can I fish for both of them?

A listener takes me to task for killing fish for the table by "bashing them in the head with a rock", and gives us the preferred way to kill fish for the table, using a Japanese method called ikejime.

If I have a limited budget, should I spend more money on my waders or wading shoes?

Why did brook trout inhale my streamer one day and only chase it the next?

Once a running fish is on the reel, should I take my fingers off the line?

When you talk about a 9-foot leader, is the tippet included in that length? And should I tie a new tippet directly to my leader without modification?

Direct download: Catching_Great_Lakes_Pacific_Salmon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:57pm EST

This week I interview Dr. Aaron Adams [@38:29], chief scientist at Bonefish Tarpon Trust, and he explains some of the science behind proper fish handling techniques.  Although we talk primarily about bonefish and tarpon, I learned some surprising facts about the question:  "If a fish is hooked deeply, is it better to try to remove the hook or just cut the tippet?"  I'm not going to tell you the answer.  You'll need to listen to the podcast.


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

Can you suggest  few trout flies that are reliable and relevant year-round?

Why do I have trouble hooking trout in small mountain streams?

What is the proper way to set the drag on a reel before you begin fishing?

How much tension is added to your tippet when you have the whole fly line out on a running fish?Why doesn't anyone talk about frogs and toads as trout prey?

Why does my Improved Clinch Knot keep failing?

Are neat flies more effective than scruffy ones?

A suggestion from a listener about using the "wrong" color thread to tie a better fly.

Where should I spend most of my budget when assembling a fly-tying setup?

A suggestion from a listener about using a bobbin threader to tie a nail knot.

Direct download: More_Catch-and-release_Science.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:10pm EST

Stripping Streamers in the Fall, with Butch Wicks 
With all the hype around trout Spey and swinging streamers, let's not lose sight of plain old streamer stripping, which is a faster-paced way of fishing streamers and often results in explosive strikes.  Montana/Washington guide Butch Wicks of Healing Waters Lodge in Twin Bridges, Montana gives us some hot tips on stripping streamers in the Fall. The interview starts at 28:00.


In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions and comments:

I am teaching a friend how to fish nymphs.  Should I start him on dry dropper and indicator fishing or Euro nymphing?

Will my Trout Poly Leaders work OK for swinging flies for Lake Erie steelhead, or do I also need to get Spey Polyleaders?

Why could I not catch fish during a heavy Green Drake spinner fall?I had to cut my fly line.  Is there any way to repair it without a bulky connection?

What should I keep in mind when tying some steelhead patterns to use on Pacific salmon?

A clarification to the podcast on the Clean Water Act from a retired EPA wetland scientist.

What to do if you see someone on the water with very poor fish-handling techniques.Is trout spawning temperature of day length dependent, and  what behavioral clues should I look for?

I saw what I thought were carp feeding on the surface.  Do carp feed on top, and if so what do they eat?

How do you set the hook when using a two-handed strip for striped bass?

When should I use a weighted vs. unweighted fly for striped bass in San Franciso Bay, and what fly line should I use?

Direct download: Stripping_Streamers_in_the_Fall_with_Butch_Wicks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:27pm EST

This week I interview Monte Burke [@44:46], author of the recently released book Lords of the Fly.  It's a chronicle of the history of tarpon fishing with a fly rod, and especially the magical period in the late 20th century where huge tarpon and the best fly anglers in the world converged on a little town on the Florida coast.  This is truthfully one of the most interesting fly-fishing books I have ever read.  Even if you have no interest in tarpon fishing, the story of the personalities, conflicts, and obsession involved in trying to catch a world record tarpon on a fly is one of the most compelling stories in fly-fishing history. Monte talks about his research and the process involved in writing the book.  It's a tale of egos and gangsters and heartbreak.


In the Fly Box this week, we have lots of interesting questions and tips, including:

How does a new beaver dam affect a trout stream?

What is the difference between a 2-weight and a 3-weight Euro nymphing rod?

How should one approach a larger river with heavy fishing pressure?

How do you suggest handling a fish that has been foul-hooked?

If you were to spend two weeks in quarantine in a hotel room, what six fly patterns would you tie?

An example of great fishing close to home

What do you know about fly fishing for ladyfish?

I am taking my father fishing and he does not have much experience.  Should I hire a guide or just get him an outfit and take him wade fishing?

What are the main differences between Eastern and Western fly fishing?

What effect will the wildfires have on trout streams?

Can I use UV epoxy to finish the wraps on a rod I am making?Can I dye my own fly tying materials?

Direct download: The_Quest_for_the_World_Record_Tarpon_with_Monte_Burke.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:03am EST

This week, we chat with Bob Irvin [Interview starts at 42:00], president of American Rivers, an organization that does solid work protecting the aquatic resources we all love.  Bob and I talk about the Clean Water Act and the Clean Water Rule--what these laws have done for us in the past, how they are currently managed, and threats to their effectiveness.  It's not as much fun as talking about trout or steelhead, but it's important stuff to all of us.


In the Fly Box this week, listeners offered the following tips and questions:

What kind of water is best for Euronymphing? 

Can you do it in really slow water for panfish?The booties on my waders are too tight for two pairs of socks.  How can I keep my feet warm winter steelheading?

I have some streams in my neighborhood that people say used to hold brook trout.  How can I find out if they still live there?

A suggestion that keeping the index finger on the top of your rod grip helps with sensitivity.

What is the best fly line to use when trying to cast the entire line?

Can I Spey cast for smallmouth bass?

My dad really outfished me using a Rapala.  I tried all kinds of streamers but no luck.  Is there a fly that is as good as a Rapala?

When I wade waist-deep I have trouble with my casting.  What can I do to fix this?

How can you reconcile our obsession with drag-free drifts and the effectiveness of a swung wet fly?

I have a bunch of old fly lines.  How can I tell what they are, and how can I mark them?

If you have a local stream that you fish often, how long should you rest it between fishing trips?

I am fishing for smallmouth and shoal bass during the day in weedy, rocky water.  What's the best technique to use?

A tip from a listener on a great indicator you can make yourself.

Can you clarify the confusion behind the term "dropper"?

Direct download: Unraveling_the_Clean_Water_Act_with_Bob_Irvin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:41am EST

This week I interview biologist Nicole Watson [interview at 46:56], who has a fascinating job. She is working on developing strains of arctic grayling that will hopefully be able to repopulate some of Michigan's rivers. It's not widely known that prior to the arrival of Europeans to rivers such as the Au Sable and Manistee, the dominant salmonid in rivers in that entire area was not the brook trout, but a unique strain of arctic grayling. Learn about how the population was decimated, what is being done to restore them, and how soon we'll be able to fish for wild grayling in Michigan.

Here are some links to websites mentioned in the podcast

MI Grayling Initiative website:
https://www.migrayling.org/

Iron Fish Distillery- whiskeys to support research:
https://ironfishdistillery.com/arcticgrayling/

Iron Fish Arctic Grayling Research Fund (to donate to research directly):
https://manisteefoundation.org/component/funds/view/3933

In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions and tips from listeners:
My 5-weight works fine with nymphs and dries but I have trouble throwing streamers. Is my rod too light for fishing Woolly Buggers?


How do you evaluate a new fly pattern for your own fishing? And what are the factors that make you keep the pattern in your fly box instead of cycling it out?


I have trouble keeping dubbing on the thread when I wrap it on a hook. Are there tips I can use?


Is it a good idea to start with a tippet ring on a brand new leader, and where do you place it?


Is it wrong to hold the index finger on top of a rod grip when casting?


Should I be able to throw a size 8 popper with my 5-weight rod?
What is the most humane way to kill a fish?


How can I "turn up the volume" of my bass flies for use in high, dirty water?


I want to try to catch a 12-inch brook trout in a small stream, but I want to go barbless. What would you suggest for landing my trophy?


I have a 7-weight Recon rod and want to fish heavier streamers. What fly line do you recommend?

What is the best way to remove a small hook from a trout?
What is the best way to travel with fly-tying materials?

Direct download: Return_of_the_Grayling_with_Nicole_Watson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:09pm EST

This week, I interview Captain Joe Mattioli [43:31]i on a place I have always wanted to fish--New York Harbor.  Despite having chased striped bass and bluefish with a fly rod for over 40 years, I have never had the pleasure of fishing New York Harbor and I have always wanted to.  So join me as I interview Captain Joe and hear stories of this world-class fishery beneath the Statue of Liberty and off Coney Island.


In the Fly Box this week, we have lots of great questions, including:

I have issues with knots in my leader, especially with streamers and other heavy flies.  How do I fix this?

I have a 9 ft 5-weight Recon and a starter fly reel I bought a few years ago.  Should I buy a new reel to go with my rod?

When fishing for bass, if I use a heavier line like a bank shot on my 6-weight rod, how should I adjust my casting style?

Are there any trade-offs?

I use a double Uni Knot to join tippet, but I can't tie a Blood Knot to save my life.  What are the relative strengths of these two knots?

I just upgraded my fly-tying vise.  What other tools should I upgrade if I want to improve my tying?

My tippet keeps breaking when using sink-tip lines.  What can I do to prevent this?

Would you recommend a Recon 2-weight or 3-weight for fishing small streams plus bluegill fishing with my kids?

How many flies do you lose in a day of small stream fishing?

Where would you go to catch a trophy brook trout?

What should I do with my dry fly when fishing still water? 

Should I move it or let it sit?

What can we do to reduce the trauma to fish when we play them?

Direct download: Catching_stripers_below_the_Statue_of_Liberty.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:29am EST

This week I interview Orvis-endorsed guide Jay Aylward [51:05], a largemough bass fanatic on the fly rod, about how to find and catch them.  And not just any largemouth, but trophy bass.  Or at least trophies on a fly rod...
In the Fly Box this week, I get some great tips from listeners and also some interesting questions, including:

Fly pattern suggestions for a road trip across Colorado
What are your top 10 trout flies I should tie?
How does water fluctuation below a dam affect trout behavior?
I can't catch trout on anything but worm flies and woollies in my local river.  Why can't I catch them on standard nymphs?
How do I sort through the creek chubs to catch the nice brook trout below them?
Can I cut my poly leader back to make it shorter?
What line do I need to put on my 10-foot 8-weight single handed rod if I want to try some two-handed casts?
Why did a fly shop put a 6-foot leader on my outfit when I bought it?
A listener offers more suggestions on why you should tie your own leaders.A
nother suggestion on how to record small streams you fish--the Basemap app.
What is an affordable, dependable Orvis rod?
Why can't I catch the carp in my local pond?  Do you have any suggestions?

Direct download: Trophy_largemouth_on_the_fly_with_Jay_Aylward.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:04am EST

[Interview @ 38:40]

There are few things more fun in fly fishing than catching bluegills with a popper or nymph.  For the most part, once you find them it's easy and un-challenging fishing.  But if you want to up your game and chase trophy bluegills, the kind that will put a big bend in a 3-weight rod, you need special techniques.  This week Orvis-endorsed guide Kip Vieth shares his passion for big bluegills, and his special techniques for catching them--even in summer heat.
In the Fly Box this week, we answer the following questions from listeners:

I had a big brown trout chase my fly right after a big tumble of branches rolled down the river on top of him.  Is this common?

What can I do with some grouse feathers I obtained?

Does a 7 1/2-foot knotless leader have the same level tippet length as a 9- or 12-footer, or is the tippet length proportional?

I started tying my own leaders but had a blood knot break.  Should I go back to knotless leaders?

Would it be a good idea to tie smaller streamers with a shank and a trailing stinger as opposed to using a longer-shank hook? I have heard that long-shank hooks don't hold fish as well.

What are some good rules for keeping your distance on crowded trout streams?

I always hook my fly onto one of my guides but recently I had a guide break when I was pulling the rod apart.  Is that a bad practice and am I weakening the guides by doing this?

When someone says they are fishing a 9-foot or 12-foot leader, does that length include the tippet?

I had a Davey Knot break on heavy tippet.  Is the Davey Knot weaker in heavier materials?

How do I keep the fly line from pulling my leader back inside the guides when making short casts?

Direct download: How_to_Catch_Trophy_Bluegills_with_Kip_Veith.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:10am EST

This week we continue our exploration of small streams with Brian Slusser in California [@37:47] and Brown Hobson of North Carolina [@1:24:38]. Both are experienced guides and love small stream fishing. Even if you don't fish these regions, you'll find plenty of great tips and fly suggestions for your own region.

In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and also some great additional information from listeners, including:
I have a small bass pond in my neighborhood. What would you suggest regarding patterns and techniques?
I have a bunch of old flies from the 1940s. How can I tell if they are still good?
Is there a comparable approach to Euro nymphing when fishing for steelhead?
Some great information from a listener on the confusion around greenback cutthroat restoration in Colorado.
Why aren't all hooks barbless?
Do you have any tips on tying with calf body hair?
What are some good crab patterns for fishing for striped bass in New England?
Can you suggest some tips on tying in biot tails for nymphs like the Copper John?
Should I always be fishing my nymphs dead drift or should I try imparting some movement to them?
A listener calls in with some great tips for finding small stream trout in Colorado


This week, continuing with my small stream double features programs, I interview Todd Fuchigami of the Ellensburg Angler in Washington [@ 45:48], plus Mel Hayner of Driftless Fly Fishing Company in Minnesota [@1:24:51]. It's been fascinating for me to learn about the similarities, and the differences in small stream techniques throughout the country. Regardless of where you fish, you'll pick up great small stream tips from these two.

In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions and comments:

What is your preferred wet-wading outfit, or do you even wade wet at all during the summer?

If I need a longer dropper on my dry/dropper rig, should I add the extra length with another section of tippet added to the existing one or should I tie on a whole new dropper?

A listener takes me to task and says I should "spend more time on crowded public waters to better answer the fly box questions"

What is the best way to fish small streams when they get turbid from a summer rainstorm?

A couple book recommendations from a listener on small streams and alpine lakes

I normally take both my fly rod and a spinning rod with worms when trout fishing. What do you think of this method?


Are "bait chuckers" seen throughout the country or is it just my local fishing culture in Iowa? And what are some ways to help them see the beauty in fly fishing?


I have a bunch of old fly lines and rods. How do I figure out what line sizes I have?

What really matters when I stare into my fly box? What attributes do you look for and how do you rank them?


How often before you decide to switch flies?


How do I gauge the size of my hen hackles when tying soft hackles?

Direct download: Washington_State_and_the_Driftless_Region_of_the_Midwest.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:54am EST

[Rachel Therkildsen interview 36:25]
[Brett Damm interview 1:04:52]

I have been interviewing guides across the country on their techniques for small-stream trout fishing and I want to get these out sooner rather than later, at the peak of small stream trout season.  So this week, we have a special double feature on small trout streams East and West.  We have Rachel Therkildsen on fishing high altitude streams (and lakes) in Colorado, and then we move East to hear about small stream brook trout fishing in the Rangeley region of Maine with Brett Damm of Rangeley Region Fly Shop.
 
In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions:
I use mostly streamers in high mountain lakes.  Should I be using nymphs and dries?

Is there a good resource for organizing my fly boxes?

Are there any podcast episodes on panfish?

A suggestion from a listener on wearing a wetsuit when fly fishing.

Do you have any tips on how to fish difficult waters?

I think carp are eating blueback herring spawn on my local river.  Do you have any suggestions on how to catch them?

Can I fish emergers upstream?

If I take my new Mission rod to Florida to fish deep channels, when should I use a Scandi line and when should I use a Skagit line?

Is it OK to carry two rods with different rigs to maximize fishing time?

Is it OK to leave my wading boots wet for a day or two.  I always dry them but do I need to do it every day?

If I plan to use my Euro nymphing rod for more conventional fishing, should I overline the rod?

 
 

[Interview starts at 37:17]
 
This week, our podcast is all about carp.  It's a more advanced carp podcast with my buddy Dan Frasier, who is one of the most knowledgeable carp anglers I know.  Carp are almost never easy and sometimes they are damn near impossible.  But they are a fascinating challenge, and a good fish to chase when you aren't able to travel to more exotic places for big fish--something we all need to concentrate on.
 
I'm going to be doing more podcasts about fishing close to home--a bunch of small stream tips from various parts of the country, and also on bass and panfish.  Stay tuned in the coming months.
 
In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and suggestions form listeners:
  • Can I fish steelhead with a single-handed rod?  I can't find any information on it.
  • What type of stream bottom is best for rubber with metal studs on the soles, and what type is best with just rubber soles?
  • How can I find small wild trout spring creeks in the Northeast?
  • My flies don't look as good as the ones I buy in a fly shop?  Should I still fish with them even if the bodies do not have as nice a taper or the wings are too long?
  • Does it matter where I put the rubber legs on my panfish flies?
  • A suggestion on how to hold onto big trout when they jump
  • If a fish in a certain feeding lie gets caught every week, will it move away or will it just become harder to catch?
  • What is the best knot for tying a light tippet to a hopper imitation?
  • A tip from a physical therapist who has developed an Instagram channel on mobility and strengthening articles just for fly fishers 
  • Which H3 rod would be best for trout streamers and fairly large bass?
  • What is the difference between a good and a really great fly fisher?
Direct download: Advanced_Carp_Techniques_with_Dan_Frasier.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

[Interview starts at 41:18]

We could all use a little escapism these days, so why not listen to a podcast about adventures in the Amazon?  Fly Fisherman Magazine editor and publisher Ross Purnell, in a pre-Covid recorded interview, will thrill you with his adventures with a fly rod in the Amazon, and you will be shocked at how he celebrated the trip.  Few of us will be traveling to exotic locations this year, and many of us never will, but it is always enlightening to hear about what fishing is like in a different world.
 
In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and suggestions:
  • Further warnings on UV cure epoxy vapors
  • How do I keep my fly tying organized in a small apartment with a wife, dog, and cat?
  • Can I use steelhead swinging techniques for skating a caddis when trout fishing?
  • How do I learn Euro nymphing?
  • How can I find and catch bigger trout than the 12-inchers I usually catch?
  • Are there any advanced courses to improve my skills in fly fishing?
  • More tips from a fishing guide about how to improve a client's experience
  • Will a very hot car in Texas damage any of my fly-fishing gear?
  • I lose trout when they jump.  What can I do to prevent this?
  • Why didn't you mention Strike Putty in your TV show on using indicators?
  • I caught a trout and got slime on my fly, then the fly didn't work afterward.  Does slime on a fly scare off trout?
Direct download: Amazon_Jungle_Fishing_with_Ross_Purnell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:34pm EST

[Interview starts at 55:00] 

This week, Joe Hebler of the Blue Quill Angler in Evergreen, Colorado, answers the question "How do I become a fishing guide?"  Whether you are graduating from high school or college, or in another career looking to escape daily stresses and an unsatisfying job, Joe gives a great road map on what steps to take to successfully land a job in this competitive field.  And if you aren't interested in becoming a guide, Joe also gives some great tips on current fishing conditions on Colorado streams.
 
In the Fly Box this week, we answer some questions, share some tips from a listener, and alert people to a threat on one of Pennsylvania's finest trout streams.
  1.  Should I buy a 4-weight or a 5-weight rod for trout?
  2. Whatever happened to that little barbed thingee that goes into the end of a fly line to attach a leader?
  3.  An alert about a proposal by a meat packing plant to withdraw 700,000 gallons of water a day from the springs that feed the headwaters of Fishing Creek.
  4.  Are wet flies a legitimate strategy when you have trout rising downstream of your position?
  5. How do I get a large trout close to my net if my leader is long?
  6. What could I have done to catch a smallmouth bass in deep, clear, swirly water?
  7.  What mouse pattern is best and how should I fish it?
  8.  A great list of tips on why starting out in a small stream will build your skills for fishing tougher, more technical waters later.
  9.  My father wants to remove the brush along our stream to make it easier to cast and for my kids to splash in the river.  Should I try to talk him out of it?
  10. What is the best way to remove wind knots from my leader?
  11. A listener asks me about my top 3 places to fish
  12. I foul hooked a brook trout in the belly but it was only a flseh wound.  Do you think the fish will survive?
  13. Should I match my leader length to my rod length?
Direct download: How_to_Become_a_Fly-Fishing_Guide_with_Joe_Hebler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:07pm EST

[Interview starts at 37:18]
This week, the podcast is about native trout, specifically the Rio Grande cutthroat of New Mexico.  It's the story of two communities, one a small New Mexico town and the other the Taos Pueblo tribe, told by Toner Mitchell of Trout Unlimited, and Talisa Puentes Ortega, a biologist who worked on the project with the Taos Pueblo.
 
In the Fly Box this week, we have lots of questions, as usual, including:
  • Can I use Dragon Tails for trout spey?
  • Can I use scaled down versions of classic salmon and steelhead for trout?
  • Can I fix a cut in my 5-weight line?
  • Do you ever wish you could go back in time and fish a particular river?
  • Why do people often recommend different flies for tailwaters as opposed to freestone rivers?
  • How should I rinse my Clearwater reel after fishing in salt water?
  • Do creek chubs in a river indicate the absence of trout?
  • Should I boil my leaders to straighten them?
  • My buddy and I caught nice bass on small nymphs while fishing for sunfish.  Is this a fluke?
  • What are your recommendations for wet wading gear?
  • I bought a hen cape and realize it's not good for dry flies.  What can I use it for?
  • What rod should I get for going after carp, smallmouths, steelhead, and Pacific salmon?
Direct download: Rio_Grande_Cutthroat_Trout_of_New_Mexico.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:54pm EST

[Interview starts at 45:51]

This week's podcast was recorded prior to Covid 19 but I sat on it for awhile because it was about saltwater fly fishing in the San Francisco Bay area and I wanted to wait until sheltering at home restrictions were eased a bit and people could get out to try these ideas.  Sarah Landstrom of Lost Coast Outfitters regularly leads trips for this accessible and interesting urban fishing, and she has some great tips, and even suggestions for locations to try.
 
In the Fly Box this week, we have a number of interesting questions--plus a great e-mail from a listener on how he successfully uses two-handed rods for nymphing in Alaska.  Some of the questions this week are:
  • Do you think planning a trip with a guide will help me learn new skills?
  • What is the best way to go about asking for permission to fish on private land?
  • I don't have much time to fish.  How can I streamline things and become more efficient so I don't spend all my time rigging and tying knots?
  • Do you think a surgeon's knot is visible to fish?
  • Where on my leader do I put my indicator?
  • Why can I hook trout on dry flies?
  • What locations, flies, and weather conditions are best for night fishing?
  • Should I use mothballs in my fly tying materials?
  • Should I microwave my fly-tying materials?
Direct download: Saltwater_tips_from_San_Francisco_Bay_with_Sarah_Landstrom.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:34pm EST

This week I interview Devin Olsen, who you may know about from competitive fly fishing, but we’re not going to talk about competition. Devin walks us through what to look for when you first approach a stream and how to come up with a strategy for a day of fishing. His new book Tactical Fly Fishing is now available but we get a sneak peak on what you’ll learn from his book. In the Fly Box this week, we talk about: Moving kids from a spinning rod to a switch rod How to deal with muddy and bloody feathers from a duck-hunting friend How to display fly rods in your house If my jig hooks bend when I get stuck in a snag, should I just bend them back and re-use them? If a 5-weight is considered an all-around rod in graphite, is it the same for fiberglass rods? What is the difference between hen necks and hen capes? A great suggestion for carrying a landing net on a plane Do catastrophic floods ruin trout fishing and the insect life? What length and line size do you recommend for both smallmouth bass and steelhead? Can I catch catfish with a fly rod? How should I organize my bonefish fly boxes? Which grain weight in the Depth Charge lines is best for surf fishing?

Direct download: Backcast_Episode_Planning_your_Strategy_on_the_River_with_Devin_Olsen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:05am EST

 
This week I have an interview [starts at 39:52] that was recorded pre-Covid with Peter Bring, long-time Montana guide for Blackfoot River outfitters in Missoula.  I always learn new things form every guide I fish with, but I thought Peter had some especially helpful tips on fishing with indicators and dry droppers.  Being on the water every day and expected to produce fish in any condition, guides develop efficient, fun, and easy ways to catch fish and have polished their techniques through thousands of hours of helping other anglers become successful.
 
In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions
  • Has anyone ever caught two fish at once on a two-fly rig?
  • Can I use dog hair to tie flies?
  • I want to chase redfish, pike, steelhead, Pacific salmon, and muskie.  Will an 8-weight rod handle all those species?
  • Can I use the 10-foot sinking Salmon poly leader for trout?  Can I cast it on a 6-weight?
  • What can I tie with hen saddle patches?
  • What switch rod would you recommend for striped bass fishing in the surf?
  • What is the weight relationship between non-toxic wire and lead wire?
  • I live in Switzerland.  What should I expect regarding European fly hatches?
  • I keep losing big trout when they run downstream.  Do you have any suggestions on how I can land more of them?
  • A great tip on joining Trout Unlimited's Citizen Science Initiative
  • Can I use a popper/dropper rig for bass?
Direct download: Indicator_Fishing_Secrets_from_a_Montana_Guide.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:16pm EST

[Interview starts at 38:46]

This week I have the pleasure of interviewing one of my very favorite non-fiction writers, Mark Kurlansky.  Author of such award-winning books as Cod, Salt, Paper, 1968, and A Continent of Islands, Mark is a tireless journalist who digs into the very essence of anything he does.  His new book, Salmon, is his first book that involves sport fishing as well as the natural and economic history of both Atlantic and Pacific salmon. (And he has a book on fly fishing coming out next April).
 
In the Fly Box this week, we have the following tips and questions:
  • Should I use a cauterizing pen to clean material out of the eyes of my flies?
  • A host of solid tips for the novice Spey caster from a listener
  • What makes a good skater fly, and how do you fish them?
  • Why don't more people use the drop-shot method when fishing nymphs?
  • How do you attach a dropper to a Euro rig with passing the bottom fly through the loop?
  • How can I fish a Euro rig in really tiny streams?
  • Is my 8-weight rod too light for pike fishing?
  • Where should I fish in relation to a tailrace below a dam, and is a Spey rod a good idea?
  • Why did I see a big smallmouth slowly cruising up a small creek?
  • What is the best way to break off a fly when you are snagged?
  • How can I fish plunge pools in a small stream?
  • Does using a UV light when curing epoxy harm your eyes?
Direct download: Talking_salmon_and_other_fish_with_Mark_Kurlansky.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:18am EST

[Interview starts at 27:44]
This week I have the pleasure of interviewing perhaps the nicest human being on the planet, Tim Linehan of Linehan Outfitters in Libby, Montana.  I think you'll get a sense of what kind of person he is by listening in.  We talk about how the recent pandemic has affected fishing guides and lodges, but on a more fun note, Tim describes his fishery in northern Montana--the only place in Montana where you can catch a true native rainbow trout (rainbows on famous rivers like the Madison, Bighorn, Missouri, and Gallatin were originally stocked).
 
In the fly box this week, we have these tips and questions:
  • An easy way to make crab eyes
  • Why don't people use a piece of yarn in between blood knots as a strike indicator?
  • Will a 3-weight switch rod handle streamers for smallmouths?
  • What can I do to protect flies and tying materials?
  • Can I use springbok hair in place of deer hair?
  • Can I fish tungsten nymphs on a sinking line effectively?
  • When do I set the hook when sight-nymphing for trout?
  • How do you re-sharpen fly-tying scissors?
  • If I test my dry flies in water and they tip over on their sides, should I still use them?
  • Some further information on how chemical sharpening of hooks works
 
Direct download: Northern_Montana_Trout_Fishing_with_Tim_Linehan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:46pm EST

[Interview starts at 37:13]

This week I interview Sam Sifton, former Cooking Editor, now Assistant Managing Editor of The New York Times, and an avid fly-rod striped bass angler.  It's quite a rambling discussion, from striper fishing on Long Island to the current state of striper populations to the writing of Peter Matthiessen.  Along the way, of course we get some fish cooking advice but only for bluefish.  Learn why Sam and I don't eat striped bass (and it's more than just about catch-and-release for the sake of the population).
 
In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions:
  • Do you have any tips for fishing a very large river?
  • How long do hooks stay sharp, and can I re-sharpen chemically sharpened hooks?
  • Why don't you develop biodegradable hooks?
  • Why am I having problems catching spring trout in Alaska?
  • I was recently fishing a delayed harvest section and caught some smaller, beautifully colored trout.  Do you think they were wild?
  • Why am I developing pains in my wrist when casting my 8-weight?
  • Should I concentrate on getting really good at catching just one species, or should I try for all the species that are available in my area?
  • In a boundary layer between dirty and clean water, where will I find the trout?
  • In your TV show, you recommended a full sinking or depth charge line for bass in deep water.  Can I use a sinking poly leader on my floating line as well?
  • I am having trouble tying off the hackle at the base of the post on my parachute flies like the Klinkhammer.  Can you suggest some tips?
  • Can I get a fly rod that will be good for both steelhead and musky?
Direct download: Fishing_for_Stripers_off_Long_Island_with_Sam_Sifton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:39pm EST

[Interview starts at 38:00]
 
This week I interview Mark Melnyk, host and producer of The New Fly Fisher TV show and the co-producer of The Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing Season 2.  We tell some stories about what it's like filming a show and share some nasty tricks we played on cameramen over the past year.  The Orvis show premieres this week on World Fishing Network, but shows will also premiere for the next 13 weeks every Sunday on The Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing You Tube Channel.  Season 2 will also appear on PBS and on Amazon Prime later in the year, once we have all the shows completed.
 
In the Fly Box this week, we have a couple good tips from listeners (actually adding information to topics previously discussed on podcasts) including more detail on polarized lenses and why tilting your head helps, and also some additional information on keeping your muscles and joints in shape when fishing.
 
We also have these questions:
  • Should I wait to buy a first fly rod now, or should I  wait until I can go to an Orvis FF101 class once the stores re-open?
  • What suggestions do you have to help me tie on those size 20 and smaller flies?
  • I need up to 8 false casts to cast 60 feet.  What am I doing wrong?
  • I enjoyed watching you tie a Clouser Minnow.  How should I fish this fly for smallmouth bass in a river?
  • Why is it not OK to trim hackle on dry flies?
  • What data would you add to a streamside journal?
  • Do you think personal hygiene affects the sense of smell of trout?
  • Once I start traveling again I want to try some saltwater species.  Which ones should I target on my trip?
Direct download: Behind_the_Scenes_with_Tom_and_Crew.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am EST

[Interview starts at 36:56]
Sooner or later, if you fish a lot you WILL develop issues with your elbows or shoulders.  And it's not just us old geezers who suffer from these--I often meet much younger anglers with the same problems.  Anita Coulton is both a fishing guide for Crosscurrent Guide Service and a physical therapist, so she is intimately familiar with the issues we face, how to help prevent them, and how to fix them when they occur.  If you have ever had these problems, or if you just want to know how to keep your upper body in shape for fishing I think you'll benefit from the podcast.
 
In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions and tips:
 
  • How do I slim down my fly selection for small-stream fishing?
  • What is the best way to fish crayfish patterns?
  • A question about trout feeding times in relation to season and sunlight
  • I want to catch trout but have only been bass fishing.  What fly line should I get?
  • Should I get a 6-weight or 7-weight rod for smallmouth bass?
  • I fish a really snaggy river.  Should I tie all of my favorite nymphs on jig hooks?
  • Is a 9-foot or 10-foot rod better in the wind?
  • Should I get a Helios 3D or 3F or a Superfine glass rod for all-around fishing in Alberta?  I want to get a 4-weight
  • What is the best all-around color for sunglass lenses?
  • A tip on retrieving lost flies with your magnetic net holder
  • When looking at a fly recipe, how do you know what order to tie in materials?
  • Why wouldn't my spin reel fit on my fly rod, and is it a good idea to put a spin reel on a fly rod?
Direct download: Keeping_Yourself_Fit_for_Fishing_Season.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:15am EST

Interview starts at 32:13

We’ve done a bit with trout Spey on the podcast, but never one specifically on flies for trout Spey.  Luckily, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, who produces the best fly tying videos, has become a trout Spey addict and in the podcast he talks about tactics and tying special patterns for Trout Spey.

In the Fly Box this week, we have the following tips and questions:

  • When king salmon move into a pool, do they push the resident trout around?
  • During high water, do trout swim around a lot?
  • A great tip on tilting your head for better glare reduction with polarized lenses
  • Are long-shank hooks a good or bad idea for pike fishing?
  • Why aren’t there more white trout flies?
  • Why is it tough to catch trout in the Northeast during the winter?
  • What advantages does a 10-foot 8-weight H3 rod offer over a 9-footer?
  • I have heard that a heavier rod helps you land bigger fish.  Won’t a lighter rod offer better tippet protection?
  • Is there one line that will work for both Lake Texacoma and Gulf Coast salt water?
  • Is UV resin toxic?  Does it have a strong smell?
Direct download: Tim_Flagler_on_Trout_Spey_Techniques_and_Flies.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30pm EST

Check out Tom's upcoming episode on pre-spawn bass.

Direct download: Sneak_Peak-_Orvis_Guide_to_Fly_Fishing_with_Tom_Rosenbauer.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 10:03pm EST

This week I interview the great George Daniel (interview starts at 48:40), who you will see soon in the new installments of the Orvis TV show.  The show I did with him, on Euro Nymphing basics, should be premiered sometime in May.  But until then, George discusses the pros and cons of using straight monofilament vs. and actual fly line for Euro Nymphing—both have their advantages and George gives us some good guidance on their use, as well as other tips on this deadly method of fly fishing borrowed from competition anglers.  We also get sidetracked on the future of fly fishing and how both of us view the participation of younger anglers today.

 

In this Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions:

  • I am taking a six-day backpacking trip into the Appalachians.  How much water should I expect to cover in a day of fishing?
  • How do I combat the “old boy” network in fly fishing?
  • What strategies do you recommend for carp in a small lake?
  • What does “web” refer to in fly tying, and what is schlappen?
  • Do you think a Helios 905F will be good enough for fishing the Blackfoot, Rock Creek, Gallatin, and Yellowstone Rivers or will I need a 905D?
  • How do you go about experimenting with new fly patterns you have tied?
  • Can I catch carp on a fly during the winter?
  • I have trouble with “trout setting” in salt water.  Should I use a strip strike in all my trout fishing to get out of the habit?
  • Why doesn’t Orvis offer water testing kits?
  • I know trout do 90% of their feeding underwater, but I have recently discovered how effective a dry fly can be, even when no trout are rising.
  • Why should tippet size matter when fish can always see the hook?
  • Do you have a recommended leader for juvenile tarpon, and also for barracuda?
Direct download: Euro_Nymphing_Lines_with_George_Daniel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:37am EST

Interview starts at 41:08
New York State’s Salmon River—you either love it or hate it, and some of us love and hate it at the same time.  It’s an amazing resource, with large quantities of high-quality fish that are often chrome-bright and every bit as hot as their ocean-going relatives.  It’s a beautiful river.  It’s got great water for swinging flies.  And then there’s the tough news.  A river this productive will draw crowds, and some of them are not as well-behaved as most of us would like.  But you can get away from crowds on this river, and Matt Ertzinger,  veteran guide with Tailwater Lodge, shares his secrets on when to fish the river, how to avoid crowds, and what flies and tackle to use.  Is it worth the trip?  This podcast may help you decide.

 

In the Fly Box this week, we have the following tips and questions:

  • Should I feel dirty about using Squirmies and similar flies?
  • What rod can I use for bass in Mississippi and trout in Arkansas?
  • Are there scuds and sowbugs in Eastern rivers?
  • What advantages do the new Recon Euro-nymphing rods offer?
  • Can I put a 9-weight line on my 6-8 weight reel?
  • Can I prevent my fly line from stacking to one side of the spool?
  • How can I fish a tiny, brushy stream in southern California?
  • How can I get my flies deeper in fast, deep water when fishing for sea-run brook trout?
  • What is the best ay to fish for pike in a small stream?
  • How can I put the hatch guidebook that I bought to good use?
Direct download: Secrets_of_the_Salmon_River.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:48pm EST

This week we talk about Project Healing Waters and the amazing things it has done for veterans with both physical and mental issues due to their service.  Over 8,000 veterans have been introduced to the healing properties of nature and fly fishing in this program, with hundreds of chapters throughout the country and thousands of volunteers.  Todd Desgrosseilliers, decorated Marine veteran and a beneficiary of this program personally, is now the president of Project Healing Waters and he talks frankly about his experiences as a participant and then as an administrator.  Learn about the program and how you can get involved, whether you are a veteran in need of healing or as a possible volunteer.

 

In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions and tips:

  • What effects on fishing will the Australian wildfires have?
  • If I see a lot of tiny black stoneflies in the water, does that mean I should be fishing imitations of them?
  • A great additional suggestion on the benefits of a rotary fly-tying vise
  • A stream near me is stocked with brook, brown, and rainbow trout but it can support wild trout.  Why are there only wild rainbows in this stream?
  • Can flies be made by machine?
  • What stream conditions are best for a single-handed Spey cast?
  • How do I tie a second streamer behind an articulated streamer?
  • What should I teach my wife, who has never fly fished, before we go on a guided trip together?
  • How can I practice for a tarpon trip if I only have an 8-weight rod?
  • What technique would you use on the Green River in Utah?
  • Is my 8 ½ foot 7 weight rod enough rod to use on the Salmon River in New York?
Direct download: Project_Healing_Waters.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:26pm EST

Interview starts at 51:28

This week’s podcast is a spirited discussion with Dr. Andy Danylchuk, Professor of Fish Conservation at UMass Amherst, Science Advisor for Keep Fish Wet (www.keepemwet.org) and Research Fellow for Bonefish Tarpon Trust. My question to Andy was about the effectiveness of catch-and-release as a conservation tool, and as always when talking with a scientist it depends on your definitions. Like “What is conservation?” and predictably that varies with a person’s values and experiences. I thought it was a thought-provoking conversation and hope you do was well.

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

  • How do you put the hackle on a Stimulator?
  • What’s the best way to be ready for smaller cutthroats or big bull trout at the same time?
  • How can I maximize my success when fishing with my 4-year-old?
  • How can I plan  trip to fish the Rocky Mountains?
  • Why do I keep losing fish?
  • Where do natural fly tying materials come from?
  • What is the best way to cast big streamers or nymph rigs?
  • What rod do you recommend for fishing Chesapeake Bay?
  • A tip for a great, inexpensive seine for trout streams
  • Where do you draw the line between ethical and unethical use of electronics when fishing?
  • What do you think of ultra-light fly fishing?
  • Should I get a saddle or cape for tying flies?
  • Do you recommend upgrading to a premium fly-tying vise?
  • Can you explain the difference between tailwaters, headwaters, and freestone rivers?
Direct download: Is_Catch-and-Release_an_Effective_Conservation_Tool.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

Interview segment begins at 43:02

I get regular and frequent questions on the differences between nylon and fluorocarbon tippet—when and where to use them, appropriate knots, special properties, and shelf life.  I used to be involved in the development process of tippet and have visit many places where tippet is made.  But that was years ago and a lot of progress has been made since my time in product development.  So I invited Josh Jenkins, R&D manager at Scientific Anglers, to talk about recent innovations in tippet material.  Josh is intimately involved in the development and testing of tippet for both Orvis and Scientific Anglers, and his knowledge is far greater that mine.  I think you’ll learn some surprising tips on both tippet material construction and knots because I learned a lot in speaking with Josh.

The Fly Box this week is a little different.  This one was recorded live at The Fly Fishing Show in Edison New Jersey.  Rather than telling you what kinds of questions were asked (none of which were prompted or ones I had heard beforehand) I’ll let you discover these on your own.  You never know what might happen in New Jersey…

Direct download: The_Ultimate_Tippet_Podcast_with_Josh_Jenkins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:10pm EST

Being a camera gear geek, I was delighted to interview Chris Niccolls  (interview starts at 47:16) of DP Review TV. (If you are also a camera geek, you probably read DP Review regularly.) Chis is a photography teacher as well as a video star, has worked in camera shops, and currently works in a fly shop in Calgary. In the interview, he gives some fantastic tips on how to take better fish and fishing pictures in both the video and still formats. He also suggests some brands and models of phones, cameras, and drones that he feels are best suited for fishing photography.  I know I learned a whole mess of new tricks for taking better fishing pictures, and I am sure you will, too.

In the Fly Box, we cover plenty of topics that may help answer questions you have had about fly fishing:

  • Should I get a 6½-foot or 7½-foot rod for small streams?  What weight line is best, and should I get a Double Taper or Weight Forward line?
  • Do you carry a small seine with you when trout fishing?
  • How many wind knots should I expect in a day of fishing?
  • I fish for salmon and stripers.  Should I get a full-sinking or sinking-tip line in addition to my floating line?
  • How do you travel with fly rods?  Do you carry them on or check them?
  • Would a 12-foot, 6-inch two-handed rod be OK for both stripers and smallmouths?
  • What do you think offly clips?
  • Should I use nylon or Fluorocarbon tippets for dries and nymphs?
  • I have lost my passion for fly fishing.  Does this ever happen to you?
  • A suggestion from a listener on targeting white bass in Texas on their spawning runs
  • If I only had one type of line for stripers, bass, and pike because of expense, what line should I buy?
  • Do you have any suggestions for catching stocked trout when the spin guys are catching tons of them using corn as bait?
  • Is there a big difference between the Battenkill IV Spey and Battenkill IV disc?
  • Is there an advantage to using a rotary vise?
  • How long does it take trout eggs to hatch?
Direct download: From_Phones_to_Drones-_Taking_better_pictures_on_the_water.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:49am EST

I get frequent requests for suggestions on what fly-fishing literature to read during these long winter nights when you want to enjoy fly fishing but don’t want to snuggle up to something lighter.  I invited David Van Wie (interview starts at 45:10), author of the recently published book Storied Waters—subtitled “35 Fabled Fly Fishing Destinations and the Writers and Artists Who Made The Famous”—to share with me his favorite writers and books.  It is pretty much an eastern-oriented tour of these books, but don’t worry.  I have an idea for someone to do a similar podcast on western North America writers on a future podcast so stay tuned. 

In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and suggestions from listeners—and one who slapped my hands:

  • A listener who took me to task for encouraging another listener to try to introduce mayflies from one watershed into another.  Shame on me.  I didn’t think about also transferring other unwanted critters and I should have known better
  • Can I use the same nymphs under an indicator that I use when Euro nymphing and vice versa?
  • A suggestion from a listener about the great classes available at Orvis stores
  • What are the pros and cons of indicator vs. non-indicator nymphing?
  • What is your opinion on click-and-pawl fly reels?
  • Does anyone rent waders?  I don’t want to pack them into my luggage.
  • What gear do you carry when saltwater fly fishing that you would not carry on a trout stream?
  • Can I attach droppers to a tippet ring?
  • Why can’t I catch stocked trout when conventional anglers are yanking them in on Power Bait?
  • I had a trout take my plastic strike indicator.  Does this ever happen to you?
  • Does perfection matter when tying flies?  I have trouble tying a size 20 Purple Prince.
  • Do midges migrate to Indiana during the winter?
  • Why can’t I catch stocked trout on surface flies?
Direct download: Storied_Waters_with_author_David_Van_Wie.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:53am EST

Tired of crowded trout streams?  Looking for a new fish to catch on a fly rod that will give you a tussle and challenge your skills?  Look no further than the white bass, which is a common fish in many parts of the US, from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi drainage and has even been introduced into some western lakes.  My friend Jim Weatherwax is a white bass fanatic (he also fishes for wipers in the same waters, which are a freshwater sterile hybrid of a white bass and a striped bass) and offers solid advice on where to find these great fish, what tackle to use, and best techniques to catch them.  Warmwater fish like this are great ways to spread out the fishing pressure that we all experience from time to time.

 

We have a long fly box this week, with lots of interesting questions and tips from listeners, including:

  • What does it mean when a fly rod is rated for more than one line size, like 5/6?
  • Should I use a full fluorocarbon leader when fishing with indicators?
  • A suggestion on looking for blue cheeks and clean halos when trying to tell if a brown trout is wild.
  • What is the difference between the new Recon 2 and the Helios 3 rods? 
  • Should I buy a wading shoe one size larger than my shoe size when buying wading bots online?
  • What do you think of using 2X short hooks for small nymphs?
  • I am not able to catch fish on streamers during the winter in a tailwater.  What am I doing wrong?
  • Are fluorescent hot spots on nymphs effective?
  • Is it ethical to trim small tree branches in trout streams?
  • Why do trout only take big attractor dry flies right after they land on the water?
  • Are UV resins really effective?
  • Why am I losing so many trout when fishing small nymphs?  Am I setting the hook wrong?
  • Do you have some suggestions for catching American shad?
  • Is it worth it to tie your own leaders?  And if I do, how can I attach them to my fly line without a loop-to-loop connection?
  • Why do small brown trout attack huge streamers?
  • Should I get a Helios 3 D or F version for fishing UK chalk streams?
  • A suggestion for wearing nitrile gloves for winter fishing.
Direct download: Chasing_White_Bass_with_Jim_Weatherwax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:17pm EST

This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Orvis Executive Chairman of the Board, Perk Perkins, who spends a great deal of time chasing fish on saltwater flats and is one of the best technical anglers I know. Perk and I share a fascination for barracuda. They are one of the most exciting fish you can catch on the flats, but are often ignored in favor of bonefish, permit, and tarpon. But cudas offer one of the most explosive strikes in fly fishing, run and jump like maniacs, and are often on the flats when other species are hard to find. You just need to modify your leader and your technique a bit to catch them, and Perk shares some tips on cudas that run contrary to popular conceptions—including the idea that faster is not always better on your retrieve, and that small, slim flies can work as well as bulkier flies designed for barracuda.

In the Fly Box this week, we have an assortment of questions and tips shared by listeners, including:

  • A recommendation for a reliable carp fly
  • A question about putting a 9-weight intermediate line on an 8-weight rod for wade fishing for striped bass
  • A tip on modifying the Hare’s Ear Nymph
  • A question about a simple dry/emerger that does not require hackle
  • A suggestion for holding flies using the magnetic closure on some fly boxes
  • A question about how to find winter hatches on trout streams
  • A question about Euro nymphing using rods not designed for that purpose
  • A question about the tip-flex rating on an older Orvis rod
  • A question about hatches on alpine lakes just after ice-out.
  • Are Helios 3 and Recon blanks made overseas?
  • What is the best way to teach my 8-year-old son to cast?
  • A suggestion for contacting local fly clubs for information when traveling to a new destination
  • Are spin anglers less ethical than fly anglers regarding crowding on the river?
Direct download: Barracuda_With_Perk_Perkins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:01pm EST

This week I have another podcast with John McMillan, as I have to confess I love talking to John about fishy stuff.  His knowledge and enthusiasm and passion are infectious and I think his interviews are always enlightening.  This week we talk about The Colors of Trout—can we tell anything from the coloration of trout about their life history?  Is there a good way to tell a hatchery form a wild fish?  What does it mean when trout carry parr marks into adulthood?  How quickly can trout change their coloration?  And are the spot patterns on trout like fingerprints?  Warning—we come up with more questions than answers and you may as well.

 

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

  • A way to get a dropper off a surgeon’s knot to stand at 90 degrees to the tippet
  • A suggestion for an all-around rod for bass and Great Lakes steelhead
  • How to carry a sinking line without lugging around a second rod
  • Can I add 4X tippet to a 5X leader?
  • What is the best way to dispose of tippet clippings?
  • What is the difference between Euro, Tightline, Direct Contact, Spanish, Czech, and French Nymphing?
  • Does it make sense to try a mouse fly during the winter?
  • Do trout live in different places in freestone rivers than in tailwaters?
  • Do mayflies live in warm waters?
  • What is the best rod for an 8-year-old kid?
  • What is the best way to thin UV Cure epoxy?
  • If you see nymphs on the bottom, can you predict what adult insect to imitate?
Direct download: Trout_Markings_and_their_Significance_with_John_McMillan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:42pm EST

There's no such thing as streamer season.

That’s the rallying cry of Courtney Despos, director of education and guide for Trouts Fly Fishing in Denver.  Courtney is a self-professed streamer fanatic and she fishes them all season long, even in the dead of winter when most people are dragging nymphs along the bottom.  Courtney shares her tips on winter streamer fishing, showing us how you can be successful fishing these flies all year long—as well as her tips for keeping warm when winter fishing.

In the Fly Box this week, we have the usual mashup of questions that range all over the place, including:

  • When I am fishing a hopper/scud combination, why do I have trouble hooking fish on the hopper even though the trout appear to be taking it?
  • A past fan of very fast rods details why she now enjoys rods with a more moderate action.
  • A listener gives a detailed plan for killing carpet beetles in fly-tying materials
  • Has anyone ever made a fly rod out of aluminum?
  • When is the second season of the Orvis TV show going to launch?
  • What are some good casting drills for the off season?
  • A plea from a listener in Louisiana for fly tiers to use nutria fut
  • What is a good entomology book for the Sierra region?
  • What is your opinion on furled leaders?
  • What are your thoughts on fluorocarbon?  What sizes should I carry?
  • Further advice from a taxidermist on curing hides for fly tying
  • I need some advice on fighting large trout in a tight stream
  • A specialist in opthamology and visual sciences weighs in on dizziness after being in a drift boat
  • Can I use my 9-foot 6-weight bass rod for trout?
  • Why does the loop in my clear intermediate line keep cracking and what can I do to fix it?
  • Do whitefish and trout live in the same places?
  • Can I use my 9-foot 8-weight rod uplined to a 9-weight for trout in northern lower Michigan?
Direct download: Theres_No_Such_Thing_as_Streamer_Season_With_Courtney_Despos.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:59pm EST

This week I interview one of my fly-fishing heroes, Joe Humphreys.  He’s been an innovative angler all his life (he was “Euro nymphing” before the Europeans) but even more impressive is his love of life and fly fishing, and his energy on the river in his ninth decade.  Joe talks about hot to stay young on the river, how to fish nymphs at night, and about the inspirational new film about his life called Live The Stream: The Story of Joe Humphrey.  It’s now available own and rent on the iTunes Store:  or Go to www.livethestreamfilm.com to buy the film on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Download and more platforms including: Prime Video, Google Play, Vimeo, and Youtube.  I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys the fly-fishing world and its history and traditions—and who wants to learn how to retain the enthusiasm of a 12-year old on the water.

 

Here are the important links:

 

Buy the film on LTS site: www.livethestreamfilm.com

Buy/Rent on iTunes: https://apple.co/2Iw0fQj

Nomadic Studio: www.thenomadic.com

 

In the Fly Box this week we have many interesting questions and suggestions:

  • What is the best way to manage fly tying both at home and in the office?
  • I broke my Tenkara rod when I got my fly snagged.  What is the safest way to try to retrieve a snagged fly when using this type of rod?
  • Why won’t my clinch knots tighten properly?
  • How can I get over my reluctance to fish emergers?
  • A suggestion from a taxidermist on how to handle raw deer hides for fly tying.
  • Do trout take Perdigons in unnatural colors out of curiosity or do you think they resemble food?
  • What is an easy way to learn fly-fishing entomology?
  • Why do the trout I take in mountain streams carry parr marks even into adulthood?
  • What do I tell people who berate me for torturing fish?
  • Are there circumstances when I should set my indicator shallower than 1 ½ times the water depth?
  • I can’t seem to get away from the crowds no matter how far I drive.  What should I do?
  • If I find lots of creek chubs in a stream, does that mean it won’t also hold trout?
  • If you are not certain how to pair two streamers together, does it make sense to fish just one?
  • Can I use split shot to get my nymphs deeper when Euro nymphing instead of tying my own flies with varied weights?
  • Do you have some tips for casting a Depth Charge line?
  • Do you have some suggestions on how to swing flies for Great Lakes steelhead?
Direct download: Joe_Humphreys_and_the_Fountain_of_Youth.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:13pm EST

This week I had a couple guests lined up but we had to reschedule, and because I have not done a new podcast in a few weeks because of my travel schedule I decided to tell a story. It’s from a magazine piece I did a number of years ago for the now-defunct magazine Fly Rod & Reel, and I have been toying with the idea of doing an audio book of my magazine stories over the years so I’m trying this to test the concept. The name of the story is “Creeped Out in Lordville” and it’s about all the decisions we have to make in the prime part of the season when fishing is good almost anywhere. It’s a departure from the usual podcast format of nuts-and-bolts advice so I hope you enjoy it. And not to fear, there is still a Fly Box section where I do offer advice on simple technique and tackle questions if that’s the kind of stuff you’re looking for. In the Fly Box this week, we have the questions and suggestions from readers: Some great professional advice on that recurring theme of lower back pain while fly fishing What are the practical benefits of smooth vs. textured lines in the new Orvis Pro Fly Lines? What do competitive anglers do for their own nymphing when not bound by competition rules? How do you fish for brown trout at night? What are times to avoid when trout fishing? Is air temperature, flow, or water temperature the most important consideration for trout fishing when the heat of summer is over? Why did a brown trout swim over to me and rub my ankles? Is there one rod I can use for both Midwest steelhead fishing and musky fishing? A suggestion that Bigeye Hooks have benefits beyond just easier threading Why does my nymph rig break at the surgeon’s knot instead of the clinch knot connection to the fly? What’s the best feather for palmering wet flies? What are some “go to” patterns for Euro nymphing? After I catch a fish, should I stay in the same pool or move on?

Direct download: Creeped_out_in_Lordville.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:13pm EST

In today's podcast my guest is Shawn Combs, head of Orvis Rod & Tackle product development and Orvis rod and reel designer.  The topic is "16 Things I Wish I Knew About Trout Spey Before I Started".  If you have been thinking about trying to swing wet flies or small streamers for trout with a two-handed rod, also known as "Micro Spey", this will be a valuable lesson for you.  These are light two-handed rods, in line sizes 3 and 4, designed for covering larger waters.  It's especially effective in the fall, when trout are getting aggressive as the move into winter and brown and brook trout are migrating to their spawning grounds.  It's a fun and for many of us a new way to fish for trout.  In the Fly Box this week, here are some of the questions and suggestions from listeners:


I know there are large trout in my river.  What kind of water do I look for and what else should I keep in mind when targeting these larger fish?


I have been setting the hook on smallmouth bass by sweeping my rod parallel to the water.  Can you take a moment or two to discuss the pros and cons of various rod angles when setting the hook?

How can I tell if my waders are leaking or if I am just sweating inside them?


My wife and I had over 40 fish rise to our dry flies and only hooked a couple.  Any idea what was going on or how to land these fish?
What, to you, is the essence of Atlantic salmon fishing?


A tip from a listener on how to target flathead catfish on a fly
If I take my nine weight switch rod to Florida, what line size should I use on it for fishing from the surf?


A suggestion from a listener on another thing to be careful of regarding river etiquette.


What is the best way to get unstuck when you hook your fly on an object?


Do you have any recommendations on fishing crayfish patterns for smallmouth bass?


When there is thick aquatic weed on a river, what do you suggest for nymphing techniques?


Why am I suddenly beginning to hit my rod on my back cast?


A suggestion from a listener on the benefits of multi-focal contact lenses.


This week my guest is noted steelhead angler and scientist John McMillen of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. John’s topic is The Secret Life of Steelhead, and his fascinating discussion of why they do what they do (and the challenges they face) held me in absolute fascination. I am sure you’ll feel the same. Besides being a lifelong steelhead angler (John was a tester on our new Mission Series of two-handed rods), john has spent hundreds of days snorkeling steelhead rivers observing them, and at one time he was fishing about 345 days a year. John has worked professionally for the US Forest Service, the Hoh Indian Tribe, the Wild Salmon Center, and recently for NOAA on the Elwha dam removal project. Despite his lifetime of studying the life history and ecology of steelhead, John remains an optimist on the future of steelhead and it gives us hope that someone who understands them so well feels they have a chance of survival. In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and suggestions from listeners: How to clean waders with vodka! A tip on a simple tool for tying nail knots A suggestion for a quick change rig for catching barracuda when fishing for bonefish and permit Why am I having trouble hooking brown trout on terrestrials? What waders do you recommend for someone starting out? What safety precautions do you take on the water? When you first get to the river, how do you decide which nymphing technique to use? What regular fly line size works on the Practicaster? Is there a good way to mark large smallmouth bass so I can see if I am catching the same ones? Silver saltwater hooks don’t work well for me when I fish Clousers in salt water. Why? I have a box of old leaders that are between five and 20 years old. Should I use them? Can I fish for steelhead in Lake Ontario tributaries with a 9-foot 8-weight rod? Why do I see so many scarred fish in a particular river? What other presentations should I use in high, dirty water when streamers don’t work?

Direct download: The_Secret_Life_of_Steelhead_with_John_McMillen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

This week, my guest is Orvis COO Simon Perkins, a lifelong fly fisher with 8 years of full-time guiding experience prior to working for Orvis. The subject is “Seek the Inside”, getting detailed about reading the water in a place that many anglers ignore—and one of the best places to find trout. Learn how to find these inside places and how to fish them from a highly experienced guide and fly fisher—and a great story teller. In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and tips: How do I keep my fine scissors sharp? What should I avoid cutting with them? I have an 8 ½ foot 5 weight Encounter rod and need something bigger as well. What weight rod should I think of for my next one? A great tip on how to relieve lower back pain when fishing all day. Why don’t we have wild rainbow trout in more streams if they are so easy to grow in a hatchery? What is causing my leader to twist when fishing with a dry dropper? What are some good fly patterns to tie for panfish, ones that are easy for a beginner to tie? What would cause a large brown trout to suddenly dart erratically in all directions and then return to the same spot? What can I do to keep the tip of my floating line from sinking? Why am I having so much trouble making short casts on small streams? Is a 5-weight rod too small for bass? Can Antron be used as a parachute post material? Why do the wings on my poly wing spinners sweep back along the body and how can I fix it? How would you approach an unknown stream if you only had a few hours to fish?

Direct download: Seek_the_Inside_Reading_the_Water_with_Simon_Perkins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

This week’s podcast is called “Secrets of Lake Erie Steelhead Tributaries” and my guest expert is Alberto Rey, a longtime Orvis-Endorsed Guide and is also Distinguished Professor for Research and Creative Activity in the State University of New York system. He is a fine artist who specializes in Cuban-influenced scenes and such esoteric subjects as steelhead and extinct birds. Alberto also does some fine work with a youth fly-fishing program. Despite all his interests and activities days on the river with him are surrounded by an aura of calm and he’s a wonderful person to share a day with on the river. In the podcast he gives us tips on seasons, fly patterns, techniques, and tackle needed to chase steelhead in the eastern portion of Steelhead Alley—although steelhead anglers will learn tips they can use on smaller rivers anywhere steelhead are found. In the Fly Box this week we tackle the usual array of both advanced and basic questions including: What retrieve should I use when saltwater fly fishing? I tried it in Greece and didn’t catch anything. Can I use Poly Leaders for both steelhead in Oregon and saltwater species in California on my single-handed rod? A great tip from a listener on how to use bobber stoppers to make an adjustable dry/dropper rig. If I want to extend the butt on my leader, how do I know what size to use? How do I modify my hook-setting technique on downstream dry flies? Why do some brook trout carry parr marks throughout their life? What do you recommend for targeting perch in France? How do you tell a male from a female brown trout?

Direct download: Secrets_of_Lake_Erie_Steelhead_Tributaries_with_Alberto_Rey.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

I frequently get questions about Stillwater trout fishing, and although I love it I am not very good at it. So I enlisted one of the best Stillwater teachers I know, Phil Rowley, and asked him to discuss something more advanced that relates to Stillwater trout fishing. The result is a very detailed discussion of fishing nymphs, especially midge imitations, on a very long leader. With this technique you can fish surprisingly deep—if you are patient! In the Fly Box this week we have the following questions: Is there any value in underlining a fly rod? How do I get foul odors out of my waders? How do I target stripers and smallmouth when the water is over 70 degrees and trout are also present? What is your go-to technique in a trout stream if you don’t see anything feeding? If you could only select one sequence, would you pick odd or even sizes of fly rods? My lower back is killing me after a long day of fishing. What can I do to alleviate this problem? How do I approach a stretch of river with deep pools and virtually no current? How can I teach my friends to recognize a strike to a nymph? Is it safe to bring the line/leader connection inside my rod guides? I am going to the Yellowstone area. Is it worth it to hire a guide?

Direct download: Advanced_Stillwater_Techniques_with_Phil_Rowley.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Secrets of catching sipping trout with Dave Perkins This week I interview Dave Perkins, Orvis Vice Chairman and one of the best technical anglers I know. Dave loves geeky challenges and is an expert at catching those picky large trout that lay up against the banks and sip small flies—ones that most anglers don’t even notice. In the Fly Box this week we have the following questions: Can I use a Bimini Twist knot to attach my leader to my fly line? Why does a trout that is sipping quietly suddenly attack my dry fly? Is there a way to land large trout in a small stream without a net? A tip on using split ring pliers for removing split shot. How do you choose where to go fishing when there are so many options? What books did you use when starting out, and where do you get your information these days? How do I avoid foul hooking fish when dry dropper fishing with a nymph on a short dropper Which is better, a fiberglass or bamboo rod? Is there a way to connect a tarpon or cuda fly directly to my bonefish fly? I have heard it can be done with a loop. How do I know how fast to set the hook on rising trout? Is it ethical to target bass on spawning beds?

Direct download: Secrets_of_Catching_Sipping_Trout_with_Dave_Perkins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:54pm EST

This week the main topic of the podcast is the issue of etiquette on our more crowded trout streams, in particular the conflicts that have arisen due to the popularity of fishing from drift boats and the issues that have developed both with boat and wade anglers. My guest is Wade Fellin, Montana native, lifelong fishing guide, and lodge owner. Wade gives some examples of recent poor etiquette he’s seen on his home river, the Big Hole, and how these kinds of conflicts can be avoided. We also explore some ways that clients as well as guides can help mitigate these issues. In the Fly Box this week, as usual we have some interesting questions (and tips) that I hope will be of interest to everyone. Some of the topics we explore are: What do you think of flies with spinner blades in front of them? Are Tenkara rods good in small brushy streams? Should I be worried about fishing in a lightning storm with my graphite rod? What are your thoughts about orientation on articulated hooks? What can I do about CDC getting slicked back on my flies? Is swinging flies for smallmouths a valid tactic? Can I swing wet flies with my level competition line? What can I do about red dye running from materials on my flies? Is it OK to use a level leader when surf and jetty fishing? What can we do about fish in heavily fished areas getting mangled mouths? Can I catch catfish on a fly? I have heard people say they catch trout with 80-foot casts? What is a practical casting distance?

Direct download: Drift_Boat_Etiquette_with_Wade_Fellin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:03am EST

This week, back by popular demand is Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, who is one of the best fly-tying teachers around and also produces the best tying videos on the Internet (like our One-Minute Fly Tying Tips, available on Orvisnews.com or in the Orvis Learning Center.)  Tim and I talk about great new patterns and old patterns that should be resurrected, as well as taking old patterns and incorporating modern materials into them.  We also discuss that state of fly-tying today, which is probably more exciting than at any other time in history because of the great interchange of ideas in places like Instagram and You Tube.

In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and suggestions:

  • Suggestion on how to keep your split shot from sliding down the leader
  • Suggestion on how to remove water from dry flies that won’t cost you a cent!
  • Do nymphs work all season long?  What method should I start with?
  • Should I do anything to maintain my old Orvis Green Mountain outfit?
  • What do you think of foam posts for parachute flies?
  • How do I catch rolling tarpon in deep water? 
  • How can I catch gar on a fly?
  • Can I use big streamers on small streams in Central New York?
  • I like short rods.  Should I get the 6-foot Superfine Carbon or 6/12-foot Orvis Superfine Glass rod?
  • Can I buy the right Comparadun hair online?
Direct download: Fly_Patterns_Old_and_New_with_Tim_Flagler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm EST

This week my guest is Davy Wotton, originally from Wales but who now lives and guides on the White River in Arkansas. I get frequent questions about swinging soft hackles and wet flies, and honestly I am not the best at this technique so I brought in who 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.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:02am EST

This week’s podcast is not about using alternative methods to a bobber or strike indicator.  It’s how to make your fishing more effective—and more fun—when you do use a bobber.  And my special guest is Ben Sittig from Colorado, better known to those of you who follow You Tube and Instagram as The HUGE Fly Fisherman.  His videos and posts are helpful but funny, and as he admits, a bit snarky.  But in a good way and his advice is solid.  Ben talks about how, by concentrating on the indicator itself we don’t realize what is going on beyond it, down where our flies are drifting, and offers some solid advice.  And then we run out of bobber stuff to talk about so we both get up on our respective soap boxes and talk about the state of the world of fly fishing, particularly when it comes to social media.  I hope you find our ramblings entertaining.

In the Fly Box this week we have lots of interesting questions.  One of the best batches in a long time.  Maybe I’m training you to ask questions I can answer or maybe it’s just because everyone is fishing and has some great thoughts in their heads.

  • When you make a heavier fly rod, do you use the same taper and just add material?
  • How to I kill off carpet beetles in my fly-tying capes?
  • Why can I catch brown trout in four to five feet of water but not in those 10-foot pools?
  • I have to drive over two hours to catch trout.  How can I learn more about fly fishing?
  • Is it easier to hook trout on a Tenkara rod than on a conventional rod?
  • Is there any function in different eye types on hooks?
  • Do you know of a good way to make an adjustable nymph dropper for a dry/dropper rig?
  • Why won’t trout that are feeding on smaller flies eat my Stimulator?
  • What is the best way to add four feet of level tippet to a fly line when streamer fishing?
  • How far do stocked brown trout move?
  • Why can I only catch trout on olive streamers when my river has sculpins in it?
  • Why does my tippet get twisted when I fish big foam flies?
Direct download: _Beyond_the_Bobber_with_Ben_Sittig.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:48am EST

We all learn something every time we go fishing, even the amazing vacuum cleaner Jesse Haller, our resident Euro nymphing expert.  So I asked Jesse what he has learned over the past 12 months, and it’s a fun and eye-opening interview that got me excited about trying some new ideas and strategies for Euro nymphing.  I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.

 

In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions:

  • Is there a good way to figure out what fly sizes I can use on a given rod?
  • Can I use big trout streamers for Atlantic salmon?  Why are traditional salmon flies tied they way they are?
  • I have trouble with line handling with two-handed rods.  What should I do?
  • I can’t find smallmouth bass in my river even though I know they live there.  What kind of water should I look for?
  • Why do some hook styles come in odd sizes like 13 and 15?
  • I can’t get enough distance on big lakes with my 9 foot 6 weight Recon rod.  Would a longer rod help?  Would a two-handed rod get me more distance?
  • Is it necessary to pinch the barb on hooks smaller than size 20?
  • Why can’t I get flies shipped from the US to Canada, and is there any way to get around this?
  • If I catch a big fish, is it OK to go back to try and catch it again in the same day?
  • I am having trouble deciding on the right line for bass fishing on my 909 rod.  Some bass bug lines are rated two line sizes heavier.  What should I do?

This is a special backcast episode in that we also are posting an accompanying video over on the Orvis Fly-Fishing Video Podcast. Check it out wherever you get your podcasts and subscribe! Here is Tom's summary from when this ran in March of 2011: We have a very exciting podcast for you this week. Many of you have asked for a pike podcast, and we've delivered what I think is one of our best presentations in two parts. Part 1 is an audio interview I conduct with pike expert Drew Price, where he goes into great detail on where, when, and how to catch pike. Also in part 1, we have some tips in the Fly Box section on fishing CDC flies, choosing one rod for bass and trout, and how to get your nymph deep in small plunge pools. Part 2 is a video where we have tips on pike fishing (along with some shots of nice pike caught on a fly), courtesy of The New Fly Fisher TV show. I know I learned a ton from interviewing Drew and watching the video and can't wait to get at the pike this spring.

Direct download: Backcast-_Fly-Fishing_for_Pike_with_Drew_Price.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:15pm EST

It’s not difficult to catch walleye on the fly if you know where and when to go after them. I have gotten frequent requests from listeners on how to catch walleye on the fly and have never been able to find the right expert guest. Then, a few weeks ago while filming a bass fishing episode for the upcoming second season of the Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide TV show, I found my expert—Ted Putnam of Hawk Lake Lodge. Ted has shown numerous experts how to catch not only just walleye but trophy walleye on the fly, and he shares his expertise on when and where, what flies to use, what lines to use, and how to retrieve the fly. In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions: Why can’t I get bass to eat my mouse flies? Why don’t the fish on my river eat salmon flies? How often can I fish a population of trout and will it hurt them? More discussions on fish and changes in barometric pressure. (This will be an ongoing discussion) Why do I keep losing fish when using a heavily weighted barbless fly? Can I use my 9-foot 5 weight rod for bass fishing? What is the strangest fly material you have ever used? When should I use Comparaduns? What kind of roadkill can I use for fly tying? Why did mahi in the Gulf Stream ignore my flies? How does water temperature affect fish and insects? Why do people not fish dry flies much any more?

Direct download: Walleye_on_the_fly_with_Ted_Putnam.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:44pm EST

In honor of Father's Day and since Tom is still out on the road, we've pulled a popular show from the archives on how to teach young people how to fly fish.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

Tom should be back next with your questions.

Direct download: Backcast_Episode-_Ten_Tips_for_Getting_Young_People_into_Fly_Fishing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:27am EST

This week’s podcast is one of the biggest eye-openers I have ever done. Not only did I learn a lot, I have actually changed my views on a number of topics, including the effects of the moon on fishing and the effects of a change in barometric pressure. My guest, Russ Carpenter, is a neurologist at Stanford who studies the brains and senses of fish, specifically rainbow trout. He answers lots of question about a trout’s sense of smell, vision, and hearing. Including UV vision. I hope you learn as much as I did in this podcast. In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions: Do you really fish with bamboo rods? Aren’t graphite and glass better? Why did I see large steelhead in a Great Lakes tributary in July? What is your opinion on stocking fish in wild trout streams? Is a 6-weight line from 30 years ago the same size as a modern 6-weight?Can I dye a fly line with RIT dye? What is the best saltwater weed guard? Are some spooky fish truly un-catchable? Is there anything I can do to try to catch them? Is there a difference between a Scottish brown trout and a German brown? I am landing trout up to 20 inches without letting them run. Am I doing something wrong? What do you think about weighted soft hackles? With modern runner soles like the Michelin sole on the Pro Boot, is there any need for studs?

Direct download: The_Behavioral_Neurology_of_Trout_with_Dr._Russ_Carpenter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

This week we’re talking about a spectacle of nature that happens every year in the Rockies in June—the salmonfly hatch. This is a giant stonefly that excites big trout and fly fishers—but it’s difficult to plan for and not as easy to fish as you might imagine. John Way of The Tackle Shop in Ennis, the oldest fly shop in Montana, gives his tips on the life cycle of this giant stonefly, how to fish the hatch, and how to avoid some of the inevitable drift boat traffic the hatch attracts. If you are planning a trip to the Rockies soon this is one you won’t want to miss. In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and comments: How do I catch the big trout I see on Instagram? I never see them myself when I am on the river. How long before stocked trout tune into feeding on natural foods? If I accidentally kill a fish in a catch and release section, should I try to keep it to eat or just let it die? Is there an advantage to tying my second nymph to the eye of the first fly? When should I do this? When is a drop-shot rig better than conventional weight on the leader? Should I get a 5-weight or 6-weight rod for fishing indicator rigs on a windy lake? What fly materials are fairly universal and can for used for a variety of patterns? Why did I see some big trout in a tributary to a larger trout stream? A special tutorial on how to open a pair of forceps (you won’t want to miss this one!) How do we get younger people involved in organizations like Trout Unlimited?

Direct download: The_Salmonfly_Hatch_with_John_Way.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

This week I have a chat with Scott Bosse of American Rivers on the Montana Headwaters Security Act, a 7-year program that will hopefully come to fruition in 2020. It’s draft legislation for new Wild and Scenic river designations on some of the best rivers and streams on public lands in Montana. This draft legislation is the culmination of seven years of outreach to a broad cross-section of Montanans from across the state. During this time they have met with over 500 business owners, watershed groups, land trusts, recreation groups, riverside landowners, sportsmen and sportswomen, conservation organizations and other stakeholders. What they heard at those meetings mirrored what they learned in two bipartisan polls in 2013 and 2016 – Montanans love their rivers and want to see more of them protected using the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. It’s appropriate that this major legislation is happening in Montana, because the idea for the original Wild and Scenic Rivers legislation was born in Montana and was signed into law by President Johnson in 1968. In the Fly Box this week, we have questions and suggestions from listeners, including the following: The reason for the T-designation for sinking heads Can I use Tenkara flies with standard fly-fishing tackle? Why can’t I catch fish on nymphs? Do you have some tips for limestone streams? When it is advisable to purposely un-match the hatch Can I use hiking bots in place of wading boots? Can I use midge-sized flies all year long? They only work for me in the winter. Can I use an unweighted fly with a Euro-nymphing rig? Is it a good idea to use gear lubricant on my fly line? Why is fly-fishing gear so much more expensive than conventional gear? Where should I add split shot in relation to my streamer? Is there an easy way to remove split shot?

Direct download: Protecting_the_Montana_Headwaters_with_Scott_Bosse.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:45pm EST

This week I was down in the Catskills and stopped in to chat with Evan Lavery of The Beaverkill Angler in Roscoe, New York. The topic of our podcast is hatches of the freestone rivers of the Catskills, in particular the Beaverkill and Willowemoc Creek. These are rivers rich with tradition and also rich with a diverse insect population--although they don't have the quantity of insects seen in the Catskill tailwaters like the Delaware, they have a more diverse population so you never know what you'll see. Plus, for the wading angler, these rivers don't have drift boats thus they can be more pleasant for fly fishers on foot. In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and more: What leader should I use for pike and muskie? How do I fish for grayling in high mountain lakes? Do trout eat moths? What fly line is best for short casts? What indicators do you prefer? How do I tell the difference between a wild and stocked brown trout? Plus a harrowing tale of an "extreme angler"

Direct download: Hatches_of_the_Catskills_with_Evan_Lavery_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30am EST

Tom is on the road this week so we are posting a backcast episode from January of 2011 on emergers. This is one of Tom's "Black Diamond" episodes where he shares some more advanced fly-fishing techniques.

Direct download: Six_Black_Diamond_Tips_on_Fishing_Emergers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:04pm EST

This week, fresh from the Orvis Guides’ Rendezvous in Montana, I returned with a bunch of stories and tips I recorded with some full-time, professional Orvis-endorsed guides in a bar. Some stories are bizarre, some funny, and some touching. I also asked each guest for a tip so it’s not all pure entertainment. There is just a bit of bathroom humor around body functions, so just be warned in case you listen to these with kids. Nothing I would not share with my kids but just in case… In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions and a couple great tips from listeners. A series of great tips on what to focus on when teaching a friend to fly fish. If jig hooks ride point up, why do fly tiers put the wing case on the side that points down when it is in the water? If trout face upstream, and you should approach them from downstream, why do all these people catch lots of fish using Euro nymphing methods when fish are directly across or even downstream from them? I have a 9 ft 6 weight Recon. I want to fish in small trout streams and for panfish. What lighter rod would you recommend? My big tungsten beads keep slipping over the hook eye. What can I do to prevent this? I fish in a river that has stocked trout and native smallmouth but I am really targeting the smallmouth. Why do I only catch trout this time of year? Why don’t your rods have hook keepers? I have been told to make my fly cast like I am holding a pretzel rod and I should be making a motion like I am trying to break the pretzel. But I get fatigue in my wrist. Is this a good casting tip? What is the dumbest way you have ever broken a rod? If you don’t have the correct fly size to match an insect, is it better to go one size smaller or one size larger when matching the hatch?

Direct download: Funny_and_Bizarre_Fishing_Stories_FIXED.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

So you thought you knew something about fly-fishing history? This week I have a chat with Paul Schullery, in my opinion the premier fly-fishing historian in North America. When I have a question about history Paul is my go-to guy. He’s the author of at least 50 natural history books, was a historian for Yellowstone National Park, and when he lived in Vermont was executive director of The American Museum of fly fishing. In the podcast, you’ll learn that not many things are new in fly fishing. Tenkara-style fishing was used in Europe hundreds of years ago. People were catching bass on a fly in Florida since revolutionary days. Euro nymphing? Drop shot techniques? Fly fishing for pike? Saltwater fly fishing? Those were all done hundreds of years ago. Paul also goes into some detail on women in fly fishing, and how women have been involved in the sport since the very beginning. In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions: Is it worth it to buy prescription polarized sunglasses and where do I buy good ones? What works best for early season brook trout in Vermont? Am I cheating if I use a small wireless fish finder on my pontoon boat? Why do you call this The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide podcast? Is it just for guides? Why doesn’t anyone make a fiberglass rod longer than nine feet? How do I search the podcasts for a topic? What is the best way to catch white perch on a fly rod? I bought an old reel with a fly line on it and the line is all kinked up. Can I fix the line or should I trash it? Can I use fluorocarbon spinning line as a leader? Why did I have trouble catching fish when they were rising? I can catch them on nymphs. What is a good rotary fly-tying vise in the $100-$200 price range?

Direct download: The_Hidden_History_of_Fly_Fishing_with_Paul_Schullery.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:41am EST

A few weeks ago I did a podcast with Josh Jenkins of Scientific Anglers on floating fly lines. Not only was it popular, I hinted that we might do one on sinking lines, which produced a minor barrage of requests for one. So here it is. You’ll learn about how sinking lines are made, what those designations like IPS, Class V, and T-14 mean and how to use them in your fishing. You’ll also get some hints on how to pick the right sinking line for your own situations. In the Fly Box this week, we cover the following suggestions and questions: A suggestion on how to get a nice flat shape when tying nymphs A heads up about the FFI Fly-Tying Awards Why do I lose so many trout using size 22 hooks? Should I bend the hooks out a bit? Can I substitute monofilament for fine wire on my Elk Hair Caddis? How do I extend the butt section of my leader? Exactly what knots do I need? Is it OK to use flies tied for different species in other habitats? How do I catch walleye on a fly? I am legally blind and want to catch brook trout on small mountain streams? What is the best method for me? Can I use UV resin instead of head cement on smaller flies? What are the most effective colors of Dragon Tails? What sinking line is best for any given body of water?

Direct download: Sinking_Lines_with_Josh_Jenkins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30pm EST

This week my interview is with Jeremy Wade of “River Monsters” fame. You may remember the episode where he caught a huge arapaima on an Orvis H3 and Mirage reel. He doesn’t always use a fly rod, but he does enjoy everything from those giant fish in exotic locations to a small wild brown trout river near his home in the UK. We talk about lots of things other than river monsters—what he enjoys about fly fishing, how he stays in shape for fighting those beasts, and about the pleasures of getting to know a water intimately instead of the pressure of having to produce for the camera. He has a new TV show and a book coming out soon—you’ll learn all about them on the podcast. In the Fly Box this week we have some great questions: What is the difference between wild, native, and holdover trout? How do I get small beads on hooks when they don’t want to go over the bend? What is the correct way to “haul in a fish”? Will upgrading my rod make me a better angler? Would it make sense to overload my 8-weight rod for pike and musky with a 9-weight line to throw those bigger flies? What is the best way to collect insects from my local river for reference? Who are some older authors you recommend for pleasure reading? Can I use my “saltwater” fluorocarbon leaders in Alaska? What things currently restricted by the rules of competitive angling would competitors use for their own fishing? And finally, yet another great tip by a listener on how to keep Thing-A-Ma-Bobbers from slipping on thinner sections of leaders

Direct download: River_Monsters_with_Jeremy_Wade.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:44pm EST

We’ve all heard about going to remote camps in Labrador or Quebec for large brook trout, but less well known are the drive-in rivers of Ontario. Ontario has some amazing wilderness fishing for large brook trout that can be accessed without a float plane, and Mark Melnyk, co-host of the TV show The New Fly Fisher has explored many of them in the course of scouting locations for his show. The fantastic part of the story is that he hardly ever needs to resort to a subsurface fly and most of the action is on the surface with mice and other floating imitations. Listen in to Mark’s tips on where to go and how to catch these trophy fish on a budget. In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions and also some great tips from listeners (if these tips get any better I’ll be out of a job!) I only have a 7 ½ foot rod and it’s a bit short for working larger rivers. Can I use my 9 foot 8-weight for trout? Is tungsten toxic? A great tip on how to keep split shot from sliding on the leader A great tip for keeping Thing-A-Ma-Bobbers from sliding on your leader Can I fish the same big dries I use on the headwaters of a creek further down in the watershed? Where can my friend go to get help with his tailing loop? Are knotted leaders better than knotless leaders? Is it better to use a nail knot on my line instead of a loop-to-loop connection? How do I keep some old treasured wet flies from degrading? Are tactical barbless hooks better than just mashing the barb on a standard hook? Is it more effective to use a hackled dry fly or a Comparadun-type during a mayfly hatch? A great tip from a listener in Ireland on a method of fishing soft hackles called The Escalator Method

Direct download: Catching_Big_Brook_Trout_with_Mark_Melnyk.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:44pm EST

This week’s podcast is a discussion with Captain Tuck Scott, head guide at Bay Street Outfitters of Beaufort, South Carolina. Tuck gives us solid tips on choosing flies for saltwater inshore species, concentrating on redfish and speckled sea trout. Of course we would be remiss to discuss fly selection without some advice on how to present them, and Tuck also shares his advice on how to fish various types of baitfish and crustacean imitations. Tuck is also going on the road! He is bringing his Maverick flats boat to various Orvis retail stores and giving free seminars on how to fish from a flats boat—how and when to take your shots, how to adjust to changing conditions—and most importantly, how to build a team with your guide. You can see Tuck in person based on the schedule below ORVIS GREENVILLE, SC FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019 11:00 AM 1:00 PM ORVIS CHARLOTTE, NC SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2019 12:30 PM 2:00 PM ORVIS ASHEVILLE, NC SUNDAY, MARCH 24, 2019 12:30 PM 2:00 PM ORVIS ATLANTA, GA SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2019 11:00 AM 1:00 PM ORVIS ALPHARETTA SUNDAY, APRIL 14, 2019 11:00 AM 12:00 PM ORVIS CHARLESTON SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2019 11:00 AM 1:00 PM Store location to be announced. ORVIS RICHMOND, VA THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2019 11:00 AM 1:00 PM ORVIS MANCHESTER, VT SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2019 11:00 AM 12:00 PM ORVIS MANCHESTER, VT SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019 11:00 AM 1:00 PM

Direct download: Selecting_Flies_for_Salt_with_Captain_Tuck_Scott.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:25pm EST

This week I interview Devin Olsen, who you may know about from competitive fly fishing, but we’re not going to talk about competition. Devin walks us through what to look for when you first approach a stream and how to come up with a strategy for a day of fishing. His new book Tactical Fly Fishing is now available but we get a sneak peak on what you’ll learn from his book. In the Fly Box this week, we talk about: Moving kids from a spinning rod to a switch rod How to deal with muddy and bloody feathers from a duck-hunting friend How to display fly rods in your house If my jig hooks bend when I get stuck in a snag, should I just bend them back and re-use them? If a 5-weight is considered an all-around rod in graphite, is it the same for fiberglass rods? What is the difference between hen necks and hen capes? A great suggestion for carrying a landing net on a plane Do catastrophic floods ruin trout fishing and the insect life? What length and line size do you recommend for both smallmouth bass and steelhead? Can I catch catfish with a fly rod? How should I organize my bonefish fly boxes? Which grain weight in the Depth Charge lines is best for surf fishing?

Direct download: Planning_your_Strategy_on_the_River_with_Devin_Olsen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30pm EST

To continue our celebration of flies with the Giant Fly Sale, this week I have a long talk with Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, maker of the finest tying videos on the web. This is always one of the most eagerly awaited podcasts of the year, and it’s also one I look forward to because I enjoy talking to Tim about fly tying and always learn so much from him. I get a lot of questions about material substitutions, so what Tim and I decided to do was to take six popular flies, dissect them material by material, and recommend our favorite substitutes for each step. Here are the flies we include: Parachute Adams Clouser Minnow Prince Nymph Woolly Bugger Tunghead Zebra Midge Drunk & Disorderly Deceiver (we had to put one complicated pattern in there) In The Fly Box this week, we have the following questions: How do I keep split shot from sliding on my small diameter tippet Why do I keep losing fish? How do I get a tiny Baetis nymph deep? When is an indicator better than a Euro nymphing rig? What is a Cuda Tube? How do feeder streams affect fishing in a lake? What rod would be best for smaller streams in the East? Why could I not catch trout on a Zebra midge when there were midges all over the water later in the day? A terrific suggestion from a listener on how to turn a landing net into an insect seine by using panty hose How should I fish scuds in a spring creek? What is meant by “big streamers” as opposed to “small or medium streamers” and what line sizes work best with them.

Direct download: Tom_and_Tims_Annual_Fly-Tying_Spectacular_with_Tim_Flagler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EST

Editor’s Note: To celebrate the kickoff of the 2019 Giant Fly Sale, here’s a great backcast epiaode about choosing the right fly for a given situation. This week, I interview aquatic biologist and fly fisher Peter Stitcher, who not only has a great way of organizing fly boxes (a question I have always neglected to answer properly), but he also has some great guidance on how to figure out what is in the river and how to pick a fly from your box that will do the best job of imitating that insect—without any detailed knowledge of entomology. If you learn his acronyms PAUSE and MATCH, I am convinced you will have all the knowledge you need to be more successful. Listen to the podcast to learn what these acronyms mean.

Direct download: Backcast_Episode-_Bugs_Bugs_Bugs_with_Peter_Stitcher.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:21pm EST

This week I interview Dom Swentosky of the Troutbitten blog, which is one of my favorites because I like the way he thinks about fishing problems and solutions. We titled it “Old School Streamer Fishing” and that’s how it starts, but Dom also discusses an innovative way of fishing streamers on mono, on a tight line, similar to the way a lot of people fish nymphs today. So in my view it’s a mix of old and new techniques. In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions: What kind of sinking line do I need for walleyes in 10 feet of water? What is the best way to organize fly-tying material? Do you have a good way of testing streamer patterns during the winter when you can’t fish them? Does it matter what kind of material I use for wings on bonefish flies? How do I modify my knotless leader? Do you have any suggestions for fishing beaver ponds? What suggestions do you have for swinging steelhead flies when the water depth varies greatly? How can I fish leech imitations in a river that is 15 to 30 feet deep for walleyes? What is the best way to fish an incoming tide for stripers? How should I target sharks on the fly? How do I catch carp in a deep muddy lake where they don’t come into the shallows except to spawn?

Direct download: Old-School_Streamer_Style.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:25pm EST

This week’s podcast is about a relatively rare but also easily accessible fly-rod fish—the Guadalupe bass. I was lucky enough to get Alvin Dedeaux of All Water Guides to talk about these interesting members of the bass/sunfish family. They sound like the perfect fly-rod target, available year-round in central Texas. They are a native species, they eat a lot of small prey, they fight well, and they are readily accessible on smaller rivers on public water. In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions: What setup do I need for fishing from shore in southern California salt water? Will my 8-weight Encounter rod work? What is fishing in Cuba like? How do I keep from foul-hooking steelhead? How do I play one or should I break it off? And is it ethical to take a photo of a foul-hooked fish? Why don’t more anglers use nets on smaller trout? What tips would you give a younger Tom if you could go back and give yourself advice? Should I use fluorocarbon leaders on small mountain streams? How should I clean my Ultralight Waders? Can you recommend one or two all-around adhesives for fly tying, for someone on a budget? What material is best for tails on parachute flies? Do you wrap shiny-side-up or shiny-side-down on parachute hackles? For bass, panfish, pike, stripers, and bigger trout water, should I buy a 6-weight or 8-weight fiberglass rod? What do I do to emergers to get them to float just in the surface film?

Direct download: The_Fascinating_Guadalupe_Bass_with_Alvin_Dedeaux.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:55pm EST

Our friend and Orvis-endorsed guide Josh Nugent of Out Fly Fishing Outfitters in Calgary was in town last week, and I grabbed him to do a podcast. Josh did one a few years ago with me entitled “The Seven Deadly Sins of Sight Fishing” and it was really popular, so we decided to do “The Seven Deadly Sins of Streamer Fishing”. If you think streamer fishing is just chucking a big piece of meat out there and stripping back, Josh has some revelations for you. Revelations based on thousands of hours on the water. In the Fly Box this week, lots of interesting questions and suggestions: What do you see as the biggest revolutions in fly fishing technology and the biggest flops? Is there a difference between dry fly and nymph dubbing? If trout are sensitive to cold temperatures why do we catch them ice fishing? Why are fly rods always made in 6-inch increments? How do I substitute hooks when a tier on YouTube mentions a specific model? If I am fishing a tandem streamer in a place where only single hooks are allowed, which one do I cut off? Why do trout jump out of the water? Is a digital thermometer better for fishing than an analog design? Which hackles should I buy for dry flies or wet flies? Which YouTube Channel do you recommend for reliable fly patterns? Do boots without felt really decrease the possibility of spreading invasive species? How do I get the perfect consistency with head cement? Do I need a stripping basket when using my switch rod? Why did you make H3 rods with that ugly white label? A great suggestion from a listener on buying lunch for your guide (this is often required when fishing in salt water) What 10-20 flies should I tie next after going through all the flies in the kit?

Direct download: The_Seven_Deadly_Sins_of_Streamer_Fishing_with_Josh_Nugent.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:04pm EST

This week I interview Josh Jenkins, Research and Development manager for Scientific Anglers, and who, along with his crew, is responsible for all the cool new technology in fly lines. Floating lines are confusing because there are so many options, so Josh explains how they are made, why coatings and cores determine what kind of water they’re used in, and how tapers affect the performance of fly lines. Are double taper and weight forward lines the same for the first 30 feet? Is there any difference between a saltwater and freshwater line, or between a cold water and warm water line? These are questions I get asked all the time in the podcast, so I figured I would go to the ultimate expert to answer them. In the Fly Box this week, we have lots of intriguing questions, including: Why can’t I make my furled leader perform? Is my tippet too long or too short? What is Tom’s job? Does he get to fish at all? How do I set my drag for trout fishing? Can Spey casting be used in lakes? How should I target rainbows in the fall? Is that when they spawn? At what temperatures do bass become active enough to catch on a fly rod? Can I get some tips on making my golden pheasant crests behave? Is it worth it to prospect with a small dry fly in winter? Are there small trout streams that are just impossible to fish with a fly? What are the pros and cons of using a sink tip line instead of a poly leader? Can you help me decide between a 4-weight or 5-weight rod? Do you have any tips for when a head cement jar won’t open? What kind of watercraft should I buy for New England rivers? What is color preserver? Do you have any tips for tying the tails on an RS2? How do I organize all the fly fishing information I encounter? Can bigger trout be caught on soft hackles?

Direct download: All_About_Floating_Lines_with_Josh_Jenkins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:22pm EST

Long-time listener Dan Frasier put together this mock interview with Tom and we just had to share it. While there is no offensive language, if you have small children present, or are easily offended, you may want to skip this one. Thanks, Dan!

Direct download: An_Interview_with_Tom_Rosenbauer_kinda.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:04pm EST

There’s lots of discussion about what makes a good guide and why some are better than others for a whole host of reasons. But the guide/angler connection is truly a team effort, and to get the most out of a guide trip there are things a client can do to get more out of the experience and have a more enjoyable and educational trip. Simon Perkins, Orvis COO, was a fishing guide before he hung up his oars for an office job. He shares his experiences, good and bad, and suggests ways we can be better clients. He also shares a few stories about his best and worst days of being a guide and a client. A couple are quite colorful and I think you’ll enjoy them. In the Fly Box this week we have the following questions: How can I roll cast big streamers? How do I fish streamers in small brook trout streams? What is the best tool for measuring water temperature and how cold does water have to be before trout stop feeding? Where is that new Clearwater Euro nymphing rod? Can I use my 5-weight rod for surf fishing in the ocean? Are wool fingerless gloves any good? Is 20-lb fluorocarbon too light for the butt section of a leader? What are gut leaders? Is a UV light essential for fly tying? Is roll casting more difficult with a shorter rod? My wife and I fished some big articulated streamers and had no luck. What were we doing wrong? I have a pile of old flies. How do I identify what they are?

Direct download: How_to_be_a_Great_Fishing-Guide_Client_with_Simon_Perkins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:20am EST

A number of listeners have been asking for a show about landlocked Atlantic salmon, and for that I can think of no one better than a native Mainer. Jeff LeBree has been fishing for landlocked salmon is his native state for over 50 years, and for 17 of those years has been a guide at Orvis-endorsed Libby Camps. He shares his knowledge about when to go to Maine for landlocks, how to fish for them, where in the river to look for them, and of course what flies to use. Jeff is quite a character and we have a lot of laughs. I hope you enjoy his downeast humor. In the Fly Box this week, we cover the following questions: Is it necessary to use a strike indicator when winter nymphing? My soft hackles don’t distribute around the hook well and stay on top. What should I do? Can you give me some advice on making hook substitutions for fly patterns? How does George Daniel add a dropper with the Orvis knot without running the flies through the loop? Can I use tandem fliy rigs for bass fishing? If you say that flies can last 50 years, why do you tell me to throw away my thread after two or three years? What rod should I buy for Euro nymphing? I can’t afford the Helios 3. How do people carry fly rods onto a plane?

Direct download: Landlocked_Salmon_with_Jeff_LeBree.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:13pm EST

My interview this week is with the highly respected angler, writer, and guide Landon Mayer of Colorado. He has a new book out this week—The Hunt for Giant Trout and that’s exactly what we talk about—times, places, and flies for taking the largest trout in a river. We talk a lot about the various food preferred by the larger trout in a body of water—how to identify them and how to select flies and techniques to imitate them. As usual Landon is bursting with great ideas for you to try on your next fishing trip. In the Fly Box this week we cover the following questions: Tips for catching sheepshead on a fly Is my bonefish tackle OK for stripers on Long Island? A tip for practicing strip-setting that incorporates a willing cat When to use poly leaders Can I use and indicator when fishing small BWO dry flies? What are the advantages of using shanks over beading wire for tying articulated flies? A tip for carrying tippet rings on a snap swivel instead of a safety pin Is the Orvis Spey Line a Skagit line? How to fish streamers in tight quarters How to catch shallow water stripers in a Tennessee river at night Can I keep my fishing gear in a cold garage all winter? Will keeping my rods strung up hurt my leader? Which end of a surgeon’s knot should I use for the dropper, and should I take two or three turns? Should I get a starter rod or go right to the best rod I can afford?

Direct download: The_Hunt_for_Giant_Trout_with_Landon_Mayer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:50pm EST

This week we talk fly fishing with Chris Pandolfi, vocalist and banjo player for The Infamous Stringdusters, a multiple award-winning bluegrass band (including the 2018 Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album, “The Laws of Gravity”). Chris tells us what it’s like trying to fit in fly fishing while on the road, how the band supports Trout Unlimited, how fishing has influenced his music, and offers some great fly-fishing tips for novices. Speaking of tips, in the Fly Box this week we have the following questions: What are some tips for winter tailwater fishing in the Northeast? What can I do when the bass don’t bite? How do I catch suckers on a fly? Can I use my 6-weight for carp? What do you do when you’re rowing and someone hooks a fish? How do I find information on small streams in my area? How do I move on from tying big streamers to smaller trout patterns? Is there a good way to practice setting the hook? What is a good place to visit to fish small trout streams in the winter? How much information can I ask my local fly shop for, without being a pest? Why are fly rods today so stiff? What is the best way to fish nymphs in water ranging from one foot to ten feet deep while floating? What is the best way to practice casting when I have a variety of rods?

Direct download: Picking_and_Fishing_with_Chris_Pandolfi_of_the_Infamous_Stringdusters.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:26am EST

This week I have an interesting chat with Cameron Mortenson, the man behind the wildly popular blog The Fiberglass Manifesto. Learn how he got started, what he does for his day job, and of course his thoughts on the state of the fiberglass fly rod world today. And of course we talk about why someone would even want a glass rod and what advantages they offer. In The Fly Box this week, we explore the following: A great tip for keeping your hands warm for cold-weather fishing A great tip for relieving neck and upper back pain while fishing Can I fix a broken Poly Leader? How do I remove the smell from flies I have coated with UV-cure epoxy? What switch rod is best for stripers? Has the Koi Foundation been established yet? And if I want to practice for koi fishing, can I try for the goldfish in my backyard pond? How to lessen foul hooking trout when fishing a nymph with a dropper. Will long stretches of straight, shallow water be devoid of trout in small streams? Can I use a poly leader for nymph fishing? And can I use split shot instead of a poly leader for streamer fishing? What does “turning over the fly” mean? Can I tightline for steelhead using my 10-foot 7-weight rod? What is the most versatile sinking line to get if I only have a floating line now?

Direct download: The_Fiberglass_Manifesto_with_Cam_Mortenson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:21pm EST

How do people compete in fly fishing contests? How are they scored? How do the teams work? Where are the competitions held? Most of us don’t have any interest in competing in fly fishing—some of you probably hate the idea—but this discipline has stimulated some great ideas in fly fishing and has led to the interchange of ideas throughout the world. There’s no money involved, just lots of camaraderie, and competitive fly fishing does not hurt the resource or even get in the way of our enjoyment of trout waters except for a few hours a year on a particular stream or lake. I think you’ll be fascinated by the inner workings of this unusual competition. In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions: Why can I land smaller fish but not land the bigger ones when tightline nymphing? How much can I remove from the tip of my fly line without hurting its performance? How are most trout waters stocked? Why didn’t I catch any fish on a recently stocked river? Where do small stream brook trout go during the winter? Will wearing the required blaze orange clothing during hunting season ruin my trout fishing? Do you think fish can see the post on parachute flies? Why don’t my Klinkhammer flies always float upright? How do I keep my neck and shoulders from hurting when I am fishing all day? Can I strip streamers for Lake Erie steelhead? Do bright headlamps spook largemouth bass? How can I minimize tangles in my net when fishing multi-fly rigs? How can I fish my Depth Charge line to minimize snagging on the bottom? Can I use my old Orvis Impregnated Bamboo rod for trout fishing? Can I tie 6X tippet to a tippet ring? Mine keeps breaking.

Direct download: The_World_of_Competitive_Fly-Fishing_with_Jesse_Haller.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:22pm EST

This week I talk to someone I have wanted to interview for a long time, and a subject that is long overdue—fly fishing the Texas Coast for redfish and speckled trout. Dave Hayward, manager of Swan Point Landing Fly Shop, was in a past life an Orvis store manager in Houston for many years and also an Orvis sales rep. He’s been running Swan Point for 10 years now, and is recognized as one of the most knowledgeable authorities on fly fishing the Texas Coast. In this podcast you’ll learn about how the fishery changes with the season, what tackle you need, fly patterns to choose, and how to approach these fish. Dave is honest about the increased pressure in his fishery, but also shares some spots that get off the beaten patch. It’s also exciting to hear about the developing tarpon and snook fisheries along the Texas Coast. In the Fly Box this week we have our usual smorgasbord of topics, including: Tips on re-using tippet bands for identifying fly lines on spare spools How do I put a new leader on my fly line? Is it a good idea to practice on suckers before I go trout fishing? Is there any risk when carrying a fully assembled fly rod in your vehicle? Is it worth it to try to target lake trout during the summer when they are deep? Will the loud clicker on my reel scare trout? Why does my fly get caught on my forward cast? How do I reverse my fishing slump? Is trolling an acceptable way to fish a fly in salt water? How do I get more distance when casting in the surf? I am 6’6” tall and my Mom is 5’ tall. Can we use the same rod and casting stroke? Are saltwater wading boots worth the price?

Direct download: Fishing_the_Texas_Coast_for_Redfish_and_Trout_with_Dave_Hayward.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:31pm EST

Stream Access Now! This is the title of a very useful guide produced by Back Country Hunters and Anglers (available on their web site or on the Orvis Learning Center) that gives you the stream access laws for all 50 states, plus some fascinating essays on the varying ways states treat stream access. It’s also the title of this week’s podcast with Rob Parkins, Public Waters Access Coordinator for BCHA. Rob details how laws vary from state to state, how you can find access points, and dos and don’ts of fishing on both public and private lands. It’s essential knowledge for the traveling angler, particularly if you don’t fish with a guide and are unsure of the legality of entering a stream in a state where you have not fished before. In the Fly Box this week, we have the usual mix of great questions and suggestions from listeners: If my fly comes back with empty caddis cases on the hook, does that mean the caddis hatches are over and I should not fish a caddis? Are sea-run Pacific steelhead any more delicate than Great Lakes steelhead? If I harvest a deer, should I try to use any of the hide for fly tying, and how do I deal with it? Is it OK to fish a click-and-pawl reel for smallmouth bass, and does reel “balance” matter? Why don’t people fish much with winged wet flies anymore? How do I keep my Double Bunny Rabbit strips from getting stiff? How can I see my dry fly when looking into strong glare? What is the best camera for capturing the brilliant colors of fish?

Direct download: Stream_Access_Now_with_Rob_Parkins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:20am EST

Your FAQs answered! This week I interview my old friend Jeremy Benn, longtime Orvis employee and head of our Outfitter Team in Roanoke , Virginia. These are the wonderful people who answer all your tackle questions via e-mail, telephone, and live chat. There are certain questions they get (and I get on podcast requests) over and over again, including: What rod do I need for….? Can I use the same fly rod outfit for … and >>>? Do I really get something more when I buy a more expensive rod? How much backing do I need? What leader do I need for …? I am going to …. What flies do I need? What is the best knot? In the Fly Box this week, here is a sample of the kinds of questions I try to answer: How do I become a fishing guide? When do I fish upstream and when do I fish downstream? Why do you put barrel swivels on your braided leaders? (We don’t.) How do you avoid breaking your rod when getting flies out of trees? What will be the effects of the recent hurricane on trout and saltwater fishing in North Carolina? How often do you fish parachutes and Sparkle Duns as opposed to traditional dry flies? How long can you keep a trout in a net if it has cool running water in the net? Can I use my switch rod for schoolie stripers? What flies should I use for landlocked Atlantic salmon? How do I target cruising salmon and steelhead on the Chicago shoreline? What happened to the Orvis app? Why can’t I catch trout in tailwaters on streamers from my canoe? Plus two great fly-tying tips from a listener.

Direct download: FAQ_from_Orvis_Fishing_Support.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:51pm EST

My guest this week is Sascha Clark Danylchuk, science advisor for KeepEmWet.org. Sascha is an angler and a scientist who has studied the effects of various catch-and-release techniques and has also kept up with the scientific literature on the subject. There is a lot of false and misleading information on the interweb regarding catch-and-release and she sets us straight on a number of topics. I thought I was well-versed on this subject but I learned a lot, and will modify my own practices in the future based on our talk. In the Fly Box, we have the usual mashup of topics, including the following: Two inexpensive ways of making wet-wading shoes suggested by listeners Will a good mender outfish a good caster? Do nymphs work in high mountain lakes? What is a good sink-tip option for a 4-weight rod on small streams? How to catch trout in very deep plunge pools at the base of a waterfall. How do I get sand out of my ferrules? Is it ethical to catch a bunch of big trout by nymphing at night on a full moon? Why do trout keep splashing at my Chubby Chernobyl? Should I spend the same amount of money on a trout reel as I spend on my rod? A great tip for keeping the hair on an Elk Hair Caddis from slipping around the hook. How can I catch the big brown trout in a small infertile stream in Oregon?

Direct download: Science-Based_Tips_for_Catch_and_Release_with_Sascha_Danylchuk.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:04pm EST

Do you stop fishing for smallmouth bass when summer ends? You could be missing the best bass fishing of the year and the chance at your biggest smallmouth if you do. Mike Schultz of Shultz Outfitters in Michigan is one of our foremost experts on smallmouths (and the designer of some of our most popular flies) and this week he shares a wealth of knowledge on how to modify your tactics to continue to catch smallmouth bass on the fly rod well into winter. This is a topic that no smallmouth lover wants to miss. In the Fly Box this week, we have a number of reactions to last week’s discussion with Steve Rinella, the Meat Eater, as well as questions on these topics: Can I put a 3-weight or a 7-weight line on a size 5/6 reel? How do I store poppers with weed guards? Do you have some suggestions for catching catfish on a fly? How do I attach a wire bite guard to my leader? How do I find wild trout in a small, clear stream with sandy bottom that does not have a high fish population? Do fly tying materials go bad with age? How should I store my hackle capes and deer hair? Do you have tips for catching lake-run brown trout? Can I use a switch rod in Belize? Do you have a suggestion for a pair of cheap wet-wading shoes? When do you recommend catch and release and when do you recommend keeping fish? How can I get the elk hair on my caddis flies to keep from rolling around the hook shank?

Direct download: Late_Season_Smallmouths_with_Mike_Schultz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:29pm EST

This week I have a fun discussion with Steve Rinella of the “Meat Eater” podcast and TV show and book. If you’re a diehard catch-and-release always angler you may want to pass this one up. But if you occasionally kill fish and want to honor fish with proper care and preparation, you’ll find some very helpful advice. And some interesting side discussions along the way. In The Fly Box this week, we have the usual array of questions about tackle, techniques, and fly-fishing philosophy. Including: Can I get one rod for pike, carp, musky, and Pacific salmon? What lines and leaders do I need for surf fishing? Can I have permission to use my stripping basket on trout streams? What flies will I need in Hawaii, and can you recommend a guide? Will dry flies work in the rain? How do I carry a net on my sling bag? What sunglasses do you recommend? Why do I keep missing strikes from smallmouths on a popper? Should I use a stinger hook? How do I get trout to come out from undercut banks to take my fly? Does smoky air from forest fires change the way insects hatch?

Direct download: When_you_Catch_and_Keep_with_the_Meateater_Steven_Rinella.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:57am EST

This week I have the pleasure of interviewing Jenny Mayrell-Woodruff—the Orvis-endorsed Freshwater Guide of the Year for 2018. Jenny has recently relocated to Montana to run a lodge on Rock Creek and she took time out of her very busy schedule to share her knowledge of late summer terrestrial fishing. It’s an educational podcast and a timely one. In the Fly Box this week we explore a wide range of topics, as usual: How to transition from small trout streams to big rivers Why do I keep missing fish when fishing mouse patterns at night? Can I use perfection loops in the middle of my leader to add droppers? What is the best way to touch up the blades of nippers? How do I make my fly attract trout by its entry into the water? What happens to Tricos when nighttime air temperatures don’t go below 70 degrees? Do tippet rings wear out? Can I use my Clearwater line for trout fishing? Do you measure the cast length from your body or from the rod tip? How do you prospect for trout in long, slow pools? What do you do if a big trout runs downstream and the water is too deep to wade below it?

Direct download: Late_Summer_Terrestrials_with_Jenny_Mayrell-Woodruff.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:11am EST

Fly-Fishing with your family, with Derek Olthuis This week Orvis Ambassador Derek Olthuis and I talk about fishing with your kids and family. Derek has three young children and he fishes as much as anyone I know, so he has some great tips on how to make it a fun and rewarding experience for all members of the family. If you’ve wanted to introduce kids to fly fishing you’ll get some great advice from this podcast. In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions and comments, including What do I do with saltwater flies after I’ve used them? How do companies that sell fly patterns evaluate new ones? How do I keep annoying sea grass off my fly and leader? Should I feel guilty about hooking tarpon that were chilling in a marina behind a boat? Should I worry about keeping my fishing gear in a hot car? How do I quickly tell if a stream has a rich food supply or if it is more infertile? Can I use this to adjust my fishing techniques? What do I do if a trout tries to eat my strike indicator? How long should removable studs last? Why could I not catch smallmouths that were chasing baitfish? Why don’t more anglers use soft-hackle flies? How long should I rest a pool before trying a new fly pattern? What’s an easy way to identify mayflies and caddisflies in the air?

Direct download: Fly_Fishing_with_your_Family_with_Derek_Olthuis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:29pm EST

In this week’s podcast my guest is Eric Eikenberg, CEO of The Everglades Foundation and our major partner in this important conservation effort. For the past few years Orvis has taken a leading role in the effort to get the word out to the fly-fishing community about this critical issue, which affects Florida Bay, both coasts of Florida, and of course the Everglades, which as a National Park is owned by all citizens of the United States. It’s an update on where we are for a solution to the issue, and you’ll be happy to know we are guardedly optimistic about the future. Also in the Fly Box week we have these question: Why do I keep losing small brook trout? How can I take the coils out of old leaders? Will my old Clearwater Reel be OK in salt water? Why don’t fly shops stop selling feathers from endangered birds? Do women wear sling bags? Does the pigtail at the end of a broken knot always indicate a poorly tied knot? Why don’t people use the oval or Belgian cast more often? Why do I keep losing big trout and steelhead when they get downstream of me? What do I do for a leader if I encounter both striped bass and bluefish?

Direct download: Now_or_Neverglades_a_project_update_with_Eric_Eikenberg.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:51am EST

If it does not go up until next week no big deal. This week my guest on the podcast is the great George Daniel, one of the finest anglers in the world and a wonderful teacher. George is also refreshingly un-dogmatic, and even though he is an expert on nymph fishing he does not stick to only one method, but uses all kinds of techniques depending on the conditions. There are scores of good tips in this podcast so if you enjoy nymph fishing don’t miss it. In the Fly Box this week, you’ll find answers (or at least my attempt to answer) questions about: How do I keep my reel from getting tangled at the end of the day? Is a fiberglass rod a disadvantage for distance and in the wind? Do you have some tips on fishing mayfly spinner falls? Can I catch carp when they are spawning? How do I make my Humpies more durable? Can I catch channel catfish on a fly rod? Can I fish a Gurgler on an intermediate line? Will textured fly lines hurt my rod guides? How can I land big fish by myself without high-sticking my rod?

Direct download: Advanced_Nymphing_Techniques_with_George_Daniel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:25am EST

This week I have a chat with noted permit guide and film maker Captain Will Benson. We discuss the idea of an angler as athlete, and how he and some of his clients prepare for big permit tournaments, both mentally and physically. You may have no interest in fishing tournaments, but for some of your fishing trips you may have invested a lot of time, money, and emotional expectations. Will gives some great, and most unusual, ideas to make sure you get the most out of your trips. In the Fly Box this week, we cover the following questions from listeners: · Do trout ever get “information overload” during a heavy hatch? · What is a basic saltwater outfit for fishing the Gulf? · How do spring creek trout differ from stocked trout in tailwaters? · What aren’t all flies sold with barbless hooks? · What is the difference between a $15 spool of fluorocarbon tippet and a $10 200-yard spool of spinning line? · Will two-handed casting ruin my overhead casting technique? · Why do I miss fish when trolling for trout? · Can I fish lakes on a backpacking trip with a Tenkara rod? · What are sme good basic books on trout stream insects for New England?

Direct download: Hunting_for_Permit_with_Will_Benson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:49pm EST

In this week’s podcast I interview a very interesting man. In fact, he is the original Most Interesting Man in the World, Jonathan Goldsmith, who is a lifelong fly fisher and not only an interesting guy, but a really nice person as well. He talks about the importance of tradition in fly fishing, his lifelong love affair with it, and most appropriately the importance of his father as his fly-fishing mentor. We’ll also catch up on what he has been doing since the beer company decided a younger man would be more interesting. (Big mistake) In the podcast this week, here are some of the questions and suggestions from listeners: A geeky way to splice old fly lines to make a special line for throwing bass flies on a 5-weight I make a couple suggestions on books to read How to deal with feathers you obtain from a shooting preserve Can I eat a trout that has whirling disease? Is a 10-weight rod enough for cobia and king mackerel? How to deal with tarpon guides who get upset when you blow a strike How to hold your fly and fly line in the “ready position” for saltwater fly fishing A suggestion for an all-around saltwater rod How to keep hopper patterns from turning upside-down in the water Suggestions for catching ultra-spooky trout in a small stream Can I use stocking foot waders on sandy beaches? How to fish a dry dropper when moving from deep pools to shallow riffles.


This week’s main topic is the Smith River in Montana, a near-wilderness river that requires a five-day float and is on many fly fishers’ wish lists. It is definitely on mine. To talk about fishing and floating the Smith, and a threat to its pristine ecosystem, my guests are John Herzer, a veteran of many decades of floating the Smith, and David Brooks, executive director on Montana Trout Unlimited. In the Fly Box this week you can enjoy the following tips and questions: Why do I see carp jumping at the base of a dam like salmon on their spawning run? What is an economical way to explore new rivers without always hiring a guide? Can I use braided leaders for carp? How can I do better when setting the hook on quick-striking brook trout? What is the best way to attach a leader to a fly line if you don’t have a welded loop on the end? How can I catch smallmouths lying in eight feet of water next to a large boulder? A listener tip on how to use a polarizing filter on an Iphone (or similar smartphone).

Direct download: Montanas_Smith_River_with_John_Herzer_and_David_Brooks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:02am EST

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