The Ultimate Streamer Episode -- until our next one -- with Mike Schmidt
Published: 03/07/2015
Description: This week I have a long and fascinating interview with Mike Schmidt, designer of such giant trout streamers as the Junkyard Dog. He gives up his secrets on when to fish a giant streamer (and when not to), what techniques he uses, and also some tips on tying these flies and why he designs them the way he does. I don’t think I have learned so much in a podcast in a long time and I hope you find it as inspiring and interesting as I need. I am ready to charge out there with some giant streamers right away. In the Fly Box this week, we range from catching smallmouth bass in clear lakes to catching stocked trout and channel catfish in Houston, how to get more involved in the fly-fishing industry, whether or not wings are necessary on a dry fly, and much more.
A Lifetime of Trout
Published: 02/28/2015
Description: This week I interview my old friend Kirk Deeter about Trout Unlimited’s Lifetime membership. This is a great gift for yourself or for a special person in your life (people often gift these to their kids for a special occasion) and this year the thank-you for the lifetime membership is a special Orvis Helios 2 Rod and limited-run CFO reel in Trout Unlimited’s green color. You can see how this rod was built in the video of our rod shop here: https://vimeo.com/116177056 Kirk and I do talk some fishing, and there is lots more in The Fly Box. Questions about the value of emergers, chest packs vs. waist packs vs. sling bags vs. vests, realistic vs. impressionistic flies, and the value of UV materials in fly tying are just some of the quick topics we cover.
The Lord of the Flies Returns
Published: 02/05/2015
Description: In this week’s podcast, we continue our series on fly tying with an interview with a man sometimes known as The King of Swing for his steelheading skills, but he also has been called Lord of the Flies. Shawn Brillon is in charge of flies and fly tying materials at Orvis, and as a result he has his pulse on what is going on in the wild world of making bugs on hooks. Our topic this week is natural vs. synthetic materials—when you want one or the other, which ones Shawn and I can’t live (or at least tie) without), and the future of fly-tying materials. In The Fly Box this week, we answer questions on the best rod for smallmouth bass, how to prospect unknown waters in the spring, whether older fly fishing tackle puts you at any disadvantage, non-toxic wire as a substitute for lead, uses for antelope hair, and a great reader suggestion to add to my list of “10 Things I Wish I had Known When I Started Fly Tying” from last week.
Tom Interviews Hank Patterson
Published: 01/04/2015
Description: This week we celebrate our 5 millionth podcast download and what better way to celebrate than have my hero and mentor Hank Patterson as my guest? As with all things Hank, you never know where you will end up so be prepared for this one! On the serious side, this week in the podcast we talk about tips for tying the Adams, best rods for casting practice, whether or not you need a net to land trophy smallmouths, the pros and cons of UV-cure vs. two-part epoxy, and what to tell an outfitter if the guide he matches you up with is less than stellar. Happy New Year!
Simon Says: A Guide to Guides
Published: 12/18/2014
Description: This week I interview Simon Perkins, youngest member of the Perkins family (the owners of Orvis) on our staff. Simon is in charge of our travel, schools, hunting, and guide programs and was a guide himself in the past. This week he gives valuable advice on picking the right guide or lodge—a big investment in time and money, and a decision you should not take lightly. Also this week, in the Fly Box, we discuss the value of head cement, tippet rings, cleaning saltwater gear, and why you might want a Spey rod for winter steelhead.
The Secrets to a Good Fly-FIshing Video
Published: 11/09/2014
Description: In addition to your questions in the Fly Box, Tom is joined in the studio by Orvis News Editor, Phil Monahan. Tom and Phil discuss what makes a great fly-fishing video, touching on subjects such as the ideal length, the proper use of a GoPro, and considering the amount of profanity in your soundtrack. Phil also introduces the new Orvis fly-fishing video theater, The Tug, which has been completely redesigned and updated, with over three hundred of the best videos online. Check it out at orvis.com/flyfishingvideos.
The King of Swing
Published: 10/02/2014
Description: This week I interview Shawn Brillon, the King of Swing here at Orvis. He’s a master at strategizing on swinging flies for both Atlantic salmon and steelhead, and his strategy works for trout streamers and wets as well. It should serve to get you jazzed up for steelhead season—I know it did for me. In the Fly Box, we talk about landlocked Atlantic salmon, best all-around line for a switch rod, a basic saltwater outfit and flies for almost anywhere in the world, plus I get pressed to pick which three fly rods I would pick if I could only have three for all of my fishing.
Tailing Redfish with Aaron Adams
Published: 09/03/2014
Description: In this week’s podcast I interview my good friend and fishing buddy Aaron Adams on tailing redfish. As a marine scientist, director of Bonefish Tarpon Trust, and a great all-around saltwater fly fisherman he gives some great tips on finding tailing (or otherwise) redfish and how to select a fly and present it to them. On this week’s Fly Box we concentrate more on freshwater fly fishing, and cover such topics as cracked fly lines, night fishing for trout, circle hooks for streamers, and pigtails above knots on light tippets. Then I try, unsuccessfully, to resolve a dispute between two brothers.
The Weather and its Impact on Fly Fishing
Published: 08/11/2014
Description: In this episode I interview my old friend Reynolds Wolff of the Weather Channel on the impact of weather on fishing conditions. As it usually happens on this show, we get off the main topic quite a bit. I am not sure who was interviewed more here, Reynolds or me, but we cover a lot of ground on various topics. As usual, I answer your questions in the Fly Box.
Five Reasons for Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone (fixed)
Published: 08/05/2014
Description: After a hiatus for family vacation, a trade show, a tarpon trip, and just plain sloth and procrastination, we finally have a new podcast and it’s a long one, well over an hour. In the podcast we talk about keeping hold of big brown trout, big browns chasing hooked fish, rusty hooks, broken hooks, and dubbing problems. Quite an eclectic mix. The main part of the podcast is “Five Reasons for Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone” and I think you’ll be surprised at some of the benefits of trying new places and new techniques. There is a bonus feature of Big Pete Kutzer explain Tom’s big casting mistakes on long casts with big rod—hopefully pointing out my problems will help you as well.
East vs West with Jess McGlothlin
Published: 06/09/2014
Description: This week I have a chat with Jess McGlothlin—author, blogger, photographer, conservationist, and a very accomplished fly fisher. She’s a Montana native and had her own business in the equestrian business before she fell in love with fly fishing and decided to devote her life to writing about it. You have probably read pieces with Jess’s byline over the past few years, but you’ll be reading more of her in the future as we hired her last winter as our outdoor copywriter—but Jess adds so much more to our team than just words on paper or on a screen as you’ll learn in the interview, where we compare Eastern to Western fly fishing. We have the usual fly box topics like when to wear landing gloves, when to use a “hitched” fly, how to set up your fishing vest, and a philosophy for tying or buying flies by size—in other words, if someone recommends Prince nymphs in sizes 14-18, can you just get away with a size 16? In case you don’t get to the podcast until later in the week, I’m speaking at Orvis Pittsburgh this Thursday (June 12) on Fishing Small Streams at 3 pm and Reading the Water at 6 pm. The seminars are free and I’ll be in the sore all day if you want to stop in and give me your podcast suggestions in person. Should be fun and I am looking forward to it.
Fishing for Freshwater Stripers with Henry Cowen
Published: 05/09/2014
Description: This week I had a great talk with Henry Cowen on freshwater stripers. Henry is a saltwater angler and fly tier of great experience who brought his talents to freshwater stripers, and he has some wonderful tips for finding these big guys, flies to use, and techniques to get them to eat your fly. Also, we have lots of good fly box questions on saltwater fly tying, bad loops on fly lines, and other tidbits. Also a young listener takes me to task for banning cell phone calls to the request line and I should have known better. He says the only people he knows who have land lines are his parents. Guess I am showing my age, so please do use your cell phones for the podcast request line—just please not from your car and from a place with good service!
Tom Interviews his Mentor, the Legendary Lewis Coleman
Description: This is a special time of year for me as it is the start of trout season in my hometown. I treat today like a religious holiday. it seems appropriate then that I should interview my mentor, and someone who many view as a fly-fishing god, Lewis Coleman. Lewis has taught some of the best in the world his techniques and he will share some of those with us today. There is no fly-box section in this show as I wanted to give Lewis as much time as we could to go over his insight into spey casting, how he is pushing the limits in Tenkara and all about how he runs his lodges all around the world. We are lucky to have him on the show.
Tom and Tim Talk Tying Tips
Published: 02/18/2014
Description: It’s still fly-tying February, with our Fly Tying photo contest going on, plus 20% fly tying materials on our web site and in our stores. So although I do answer a question about poly leaders in lakes and one on whether to take a spinning rod when fishing with a 10-year-old, most of it is about fly tying, and should be helpful to anyone from a total novice to advanced tiers. I know I learned a number of very cool tricks in my interview with Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions (who does our awesome weekly tying videos). In the Fly Box, I also answer questions about hook quality, wool for fly tying, what to use for Comparadun wings, fly quality, and some theories about why we attach certain materials to a hook. I apologize in advance—Tim and I ramble quite a bit, but with a fly tier of Tim’s caliber the ramblings are interesting and educational.
Fly Tying Tips and Hints
Published: 02/09/2014
Description: This week is all about fly tying. I took a whole bunch of questions that came in over the past week (thank you very much for your great questions) and we spend about an hour going over some tricky and not-so-tricky questions. The hardest one for me was to list the essential fly tying materials every tier should have on his or her bench (and I was not allowed to use CDC, rabbit fur, or peacock herl, which made it even tougher) and it took me two days to decide on that one. I ended up cheating and coming up with a trout list and a saltwater list. Other questions included emergency procedures for when you break your thread, when to use wax, most under-utilized materials, substitutes in fly-tying recipes, tips for tying with deer hair, and many others. Don’t forget that this month, fly tying materials at Orvis are 20% off, so now is the time to think about what you’ll need for next season.
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