Fly-Fishing in Colder Conditions with John Herzer
Published: 10/29/2015
Description: This week the main event is a chat with John Herzer, owner of Blackfoot River Outfitters and one of the savviest anglers and guides I know. John talks about late fall and winter fishing in the Missoula area, although the solid tips he gives would work anywhere in the world when you encounter colder conditions. Also in the Fly Box we discuss wet flies vs. nymphs and when to use them, single-handed steelhead rods that also work for bass and salt water, night fishing for rainbow trout (don’t), native fish species, and my brilliant career picking flies out of carpets.
Spey Casting Simplified (kind of)
Published: 09/20/2015
Description: This week we had lots of great questions in the Fly Box because I have not done a podcast in a few weeks—so there were lots of good ones in my inbox. We talk about using the Non-Slip Mono Loop knot for fresh water, tippet rings, tough rising fish, Depth Charge Lines, fly boxes for big dries, click-and pawl reels for trout, up vs. down vs. ring eyes for fly hooks—plus two great suggestions from listeners: one on casting fatigue and the other on a very innovative way to dry CDC flies. And in the main event, casting instructor extraordinaire Pete Kutzer and I try to simplify Spey casting and lines for two-handed rods. I am not sure we simplified it much but hopefully it will answer some of your questions.
Lessons from the Missouri with Chris Strainer
Published: 08/09/2015

In this week’s podcast we talk to Chris Strainer, owner of Crosscurrents Fly Shop in Craig, Montana. Chris fills us in on how to beat both the heat and the crowds on one of our most popular trout rivers, the Missouri. He has some great tips on this, as well as suggestions for fall fishing opportunities when the crowds are gone and the weather is cooler.

In the Fly Box we talk about mending with a dry fly, fishing emergers and wets upstream, prospecting with smaller flies, losing fish when they jump, protecting rubber legs on crab patterns, casting fatigue, big fish on light rods…and many other crazy topics.

Stillwater Tips with Bill Reed
Published: 08/15/2015
Description: In the podcast this week, I have the pleasure of interviewing my old friend and co-worker Bill Reed on stillwater trout fishing. We get requests for stillwater podcasts regularly but honestly I’m not very good at stillwater trout fishing and just don’t do it enough. Bill gives us his 8 tips for stillwater fishing, and whether you are an expert at this discipline or just thinking about it, you’ll get many valuable tips. Also on the Fly Box this week we ramble about night fishing, streamer fishing, how to organize your fly box, how to catch fall landlocked salmon, dry/dropper combinations, wire leaders, parachute hackles, and landing fish in the weeds.
Tom's Ten Tips to Beat the Heat
Published: 07/12/2015
Description: This week I give Ten Tips for Trout Anglers to Beat the Heat, I think a timely topic with the weather we have had lately. In the Fly Box, we also talk more about fly lines for bass, when to change a dropper fly if only one pattern is working, whether it is OK to harvest small brook trout for lunch, how to decide amongst the thousands of attractor patterns, best flies for perch, “RADD” (river ADD), how to practice for trout on your local panfish lake, and best rods for kayak fishing.
Return of the Tenkara Master
Published: 05/11/2015
Description: Last week we were fortunate to have Daniel Galhardo, owner of Tenkara USA visit our office and he had a few minutes to stop by for a podcast interview. In this week’s discussion, he talks about what he has learned since his original podcast with us, especially about fly patterns and the rationale for using a single fly. He also talks about—gasp—fishing a huge streamer from Shawn Combs’ drift boat with his Tenkara rod. So much for being a purist.

Even if you are not interested in Tenkara fishing you will probably find something of interest in this week’s podcast. We tackle questions about rinsing gear after saltwater use, how much backing to put on a reel with a sinking line, the use of stinger hooks on saltwater flies, fishing lake-run browns and steelhead in the Great Lakes in estuaries, whether metal studs spook trout, and a great tip from a listener for cleaning your fly tying bench.
The Ten Most Endangered Rivers of 2015
Published: 05/03/2015
Description: In this week’s podcast, we were fortunate to have Bob Irvin, president and CEO of American Rivers, in town for a visit. Bob and I got to chat about their “10 Most Endangered Rivers” list for this year, and he goes into detail on the ones most important to fly anglers. If you care about moving water, this is a must-listen. Also, in the Fly Box this week, questions range from whether switch lines spook fish, whether to go back to the head of a pool after catching a big rainbow there, whether it is ethical to remove streamside brush in small streams, how to pick the right glass rod, and how to tell if your local river holds big fish.
Fishing the Tailwaters of Eastern Tennessee with Patrick Fulkrod, the 2014 Orvis-Endorsed Guide of the Year
Published: 04/17/2015
Description: On this week’s podcast Patrick Fulkrod, the 2014 Orvis-Endorsed Guide of the Year, gives us a very full accounting of fly fishing on the east Tennessee tailwaters, specifically the Watauga and South Holston rivers. He spills some of his secrets on hatches, seasons, water levels, and special techniques. In the Fly Box, we have questions on trimming hackle for dry flies, hackles to use on saltwater flies, how to set the hook on downstream fish, what to do on an unfamiliar river, crane fly larvae, how to fish nymphs for cutthroats in over 15 feet of water in a river (my advice—don’t), and finally how you can lose weight and get in better shape by listening to the podcast.
Bill & Tom's Excellent Fly Lists
Published: 04/06/2015
Description: This week I have been asked to narrow my fly selection to three nymphs, dries, emergers, and streamers with one hand tied behind my back because the guy who wrote the question said I couldn’t use any of the old standbys (and he even specified them, most of which I would have picked). So I dug deep and also asked my fishing buddy and co-worker Bill Reed to come in and discuss his favorites to see how our lists match. Also in the fly box this week are questions about spotting fish in the water, how to keep a trout on the line once you have hooked it, how to spend $1500 wisely after your first year of fly fishing, and fly line color. In addition, we have a couple great letters from listeners offering suggestions on eye safety and fishing the UK chalk streams on a budget.
The Best of Tom: Upstream or Down
Published: 04/01/2015
Description: In this episode we explore the topic of whether you should fish upstream or down, not only what direction you should move but also which way you present your fly.  The podcast will tell you exactly which direction to fish every time you go out by using a simple formula (just kidding—did you really think it would be that easy?) 

In the fly box we answer questions about setting the hook (again), what length rod to use (again), adding tippets to knotless leaders (again), what to do about minnows sinking your dry flies (aha!  A new one and a fun one, too), and how to improve your roll cast by using a different line.  I keep answering those repeated topics because it seems they are universal questions and sometimes a different question or slant on a question may make it more clear to listeners.  Have fun!
The Ultimate Streamer Episode -- until our next one -- with Mike Schmidt
Published: 03/08/2015
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: 03/01/2015
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: 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: 02/06/2015
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: 01/05/2015
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: 12/19/2014
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.
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