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Fly Fishing Learning Center
Published: 02/08/2019
Description: 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?
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Published: 01/22/2019
Description: 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!
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Published: 01/18/2019
Description: 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?
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Published: 12/28/2018
Description: 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?
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Published: 12/07/2018
Description: 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?
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Published: 12/01/2018
Description: This week I have an interesting chat with Cameron Mortensen, 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?
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Published: 08/29/2018
Description: 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?
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Published: 07/27/2018
Description: 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?
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Published: 08/14/2018
Description: 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?
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Published: 07/07/2018
Description: 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?
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Published: 06/08/2018
Description: 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.
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Published: 05/31/2018
Description: 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).
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Published: 05/25/2018
Description: On this week’s podcast my guest is RA Beattie of Beattie Productions/Off the Grid Studios. You have no doubt seen some of his wonderful films, or perhaps you have enjoyed his latest venture—Fly Fishing films on Amazon Prime video. RA shares some tips on both video and still photography with us, and there are some good nuggets in there to help you move beyond the cliched grip & grin shots that have over-saturated social media. Warning—if you don’t understand the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO it might be worthwhile to do a little research before you listen to this one. In The Fly Box, lots of interesting tips and questions: Why do I keep losing bass when I play them? Should I get a 10-foot 3-weight or 4-weight rod? Can I throw big poppers with a 9-foot 5-weight rod? A warning about the legality of Tenkara rods in rivers designated “fly fishing only”. Are newer graphite rods better for tippet protection than older models? A tip from a listener on pike fishing as practice for saltwater fly fishing. When measuring sections for tying a knotted leader, are the specs for the section before or after you tie the knot? Why do largemouth bass sometimes sniff my fly but don’t attack it aggressively? What is a good recommendation for an inflatable kayak? How do I avoid creek chubs when trout fishing? What is a good starter outfit for northeast saltwater fly fishing? How much better are rubber soles with metal studs? And should I worry about scratches they make on rocks? How do I read the water on ever-changing rivers like the Bighorn?
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Published: 04/29/2018
Description: I occasionally receive a fishing book that really strikes my fancy as being totally original, and last winter I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson. Much more than a fishing book, it’s the story of a young Atlantic salmon fly tier who stole priceless bird skins from a British museum and then used them for his own tying and sold them on the internet. Kirk researched the story thoroughly and even tried to trace some of the feathers that were purchased to get them back to the museum. The book truly reads like a whodunnit and I found it fascinating reading. To use a well-worn cliché I literally could not put it down. Some of you fly tiers may be not agree with the stance he takes on tiers obsessing over rare and unusual materials so I think it may create some lively discussions. Regardless, I think you’ll find our discussion fascinating. In the Fly Box this week, we get into more conventional and non-controversial questions, such as these: Why do two dry flies work better than one? How do you fish a Sneaky Pete for smallmouths in fast water? What size and color Woolly Bugger is best? What does the Woolly Bugger imitate? What color polarized sunglasses are best and what are some good brands? Why can I land 18-inch fish but not the ones that are over 24 inches? Are grayling selective? Is it normal to tie a Clouser Minnow with a red head? Is it normal to reel all of your line in before playing a fish? Why am I not catching bigger brook trout on streamers?
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Published: 04/01/2018
Description: Today we do a deep dive on the newest trend in fly-fishing for koi, that elusive fish that many people think cannot be caught on a fly rod. Nothing could be further from the truth; although these fish are challenging targets on a fly rod, they are available in many places close to home. The most exciting part of this fishery is that you can fish for them anywhere you want. In the Fly Box this week I have an unusually interesting bunch of questions, including: · What is the single greatest trout stream in the United States? · What is the impact of the legalization of marijuana on fly fishing so far? · When you take a float trip in a drift boat or raft, how do you get back to your car? · What is that big pocket in the back of a fishing vest used for? · How to do the triple haul · If I only have 30 minutes to fish on a business trip, is it better to use a 9-weight or 12-weight when targeting permit? · Why don’t you teach shadow casting in your schools? · Can I make a fly out of food? · What are the best organic fishing spots in New England? · If I’ve got a great fishing spot on a crowded river and nature calls, what is the best way to take care of things and not lose my spot?
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