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Fly Fishing Learning Center
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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Published: 03/09/2018
Description: Panfish are the way many of us relieve the frustration of snotty trout, spooky carp, or saltwater fish that can't be reached because of bad weather. They're always on the prowl for a snack and seldom very fussy. But you do need to know where to find them, and for the larger specimens a little finesse is often in order. So this week I talk to Bart Lombardo, panfish aficionado and guru. We concentrate on the sunfish family. Although many smaller freshwater fish fit into the panfish category, sunfish are the most abundant and widely distributed. I think you find some great tips for maximizing your fun with these feisty little guys. In the Fly Box, here are some of the questions and tips we cover: Is there one rod I can use for both tightline (Euro) nymphing and dry flies? I found out why my knots were breaking on tippet rings! Rattles for redfish When you might want tapered leaders for bass What is the difference between freshwater and saltwater fly lines, and the difference between coldwater and warmwater lines? What lines do I need for coastal fishing in the Northeast? Do I need to take special care when wearing wading boots on my inflatable SUP? What do you eat to keep going during a full day of fishing? Can I imitate both Hendricksons and March Browns with one fly pattern? Can I use my 6-weight Clearwater rod for stocked trout? What does good carp water look like?
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Published: 03/02/2018
Description: How do I become a guide? Should I get a job as a guide? How do I train to be a fishing guide? What skills do I need? I get these questions all the time on podcast requests, and because I have neither the skills nor the temperament to be a guide I asked our good friends at World Cast Anglers, specifically Mike Dawkins, to talk about the guiding life. They should know as they probably employ more fly-fishing guides than any other operation, and they have also been running a guide school for years. Listen to this week’s podcast about the pleasures and perils of being a fly-fishing guide. In the Fly Box this week, here are a few of the questions I try to answer: · How do I land giant alligator gar? · Where should I put my weight in relation to my tippet ring? · What are your top three suggestions for teaching someone to fish with a fly rod? · Should I get a weight forward or double taper fly line? · Can I use tightline nymphing techniques when fishing downstream? · How do I simplify and lighten up my gear when backpacking? · I get corrected—a listener has seen seen trout eat adult early black stoneflies and yellow sallies · How do I fish a long, clear, shallow stretch with no riffles without spooking fish? · Is it OK to put a perfection loop in my fly line? · Can I use a sinking poly leader when indicator fishing? · Why am I losing fish that I have hooked while fishing nymphs during the winter? · Why did I not catch fish while fishing nymphs during the winter?
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Published: 02/23/2018
Description: *** This is a Backcast Episode from May 21, 2010. It is fun to see how much the show's format has changed since then! Thanks for listening!*** Tom thinks even the best casters can sometimes use a little help when it comes to line control. In this podcast he gives his top ten tips for what to do once your line hits the water. Have a suggestion for the podcast? Drop us a line at podcast@orvis.com.
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Published: 02/08/2018
Description: I have gotten numerous requests on doing a podcast on fly fishing from a kayak and finally was able to corral my friend Damon Bungard of Jackson Kayaks, who has a broad experience fishing from kayaks all over the world, from tarpon flats to trout streams, and also designs kayaks. It’s a very detailed podcast, covering everything from picking the right craft to approaching fish to anchor systems to dealing with line handling to fighting and landing fish from a kayak. And lots of good stories in between. Fly fishers have different needs than conventional anglers when it comes to kayak fishing, so I am sure you will benefit from the wisdom of a true expert. Also in the Fly Box we cover questions on: · Whether you find the same hatches on different stretches of a river · Why a guide had an angler fight a fish with the rod in a vertical position · How far upstream to cast a nymph with an indicator, and how much to let it hang downstream · Will there be a kit to convert a Helios 3 D version to an F version (no, sorry they are totally different tapers) · Why are my knots breaking at the tippet ring but not when I attach it to a fly? · Are mop flies evil? · Why did I not have the same luck when I went back to the same trout stream a few weeks later? · For small flies, do I need to tie all sizes between 18 and 24? · Is a poly leader as good as a sink tip (to a blind horse?) · A seriously disappointing etiquette question (for which I don’t have a good answer) · Why aren’t jig style hooks used more often?
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Published: 01/24/2018
Description: 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), 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. In The Fly Box, we have all sorts of great questions this week: · The difference between braided and furled leaders · How to Euro nymph rivers with spooky trout · Fishing a midge larva behind a streamer · The difference between “freshwater” and “saltwater” rods · How to transition from saltwater to freshwater fly fishing · Can I use my steelhead reel in salt water? · How to travel with a large net · Tricks for avoiding bulk when tying tiny flies · When to put a fighting trout on the reel · Tips for making very short roll casts · Using cat fur for dubbing · Decreasing hooking mortality on small brookies · How to avoid large cracks in fly lines
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Published: 10/26/2017
Description: This week’s guest is Joe Cermele, fishing editor of Field & Stream magazine and the one-man-band behind the terrific web series “Hook Shots” (if you have not seen his videos they are always fun and offbeat). Joe is wild about fishing big flies for big fish—regardless of species. Our interview is about mousing for trout, a sorta-night-fishing, sorta-streamer-fishing technique that has become popular in recent years. But it’s not about fishing mouse flies for wilderness fish in Alaska or Kamchatka, it’s about fishing them in local, heavily fished rivers. Mousing is a great way to avoid the crowds and catch one of those big trout you seldom see during the day. As usual in The Fly Box we have a wide variety of topics: missing strikes on topwater bass flies, the difference between a desiccant and a flotant (again!), finding tailing carp, fishing streamers and high-stick nymphing in spring creeks, fishing bamboo rods for larger trout, tying with peacock eyes, questions on rod models, when to buy multiple reels as opposed to one reel and an extra spool, trout that disappear in early spring, correct depth for setting your indicator (there isn’t one), deciding which fly-tying tools to put most of your budget into—and finally what is that white rod Pete Kutzer uses for his casting videos?
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Published: 10/23/2017
Description: This week Jeremy Kehrein from Orvis Travel joined me to share his knowledge of travel planning and packing tips. Most people know how to plan travel (just call up our Travel Department!) and know how to pack a suitcase, so we focus on what travelers often forget—what questions do they forget to ask when calling a travel agent, guide, or lodge, and what do people often forget when packing for a fishing trip. Arriving in a remote destination without an essential doodad can, while not exactly spoiling a trip, make it less enjoyable. In the Fly Box this week there is an extremely helpful tip from a listener that can benefit every angler—of all ages and all genders. I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you want it is. There are also questions on building a 7X leader that won’t collapse, how to land very large trout on a 3-weight rod and 6X tippet, how often multiple anglers can fish a single riffle, a recommendation for a good book on small-stream trout fishing (guess what that is?), studded boots making noise in the water, how to imitate a Rooster Tail, how to catch snotty whitefish, and how to keep a foam fly floating all day long. There is also an excellent tip from a listener who is a personal trainer on the right exercises to prepare yourself for fishing.
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Published: 09/28/2017
Description: This week, I take a break from interviews and do a podcast like we did in the old days by interviewing myself. It’s a shameless plug for my newest book, Hatch Strategies, published by Rizzoli/Universe. I call it Twelve Tips on Fishing Hatches That Might Surprise You. I’m sure that many of you agree with most of the tips, especially if you’ve spent any time chasing trout when they are feeding on insect hatches. But I am willing to bet there are a couple you may not have thought of, that run contrary to what you have heard in the past, or might even think that Rosenbauer guy is full of fish feces. If you don’t agree with me, I’d love to hear about it, which may produce some interesting podcasts in the future. In the Fly Box this week, I answer (or try to answer) how to fish small streams with a 9-foot rod, the use of tippet rings, how to avoid spending a fortune on hackle, what percent of the time you should be hooking fish that rise to your dry fly, whether to fish for steelhead in a river where they are threatened, the use of scents on flies, how to avoid foul-hooking trout, the use of loop knots in trout fishing, and delicate dry-fly presentations at short distances. There are also a couple of great letters from listeners with comments—one on angling ethics and another on how to move from trout fishing to saltwater fly fishing on the West Coast.
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Published: 06/29/2017
Description: This week I have an interview with an old friend, Joe Demalderis, of Cross Current guide service in the Catskills. Joe knows the Delaware system about as well as any human, and has a common-sense approach to fishing hatches that I love. We talk about how to fish hatches from a drift boat or other craft, which at times can be more difficult than fishing hatches while wading, but at other times can reach fish in water that is too deep of otherwise inaccessible to the wader. In the Fly Box, we range from questions on getting droppers ready before you go fishing, caddis pupa tactics, fish rising to tippet rings, brook trout on streamers, the effect of heat on tippet material, shirt colors on trout streams, and suggested bonefish books.
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Published: 06/09/2017
Description: I don’t know why redfish have the reputation of being easy to catch. Every one I have ever cast to was spooky and suspicious. I’ve also found that when casting to redfish, especially in the fascinating times when they’re tailing in shallow water, accuracy is key. And I don’t mean in the general area. You need to place the fly in exactly the right spot based on which direction the fish is facing. Want to find out more about gaining accuracy on redfish? You’ll have to listen to this week’s podcast, where I interview Orvis Saltwater Guide of the Year Lucas Bissett of Slidell, Louisiana. In the Fly Box this week, I try to answer questions on tides and currents in salt water, color of leader material, an old fly dressing formula, the Hopper Twitch, feather clippings, and how to reconcile the feeling of getting skunked (my wife and fishing buddies will tell you I don’t do this well).
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Published: 05/11/2017
Description: In the fly box this week we have questions on making your own braided leaders, boorish behavior on trout streams, the effect of melting snow on fishing, how to test a new fly, the ethics of using a guide to find a spot and then fishing it on your own (don’t do it), and a mystery caller at the end. This week I also share an interview with Jeff Skelding, executive director of the Friends of the Upper Delaware River (FUDR). This is a very effective regional conservation organization that after years of difficult relations with local public officials, state and regional water authorities, and highway departments, has gradually formed very effective partnerships with them. We can all learn from their advice and experience when it appears that conservation and property seem to be at odds. It does not have to be a zero-sum game.
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Published: 03/20/2017
Description: In this week’s podcast, our guest is the very savvy guide and writer Landon Mayer from central Colorado. Landon is the author of four books on fly fishing, numerous magazine articles, and you may have caught one of his presentations at a fly-fishing show. He’s also a hard-working guide. Landon gives us his special tips for taking advantage of the high water of spring runoff—something most of us try to avoid but with Landon’s guidance you might welcome these conditions. In The Fly Box, we talk about casting practice, the use of two indicators, fishing for landlocked salmon in lakes, Woolly Buggers for steelhead, and a heartwarming story about catching a steelhead despite adverse conditions.
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Published: 01/01/2016
Description: This week I have a delightful interview with the energetic Jen Ripple, publisher of Dun Magazine. She has some exciting news about her magazine that you’ll discover in the podcast. But the podcast is not about magazines, it’s about urban fly fishing, specifically Midwestern urban fly fishing. Jen is well versed on this subject, and I know you’ll enjoy some of her wild stories and you’ll learn a bunch about how to seek out these gems in the middle of heavy industry. Also in the Fly Box we discuss loops on fly lines, whether fly fishing is better than spin fishing, what to do with poorly tied flies from your earlier attempts, how to target big brook trout, how to avoid spooking trout, when it’s OK to reel your line-to-leader connection inside your guides, how to avoid foul-hooking fish—and lots of other tidbits.
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Published: 08/14/2016
Description: Where can I legally fish and where am I trespassing? What is considered navigable water? Who owns the water and the fish in it? These are all questions answered in this week’s podcast by Land Tawney, CEO of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, based in Missoula, Montana. What you’ll learn is that these answers vary with every state, and thus you must learn a new set of access laws every time you cross state lines. Also in the Fly Box this week we talk about how to fish a streamer, why dry/dry dropper rigs work, shelf life of fly-tying thread, underwater fish photos, tipping guides, the use of class tippets in salt water, whether you can put backing away wet, and other fun stuff.
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