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Fly Fishing Learning Center
Published: 03/26/2020
Description: 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.
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Published: 03/12/2020
Description: 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.
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Published: 02/20/2020
Description: 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.
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Published: 02/28/2020
Description: 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.
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Published: 02/14/2020
Description: This week’s podcast is a spirited discussion with Dr. Andy Danylchuk, Professor of Fish Conservation at UMass Amherst and science advisor to organizations like Keep Fish Wet and Bonefish Tarpon Trust. My question to Andy was 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 biases and experiences. I thought it was a thought-provoking conversation and hope you do was well.
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Published: 01/18/2020
Description: 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 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.
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Published: 11/21/2019
Description: 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.
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Published: 11/07/2019
Description: 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.
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Published: 10/30/2019
Description: 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?
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Published: 09/27/2019
Description: 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?
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Published: 08/22/2019
Description: 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?
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Published: 08/08/2019
Description: 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?
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Published: 07/03/2019
Description: 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.
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Published: 06/18/2019
Description: We are really excited to bring you our first Shortcast episode of The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast. Hosted by Orvis fly-fishing instructor and guide Pete Kutzer, Shortcast episodes will feature one of your questions a week. You can call in your questions at (802) 362-8800 or email us at podcast@orvis.com This week Pete gives tips on how to land a fish that is charging right at you.
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Published: 06/20/2019
Description: 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?
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Want to send a question to Tom for the podcast? You can e-mail your questions to podcast@orvis.com or leave a phone message at 802-362-8800 Follow Tom on Instagram @rosenbauert.