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Fly Fishing Learning Center
Published: 06/14/2019
Description: In honor of Father's Day and since Tom is still out on the road, we've pulled a popular show from the archives on how to teach young people how to fly fish. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.Tom should be back next with your questions.
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Published: 05/24/2019
Description: This week I have a chat with Scott Bosse of American Rivers on the Montana Headwaters Security Act, a 7-year program that will hopefully come to fruition in 2020. It’s draft legislation for new Wild and Scenic river designations on some of the best rivers and streams on public lands in Montana. This draft legislation is the culmination of seven years of outreach to a broad cross-section of Montanans from across the state. During this time they have met with over 500 business owners, watershed groups, land trusts, recreation groups, riverside landowners, sportsmen and sportswomen, conservation organizations and other stakeholders. What they heard at those meetings mirrored what they learned in two bipartisan polls in 2013 and 2016 – Montanans love their rivers and want to see more of them protected using the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. It’s appropriate that this major legislation is happening in Montana, because the idea for the original Wild and Scenic Rivers legislation was born in Montana and was signed into law by President Johnson in 1968. In the Fly Box this week, we have questions and suggestions from listeners, including the following: The reason for the T-designation for sinking heads Can I use Tenkara flies with standard fly-fishing tackle? Why can’t I catch fish on nymphs? Do you have some tips for limestone streams? When it is advisable to purposely un-match the hatch Can I use hiking bots in place of wading boots? Can I use midge-sized flies all year long? They only work for me in the winter. Can I use an unweighted fly with a Euro-nymphing rig? Is it a good idea to use gear lubricant on my fly line? Why is fly-fishing gear so much more expensive than conventional gear? Where should I add split shot in relation to my streamer? Is there an easy way to remove split shot?
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Published: 04/25/2019
Description: So you thought you knew something about fly-fishing history? This week I have a chat with Paul Schullery, in my opinion the premier fly-fishing historian in North America. When I have a question about history Paul is my go-to guy. He’s the author of at least 50 natural history books, was a historian for Yellowstone National Park, and when he lived in Vermont was executive director of The American Museum of fly fishing. In the podcast, you’ll learn that not many things are new in fly fishing. Tenkara-style fishing was used in Europe hundreds of years ago. People were catching bass on a fly in Florida since revolutionary days. Euro nymphing? Drop shot techniques? Fly fishing for pike? Saltwater fly fishing? Those were all done hundreds of years ago. Paul also goes into some detail on women in fly fishing, and how women have been involved in the sport since the very beginning. In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions: Is it worth it to buy prescription polarized sunglasses and where do I buy good ones? What works best for early season brook trout in Vermont? Am I cheating if I use a small wireless fish finder on my pontoon boat? Why do you call this The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide podcast? Is it just for guides? Why doesn’t anyone make a fiberglass rod longer than nine feet? How do I search the podcasts for a topic? What is the best way to catch white perch on a fly rod? I bought an old reel with a fly line on it and the line is all kinked up. Can I fix the line or should I trash it? Can I use fluorocarbon spinning line as a leader? Why did I have trouble catching fish when they were rising? I can catch them on nymphs. What is a good rotary fly-tying vise in the $100-$200 price range?
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Published: 05/09/2019
Description: Tom is on the road this week so we are posting a backcast episode from January of 2011 on emergers. This is one of Tom's "Black Diamond" episodes where he shares some more advanced fly-fishing techniques.
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Published: 05/02/2019
Description: This week, fresh from the Orvis Guides’ Rendezvous in Montana, I returned with a bunch of stories and tips I recorded with some full-time, professional Orvis-endorsed guides in a bar. Some stories are bizarre, some funny, and some touching. I also asked each guest for a tip so it’s not all pure entertainment. There is just a bit of bathroom humor around body functions, so just be warned in case you listen to these with kids. Nothing I would not share with my kids but just in case… In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions and a couple great tips from listeners. A series of great tips on what to focus on when teaching a friend to fly fish. If jig hooks ride point up, why do fly tiers put the wing case on the side that points down when it is in the water? If trout face upstream, and you should approach them from downstream, why do all these people catch lots of fish using Euro nymphing methods when fish are directly across or even downstream from them? I have a 9 ft 6 weight Recon. I want to fish in small trout streams and for panfish. What lighter rod would you recommend? My big tungsten beads keep slipping over the hook eye. What can I do to prevent this? I fish in a river that has stocked trout and native smallmouth but I am really targeting the smallmouth. Why do I only catch trout this time of year? Why don’t your rods have hook keepers? I have been told to make my fly cast like I am holding a pretzel rod and I should be making a motion like I am trying to break the pretzel. But I get fatigue in my wrist. Is this a good casting tip? What is the dumbest way you have ever broken a rod? If you don’t have the correct fly size to match an insect, is it better to go one size smaller or one size larger when matching the hatch?
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Published: 04/11/2019
Description: This week my interview is with Jeremy Wade of “River Monsters” fame. You may remember the episode where he caught a huge arapaima on an Orvis H3 and Mirage reel. He doesn’t always use a fly rod, but he does enjoy everything from those giant fish in exotic locations to a small wild brown trout river near his home in the UK. We talk about lots of things other than river monsters—what he enjoys about fly fishing, how he stays in shape for fighting those beasts, and about the pleasures of getting to know a water intimately instead of the pressure of having to produce for the camera. He has a new TV show and a book coming out soon—you’ll learn all about them on the podcast. In the Fly Box this week we have some great questions: What is the difference between wild, native, and holdover trout? How do I get small beads on hooks when they don’t want to go over the bend? What is the correct way to “haul in a fish”? Will upgrading my rod make me a better angler? Would it make sense to overload my 8-weight rod for pike and musky with a 9-weight line to throw those bigger flies? What is the best way to collect insects from my local river for reference? Who are some older authors you recommend for pleasure reading? Can I use my “saltwater” fluorocarbon leaders in Alaska? What things currently restricted by the rules of competitive angling would competitors use for their own fishing? And finally, yet another great tip by a listener on how to keep Thing-A-Ma-Bobbers from slipping on thinner sections of leaders
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Published: 04/18/2019
Description: A few weeks ago I did a podcast with Josh Jenkins of Scientific Anglers on floating fly lines. Not only was it popular, I hinted that we might do one on sinking lines, which produced a minor barrage of requests for one. So here it is. You’ll learn about how sinking lines are made, what those designations like IPS, Class V, and T-14 mean and how to use them in your fishing. You’ll also get some hints on how to pick the right sinking line for your own situations. In the Fly Box this week, we cover the following suggestions and questions: A suggestion on how to get a nice flat shape when tying nymphs A heads up about the FFI Fly-Tying Awards Why do I lose so many trout using size 22 hooks? Should I bend the hooks out a bit? Can I substitute monofilament for fine wire on my Elk Hair Caddis? How do I extend the butt section of my leader? Exactly what knots do I need? Is it OK to use flies tied for different species in other habitats? How do I catch walleye on a fly? I am legally blind and want to catch brook trout on small mountain streams? What is the best method for me? Can I use UV resin instead of head cement on smaller flies? What are the most effective colors of Dragon Tails? What sinking line is best for any given body of water?
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Published: 03/14/2019
Description: This week I interview Devin Olsen, who you may know about from competitive fly fishing, but we're not going to talk about competition. Devin walks us through what to look for when you first approach a stream and how to come up with a strategy for a day of fishing. His new book Tactical Fly Fishing is now available but we get a sneak peak on what you’ll learn from his book. In the Fly Box this week, we talk about: Moving kids from a spinning rod to a switch rod How to deal with muddy and bloody feathers from a duck-hunting friend How to display fly rods in your house If my jig hooks bend when I get stuck in a snag, should I just bend them back and re-use them? If a 5-weight is considered an all-around rod in graphite, is it the same for fiberglass rods? What is the difference between hen necks and hen capes? A great suggestion for carrying a landing net on a plane Do catastrophic floods ruin trout fishing and the insect life? What length and line size do you recommend for both smallmouth bass and steelhead? Can I catch catfish with a fly rod? How should I organize my bonefish fly boxes? Which grain weight in the Depth Charge lines is best for surf fishing?
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Published: 02/20/2019
Description: This week I interview Dom Swentosky of the Troutbitten blog, which is one of my favorites because I like the way he thinks about fishing problems and solutions. We titled it “Old School Streamer Fishing” and that’s how it starts, but Dom also discusses an innovative way of fishing streamers on mono, on a tight line, similar to the way a lot of people fish nymphs today. So in my view it’s a mix of old and new techniques. In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions: What kind of sinking line do I need for walleyes in 10 feet of water? What is the best way to organize fly-tying material? Do you have a good way of testing streamer patterns during the winter when you can’t fish them? Does it matter what kind of material I use for wings on bonefish flies? How do I modify my knotless leader? Do you have any suggestions for fishing beaver ponds? What suggestions do you have for swinging steelhead flies when the water depth varies greatly? How can I fish leech imitations in a river that is 15 to 30 feet deep for walleyes? What is the best way to fish an incoming tide for stripers? How should I target sharks on the fly? How do I catch carp in a deep muddy lake where they don’t come into the shallows except to spawn?
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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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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.