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General Fly Fishing

Description: This week I interview Monte Burke [@44:46], author of the recently released book Lords of the Fly. It's a chronicle of the history of tarpon fishing with a fly rod, and especially the magical period in the late 20th century where huge tarpon and the best fly anglers in the world converged on a little town on the Florida coast. This is truthfully one of the most interesting fly-fishing books I have ever read. Even if you have no interest in tarpon fishing, the story of the personalities, conflicts, and obsession involved in trying to catch a world record tarpon on a fly is one of the most compelling stories in fly-fishing history. Monte talks about his research and the process involved in writing the book. It's a tale of egos and gangsters and heartbreak.
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Description: There are few things more fun in fly fishing than catching bluegills with a popper or nymph. For the most part, once you find them it's easy and un-challenging fishing. But if you want to up your game and chase trophy bluegills, the kind that will put a big bend in a 3-weight rod, you need special techniques. This week Orvis-endorsed guide Kip Vieth shares his passion for big bluegills, and his special techniques for catching them--even in summer heat.
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Description: This week we continue our exploration of small streams with Brian Slusser in California and Brown Hobson of North Carolina. Both are experienced guides and love small stream fishing. Even if you don't fish these regions, you'll find plenty of great tips and fly suggestions for your own region.
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Description: We could all use a little escapism these days, so why not listen to a podcast about adventures in the Amazon? Fly Fisherman Magazine editor and publisher Ross Purnell, in a pre-Covid recorded interview, will thrill you with his adventures with a fly rod in the Amazon, and you will be shocked at how he celebrated the trip. Few of us will be traveling to exotic locations this year, and many of us never will, but it is always enlightening to hear about what fishing is like in a different world.
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Description: This week, Joe Hebler of the Blue Quill Angler in Evergreen, Colorado, answers the question "How do I become a fishing guide?" Whether you are graduating from high school or college, or in another career looking to escape daily stresses and an unsatisfying job, Joe gives a great road map on what steps to take to successfully land a job in this competitive field. And if you aren't interested in becoming a guide, Joe also gives some great tips on current fishing conditions on Colorado streams.
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Description: This week I have the pleasure of interviewing one of my very favorite non-fiction writers, Mark Kurlansky. Author of such award-winning books as Cod, Salt, Paper, 1968, and A Continent of Islands, Mark is a tireless journalist who digs into the very essence of anything he does. His new book, Salmon, is his first book that involves sport fishing as well as the natural and economic history of both Atlantic and Pacific salmon. (And he has a book on fly fishing coming out next April).
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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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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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Secrets of the Salmon River
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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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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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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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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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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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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Creeped out in Lordville
Published: 10-31-2019
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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