Description: This week I have another podcast with John McMillan, as I have to confess I love talking to John about fishy stuff. His knowledge and enthusiasm and passion are infectious and I think his interviews are always enlightening. This week we talk about The Colors of Trout—can we tell anything from the coloration of trout about their life history? Is there a good way to tell a hatchery form a wild fish? What does it mean when trout carry parr marks into adulthood? How quickly can trout change their coloration? And are the spot patterns on trout like fingerprints? Warning—we come up with more questions than answers and you may as well.
Description: In today's podcast my guest is Shawn Combs, head of Orvis Rod & Tackle product development and Orvis rod and reel designer. The topic is "16 Things I Wish I Knew About Trout Spey Before I Started". If you have been thinking about trying to swing wet flies or small streamers for trout with a two-handed rod, also known as "Micro Spey", this will be a valuable lesson for you. These are light two-handed rods, in line sizes 3 and 4, designed for covering larger waters. It's especially effective in the fall, when trout are getting aggressive as the move into winter and brown and brook trout are migrating to their spawning grounds. It's a fun and for many of us a new way to fish for trout.
Description: This week my guest is noted steelhead angler and scientist John McMillen of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. John’s topic is The Secret Life of Steelhead, and his fascinating discussion of why they do what they do (and the challenges they face) held me in absolute fascination. I am sure you’ll feel the same. Besides being a lifelong steelhead angler (John was a tester on our new Mission Series of two-handed rods), john has spent hundreds of days snorkeling steelhead rivers observing them, and at one time he was fishing about 345 days a year. John has worked professionally for the US Forest Service, the Hoh Indian Tribe, the Wild Salmon Center, and recently for NOAA on the Elwha dam removal project. Despite his lifetime of studying the life history and ecology of steelhead, John remains an optimist on the future of steelhead and it gives us hope that someone who understands them so well feels they have a chance of survival. In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and suggestions from listeners: How to clean waders with vodka! A tip on a simple tool for tying nail knots A suggestion for a quick change rig for catching barracuda when fishing for bonefish and permit Why am I having trouble hooking brown trout on terrestrials? What waders do you recommend for someone starting out? What safety precautions do you take on the water? When you first get to the river, how do you decide which nymphing technique to use? What regular fly line size works on the Practicaster? Is there a good way to mark large smallmouth bass so I can see if I am catching the same ones? Silver saltwater hooks don’t work well for me when I fish Clousers in salt water. Why? I have a box of old leaders that are between five and 20 years old. Should I use them? Can I fish for steelhead in Lake Ontario tributaries with a 9-foot 8-weight rod? Why do I see so many scarred fish in a particular river? What other presentations should I use in high, dirty water when streamers don’t work?
Description: Secrets of catching sipping trout with Dave Perkins This week I interview Dave Perkins, Orvis Vice Chairman and one of the best technical anglers I know. Dave loves geeky challenges and is an expert at catching those picky large trout that lay up against the banks and sip small flies—ones that most anglers don’t even notice. In the Fly Box this week we have the following questions: Can I use a Bimini Twist knot to attach my leader to my fly line? Why does a trout that is sipping quietly suddenly attack my dry fly? Is there a way to land large trout in a small stream without a net? A tip on using split ring pliers for removing split shot. How do you choose where to go fishing when there are so many options? What books did you use when starting out, and where do you get your information these days? How do I avoid foul hooking fish when dry dropper fishing with a nymph on a short dropper Which is better, a fiberglass or bamboo rod? Is there a way to connect a tarpon or cuda fly directly to my bonefish fly? I have heard it can be done with a loop. How do I know how fast to set the hook on rising trout? Is it ethical to target bass on spawning beds?
Description: This week’s podcast is one of the biggest eye-openers I have ever done. Not only did I learn a lot, I have actually changed my views on a number of topics, including the effects of the moon on fishing and the effects of a change in barometric pressure. My guest, Russ Carpenter, is a neurologist at Stanford who studies the brains and senses of fish, specifically rainbow trout. He answers lots of question about a trout’s sense of smell, vision, and hearing. Including UV vision. I hope you learn as much as I did in this podcast. In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions: Do you really fish with bamboo rods? Aren’t graphite and glass better? Why did I see large steelhead in a Great Lakes tributary in July? What is your opinion on stocking fish in wild trout streams? Is a 6-weight line from 30 years ago the same size as a modern 6-weight?Can I dye a fly line with RIT dye? What is the best saltwater weed guard? Are some spooky fish truly un-catchable? Is there anything I can do to try to catch them? Is there a difference between a Scottish brown trout and a German brown? I am landing trout up to 20 inches without letting them run. Am I doing something wrong? What do you think about weighted soft hackles? With modern runner soles like the Michelin sole on the Pro Boot, is there any need for studs?
Description: This week we’re talking about a spectacle of nature that happens every year in the Rockies in June—the salmonfly hatch. This is a giant stonefly that excites big trout and fly fishers—but it’s difficult to plan for and not as easy to fish as you might imagine. John Way of The Tackle Shop in Ennis, the oldest fly shop in Montana, gives his tips on the life cycle of this giant stonefly, how to fish the hatch, and how to avoid some of the inevitable drift boat traffic the hatch attracts. If you are planning a trip to the Rockies soon this is one you won’t want to miss. In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and comments: How do I catch the big trout I see on Instagram? I never see them myself when I am on the river. How long before stocked trout tune into feeding on natural foods? If I accidentally kill a fish in a catch and release section, should I try to keep it to eat or just let it die? Is there an advantage to tying my second nymph to the eye of the first fly? When should I do this? When is a drop-shot rig better than conventional weight on the leader? Should I get a 5-weight or 6-weight rod for fishing indicator rigs on a windy lake? What fly materials are fairly universal and can for used for a variety of patterns? Why did I see some big trout in a tributary to a larger trout stream? A special tutorial on how to open a pair of forceps (you won’t want to miss this one!) How do we get younger people involved in organizations like Trout Unlimited?
Description: This week I was down in the Catskills and stopped in to chat with Evan Lavery of The Beaverkill Angler in Roscoe, New York. The topic of our podcast is hatches of the freestone rivers of the Catskills, in particular the Beaverkill and Willowemoc Creek. These are rivers rich with tradition and also rich with a diverse insect population--although they don't have the quantity of insects seen in the Catskill tailwaters like the Delaware, they have a more diverse population so you never know what you'll see. Plus, for the wading angler, these rivers don't have drift boats thus they can be more pleasant for fly fishers on foot. In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and more: What leader should I use for pike and muskie? How do I fish for grayling in high mountain lakes? Do trout eat moths? What fly line is best for short casts? What indicators do you prefer? How do I tell the difference between a wild and stocked brown trout? Plus a harrowing tale of an "extreme angler"
Description: We’ve all heard about going to remote camps in Labrador or Quebec for large brook trout, but less well known are the drive-in rivers of Ontario. Ontario has some amazing wilderness fishing for large brook trout that can be accessed without a float plane, and Mark Melnyk, co-host of the TV show The New Fly Fisher has explored many of them in the course of scouting locations for his show. The fantastic part of the story is that he hardly ever needs to resort to a subsurface fly and most of the action is on the surface with mice and other floating imitations. Listen in to Mark’s tips on where to go and how to catch these trophy fish on a budget. In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions and also some great tips from listeners (if these tips get any better I’ll be out of a job!) I only have a 7 ½ foot rod and it’s a bit short for working larger rivers. Can I use my 9 foot 8-weight for trout? Is tungsten toxic? A great tip on how to keep split shot from sliding on the leader A great tip for keeping Thing-A-Ma-Bobbers from sliding on your leader Can I fish the same big dries I use on the headwaters of a creek further down in the watershed? Where can my friend go to get help with his tailing loop? Are knotted leaders better than knotless leaders? Is it better to use a nail knot on my line instead of a loop-to-loop connection? How do I keep some old treasured wet flies from degrading? Are tactical barbless hooks better than just mashing the barb on a standard hook? Is it more effective to use a hackled dry fly or a Comparadun-type during a mayfly hatch? A great tip from a listener in Ireland on a method of fishing soft hackles called The Escalator Method
Description: My interview this week is with the highly respected angler, writer, and guide Landon Mayer of Colorado. He has a new book out this week—The Hunt for Giant Trout and that’s exactly what we talk about—times, places, and flies for taking the largest trout in a river. We talk a lot about the various food preferred by the larger trout in a body of water—how to identify them and how to select flies and techniques to imitate them. As usual Landon is bursting with great ideas for you to try on your next fishing trip. In the Fly Box this week we cover the following questions: Tips for catching sheepshead on a fly Is my bonefish tackle OK for stripers on Long Island? A tip for practicing strip-setting that incorporates a willing cat When to use poly leaders Can I use and indicator when fishing small BWO dry flies? What are the advantages of using shanks over beading wire for tying articulated flies? A tip for carrying tippet rings on a snap swivel instead of a safety pin Is the Orvis Spey Line a Skagit line? How to fish streamers in tight quarters How to catch shallow water stripers in a Tennessee river at night Can I keep my fishing gear in a cold garage all winter? Will keeping my rods strung up hurt my leader? Which end of a surgeon’s knot should I use for the dropper, and should I take two or three turns? Should I get a starter rod or go right to the best rod I can afford?
Description: This week I have a chat with Amelia Jensen, perhaps the best trout-spotter I have ever seen. I have always thought I was pretty god at seeing trout in the water, but Amelia can see fish I would never have spotted. Learn some of her secrets in this week’s podcast—you’ll be surprised at how often you can spot trout if you know what you’re looking for, even in fast, deep, or slightly off-colored water. In the Fly Box this week we have the following tips and questions: · A tip from a listener on how to carry long pre-rigged fly assemblies · A question about what fly to fish along with a streamer when swinging for spring trout · A question on tips for spotting bonefish · How should I fish the tails of pools? · A listener tip on how to keep your hands warm when fishing · Flashy vs. non-flashy nymphs and where to put them in your nymph rig · A question about why fish get picky after catching a bunch of them from the same run · Why do trout take dry flies when I don’t see any rising? · Tips for avoiding spawning rainbow redds
Description: This week I have a chat with Josh Greenberg, owner of Gates Au Sable Lodge in Michigan. Josh talks about the ecology of his streams, which is unique and provides fascinating fishing for wild trout year round. Josh is a very perceptive and canny angler, and regardless of your interest in Michigan streams you’ll learn some great tips and some interesting thoughts. Josh is also an ardent conservationist, picking up the mantle from his mentor, the late Rusty Gates. After this week, I won’t have a podcast for two weeks because I will be off the grid
Description: This week’s podcast interview is all about fly-fishing high mountain lakes. My guest is Bob Terwilliger of Colorado Outfitters, who specializes in horseback fishing trips into some of the most remote wilderness areas in the lower 48. Fishing high mountain lakes has its own special techniques and philosophies—although here it is as much about the scenery and the trip as it is the fishing. If you enjoy getting away from the crowds and true wilderness fishing, this is a podcast you won’t want to miss. In the Fly Box this week, as usual a mixed bag of questions and comments from a wide range of topics. · Why you should get a fly-tying kit · Recommended lines for small stream fishing · Can I use the Bank Shot line for fishing midges? · What is the best fly rod for bass, pike, and the occasional trip to the Florida Keys? · When using tiny nymphs, should I set the hook keeping my fingers off the line and just use drag pressure from the reel? · What do I do if my head cement gets too thick? · How can I keep my ferrules from slipping? · Which is correct, the upstream reach cast or the downstream reach cast? · Is it worthwhile to fish midges once winter is over? · Why don’t all big trout have a hooked jaw, and what do various color and spot patterns in brown trout indicate?
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
Description: After a long Christmas break, we’ve finally gotten back into a regular podcast schedule. This week our guest is Conway Bowman, known for his targeting of large mako sharks on a fly rod. But Conway also loves trout and tarpon fishing, so he gives us his tips on playing and landing large fish on a fly rod, whether it’s a 500-pound mako or a 22-inch trout. Conway is a great teacher and I am sure you will benefit from his tips. In the Fly Box this week, we have questions on taking an extra reel along, dressing for success and comfort in winter, making unweighted saltwater flies ride inverted in the water, factors that make a trout stream great, how to decide whether to go with weight-forward or double-taper lines, streamers in high altitude lakes, casting practice on snow, and a couple of discussions on tippet rings. I hope you enjoy the show
Description: This week’s interview is with Steve Galletta of Bighorn Angler in Fort Smith, Montana. The Bighorn fishes well all winter long, and with Steve’s many seasons on the river he shares his tips on how to catch tailwater trout all winter long. Even if you don’t plan on fishing the Bighorn any time soon, Steve’s tips will give you valuable intel on how to fish your local tailwater. In The Fly Box, we have questions about the effects of fly flotants on knots, disappearing brook trout, releasing fish in fast water, using switch rods on lakes, why streamers work well in the fall, using UV resins for fly tying, fishing mouse patterns on lakes at night, keeping track of tippet rings, smells on carp flies, and how to apply techniques learned in one fishery to other species and places.