Advanced/Intermediate Fly Fishing Lessons
Some call it Euro nymphing, others call it Czech nymphing, Polish nymphing, French nymphing, or tightline nymphing. George Daniel calls it contact nymphing. This is a deadly technique for getting nymphs to the bottom quickly and keeping them riding close to the bottom for a longer drift. Although the concept originated with competition anglers, we’ve modified it to suit anglers who just want an effective and fascinating way to catch trout.
Small stream trout fishing gets you away from boats and swimmers and other people, and takes anglers back to the essence of fly fishing. The tackle you need is minimal and the fly selection is simple. Fish are mostly small but they are invariably wild, and it’s mostly dry-fly fishing. If you need a day on the water where you catch lots of trout that are relatively easy to catch, small stream trout fishing is for you. And yes, you will get caught in trees but we also have some tips for minimizing those problems!
Streamer fishing has changed, or to use a better term, expanded over the past decade. The flies are bigger, sometimes flashier, and we fish them all kinds of ways—not just swinging in the current or stripped away from the bank. Learn about new flies, different fly lines, and new techniques to catch the largest trout in a river. You’ll also learn about night fishing for trout, and using mouse patterns both after dark and during the day.
The easiest and most common way to catch fish on nymphs is with either an indicator or a dry-dropper arrangement. All through the season and in all water types and conditions, nymphs are the most reliable way to catch trout on a fly. Learn some expert tips on how to rig them, how to fish them, and how to choose flies.
Call them steelhead, call them lake-run rainbows, call them anything you want. Large rainbow trout that live in the Great Lakes ascend rivers from early fall through spring and they are great tagets on the fly, whether you fish with nymphs, eggs, or swing streamers for them. We’ll give you some tips on how to find them, how to fish for them, and the tackle you’ll need for Great Lakes steelhead
Freshwater bass are the most popular gamefish in North America for good reason. They are found almost everywhere and are usually willing to take a fly. Learn how to catch largemouth and smallmouth bass on a fly throughout the season, in any water conditions.
Trout are not found everywhere in a river, especially when they are feeding. Learn how to narrow down the possibilities to predict where trout are most likely to be found, whether you’re fishing a giant river or a tiny mountain stream. You’ll learn how these places change daily, and with seasonal changes—and where trout go during high water. How important is cover and shade? Are brook, brown, cutthroat, and rainbow trout found in different places? What is the difference between a freestone stream, tailwater, spring creek, or limestone stream? And where are trout found in each one of those environments? You’ll learn all those things and more in this chapter.
Bonefish are the perfect saltwater fly-rod fish. They live and feed in very shallow water. They eat small creatures perfectly imitated by flies. They are just spooky enough to make them a challenge. And they will test the drag of any fly reel with their blistering runs. And finally, they live in beautiful places—crystal clear saltwater flats teeming with life.
What do you do on unfamiliar rivers when you don’t have a guide? Where do you start? What flies do you pick? What kind of water should you look for? Should you work upstream or down? This chapter will give you some tips on how to get started—and then where you go from there is up to you. Exploration is part of the fun.
To many anglers, experiencing a heavy hatch of insects, with trout responding to them, is the pinnacle of fly fishing. Sometimes the trout don’t respond, but when they do, they seem to lose their caution and feed with abandon. It’s probably the best chance to catch a large trout on a dry fly. Learn how to identify the insects, how to pick a fly, and how to present your artificial to feeding trout.
Striped bass are just made for fly fishing. They feed in shallow water, they are abundant throughout the Northeast coast of North America, and they readily take flies that imitate baitfish, squid, crabs, and shrimp. You can find them on windswept beaches, inshore estuaries, rocky points, inshore marshes, from jetties, or even on sandy swimming beaches. Whether you fish from shore or from a boat, striped bass, when you find them, are a great fish to chase on a fly rod.
Stillwater fly fishing for trout is not just throwing out a streamer or nymph and stripping it back. Especially when fishing with nymphs, there are effective techniques, more scientifically based (and backed by practical success) that use rigging and flies quite different from what we use on rivers and streams. Join Phil Rowley, stillwater expert and teacher, as he guides us through the techniques he has developed over many years of stillwater trout fishing.
You know how to do the basic overhead cast and the roll cast. What’s beyond that? There are many ways to cast better in the wind, improve your roll cast, improve the delicacy of the way your fly lands, cast sinking lines, and set up your cast ahead of time to avoid drag. You also may want to try your hand at two-handed casts, which you can even do with an ordinary single-handed rod. Pete Kutzer, Orvis casting guru, shows us how to fine-tune and improve our casts for any situation.