S4:E45 Fly Care and Presentation

fly fishing

Scant attention is paid to fly care and presentation. So much of the focus is on fly rods, reels, waders, boots – and every other fly fishing gadget known to humankind. But without the fly itself, there is no catching. In this episode, we concoct a list of aphorisms – short witty statements about how to care for your flies.

LISTEN NOW TO FLY CARE AND PRESENTATION

Great Stuff from Our Listeners. At the of every episode, we reflect on a comment from one of our listeners. We’ve learned so much through the years from the insights of our listeners.

Any advice that you’d like to share with our listeners about fly care and presentation? Where did we miss the mark? What should be added to the conversation?

Please post your comments below, and we’ll consider them for our Great Stuff from Our Listener’s segment.

WOULD YOU REFER OUR PODCAST?

We would love a referral from you. Simply mention our podcast to your TU chapter or fly fishing club or even local fly shop. Thank you for your trust.

The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists – The Perfect Book for a New Fly Fisher

Are you a new fly fisher? Or someone who needs a few fly fishing hacks to improve your skills?

This book is like a plate of hors d’oeuvres. You simply can’t have one. Read one list, and you read the next. Visit Amazon to buy your copy today!

S4:E44 Simplifying Your Fly Fishing Experience

fly fishing

Fly fishing tends to move from simplicity to complexity. You start out learning to cast. And you have one fly rod. You pick up a couple of attractor patterns. And you have one fly box. You purchase a vest, waders, and wading boots. And head to the river. Over time, however, you wind up with four fly rods, thirteen fly boxes with hundreds of flies, and a couple vests that are weighed down by every gadget known to humankind. Fly fishing has become complex. In this epsidode, we discuss ways for simplifying your fly fishing experience.

LISTEN NOW TO SIMPLIFYING YOUR FLY FISHING EXPERIENCE

Great Stuff from Our Listeners. At the of every episode, we reflect on a comment from one of our listeners. We’ve learned so much through the years from the insights of our listeners.

How have you simplified your fly fishing experience? We’d love to hear from you. Please post your comments below, and we’ll consider them for our Great Stuff from Our Listener’s segment.

WOULD YOU REFER OUR PODCAST?

We would love a referral from you. Simply mention our podcast to your TU chapter or fly fishing club or even local fly shop. Thank you for your trust.

The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists – The Perfect Book for a New Fly Fisher

Are you a new fly fisher? Or someone who needs a few fly fishing hacks to improve your skills?

This book is like a plate of hors d’oeuvres. You simply can’t have one. Read one list, and you read the next. Visit Amazon to buy your copy today!

S4:E43 Spring Dry Fly Fishing

fly fishing

Spring dry fly fishing is one of the most delightful stretches of the fly fishing year. While there are other hatches, the two most dominant in most streams and rivers, of course, are Blue Winged Olives (BWOs) and Caddis. In this episode, we discuss patterns that we like, the use of an emerger with a dry fly, and the importance (once again) of size and color.

LISTEN NOW TO SPRING DRY FLY FISHING

Great Stuff from Our Listeners. At the of every episode, we reflect on a comment from one of our listeners. We’ve learned so much through the years from the insights of our listeners.

We’d love to hear your tips for catching more fish on dries in the spring. Are there any patterns that work especially well for BWOs and Caddis? Please post your comments below.

WOULD YOU REFER OUR PODCAST?

We would love a referral from you. Simply mention our podcast to your TU chapter or fly fishing club or even local fly shop. Thank you for your trust.

The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists – The Perfect Book for a New Fly Fisher

Are you a new fly fisher? Or someone who needs a few fly fishing hacks to improve your skills?

This book is like a plate of hors d’oeuvres. You simply can’t have one. Read one list, and you read the next. Visit Amazon to buy your copy today!

S4:E42 One Fine Winter Day on the Blue

fly fishing

It was a great day for skiing in late winter – a fresh foot of powder blanketed the landscape. But we were fishing. Recently, we got up before dawn and drove almost four hours to fish for a few hours on a stretch of the Blue River west of Madison, Wisconsin. The snow was fresh, and there were no tracks on what is often a busy stretch of river (er, small spring creek). In this episode, we recount one fine winter day on the Blue River, and we hope it evokes a great memory from one of your recent days on the water.

LISTEN NOW TO ONE FINE WINTER DAY ON THE BLUE

Great Stuff from Our Listeners. At the of every episode, we reflect on a comment from one of our listeners. We’ve learned so much through the years from the insights of our listeners.

We’d love to hear about a one-fine-day story from one of your recent trips. Please post your comments below!

WOULD YOU REFER OUR PODCAST?

We would love a referral from you. Simply mention our podcast to your TU chapter or fly fishing club or even local fly shop. Thank you for your trust.

The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists – The Perfect Book for a New Fly Fisher

Are you a new fly fisher? Or someone who needs a few fly fishing hacks to improve your skills?

This book is like a plate of hors d’oeuvres. You simply can’t have one. Read one list, and you read the next. Visit Amazon to buy your copy today!

How Closely Should You Match the Hatch?

match the hatch

Whether you tie or buy your flies, it’s tempting to think that if you’re not catching fish, one reason may be that your fly does not match exactly what’s transpiring in the water column. However, the Law of Diminishing Returns seems to apply to how closely you need to match the actual insects. Here are six mostly true statements about matching the hatch:

1. Trout are not like us.

While there are days when I think my teenager may have a single digit IQ, it’s more likely true of trout. No doubt that big brown is wily, but its feeding pattern seems to be driven largely by an evolutionary algorithm that takes into account calories divided by energy. The numerator always needs to be greater than the denominator.

Ergo, the calories need to be worth the effort.

While we may worry that we don’t have the perfect fly for any given situation, the trout may be ignoring what we’re casting for a different reason other than it is not the exact bug that is rolling along the bottom, emerging or hatching on the surface.

2. Some flies work everywhere.

A wide variety of nymphs are highly effective anywhere where trout are found. That’s no surprise, I’m sure.

Just to name two old standby nymphs: the Pheasant Tail Nymph and the Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear. These are just gold, pretty much in any cold-water fishery across the world.

And then there’s the trusty, old-and-tired Parachute Adams, your grandfather’s dun pattern. In various body colors, this fly can represent nearly all the mayflies, caddis, and midges that are emerging at the film, where the adult pulls itself free from the pupal skin.

The Parachute Adams is not sexy, but it works. Somehow, the trout find it strike-worthy even though it isn’t a perfect match to the BWOs that are popping.

3. Suggestion is more important than imitation.

In fly fishing, the “close enough” principle seems to be at work.

I’ve been surprised how even a Colorado fly like the H & L Variant, a high riding attractor pattern, fools trout on the Driftless streams in the Midwest. It can be used to imitate Green Drakes on the Frying Pan in Colorado as well as the Crane Fly (also known as “leather jackets,” “daddy-long-legs,” and “skeeter eaters”) in the Driftless.

Perfection is not the end game; catching fish is.

4. Color and size trump the perfect match to the hatch.

This morsel of fly fishing advice is as old as the river you’re fishing, but it holds true and is worth repeating:

If you’re not catching fish, try a smaller fly. Or change color. That’s especially true with dry flies, but it also is true of nymphs and emergers.

On one fly fishing trip, I couldn’t figure out how to catch browns on a stream in the Driftless region during a caddis hatch in early May. It’s not like I’d never catch a riser, but I’d land one or two when I thought I should have caught ten or more. I finally grabbed an adult caddis one morning and analyzed its coloring. It was largely black. Then I looked at what I was casting – a tan-bodied caddis pattern.

Duh!

I picked up some black-bodied caddis later in the afternoon, and the next morning I was golden. Or at least more golden than I was the day earlier. I also dropped a size #18 Olive Serendipity about eight inches from my dry fly. The emerger seemed to work when the browns refused the adult caddis pattern.

5. Less is more, and more is more.

The knowledge that fish tend to prefer suggestion over imitation can help you simplify the number of patterns that you carry. Less is more as it relates to carrying all the possible flies for each hatch.

And more is more as it relates to color and size.

6. Some trout are more picky than others.

That’s certainly true on spring creeks, with even flows and temperatures, clear waters, and seemingly an unlimited food supply. You always need to refine your tackle and techniques when fishing on spring creeks.

Also, if your stream gets slammed during certain parts of the year, with fly fishers at every bend, fish seem to appreciate more precision or a different look.

S4:E41 Fair Labor Practices for Fly Fishing Products

fly fishing

Fly fishing is truly global, if for no other reason than most fly fishing products are created or assembled in other parts of the world. In this episode, we interview Peter Stitcher, who, along with his wife Jessica, is the co-founder of Ascent Fly Fishing in the Denver area. Peter designed his company with purpose, and one of the key elements of his vision is to sell sustainable flies. Listen to Peter describe his “fly tying factory” in Africa, where he has created a community of fly tiers who have become, essentially, part of his extended family and who participate in the profits of his business.

LISTEN NOW TO FAIR LABOR PRACTICES FOR FLY FISHING PRODUCTS

Great Stuff from Our Listeners. At the of every episode, we reflect on a comment from one of our listeners. We’ve learned so much through the years from the insights of our listeners.

What are your thoughts on Peter’s vision for sustainable fly fishing products?

For more information on Peter Stitcher and his fly fishing business in Colorado, visit Ascent Fly Fishing.

WOULD YOU REFER OUR PODCAST?

We would love a referral from you. Simply mention our podcast to your TU chapter or fly fishing club or even local fly shop. Thank you for your trust.

The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists – The Perfect Book for a New Fly Fisher

Are you a new fly fisher? Or someone who needs a few fly fishing hacks to improve your skills?

This book is like a plate of hors d’oeuvres. You simply can’t have one. Read one list, and you read the next. Visit Amazon to buy your copy today!

S4:E40 What We’d Tell Our 20-Year-Old Fly Fishing Selves

fly fishing

If we had it to do over again, we’d do a few things differently. In this episode, we ask the question, “What would we tell our 20-year-old fly fishing selves?” One answer is that we’d have spent fewer years as do-it-your-selvers. That is, we’d have pursued more fly fishing instruction in our 20s. We’d be much better fly fishers today. We identify a handful of big ideas that we think could benefit fly fishers just starting out.

LISTEN NOW TO WHAT WE’D TELL OUR 20-YEAR-OLD FLY FISHING SELVES

Great Stuff from Our Listeners. At the of every episode, we reflect on a comment from one of our listeners. We’ve learned so much through the years from the insights of our listeners.

What would you tell your 20-year-old self, if anything? Some of you might say, “Get out on the river right now!” We look forward to your comments.

WOULD YOU REFER OUR PODCAST?

We would love a referral from you. Simply mention our podcast to your TU chapter or fly fishing club or even local fly shop. Thank you for your trust.

The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists – The Perfect Book for a New Fly Fisher

Are you a new fly fisher? Or someone who needs a couple fly fishing hacks to improve your skills?

This book is like a plate of hors d’oeuvres. You simply can’t have one. Read one list, and you read the next. Visit Amazon to buy your copy today!

S4:E39 Nick Lyons, Fly Fishing and the Good Life

fly fishing

For many fly fishers, fishing is more than the simple act of catching a fish. It’s not merely the transaction of hooking and landing a trout or salmon or bonefish. In this episode, we reflect on several quotes from Nick Lyon’s wonderful book, “Spring Creek.” The world of fly fishing has a few things to teach us about life, pointing us to something greater than a 30-fish afternoon.

LISTEN NOW TO NICK LYONS, FLY FISHING AND THE GOOD LIFE

Great Stuff from Our Listeners. At the of every episode, we reflect on a comment from one of our listeners. We’ve learned so much through the years from the insights of our listeners.

Any reflections on Nick Lyon’s quotes from the episode? What stories did the quotes trigger for you? Please post your comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

WOULD YOU REFER OUR PODCAST?

We would love a referral from you. Simply mention our podcast to your TU chapter or fly fishing club or even local fly shop. Thank you for your trust.

The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists – The Perfect Book for a New Fly Fisher

Are you a new fly fisher? Or someone who needs a couple fly fishing hacks to improve your skills?

This book is like a plate of hors d’oeuvres. You simply can’t have one. Read one list, and you read the next. Visit Amazon to buy your copy today!

S4:E38 Our Simple Guide to Fly Fishing Wading Boots

fly fishing

Fly fishing wading boots are the undisputed, most important safety purchase you’ll make for the sport. There are felt soles, rubber soles, rubber soles with studs, and rubber soles with aluminum bars. In this episode, we discuss our philosophy of wading boots, given the number of days we fish each year – and make a case for one type of sole. We offer up several questions to help you determine which type of boot is best for you.

LISTEN NOW TO OUR SIMPLE GUIDE TO FLY FISHING BOOTS

Great Stuff from Our Listeners. At the of every episode, we reflect on a comment from one of our listeners. We’ve learned so much through the years from the insights of our listeners.

Which fly fishing boots do you use? Do you have more than one pair of boots? How do you handle longer hikes? Do you pack a pair of wading shoes? Please post your comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

WOULD YOU REFER OUR PODCAST?

We would love a referral from you. Simply mention our podcast to your TU chapter or fly fishing club or even local fly shop. Thank you for your trust.

The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists – The Perfect Book for a New Fly Fisher

Are you a new fly fisher? Or someone who needs a couple fly fishing hacks to improve your skills?

This book is like a plate of hors d’oeuvres. You simply can’t have one. Read one list, and you read the next. Visit Amazon to buy your copy today!

S4:E37 Peter Stitcher on Spring Fly Fishing

fly fishing

Spring is no where to be seen in the Chicago area. Winter is still roaring like a lion. If spring comes in like a lion as well, then we’re toast. But at least the days are getting longer, and inevitably, spring fly fishing will be in full swing. In this episode, we interview Peter Stitcher, an aquatic biologist and owner of Ascent Fly Fishing in the Denver, Colorado, area. We asked Peter to help us understand the nuances of spring fly fishing – what to look for when temperatures start to rise, which patterns seem to work best, and what times of day to fish. See below for more information on how to fish ethically during spawning season.

LISTEN NOW TO PETER STITCHER ON SPRING FLY FISHING

Great Stuff from Our Listeners. At the of every episode, we reflect on a comment from one of our listeners. We’ve learned so much through the years from the insights of our listeners.

How do you think about spring fly fishing differently? What have you found that works best as the water temperatures start to rise? Please post your comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

FISHING ETHICALLY DURING THE SPAWN

In the episode, Peter mentioned a video on best practices when fishing during spawning season:

    FISHING ETHICALLY DURING THE SPAWN

Also, here is another short video on how to fish bead eggs:

    FISHING BEAD EGGS

WOULD YOU REFER OUR PODCAST?

We would love a referral from you. Simply mention our podcast to your TU chapter or fly fishing club or even local fly shop. Thank you for your trust.

The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists – The Perfect Book for a New Fly Fisher

Are you a new fly fisher? Or someone who needs a couple fly fishing hacks to improve your skills?

This book is like a plate of hors d’oeuvres. You simply can’t have one. Read one list, and you read the next. Visit Amazon to buy your copy today!