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Skip Morris

Skip Morris ( www.skipmorris-fly-tying.comhas written 18 books on fly fishing and fly tying over the past 25 years (among them, Fly Tying Made Clear and Simple, Western River Hatches, Trout Flies for Rivers, and Morris & Chan on Fly Fishing Trout Lakes) along with over 300 magazine articles. He’s served among the hosts of a national fly-fishing television show and on several instructional DVDs. As a speaker, Skip’s performed in California and Arizona, Michigan, Iowa, Texas, and Alabama, and a bunch of other states, three Canadian provinces, and overseas.  The spring 2014 issue of Fly Tyer  magazine announced Skip as a winner of the magazine’s lifetime achievement award. Skip’s wife Carol provides much of the photography in Skip’s work and all the illustrations. They live, currently, with one willful cat on Washington’s lush Olympic Peninsula with its myriad opportunities for both fresh and saltwater fly fishing.

Author Articles

"Before the End of Streams"

Shakespeare died at age 52. From that point on he wrote not one new play, at least none has been discovered. St. Joan of Arc had a very short run as a military commander. She dropped the profession after a bad end in the early 1400s. Bosch gave up doing what he loved—painting brilliant paintings, some depicting his grotesque (and sort of comical) visions...

How to Fish High Mountain Creek Pools

Question: I fly fish steep-gradient creeks in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in California. Many of these streams are not fishable except in the pools averaging four to seven feet deep. What is the best method to fish this type of water? And would one fish nymphs or streamers in such pools? —Dave B Answer: Best method? I’ll get to that. Let’s start with...

Flies New and Old and Others In Between

Question: It seems between print and online magazines, vendor sites, fishing blogs, and YouTube there are new trout flies coming out all the time—but do I really need to be always adding new patterns? — Walt B Answer: Yes, of course you do, Walt. Since the first fly was tied and named, trout have been continuously and rapidly evolving. Today’s brown...

"An Emerger By Any Other Name"

Question: “Looking at my assortment of flies collected through the years, I cannot tell which are emergers and which are dry flies. Is there a way to tell the difference?” —Matt J Answer: Funny you should ask, Matt, I mean that you should ask now—I’m just finishing up a new class on fishing emergers (and soft-hackles and wet flies) for a...

Smaller and Quieter Can Be Better, Part III: Largemouth Bass

Size 12 at least leans towards large for a trout fly, but compared with a palm-filling hair bug for largemouth or smallmouth bass, it’s a runt. Just as a whopping pound-and-a-half bluegill’s a runt alongside an average steelhead of, say, eight pounds. Fly size, like fish size, is always relative. On average, highly relative. Nonetheless, on...

Smaller and Quieter Can Be Better, Part II: No Hatch

As often as tiny flies are right for matching hatches, they can be right just for fooling trout when no hatches are underway. Let’s say you can see a trout holding down close to the pale cobble bottom in a clear river. You work a big Woolly Bugger ever deeper until at last it swims up to the trout’s mouth. The fish darts to the side to avoid the fly...

Top-Water Retrieves for Smallies

Question: What is the best way to work a popper in rivers? Most of my experience fishing for smallmouth bass is in lakes. How is it different? —Byron H Good one, Byron! The answer to your question will put a lot more smallies onto MIDCURRENT readers’ poppers and hair bugs. Regarding how to work a bass popper, there’s a load of confusion out there; I...

Smaller and Quieter Can Be Better, Part I: Trout Streams and Hatches

I’ve noticed a theme among new and once-in-a-while fly fishers: they worry that trout can’t find their fly. It’s a logical concern—in your average stream there’s typically a lot of water out there per fish. But as it turns out, it’s often an unreasonable concern—trout’s lives are simple and, so, free of human distractions (careers, taxes...

Lakes: Learning to Read Again

Question: I am so used to fishing for trout in rivers and streams, and I’ve figured out where they hide. . . but I am perplexed when it comes to finding trout in Lakes. How do I find trout hidden in a body of lake water, when everywhere I look, it all looks the same? Help! —Christine P Answer: Help, Christine, is here. I’ve fished a heap of trout...

"Where Should I Take a Beginner Out West?"

Have a question you want answered? Email it to us at [email protected] Question: I am looking for a recommendation for a river where I can take a beginner. I will probably invest in a guide. I’m looking for a dry-fly fishery with lots of action. Smaller fish that hit anything is preferable to larger fish that are selective. I’m looking for a western...