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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

"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...

"Stuck"

Have a question you want answered? Email it to us at [email protected] Question: "I lost many flies to the bottom last year (which seemed to be the only way to catch fish). I tend to just straighten my rod and pull when I am snagged, because if I try to save the fly I thrash around and ruin the fishing. Every time I break off, however, I have to re-tie...

Flies for the Trouts

Question: "Do you consider the species of trout you are targeting when deciding which flies to take along to a particular river? And would you target different places to fish in a river or stream based on the type of trout that inhabit that water?" — Glenn D. Answer: Yes. And yes. Sort of… I’ll explain. But first I must say that normally I answer...

Skip Morris: "My Top Five Nymphs"

Have a question you want answered? Email it to us at [email protected] Question: I’ve already started tying your top five drys; how about your top five wets/nymphs? \ — Jack W. Answer: Sure. I’d be happy to share with you and everyone else the five nymphs and wet flies I fish most often. But sharing just five such nymphs (without the wets) would...