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Techniques

Euro Nymphing: Tenkara’s European Cousin

Tenkara bears a striking resemblance to one of the most popular trends in mainstream fly fishing: Euro nymphing. The method was developed by European competition fly fishers to maximize the number of fish they catch while complying with the rules of the Fédération Internationale de la Pêche Sportive Mouche or, in English, the International Sport...

Rigging Streamers for Trout Fishing

Leader and Tippet Selection While fishing streamers you can use heavy lead- ers and tippets that prevent the trout from break- ing off before the knot pulls loose. I got this advice from my good friend John Barr. I was using 3X for streamers, but John said, “If the fish is willing to commit to taking a streamer on 3X fluorocarbon, it will not shy away...

Losing the Crowd

There are times when you’ve got to escape your fellow anglers before you get to fool some trout — especially on hard-fished famous Western rivers. I found myself on Yellowstone National Park’s Soda Butte Creek late last September, and it seemed there were more anglers — good anglers — than willing fish. Not so long ago, Soda Butte, like most...

How to Prevent Trout From Seeing You

How do you avoid alerting fish to your presence?  Here are five strategies I use to help prevent fish from seeing me and perceiving me as a threat. Fish a Longer Rod One way to avoid showing yourself to fish in clear water is to fish from a greater distance. A lot of the nymph fishing I do is based on Euro-nymphing methods. These techniques are inherently...

Making Do with the Wrong Fly Rod

If you’re like me, you own too many fly rods — but you want and need even more. I haven’t taken a formal census of my fly rods — that would take too much time away from actually fishing — but I own a lot of them. I’ve recently embraced trout spey AND Euro nymphing, so I’ve got some new rods in serious rotation. But I still use old-school...

Bigs, Smalls, Spots: Fly Fishing for Three Kinds of Bass

The 6-weight labors a bit, but with two false casts the heavy-headed line shoots forward, plopping the big blue popper about seven feet beyond a twig poking through the water’s surface. I wait for the ripples to settle then try to impart the spirit of a cicada with a series of short, soft strips. The popper gently gurgles in a straight line until it...

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...

Walking on Water

It has been said that fly fishing is much like problem-solving: basically, the fish are feeding, and you can’t catch them, so here’s a problem needing a solution, ideally a quick one. Depending on where you’re at with your fishing, and the nature of the game itself, there are many variations on this theme – flies, techniques and strategies ...

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...