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Techniques

Spring Bass Wake Up Early

It’s hard to jump the gun on a bass and panfish pond. Spring starts early in the ponds — even in Wamic, Oregon, which is nestled in the mixed forest of Ponderosa Pine and oak trees just a short drive from the still-snowy eastern slopes of Mount Hood. A sunny, 60-degree day pours heat into the muddy shallows of my favorite 30-acre farm pond. Nice bass...

Photos: The Fish Are the Heroes

The classic big fish photo — a happy angler in a red shirt gripping a big, dripping trout and grinning at the camera — decorated fly-fishing magazine covers shot for decades. So, anglers got used to taking their own hero shots during their fishing adventures. Walk into any fly shop, and you’ll see sun-bleached shots of grinning anglers holding big...

"Chuggin’ The Moodah Poodah"

There are two schools of fly anglers: Those that believe in matching the hatch — and those that worship the weird and wonderful. The hatch matchers are usually serious trout anglers. They carry flies tied to imitate a specific bug at a specific moment in its life. These anglers carry boxes crammed with flies that imitate hatching bugs, egg-laying bugs...

Bugling Elk and Uncommon Wisdom: Two Days at The School of Trout

John Juracek, former owner of Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, Montana, could easily pass for an ex-Marine.   He stands tall in a crowd of unkempt fly fishing experts.   And when he speaks, it's with a certain natural authority that folks of his kind seem born with. "All right," he intoned on a cool morning on the banks of what is by any measure...

Drag-Free Presentations

Question: Sometimes my fly drifts are too short, and when my fly starts sliding across the current a trout won’t take it. What can I do to get longer fly drifts without drag? —Brian L Answer: Your question, Brian—a classic! Drag has plagued dry-fly enthusiasts since, well, probably ever since there have been dry flies and anglers enthused about...

Cold Hard Steel

Each year — right during the shortest days and longest nights of winter — I start casting flies for winter steelhead. I go once or twice a week — if the river is not a blown-out, coffee-colored mess — and I dream of hooking a sleek sea-run rainbow trout that gleams and glows in the dim light like a sword from an epic movie — or at least “Game of...

Tiny Fly, Big Trout

There are two sure ways to hook a really big trout: Tie on a monster articulated streamer — dripping with rubber legs, spun deer hair and a stinger hook — carpet bomb likely banks with dozens of casts, strip hard and hang on. Or go to a stream during a massive storm of big bugs, such as salmonflies, green drakes or grasshoppers. Stalk a big fish and...

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...