Podcast Ep. 19: 5 Thoughts for Streamers on Small Streams

Larger fish will certainly eat dry flies and nymphs. But how do you go about catching the largest fish in any  river? Big, meaty, streamers.

There are differences between chucking articulated flies against the bank of a roaring tailwater and fishing a streamer in a small creek. There are also differences between dapping tiny attractor patterns and fishing a streamer in a small creek. The rod, flies, and approach have to all be significantly  altered from what you’re used to.

Here are five things you ought to consider if you want to get into the pool bosses of your local, small stream – including my favorite presentation.

Listen to the episode below, or on your favorite podcast app.

read more

Foundations & Fly Fishing

Naturally, fly fishers focus on fish.

We learn to cast so we can catch trout. We hone our tying skills so we can catch musky. We learn to cast further so we can catch bonefish. We adorn our offices with pictures of fish, we look at photos of fish online, and we doodle fish in the margins of whatever paper is in front of us.

It only makes sense then that fly fishers want to protect fish.

We legislate catching and releasing them. We advocate keeping them wet. We volunteer our time, donate our money, and cast our vote to sustain fish. Each is reasonable. Each of these things has, in some measure, been effective in protecting or restoring the fragile fisheries we enjoy. Each requires dedication and passion.

It is all good. All of it is good and virtuous and worthwhile. But it all needs to be kept in perspective.

After all, they’re just fish.

read more

Packing for a New Fly Fishing Season

Last week I wrote an incredibly unhelpful (but pointedly accurate) post about preparing for another fly fishing season. For whatever reason, when I write something that isn’t advertised as humor but is certainly meant for such purposes I feel the smallest bit of guilt for any potential sense of disappointment that a reader might have. It is small, but it is there.

The following article offers some legitimate and helpful tips for preparing for the season. It originally appeared on the Vedavoo Workshop Journal last spring.  Check out the method I’ve been using to clean, organize, and get ready for a season on the water:


Spring is almost here! Technically, at least.

Whether you live somewhere still covered in snow or a place where you’ve been fishing solidly throughout the winter, “spring cleaning” is a concept that can and should apply to your gear. If you have been stuck indoors, you might want to just grab your sling or vest and hit the water as quickly as possible.

But it is helpful to take some deliberate time to clean up. Also, comprehensively organizing your fly fishing pack ahead of time will ensure that you are ready to fish. Once you hit the water, you’ll have everything that you use and not necessarily be carrying around those things that you’ve just accumulated.

Here is one efficient and effective method for making sure you have what you need, where you need it:

read more

Podcast Ep. 18: The 5 People You Meet in Fly Shops

You will find some real interesting characters in fly shops.

After nearly two decades of formal, empirical anthropological research, I’ve developed an efficient classification system and taxonomy for the types of individuals one encounters in fly shops. As a former fly shop employee, an occasional customer, and a curious observer of awkward situations, I believe that I am uniquely qualified for such a study.

I’d like to present my completely objective findings in the following podcast.

Listen to the episode below, or on your favorite podcast app.

read more

Reckless Rodents & Rent Rods

Having your rod separate into two pieces is never a good way to catch a fish.

But that is precisely what happened. With a sudden sensation of weightlessness followed by an awkward plop, I realized that the top two sections of my rod were in the pond. Injury had been added to insult, as my companions had already been ribbing me about the particular rod I was using. We were fishing a mountain brook trout pond. Most of the trout were foot-long brookies. They were cruising the surface, sipping skittering summer caddis. My 6-weight rod and large arbor disc drag were, for all intents and purposes, overkill.

Whether it be my own defensiveness or the equipment itself, I wasn’t doing well. Sloppy casting. Missing hook sets. Tangles and knots. No fish were caught, and no fish were earned.

Being young and impetuous I decided to not fish smarter or harder. I decided to fish reckless. On went a deer hair mouse. If I wasn’t going to catch a little fish, I wasn’t optimistic I was going to catch a big fish either. Moving away from my friends, I began to splash and strip and splash and strip. The wide face pushed water and the little rubber tail made a wake. No fish were interested. At least I was entertained.

read more

12 Tips for Fly Fishing Organization

Winter provides fly fishers with plenty of opportunities. For some, it is one more season to chase anything that swims. For others, it is a brief and anxious respite.

Regardless of your intensity, winter is a great time to take stock of your gear and get it all ready to roll for the coming spring. You take care of your gear, and it will take care of you. Plus, who has ever heard a fly fisher say “no thanks, I don’t care to look at all my rods, reels, and fly boxes!”

No one. Those things are the things we do.

Below are twelve tips for organizing, cleaning, preparing, packing, and thinking about your gear:

read more

Podcast Ep. 17: Big Rivers – Don’t Worry, Go Fishing

While fly fishing on wide, expansive trout rivers might be totally normal for you, it is a far cry from the creeks and streams that many anglers call home.

This can lead to apprehension or even avoidance. It is understandable. I’ve been there. But there are some simple ways to get out in the water and make sense of even the biggest rivers.

In this episode I give five simple ideas for getting out and going fishing on new, different, and big water.

Listen to the episode below, or on your favorite podcast app.

read more

Fly Fishing Podcasts Worth Listening To, part X

Can  there be too many fly fishing podcasts?

Probably. But I’d put that threshold right around the same place as “too many riverside conversations” or “too many fly shop shooting the breeze sessions.”

For that reason I’ve been recording and publishing the Casting Across Fly Fishing Podcast for the past few months. At the same time, I haven’t slowed down in my listening to other fly fishing podcasts. Similarly, I’m not going to slow down in my recommending other fly fishing podcasts to you.

Below I’ve listed five established podcasts, pointing out one specific episode in each that I think is worth your time. I’ve also added another, brand-spanking new podcast in the outdoors genre. This is one I’m sure you’ll want to subscribe to.

Read why I think you should listen, and click on the title to head to the episode and show page, below:
read more

8 Gear Tips for Winter Fly Fishing (If You Have To)

There are two unavoidable truths that solidify fly fishing as a 12 season activity:

  1. Fish eat all year long.
  2. You don’t have the patience to sit the winter out.

Let’s be honest, though. It doesn’t make sense. It is cold. The fish are lethargic. There’s no hatches… or sunlight. But what else are you going to do all winter? Stay inside? Read a book? Tie flies? Tying flies is the jogging of fly fishing. Fly fishing is fly fishing.

Plus, this is the 21st century. Modern gear has made us masters of the natural world. A little technology, and a little planning can help you make the most of fly fishing in the winter. Here are 8 gear suggestions for making the most of your time on the water (no matter how frozen it may be):

read more

Podcast Ep. 16: Fly Tying Events for Beginners & Experts

Chances are there is a fly tying event that is held on a regular basis somewhere near you. Fly shops, fishing clubs, and TU chapters are all getting in on these gatherings. Whether you are a beginner tyer or an expert, I think you should go.

In this episode, I share 5 reasons why tyers of all skill levels should attend events like these; 3 geared towards beginners, 3 for experts. (Yes, my math is correct!)

These fishing/social/learning activities are worth your time.

Listen to the episode below, or on your favorite podcast app.

read more