Published December 28, 2016
In this podcast Stefan Woodruff, Orvis-endorsed guide with Ellensburg Anglers in Washington State, reveals (some of) his secrets to catching steelhead, plus an overview of ths steelhead opportunities in his state. Trout anglers will also enjoy his tips on fishing the Yakima River, tips that should work anywhere. In The Fly Box we range from tying gel-spun backing to fly line, how to fish with a friend and really fish together, what to do if you get snagged on a small stream, hooking fish on fiberglass rods, identifying jumping fish, what materials to save for fly tying from hunting trips, how to avoid drag when fishing to fish in a slow pocket on the other side of fast current. I also decline to give marital advice to one listener.
Published June 27, 2016
In response to requests for more advanced podcasts, this week I have an interview with Tom Brown, a master at technical trout fishing, long-time fishing manager in our Roanoke retail store, and now a member of our Outfitter Team (the great people who answer your technical fly fishing questions via phone, e-mail, or chat
. Also in the fly box we cover whether a 3-weight is OK for an all-around Rocky Mountain rod, whether the absence of small fish in a pool indicates a big trout nearby, treble hooks for tube flies, switch rods from SUPs, the best sinking line for streams, terrestrials early in the season, and a bunch of other interesting questions.
Published June 7, 2016
This week’s podcast feature smallmouth expert Paul Caldwell with his tips on finding and catching stream smallmouths on a fly rod. Paul is a specialist in the Outfitter area in our Roanoke customer service department, and handles technical questions for guides, dealers, and all anglers who have questions on tackle—or just plain fishing questions. As you’ll hear, we have a talented staff in Virginia with first-rate anglers manning our phone, e-mail, and chat lines.
. In the Fly Box this week, we talk about spooky brook trout, how much pressure a small stream can take, how to wash your waders, why stocked trout have banged-up fins and jaws, how to decide angling tactics based on habitat or trout species, ways to test your hook-setting abilities, and how to play a trout with a long leader.
Published June 1, 2016
This week we have a loooong stillwater podcast, for those of you who have been requesting one. Because the British are so more sophisticated in stillwater fishing than most North Americans (with the exception of anglers in the US Northwest and southwestern Canada) I turned to an expert from across the pond, Steve Yeomans, an expert stillwater guide and angler. Steve goes into detail on how to find fish in lakes, gearing up, casting tricks, lines and leaders, retrieves, and of course flies. It’s chock full of solid information.
. Also in the fly box we discuss the best length for saltwater fly rods, trout fishing in rain and fog, landing trout that sulk in deep pools, landing trout on smaller hooks, parachute posts, and beads vs. cones on flies. There are also two great suggestions from listeners and I re-answer one question where I thought I heard the caller say “tube flies in salt water” when he actually said “two flies in salt water”
Published May 17, 2016
This week I had the pleasure of talking to Daniel Galhardo of Tenkara USA, who did a basic Tenkara podcast last year when he was visiting us. We get into a little more detail on Tenkara, especially the use of sinking flies and all the ways you can manipulate them with this method. If you are curious about this method of fishing I think you’ll enjoy it.
. In The Fly Box this week, we had a wide range of topics, like how to hook snakehead on a fly, which sling bag to pick, how to fish streamers, a tip on curing UV resins, whether the flex or action of the rod affects your hooking ability, and which direction salmon face when they are returning to the ocean.
Published May 8, 2016
In this podcast I tell a story about getting caught playing Hendrickson hooky by two owners of the Orvis Company. Plus various assorted Fly Box questions like keeping rainbows on the hook when they jump, how to remove flies from deep in a trout’s mouth, how Eastern and Western waters differ in early season, fly fishing alongside spin-fishing buddies—plus the main podcast, in which Paul Moinester of Keep ‘Em Wet and I talk about best practices for releasing fish.
Published April 8, 2016
This week we visit with Captain Dave Pecci about early spring fishing in the Charlotte Harbor area of Florida. WE also talk once again about the current water quality issue in Florida. You may all be sick of hearing about it, but other than climate change the Everglades issue is one of the most serious immediate threats to both our freshwater and saltwater ecosystems. But don?t worry, we also talk about catching redfish, speckled trout, and snook.
In The Fly Box this week we cover a broad range of topics, from the Eastern Green Drake hatch to small-stream steelhead tactics to the advantages of fiberglass rods.
Published April 8, 2016
Tom sits down with Orvis' new fly guru, Jesse Haller to discuss (of course) flies as well as competitive fly fishing.
In the Fly Box, Tom takes your questions ranging from scented flies to broken rods.
Published March 10, 2016
This week I have an interview with Captain Jason Sullivan, who fishes out of Flamingo in south Florida and covers both the southern Everglades and Florida Bay. We talk a lot about tarpon, but also redfish, snook, sea trout, cobia, and even tripletail. On the second part of the interview we talk about the longstanding ecological problems in south Florida, caused by man-made diversion of fresh water from the Everglades and Florida Bay and the over-abundance of human-directed fresh water on places on both the Atlantic Coast and Gulf Coasts. It’s a hot topic these days because of the high water conditions in Lake Okeechobee that are creating even more flows of polluted fresh water than usual. The Everglades belong to all of us, and anyone who loves this vast wild place should be concerned about what is going on in Florida. So please don’t turn off the podcast after we get done talking about tarpon fishing.
In the Fly Box, we range from spring high water issues to tippet knots, line-to-leader connections, and magnetized fly hooks. And, of course, imitating freshwater clams for carp fishing. Would not be a proper podcast with a clam-eating carp question.
Published February 22, 2016
This week I interview Justin Lewis, fisheries scientist and native of Grand Bahama Island, who is the Bahamas Initiative Manager for Bonefish Tarpon Trust. You’ll learn some fascinating science, what the Bahamas is doing to protect their near-pristine habitat, and some tips on catching bonefish based on the science we’ve learned from BTT’s research.
. . In the fly box, we talk about storing waders, head cement, swinging flies, coiling line, where to attach droppers, fishing PCB-contaminated waters, indicator types, wet knot strength in tippet, and how to keep dry flies floating upright. Plus we have a couple great tips submitted by listeners.
Published February 1, 2016
This week the main part of the podcast is a long interview with Dave Klausmeyer, editor of Fly Tier Magazine. He talks about his Golden Rules of Fly Tying and then also gives his 10 Cannot-Do-Without natural and synthetic materials. If you keep count you will find that Klausmeyer is even worse at addition than I am.
. In The Fly Box, we ramble from fishing soft hackles to checking fly lines and backing for damage. There are also a couple questions about finding big rainbow trout feeding in still, shallow water. And we have a couple great lists of suggestions from listeners—one on ways to carry a second rod when wading; the other on “Suggestions for a novice from a kinda novice.” If I keep getting great responses like this from listeners I can let them take over the whole podcast.
Published January 11, 2016
By very popular demand, this week I have Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions as my guest and we ramble about—guess what?—fly tying. But not all tying, in fact I think we talk as much about winter trout tactics as we do winter fly patterns. But I know after this podcast I have a half dozen new flies I want to try in the coming season.
. Also, in a longer-than-usual Fly Box section this week (hopefully to make up for not having many podcasts in December) we talk about sharpening scissors, tying the Adams, hooking fish, 10 fly-fishing books I recommend, caddis nymphs, knots for tube flies, UK wild trout, carrying a second rod while wading, and lots more.
Published December 07, 2015
In this week’s podcast, we continue our series on steelhead fishing by going into even more detail on demystifying the terms used in two-handed casting, when to use a Spey or a switch rod, and lots of detail on lines for two-handed rods, because it is a whole new world with new vocabulary. But take heart—Jason Cotta, fishing manager of Orvis Bellevue, walks us through the details and explains them very clearly. He also gives some solid tips for the novice steelhead angler.
. In The Fly Box, we cover dealing with road kill squirrel’s tail, small stream rods, saltwater fly lines, difficult albies in shallow water, fly pattern trademarks and royalties, fish leverage on various types of hooks, the life of nylon tippet, bobber alternatives, and the effects of drought on small stream trout populations.
Published November 22, 2015
This week I have an interview with Frank Willets of Pere Marquette River Lodge on Michigan steelhead fishing. Frank grew up fishing in Michigan and knows the ins and outs of Great Lakes steelheading intimately. I know you’ll pick up some tips and this one is sure to be controversial because on the PM they use the chuck & duck method quite often and make no bones about it (they also swing flies in the traditional manner).
We’ll also answer questions on why you seldom see hatches, how to play steelhead, pre-treatments for dry flies, “must fish” rivers for swinging flies, two-handed rods for the Florida surf, streamers in low water, what part of a deer hide to save, and other bizarre questions only a fly fisher could love.
Published October 27, 2015
For this week’s podcast we have an interview with author, guide, fly designer, and master steelheader Greg Senyo, who grew up in the Steelhead Alley region and knows it intimately. If you are heading to Lake Erie this year, or to any of the Great Lakes tributaries, you’ll find some solid tips on how to have more fun.
In the Fly Box this week we talk about “dry fly nirvana”, where to go on a Rocky Mountain trout trip (I don’t give any recommendations and I say why I don’t), how to catch suckers and carp in a trout stream, tying flies with silk, keeping your pant legs down when wearing waders, why expensive sunglasses are worth it, tips on tying Glo Bugs, the benefits of micro jig hooks, and why dry flies sometime twist your tippet.
Published October 10, 2015
This week’s podcast is worth listening to, just for the entertainment value of hearing a listener say he doesn’t listen to many of the podcasts because I “speak too slowly as if you are a grade school teacher teaching remedial students” and that “Words or ideas that are so basically common knowledge of this sport need no explanation. For example, if one of your listeners doesn’t know what a tippet is, they should look it up elsewhere and not waste the other listeners’ time with a long, slooow, and overdrawn explanation” So take that, you dummies! Use Google and don’t bother me with your basic questions. Are you bothered by this? Or do you have a different opinion? If so, please listen to the podcast and then come back to this post to air your comments. If I’m boring you I want to hear about it.
Oh, yeah, and my long overdrawn explanations this week cover right-angle nymph rigs, rotary vises, lines for bonefish, year class dominance in trout, why there is no magic fly for a hatch, tying the Surf Candy, and much more. And the main event is an interview with Adam MacNamara, manager of the Orvis retail store in Portland Oregon and longtime steelhead angler and guide. And you’ll never guess what we talk about…
Published September 29, 2015
This week the main event is a chat with John Herzer, owner of Blackfoot River Outfitters and one of the savviest anglers and guides I know. John talks about late fall and winter fishing in the Missoula area, although the solid tips he gives would work anywhere in the world when you encounter colder conditions.
Also in the Fly Box we discuss wet flies vs. nymphs and when to use them, single-handed steelhead rods that also work for bass and salt water, night fishing for rainbow trout (don’t), native fish species, and my brilliant career picking flies out of carpets.
Published September 20, 2015
This week we had lots of great questions in the Fly Box because I have not done a podcast in a few weeks—so there were lots of good ones in my inbox. We talk about using the Non-Slip Mono Loop knot for fresh water, tippet rings, tough rising fish, Depth Charge Lines, fly boxes for big dries, click-and pawl reels for trout, up vs. down vs. ring eyes for fly hooks—plus two great suggestions from listeners: one on casting fatigue and the other on a very innovative way to dry CDC flies.
And in the main event, casting instructor extraordinaire Pete Kutzer and I try to simplify Spey casting and lines for two-handed rods. I am not sure we simplified it much but hopefully it will answer some of your questions.
Published August 15, 2015
In the podcast this week, I have the pleasure of interviewing my old friend and co-worker Bill Reed on stillwater trout fishing. We get requests for stillwater podcasts regularly but honestly I’m not very good at stillwater trout fishing and just don’t do it enough. Bill gives us his 8 tips for stillwater fishing, and whether you are an expert at this discipline or just thinking about it, you’ll get many valuable tips.
Also on the Fly Box this week we ramble about night fishing, streamer fishing, how to organize your fly box, how to catch fall landlocked salmon, dry/dropper combinations, wire leaders, parachute hackles, and landing fish in the weeds.
Published August 8, 2015
In this week’s podcast we talk to Chris Strainer, owner of Crosscurrents Fly Shop in Craig, Montana. Chris fills us in on how to beat both the heat and the crowds on one of our most popular trout rivers, the Missouri. He has some great tips on this, as well as suggestions for fall fishing opportunities when the crowds are gone and the weather is cooler.
In the Fly Box we talk about mending with a dry fly, fishing emergers and wets upstream, prospecting with smaller flies, losing fish when they jump, protecting rubber legs on crab patterns, casting fatigue, big fish on light rods…and many other crazy topics.
Published July 12, 2015
This week I give Ten Tips for Trout Anglers to Beat the Heat, I think a timely topic with the weather we have had lately.
In the Fly Box, we also talk more about fly lines for bass, when to change a dropper fly if only one pattern is working, whether it is OK to harvest small brook trout for lunch, how to decide amongst the thousands of attractor patterns, best flies for perch, “RADD” (river ADD), how to practice for trout on your local panfish lake, and best rods for kayak fishing.
Published July 01, 2015
This week I have the pleasure of interviewing our CEO Perk Perkins, who as you know if you listen to the podcasts is a big leader and tippet geek. He also has strong opinions on floating trout lines, and in the podcast he talks about why he loves textured lines and what taper he prefers and why.
Also in the fly box we discuss upstream and downstream mends, what happens during a crazy olive hatch, slack line under your rod tip, setting the hook too aggressively, fishing saltwater flies for trout, and lots of other good questions.
Published June 17, 2015
This week my guest is one of our top warmwater fly fishing experts. You probably know of Kip Vieth as a muskie guide, as he is one of the most famous fly-rod muskie anglers. But his first love is smallmouth bass, and it’s fascinating that his location is the most famous river in the United States, the Mississippi River. He fishes the upper river where the water is clear and the location is unspoiled by the endless development we think of when we imagine the Mississippi. As well as discovering his unique part of the world, you’ll also pick up many tips on catching smallmouth bass anywhere.
In the Fly Box section I try to answer some questions on targetting carp,, alternatives to wire when fishing for muskie, using flies with a spin rod, my "method" when approaching a river, and more.
Published May 27, 2015
This week we’ll travel to the Low Country of South Carolina to interview Captain Tuck Scott, who is a master at finding redfish along the South Carolina coast. In addition, historic Beaufort sounds like an amazing place for a family vacation, so this one might be a trip to plan where fishing is only part of the plan. Tuck gives us plenty of intelligence on finding and catching redfish in the Low Country, and also some special redfish tips that will work anywhere. In the Fly Box this week we talk about missed fish on downstream wet flies, fish chasing streamers but not connecting, organizing fly-tying materials, the benefits of hiring a guide, and tips for fishing scuds on spring creeks.
Published May 11, 2015
Last week we were fortunate to have Daniel Galhardo, owner of Tenkara USA visit our office and he had a few minutes to stop by for a podcast interview. In this week’s discussion, he talks about what he has learned since his original podcast with us, especially about fly patterns and the rationale for using a single fly. He also talks about—gasp—fishing a huge streamer from Shawn Combs’ drift boat with his Tenkara rod. So much for being a purist.
Published May 3, 2015
In this week’s podcast, we were fortune ate enough to have Bob Irvin, President and CEO of American Rivers, in town for a visit. Bob and I got to chat about their “10 Most Endangered Rivers” list for this year, and he goes into detail on the ones most important to fly anglers. If you care about moving water, this is a must-listen.
Also, in the Fly Box this week, questions range from whether switch lines spook fish, whether to go back to the head of a pool after catching a big rainbow there, whether it is ethical to remove streamside brush in small streams, how to pick, the right glass rod, and how to tell if your local river holds big fish.
Published 17 April 2015
On this week’s podcast Patrick Fulkrod, the 2014 Orvis-Endorsed Guide of the Year, gives us a very full accounting of fly fishing on the east Tennessee tailwaters, specifically the Watauga and South Holston rivers. He spills some of his secrets on hatches, seasons, water levels, and special techniques. In the Fly Box, we have questions on trimming hackle for dry flies, hackles to use on saltwater flies, how to set the hook on downstream fish, what to do on an unfamiliar river, crane fly larvae, how to fish nymphs for cutthroats in over 15 feet of water in a river (my advice—don’t), and finally how you can lose weight and get in better shape by listening to the podcast.
Published April 6, 2015
This week I have been asked to narrow my fly selection to three nymphs, dries, emergers, and streamers with one hand tied behind my back because the guy who wrote the question said I couldn’t use any of the old standbys (and he even specified them, most of which I would have picked). So I dug deep and also asked my fishing buddy and co-worker Bill Reed to come in and discuss his favorites to see how our lists match. Also in the fly box this week are questions about spotting fish in the water, how to keep a trout on the line once you have hooked it, how to spend $1500 wisely after your first year of fly fishing, and fly line color. In addition, we have a couple great letters from listeners offering suggestions on eye safety and fishing the UK chalk streams on a budget.
Published April 2, 2015
Every now and then, when Tom is too busy fishing to get into the studio, we release one of his more popular shows. Here is a great one he recorded on May 28,2013. In this episode we explore the topic of whether you should fish upstream or down, not only what direction you should move but also which way you present your fly. The podcast will tell you exactly which direction to fish every time you go out by using a simple formula (just kidding—did you really think it would be that easy?) In the fly box we answer questions about setting the hook (again), what length rod to use (again), adding tippets to knotless leaders (again), what to do about minnows sinking your dry flies (aha! A new one and a fun one, too), and how to improve your roll cast by using a different line. I keep answering those repeated topics because it seems they are universal questions and sometimes a different question or slant on a question may make it more clear to listeners. Have fun!
Published March 16, 2015
Tom interviews his boss, Orvis CEO Perk Perkins on leaders. Don't let the CEO title fool you, the guy knows his stuff. Would you like to be on the show? Tom tells you how to win a new contest and be one of our next guests. Also, Tom answers lots of your questions in the Fly Box.
Published 8 March 2015
This week I have a long and fascinating interview with Mike Schmidt, designer of such giant trout streamers as the Junkyard Dog. He gives up his secrets on when to fish a giant streamer (and when not to), what techniques he uses, and also some tips on tying these flies and why he designs them the way he does. I don’t think I have learned so much in a podcast in a long time and I hope you find it as inspiring and interesting as I need. I am ready to charge out there with some giant streamers right away. In the Fly Box this week, we range from catching smallmouth bass in clear lakes to catching stocked trout and channel catfish in Houston, how to get more involved in the fly-fishing industry, whether or not wings are necessary on a dry fly, and much more.
Published 2 March 2015
This week I interview my old friend Kirk Deeter about Trout Unlimited’s Lifetime membership. This is a great gift for yourself or for a special person in your life (people often gift these to their kids for a special occasion) and this year the thank-you for the lifetime membership is a special Orvis Helios 2 Rod and limited-run CFO reel in Trout Unlimited’s green color. You can see how this rod was built in the video of our rod shop here: https://vimeo.com/116177056
Kirk and I do talk some fishing, and there is lots more in The Fly Box. Questions about the value of emergers, chest packs vs. waist packs vs. sling bags vs. vests, realistic vs. impressionistic flies, and the value of UV materials in fly tying are just some of the quick topics we cover.
Published 6 Febuary 2015
In this week’s podcast, we continue our series on fly tying with an interview with a man sometimes known as The King of Swing for his steelheading skills, but he also has been called Lord of the Flies. Shawn Brillon is in charge of flies and fly tying materials at Orvis, and as a result he has his pulse on what is going on in the wild world of making bugs on hooks. Our topic this week is natural vs. synthetic materials—when you want one or the other, which ones Shawn and I can’t live (or at least tie) without), and the future of fly-tying materials. In The Fly Box this week, we answer questions on the best rod for smallmouth bass, how to prospect unknown waters in the spring, whether older fly fishing tackle puts you at any disadvantage, non-toxic wire as a substitute for lead, uses for antelope hair, and a great reader suggestion to add to my list of “10 Things I Wish I had Known When I Started Fly Tying” from last week.
Published 2 Febuary 2015
On the podcast this week I am all by myself--it's a topic I've been asked to address before and didn't require a special guest. It's entitled "10 Things I Wish I had Known About Fly Tying when I Started", and although fly tying is a never-ending journey, I thought I would share some thoughts with listeners with the hope they will pick up on these tips, tricks, and materials quicker than I did--although some of them were not even around when I started tying almost 50 years ago! Also in The Fly Box this week we talk about the "X" system for describing hook shank length, whether to crimp the barbs on saltwater hooks, strategies for filling fly boxes during the winter, when to let a dead fish float away, how to remove the smell of head cement from recently tied flies (a great listener suggestion!), and how to determine which side of a feather is the "shiny" side.
Published 21 January 2015
This week I ramble a bit with fly tying expert Tim Flagler, the hands and the voice behind those great Tightline Productions you enjoy every week. We did intend to talk about material substitutions and we do, but we also go off topic here and there. Also in this week’s Fly Box: Does one spooked fish ruin an entire pool? Can I start right out fly fishing in salt water with no other fishing experience? How do I avoid a rat’s nest in the sink when cleaning my fly line? How to become a commercial fly tier. Best materials for parachute wings. And, finally, advice from an experienced commercial airline pilot on how to travel with fly tying materials without being pulled out of the security line.
Published 16 January 2015
In this week’s podcast, I interview Dan Frasier, noted fly-rod carp angler and writer, on tying flies for warm-water species. But don’t miss it if you are not a fly tier because he also gives lots of tips for catching carp, largemouths, smallmouths, pike, walleye, and even gar on the fly. And even if you don’t tie flies for warmwater species, he also offers great stuff on tying bigger baitfish and crayfish imitations in general. In The Fly Box, we range from where to where to go on your honeymoon to recommendations for my favorite brand of stepladder to other questions I can answer like what small-stream trout do in the winter, how to treat your flies in the off-season, clamp vs. pedestal vises, and much more.
Published 6 January 2015
This week we celebrate our 5 millionth podcast download and what better way to celebrate than have my hero and mentor Hank Patterson as my guest? As with all things Hank, you never know where you will end up so be prepared for this one! On the serious side, this week in the podcast we talk about tips for tying the Adams, best rods for casting practice, whether or not you need a net to land trophy smallmouths, the pros and cons of UV-cure vs. two-part epoxy, and what to tell an outfitter if the guide he matches you up with is less than stellar. Happy New Year!
Published 19 December 2014
This week I interview Simon Perkins, youngest member of the Perkins family (the owners of Orvis) on our staff. Simon is in charge of our travel, schools, hunting, and guide programs and was a guide himself in the past. This week he gives valuable advice on picking the right guide or lodge—a big investment in time and money, and a decision you should not take lightly. Also this week, in the Fly Box, we discuss the value of head cement, tippet rings, cleaning saltwater gear, and why you might want a Spey rod for winter steelhead.
Published 5 December 2014
This week I interview Dave Perkins, one of the members of the family that owns Orvis and Executive Vice Chairman of Orvis. Dave is one of the most well-traveled and experienced fly fishers I know, but he still enjoys fishing close to home as well. In this case he is sharing his tips on catching Eastern, lake-run steelhead from smaller Great Lakes tributaries. Dave has been doing this for many years so his tips are solid and helpful.
In the fly box, we talk about the ethics of fishing for spawning fish, how many turns to take on a clinch knot, tips on making dubbed bodies, Mysis shrimp, and use of sinking lines for nymph fishing.
Published 10 November 2014
In addition to your questions in the Fly Box, Tom is joined in the studio by Orvis News Editor, Phil Monahan. Tom and Phil discuss what makes a great fly-fishing video, touching on subjects such as the ideal length, the proper use of a GoPro, and considering the amount of profanity in your soundtrack.
Phil also introduces the new Orvis fly-fishing video theater, The Tug, which has been completely redesigned and updated, with over three hundred of the best videos online. Check it out at www.orvis.com/flyfishingvideos.
Published 24 October 2014
In this episode, Orvis Vice-Chairman, Dave Perkins and I interview Whit Fosburgh about the impacts on our saltwater fisheries by recreational and commercial fishing and what the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is doing to help protect them.
I had a lot of interesting emails this week and a couple of phone calls, so there is a bit of an extended Fly Box section to answer all of your great questions.
Published 3 October 2014
This week I interview Shawn Brillon, the King of Swing here at Orvis. He’s a master at strategizing on swinging flies for both Atlantic salmon and steelhead, and his strategy works for trout streamers and wets as well. It should serve to get you jazzed up for steelhead season—I know it did for me. In the Fly Box, we talk about landlocked Atlantic salmon, best all-around line for a switch rod, a basic saltwater outfit and flies for almost anywhere in the world, plus I get pressed to pick which three fly rods I would pick if I could only have three for all of my fishing.
Published 22 September 2014
Did you know you can catch halibut on a fly rod in the Bay Area? How about striped bass, surf perch, sand sharks, tiger sharks, and jack smelt? Nathan Cooke of Orvis Sacramento gives us a great roundup of how to find these fish and how to catch them on a fly rod. He also has some great tips or fly fishing in the surf that will be helpful in any coastal area. In the Fly Box, we talk about tags ends for droppers, trout with full bellies, taking fish photos when you are in the middle of a river, how to pick a fly for a One Fly event, and a philosophy for a backup fly rod on trips—as well as a podcast listener who has been having dreams of conversations with Joe Humphreys!
Published 4 September 2014
In this week’s podcast I interview my good friend and fishing buddy Aaron Adams on tailing redfish. As a marine scientist, director of Bonefish Tarpon Trust, and a great all-around saltwater fly fisherman, he gives some great tips on finding tailing (or otherwise) redfish and how to select a fly and present it to them. On this week’s Fly Box we concentrate more on freshwater fly fishing, and cover such topics as cracked fly lines, night fishing for trout, circle hooks for streamers, and pigtails above knots on light tippets. Then I try, unsuccessfully, to resolve a dispute between two brothers.
Published 11 August 2014
This week I have the pleasure of interviewing world renowned meteorologist and correspondent Reynolds Wolf of The Weather Channel. Reynolds and I rambled all over the place, so apologies in advance for going off-topic. I intended to get some scientific background on how weather affects fly fishing, but it turns out those guys have about the same theories we do about things like fronts and barometric pressure, and Reynolds and I got sidetracked and he ended up asking me more questions than I asked him so I got sandbagged. We also ventured into the topic of climate change a bit, always a controversial topic. As always, I answer your questions in the Fly Box.
Published 5 August 2014
After a hiatus for family vacation, a trade show, a tarpon trip, and just plain sloth and procrastination, we finally have a new podcast and it’s a long one, well over an hour. In the podcast we talk about keeping hold of big brown trout, big browns chasing hooked fish, rusty hooks, broken hooks, and dubbing problems. Quite an eclectic mix. The main part of the podcast is “Five Reasons for Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone” and I think you’ll be surprised at some of the benefits of trying new places and new techniques. There is a bonus feature of Big Pete Kutzer explain Tom’s big casting mistakes on long casts with big rod—hopefully pointing out my problems will help you as well.
Published 19 June, 2014
This week, a few people take me to task for not answering questions properly (I have addressed them in this week’s podcast) and we also talk about nymph/adult size and color correlation in insects, how to carry a second rod, using poly leaders, whether keeping gear in a hot car will hurt it, and a bunch of other questions. But the main event is a long conversation with Steve Hollensed from Texas on his secrets to largemouth bass fly fishing in big lakes. Just to pique your interest, they are not always in deep water during the day, and fly selection is probably the least important decision you make. So download this week’s episode and relax in an easy chair, cut the lawn, or make this week’s commute a little more tolerable.
Published 9 June, 2014
This week I have a chat with Jess McGlothlin—author, blogger, photographer, conservationist, and a very accomplished fly fisher. She’s a Montana native and had her own business in the equestrian business before she fell in love with fly fishing and decided to devote her life to writing about it. You have probably read pieces with Jess’s byline over the past few years, but you’ll be reading more of her in the future as we hired her last winter as our outdoor copywriter—but Jess adds so much more to our team than just words on paper or on a screen as you’ll learn in the interview, where we compare Eastern to Western fly fishing. We have the usual fly box topics like when to wear landing gloves, when to use a “hitched” fly, how to set up your fishing vest, and a philosophy for tying or buying flies by size—in other words, if someone recommends Prince nymphs in sizes 14-18, can you just get away with a size 16? In case you don’t get to the podcast until later in the week, I’m speaking at Orvis Pittsburgh this Thursday (June 12) on Fishing Small Streams at 3 pm and Reading the Water at 6 pm. The seminars are free and I’ll be in the sore all day if you want to stop in and give me your podcast suggestions in person. Should be fun and I am looking forward to it.
Published 2 June, 2014
This week’s podcast is 8 tips on indicators—or probably more but I’m calling it 8 and sticking to it. We’ll talk about types, depth, how to rig, weights, and a couple special tricks on how to slow down the drift of your nymphs. In The Fly Box, we range from how to prepare for a saltwater trip to barbless hooks to sunken terrestrials to rod/reel balance. And lots more—even without a special guest I rambled for over an hour this week so I hope I can cover at least one of your daily commutes or a lawn mowing session.
Published 19 May, 2014
This week we have an advanced pike and musky podcast. It’s about time for these toothy guys to prowl the shallows after spawning and they are ravenous. But you might be surprised by the retrieve speed my expert suggests, as well as many other hot tips on catching pike, including tips on the best place in the world to catch big ones on the fly. Colin McKeown, host and producer of The New Fly Fisher TV show (WFN and PBS) joins me this week as my expert witness. We have a short fly box on tying streamer heads, getting your fly out of a tree, and a couple tips on how to choose between a graphite and fiberglass rod.
Published 10 May, 2014
This week I had a great talk with Henry Cowen on freshwater stripers. Henry is a saltwater angler and fly tier of great experience who brought his talents to freshwater stripers, and he has some wonderful tips for finding these big guys, flies to use, and techniques to get them to eat your fly. Also, we have lots of good fly box questions on saltwater fly tying, bad loops on fly lines, and other tidbits. Also a young listener takes me to task for banning cell phone calls to the request line and I should have known better. He says the only people he knows who have land lines are his parents. Guess I am showing my age, so please do use your cell phones for the podcast request line—just please not from your car and from a place with good service!
Published 1 May, 2014
This week I don’t have much of a Fly Box, because I just have not been getting many questions from listeners. Where are you? I’m lonely here. But I do have a big interview with the great Joe Humphreys, a savvy, iconoclastic fly fisher that I’ve admired for many years. He has a unique take on nymph fishing and has never used an indicator, so you may get some new ideas on how to fish nymphs on this one. By the way, Joe will be at Orvis Pittsburgh this Saturday and Sunday morning, so if you want to see him in action or ask some questions, get over to Orvis Pittsburgh.
Published 28 April, 2014
Warning—this week’s podcast, besides the usual Fly Box questions, contains a blatant commercial plug. I am often asked the difference between the original Helios and Helios 2 rods, and I think we have spelled it out pretty well in our marketing, but I figured a better way was to ask some of the best anglers and testers in the industry to articulate the differences they see between the two rods. So you’ll hear interviews with people like Brian O’Keefe, Spencer Higa, Dave and Amelia Jensen, and John Herzer—but the real treat is to hear what the amazing Hank Patterson has to say about H2 rods. I think you will enjoy all of these, but of course for the real truth don’t miss Hank’s interview.
Published 1 April, 2014
This is a special time of year for me as it is the start of trout season in my hometown. I treat today like a religious holiday. it seems appropriate then that I should interview my mentor, and someone who many view as a fly-fishing god, Lewis Coleman. Lewis has taught some of the best in the world his techniques and he will share some of those with us today.
There is no fly-box section in this show as I wanted to give Lewis as much time as we could to go over his insight into spey casting, how he is pushing the limits in Tenkara and all about how he runs his lodges all around the world. We are lucky to have him on the show.
Published 21 March, 2014
This week we have what I feel is one of our best podcasts ever—an interview with Colby Trow of Mossy Creek Fly Shop on his advanced tactics for catching smallmouth bass. I learned a ton in this podcast and it makes me want to head south to chase some right now. And in this extra-long podcast there are plenty of fly box questions: Using a stomach pump on trout, how to keep your indicator from sliding, whether bright silver and gold beads are a thing of the past, how to find secondary feathers on a goose wing, and good substitutes for deer hair on a Comparadun wing.
Published 18 February, 2014
It’s still fly-tying February. So although I do answer a question about poly leaders in lakes and one on whether to take a spinning rod when fishing with a 10-year-old, most of it is about fly tying, and should be helpful to anyone from a total novice to advanced tiers. I know I learned a number of very cool tricks in my interview with Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions (who does our awesome weekly tying videos). In the Fly Box, I also answer questions about hook quality, wool for fly tying, what to use for Comparadun wings, fly quality, and some theories about why we attach certain materials to a hook. I apologize in advance—Tim and I ramble quite a bit, but with a fly tier of Tim’s caliber the ramblings are interesting and educational.
Published 9 February, 2014
This week is all about fly tying. I took a whole bunch of questions that came in over the past week (thank you very much for your great questions) and we spend about an hour going over some tricky and not-so-tricky questions. The hardest one for me was to list the essential fly tying materials every tier should have on his or her bench (and I was not allowed to use CDC, rabbit fur, or peacock herl, which made it even tougher) and it took me two days to decide on that one. I ended up cheating and coming up with a trout list and a saltwater list. Other questions included emergency procedures for when you break your thread, when to use wax, most under-utilized materials, substitutes in fly-tying recipes, tips for tying with deer hair, and many others.
Published 22 January, 2014
This week we talk to Paul Moinester, who we should all envy. He quit a good job in DC to simplify and de-stress his life, and spent 6 months traveling the US to finds out more about fly fishing. He drove from the Keys to Alaska, fishing along the way, and came up with some very eloquent pointers on improving your fly fishing game, based on his many experiences. These are great tips from the perspective of a relative novice (at least he was when he started his trip!).
Published 1 January, 2014
We’ve had a lot of requests to do a podcast on fiberglass fly rods, but I wanted to wait until the Orvis rods were in stock before I did one. The Orvis Superfine Touch Fiberglass are now in stock and on our web site, so this week I cover the basics of fiberglass rods: A little history, some brief technology notes, and why you might want to at least test cast a fiberglass rod to see what all the fuss is about. They are not like the glass rods you remember from the 60s or 70s!
Published 26 November, 2013
This week, the main event is a fascinating podcast with Tom Bie, editor and publisher (and founder) of The Drake Magazine, an unconventional, edgy fly fishing publication that addresses the new, media-related fly fishing culture. Tom talks about his favorite fish, the steelhead, and about his passion for swinging flies, East vs. West, hatchery vs. wild steelhead, using Spey rods, and lots on the philosophy of the best swing speed for steelhead. We also touch on steelhead flies, and the future of fly fishing in general. It’s a great interview and a little more cerebral than we usually get on the podcast.
Also in this week’s Fly Box, we circle back to fly tying materials to get a little more clarity on thread sizes and types of elk hair. I answer questions on fighting big trout in confined quarters, what to do if a big trout sulks, the difference between a creek, brook, and river; the characteristics of spring creeks, tailwaters, chalk streams, and freestone streams; sight fishing to trout in shallow water without indicators, and just why a Zebra midge with a pink body sometimes out-fishes one with the standard black-and-white body.
Published 19 November, 2013
From the brilliant mind of CarpPro's Dan Frasier.
Published 18 November, 2013
This week it’s all about steelhead—or at least mostly about steelhead. Besides the main topic, dead drift vs. the swing for steelhead, we talk about overlining rods, matching a rod to a fish size, dressing dry flies, the NOAA Saltwater Registry, hooking fish in the tongue, fishing beads, and whether to ask a guide for a refund if you don’t catch any fish (I think you know my answer to that one).
Published 4 November, 2013
This week it’s all about steelhead—or at least mostly about steelhead. Besides the main topic, dead drift vs. the swing for steelhead, we talk about overlining rods, matching a rod to a fish size, dressing dry flies, the NOAA Saltwater Registry, hooking fish in the tongue, fishing beads, and whether to ask a guide for a refund if you don’t catch any fish (I think you know my answer to that one).
Published 30 September, 2013
On this week’s podcast, we discuss man-eating Chinook salmon, the ethics of going back to a spot a guide has taken you to, what BWOs are, possible cranefly hatches, stomach pumps, and I make an apology to the SUP crowd. Then we have a great interview with Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. Whit brings to light some boring-sounding legislation that is important to anyone who loves the outdoors, and gives us a good general overview of why they are important—like thousands of acres of public land that is inaccessible to taxpayers and what is being done about it.
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