Tips for Fishing High-Elevation Lakes for Brook Trout

Big brook trout are predatory, and you’ll find them in the part of the lake with the best food sources.Written By: David Danley, Falcon’s Ledge My friend Jeff and I recently took our families to explore a high elevation lake and stream in the Uinta Mountains of Utah for a couple of days. The hike to the lake was only about a mile, but we had heard good things about it. When we arrived, a storm moved in and dumped rain most of the evening, so we hunkered down and trying to stay as dry as possible. The next morning, we went and explored the lake with rods in hand. We started by fishing some deeper sections, but had no luck for a couple of hours. We also tried working flies around submerged logs in the lake, but still found no fish. As we fished we noticed there were a few rises...

Pro Tips: How to Fish Caddis-Pupa Flies

There are lots of patterns to imitate caddisfly pupae, created for different presentations. Photos via orvis.comFor many anglers, the words caddisfly hatch conjure up visions of epic days, when all you need to carry is a few Elk-Hair Caddis dry flies. Those who anticipate these hatches all winter long spend an inordinate amount of time designing and tying adult caddisfly imitations that will fool trout even in blanket hatches. But, while my experience with spring hatches, particularly the Mother’s Day caddis (Brachycentrus), has taught me that casting adult caddis fly imitations can certainly be a lot of fun, trout are often gorged on pupae long before the hatch actually occurs. The reason is simple. Caddisfly pupae can drift in the water column–from the streambed up through the buffer zone–for hours and miles until they discover the perfect water temperature and river conditions in which to explode to the surface and become...

Video: A Guide Reveals His “Dirty Trick” for Catching Trout

Do you have a down-and-dirty trick that you use when nothing else is working? You know, the kind of fly or strategy that you would never start off with because it doesn’t seem as “kosher” in the fly-fishing world.In this video, Joe Rotter from Red’s Fly Shop shows just how effective his “I’m not proud of it” strategy is. After he has fished a run with dries and traditional nymphs, he ties on a . . . gasp! . . . streamer tied on a jig hook. And just like that, he hooks a beautiful rainbow trout. I have fished Egg-Sucking Leeches tied on jig hooks, and I can attest that the jig action sometimes draws strikes when standard stripping or dead-drifting fails. The Jawbreaker looks like a winner.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_134kA3jAY&feature=youtu.beThe jawbreaker is considered a large–and smallmouth fly–but it obviously works for trout, too. Photo via redsflyfishing.com If you want to know how to...

Natural Reflections: Dragonfly Nymphs for Trout

Dragonfly nymphs are the Komodo dragons of the aquatic-insect world. They have a fierce disposition and a prehensile lower jaw (called the mask), which they use to capture just about any aquatic creature they can catch, including midge and mosquito larvae, mayfly nymphs, caddisfly larvae, tadpoles, and small fish. The mask features a series of hooks on its edge, which enables dragonflies to reach out and grab their prey. Biology Dragonflies belong to the order of insects known as Odanata. Two families in this order, Aeshnidae (darners) and Gomphidae (clubtails), are important to the fly fisher. At first glance, the nymphs of the two families look alike, but there are differences in both their appearance and in their methods of locomotion. Darners have slender bodies and are fast swimmers. They move by forcefully expelling water from the end of the abdomen. Clubtails, on the other hand, are wider, shorter, and more robust....

Essay: Why You Should Always Reel with Your “Right” Hand

This redfish didn’t seem to care which hand I was reeling with. Photo by Irene KatoOne would think that, after 30 years of fly fishing, I would be immune to ridicule for reeling with the “wrong” hand. But there I was, on a boat off the coast off Lido Key, with a seasoned fly-fishing guide goofing on me. One of my fellow anglers even tried to explain to me why I was “doing it wrong.” As a lifelong right-handed caster and retriever, I have been subjected to this kind of ludicrous lecturing on a fairly regular basis. And I’m sure that many of my fellow right-reelers have endured the same fate. So I’m gonna lay it down nice and slow right here: You should reel with whichever hand feels the most comfortable to you. You are not compromising any part of the fishing experience by using one hand or the other. I have...

Pro Tips: How to Treat a Fish Right

I receive a lot of photographs of great fish from anglers out in the field. Most photos are well done, but many are unpublishable for a simple reason: the photo shows poor fish-handling technique. I won’t post a photo with a fish lying on the ground (even if it’s in a net), if there’s a finger in the gills, and so on. My very least favorite photos, the ones that make me actually wince, show an angler with a thumb in a trout’s mouth, as if it were a largemouth bass. Above is a pretty good video that covers a lot of ground, from how to fight a fish to what to do with it after you’ve caught it. If you’re new to the game, this is a good primer, and even experienced anglers will pick up a pointer or two. Remember, the better we treat the ones we catch, the...

Pro Tips: How to Find Trout in Lakes

See All Orvis Learning Center Fly Fishing Video LessonsThis week, we offer some tips on trout fishing in lakes from Phil Rowley, one of the top stillwater experts in North America. I asked Phil to host the stillwater chapter on from the Orvis Fly Fishing Learning Center because I have to admit that I’m just not very good at fishing in lakes. Luckily, I know guys like Phil, who have dedicated years to figuring out the best ways to fish still waters.Bill Spicer, host of “The New Fly Fisher,” with a nice lake-caught brown trout. Photo courtesy Falcon’s Ledge ...

Video Pro Tips: How to Fish a Small Mountain Stream

My favorite places to catch trout during the dog days of summer are the many freestone streams flowing out of the Green Mountains. Here’s a great primer on how to fish these small waters, offering tips on how to approach the water, where to look for fish, and how you should work the stream as a whole. The host, Ron Belak, wrote a couple articles for me when I edited American Angler, and he’s an extremely knowledgeable angler.Written By: Phil Monahanhttps://news.orvis.com/fly-fishing/video-pro-tips-fish-small-mountain-stream...

Pro Tips: Secrets of a Knot Junkie

The author has developed his knot skill over the years, enabling him to fight big fish with confidence.It was on my first saltwater trip to the Everglades that I came to understand the importance of tying good knots. I had made the long trip from northern New York to Flamingo with one of my college professors (and fishing buddies) to chase snook, tarpon, and redfish from a canoe. We were working Coot Bay, a fairly good-size piece of water, by casting bunny flies to the edges, just like we would for pike back home. Many hours had passed, but we’d seen little more than needlefish, small snappers, and the occasional alligator or crocodile in the mangroves. We got to the far end of the bay, close to Tarpon Creek, when I learned the lesson I had so sorely needed and have never forgotten since. A huge snook came charging out of the...

Pro Tips: To Catch More Fish, Do Your Homework

There is an old adage in angling that “ten percent of the fishermen catch ninety percent of the fish.” While the numbers aren’t that important, there are people who are super fishy and catch more than others. What are the things that they do differently, and how do you join the ranks of the elite? Read on for tips and tricks to help up your game! I work at a middle school. Most kids don’t like doing their homework, and it becomes pretty obvious when grades come out who is doing their homework consistently. For fly fishers, homework is a big part of the equation, too. I know: it sounds kind of weird, but it’s true. While fishing homework might sound boring to some, I think it is a fun and exciting activity to engage in when you aren’t able to get on the water. When you are interested in new techniques,...