Pro Tips: How to Take Better Fish Portraits

Written by: Darcy Toner and Timbre Pringle, Faceless Fly Fishing Media How would your fish want its photo taken? Because a fish is an aquatic creature, one would assume that it would want to stay in the water. Many fishermen, including me, are inclined to take a quick hero shot with their catch of the day. However, if you consider the safety of the fish first, then think about taking a portrait of your fish while it remains in the water or close to the water. For this reason, I am going to share a few tips on how to properly execute this style of photo. First, let’s begin with a few “don’ts.” Never hold the fish out of the water longer than a few seconds, and try to keep its head underwater whenever possible. Do not mishandle the fish by squeezing or applying any pressure, as this will cause frantic movement...

Classic Pro Tips: How to Make Good Short Casts

Based on what you see when folks are trying out new fly rods at a consumer show, you might believe that fly-fishing requires super-long casts all the time, but that’s simply not true. Sometimes, the fish are quite close to you or the boat, and you have to make a quick and short cast. For instance, when you’re fishing up one of the mountain trout steams we have here in Vermont, you rarely have more than a couple feet of fly line out beyond your tip top guide. One of the keys to making a good short cast is actually counterintuitive: to load the rod, you have to make a slightly more aggressive “flick” or “pop” on the forward cast than you would if you were casting more line. Second, a shorter, more compact casting stroke will help get the line to roll out. Finally, make sure you’ve got a nicely...

Pro Tips: How to Unravel Your Leader Without Tangling It

 Once you’ve chosen the right prepackaged leader (click here to see a video on how to do that), then you have to get it out of the package and onto your fly line. That first step sounds deceptively easy, though, and many anglers manage to create tangles or knots in the process. In this video, Dave Lovell of Trouts Fly Fishing in Denver, Colorado, shows us a simple trick to unravel the leader cleany, with no tangles. This is the way I do it, but with one change. I find it easier to undo the butt-section wraps before I put the coils over my fingers. Tomayto, tomahto. Written By: Phil Monahan ...

Fall Fishing Coming Soon

It's August and in just a couple of short months we'll be trading in the short sleeve shirts for hoodies and light jackets. Fall can be some of the best fishing all year. The weather is cooling off and bugs will continue to hatch. Here are some tips on how you can make your fall fishing the best it can be. 1- Streamers. Start tying your favorite streamers. Browns will be aggressive this time of year pre-spawn. Some streamers we really like for fall are: Matukas, Orange Blossom Special, Muddler Minnow, Clouser Minnow, Sex Dungeon and other various meat. 2- Dress appropriately. After fishing all summer it can be hard to pack something warm when out fishing in cooler weather. Once the sun goes down in the fall the temps can drop. Make sure you have something warm to make your fishing more comfortable. 3- During the spawn be careful of where you wade in...

New Water

When you've been guiding the same waters for 20 plus years it's hard to find areas that haven't been explored before. Falcon's Ledge guide, Bryan Eldredge had been studying google earth in search for new water for weeks. He saw a stretch of rive that we never thought about fishing and had an idea that we should go look into it. We headed out to this river talking about what we could expect from this stretch of new water. Based on previous experiences fishing much higher upstream that we could catch brook trout, rainbows, browns and cutts. When we finally arrived we saw a great run and immediately Bryan hooked into a rainbow. Our next six or seven fish were rainbows. This was unusual for this to happen. We mainly catch brown on this river but it was great to see so many bows. The higher up we got on the river...

Taking Turns

There are rivers that we fish where the fish are skittish and spook easily. Along with that some of these rivers don't have many fish per mile which compounds the problem. This can be very frustrating when you can see the fish but can't really get a cast to them without sending them up river or to the other side of the lake. When guiding we mostly take two anglers at a time. When we fish these types of rivers we have to explain to the clients what we're up against. What do we do in these situations? First we explain to the clients that there are not many fish in this river system so the best way to fish it is by taking turns. We have one client up to fish first. We try to put them on fish the best we can. If they get a good shot at...

How Do You Attach the Second Fly in a Tandem Rig?

Last year, we introduced a new weekly “Ask the Experts” Column and asked you to pose some questions for our panel of experts. Our latest question for them to chew on is: “How do you attach the second fly in a tandem rig: to the hook bend of the top fly, to the hook eye of the top fly, or to the tag end of a knot in the leader?” Their answers are below. If you’ve got a question you’d like to ask our panel, write it in the comments section below. Alvin Dedeaux, All Water Guides (Austin, Texas): I use a regular old clinch knot tied to the bend of the first hook. Fast and easy, and when I want to change droppers or change the length of the tippet, it only takes a couple of minutes. Joe Demalderis, Cross Current Guide Service (Milford, Pennsylvania): Most often, I tie the second fly to the...

Video Pro Tip: Dry Your Flies with a Rubber Band

Few things are more frustrating than a dry fly that won’t float–especially when you know that it’s the right pattern that the trout will eat. Here’s a great tip from Hawkins Outfitters Head Guide Jon Ray, who shows you how to use a rubber band to make your dry flies float longer. What could be simpler? Written By: Phil Monahan ...

Monday Tip

Holidays are alway interesting when it comes to fishing and getting to your favorite areas. We always try to avoid crowds and for the most part we can do that. However, certain holidays are tricky and will make you think of doing things a little differently. As the 4th of July soon approaches here are some tips on avoiding crowds. 1- Hike. It's pretty clear that most people that get out on the holidays are there for a short time so they want to get as much fishing in as possible. When this happens we arrive at the place we want to fish and hike upstream. It's usually not a huge hike but most people will just fish the most obvious and convenient areas. A little hike will go a long ways. 2- If you don't want to hike or don't have the time then focus on areas that you normally don't...

Video: How to Get Your Nymphs Into the Strike Zone

Orvis product developer Jesse Haller, the guy in charge of flies and accessories, is a pretty active competition fly fisherman, and he’s big proponent of tightline nymphing. The technique, developed by European competitive anglers, is so effective because it gets the nymphs quickly into the trout’s strike zone and keeps them there. In his new how-to video, Jesse describes the three factors that affect how fast your flies sink–fly weight, tippet diameter, and how the flies enter the water–and shows you exactly how to set up and cast to maximize the time your flies spend in the strike zone. Written By: Phil Monahan ...