Tip: How To Tie A Killer Ant Pattern

Ants are among the most important summertime fly patterns for both trout and panfish. When the sun is high and nothing is rising, oftentimes a Black or Cinnamon Ant can save the day. One of the great things about this fly is that you can fish it in all kinds of water–from flat eddies to riffles to bankside runs. Plus, it often works even when it has been sunk by the current or rough water. But my favorite place to fish an ant is in the mountain freestone streams near my house, where wild brookies are almost always looking up for a tasty morsel floating by. There are tons of ants on the banks and in the bushes along these streams, which means that the fish are accustomed to seeing (and eating) these nutritious insects. I’ll often fish a black ant as a dropper behind a grasshopper or attractor dry fly. The splat! of the...

Video Tip: How to Retrieve Streamers, Wet Flies, and Nymphs to Catch Trout

When rivers are blown out from runoff or rain, lakes and ponds offer some of your best chances to catch trout. Many anglers think that stillwater fishing involves little more than chucking a fly out as far as you can and then stripping it back, but there’s a lot more to it than that. The way you retrieve a fly can be the key to catching fish.Here’s an educational video that teaches you three different retrieves to use with streamers, wets, and nymphs. There are also several more tips at the end to help you decide which stripping technique to use in a given situation.Written By: Phil Monahanhttps://youtu.be/w9bwP2amPKU...

How to Attach the Second Fly in a Tandem Rig

Tying the dropper to the hook bend of the top fly is the most common method for creating a tandem rig. Photo by Phil Monahan A few months ago, 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,...

Video: Salmon Fly

This beautifully done video featuring the salmon fly hatch captures the beauty and peace of fly fishing. It also gets me excited for the summer hatches that are just around the corner....

Tip: The Simplest Blood-Knot Method You’ve Ever Seen

Our pal Louis Cahill at Gink + Gasoline posted an awesome video featuring professional leader-maker Christopher Fave tying a blood-knot. Even if you consider yourself pretty good at tying blood knots, you will be blown away by Fave’s technique, which is easier and faster than anything we’ve ever seen before. This video may even convert some double-surgeon’s-knot proponents!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-QGPzEKZKo&feature=youtu.be...

Tip: How to Be Stealthy When Dry Fly Fishing

Oliver Edwards is a big-name fly fisherman in England, and his fly patterns are popular worldwide. In this video, he talks about what it takes to be stealthy when you are on a stream with very clear water, which often makes trout spooky. Most anglers know that they have to be stealthy when wading, but Edwards shows you how to pick your line up off the water without making a splash or creating a sucking sound that could scare the trout. This will allow you to get more drifts and more shots at fish in these situations....

5 Tips for Fishing Spring Runoff

 Photos by Doc Thompson It is that time of year when spring runoff is starting in the West. A lot of folks consider this to be a slow to non-fishing time of year. However, early and late stages of runoff offer conditions that are fishable–despite the cloudy-gray to gunmetal-steel to murky water. Fishing runoff conditions requires some changes from you normal approach.1. Use a wading staff.  This isn’t the time to prove you are the superhero of wading. Flows are stronger, and the water is usually deeper and turbid. The wading staff can also be used to help you test depth before you take one step too far off into the deeps.2. Be mentally ready to fish higher-, murkier-, and colder-than-normal water conditions.  It’s a fact of life that you might not see as much fish action as during the meat of the season.  However, murky water conditions means the big boy and girl trout are...

Tip: Four Hot Tips on Tippets

Here is some great advice from our friend Tom Rosenbauer on how to use tippets properly.One of the easiest ways to improve your presentation in your trout fishing is to pay more attention to your tippet.  It’s as important as the fly pattern you choose, and the size and length and taper of the terminal end of your leader can even determine how your casts look and feel.  By looking at downloads of my weekly podcasts I know that most anglers are still confused and sometimes wigged out by leaders, because every time I do a podcast on leaders or tippets,  the downloads go through the roof.  But it’s not rod designing (instead of rocket science I figured I’d use an analogy that is technical and tricky and can’t be done by most mortals).  Paying attention to your tippet requires just a few easy steps.What does the transition to...

Fish Facts: Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)

Wild brook trout are prized by anglers, but their habitat is disappearing. This is a great article by Phil Monahan over at Orvisnews.com that we wanted to share. We love to fish for brook trout on the streams around Falcon's Ledge. Enjoy!Although the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) is not, in a fact, a trout at all, it is the most “troutlike” of the charrs. A sought-after game fish because it often lives in pristine waters and readily attacks flies of all kinds, it was the first “destination” fish in the Americas. Trains would transport anglers from New York and Boston to the mountains of Vermont and Maine just for the opportunity to lay into a big “squaretail.” While some cynics believe the brookie to be the dumbest of trout because it is supposedly easiest to fool, catching a trophy usually requires skill and patience. But anglers are known to marvel over...

Persistance

Recently some of the guides set out to take advantage of some dry fly action on a nearby river. We heard that the blue wing olives were hatching and the fish were feeding like crazy. We met on the river and decided to find a good stretch of river. We decided to fish nymphs until the hatch started.The first fish came on a sow bug but we knew nymphing wouldn't last long because the bugs started showing up in good numbers. The wind picked up and we were worried it wold blow the bugs off the water and we wouldn't get any action with dry flies. Once we found consistent fish rising we switched over to dry flies.We tied on different bwo patterns so we could see which fly worked best. It turns out that all of the flies we threw worked but we had to get the best drift...