Quick Tip: Keep Your Fly In The Water

If you’re walking downstream, let your line drift or swing below you. Photo via Orvis Fly Fishing Learning Center There’s an old saying among fishermen: You can’t catch fish if your line isn’t in the water. I believe that this is one of the reasons that wives often outfished their more-experienced husbands on float trips when I guided on the Yellowstone and in Alaska. Whereas the husband recognized every great trout lie the boat floated past and felt the need to cast to all of them, the wife was generally more content to keep a given drift going as long as possible. Every time the husband picked up his line and started false-casting, he was taking himself out of the game. (Of course, this is a gross generalization not meant to discount any accomplished female fly fishers out there, including lots in this building.)Novice fly fishermen should take this to heart. . .and...

Top 10 Midge Patterns for Tailwaters

 Orvis Charlotte Store Manager Mary Griffin caught this 22-inch South Holsten brown on a tiny midge imitation. Photo by Trey Oliver Whether you are fishing the Bighorn, the Missouri, or a tailwater elsewhere in the country, midge are among the most important hatches. These tiny patterns have proven themselves as effective go to patterns for many Bighorn anglers and guides. Don’t go out on a tailwater fishery without a healthy selection of midge patterns, both subsurface and dry. Here are my ten favorites:[Click the name of each fly to be taken to a photo, recipe, or video.]1. Tungteaser (sizes 18 & 20) This is one of our favorite all-around fly patterns on the Bighorn. The Tungteaser is able to imitate multiple species such as midges, black caddisflies, and Baetis. This pattern is typically fished in tandem behind another nymph, but it also works exceptionally well as a dropper below a dry. What makes this pattern so efficient is...

Top 5 Late Winter/Early Spring Nymphs

Here is a great article written by John Way that gives some good advice on what nymphs to use in February and March when the winter is wrapping up and the spring is starting.  We hope you learn something and enjoy.The warming weather this time of year makes everyone think winter is over and gets the juices flowing for spring fishing. If you need to scratch the itch and get out on the great waters of Montana, here are a few nymphs that you really need to have at your disposal.1. Rubber Leg Stonefly / Pat’s Rubberlegs (Black, olive, or tan; sizes 6-12) This is the gold standard for all nymphs in Montana. Stoneflies are present year-round in the river and provide a steady source of food for trout. During the spring, I really like the Black with white legs, or an olive body.2. San Juan Worm (Various colors; sizes 10-14) Love it...

Video: How to Choose a Nymph

Today’s video is an exclusive Orvis video by Dave and Amelia Jensen, featuring amazing shots of trout feeding and great instruction about nymph selection. In this installment of our weekly lesson, Dave explains the rationale behind choosing a nymph–both when there is a hatch going on and when trout are lying deep with no visible bug activity.https://youtu.be/XKeyKDV3UOo...

Winter Flies

We have several different flies that we like to use in the winter months. The most common fly we use is the midge. A midge is typically very small in size and usually dark. The best time of day to fish midges is the warmest time of day. Here in Utah we like to fish from 11-2. That seems to be the absolute best time to catch fish and not freeze to death. ;-)In the winter when fishing midges you can fish both nymphs and dries. The warmer parts of the day usually bring the fish to the surface to eat the adult midges. This can be challenging because the flies are usually small. A common pattern would be the griffith's gnat in a size 22. Most of the time you won't see the fly so you have to watch for a take and set the hook. It can be...

Fly Choice Vs. Presentation

 Here’s a quick tip—from The New Fly Fisher host Bill Spicer and Falcon’s Ledge guide (and former Trout Bum of the Week) Bryan Eldredge—about the relationship between presentation and fly choice. Bryan makes the argument that, even if you have the perfect hatch-matching pattern, it won’t matter if the fly is dragging through the water.https://youtu.be/nbd3lNCQmVk...

Winter on the Provo River

I woke up and the temperature read 23 degrees Fahrenheit on my weather app. I wanted to fish but it didn't seem too tempting. All I could think about was how my guides were going to ice up and I would spend every 3-4 casts cleaning them out. I finally decided to wader up at home and get warm before I headed out.I made it to the river and it was a little windy which didn't help the fact it was still in the upper 20's. As I got to the river I noticed a few fish rising. I got excited and put a size 20 midge on to see if I could take one on a dry. It took a few casts but I fooled one on the midge. After three fish to the net on dries I didn't see another fish rise. I put the sow bug back...

How to Fish Caddis-Pupa Flies

The article on how to fish Caddis-pupa was written by Bill Edrington and shared on Orvisnews.com.  We wanted to share it here for the benefit of our readers. Enjoy!  There are lots of patterns to imitate caddisfly pupae, created for different presentations. Photos via orvis.com For 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...

Bombshell Article Reveals Fly-Fishing Text Older than the Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle

The Haslinger Breviary codex Photo courtesy of Maggs Bros. Ltd., London, via amff.org One of the few things that almost every fly-fishing  knows is that the sport’s first appearance in print was the Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle, which may have been (but probably wasn’t) written by a woman named Dame Juliana Berners in 1496. But a new article in the latest edition of The American Fly Fisher, the journal of the American Museum of Fly Fishing, calls this sacred “fact” into question. Authors Richard C. Hoffmann and Peter Kidd identify an Austrian devotional book, which they call The Haslinger Breviary, that includes “no less than twenty hitherto unknown instructions as to “how one should bind hooks” using combinations of specific feathers and silks.” The blockbuster fact is that this book was published in 1460!The American Museum of Fly Fishing has made Hoffmann and Kidd’s entire article available online, so you...