How to Photograph Fish

We all love showing off our recent catches to our friends and family. It's fun to capture the memories of that one fish that jumped 10 times or took you into your backing so getting a photo of a fish to tell a story is essential. Over the years with clients we like to educate them on how to handle fish but how to handle one for a photo. This is a topic that we like to talk about to keep it fresh on our minds. Our main goal is to do whatever we can to keep the fish safe. Here are a few tips for taking photos of your fish.1- Keep the fish in the net in the water before the photo2- Only when the photographer is ready lift the fish gently above the water3- Only keep the fish out 3-5 seconds at a time.4-If more shots are wanted...

Classic Tuesday Tip: How to Unravel a Knotless, Tapered Leader

Do you ever have trouble getting a new knotless, tapered leader from the package to the end of your line? When I was a guide, I used to watch anglers struggle with this all the time. Sometimes they’d end up with a tangle bad enough that they’d just grab a new leader and start over. At about $4 a pop, that’s an expensive mistake if it happens often enough. The truth is, unraveling a prepackaged leader is quite simple if you know a couple of tricks. Here’s a technique shown to me by my friend Macauley Lord one day on the banks of the Rapid River in Maine. You should never ruin a new leader again! The keys to success are (1) an understanding of how leaders are packaged and (2) taking your time. If you rush the process, your chances of screwing up increase significantly. Even if there are fish rising...

Tom’s Top 7 Early-Season Streamers

This springtime rainbow was holding in deep water below a highway bridge in western Massachusetts. Photo by Joe PhillipsWritten By: Tom RosenbauerIn Tuesday’s post, “How to Fish Streamers in the Early Season,” I explained that I prefer flies that have some movement of their own, like ones with marabou and rabbit fur, because they work best and have the best action when you’re fishing them slow. Flies with brass (or even better tungsten) beads get the fly deeper in a hurry, and color does not seem to be that important—although black in dirty water and white or yellow in clear water seem to offer some advantage. Change colors if you don’t get any strikes but don’t worry too much about pattern, size, or color. A size 6 or 8 fly that wiggles in the current should work fine. Here are my 7 go-to streamers for high, cold water:Moto's MinnowConehead Bunny MuddlerTungsten...

Classic Pro Tip: Stretch for Success

If you haven’t been out fishing for a few months, weeks, or even days, chances are that your line has settled into a series of coils from being on your reel for so long. When you peel line off the spool, you can see how the line’s “memory” causes it to coil on the ground. (The core and coating characteristics of the line and the air temperature determine how much memory a line exhibits in this situation.) Line memory is a problem for two reasons: when the line travels through the rod guides during casting, it doesn’t travel in a straight line, and the rubbing of the coils against the guides introduces unwanted friction that means you have to work harder to get line out. This limits your ability to shoot line. Once the line is on the water, it won’t lie straight, so there’s unnecessary slack between you and your...

Pro Tips: 10 Ways to Get Your Nymphs to the Bottom

Even though the quintessential fly-fishing image involves casting dry flies to rising fish, we spend considerably more time presenting flies underwater to fish we can’t see, and beginning fly fishers learn pretty early in their experience that trout feed on or near the bottom most of the time. This raises an important question: How do you ensure that your nymphs are getting down to where the fish are? The speed of the current, the depth of the water, and the drag of your fly line and tippet all conspire to keep flies away from the trout’s feeding zone. Here are a few ways—ranging from simple to complex—that you can ensure that your presentations are reaching their targets. 1, Use weighted nymphs and streamers. The traditional way to weight a nymph was to add a few wraps of lead wire as an underbody (there are now lead substitutes available), but some modern...

Catch and Release

As guides it's our job to educate clients and others about handling fish. We like to take care of our fish so that they'll be around for someone else to catch. Over the years we've seen so many people mishandle fish and unnecessarily keep the fish out of the water too long. Here are a few tips to help ensure the safety of the fish. Obviously keeping the fish in the water at all times is best but we know that getting pictures of the fish is important to anglers too.1- Play and land the fish as soon as possible. Using lighter rods on bigger fish typically puts a lot of stress on the fish.2- Keep the fish in the net in the water until you're ready to take the photo. We like using nets with a rubber bag.3- Lift the fish out of the water a few seconds at a...

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

Written By: Phil MonahanOne 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 heard a million times that I shouldn’t reel right because (gasp!)...

Time on the Water

One thing I've learned over the years of guiding is that sometimes your first time client gets lucky and catches a fish of a lifetime. This can ruin a person just getting into the sport. For some they expect to catch big fish and lots of fish depending on how their first experience went. Today's tip is- Spend time on the water.What I mean by this is, make sure you are doing all you can do improve your chances of having a successful trip on the water. Some people only get to fish once in a while so you want to maximize your time when you do make it out. Here are some tips in making sure you are giving yourself the best chance at having fun1- Talk to people. There are a lot of people out there that fish a lot and fish the same waters you fish. Get...

Pro Tips: How to Blind-Strike Your Way to More Trout

 Joe Humphreys demonstrates his blinsStriking technique in a high-confidence lie near his home in central Pennsylvania. Photo by George DanielI enjoy participating in the consumer fly-fishing show circuit every year. Presenting information is fun and I like meeting new people, but I really love sitting in on lectures by other anglers. As I get older, I’m more enthusiastic to listen to seasoned anglers share their knowledge and experiences. Often I learn new tactics, while at other times I’m simply reminded of lessons I may have forgotten. For example, I recently attended the Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival and caught a few minute of Jason Randall’s presentation on “Where to Find Trout.” Jason is a veterinarian by trade, and he brings a simplified scientific approach to his other passion, fly fishing. He recently wrote a fantastic book, Nymph Fishing Masters, a collection of tips and information he obtained while fishing with...

Pheasant Hunting In Eastern Utah

Pheasant hunting in Utah can be amazing. Our season at Pleasant Valley Hunting Preserve goes from Sept through March. Typically it gets really cold in December and January with a fair amount of snow. This year has been different. The temps have been great for hunting. Morning hunts will be a bit more chilly but spending an afternoon in the field with sunshine can make for a great day.If you've been meaning to book a trip now is the time to do it. Birds are limited because of the good weather. Grab a friend or a group of friends and make your way out and experience a hunt of a lifetime.435-454-3737...