Brown Friday

This winter has been unusually warm. This time last year we were fishing in heavy blizzard snow storms but the fishing was incredible. Our last outing we were in light jackets and t shirts. It's nice not having to worry about numb fingers and ice in the guides but we are hoping we get some snow so we have enough water next year.Every year the day after Thanksgiving we get together and fish. We call this day "Brown Friday". It's a nice day to hit the river when everyone else is out trying to get the best deals on toaster ovens and electronics. It's not only a day of fishing but a time to hang out with great friends and share a few laughs.The fish usually hold in the same areas year after year but this year we've had to branch out and find new areas where they are feeding....

Pro Tips: 5 Ways to Get More Hook-Ups When You’re Using Tiny Flies

In winter, most anglers fish some of the smallest patterns of the year: midges, tiny olives, and downsized nymphs. A small fly must be tied on a small hook, which often means you lose more fish right off the bar because you don’t get a good hook set. You’ll also have a lower hook-up rate than you would with a size 12 fly, but here are a few things you can do to swing the odds a bit more in your favor. 1. Use a hook with a wide gap. The small gap on some hooks means that the body materials can get in the way. If the hook point never gets to the fish’s mouth, your chances of success are near zero. When you’re choosing hooks for patterns smaller than size 16, and especially for those 22s and 24s, consider the gap size. 2. Use a slightly longer hook shank. If...

Fall Hunting in Utah

Our pheasant season has been excellent this year. The weather has been incredible and the birds are flying hard. We get a lot of people asking us what a typical hunt consists of. Here's what you can expect on a day with us out in the field.Each day hunting starts early with a hearty breakfast at the lodge. On the first day of your hunt you will spend some time on “the bird walk” a seven station clay range designed to simulate shooting scenarios encountered in upland bird hunting, to sharpen and refresh your shooting skills. The rest of that day and all other days are spent hunting on the Hunting Grounds at Pleasant Valley. With an expert guide and world class gun dogs you are sure to get in a lot of great shooting.Hunts at Falcon’s Ledge are conducted in the traditional western walk-up style over pointing or flushing...

How To Tie Steve Cobb’s Thanksgiving Turkey Fly

All photos by Steve CobbSteve Cobb’s Santa Fly has been a favorite on this blog for a few years now, and he was kind enough to show us how to tie it a couple years ago. That post was such a big hit that I asked Steve to come back this year and walk us through his Thanksgiving Turkey Fly. Whip up a few of these over the next week, and you’ll be the star of your holiday gathering! Steve Cobb lives and fishes in Upstate New York, on the northern edge of Adirondack Park. You can follow him on his blog at QuietRaquette.com. He also sells these Turkey Flies on the site. Turkey Fly Hook: Stainless steel hook, size 1/0. Thread #1: Brown, 6/0. Body: Natural brown deer hair. Wings: Brown or tan soft hackle saddle feathers. Legs: Tan round-rubber legs. Adhesive #1: UV-cure resin. Tails: Brown or tan soft hackle saddle feathers, glued at bases. Adhesive #2: UV-cure...

Patience with Brown Trout

Brown trout can be very tricky fish to catch. Sometimes it takes a lot of patience and timing to fool a trophy fish.The fish pictured above was truly a smart fish and it took everything we could do to get it to eat our flies. One of our clients was adamant about catching a brown so we took him to one of our lakes that we knew he had his best shot at one. As we approached the lake we observed to see what kind of bug activity was going on before we decided on what fly to use. After ten or fifteen minutes we didn't see much going on so we decided to start out with a dry dropper. The lake was calm and we didn't want to disturb the water with a big indicator. A large parachute adams was our choice along with a chironomid dropper. We like the...

Video: How to Tie An Excellent Egg Pattern

Previously, we posted about “8 Must-Have Flies for Winter Fishing,” and prominently featured were egg patterns. Cold-weather anglers rely on eggs for those periods when there’s little insect activity or when the trout are keying on the spawn of other species of fish. In this great video from Tightline Productions, Tim Flagler ties an easy-to-tie, realistic-looking egg using just two materials and a Sharpie. Tie these in multiple colors and sizes, and carry them from fall through spring.Written By: Phil MonahanEggs Over Easy from Tightline Productions~T. Flagler on Vimeo.Eggs Over Easy Hook: Emerger hook (here a Dai Riki #125), sizes 14-16. Thread: Fluorescent yellow or white, 8/0 or 70 denier. Yolk: Peach egg yarn, colored with a red Sharpie. Veil:  Peach egg yarn. Glue: Head cement. Note: Try these in different colors—orange, pink, white—and sizes...

Tip of the Week: How to “Hump Mend” Streamers on a Floating Line

When you’re fishing unfamiliar water–switching up tactics to find out what works–you probably don’t want to keep switching lines. So you end up just sticking with the floater. This means that you need a way to get your streamers down in the water column without the aid of a sinking tip.In this video, Joe Rotter from Red’s Fly Shop demonstrates how he uses the hump mend and the give-and-go to get a good streamer presentation with a floating the line. The hump mend breaks the current’s grip on your line, allowing the fly to sink without being under tension. All you do is move your rod tip quickly upward about two feet and then back down. Once the fly begins to swing in the current, use a jigging motion and then the give-and-go, in which you feed bits of slack into your line as the fly swings.Written By: Phil Monahan ...

5 Effective Fall Patterns

The fall is such a fun and exciting time to fish. The weather is cooling off, the fish are more active and the hatches still continue even when it's cold. We have been fishing recently on our small streams for mainly brown trout with a few brook trout and cutthroat mixed in. We've found that targeting certain pieces of water is especially effective. We look for structure which gives some place safe for the fish to hold in while waiting for food to drift by. Structure can be the most effective areas to fish. Most anglers will pass up fishing structure because they don't want to lose flies. Losing a few flies may be worth a fish of a lifetime. We also look for shallow riffles that dump into the deep parts of the river. This is also effective in that the food will be washed down into the feeding...

Video Tip: How to Change Tippet Size on the Water

To be a really effective fly fisherman, you have to be ready and able to make adjustments to your rigging to match the conditions or the kinds of flies you’re using. If you fish with a knotless, tapered leader and want to change tippet size, you don’t need a new leader. Instead, you can simply add tippet material—via a surgeon’s knot or a blood knot—to the leader you’ve got. In the video above, I make my 3X leader a 4X leader, which will allow me to use smaller flies. It’s really quite simple, and it will help you catch more fish over the course of a day.Written By: Tom RosenbauerSee All Orvis Learning Center Fly Fishing Video Lessons...