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...

Video: How to Fish Streamers in the Fall

Fall is a time when many anglers get excited about casting big, meaty flies to trout that are gorging before the long winter. Here’s a very useful video from Sean Visintainer of Washington’s Silver Bow Fly Shop, in which he explains basic streamer-fishing tactics for fall.I especially like his point about leading the fly with the rod tip. I would add that, when you do get a strike, you should use a strip set or sweep set, rather than raising the rod tip immediately. This will keep you from pulling the fly out of the fish’s mouth.Written By: Phil Monahan...

Video: A Guide Reveals His Technique for Catching Trout

Do you have a down-and-dirty technique that you use when nothing else is working? You know, the kind of fly or strategy that you would never start off with because it doesn’t seem as “kosher” in the fly-fishing world.In this video, Joe Rotter from Red’s Fly Shop shows just how effective his “I’m not proud of it” strategy is. After he has fished a run with dries and traditional nymphs, he ties on a . . . gasp! . . . streamer tied on a jig hook. And just like that, he hooks a beautiful rainbow trout. I have fished Egg-Sucking Leeches tied on jig hooks, and I can attest that the jig action sometimes draws strikes when standard stripping or dead-drifting fails.If you want to know how to tie the Jawbreaker fly he’s using, check out this video. Tim Flagler has also demonstrated the steps for tying a jig-style Pat’s Rubberlegs,...

Pro Tip: Keep Your Fly In the Water

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 disregard the thousands of accomplished female fly fishers out there.) Novice fly fishermen should take this to heart…and take it to the extreme. Unless you are casting or changing flies, keep your fly in the water. If you need...

Video Tip: How to Swing Wet Flies and Nymphs

Here’s a killer how-to video from the Orvis Fly Fishing Learning Center, in which Tom Rosenbauer introduces you to a style of fishing that’s not as popular as it once was, swinging wet flies and nymphs, yet it’s no less effective.Although not as sure-fire a way to catch trout as fishing under a bobber with weight, swinging wet flies and nymphs is an elegant way to fish them. It’s sometimes surprisingly effective when swimming mayfly or caddisfly pupae are active. It’s also possible that fish sometime mistake swinging wet flies for tiny dace and sculpin fry. Regardless, the electric thrill of a fish taking a fly on a tight line is always welcome, whether it’s an 8-inch trout or a steelhead.Written By: Phil MonahanSee All Orvis Learning Center Fly Fishing Video Lessons...