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...

Pro Tip: How to Set-Up Rigs for Nymphs, Streamers, and Dry-Droppers

  If your nymph isn’t at the right depth, the fish won’t eat it. Photo by Sandy Hays The most common questions I get in the shop are about how to set up a rig properly. I will go through how I like to set up my rigs, whether I’m nymphing, throwing streamers, or running a dry-dropper tandem. Nymph Rig Nymphing is all about depth. If you are nymphing, it’s usually because trout are not looking up at the surface or there aren’t any bugs out for the trout to rise to. This alone should tell you where the trout are: deep. In order to catch these fish, you have to present the fly where they are. I see a lot of people throwing nymph rigs that are just two or three feet long from the indicator to the second fly. Fish are usually not looking for a size 10 stonefly just below the surface....

Pro Tip: How to Weight Nymph Rigs

Using the right amount of weight can be the key to catching more trout on nymphs. Photo by Lisa Savard One of the most common questions that we hear about nymph fishing is, “How much weight should I use?” This is an age-old question that, unfortunately, has no easy answer. One of the frustrating things about fishing subsurface is that most of the time you can’t see what the heck is going on down there, so you have to guess how your flies are behaving. However, there are ways to make educated guesses that will help you keep your flies in the strike zone longer—and, therefore, catch more fish. In most angling situations, you want your flies to be close to the bottom, where the vast majority of natural nymphs hang out or get caught in the drift. (There are other angling situations—during a hatch, for example—when you want your nymphs higher in the...