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 Monahan One 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 fun 1- 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 Daniel I 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...

Story and Photos: Discovering Utah Through the Cutthroat Slam

After fishing the Arizona Wild Trout challenge, I was eager to find similar programs that could teach me about native trout species. One that stuck out to me was the Utah Cutthroat Slam because I had never fished for any cutthroat species before. The goal of the Utah Slam is to catch the state’s four native subspecies of cutthroat in their historic range. It took a while for things to come together, but when a good friend invited me to come out and fish Utah with him, I jumped on the opportunity. Anthony Guerrero is a Las Vegas local who is just as addicted to chasing native trout species as I am. He had read my Arizona Wild Trout Challenge posts, and we became social-media friends who talked a lot about our love for these fish. He linked up with a few of my friends from Arizona, and we began planning...

Tuesdays Tip: Keep the Line Tight

[caption id="attachment_52628" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Keeping the tip up while fighting a fish.[/caption] As guides we see a lot of clients from a wide range of skill levels. We try to teach them as much as we can or to give them pointers so they can become better and take away something they can use when they're not with a guide. We will talk about one simple tip today that we see from the first time fisherman to the seasoned angler. Keep the line tight!!! When a client hooks up on a fish it seems pretty chaotic for the first few critical seconds of fighting the fish. This is where most people will lose the fish. Once the hook is set it seems as though they forget to keep the line tight. This puts slack in the line and the hook is more likely to come unbuttoned from the fish when this happens. One...

Classic Winter Pattern: Josh’s Reaper Midge

Winter fishing in tailwaters can be both very fun and very frustrating. Although the absence of fair-weather fishermen means less angling pressure, you still have to deal with cold weather and its biological effects. For instance, the swarms of mayfly hatches are but a dream and your fingers struggle for dexterity as you try to tie on that small fly on light tippet. However, because tailwater trout live in a relatively constant temperature environment, they don’t become as lethargic as non-tailwater trout during winter. Keep in mind, though, that tailwater trout do become more easily spooked and less apt to move out of feeder lanes in winter. That’s why you need a smaller tippet, slower tempo, and accurate casts that present flies directly over feeding fish. Although most of a trout’s diet in winter consists of subsurface insects, a good midge population will cause the fish to focus on these tiny...

Utah Wingshooting

Utah offers some of the best pheasant hunting in the west. Here at Falcon's Ledge we feel that our cover, birds and dogs are second to none. We host many groups from all over the country that are looking for a quality hunt and share memories with friends and loved ones. One such group of friends get together every fall at Falcon's Ledge for good food and a lot of story telling. They all arrive and begin with a game of cards while enjoying each others company. Sometimes there's a big football game on and they all gather in the tv room and cheer on their favorite teams. The lodge has a lot of thing for everyone while you're enjoying your stay. Some will request a massage after a long day in the field to relax and rest those muscles for the next days hunt. Our birds fly hard and fast. It...