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The Orvis Fly-Fishing Podcast

The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast provides weekly tips from acclaimed fly fishing author and lifelong fly fishing enthusiast, Tom Rosenbauer. Get the most from your time on the water!

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Tactical Fly-Fishing Techniques with Jesse Haller

We get many questions about tactical nymphs, tactical fishing, and tactical hooks. What do we mean by this? Listen this week as we talk to Jesse Haller, resident Orvis Tactical Master. We’ll be talking about tying tactical flies and using tactical hooks. And Jesse will give up his go-to fly patterns and tell us how to tie them. Also in the fly box this week we explore fly fishing for largemouths and smallmouths, swinging flies for big brown trout, winter fly fishing, how to measure leader sections, how to pick a trout net and how to use it, and whether “western” fly patterns can be used in the East.

1hr 35mins

22 Jan 2017

Rank #1

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Indicator Fishing Secrets from a Montana Guide, with Peter Bring

This week I have an interview [starts at 39:52] that was recorded pre-Covid with Peter Bring, long-time Montana guide for Blackfoot River outfitters in Missoula.  I always learn new things form every guide I fish with, but I thought Peter had some especially helpful tips on fishing with indicators and dry droppers.  Being on the water every day and expected to produce fish in any condition, guides develop efficient, fun, and easy ways to catch fish and have polished their techniques through thousands of hours of helping other anglers become successful.   In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions Has anyone ever caught two fish at once on a two-fly rig? Can I use dog hair to tie flies? I want to chase redfish, pike, steelhead, Pacific salmon, and muskie.  Will an 8-weight rod handle all those species? Can I use the 10-foot sinking Salmon poly leader for trout?  Can I cast it on a 6-weight? What can I tie with hen saddle patches? What switch rod would you recommend for striped bass fishing in the surf? What is the weight relationship between non-toxic wire and lead wire? I live in Switzerland.  What should I expect regarding European fly hatches? I keep losing big trout when they run downstream.  Do you have any suggestions on how I can land more of them? A great tip on joining Trout Unlimited's Citizen Science Initiative Can I use a popper/dropper rig for bass?

1hr 18mins

13 May 2020

Rank #2

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Fishing Early Spring Midges in Tailwaters with Pat Dorsey

In this week’s podcast, I have the pleasure of picking Pat Dorsey’s brain on winter and early spring midge fishing in tailwaters. Pat is one of our foremost experts on small fly fishing, and is known far and wide as a guide, writer, fly tier, and presenter. Plus he’s just a cool guy. In the Fly Box this week, we have a surprise guest talking about an infamous bumper sticker, the difference between tippet material and regular fishing line, estimating how big trout get in small streams, a couple of dubbing techniques, how to find seam leaks in waders, avoiding tangles in two-fly rigs (don’t expect any brilliant ideas), and using stripping baskets with Spey rods.

1hr 25mins

6 Mar 2017

Rank #3

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Advanced Trout Techniqyes with Tom Brown

In response to requests for more advanced podcasts, this week I have an interview with Tom Brown, a master at technical trout fishing, long-time fishing manager in our Roanoke retail store, and now a member of our Outfitter Team (the great people who answer your technical fly fishing questions via phone, e-mail, or chat). Also in the fly box we cover whether a 3-weight is OK for an all-around Rocky Mountain rod, whether the absence of small fish in a pool indicates a big trout nearby, treble hooks for tube flies, switch rods from SUPs, the best sinking line for streams, terrestrials early in the season, and a bunch of other interesting questions.

1hr 20mins

27 Jun 2016

Rank #4

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The Art of Spotting Trout, with Amelia Jensen

This week I have a chat with Amelia Jensen, perhaps the best trout-spotter I have ever seen. I have always thought I was pretty god at seeing trout in the water, but Amelia can see fish I would never have spotted. Learn some of her secrets in this week’s podcast—you’ll be surprised at how often you can spot trout if you know what you’re looking for, even in fast, deep, or slightly off-colored water. In the Fly Box this week we have the following tips and questions: · A tip from a listener on how to carry long pre-rigged fly assemblies · A question about what fly to fish along with a streamer when swinging for spring trout · A question on tips for spotting bonefish · How should I fish the tails of pools? · A listener tip on how to keep your hands warm when fishing · Flashy vs. non-flashy nymphs and where to put them in your nymph rig · A question about why fish get picky after catching a bunch of them from the same run · Why do trout take dry flies when I don’t see any rising? · Tips for avoiding spawning rainbow redds

1hr 35mins

22 Apr 2018

Rank #5

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There's No Such Thing As Streamer Season, With Courtney Despos

There's no such thing as streamer season. That’s the rallying cry of Courtney Despos, director of education and guide for Trouts Fly Fishing in Denver.  Courtney is a self-professed streamer fanatic and she fishes them all season long, even in the dead of winter when most people are dragging nymphs along the bottom.  Courtney shares her tips on winter streamer fishing, showing us how you can be successful fishing these flies all year long—as well as her tips for keeping warm when winter fishing. In the Fly Box this week, we have the usual mashup of questions that range all over the place, including: When I am fishing a hopper/scud combination, why do I have trouble hooking fish on the hopper even though the trout appear to be taking it? A past fan of very fast rods details why she now enjoys rods with a more moderate action. A listener gives a detailed plan for killing carpet beetles in fly-tying materials Has anyone ever made a fly rod out of aluminum? When is the second season of the Orvis TV show going to launch? What are some good casting drills for the off season? A plea from a listener in Louisiana for fly tiers to use nutria fut What is a good entomology book for the Sierra region? What is your opinion on furled leaders? What are your thoughts on fluorocarbon?  What sizes should I carry? Further advice from a taxidermist on curing hides for fly tying I need some advice on fighting large trout in a tight stream A specialist in opthamology and visual sciences weighs in on dizziness after being in a drift boat Can I use my 9-foot 6-weight bass rod for trout? Why does the loop in my clear intermediate line keep cracking and what can I do to fix it? Do whitefish and trout live in the same places? Can I use my 9-foot 8-weight rod uplined to a 9-weight for trout in northern lower Michigan?

1hr 33mins

22 Nov 2019

Rank #6

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Fixed | Fishing High-Water Spring Runoff for Trout with Landon Mayer

In this week’s podcast, our guest is the very savvy guide and writer Landon Mayer from central Colorado. Landon is the author of four books on fly fishing, numerous magazine articles, and you may have caught one of his presentations at a fly-fishing show. He’s also a hard-working guide. Landon gives us his special tips for taking advantage of the high water of spring runoff—something most of us try to avoid but with Landon’s guidance you might welcome these conditions. In The Fly Box, we talk about casting practice, the use of two indicators, fishing for landlocked salmon in lakes, Woolly Buggers for steelhead, and a heartwarming story about catching a steelhead despite adverse conditions.

1hr 1min

20 Mar 2017

Rank #7

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Tactics for Large Brown Trout Fishing in the Fall, with Noah Parker

This week we have a timely podcast—fishing for large brown trout in the fall. Noah Parker from Land of Enchantment Guides in New Mexico tells us how they fish for large browns in the fall, and they use some techniques in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado that are different from what most of you probably do. In the Fly Box, questions come up on catching fussy trout in small streams, gel-spun backing, swinging nymphs, fishing 4 people at once, what the Copper John imitates, and some great fly-tying tips from listeners.

1hr 26mins

31 Aug 2017

Rank #8

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Josh Nugent's Seven Deadly Sins of Sight-Fishing

This week I have a more-or-less black diamond podcast with Josh Nugent of Out Fly Fishing Outfitters in Calgary. With the peak of hatches upon us, now is the time to tune up your sight-fishing game, and Josh provides with some meaty tips (As well as The Seven Deadly Sins). In the Fly Box, I have a couple listener follow-ups on questions from other listeners. One is on freshwater drum from James at the Orvis store in Royal Oak outside of Detroit. The other is from gentleman in Canada who relates his experience with using loop knots on dry flies (hint—don’t). And I answer some questions on obtaining feathers for tying soft hackles, best boxes for large bass flies, how to rig for tightline nymphing, leaders for smallmouths, and whether a graphite rod can fatigue after a day catching more than 10 carp from 10 to 20 pounds in weight (no one is feeling sorry for that guy).

1hr 16mins

15 Jun 2017

Rank #9

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Trout Markings and their Significance, with John McMillan

This week I have another podcast with John McMillan, as I have to confess I love talking to John about fishy stuff.  His knowledge and enthusiasm and passion are infectious and I think his interviews are always enlightening.  This week we talk about The Colors of Trout—can we tell anything from the coloration of trout about their life history?  Is there a good way to tell a hatchery form a wild fish?  What does it mean when trout carry parr marks into adulthood?  How quickly can trout change their coloration?  And are the spot patterns on trout like fingerprints?  Warning—we come up with more questions than answers and you may as well. In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and tips: A way to get a dropper off a surgeon’s knot to stand at 90 degrees to the tippet A suggestion for an all-around rod for bass and Great Lakes steelhead How to carry a sinking line without lugging around a second rod Can I add 4X tippet to a 5X leader? What is the best way to dispose of tippet clippings? What is the difference between Euro, Tightline, Direct Contact, Spanish, Czech, and French Nymphing? Does it make sense to try a mouse fly during the winter? Do trout live in different places in freestone rivers than in tailwaters? Do mayflies live in warm waters? What is the best rod for an 8-year-old kid? What is the best way to thin UV Cure epoxy? If you see nymphs on the bottom, can you predict what adult insect to imitate?

1hr 30mins

28 Nov 2019

Rank #10

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How Trout Think, with Dr. Russ Carpenter

This week’s podcast is one of the biggest eye-openers I have ever done. Not only did I learn a lot, I have actually changed my views on a number of topics, including the effects of the moon on fishing and the effects of a change in barometric pressure. My guest, Russ Carpenter, is a neurologist at Stanford who studies the brains and senses of fish, specifically rainbow trout. He answers lots of question about a trout’s sense of smell, vision, and hearing. Including UV vision. I hope you learn as much as I did in this podcast. In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions: Do you really fish with bamboo rods? Aren’t graphite and glass better? Why did I see large steelhead in a Great Lakes tributary in July? What is your opinion on stocking fish in wild trout streams? Is a 6-weight line from 30 years ago the same size as a modern 6-weight?Can I dye a fly line with RIT dye? What is the best saltwater weed guard? Are some spooky fish truly un-catchable? Is there anything I can do to try to catch them? Is there a difference between a Scottish brown trout and a German brown? I am landing trout up to 20 inches without letting them run. Am I doing something wrong? What do you think about weighted soft hackles? With modern runner soles like the Michelin sole on the Pro Boot, is there any need for studs?

1hr 34mins

6 Jun 2019

Rank #11

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Advanced Nymphing Techniques, with George Daniel

If it does not go up until next week no big deal. This week my guest on the podcast is the great George Daniel, one of the finest anglers in the world and a wonderful teacher. George is also refreshingly un-dogmatic, and even though he is an expert on nymph fishing he does not stick to only one method, but uses all kinds of techniques depending on the conditions. There are scores of good tips in this podcast so if you enjoy nymph fishing don’t miss it. In the Fly Box this week, you’ll find answers (or at least my attempt to answer) questions about: How do I keep my reel from getting tangled at the end of the day? Is a fiberglass rod a disadvantage for distance and in the wind? Do you have some tips on fishing mayfly spinner falls? Can I catch carp when they are spawning? How do I make my Humpies more durable? Can I catch channel catfish on a fly rod? Can I fish a Gurgler on an intermediate line? Will textured fly lines hurt my rod guides? How can I land big fish by myself without high-sticking my rod?

1hr 22mins

6 Jul 2018

Rank #12

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Finding and catching stream smallmouth bass on a fly rod with Paul Caldwell

This week’s podcast feature smallmouth expert Paul Caldwell with his tips on finding and catching stream smallmouths on a fly rod. Paul is a specialist in the Outfitter area in our Roanoke customer service department, and handles technical questions for guides, dealers, and all anglers who have questions on tackle—or just plain fishing questions. As you’ll hear, we have a talented staff in Virginia with first-rate anglers manning our phone, e-mail, and chat lines. In the Fly Box this week, we talk about spooky brook trout, how much pressure a small stream can take, how to wash your waders, why stocked trout have banged-up fins and jaws, how to decide angling tactics based on habitat or trout species, ways to test your hook-setting abilities, and how to play a trout with a long leader.

1hr 17mins

7 Jun 2016

Rank #13

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Streamer Fishing, with Josh Nugent

Our friend and Orvis-endorsed guide Josh Nugent of Out Fly Fishing Outfitters in Calgary was in town last week, and I grabbed him to do a podcast. Josh did one a few years ago with me entitled “The Seven Deadly Sins of Sight Fishing” and it was really popular, so we decided to do “The Seven Deadly Sins of Streamer Fishing”. If you think streamer fishing is just chucking a big piece of meat out there and stripping back, Josh has some revelations for you. Revelations based on thousands of hours on the water. In the Fly Box this week, lots of interesting questions and suggestions: What do you see as the biggest revolutions in fly fishing technology and the biggest flops? Is there a difference between dry fly and nymph dubbing? If trout are sensitive to cold temperatures why do we catch them ice fishing? Why are fly rods always made in 6-inch increments? How do I substitute hooks when a tier on YouTube mentions a specific model? If I am fishing a tandem streamer in a place where only single hooks are allowed, which one do I cut off? Why do trout jump out of the water? Is a digital thermometer better for fishing than an analog design? Which hackles should I buy for dry flies or wet flies? Which YouTube Channel do you recommend for reliable fly patterns? Do boots without felt really decrease the possibility of spreading invasive species? How do I get the perfect consistency with head cement? Do I need a stripping basket when using my switch rod? Why did you make H3 rods with that ugly white label? A great suggestion from a listener on buying lunch for your guide (this is often required when fishing in salt water) What 10-20 flies should I tie next after going through all the flies in the kit?

1hr 51mins

8 Feb 2019

Rank #14

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Tom Interviews legendary author John Gierach

In this week’s podcast I have the pleasure of chatting with John Gierach, probably the most popular fly-fishing writer in the world (based on the fact that all 18 of his books are still in print!)  It’s likely that most fly fishers have read John’s work, but it’s a pleasure to hear his voice and some of his thoughts on today’s fly-fishing world.  In The Fly Box, we have some thought-provoking questions this week:  whether it makes sense to use a loop knot on a dry fly, whether a three-turn blood knot is enough, how to keep a bass leader from twisting, another cool trick with a rubber band, how to keep your emergers floating properly in the surface film, how to catch freshwater drum, and what kinds of fly lines you need for fishing a Canadian lake in midsummer.

1hr 12mins

26 May 2017

Rank #15

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How to catch tailwater trout all winter long, with Steve Galletta

This week’s interview is with Steve Galletta of Bighorn Angler in Fort Smith, Montana. The Bighorn fishes well all winter long, and with Steve’s many seasons on the river he shares his tips on how to catch tailwater trout all winter long. Even if you don’t plan on fishing the Bighorn any time soon, Steve’s tips will give you valuable intel on how to fish your local tailwater. In The Fly Box, we have questions about the effects of fly flotants on knots, disappearing brook trout, releasing fish in fast water, using switch rods on lakes, why streamers work well in the fall, using UV resins for fly tying, fishing mouse patterns on lakes at night, keeping track of tippet rings, smells on carp flies, and how to apply techniques learned in one fishery to other species and places.

1hr 29mins

30 Nov 2017

Rank #16

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Joe Humphreys and the Fountain of Youth

This week I interview one of my fly-fishing heroes, Joe Humphreys.  He’s been an innovative angler all his life (he was “Euro nymphing” before the Europeans) but even more impressive is his love of life and fly fishing, and his energy on the river in his ninth decade.  Joe talks about hot to stay young on the river, how to fish nymphs at night, and about the inspirational new film about his life called Live The Stream: The Story of Joe Humphrey.  It’s now available own and rent on the iTunes Store:  or Go to www.livethestreamfilm.com to buy the film on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Download and more platforms including: Prime Video, Google Play, Vimeo, and Youtube.  I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys the fly-fishing world and its history and traditions—and who wants to learn how to retain the enthusiasm of a 12-year old on the water. Here are the important links: Buy the film on LTS site: www.livethestreamfilm.com Buy/Rent on iTunes: https://apple.co/2Iw0fQj Nomadic Studio: www.thenomadic.com In the Fly Box this week we have many interesting questions and suggestions: What is the best way to manage fly tying both at home and in the office? I broke my Tenkara rod when I got my fly snagged.  What is the safest way to try to retrieve a snagged fly when using this type of rod? Why won’t my clinch knots tighten properly? How can I get over my reluctance to fish emergers? A suggestion from a taxidermist on how to handle raw deer hides for fly tying. Do trout take Perdigons in unnatural colors out of curiosity or do you think they resemble food? What is an easy way to learn fly-fishing entomology? Why do the trout I take in mountain streams carry parr marks even into adulthood? What do I tell people who berate me for torturing fish? Are there circumstances when I should set my indicator shallower than 1 ½ times the water depth? I can’t seem to get away from the crowds no matter how far I drive.  What should I do? If I find lots of creek chubs in a stream, does that mean it won’t also hold trout? If you are not certain how to pair two streamers together, does it make sense to fish just one? Can I use split shot to get my nymphs deeper when Euro nymphing instead of tying my own flies with varied weights? Do you have some tips for casting a Depth Charge line? Do you have some suggestions on how to swing flies for Great Lakes steelhead?

1hr 33mins

8 Nov 2019

Rank #17