Rank #1: 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.
Jan 22 2017
Rank #2: 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.
Mar 06 2017
Rank #3: 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.
Jun 27 2016
Rank #4: Winter Fly Patterns and Trout Tactics with Tim Flagler
By very popular demand, this week I have Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions as my guest and we ramble about—guess what?—fly tying. But not all tying, in fact I think we talk as much about winter trout tactics as we do winter fly patterns. But I know after this podcast I have a half dozen new flies I want to try in the coming season. Also, in a longer-than-usual Fly Box section this week (hopefully to make up for not having many podcasts in December) we talk about sharpening scissors, tying the Adams, hooking fish, 10 fly-fishing books I recommend, caddis nymphs, knots for tube flies, UK wild trout, carrying a second rod while wading, and lots more.
Jan 11 2016
Rank #5: The Weather and its Impact on Fly Fishing
In this episode I interview my old friend Reynolds Wolff of the Weather Channel on the impact of weather on fishing conditions. As it usually happens on this show, we get off the main topic quite a bit. I am not sure who was interviewed more here, Reynolds or me, but we cover a lot of ground on various topics.
As usual, I answer your questions in the Fly Box.
Aug 11 2014
Rank #6: 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
Apr 22 2018
Rank #7: 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?
Nov 22 2019
Rank #8: 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.
Mar 20 2017
Rank #9: 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.
Aug 31 2017
Rank #10: 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).
Jun 15 2017
Rank #11: 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?
Nov 28 2019
Rank #12: 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?
Jun 06 2019
Rank #13: The Ultimate Streamer Episode -- until our next one -- with Mike Schmidt
This week I have a long and fascinating interview with Mike Schmidt, designer of such giant trout streamers as the Junkyard Dog. He gives up his secrets on when to fish a giant streamer (and when not to), what techniques he uses, and also some tips on tying these flies and why he designs them the way he does. I don’t think I have learned so much in a podcast in a long time and I hope you find it as inspiring and interesting as I need. I am ready to charge out there with some giant streamers right away. In the Fly Box this week, we range from catching smallmouth bass in clear lakes to catching stocked trout and channel catfish in Houston, how to get more involved in the fly-fishing industry, whether or not wings are necessary on a dry fly, and much more.
Mar 08 2015
Rank #14: Smallmouth Bass Tips with Kip Vieth
This week my guest is one of our top warmwater fly fishing experts. You probably know of Kip Vieth as a muskie guide, as he is one of the most famous fly-rod muskie anglers. But his first love is smallmouth bass, and it’s fascinating that his location is the most famous river in the United States, the Mississippi River. He fishes the upper river where the water is clear and the location is unspoiled by the endless development we think of when we imagine the Mississippi. As well as discovering his unique part of the world, you’ll also pick up many tips on catching smallmouth bass anywhere.
In the Fly Box section I try to answer some questions on targetting carp,, alternatives to wire when fishing for muskie, using flies with a spin rod, my "method" when approaching a river, and more.
Jun 17 2015
Rank #15: 10 Things I Wish I had Known About Fly-Tying When I Started
On the podcast this week I am all by myself--it's a topic I've been asked to address before and didn't require a special guest. It's entitled "10 Things I Wish I had Known About Fly Tying when I Started", and although fly tying is a never-ending journey, I thought I would share some thoughts with listeners with the hope they will pick up on these tips, tricks, and materials quicker than I did--although some of them were not even around when I started tying almost 50 years ago! Also in The Fly Box this week we talk about the "X" system for describing hook shank length, whether to crimp the barbs on saltwater hooks, strategies for filling fly boxes during the winter, when to let a dead fish float away, how to remove the smell of head cement from recently tied flies (a great listener suggestion!), and how to determine which side of a feather is the "shiny" side.
Jan 30 2015
Rank #16: 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?
Jul 06 2018
Rank #17: 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.
Jun 07 2016
Rank #18: 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?
Feb 08 2019
Rank #19: 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.
May 26 2017
Rank #20: The Golden Rules of Fly-Tying with Dave Klausmeyer
This week the main part of the podcast is a long interview with Dave Klausmeyer, editor of Fly Tier Magazine. He talks about his Golden Rules of Fly Tying and then also gives his 10 Cannot-Do-Without natural and synthetic materials. If you keep count you will find that Klausmeyer is even worse at addition than I am.
In The Fly Box, we ramble from fishing soft hackles to checking fly lines and backing for damage. There are also a couple questions about finding big rainbow trout feeding in still, shallow water. And we have a couple great lists of suggestions from listeners—one on ways to carry a second rod when wading; the other on “Suggestions for a novice from a kinda novice.” If I keep getting great responses like this from listeners I can let them take over the whole podcast!
Feb 01 2016