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Read Trout Streams Like an Expert, Even if You’re Not

fall fishing fall

When I take newcomer fly fishers to a stream, one of the first questions asked is where to cast the fly. Teaching newcomers to read trout streams is challenging. More experienced fly fishers are accustomed to breaking down the water into primary lies, feeding lies and holding lies. They look for riffles, runs, pools, tailouts, […]

Fishing Streamers

fly fishing fall

As leaves begin to turn from green to crimson and gold, trout anglers begin to think of fishing streamers. While streamers can, and probably should, be fished throughout the year, few question their especial efficacy in the fall. This is particularly true in streams inhabited with fall spawners, that is,  brown and brook trout. Exhausted […]

Fly Fishing Season Transitions- Strategies for Trout

four seasons of fly fishing

Over the past several years, I have written separately about the four seasons of fly fishing for trout. Done in this manner, I think it’s difficult to convey the many changes that occur during the transition from one season to another. With this piece, I will focus on the transitions. It is during these periods […]

Ten Tips To Catch More Trout and Have More Fun

tips to catch more trout

Although I have previously written in more detail about many  of the topics below, it seems that most fly fishers prefer their information drilled down to a short list of tips, not to exceed ten. Perhaps on another occasion I’ll explore the implications of that. But for now, I’ll venture into the genre of “ten […]

Fish Tandem Flies and Catch More Trout

tandem flies

Many’s the occasion that I have been asked how many flies I fish with at a time. In truth, I fish with as many as regulations allow, which in most instances is two. Why do I put up with the potential hassle of tangled flies and tippet? Because fishing tandem flies offers trout more choices. Sometimes I fish with […]

Fly Fishing Tricos – a Great Summer Hatch

fly fishing tricos

Fly Fishing Tricos – a Great Summer Hatch Fly fishers who live near a stream boasting tricos are indeed fortunate. The trico hatch is the longest lasting mayfly hatch, and one of the longest lasting hatches of any of the aquatic insects. They begin to hatch in early-summer, and continue to do so until the […]

Fly Fishing Emergers

fly fishing emergers

It’s my observation that the average fly fisher does not understand and utilize the varied opportunities to fish emergers. Emergers are an important part of a trout’s diet, especially for large trout reluctant to come to the water’s surface. Their presence heralds the onset of a hatch, and they continue to be present throughout a hatch. […]

Fly Fishing Tips: How to Find More Trout

Donna on the Madison

Fly fishing magazines frequently publish articles with titles like “Six Steps to Better Fly Fishing”, or “Ten Tips to Catch More Trout”. But in this article, “Fly Fishing Tips: How to Find More Trout”, I’m going to up the ante, and discuss THE ONE TIP which is most likely to put more trout into your net. I […]

Reading the Water – Secondary Trout Lies

reading the water

Earlier this year, in “Reading the Water – Prime Trout Lies“, I reviewed the habitat requirements for trout survival: cool and well oxygenated water, protection or cover from overhead predators, readily available food, and a break from the force of a stream’s current. When all these elements are present in one location, it is referred […]

Reading the Water – Prime Trout Lies

fly fishing small streams

In April, I discussed fishing during a hatch (Fly Presentation – Fishing a Hatch). For all but winter steelheaders, a unique group of trout fishers who mix cold and pain with relentless casting to catch their quarry, fishing for rising trout during a hatch of aquatic bugs is sheer nirvana for fly fishers. Unfortunately, a […]

Summer Fly Fishing- Strategies for Trout

terrestrial fly pattern

Summer Fly Fishing- Strategies for Trout I have previously written about fly fishing for trout in the fall, 10/14, winter, 1/14 and 1/15, and spring, 4/14. With this month’s article, “Summer Fly Fishing- Strategies for Trout”, I will complete the cycle of seasons. Each of the seasons alter conditions in trout streams, especially freestone streams, which in […]

Presentation- Fly Fishing a Hatch

a Bit of History The first description of the concept of presentation appeared in 1676, in “The Universal Angler”, the only edition to combine Izaak Walton’s “The Complete Angler” with two additional works, written by Charles Cotton and Col. Robert Venables, respectively. It was Venables’ who penned the description of presentation, which is as applicable today as […]

Fall Fly Fishing- Strategies for Trout

fly fishing fall

Fall is a time of transition, from summer to winter. Many changes occur in watersheds during this time which will affect fall fly fishing strategies for trout. Some changes are obvious, such as cooler ambient and water temperatures, lower stream levels, crystal clear water, and colorful streamside foliage. I took these pictures yesterday along the […]

Fly Casting Basics

fly casting

It’s almost March, yet here in the Piedmont it is still winter this year. I can hear Western fly fishers chuckling when they hear or read of complaints of a harsh winter from their Mid-Atlantic brethren. But the polar vortex has rendered conditions not seen in Virginia in at least the past forty years. The […]