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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!


Sunderland, VT


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!




The Orvis Company, Inc. 178 Conservation Way Sunderland, VT 05250 888-235-9763


How to practice your fly casting, with Pete Kutzer

The better your casting, the more and fun you'll have and the more relaxed you'll be on the water. Pete Kutzer [46:13] is one of the finest casting instructors in the world, and not only that he's one of the finest anglers you meet, which means he teaches casting as a means to have more enjoyable fishing so he's pragmatic and flexible. He practices casting himself almost every day, and he gives us hints on how to practice at home no matter what kind of fishing you end up doing. You'll be glad you did—and so will your guide if you hire one. I n the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions and helpful tips from listeners, including: I need a rod for bass fishing as well as throwing streamers for trout. I only have light trout rods. Which rod should I choose? What is a competition hook and how does it differ from a regular hook? A good tip on how to make matte beads from shiny gold ones without painting or markers I know you should not go more than .002" difference when knotting on a tippet. Can I get away from bigger differences in heavy butt material? I have been fly fishing for 35 years and am looking for a more advanced course. Where should I go? Do you know anything about fishing in Switzerland? How can I target carp in dirty water? I am going Atlantic salmon fishing in Norway. Can I use a single-handed rod even though most people use two-handers? A tip from a listener on always mashing down the barbs of hooks when fishing with kids. My line gets twisted when I fish with a dry/dropper arrangement. Is there any way to lessen this? My tungsten beads crack when I hit my back cast on rocks behind me. Are there beads that are more durable than tungsten? How can I fish the tails of pools in small streams without getting drag? I can't get redfish running a surf line to eat my flies. Any suggestions?


Jacks are Better, with RA Beattie

Jacks are an under-rated gamefish and under-utilized resource. They take a fly aggressively, fight harder than most other saltwater gamefish, and are common in most warmer saltwater ecosystems. Yet most anglers, and most guides, pass them up on the way to chasing the glamor species like bonefish, permit, or tarpon. They're missing a lot of fun. RA Beattie [34:28] is a talented film maker who regularly has films in the International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) (International Fly Fishing Film Festival® - IF4™ ( and his spectacular film, produced by RA and Jako Lucas, called "Jacks", is currently on tour with the festival. He talks about making fly-fishing films, and also his love of fishing for jacks. In the Fly Box this week, we have some fun questions and helpful tips from listeners, including: Where can I learn Spey casting in preparation for a trip I'm taking? I saw some large brown trout chasing shiners in the shallows. What fly pattern and tactics should I use? I keep missing strikes on a balanced leech under an indicator. What am I doing wrong? Great suggestions from a listener on how to train a dog to be a good streamside companion. Why am I having problems with short casts on my 9-foot 5-weight rod? Driving in Alberta, I see a lot of nice-looking rivers along the road. How can I tell if they have fish in them? What other patterns should I try those cool wing cases made from saddle hackles I see on the Tom Rosenbauer's Deep Caddis Pupa? A great tip from a listener on a special material for organizing your fly-tying bench. Where can I find flies with black beads? A tip from a listener on how to keep cool while fishing during the summer in the deep South. Why do I catch big wild rainbows in one pool and only smaller ones in the next pool downstream? Any suggestions for setting the hook on brook trout in a very tight stream


Fishing through climate change, with John Gierach

Our climate is changing, and regardless of whether you think it's human caused or natural it is changing. If you don't believe that you need to get outside more. John Gierach [58:00], thoughtful guy that he is, wanted to talk about this subject and how he deals with changes that have happened in his lifetime, and what we can all do to deal with climate change and still enjoy fly fishing, because as he says "we still gotta live" and to some of us fly fishing is life. I n the Fly Box this week we have lots of questions, many of them quite basic but still fun to answer because you can always give them a new twist. What is the best rig to catch trout with worms? (I hope he meant worm flies and not real worms) What can I do to keep my Depth Charge line from tangling? I am moving to Texas and want one rod for inland bass and one for inshore saltwater. Is there one outfit that can do this? Am I better off buying one high-end rod or several lower priced rods if I fish in a variety of trout situations? Can you overline bamboo and fiberglass fly rods? I have a dog that likes to chase rocks and sticks. Any tips on how to train a dog to be a good fishing companion? Is there any way to tell a trout rise from a chub rise? I am confused by fly line numbers and hook numbers. Can you explain them? What do fish deep in a lake take my Pat's Rubber Legs fished quickly? What do the fish think it is? How do you fish your Rabbit's Foot Emerger patterns? What do I do with my rod when tying on a new fly or landing a fish? Is there a better knot than a clinch knot for tying on size 18 to 22 flies? My welded loop has cuts in it. What can I do to fix that? What kind of dry/dropper arrangement do you use when there is nothing visibly hatching? A good tip from a listener on walking the banks of your favorite rivers in low water to get a sense for the bottom structure. Can you tell the difference between a male and female trout by looking at the anal fin?


All about western caddisfly hatches, with M.E. Sorci

A few weeks ago we did a podcast on eastern caddis hatches and I promised to get an expert on western hatches. ME Sorci [43:40] is a student of entomology, a guide, fly fisher, and manager of Orvis Jackson Hole. You can tell by her enthusiasm in the podcast that she thinks caddisflies are fascinating, and she gives us some great tips on when, where, and how to fish these prolific hatches. I learned a lot on this podcast and you will, too. In the Fly Box this week we have some interesting and unusual questions as well as tips from listeners, including: How do I fish short, fast, deep plunge pools with streamers and what line should I use? What tips do you have for fighting a big fish when it runs downstream? Should I fish a 12-foot leader when bluelining? Can an old cork handle on an Orvis bamboo fly rod be repaired? What line should I put on my 10-foot, 3-weight rod for fishing dry flies? Why don't we use other feathers from peacocks besides the eyed tails? Where can I find something that shows me pictures of saltwater prey so I can imitate them? Should I change tactics when fishing at sunrise and sunset? So I don't transfer invasive species how can I tell good algae from bad algae? Is it possible to put too much hackle on a dry fly? Why do we use dubbed bodies on dry flies? Why causes a dry fly to not sit properly on the water? I put small glass beads on my dry flies so I don't crowd the head. Do you think this is a good idea? Where would Tom like to live (for fishing reasons) if he didn't live in Vermont?


How to swing soft hackle wets, with Steve Culton

Swinging wet flies, specifically soft hackle flies, is an often misunderstood method of fishing and many people try it but give up when it doesn't seem to work. But it's an elegant, relaxing, and fun way to cover a lot of water and probably the oldest way to fish for trout. There are some tips to rigging and fishing soft hackles, and wet fly expert Steve Culton [42:39] shares some great tips with us this week. In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions and great tips from listeners, including: With the high water in Utah this spring, should I try to fish rivers or stick to lakes? And what flies should I use? For float fishing smaller streams for bass, should I get a small raft or a kayak? Would it be better to use a double taper or weight forward line for small streams? Are fly rod actions and recommended line sizes consistent across manufacturers? Two great tips from listeners for getting the fly line out of your guides when you start fishing. At what point should I give up repairing my waders? How should I fish a river that alternates between rocky rivers and slow, mucky pools? Should I change techniques when going from one type of water to another? When should I switch from a nymph to a dry in early season? How can I prevent fish taking streamers form getting foul hooked? Should I fish a pool with a nymph or streamer first? Why did I see few fishing rising in an afternoon hatch and many more fish rising in the evening? Where should I go to catch bonefish, tarpon, and roosterfish from shore without a guide? I want to start guiding for striped bass. Where should I start?


How to buy a trout stream, with Josh Kling -fixed-

No, I am not talking about buying a trout stream and locking it up in a private club. I am talking about buying a piece of a trout stream, fixing (basically rewilding) the habitat, and then ensuring public access on the water for perpetuity. That's what the good folks at Western Rivers Conservancy do, and in this week's podcast I talk to Josh Kling [45:30], their conservation director, about projects they have on the Yakima and Big Hole rivers—two rivers treasured by fly fishers and in need of help. In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and tips from listeners, including: I fished a 5-weight line on my 10-foot 3-weight rod and liked it. Is there anything wrong with this? I foul-hooked a couple fish when using a dry dropper. Is there a way to avoid this? A good tip from a listener on getting the line to leader connection out of your rod tip by using the current. If I use a kayak for accessing wade fishing, should I park at the head of a pool and fish downstream or should I park at the tail and fish upstream? How should I fish deep, slow-moving pools with a mud bottom? Where in the US should I go on a fishing trip with my father? Why are fly rod grips from different manufacturers so different? I impacted my rod with a heavy bead-head fly. How should I inspect it to look for damage? A great tip for attaching the leader to a fly line when using a mono rig. When did fly fishers first use backing on fly reels? Can I throw big flies, as large as a 5/0, on my 8-weight rod? What flies should I use for spawning carp? How do I tell if a bass is on a bed and spawning as opposed to chasing bait? Why did fish strike my Prince nymph when I stripped it and not on a dead drift? Are rods getting stiffer and fly lines getting heavier?


Great things happening in the world of trout, with Chris Wood

There's some real positive news in the world of trout these days, from the mitigation of acid mine drainage in wild trout streams to replacement of perched culverts to an unprecedented funding opportunity for habitat projects. Chris Wood [38:36], president and CEO of Trout Unlimited, takes us through some ongoing and upcoming projects that have him excited and optimistic. In the Fly Box this week, we have some very helpful tips and interesting questions from listeners, including: I want to sell some of my flies. Should I start an online store or go through a local fly shop? Why don't light-colored flies like the Light Cahill work in my streams? I s there a database of older Orvis rods? Brown trout from a larger river spawn in a tributary that holds a good population of native brook trout. Should I feel bad about fishing for those spawning brown trout? For a small stream fly rod, I am looking at a 10-foot 3-weight and a 7 ½ foot 3-weight. Which should I choose? How do you keep the body thin when tying a Comparadun or Sparkle Dun? I fish small streams with tricky current. When it gets windy, should I fish a longer or shorter leader? The trout got active when the wind blew some seeds into the water. Is that typical? A great tip from a listener on using a balanced leech and an indicator in plunge pools. My friend just fishes Clouser Minnows and outfishes me when I use my fancier Game Changers and Dahlberg Divers. Am I wrong to be wasting my time on these more complicated patterns? What is the best way to get the leader knot out of the guides before you start fishing? What recommendations do you have for fly fishing for crappie? A terrific tip from a listener on a different way to rig a dry dropper. How do I feel about yarn flies for gar and egg flies for carp? I want to replace my fluorocarbon with nylon. Will I notice the difference?


15 Years Ago Today - Reading the Water

Hey folks! This is Jamie, I produce The Orvis Fly-Fishing Podcast with Tom Rosenbauer. Today is the 15th anniversary if the show and to celebrate we are running the first episode that was published on April 17, 2008. It's short! Only 5 minutes or so. We weren't sure if anyone would listen. Twenty-one million downloads later, we know you are listening, and more importantly, contributing to the show. Thank you for all you have done to make this a real joy to be a part of, and thank you to Tom Rosenbauer for letting me be a part of it. Let's do another 15!


The Future of Bristol Bay, with Nelli Williams

Champions of clean water and an intact ecosystem have a lot to celebrate with our recent victory in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. But this ruling only protects a relatively small part of Bristol Bay, which is a huge body of water. Nelli Williams [33:34] from Trout Unlimited Alaska, a veteran of this battle, gives us her perspective on what has been protected, what remains to be protected, and what we should all be vigilant about in this magnificent watershed. It's a feel-good story but a reminder that we need to keep our eyes and ears open in the future. In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions—and some phone calls that seemed to have come out of the woodwork! How do I narrow my efforts in fly tying so I don't end up with 10 fly boxes? A great tip from a listener on another way to separate stuck rod sections What do people mean by a "technical" trout stream? A bunch of great tips for fly fishing from a canoe from two different listeners A tip from a listener on using deer hair instead of elk when tying small Elk Wing Caddis dry flies What kind of fly-fishing questions are reasonable to ask from an AI chat? And is this ethical? A great tip for fly tiers for keeping the hook eye open when finishing the head of a fly Where do I put the studs in my new Orvis Hybrid Wading Shoes?


The Science behind the Everglades Storage Reservoir, with Steve Davis

This week begins a month of habitat/conservation podcasts as a celebration of Earth Month. We start the series off with Steve Davis [43:25], Chief Science Officer for the Everglades Foundation, and instead of talking about the boring aspects of Everglades Restoration like funding and politics we're delving deep into the science of how the water will be stored and cleaned, which plants aid in the cleanup, and how this process will aid in more fresh water to Florida Bay and the Everglades, and less polluted fresh water to estuaries on both coasts of Florida. We'll also talk about immediate benefits, but also how it will take seven years to completely fill the reservoir. And yes, we will talk about fly fishing topics this month in the Fly Box. This week we have some great tips and questions, including: I have a 5-weight, 6-weight, and 10-weight rod for fishing in the Mississippi. I may be catching fish up to 20 pounds. Do you think an 8-weight will handle them? Three great tips from a listener on fishing from a canoe. Is there a database where I can plug in the fly-tying materials I have and have it tell me what fly patterns I can tie? What flies can I use India hen backs on? I have trouble with my back cast hitting the water when I wade waist deep. How can I correct this problem? I have been stumped by fish rising once and then not rising again for a long time. What are these fish doing and how can I target them? What are your thoughts on intermediate lines for tarpon? Should I get tarpon flies in bigger hooks like 3/0 to 5/0? Will a bit of bucktail under my pine squirrel streamers help to keep them from fouling? A listener asked a bunch of specific fishing questions to a chat bot for a trip he was going to take to Grand Lake Stream in Maine and asked me to critique the answers he received. How should I kill and keep the occasional stocked fish I want to eat? If you see a nymph in the water that you want to imitate, how would you go about creating a pattern to match it? Are hooks trending to shorter shanks and wider gaps? Is this a good thing?


Great tips on canoe fishing, with Perk Perkins

I did a podcast a few weeks ago that was billed as a canoe and kayak podcast but my guest and I spent a lot of time on Kayaks and not much on canoes. Some of you took me to task and asked for more information on fly fishing from canoes, so I asked retired president and CEO of Orvis, Perk Perkins [49:06], to share his tips with us. Perk fishes from a canoe more than anyone else I know, and has been using these craft all his life. He gives us some great tips on making fly fishing from a canoe more fun and productive. In the fly box this week, we have some fascinating questions from listeners, including: Should l I use a double taper or weight forward line on my small stream rod? If you fish barbless dry flies with a dry/dropper rig, won't the knot slip off the hook? What can I do to lessen my shoulder involvement in casting? I have severe arthritis in my right shoulder. Should I learn to cast left-handed? Do tippet rings make tying on a dropper less fussy? Won't the fish see a tippet ring? What is your opinion on attractor patterns? What do you think of UV resins and tying materials? If I want to fish a leader with a light butt section, what diameter should the permanent loop be on my fly line? The permanent loop on my fly line got damaged. My fly line says "cold to moderate temperatures". Can I also use this line for fishing for bass during the summer? Do flies need to be perfect and symmetrical? I s road kill of any use in fly tying? We were catching hickory shad on spoons we made using Krystal Flash and UV resin. People told us we weren't fly fishing. What's your take on flies that aren't really "flies"? How are fly rods most often broken? What rod do I need to make my mono rig work better? I see many color variations in pre-made dubbing blends, for instance one March Brown dubbing is brown and another one is light tan. Do insects vary in color? Does color even make a difference?


All about the mono rig, with Dom Swentosky

This week, my guest is Dom Swentosky of the Troutbitten blog [33:16], podcast, and guide service. If you have not seen his stuff it's definitely one of the most informative and thoughtful fly-fishing blogs out there. Dom devotes a lot of his blog to the mono rig, which is sorta like Euro-nymphing in that it uses a long leader and no fly line, but it's more of a method for everyday anglers than pure Euro nymphing, which is based on competitive rules that prohibit things like split shot. Dom goes through why it is such an effective method, how he builds his leaders, and how he presents his flies this way. It's just one more thing to try if you're interested in new ways of using a fly rod. In the Fly Box this week, we have some helpful tips from listeners and an assortment of questions from rigging to watercraft to fly tying, including: If I am using a drop-shot rig with a single nymph, can I just tie the weight on a long tag from the clinch knot I use to tie on my fly? What is your opinion of traditional Catskill-style dry flies? Could spawning affect a trout's diet? In your canoe and kayak podcast, you didn't say enough about canoes. If I want to use my canoe for fly fishing, what considerations should I have? And should I put a trolling motor on my canoe? I have a stream nearby that has nice gravel, cold water, deep pools, and nice riffles. I have not caught any trout there. How can I find out if trout even live there? A great tip from a listener for finding tiny leaks in waders Do trout use shelf ice as cover? A listener suggests the float tube as a great option in the inflatable category, which I did not mention in my recent podcast on inflatables. A great tip from a listener on how to cover up items in a boat that could snag your fly line. When do you switch from a floating to a sinking line in streams? A great tip from a listener on using forceps to hold tiny flies when tying them on. I am looking at monofilament thread. What is the difference between 6/0 and G size, and where did the G designation come from? And is there any application in tying freshwater flies with monofilament thread?


All about inflatable watercraft, with Mike Dolmage from NRS

This week, we delve into the confusing world of inflatable watercraft. There are so many styles to choose from, including SUPs, kayaks, and rafts. Which are best for fly fishing? What are some tips on how to fish from one? How do you handle anchoring and paddling while being ready to make a cast? Regardless of which type you choose, they are lightweight and packable (except for the larger rafts) and they'll get you into places where drift boats and motorboats can't go. Mike Dolmage is a fly fishing fanatic and is in charge of marketing fishing craft for NRS so his knowledge will help you make an informed decision and give you some tips on fishing from your inflatable. In the Fly Box this week, I try to answer some easy and difficult questions. Some of the questions include: Would you recommend a Power Taper or Bank Shot fly line for fishing for largemouth bass form shore? How can I catch striped bass on the Hudson River? I have a 6- and an 8-weight rod and I want to streamer fish in Montana. Do I need a 7-weight? How can I get permission to fish private land when bluelining? I am catching big trout on nymphs and want to get a rod longer than 9 feet. Can I fish Euro-style and still land big trout on a 10-foot 3-weight, or should I look at a 10-foot 4-weight or 5-weight? How long do you think is too long to play a trout? Can I use a sinking Polyleader with an intermediate line? How do you fish attractor flies? Do I just throw one out there or should I pay more attention to hatches? What line should I get for tarpon fishing with my 11-weight rod? Do brown and rainbow trout have different feeding strategies? Is there a sinking fly line I can use with both streamers and nymphs?


Fly fishing from canoes and kayaks with Ryan Lilly of Old Town Canoe

Learn how to decide between a canoe and a kayak, what kind to get, and how to maneuver and cast using these hard-sided watercraft (next week I'll be doing a podcast on inflatables). Ryan Lilly [47:30] is a fly fisher and Old Town's expert on fishing from these craft, and has many great suggestions for how to make the most out of your canoe or kayak experience. In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions that I'm sure will be of interest to many of you, as well as some thoughtful tips from other listeners, including: What do bead-head nymphs imitate? Aren't flies tied without beads more natural in the water? Isn't it more natural to use a nymph without any added weight? How do you fish wet flies? Do you use a single one or more than one? And do you ever use weighted wet flies? I recently saw a bunch of large carp in a pond in Florida. Why didn't I see any smaller ones? I had trouble getting a good drift against the slow water on the far bank of a river. Every time I tried to mend my line the small dry fly sank. What else could I have done? Can I fish two dry flies at once? A suggestion from a listener on why upgrading from an entry level fly line is a wise investment. Are there any performance differences between a 6-piece rod and a 4-piece rod? How can I get an extra tip for my Orvis rod? A great tip from a listener on how to make a device to hold scrap pieces of tippet using two pieces of Velcro. I am going to a place where they have stocked golden rainbows. Do these fish behave any differently from normal rainbows? Can I use a Poly Leader for tarpon? Is there any difference between up-eye and down-eye hooks? A tip from a listener on how to change thread colors with a permanent marker. A tip from a listener on how to keep a partially used tube of Aquaseal stay fresh. Why do people hold bass by the jaw? I have heard that this can dislocate their jaw. I am taking my first guided trip. Should I do a float trip or a walk/wade trip?


A life in fly fishing, with Tom McGuane.

Back in 2008 when I first began this podcast I had two dreams—that I would have my two literary heros, John McPhee and Thomas McGuane as guests (they are both passionate fly fishers). I was lucky enough to record a podcast with John in August of 2021 and this week's podcast is with Tom McGuane [44:36], author of 20 highly regarded novels, screenplays, collections of short stories, and what is in my opinion the finest book of fly-fishing essays ever written, The Longest Silence. Most people who interview Tom want to talk about his crazy days in Key West in the 1970s, , fishing for tarpon with Jim Harrison, Guy de la Valdene, Jimmy Buffet, and other notable characters. However, in the podcast we talk about what he is doing now—his fascination with small-stream trout fishing, why he would rather wade than fish from a boat, his opinion on guides who yell at their clients, and how to grow old gracefully and still continue to fish with a fly rod. It was a real honor to chat with him and I know you'll enjoy this very special podcast. In the Fly Box this week, we have some wonderful and thought-provoking questions and tips form listeners, including: What is that white rod that Pete Kutzer uses in your casting videos? Is there a written history of Orvis? What is the best reel lubricant, and how should I maintain my cork drag surface? Can dumbbell eyes damage fly rods? If so, what should I do to keep flies tied with them from hitting my rod? Do trout eat those little black and brown stoneflies that hatch during the winter and early spring? Can you explain when I would use weighted flies vs. split shot vs. poly leaders when fishing nymphs? Can you compare the relative advantages of the 10 1/2-foot 3-weight and the 11-foot 3-weight Blackout rod? I saw people catching fish on nymphs. I tried exactly the same patterns and didn't catch anything. Why? I have a reel that takes a 9-weight line. Can I get an extra spool and put it on my 7-weight rod? Why am I not catching anything when fishing nymphs in the winter? Great tips from a world traveler on taking your vaccination records with you, and warnings about carrying gear when traveling to Mexico or New Zealand. What environmental cues will tell you when specific flies are hatching? Is it true that emerger patterns are more effective when they look messy? How do you explain when trout take smaller insects and ignore bigger ones?


The life cycle of caddisflies, with Thomas Ames

This week, we go into great detail about the life cycle of caddisflies and the various species found in the eastern United States. Tom Ames [33:05], author of the book Caddisflies is my guest and although we go into great detail on the various types of caddisflies, don't let it overwhelm you, as imitating these insects is merely a matter of observing what stage of their life cycle is present and what the trout are eating. It's not something you can predict in advance—you need to arrive at the river and then figure out the puzzle by your powers of observation. But this podcast does get geeky so be prepared! Our Fly Box questions this week are much more basic, a good counterbalance to our discussion of caddisflies. Questions and tips include: I want to go beyond my typical attractor patterns and match some hatches. What basic flies do you recommend? A great tip from a listener on fixing rough fingertips for fly tying Tom's thoughts on the Murdich Minnow fly What three lines should I get for fishing lakes? Why don't more people wear PFDs? What color of Clouser Minnows should I get for smallmouth bass? Can I tie my second Euro nymph fly onto the bend of the other fly, or can I leave a tag end long on the knot to the first fly and use that? Several rod selection questions Can I double haul with my bamboo fly rod? Is it a good idea to pinch the line against the cork to put added pressure on a running fish? Tips from a listener on wearing felt boots on a trail and drying out wading boots. What rod is best for practicing my casting skills?


Traveling with fly-fishing gear, with Seth Berger

This week is my guest Seth Berger [1:00:18], Fly Fishing Travel Specialist with Orvis Adventures. In his job, Seth visits Orvis-endorsed operations around the world and always packs his fishing gear, so he's a great resource for advising us how to travel with rods, waders, and flies—how to pack them, what to carry on, and pitfalls you should avoid. Seth also talks about what to pack, and items that are often forgotten or ignored by traveling anglers. Anyone who gets on a plane, whether it's a short hop or an international flight, will benefit from his knowledge. In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and comment that run the gamut of the fly-fishing experience, including: A listener who recommends the mono rig method, which is different from the standard Euro nymphing setup. And tries to tell me 20lb. mono casts just as easily as fly line (I'm not buying it) Why not put a tippet ring on the end of a poly leader? I've used straight monofilament for a leader for bass and bream. Why do I need a tapered leader, and do I need tippet? When you fish two dry flies, what should the distance between them be? Do I need to learn entomology to pick flies? Is there any difference between picking flies for small streams vs. bigger rivers? What do you look for to help you choose a fly? Can I fish steelhead with my 9-foot 5-weight rod? Is it true that lighter lines cast better in the wind because they have less air resistance? Have you ever fished with just a bead on a hook? Some great suggestions from a listener on how to keep fly tying materials away from young children. I am coming from Korea to the US. Will I have problems brining flies and fly tying materials into the country? Have you ever tried wiggle nymphs? Why do Euro nymphers stand in the water and make short upstream casts while people with conventional lines try to fish as far away as possible? Why don't we see a lot of blue streamers? How deep can I effectively fish with a fly rod? How can I tie patterns with partridge feathers smaller than size 16?


Louisiana Redfish Secrets, with Capt. Pete Scafaru

Capt. Pete Scafaru [32:53] is a new Orvis-endorsed guide in New Orleans (he's not new at guiding, just new to the Orvis program), and he shares his vast experience on what to expect at different times of the season, how to present the fly, and how to target redfish in shallow water. Regardless of where you fish for redfish, his tips will be valuable. In the Fly Box, we have some questions and tips that I think will be of interest to all fly fishers, including: What tips or tricks do you have for an older angler who has problems threading small flies? A tip from a listener about how he attaches a dropper nymph to his tippet with a clinch knot so he can change either fly without re-tying both flies. A tip from a listener on how to estimate measurements using parts of your arms and fingers. Why does Orvis not sell a 7-weight Superfine Glass fly rod? Do you ever use indicators when fishing nymphs on small mountain brook trout streams? Can I fish soft hackles during the winter? Why are people so nasty when I post fly-tying videos on social media? Do you get those kinds of comments in the podcast mailbox? Does it matter where I put my wing case on Perdigon nymphs, and why are some Perdigons relatively fat? I thought "thin for the win" was the mantra for these flies. Why would people throw streamers on Euro-nymphing rods? I bought an old 7½-foot, 6-weight Madison bamboo fly rod. Will this be better with a 5- or 6-weight line, and will it be OK for general trout fishing?


Getting your kids into fly fishing, with Joshua Simmons

This week, my guest is Joshua Simmons [44:00], who with his brother Caleb hosts the podcast "Dads on the Fly". (It's not just for dads, it's for moms and families as well, but they just both happen to be dads and brothers who wanted to give back to the world of fly fishing.) In their podcast they explore the ways families can get together through fly fishing, and have talked to many people across the country about this subject, so Joshua has a lot to share from his conversations and research. If you have always wanted to bring your family together in fly fishing, you'll pick up some great suggestions. In the Fly Box this week, we have an eclectic mix of suggestions and questions, including: Why do I have trouble mixing my dubbing in an old coffee grinder? It comes out like rope. I have trouble tying with a hackle cape with thick stems. What can I do? I have trouble hooking steelhead. What am I doing wrong? A comment from a listener on the growing movement that helps fish and game departments protect all aquatic species, not just gamefish and game animals. How can I practice casting before my next bonefish trip? What footwear do you recommend for wading the flats? It seems like I can get closer to bonefish wading that from a boat. Is that usually the case? I have a new baby coming. How can I childproof my tying area? Phil Rowley says that eutrophic lakes offer the best trout fishing, but all the eutrophic lakes I fish in New Hampshire are too warm for trout. Why the disconnect? Someone told me to switch from left-hand wind to right-hand wind when I go saltwater fishing (I am right-handed). Should I heed their advice? Why don't more fly anglers wear a PFD? If Tom had one final trip, where would he go? A great tip from a listener on pre-rigging flies at home I can't cast a Euro rig with my 905 rod. Should I invest in a specific Euro nymphing rod and what will it give me that my current rod does not?


Winter fishing tips from an award-winning guide, with Chip Swanson

This week, since we have not had any hard-core fishing podcasts in awhile, I thought I would give you all some tips on winter fly fishing with Chip Swanson [40:09] of Breckenridge Outfitters in Colorado. Chip won the Orvis-Endorsed Freshwater Guide of the Year in 2019 for good reason. He's fun, patient, superbly knowledgeable, and a terrific teacher. He also does a lot of fishing and guiding throughout the winter, no matter what the weather. He has some great tips on staying warm, techniques to use, and what conditions are best for winter fly fishing. In the Fly Box this week, we have some especially helpful tips from listeners as well as some questions that will be helpful to many fly fishers, including: Is using a scented fly for sturgeon not fly fishing? And do you have any tips for catching these giants on a fly rod? I am having trouble casting a double nymph rig plus split shot and an indicator. What casting advice do you have? When is water too cold to try a dry dropper rig? Some good advice from a listener on kneeling instead of sitting in a canoe for easier casting A fly shop owner told me not to fish a local river because the flows were too low. Why is this bad in the winter when oxygen levels are higher? How can I use online product reviews to inform my tackle purchases? Which ones are the most reliable? What should I look for in a pedestal for my vise? What are Tom's top 10 fly tying materials for fresh and salt water? What is Tom tying right now? Great advice from a listener on kayak fishing and first aid kits for fishing trips How long will it take my local river to recover after severe wildfires last year? What can I use to hold those tippet scraps I want to dispose of?