Category Archives: Fly Fishing Tips

Fly Fishing – Under the Water

Guest Blogger: Clay Cunningham, Cody WY, Former National Park Superintendent

Why would anyone want to pursue trout with an underwater fly when you can’t see it and know when a fish might have it in his mouth? Because 90% of the trout’s feeding habits are under the water where they select insects off the stream bottom and hang around in opportunistic locations to pick off dislodged insects that lost their grip on the stream bottom. Trout also become very active when pursuing insects making their way to the surface to dry off their wings and begin the process of reproduction.

No question about it, fishing nymphs or wet flies under the water requires experience and a sixth sense to know when a fish has your fly in his mouth. I have watched trout create a vacuum to suck in nymphs then expelled them with force in a split second if it didn’t suit them. How does one know when a trout surreptitiously pulls in one of your underwater offerings? more…

Some Advantages of Going Barbless

Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Woodbury MN

I started fly fishing when nets were made out of thick cotton strands. If you got a barbed hook stuck in a strand it was an ordeal to get it out without ruining your net. On more than one occasion, I cut the fly off and got it out after I quit fishing. If you got the hook into one of the knots, that would at least double the amount of time to get the hook out. This convinced me it was worth trying barbless hooks.

Initially, I bent down the barbs when I was ready to use the fly on the river. I discovered that the groves in my hemostat, which doubled as a bard smasher, could mash the barb down. But, you had to really pay attention to how you lined the hook up with the grooves. Eventually I found a small pliers with flat jaws – that really sped up bending the barb down and did a much better job. more…

Back to Basics: Golden Rules for Choosing the Right Fly

Guest Blogger: John Holman, owner and operator of No Se Um Lodge, Alaska.

choosing-flyWe got to thinking about how many folks take up fly fishing for the first time. It’s our favorite way to connect with the great outdoors. It’s an unparalleled mix of fun, excitement and relaxation. It’s also a little confusing for someone who’s never done it before.

We ponder and choose from our fly boxes with an experienced eye. We watch the fish, read the water and identify the bugs. We fly fish Alaskan rivers and lakes almost year-round, so it’s easy to forget we weren’t always the accomplished trout bums that we are today. For those of you who are just now tuning in to one of the best sports in the world, we offer a quick outline for choosing the right fly. more…