Category Archives: Fly Fishing Tips

Bug Puppets

Guest Blogger: Phil Rispin, fly fisher, photographer & more, find Phil’s photography here

Have you ever pondered the cost and effort it takes to get a two dollar fly to a place where a trout or other type of fish would consider eating it? Someone in my past referred to flies as “Bug Puppets” and I have adopted the term because it alludes to the need to make the fly look and behave like the food item it imitates, much like a puppet imitates characters in a play. Generally I believe that matching size and color to the food items in the stream is pretty important. However having said that, I wonder at the validity of the statement because we have all used stuff on the end of the line that looks like nothing found in nature. There is a long tradition in fly fishing of producing beautiful flies that are properly called works of art but they look very little like the food items found in the waters we fish. At the other extreme from the artful and time consuming salmon flies are what I like to call “guide ties “or flies that are simple, quick to produce and successful. more…

Another Kind of Trout (Where to Find Them)

mct2ndaGuest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana; You can find part one of this post @ Another Kind of Trout.

I’ll talk about how the traveling angler can go prospecting for spotted seatrout with just a little of forethought and preparation.Although I am confident that finding spotted seatrout will have subtle variances depending on where you fish, there is one commonality—they prefer shallow, grassy flats. And like all saltwater fish, especially predatory ones, tides play an important role in finding feeding fish. For the shore bound angler finding water that exposes a lot (acres and acres of 6 inches or less) of grassy flats at low tide is one of the first steps in finding good wading water. Once you locate areas that expose a lot of flats at low tide, you begin to look for areas with a lot of structure. On eel grass flats ,with which I have the most experience, that structure takes two forms—potholes and cuts. The pothole is a large area of sandy bottom surrounding by grass. On healthy eel grass flats, potholes can be from a few inches to several feet deeper than the tops of the grass. This depth differential creates a perfect ambush place for the predatory seatrout. The trout hold along the edges of the potholes to ambush baitfish and crustaceans that expose themselves and hide from their predators. The edges of pothole create eddys as the tide flows, just like obstructions in rivers. Those eddys, however subtle, trap baitfish and small crustaceans. Finding potholes that have irregular outlines produce a lot of eddys as the tide flows. Cuts on the other hand are places that will hold fish at low tide and give them quick access to the flats at the tide rises. A cut is essentially a tidal river that is the primary path the water takes as the tides flow in and out of the estuary. more…

Another Kind of Trout

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

For most fly anglers, trout fishing means waving the wand over lake or stream for one of the many species of salmonids we collectively call trout. And as we all know; wild trout fishing is a cold-water fishery. Except for isolated pockets of high-mountain trout in the southern Rocky Mountains or southern Appalachians wild trout can be found for the most part in suitable water in the northern half of the US into Canada and the Arctic. We tie all sorts of flies to entice trout–Diminutive flies to resemble aquatic insect larva, tiny winged editions to replicate tiny adult insects, baitfish patterns, terrestrial adults and on and on. We fish with what ranges from delicate cane and graphite rods in those diminutive weights like 2 and 3 to robust wands of the 6 and 8 weight variety. Fly fishing for wild trout has so many permutations that it makes opportunities to do something different almost unlimited. The dedicated trout angler has so many opportunities that they need never look beyond their favorite salmonid, unless they want to. more…