Tag Archives: trout fishing

A Dad, A Daughter And A Small Stream

Guest Blogger: Jim Murphy, Neenah WI, long-time J Stockard customer and avid fly tyer

We sat on the bank of the stream, my daughter and I, and re-lived a day that will be entered into the photo album of my mind…forever. We had just finished fishing on a pretty little freestone stream that flowed through a flowered meadow which was literally on top of the world. We were somewhere between Red Lodge and Cook City Montana in the high country of the Beartooth/Absaroka Range.

I don’t get to do that much anymore. I mean fish with my daughter and so when the opportunity presented itself I jumped. She had moved to Colorado shortly after finishing nursing school in 1992. The pull tugged so hard she just packed her bags, picked up and left the Midwest to explore the wonders of the mountains. more…

Swing Low – Part 2

Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller, OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller & more to come

Part I described how I came to wetfly swinging and the main methods I tend to use. Part II will discuss more applications and benefits of this fine fly fishing style, as well as a few features that have stood the test of time.

Wetfly swinging offers numerous advantages. You can fish the head of a run more easily when you’re fishing it downstream of where you stand. Deeper runs invariably sit just below riffles and rapids, and so they so often start with a prominent drop-off. Trying to get to that fish-rich drop-off from downstream can be difficult because the water can be too deep for too far to let you reach it from below. And brushy shorelines make from-the-side fishing a pain. In these cases, swinging wetflies from above is an ideal tactic–plenty of back-cast room…very enjoyable.

In truth wetfly fishing is a lot like streamer fishing–just more delicate. The motion is simply scaled to the size of prey the fly tries to imitate. Swimming insects won’t go upstream against a strong current, but otherwise the techniques are alike. In truth, I’ve learned what I know about streamer fishing from wetfly use, not the other way around. And I’ve even tied up tiny fish-imitating streamers and fished them successfully just like I would a wetfly. Streamer fishing is very often (maybe most often?) done with a sinking line, whereas personally I nearly always use a floating line for wetflies, the better to accomplish the “rise to the surface” at the end of the swing. But of course it depends on how deep the water is, and at what depth the fish are likely to be lurking. more…

Swing Low – Part 1

Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller, OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller & more to come

Trout stream lore has been awash with nymphing techniques and the nymphing focus for at least four decades, and probably more. The benefits are obvious, but as with all things, for something gained there’s always something neglected or lost. In this case one could make the point that the age-old wetfly fascination, along with deft wetfly technique, has fallen from common practice.

The earliest written fly fishing accounts we know of were all about wetflies. Purist dry fly enthrallment, and then more recently the matching of nymph stages of specific insect species, combined to get us to where we are today. And yet there are many wetfly experts among us, and they do at least as well as anyone. Unless someone back then could read fish minds, which I doubt, old-fashioned wetflies were developed through trial and error. They embodied features that current theory believes push key buttons in a fish’s instinct–a dorsal fin shape, and/or trigger colors of some kind, and perhaps a tail, and maybe hackle that could represent gills or fins or legs of the prey…etc…but not necessarily put together to resemble baitfish or bug, to us…and yet they work.