The Best Way to Improve Your Trout Game

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By Kent Klewein The single best way to improve your trout game is to fly fish on trout water that challenges you. I’m talking about super technical water where trout are wary and extremely educated.  The places where the smartest of trout live, where all you get is one or two shots to hit your target. These trout streams force you to maintain the highest level of discipline in your fly fishing. You have to think out every step of your approach and presentation to find success. If you fail at executing these strict requirements, you’ll almost certainly be skunked on the water. It’s really easy for many of us with our busy schedules to focus our time fly fishing locations that allow us the most success, or should I say the easiest success. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy these easy trout streams myself, where I can immediately start catching fish within minutes of wetting my line. Just remember, if all you do is fish easy trout water, you’re going to have a rude awakening when you finally get around to stepping foot on a truly technical trout stream. You won’t find success, your confidence will shrivel, your pride will take a beating and you’ll probably feel like crawling off into a hole when it all said and done. Not only that, but you’ll also be impeding the improvement of your fly fishing skills in the process, and you’ll be no different than a kid refusing to take off the training wheels on his/her bike because it’s easier and safer. So change up your routine, step away from your comfort zone and the rookie trout water for a while. Next time you go fly fishing, choose trout water that requires you to bring your absolute best … Continue reading

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Deep and Slow

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By Alice Tesar

The biggest mistake folks make during spring shoulder season in the Rocky Mountains is heading to the desert to mountain bike. I enjoy biking – just like any angler, it gets me to the fishing hole when my car is in the shop. With that said, fishing during runoff should be embraced and not run (or biked) from.

Not only are the rainbows making moves up your favorite tributaries, but larger trout are more willing to go for your fly, because they feel protected by the murky water. You may observe that the icy water from the snow melt has slowed the midge hatch from your winter fishing days. Even the BWO hatches, while present, aren’t magnificent here in NW CO.

I stick to two setups this time of year:

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Creating a Modular European Nymphing Leader

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By Devin Olsen

I often get asked what I do when I come to water or situations that call for a presentation other than what a straight Euro-nymphing rig executes well.

I tend to be a splitter rather than a lumper so I often bring several rods or an extra reel if I want to change rigs. However, there is one way to cover a lot of bases by designing a modular Euro-nymphing leader. With a couple simple changes, this leader can fish one nymph, two or three nymphs, dry dropper, dry double dropper, and streamers.

A basic Euro-nymphing leader formula is one I’ve shared in the first film Gilbert Rowley, Lance Egan and I produced titled Modern Nymphing: European Inspired Techniques. The one change to the leader that will let you fish additional rigs is a simple 12” section of 3x tippet between the sighter and the tippet ring. From there you can change tippet configurations to create multiple rigs. In our second film, Modern Nymphing Elevated: Beyond the Basics, I talk about the modular nymphing leader and we show segments on how to fish the different rigs with it. Let me walk you through each way to rig.

Starting with the basic nymphing leader, I can fish one fly through shallow or complex water where maximum accuracy or a lighter rig is needed. If I need to go to a two-fly rig for deeper water, it is as simple as adding a nymph to the dropper tag.

In Modern Nymphing Elevated, we also talk about fishing streamers on a Euro-Nymphing leader, which is a deadly way to work streamers accurately and thoroughly through trout lies. To switch to streamers, I simply cut the nymph tippet off at the tippet ring and store it on a Loon Rigging Foam. Then I rebuild the same rig but with

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Sunday Classic / Fixing A Twisted Fly Line In Seconds

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Every fly angler has experienced a wicked twist in their fly line causing it to tangle and knot at their feet.
It may be caused by a flawed casting stroke, a big fly twisting in the wind or it may be God punishing you for masturbating. Regardless of why it occurs, it’s frustrating at the least and heartbreaking at the worst. There’s nothing worse than taking a shot at the fish of a lifetime, only to have your cast cut short by a knot in your guides.

Fortunately, a twisted fly line is easy to fix. You don’t have to lose valuable fishing time, while stripping the entire line off the reel and towing it behind the boat or letting it hang in the current. You can fix that twist in seconds.

In this video, our good friend Zack Dalton from RIO Products shows you how.

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Saturday Shoutout / She Cleaned My Truck

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“I OPENED THE DOOR TO MY ‘76 RAM CHARGER AND NOTHING FELL OUT. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. THAT SHOULD’VE BEEN MY FIRST CLUE…”

Is it possible that a person is defined by the mess they leave in their truck? If so, my life is an open book. The description of the Ram Charger fits my Toyota to a T. If you’ve ever stuck a fly in your headliner, and you’ve ever been in love, this story is for you.

A simple and strikingly beautiful piece from Jon Tobey, of “Go Into Te Light.”

SHE LOVES ME, SHE CLEANED MY TRUCK

I also recommend this great companion piece by Mike Sepelak

LAUNDERED

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Bob Is A Hero

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Bob knew how to get that perfect hero shot.

I think Andrea Larko has been following Justin and I around on the river. I guess the secret is out. Check out Bob and much more of Andrea’s work on Etsy.

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Three Tips for Casting in the Wind

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By Bruce Chard

WHEN YOU’RE FLY FISHING IN SALTWATER THERE IS ALMOST ALWAYS WIND.

Saltwater fly fishing demands your A-game. Your presentations have to be spot on and when the wind is howling, it will test your angling mettle. If you’re new to the game, it’s intimidating but having and practicing the right skills can give you the confidence you need to deliver.

Here are three tips that will help you tame the wind
Make tight loops

Having the ability to form tight loops while casting in the salt will help in many ways.
Tight Loops help:

•Control line in the air for better accuracy
•Increase line speed
•Reduce slack in the line during casting and presentation
•Increase distance
•Fight the wind
•Lay your leader and fly out straight with no slack

Whether you are wading or in the skiff, a tight loop is vital to success in the salt. To form a tight loop you need to do the following:

•Keep your rod tip traveling

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Stocked Brook Trout – Strip it, Skate it, Swing it

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Give those stockers something they can’t resist.

I’m very fortunate to have a great trout stream near by that operates a delayed harvest program (catch and release fishing by artificial flies only) that starts in the fall every year, and runs into the early summer. I love visiting this trout stream because the DNR stocks big male and female brook trout, some of which, can push well over twenty inches. To consistently catch these beautiful brookies, I usually have to experiment with different types of flies and presentation methods to find out what’s the best option for the day’s fishing. Sometimes all I need is a simple drag free drift with a dry fly or nymph to catch them. Other times, the brook trout will completely ignore my dead drifted flies and I’m forced to impart extra action and movement on my flies to trigger bites. When I can’t get stocked brook trout to rise to my dry fly or take my nymphs dead drifted, I’ll then try fishing tactics like stripping a streamer, skating a dry fly or swinging a tandem nymph rig. For some reason, the added action and movement, often will trigger reaction strikes from stocked brook trout that have lock jaw. Moving your fly upstream, and causing it to make a wake, be it a dry fly or wet fly is another technique that can work wonders. Everyday can be different, so it’s important that you figure out what kind of presentation and type of fly the brook trout want to help you find success. Now that I’ve gone over how movement can trigger bites with the stocked brook trout, let’s talk about each in a little more detail.

TECHNIQUE #1 – TRY STRIPPING STREAMERS WHERE THE BROOKIES ARE LOCATED

I’ll never forget a day on the water with my good friend Joel Dickey several years ago, where he landed two brook trout well over 22 inches with a streamer. They were the biggest stocked brook trout I had ever laid my eyes on in the Southeast, and the only thing that proved effective for catching them that day, was retrieving a streamer across their noses erratically. Try fishing brightly colored streamers that incorporate

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Umpqua Pro Guide Fly Boxes

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By Bob Reece

Between my guiding and personal days I spend an extensive amount of time each year on the water. Throughout these adventures there is nothing that disheartens me more than losing flies or a fly box. Whether tied or purchased my flies are an essential part of my on-the-water success.

During my years on the water I’ve dropped, broken and drowned several boxes. As a result of these experiences I’ve become a little OCD when selecting my portable fly containers. If I turn lose a box to the force of gravity; it needs to remain intact, hold my flies and prevent water from entering. After spending considerable time on the water with them, I’ve found that the new Umpqua Pro Guide fly boxes meet these criteria.

I was happy to have them but reinserting flies dislodged by a drop always irritated me. In a positive move forward, Umpqua has left the foam inserts behind and moved on to a rubberized interior that locks down flies of all sizes and weights. In addition to this, these firmly constructed boxes handled my unintended collisions with ice, pavement and boulders. This left a smile on my face in comparison to the formers sounds of shattering plastic and images of disappearing flies.

While not all of the new UPG boxes are waterproof, the HD portion of the series provide a serious hydrological barrier. When I first went to open one of these, I was

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Focus On Steelhead Technique

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By Louis Cahill

Here are 5 jam-packed articles to help you catch more steelhead.

If you want to catch steelhead on the swing, you have to have solid technique and stick to your guns. Often, you don’t get a lot of feedback from the fish so you have to know what will work and stick to it. That can be tough, especially if you are new to the game, but even experienced anglers can falter when fishing is slow.

Below are links to five articles which focus on steelhead techniques that produce fish. Get yourself a cup of coffee and dig in for a nuts-and-bolts steelhead download. These tips should help make your next steelhead trip a success.

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