Sunday Classic / Choosing Flies for Tandem Nymph Rigs

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Today’s post is intended for beginner and intermediate fly anglers that struggle with choosing what fly patterns to tie on when they’re fishing a tandem nymph rig. Because most of our fly boxes are stocked with dozens of different fly patterns, it can be difficult at times to know where to start. I get the question all the time, “how do I know what flies to tie on?” The answer to that question is I don’t. Sometimes I can get a good idea by doing some bug sampling or observing the conditions on the water, but generally, I have to experiment with fishing different flies just like everyone else does until I figure out what the trout want. However, the key to my consistent success is treating my two-fly rig like it’s a buffet of food choices for the trout, and always fishing flies that imitate different types of food sources that the trout forage on. This increases the chances that the trout will like one of the food imitations in my rig and I’ll catch fish.

To make things easier for me, I categorize my nymphs into four different categories: Big flies, small flies, bright colored flies and natural colored flies. When I start out my day on the water, I begin rigging my two-fly rig with combinations of these.

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Saturday Shoutout / African Tigers

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It’s hard to imagine anything more exciting than chasing tiger fish in the wilds of Africa.

Just the wild beauty of the place and the remoteness of the rivers is enough to be excited about. Add to that an aggressive apex predator eager to crush a fly and it’s a bucket list trip for sure. Of course, if you’re Jaco Lucas of Captain Jack Productions, it’s just another epic day on the water.

Check out this trailer for Jako’s new film “The African Tiger” and check out the full film at this year’s F3T Film Festival.

Enjoy, “The African Tiger”

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Bruce Chard’s Double Haul Drill

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3 Great Videos!

Today begins a special five part video tutorial on building blinding line speed. Line speed is the most important component in successful salt water fly fishing. There’s plenty of finesse involved but line speed is the cost of admission. If you can’t build the speed you need, you can’t catch the fish you want.

My good friend Bruce Chard is a certified master casting instructor and a truly inspiring caster. The first time, hell the first hundred times, I saw Bruce unload my jaw dropped. It’s humbling to watch what this guy can do with a fly rod. Bruce has a rare blend of skills. The technical know how of an engineer and the physical prowess of an athlete. With that in mind I asked him to help me create a set of videos that can take you from beginner to rock star. We’re calling it the Ultimate Line Speed Series. There’s a lot to cover but we’re starting here with everything you need to know about line speed.

We’re going to start slow, with the double haul. The basic building block of a dynamic cast. By day five we will be into some seriously advanced technique that is going to take serious practice. Follow along and in between videos practice what you learn and at the end of two weeks your going to be a lot better caster.

So to start, put down that fly rod

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Don’t Cut Corners With The Spey Rod

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Rounding the corner is one of the most common problems in Spey casting.

Anglers who are learning to spey cast will often rush the casting stroke. They will start forward with the rod without finishing their sweep. By rounding the corner at the end of the sweep they introduce a curve into their casting stroke and, of course, into their cast. The result is that the line does not land straight, which makes getting a good swing much harder. When spey casting, straight is better than long.

The solution to this problem can be hard to visualize. Since rounding the corner happens behind the caster, it’s hard to see what’s going on and focusing your mental energy on something you can’t see is challenging. Fortunately, there is a simple visual cue right out in front of you. The butt of the rod.

When casting you can simply point the butt of the rod at your target before coming forward with the casting stroke. By doing this, you insure that your rod is lined up for a nice straight casting stroke before you apply power to the cast.

This way your line will

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Nymph Fishing, There’s Nothing Wrong With It

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By Kent Klewein

It seems like every where I look, I see blog posts all over the place chastising and bad mouthing nymph fishing.

I hear comments claiming nymph fishing is nothing more than mindless fly fishing. That watching indicators floating down the river all day is boring. So let me ask you this, does it make since to instead fish a dry fly if your chances of catching fish are slim to none? To me, that’s what’s boring and ridiculous. My objective on the water is always to decipher what the fish are predominantly feeding on, and then fish the appropriate rig and fly that allows me to imitate it to my best ability. Whether or not the fly pattern is a wet or dry fly has no bearing to me at all. All that matters is that it’s the right choice for the moment. To frown upon nymph fishing and purposely avoid it, even when it’s obvious it’s an anglers best bet for success, is like a golfer choosing to putt with a driver instead of a putter. It will work but it’s obviously not the best gear choice.

We don’t go through life purposely choosing to take the most difficult path in the off chance we’ll find success. Just as in fly fishing, it doesn’t make any sense to fish one method of fly fishing over another just because it feels more pleasing to the soul. I can stomach doing it every now and then, but to ignore fish behavior and throw away my adaptive fishing tactics, just because I dislike nymph fishing or any other method, seems to go against all the teachings that our fly fishing pioneers have worked so hard to pass down to all of us.

It doesn’t matter what type of fly pattern your fishing, whether it sinks or floats, they are all

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Orvis Recon 10ft 3wt Review

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By Justin Pickett

I never leave the house without a ten-foot rod.

Big water. Small streams. No matter the size of the water, I have found that a versatile ten-footer can serve me well in a multitude of situations when fishing for trout. This past year Orvis developed their own nymphing rod. Built from the ground, the newest edition to the Recon family was made for the angler that demanded a versatile rod that excelled in euro-style nymphing techniques. Enter the Recon 10ft 3wt. And for the past several months, this rod has been hitting the water with me everywhere I go.

What It Is

The Orvis Recon 10ft 3wt is the only stick of its kind in the Recon family of rods. While the ten-footer wears the same coat of grey paint and trimmings, this Recon’s taper and action is completely different from any other rod wearing the Orvis name. The rod is finished with a reverse wells grip and fighting butt, a burl wood reel seat, and black nickel snake guides that line the four-piece blank. I love having fighting butts on my nymphing rods. For me, it provides me with a great anchor point while fighting larger fish. The rod comes with a divided rod sock inside of an aluminum rod tube with Recon graphics and is backed by a twenty-five year warranty.


Setup –

Reel – Orvis Hydros SL III

Line- Airflo SLN Euro Nymph fly

Backing – 150 yds of 20# Dacron

Leader – Custom hand-tied leader/Appalachian Furled Leaders Euro Hybrid

Weight and balance

I’ve mentioned in prior writings that having a light rod that is well-balanced with your reel is super important. Fly rods are getting lighter. Even with the longer rods, weight is becoming less and less of a concern when comparing rods at the shop. This rod is super light, and, at the time of this writing, is still the lightest ten-foot rod on the market. At only

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Surviving The Worst In Cold Weather

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With brutal cold weather pounding much of the trout water in the US, it’s worth taking a minute to think about safety.

Living in the south, life threatening cold weather conditions are not often a concern, but even here in Georgia, you can find yourself in trouble very quickly. In fact, the most dangerous situations are the ones you didn’t expect to go badly, and didn’t prepare. Something as simple as a stone rolling under foot can turn a pleasant winter outing into a survival situation. Some years ago I found myself in exactly that situation.

Fishing a fairly remote spot along the Appalachian Trail one winter, I took a fall and injured my knee. It was bad enough that I couldn’t walk on it. I was miles from the truck and there was no trail. I had about an hour of light. The temperature was about thirty degrees Fahrenheit and falling. I had three options. I could make my way out along the river. It was the longest route and there were some tough crossings. I could hike over a couple of ridges. A shorter route but I was not sure I could find my way, even in the light. Lastly, I could spend the night out in the cold without the first piece of survival gear.

I made a crutch from a forked tree limb and decided to make my way along the river. I fell a couple of more times but I did finally make it to the truck about ten that night. It was the first time I found myself in that kind of spot and it changed the way I thought about planing a fishing trip. I made some good decisions that day, and maybe some bad ones, but I took the time to learn a bit about surviving in cold weather and I recommend that everyone who fishes do the same.

I am a southerner, which makes me apprehensive about giving advice on cold weather. As our best trout fishing is in the winter, I do spend a lot of cold days on the river and I’m not a survival expert but I do take some common sense precautions. With that in mind, here are some tips on staying safe while fishing in cold weather.

Tips for fishing safety in cold weather.

Be prepared

By far the best way to survive a dangerous situation is not to find yourself in one to start with. That means starting with a good plan. You should know what to expect from the weather and be prepared for the worst. Know the area you’re fishing. Know all of your options for getting in and out, both on foot and by vehicle. If for example, you access your spot by driving in on a forest road, it might be smart to

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Sunday Classic / Die With a Human Heart by Jon Tobey

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Today, we are pleased and honored to bring you an amazing work of fly fishing fiction by Jon Tobey of Gointothelight. Jon is an accomplished writer and his story “The Very Cruelest Thing” was a huge hit as a Saturday Shoutout. We knew you wanted more.

Die With a Human Heart


Nathaniel hated re-entry. It was the same endless elevator free-fall feeling he had when they pulled him off the bottom. It was the last thing he remembered before he died, lungs crushed to the size of fists. He longed for the clean pure air of a high meadow won after a long hike. The trees lit up with alpenglow as soft and bright as an artist’s brush. The patient, patient trout waiting through the decades to rise to a well-presented fly. For one moment to be bound together – these living things in a bouyant dance, and to hold one in his hand as hydraulically perfect and functionally timeless as the monstrosity in his chest.
The red rocket came down fins first, lowering itself on a pillar of flame. It was the most stupendous thing Izaak had ever seen. Rockets left every day, but only a few came back every year. He held his mother’s hand and looked out the window. “Grandfather is here!” Mother looked down at him and smiled her worried smile. It seemed the rocket had barely hit the ground when a ramp opened and a group of rough-looking men tumbled down the ramp. A few went off alone or with other men, but most looked around expectantly. Izaak let go of his mother’s hand and raced out the door. “Be careful, no running!”
Nathaniel recognized his grandson from the ever-rarer vid chats, but was flummoxed when the boy ran up and threw himself at him, not having touched another human in what, thirty years? When he saw Clare across the apron, shimmering in the heat, a vision of her mother, he wrapped his arms around the boy and lifted him off the ground, dropping his bag.
“You look so much like your mother,” he said when she walked up.
“Space will do that to you,” she replied. They looked at each other and he smiled. He knew what it was like to be bursting to say the right thing and say the wrong. It conveyed so much more information.
He held out his hand to the man to her left, “Daniel.” Of course he’d “met” him on chat, but this was the first he’d personally met the man who married his girl, the father of his grandchild.
“Nathaniel.” Nathaniel found Daniel’s grip offensively limp. “It’s so good to meet you.”
“Do you want to go fishing? I’ve been practicing, I have just the spot. I know everything: how to pick a fly and tie it on and cast and spot the fish and everything.” Izaak seemed to speak without breathing.
“Aren’t you tired, Nathaniel?” asked Clare. He would have preferred “dad,” or even “father.”
“Hell, no.” His eyes were still on Clare’s. “I’ve been sleeping for three months, and dreaming about fishing the whole time. You coming, Daniel?”
Daniel looked a little lost. “Um, well, not much of a fisherman, and besides,

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Saturday Shoutout / Galloup’s Silk Kitty

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This video with Kelly Galloup is so much more than a tying video.

One of the things I enjoy about Kelly Galloup is that he pretty much doesn’t care what other folks do. It makes him an interesting dude and a great angler. Here’s a video that makes that point in spades. You don’t see a lot of 58 minute tying videos. That’s a long time to watch a guy tie a fly, but when it’s Kelly, it’s worth your time. This video is packed with great tips on fly tying and design. I promise it’s a better use of your time than anything on television.


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The Speed Knot

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Little things make a difference.
When you watch a really good fisherman you notice a lot of those little things, the details that add up to kicking ass on the water. My friend Will Sands is like that. One of those super technical fisherman who has thought through the smallest details.

I’ve always liked the way Will ties a clinch knot. The first time I saw him do it, it was so fast it looked like magic. In a day of fishing to picky trout where you change flies a lot I wouldn’t be surprises if it added up to an extra thirty minutes of fishing, and Will can catch a lot of fish in thirty minutes.

Will slows it down for you in this video.

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