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Tactics and Techniques

Fly fishing Utah
Tactics and Techniques

How to Get the Most From Your Time on the Water

“I’d say just time on the water. You have to put in the time, if you want to get better.” “I think it was when I started spending a lot more time on the water that I really began to improve.” “Time on the water is the most important thing. You have to put in the time” Time on the water.  We’ve all heard it at this point.  So many anglers attribute this single factor as the most important step towards improvement on their fly fishing journey.   I’ve come to believe that making significant strides in our fly fishing abilities is not that far out of reach if we do what we can to make the most of our time on the water.
Brown Trout while nymphing
Tactics and Techniques

A Dozen Techniques For Getting Your Flies Down While Nymphing

Getting your flies down is a requirement if you want to catch trout while nymphing.  It’s just the way it is.  I cringe when I think of all the hours I’ve spent with flies in the water and very little chance of catching trout because I didn't understand this concept.  This article is an attempt to spare you some of those wasted hours, and perhaps introduce some new techniques.  
Sight Fishing - Part 2. Observation
Tactics and Techniques

Sight Fishing – Part 2. Observation

Is there a fish in this water?  Will I catch one?  It’s these questions that bring hope and wonder to the process of fishing.  Sight fishing changes things.  We see a fish, cast to it, and because we have eliminated the one giant variable that we are constantly dealing with when fishing, we expect to catch the fish we see.  Or at least our frustrations peak when we don't.  It's called sight fishing for a reason, but the observation has just begun once we find the fish we’ll cast to, and there’s wonder in hope in that as well.    
Fly fishing gear
Tactics and Techniques

How to Avoid Forgetting Your Fly Fishing Gear.

It’s not likely any of us will escape our fly fishing journey without arriving at the river having forgotten something.  It’s more likely that, if you are reading this, you already know the pain.  If not, remember there are those who have and those who will.  Sometimes it's no big deal.  Forgot our water bottle?  Fish thirsty.  A box of dry flies?  Fish nymphs.  Raincoat?  Fish wet.  But some items cannot be fished through.  Some things are deal breakers.  I’ll admit it’s been more than once I have reached a trout stream without a critical piece of gear.  It was after one of these exceptionally deflating days that I finally decided enough was enough.  I  committed to solving the problem in the only way I knew how.  Applying mental checklists in the way I did during my time flying fighters for the Air Force.
Tactics and Techniques

Tips for Unsnagging Your Flies.

How much time on the water are we wasting being snagged?  It may happen less frequently as our casting, accuracy, and most importantly, our situational awareness improves, but if we are fishing fearlessly to the parts of the river that trout love to inhabit, we are bound to encounter sticks, rocks, grasses and branches.  The answer is not to fish more cautiously. We need to cast to the tight spots and ensure our nymphs are getting deep enough if we want our flies to have a chance of catching fish.  Improving our casting accuracy and building awareness on the river can help limit how often we get snagged, but it cannot eliminate it. Learning how to unsnag our flies as efficiently as possible is required if we are to continue to progress as fly fishers.  
Tactics and Techniques

Three Tactics for Fishing Hard to Reach Cutbanks.

The cutbank of a river is a storied location in the realm of fly fishing.  Flies are broken off on gnarled root balls, thick grasses, and precarious branches.  Anglers are often left stumbling, slipping, and snagged.  The evidence of their efforts can be seen in the tangled tippet and lost flies that look back at those of us who imagine brute-like brown trout lurking in the tight close seams below a hard to reach cutbank. Particularly difficult to reach cutbanks may seem like more trouble than they are worth but armed with some tactics for penetrating these tight spots, cutbanks can bring many a memorable trout to the net.  Here are three I use when the opportunity presents itself.