hacking fly fishing

Picture of Generic Riffles

Reading Trout Water (Part 1)

Recall the old saying, “10% of the water holds 90% of the fish.” Finding the magic 10% is made easier through understanding the basic structure of a stream.

Kreh Loop Step 3

Forceps Knots – The Kreh Loop

Using forceps to quickly tie a Kreh Loop Knot Since the clinch knot is a direct line-to-fly connection, the line may impart some unnatural motion to the fly. If you prefer having the fly swing independently of the line, use a loop knot. The most natural loop knot to learn and fastest to tie using …

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Filling Fly Box

Matching the Hatch Basics

It probably happened right after you picked out your first fly rod. The fly shop owner or your buddy immediately ushered you to a huge display case of flies; hundreds of them captured and prisoners in tiny compartments with confusing names like Royal Wulff, Chernobyl Ant, Mister Rapidan or Adams. “Don’t worry,” he said as …

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Fly Boxes

Packing Heat! Hot Flies!

Not concealed weapons, but something infinitely more important and precious – hot flies! Just as a pistol requires a unique size holster, different flies require storage containers with specific characteristics as well as an overall organization strategy.

Fly Type Basics (Part 1)

Before I took up fly fishing, I knew about black flies, horse flies, tsetse flies and vaguely remembered nymphs from Greek mythology. Fly fishing flies? Well, here is part 1 of the basics.

Fishing bike build

Fishing Bike Build – For Beach or Trail

With hard packed sand at low tide making it easy for a beach bike ride, I did a beach bike build to move quickly with my bike fishing rod carrier and accessories. I use a milk crate on a bike fishing rack with saddlebags for my bike fishing bag.

Frogs Fanny Floatant

All about Floatants for Fly Fishing

Floatant? Trout feed below the surface 80% of the time and that statistic should push the rational trout angler to fish exclusively with nymphs to catch more fish. However, the excitement of a trout slurping a dry fly on the surface is compelling and is the visual pot of gold at a rainbow ending in a sparkling pool high in the mountains.

Split shot on tippet

Solving Slipping Shot on Tippet (Part 2)

As hard it is for a new fly angler to achieve the perfect cast to the right position and manage the movement of the fly through the sweet spot with a drag free drift, nothing will make you want to scream at the sky more than seeing that all the shot slipped down the tippet to nestle up against your fly and ruined the entire presentation.

Stack of tippet spools

Tips on Tippet

As a fly angler, you’ve already learned what tippet is. You know, it’s the stuff that breaks when you have a beautiful fish on. Thankfully, once you learn the ins and outs of matching the right type and size to your conditions, you will lose fewer fish.

Fly lines in pile

Fly Line Basics

Been using the fly line that came with the packaged starter kit you either purchased or were given? Thinking about upgrading? While everyone has an opinion on whether the fly line or the fly rod is the most critical piece of gear to improve on-stream performance, I agree with the fly liners. I believe a …

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Kayak trolling motor setup

Kayak Trolling Motor – PWM Fail!

Using a Pulse Width Modulator (PWM) is an excellent part of a kayak trolling motor setup. I installed one and it failed after a few months – check out what I found.

Picture of display case of indicators

All About “Bobbers” (Indicators)

Bobbers? Yes, that’s what a normal person would call an “indicator.” Indicator is the fancy term fly anglers use to discuss the appliance that floats on top of the water… yeah… bobber. Unlike for bait fishing, fly angling has many different types. Here’s the rundown.

Tenkara Tips

A cane pole? Hardly! If you fish small mountain streams, stuffing a Tenkara rod into your backpack instantly levels the playing field and puts the new fly guy on equal footing with the most experienced fly angler.

Pick the Right Fly Fishing Reel

Considering the rod, line, and reel, the reel is the least important part of your fly-fishing outfit. Right? A good rod provides power to punch out a well-executed cast facilitated by a smooth, supple matched line. All the reel does is hold the line. Not so fast! While you may not need some elements of …

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Spring Fishing Tips

By Loyal Brezny of The Hunting Mark Nine Things an Angler Needs To Know. When the fishing season starts in the spring (and I say this because opening dates can vary quite a bit from state to state), there are some things you need to know that are unique to this time of year. During …

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Casting on a Tight Stream

Why do fish always shelter in the most challenging spot to cast to? Apparently, they do it to make our life as anglers miserable as opposed to their need to stay alive! The first problem is trying to cast with tight, overhanging cover preventing the normal casting motion. The second is when your casting arm …

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Hatch Chart 101

Typically, experts develop hatch charts through years of observation, and different people may see different things based on when they are on the stream; resulting in small differences.

3 Quick Fly Fishing Tips

Here’s a collection of tips that don’t fit into any category and will make your journey into the sport of fly fishing more straightforward – a few lessons from my personal school of hard knocks.

Fly Fishing Vest Selection

Fly anglers are easy marks for every widget and gadget any expert claims will be the difference between catching enough fish to make their arms sore or being skunked. It’s easy to see who has fallen victim to the siren song – their fly fishing vests are so overloaded they look like a Sherpa hauling gear for an expedition. As always in these articles, let’s get back to basics.

Selecting Waders

Anglers have many choices since manufacturers produce waders from rubber, canvas, PVC coated nylon, neoprene and breathable material. Of these, most trout anglers use neoprene or breathable. Rubber, canvas, and PVC coated nylon are durable, but also stiff, horribly hot and damp as the sweat from normal streamside exertion turn them into a mobile steam bath

Wading Boots Basics

We can be successful fly fishing with rods and reels ranging from a $25 Walmart starter kit to a $1,000+ custom setup, but neither will ever see a fish unless we can walk to the stream, and, once there, safely negotiate the challenges of the streambed.

Fly Fishing – Dress for Success

No, this is not about haute couture. No need to eyeball models in boots and waders clumping down a runway in Paris or Milan to see what is in style. A Kardashian might care about fashion; new anglers with limited budgets must pay closer attention to function when purchasing the first set of boots, waders, and vest.

Fly Rod Bass Rig

Frustrated yet? It’s the tail end of summer. All the experts warn about fishing the small mountain trout streams that have probably warmed to the threshold of terminal stress for the sensitive brookies. “Fish someplace else,” they say. Where? For most of us, “someplace else” means the stocked trout water that is also terminally warm – nothing there but… bass!

Dollar Store Fly Hacks!

In my endless effort to find ways to avoid costs in what can be an expensive sport, I wandered through the Dollar Tree (aka “Dollar Store”) looking for bargains and found some! The Dollar Tree, as opposed to Family Dollar, prices everything at a buck. To find fishing gear, turn your brain sideways while looking cross-eyed at the products on the shelf and voila! Savings!

Stocked Trout Strategies

Stockers have been driving fisheries professionals insane for years with their central questions being the same as ours, “What happened to all the fish? Were they caught? Did they die? Did they leave?” Understanding the answers is crucial to their mission to provide a good angling experience that, in turn, stimulates license sales supporting hatchery programs.

New Fly Guy – Pin Trick

Anyone else out there bugged by hooks with plugged holes from sloppy tying?  I am. Over the last several years, I was frustrated trying to clean these up using the available tools – clipper end and even the Orvis forceps.  I finally hit on sewing needles and pins as an easier to use alternative. Not …

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New Fly Guy – The Davy Knot

The Davy Knot (created by Dave Wotton) is amazingly simple to tie.  Follow this link to the instructions. It is much easier to tie than a clinch or improved clinch I normally tie using my forceps. Now…. the website with the instructions claims that the knot retains almost 100% of breaking strength based on the fact that …

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New Fly Guy – Easy Droppers

As I rapidly approach 60 years old, I have to put pride aside and admit my eyeballs are not as precise as they used to be. The immediate problem this presents for fly fishing is the ability to thread a barely visible tippet through the invisible hole that exists on teeny tiny size 20 and …

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