Having had the chance to test St. Croix’s Legend X fly rod in a variety of venues during the past several months, I can say it’s one sleek fly rod.  If it had four wheels it would be a muscle car, yet one quite comfortable running down to the corner market to pick up the fixings for the day’s streamside fishing lunch. The Legend X is designed for targeting larger predatory fish – bass, muskies, northerns – big fish that often require the use of beefier, wind-resistant flies.  It’s a nine-footer that’s offered in four models, ones meant to throw…
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This autumn, your favorite trout fishing river may be faster and higher due to heavy rains. While fly fishing and wading may be difficult, you can always try swinging streamers. Swinging a fly streamer is one of the easiest, most intuitive and effective ways of catching trout I know. Essentially, you cast slightly upstream, mend the line as required, and let the flow take the streamer until it swings in the current below you. At the end or during the swing, you can add life to the streamer by twitching a rod tip or raising and lowering it here and…
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While aquatic insects such as mayflies get most of the attention in trout fishing literature, today terrestrial insects (those living on land) are becoming more important in the diet of trout. They jump, fall, get blown in by wind or washed in by rain and are greedily gobbled up by waiting brook, brown and rainbow trout. Tip: Catch a few of the terrestrial insects along the stream or river’s edge and pick a pattern from your fly boxes that most closely duplicates the naturals. In a past blog we looked at ants as a staple for trout fishing . Now let’s…
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I don’t know what your weather has been, but in much of the northeast part of the country the soon-to-be-departed summer was exceptionally wet and relatively cool.  Which is good news for trout anglers.  These conditions are easy on wild trout and also provide extra sport for stocked trout. Cool, wet summer weather in the northeast has given trout anglers great opportunities to catch wild and stocked trout this fall. Concerning the later, it was with this in mind when I visited the special regulations section of a stream a few minutes from my west-central Pennsylvania home.  The creek is…
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I've got an embarrassing confession to make: I lost what could have been the best smallmouth bass I ever caught on a fly early this season because my tippet knot failed. Obviously, I can't tell you exact size of the fish, but I can honestly say that it was on the other side of 6 pounds. I know this, because it was within a rod's length of the boat when the knot failed and I've caught enough 5 pounders to know the difference. About two weeks ago, the same thing happened to a friend of mine after he hooked into…
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After catching a smattering of six- to eight-inch wild brown trout, the sixteen incher looked like a salmon when it came out from behind a submerged tree trunk and inhaled the nymph.  A second later the seven-foot fiberglass fly rod was bent in a deep bend, one that could be felt the whole way into the handle. Fberglass fly rods load slower, requiring the angler to slow down his or her casting stroke, i.e. you feel them "work." Fiberglass fly rods – like Redington’s Butter Stick – are experiencing a significant resurgence during the last few years.  I suppose part…
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A recent trip to the Grand River in Ontario confirmed what I should have taken as an article of faith — it's hopper time. Hopper pattern flies are a must for summertime trout. Unfortunately, this occurred to me too late, after witnessing a brown trout that had to be somewhere north of 20 inches, clear the water in a violent, slashing rise. Two things were unusual about this. First, it was a ridiculously hot day, which is why we had just spent all our time achieving a mediocre level of success by dragging tiny nymphs though a deep shaded pool and…
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Every now and then I get the urge to catch a mess of panfish for a fish fry. Where I live that generally means rock bass, which are in abundance. In fact, they’re common enough to be considered a nuisance fish on most lakes around here. A trick to keep catching larger panfish if your catching runts is to keep moving to find a larger school of specimens. I’d be lying if I told you there was a lot of skill in catching them. They’re plentiful, overly aggressive and will happily take woolly buggers or any other reasonable impersonation of…
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This past weekend I embarked on one of my favorite activities: fishing an unfamiliar stream for wild trout. And when there I made sure I was armed with a box full of great summertime flies, terrestrial patterns. A few days earlier I'd had a conversation with the district fisheries biologist. The gist of our conversation was how great it is to see streams that had suffered from pollution, which in most cases around these parts is acid mine drainage, come back to life to become wild trout streams. He mentioned a particular creek and how his agency had sampled it…
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Jeff Blood with a steelhead caught on an egg-imitating fly.   Though they lack the glamour of a dry fly and the rich tradition of a wet fly or nymph, egg-imitating flies are one of a fly fisher's most productive offerings. While the three trout species of which I am most familiar — browns, brooks and rainbows — make good use of eggs at various times over the course of the year, it's the latter that seems especially susceptible to egg patterns. Take for instance a late season steelhead trip I made last month on a Lake Erie tributary. Typically the…
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