Over my years in fly tying, I have been lucky enough to test nearly all fly tying bobbins. There are so many different varieties and styles of bobbins on the market today, it amazes me that fly tiers can actually find what they need. From cheap to expensive, automatic to manual tensioning; bobbins have come a long way. What do you actually need in a bobbin to tie flies? Below are the basics that you should look for when purchasing a bobbin. When shopping for fly tying bobbins, one of the first considerations is buying a tool that fits standard-sized…
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The southern shore of Lake Erie that stretches across portions of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, known by many anglers as Steelhead Alley, provides an exceptional opportunity to fish for quality-sized steelhead. When the water is low, anglers can find success using smaller flies and lighter fluorocarbon tippet. The best condition for taking these fish are good flows with a hint of color.  Sadly, this is often the exception rather than the rule.  The watersheds are fairly short, often shale bottomed, and drain off quickly following periods of rain and snow melt. Since these conditions exist so often throughout the…
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Just as the broadhead is the most important item in the bowhunter’s tool kit, the hook is what gets it done for anglers. Like all tools, you need the right fly fishing hook for the job. That’s because a fly is most effective when tied on the proper frame. Most times, we’re lucky. The pattern we choose to tie, if published, will suggest the proper hook(s) that can be used. Choose your hook for the task at hand. For instance, this Tiemco 400T Swimming nymph fishing hook is ideal if you want to add animation to your nymph pattern. But…
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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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