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Fly Fishing Tip of the Day – Wind Knots and Cracks

wind knots

One of the things you will learn about steelhead fly fishing is that sometimes you can put in a lot of time for one shot at a fish.  That one pull that you put in 40 hours for.  You will likely be logging a lot of time and effort until you get that next hookup.

I want you to be ready and have the best chance to hook, play and land that stealthy hard hitting steelhead.

Fly Fishing Tip of the Day – Try Smaller Fly Patterns

fly patterns

fly patterns

Have you ever been on the river when one person was hammering the fish and all others were picking their nose?  The dude seemed to hook up 3 or 4 times for every touch you had.  Probably wondering what fly pattern he was using, right?

9 Fly Casting Tips for Increased Distance

casting tips

fly casting

Can you learn how to fly cast online?  Can fly casting videos help you to shoot more line out?   You bet on both occasions!   Is it better to have someone in person with you? To have your own teacher and/or mentor? Yes and Yes!

Fly Fishing Tip of the Day – Quit False Casting

false casting

fly fisherman

Do you remember the greatest fly fishing movie of all time?  Yeah, I’m sure you do – A River…….., well you know the rest.  If not, watch the video clip below.  Remember that seen where Norman is false casting away – something about enticing a fish to rise.

Well, that’s not reality.  In realtiy or in steelhead fly fishing reality you should try to minimize your false casts.  There are a number of good reasons to do this.   Two of the biggest are that you can increase the time your fly is on the water and decrease the total amount of casts in a day – keeping you from getting tired.

“A fish of a 1000 casts.”  There’s no question of the truth to that quote.

I’m really talking about single hand rods here, although it could apply to two handed rods in some situations.  How do you minimize false casts?  First, let’s talk about how many false casts you need.  0, 1, or 2 should be the goal.  This is a goal that I want you to tuck into the bank.  Where are you at now?  Do you need to develop skills to decrease the needed false casts?

It will be important to learn how to do a double haul eventually to increase line speed and decrease needed false casts.  Take a look at the double haul link above for a introdcution to the double haul.  Just remember that we want to shoot for 2 false casts or less.


Doing too many false casts will make you tired, decrease the time your fly is on the water and the amount of fish you hook.  Set a goal to only do 2 false casts or less.   Watch the double haul video to get a feel for this cast.  Then get out in your backyard or in the water so you can start practicing.


Tip of the Day – Tape Your Spey Rod

spey rod

spey rod

One nice tip to save you the potential pain of breaking your spey rod, is using electrical tape around the ferrules.  Pretty simple way to assure your sections don’t separate.  Why tape?

As opposed to single handed rod casting, which is a pretty straight back and forth type of motion, with spey casting, there’ a lot of side to side twisting and turning.  There is more of a tendency for your ferrules to loosen up with a spey rod.

Sharpen Your Hook and Catch More Fish

sharpen your hook

sharpen your hook

Do you sharpen your hook on a regular basis?   A fish’s mouth is hard and tough.  Although steelhead often hit like a freight train, they can also take super subtly.  Just as light as a tip-tap is sometimes all you feel.  Take a look at Tip #1 here for clarification.

A sharp hook can mean the difference between just getting a light touch or getting a solid hook up with a fish.

Tying a Black Wooly Bugger – Video

wooly bugger
wooly bugger
Black Wooly Bugger

The wooly bugger is one of the easiest and most effective flies to tie for a vast number of fish species.  I demonstrate how to tie a wooly bugger and provide a few tips on general tying instruction.  Watch the video to see how the wooly bugger is tied.

Fly Fishing Tip of the Day – The Shock Loop

shock loop



The power of the take of a steelhead is, well…… Powerful.  It can really blow you away if you aren’t ready.  Hell, it can really blow you away if you are ready.  I’ve talked about a few techniques already that will help you hook and land more fish –  see the Open Clinch Knot and Bow to the fish.

The shock loop is another effective technique to help you hook and land more fish.  The shock look gives you a little cushion when a fish hammers your fly.

Fly Fishing Terminology and Lingo – Tip #5 Will Hook More Steelhead

fly fishing terminology

pocket water

“Hey (in a super quiet voice)…… I think I just had a TIP.” I make sure to not move a step and put the same exact cast back on the fish. It swings slowly across the river and then……. another TAP. “shhhhhit! I just had a tap”, as I quietly mention to my buddy fishing 100 meters downstream.

Again – staying in the same spot, I put the same cast back on the fish…….. “wow, there was a solid grab”, said in a little louder voice this time.  My buddy is now more focused on me than on his run.

Fly Fishing Tip of the Day – The Open Clinch Knot

open clinch knot

open clinch knot

The open clinch knot has probably helped me hook more fish than any other knot.  Super simple to tie and strong, the open clinch knot does two big things – It gives your fly more action and keeps your fly from getting tangled up.

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