Fly tying: Clipping, cleaning and stacking hair

One of the toughest fly-tying skills for new tiers is using the hair-stacker that comes with the beginner tying kit to actually stack hair for flies like elk-hair caddis, stonefly patterns, Stimulators and the like. I know when I first tried it, I ended up with quite a mess—nothing like the instructional video promised. Video … Read more

Trout Tips: Go different

Sometimes, picky fish will take something big and ugly. Something … different. Editor’s note: The following is exerpted from TU’s new book, “Trout Tips,” available now for overnight delivery. You probably know this, becuase it’s hardly a secret, but don’t get hung up on popular or traditional patterns. Sometimes, even on super-tough, technical water, fish … Read more

Fly tying: The Cream Variant

As Tim Flagler notes in the video below, the Cream Variant is “an oldie, but a goodie.” Indeed, I remember seeing this pattern for the first time as a child—it is the epitome of delicate fly fishing, and I remember thinking that all flies used for fishing should be this beautiful. Video of Cream Variant … Read more

Trout Tips: Putting the line through the guides

Editor’s note: The following is exerpted from “Trout Tips,” TU’s new book that can be shipped directly to you, overnight. The problem: When stringing a line on your rod, who hasn’t reached the tip, only to drop the line and then watch it fall all the way down through all of the eyes? The solution: … Read more

Fly tying: The Slumpbuster

The Slumpbuster is a John Barr creation, and it’s intent is exactly as the name implies. It’s big. It’s heavy. It pushes water. It’s the “look at me!” fly that we all search for when things are slow, the action suddenly ceases or under high water when finding fish might be a bit of a … Read more

Fly tying: Mercer’s Missing Link

Stumped. We’ve all been there — thrown everything in our boxes at a handful of rising trout until, one by one, we’ve put them down. Fishing the Snake River with some friends, we watched fish after fish slash at stoneflies and completely ignore our imitations as the cleanly drifted past. We’d tried every stonefly imitation … Read more

Trout Tips: Lessons from the gear guys

Editor’s note: You can own TU’s newest book, “Trout Tips,” and have it delivered overnight. The book is a compilation of tips and tricks from TU staffers and volunteers from all over America. I’m in Duluth, Minn., for the annual Outdoor Writers Association of America conference, and got the opportunity to do some great public … Read more

Fly tying: The Renegade

Years ago, I navigated our old Toyota Landcruiser high into the mountains off the shoulders of Monarch Pass in southern Colorado. The gravel road was a nightmare, even for my seemingly indestructable beast of a vehicle, and I was forced to come a stop when I reached a snowbank even the Landcruiser couldn’t charge through. … Read more

Trout Tips: Lessons from the Firehole

Editor’s note: For great fishing tips and tricks from TU staffers and volunteers all over America, you can buy TU’s new book, “Trout Tips” online and have it shipped overnight. I spent an afternoon last week on the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park. It’s one of the West’s iconic rivers, and it’s also one … Read more

Fly tying: The Flying Squirrel Nymph

I love “mash-up” flies—inventions at the vise that work on trout for no particular reason at all. Just this week, I tried a simple wet fly pattern I “created” at the vise a couple weeks ago for Firehole River trout, and I was rewarded with some of the most aggressive brown trout takes I’d ever … Read more