Editor’s note: The following is excerpted from TU’s book, “Trout Tips,” available online for overnight delivery.

Whether I’m fishing for striped bass in Massachusetts or trout in New Hampshire, my habit has been to choose a reliable fly pattern and stick with it. When not catching fish, I focus on presentation first and the fly last.

On Alaska’s Kenai River, a guide articulated the same philosophy almost as dogma: only after lengthening or shortening the leader, adding or subtracting split shot, or moving a strike indicator does he ever change the fly. The pattern may matter, he said, but the presentation always matters.

Dave Cohen, Gloucester, Mass.

By Chris Hunt.