The Orvis Fly-Fishing Podcast

By Tom Rosenbauer, The Orvis Company

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The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast provides weekly tips from acclaimed fly fishing author and lifelong fly fishing enthusiast, Tom Rosenbauer. Get the most from your time on the water!

Episode Date
Fishing in the Amazon Jungle, with Ross Purnell

[Interview starts at 41:18]

We could all use a little escapism these days, so why not listen to a podcast about adventures in the Amazon?  Fly Fisherman Magazine editor and publisher Ross Purnell, in a pre-Covid recorded interview, will thrill you with his adventures with a fly rod in the Amazon, and you will be shocked at how he celebrated the trip.  Few of us will be traveling to exotic locations this year, and many of us never will, but it is always enlightening to hear about what fishing is like in a different world.
In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and suggestions:
  • Further warnings on UV cure epoxy vapors
  • How do I keep my fly tying organized in a small apartment with a wife, dog, and cat?
  • Can I use steelhead swinging techniques for skating a caddis when trout fishing?
  • How do I learn Euro nymphing?
  • How can I find and catch bigger trout than the 12-inchers I usually catch?
  • Are there any advanced courses to improve my skills in fly fishing?
  • More tips from a fishing guide about how to improve a client's experience
  • Will a very hot car in Texas damage any of my fly-fishing gear?
  • I lose trout when they jump.  What can I do to prevent this?
  • Why didn't you mention Strike Putty in your TV show on using indicators?
  • I caught a trout and got slime on my fly, then the fly didn't work afterward.  Does slime on a fly scare off trout?
Jul 09, 2020
How to Become a Fly-Fishing Guide, with Joe Hebler
[Interview starts at 55:00] 

This week, Joe Hebler of the Blue Quill Angler in Evergreen, Colorado, answers the question "How do I become a fishing guide?"  Whether you are graduating from high school or college, or in another career looking to escape daily stresses and an unsatisfying job, Joe gives a great road map on what steps to take to successfully land a job in this competitive field.  And if you aren't interested in becoming a guide, Joe also gives some great tips on current fishing conditions on Colorado streams.
In the Fly Box this week, we answer some questions, share some tips from a listener, and alert people to a threat on one of Pennsylvania's finest trout streams.
  1.  Should I buy a 4-weight or a 5-weight rod for trout?
  2. Whatever happened to that little barbed thingee that goes into the end of a fly line to attach a leader?
  3.  An alert about a proposal by a meat packing plant to withdraw 700,000 gallons of water a day from the springs that feed the headwaters of Fishing Creek.
  4.  Are wet flies a legitimate strategy when you have trout rising downstream of your position?
  5. How do I get a large trout close to my net if my leader is long?
  6. What could I have done to catch a smallmouth bass in deep, clear, swirly water?
  7.  What mouse pattern is best and how should I fish it?
  8.  A great list of tips on why starting out in a small stream will build your skills for fishing tougher, more technical waters later.
  9.  My father wants to remove the brush along our stream to make it easier to cast and for my kids to splash in the river.  Should I try to talk him out of it?
  10. What is the best way to remove wind knots from my leader?
  11. A listener asks me about my top 3 places to fish
  12. I foul hooked a brook trout in the belly but it was only a flseh wound.  Do you think the fish will survive?
  13. Should I match my leader length to my rod length?
Jun 26, 2020
Culture and Commerce: The Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout of New Mexico
[Interview starts at 37:18]
This week, the podcast is about native trout, specifically the Rio Grande cutthroat of New Mexico.  It's the story of two communities, one a small New Mexico town and the other the Taos Pueblo tribe, told by Toner Mitchell of Trout Unlimited, and Talisa Puentes Ortega, a biologist who worked on the project with the Taos Pueblo.
In the Fly Box this week, we have lots of questions, as usual, including:
  • Can I use Dragon Tails for trout spey?
  • Can I use scaled down versions of classic salmon and steelhead for trout?
  • Can I fix a cut in my 5-weight line?
  • Do you ever wish you could go back in time and fish a particular river?
  • Why do people often recommend different flies for tailwaters as opposed to freestone rivers?
  • How should I rinse my Clearwater reel after fishing in salt water?
  • Do creek chubs in a river indicate the absence of trout?
  • Should I boil my leaders to straighten them?
  • My buddy and I caught nice bass on small nymphs while fishing for sunfish.  Is this a fluke?
  • What are your recommendations for wet wading gear?
  • I bought a hen cape and realize it's not good for dry flies.  What can I use it for?
  • What rod should I get for going after carp, smallmouths, steelhead, and Pacific salmon?
Jun 19, 2020
Saltwater tips from the San Francisco Bay, with Sarah Landstrom
[Interview starts at 45:51]

This week's podcast was recorded prior to Covid 19 but I sat on it for awhile because it was about saltwater fly fishing in the San Francisco Bay area and I wanted to wait until sheltering at home restrictions were eased a bit and people could get out to try these ideas.  Sarah Landstrom of Lost Coast Outfitters regularly leads trips for this accessible and interesting urban fishing, and she has some great tips, and even suggestions for locations to try.
In the Fly Box this week, we have a number of interesting questions--plus a great e-mail from a listener on how he successfully uses two-handed rods for nymphing in Alaska.  Some of the questions this week are:
  • Do you think planning a trip with a guide will help me learn new skills?
  • What is the best way to go about asking for permission to fish on private land?
  • I don't have much time to fish.  How can I streamline things and become more efficient so I don't spend all my time rigging and tying knots?
  • Do you think a surgeon's knot is visible to fish?
  • Where on my leader do I put my indicator?
  • Why can I hook trout on dry flies?
  • What locations, flies, and weather conditions are best for night fishing?
  • Should I use mothballs in my fly tying materials?
  • Should I microwave my fly-tying materials?
Jun 05, 2020
Backcast Episode: Planning your Strategy on the River, with Devin Olsen

This week I interview Devin Olsen, who you may know about from competitive fly fishing, but we’re not going to talk about competition. Devin walks us through what to look for when you first approach a stream and how to come up with a strategy for a day of fishing. His new book Tactical Fly Fishing is now available but we get a sneak peak on what you’ll learn from his book. In the Fly Box this week, we talk about: Moving kids from a spinning rod to a switch rod How to deal with muddy and bloody feathers from a duck-hunting friend How to display fly rods in your house If my jig hooks bend when I get stuck in a snag, should I just bend them back and re-use them? If a 5-weight is considered an all-around rod in graphite, is it the same for fiberglass rods? What is the difference between hen necks and hen capes? A great suggestion for carrying a landing net on a plane Do catastrophic floods ruin trout fishing and the insect life? What length and line size do you recommend for both smallmouth bass and steelhead? Can I catch catfish with a fly rod? How should I organize my bonefish fly boxes? Which grain weight in the Depth Charge lines is best for surf fishing?

May 29, 2020
Indicator Fishing Secrets from a Montana Guide, with Peter Bring
This week I have an interview [starts at 39:52] that was recorded pre-Covid with Peter Bring, long-time Montana guide for Blackfoot River outfitters in Missoula.  I always learn new things form every guide I fish with, but I thought Peter had some especially helpful tips on fishing with indicators and dry droppers.  Being on the water every day and expected to produce fish in any condition, guides develop efficient, fun, and easy ways to catch fish and have polished their techniques through thousands of hours of helping other anglers become successful.
In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions
  • Has anyone ever caught two fish at once on a two-fly rig?
  • Can I use dog hair to tie flies?
  • I want to chase redfish, pike, steelhead, Pacific salmon, and muskie.  Will an 8-weight rod handle all those species?
  • Can I use the 10-foot sinking Salmon poly leader for trout?  Can I cast it on a 6-weight?
  • What can I tie with hen saddle patches?
  • What switch rod would you recommend for striped bass fishing in the surf?
  • What is the weight relationship between non-toxic wire and lead wire?
  • I live in Switzerland.  What should I expect regarding European fly hatches?
  • I keep losing big trout when they run downstream.  Do you have any suggestions on how I can land more of them?
  • A great tip on joining Trout Unlimited's Citizen Science Initiative
  • Can I use a popper/dropper rig for bass?
May 13, 2020
Talking Salmon (and other fish) with Mark Kurlansky

[Interview starts at 38:46]

This week I have the pleasure of interviewing one of my very favorite non-fiction writers, Mark Kurlansky.  Author of such award-winning books as Cod, Salt, Paper, 1968, and A Continent of Islands, Mark is a tireless journalist who digs into the very essence of anything he does.  His new book, Salmon, is his first book that involves sport fishing as well as the natural and economic history of both Atlantic and Pacific salmon. (And he has a book on fly fishing coming out next April).
In the Fly Box this week, we have the following tips and questions:
  • Should I use a cauterizing pen to clean material out of the eyes of my flies?
  • A host of solid tips for the novice Spey caster from a listener
  • What makes a good skater fly, and how do you fish them?
  • Why don't more people use the drop-shot method when fishing nymphs?
  • How do you attach a dropper to a Euro rig with passing the bottom fly through the loop?
  • How can I fish a Euro rig in really tiny streams?
  • Is my 8-weight rod too light for pike fishing?
  • Where should I fish in relation to a tailrace below a dam, and is a Spey rod a good idea?
  • Why did I see a big smallmouth slowly cruising up a small creek?
  • What is the best way to break off a fly when you are snagged?
  • How can I fish plunge pools in a small stream?
  • Does using a UV light when curing epoxy harm your eyes?
Apr 30, 2020
Northern Montana Trout Fishing, with Tim Linehan
[Interview starts at 27:44]
This week I have the pleasure of interviewing perhaps the nicest human being on the planet, Tim Linehan of Linehan Outfitters in Libby, Montana.  I think you'll get a sense of what kind of person he is by listening in.  We talk about how the recent pandemic has affected fishing guides and lodges, but on a more fun note, Tim describes his fishery in northern Montana--the only place in Montana where you can catch a true native rainbow trout (rainbows on famous rivers like the Madison, Bighorn, Missouri, and Gallatin were originally stocked).
In the fly box this week, we have these tips and questions:
  • An easy way to make crab eyes
  • Why don't people use a piece of yarn in between blood knots as a strike indicator?
  • Will a 3-weight switch rod handle streamers for smallmouths?
  • What can I do to protect flies and tying materials?
  • Can I use springbok hair in place of deer hair?
  • Can I fish tungsten nymphs on a sinking line effectively?
  • When do I set the hook when sight-nymphing for trout?
  • How do you re-sharpen fly-tying scissors?
  • If I test my dry flies in water and they tip over on their sides, should I still use them?
  • Some further information on how chemical sharpening of hooks works
Apr 25, 2020
Fishing for Stripers off Long Island, with Sam Sifton
[Interview starts at 37:13]

This week I interview Sam Sifton, former Cooking Editor, now Assistant Managing Editor of The New York Times, and an avid fly-rod striped bass angler.  It's quite a rambling discussion, from striper fishing on Long Island to the current state of striper populations to the writing of Peter Matthiessen.  Along the way, of course we get some fish cooking advice but only for bluefish.  Learn why Sam and I don't eat striped bass (and it's more than just about catch-and-release for the sake of the population).
In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions:
  • Do you have any tips for fishing a very large river?
  • How long do hooks stay sharp, and can I re-sharpen chemically sharpened hooks?
  • Why don't you develop biodegradable hooks?
  • Why am I having problems catching spring trout in Alaska?
  • I was recently fishing a delayed harvest section and caught some smaller, beautifully colored trout.  Do you think they were wild?
  • Why am I developing pains in my wrist when casting my 8-weight?
  • Should I concentrate on getting really good at catching just one species, or should I try for all the species that are available in my area?
  • In a boundary layer between dirty and clean water, where will I find the trout?
  • In your TV show, you recommended a full sinking or depth charge line for bass in deep water.  Can I use a sinking poly leader on my floating line as well?
  • I am having trouble tying off the hackle at the base of the post on my parachute flies like the Klinkhammer.  Can you suggest some tips?
  • Can I get a fly rod that will be good for both steelhead and musky?
Apr 11, 2020
Behind the Scenes with Tom and Crew
[Interview starts at 38:00]
This week I interview Mark Melnyk, host and producer of The New Fly Fisher TV show and the co-producer of The Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing Season 2.  We tell some stories about what it's like filming a show and share some nasty tricks we played on cameramen over the past year.  The Orvis show premieres this week on World Fishing Network, but shows will also premiere for the next 13 weeks every Sunday on The Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing You Tube Channel.  Season 2 will also appear on PBS and on Amazon Prime later in the year, once we have all the shows completed.
In the Fly Box this week, we have a couple good tips from listeners (actually adding information to topics previously discussed on podcasts) including more detail on polarized lenses and why tilting your head helps, and also some additional information on keeping your muscles and joints in shape when fishing.
We also have these questions:
  • Should I wait to buy a first fly rod now, or should I  wait until I can go to an Orvis FF101 class once the stores re-open?
  • What suggestions do you have to help me tie on those size 20 and smaller flies?
  • I need up to 8 false casts to cast 60 feet.  What am I doing wrong?
  • I enjoyed watching you tie a Clouser Minnow.  How should I fish this fly for smallmouth bass in a river?
  • Why is it not OK to trim hackle on dry flies?
  • What data would you add to a streamside journal?
  • Do you think personal hygiene affects the sense of smell of trout?
  • Once I start traveling again I want to try some saltwater species.  Which ones should I target on my trip?
Apr 02, 2020
Keeping Yourself in Shape for Fishing Season, with Anita Coulton
[Interview starts at 36:56]
Sooner or later, if you fish a lot you WILL develop issues with your elbows or shoulders.  And it's not just us old geezers who suffer from these--I often meet much younger anglers with the same problems.  Anita Coulton is both a fishing guide for Crosscurrent Guide Service and a physical therapist, so she is intimately familiar with the issues we face, how to help prevent them, and how to fix them when they occur.  If you have ever had these problems, or if you just want to know how to keep your upper body in shape for fishing I think you'll benefit from the podcast.
In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions and tips:
  • How do I slim down my fly selection for small-stream fishing?
  • What is the best way to fish crayfish patterns?
  • A question about trout feeding times in relation to season and sunlight
  • I want to catch trout but have only been bass fishing.  What fly line should I get?
  • Should I get a 6-weight or 7-weight rod for smallmouth bass?
  • I fish a really snaggy river.  Should I tie all of my favorite nymphs on jig hooks?
  • Is a 9-foot or 10-foot rod better in the wind?
  • Should I get a Helios 3D or 3F or a Superfine glass rod for all-around fishing in Alberta?  I want to get a 4-weight
  • What is the best all-around color for sunglass lenses?
  • A tip on retrieving lost flies with your magnetic net holder
  • When looking at a fly recipe, how do you know what order to tie in materials?
  • Why wouldn't my spin reel fit on my fly rod, and is it a good idea to put a spin reel on a fly rod?
Mar 26, 2020
Trout Spey Flies with Tim Flagler

Interview starts at 32:13

We’ve done a bit with trout Spey on the podcast, but never one specifically on flies for trout Spey.  Luckily, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, who produces the best fly tying videos, has become a trout Spey addict and in the podcast he talks about tactics and tying special patterns for Trout Spey.

In the Fly Box this week, we have the following tips and questions:

  • When king salmon move into a pool, do they push the resident trout around?
  • During high water, do trout swim around a lot?
  • A great tip on tilting your head for better glare reduction with polarized lenses
  • Are long-shank hooks a good or bad idea for pike fishing?
  • Why aren’t there more white trout flies?
  • Why is it tough to catch trout in the Northeast during the winter?
  • What advantages does a 10-foot 8-weight H3 rod offer over a 9-footer?
  • I have heard that a heavier rod helps you land bigger fish.  Won’t a lighter rod offer better tippet protection?
  • Is there one line that will work for both Lake Texacoma and Gulf Coast salt water?
  • Is UV resin toxic?  Does it have a strong smell?
Mar 20, 2020
Video- Orvis Guide to Fly-Fishing Sneak Peak

Check out Tom's upcoming episode on pre-spawn bass.

Mar 19, 2020
Euro Nymphing Lines, with George Daniel

This week I interview the great George Daniel (interview starts at 48:40), who you will see soon in the new installments of the Orvis TV show.  The show I did with him, on Euro Nymphing basics, should be premiered sometime in May.  But until then, George discusses the pros and cons of using straight monofilament vs. and actual fly line for Euro Nymphing—both have their advantages and George gives us some good guidance on their use, as well as other tips on this deadly method of fly fishing borrowed from competition anglers.  We also get sidetracked on the future of fly fishing and how both of us view the participation of younger anglers today.


In this Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions:

  • I am taking a six-day backpacking trip into the Appalachians.  How much water should I expect to cover in a day of fishing?
  • How do I combat the “old boy” network in fly fishing?
  • What strategies do you recommend for carp in a small lake?
  • What does “web” refer to in fly tying, and what is schlappen?
  • Do you think a Helios 905F will be good enough for fishing the Blackfoot, Rock Creek, Gallatin, and Yellowstone Rivers or will I need a 905D?
  • How do you go about experimenting with new fly patterns you have tied?
  • Can I catch carp on a fly during the winter?
  • I have trouble with “trout setting” in salt water.  Should I use a strip strike in all my trout fishing to get out of the habit?
  • Why doesn’t Orvis offer water testing kits?
  • I know trout do 90% of their feeding underwater, but I have recently discovered how effective a dry fly can be, even when no trout are rising.
  • Why should tippet size matter when fish can always see the hook?
  • Do you have a recommended leader for juvenile tarpon, and also for barracuda?
Mar 12, 2020
Secrets of the Salmon River

Interview starts at 41:08
New York State’s Salmon River—you either love it or hate it, and some of us love and hate it at the same time.  It’s an amazing resource, with large quantities of high-quality fish that are often chrome-bright and every bit as hot as their ocean-going relatives.  It’s a beautiful river.  It’s got great water for swinging flies.  And then there’s the tough news.  A river this productive will draw crowds, and some of them are not as well-behaved as most of us would like.  But you can get away from crowds on this river, and Matt Ertzinger,  veteran guide with Tailwater Lodge, shares his secrets on when to fish the river, how to avoid crowds, and what flies and tackle to use.  Is it worth the trip?  This podcast may help you decide.


In the Fly Box this week, we have the following tips and questions:

  • Should I feel dirty about using Squirmies and similar flies?
  • What rod can I use for bass in Mississippi and trout in Arkansas?
  • Are there scuds and sowbugs in Eastern rivers?
  • What advantages do the new Recon Euro-nymphing rods offer?
  • Can I put a 9-weight line on my 6-8 weight reel?
  • Can I prevent my fly line from stacking to one side of the spool?
  • How can I fish a tiny, brushy stream in southern California?
  • How can I get my flies deeper in fast, deep water when fishing for sea-run brook trout?
  • What is the best ay to fish for pike in a small stream?
  • How can I put the hatch guidebook that I bought to good use?
Feb 28, 2020
The Wonders of Project Healing Waters

This week we talk about Project Healing Waters and the amazing things it has done for veterans with both physical and mental issues due to their service.  Over 8,000 veterans have been introduced to the healing properties of nature and fly fishing in this program, with hundreds of chapters throughout the country and thousands of volunteers.  Todd Desgrosseilliers, decorated Marine veteran and a beneficiary of this program personally, is now the president of Project Healing Waters and he talks frankly about his experiences as a participant and then as an administrator.  Learn about the program and how you can get involved, whether you are a veteran in need of healing or as a possible volunteer.


In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions and tips:

  • What effects on fishing will the Australian wildfires have?
  • If I see a lot of tiny black stoneflies in the water, does that mean I should be fishing imitations of them?
  • A great additional suggestion on the benefits of a rotary fly-tying vise
  • A stream near me is stocked with brook, brown, and rainbow trout but it can support wild trout.  Why are there only wild rainbows in this stream?
  • Can flies be made by machine?
  • What stream conditions are best for a single-handed Spey cast?
  • How do I tie a second streamer behind an articulated streamer?
  • What should I teach my wife, who has never fly fished, before we go on a guided trip together?
  • How can I practice for a tarpon trip if I only have an 8-weight rod?
  • What technique would you use on the Green River in Utah?
  • Is my 8 ½ foot 7 weight rod enough rod to use on the Salmon River in New York?
Feb 21, 2020
Is Catch-and-Release an Effective Conservation Tool?

Interview starts at 51:28

This week’s podcast is a spirited discussion with Dr. Andy Danylchuk, Professor of Fish Conservation at UMass Amherst, Science Advisor for Keep Fish Wet ( and Research Fellow for Bonefish Tarpon Trust. My question to Andy was about the effectiveness of catch-and-release as a conservation tool, and as always when talking with a scientist it depends on your definitions. Like “What is conservation?” and predictably that varies with a person’s values and experiences. I thought it was a thought-provoking conversation and hope you do was well.

In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and tips:

  • How do you put the hackle on a Stimulator?
  • What’s the best way to be ready for smaller cutthroats or big bull trout at the same time?
  • How can I maximize my success when fishing with my 4-year-old?
  • How can I plan  trip to fish the Rocky Mountains?
  • Why do I keep losing fish?
  • Where do natural fly tying materials come from?
  • What is the best way to cast big streamers or nymph rigs?
  • What rod do you recommend for fishing Chesapeake Bay?
  • A tip for a great, inexpensive seine for trout streams
  • Where do you draw the line between ethical and unethical use of electronics when fishing?
  • What do you think of ultra-light fly fishing?
  • Should I get a saddle or cape for tying flies?
  • Do you recommend upgrading to a premium fly-tying vise?
  • Can you explain the difference between tailwaters, headwaters, and freestone rivers?
Feb 13, 2020
The Ultimate Tippet Podcast, with Josh Jenkins

Interview segment begins at 43:02

I get regular and frequent questions on the differences between nylon and fluorocarbon tippet—when and where to use them, appropriate knots, special properties, and shelf life.  I used to be involved in the development process of tippet and have visit many places where tippet is made.  But that was years ago and a lot of progress has been made since my time in product development.  So I invited Josh Jenkins, R&D manager at Scientific Anglers, to talk about recent innovations in tippet material.  Josh is intimately involved in the development and testing of tippet for both Orvis and Scientific Anglers, and his knowledge is far greater that mine.  I think you’ll learn some surprising tips on both tippet material construction and knots because I learned a lot in speaking with Josh.

The Fly Box this week is a little different.  This one was recorded live at The Fly Fishing Show in Edison New Jersey.  Rather than telling you what kinds of questions were asked (none of which were prompted or ones I had heard beforehand) I’ll let you discover these on your own.  You never know what might happen in New Jersey…

Feb 07, 2020
From Phones to Drones- Taking Better Pictures on the Water

Being a camera gear geek, I was delighted to interview Chris Niccolls  (interview starts at 47:16) of DP Review TV (if you are a camera geek at all you probably read DP Review regularly).  Chis is a photography teacher as well as a video star, has worked in camera shops on the floor, and currently works in a fly shop in Calgary.  In the interview, we gives some fantastic tips on how to take better fish and fishing pictures in both the video and still formats.  He also suggests some brands and models of phones, cameras, and drones that he feels are best suited for fishing photography.  I know I learned a whole mess of new tricks for taking better fishing pictures and I am sure you will, too.

In the Fly Box this week, some of these questions may help you with questions you have had about fly fishing recently:

  • Should I get a 6/12 foot or 7 ½ foot rod for small streams?  What weight line is best, and should I get a Double Taper or Weight Forward line?
  • Do you carry a small seine with you when trout fishing?
  • How many wind knots should I expect in a day of fishing?
  • I fish for salmon and stripers.  Should I get a full-sinking or sink tip line in addition to my floating line?
  • How do you travel with fly rods?  Do you carry them on or check them?
  • Would a 12-foot 6-weight two-handed rod be OK for both stripers and smallmouths?
  • What do you think of fly clips?
  • Should I use nylon or Fluorocarbon tippets for dries and nymphs?
  • I have lost my passion for fly fishing.  Does this ever happen to you?
  • A suggestion from a listener on targeting white bass in Texas on their spawning runs
  • If I only had one type of line for stripers, bass and pike because of expense, what line should I buy?
  • Do you have any suggestions for catching stocked trout when the spin guys are catching tons of them using corn as bait?
  • Is there a big difference between the Battenkill IV Spey and Battenkill IV disc?
  • Is there an advantage to using a rotary vise?
  • How long does it take trout eggs to hatch?
Jan 23, 2020
Storied Waters, with David Van Wie

I get frequent requests for suggestions on what fly-fishing literature to read during these long winter nights when you want to enjoy fly fishing but don’t want to snuggle up to something lighter.  I invited David Van Wie (interview starts at 45:10), author of the recently published book Storied Waters—subtitled “35 Fabled Fly Fishing Destinations and the Writers and Artists Who Made The Famous”—to share with me his favorite writers and books.  It is pretty much an eastern-oriented tour of these books, but don’t worry.  I have an idea for someone to do a similar podcast on western North America writers on a future podcast so stay tuned. 

In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and suggestions from listeners—and one who slapped my hands:

  • A listener who took me to task for encouraging another listener to try to introduce mayflies from one watershed into another.  Shame on me.  I didn’t think about also transferring other unwanted critters and I should have known better
  • Can I use the same nymphs under an indicator that I use when Euro nymphing and vice versa?
  • A suggestion from a listener about the great classes available at Orvis stores
  • What are the pros and cons of indicator vs. non-indicator nymphing?
  • What is your opinion on click-and-pawl fly reels?
  • Does anyone rent waders?  I don’t want to pack them into my luggage.
  • What gear do you carry when saltwater fly fishing that you would not carry on a trout stream?
  • Can I attach droppers to a tippet ring?
  • Why can’t I catch stocked trout when conventional anglers are yanking them in on Power Bait?
  • I had a trout take my plastic strike indicator.  Does this ever happen to you?
  • Does perfection matter when tying flies?  I have trouble tying a size 20 Purple Prince.
  • Do midges migrate to Indiana during the winter?
  • Why can’t I catch stocked trout on surface flies?
Jan 18, 2020
Chasing White Bass, with Jim Weatherwax

Tired of crowded trout streams?  Looking for a new fish to catch on a fly rod that will give you a tussle and challenge your skills?  Look no further than the white bass, which is a common fish in many parts of the US, from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi drainage and has even been introduced into some western lakes.  My friend Jim Weatherwax is a white bass fanatic (he also fishes for wipers in the same waters, which are a freshwater sterile hybrid of a white bass and a striped bass) and offers solid advice on where to find these great fish, what tackle to use, and best techniques to catch them.  Warmwater fish like this are great ways to spread out the fishing pressure that we all experience from time to time.


We have a long fly box this week, with lots of interesting questions and tips from listeners, including:

  • What does it mean when a fly rod is rated for more than one line size, like 5/6?
  • Should I use a full fluorocarbon leader when fishing with indicators?
  • A suggestion on looking for blue cheeks and clean halos when trying to tell if a brown trout is wild.
  • What is the difference between the new Recon 2 and the Helios 3 rods? 
  • Should I buy a wading shoe one size larger than my shoe size when buying wading bots online?
  • What do you think of using 2X short hooks for small nymphs?
  • I am not able to catch fish on streamers during the winter in a tailwater.  What am I doing wrong?
  • Are fluorescent hot spots on nymphs effective?
  • Is it ethical to trim small tree branches in trout streams?
  • Why do trout only take big attractor dry flies right after they land on the water?
  • Are UV resins really effective?
  • Why am I losing so many trout when fishing small nymphs?  Am I setting the hook wrong?
  • Do you have some suggestions for catching American shad?
  • Is it worth it to tie your own leaders?  And if I do, how can I attach them to my fly line without a loop-to-loop connection?
  • Why do small brown trout attack huge streamers?
  • Should I get a Helios 3 D or F version for fishing UK chalk streams?
  • A suggestion for wearing nitrile gloves for winter fishing.
Jan 10, 2020
Barracuda! With Perk Perkins

This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Orvis Executive Chairman of the Board, Perk Perkins, who spends a great deal of time chasing fish on saltwater flats and is one of the best technical anglers I know. Perk and I share a fascination for barracuda. They are one of the most exciting fish you can catch on the flats, but are often ignored in favor of bonefish, permit, and tarpon. But cudas offer one of the most explosive strikes in fly fishing, run and jump like maniacs, and are often on the flats when other species are hard to find. You just need to modify your leader and your technique a bit to catch them, and Perk shares some tips on cudas that run contrary to popular conceptions—including the idea that faster is not always better on your retrieve, and that small, slim flies can work as well as bulkier flies designed for barracuda.

In the Fly Box this week, we have an assortment of questions and tips shared by listeners, including:

  • A recommendation for a reliable carp fly
  • A question about putting a 9-weight intermediate line on an 8-weight rod for wade fishing for striped bass
  • A tip on modifying the Hare’s Ear Nymph
  • A question about a simple dry/emerger that does not require hackle
  • A suggestion for holding flies using the magnetic closure on some fly boxes
  • A question about how to find winter hatches on trout streams
  • A question about Euro nymphing using rods not designed for that purpose
  • A question about the tip-flex rating on an older Orvis rod
  • A question about hatches on alpine lakes just after ice-out.
  • Are Helios 3 and Recon blanks made overseas?
  • What is the best way to teach my 8-year-old son to cast?
  • A suggestion for contacting local fly clubs for information when traveling to a new destination
  • Are spin anglers less ethical than fly anglers regarding crowding on the river?
Dec 20, 2019
Trout Markings and their Significance, with John McMillan

This week I have another podcast with John McMillan, as I have to confess I love talking to John about fishy stuff.  His knowledge and enthusiasm and passion are infectious and I think his interviews are always enlightening.  This week we talk about The Colors of Trout—can we tell anything from the coloration of trout about their life history?  Is there a good way to tell a hatchery form a wild fish?  What does it mean when trout carry parr marks into adulthood?  How quickly can trout change their coloration?  And are the spot patterns on trout like fingerprints?  Warning—we come up with more questions than answers and you may as well.


In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and tips:

  • A way to get a dropper off a surgeon’s knot to stand at 90 degrees to the tippet
  • A suggestion for an all-around rod for bass and Great Lakes steelhead
  • How to carry a sinking line without lugging around a second rod
  • Can I add 4X tippet to a 5X leader?
  • What is the best way to dispose of tippet clippings?
  • What is the difference between Euro, Tightline, Direct Contact, Spanish, Czech, and French Nymphing?
  • Does it make sense to try a mouse fly during the winter?
  • Do trout live in different places in freestone rivers than in tailwaters?
  • Do mayflies live in warm waters?
  • What is the best rod for an 8-year-old kid?
  • What is the best way to thin UV Cure epoxy?
  • If you see nymphs on the bottom, can you predict what adult insect to imitate?
Nov 28, 2019
There's No Such Thing As Streamer Season, With Courtney Despos

There's no such thing as streamer season.

That’s the rallying cry of Courtney Despos, director of education and guide for Trouts Fly Fishing in Denver.  Courtney is a self-professed streamer fanatic and she fishes them all season long, even in the dead of winter when most people are dragging nymphs along the bottom.  Courtney shares her tips on winter streamer fishing, showing us how you can be successful fishing these flies all year long—as well as her tips for keeping warm when winter fishing.

In the Fly Box this week, we have the usual mashup of questions that range all over the place, including:

  • When I am fishing a hopper/scud combination, why do I have trouble hooking fish on the hopper even though the trout appear to be taking it?
  • A past fan of very fast rods details why she now enjoys rods with a more moderate action.
  • A listener gives a detailed plan for killing carpet beetles in fly-tying materials
  • Has anyone ever made a fly rod out of aluminum?
  • When is the second season of the Orvis TV show going to launch?
  • What are some good casting drills for the off season?
  • A plea from a listener in Louisiana for fly tiers to use nutria fut
  • What is a good entomology book for the Sierra region?
  • What is your opinion on furled leaders?
  • What are your thoughts on fluorocarbon?  What sizes should I carry?
  • Further advice from a taxidermist on curing hides for fly tying
  • I need some advice on fighting large trout in a tight stream
  • A specialist in opthamology and visual sciences weighs in on dizziness after being in a drift boat
  • Can I use my 9-foot 6-weight bass rod for trout?
  • Why does the loop in my clear intermediate line keep cracking and what can I do to fix it?
  • Do whitefish and trout live in the same places?
  • Can I use my 9-foot 8-weight rod uplined to a 9-weight for trout in northern lower Michigan?
Nov 22, 2019
Joe Humphreys and the Fountain of Youth

This week I interview one of my fly-fishing heroes, Joe Humphreys.  He’s been an innovative angler all his life (he was “Euro nymphing” before the Europeans) but even more impressive is his love of life and fly fishing, and his energy on the river in his ninth decade.  Joe talks about hot to stay young on the river, how to fish nymphs at night, and about the inspirational new film about his life called Live The Stream: The Story of Joe Humphrey.  It’s now available own and rent on the iTunes Store:  or Go to to buy the film on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Download and more platforms including: Prime Video, Google Play, Vimeo, and Youtube.  I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys the fly-fishing world and its history and traditions—and who wants to learn how to retain the enthusiasm of a 12-year old on the water.


Here are the important links:


Buy the film on LTS site:

Buy/Rent on iTunes:

Nomadic Studio:


In the Fly Box this week we have many interesting questions and suggestions:

  • What is the best way to manage fly tying both at home and in the office?
  • I broke my Tenkara rod when I got my fly snagged.  What is the safest way to try to retrieve a snagged fly when using this type of rod?
  • Why won’t my clinch knots tighten properly?
  • How can I get over my reluctance to fish emergers?
  • A suggestion from a taxidermist on how to handle raw deer hides for fly tying.
  • Do trout take Perdigons in unnatural colors out of curiosity or do you think they resemble food?
  • What is an easy way to learn fly-fishing entomology?
  • Why do the trout I take in mountain streams carry parr marks even into adulthood?
  • What do I tell people who berate me for torturing fish?
  • Are there circumstances when I should set my indicator shallower than 1 ½ times the water depth?
  • I can’t seem to get away from the crowds no matter how far I drive.  What should I do?
  • If I find lots of creek chubs in a stream, does that mean it won’t also hold trout?
  • If you are not certain how to pair two streamers together, does it make sense to fish just one?
  • Can I use split shot to get my nymphs deeper when Euro nymphing instead of tying my own flies with varied weights?
  • Do you have some tips for casting a Depth Charge line?
  • Do you have some suggestions on how to swing flies for Great Lakes steelhead?
Nov 08, 2019
Creeped out in Lordville

This week I had a couple guests lined up but we had to reschedule, and because I have not done a new podcast in a few weeks because of my travel schedule I decided to tell a story. It’s from a magazine piece I did a number of years ago for the now-defunct magazine Fly Rod & Reel, and I have been toying with the idea of doing an audio book of my magazine stories over the years so I’m trying this to test the concept. The name of the story is “Creeped Out in Lordville” and it’s about all the decisions we have to make in the prime part of the season when fishing is good almost anywhere. It’s a departure from the usual podcast format of nuts-and-bolts advice so I hope you enjoy it. And not to fear, there is still a Fly Box section where I do offer advice on simple technique and tackle questions if that’s the kind of stuff you’re looking for. In the Fly Box this week, we have the questions and suggestions from readers: Some great professional advice on that recurring theme of lower back pain while fly fishing What are the practical benefits of smooth vs. textured lines in the new Orvis Pro Fly Lines? What do competitive anglers do for their own nymphing when not bound by competition rules? How do you fish for brown trout at night? What are times to avoid when trout fishing? Is air temperature, flow, or water temperature the most important consideration for trout fishing when the heat of summer is over? Why did a brown trout swim over to me and rub my ankles? Is there one rod I can use for both Midwest steelhead fishing and musky fishing? A suggestion that Bigeye Hooks have benefits beyond just easier threading Why does my nymph rig break at the surgeon’s knot instead of the clinch knot connection to the fly? What’s the best feather for palmering wet flies? What are some “go to” patterns for Euro nymphing? After I catch a fish, should I stay in the same pool or move on?

Oct 31, 2019
16 Things I Wish I Knew About Trout Spey Before I Started, with Shawn Combs

In today's podcast my guest is Shawn Combs, head of Orvis Rod & Tackle product development and Orvis rod and reel designer.  The topic is "16 Things I Wish I Knew About Trout Spey Before I Started".  If you have been thinking about trying to swing wet flies or small streamers for trout with a two-handed rod, also known as "Micro Spey", this will be a valuable lesson for you.  These are light two-handed rods, in line sizes 3 and 4, designed for covering larger waters.  It's especially effective in the fall, when trout are getting aggressive as the move into winter and brown and brook trout are migrating to their spawning grounds.  It's a fun and for many of us a new way to fish for trout.  In the Fly Box this week, here are some of the questions and suggestions from listeners:

I know there are large trout in my river.  What kind of water do I look for and what else should I keep in mind when targeting these larger fish?

I have been setting the hook on smallmouth bass by sweeping my rod parallel to the water.  Can you take a moment or two to discuss the pros and cons of various rod angles when setting the hook?

How can I tell if my waders are leaking or if I am just sweating inside them?

My wife and I had over 40 fish rise to our dry flies and only hooked a couple.  Any idea what was going on or how to land these fish?
What, to you, is the essence of Atlantic salmon fishing?

A tip from a listener on how to target flathead catfish on a fly
If I take my nine weight switch rod to Florida, what line size should I use on it for fishing from the surf?

A suggestion from a listener on another thing to be careful of regarding river etiquette.

What is the best way to get unstuck when you hook your fly on an object?

Do you have any recommendations on fishing crayfish patterns for smallmouth bass?

When there is thick aquatic weed on a river, what do you suggest for nymphing techniques?

Why am I suddenly beginning to hit my rod on my back cast?

A suggestion from a listener on the benefits of multi-focal contact lenses.

Oct 11, 2019
The Secret Life of Steelhead, with John McMIlllen

This week my guest is noted steelhead angler and scientist John McMillen of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. John’s topic is The Secret Life of Steelhead, and his fascinating discussion of why they do what they do (and the challenges they face) held me in absolute fascination. I am sure you’ll feel the same. Besides being a lifelong steelhead angler (John was a tester on our new Mission Series of two-handed rods), john has spent hundreds of days snorkeling steelhead rivers observing them, and at one time he was fishing about 345 days a year. John has worked professionally for the US Forest Service, the Hoh Indian Tribe, the Wild Salmon Center, and recently for NOAA on the Elwha dam removal project. Despite his lifetime of studying the life history and ecology of steelhead, John remains an optimist on the future of steelhead and it gives us hope that someone who understands them so well feels they have a chance of survival. In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and suggestions from listeners: How to clean waders with vodka! A tip on a simple tool for tying nail knots A suggestion for a quick change rig for catching barracuda when fishing for bonefish and permit Why am I having trouble hooking brown trout on terrestrials? What waders do you recommend for someone starting out? What safety precautions do you take on the water? When you first get to the river, how do you decide which nymphing technique to use? What regular fly line size works on the Practicaster? Is there a good way to mark large smallmouth bass so I can see if I am catching the same ones? Silver saltwater hooks don’t work well for me when I fish Clousers in salt water. Why? I have a box of old leaders that are between five and 20 years old. Should I use them? Can I fish for steelhead in Lake Ontario tributaries with a 9-foot 8-weight rod? Why do I see so many scarred fish in a particular river? What other presentations should I use in high, dirty water when streamers don’t work?

Oct 03, 2019
Seek the Inside, Reading the Water with Simon Perkins

This week, my guest is Orvis COO Simon Perkins, a lifelong fly fisher with 8 years of full-time guiding experience prior to working for Orvis. The subject is “Seek the Inside”, getting detailed about reading the water in a place that many anglers ignore—and one of the best places to find trout. Learn how to find these inside places and how to fish them from a highly experienced guide and fly fisher—and a great story teller. In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and tips: How do I keep my fine scissors sharp? What should I avoid cutting with them? I have an 8 ½ foot 5 weight Encounter rod and need something bigger as well. What weight rod should I think of for my next one? A great tip on how to relieve lower back pain when fishing all day. Why don’t we have wild rainbow trout in more streams if they are so easy to grow in a hatchery? What is causing my leader to twist when fishing with a dry dropper? What are some good fly patterns to tie for panfish, ones that are easy for a beginner to tie? What would cause a large brown trout to suddenly dart erratically in all directions and then return to the same spot? What can I do to keep the tip of my floating line from sinking? Why am I having so much trouble making short casts on small streams? Is a 5-weight rod too small for bass? Can Antron be used as a parachute post material? Why do the wings on my poly wing spinners sweep back along the body and how can I fix it? How would you approach an unknown stream if you only had a few hours to fish?

Sep 26, 2019
Secrets of Lake Erie Steelhead Tributaries, with Alberto Rey

This week’s podcast is called “Secrets of Lake Erie Steelhead Tributaries” and my guest expert is Alberto Rey, a longtime Orvis-Endorsed Guide and is also Distinguished Professor for Research and Creative Activity in the State University of New York system. He is a fine artist who specializes in Cuban-influenced scenes and such esoteric subjects as steelhead and extinct birds. Alberto also does some fine work with a youth fly-fishing program. Despite all his interests and activities days on the river with him are surrounded by an aura of calm and he’s a wonderful person to share a day with on the river. In the podcast he gives us tips on seasons, fly patterns, techniques, and tackle needed to chase steelhead in the eastern portion of Steelhead Alley—although steelhead anglers will learn tips they can use on smaller rivers anywhere steelhead are found. In the Fly Box this week we tackle the usual array of both advanced and basic questions including: What retrieve should I use when saltwater fly fishing? I tried it in Greece and didn’t catch anything. Can I use Poly Leaders for both steelhead in Oregon and saltwater species in California on my single-handed rod? A great tip from a listener on how to use bobber stoppers to make an adjustable dry/dropper rig. If I want to extend the butt on my leader, how do I know what size to use? How do I modify my hook-setting technique on downstream dry flies? Why do some brook trout carry parr marks throughout their life? What do you recommend for targeting perch in France? How do you tell a male from a female brown trout?

Sep 19, 2019
Key Pieces of Gear for the Traveling Bird Hunter

In this installment of the Orvis Hunting and Shooting Podcast, Reid returns from his first hunting trip of the year, and reflects on how the bird season somehow snuck up on him. With an eye towards a season sprinkled with hunting travel, Reid explores the

Sep 11, 2019
Advanced Stillwater Techniques, with Phil Rowley

I frequently get questions about Stillwater trout fishing, and although I love it I am not very good at it. So I enlisted one of the best Stillwater teachers I know, Phil Rowley, and asked him to discuss something more advanced that relates to Stillwater trout fishing. The result is a very detailed discussion of fishing nymphs, especially midge imitations, on a very long leader. With this technique you can fish surprisingly deep—if you are patient! In the Fly Box this week we have the following questions: Is there any value in underlining a fly rod? How do I get foul odors out of my waders? How do I target stripers and smallmouth when the water is over 70 degrees and trout are also present? What is your go-to technique in a trout stream if you don’t see anything feeding? If you could only select one sequence, would you pick odd or even sizes of fly rods? My lower back is killing me after a long day of fishing. What can I do to alleviate this problem? How do I approach a stretch of river with deep pools and virtually no current? How can I teach my friends to recognize a strike to a nymph? Is it safe to bring the line/leader connection inside my rod guides? I am going to the Yellowstone area. Is it worth it to hire a guide?

Aug 22, 2019
Secrets of Catching Sipping Trout, with Dave Perkins

Secrets of catching sipping trout with Dave Perkins This week I interview Dave Perkins, Orvis Vice Chairman and one of the best technical anglers I know. Dave loves geeky challenges and is an expert at catching those picky large trout that lay up against the banks and sip small flies—ones that most anglers don’t even notice. In the Fly Box this week we have the following questions: Can I use a Bimini Twist knot to attach my leader to my fly line? Why does a trout that is sipping quietly suddenly attack my dry fly? Is there a way to land large trout in a small stream without a net? A tip on using split ring pliers for removing split shot. How do you choose where to go fishing when there are so many options? What books did you use when starting out, and where do you get your information these days? How do I avoid foul hooking fish when dry dropper fishing with a nymph on a short dropper Which is better, a fiberglass or bamboo rod? Is there a way to connect a tarpon or cuda fly directly to my bonefish fly? I have heard it can be done with a loop. How do I know how fast to set the hook on rising trout? Is it ethical to target bass on spawning beds?

Aug 15, 2019
Drift-Boat Etiquette on Crowded Water. with Wade Fellin

This week the main topic of the podcast is the issue of etiquette on our more crowded trout streams, in particular the conflicts that have arisen due to the popularity of fishing from drift boats and the issues that have developed both with boat and wade anglers. My guest is Wade Fellin, Montana native, lifelong fishing guide, and lodge owner. Wade gives some examples of recent poor etiquette he’s seen on his home river, the Big Hole, and how these kinds of conflicts can be avoided. We also explore some ways that clients as well as guides can help mitigate these issues. In the Fly Box this week, as usual we have some interesting questions (and tips) that I hope will be of interest to everyone. Some of the topics we explore are: What do you think of flies with spinner blades in front of them? Are Tenkara rods good in small brushy streams? Should I be worried about fishing in a lightning storm with my graphite rod? What are your thoughts about orientation on articulated hooks? What can I do about CDC getting slicked back on my flies? Is swinging flies for smallmouths a valid tactic? Can I swing wet flies with my level competition line? What can I do about red dye running from materials on my flies? Is it OK to use a level leader when surf and jetty fishing? What can we do about fish in heavily fished areas getting mangled mouths? Can I catch catfish on a fly? I have heard people say they catch trout with 80-foot casts? What is a practical casting distance?

Aug 08, 2019
Fly Patterns Old and New, with Tim Flagler

This week, back by popular demand is Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, who is one of the best fly-tying teachers around and also produces the best tying videos on the Internet (like our One-Minute Fly Tying Tips, available on or in the Orvis Learning Center.)  Tim and I talk about great new patterns and old patterns that should be resurrected, as well as taking old patterns and incorporating modern materials into them.  We also discuss that state of fly-tying today, which is probably more exciting than at any other time in history because of the great interchange of ideas in places like Instagram and You Tube.

In the Fly Box this week, we have some great questions and suggestions:

  • Suggestion on how to keep your split shot from sliding down the leader
  • Suggestion on how to remove water from dry flies that won’t cost you a cent!
  • Do nymphs work all season long?  What method should I start with?
  • Should I do anything to maintain my old Orvis Green Mountain outfit?
  • What do you think of foam posts for parachute flies?
  • How do I catch rolling tarpon in deep water? 
  • How can I catch gar on a fly?
  • Can I use big streamers on small streams in Central New York?
  • I like short rods.  Should I get the 6-foot Superfine Carbon or 6/12-foot Orvis Superfine Glass rod?
  • Can I buy the right Comparadun hair online?
Aug 01, 2019
The Ultimate Wet Fly Podcast with Davy Wotton

This week my guest is Davy Wotton, originally from Wales but who now lives and guides on the White River in Arkansas. I get frequent questions about swinging soft hackles and wet flies, and honestly I am not the best at this technique so I brought in who I consider the ultimate expert on this kind of fishing. Davy blends the British traditions with American conditions so he really has the best perspective on this kind of fishing, which can be both challenging and subtle—especially when fish are taking emergers. It’s a LONG podcast, but since I have never done one on this topic I make up for lost time. And Davy had many interesting points to make. The Fly Box is a bit shorter this week because the main podcast is so long. But we cover some interesting questions as usual: What can I do to keep my Stimulators floating? When do you fish a nymph and when do you fish a streamer? Can you use weed guards on trout flies? Why am I breaking off so many fish? Do some rod guides work better than others? More on pressure and its effects on fish What is the difference between a freshwater and saltwater rod? How can I see my fly in a fast riffle? How do I know if small streams hold trout? Why do trout bump my flies and why do they come off quickly?

Jul 28, 2019
Beyond the Bobber, with Ben Sittig

This week’s podcast is not about using alternative methods to a bobber or strike indicator.  It’s how to make your fishing more effective—and more fun—when you do use a bobber.  And my special guest is Ben Sittig from Colorado, better known to those of you who follow You Tube and Instagram as The HUGE Fly Fisherman.  His videos and posts are helpful but funny, and as he admits, a bit snarky.  But in a good way and his advice is solid.  Ben talks about how, by concentrating on the indicator itself we don’t realize what is going on beyond it, down where our flies are drifting, and offers some solid advice.  And then we run out of bobber stuff to talk about so we both get up on our respective soap boxes and talk about the state of the world of fly fishing, particularly when it comes to social media.  I hope you find our ramblings entertaining.

In the Fly Box this week we have lots of interesting questions.  One of the best batches in a long time.  Maybe I’m training you to ask questions I can answer or maybe it’s just because everyone is fishing and has some great thoughts in their heads.

  • When you make a heavier fly rod, do you use the same taper and just add material?
  • How to I kill off carpet beetles in my fly-tying capes?
  • Why can I catch brown trout in four to five feet of water but not in those 10-foot pools?
  • I have to drive over two hours to catch trout.  How can I learn more about fly fishing?
  • Is it easier to hook trout on a Tenkara rod than on a conventional rod?
  • Is there any function in different eye types on hooks?
  • Do you know of a good way to make an adjustable nymph dropper for a dry/dropper rig?
  • Why won’t trout that are feeding on smaller flies eat my Stimulator?
  • What is the best way to add four feet of level tippet to a fly line when streamer fishing?
  • How far do stocked brown trout move?
  • Why can I only catch trout on olive streamers when my river has sculpins in it?
  • Why does my tippet get twisted when I fish big foam flies?
Jul 19, 2019
Five Things an Expert Euro Nymphing Angler Learned this Year, with Jesse Haller

We all learn something every time we go fishing, even the amazing vacuum cleaner Jesse Haller, our resident Euro nymphing expert.  So I asked Jesse what he has learned over the past 12 months, and it’s a fun and eye-opening interview that got me excited about trying some new ideas and strategies for Euro nymphing.  I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.


In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions:

  • Is there a good way to figure out what fly sizes I can use on a given rod?
  • Can I use big trout streamers for Atlantic salmon?  Why are traditional salmon flies tied they way they are?
  • I have trouble with line handling with two-handed rods.  What should I do?
  • I can’t find smallmouth bass in my river even though I know they live there.  What kind of water should I look for?
  • Why do some hook styles come in odd sizes like 13 and 15?
  • I can’t get enough distance on big lakes with my 9 foot 6 weight Recon rod.  Would a longer rod help?  Would a two-handed rod get me more distance?
  • Is it necessary to pinch the barb on hooks smaller than size 20?
  • Why can’t I get flies shipped from the US to Canada, and is there any way to get around this?
  • If I catch a big fish, is it OK to go back to try and catch it again in the same day?
  • I am having trouble deciding on the right line for bass fishing on my 909 rod.  Some bass bug lines are rated two line sizes heavier.  What should I do?
Jul 03, 2019
Backcast: Fly-Fishing for Pike, with Drew Price

This is a special backcast episode in that we also are posting an accompanying video over on the Orvis Fly-Fishing Video Podcast. Check it out wherever you get your podcasts and subscribe! Here is Tom's summary from when this ran in March of 2011: We have a very exciting podcast for you this week. Many of you have asked for a pike podcast, and we've delivered what I think is one of our best presentations in two parts. Part 1 is an audio interview I conduct with pike expert Drew Price, where he goes into great detail on where, when, and how to catch pike. Also in part 1, we have some tips in the Fly Box section on fishing CDC flies, choosing one rod for bass and trout, and how to get your nymph deep in small plunge pools. Part 2 is a video where we have tips on pike fishing (along with some shots of nice pike caught on a fly), courtesy of The New Fly Fisher TV show. I know I learned a ton from interviewing Drew and watching the video and can't wait to get at the pike this spring.

Jun 28, 2019
Walleye on the fly, with Ted Putnam

It’s not difficult to catch walleye on the fly if you know where and when to go after them. I have gotten frequent requests from listeners on how to catch walleye on the fly and have never been able to find the right expert guest. Then, a few weeks ago while filming a bass fishing episode for the upcoming second season of the Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide TV show, I found my expert—Ted Putnam of Hawk Lake Lodge. Ted has shown numerous experts how to catch not only just walleye but trophy walleye on the fly, and he shares his expertise on when and where, what flies to use, what lines to use, and how to retrieve the fly. In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions: Why can’t I get bass to eat my mouse flies? Why don’t the fish on my river eat salmon flies? How often can I fish a population of trout and will it hurt them? More discussions on fish and changes in barometric pressure. (This will be an ongoing discussion) Why do I keep losing fish when using a heavily weighted barbless fly? Can I use my 9-foot 5 weight rod for bass fishing? What is the strangest fly material you have ever used? When should I use Comparaduns? What kind of roadkill can I use for fly tying? Why did mahi in the Gulf Stream ignore my flies? How does water temperature affect fish and insects? Why do people not fish dry flies much any more?

Jun 21, 2019
Shortcast- How to Land a Charging Fish

We are really excited to bring you our first Shortcast episode of The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast. Hosted by Orvis fly-fishing instructor and guide Pete Kutzer, Shortcast episodes will feature one of your questions a week. You can call in your questions at (802) 362-8800 or email us at

This week Pete gives tips on how to land a fish that is charging right at you.
Jun 18, 2019
Backcast Episode- Ten Tips for Getting Young People into Fly Fishing

In honor of Father's Day and since Tom is still out on the road, we've pulled a popular show from the archives on how to teach young people how to fly fish.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

Tom should be back next with your questions.

Jun 13, 2019
How Trout Think, with Dr. Russ Carpenter

This week’s podcast is one of the biggest eye-openers I have ever done. Not only did I learn a lot, I have actually changed my views on a number of topics, including the effects of the moon on fishing and the effects of a change in barometric pressure. My guest, Russ Carpenter, is a neurologist at Stanford who studies the brains and senses of fish, specifically rainbow trout. He answers lots of question about a trout’s sense of smell, vision, and hearing. Including UV vision. I hope you learn as much as I did in this podcast. In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions: Do you really fish with bamboo rods? Aren’t graphite and glass better? Why did I see large steelhead in a Great Lakes tributary in July? What is your opinion on stocking fish in wild trout streams? Is a 6-weight line from 30 years ago the same size as a modern 6-weight?Can I dye a fly line with RIT dye? What is the best saltwater weed guard? Are some spooky fish truly un-catchable? Is there anything I can do to try to catch them? Is there a difference between a Scottish brown trout and a German brown? I am landing trout up to 20 inches without letting them run. Am I doing something wrong? What do you think about weighted soft hackles? With modern runner soles like the Michelin sole on the Pro Boot, is there any need for studs?

Jun 06, 2019
The Salmonfly Hatch, with John Way

This week we’re talking about a spectacle of nature that happens every year in the Rockies in June—the salmonfly hatch. This is a giant stonefly that excites big trout and fly fishers—but it’s difficult to plan for and not as easy to fish as you might imagine. John Way of The Tackle Shop in Ennis, the oldest fly shop in Montana, gives his tips on the life cycle of this giant stonefly, how to fish the hatch, and how to avoid some of the inevitable drift boat traffic the hatch attracts. If you are planning a trip to the Rockies soon this is one you won’t want to miss. In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and comments: How do I catch the big trout I see on Instagram? I never see them myself when I am on the river. How long before stocked trout tune into feeding on natural foods? If I accidentally kill a fish in a catch and release section, should I try to keep it to eat or just let it die? Is there an advantage to tying my second nymph to the eye of the first fly? When should I do this? When is a drop-shot rig better than conventional weight on the leader? Should I get a 5-weight or 6-weight rod for fishing indicator rigs on a windy lake? What fly materials are fairly universal and can for used for a variety of patterns? Why did I see some big trout in a tributary to a larger trout stream? A special tutorial on how to open a pair of forceps (you won’t want to miss this one!) How do we get younger people involved in organizations like Trout Unlimited?

May 30, 2019
Protecting the Montana Headwaters, with Scott Bosse

This week I have a chat with Scott Bosse of American Rivers on the Montana Headwaters Security Act, a 7-year program that will hopefully come to fruition in 2020. It’s draft legislation for new Wild and Scenic river designations on some of the best rivers and streams on public lands in Montana. This draft legislation is the culmination of seven years of outreach to a broad cross-section of Montanans from across the state. During this time they have met with over 500 business owners, watershed groups, land trusts, recreation groups, riverside landowners, sportsmen and sportswomen, conservation organizations and other stakeholders. What they heard at those meetings mirrored what they learned in two bipartisan polls in 2013 and 2016 – Montanans love their rivers and want to see more of them protected using the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. It’s appropriate that this major legislation is happening in Montana, because the idea for the original Wild and Scenic Rivers legislation was born in Montana and was signed into law by President Johnson in 1968. In the Fly Box this week, we have questions and suggestions from listeners, including the following: The reason for the T-designation for sinking heads Can I use Tenkara flies with standard fly-fishing tackle? Why can’t I catch fish on nymphs? Do you have some tips for limestone streams? When it is advisable to purposely un-match the hatch Can I use hiking bots in place of wading boots? Can I use midge-sized flies all year long? They only work for me in the winter. Can I use an unweighted fly with a Euro-nymphing rig? Is it a good idea to use gear lubricant on my fly line? Why is fly-fishing gear so much more expensive than conventional gear? Where should I add split shot in relation to my streamer? Is there an easy way to remove split shot?

May 24, 2019
Hatches of the Catskills, with Evan Lavery

This week I was down in the Catskills and stopped in to chat with Evan Lavery of The Beaverkill Angler in Roscoe, New York. The topic of our podcast is hatches of the freestone rivers of the Catskills, in particular the Beaverkill and Willowemoc Creek. These are rivers rich with tradition and also rich with a diverse insect population--although they don't have the quantity of insects seen in the Catskill tailwaters like the Delaware, they have a more diverse population so you never know what you'll see. Plus, for the wading angler, these rivers don't have drift boats thus they can be more pleasant for fly fishers on foot. In the Fly Box this week, we have these questions and more: What leader should I use for pike and muskie? How do I fish for grayling in high mountain lakes? Do trout eat moths? What fly line is best for short casts? What indicators do you prefer? How do I tell the difference between a wild and stocked brown trout? Plus a harrowing tale of an "extreme angler"

May 16, 2019
Backcast Black Diamond Episode- Six Tips on Fishing Emergers

Tom is on the road this week so we are posting a backcast episode from January of 2011 on emergers. This is one of Tom's "Black Diamond" episodes where he shares some more advanced fly-fishing techniques.

May 09, 2019
Funny and Bizarre Stories from River Guides

This week, fresh from the Orvis Guides’ Rendezvous in Montana, I returned with a bunch of stories and tips I recorded with some full-time, professional Orvis-endorsed guides in a bar. Some stories are bizarre, some funny, and some touching. I also asked each guest for a tip so it’s not all pure entertainment. There is just a bit of bathroom humor around body functions, so just be warned in case you listen to these with kids. Nothing I would not share with my kids but just in case… In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions and a couple great tips from listeners. A series of great tips on what to focus on when teaching a friend to fly fish. If jig hooks ride point up, why do fly tiers put the wing case on the side that points down when it is in the water? If trout face upstream, and you should approach them from downstream, why do all these people catch lots of fish using Euro nymphing methods when fish are directly across or even downstream from them? I have a 9 ft 6 weight Recon. I want to fish in small trout streams and for panfish. What lighter rod would you recommend? My big tungsten beads keep slipping over the hook eye. What can I do to prevent this? I fish in a river that has stocked trout and native smallmouth but I am really targeting the smallmouth. Why do I only catch trout this time of year? Why don’t your rods have hook keepers? I have been told to make my fly cast like I am holding a pretzel rod and I should be making a motion like I am trying to break the pretzel. But I get fatigue in my wrist. Is this a good casting tip? What is the dumbest way you have ever broken a rod? If you don’t have the correct fly size to match an insect, is it better to go one size smaller or one size larger when matching the hatch?

May 02, 2019
The Hidden History of Fly Fishing, with Paul Schullery

So you thought you knew something about fly-fishing history? This week I have a chat with Paul Schullery, in my opinion the premier fly-fishing historian in North America. When I have a question about history Paul is my go-to guy. He’s the author of at least 50 natural history books, was a historian for Yellowstone National Park, and when he lived in Vermont was executive director of The American Museum of fly fishing. In the podcast, you’ll learn that not many things are new in fly fishing. Tenkara-style fishing was used in Europe hundreds of years ago. People were catching bass on a fly in Florida since revolutionary days. Euro nymphing? Drop shot techniques? Fly fishing for pike? Saltwater fly fishing? Those were all done hundreds of years ago. Paul also goes into some detail on women in fly fishing, and how women have been involved in the sport since the very beginning. In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions: Is it worth it to buy prescription polarized sunglasses and where do I buy good ones? What works best for early season brook trout in Vermont? Am I cheating if I use a small wireless fish finder on my pontoon boat? Why do you call this The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide podcast? Is it just for guides? Why doesn’t anyone make a fiberglass rod longer than nine feet? How do I search the podcasts for a topic? What is the best way to catch white perch on a fly rod? I bought an old reel with a fly line on it and the line is all kinked up. Can I fix the line or should I trash it? Can I use fluorocarbon spinning line as a leader? Why did I have trouble catching fish when they were rising? I can catch them on nymphs. What is a good rotary fly-tying vise in the $100-$200 price range?

Apr 25, 2019
Sinking Lines, with Josh Jenkins

A few weeks ago I did a podcast with Josh Jenkins of Scientific Anglers on floating fly lines. Not only was it popular, I hinted that we might do one on sinking lines, which produced a minor barrage of requests for one. So here it is. You’ll learn about how sinking lines are made, what those designations like IPS, Class V, and T-14 mean and how to use them in your fishing. You’ll also get some hints on how to pick the right sinking line for your own situations. In the Fly Box this week, we cover the following suggestions and questions: A suggestion on how to get a nice flat shape when tying nymphs A heads up about the FFI Fly-Tying Awards Why do I lose so many trout using size 22 hooks? Should I bend the hooks out a bit? Can I substitute monofilament for fine wire on my Elk Hair Caddis? How do I extend the butt section of my leader? Exactly what knots do I need? Is it OK to use flies tied for different species in other habitats? How do I catch walleye on a fly? I am legally blind and want to catch brook trout on small mountain streams? What is the best method for me? Can I use UV resin instead of head cement on smaller flies? What are the most effective colors of Dragon Tails? What sinking line is best for any given body of water?

Apr 19, 2019
River Monsters, with Jeremy Wade

This week my interview is with Jeremy Wade of “River Monsters” fame. You may remember the episode where he caught a huge arapaima on an Orvis H3 and Mirage reel. He doesn’t always use a fly rod, but he does enjoy everything from those giant fish in exotic locations to a small wild brown trout river near his home in the UK. We talk about lots of things other than river monsters—what he enjoys about fly fishing, how he stays in shape for fighting those beasts, and about the pleasures of getting to know a water intimately instead of the pressure of having to produce for the camera. He has a new TV show and a book coming out soon—you’ll learn all about them on the podcast. In the Fly Box this week we have some great questions: What is the difference between wild, native, and holdover trout? How do I get small beads on hooks when they don’t want to go over the bend? What is the correct way to “haul in a fish”? Will upgrading my rod make me a better angler? Would it make sense to overload my 8-weight rod for pike and musky with a 9-weight line to throw those bigger flies? What is the best way to collect insects from my local river for reference? Who are some older authors you recommend for pleasure reading? Can I use my “saltwater” fluorocarbon leaders in Alaska? What things currently restricted by the rules of competitive angling would competitors use for their own fishing? And finally, yet another great tip by a listener on how to keep Thing-A-Ma-Bobbers from slipping on thinner sections of leaders

Apr 11, 2019
Catching Big Brook Trout, with Mark Melnyk

We’ve all heard about going to remote camps in Labrador or Quebec for large brook trout, but less well known are the drive-in rivers of Ontario. Ontario has some amazing wilderness fishing for large brook trout that can be accessed without a float plane, and Mark Melnyk, co-host of the TV show The New Fly Fisher has explored many of them in the course of scouting locations for his show. The fantastic part of the story is that he hardly ever needs to resort to a subsurface fly and most of the action is on the surface with mice and other floating imitations. Listen in to Mark’s tips on where to go and how to catch these trophy fish on a budget. In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions and also some great tips from listeners (if these tips get any better I’ll be out of a job!) I only have a 7 ½ foot rod and it’s a bit short for working larger rivers. Can I use my 9 foot 8-weight for trout? Is tungsten toxic? A great tip on how to keep split shot from sliding on the leader A great tip for keeping Thing-A-Ma-Bobbers from sliding on your leader Can I fish the same big dries I use on the headwaters of a creek further down in the watershed? Where can my friend go to get help with his tailing loop? Are knotted leaders better than knotless leaders? Is it better to use a nail knot on my line instead of a loop-to-loop connection? How do I keep some old treasured wet flies from degrading? Are tactical barbless hooks better than just mashing the barb on a standard hook? Is it more effective to use a hackled dry fly or a Comparadun-type during a mayfly hatch? A great tip from a listener in Ireland on a method of fishing soft hackles called The Escalator Method

Mar 28, 2019
Selecting Flies for Saltwater, with Captain Tuck Scott

This week’s podcast is a discussion with Captain Tuck Scott, head guide at Bay Street Outfitters of Beaufort, South Carolina. Tuck gives us solid tips on choosing flies for saltwater inshore species, concentrating on redfish and speckled sea trout. Of course we would be remiss to discuss fly selection without some advice on how to present them, and Tuck also shares his advice on how to fish various types of baitfish and crustacean imitations. Tuck is also going on the road! He is bringing his Maverick flats boat to various Orvis retail stores and giving free seminars on how to fish from a flats boat—how and when to take your shots, how to adjust to changing conditions—and most importantly, how to build a team with your guide. You can see Tuck in person based on the schedule below ORVIS GREENVILLE, SC FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019 11:00 AM 1:00 PM ORVIS CHARLOTTE, NC SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2019 12:30 PM 2:00 PM ORVIS ASHEVILLE, NC SUNDAY, MARCH 24, 2019 12:30 PM 2:00 PM ORVIS ATLANTA, GA SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2019 11:00 AM 1:00 PM ORVIS ALPHARETTA SUNDAY, APRIL 14, 2019 11:00 AM 12:00 PM ORVIS CHARLESTON SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2019 11:00 AM 1:00 PM Store location to be announced. ORVIS RICHMOND, VA THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2019 11:00 AM 1:00 PM ORVIS MANCHESTER, VT SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2019 11:00 AM 12:00 PM ORVIS MANCHESTER, VT SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019 11:00 AM 1:00 PM

Mar 21, 2019
Planning your Strategy on the River, with Devin Olsen

This week I interview Devin Olsen, who you may know about from competitive fly fishing, but we’re not going to talk about competition. Devin walks us through what to look for when you first approach a stream and how to come up with a strategy for a day of fishing. His new book Tactical Fly Fishing is now available but we get a sneak peak on what you’ll learn from his book. In the Fly Box this week, we talk about: Moving kids from a spinning rod to a switch rod How to deal with muddy and bloody feathers from a duck-hunting friend How to display fly rods in your house If my jig hooks bend when I get stuck in a snag, should I just bend them back and re-use them? If a 5-weight is considered an all-around rod in graphite, is it the same for fiberglass rods? What is the difference between hen necks and hen capes? A great suggestion for carrying a landing net on a plane Do catastrophic floods ruin trout fishing and the insect life? What length and line size do you recommend for both smallmouth bass and steelhead? Can I catch catfish with a fly rod? How should I organize my bonefish fly boxes? Which grain weight in the Depth Charge lines is best for surf fishing?

Mar 15, 2019
Tom and Tim's Annual Fly-Tying Spectacular, with Tim Flagler

To continue our celebration of flies with the Giant Fly Sale, this week I have a long talk with Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, maker of the finest tying videos on the web. This is always one of the most eagerly awaited podcasts of the year, and it’s also one I look forward to because I enjoy talking to Tim about fly tying and always learn so much from him. I get a lot of questions about material substitutions, so what Tim and I decided to do was to take six popular flies, dissect them material by material, and recommend our favorite substitutes for each step. Here are the flies we include: Parachute Adams Clouser Minnow Prince Nymph Woolly Bugger Tunghead Zebra Midge Drunk & Disorderly Deceiver (we had to put one complicated pattern in there) In The Fly Box this week, we have the following questions: How do I keep split shot from sliding on my small diameter tippet Why do I keep losing fish? How do I get a tiny Baetis nymph deep? When is an indicator better than a Euro nymphing rig? What is a Cuda Tube? How do feeder streams affect fishing in a lake? What rod would be best for smaller streams in the East? Why could I not catch trout on a Zebra midge when there were midges all over the water later in the day? A terrific suggestion from a listener on how to turn a landing net into an insect seine by using panty hose How should I fish scuds in a spring creek? What is meant by “big streamers” as opposed to “small or medium streamers” and what line sizes work best with them.

Mar 06, 2019
Backcast Episode: Bugs, Bugs Bugs, with Peter Stitcher

Editor’s Note: To celebrate the kickoff of the 2019 Giant Fly Sale, here’s a great backcast epiaode about choosing the right fly for a given situation. This week, I interview aquatic biologist and fly fisher Peter Stitcher, who not only has a great way of organizing fly boxes (a question I have always neglected to answer properly), but he also has some great guidance on how to figure out what is in the river and how to pick a fly from your box that will do the best job of imitating that insect—without any detailed knowledge of entomology. If you learn his acronyms PAUSE and MATCH, I am convinced you will have all the knowledge you need to be more successful. Listen to the podcast to learn what these acronyms mean.

Mar 02, 2019
Old-School Streamer Style, with Dom Swentosky

This week I interview Dom Swentosky of the Troutbitten blog, which is one of my favorites because I like the way he thinks about fishing problems and solutions. We titled it “Old School Streamer Fishing” and that’s how it starts, but Dom also discusses an innovative way of fishing streamers on mono, on a tight line, similar to the way a lot of people fish nymphs today. So in my view it’s a mix of old and new techniques. In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions: What kind of sinking line do I need for walleyes in 10 feet of water? What is the best way to organize fly-tying material? Do you have a good way of testing streamer patterns during the winter when you can’t fish them? Does it matter what kind of material I use for wings on bonefish flies? How do I modify my knotless leader? Do you have any suggestions for fishing beaver ponds? What suggestions do you have for swinging steelhead flies when the water depth varies greatly? How can I fish leech imitations in a river that is 15 to 30 feet deep for walleyes? What is the best way to fish an incoming tide for stripers? How should I target sharks on the fly? How do I catch carp in a deep muddy lake where they don’t come into the shallows except to spawn?

Feb 21, 2019
The Fascinating Guadalupe Bass, with Alvin Dedeaux

This week’s podcast is about a relatively rare but also easily accessible fly-rod fish—the Guadalupe bass. I was lucky enough to get Alvin Dedeaux of All Water Guides to talk about these interesting members of the bass/sunfish family. They sound like the perfect fly-rod target, available year-round in central Texas. They are a native species, they eat a lot of small prey, they fight well, and they are readily accessible on smaller rivers on public water. In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions: What setup do I need for fishing from shore in southern California salt water? Will my 8-weight Encounter rod work? What is fishing in Cuba like? How do I keep from foul-hooking steelhead? How do I play one or should I break it off? And is it ethical to take a photo of a foul-hooked fish? Why don’t more anglers use nets on smaller trout? What tips would you give a younger Tom if you could go back and give yourself advice? Should I use fluorocarbon leaders on small mountain streams? How should I clean my Ultralight Waders? Can you recommend one or two all-around adhesives for fly tying, for someone on a budget? What material is best for tails on parachute flies? Do you wrap shiny-side-up or shiny-side-down on parachute hackles? For bass, panfish, pike, stripers, and bigger trout water, should I buy a 6-weight or 8-weight fiberglass rod? What do I do to emergers to get them to float just in the surface film?

Feb 16, 2019
The Seven Deadly Sins of Streamer Fishing, with Josh Nugent

Our friend and Orvis-endorsed guide Josh Nugent of Out Fly Fishing Outfitters in Calgary was in town last week, and I grabbed him to do a podcast. Josh did one a few years ago with me entitled “The Seven Deadly Sins of Sight Fishing” and it was really popular, so we decided to do “The Seven Deadly Sins of Streamer Fishing”. If you think streamer fishing is just chucking a big piece of meat out there and stripping back, Josh has some revelations for you. Revelations based on thousands of hours on the water. In the Fly Box this week, lots of interesting questions and suggestions: What do you see as the biggest revolutions in fly fishing technology and the biggest flops? Is there a difference between dry fly and nymph dubbing? If trout are sensitive to cold temperatures why do we catch them ice fishing? Why are fly rods always made in 6-inch increments? How do I substitute hooks when a tier on YouTube mentions a specific model? If I am fishing a tandem streamer in a place where only single hooks are allowed, which one do I cut off? Why do trout jump out of the water? Is a digital thermometer better for fishing than an analog design? Which hackles should I buy for dry flies or wet flies? Which YouTube Channel do you recommend for reliable fly patterns? Do boots without felt really decrease the possibility of spreading invasive species? How do I get the perfect consistency with head cement? Do I need a stripping basket when using my switch rod? Why did you make H3 rods with that ugly white label? A great suggestion from a listener on buying lunch for your guide (this is often required when fishing in salt water) What 10-20 flies should I tie next after going through all the flies in the kit?

Feb 08, 2019
All About Floating Lines, with Josh Jenkins

This week I interview Josh Jenkins, Research and Development manager for Scientific Anglers, and who, along with his crew, is responsible for all the cool new technology in fly lines. Floating lines are confusing because there are so many options, so Josh explains how they are made, why coatings and cores determine what kind of water they’re used in, and how tapers affect the performance of fly lines. Are double taper and weight forward lines the same for the first 30 feet? Is there any difference between a saltwater and freshwater line, or between a cold water and warm water line? These are questions I get asked all the time in the podcast, so I figured I would go to the ultimate expert to answer them. In the Fly Box this week, we have lots of intriguing questions, including: Why can’t I make my furled leader perform? Is my tippet too long or too short? What is Tom’s job? Does he get to fish at all? How do I set my drag for trout fishing? Can Spey casting be used in lakes? How should I target rainbows in the fall? Is that when they spawn? At what temperatures do bass become active enough to catch on a fly rod? Can I get some tips on making my golden pheasant crests behave? Is it worth it to prospect with a small dry fly in winter? Are there small trout streams that are just impossible to fish with a fly? What are the pros and cons of using a sink tip line instead of a poly leader? Can you help me decide between a 4-weight or 5-weight rod? Do you have any tips for when a head cement jar won’t open? What kind of watercraft should I buy for New England rivers? What is color preserver? Do you have any tips for tying the tails on an RS2? How do I organize all the fly fishing information I encounter? Can bigger trout be caught on soft hackles?

Jan 31, 2019
An Interview with Tom Rosenbauer (kinda)

Long-time listener Dan Frasier put together this mock interview with Tom and we just had to share it. While there is no offensive language, if you have small children present, or are easily offended, you may want to skip this one. Thanks, Dan!

Jan 22, 2019
How to be a Great Fishing-Guide Client, with Simon Perkins

There’s lots of discussion about what makes a good guide and why some are better than others for a whole host of reasons. But the guide/angler connection is truly a team effort, and to get the most out of a guide trip there are things a client can do to get more out of the experience and have a more enjoyable and educational trip. Simon Perkins, Orvis COO, was a fishing guide before he hung up his oars for an office job. He shares his experiences, good and bad, and suggests ways we can be better clients. He also shares a few stories about his best and worst days of being a guide and a client. A couple are quite colorful and I think you’ll enjoy them. In the Fly Box this week we have the following questions: How can I roll cast big streamers? How do I fish streamers in small brook trout streams? What is the best tool for measuring water temperature and how cold does water have to be before trout stop feeding? Where is that new Clearwater Euro nymphing rod? Can I use my 5-weight rod for surf fishing in the ocean? Are wool fingerless gloves any good? Is 20-lb fluorocarbon too light for the butt section of a leader? What are gut leaders? Is a UV light essential for fly tying? Is roll casting more difficult with a shorter rod? My wife and I fished some big articulated streamers and had no luck. What were we doing wrong? I have a pile of old flies. How do I identify what they are?

Jan 18, 2019
Landlocked Salmon, with Jeff LeBree

A number of listeners have been asking for a show about landlocked Atlantic salmon, and for that I can think of no one better than a native Mainer. Jeff LeBree has been fishing for landlocked salmon is his native state for over 50 years, and for 17 of those years has been a guide at Orvis-endorsed Libby Camps. He shares his knowledge about when to go to Maine for landlocks, how to fish for them, where in the river to look for them, and of course what flies to use. Jeff is quite a character and we have a lot of laughs. I hope you enjoy his downeast humor. In the Fly Box this week, we cover the following questions: Is it necessary to use a strike indicator when winter nymphing? My soft hackles don’t distribute around the hook well and stay on top. What should I do? Can you give me some advice on making hook substitutions for fly patterns? How does George Daniel add a dropper with the Orvis knot without running the flies through the loop? Can I use tandem fliy rigs for bass fishing? If you say that flies can last 50 years, why do you tell me to throw away my thread after two or three years? What rod should I buy for Euro nymphing? I can’t afford the Helios 3. How do people carry fly rods onto a plane?

Dec 28, 2018
The Hunt for Giant Trout, with Landon Mayer

My interview this week is with the highly respected angler, writer, and guide Landon Mayer of Colorado. He has a new book out this week—The Hunt for Giant Trout and that’s exactly what we talk about—times, places, and flies for taking the largest trout in a river. We talk a lot about the various food preferred by the larger trout in a body of water—how to identify them and how to select flies and techniques to imitate them. As usual Landon is bursting with great ideas for you to try on your next fishing trip. In the Fly Box this week we cover the following questions: Tips for catching sheepshead on a fly Is my bonefish tackle OK for stripers on Long Island? A tip for practicing strip-setting that incorporates a willing cat When to use poly leaders Can I use and indicator when fishing small BWO dry flies? What are the advantages of using shanks over beading wire for tying articulated flies? A tip for carrying tippet rings on a snap swivel instead of a safety pin Is the Orvis Spey Line a Skagit line? How to fish streamers in tight quarters How to catch shallow water stripers in a Tennessee river at night Can I keep my fishing gear in a cold garage all winter? Will keeping my rods strung up hurt my leader? Which end of a surgeon’s knot should I use for the dropper, and should I take two or three turns? Should I get a starter rod or go right to the best rod I can afford?

Dec 21, 2018
Picking and Fishing, with Chris Pandolfi of The Infamous Stringdusters.

This week we talk fly fishing with Chris Pandolfi, vocalist and banjo player for The Infamous Stringdusters, a multiple award-winning bluegrass band (including the 2018 Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album, “The Laws of Gravity”). Chris tells us what it’s like trying to fit in fly fishing while on the road, how the band supports Trout Unlimited, how fishing has influenced his music, and offers some great fly-fishing tips for novices. Speaking of tips, in the Fly Box this week we have the following questions: What are some tips for winter tailwater fishing in the Northeast? What can I do when the bass don’t bite? How do I catch suckers on a fly? Can I use my 6-weight for carp? What do you do when you’re rowing and someone hooks a fish? How do I find information on small streams in my area? How do I move on from tying big streamers to smaller trout patterns? Is there a good way to practice setting the hook? What is a good place to visit to fish small trout streams in the winter? How much information can I ask my local fly shop for, without being a pest? Why are fly rods today so stiff? What is the best way to fish nymphs in water ranging from one foot to ten feet deep while floating? What is the best way to practice casting when I have a variety of rods?

Dec 07, 2018
The Fiberglass Manifesto, with Cam Mortenson

This week I have an interesting chat with Cameron Mortenson, the man behind the wildly popular blog The Fiberglass Manifesto. Learn how he got started, what he does for his day job, and of course his thoughts on the state of the fiberglass fly rod world today. And of course we talk about why someone would even want a glass rod and what advantages they offer. In The Fly Box this week, we explore the following: A great tip for keeping your hands warm for cold-weather fishing A great tip for relieving neck and upper back pain while fishing Can I fix a broken Poly Leader? How do I remove the smell from flies I have coated with UV-cure epoxy? What switch rod is best for stripers? Has the Koi Foundation been established yet? And if I want to practice for koi fishing, can I try for the goldfish in my backyard pond? How to lessen foul hooking trout when fishing a nymph with a dropper. Will long stretches of straight, shallow water be devoid of trout in small streams? Can I use a poly leader for nymph fishing? And can I use split shot instead of a poly leader for streamer fishing? What does “turning over the fly” mean? Can I tightline for steelhead using my 10-foot 7-weight rod? What is the most versatile sinking line to get if I only have a floating line now?

Dec 01, 2018
The World of Competitive Fly-Fishing, with Jesse Haller

How do people compete in fly fishing contests? How are they scored? How do the teams work? Where are the competitions held? Most of us don’t have any interest in competing in fly fishing—some of you probably hate the idea—but this discipline has stimulated some great ideas in fly fishing and has led to the interchange of ideas throughout the world. There’s no money involved, just lots of camaraderie, and competitive fly fishing does not hurt the resource or even get in the way of our enjoyment of trout waters except for a few hours a year on a particular stream or lake. I think you’ll be fascinated by the inner workings of this unusual competition. In the Fly Box this week, we have the following questions: Why can I land smaller fish but not land the bigger ones when tightline nymphing? How much can I remove from the tip of my fly line without hurting its performance? How are most trout waters stocked? Why didn’t I catch any fish on a recently stocked river? Where do small stream brook trout go during the winter? Will wearing the required blaze orange clothing during hunting season ruin my trout fishing? Do you think fish can see the post on parachute flies? Why don’t my Klinkhammer flies always float upright? How do I keep my neck and shoulders from hurting when I am fishing all day? Can I strip streamers for Lake Erie steelhead? Do bright headlamps spook largemouth bass? How can I minimize tangles in my net when fishing multi-fly rigs? How can I fish my Depth Charge line to minimize snagging on the bottom? Can I use my old Orvis Impregnated Bamboo rod for trout fishing? Can I tie 6X tippet to a tippet ring? Mine keeps breaking.

Nov 08, 2018
Fishing the Texas Coast for Redfish and Trout, with Dave Hayward

This week I talk to someone I have wanted to interview for a long time, and a subject that is long overdue—fly fishing the Texas Coast for redfish and speckled trout. Dave Hayward, manager of Swan Point Landing Fly Shop, was in a past life an Orvis store manager in Houston for many years and also an Orvis sales rep. He’s been running Swan Point for 10 years now, and is recognized as one of the most knowledgeable authorities on fly fishing the Texas Coast. In this podcast you’ll learn about how the fishery changes with the season, what tackle you need, fly patterns to choose, and how to approach these fish. Dave is honest about the increased pressure in his fishery, but also shares some spots that get off the beaten patch. It’s also exciting to hear about the developing tarpon and snook fisheries along the Texas Coast. In the Fly Box this week we have our usual smorgasbord of topics, including: Tips on re-using tippet bands for identifying fly lines on spare spools How do I put a new leader on my fly line? Is it a good idea to practice on suckers before I go trout fishing? Is there any risk when carrying a fully assembled fly rod in your vehicle? Is it worth it to try to target lake trout during the summer when they are deep? Will the loud clicker on my reel scare trout? Why does my fly get caught on my forward cast? How do I reverse my fishing slump? Is trolling an acceptable way to fish a fly in salt water? How do I get more distance when casting in the surf? I am 6’6” tall and my Mom is 5’ tall. Can we use the same rod and casting stroke? Are saltwater wading boots worth the price?

Nov 01, 2018
Stream Access Now! With Rob Parkins

Stream Access Now! This is the title of a very useful guide produced by Back Country Hunters and Anglers (available on their web site or on the Orvis Learning Center) that gives you the stream access laws for all 50 states, plus some fascinating essays on the varying ways states treat stream access. It’s also the title of this week’s podcast with Rob Parkins, Public Waters Access Coordinator for BCHA. Rob details how laws vary from state to state, how you can find access points, and dos and don’ts of fishing on both public and private lands. It’s essential knowledge for the traveling angler, particularly if you don’t fish with a guide and are unsure of the legality of entering a stream in a state where you have not fished before. In the Fly Box this week, we have the usual mix of great questions and suggestions from listeners: If my fly comes back with empty caddis cases on the hook, does that mean the caddis hatches are over and I should not fish a caddis? Are sea-run Pacific steelhead any more delicate than Great Lakes steelhead? If I harvest a deer, should I try to use any of the hide for fly tying, and how do I deal with it? Is it OK to fish a click-and-pawl reel for smallmouth bass, and does reel “balance” matter? Why don’t people fish much with winged wet flies anymore? How do I keep my Double Bunny Rabbit strips from getting stiff? How can I see my dry fly when looking into strong glare? What is the best camera for capturing the brilliant colors of fish?

Oct 04, 2018
Your FAQ's Answered, with Jeremy Benn of Orvis Tech Support

Your FAQs answered! This week I interview my old friend Jeremy Benn, longtime Orvis employee and head of our Outfitter Team in Roanoke , Virginia. These are the wonderful people who answer all your tackle questions via e-mail, telephone, and live chat. There are certain questions they get (and I get on podcast requests) over and over again, including: What rod do I need for….? Can I use the same fly rod outfit for … and >>>? Do I really get something more when I buy a more expensive rod? How much backing do I need? What leader do I need for …? I am going to …. What flies do I need? What is the best knot? In the Fly Box this week, here is a sample of the kinds of questions I try to answer: How do I become a fishing guide? When do I fish upstream and when do I fish downstream? Why do you put barrel swivels on your braided leaders? (We don’t.) How do you avoid breaking your rod when getting flies out of trees? What will be the effects of the recent hurricane on trout and saltwater fishing in North Carolina? How often do you fish parachutes and Sparkle Duns as opposed to traditional dry flies? How long can you keep a trout in a net if it has cool running water in the net? Can I use my switch rod for schoolie stripers? What flies should I use for landlocked Atlantic salmon? How do I target cruising salmon and steelhead on the Chicago shoreline? What happened to the Orvis app? Why can’t I catch trout in tailwaters on streamers from my canoe? Plus two great fly-tying tips from a listener.

Sep 26, 2018
Science-Based Tips for Proper Catch and Release, with Sascha Danylchuk

My guest this week is Sascha Clark Danylchuk, science advisor for Sascha is an angler and a scientist who has studied the effects of various catch-and-release techniques and has also kept up with the scientific literature on the subject. There is a lot of false and misleading information on the interweb regarding catch-and-release and she sets us straight on a number of topics. I thought I was well-versed on this subject but I learned a lot, and will modify my own practices in the future based on our talk. In the Fly Box, we have the usual mashup of topics, including the following: Two inexpensive ways of making wet-wading shoes suggested by listeners Will a good mender outfish a good caster? Do nymphs work in high mountain lakes? What is a good sink-tip option for a 4-weight rod on small streams? How to catch trout in very deep plunge pools at the base of a waterfall. How do I get sand out of my ferrules? Is it ethical to catch a bunch of big trout by nymphing at night on a full moon? Why do trout keep splashing at my Chubby Chernobyl? Should I spend the same amount of money on a trout reel as I spend on my rod? A great tip for keeping the hair on an Elk Hair Caddis from slipping around the hook. How can I catch the big brown trout in a small infertile stream in Oregon?

Sep 13, 2018
Late Season Smallmouths, with Mike Schultz

Do you stop fishing for smallmouth bass when summer ends? You could be missing the best bass fishing of the year and the chance at your biggest smallmouth if you do. Mike Schultz of Shultz Outfitters in Michigan is one of our foremost experts on smallmouths (and the designer of some of our most popular flies) and this week he shares a wealth of knowledge on how to modify your tactics to continue to catch smallmouth bass on the fly rod well into winter. This is a topic that no smallmouth lover wants to miss. In the Fly Box this week, we have a number of reactions to last week’s discussion with Steve Rinella, the Meat Eater, as well as questions on these topics: Can I put a 3-weight or a 7-weight line on a size 5/6 reel? How do I store poppers with weed guards? Do you have some suggestions for catching catfish on a fly? How do I attach a wire bite guard to my leader? How do I find wild trout in a small, clear stream with sandy bottom that does not have a high fish population? Do fly tying materials go bad with age? How should I store my hackle capes and deer hair? Do you have tips for catching lake-run brown trout? Can I use a switch rod in Belize? Do you have a suggestion for a pair of cheap wet-wading shoes? When do you recommend catch and release and when do you recommend keeping fish? How can I get the elk hair on my caddis flies to keep from rolling around the hook shank?

Sep 07, 2018
When you Catch and Keep, with The MeatEater, Steven Rinella

This week I have a fun discussion with Steve Rinella of the “Meat Eater” podcast and TV show and book. If you’re a diehard catch-and-release always angler you may want to pass this one up. But if you occasionally kill fish and want to honor fish with proper care and preparation, you’ll find some very helpful advice. And some interesting side discussions along the way. In The Fly Box this week, we have the usual array of questions about tackle, techniques, and fly-fishing philosophy. Including: Can I get one rod for pike, carp, musky, and Pacific salmon? What lines and leaders do I need for surf fishing? Can I have permission to use my stripping basket on trout streams? What flies will I need in Hawaii, and can you recommend a guide? Will dry flies work in the rain? How do I carry a net on my sling bag? What sunglasses do you recommend? Why do I keep missing strikes from smallmouths on a popper? Should I use a stinger hook? How do I get trout to come out from undercut banks to take my fly? Does smoky air from forest fires change the way insects hatch?

Aug 29, 2018
Late Summer Terrestrials, with Jenny Mayrell-Woodruff

This week I have the pleasure of interviewing Jenny Mayrell-Woodruff—the Orvis-endorsed Freshwater Guide of the Year for 2018. Jenny has recently relocated to Montana to run a lodge on Rock Creek and she took time out of her very busy schedule to share her knowledge of late summer terrestrial fishing. It’s an educational podcast and a timely one. In the Fly Box this week we explore a wide range of topics, as usual: How to transition from small trout streams to big rivers Why do I keep missing fish when fishing mouse patterns at night? Can I use perfection loops in the middle of my leader to add droppers? What is the best way to touch up the blades of nippers? How do I make my fly attract trout by its entry into the water? What happens to Tricos when nighttime air temperatures don’t go below 70 degrees? Do tippet rings wear out? Can I use my Clearwater line for trout fishing? Do you measure the cast length from your body or from the rod tip? How do you prospect for trout in long, slow pools? What do you do if a big trout runs downstream and the water is too deep to wade below it?

Aug 14, 2018
Fly-fishing with your family, with Derek Olthuis

Fly-Fishing with your family, with Derek Olthuis This week Orvis Ambassador Derek Olthuis and I talk about fishing with your kids and family. Derek has three young children and he fishes as much as anyone I know, so he has some great tips on how to make it a fun and rewarding experience for all members of the family. If you’ve wanted to introduce kids to fly fishing you’ll get some great advice from this podcast. In the Fly Box this week, we have some interesting questions and comments, including What do I do with saltwater flies after I’ve used them? How do companies that sell fly patterns evaluate new ones? How do I keep annoying sea grass off my fly and leader? Should I feel guilty about hooking tarpon that were chilling in a marina behind a boat? Should I worry about keeping my fishing gear in a hot car? How do I quickly tell if a stream has a rich food supply or if it is more infertile? Can I use this to adjust my fishing techniques? What do I do if a trout tries to eat my strike indicator? How long should removable studs last? Why could I not catch smallmouths that were chasing baitfish? Why don’t more anglers use soft-hackle flies? How long should I rest a pool before trying a new fly pattern? What’s an easy way to identify mayflies and caddisflies in the air?

Jul 27, 2018
Now or Neverglades, a project update with Eric Eikenberg

In this week’s podcast my guest is Eric Eikenberg, CEO of The Everglades Foundation and our major partner in this important conservation effort. For the past few years Orvis has taken a leading role in the effort to get the word out to the fly-fishing community about this critical issue, which affects Florida Bay, both coasts of Florida, and of course the Everglades, which as a National Park is owned by all citizens of the United States. It’s an update on where we are for a solution to the issue, and you’ll be happy to know we are guardedly optimistic about the future. Also in the Fly Box week we have these question: Why do I keep losing small brook trout? How can I take the coils out of old leaders? Will my old Clearwater Reel be OK in salt water? Why don’t fly shops stop selling feathers from endangered birds? Do women wear sling bags? Does the pigtail at the end of a broken knot always indicate a poorly tied knot? Why don’t people use the oval or Belgian cast more often? Why do I keep losing big trout and steelhead when they get downstream of me? What do I do for a leader if I encounter both striped bass and bluefish?

Jul 11, 2018
Advanced Nymphing Techniques, with George Daniel

If it does not go up until next week no big deal. This week my guest on the podcast is the great George Daniel, one of the finest anglers in the world and a wonderful teacher. George is also refreshingly un-dogmatic, and even though he is an expert on nymph fishing he does not stick to only one method, but uses all kinds of techniques depending on the conditions. There are scores of good tips in this podcast so if you enjoy nymph fishing don’t miss it. In the Fly Box this week, you’ll find answers (or at least my attempt to answer) questions about: How do I keep my reel from getting tangled at the end of the day? Is a fiberglass rod a disadvantage for distance and in the wind? Do you have some tips on fishing mayfly spinner falls? Can I catch carp when they are spawning? How do I make my Humpies more durable? Can I catch channel catfish on a fly rod? Can I fish a Gurgler on an intermediate line? Will textured fly lines hurt my rod guides? How can I land big fish by myself without high-sticking my rod?

Jul 06, 2018
Hunting for Permit, with Will Benson

This week I have a chat with noted permit guide and film maker Captain Will Benson. We discuss the idea of an angler as athlete, and how he and some of his clients prepare for big permit tournaments, both mentally and physically. You may have no interest in fishing tournaments, but for some of your fishing trips you may have invested a lot of time, money, and emotional expectations. Will gives some great, and most unusual, ideas to make sure you get the most out of your trips. In the Fly Box this week, we cover the following questions from listeners: · Do trout ever get “information overload” during a heavy hatch? · What is a basic saltwater outfit for fishing the Gulf? · How do spring creek trout differ from stocked trout in tailwaters? · What aren’t all flies sold with barbless hooks? · What is the difference between a $15 spool of fluorocarbon tippet and a $10 200-yard spool of spinning line? · Will two-handed casting ruin my overhead casting technique? · Why do I miss fish when trolling for trout? · Can I fish lakes on a backpacking trip with a Tenkara rod? · What are sme good basic books on trout stream insects for New England?

Jun 22, 2018
Fathers and Mentors, with The Original Most Interesting Man in the World

In this week’s podcast I interview a very interesting man. In fact, he is the original Most Interesting Man in the World, Jonathan Goldsmith, who is a lifelong fly fisher and not only an interesting guy, but a really nice person as well. He talks about the importance of tradition in fly fishing, his lifelong love affair with it, and most appropriately the importance of his father as his fly-fishing mentor. We’ll also catch up on what he has been doing since the beer company decided a younger man would be more interesting. (Big mistake) In the podcast this week, here are some of the questions and suggestions from listeners: A geeky way to splice old fly lines to make a special line for throwing bass flies on a 5-weight I make a couple suggestions on books to read How to deal with feathers you obtain from a shooting preserve Can I eat a trout that has whirling disease? Is a 10-weight rod enough for cobia and king mackerel? How to deal with tarpon guides who get upset when you blow a strike How to hold your fly and fly line in the “ready position” for saltwater fly fishing A suggestion for an all-around saltwater rod How to keep hopper patterns from turning upside-down in the water Suggestions for catching ultra-spooky trout in a small stream Can I use stocking foot waders on sandy beaches? How to fish a dry dropper when moving from deep pools to shallow riffles.

Jun 08, 2018
Montana's Smith River, with John Herzer and David Brooks

This week’s main topic is the Smith River in Montana, a near-wilderness river that requires a five-day float and is on many fly fishers’ wish lists. It is definitely on mine. To talk about fishing and floating the Smith, and a threat to its pristine ecosystem, my guests are John Herzer, a veteran of many decades of floating the Smith, and David Brooks, executive director on Montana Trout Unlimited. In the Fly Box this week you can enjoy the following tips and questions: Why do I see carp jumping at the base of a dam like salmon on their spawning run? What is an economical way to explore new rivers without always hiring a guide? Can I use braided leaders for carp? How can I do better when setting the hook on quick-striking brook trout? What is the best way to attach a leader to a fly line if you don’t have a welded loop on the end? How can I catch smallmouths lying in eight feet of water next to a large boulder? A listener tip on how to use a polarizing filter on an Iphone (or similar smartphone).

May 31, 2018
Taking Great Fishing Photographs, with RA Beattie

On this week’s podcast my guest is RA Beattie of Beattie Productions/Off the Grid Studios. You have no doubt seen some of his wonderful films, or perhaps you have enjoyed his latest venture—Fly Fishing films on Amazon Prime video. RA shares some tips on both video and still photography with us, and there are some good nuggets in there to help you move beyond the cliched grip & grin shots that have over-saturated social media. Warning—if you don’t understand the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO it might be worthwhile to do a little research before you listen to this one. In The Fly Box, lots of interesting tips and questions: Why do I keep losing bass when I play them? Should I get a 10-foot 3-weight or 4-weight rod? Can I throw big poppers with a 9-foot 5-weight rod? A warning about the legality of Tenkara rods in rivers designated “fly fishing only”. Are newer graphite rods better for tippet protection than older models? A tip from a listener on pike fishing as practice for saltwater fly fishing. When measuring sections for tying a knotted leader, are the specs for the section before or after you tie the knot? Why do largemouth bass sometimes sniff my fly but don’t attack it aggressively? What is a good recommendation for an inflatable kayak? How do I avoid creek chubs when trout fishing? What is a good starter outfit for northeast saltwater fly fishing? How much better are rubber soles with metal studs? And should I worry about scratches they make on rocks? How do I read the water on ever-changing rivers like the Bighorn?

May 25, 2018
The Feather Thief, with Kirk Johnson

I occasionally receive a fishing book that really strikes my fancy as being totally original, and last winter I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson. Much more than a fishing book, it’s the story of a young Atlantic salmon fly tier who stole priceless bird skins from a British museum and then used them for his own tying and sold them on the internet. Kirk researched the story thoroughly and even tried to trace some of the feathers that were purchased to get them back to the museum. The book truly reads like a whodunnit and I found it fascinating reading. To use a well-worn cliché I literally could not put it down. Some of you fly tiers may be not agree with the stance he takes on tiers obsessing over rare and unusual materials so I think it may create some lively discussions. Regardless, I think you’ll find our discussion fascinating. In the Fly Box this week, we get into more conventional and non-controversial questions, such as these: Why do two dry flies work better than one? How do you fish a Sneaky Pete for smallmouths in fast water? What size and color Woolly Bugger is best? What does the Woolly Bugger imitate? What color polarized sunglasses are best and what are some good brands? Why can I land 18-inch fish but not the ones that are over 24 inches? Are grayling selective? Is it normal to tie a Clouser Minnow with a red head? Is it normal to reel all of your line in before playing a fish? Why am I not catching bigger brook trout on streamers?

Apr 29, 2018
The Feather Thief, with Kirk Johnson

I occasionally receive a fishing book that really strikes my fancy as being totally original, and last winter I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson. Much more than a fishing book, it’s the story of a young Atlantic salmon fly tier who stole priceless bird skins from a British museum and then used them for his own tying and sold them on the internet. Kirk researched the story thoroughly and even tried to trace some of the feathers that were purchased to get them back to the museum. The book truly reads like a whodunnit and I found it fascinating reading. To use a well-worn cliché I literally could not put it down. Some of you fly tiers may be not agree with the stance he takes on tiers obsessing over rare and unusual materials so I think it may create some lively discussions. Regardless, I think you’ll find our discussion fascinating. In the Fly Box this week, we get into more conventional and non-controversial questions, such as these: Why do two dry flies work better than one? How do you fish a Sneaky Pete for smallmouths in fast water? What size and color Woolly Bugger is best? What does the Woolly Bugger imitate? What color polarized sunglasses are best and what are some good brands? Why can I land 18-inch fish but not the ones that are over 24 inches? Are grayling selective? Is it normal to tie a Clouser Minnow with a red head? Is it normal to reel all of your line in before playing a fish? Why am I not catching bigger brook trout on streamers?

Apr 29, 2018
The Art of Spotting Trout, with Amelia Jensen

This week I have a chat with Amelia Jensen, perhaps the best trout-spotter I have ever seen. I have always thought I was pretty god at seeing trout in the water, but Amelia can see fish I would never have spotted. Learn some of her secrets in this week’s podcast—you’ll be surprised at how often you can spot trout if you know what you’re looking for, even in fast, deep, or slightly off-colored water. In the Fly Box this week we have the following tips and questions: · A tip from a listener on how to carry long pre-rigged fly assemblies · A question about what fly to fish along with a streamer when swinging for spring trout · A question on tips for spotting bonefish · How should I fish the tails of pools? · A listener tip on how to keep your hands warm when fishing · Flashy vs. non-flashy nymphs and where to put them in your nymph rig · A question about why fish get picky after catching a bunch of them from the same run · Why do trout take dry flies when I don’t see any rising? · Tips for avoiding spawning rainbow redds

Apr 22, 2018
Lessons from the legendary Au Sable, with Josh Greenberg

This week I have a chat with Josh Greenberg, owner of Gates Au Sable Lodge in Michigan. Josh talks about the ecology of his streams, which is unique and provides fascinating fishing for wild trout year round. Josh is a very perceptive and canny angler, and regardless of your interest in Michigan streams you’ll learn some great tips and some interesting thoughts. Josh is also an ardent conservationist, picking up the mantle from his mentor, the late Rusty Gates. After this week, I won’t have a podcast for two weeks because I will be off the grid

Apr 08, 2018
Fly-Fishing for Koi

Today we do a deep dive on the newest trend in fly-fishing for koi, that elusive fish that many people think cannot be caught on a fly rod. Nothing could be further from the truth; although these fish are challenging targets on a fly rod, they are available in many places close to home. The most exciting part of this fishery is that you can fish for them anywhere you want. In the Fly Box this week I have an unusually interesting bunch of questions, including: · What is the single greatest trout stream in the United States? · What is the impact of the legalization of marijuana on fly fishing so far? · When you take a float trip in a drift boat or raft, how do you get back to your car? · What is that big pocket in the back of a fishing vest used for? · How to do the triple haul · If I only have 30 minutes to fish on a business trip, is it better to use a 9-weight or 12-weight when targeting permit? · Why don’t you teach shadow casting in your schools? · Can I make a fly out of food? · What are the best organic fishing spots in New England? · If I’ve got a great fishing spot on a crowded river and nature calls, what is the best way to take care of things and not lose my spot?

Apr 01, 2018
Fly-Fishing in High Mountain Lakes, with Bob Terwilliger

This week’s podcast interview is all about fly-fishing high mountain lakes. My guest is Bob Terwilliger of Colorado Outfitters, who specializes in horseback fishing trips into some of the most remote wilderness areas in the lower 48. Fishing high mountain lakes has its own special techniques and philosophies—although here it is as much about the scenery and the trip as it is the fishing. If you enjoy getting away from the crowds and true wilderness fishing, this is a podcast you won’t want to miss. In the Fly Box this week, as usual a mixed bag of questions and comments from a wide range of topics. · Why you should get a fly-tying kit · Recommended lines for small stream fishing · Can I use the Bank Shot line for fishing midges? · What is the best fly rod for bass, pike, and the occasional trip to the Florida Keys? · When using tiny nymphs, should I set the hook keeping my fingers off the line and just use drag pressure from the reel? · What do I do if my head cement gets too thick? · How can I keep my ferrules from slipping? · Which is correct, the upstream reach cast or the downstream reach cast? · Is it worthwhile to fish midges once winter is over? · Why don’t all big trout have a hooked jaw, and what do various color and spot patterns in brown trout indicate?

Mar 29, 2018
An Excellent Introduction to Drift Boats, with Hilary Hutcheson

I frequently get requests for a podcast about drift boats, and although I enjoy rowing one most people don’t let me row their boat unless they are really desperate. So I called on an expert, Montana guide Hilary Hutcheson, to get her advice on getting a boat, rowing a boat, and most importantly all the responsibilities that go with getting down the river safely and with courtesy. Even if you never row a boat yourself, you’ll gain a new appreciation for the skill set your guide employs every day. In the Fly Box this week, we get these questions and tips: · How can a color-blind fly fisher identify the flies in his box? · Why am I only getting fish on my lower egg pattern in a two-fly rig? · A great suggestion on dealing with tippet rings · What kind of crab patterns do I need for striped bass? · What flies should I use for small stocked rainbows? · What are your thoughts on leader degreasers? · A suggestion on training as a whitewater guide prior to becoming a fishing guide · Why do black bucktails and marabou stain my hands? · What are some tips on purposely dumping your back cast? · What is the difference between a clear and a solid blue intermediate fly line? · Can I make a dubbing loop with monofilament tying thread?

Mar 15, 2018
Panfish on the Fly, with Bart Lombardo

Panfish are the way many of us relieve the frustration of snotty trout, spooky carp, or saltwater fish that can't be reached because of bad weather. They're always on the prowl for a snack and seldom very fussy. But you do need to know where to find them, and for the larger specimens a little finesse is often in order. So this week I talk to Bart Lombardo, panfish aficionado and guru. We concentrate on the sunfish family. Although many smaller freshwater fish fit into the panfish category, sunfish are the most abundant and widely distributed. I think you find some great tips for maximizing your fun with these feisty little guys. In the Fly Box, here are some of the questions and tips we cover: Is there one rod I can use for both tightline (Euro) nymphing and dry flies? I found out why my knots were breaking on tippet rings! Rattles for redfish When you might want tapered leaders for bass What is the difference between freshwater and saltwater fly lines, and the difference between coldwater and warmwater lines? What lines do I need for coastal fishing in the Northeast? Do I need to take special care when wearing wading boots on my inflatable SUP? What do you eat to keep going during a full day of fishing? Can I imitate both Hendricksons and March Browns with one fly pattern? Can I use my 6-weight Clearwater rod for stocked trout? What does good carp water look like?

Mar 09, 2018
Becoming a Fishing Guide, with Mike Dawkins

How do I become a guide? Should I get a job as a guide? How do I train to be a fishing guide? What skills do I need? I get these questions all the time on podcast requests, and because I have neither the skills nor the temperament to be a guide I asked our good friends at World Cast Anglers, specifically Mike Dawkins, to talk about the guiding life. They should know as they probably employ more fly-fishing guides than any other operation, and they have also been running a guide school for years. Listen to this week’s podcast about the pleasures and perils of being a fly-fishing guide. In the Fly Box this week, here are a few of the questions I try to answer: · How do I land giant alligator gar? · Where should I put my weight in relation to my tippet ring? · What are your top three suggestions for teaching someone to fish with a fly rod? · Should I get a weight forward or double taper fly line? · Can I use tightline nymphing techniques when fishing downstream? · How do I simplify and lighten up my gear when backpacking? · I get corrected—a listener has seen seen trout eat adult early black stoneflies and yellow sallies · How do I fish a long, clear, shallow stretch with no riffles without spooking fish? · Is it OK to put a perfection loop in my fly line? · Can I use a sinking poly leader when indicator fishing? · Why am I losing fish that I have hooked while fishing nymphs during the winter? · Why did I not catch fish while fishing nymphs during the winter?

Mar 02, 2018
Backcast Episode- Ten Tips on Better Line Control

*** This is a Backcast Episode from May 21, 2010. It is fun to see how much the show's format has changed since then! Thanks for listening!***

Tom thinks even the best casters can sometimes use a little help when it comes to line control. In this podcast he gives his top ten tips for what to do once your line hits the water. Have a suggestion for the podcast? Drop us a line at

Feb 23, 2018
Catching Largemouth Bass in Rivers, with Winston Cundiff

When we think of largemouth bass, most of us either have a vision of a small farm pond or a big wide-open lake. But there are many excellent largemouth bass fisheries in rivers. And the advantage for a fly fisher is that these fish never get into a zone where they are tough to target with a fly rod because they are always in shallow water. Texas has a number of great largemouth rivers, and this week I pick the brain of Winston Cundiff of All Water Guides in Austin, Texas. He shares his techniques for catching these fish, the tackle he uses, and the fly patterns he favors. I think fly-rod bass anglers from around the country will get some solid tips on catching largemouths in moving water. In The Fly Box this week, we explore a number of interesting questions and suggestions: · How are fly hooks tempered, and does bending a small hook in your tying vise weaken it? · Should you approach spooky small-stream trout in still pools from upstream or downstream? · How to make a 4X leader into a 7X leader. · Why do I keep missing strikes when fishing streamers? · What are some tips for catching trout in rivers with high fishing pressure? · Can I fish a soft hackle as a dropper behind a dry fly? · How can plus-size anglers sneak up on trout? · What is a level line? · A tip from a listener on how to avoid pricking your finger on the hook when tying flies.

Feb 16, 2018
Fly-Fishing from a Kayak, with Damon Bungard

I have gotten numerous requests on doing a podcast on fly fishing from a kayak and finally was able to corral my friend Damon Bungard of Jackson Kayaks, who has a broad experience fishing from kayaks all over the world, from tarpon flats to trout streams, and also designs kayaks. It’s a very detailed podcast, covering everything from picking the right craft to approaching fish to anchor systems to dealing with line handling to fighting and landing fish from a kayak. And lots of good stories in between. Fly fishers have different needs than conventional anglers when it comes to kayak fishing, so I am sure you will benefit from the wisdom of a true expert. Also in the Fly Box we cover questions on: · Whether you find the same hatches on different stretches of a river · Why a guide had an angler fight a fish with the rod in a vertical position · How far upstream to cast a nymph with an indicator, and how much to let it hang downstream · Will there be a kit to convert a Helios 3 D version to an F version (no, sorry they are totally different tapers) · Why are my knots breaking at the tippet ring but not when I attach it to a fly? · Are mop flies evil? · Why did I not have the same luck when I went back to the same trout stream a few weeks later? · For small flies, do I need to tie all sizes between 18 and 24? · Is a poly leader as good as a sink tip (to a blind horse?) · A seriously disappointing etiquette question (for which I don’t have a good answer) · Why aren’t jig style hooks used more often?

Feb 09, 2018
The Adventures of Fly-Fishing from a Stand Up Paddleboard, with Damon Newpher

This week I interview Damon Newpher of Adventure Bound on the Fly, a guide service that specializes in fly fishing from all sorts of craft, including stand-up paddleboards. Damon uses his SUP to chase steelhead, bass, and even muskies in his western New York location, but has ranged as far away as Belize and the Yucatan with inflatable boards, and has even floated remote rivers and lakes in Chile from them. He advises us on why you would want one, what to look for, how to accessorize one, and how to navigate moving water. These craft offer great advantages because they can get into places no other craft can go, with more stealth than any other method. Plus you are up above the water so you can spot fish and subsurface structures easier. And of course an added benefit is that you’ll stay in great shape while you fish!

In this week’s Fly Box, we cover, as usual, an eclectic range of things:

· Why did my wife get skunked fishing a streamer while I was using two at once?

· How to evaluate a fly rod in a shop

· Pike fishing from shore

· How do I fish emerger flies?

· What is the perfect fly rod for tiny streams?

· Should I buy a 10-foot 4-weight or 5-weight for tightline nymphing?

· Are practice casting rods any good—other than just to torture cats? ·

And we have a new acronym, thanks to a listener: WINTER. Len from PA gives us great advice on how a fly fisher should spend the winter preparing for spring.

Feb 02, 2018
Bugs, Bugs Bugs, with Peter Stitcher

This week I interview aquatic biologist and fly fisher Peter Stitcher, who not only has a great way of organizing fly boxes (a question I have always neglected to answer properly), he also has some great guidance on how to figure out what is in the river and how to pick a fly from your box that will do the best job of imitating that insect—without any detailed knowledge of entomology. If you learn his acronyms PAUSE and MATCH I am convinced you will have all the knowledge you need to be more successful. Listen to the podcast to learn what these acronyms mean. In The Fly Box, we have all sorts of great questions this week: · The difference between braided and furled leaders · How to Euro nymph rivers with spooky trout · Fishing a midge larva behind a streamer · The difference between “freshwater” and “saltwater” rods · How to transition from saltwater to freshwater fly fishing · Can I use my steelhead reel in salt water? · How to travel with a large net · Tricks for avoiding bulk when tying tiny flies · When to put a fighting trout on the reel · Tips for making very short roll casts · Using cat fur for dubbing · Decreasing hooking mortality on small brookies · How to avoid large cracks in fly lines

Jan 25, 2018
Tom and Tim's Annual Fly-Tying Spectacular

This week’s podcast is my annual bull session with Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions. Instead of us picking a topic, we decided to ask listeners for questions. We both field questions on making a dubbing noodle out of short-fibered dubbing (along with a bunch of other tips on dubbing), choice of articulations for jointed flies, mono weed guards on bonefish flies, black vs. gold beads on nymphs, consistently reproducing patterns, proportions in cutting hair and fur, mixing dubbing to imitate specific insects, the differences between various types of natural dubbings, and discussions on what makes a “good” hackle feather. And of course we ramble a bit. But that’s what fly tiers do when they have an hour to kill. We went on so long that there’s no fly box this week. Just one long fly box, and all about tying.

Jan 19, 2018
Fighting Big Fish, with Conway Bowman

After a long Christmas break, we’ve finally gotten back into a regular podcast schedule. This week our guest is Conway Bowman, known for his targeting of large mako sharks on a fly rod. But Conway also loves trout and tarpon fishing, so he gives us his tips on playing and landing large fish on a fly rod, whether it’s a 500-pound mako or a 22-inch trout. Conway is a great teacher and I am sure you will benefit from his tips. In the Fly Box this week, we have questions on taking an extra reel along, dressing for success and comfort in winter, making unweighted saltwater flies ride inverted in the water, factors that make a trout stream great, how to decide whether to go with weight-forward or double-taper lines, streamers in high altitude lakes, casting practice on snow, and a couple of discussions on tippet rings. I hope you enjoy the show

Jan 13, 2018
All About Snook, with Captain Dan Andrews

This week’s podcast is all about snook. I have never done a full podcast just on snook fishing, but it is the most popular gamefish in Florida so I figured it was high time. I enlisted Captain Dan Andrews as a guest. Dan, besides being a lifelong snook chaser and guide, is also executive director of Captains for Clean Water, a great organization that Orvis strongly supports. In the Fly Box this week, we have questions on occasional risers, whether you can handle a 22-inch trout on a 10-foot, 3-weight Recon, smelly head cements, targeting walleyes on the fly, pulling trout out of deep, slow pools, casting weighted streamers on a 5-weight, and some tips for steelhead anglers on the Great Lakes. There is also a story on a most unusual animal that took an angler’s mouse fly—but I won’t spoil the surprise here.

Dec 08, 2017
How to catch tailwater trout all winter long, with Steve Galletta

This week’s interview is with Steve Galletta of Bighorn Angler in Fort Smith, Montana. The Bighorn fishes well all winter long, and with Steve’s many seasons on the river he shares his tips on how to catch tailwater trout all winter long. Even if you don’t plan on fishing the Bighorn any time soon, Steve’s tips will give you valuable intel on how to fish your local tailwater. In The Fly Box, we have questions about the effects of fly flotants on knots, disappearing brook trout, releasing fish in fast water, using switch rods on lakes, why streamers work well in the fall, using UV resins for fly tying, fishing mouse patterns on lakes at night, keeping track of tippet rings, smells on carp flies, and how to apply techniques learned in one fishery to other species and places.

Nov 30, 2017
How Orvis Designs Fly Rods, with Shawn "Diddy" Combs

This week we get a special peak behind the curtain about how fly rods are developed. How long does it take to design a fly rod? How many prototypes are built? How are they tested? How are materials selected? And where do the ideas come from? Shawn Combs takes us into the depths of the Orvis skunkworks and tells us a few secrets (and withholds just as many) about how his team of engineers and technicians develop Orvis fly rods—specifically the new Helios 3 series. In the Fly Box this week, we talk about fishing emergers subsurface, the perils of using the wrong super glue on casting cuts, how long to let a bass popper sit, water temperature guiidelines for trout, fly fishing for crappies, a tip on keeping the trailing hook of a tandem out of the way when tying, leader lengths for stocked trout ponds, species-specific leaders, correct water depth for setting indicators, and how to fish multiple-fly rigs when the flies are barbless.

Nov 18, 2017
Mousing for Trout, with Joe Cermele

This week’s guest is Joe Cermele, fishing editor of Field & Stream magazine and the one-man-band behind the terrific web series “Hook Shots” (if you have not seen his videos they are always fun and offbeat). Joe is wild about fishing big flies for big fish—regardless of species. Our interview is about mousing for trout, a sorta-night-fishing, sorta-streamer-fishing technique that has become popular in recent years. But it’s not about fishing mouse flies for wilderness fish in Alaska or Kamchatka, it’s about fishing them in local, heavily fished rivers. Mousing is a great way to avoid the crowds and catch one of those big trout you seldom see during the day. As usual in The Fly Box we have a wide variety of topics: missing strikes on topwater bass flies, the difference between a desiccant and a flotant (again!), finding tailing carp, fishing streamers and high-stick nymphing in spring creeks, fishing bamboo rods for larger trout, tying with peacock eyes, questions on rod models, when to buy multiple reels as opposed to one reel and an extra spool, trout that disappear in early spring, correct depth for setting your indicator (there isn’t one), deciding which fly-tying tools to put most of your budget into—and finally what is that white rod Pete Kutzer uses for his casting videos?

Oct 26, 2017
What traveling fly-fishers often forget, with Jeremy Kehrein

This week Jeremy Kehrein from Orvis Travel joined me to share his knowledge of travel planning and packing tips. Most people know how to plan travel (just call up our Travel Department!) and know how to pack a suitcase, so we focus on what travelers often forget—what questions do they forget to ask when calling a travel agent, guide, or lodge, and what do people often forget when packing for a fishing trip. Arriving in a remote destination without an essential doodad can, while not exactly spoiling a trip, make it less enjoyable. In the Fly Box this week there is an extremely helpful tip from a listener that can benefit every angler—of all ages and all genders. I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you want it is. There are also questions on building a 7X leader that won’t collapse, how to land very large trout on a 3-weight rod and 6X tippet, how often multiple anglers can fish a single riffle, a recommendation for a good book on small-stream trout fishing (guess what that is?), studded boots making noise in the water, how to imitate a Rooster Tail, how to catch snotty whitefish, and how to keep a foam fly floating all day long. There is also an excellent tip from a listener who is a personal trainer on the right exercises to prepare yourself for fishing.

Oct 24, 2017
Switch vs Spey, with Pete Kutzer

I get repeated questions about switch vs. Spey: people interested in two-handed fly fishing but not sure which setup they need. Even though I think I have answered this question before, I thought it was time for a fresh look so I asked the incomparable Pete Kutzer, YouTube star and Orvis casting instructor, for his advice. Pete is a very serious two-handed angler and just got back from a couple steelhead rivers on the West Coast, so the topic was fresh in his mind. I hope it helps to answer some of your questions. In the Fly Box this week, questions are wide-ranging--casting accuracy, dropper flies tangling, flashing trout, Atlantic salmon guides, and trout short-striking streamers. Plus an interesting tip on what may be an interesting way of sharpening hooks.

Oct 14, 2017
Tips for finding Stripers, with Captain Aron Cascone

This week I interview Captain Aron Cascone of Westerly, Rhode Island for his tips on finding stripers on foot along the New England Coast, and then choosing the right fly, the right tide, the right time of day, and the right retrieve. Aron is one of the fishiest guys I know and he’s spent a life on the water. I learned a number of good tips despite fishing for stripers with a fly rod for over 30 years—so I’m sure you’ll learn some good stuff as well. In the Fly Box this week we answer questions on fly reel choices, making a presentation so that the fly passes over the fish before the leader, suggested camera gear for fly anglers, how to keep cleats from coming out of your wading boots, and how to make a simple saltwater leader. Plus suggestions from listeners on lubricating knots with fly paste and how to carry a second rod to the river.

Oct 09, 2017
Mr. Hemkens goes to Washington

This week’s podcast is an interview with Orvis VP Steve Hemkens about why he took a trip to Washington. The podcast may raise your hackles or it may give you hope for the future. You’ll have to listen to find out why he went to our nation’s capital and why someone responsible for the sale of fly-fishing products and responsible education in the outdoor world would want to meet with politicians. On a lighter note, the Fly Box this week covers a diverse group of questions, including targeting Texas redfish, repairing a severed fly line (hint—don’t), how to find a place to fish if you don’t know anyone, finding feeding trout in the weeds, the difference one tippet size makes, minimalist bass fishing, how to kill and clean trout, and how to a Get Drunk and Disorderly to stay under water (that sounds like cruel and unusual punishment). There is also a great suggestion from a listener on how to keep EP Fibers in line, and how to use the Fly Trap for storing dropper rigs.

Oct 06, 2017
12 Tips on Fishing Hatches That Might Surprise You

This week, I take a break from interviews and do a podcast like we did in the old days by interviewing myself. It’s a shameless plug for my newest book, Hatch Strategies, published by Rizzoli/Universe. I call it Twelve Tips on Fishing Hatches That Might Surprise You. I’m sure that many of you agree with most of the tips, especially if you’ve spent any time chasing trout when they are feeding on insect hatches. But I am willing to bet there are a couple you may not have thought of, that run contrary to what you have heard in the past, or might even think that Rosenbauer guy is full of fish feces. If you don’t agree with me, I’d love to hear about it, which may produce some interesting podcasts in the future. In the Fly Box this week, I answer (or try to answer) how to fish small streams with a 9-foot rod, the use of tippet rings, how to avoid spending a fortune on hackle, what percent of the time you should be hooking fish that rise to your dry fly, whether to fish for steelhead in a river where they are threatened, the use of scents on flies, how to avoid foul-hooking trout, the use of loop knots in trout fishing, and delicate dry-fly presentations at short distances. There are also a couple of great letters from listeners with comments—one on angling ethics and another on how to move from trout fishing to saltwater fly fishing on the West Coast.

Sep 28, 2017
Lots of LIstener Questions and a Conservation Update from Trout Unlimited's Chris Wood

This week Chris Wood, president and CEO of Trout Unlimited, visited us in Vermont and we got to pull him aside for a great podcast (and take him fishing for brook trout). Chris is a master at distilling complicated environmental issues down to their essence in the way anglers can understand them, and he enlightens us on some current issues like Pebble Mine, the Clean Water Rule, and western water laws. And it’s not all bad news!

In the Fly Box, questions range from requests to have me MC a rehearsal dinner for a wedding (not gonna happen) to switching from trout to other species to getting another season out of a pair of waders. Plus questions on Village Idiots and herons and redfish and fishing diaries. Plus a couple of cool tips from listeners on fly tying.

Sep 07, 2017
Tactics for Large Brown Trout Fishing in the Fall, with Noah Parker

This week we have a timely podcast—fishing for large brown trout in the fall. Noah Parker from Land of Enchantment Guides in New Mexico tells us how they fish for large browns in the fall, and they use some techniques in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado that are different from what most of you probably do. In the Fly Box, questions come up on catching fussy trout in small streams, gel-spun backing, swinging nymphs, fishing 4 people at once, what the Copper John imitates, and some great fly-tying tips from listeners.

Aug 31, 2017
Backcast Episode: Advanced Fly-Fishing Techniques for Smallmouth Bass

***This is a Backcast Episode from March of 2014. Tom will be back from vacation with new episodes soon!*** This week we have what I feel is one of our best podcasts ever—an interview with Colby Trow of Mossy Creek Fly Shop on his advanced tactics for catching smallmouth bass. I learned a ton in this podcast and it makes me want to head south to chase some right now. And in this extra-long podcast there are plenty of fly box questions: Using a stomach pump on trout, how to keep your indicator from sliding, whether bright silver and gold beads are a thing of the past, how to find secondary feathers on a goose wing, and good substitutes for deer hair on a Comparadun wing.

Aug 18, 2017
Video Tip How to Make an Aerial Mend, with Pete Kutzer

Tom is on vacation this week so we are bringing you a video this week. Want more videos? Let us know at

Welcome to another installment of “Ask an Orvis Fly-Fishing Instructor,” with me, Peter Kutzer. In this episode, I demonstrate how to make aerial mends in your line, creating an upstream or downstream mend before your line touches down on the water. This is a great technique for when you’re casting across varying currents, and it will help you achieve better and longer dead drifts. By making the mend during the cast, you avoid having to break the surface tension to move the line, as you would with a traditional mend.

An aerial mend is quite easy to make, but there are two parts that will require some practice: the size of the mend and where it occurs along the line. By simply drawing a “C” or a “D” with the rod tip, you can create the belly required for a mend. The size of the letter you draw determines the size of the mend. How long you wait after the rod stops on the forward cast determines where that mend will occur. If you want it to be far out near the tip of the line, draw the letter right after the rod stops. To make a mend closer to you, wait a bit before drawing the letter.

With a little practice, you’ll get a feel for both the size and the location of the mend. Good luck!


Aug 09, 2017
Guiding for Permit, with Captain Will Benson

OK, get ready for this—it’s a long one! I figured since I had not done a podcast in a couple weeks I would give you your money’s worth, and this podcast includes a long interview with Will Benson, noted permit guide and film maker. As you’ll hear, Will has strong passions for many things—permit, guiding, people, and the environment—and I had trouble cutting this one off. But it was a fun and educational interview, and very inspiring for me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And furthermore, it’s a longer Fly Box than usual, with questions on finding a guide school, big fish getting off the hook, Clouser Minnows riding sideways, catching big stripers form shore, remembering Mel Krieger, catching carp in North Dakota, a recommended outfit for Atlantic salmon on the Gaspe peninsula, fishing caddis egg-laying events, and where and how to go fly fishing in the Greek Islands (spoiler—I have no idea).

Jul 27, 2017
Mastering the Hatch from a Boat with Joe Demalderis

This week I have an interview with an old friend, Joe Demalderis, of Cross Current guide service in the Catskills. Joe knows the Delaware system about as well as any human, and has a common-sense approach to fishing hatches that I love. We talk about how to fish hatches from a drift boat or other craft, which at times can be more difficult than fishing hatches while wading, but at other times can reach fish in water that is too deep of otherwise inaccessible to the wader. In the Fly Box, we range from questions on getting droppers ready before you go fishing, caddis pupa tactics, fish rising to tippet rings, brook trout on streamers, the effect of heat on tippet material, shirt colors on trout streams, and suggested bonefish books.

Jun 30, 2017
Proper Fly Presentation to Tarpon and other Species with Dave Mangum

My guest this week is guide David Mangum, renowned tarpon guide, filmmaker, still photographer, fly tier—and well the guy is just incredibly talented. In the interview he gives us some fascinating tips on presenting a fly to tarpon, and you may be surprised at what this seasoned guide recommends. He also gives tips on presenting the fly to other species—no surprise that accuracy, not distance or power, is the most important factor. And prior to the interview, in the podcast we answer questions on why you don’t need to change leaders every time you hit a different water type, handicapping fly anglers, sunken hoppers, fishing a new landlocked salmon fishery, nymphing for bass, playing fish on Euro-style nymphing rod, setting the hook on the wet fly swing, diversity in fly fishing, stinky hackle, and attaching backing to fly line.

Jun 22, 2017
Josh Nugent's Seven Deadly Sins of Sight-Fishing

This week I have a more-or-less black diamond podcast with Josh Nugent of Out Fly Fishing Outfitters in Calgary. With the peak of hatches upon us, now is the time to tune up your sight-fishing game, and Josh provides with some meaty tips (As well as The Seven Deadly Sins). In the Fly Box, I have a couple listener follow-ups on questions from other listeners. One is on freshwater drum from James at the Orvis store in Royal Oak outside of Detroit. The other is from gentleman in Canada who relates his experience with using loop knots on dry flies (hint—don’t). And I answer some questions on obtaining feathers for tying soft hackles, best boxes for large bass flies, how to rig for tightline nymphing, leaders for smallmouths, and whether a graphite rod can fatigue after a day catching more than 10 carp from 10 to 20 pounds in weight (no one is feeling sorry for that guy).

Jun 15, 2017
Accuracy in fishing for redfish and other flats species with Lucas Bissett

I don’t know why redfish have the reputation of being easy to catch. Every one I have ever cast to was spooky and suspicious. I’ve also found that when casting to redfish, especially in the fascinating times when they’re tailing in shallow water, accuracy is key. And I don’t mean in the general area. You need to place the fly in exactly the right spot based on which direction the fish is facing. Want to find out more about gaining accuracy on redfish? You’ll have to listen to this week’s podcast, where I interview Orvis Saltwater Guide of the Year Lucas Bissett of Slidell, Louisiana. In the Fly Box this week, I try to answer questions on tides and currents in salt water, color of leader material, an old fly dressing formula, the Hopper Twitch, feather clippings, and how to reconcile the feeling of getting skunked (my wife and fishing buddies will tell you I don’t do this well).

Jun 09, 2017
Tom Interviews legendary author John Gierach

In this week’s podcast I have the pleasure of chatting with John Gierach, probably the most popular fly-fishing writer in the world (based on the fact that all 18 of his books are still in print!)  It’s likely that most fly fishers have read John’s work, but it’s a pleasure to hear his voice and some of his thoughts on today’s fly-fishing world.  In The Fly Box, we have some thought-provoking questions this week:  whether it makes sense to use a loop knot on a dry fly, whether a three-turn blood knot is enough, how to keep a bass leader from twisting, another cool trick with a rubber band, how to keep your emergers floating properly in the surface film, how to catch freshwater drum, and what kinds of fly lines you need for fishing a Canadian lake in midsummer.

May 26, 2017
The Wonders of the Midwest’s Driftless Region with Mat Wagner

This week’s podcast is a tour of the wonders of the Midwest’s Driftless Region, where small trout streams abound, trout are plentiful, and public access abounds. What could be better? Guide Mat Wagner tells all in this podcast that helped me vicariously enjoy his region (it’s at the top of my wish list). In the Fly Box, we had some particularly interested questions this week: Using night vision goggles for trout fishing, how to keep a record of streamside insects you find, disappearing brook trout, fighting big fish, catching sea trout on a fly, and the effectiveness of fishing bait using a fly rod.

May 18, 2017
Lessons learned from the Friends of the Upper Delaware River with Jeff Skelding

In the fly box this week we have questions on making your own braided leaders, boorish behavior on trout streams, the effect of melting snow on fishing, how to test a new fly, the ethics of using a guide to find a spot and then fishing it on your own (don’t do it), and a mystery caller at the end.

This week I also share an interview with Jeff Skelding, executive director of the Friends of the Upper Delaware River (FUDR). This is a very effective regional conservation organization that after years of difficult relations with local public officials, state and regional water authorities, and highway departments, has gradually formed very effective partnerships with them. We can all learn from their advice and experience when it appears that conservation and property seem to be at odds. It does not have to be a zero-sum game.

May 11, 2017
Fly-Fishing the Bahamas with Chris Dombrowski

This week I interview Chris Dombrowski, author, poet, and fishing guide. Chris's book Body of Water is one of my favorite fly fishing books--even though it is more about people than fishing. Learn how a guy with the rough hands of a fishing guide and the soul of a poet thinks about our crazy world.

We have all listener email this week as the phone calls I had were not the types of questions I can answer in this podcast (where should I fish, etc). WE do have some great questions on rod and reel maintenance and weather, nymphing, how much are "collectors'" flies worth, chemicals in fly-tying material and more.

Apr 24, 2017
Facebook Live Show; Orvis's New Snips and Viewer Questions

This is a bit different from regular shows. This is the audio from a Facebook LIVE video show Tom did last week about Orvis' new snips and he also takes questions on various topics.

The sound quality is not as high as other shows.

If you want to skip the snips presentation, skip ahead about five minutes. You can see the video version and other videos at

Apr 21, 2017
Fly-Fishing in Cuba with Felipe Rodriguez

In this week’s podcast, I was honored to have Felipe Rodriguez in the studio. Felipe is the head guide for the Orvis trips to Cuba, and is one of the most highly respected guides in Cuba, both for his knowledge of the fishery and for his education efforts with the younger generation of Cuban guides. He had never seen snow before, and arrived in Vermont and New York City in the middle of our biggest snowstorm of the winter. It was an exciting time for us and for Felipe.

Also this week, in the Fly Box, we talk more about Mop Flies, basic saltwater patterns, wrist braces for fly fishers with tendonitis, UV and fluorescent materials, and advice for the younger generation of fly fishers.

Apr 14, 2017
Fixed | Fishing High-Water Spring Runoff for Trout with Landon Mayer

In this week’s podcast, our guest is the very savvy guide and writer Landon Mayer from central Colorado. Landon is the author of four books on fly fishing, numerous magazine articles, and you may have caught one of his presentations at a fly-fishing show. He’s also a hard-working guide. Landon gives us his special tips for taking advantage of the high water of spring runoff—something most of us try to avoid but with Landon’s guidance you might welcome these conditions. In The Fly Box, we talk about casting practice, the use of two indicators, fishing for landlocked salmon in lakes, Woolly Buggers for steelhead, and a heartwarming story about catching a steelhead despite adverse conditions.

Mar 20, 2017
Fishing Early Spring Midges in Tailwaters with Pat Dorsey

In this week’s podcast, I have the pleasure of picking Pat Dorsey’s brain on winter and early spring midge fishing in tailwaters. Pat is one of our foremost experts on small fly fishing, and is known far and wide as a guide, writer, fly tier, and presenter. Plus he’s just a cool guy. In the Fly Box this week, we have a surprise guest talking about an infamous bumper sticker, the difference between tippet material and regular fishing line, estimating how big trout get in small streams, a couple of dubbing techniques, how to find seam leaks in waders, avoiding tangles in two-fly rigs (don’t expect any brilliant ideas), and using stripping baskets with Spey rods.

Mar 06, 2017
Reid Interviews Tom Rosenbauer about intersection of Bird Hunting and Fly Fishing

Hi- This is Jamie Hathaway. I produce both the Orvis fishing and hunting podcasts. I thought you might like to hear Reid Bryant's interview with Tom over on the Orvis Hunting and Shooting Podcast. 

Subscribe to the Orvis Hunting and Shooting Podcast on iTunes or at!

Reid Bryant shares the booth with Orvis legend and avid hunter Tom Rosenbauer. Best known for his fly-fishing books, fly patterns, and host role with the Orvis Fly-fishing Podcast, Tom is a wealth of knowledge about Orvis and the sporting resources of southern Vermont. Reid and Tom discuss, dogs, ducks, and the symbiotic nature of being a fly angler as well as a bird hunter.

Mar 05, 2017
Tom's Big Break

Orvis CEO Perk Perkins gave Tom an important job and Tom is excited to show him the results.


Feb 28, 2017
Local Guide Secrets for California Steelhead and Trout with John Rickard

This week’s podcast interview is with John Rickard, Orvis-Endorsed Guide with Wild Waters Fly Fishing in Shasta, California. Our main topic is winter steelhead in California, but John also gives us some helpful insights on California trout fishing as well. In The Fly Box, we ramble through topics like when to anchor a drift boat and when to keep moving, packing your gear for trips, weighting flies, Softex vs. epoxy, the difference between switch rods and long single-handed rods, and the importance of white nymphs. We also get a stern warning on road-killed songbird feathers—spoiler—even possessing them is a federal felony. Yikes!

Feb 07, 2017
[Video] Tom's New Book, Fly Fishing for Trout--The Next Level

One of the most common questions I get on this podcast and in person is "how can i take my fishing to the next level?".

My new book, "Fly Fishing for Trout--The Next Level" is out and I'm really proud of it.

I made this video to tell you why I wrote the book and how it can help you have more fun on the water.

I hope you check it out!

Feb 06, 2017
Rare, Unusual, and Under Utilized Fly Tying Materials with Tim Flagler

I am betting that this week’s podcast will be one of the most popular of the year. Entitled “Rare, Unusual, and Under-Utilized Fly Tying Materials” it’s an interview with superb videographer and fly tier Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions. As typically happens with us, we go off on some crazy tangents but it’s all about fly tying and it gets a bit geeky. Which I have found that lots of our listeners enjoy. And if that’s not enough, the Fly Box covers carrying a second rod on the river, picking hackle capes, DT vs. WF lines (again!), fall-spawning rainbows, casting leaders with heavy flies and weight on them, midging trout during the winter, night-fishing tips, and fluoro vs. nylon for tippets.

Jan 28, 2017
Tactical Fly-Fishing Techniques with Jesse Haller

We get many questions about tactical nymphs, tactical fishing, and tactical hooks. What do we mean by this? Listen this week as we talk to Jesse Haller, resident Orvis Tactical Master. We’ll be talking about tying tactical flies and using tactical hooks. And Jesse will give up his go-to fly patterns and tell us how to tie them. Also in the fly box this week we explore fly fishing for largemouths and smallmouths, swinging flies for big brown trout, winter fly fishing, how to measure leader sections, how to pick a trout net and how to use it, and whether “western” fly patterns can be used in the East.

Jan 22, 2017
Top-Secret Steelhead Tips with Stefan Woodruff

In this podcast Stefan Woodruff, Orvis-endorsed guide with Ellensburg Anglers in Washington State, reveals (some of) his secrets to catching steelhead, plus an overview of ths steelhead opportunities in his state. Trout anglers will also enjoy his tips on fishing the Yakima River, tips that should work anywhere. In The Fly Box we range from tying gel-spun backing to fly line, how to fish with a friend and really fish together, what to do if you get snagged on a small stream, hooking fish on fiberglass rods, identifying jumping fish, what materials to save for fly tying from hunting trips, how to avoid drag when fishing to fish in a slow pocket on the other side of fast current. I also decline to give marital advice to one listener.

Dec 28, 2016
Trouble in the Everglades

This podcast is an interview with an old friend and fishing buddy, Mike Connor of Mike is a fishing guide whose livelihood has been threatened by the inaction and foot-dragging of politicians on the Lake Okeechobee/Everglades water issues, as Mike’s home waters are at the mouth of the St. Lucie River. We don’t like to talk politics in the podcast but unfortunately this issue, one of the biggest environmental issues in the United States, needs a political solution as the science has been completed, the funds have been approved by voters and Congress—but somehow not much has happened. Of course we also talk lots of fishing in this podcast, with a clarification on what the Tactical Fly and hook series is, why few flies are colored white, the five easiest but effective trout flies to tie, lots of discussion on head cements for fly tying, more on sight-fishing for trout, casting off to the side,—and other earth-shaking issues.

Dec 27, 2016
Advanced Steelhead Tips with Chuck Hawkins (fixed)

This week I interview Chuck Hawkins, one of the most experienced Great Lakes steelhead guides, who also travels the world in search of trout and other species when he’s not guiding steelheaders. As usual when talking to such an experienced guide, I discovered many cool tips and tricks I had never thought of. I’m sure you’ll find this podcast educational, whether you fish for steelhead in the Great Lakes or on the West Coast—or even if you fish for non-migratory trout with nymphs and streamers. Lots of these techniques translate well. In the Fly Box, we answer questions on deeply-hooked trout, straightening tippets, casting on grass, sight-fishing for trout, avoiding crowds, bite tippets for pike and pickerel, fishing in the middle of the day, and other little tidbits.

Dec 11, 2016
Urban Fy-Fishing with Jen Ripple

This week I have a delightful interview with the energetic Jen Ripple, publisher of Dun Magazine. She has some exciting news about her magazine that you’ll discover in the podcast. But the podcast is not about magazines, it’s about urban fly fishing, specifically Midwestern urban fly fishing. Jen is well versed on this subject, and I know you’ll enjoy some of her wild stories and you’ll learn a bunch about how to seek out these gems in the middle of heavy industry. Also in the Fly Box we discuss loops on fly lines, whether fly fishing is better than spin fishing, what to do with poorly tied flies from your earlier attempts, how to target big brook trout, how to avoid spooking trout, when it’s OK to reel your line-to-leader connection inside your guides, how to avoid foul-hooking fish—and lots of other tidbits.

Dec 02, 2016
Advanced Steelhead Tips with Damon Newpher

This week’s podcast is on Great Lakes steelhead fishing, in particular the tributaries to Lake Erie. Damon Newpher, longtime Orvis-endorsed guide, gives us some advanced tips on some of the techniques he uses, which should work on all Great Lakes tribs. You’ll be surprised at some of the techniques he uses, including a dry dropper rig, nymph rigs, and of course his secrets for swinging flies. Also in the fly box this week we tackle questions like tips for fishing nymphs deep in weedy waters, drift boat anchors, how to cast a large fly on a relatively light rod, migrating trout, fishing near redds, weed guards on flies, cigarette smoke and trout, and the dreaded mop fly.

Nov 18, 2016
The Truth About False Albacore

I’m just back from a wonderful trip to Cape Cod fishing for false albacore with my old friend Captain Tony Biski ( ) and have been wanting to do a podcast with Peter Jenkins from The Saltwater Edge in Newport, Rhode Island. Since he’s an albie expert, it seemed like the perfect week to talk about these wonderful fish. Peter and I don’t agree on all aspects of albie fishing—but that’s what makes fly fishing interesting and fun. In the Fly Box, we have questions about snorkel observations of trout streams, suggestions on how to tie on a fly in fading light, a mystery about losing a potential monster trout, when to lose the shot and indicator when nymph fishing, a bunch of questions about what fly rod to pick, and the strongest backing-to-fly-line connection. Plus a touching story from a listener in the UK.

Oct 10, 2016
Late Season Carp Techniques, with Dan Fraiser

I always enjoy doing podcasts with Dan Frasier. He’s always upbeat, often very funny, and is one of the most insightful carp anglers I know. He’s also the author of The Orvis Beginner’s Guide to Carp Flies , which I think is a misleading title because his book is THE authority on carp flies and is a favorite with many expert carp anglers. Dan talks about how potentially the best carp fishing of the year lies ahead of us, something I was not aware of. I always thought carp fishing was best in the heat of summer, but you’ll discover in this podcast that you have a lot more to look forward to—and Dan will tell you how and why. And of course we have an installment of the Fly Box, covering such esoteric topics as fishing with dogs, trout in Mexico, jumping trout, sinking lines for trout, and how to fish a difficult tail of a pool.

Sep 19, 2016
Tom's first LIVE Facebook Show

Tom takes your questions in his first live show on Facebook!

Aug 19, 2016
Where can I legally fish and where am I trespassing? With Land Tawney

Where can I legally fish and where am I trespassing? What is considered navigable water? Who owns the water and the fish in it? These are all questions answered in this week’s podcast by Land Tawney, CEO of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, based in Missoula, Montana. What you’ll learn is that these answers vary with every state, and thus you must learn a new set of access laws every time you cross state lines. Also in the Fly Box this week we talk about how to fish a streamer, why dry/dry dropper rigs work, shelf life of fly-tying thread, underwater fish photos, tipping guides, the use of class tippets in salt water, whether you can put backing away wet, and other fun stuff.

Aug 13, 2016
Ten Hot Tips for August Trout Fishing

In this week’s podcast, I tackle the subject of “Ten Hot Tips for August Trout Fishing”, and I think there will be things for both beginners and experts in there. In the Fly Box, we discuss such diverse topics as deer hair choice in fly tying, 7-piece rods, rubbing flies in the mud, imitation jungle cock, tippet ring setup, moving from Tenkara to conventional “Western” rods, spooked trout, jumping carp, and how to pick the right guide.

Aug 02, 2016
Advanced Trout Techniqyes with Tom Brown

In response to requests for more advanced podcasts, this week I have an interview with Tom Brown, a master at technical trout fishing, long-time fishing manager in our Roanoke retail store, and now a member of our Outfitter Team (the great people who answer your technical fly fishing questions via phone, e-mail, or chat). Also in the fly box we cover whether a 3-weight is OK for an all-around Rocky Mountain rod, whether the absence of small fish in a pool indicates a big trout nearby, treble hooks for tube flies, switch rods from SUPs, the best sinking line for streams, terrestrials early in the season, and a bunch of other interesting questions.

Jun 27, 2016
Finding and catching stream smallmouth bass on a fly rod with Paul Caldwell

This week’s podcast feature smallmouth expert Paul Caldwell with his tips on finding and catching stream smallmouths on a fly rod. Paul is a specialist in the Outfitter area in our Roanoke customer service department, and handles technical questions for guides, dealers, and all anglers who have questions on tackle—or just plain fishing questions. As you’ll hear, we have a talented staff in Virginia with first-rate anglers manning our phone, e-mail, and chat lines. In the Fly Box this week, we talk about spooky brook trout, how much pressure a small stream can take, how to wash your waders, why stocked trout have banged-up fins and jaws, how to decide angling tactics based on habitat or trout species, ways to test your hook-setting abilities, and how to play a trout with a long leader.

Jun 07, 2016
Stillwater tips with Steve Yeomans

This week we have a loooong stillwater podcast, for those of you who have been requesting one.  Because the British are so more sophisticated in stillwater fishing than most North Americans (with the exception of anglers in the US Northwest and southwestern Canada) I turned to an expert from across the pond, Steve Yeomans, an expert stillwater guide and angler.  Steve goes into detail on how to find fish in lakes, gearing up, casting tricks, lines and leaders, retrieves, and of course flies.  It’s chock full of solid information.  Also in the fly box we discuss the best length for saltwater fly rods, trout fishing in rain and fog, landing trout that sulk in deep pools, landing trout on smaller hooks, parachute posts, and beads vs. cones on flies.  There are also two great suggestions from listeners and I re-answer one question where I thought I heard the caller say “tube flies in salt water” when he actually said “two flies in salt water”

Jun 01, 2016
Return of the Tenkara Sensei

This week I had the pleasure of talking to Daniel Galhardo of Tenkara USA, who did a basic Tenkara podcast last year when he was visiting us. We get into a little more detail on Tenkara, especially the use of sinking flies and all the ways you can manipulate them with this method. If you are curious about this method of fishing I think you’ll enjoy it. In The Fly Box this week, we had a wide range of topics, like how to hook snakehead on a fly, which sling bag to pick, how to fish streamers, a tip on curing UV resins, whether the flex or action of the rod affects your hooking ability, and which direction salmon face when they are returning to the ocean.

May 18, 2016
Keep 'em Wet: Best Practices for Catch and Release

In this podcast I tell a story about getting caught playing Hendrickson hooky by two owners of the Orvis Company. Plus various assorted Fly Box questions like keeping rainbows on the hook when they jump, how to remove flies from deep in a trout’s mouth, how Eastern and Western waters differ in early season, fly fishing alongside spin-fishing buddies—plus the main podcast, in which Paul Moinester of Keep ‘Em Wet and I talk about best practices for releasing fish.

May 08, 2016
Early Spring Fishing in Florida with Cpt Dave Pecci

This week we visit with Captain Dave Pecci about early spring fishing in the Charlotte Harbor area of Florida. WE also talk once again about the current water quality issue in Florida. You may all be sick of hearing about it, but other than climate change the Everglades issue is one of the most serious immediate threats to both our freshwater and saltwater ecosystems. But don?t worry, we also talk about catching redfish, speckled trout, and snook. In The Fly Box this week we cover a broad range of topics, from the Eastern Green Drake hatch to small-stream steelhead tactics to the advantages of fiberglass rods.

Apr 18, 2016
The New Lord of the Flies

Tom sits down with Orvis' new fly guru, Jesse Haller to discuss (of course) flies as well as competitive fly fishing. / / In the Fly Box, Tom takes your questions ranging from scented flies to broken rods.

Apr 08, 2016
Fishing the Everglades with Jason Sullivan

This week I have an interview with Captain Jason Sullivan, who fishes out of Flamingo in south Florida and covers both the southern Everglades and Florida Bay.  We talk a lot about tarpon, but also redfish, snook, sea trout, cobia, and even tripletail.  On the second part of the interview we talk about the longstanding ecological problems in south Florida, caused by man-made diversion of fresh water from the Everglades and Florida Bay and the over-abundance of human-directed fresh water on places on both the Atlantic Coast and Gulf Coasts.  It’s a hot topic these days because of the high water conditions in Lake Okeechobee that are creating even more flows of polluted fresh water  than usual.  The Everglades belong to all of us, and anyone who loves this vast wild place should be concerned about what is going on in Florida.  So please don’t turn off the podcast after we get done talking about tarpon fishing.


In the Fly Box, we range from spring high water issues to tippet knots, line-to-leader connections, and magnetized fly hooks.  And, of course, imitating freshwater clams for carp fishing.  Would not be a proper podcast with a clam-eating carp question.

Mar 11, 2016
Using Science to Catch More Bonefish with Justin Lewis

This week I interview Justin Lewis, fisheries scientist and native of Grand Bahama Island, who is the Bahamas Initiative Manager for Bonefish Tarpon Trust.  You’ll learn some fascinating science, what the Bahamas is doing to protect their near-pristine habitat, and some tips on catching bonefish based on the science we’ve learned from BTT’s research.  In the fly box, we talk about storing waders, head cement, swinging flies, coiling line, where to attach droppers, fishing PCB-contaminated waters, indicator types, wet knot strength in tippet, and how to keep dry flies floating upright.  Plus we have a couple great tips submitted by listeners.

Feb 21, 2016
The Golden Rules of Fly-Tying with Dave Klausmeyer

This week the main part of the podcast is a long interview with Dave Klausmeyer, editor of Fly Tier Magazine.  He talks about his Golden Rules of Fly Tying and then also gives his 10 Cannot-Do-Without natural and synthetic materials.  If you keep count you will find that Klausmeyer is even worse at addition than I am.

In The Fly Box, we ramble from fishing soft hackles to checking fly lines and backing for damage.  There are also a couple questions about finding big rainbow trout feeding in still, shallow water.  And we have a couple great lists of suggestions from listeners—one on ways to carry a second rod when wading; the other on “Suggestions for a novice from a kinda novice.”  If I keep getting great responses like this from listeners I can let them take over the whole podcast!

Feb 01, 2016
Winter Fly Patterns and Trout Tactics with Tim Flagler

By very popular demand, this week I have Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions as my guest and we ramble about—guess what?—fly tying.  But not all tying, in fact I think we talk as much about winter trout tactics as we do winter fly patterns.  But I know after this podcast I have a half dozen new flies I want to try in the coming season.  Also, in a longer-than-usual Fly Box section this week (hopefully to make up for not having many podcasts in December) we talk about sharpening scissors, tying the Adams, hooking fish, 10 fly-fishing books I recommend, caddis nymphs, knots for tube flies, UK wild trout, carrying a second rod while wading, and lots more.

Jan 11, 2016
More on Steelhead and Demystifying Two-Handed Casting with Jason Cotta

In this week’s podcast, we continue our series on steelhead fishing by going into even more detail on demystifying the terms used in two-handed casting, when to use a Spey or a switch rod, and lots of detail on lines for two-handed rods, because it is a whole new world with new vocabulary.  But take heart—Jason Cotta, fishing manager of Orvis Bellevue, walks us through the details and explains them very clearly.  He also gives some solid tips for the novice steelhead angler.  In The Fly Box, we cover dealing with road kill squirrel’s tail, small stream rods, saltwater fly lines, difficult albies in shallow water, fly pattern trademarks and royalties, fish leverage on various types of hooks, the life of nylon tippet, bobber alternatives, and the effects of drought on small stream trout populations.

Dec 08, 2015
Catching the Challenging Michigan Steelhead with Frank Willets

This week I have an interview with Frank Willets of Pere Marquette River Lodge on Michigan steelhead fishing.  Frank grew up fishing in Michigan and knows the ins and outs of Great Lakes steelheading intimately.  I know you’ll pick up some tips and this one is sure to be controversial because on the PM they use the chuck & duck method quite often and make no bones about it (they also swing flies in the traditional manner).  We’ll also answer questions on why you seldom see hatches, how to play steelhead, pre-treatments for dry flies, “must fish” rivers for swinging flies, two-handed rods for the Florida surf, streamers in low water, what part of a deer hide to save, and other bizarre questions only a fly fisher could love.

Nov 22, 2015
Steelhead Alley with Greg Senyo

For this week’s podcast we have an interview with author, guide, fly designer, and master steelheader Greg Senyo, who grew up in the Steelhead Alley region and knows it intimately.  If you are heading to Lake Erie this year, or to any of the Great Lakes tributaries, you’ll find some solid tips on how to have more fun.  In the Fly Box this week we talk about “dry fly nirvana”, where to go on a Rocky Mountain trout trip (I don’t give any recommendations and I say why I don’t), how to catch suckers and carp in a trout stream, tying flies with silk, keeping your pant legs down when wearing waders, why expensive sunglasses are worth it, tips on tying Glo Bugs, the benefits of micro jig hooks, and why dry flies sometime twist your tippet.

Oct 27, 2015
Steelhead Tips with Adam MacNamara

This week’s podcast is worth listening to, just for the entertainment value of hearing a listener say he doesn’t listen to many of the podcasts because I “speak too slowly as if you are a grade school teacher teaching remedial students”  and that “Words or ideas that are so basically common knowledge of this sport need no explanation.  For example, if one of your listeners doesn’t know what a tippet is, they should look it up elsewhere and not waste the other listeners’ time with a long, slooow, and overdrawn explanation”  So take that, you dummies!  Use Google and don’t bother me with your basic questions.  Are you bothered by this?  Or do you have a different opinion?  If so, please listen to the podcast and then come back to this post to air your comments.  If I’m boring you I want to hear about it.

Oh, yeah, and my long overdrawn explanations this week cover right-angle nymph rigs, rotary vises, lines for bonefish, year class dominance in trout, why there is no magic fly for a hatch, tying the Surf Candy, and much more.  And the main event is an interview with Adam MacNamara, manager of the Orvis retail store in Portland Oregon and longtime steelhead angler and guide.  And you’ll never guess what we talk about…

Oct 10, 2015
Fly-Fishing in Colder Conditions with John Herzer

This week the main event is a chat with John Herzer, owner of Blackfoot River Outfitters and one of the savviest anglers and guides I know.  John talks about late fall and winter fishing in the Missoula area, although the solid tips he gives would work anywhere in the world when you encounter colder conditions.  Also in the Fly Box we discuss wet flies vs. nymphs and when to use them, single-handed steelhead rods that also work for bass and salt water, night fishing for rainbow trout (don’t), native fish species, and my brilliant career picking flies out of carpets.


Sep 29, 2015
Spey Casting Simplified (kind of)

This week we had lots of great questions in the Fly Box because I have not done a podcast in a few weeks—so there were lots of good ones in my inbox.  We talk about using the Non-Slip Mono Loop knot for fresh water, tippet rings, tough rising fish, Depth Charge Lines, fly boxes for big dries, click-and pawl reels for trout, up vs. down vs. ring eyes for fly hooks—plus two great suggestions from listeners:  one on casting fatigue and the other on a very innovative way to dry CDC flies.

And in the main event, casting instructor extraordinaire Pete Kutzer and I try to simplify Spey casting and lines for two-handed rods.  I am not sure we simplified it much but hopefully it will answer some of your questions.

Sep 20, 2015
Stillwater Tips with Bill Reed


In the podcast this week, I have the pleasure of interviewing my old friend and co-worker Bill Reed on stillwater trout fishing.  We get requests for stillwater podcasts regularly but honestly I’m not very good at stillwater  trout fishing and just don’t do it enough.  Bill gives us his 8 tips for stillwater fishing, and whether you are an expert at this discipline or just thinking about it, you’ll get many valuable tips.  Also on the Fly Box this week we ramble about night fishing, streamer fishing, how to organize your fly box, how to catch fall landlocked salmon, dry/dropper combinations, wire leaders, parachute hackles, and landing fish in the weeds.

Aug 15, 2015
Lessons from the Missouri with Chris Strainer


In this week’s podcast we talk to Chris Strainer, owner of Crosscurrents Fly Shop in Craig, Montana.  Chris fills us in on how to beat both the heat and the crowds on one of our most popular trout rivers, the Missouri.  He has some great tips on this, as well as suggestions for fall fishing opportunities when the crowds are gone and the weather is cooler. 

In the Fly Box we talk about mending with a dry fly, fishing emergers and wets upstream, prospecting with smaller flies, losing fish when they jump, protecting rubber legs on crab patterns, casting fatigue, big fish on light rods…and many other crazy topics.

Aug 08, 2015
Tom's Ten Tips to Beat the Heat

This week I give Ten Tips for Trout Anglers to Beat the Heat, I think a timely topic with the weather we have had lately.  In the Fly Box, we also talk more about fly lines for bass, when to change a dropper fly if only one pattern is working, whether it is OK to harvest small brook trout for lunch, how to decide amongst the thousands of attractor patterns, best flies for perch, “RADD” (river ADD), how to practice for trout on your local panfish lake, and best rods for kayak fishing.



Jul 12, 2015
Perk Perkins on Fly Lines


This week I have the pleasure of interviewing our CEO Perk Perkins, who as you know if you listen to the podcasts is a big leader and tippet geek.  He also has strong opinions on floating trout lines, and in the podcast he talks about why he loves textured lines and what taper he prefers and why.  Also in the fly box we discuss upstream and downstream mends, what happens during a crazy olive hatch, slack line under your rod tip, setting the hook too aggressively, fishing saltwater flies for trout, and lots of other good questions.

Jul 01, 2015
Smallmouth Bass Tips with Kip Vieth

This week my guest is one of our top warmwater fly fishing experts.  You probably know of Kip Vieth as a muskie guide, as he is one of the most famous fly-rod muskie anglers.  But his first love is smallmouth bass, and it’s fascinating that his location is the most famous river in the United States, the Mississippi River.  He fishes the upper river where the water is clear and the location is unspoiled by the endless development we think of when we imagine the Mississippi.  As well as discovering his unique part of the world, you’ll also pick up many tips on catching smallmouth bass anywhere.

In the Fly Box section I try to answer some questions on targetting carp,, alternatives to wire when fishing for muskie, using flies with a spin rod, my "method" when approaching a river, and more.

Jun 17, 2015
Finding and Catching Redfish with Captain Tuck Scott


This week we’ll travel to the Low Country of South Carolina to interview Captain Tuck Scott, who is a master at finding redfish along the South Carolina coast.  In addition, historic Beaufort sounds like an amazing place for a family vacation, so this one might be a trip to plan where fishing is only part of the plan.  Tuck gives us plenty of intelligence on finding and catching redfish in the Low Country, and also some special redfish tips that will work anywhere.  In the Fly Box this week we talk about missed fish on downstream wet flies, fish chasing streamers but not connecting, organizing fly-tying materials, the benefits of hiring a guide, and tips for fishing scuds on spring creeks.

May 27, 2015
Return of the Tenkara Master

Last week we were fortunate to have Daniel Galhardo, owner of Tenkara USA visit our office and he had a few minutes to stop by for a podcast interview.  In this week’s discussion, he talks about what he has learned since his original podcast with us, especially about fly patterns and the rationale for using a single fly.  He also talks about—gasp—fishing a huge streamer from Shawn Combs’ drift boat with his Tenkara rod.  So much for being a purist.


Even if you are not interested in Tenkara fishing you will probably find something of interest in this week’s podcast.  We tackle questions about rinsing gear after saltwater use, how much backing to put on a reel with a sinking line, the use of stinger hooks on saltwater flies, fishing lake-run browns and steelhead in the Great Lakes in estuaries, whether metal studs spook trout, and a great tip from a listener for cleaning your fly tying bench.

May 11, 2015
The Ten Most Endangered Rivers of 2015


In this week’s podcast, we were fortunate to have Bob Irvin, president and CEO of American Rivers, in town for a visit.  Bob and I got to chat about their “10 Most Endangered Rivers” list for this year, and he goes into detail on the ones most important to fly anglers.  If you care about moving water, this is a must-listen.  Also, in the Fly Box this week, questions range from whether switch lines spook fish, whether to go back to the head of a pool after catching a big rainbow there, whether it is ethical to remove streamside brush in small streams, how to pick the right glass rod, and how to tell if your local river holds big fish.

May 03, 2015
Fishing the Tailwaters of Eastern Tennessee with Patrick Fulkrod, the 2014 Orvis-Endorsed Guide of the Year


On this week’s podcast Patrick Fulkrod, the 2014 Orvis-Endorsed Guide of the Year, gives us a very full accounting of fly fishing on the east Tennessee tailwaters, specifically the Watauga and South Holston rivers.  He spills some of his secrets on hatches, seasons, water levels, and special techniques.  In the Fly Box, we have questions on trimming hackle for dry flies, hackles to use on saltwater flies, how to set the hook on downstream fish, what to do on an unfamiliar river, crane fly larvae, how to fish nymphs for cutthroats in over 15 feet of water in a river (my advice—don’t), and finally how you can lose weight and get in better shape by listening to the podcast.

Apr 17, 2015
Bill & Tom's Excellent Fly Lists


This week I have been asked to narrow my fly selection to three nymphs, dries, emergers, and streamers with one hand tied behind my back because the guy who wrote the question said I couldn’t use any of the old standbys (and he even specified them, most of which I would have picked).  So I dug deep and also asked my fishing buddy and co-worker Bill Reed to come in and discuss his favorites to see how our lists match.  Also in the fly box this week are questions about spotting fish in the water, how to keep a trout on the line once you have hooked it, how to spend $1500 wisely after your first year of fly fishing, and fly line color.  In addition, we have a couple great letters from listeners offering suggestions on eye safety and fishing the UK chalk streams on a budget.

Apr 06, 2015
The Best of Tom: Upstream or Down

Every now and then, when Tom is too busy fishing to get into the studio, we release one of his more popular shows. Here is a great one he recorded on May 28,2013,

In this episode we explore the topic of whether you should fish upstream or down, not only what direction you should move but also which way you present your fly.  The podcast will tell you exactly which direction to fish every time you go out by using a simple formula (just kidding—did you really think it would be that easy?) 

In the fly box we answer questions about setting the hook (again), what length rod to use (again), adding tippets to knotless leaders (again), what to do about minnows sinking your dry flies (aha!  A new one and a fun one, too), and how to improve your roll cast by using a different line.  I keep answering those repeated topics because it seems they are universal questions and sometimes a different question or slant on a question may make it more clear to listeners.  Have fun!

Apr 01, 2015
Orvis Hunting and Shooting Podcast: Over-Unders vs SIde-by-Sides

This week we are including the most recent episode  of the Orvis Hunting and Shooting Podcast with Reid Bryant. If you enjoy the show, please go to and subscribe.

In this episode, Reid interviews fomer Orvis gun smith, John Skinner on the age-aold controversy of side-by-side vs. over-under shotguns.  He interviews John Skinner, former Orvis Head Gunsmith and Shooting instructor.  He relays the nuances of one format versus another and goes into some of the history as well.

Mar 27, 2015
Our Leader on Leaders: Tom Interviews Perk Perkins

Tom interviews his boss, Orvis CEO Perk Perkins on leaders. Don't let the CEO title fool you, the guy knows his stuff.

Would you like to be on the show? Tom tells you how to win a new contest and be one of our next guests.

Also, Tom answers lots of your questions in the Fly Box.

Mar 16, 2015
The Ultimate Streamer Episode -- until our next one -- with Mike Schmidt


This week I have a long and fascinating interview with Mike Schmidt, designer of such giant trout streamers as the Junkyard Dog.  He gives up his secrets on when to fish a giant streamer (and when not to), what techniques he uses, and also some tips on tying these flies and why he designs them the way he does.  I don’t think I have learned so much in a podcast in a long time and I hope you find it as inspiring and interesting as I need.  I am ready to charge out there with some giant streamers right away.  In the Fly Box this week, we range from catching smallmouth bass in clear lakes to catching stocked trout and channel catfish in Houston, how to get more involved in the fly-fishing industry, whether or not wings are necessary on a dry fly, and much more.

Mar 08, 2015
A Lifetime of Trout

This week I interview my old friend Kirk Deeter about Trout Unlimited’s Lifetime membership.  This is a great gift for yourself or for a special person in your life (people often gift these to their kids for a special occasion) and this year the thank-you for the lifetime membership is a special Orvis Helios 2 Rod and limited-run CFO reel in Trout Unlimited’s green color.  You can see how this rod was built in the video of our rod shop here:


Kirk and I do talk some fishing, and there is lots more in The Fly Box.  Questions about the value of emergers, chest packs vs. waist packs vs. sling bags vs. vests, realistic vs. impressionistic flies, and the value of UV materials in fly tying are just some of the quick topics we cover.

Mar 01, 2015
The Lord of the Flies Returns


In this week’s podcast, we continue our series on fly tying with an interview with a man sometimes known as The King of Swing for his steelheading skills, but he also has been called Lord of the Flies.  Shawn Brillon is in charge of flies and fly tying materials at Orvis, and as a result he has his pulse on what is going on in the wild world of making bugs on hooks.  Our topic this week is natural vs. synthetic materials—when you want one or the other, which ones Shawn and I can’t live (or at least tie) without), and the future of fly-tying materials.  In The Fly Box this week, we answer questions on the best rod for smallmouth bass, how to prospect unknown waters in the spring, whether older fly fishing tackle puts you at any disadvantage, non-toxic wire as a substitute for lead, uses for antelope hair, and a great reader suggestion to add to my list of “10 Things I Wish I had Known When I Started Fly Tying” from last week.

Feb 06, 2015
10 Things I Wish I had Known About Fly-Tying When I Started


On the podcast this week I am all by myself--it's a topic I've been asked to address before and didn't require a special guest.  It's entitled "10 Things I Wish I had Known About Fly Tying when I Started", and although fly tying is a never-ending journey, I thought I would share some thoughts with listeners with the hope they will pick up on these tips, tricks, and materials quicker than I did--although some of them were not even around when I started tying almost 50 years ago!  Also in The Fly Box this week we talk about the "X" system for describing hook shank length, whether to crimp the barbs on saltwater hooks, strategies for filling fly boxes during the winter, when to let a dead fish float away, how to remove the smell of head cement from recently tied flies (a great listener suggestion!), and how to determine which side of a feather is the "shiny" side.

Jan 30, 2015
Fly-Tying Tips with Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions


This week I ramble a bit with fly tying expert Tim Flagler, the hands and the voice behind those great Tightline Productions you enjoy every week.  We did intend to talk about material substitutions and we do, but we also go off topic here and there.  Also in this week’s Fly Box:  Does one spooked fish ruin an entire pool?  Can I start right out fly fishing in salt water with no other fishing experience?  How do I avoid a rat’s nest in the sink when cleaning my fly line? How to become a commercial fly tier.  Best materials for parachute wings.  And, finally, advice from an experienced commercial airline pilot on how to travel with fly tying materials without being pulled out of the security line.

Jan 21, 2015
Tying Flies for Warm Water


In this week’s podcast, I interview Dan Frasier, noted fly-rod carp angler and writer, on tying flies for warm-water species.  But don’t miss it if you are not a fly tier because he also gives lots of tips for catching carp, largemouths, smallmouths, pike, walleye, and even gar on the fly.  And even if you don’t tie flies for warmwater species, he also offers great stuff on tying bigger baitfish and crayfish imitations in general.  In The Fly Box, we range from where to where to go on your honeymoon to recommendations for my favorite brand of stepladder to other questions I can answer like what small-stream trout do in the winter, how to treat your flies in the off-season, clamp vs. pedestal vises, and much more.

Jan 16, 2015
Tom Interviews Hank Patterson


This week we celebrate our 5 millionth podcast download and what better way to celebrate than have my hero and mentor Hank Patterson as my guest?  As with all things Hank, you never know where you will end up so be prepared for this one!  On the serious side, this week in the podcast we talk about tips for tying the Adams, best rods for casting practice, whether or not you need a net to land trophy smallmouths, the pros and cons of UV-cure vs. two-part epoxy, and what to tell an outfitter if the guide he matches you up with is less than stellar.  Happy New Year!

Jan 06, 2015
Simon Says: A Guide to Guides

This week I interview Simon Perkins, youngest member of the Perkins family (the owners of Orvis) on our staff.  Simon is in charge of our travel, schools, hunting, and guide programs and was a guide himself in the past.  This week he gives valuable advice on picking the right guide or lodge—a big investment in time and money, and a decision you should not take lightly.  Also this week, in the Fly Box, we discuss the value of head cement, tippet rings, cleaning saltwater gear, and why you might want a Spey rod for winter steelhead.

Dec 19, 2014
Steelhead Tips with Dave Perkins

This week I interview Dave Perkins, one of the members of the family that owns Orvis and Executive Vice Chairman of Orvis.  Dave is one of the most well-traveled and experienced fly fishers I know, but he still enjoys fishing close to home as well.  In this case he is sharing his tips on catching Eastern, lake-run steelhead from smaller Great Lakes tributaries.  Dave has been doing this for many years so his tips are solid and helpful.

In the fly box, we talk about the ethics of fishing for spawning fish, how many turns to take on a clinch knot, tips on making dubbed bodies, Mysis shrimp, and use of sinking lines for nymph fishing.

Dec 05, 2014
The Secrets to a Good Fly-FIshing Video

In addition to your questions in the Fly Box, Tom is joined in the studio by Orvis News Editor, Phil Monahan. Tom and Phil discuss what makes a great fly-fishing video, touching on subjects such as the ideal length, the proper use of a GoPro, and considering the amount of profanity in your soundtrack.

Phil also introduces the new Orvis fly-fishing video theater, The Tug, which has been completely redesigned and updated, with over three hundred of the best videos online. Check it out at

Nov 10, 2014
The Most Important Saltwater Podcast We've Don

In this episode, Orvis Vice-Chairman, Dave Perkins and I interview Whit Fosburgh about the impacts on our saltwater fisheries by recreational and commercial fishing and what the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is doing to help protect them. 


I had a lot of interesting emails this week and a couple of phone calls, so there is a bit of an extended Fly Box  section to answer all of your great questions.

Oct 24, 2014
The King of Swing

This week I interview Shawn Brillon, the King of Swing here at Orvis.  He’s a master at strategizing on swinging flies for both Atlantic salmon and steelhead, and his strategy works for trout streamers and wets as well.  It should serve to get you jazzed up for steelhead season—I know it did for me.  In the Fly Box, we talk about landlocked Atlantic salmon, best all-around line for a switch rod, a basic saltwater outfit and flies for almost anywhere in the world, plus I get pressed to pick which three fly rods I would pick if I could only have three for all of my fishing. 

Oct 03, 2014
West Coast Saltwater Fly-Fishing Tips

Did you know you can catch halibut on a fly rod in the Bay Area?  How about striped bass, surf perch, sand sharks, tiger sharks, and jack smelt?  Nathan Cooke of Orvis Sacramento gives us a great roundup of how to find these fish and how to catch them on a fly rod.  He also has some great tips or fly fishing in the surf that will be helpful in any coastal area.  In the Fly Box, we talk about tags ends for droppers, trout with full bellies, taking fish photos when you are in the middle of a river, how to pick a fly for a One Fly event, and a philosophy for a backup fly rod on trips—as well as a podcast listener who has been having dreams of conversations with Joe Humphreys!

Sep 22, 2014
Tailing Redfish with Aaron Adams

In this week’s podcast I interview my good friend and fishing buddy Aaron Adams on tailing redfish.  As a marine scientist, director of Bonefish Tarpon Trust, and a great all-around saltwater fly fisherman he gives some great tips on finding tailing (or otherwise) redfish and how to select a fly and present it to them.  On this week’s Fly Box we concentrate more on freshwater fly fishing, and cover such topics as cracked fly lines, night fishing for trout, circle hooks for streamers, and pigtails above knots on light tippets.  Then I try, unsuccessfully, to resolve a dispute between two brothers.


Sep 04, 2014
Bristol Bay and Heavy Metal Fly Fishing

This week we take a break from our typical how-to podcasts (don’t worry The Fly Box is in there this week, with tips on tippet material, keeping hands warm, and a what to pay most attention to in a fly-fishing class) and look at the passions of two very interesting people.  One is Scott Hed, from the Alaska Sportsman’s Alliance, with some really good news on the Bristol Bay issue and what you can do to finally put this to rest.  The other is an interview with the guitarist from a heavy metal rock band, what he gets out of fly fishing, and how he compares it to composing music.

Don’t worry, I have several upcoming podcasts in the hopper, with hard-core tips and tricks in them.



Aug 27, 2014
Tips for Catching Warm Weather Steelhead


In this week’s podcast, I interview my old friend Brian O’Keefe, founder of Catch Magazine, on tips for catching warm weather steelhead.  Brian is one of the best anglers and teachers around, and I think it’s a particularly helpful interview full of good solid information.  Plus it’s always fun to have Brian on the podcast.  In the fly box, we talk about “buddy fish”, the utility of stripping baskets, a recommended rod for moving up from trout fishing, plus other short topics. 

Aug 15, 2014
The Weather and its Impact on Fly Fishing

In this episode I interview my old friend Reynolds Wolff of the Weather Channel on the impact of weather on fishing conditions. As it usually happens on this show, we get off the main topic quite a bit. I am not sure who was interviewed more here, Reynolds or me, but we cover a lot of ground on various topics.

As usual, I answer your questions in the Fly Box.

Aug 11, 2014
Five Reasons for Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone (fixed)


After a hiatus for family vacation, a trade show, a tarpon trip, and just plain sloth and procrastination, we finally have a new podcast and it’s a long one, well over an hour.  In the podcast we talk about keeping hold of big brown trout, big browns chasing hooked fish, rusty hooks, broken hooks, and dubbing problems.  Quite an eclectic mix.  The main part of the podcast is “Five Reasons for Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone” and I think you’ll be surprised at some of the benefits of trying new places and new techniques.  There is a bonus feature of Big Pete Kutzer explain Tom’s big casting mistakes on long casts with big rod—hopefully pointing out my problems will help you as well.

Aug 05, 2014
Secrets to Largemouth Bass Fly Fishing in Big Lakes - with Steve Hollensed

This week, a few people take me to task for not answering questions properly (I have addressed them in this week’s podcast) and we also talk about nymph/adult size and color correlation in insects, how to carry a second rod, using poly leaders, whether keeping gear in a hot car will hurt it, and a bunch of other questions.  But the main event is a long conversation with Steve Hollensed from Texas on his secrets to largemouth bass fly fishing in big lakes.  Just to pique your interest, they are not always in deep water during the day, and fly selection is probably the least important decision you make.  So download this week’s episode and relax in an easy chair, cut the lawn, or make this week’s commute a little more tolerable.

Jun 19, 2014
East vs West with Jess McGlothlin


This week I have a chat with Jess McGlothlin—author, blogger, photographer, conservationist, and a very accomplished fly fisher.  She’s a Montana native and had her own business in the equestrian business before she fell in love with fly fishing and decided to devote her life to writing about it.  You have probably read pieces with Jess’s byline over the past few years, but you’ll be reading more of her in the future as we hired her last winter as our outdoor copywriter—but Jess adds so much more to our team than just words on paper or on a screen as you’ll learn in the interview, where we compare Eastern to Western fly fishing.  We have the usual fly box topics like when to wear landing gloves, when to use a “hitched” fly, how to set up your fishing vest, and a philosophy for tying or buying flies by size—in other words, if someone recommends Prince nymphs in sizes 14-18, can you just get away with a size 16?  In case you don’t get to the podcast until later in the week, I’m speaking at Orvis Pittsburgh this Thursday (June 12) on Fishing Small Streams at 3 pm and Reading the Water at 6 pm.  The seminars are free and I’ll be in the sore all day if you want to stop in and give me your podcast suggestions in person.  Should be fun and I am looking forward to it.

Jun 09, 2014
Tom's Eight Tips on Using Indicators

This week’s podcast is 8 tips on indicators—or probably more but I’m calling it 8 and sticking to it.  We’ll talk about types, depth, how to rig, weights, and a couple special tricks on how to slow down the drift of your nymphs.  In The Fly Box, we range from how to prepare for a saltwater trip to barbless hooks to sunken terrestrials to rod/reel balance.  And lots more—even without a special guest I rambled for over an hour this week so I hope I can cover at least one of your daily commutes or a lawn mowing session.

Jun 02, 2014
Fly Fishing for Pike and Musky with Colin McKeown


This week we have an advanced pike and musky podcast.  It’s about time for these toothy guys to prowl the shallows after spawning and they are ravenous.  But you might be surprised by the retrieve speed my expert suggests, as well as many other hot tips on catching pike, including tips on the best place in the world to catch big ones on the fly.  Colin McKeown, host and producer of The New Fly Fisher TV show (WFN and PBS) joins me this week as my expert witness.  We have a short fly box on tying streamer heads, getting your fly out of a tree, and a couple tips on how to choose between a graphite and fiberglass rod

May 19, 2014
Fishing for Freshwater Stripers with Henry Cowen

This week I had a great talk with Henry Cowen on freshwater stripers.  Henry is a saltwater angler and fly tier of great experience who brought his talents to freshwater stripers, and he has some wonderful tips for finding these big guys, flies to use, and techniques to get them to eat your fly.  Also, we have lots of good fly box questions on saltwater fly tying, bad loops on fly lines, and other tidbits.  Also a young listener takes me to task for banning cell phone calls to the request line and I should have known better.  He says the only people he knows who have land lines are his parents.  Guess I am showing my age, so please do use your cell phones for the podcast request line—just please not from your car and from a place with good service!


Note: A listener named Trevor called in with a great question about canoes vs kayaks. Please call again Trevor as we could not locate your call when it came time to produce the show.

May 10, 2014
Nymphing with Joe Humphreys


This week I don’t have much of a Fly Box, because I just have not been getting many questions from listeners.  Where are you?  I’m lonely here.  But I do have a big interview with the great Joe Humphreys, a savvy, iconoclastic fly fisher that I’ve admired for many years.  He has a unique take on nymph fishing and has never used an indicator, so you may get some new ideas on how to fish nymphs on this one.  By the way, Joe will be at Orvis Pittsburgh this Saturday and Sunday morning, so if you want to see him in action or ask some questions, get over to Orvis Pittsburgh.

May 02, 2014
H1 vs H2 and the Fly Box


Warning—this week’s podcast, besides the usual Fly Box questions, contains a blatant commercial plug.  I am often asked the difference between the original Helios and Helios 2 rods, and I think we have spelled it out pretty well in our marketing, but I figured a better way was to ask some of the best anglers and testers in the industry to articulate the differences they see between the two rods.  So you’ll hear interviews with people like Brian O’Keefe, Spencer Higa, Dave and Amelia Jensen, and John Herzer—but the real treat is to hear what the amazing Hank Patterson has to say about H2 rods.  I think you will enjoy all of these, but of course for the real truth don’t miss Hank’s interview.

Apr 28, 2014
Tom Interviews his Mentor, the Legendary Lewis Coleman

This is a special time of year for me as it is the start of trout season in my hometown. I treat today like a religious holiday. it seems appropriate then that I should interview my mentor, and someone who many view as a fly-fishing god, Lewis Coleman. Lewis has taught some of the best in the world his techniques and he will share some of those with us today. 


There is no fly-box section in this show as I wanted to give Lewis as much time as we could to go over his insight into spey casting, how he is pushing the limits in Tenkara and all about how he runs his lodges all around the world. We are lucky to have him on the show.

Apr 01, 2014
Smallmouth Bass Fly-Fishing Tips with Colby Trow


This week we have what I feel is one of our best podcasts ever—an interview with Colby Trow of Mossy Creek Fly Shop on his advanced tactics for catching smallmouth bass.  I learned a ton in this podcast and it makes me want to head south to chase some right now.  And in this extra-long podcast there are plenty of fly box questions:  Using a stomach pump on trout, how to keep your indicator from sliding, whether bright silver and gold beads are a thing of the past, how to find secondary feathers on a goose wing, and good substitutes for deer hair on a Comparadun wing.

Mar 21, 2014
Tom and Tim Talk Tying Tips


It’s still fly-tying February, with our Fly Tying photo contest going on, plus 20% fly tying materials on our web site and in our stores.  So although I do answer a question about poly leaders in lakes and one on whether to take a spinning rod when fishing with a 10-year-old, most of it is about fly tying, and should be helpful to anyone from a total novice to advanced tiers.  I know I learned a number of very cool tricks in my interview with Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions (who does our awesome weekly tying videos).  In the Fly Box, I also answer questions about hook quality, wool for fly tying, what to use for Comparadun wings, fly quality, and some theories about why we attach certain materials to a hook.  I apologize in advance—Tim and I ramble quite a bit, but with a fly tier of Tim’s caliber the ramblings are interesting and educational.

Feb 18, 2014
Fly Tying Tips and Hints

This week is all about fly tying.  I took a whole bunch of questions that came in over the past week (thank you very much for your great questions) and we spend about an hour going over some tricky and not-so-tricky questions.  The hardest one for me was to list the essential fly tying materials every tier should have on his or her bench (and I was not allowed to use CDC, rabbit fur, or peacock herl, which made it even tougher) and it took me two days to decide on that one.  I ended up cheating and coming up with a trout list and a saltwater list.  Other questions included emergency procedures for when you break your thread, when to use wax, most under-utilized materials, substitutes in fly-tying recipes, tips for tying with deer hair, and many others.  Don’t forget that this month, fly tying materials at Orvis are 20% off, so now is the time to think about what you’ll need for next season.

Feb 09, 2014
Leaving the 9-5 to Fly Fish: An Interview with Paul Moinester

This week we talk to Paul Moinester, who we should all envy.  He quit a good job in DC to simplify and de-stress his life, and spent 6 months traveling the US to finds out more about fly fishing.  He drove from the Keys to Alaska, fishing along the way, and came up with some very eloquent pointers on improving your fly fishing game, based on his many experiences.  These are great tips from the perspective of a relative novice (at least he was when he started his trip!).

Jan 22, 2014
The Return of Fiberglass Rods (fixed)

**This is a fixed version of "The Return of Fiberglass Rods". The originally posted version contained an editing error.** 

We’ve had a lot of requests to do a podcast on fiberglass fly rods, but I wanted to wait until the Orvis rods were in stock before I did one.  The Orvis Superfine Touch Fiberglass are now in stock and on our web site, so this week I cover the basics of fiberglass rods:  A little history, some brief technology notes, and why you might want to at least test cast a fiberglass rod to see what all the fuss is about.  They are not like the glass rods you remember from the 60s or 70s!

Jan 03, 2014
The Return of Fiberglass Rods

We’ve had a lot of requests to do a podcast on fiberglass fly rods, but I wanted to wait until the Orvis rods were in stock before I did one.  The Orvis Superfine Touch Fiberglass are now in stock and on our web site, so this week I cover the basics of fiberglass rods:  A little history, some brief technology notes, and why you might want to at least test cast a fiberglass rod to see what all the fuss is about.  They are not like the glass rods you remember from the 60s or 70s!

Jan 01, 2014
An Interview With Drake Magazine's Tom Bie

This week, the main event is a fascinating podcast with Tom Bie, editor and publisher (and founder) of The Drake Magazine, an unconventional, edgy fly fishing publication that addresses the new, media-related fly fishing culture.  Tom talks about his favorite fish, the steelhead, and about his passion for swinging flies, East vs. West, hatchery vs. wild steelhead, using Spey rods, and lots on the philosophy of the best swing speed for steelhead.  We also touch on steelhead flies, and the future of fly fishing in general.  It’s a great interview and a little more cerebral than we usually get on the podcast.

 Also in this week’s Fly Box, we circle back to fly tying materials to get a little more clarity on thread sizes and types of elk hair.  I answer questions on fighting big trout in confined quarters, what to do if a big trout sulks, the difference between a creek, brook, and river; the characteristics of spring creeks, tailwaters, chalk streams, and freestone streams; sight fishing to trout in shallow water without indicators, and just why a Zebra midge with a pink body sometimes out-fishes one with the standard black-and-white body.


Nov 26, 2013
Dating Advice from Tom Rosenbauer

From the brilliant mind of CarpPro's Dan Frasier.

Nov 19, 2013
Demystifying Fly Tying Materials (and a hidden contest)

This week’s podcast is mostly about fly tying—at least the main event.  In The FlyBox, we talk about dangers on the water, how to keep your distance from your fishing buddy, Tenkara rods for kids, casting indoors, and how to do The San Juan Shuffle (hint—you don’t want to).  There is also a very special offer only for podcast listeners somewhere in the podcast, and it’s only good for this week, so make sure you listen soon!

Nov 18, 2013
All About Steelhead Plus Your Questions

This week it’s all about steelhead—or at least mostly about steelhead.  Besides the main topic, dead drift vs. the swing for steelhead, we talk about overlining rods, matching a rod to a fish size, dressing dry flies, the NOAA Saltwater Registry, hooking fish in the tongue, fishing beads, and whether to ask a guide for a refund if you don’t catch any fish (I think you know my answer to that one).

Nov 04, 2013
Man-Eating Salmon and the Latest From the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

On this week’s podcast, we discuss man-eating Chinook salmon, the ethics of going back to a spot a guide has taken you to, what BWOs are, possible cranefly hatches, stomach pumps, and I make an apology to the SUP crowd.  Then we have a great interview with Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.  Whit brings to light some boring-sounding legislation that is important to anyone who loves the outdoors, and gives us a good general overview of why they are important—like thousands of acres of public land that is inaccessible to taxpayers and what is being done about it.

Sep 30, 2013
Kirk Deeter's Top Ten Tips for Carp

In this week's podcast, besides an interview with Kirk Deeter, author of The Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing for Carp, we talk about how fly fishing can be a pain in the neck, fishing above waterfalls, jeans under waders, split shot on spring creeks, Tenkara and kids, minimalist equipment for fishing, hiking, and camping, and when to look for Trico duns this time of year.

Sep 16, 2013
Twelve Big Tips for Fishing Small Flies

This week we’ll discuss 12 tips for fishing tiny dry flies, a topic of great interest this time of year.  In the Fly Box we range from a good general Salt water outfit to clinch knots to night fishing with two flies to how much line to have out when you are waiting to make a cast to a visible fish.  Based on suggestions from many podcast listeners, I’m starting a section about equipment and also a section on fly-fishing myths.  We had tons of good feedback and suggestions on podcasts, and it was loud and clear that listeners don’t want a co-host but they do like interviews.

Sep 02, 2013
Doc Thompson and High Altitude Trout Fishing

I have an interview with Doc Thompson, legendary New Mexico fly-fishing guide and an all-around great guy.  Doc will share tips for finding and catching high-altitude trout in small streams.  In the Fly Box, we range from foul-hooking fish to tying small flies to hooking and holding trout on tiny flies to guide etiquette to casting big streamers.  And we’ve started a new feature where we talk about a couple of the red-hot fishing spots for this week.

Aug 23, 2013
Ten or More Tips on Fishing Pressured Trout, and Tom Asks for Your Help

This week I offer 10 (actually 12 because I thought of a couple more as I was talking) tips on fishing pressured waters—those where trout get pestered all day long with different fly patterns.  The logical course of action would to avoid those places, but the problem is that these waters are typically full of large wild trout and have great hatches—and these days because of the internet there are few secret trout streams.  So pack up your fly boxes, resign yourself to seeing other anglers, and pay attention to your manners and courtesy.  Catching a trout on a hard-fished river is as satisfying an accomplishment as catching 20 on a wilderness stream.

Lots of stuff in the Fly Box today, too. A loaded episode, for sure.

Jul 22, 2013
The Coming Carpocalypse

This week I interview Adam McNamara of Orvis Portland in one of our continuing series of carp podcasts.  As usual, I learned some hot new tricks (like how to imitate a clam with a fly!) and I am sure you will as well.  Adam is the founder and organizer of Carpocalypse, one of the best carp events in the US.  Also, to begin we talk lots of trout for those of you who turn down your noses at carp:  how to tell the number of a fly line if it isn’t labeled, adding tippets to braided leaders, what to do about refusals to dry flies, using wading boots without waders, tips on grass carp (oops), and what I think about people “spot burning” unknown fishing spots on the internet—if you care what I think.

Jul 11, 2013
Ten Reasons You Need Local Knowledge

This week we have a few fly box items on what to do after your fly drags, landing net decisions, and how to get by in a boat with two fly lines and only one reel (my advice—don’t go there).  Our main topic this week is about the importance of local knowledge for any kind of fly-fishing trip and is titled “Ten reasons you need local knowledge”  It’s actually mostly reasons and also a few tips, but you all know I can’t count.

Jun 19, 2013
Carpe Diem: An Interview with Carp Expert Dan Frasier

This week we have a great interview with Dan Frasier, fly-fishing editor of Carp Pro magazine on—guess what?  There are some terrific tips in this interview and here are a couple I had not heard of and will try on my next carp fishing trip.  I am sure you will find some as well.  In the Fly Box, we range from hooking shad to getting started in fly tying to picking the right leader length to fishing streamers in Europe.  And I’m also asked about my top 10 saltwater flies for fishing anywhere is the world, so I will list them here as well as mention them in the podcast

1.       Lefty’s Deceiver in chartreuse in size 1

2.       Lefty’s Deceiver in olive and white in size 1

3.       Clouser Minnow in original brown and white in size 4

4.       Clouser Minnow in chartreuse and white in size 4

5.       Gurgler (any color)

6.       Surf Candy in size 4

7.       Adams’ Bastard Crab in size 4

8.       Puglisi Peanut Butter in purple and black in size 1/0

9.       Simram in size 6

10.   Cowen’s Albie Anchovy

Jun 10, 2013
Upstream or Down?

This week we explore the topic of whether you should fish upstream or down, not only what direction you should move but also which way you present your fly.  The podcast will tell you exactly which direction to fish every time you go out by using a simple formula (just kidding—did you really think it would be that easy?) 

In the fly box we answer questions about setting the hook (again), what length rod to use (again), adding tippets to knotless leaders (again), what to do about minnows sinking your dry flies (aha!  A new one and a fun one, too), and how to improve your roll cast by using a different line.  I keep answering those repeated topics because it seems they are universal questions and sometimes a different question or slant on a question may make it more clear to listeners.  Have fun!

May 28, 2013
Shad to the Bone

This week there is a very special podcast offer that will save you money but you have to listen to find out and act before May 20.  We also have a great podcast from the pied piper of urban fly fishing in the DC area, Dan Davala.  He tells us all we need to know to catch shad, both hickory and American shad.  The fly box section features questions about polarized sunglasses, fishing high water in small streams, morning or evening fishing, when to fish Flashback nymphs, and a couple tips on setting the hook.  But before you listen get a pen and paper so you can write down that special offer code because it’s only fr podcast listeners and can’t be found anywhere else.

May 06, 2013
Tom's ten excuses for getting skunked and what you can learn from them

This week, based on my experience of getting skunked trout fishing, I thought I would give you 10 reasons for getting skunked.  I mainly concentrate on early season fishing—but these excuses are also good any time during the season! 

In the Fly Box section we talk about :

-over-lining fly rods,
-barbless hooks,
-laying fish on the grass to photograph them,
-matching leader with rod length,
-rod and blank weights,
-and some other fun stuff. 

Questions this week came from as far away as Australia and the UK, and as close as Connecticut.

Apr 15, 2013
Fly Fishing 101

Got a family member or friend you want to help get into fly fishing? Check out our video for FREE fly-fishing classes at your nearest Orvis store and many authorized dealers!

Apr 09, 2013
Even More on Leaders and Your Questions

This week in the fly box we discuss:

·       How stocking affects wild trout

·       Sinking lines

·       Casting exercises

·       Gripping a fly rod

·       Tangles after dark

·       Tom’s 5 favorite places to fish and the top 5 on his bucket list

In the main podcast, we do an extensive discussion of leaders—leader types, materials, , and how to modify your leader at streamside.  It’s a good topic for a refresher as fishing season is upon us in most places—or almost upon us!

Apr 02, 2013
Your Questions and an Interview with Joey Maxim

This week we have a full Fly Box (the only way to be at the beginning of the season!) and cover topics that range from how to store leaders to figuring out stream depths to safe handling of fish in cold water to fishing streamers with switch rods.  And lots more.  I even try to answer the question of whether I’d prefer to have 6 less expensive fly rods or three top-of-the-line ones.  That question caused me some soul-searching and I waffled a bit—but who cares what I’d do anyway?  To top it off, we have an inspirational interview with a 17-year-old fly fisher, Joey Maxim.  Make sure you listen to all of the interview, because the story gets more interesting as we talk.

Mar 25, 2013
A Tribute to John Merwin and Lots of Listener Questions

This week’s podcast ends on a somber note with the passing of our good friend and mentor John Merwin, one of the greatest voices in fly fishing.  I think you’ll enjoy a few memories of John and the readings from a couple of his pieces.  But up front we have a very full fly box—lots of e-mails and phone calls on casting problems, fly tying problems and solutions, picking tackle, and fishing nymphs.

Mar 01, 2013
The first fly-tying episode of the year

This week I concentrate on fly tying questions (except for a short sidetrack on stream smallmouths) because I love talking about fly tying—and Orvis is offering a 20% discount on fly tying materials for the month of February 2013.

Feb 11, 2013
Listener Questions and an Interview with Author Richard Louv

This week, in an addition to a long FLy Box section, I go a little off topic as I interview Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle, who introduced the term Nature Deficit Disorder to the world, and has perhaps done more than anyone else in modern times raise awareness of how important it is to get ourselves and our children outside more often.  He’s one of my role models and it was a great honor to interview him for the podcast.  And, of course, we do talk about getting kids and grandkids out fishing and give you some tips on how to do it.  This is a podcast you may want to recommend to friends who don’t fish, as it’s one of the most important things people can do for their children.

Jan 30, 2013
Lots of Listener Questions and Tom Interviews Orvis Chairman Leigh Perkins

He’s the Everready Bunny—at 85 years old, and a recently replaced hip, Leigh Perkins still fishes and hunts 300 days a year.  Although he retired as CEO of the Orvis Company in 1992, he’s still chairman of the board and one of our best field testers.  He’s always the first one up in the morning and the last one to go to bed, and he lives his life surrounded by a bunch of hunting dogs.  I was recently in Florida hunting wild quail and ducks with Leigh and got a chance to get some wisdom from him for a podcast.  You’ll note by his answers that he’s one of the most optimistic people you’ll ever meet.

Jan 18, 2013
Fishing Tailwater Trout in Winter: An Interview with Jamie Rouse

This week I interview Jamie Rouse, two-time Orvis Endorsed Guide award winner for superior service (as rated by our customers, not by us).  Jamie gives us a very full lesson on fishing for tailwater trout during the winter, particularly on his home stream, the Little Red River in Arkansas.  Jamie targets huge brown trout on the fly all winter long-and usually catches them-so it's worth a listen to pick up some valuable tips.  I know I learned a lot in this podcast and I'm ready to get out on the water, even if the line does freeze in my guides.

Jan 09, 2013
It's the Habitat, Stupid

My apologies for the lack of recent podcasts—Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a week of vacation made it necessary for me to concentrate on my day job as marketing director over the past few weeks.  But this week we have a nice long podcast, including some detailed fly box topics on everything from choosing a fly reel to fishing droppers to using beads for steelhead.  In the main part of the podcast is an interview I did with Dr. Aaron Adams of Bonefish Tarpon Trust on how to find saltwater fish on your own by knowing their habitat preference.

Dec 28, 2012
Best of Tom: Ten Tips for Targeting Large Trout

This is a "Best of Tom" Episode from the Archives.

In this week's podcast I announce the winner of the Podcast Suggestion Contest, who won a signed copy of my latest book Essential American Flies. The topic is sure to be a crowd-pleaser to most of you--targeting bigger trout. In the podcast I give you 10 suggestions for targeting the biggest trout in a pool or in a stretch of river. There were lots of great suggestions in the podcast contest, and I used a couple for the short Fly Box section at the beginning of the podcast: How to cure the fall blues after a tough fishing season, and how to pack for a business trip where you might grab a few hours fishing. Plus a terrific tip on rigging dry droppers on our podcast request line from a listener in Georgia.

Dec 09, 2012
Best of Tom: Top Ten Tips for Winter Fly Fishing

It's getting cold out there. Get the most of your time on the water this winter it with this popular episode from the archives.

Nov 29, 2012
Winter Fly Fishing Secrets: Big Streamers and Big Trout

This week I interview our rod and reel designer, Shawn Combs, whose nickname around the office is Didymo (you have to listen to the podcast to find out why).  Shawn is a streamer fanatic, and the best at streamer fishing for trout of anyone on our staff, so I asked him to tell all his secrets of fishing for late fall and winter trout with streamers.  It’s an educational podcast for sure, but it’s also a fun one.

Nov 19, 2012
Even More on Catching East Coast Steelhead

In our continuing steelhead series, we’ve moved a little further east and this week we cover the streams of New York and Pennsylvania.  We don’t give specific recommendations on rivers, but Shawn Brillon, our resident Great Lakes steelhead, Spey casting, and fly tying expert, shares his knowledge on how to time your steelhead trips on Great Lakes tribs, tackle to use, when and how to swing flies, and how to fish egg flies and nymphs.  It’s a long podcast with a substantial Fly Box section at the beginning, so sit back and relax and daydream about steelhead.

Nov 08, 2012
East Coast Steelhead

This week we continue our coverage of steelhead with a podcast interview with Steve Kuieck on the basics of Great Lakes steelheading.  Steve concentrates on the techniques used on his home waters in Michigan, but the advice he gives is valid for steelheaders in all the Great Lakes tributaries, as well as steelheading on the West Coast.  And of course we cover the gamut with quick tips for listeners who have asked questions via e-mail and our podcast request telephone line—802-362-8800.

Oct 11, 2012
West Coast Steelhead

This week we have a long podcast, well over an hour, because Damien Nurre of Deep Canyon Outfitters and I got all wound up about steelhead.  We could have gone on for hours about tackle, reading water, fly selection, how to hook them, and how to time your trip properly.  Damien gives some expert tips on how to catch steelhead and reminds us that it’s mostly a matter of luck and persistence.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t stack the deck in our odds.  Damien is an articulate and thoughtful angler and teacher with lots of solid tips, so if you fly fish for steelhead or if you’ve ever wanted to, here’s your chance to get some world-class information.

Oct 01, 2012
Ten True Tips for False Albacore

This week’s podcast is timely—it’s on one of my very favorite fly-rod fish, the false albacore or little tunny (also known as albies, bonita, fat alberts, and boneheads).  They are gorgeous, much faster than bonefish, and available from northern Cape Cod to Florida and throughout the Gulf Coast.  Fall is the best time to fish for them close to shore, although in their southern range they can be caught on a fly year-round (you just might need a longer boat ride).  There is no other fish I know if that causes such havoc with tackle and produces such idiotic and crazed behavior among anglers (and I include myself in that category).  

One thing I neglected to mention in my podcast is the excellent book by Tom Gilmore titled False Albacore.  It’s the only book written on the subject and a terrific resource.  Get out there and sample a bit of this insanity yourself—you will never be the same.

Sep 14, 2012
Tom's Ten Tips for Fishing Low Water

Unless you live in one of the rare parts opf North America that isn't in drought conditions this summer, or you've been lucky enough to be fishing tailwater waters with an abundance of cool water, you're probably faced with very tricky conditions. Trout fishing is not impossible this time of year, but you have to adjust your tactics to lower flows, clear water and paranoid trout.

We have LOTS of questions in the fly box this week which makes for a pretty long show. 

Aug 29, 2012
Ten Listener Questions and Some Great Suggestions

This week, I decided to answer 10 listener questions, sort of an enlarged fly box section.  As a special bonus, I have three great suggestions from other listeners that I know you’ll benefit from.  I won’t spoil all the surprises, but we talk about fly lines sinking, leaders twisting, fish getting away, fish getting hooked in the belly by mistake, and fish refusing flies.  I won’t even come close to answering all these questions but I can at least give you some ideas to think about.

Aug 14, 2012
Carpacolypse- Interview with "The Carpmeister", Tim Daughton

This week, after a special introduction from my son who visited the studio this week,  two self-described carp addicts talk all about carp fishing, from finding them to presentation tactics to tackle and flies.  I interview my co-worker Tim Daughton, who is by far the most experienced carp fly fisherman on our staff--to put it more precisely he's obsessed with carp fishing and will pass up trout fishing most times to chase carp.  We've had lots of requests to do more podcasts on these very challenging fish, available to most people in urban and rural locations throughout the world.  In the fly box, we ramble from how much to spend for a fly rod to when to replace a fly line to fishing in foul weather to a few steelhead tips.  And a couple more.

Jul 27, 2012
Tenkara! A interview with Daniel Galhardo of Tenkara USA

This week we're publishing an interview I did with Daniel Galhardo, founder and CEO of Tenkara USA, on guess what?  Daniel was here to sample some of our Vermont small stream fishing, which he loved, and we had a ball fishing together.  He explains Tenkara, whether he considers it fly fishing, and the basics of how to use a Tekkara outfit.  In the fly box, we talk about dealing with fishing gear in hot weather, dries vs. emergers, and setting the hook on downstream fish.

Jul 17, 2012
Fly vs Spin: Pros and Cons of Each

On this week's podcast, after a week on Cape Cod I'm prepared to tackle the subjetc of fly vs. spin, something I was reluctant to discuss before because I just have not used a spin rod much since I was a teenager.  But we'll talk about the relative advantages of both methods of fishing, and when a diehard fly fisher might want a spin rod handy.  In the short Fly Box topics this week, we further our discussion on releasing fish unharmed, where to position your rod when playing a fish, DT vs. WF lines, getting the fly line wrapped around the reel seat, and a few other goodies.

Jul 06, 2012
Ten Tips to Keep you from Lining Fish

This week we explore a topic that has not been requested by a listener but is something that struck me over the past few weeks of fishing over some difficult trout. It's the concept of keeping your fly line away from fish, and it's an important issue in nearly every kind of shallow water fishing--from bonefish and tarpon and striped bass to trout and carp. I include 10 tips to help you keep from "lining" fish

Jun 12, 2012
Ten Tips for Warm Water Fly Fishing

This week we're exploring the wide open world of warm water fly fishing, and not just for bass.  We talk about landlocked stripers and gar and bowfin and northern redhorse--and especially shad and carp.  Basically, it's about finding the fish and experimenting with retrieves--tackle and flies are the least of your worries.  Most of us have some sort of warm water close to home, so it's like that old Stephen Stills song, "if you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with". 

In the fly box, we answer phone calls about how to measure the length of a fly cast, how long lines, leaders and backing last, keeping fish for the table and when to fly and when to spin.

May 31, 2012
Fishing Tailwaters: An Interview with Dave Brown

A  great show this week!

I had the chance to sit down and talk with Simon Perkins, the newest addition here at Orvis Rod & Tackle about the Fly Fishing Film Tour as well as his own short film, Sipping Dries. We ran the trailer in the podcast feed a few weeks ago. As the main event, I interview my friend Dave Brown of Dave Brown Outfitters on fishing taiwaters, as it seems you guys can't get enough of this topic! In addition, I take a few questions from the podcast listener line.

We moved the podcast studio, again. As a result we have had some tech issues with the sound which kept us "off the air" last week. I think it's all worked out. Thanks for sticking with us!

May 16, 2012
Fifteen tips on Switching from Freshwater to Saltwater Fly Fishing

This week, in preparation for the best months of saltwater fishing from Maine to Florida (May and June) we explore the idea of moving from freshwater to salt.  Trout anglers are seldom prepared for the transition to saltwater fly fishing--although the equipment requirements are easy enough to understand and you only need a few extra knots, it's mainly the casting and the expectations that throw trout anglers a curve ball.  There are 15 tips for making this transition easy and fun.  Also in the Fly Box this week, we answer questions about the Surgeon's vs. Clinch knots, knots for attaching wire bite tippets, polarized sunglass colors, hook styles on nymphs, trout stream ettiquette, and how to balance a reel with a rod (or not).

Apr 30, 2012
The Effects of the Moon and Barometric Pressure on Fishing

In this week's podcast I interview Captain Jim Barr from Rhode Island and we talk about the effects of barometric pressure changes and moon phases on fly fishing, both in Jim's arena of striped bass fishing and also on various freshwater species.  If you're looking for easy answers you'll be disappointed, but I think you'll enjoy hearing us talk about the empirical observations we've made over the years.  In the Fly Box section this week we discuss methods of weighting flies with non-toxic materials, why you catch bigger fish on worms than you do on flies, and an explanation of the term "turning over" a fly and what you can do to make sure your fly turns over.

Apr 13, 2012
20 Questions with Tom Rosenbauer

Well, be careful what you wish for.  Last week I whined that we weren't getting enough response from you on Fly Box questions, so in the past week we've been inundated!  I thought I would try to answer the best 20 questions we got over the past week, both e-mails and phone calles.  We received suggestions from Sweden and Los Ageles and Connecticut and South Dakota and everything in between last week.  In our 20 questions podcast we'll explore overlining a fly rod, fishing giant warmwater rivers, how to store a leader between fishing trips, fishing without indicators, and whether to play a fish from the reel or by stripping--and lots of other goodies!

Mar 31, 2012
Trailer for the Film "Sipping Dry"

Our own Simon Perkins has a film in this year's Fly Fishing Film Tour. We are going to have him on the show to discuss his film "Sipping Dry" in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out the trailer.

From the website at

There are plenty of addictions to get hooked on in the world of fly fishing.  One of the most consuming is the obsession with the dry fly, which explains why anglers travel the globe in search of epic hatches and large trout rising on the surface.  "Sipping Dry" takes you to a place many refer to as the "dry fly capital of the world"--the upper Missouri River near Craig, Montana.  The film introduces a handful of characters who have altered their lives to revolve around this fishery and attempts to convey their infatuation with sipping trout, insane hatches, and the river they consider to be the ultimate in the world of dry fly fishing.

Mar 30, 2012
Should I Stay or Should I Go?

In this week's podcast we first talk about nets and bluegills. I'm not getting many nice short, concise, specific questions for the Fly Box  section so I haven't had many to answer lately.  Please send your nagging questions to or call me at 802-362-8800 and leave a message letting me know what you'd like to hear about.  And in the main part of the podcast, Should I Stay or Should I Go? (what do you want to bet James will have some music to go along with that?) we talk about when to move and when to stay put, on everything from trout streamers, nymphs, and dries, to Atlantic salmon, bonefish, and steelhead.

Mar 22, 2012
Junk in the Trunk: Eggs, Worms and Scuds

This week in the Fly Box we first talk about what to expect when fishing for king salmon in Alaska, the half hitch vs. the whip finish in fly tying, and etiquette on salmon rivers. Then, in the main event, we explore the fascinating world of what some people call "junk" flies--worms, eggs, and scuds. 

These flies are fished like nymphs and are just as much a "match the hatch" situation as elegant mayfly nymphs (at least in my opinion).

Mar 19, 2012
13 Tips on Leaders

In this week's fly box we talk about hook styles, casting on snow, and fly-fishing jargon.  Then on to the main podcast, which is on the perenially popular subject of leaders:  When to change tippets, how to modify your leader, the differences between the various types, fluoro vs. nylon, saltwater leaders described, and much more.  It's a topic that is mystifying to many people and we hope we both intrigue and educate you this week.

Mar 09, 2012
On the Hunt for Redfish with Captain Dave Hunt

This week we have a great interview on redfish (and also speckled trout and snook) with Captain Dave Hunt from Florida.  In the Fly Box, we also talk about grayling, brass and tungsten beads, and about the question of whether the term 'dry fly rod" is valid today.  Plus I tip our listeners off to an exciting new development on the web--but you'll have to listen to find out!

Feb 15, 2012
Trout- Hatchery vs Wild, Pressured vs Remote Waters

In the fly box this week, we talk about where fly tying materials come from, getting wet flies to swing deeper, fishing logs, and fishing small flies under water.  In the main topic, we discuss different kinds of trout and how to fish for them--hatchery vs. wild, and pressured trout streams vs. remote trout streams.  We've had some great suggestions for podcast topics lately so keep them coming

Feb 07, 2012
How to Take Great Fishing Photos with Catch Magazine Editor Brian O'Keefe

This week I have a special guest, Brian O'Keefe, who owns the fantastic electronic magazine called Catch Magazine, along with his business partner Todd Moen.  Brian has been in the fly fishing business as long as I have, and he's one of the best fly-fishing photographers out there.  He's traveled all over the world to photograph some of the most exotic fly fishing locations, as well as plenty of cool places closer to home.  We ramble a bit about the old days, but the podcast is mainly about tips for the novice fly-fishing photographer.  This podcast is longer than usual so I left out the usual Fly Box section, which will return next week.  Lots of good questions these days so I have a good list of topics to cover!

Jan 25, 2012
Ten tips for Fishing Caddisflies

The main part of the podcast this week is 10 Tips on Fishing Caddis hatches, some tips I’ve learned over the years for successfully (sometimes!) fishing caddis hatches.  Caddisflies are one of the most abundant aquatic insects in trout streams, and the fishing can range from incredibly easy to downright frustrating.  But trout almost always love to eat them so we need to pay attention.  Also in this podcast we talk about bedraggled flies, tailwater insects, and one of my favorite subjects, using roadkills for fly tying.

Jan 20, 2012
15 tips For Setting up the Ultimate Fly Tying Bench

This week I discuss a frequently requested podcast this time of year--how to set up your fly-tying area.  I talk about what you need to get started and what tools and threads you should begin with.  I also discuss storage and lighting and magnification and about how to stay organized.  In the Fly Box section we have another tip for essential safety items in a fishing vest or pack, and the difference between Blue-Winged Olives and PMDs and Pale Evening Duns.

Jan 10, 2012
Tom's Ten Tips for Stocking your Nymphing Box

We posted an episode a few weeks ago on how to best stock your dry-fly box. We had a number of requests for one on nymphing. Let us know what you think of this list!

Jan 03, 2012
Tom's Christmas List

In this episode Tom gives his list of what you could get that angler, and angler-to-be at the last minute!

Dec 19, 2011
Tom's Ten Tips for Slimming down or Filling up your Fly Box

This week we range in topics from toilet paper to bass leaders, but the main topic is one that is frequently requested: How to make sense of the thousands of patterns of dry flies into a reasonable number that will cover most of the hatches you encounter. I offer 10 tips on slimming down your fly box (or filling it up, depending on where you are in the game) plus my favorite dozen dry flies.

Dec 08, 2011
Video: The Parachute and Pile Casts

Welcome to another installment of "Ask an Orvis Fly-Fishing Instructor," with Peter Kutzer. In this episode, Peter explains the differences between the parachute cast and the pile cast, both of which are slack-line casts that can be useful when you're fishing across conflicting currents or to a fish downstream. To make a parachute cast, you stop the rod high and keep the tip up while the fly and front of the line land on the water. This gives you a belly of line between the rod tip and the water. As your fly drifts downstream, you lower the rod tip, feeding line into the drift and maintaining contact with the fly. To make a pile cast, you shoot the line high again, but this time, you drop the rod tip to the water's surface in front of the fly, dragging the line downward. This causes the line to land in a pile, so the fly can dead-drift freely.

Nov 25, 2011
A Guide's Life- How to become one and what it's really like

This week we do a podcast I've been looking forward to--an interview with a couple of top fly-fishing guides about what it's like to be a guide and how to get into guiding. Learn about how a guide prepares for their day, what they agonize over, and enjoy a few wild stories along the way.

Nov 17, 2011
Tom Rosenbauer's Ten Tips for Targeting Large trout

In this week's podcast I announce the winner of the Podcast Suggestion Contest, who won a signed copy of my latest book Essential American Flies.  The topic is sure to be a crowd-pleaser to most of you--targeting bigger trout. In the podcast I give you 10 suggestions for targeting the biggest trout in a pool or in a stretch of river. 

There were lots of great suggestions in the podcast contest, and I used a couple for the short Fly Box section at the beginning of the podcast:  How to cure the fall blues after a tough fishing season, and how to pack for a business trip where you might grab a few hours fishing.  Plus a terrific tip on rigging dry droppers on our podcast request line from a listener in Georgia.

Nov 09, 2011
Nymphing Techniques from Across the Pond

This week I interview George Daniel, past competitor in Team Fly Fishing USA and now head coach. The subject is European nymphing styles like Czech nymphing, Polish nymphing, French nymphing, and Spanish nymphing.

I've had a number of requests to talk about European nymphing so I called in one of the top American experts on these techniques. You'll learn the differences between these styles and under which conditions you use them, as well as how to rig for these very effective styles of catching trout and grayling on nymphs. These techniques are great to have in your bag of tricks when standard strike indicator and dry/dropper techniques aren't working.

Nov 07, 2011
More Fall Fly Fishing Secrets

In the podcast this week, I go on a minor rant about the ethics of crowding on today's trout streams, and pretty much tell you if you don't like the crowds, take a hike (literally).  I do give some suggestions on how to handle crowded situations if you have no other choice, but there is almost always another choice.  And in the main part of the podcast, I share with you some fall fishing secrets. We have touched on this subject before, but since the last time I have received some more tips from all of you that I really shoudl share.

I also announce a very special contest for the best suggestion for next week's podcast.  The prize is an autographed copy of my new book, The Orvis Guide to The Essential American Flies, which is a large format book with spectacular color photos

Oct 26, 2011
The Prince of Tides

I'm always confused by the science and physics of tides and how they vary and how they influence fish in salt water.  So I went right to the best source I know on all things saltwater related--Dr. Aaron Adams, director of Bonefish Tarpon Trust and one of my favorite fishing buddies.  Fishing with him is like fishing with Mr. Wizard (excuse me for dating myself here) and Aaron does not disappoint in our interview.  He takes the sceince behind tides and makes it clear and digestible to those of us who just like to fish in salt water.  There are some specific tips for fly fishing related to tides as well, and Aaron suggests some ways that fly fishers in particular can use tide predictions to have more success on the water.  It was a fun podcast for me as I learned a ton.

In the Fly Box,  I also answer a listeners question about how and why tailwater rivers are different and some tips on fishing them.

Oct 13, 2011
12 Tips for Difficult Rises

This week I discuss a dozen tips for taking difficult risers. We're not always fortunate to find consistently rising fish, but when we do it's a chess match that can be the most fascinating aspect of trout fishing. There are many tips to finally fooling a difficult riser, and surprisingly few of them involve choosing the correct fly. We also have Fly Box short items on some questions that came up from listeners regarding last week's podcast on small stream fishing. And by popular demand, we'll continue our sections on great fly-fishing books and cool products you might have missed.

Test your wits with my quiz on difficult rises here.


Oct 07, 2011
Five Big Tips for Small Streams

In this week's podcast, we explore the world of small stream trout with 5 detailed tips (mainly because I was too lazy to organize more--actually there are probably about 20 tips included) that cover everything from what rod to use to how to find your own small stream.

There are tens of thousands of tiny trout streams in the United States, many of which never get fished or are fished infrequently, so it's a great place to get solitude and return to the essence of fly fishing. I also introduce two new items to the podcast, and we're looking for your feedback on these: a selected book of the week and "products you might have missed", a short section on handy fishing products that you might not have heard about. And, of course, we answer several questions in our popular "Fly Box" section

I am thrilled the podcast has grown so much, but I'm having a hard time keeping up with emails. I still want to hear from you, though as that is how we get material for the show! For podcast suggestions. please use the online forum at or our voicemail line at 802-362-8800

Thanks for listening!

Sep 28, 2011
Steelhead East and West

Steelhead are one of the most glamorous and frustrating fish you can catch with a fly rod.  They are similar in behavior and fighting ability to Atlantic salmon, but whereas our fly fishing traditions for Atlantic salmon came from a more aristocratic background, fly fishing for steelhead evolved via a more populist tradition.  Where can you fish for steelhead?  What techniques work best?  Are the fish from the Great Lakes a true steelhead or just a big rainbow trout, and how do fishing techniques for them differ?  And how many steelhead can you expect to catch in a day's fishing? (in my experience, you should expect to catch zero and be pleasantly surprised).  

Listen to this week's podcast and get some tips on steelhead fishing, and then visit our podcast forum to add your thoughts or suggest future steelhead podcast topics, as this is not the last of our steelhead podcasts for this season.

Sep 12, 2011
Tom's Tips on Fishing Spring Creeks with Special Guest Orvis Vice-Chairman Dave Perkins

In this week's podcast, I'm joined by Dave Perkins, an old fishing and hunting buddy and also vice-chairman and one of the owners of Orvis.  Dave , like me, is a spring creek fanatic and we talk about how spring creeks differ from freestone trout streams, what to expect on them, and where to find them.  And of course we also discuss our favorite flies, leaders, and rods for fishing these very special trout streams.  If you've never fished a spring creek, it's time to try one.  And even if you never intend to fish one, the tips we give will be very helpful any time you find selective trout sipping in clear water.  

In the Fly Box this week, we talk about why trout live in some streams and not in others, how to make a downstream presentation, and some tips on light-line rods.

Aug 25, 2011
Tom's Top Ten Tippet Tips

For this week's podcast, the main event is Tom's Top Ten Tippet Tips, or just 5T for short (but no short jokes please).  In this episode, I review tips on knots, types of tippet, how to attach tippets, when to shorten or lengthen a tippet, how to avoid kinky tippets, and a bunch more.  

For the "Fly Box" section of short tips, I talk about some cool, new terms and tips I learned from fishing guides in Colorado and Montana over the past two weeks.

Aug 16, 2011
The Fishing Warm Water and Hiding New Gear from Your Spouse Episode

Tom is out of town for a couple weeks, so he asked Pete Kutzer of our Ask a Fly Fishing Instructor video series and Brett Ference from our Double Barrel Podcast series to sit in.

We asked our Facebook and Twitter fans to  suggest topics for them to cover and received over 130 suggestions!

Here are the topics they chose:

- How should a beginner go about choosing waders?

- Tips for fishin gfrom a float tube

- Is 7 years old too young to start a child fly fishing?

- When choosing a new rod, what should I consider?

- How do you best hide new fishing gear purchases from your spouse?

We also had A LOT of questions on fishing warm water, so Brett and Pete spend a lot of time on this topic.

Aug 04, 2011
Video: The Double-Haul Cast with Pete Kutzer

In this lesson, Peter explains why the double haul is useful for adding distance to the cast and taking pressure off your casting arm and wrist. Then he demonstrates exactly what you need to do for a successful double haul, from the right timing to the proper length of your haul. You'll learn why this is not just a cast for saltwater anglers, too. Once you've got the basics down, it's time to put Pete's lessons to work by practicing on your own lawn.

Aug 02, 2011
Video: Casting into the Wind with Pete Kutzer

Over on we have a regular series called ASK A FLY FISHING INSTRUCTOR. Here is one of the more popular videos on casting into the wind. reader Dave S. asked:

I think I have a pretty decent casting motion, but the biggest issue I have is in the wind. I always get that tailing loop, and my leader knots up. I think it's more pronounced in the wind because I strain harder. What practice tips can you give me to help?

In this video, Peter demonstrates how to beat the wind by casting lower, angling the rod tip, and even making the cast backwards.

Peter  has been a fisherman all his life, and he has a degree in outdoor education from Johnson State College. He's also a seriously good caster, and during his years working for Orvis he has seen it all.

Jul 28, 2011
Ten Steps to Getting Kids and Teens into Fly Fishing

This week I give you a 10-step plan for getting a kid into fly fishing.  These are proven methods based on my experience and that of others I've talked to in the course of researching a book called Family Friendly Fly Fishing that I'm working on.  I've also added three additional tips for getting teenagers into fly fishing.

In the fly box items this week we talk about the old 10 o'clock to-1 o'clock casting technique, casting into the wind with big poppers and other bass flies, attaching a new fly line to backing that's already on a reel using a loop, and the correct size sink tip fly line to buy. and "new school" vs. "old school" fly fishing 

Jul 25, 2011
The Joy of Swinging: How, Where and When to Do It

This week I talk about swinging, and get your mind out of the gutter because it's not that kind of swinging.  This is a family show.

We discuss the art and science of swinging flies for trout, salmon, and steelhead, one of the most relazing and elegant way of covering lots of water.  It doesn't work all the time and in every type of water, so listen to the podcast to find out where and when to do it--and how to choose the right fly.  

In the Fly Box questions this week we talk about using a 7-weight rod for trout, what an individual can do to make a trout stream better, invasive species, and how to catch bass in southern rivers in summer.  Plus a note about an exciting new upgrade to our fishing reports where you can get a text message every time your favorite waters are updated.

Jul 21, 2011
Getting the Most out of Summertime Fly Fishing

In this week's fly box, I mention a tip on mending line that I just got from a guide, a recommendation for how to choose a rod for nymphing, and 10 tips for reeling in and playing fish. For the main part of the podcast, I give some recommendations for high summer fishing--for having more fun, getting in more fishing time, and broadening your horizons.

Do you have a topic sugggestion? Join our podcast forum at


Jul 13, 2011
12 Steps to Summer Dry Fly Fishing

This week in the Fly Box section, we talk about rod actions, line sizes, sunscreen, and dry flies in high water. In the main event, we'll give you some tips on summer dry flies, as summer is prime time for fishing on the surface.

We have a new way to contact the podcast and share your podcast ideas. Go to sign on with your Facebook login, and particpate in our online forum!

Jul 06, 2011
Matching the Hatch Part 2 - Five More Tips

In the fly box section this week we discuss a couple tackle maintenance items (cork grips and fly lines) and some tips on how to learn from some "old school" techniques. In the main part of the podcast, we learn more about hatches and how to deal with them, especially on how to collect insect specimens and what to do with them once you've obtained them.

Jun 29, 2011
Ten Steps from Novice to Intermediate

In this week's podcast we have a great phone call from Molly with some exciting news and in The FlyBox a tip on further refining your casting practice.  For the main event, we explore the topic of moving from novice to intermediate fly fisher with some tips on how to get there.

Jun 27, 2011
Of Blue Damsels and Bamboo Girls

In honor of the The American Museum of Fly Fishing's Graceful Rise Exhibit, we're celebrating Women in Fly Fishing this week. Tom is out, so we've asked Paul Fersen to read his story "Of Blue Damsels and Bamboo Girls". 

Read more about the Graceful Rise Exhibit at

Jun 07, 2011
Tom's Ten Tips for Identifying and Matching the Hatch

This week in the fly box we address the color red in flies, post-flood fishing conditions, and what to do if you only have a few hours to fish. For the main event I give a brief guide to the major aquatic insects, how to identify what's hatching, and some strategies for fishing different types of insect hatches.

Jun 02, 2011
10 Tips for Preparing for a Day on the Water

This week we answer a listener's question about a day in the life of an experienced fly fisher--but more how to prepare for a day than what he or she would actually do once on the water, which can vary greatly from day to day or on different kinds of waters.  In this week's fly box, we talk about what color is most visible on attractor fly wings (you will be as surprised as I was!), how to pick the right reel seat, and what color to choose on attractor flies.  Plus Phil Monahan updates us on the latest juicy bits from the Orvis blog.

May 19, 2011
The Ten Most Endangered Rivers in America

American Rivers released its annual Orvis-sponsored Ten Most Endangered Rivers Report this week. 

In this episode, Phil Monahan interviews David Moryc, Senior Director of River Protection at American Rivers about the list.

May 17, 2011
A (very) Brief History of Fly Flshing

This week I give a brief and sorta rambling overview of fly-fishing history, which is difficult to do in a short podcast so I've included the names of a couple good books on the subject.

 In this week's fly box, we have two casting tips, a word about "lining" fish, a short discussion of what to do when faced with crowded trout streams, and help when trying to detect a strike when nymph fishing.

Lots of little bits and pieces!

May 12, 2011
Dawn Patrol: Ten Tips (ok, eleven, but who's counting) for Early Morning Fishing

In this week's podcast, the main event is The Dawn Patrol, on the pleasures, perils, and advantages of getting up as early as a turkey hunter to get some of the best fly fishing of the season.  We'll discuss dawn fishing for trout, tarpon, stripers, bonefish, permit, and steelhead.  In this weeks' fly box we'll explore small stream trout rods, a couple tips for fighting fish, and how to fish alongside your buddies.

May 06, 2011
Stillwater Fly Fishing Tips

With many trout rivers into serious runoff this month, and more to come as western snows melt, listeners have been asking for an early season stillwater podcast.  This week I was lucky enough to interview Phil Rowley, one of the most knowledgeable stillwater anglers in the world and co-host of "The New Fly Fisher" TV show on World Fishing Network.  I know I learned a lot in the show and I am sure you will as well.  As an added bonus, there are some extra video tips from Phil, courtesy of "The New Fly Fisher".

Apr 25, 2011
Video: Casting Heavy Flies into the Wind

Welcome to our first installment of "Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor," starring our own Peter Kutzer. A couple weeks ago, we asked you to post some questions about your biggest casting problems. Reader "Phil" wrote, "Any tips you can give on casting heavily weighted flies would be appreciated," and "Dave R." asked a much more specific version of the same question:

When practicing with my 9wt with a piece of yarn tied to my leader (9' tied with 54" 40#, 18" 30# and 18" 15# tippet. All Maxima Ultra Green) I can cast consistently to 50' and beyond. But when I tie on a weighted fly ( clouser size 1 hook with small eyes) my line and leader seem to pile up and I have problems getting past 40'.

So, cameraman Eric Weisledder and I met Peter at the casting ponds beside the Orvis Retail Store in Manchester, Vermont, so he could offer some tips on casting a heavy fly in the wind. Aside from being an excellent caster and teacher, Peter turns out to be a natural in front of the camera. And check out the way he nonchalantly switches hands to demonstrate the oval cast.

If you've got more questions for Peter, post them on our Facebook page, and we'll address each casting problem in a new video.

Apr 13, 2011
12 Tips for Fishing Spring Runoff

In this week's podcast, 12 tips for Fishing Spring Runoff,  I give a number of valid excuses for getting skunked during spring runoff, and what you can do if faced with high, cold, muddy water. In the Fly Box section, I talk  about fly rod design, fishing pressured waters, and the reality of fly-fishing magazine articles and TV shows. Plus a great tip for threading flies from a listener who left a message on our Podcast Message Line at 802 362 8800.

Apr 08, 2011
Ten Tips on Fishing a New Trout Stream

This week we have a couple of interesting fly box items--one on reeling right or left hand, and the other on how to dress for fly fishing.  The main podcast is about evaluating a new trout stream to figure out how fast to move, what fly to use, and how rich the stream is.  I also include a shameless plug for my new book Small Stream Trout Fishing.

Mar 31, 2011
Video: Fly Fishing for Pike Part 2

We have a very exciting podcast for you this week.  Many of you have asked for a pike podcast, and we've delivered what I think is one of our best presentations in two parts.

Part 1 is an audio interview I conduct with pike expert Drew Price, where he goes into great detail on where, when, and how to catch pike. Also in part 1,  we have some tips in the Fly Box section on fishing CDC flies, choosing one rod for bass and trout, and how to get your nymph deep in small plunge pools.

Part 2 is a video where we have  tips on pike fishing (along with some shots of nice pike caught on a fly), courtesy of The New Fly Fisher TV show, the best how-to fly fishing show on TV right now (it's on World Fishing Network and some PBS stations). 

I know I learned a ton from interviewing Drew and watching the video and can't wait to get at the pike this spring.

Leave us comments on this show at

Mar 23, 2011
Fly Fishing for Pike Part 1

We have a very exciting podcast for you this week.  Many of you have asked for a pike podcast, and we've delivered what I think is one of our best presentations in two parts.

Part 1 is an audio interview I conduct with pike expert Drew Price, where he goes into great detail on where, when, and how to catch pike. Also in part 1,  we have some tips in the Fly Box section on fishing CDC flies, choosing one rod for bass and trout, and how to get your nymph deep in small plunge pools.

Part 2 is a video where we have  tips on pike fishing (along with some shots of nice pike caught on a fly), courtesy of The New Fly Fisher TV show, the best how-to fly fishing show on TV right now (it's on World Fishing Network and some PBS stations). 

I know I learned a ton from interviewing Drew and watching the video and can't wait to get at the pike this spring.

Leave us comments on this show at

Mar 23, 2011
15 Tips for Fishing the Evening Hatch

Tom takes another great podcast suggestion from our voicemail line and turns it in to our longest episode yet at just over an hour. It's packed with 15 tips for fishing the evening hatch.

Have a suggestion or a comment? Drop us a line at, LIKE us on Facebook at or call us at 802-362-8800. 

Mar 14, 2011
The Laryngitis Largemouth Bass and Panfish Episode

Tom talks a lot, and it finally caught up with him He has a bit of larygitis this week, but takes one for the team and answers a phone request for a largemouth bass episode. 

In the fly box: Do fish see color? We also take a phone request for a series on fishing different regions of the United States and beyond.

Mar 04, 2011
15 Tips on Sight Fishing for Stripers

This latest podcast is another suggestion from our tip line at (802) 362-8800. Tom had a lot of tips for sight fishing for stripers and shares all 15 here.

Did he miss anything? Call us at the nuimber above. email us at go to or find this blog in the February 2011 archive on

Feb 22, 2011
Gear Maintenance in the Off-Season and Ten Tips for the Aging Angler

Tom shares his off-season routine for gear mainteance and answers our first voicemail request for tips for the older angler. These tips apply to a lot of us, though, so it is a good listen all around.

Call us at 802 362 8800 for comments and suggestions, drop us a line at or visit us on facebook at !

Feb 15, 2011
An Urgent Message from Tom

We now have the best chance ever of stoppiing Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska.


First: listen to this podcast


Go to and click the TAKE ACTION link.

Feb 10, 2011
Full Circle by Paul Fersen

We're giving Tom a day off and have asked resident author Paul Fersen to read a story he wrote about for Gray's Journal called Full Circle. 

Feb 01, 2011
Tom's Ten Tips on Winter Fly Fishing

It's cold out there... get the most out of it with these tips from Tom.

One of you will be the MILLIONTH download of this podcast. Thank you so much for your loyalty. We're having a good time and we're glad you are, too.

Leave comments on our blog at

Leave us a voicemail at 802-362-8800 with a suggestion for the show or drop us a line at

Jan 28, 2011
Somewhere in the Neighborhood of Six Tips on Sinking Lines - A black Diamond Episode

Tom goes into great detail in this podcast on sinking lines. This is advanced stuff, but plenty for everyone here.

In the FLY BOX section, Tom touches on how to remove ice from the guides on your rod, casting around objects and gives a couple pointers on choosing a good fishing guide.

Jan 21, 2011
Six Tips on Emergers- A Black Diamond Episode

You folks have requested some more advanced topics and Tom comes through with a long, detailed podcast on fishing emergers.

Go to to ask Tom questions about this episode and add anythign he may have forgotten!

Jan 13, 2011
The First 30 Feet

Casting  that first thirty feet of line out can sometimes be tricky. Tom has some easy tips for the advanced and beginner angler alike, so you can false cast less and fish more.

Jan 04, 2011
Lessons Learned the Hard Way with Simon Perkins

Montana fly-fishing guide, Simon Perkins is back home in Vermont for Christmas and joins Tom for a podcast on lessons learned the hard way. It's the mistakes that make us wise, if we learn from them. Learn from Tom and Simon's mistakes so you dont have to make them yourself!

Dec 22, 2010
Traveling with Fly Gear

Tom takes the mystery out of packing for your next trip telling you what you need, what you don't and what you REALLY shouldn't forget to bring.

He also shares his top five flies for fresh and saltwater.

Dec 15, 2010
The Top Five Casting Mistakes Revisited

In this episode, Tom is joined by Peter Kutzer of the Orvis Fly Fishing School to revisit a subject that we have covered in the past, but is still requested: common casting mistakes. We've all made them, in this podcast learn how to identify and fix them.

Dec 09, 2010
Trout Unlimited Podcast: Sea Run Brook Trout

Chris Wood, TU’s President and CEO, talks with Massachussetts TU volunteer Warren Winders about sea-run brook trout and why a small stream in the midst of a cranberry bog in Massachusetts is key to this population of sea-run brook trout.

Dec 08, 2010
The Go East, Go West Podcast

Tom covers a lot of material in this podcast. In the "Fly Box" section, he compares and contrasts vests vs chest packs vs waist packs vs sling packs, he covers how best to keep your flies floating (and reveals his secret)  and then answers a question about realistic vs impressionistic flies.

The main topic of this podcast, though is what easterners can expect when taking a fishing trip west and what westerners can expect when making a trip east. What are the differences? How can you best prepare?


Dec 02, 2010
The Trout Unlimited Podcast- Genetically Modified Trout?

Jack Williams Chris Wood, TU’s President and CEO, talks with TU’s senior scientist, Jack Williams, about the looming possibility that the Federal Drug Administration will give approval to genetically modify salmon for human consumption. Could trout be the next animal to be genetically modified for food?

Dec 01, 2010
Trout Unlimited Podcast- Upcoming Important Legislation for Anglers

Chris Wood, TU’s President and CEO, talks with Steve Moyer,     TU’s Vice President of Government Affairs, about upcoming legislation that is important to sportsmen. Steve gives an insider’s look into lobbying in Washington, D.C.—how it works and how people who care about trout and salmon can make their voices heard.

Nov 23, 2010
Fly Tying 101

As Tom was sitting down to tape this episode we got an email from a listener that made us all smile regarding his daughter's first fly. Tom reads it in this episode and tt was good timing as Tom lays out the basics of what you need to get into fly tying as a great addition to your fly fishing experience... but don't get into it thinking you're going to save money on flies! 

Good lighting, a comfortable seat, reading glasses and this podcast episode are a great start to a rewarding, lifelong hobby.


Nov 19, 2010
Trout Unlimited Podcast - An Interview with Sharon Lance

Chris Wood, TU’s President and CEO, chats with Colorado Volunteer, Sharon Lance, about conservation issues in Colorado, why it’s important to get kids involved in fly fishing and why its never a good idea to have your spouse teach you how to fish.

Nov 17, 2010
Access Fly Rod Giveaway Podcast- Teaching Fly Fishing to Beginners

Wow! About 250 entries and over 500 votes in our first podcast giveaway contest to win an Access Fly Rod! Congrats to troutbumpk!

In this episode, Tom gives some tips on teaching others to fly fish and also introduces a new segment to the show: The Flybox. We get a lot of requests that can't quite fill a whole podcast, so Tom is going to address those in this new segment!

Tell us what you think! Email us at, come by and leave a comment on the blogs, tweet us @OrvisFlyFishing or find us on Facebook at


Nov 12, 2010
Five Ways to Avoid Embarrassment on the Flats

In this episode, Brett Ference from the Orvis Double Barrel Podcast is jealous of Tom's download count so he drops by to boost his numbers a bit.

Tom and Brett discuss pointers for bonefishing: Know how to tell time, communicate with your guide, and DON'T TROUT STRIKE are among the tips here.

Think Tom should have Brett on more often? Let us know on our Facebook page at or by emailing us at

Don't forget to check out our blog at

Nov 04, 2010
Trout Unlimited Podcast- The Western Water Project

Chris Wood, TU's President and CEO, interviews Scott Yates, TU's Director of the Western Water Project. Together, they discuss the various water challenges that exist in various Western states and talk about how TU works to achieve a balance that is good for landowners and fish.

From river flows to irrigation, their conversation touches on some of the hottest current water debates in the West.

Nov 02, 2010
Comparing and Contrasting Wild and Stocked Trout Behaviors and How to Fish Them

Tom gets downright professorial in this information-packed episode on the differences in stocked vs wild trout and the different approaches in fishing them. A fascinating episode, bound to become one of your favorites.

Check us out online at! 

Oct 28, 2010
The Trout Unlimited Podcast - Hydrofracking the Marcellus Shale

Phil Monahan of has called the development of gas resources in the Marcellus Shale the "Pebble Mine of the East."

Hear Chris Wood, CEO of Trout Unlimited, and his guest, TU's Elizabeth Maclin, VP for Eastern Conservation discuss what the Marcellus Shale project entails, what "hydro-fracking" is and the potential impact on coldwater resources of Northern Appalachia.

Oct 26, 2010
Purposeful Solitude: Special Guest Paul Fersen Reads MOVING WATER

Tom is out this week, so we asked resident author Paul Fersen to read from a recent piece he wrote for American Angler magazine on fishing for bass off Cape Cod.

Oct 21, 2010
Trout Unlimited Podcast - TU and Field & Stream's Best Wild Places Tour

This summer, Trout Unlimited partnered with Field & Stream to showcase the Best Wild Places in America. The tour highlights six spots out West where people can experience some of the best hunting and fishing and most spectacular wilderness in the country. By fishing and hunting in these places, the goal is to inspire people to visit these places--all of which are located on public land.

Also, we hope to raise awareness about how special these places are so that they may receive the protection they deserve. Each one of the places on the tour faces some threat--development, energy disputes, or other threats that has the potential to rob future generations from the chance to experience the landscapes and wildlife. In this podcast, TU's President and CEO, Chris Wood, talks with Chris Hunt, of TU's Sportsmen's Conservation Project, about the tour.

Oct 12, 2010
Fall Fly Fishing Tips for Eastern and Western Anglers

In this episode tom is joined in teh studio by Trout Unlimited's cable show ON THE RISE host Jed Fiebelkorn to discuss tips for anglers in both the eastern and western United States.

This is a repost from earlier today due to a technical error in the last upload. 

Oct 11, 2010
Three and a Half Tips on Fly Fishing for Steelhead

Tom has three big tips for fly fishing for steelhead on location, timing and presentation. He has what he calls a half a tip on tackle. 

Leave us comments on and on our Facebook page at!

Oct 06, 2010
The Trout Unlimited Podcast - Trout in the Classroom

It's back to school--and TU's program, Trout in the Classroom, is part of the curriculum in hundreds of schools around the country. The program helps children learn about trout and conservation by raising trout in aquariums.  In this podcast, TU President and CEO Chris Wood talks with two TU volunteers in New York state about their experience teaching children about the wonders of trout and their life cycles. Stacey Weirl is a physical education teacher who teaches kindergarten through fifth grade at the Fox Meadow Elementary School in Scarsdale, New York.  Also joining Chris is a longtime TU volunteer, John Genovesi. John is the past president of the Croton Watershed TU chapter and directs the Trout in the Classroom program in Westchester County, New York. For more information about Trout in the Classroom, go to

Oct 05, 2010
Tom Rosenbauer's Five Tips on River Access

River access is a hot issue. In this episode tom gives his 5 tips on stayign legal and getting access to land you may otherwise have skipped.

Don't forget to check out! We're blogging on fly fishing, conservation, dogs, travel, and more at

Sep 30, 2010
The Trout Unlimited Podcast - Restoring the Mighty Penobscot

We are adding a new feature to the Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast by partnering with Trout Unlimited to bring you  updates on their conservation programs. Tom is a huge fan of Trout Unlimited and Orvis has been a long-time partner in their efforts to restore and protect coldwater fisheries.

In this episode TU president CEO Chris Wood interviews Jeff Reardon about restoring the Penobscot River. Involving miles and miles of river and multiple dam removals, this is the largest project of its kind in history.

We hope you enjoy this new feature of The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast. Let us know what you think on our Facebook wall  at or by dropping us a line at