Show cover of Troutbitten

Troutbitten

Life on the water. Troutbitten is a deep dive into fly fishing for wild trout in wild places. Author and guide, Domenick Swentosky, shares stories, tips, tactics and conversations with friends about fly fishing through the woods and water. Explore more. Fish hard. And discover fly fishing at Troutbitten.com — an extensive resource with 1200+ articles about trout, friends, family and the river.

Tracks

The Stages of an Angler
How many times have we heard the supposed stages of an angler? First you want to catch a fish, then you want to catch a bunch of fish, then you want to catch a big fish, then you want to catch the toughest fish, and then you just want to catch a fish again.This is a clever way to look at a life on the water. But is it really true? This is our topic.We also expand on some other stages that anglers go through, and we think about the beginning stage — why it’s so hard at first, how anglers get held back, and how, sadly, the majority of anglers probably never get a whole lot further than those early stages.ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | Life on the WaterREAD: Troutbitten | Two Sides to Every FishermenREAD: Troutbitten | The Dirty FishermanREAD: Troutbitten | How to Stay in the Fly Fishing Game for a LifetimeVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
65:52 4/14/24
Feed Drop -- Troutbitten On The Untangled Podcast
I was happy to be a guest on the Untangled Podcast with Spencer Durrant. We talked mostly about Nymphing tactics for beginners. We also talked a little about a fishing life and the fly fishing industry.You can listen to that full episode  here in the Troubitten Podcast feedFollow the Untangled Podcast hosted by the Venturing Fly Company YouTube channel.https://youtu.be/AWoagPJ0JPc?si=EjXoavzV8pGg9NEIVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
70:11 4/7/24
Catching Up -- Patagonia, Leader Sales, Live Streams, Beer, Hosted Trips and More
In this interim episode, Becky and I look back on what has happened in 2024 so far, and we set the table for what’s to come. We talk about Patagonia, videos, articles, podcasts, livestream podcasts, one-on-one sessions, hosted trips, guide season, the next Troutbitten Leader Sale and a Troutbitten beer.Thank you for being part of this Troutbitten community.ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | One-On-One Virtual Skills SessionsREAD: Troutbitten | The First Troutbitten LIVESTREAM Podcast On YouTubeVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
58:43 3/13/24
Critical Nymphing Concepts #7 -- Animating the Nymph
Here we are with our final installment, part seven of our series on critical nymphing concepts.Almost all of our focus throughout this series has been on achieving dead drifts. We aim for natural looks that imitate what the real bugs do most. So we try to stay in one lane, we try to find the right speed and the right depth. Most of the articles on Troutbitten about nymphing also assume we’re aiming for dead drifts. It's the same with the videos. Why? Because dead drifts usually work best.But in this episode, our topic is getting something other than a dead drift. How can we add animation to a nymph that seals the deal? Something that either grabs a trout’s attention and attracts it to the fly . . . or the chosen animation actually mimics something natural that the real bugs are doing at the moment.We spend so much time refining presentations and trying to achieve perfectly natural dead drifts that moving the nymph a bit, animating the fly, is liberating. It’s fun.But moving our nymph at random, moving it accidentally or relabeling drag as enticing motion doesn’t work so well. Stripping or swinging a nymph like a streamer doesn't work so well. More often, subtle motions add an extra spark to the presentation. These are mostly additions to a dead drift, and not a full abandonment of the dead drift principles we try so hard to achieve.This is our topic for part seven, this season finale.ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | Streamer Presentations -- The Crossover TechniqueREAD: Troutbitten | The First Troutbitten LIVESTREAM Podcast On YouTubeREAD: Troutbitten | The Big Rig -- The Two Plus One -- Two Nymphs and a StreamerREAD: Troutbitten | Streamer Presentations -- The Super PauseREAD: Troutbitten | Natural vs Attractive PresentationVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
64:02 2/25/24
Critical Nymphing Concepts #6 -- Line on the Water
This episode is about tension and slack. It's about how we manage fly lines and leaders on the water while nymphing.Remember, each of these episodes — all of these concepts — apply to all styles of nymphing. So we might choose to lay line on the water with an indicator rig (and sometimes mend it) just like we might choose to float the sighter with a tight line rig. My friend, Austin Dando, joins me to walk through the tight line advantage of keeping line off the water and what happens when we give that up. Fishing greater distances often requires laying line on the water, and how we manage that line, how we plan for it, makes all the difference between a great drift and a poor one.ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | The Tight Line Advantage Across Fishing StylesPODCAST: Troutbitten | Fly Fishing the Mono Rig -- Versatility and The Tight Line Advantage Taken FurtherREAD: Troutbitten | Fly Casting -- Five Tips for Better Mending VIDEO: Troutbitten | The Hop MendREAD: Troutbitten | Regarding Classic Upstream NymphingREAD: Troutbitten | You Need TurnoverVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
53:03 2/18/24
Critical Nymphing Concepts #5 -- Weight: The Fundamental Factor
This discussion is all about weight. It’s the fundamental factor in nymphing. Because as soon as you choose to leave the surface, once you clip off the dry fly and fish anything else . . . weight is necessary.Even wet flies have some weight. They’re designed not to float but to break the surface with at least the weight of the hook. With streamers, of course, weight is required to get the flies to whatever depth is necessary — and we do that with all types of weight, whether that’s a sinking line, split shot or weight built into the fly.Then of course, with nymphs, we need weight, just like streamers, to get the flies to some kind of depth and actually fish them.You can’t avoid it. Weight is the fundamental factor. Meaning, it’s probably more important than the fly itself. More weight or less is more consequential than what dubbing, feather or ribbing is wound around the hook shank.We use all types of weight, and there are good reasons for all of these: tungsten beads, split shot and drop shot. Our topic is how each of these weight choices, along with the decision for more or less weight, helps us match river situations and meet the trout with a presentation they're looking for.This is a technical topic that is built on many Troutbitten resources that have come before it . . .ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | No Limits -- Use Every Type of Weight AvailablePODCAST: Troutbitten | Weight In Fly Fishing: Beads, Shot, Sinking Lines and MoreREAD: Troutbitten | Series | Drop Shot Nymphing on a Tight Line RigVIDEO: Troutbitten | Don't Hate the Split Shot - Have a SystemREAD: Troutbitten | Pattern vs PresentationREAD: Troutbitten | Split Shot vs Weighted FliesVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
55:18 2/11/24
Three Ways to Dead Drift -- Critical Nymphing Concepts #4
This episode features what might be the most important concept of nymph fishing. There are three different ways to present a dead drifted nymph to the trout -- three ways to imitate what trout commonly see from the naturals. While trout eat dry flies in one plane (the surface) the complexity of currents underneath introduces more difficulty, simply because trout might be looking for food in multiple ways.My friend, Austin Dando, and I break down one of my favorite topics in fly fishing -- the three ways to dead drift nymphs: bottom bouncing, strike zone rides and tracking the flies.All three of these methods are viable. All of them produce. A nymphing angler dedicated to improving should consider what level to focus the presentation and how those nymphs might best look natural within that level. This is a technical topic that is built on many Troutbitten resources that have come before it . . .ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | Nymphs: Three Ways to Dead Drift: Bottom Bounce, Strike Zone Rides, TrackingPODCAST: Troutbitten | Locating the Strike Zone -- Tight Line Skills #6READ: Troutbitten | The Water Column and the All-Important Strike ZoneREAD: Troutbitten | Drop Shot Nymphing SeriesREAD: Troutbitten | Tight Line and Euro Nymphing: Leading vs Tracking vs Guiding the FliesREAD: Troutbitten | That's Not  a Dead DriftVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
44:48 2/4/24
Suspender Advantages -- Critical Nymphing Concepts #3
In the third part of this critical nymphing concepts series, we consider the advantages and disadvantages of fishing with a suspender. We cover the followingIndicator styles and why the type mattersNot all indicators are created equalChoosing tight line or indy, or combing bothWhat you lose by adding and indyWhat you gain by adding an indyComplications of an indy styleWhat is commonly missed when using an indyReading an indicatorA few more tips  . . .ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | It's a Suspender, Not Just an IndicatorPODCAST: Troutbitten | Nymphing Tight Line to the Indicator Style -- Tight Line Advantage to the IndicatorREAD: Troutbitten | The Backing Barrel Might Be the Best Sighter EverREAD: Troutbitten | Tight Line to the Indicator -- a Mono Rig VariantREAD: Troutbitten | Your Indicator is Too BigREAD: Troutbitten | The Dorsey Yarn Indicator -- Everything You Need to Know and  a Little MoreVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
45:38 1/28/24
More Influence or Less? -- Critical Nymphing Concepts #2
In this second episode of our Critical Nymphing Concepts series, my friend, Austin Dando, and I walk through the idea — the concept — of having more influence or less over the flies. Meaning, who or what is in charge of the nymphs? Is it you or the river? And do we want to have more influence over the flies or less? What looks more natural? Which choice — which method — fools more trout?We cover the followingWhat is influence and what's in charge of the nymph's path?Does less influence look more natural?How weight and tippet diameter relate to influence.Why taking dry fly principles to the nymphs underneath leads to big mistakes.How slack hurts or helps the drift.The principle of slipping contact.Good and bad things about more influence.Good and bad things about less influence.Better systems for each method.ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | Tight Line and Euro Nymphing: Tracking the FliesPODCAST: Troutbitten | #7, Nine Essential Skill for Tight Line and Euro Nymphing | Guiding the FliesREAD: Troutbitten | Tight Line and Euro Nymphing: Leading vs Tracking vs GuidingREAD: Troutbitten | Slipping Contact -- Tight Line and Euro NymphingREAD: Troutbitten | Tight Line Nymphing With an IndicatorREAD: Troutbitten | Your Indicator Is Too BigVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
45:59 1/21/24
Critical Nymphing Concepts #1 -- The Three Questions
This Season Ten skills series is about the critical concepts of nymphing. In seven episodes this season, we're covering the what and the why of nymphing. The techniques we work on are physical skills necessary to get great drifts and fool fish. But these nymphing concepts are about putting a reason behind everything we do.Why do we make the changes? How do we adapt to meet the preferences of trout for the moment? This is the other side of the coin. And once you put all of this together, you have a full picture of what it takes to regularly catch trout on a nymph.Importantly, these concepts apply to all nymphing styles, tight line, indicator or otherwise.Episode One covers the three most important questions in nymphing.My friend Austin Dando joins me this season to walk through these concepts.ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | Three Nymphing Questions to Solve Any ProblemPODCAST: Troutbitten | #1, Nine Essential Skill for Tight Line and Euro Nymphing | Angle and ApproachREAD: Troutbitten | The Water Column, and the All-Important Strike ZoneREAD: Troutbitten | When Drifting Low Isn't Low EnoughVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
51:48 1/14/24
A Troutbitten Glossary
For this final episode of Season Ten and of 2023, we wanted  to have some fun. In this episode we walk through a bunch of Troutbitten . . . terms, words, sayings, phrases . . . and talk about what all of this means. Let’s call it a Troutbitten glossary.If you’re lucky enough to have your own group of long-time fishing friends, then I’m sure you have your own phrases too — your own idioms and ways of talking about things. It’s all a lot of fun.Long-time listeners understand what it means when Austin says he could have caught a lot more trout — if he really wanted to. Most of you also understand what it means to play bartender for a friend, and you know how many inches a trout should be to fall under the Troutbitten classification, Whiskey.Our lingo is part of the Troutbitten culture. Here we go . . .ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | Category | HistoryPODCAST: Troutbitten | The One With Sloop, Stories with a Fishing Friend S7 Ep12PODCAST: Troutbitten | Fishing Buddies S5 Ep12VisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
80:20 12/24/23
Bad Habits That Hurt
We’re here to talk about bad habits — things that aren’t personal style but just bad form. These are bad habits that come with a consequence. These are, quite simply, mistakes. And in every case, there’s a much better way to do things.We meet anglers from all over the country and the world, we often see these bad habits from good anglers. And inevitably, these are some of the key things that hold people back from going further — from catching more trout.These are deal breakers --  bad habits that come with consequences, and habits that, once changed, open up new avenues and better opportunities.Our intention here is to be helpful and not critical. We want to point out some of the worst habits that we see most often — the mistakes that a lot of good anglers still make and that hold them back. And these are mistakes — it’s almost right and wrong.I always say there are no experts in fly fishing. So we are not experts. But all of us here are experienced. In fact, we’re experienced enough to have gone through many of these bad habits on our own and have corrected them. Our goal is to share a few of these habits and highlight what might go unnoticed by a pretty wide segment of our friends.ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | All the ThingsPODCAST: Troutbitten | The Inefficiencies that Waste Your Fishing Time - S3,Ep2READ: Troutbitten | How Many Effective Fishing Minutes?VisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
66:25 12/17/23
Fishing With a Camera
This one is about taking photos and videos on the water, about camera gear, about keeping that gear safe but available, and even a few tips on taking a good fish selfie.Photography is something that we see most anglers get into, at least a little bit. I’ve often described the fish selfie as the grand compromise of catch and release fishing. We don’t kill the trout and take it home to show it off to friends anymore. But we do want to share some of the best trout and our most memorable situations on the river. So we take photos and videos.We plan for these trips, we look forward to them, we tie flies, we think about leaders, buy gear and read books about the region and the tactics. And when we finally get our boots in the water, we want to document these experiences — especially when the stars align and something remarkable happens.ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | Fishing With a CameraREAD: Troutbitten | All the ThingsPODCAST: Troutbitten | How to Handle a Trout, S1 Ep2READ: Troutbitten | Their Heart in Your HandsVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
88:40 12/10/23
Our Favorite Rivers
Some favorite rivers meander and roll through stunning scenery and enchanting tracts of wilderness. And most trout fishermen quickly realize that the pursuit of wild trout takes them into some of the most beautiful valleys on earth.But some other favorite rivers run through towns or behind old factories. Maybe they’re paralleled by a highway or narrowly channeled by railroad tracks on either side. These places can be just as special, just as meaningful and treasured, for what they hold — for what they teach.All of our favorite rivers have made an impact on who we are as a person — not just as an angler. Because, for so many fishermen, a home water is precisely that — a home. A place to rest. A place to seek comfort and rejuvenation. These rivers are places to share with those we love . . . or to seek an adventure alone.Our favorite rivers are as integral to our experience as the rods, leaders, lines and tactics. They define our fishing, and they become part of our lives. In this episode, we share some history with these places and discuss what connects us to these moving waters.ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | The SecretREAD: Troutbitten | Right HerePODCAST: Troutbitten | What to Love About Small Stream Fishing S7 Ep6PODCAST: Troutbitten | Secrets and Spot Burning S3 Ep1VIDEO: Troutbitten | The River Doesn't Owe You AnythingVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
61:27 12/3/23
What Works When and Why? -- Mono Rigs and Euro Nymphing Styles
This episode is a conversation about tight line leader styles. We share what we like best, what works for each of us and what does not. This is Part Two for the podcast that we two weeks ago, titled, “Tight Line, High Stick, Euro Nymph, Mono Rig -- What's the Difference and How Did We Get Here?”While that first episode laid out a history of tight line tactics, this conversation is focused on how we use these leaders. How do we fish the different leader builds for tight lining? What are the advantages and disadvantages of Standard, Thin and Micro-Thin Mono Rigs? What can we do with each of them?My friends join me for a great discussion, full of deep experience and strong opinion. ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | Category | The Mono RigREAD: Troutbitten | Beyond Euro NymphingPODCAST: Troutbitten | Fly Fishing the Mono Rig — Versatility and the Tight Line Advantage Taken FurtherREAD: Troutbitten | Design and Function of the Troutbitten Standard Mono RigVIDEO: Troutbitten | Mono Rigs and Euro Rigs -- Micro Thin or Standard?READ: Troutbitten | Thin and Micro-Thin Leaders for Euro Nymphing and the Mono RigREAD: Troutbitten | The Full Mono Rig System — All the variations, with formulas and adjustmentsREAD: Troutbitten | What You're Missing By Following FIPS Competition RulesVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
75:25 11/27/23
Coffee and Secrets (a story), and Catching Up
Here we are in the middle of season nine, and we’re doing something a little different. This is like an intermission between sets.My wife, Becky, is here, and we’ll catch up on a few Troutbitten things, like updates to the Recommended Gear page and the upcoming fall leader sale.I also have a listener email to share that really gets to the heart of what we all love about being out there on the water.And then, I  read one of my favorite Troutbitten stories from the archives. It’s titled, Coffee and Secrets,  and I think it strikes at a similar sentiment about the intangible motivations that keep us involved in a fishing life.ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | Recommended GearSHOP: Troutbitten | LeadersREAD: Troutbitten | Design and Function of the Troutbitten Standard Mono RigREAD: Troutbitten | Coffee and SecretsREAD: Troutbitten | Some Days are Diamonds, Some Days are RocksVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
34:37 11/19/23
Tight Line, High Stick, Euro Nymph, Mono Rig -- What's the Difference and How Did We Get Here?
Over the years, nymphing has grown up a bit. There's more information, more styles and more acceptance of those styles than ever before. While nymphing was once seen as that thing you did when trout wouldn’t eat dry flies or wets, more anglers than ever choose nymphing first — as their go-to method for catching trout in all seasons. Because nymphing provides a unique complexity unlike anything else in fly fishing. And anglers who are dedicated to the craft take particular joy in seeing their refinements pay dividends.All that is to say . . . nymphing is fun. And in large part, what makes it fun is the control that is gained through tight line tactics. Indeed, the popularization of contact nymphing systems coincides with the popularity and the surge of nymphing among the community.One of the most frequent requests we receive is for a full breakdown on the differences between the tight line styles. What is euro nymphing, and how is it different than the Mono Rig? Can I tight line with a fly line and a shorter leader? Is that called high sticking? What are the key differences between Polish, Czech, French and Spanish nymphing styles? And how does a thinner or thicker tight line leader help or hurt my presentation?Troutbitten has become synonymous with the Mono Rig. And while each of us at Troutbitten spends lots of time with traditional leaders and fly lines, we all enjoy the benefits gained from tight line tactics when fishing underneath the surface.In this episode, Austin Dando and I  walk through the differences between all of these styles. We provide some history and think objectively about how far the tight line game has come. And next week, the rest of the guys will join us to talk about the strengths and weaknesses, the advantages and disadvantages of what we call the standard, thin and micro thin mono rig leaders.ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | Category | The Mono RigREAD: Troutbitten | Beyond Euro NymphingPODCAST: Troutbitten | Fly Fishing the Mono Rig — Versatility and the Tight Line Advantage Taken FurtherREAD: Troutbitten | Design and Function of the Troutbitten Standard Mono RigVIDEO: Troutbitten | Mono Rigs and Euro Rigs -- Micro Thin or Standard?READ: Troutbitten | Thin and Micro-Thin Leaders for Euro Nymphing and the Mono RigREAD: Troutbitten | The Full Mono Rig System — All the variations, with formulas and adjustments VisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
73:45 11/12/23
The Stuff You Don't Need
Sometimes, an angler's love for gear becomes more important than the fishing itself, until the goal becomes a bigger collection of fishing gear instead of a collection of good fishing experiences. We’ve all seen this out there. And sometimes we have to actively fight that urge to want the next thing or believe that our deficiencies on the river can be solved with more gear.The truth is, too much stuff gets in the way. Simplifying our approach, our fly selection and gear selection, usually wins. It can also make for a happier fisherman who feels like they know their tools and have confidence in their techniques.But, having a few extra rods and reels is good too. And researching, planning for and then buying your next piece of gear is a fun process that can be inspiring. It can motivate you to get back to the river quickly and put your new stuff to the test. All things in moderation, right?So part of our conversation in this episode is focused on the gear — the stuff you don’t need to have great days on the water, the stuff that might hold you back far more than help you out.But another part of this episode is less tangible. Because it’s not always what we buy and stash in a fishing pack that gets in the way. Because, over time, it’s too easy to focus on finding the perfect water. Or we can look too hard for ideal weather and fishing conditions. Even the pursuit of some miraculous presentation can get in the way of our enjoyment and our progress.For most anglers, our time on the water is often so limited that it’s easy to get wrapped up in all the daydreaming and planning, until gear acquisition syndrome creeps in. And then our time on the water is spent finding reasons that we need something else or the next thing.The truth is, your best approach is to take the modest gear you own, hit some of the closest trout water you can find, and fish it hard. That’s what wins. And that was this podcast conversation is about.ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | All the ThingsREAD: Troutbitten | Patience vs PersistenceREAD: Troutbitten | Fish HardVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
66:35 11/5/23
Turning Around the Toughest Days — How to Save a Slow Fishing Trip
How do we handle tough days? How can we turn it around and start catching fish? When the going gets tough, how do we fix it? What are the strategies? So, most things don’t turn out the way you had them planned. That’s life. But as you’re driving the dirt road toward your favorite trout water, thoughts and plans unfold in your mind. And while preparing for a destination trip, you expect success. Once you’re finally traveling halfway across the country to that river you’ve wanted to fish for decades, visions of the trout you’ll catch take over.Your hopes and dreams of what will end up in the net are a primary motivator. And, aside from the fish, you might even be enthusiastic about a new fly rod, a new pair of waders or maybe an experimental leader that you tied up.For all of this, and for the fishing itself, we expect success. We assume the positive. Because, as my friend Rich Alsippi loved to say, "the fisherman is eternally hopeful." Good anglers are optimists.Why? Because fishing is filled with so much failure that anyone who stays in the game learns to look on the bright side, to see beyond the fish count, to get past tangled tippet, broken reels, lost flies in a tree and soaking wet clothes from falling in — again.Things go bad out there. A trout river forces you into mistakes. And sometimes, the fishing is just tough. Trout don’t want to eat.So you try everything you planned for. You know what should work, and you’ve fished it. But when it doesn’t . . . what do you do?That’s what we’re here to talk about tonight . . .ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | The Fisherman Is Eternally HopefulREAD: Troutbitten | The Best  Laid Plans of Fishermen often Go AwryREAD: Troutbitten | Fish HardVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
66:48 10/30/23
Trout Fishing and the Spawn
This conversation is about spawning trout. Specifically, we tackle the ethics of fishing during the spawn, whether it’s right or wrong to fish for trout that are actively in the process of making the next generation of trout.Moreover, where do these ideas of what’s ethical or not come from, and why are the expectations confusing for a lot of anglers?Is it okay to be on the water while trout are spawning, or should we simply stay away during the spawning season and let trout do their thing?We branch out into different trout species, and we highlight how different regions, different rivers and different setups might require a different approach.This topic can get a little contentious. Anglers have strong opinions about this, one way or another, and for many people there’s not much middle ground.We’ve covered this topic before, in a couple Q&A sessions in different podcast seasons. But this topic deserves its own podcast, and it’s been on our list for a long while.Trust me when I say that none of us are here to tell you how to fish or when to fish. But this topic is one that each of us has given a lot of thought to over the years. We’ve also seen anglers have a change of heart, and we’ve been around to witness some heated disagreements about this topic too.READ: Troutbitten | Are We Taking the Safety of Trout Too FarREAD: Troutbitten | Redd Fish -- Should We Fish Through the Spawn or Stay Home?READ: Troutbitten | Fish HardVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
74:19 10/23/23
How Has Fly Fishing Changed?
Everything changes. That’s the only constant. And in the fly fishing world, the tactics, the gear and how we share all of this information changes, even though what the trout eat and how they eat it pretty much stays the same.That time frame, that snapshot, from where you entered the fly fishing world, shapes what you do on the water. And it’s amazing what just twenty calendar years does to that snapshot. Because a lot of your understanding about what is common, accepted or frowned upon is shaped right away, as you start researching and learning about this fishing thing that eventually becomes a big part of your life.In this episode, my friends and I consider this topic: How have the tactics changed? How has the gear changed? How has the flow of information changed? And how has all of that changed the way we fish for trout?ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | All The ThingsREAD: Troutbitten | Fishing with FriendsREAD: Troutbitten | Angler Types in Profile -- The RookieVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
61:52 10/15/23
Night Fishing for Trout -- Nymphs, Wets and Pushers
In this six-part series we’ve covered locations, water types, weather, water and light conditions. We’ve talked about the gear, about flashlights and headlamps and glow in the dark stuff. We’ve considered what a good night plan looks like, having a strategy and then adapting.Tactically, we’ve talked about drifting vs swinging flies, about three levels of the water column, about where to expect trout might feed the most after dark, and we’ve walked through top water patterns, emergers and streamers at night.This week, we’re finishing the series with nymphs, wets and the Harvey Pusher Night flies. We discuss rigging and tactics for each of these fly types, where to fish them and how our presentations might differ at night  from what we do in the daylight.ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | Category | Night FishingREAD: Troutbitten | The Harvey Pusher Night Fly (with VIDEO)READ: Troutbitten | Find Your Rabbit HoleREAD: Troutbitten | Night Fishing for Trout -- The Wiggle and HangREAD: Troutbitten | Drop Shot Nymphing on a Tight Line RigVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
74:00 9/24/23
Night Fishing for Trout -- Topwater, Emergers and Streamers
This is the episode you’ve all been waiting for. Tonight, we  talk about  fishing the top water. And yes, that means mouse patterns — sometimes. We also dig into a fly style that we feel is often more effective, the mouse emerger concept at night. And we talk about fishing streamers after dark.We cover the effectiveness of many different top water and streamer styles. And we discuss how the emerger concept combines the best of both fly platforms. We get into our favorite patterns and how we fish them.ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | Category | Night FishingREAD: Troutbitten | Streamer Presentations -- The Death DriftREAD: Troutbitten | Of Mice and FishermenREAD: Troutbitten | Night Fishing for Trout -- You're Gonna Need a Bigger RopePODCAST: Troutbitten | Night Fishing and the Mouse Emerger ConceptVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
71:18 9/17/23
Night Fishing for Trout -- Planning and Adapting Locations and Tactics
All fishing trips benefit from a good plan, and most of us couldn’t stop planning, hoping and dreaming about an upcoming trip if we wanted to. Our night fishing plans are a good beginning. Aimed toward solving the mysteries after dark, these plans are formed around expectations and based on the conditions.Where are the trout, and how are they feeding?Building flexibility into our plans helps solve these questions. It’s our willingness to adapt, to walk around the bend, to work upstream instead of down or to clip off the top water pattern and rig up for wet flies -- that's what helps answer questions and put trout in the net. Trusting our instincts is the first part. And following through — making the changes — is the second.ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | Category | Night FishingREAD: Troutbitten | Night Fishing for Trout -- Location, Location, LocationREAD: Troutbitten | What to TrustREAD: Troutbitten | Who Knows Better Than YouPODCAST: Troutbitten | An Introduction to Night Fishing for Trout -- S3, Ep14VisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
71:29 9/9/23
Night Fishing for Trout -- Swinging and Drifting
We night fish with many different fly types: surface patterns, mouse emerges, streamers, wet flies, nymphs and Harvey Pushers. And all of these flies can be presented in two very different ways — drifting and swinging.There’s a lot of variety within these two categories. There are many ways to do both. And every fly type may seem to have its best or most effective presentation, drifting or swinging, but when that’s not working, the first and easiest thing to do, before changing the fly type, is to simply change the direction the flies are fished, from swinging to drifting or vice versa.Drifting is fishing the flies with the current. Swinging is fishing the flies against the current. In this episode, we consider the differences between the two and the advantage of each.Resources READ: Troutbitten | Category | Night FishingREAD: Troutbitten | Streamer Presentations -- The Death DriftREAD: Troutbitten | Streamer Presentations -- The Deadly Slow SlideREAD: Troutbitten | Night Fishing for Trout -- Drifting and Swinging FliesREAD: Troutbitten | Night Fishing for Trout -- Backstory: Drifting and Swinging FliesPODCAST: Troutbitten | An Introduction to Night Fishing for Trout -- S3, Ep14 VisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
62:59 9/3/23
Night Fishing for Trout: Lights -- Natural and Artificial
In this second part of the Night Fishing for Trout Skills Series on Troutbitten, we consider light. First the naturals, like moonlight and starlight, then we discuss city lights and other artificials, like our own flashlights and headlamps. Lastly, we’ll discuss the use of glow-in-the-dark stuff, like fly lines, indicators and more.I'm joined by my night fishing friends, Austin Dando, Trevor Smith and Josh Darling.Night fishing always comes down to what we can see and what we can’t. Of course we use our other senses. And yes, those senses are heightened, and we often rely on feel more than our limited sight in the relative darkness.But it is not pitch black out there, especially when we attain and then preserve good night vision. So we navigate the evening from shadows and outlines, pitching unseen flies beyond the visible perimeter and tracking those flies through the feel of a line in our hand, by sensing the load on our rod tip and by sometimes following something that glows in the dark.Light affects the fishing, but it also affects the fish. And while trout seem to prefer darker nights, they might also feed better with a few stars in the sky for a nightlight.ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | Category | Night FishingREAD: Troutbitten | Night Fishing for Trout -- Moonlight, Starlight and City LightREAD: Troutbitten | Night Fishing for Trout -- Headlamps, Flashlights and Glow in the Dark StuffPODCAST: Troutbitten | An Introduction to Night Fishing for Trout -- S3, Ep14VisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
79:02 8/27/23
Night Fishing for Trout: People, Places and Things
This season is a skills series about fishing for trout after the sun goes down. And for the next six episodes, we’ll break down the night game into an outline that roughly follows the topics of a series that I published on Troutbitten, titled, Night Fishing for Trout.My night fishing friends are joining me for this episode -- Josh, Trevor and Austin. These are the only night fishing companions I’ve ever had. Because the truth is, most anglers simply will not fish in the dark very often. But these guys do. And it takes a certain kind of angler to pursue trout into the night.What kind of angler fishes after dark? What are their motivations and rewards? That's our first topic in this episode.Where does night fishing for trout happen? Where are the best places to catch trout after dark? That's our second topic in this episode.And lastly, what kind of gear and tactics will we cover in this series? What are some of the odd things about night fishing we might encounter?This season, the six-part Night Fishing for Trout Skills skills series from Troutbitten, is an in depth look into the game of fishing for trout after dark. We hope you enjoy it.ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | Category | Night FishingREAD: Troutbitten | Night Fishing for Trout -- Fight or FlightPODCAST: Troutbitten | An Introduction to Night Fishing for Trout -- S3, Ep14PODCAST: Troutbitten | Night Fishing and the Mouse Emerger Concept -- S1, Ep3VisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
56:19 8/20/23
Summer Catch Up '23 -- The Fishing, The Shop, Videos and More
We’re in between podcast season, and it's time for an update about what’s going on with Troutbitten. My wife, Becky, joins me to talk about the past, the present and the near future.The summer Troutbitten Shop leader sale launches on Monday morning, July 31st. All Troutbitten leaders will be back in stock: Harvey, Standard, Thin and Micro Thin Mono Rigs, Full Kits and Standard Sighters. Also in the shop are new hats and tee shirts in collaboration with New Trail Brewing Company.My Guide Schedule for fall of '24 has been full for a while now. And my spring season is a little over half booked up. I will open dates for fall '24 on September 20th, next month. Bill and Austin will have available dates for this fall pretty soon. So if you are still looking for a date this fall, be in touch.The Troutbitten YouTube channel continues to grow fast. I've spent a lot of time learning to film and edit, and I'm working on a Fish and Film series that should be out by the beginning of October. These are first-person-style videos that also mix in other camera angles. These are videos that simply show the fishing and the experience of being on the river, highlighting the decisions made to be versatile and to meet fish on their own terms. Josh Darling and I will continue to publish videos every other week. Those videos are in one of these categories: Troutbitten Tips, Fish and Film, Troutbitten Fly Box, Fishing the Mono Rig. The Troutbitten Podcast continues with Season 8, beginning on August 20th. This is a six part Skills Series covering Night Fishing for Trout. After that, we’ll take a couple weeks off until Season 9 of the Troutbitten Podcast begins on October 15 and runs until Christmas time.ResourcesSHOP: Troutbitten | The Troutbitten ShopGUIDE: Troutbitten | Troutbitten Guided Fishing TripsVIDEOS: Troutbitten | Troutbitten VideosPODCASTS: Troutbitten | The Troutbitten Podcast VisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
49:20 7/29/23
The One With Sloop - Stories With a Troutbitten Friend
Every Troutbitten regular knows about Sloop. We’ve referred to our friend on nearly every podcast, especially in the last few seasons, as it’s become a running contest to see how we can sneak in a Sloop John B reference.So we’re excited to have John here. Because what we all find so rewarding about this life on the water are the friendships. We form deep bonds with people because they are . . . fishermen. Because they too are captivated by the trout, by the places trout take us and by the refinement of tactics required to catch a wild trout.Our friends are at the heart of it all. And really, that’s what we’re adding in tonight — another friend, and possibly the deepest friend to Troutbitten, if we consider how all this started. Sloop tied it all together from the beginning.Here are good stories and fun with our friend, John Burgos (Sloop).ResourcesREAD: Troutbitten | How It StartedREAD: Troutbitten | Fishing With FriendsVisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
65:36 7/2/23
The Airing of Grievances 2
We're back for the annual airing of grievances, here to call out what's wrong in the fly fishing industry.Some of our grievances are lighthearted silliness that doesn't really matter, but it’s fun to roast or to call out. But there’s another kind of grievance too. Because a lot of the stuff going on in the fly fishing industry isn’t really good for anyone — or maybe it’s only good for a few. Because the industry — and by that I mean you, me, the fly fishing companies, and all the media around it — picks up trends. Then it pushes and pulls anglers in that direction. And sometimes, what is served up doesn’t benefit the average angler. It’s not helpful.So there are problems. And this episode is for highlighting some of the worst. Because it's fair to call balls and strikes, and because it helps to acknowledge that things could be better and try to make a change.Resources PODCAST: Troutbitten | The Airing of Grievances, S3, Ep13VisitTroutbitten WebsiteTroutbitten InstagramTroutbitten YouTubeTroutbitten FacebookThank You to Pre-Roll Ad Sponsors:SkwalaandOrvis
111:32 6/25/23

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