Fishing Living Flies

  • By: Mark Sedotti
  • Photography by: Ted Fauceglia
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As we enter a fast, deep run, I cast to the bank above a deadfall and begin a short, quick, broken-cadenced strip retrieve. My big streamer responds by sashaying, slashing and darting with sudden side-to-side movements, just about calling to be eaten. No sooner has that dancing fly drifted under the first branch when it disappears in a golden flash. I set the hook and a jumbo, thick-bodied brown trout sporting vivid, black-and-red spots vaults two feet in the air, hanging, or so it seems, in suspended animation. This is no surprise: trout are coming to this fly with its side-swiping, strike-triggering action at every likely spot we pass.

Go to School—In the Keys

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel
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Improve your skills and get to the next level of saltwater fly-fishing at one of the best fly-fishing schools in the country. It doesn't suck that it's also in Islamorada, in the beautiful Florida Keys...and that you will learn to cast from Chico Fernandez.

Subtle Barbs

  • By: Chico Fernandez
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Finding the right amount of barb for your hooks will ensure better hookups and more fish landed.

Healing Wounds and Lifting Spirits

  • By: Deborah Weisberg
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“I caught my first fish ever on a Woolly Bugger and absolutely loved it,” David Folkerts said. “Once I pulled that trout in and looked down and saw how beautiful it was, I knew I wanted to keep doing it.” Folkerts now serves as program manager for Project Healing Waters...

Hexagenia Helpers

  • By: Capt. Tony Petrella
  • Photography by: Ted Fauceglia
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Web Bonus from our July/September issue. When the Michigan mayfly is hatching, try these two patterns developed by a Michigan fly-fishing guide.

More About Big Bonefish…

  • By: Chico Fernandez
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Most flies for these big bonefish are a size or two larger than the rest of the bonefish world, with most flies falling between a size 2 and 1 and even size 1/0s.

Casting On Course

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel
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Orvis's Hutch Hutchinson says: “The average Joe fishermen has been able to improve his casting before they go fishing.” Here's how to improve your fly-casting, and have a helluva lot of fun in the process. A fly casting course! "The original idea was to build just two or three holes close to the store, but seeing the property—which offers land on both sides of the Deschutes—gave Hutch the idea for something much bigger."

Up For the Challenge?

  • By: Jim Reilly
Fishing New York's Ausable

The Ausable Two-Fly Challenge will be held on May 16 on the banks of the West Branch of the Ausable River. More than 75 anglers from as far away as Texas are expected to come to Wilmington, New York, to try their skills on the trout of this storied river flowing through the Adirondack Mountains.

The New Chrome

  • By: John Larison
Chrome

Only 60 years ago, West Coast steelhead streams churned with silver-plated natives. Waves of naturally reared steelies ascended their natal rivers, hellbent on reaching the same gravel beds from which they had emerged four or five years before. A modern steelheader need only read the accounts of such early anglers as Roderick Haig-Brown and Enos Bradner to appreciate how truly aggressive and plentiful these fish were.

Fly Philosophy

  • By: Jeff Mishler
Fly Philosophy

The first steelhead fly that fell from the tying vise into my 10-year-old palm was a standard Skunk tied on a 2X heavy Mustad, down-turned eye, sproat, size 4 hook. The tail was an irregular clump of webby red neck hackle fibers, tied in too short, like the tail of the green Woolly Worm I'd finished a few minutes before. The body was medium black chenille over-wrapped with oval tinsel, one size too thin, followed by a thick black saddle hackle so spiky that the first four wraps were about four sizes too small; the fifth and sixth wraps grew progressively two sizes too big. The tips of those last wraps lay back beyond the ragged red tail when I preened them to clear a space for the wing.