#MomentofChill 11.17.18: Lazy Risers

During an insect hatch, the newly emerged insects float downstream on a river’s current until their wings are dry enough to enable flight. Oftentimes, an eddy will concentrate the helpless duns in slow water, giving hungry trout an opportunity to . . .

We believe in the power of nature to replenish our spirit and restore balance to our lives. That’s why, each day from today through Christmas Day, we will post a “Moment of Chill”—a short video that will transport you to a place where you don’t have to do anything but watch, enjoy, and breathe.

Today’s #MomentofChill comes from Dave and Amelia Jensen, of Jensen Fly Fishing:

During an insect hatch, the newly emerged insects float downstream on a river’s current until their wings are dry enough to enable flight. Oftentimes, an eddy will concentrate the helpless duns in slow water, giving hungry trout an opportunity to feast on the insects without having to fight the current.

And if you’re having a rough day and feel the need for some new chill NOW, visit the Moment of Chill homepage.

Video: Kelly Galloup’s Streamer Secrets

Michigander-turned-Montanan Kelly Galloup has built his reputation on big-streamer design and fishing techniques. In the latest episode of “Streamer Chronicles,” Galloup describes his . . .


Michigander-turned-Montanan Kelly Galloup has built his reputation on big-streamer design and fishing techniques. In the latest episode of “Streamer Chronicles,” Galloup describes his angling history, the birth of the big-streamer movement, and his approach to hunting large trout. One important bit of advice: “Don’t be a baby.” His comments about a youth movement in fly fishing are really exciting. Are we in the midst of a renaissance?

Friday Fly Fishing Film Festival 11.16.18

Welcome to the latest edition of the Orvis News Friday Fly-Fishing Film Festival, in which we scour the Web for the best fly-fishing videos available. This week, we’ve got a fascinating collection of eleven videos that . . .

Welcome to the latest edition of the Orvis News Friday Fly-Fishing Film Festival, in which we scour the Web for the best fly-fishing videos available. This week, we’ve got a fascinating collection of eleven videos that show different locations, kinds of fishing, and species. Whether you love trout, the salt, or chasing warmwater species, there’s something her for you.

For best results, watch all videos at full-screen and in high definition. Remember, we surf so you don’t have to. But if you do stumble upon something great that you think is worthy of inclusion in a future F5, please post it in the comments below, and we’ll take a look.

And don’t forget to check out the awesome Orvis fly-fishing video theater: The Tug. As of today, there are more than 1,250 great videos on the site!


In this week of Veterans Day, it is only proper that we kick things off with this wonderful film about Project Healing Waters, by University of Central Florida photography major Andrew Gilbert.


Although a little clunky in the dramatic parts, this video has an important message about protecting the local fisheries that we love.


Just two minutes of great salty fly-fishing action from the Florida backcountry.


Amelia Jensen describes catching a gorgeous New Zealand rainbow on a friend’s hopper pattern.


Chasing giant machaca in the backcountry of Costa Rica looks like a lot of fun.


Heree’s a gorgeous look at some of the beautiful trout and grayling waters of Slovenia.


Anthony Conti went salmon-fishing in Alaska and came back with this pretty little film.


There are simply too many places in the world to fly-fish. Check out these scenes from Kyrgyzstan, in Central Asia.


A gorgeous fall morning in the Texas salt, in between cold fronts, offers great action for redfish.


Lee and Joan Wulff produced some ground-breaking films in the 1980s. This one–about casting for Atlantic salmon in Nova Scotia–won the “Teddy” award as best fishing film of 1980..


Finally, here’s a full episode of “The New Fly Fisher,” about huge smallmouth bass in Algoma Country, Ontario.

#MomentofChill 11.16.18: Homeward Bound

The watershed of Alaska’s Bristol Bay is home to the world’s last great wild-salmon population. Each year, more than 50 million sockeyes enter the system, returning to their natal . . .

We believe in the power of nature to replenish our spirit and restore balance to our lives. That’s why, each day from today through Christmas Day, we will post a “Moment of Chill”—a short video that will transport you to a place where you don’t have to do anything but watch, enjoy, and breathe.

Today’s #MomentofChill comes from Fly Out Media:

The watershed of Alaska’s Bristol Bay is home to the world’s last great wild-salmon population. Each year, more than 50 million sockeyes enter the system, returning to their natal waters to spawn. This migration sustains the entire ecosystem–from brown bears, to eagles, to other fish species–as well as robust commercial and recreational fishing industries.

To find out how you can help preserve this incredible natural bounty, visit http://www.savebristolbay.org/

And if you’re having a rough day and feel the need for some new chill NOW, visit the Moment of Chill homepage.

Video Pro Tips: How to Get Started Nymphing

One of the great things about fly fishing is that there are so many ways to do almost every part of the sport. For instance, I am not a huge fan of split shot and rarely use them, but I have . . .


One of the great things about fly fishing is that there are so many ways to do almost every part of the sport. For instance, I am not a huge fan of split shot and rarely use them, but I have tons of fishing buddies who use strategically placed shot to create very effective nymph rigs. It’s really a matter of personal preference.

Here’s an easy-to-follow tutorial, from Jeremy Charchenko of Streem Outdoors in Utah, on how to fish two nymphs at once. He starts with the very basics—how to straighten your leader as it comes off the reel—to tying a simple tandem rig. He explains how to attach the two flies, where to put the split shot, and how to determine where the indicator should go. Then he goes right out and catches a rainbow with this completed set up.

One thing he doesn’t do is explain how to cast this rig, which offers plenty opportunities for tangles. When you’re trying to cast two flies, two split shot, and an indicator, you should follow a few simple rules:

  1. Make as few false casts as possible, or none at all (by using the water haul)
  2. An oval, or Belgian, cast helps to keep the line moving and avoid tangles
  3. If you’re making normal overhead casts, widen your casting loop

Video: Incredible Footage of Dorado Chasing Down Prey

While this is not a fly-fishing video, it is a flying-fish video and most definitely the coolest thing you’ll see today. These scenes from an episode of the BBC’s “The Hunt” is called “Hunger at. . .


While this is not a fly-fishing video, it is a flying-fish video and most definitely the coolest thing you’ll see today. These scenes from an episode of the BBC’s “The Hunt” is called “Hunger at Sea,” and it features astonishing footage of dorado (mahi mahi) chasing schools of flying fish. The predator-prey action is fast and furious and will definitely get your heart racing. If reincarnation is real, I sure I hope that I don’t come back as a baitfish.

How to Tie Steve Cobb’s Thanksgiving Turkey Fly


The author’s original pattern went viral on social media a few years ago.
All photos by Steve Cobb

Steve Cobb’s Santa Fly has been a favorite on this blog for a few years now, and he was kind enough to show us how to tie it a couple years ago. That post was such a big hit that I asked . . .


The author’s original pattern went viral on social media a few years ago.
All photos by Steve Cobb

Steve Cobb’s Santa Fly has been a favorite on this blog for a few years now, and he was kind enough to show us how to tie it a couple years ago. That post was such a big hit that I asked Steve to come back and walk us through his Thanksgiving Turkey Fly. Whip up a few of these over the next week, and you’ll be the star of your holiday gathering!

Steve Cobb lives and fishes in Upstate New York, on the northern edge of Adirondack Park. You can follow him on his blog at QuietRaquette.com.

Turkey Fly
Hook: Stainless steel hook, size 1/0.
Thread #1: Brown, 6/0.
Body: Natural brown deer hair.
Wings: Brown or tan soft hackle saddle feathers.
Legs: Tan round-rubber legs.
Adhesive #1: UV-cure resin.
Tails: Brown or tan soft hackle saddle feathers, glued at bases.
Adhesive #2: UV-cure resin.
Thread #1: Red, 6/0.
Head / beard: Red zonker strip (1/8″ wide).
Beak: Yellow sheet foam.
Adhesive #3: Superglue or head cement.
Eyes: 5X tippet and Small black glass beads.
Adhesive #4: Superglue or head cement.
Tools: Sewing needle

1. Start thread at hook point and take a few wraps.

2. Spin clumps of deer hair to about half way up the hook shank…pack it tight.

3. Cut the bottom hair even with hook point.

4. Cut the top hair slightly longer than bottom.

5. Square off the sides.

6. Tie in a wing feather on each side of the hook, with the feather tips pointing slightly downward. Trim the corners of spun the hair, to make the body rounder.

7. Spin some more deer hair to about 3/4 up the hook shank, packing it as you go Trim it to blend in being careful not to cut off a wing. (Curse because you cut off a wing.)

8. Fold a length of rubber leg material in half and tie in on top of hook.

9. Grab the legs and work them back into the trimmed hair, to keep them out of way.

10. Spin and pack some more hair until almost to the hook eye.

11. Put some UV-cure resin on the hair on the topside of the hook and work it upwards with your finger. (Swear because you’ve got glue and feathers and deer hair all over your finger.)

12. Hit it with your light to cure it. This creates a base for the tail feathers.

13. Now’s your last good chance to do some final trimming and shaping. (Curse because you just cut off a leg.)

14. Make a tail assembly by gluing five feathers together at the bases. Cut a little notch in the bottom center.

15. Glue the tail assembly to the body and the hook shank.

16. Spin one more bunch of deer hair, and tie it off at the hook eye. It’s easiest (Ha!) to flip the hook over and spin the hair from the bottom side.

17. Turn the hook around, clamping the hook eye in the jaws of the vise.

18. Tie off the brown thread, and cut it. Put some UV-cure resin on the hair above the hook and work it upward with your finger. Hit it with the light.

19. Tie in the red thread. Cut a 1/8-inch-wide piece of red zonker, a little longer than the height of the body.

20. Work the fibers down from the hide, then split them.

21. Place the zonker head on top of the hook and tie it in.

22. Tie wraps around the top of the zonker head, like a post. Tie off with a couple half hitches. (Catch the hook point between the thread and your finger, then tighten.)

23. Trim zonker beard on the bottom side of the hook.

24. Cut a triangle from a sheet of yellow foam.

25. Glue the beak to the front of the head.

26 Select two glass beads of the same size.

27. Thread the bead on a pin and put a drop of glue on the point.

28. Position the tip of the needle on the head and push the bead off the needle.

29. Add the second eye.

30. Trim the legs. Give thanks: you’ve got yourself a Gobbler Fly.

#MomentofChill Launches Today!

The holiday season is a time of joy and fellowship, but it can also put a person through the wringer. According to the American Psychological Association, 70% of Americans feel increased stress due to lack of time, the pressure of gift-giving, and . . .


The holiday season is a time of joy and fellowship, but it can also put a person through the wringer. According to the American Psychological Association, 70% of Americans feel increased stress due to lack of time, the pressure of gift-giving, and difficulty managing expectations. That’s why Orvis has a gift for you—something you can enjoy guilt-free throughout the season.

We believe in the power of nature to replenish our spirit and restore balance to our lives. That’s why, each day from today through Christmas Day, we will post a “Moment of Chill”—a short video that will transport you to a place where you don’t have to do anything but watch, enjoy, and breathe.

And if you’re having a rough day and feel the need for some new chill NOW, visit the Moment of Chill homepage.

Fish Facts: Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar)


The author with a beautiful 22-pound Atlantic caught in June from Norway’s Gaula River.
Photo by Sandy Hays

For many anglers, the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is the ultimate fly-rod quarry because of the rich history and culture that goes along with pursuing these elusive fish: from the famed. . .


The author with a beautiful 22-pound Atlantic caught in June from Norway’s Gaula River.
Photo by Sandy Hays

For many anglers, the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is the ultimate fly-rod quarry because of the rich history and culture that goes along with pursuing these elusive fish: from the famed Scottish rivers that produced so many huge salmon (and quite a bit of classic literature about the experience); to the elaborate and ornate flies anglers have traditionally used; to the rugged rivers of the Canadian Maritimes, which Lee Wulff explored solo in his airplane. The fish is also referred to as “The Leaper” for its uncanny habit of going airborne when hooked. In fact, the fish has been known to jump an astonishing twelve feet into the air.

Range and Life History
Atlantic salmon are native to the North Atlantic, and biologists generally recognize three distinct populations: North American, European, and Baltic. The southernmost limit of salmon in the U.S. is Long Island Sound, and European salmon can be caught as far south as Spain. At sea, the populations mingle in the feeding grounds off Greenland.

Atlantic salmon have also been introduced elsewhere, both intentionally and unintentionally. There are now potadromous populations (those that never go to salt water) in the Great Lakes, offering fishable populations in several well known rivers, such as the St. Mary’s and the Salmon. Where large-scale fish-farming operations have been set up in the Pacific—in Washington, British Columbia, southeast Alaska, and Chile, especially—Atlantic salmon often escape, up to one million fish so far by one estimate. Biologists are not yet sure what impact these escapees will have on the native fishes of the region, but breeding in the wild has been observed in a few streams on Vancouver Island.


Illustration by Timothy KneppU.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

More commonly stocked around the world, the landlocked version of the Atlantic salmon is native to Maine, Lake Ontario, and a handful of watersheds in Europe. Although it was originally thought that these populations became landlocked when glaciers cut off their routes to the sea, biologists now believe it was a natural adaptation. Prized as a sport fish, the landlocked salmon inhabits hundreds of waters in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Upstate New York.

Most Atlantic salmon spend two to three years in fresh water after hatching and then migrate to the sea, although that period can be twice as long for more northern populations with lower water temperatures. After several years at sea, they return to their natal rivers to spawn. As an evolutionary hedge against low-water years, fish from the same population may spent different amounts of time in the oceans. Although it’s a commonplace that Atlantic salmon don’t die after spawning, as Pacific salmon do, in fact the vast majority of Atlantic salmon spawn just once or twice.

Conservation
The Atlantic salmon has seen a huge decline in population of the past few centuries, especially in North America where dams cut off spawning grounds on virtually every river. Whereas every major river north of the Hudson once held salmon, the fish now inhabit just 11 waters in Maine, where they are listed as endangered. Stocking programs have offered limited success in rivers such as the Connecticut, and several dams are slated for removal in the coming years, which could help restoration efforts. Things are better in Canada, but there, too, all is not well. The inner Bay of Fundy rivers of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have endangered-status protection, and many other rivers have been assessed as endangered or threatened. The Atlantic Salmon Federation, which operates in the U.S. and Canada, is one of the main conservation organizations seeking to conserve, protect, and restore wild Atlantic salmon and their ecosystems.


This salmon, from Newfoundland’s Salmon River, ate a dry fly.
Photo courtesy Scott McEnaney

Trophy of Kings
The size of Atlantic salmon varies fairly widely throughout their range, and in North America they average about 10 pounds, although much larger fish are not infrequent, especially on larger Canadian rivers. The IGFA world-record fish was caught in 1928 on Norway’s Tana River, weighing in at 79 pounds, 2 ounces. The fly-caught record is a 47-pounder from Quebec’s Cascapedia River in 1982, although stories abound of much larger landings. (The largest landlocked salmon was a 26-pound, 12 ounce fish from Michigan’s Torch Lake.) Many people consider Norway’s Alta River to be the best in the world for Atlantic salmon, and demand is so high that licenses are available only through a lottery in which just 10 percent of applicants are chosen.

Flies Old and New
Although they were reached the height of their popularity during the latter half of the 19th Century, the gorgeous, colorful full-dress flies many associate with Atlantic salmon are rarely tied for fishing anymore. Nowadays, North American anglers are more likely to use drab, imitative patterns, often tied on a tube or a double hook. Many flies have actually been adapted from classic steelhead patterns, in a kind of reverse-historical influence. Anglers will argue endlessly about the importance of color, size, or sparseness. But despite modern innovations perhaps the greatest achievement for a salmon angler is to catch a fish on a dry or “waking pattern,” such as the venerable Bomber. A more difficult goal is entry into the “16/20 Club,” which requires an angler to land a 20-pound salmon on a size 16 fly.


This Orvis Green Highlander represents the “classic” style of Atlantic salmon flies.
Photo by Michael Maggs, via Wikipedia

Video: Rain or Shine in New Zealand

Angler Andrew Harding–a.k.a. troutboynz–made a day trip into the stunning, lower North Island backcountry with his pal Dan Thomas and got more than he bargained for. Although the forecast called . . .


Angler Andrew Harding–a.k.a. troutboynz–made a day trip into the stunning, lower North Island backcountry with his pal Dan Thomas and got more than he bargained for. Although the forecast called for fine weather, rain pounded down at different points in the day. Luckily, the gorgeous trout that New ZEaland is famous for didn’t seem to mind.