Video: How to Tie the Wood Special

Orange is a great color to use in fall because it imitates both the brilliant colors of brook trout, as well as a variety of insects, including the October caddis. The Wood Special was invented by Maine fly tier Joe Sterling the late 1960s, and it has been . . .

Orange is a great color to use in fall because it imitates both the brilliant colors of brook trout, as well as a variety of insects, including the October caddis. The Wood Special was invented by Maine fly tier Joe Sterling the late 1960s, and it has been a popular brook-trout and landlocked-salmon pattern ever since. Many anglers, including Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, believe that the curved wing that lies against the body creates a profile that fish can’t resist.

In this excellent video,Tim demonstrates his method for tying the Wood Special, which is fairly simple to create. The ways in which Tim prepares the feathers before tying them in really help to achieve a nice, clean silhouette, and it ensures that there aren’t a lot of fibers sticking out in odd directions.

          Wood Special
          Hook: 4X-long streamer hook (here, a Dai-Riki #700), size 8.
          Thread: Black, 8/0 or 70-denier.
          Rib:: Gold/silver Mylar tinsel, small.
          Tail: Golden pheasant crest tippets.
          Body: Fluorescent orange Ultra Chenille, medium.
          Wing: Wood duck flank feather.
          Hackle: Grizzly hen feather.
          Head: Tying thread.
          Adhesive: UV-cure resin.
          Tools: Bodkin.

Video: How to Cast Large or Heavy Flies

Many anglers find that their casting technique goes to pieces when they tie on a heavy streamer or large bass bug. In this great clip from “The Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing,” Orvis casting instructor . . .


Many anglers find that their casting technique goes to pieces when they tie on a heavy streamer or large bass bug. In this great clip from “The Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing,” Orvis casting instructor Pete Kutzer explains how you need to change your casting motion by doing something you’ve been told not to do. Then Tom discusses the “water load,” in which you use the tension of the line on the water to load the rod. Both techniques will save you a lot of frustration when you go large

Video Tips: Why You Should Fish “Non-Obvious” Water

Here’s an excellent episode of the great series “The Bank,” from our friends Dave and Amelia Jensen, of Jensen Fly Fishing. (Check out Episode 1 and Episode 2.) Here, they are joined by. . .


Here’s an excellent episode of the great series “The Bank,” from our friends Dave and Amelia Jensen, of Jensen Fly Fishing. (Check out Episode 1 and Episode 2.) Here, they are joined by their friend, Aaron Feltham, and focus on fishing some of the less-obvious lies on the Bow River in Alberta. As usual with this series, there is tons of great how-to advice, mixed in with killer fishing action. The trout they catch are very fat, healthy, and strong.

Video: Two Grand Slams in Two Days!

Here’s a cool video about an amazing experience in Belize, featuring Damien Nurre, the former owner of Deep Canyon Outfitters, the 2014 Orvis Endorsed Expedition of the Year. Although he is by no means a saltwater specialist, Damien had incredible . . .


Here’s a cool video about an amazing experience in Belize, featuring Damien Nurre, the former owner of Deep Canyon Outfitters, the 2014 Orvis Endorsed Expedition of the Year. Although he is by no means a saltwater specialist, Damien had incredible luck, scoring not one, but two grand slams on consecutive days. This is the kind of flats experience most of us can only dream of.

Video: How to Clean Your Dubbing Needle

A dubbing needle or bodkin is a great tool for ensuring that head cement or other adhesive is in the right place on a fly. The problem is that adhesives get on the needle, gunking it up. Of course, Tim has a great trick for solving this problem, and . . .


Here’s the latest installment of our series of videos called “One-Minute Fly-Tying Tips and Techniques” from Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions. Each video teaches a single tying skill, from the most basic to the advanced. Ultimately, the series will serve as a sort of encyclopedia of tying skills that will be a valuable resource for anyone who sits down at a vise to create a fly.

A dubbing needle or bodkin is a great tool for ensuring that head cement or other adhesive is in the right place on a fly. The problem is that adhesives get on the needle, gunking it up. Of course, Tim has a great trick for solving this problem, and it’s ridiculously simple.

Click here for all One-Minute Fly-Tying Tips and Techniques videos.

Classic Story: Patience Pays Off in Alaska


The huge rainbows that Alaska is famous for are not always easy to catch.
All photos by Jeremy Kehrein

In early July 1995, I was guiding two of my favorite clients of all time—a father-and-son team from Annapolis, Maryland—on the Copper River, which drains into Alaska’s Lake Iliamna. Tom and. . .


The huge rainbows that Alaska is famous for are not always easy to catch.
All photos by Jeremy Kehrein

In early July 1995, I was guiding two of my favorite clients of all time—a father-and-son team from Annapolis, Maryland—on the Copper River, which drains into Alaska’s Lake Iliamna. Tom and TJ were skillful anglers who loved the sport, but they didn’t take it, or themselves, too seriously. We were near the end of a pretty good day of catching rainbows on leech patterns and sampling Tom’s seemingly endless supply of good cigars, so we were feeling pretty good and ready to go back to the lodge.

As we drifted downstream, we came upon one of my fellow guides, Pete, and his clients loading up their jetboat. When we got close enough, Pete pointed across the river.

“There’s a very nice trout rising right against that grassy bank,” he said, “but he’s playing hard-to-get. We gave up.”

I looked at Tom and TJ, and they were already reaching for their fly rods, so I beached the boat and hopped out. Employing the time-honored “age before beauty” rule, TJ ceded the fish across the river to his father and waded downstream.

As Tom inspected his leader for knots, he and I watched as the big fish resumed its rhythmic feeding. I’d already become accustomed to Tom’s methodical pace. The day before, I’d spotted a gorgeous 25-inch rainbow holding in midcurrent and had called Tom over. He saw the fish and made a whistling sound. Then, to my astonishment, he turned, waded back to the boat, sat on the edge, and lit a cigar.

“Aren’t you gonna cast to that fish?” I asked.

“That trout’s not going anywhere,” he replied, taking out a spool of tippet, “and I want to check my knots and tie on a fresh tippet before I try to land something that big.”

He sat there, smoking his cigar and rebuilding his leader, for a good ten minutes before he got up, waded out, and caught the fish.

As we watched the trout rising against the bank, Tom noted that there were a few small mayflies on the water—an olive-and-rust species neither of us had ever seen before—so we decided to start with a size 18 Blue-winged Olive Comparadun.

After half a dozen drifts, we knew the fly was wrong because the fish didn’t even bother to inspect it. Over the next half hour, we ran through the rest of Tom’s small mayfly patterns—duns, emergers, and unweighted nymphs—to no effect. Instead of getting annoyed or frustrated, however, Tom seemed to become only more interested and focused on the dilemma. It was clear that he had no intention of giving up on this fish, which continued to rise in its maddening rhythm.

Tom’s attitude was contagious, and I rummaged through my vest for a box of patterns I’d used the summer before while guiding on the spring creeks of Paradise Valley, Montana. When he saw how small the flies were, Tom raised his eyebrows. “Never thought I’d be using those in Alaska.”

We’d deduced that the fish was probably eating emergers, taking them right in the surface film. I tied on a size 22 CDC Olive Emerger, and Tom laid down a perfect cast. For the first time, the trout showed real interest, but it still refused the fly. We knew we were on to something.

Tom switched from a 4X to a 6X tippet and cast again. The fish rose, looked hard at the fly, and slid back to the bottom. I rifled through my vest for a second time and came up with a small container of weighting mud. “How about some of this?” I said. We were willing to try anything at that point, so Tom brought in his line, and I squeezed some mud onto the last two feet of his tippet.

On the next cast, the weighted tippet caused the fly to sink a fraction of an inch, and the trout took it. With a big smile, Tom competently played the rainbow and beached it on a small island. At 21 inches, it was a fine trout, but nothing special for Alaska.

I’ve certainly caught bigger rainbows, but that particular trout has a special place in my fishing memories because of the effort and teamwork that went into catching it. And I wasn’t even the one holding the rod.

Video: Argentina Dream Stream

Here’s a glorious video from Argentinian Patagonia, featuring sight-fishing to large rainbows and brown trout. These spring creeks are so clear that you can watch trout come off the bottom to . . .


Here’s a glorious video from Argentinian Patagonia, featuring sight-fishing to large rainbows and brown trout. These spring creeks are so clear that you can watch trout come off the bottom to eat insects off the surface, and there are plenty of killer dry-fly takes.

Video: How to “Jig-Fish” a Streamer, with Kelly Galloup

Here’s a cool tip from streamer-fishing guru Kelly Galloup. In colder water, when the trout aren’t willing to charge a fast-moving baitfish pattern, try imparting a jigging motion to your retrieve. But you have to . . .


Here’s a cool tip from streamer-fishing guru Kelly Galloup. In colder water, when the trout aren’t willing to charge a fast-moving baitfish pattern, try imparting a jigging motion to your retrieve. But you have to be careful not to let any slack develop in the process, or you’ll miss strikes. In this video, Kelly demonstrates how you time your strips to the raising and lowering of the rod tip during the retrieve and explains how you can detect strikes during the “drop.” This slower, lifelike retrieve will help you hook more trout during those times when they’re not very aggressive.

Video Pro Tip: Whack-A-Mole Casting Practice

Here’s a quick-and-dirty casting tip from Capt. Lucas Bissett of Lowtide Charters in southern Louisiana. Whereas most casting practice focuses on long casts, Captain Lucas knows . . .


Here’s a quick-and-dirty casting tip from Capt. Lucas Bissett of Lowtide Charters in southern Louisiana. Whereas most casting practice focuses on long casts, Captain Lucas knows that many redfish shots come right next to the boat, so he demonstrates how to prepare yourself to make leader-only presentations very quickly. He says that his tips are specific to the Louisiana redfish fishery, but I can think of plenty of other applications where this skill will come in handy when you’re in a boat.

Friday Fly-Fishing Film Festival 11.09.18

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 serve up a straight dozen productions from around . . .

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 serve up a straight dozen productions from around the world. There’s unbelievable action from Brazil, Norway, New Zealand, and Grand Cayman, plus closere-to-home locations, such as Maine, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

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!


We kick things off with a gorgeous short video from Norway, featuring a single angler’s pursiot of trout in a glorious landscape.


CATCH Magazine’s Todd Moen is back with another spectacular video featuring Brian O’Keefe. Here, they chase stunning peacock bass in the jungle of Brazil. Some of the shost of big, colorful bass smashing poppers will take your breath away.


Chasing tarpon in Florida is not for the faint of heart. Killer action from Steve Hall.


The meadows of Slough Creek, in Yellowstone National Park, drew these French anglers for an incredible backcountry adventure.


This story of a father-son trip to New Zealand will warm your heart, and the fishing footage is pretty great, too. Stick around for the boy’s description of sand flies.


More amazing stuff from Norway, this time from Black Fly Eyes. It’s a documentary about a fish that earned its own name, and the video features the kind of wonderful scenery and action mix you’ve come to expect from these guys.


In the middle of nowhere, on New Zealand’s North Island, flow several small jungle creeks holding feisty little rainbow trout.


This is an ad for a guide service, but it’s also a glorious look at the fishing opportunities and scenery around Squamish, British Columbia.


Grand Cayman is not known as a fly-fishing Mecca, but it looks like there are tons of great opportunities to bend a rod.


I’m not in need of a civil enginerr, but if I were, I’d check out this firm.


One family’s fly-fishing and camping adventures throughout Maine make for a pretty fun video, and it’s great to see kids so into the sport.


Finally, here’s a cool video from “The New Fly Fisher,” featuring unbelievable Atlantic salmon action in Labrador. Gorgeous salmon, cool takes, and even a few brook trout!