Fly Fishing for Bonefish in Cuba

Ok, so the video isn’t the best quality we’ve ever seen, and the narration is in Italian. But we all know the language of fly fishing the flats and that surge of a bonefish when it takes off and the reel sings.

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“Taking Your Chances” with Brown Trout on the Battenkill

Ghost Brown Trout

This is the picture I should have been posting this morning, but alas I didn’t “take my chance” when it presented itself. So I must be content with this imaginary brown trout.

photo-illustration by James Daley

In this country, the phrase “to take your chances” usually means to try something that may end up being a disaster—as in “You’re taking your chances driving on those bald tires.” But across the pond, they have another way of using this phrase. 

I watch a lot of English soccer (which they call “football,” of course), and they use slightly different wording to express something quite different from the American version. To “take your chance,” in this instance, means to make the most of the chances presented to you. So, for instance, if a player is presented with a good look at goal and buries the ball in the back of the net, the announcer will say that he “has taken his chance well.” Alternatively, the losing coach might say that the reaon his team lost was that they  “didn’t take their chances.” Because good scoring chances come infrequently in soccer, you must “take your chances” if you want to win.

This meaning of the phrase was driven home for me early this morning on the Battenkill. Eric Rickstad and I hit the water at 5 a.m., hoping to tempt some big. . .

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Fly Fishing the Potomac River Before Work

fly fishing

Had anyone told me two years ago that I would be waking up at 5 a.m. to get down to the Tidal Basin and fly fish before work, or spending my days off trolling the C&O Canal with my boss, I’d have had them committed. Aside from the fact that the last time I’d done any fishing, I was still missing teeth and wearing a turquoise Power Rangers t-shirt, I had somehow gone 22 years living in Washington, DC completely unaware that you could, in fact, fish here.

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Fly-Fishing History, Part IV

[Editor’s note: For the next few months, we will be featuring entries from Gordon M. Wickstrom’s The History of Fishing for Trout with Artificial Flies in Britain and America: A Chronology of Five Hundred Years, 1496 to 2000. In this chronology, Gordon marks significant events—the publication of seminal books, tackle developments, important social changes, the dissemination of trout species beyond their native ranges, etc.—on both sides of the Atlantic.]
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Tying a Simple Gartside Gurgler

The Gurgler, invented by the late fly tier and iconoclast Jack Gartside, is one of those all-around useful patterns than will catch everything from panfish to tarpon. It’s sort of the topwater version of a Woolly Bugger, and like the Bugger, it can be tied in many different sizes and colors, with a variety of materials and accoutrements. Gartside wrote about his creation: . . .

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Tuesday Tip: Casting Angles

Welcome to our sixth installment of “Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor,” starring our own Peter Kutzer, who works at the Manchester, Vermont, Fly Fishing School. A couple months ago, we asked you to
post some questions about your biggest casting problems. Reader “griffjc” wrote,


From all the advice I’ve gotten on casting, the rod has only ever been described in a forward-and-back motion. Is there ever a reason to cast slightly to the side or even at an extreme angle, . . .

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Which Knot? Part II

Which Knot II

There’s no such thing as one “right” knot. It’s up to you to figure out what works best for each situation and your particular skills and needs. The Orvis Animated Knot Series can help you find the knots you need.

Fly fishermen love to argue about which tippet-to-fly knot is the “best” or strongest (see Which Knot? Part I), but the truth of the matter is that, all things being equal, no single knot does everything an angler needs. There are many variables that go into determining which knot is “best” for a given fly-fishing situation. Here are just a few of them: . . .

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Tom Rosenbauer’s Ten Steps to Getting Kids and Teens into Fly Fishing Plus a Rant on New School vs Old School

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-2 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 I go on a bit of a rant about “new school” vs. “old school” fly fishing.

Click the READ MORE button to listen to this week’s show.

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