The Orvis Fly-Fishing Blog celebrates a rich angling heritage stretching beyond a century, with timely articles, tips, photos, videos, podcasts, and the latest fly-fishing news. We keep you informed about the things you want to know, from improving your casting technique to the art and science of tying flies.
When to use a sinking line? In still water when the water is deep and using floating line is not working. Use sinking line to get deeper. In moving water/current, if you’re swinging flies and a floating line is causing the fly to rise and skim along the surface or just under it in water that’s more than a few feet deep, switch to sinking line.
Don’t worry about what system you’re using. Whatever system you use, practice with it. Get used to how it works. All systems are meant to get fly down deeper than you can with floating line in still water, and keep it there as you strip. In water with current, sinking line is used to get the fly down below the surface and keep it swinging at the same depth.
In still water, cast as far as you can since you don’t know exactly where the fish are (except that they are down deep) and you want the fly down deep for the entire retrieve. Count down as you would with spin gear, to whatever number you think gets the fly down to where you want it. If you’re getting hung up often, count down a little less. In current, angle cast and use mends to get fly deeper or more shallow. The shallower the water, the more downstream the cast. The deeper the water, the more you cast upstream and mend to get the fly down. Let the fly swing as it passes by you and goes downriver, mend as you go to get it deeper.
An integrated sink line is often easier to use than a loop-to-loop system and best used when you know you’re going to fish sinking line all day and not change up spools. There are several types to choose from, each detailed in the Podcast.
Loop-to-loop systems have a place in your arsenal too. Check out the details on the Podcast at 37:45.
What size and length leader do you use with sinking lines? Often a shorter and heavier leader is in order. The Podcast gives you the specifics.
Welcome to the Friday Film Festival. We’re kicking things off with some amazing archival footage, from the IGFA, of the very first striped marlin landed on a fly rod. How often do you get to see such a first? The boats and tackle seem primitive by today’s standards, but Doc Robinson’s pioneering methods of teasing the fish to the boat are still used today. His wife, Helen, looks like a. . .
If you’re headed to the tropics for bonefish this winter or plan to try for salmon in Alaska next summer, you’re going to have to learn to cast into the wind. Here are a couple of helpful tips from a Cayman Islands fishing guide.
A study commissioned by Trout Unlimited to assess the combined value of sport, commercial, subsistence, and hatchery fisheries in Southeast Alaska has determined that these activities top $986 million and account for nearly 11 percent of the region’s jobs. According to Trout Unlimited communications director Paula Dobbyn, “The bottom line, it is a huge economic driver of the economy, and we hope the forest service will take this information and really move forward with its. . .
Two brothers learn the finer points of fly casting at the Orvis Fly Fishing 101 booth at the Denver ISE.
photo by Hutch Hutchinson
Wow, the Denver International Sportsman’s Expo was spectacular. We had more than 165 people come to the Orvis booth and attend our 45-minute Orvis Fly Fishing 101 classes. Men, women and kids of all ages participated. Most already knew how to fish with spinning gear, but they wanted to learn how to use a different type of tool to extend their fishing time and enhance the experience. Everyone walked away with little bag of goodies, information on what and where. . .
[Editor’s note: Here’s an email we received from a reader named Jeff, who had listened to Tom Rosenbauer’s podcast on Fly Tying with Kids and put Tom’s advice to work.]
I decided to follow the advice you gave in the “Fly Tying With Kids”podcast and gave my six year old daughter Alex her first session at the vise this afternoon.
We have a fairly large kitchen table, which let me set up a tying space for each of us. Prior to “The Big Event,” I collected several baggies of materials just for her—some chenille, marabou, and peacock herl, among others. The largest hook I have is a size 8 streamer, which turned out to be. . .
Opening day of salmon season is a big deal in Helmsdale, Scotland, with a parade, dancing, and, of course, bagpipes. Oh, and there’s fishing, too. This video ends with a plea from Orri Vigfussen, chairman of the North Atlantic Salmon Fund, for the Scottish government to do. . .
Another snowy weekend here in the Great White North, so it’s time for another selection of great fly-fishing films. This week’s crop takes us from Romania to Northern California, and from Sweden to Mexico. So, while the water in your favorite creek continues to flow cold. . .