Podcast: An All-Fly Box Episode


This week, I have no guest interview but a ton of questions waiting in the podcast mailbox, so I did an all-Fly Box podcast to catch up on questions. By popular demand, I’ve started to recommend some books on the podcast, too This week, I recommend my three favorite books on trout biology and natural history. In the long Fly Box, we have these great questions and tips from listeners:

  • A tip on putting a four-piece rod together.
  • A tip on where to park your rod when landing a fish.
  • Can I use my 9-foot, 5-weight rod for saltwater fishing in the Bay area?
  • Do you think we are in danger of interfering with the natural spread of species, for instance by removing musky from lakes that were not there historically but have spread there naturally?
  • Why do I keep breaking off large trout on a 3X tippet?
  • A very generous offer from a listener to pay for a guide trip for a young listener (from a past show) who has taken 60 trips for trout and has not caught one yet.
  • Should I use a sinking or intermediate line for stripers in the Bay Area?
  • Are there any casting techniques I should practice before throwing bigger flies in salt water?
  • A tip from a listener (after getting a tip from me) on the proper way to insert Orvis studs in wading boots.
  • A great tip from a listener on using yellow sticky pads to keep coiled leaders in place.
  • While stripping in, my coiled line gets tangled. How can I fix that?
  • How long do you use a fly before changing? And when do you decide to move?
  • Do you believe “Right to Roam” laws like they have in Scotland would be beneficial to Americans?
  • How do you properly de-barb a hook?
  • What midge patterns should I use in Wisconsin?
  • What would a well-rounded fly rod quiver for the eastern United States look like?
  • I keep bumping my rod guides when taking apart my rod. How can I fix that, and how can I fix a loose guide?
  • A caller letting me know that a co-host on one of our live events mis-spoke about how to assemble a rod.
  • I can catch fish on a Parachute Adams and swung wet flies in a small stream but can’t catch them on nymphs.  What am I doing wrong?
  • A listener who fixed a problem with breaking 4X tippet tied to a size 6 hook makes a suggestion on some great products.
  • I am curious to buy a bamboo or fiberglass rod. Where should I start?
  • What fly-fishing magazines does Tom read?

One thought on “Podcast: An All-Fly Box Episode”

  1. Hi Tom! My name is Shane from Kansas City. I’ve always enjoyed the “Fly Box” and what a wide variety of topics it brings to mind, so I was excited to hear this week’s episode was all fly box questions. This is my first time writing in, and I’m hoping to hear my comment on the air, and hope listeners find it helpful. It is in reference to the gentleman asking about “rope flies” for gar fish and weather or not you can use a hook in your gar flies and get positive hook-ups. First I will say about the rope flies, these are not a great choice. While they DO work very well at getting tangled in the gar’s teeth and getting “hook ups” they can be very dangerous to the fish. If the fish breaks you off they are left with that wad of rope in their mouth. They can not shake it loose and can be left to starve to death. Also let’s be honest…a wad of rope tied to a ring is not a fly. The best thing I have found is is to still use the brushed out nylon rope, but use it as tail and body materials in a traditional manner. What I do is tie what is basically a woolybugger with a stinger hook coming off the shank.
    First wrap your thread base and tie down a length of wire down the shank. Thread your stinger hook on to the wire. Fold the wire over securing the stinger hook and wrap down that end of the wire then trim the tag end. BE SURE TO SECURE THE STINGER HOOK IN YOUR MATERIAL CLIP!! Next you basically just tie a regular woolybugger using the nylon from the rope. Separate the big piece of wrope into the smaller sections it’s braided from. Gather these up and tie them in as your tail. I like to make the tail about twice as long as you normally would. This allows you to cover the stinger hook, and gives you just enough to get stuck in the fish’s teeth. Next tie in optional flash, and a few sections of the nylon. Wrap these down the body like you normally would the chenille then tie them off at the head. Brush these out with Velcro or a wire brush to give you the buggyness you would normally get from the hackle. Whip finish and brush out the entire fly. Now you are left with a woolybugger/leech pattern that is made from the nylon rope that is just enough to get stuck in the fish’s teeth but not enough to choke and starve the fish if he breaks you off. The rope tail is enough to stay stuck and let you get a good hook set to punch the stinger hook into the bony mouth of the gar. Also now you have a fly that you can ACTUALLY call a fly. I’ve been using this pattern for a few weeks now with fantastic success. I hope this helps your listeners and thanks for all you do with the podcast and learning center.
    -Shane

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