Podcast: Hemingway Was a Lousy Fly Fisherman

[Interview starts at 41:50.]

When Ernest Hemingway was a kid, he took great pride in catching trout on worms and jerking them out of small streams as quickly as he could. Later in life, he lived near excellent trout fishing in Sun Valley but didn’t really like it much. He owned a lot of fly-fishing gear, but it didn’t get much use. This week, I interview Hemingway scholar Paul Hendrickson, author of the terrific book Hemingway’s Boat, and we learn some interesting things about the man, including the sad story of why he finally gave up trout fishing for good, and how he influenced how we fight big fish on fly rods today.

In the Fly Box, we have many interesting questions and tips, including:

  • Am I missing out by not using split shot on my nymph rigs?
  • I spot fish from one angle, and then when I move into better position to fish,  I can’t see them. What can I do?
  • A tip on setting the hook based on current speed.
  • My parachute hackles keep coming out at the tip. What can I do to prevent this?
  • An update from a young man whose parents did not approve of his fly-fishing habit.
  • Are there advantages or disadvantages in using glass beads for fly tying?
  • How can I store longer pheasant tails and turkey feathers?
  • Should I use moth balls on my tying materials?
  • Do you see any disadvantages in using UV-cure resin to attach slotted beads to hooks?
  • What type of single-handed rods are best for Spey casting?
  • A guide told me that stomach pumps are bad for fish. Do they really cause mortality in trout?
  • Should I use a loop knot on small dry flies?
  • When I try to do a dubbing loop, the materials wrap around the thread instead of getting trapped in it. How can I fix this?
  • A tip on keeping hands and feet warm by keeping your core warmer.
Photo by Tim Samuelson

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