Podcast: Secrets of the Battenkill, with Doug Lyons

[Interview starts at 49:48]

The Battenkill is an iconic and often frustrating trout stream. It’s a gorgeous river with a healthy population of wild trout, but it has had its ups and downs over the years. Doug Lyons is a lifetime Battenkill expert who knows the river perhaps better than anyone, and his new book Fly Fishing Guide to the Battenkill unravels many secrets of this special river—perhaps more than many of us locals are comfortable with! Doug and I had fun sharing our theories and thoughts about the river.

In the Fly Box, I have some especially interesting questions  from listeners, including:

  • I have been experimenting with streams on a floating line with a short leader with no success.  What am I doing wrong, and what do you suggest?
  • Is there a way to tell the various subspecies of cutthroat trout apart?
  • What are the pros and cons of smooth vs. textured lines?
  • Why are reel prices so expensive these days?  Aren’t they just used to store line?
  • How can I tell what line size a bamboo rod takes?  I bought an old rod that has no markings on it.
  • Why don’t more fly shops sell nymphs with matte beads?
  • Will I save money by tying my own flies?
  • How can I identify the various mayflies and caddisflies I have in southern Michigan?
  • Why do I get tippet curls just ahead of my fly when I tie it on?  I have tried a couple knots and they still seem to do it.
  • Will a Spey rod with a larger line size cast farther than a lighter one like a 6-weight?
  • A reminder from a listener about the perils to wildlife of using lead weights in fishing.
  • Will it hurt to store my fly line on the reel in the off-season?
  • What tools do you personally use in fly tying and which are the most important?
  • If I am making my own leaders should I use blood knots or surgeon’s knots to connect the sections?
  • Does it matter which way your fly is oriented when fishing?

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