Podcast: The Surprising Truth About Trout and Wildfires, with Becky Flitcroft


Interview begins at 39:03.

Many fly fishers have dreaded the thought of visiting their favorite trout streams, since wildfires have devastated many areas over the past few years. As threatening as they are to human lives and property, wildfires are not all that bad for trout stream ecosystems, as you’ll discover after listening to this week’s podcast. Becky Flitcroft, a fisheries biologist with the US Forest Service and an expert on disturbances to trout streams, presents some surprising results in the wake of fires. Not only are they not horribly destructive, but they are actually beneficial in many cases. Should you visit a trout stream that was in a burned area next year? What will the future look like? Although every stream is different, Becky tells us what to expect in the coming years.

In the Fly Box, we have the following questions and tips:

  • I have trouble seeing my dry flies on small streams. What patterns do you recommend, and how can I spot them better?
  • Do you think it’s necessary to replace nylon and fluorocarbon leaders each year?
  • Can I extend the length of my 7½-foot leaders to 9 or 12 feet by just adding tippet?
  • Should I use my Clearwater Reel in salt water?
  • Can I use shorter or longer hackles than the traditional length on my dry flies?
  • What techniques would you recommend for fishing after dark during the winter?
  • A good tip on how to practice specific techniques in fly tying
  • What would be a good rod for both salmon/steelhead rivers and bass lakes?
  • How can I practice my fish-fighting technique in the off-season before I go salmon fishing?

3 thoughts on “Podcast: The Surprising Truth About Trout and Wildfires, with Becky Flitcroft”

  1. When torrential rains follow devastating forest fires, washing tons of ash into a pristine trout lake and fishery, how many years will it take the stream below the dam and spillway to recover, after the lake is dredged of ash and debris?

  2. Becky, thanks for your contribution to the understanding of our environment. One topic that wasn’t discussed is global warming and it’s apparent new cyclical nature of repeated fires before the 5-10 year forest recovery is ever accomplished. In many areas fish numbers just keep going down with increased silt and the loss of spawning habitat.

  3. Yes, Orvis is my family’s favorite store and caring for environment, gives us a tremendous amount of joy.
    Thank you.

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