Guide Tips

Fishing Savvy from the Masters

“Make only as many false casts as you need to get the fly to the fish. Flies don’t catch fish when they’re in the air.”

Justin Witt (Northern Patagonia and Kamchatka)

“When trout fishing, mend. Mend some more. And make sure you mend all the way to the bobber.”

Dan “Rooster” Leavens (Southwest Montana)

“If you’re targeting big fish on very light tippet, try boiling your leaders for a few seconds. It makes them stretch more, which keeps those fish attached.”

John Wilson (Cortland, New York)

“If we’re drifting in my boat, I can bet you’ll never get me to tell you to mend less.”

Brock Dixon (White River, Arkansas)

“When nymphing, depth is more important than fly selection. Don’t assume you’re getting to the fish’s level just because you have a heavy weight on. Watch your fly, and if it’s not sinking enough, add tungsten.”

— Tim Angeli (Auckland, New Zealand)

“On the flats you need to wait until you see the fish to cast. It doesn’t do you any good to throw a prayer out there.”

Capt. Mike Holliday (Southeast Florida)

Zach Matthews
About Zach Matthews 7 Articles
Zach Matthews is a frequent contributor to this and other outdoor publications. He hosts The Itinerant Angler Podcast at

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