Practical and Useful

  • By: Dave Hughes
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Practical and Useful

  • By: David Hughes
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Four steps to consistently taking trout on dries.

Practical and Useful

  • By: Dave Hughes
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Preparing for the vast majority of hatches you’ll encounter on trout streams is remarkably simple.

Practical and Useful

  • By: Dave Hughes
  • Photography by: David Hughes
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I learned to cast left-handed, but not because I injured my right shoulder, suffering with it for three years until rotator-cuff surgery finally freed me to cast right-handed again. No, that injury came many years later.

Practical and Useful

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Bashful About Bright

How to catch bigger trout on sunny days.

Photographs by the author

practical&useful /// Dave Hughes

Practical and Useful

  • By: Dave Hughes
  • Photography by: Dave Hughes
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Jim Schollmeyer and I fished Oregon’s OWYHEE RIVER TAILWATER LAST spring, a couple of weeks after the water took its annual bump up to supply irrigation to a vast flatland of ranches far downstream. The water was just a bit off color, as always at that time of year. It also spread out over some shallows that earlier had been gravel bars and gently sloped grassy banks. Such water, recently dry land, becomes productive in a relatively short time. Trout move onto those flats to feed, but they’re somewhat exposed—and therefore a bit nervous—when they do. You can’t just wade up to them, put on your brakes, toss a standard nymph and indicator over their heads to the water upstream and then expect them to still be around when your nymphs drift by. They’ve fled in fear.

Practical and Useful

  • By: Dave Hughes
  • Photography by: Dave Hughes
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p>THE LATE POLLY ROSBOROUGH, AUTHOR OF Tying and Fishing the Fuzzy Nymphs, always declared that the biggest trout remain beneath the surface throughout a hatch, no matter how heavy, feeding on immature insects staging along the bottom or on their way toward the top for emergence. It makes sense: Insects are more vulnerable to interception then, and trout are less exposed to predation from birds and beasts, including you and me.

Practical and Useful

  • By: Dave Hughes
  • Photography by: Dave Hughes
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WHEN I FISH STREAMERS AND BIG NYMPHS FROM A BOAT ON MOVING WATER, I apply them most commonly against the banks, less often to obvious lies such as boulders out in the mid-currents. I do it as prescribed by either of two primary theories: placing my casts upstream or down, behind the boat or in front of it. Both were taught to me by guides, and I’ll outline each briefly here, because when you fish big, weighted flies from a boat, one application or the other works most of the time, and the results are likely to hang heavy in your net when they do.

Line Hacking

  • By: Zach Matthews
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With a few simple techniques, and someone else’s curling iron, you can build welded loops and any fly line you might need—on local waters or at the ends of the earth.

Feeding Slack on Fast Water

  • By: David Hughes
  • Photography by: David Hughes
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We all know that downstream presentations and feeding slack are necessary when fishing dry flies over snotty trout, those fish poking their noses out to sip small mayflies, caddis or midges on the smooth flats of such heavily-pestered waters as the Missouri in Montana, the Hiwassee in Tennessee, the Delaware in New York or Pennsylvania, and on and on, almost everywhere. If you fish such situations with upstream casts you show your line and leader to trout before they ever have a chance to examine your fly. You know what they do then. That’s why you take your position at an angle upstream from them, and make your casts downstream to them, laying excess slack line on the water and feeding it into the drift as needed to keep the fly floating freely, ahead of the spooky line and leader.