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Combat the Wind with the Two P's - POSITION and POWER

This time of year is the most unpredictable but you can bet that the wind will come into play at some point in the day. Whether it’s a light breeze or strong gusts, you need different tactics when the wind shows up.

  • 1 min read
Wet Fly Swing Podcast show #415 with Dave Stewart. A couple of years ago I would never have imagined that I’d be a guest on the second largest fly fishing podcast in the country - The Wet Fly Swing with Dave Stewart.  I’m just a guy out fishing a lot on the Truckee River. But here’s the story of how it all came to be.
Netting trout is a skill in and of itself. It’s something that takes a lot of practice to get good at and only experience makes you better. It’s not something you can really practice in your backyard like casting and knot tying- it’s something you must do in the water and it’s something you must think about even before your net is drawn. In some cases, even before you make your first cast.

All anglers have memorable catches, or misses, that we’ll likely never forget. The special catches that get stored in long term memory vs the short term where it gets easily replaced the more we fish.

Here’s my latest long term entry:

Yesterday was a warm evening and I decided to take Winston, my 5 year old Shepherd Border Collie mix, to the river. My plan was to practice my dry fly game while Winston swam and chased crawfish.

He’s been fishing for a long time and has caught more fish than I’ll ever see in my lifetime. But once in a while I’ll spot him fishing in this unfavorable position- It’s what I call the “Kiss of Death” position. I’ve seen many anglers fish this way and it rarely ends well when a fish takes. Bert’s chances of losing the fish are greater than his chances of netting it. It’s probably an old habit formed long before he started euro nymphing. Look closely. Can you tell what he’s doing wrong? If not, you’d better read on.
  • 3 min read

So, you drank the kool-aid. You read all the hype on euro nymphing, bought tackle and hit the water. But you’re still not catching fish. What the heck? I can assure you that you’re not alone. In fact, That was me a few years ago. Back then, I didn’t know what I didn’t know; but now I do. So, I’m going to tell you what I was doing wrong and what I see everyone else doing wrong when they start to euro nymph.

It took me about 100 days on the water to figure this all out. For me, that’s only 6 months, for you it might be 10 or 20 years! Let’s fast track it so you can catch fish now.

I’m assume that you understand the basics of trout fishing in moving water

Things like:

  • Cast upstream of the fish and let the fly dead drift in front of it.
  • Don’t scare the fish- Always be stealthy when fishing.
  • Know where the fish are generally located in the given river.
When I started Euro nymphing, Contact nymphing, Czech nymphing, whatever you want to call it, I was confused as to what gear I would need and why it was different from what I already had. As I became familiar with the new techniques I realized why it required different gear. I’m going to share what I’ve learned so you can avoid some of the mistakes I made early on. I’ll save you some frustration and maybe even save you some money.

*Keep in mind that my advice is based solely on wade fishing in technical high sierra rivers and streams for trout- It doesn’t pertain to stillwater, drift boats, steelhead or other large fish. Just river trout. OK?

When people ask me what my favorite nymph fly is, I tell them I don’t have one. I’m not trying to hide anything, it’s just that I try not to pay special attention to those “confidence” flies- you know, flies that I caught my biggest fish on, or flies I used the day I fished my personal best. Choosing confidence flies are probably some dopamine triggered behavior, I suspect. They get fished most often and so they catch the most fish. But only fishing confidence flies can be holding you back. And when you are having a real tough day out there and the fish won’t even take your star players, you won’t know where to turn. You’ve been beat. 

Here’s a better way to select the “best fly” in your box when your confident fly is screaming at you “Pick me!”

As much as innovating gear and adopting overseas techniques may represent the future of the sport in the Tahoe area, anglers need waters—and fish in them—to sustain the activity.

Trevor Fagerskog, a Roseville resident who moved from Truckee in late 2020, is current president of the nonprofit sporting group Tahoe Truckee Fly Fishers and state chair of the California council of the nonprofit conservation group Trout Unlimited.

The latter group’s Truckee chapter focuses on habitat restoration in the Truckee River watershed. Fagerskog reasons that it’s not likely anyone is going to reverse the effects of climate change anytime soon, so they’re working to find natural areas that were modified by humans, then re-creating conditions that make the water more conducive to fish, even in a drought-threatened future.
  • 5 min read
The Stinger represents something of a rebirth for Sasaki, who, after a career spent designing protective gear for cycling and other action sports, moved with his wife from San Diego to their second home in Truckee in 2016 (he also started and sold a company that manufactured iPhone cases from exotic materials). Once settled in,<br>he didn’t want to do anything but “ride and fish” for a couple of years.<br><br>After 400 days of fishing, spread out over those two years, Sasaki realized that the only thing he truly wanted to do, work-wise, was improve every piece of fly-fishing gear he owned.<br><br>He started with the reel, aiming to create a device that improved his rod’s efficiency and allowed him to “fish longer and catch more” without adding to the shoulder and back strain common to the sport. Starting with a 3D-printed prototype, he took the design through 100 iterations, tweaking it so it would securely hold the line in place but also allow for the line’s fast and easy removal.
  • 4 min read