One of the perks of guiding in the winter is the talent pool can be full of actual anglers. At most, I find myself fine tuning already solid techniques this time of year, which offers up a refreshing break from blurting the word  Mend 1423 times a day, thank you. But Fly Fishing teases us just enough to understand that there is something more to learn, another switch to turn on during the path to receiving your ninja card, so we never stop looking for answers. Expert Anglers understand this weird thirst for knowledge, that's how they became "experts" in a sport which can seem impossible at times if you are not paying attention.

Once the battle to conquer the cast, drift, reading water and the trouts is under control and contained, most anglers look to filter the complication out this sport and make it simpler. Everyone with mad skills tend to ask more advanced questions about short cuts, magic pills or the newest sneaky secret guide techniques, but they often find out guides are trying to make things as easy as possible while still producing results.

Love shots of people admiring their prize, so much better than your typical grip and grin.

So here's some of the random tricks of the trade tips (none of which I take credit for)that came up over the last few weeks of my life on the river.

You do not have to improve your clinch knot.

Tying droppers to the bend of the hook does not create a force field preventing fish from becoming stuck.

You should be carrying markers in your pack.

Just buy 9' 4X Leaders, I recently received a shipment of 36 of them just to get me started this year. If you need a stronger leader chances are it can be shorter, so simply cut 2 feet of leader off and you are into 3x or better. Need a finer leader? Usually finer means longer so start adding 5x and smaller tippet for those picky trout presentations.

The show it to your buddy shot is cool too.

Keep It Simple Sport.


  1. Well said Bobber!

  2. I must be a guide - never improve my clinch and always use 9 4x leaders.

  3. Love my 3x leaders tied to 5x tippet! Just a bit stronger than 4x! Unless fishing lakes, thats a different story. I cut my 9 foot leaders from the other end.

  4. markers or Makers! on your pack???