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Why JOURNALS are a Key to Fly Fishing Success

Feb 03, 2021

What if you exactly knew where and when to fish on a routine basis? JOURNALS are the key to documenting your most important fly fishing data.

At first, keeping a fly fishing journal seemed like kind of an odd thing to do. Wouldn't someone just be able to remember what they were using, or the highlights of a trip, without having to look back through their diaries?

I found out quickly that journals were the answer when it came to narrowing down WHEN and WHERE to go, and began immediately shortening the amount of time I was spending planning each fishing trip. 

Some important things to journal:

  • Date/Location
  • Water Temp
  • Water Level
  • Barometer
  • Hatch
  • Productive Flies/Techniques
  • Unproductive Flies/Techniques
  • Fish Hooked/Landed/Released
  • Key Takeaways

While we're here, I'm super excited to share the digital journal template I've been using since I lost a portion of my physical journals during a move in 2019! For the price of a nice cup of coffee, you can download The Fly Fishing Journal...

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Q&A Friday | First Year Tips, Cold Water & Fly Fishing Journals

Jan 29, 2021

Maximizing your first year of fly fishing, stillwater fishing in cold water temperatures, and the power of keeping a detailed fly fishing journal!

It's Friday, which means it's time for another episode of Q&A Friday on the Fly Fish University Podcast and Fly Fish University TV! Today we're discussing how to maximize your first year of fly fishing (especially when it feels challenging), lake fishing through the coldest months, and the power of journalling!

Listen or watch this episode below on the device of your choice, and wishing you the best on the water!


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Fly Lines for Stillwaters Pt. 2

Jan 27, 2021

Demystifying the world of sinking lines for fly fishing in stillwaters...

Okay, in part one we talked floating lines for stillwater fly fishing, but there's one thing about floating lines that makes them slightly easier to understand than sinking lines... they all float! What makes sinking lines a bit more complicated is that it can become a game of splitting hairs. 

Hover - This line doesn't get fished as much as the rest of the ones on this list, but it absolutely has its time and place. This is a great line for fishing shallow water with mayfly nymphs, waterboatmen, shrimp and leeches. A beautiful attribute to this line is that it does not create a wake in the surface film, but sinks slow enough to avoid hooking up on bottom.

Clear Camo - 
A great tool for shallow water, and a spectacular line for fishing both leeches and shrimp in shallow water. This is also a great line for fishing chironomid pupa through deeper water when fish are suspended sporadically...

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Fly Lines for Stillwaters Pt. 1

Jan 27, 2021

What is one thing that makes stillwater fly fishing exponentially easier? Understanding your equipment inside and out.

Fly lines are a popular topic in stillwater fly fishing, and for good reason. Lake fishing is a technical game at the best of times, and having your equipment holding you back does not make it easier. In the first of two episodes on fly lines for stillwaters, we're talking three floating lines and exactly what purposes they serve.

Before we go any further, you'll notice that I'm recommending Scientific Anglers fly lines because it is what I fish. These are only my own opinions, and an honest look into what I trust and outfit myself with on the water. This is not, in any way, a sponsored or endorsed post.

1) Scientific Anglers Stillwater Indicator - With a 60 foot head, this line fishes extremely well at short and moderate distances. Its roll casting capabilities are exceptional, especially when it comes to fishing long leaders in excess of 20 feet. ...

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Q&A Friday | Rotary Fly Tying Vices, Blood Knots & Click Pawl Reels

Jan 22, 2021

Are rotary tying vices worth the money? Is a double surgeon's knot better than a blood knot, and is there an advantage to click pawl vs. disc drag?

It's Friday, which means it's time for another episode of Q&A Friday on the Fly Fish University Podcast! Today we discuss rotary fly tying vices and whether they are worth the extra spend, whether a blood knot or a surgeon's knot are advantageous given the circumstances, and the classic dispute between click pawl and disc drag reels.

Listen below on any device or watch on Fly Fish University TV!


Click here to submit a question for Q&A Friday


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21 Trout Fishing Tips for 2021

Jan 20, 2021

21 tips to help you find more trout in still and moving water and make 2021 your best year on the water yet!

Today's episode of the Fly Fish University Podcast is a compilation of some fly fishing practices that are going to help you find more fish on lakes and rivers this year. An overview of what you'll learn in this episode:

  • 1. Fish fewer flies, better!
  • 2. Take a casting lesson from a pro
  • 3. Carry less, shoot more line
  • 4. Strip with your rod tip down
  • 5. Fish 'low and slow' in cold water
  • 6. Fish outside the box in cold water
  • 7. The observant angler wins
  • 8. Colour code your fly boxes
  • 9. Fish methods you are uncomfortable with
  • 10. Scale down in high sun
  • 11. Fish the fly 2-3 ways before changing
  • 12. Fish a larger silhouette in dirty water
  • 13. Study stocking reports for stillwaters
  • 14. The importance of keeping a fly fishing journal
  • 15. Lose fewer fish at the boat with more line out
  • 16. Take the indicator off in spooky stillwaters
  • 17. Fishing ledges, drop-offs and transitions
  • 18. Fish...
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Q&A Friday | Stillwater Rods, Winter Trout Fishing & Destination Travel

Jan 15, 2021

The ideal length and weight of rod for stillwaters, winter trout fishing tactics in moving water, and some post-COVID destination travel tips!

It's Friday, which means it's time for another episode of Q&A Friday on the Fly Fish University Podcast! Today we discuss the ideal length and weight of rod for fly fishing in stillwaters, some tactics for fishing the coldest months of the year on trout streams, and how to go about planning your first destination fly fishing trip post-COVID!

Enjoy today's episode below!



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5 Tips for Fishing Leeches in Stillwaters

Jan 13, 2021

Five tips for increasing your stillwater fly fishing success by tapping into the love that trout have for devouring leeches!

Leeches are gross... they swim around the lake in an undulating motion and they have the ability to latch onto your skin and suck your blood like a vampire. But did you know that leeches play a key role in the diet of trout in stillwaters? Leech imitations can take fish at just about any time of day or year, and they're a favourite searching pattern for new lakes.

The following are five ways to increase your success fishing leeches in stillwaters.

Harness the power of the strike indicator

Also known as a bobber (favoured term), indicators are very powerful when it comes to fishing leeches in stillwaters as they allow us to indefinitely suspend our offerings within the trout's window of vision. Casting and retrieving undoubtedly has its time and place (including times when it will out-fish suspended imitations), but using a strike indicator to suspend...

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Q&A Friday | Casting Further, Chironomids & Fluorocarbon

Jan 08, 2021

What holds so many people back from casting further, can you fish chironomids all year, and is fluorocarbon always the answer?

Today marks yet another episode of Q&A Friday on the Fly Fish University Podcast where we take questions from readers and listeners all around the world. Today's topics are some things we can look at to greatly increase fly casting distance in a short period of time, chironomid fishing in the summer and fall, and the when and where of fluorocarbon vs. monofilament.

Listen to today's episode below & enjoy!

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Shore Fishing on Stillwaters? 3 Tips for Catching more Fish

Jan 06, 2021

Is there a time and place for shore fishing on stillwaters?

The long and short of it is... YES! However, we have to understand the when, where, why and how of shore fishing on lakes. Not all lakes are created equal, and knowing the ins and outs of lake structure is going to help you immensely when it comes to successfully fishing without a boat. 

Before we go any further... I will say that having a watercraft of some sort  is absolutely imperative for fly fishing stillwaters. Unless you live or fish somewhere that it is not permitted to have a watercraft, or not applicable, having a boat really just opens up a ton of doors when it comes to finding (and catching) fish. 

Find lakes that are shore fishable! 

It's important to find stillwaters that have shoreline structure that is conducive to shore fishing. Many lakes that are nutrient-rich will feature a soft, muddy bottom that is far from ideal for wading. They will also typically have fairly shallow gradient...

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