The Orvis fly-fishing blog celebrates all things fly fishing, featuring top-notch articles, tips, photos, videos, podcasts and the latest fly-fishing news. From trout fishing in the famed rivers of Montana to brown-lining for carp in the urban jungle to chasing sailfish of the coast of Baja, we cover all sides of the sport we love. Regular features include Tuesday Tips, which will make you a better angler, and the Friday Fly-Fishing Film Festival, made up of the best videos from around the world.

Weekend Hot List for September 23, 2011

Written by: Phil Monahan

Fishing Reports

Check out the Orvis Fishing Reports every week for up-to-date info on your home waters.

The Orvis Fishing Reports and Conditions pages offer up-to-date reports, including stream and river flows, tides, recommended flies and equipment, and special fishing tips. At any given time, those waters that offer the very best fishing become part of the “Red Hot” list. To ensure that those making the reports aren’t exaggerating the quality of their local fishing, each reporter is allowed only four red hots per year per location, so they only rank their spot red hot when it’s truly outstanding.

Most Fridays, we highlight those waters that offer the best fishing for the weekend. Right now, it sounds like the fall Baetis hatches are getting underway in the Rockies. High water all season means that the productive fishing time should be extended this fall. Get ready to fish in the snow!


Cinda’s Alaskan Pike Adventure

Pike Fishing in Alaska

The author’s astounding 50-inch pike was the fish of the trip.

photo courtesy Cinda Howard

When most people think of fly fishing, they picture someone standing in a remote river or stream casting a dry fly to trout lazily sipping bugs off the surface. The low-down dirty truth is that you can cast to just about any fish in almost any piece of water. Fly fishing can take whatever shape you want it to, and that is what excites me about this sport.

As an Orvis Fishing Manager, I get the opportunity to fish in some great locations. I recently spent a week in Alaska fly fishing for northern pike. Most people associate Alaska with spectacular trout and salmon fishing, but it also offers some of the best pike fishing in the world. I spent a week with some of my customers in a very remote location with Midnight Sun Trophy Pike Adventures on a houseboat in the middle of nowhere (“nowhere” being somewhere out past a small village called Aniak that is accessible only by float plane). The houseboat sits in a slough off a tributary of the Yukon River, and we ran the river in custom built skiffs to get to different lakes and sloughs that are loaded with trophy pike.


Friday Film Festival 09.23.11

Written by: Phil Monahan

Welcome to another edition of the Friday Film Festival, in which we scour the Web for the best fly-fishing footage available. This week’s collection starts off slow and thoughtful, builds to some serious excitement, and then ends with a video that just may haunt your dreams—especially if you’re an ophidiophobe. At this shoulder season, we’re still pretty US-centric, with films from the. . .


Pictures of the Day: Monster Montauk Striper

Written by: Phil Monahan

John Kaufmann Striper 1

John Kaufmann’s 44-inch striped bass would be a fish of a lifetime for many striper anglers.

photo courtesy John Kaufmann

Orvis customer John Kaufmann sent us these pictures, with a note: 

“I was using my Helios when I landed this fish, one of two truly large striped bass I have caught in my many days on the water.  Further proof of Woody Allen’s axiom that ninety percent of success is showing up.”


Are Atlantic salmon on the way back?

North American anglers often think of Atlantic salmon populations as being in a perpetual state of decline, but higher numbers of wild Atlantic salmon and excellent water conditions are contributing to an outstanding fishing season in parts of Newfoundland, Labrador, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. Fish-counting facilities on the rivers that. . .


Tom Rosenbauer’s Secrets of Fall Trout Fly Fishing

Written by: Phil Monahan

There is a period of dry-fly activity on most trout streams every fall that rivals the best hatches of spring. It’s a “fall” (as opposed to a hatch) of migrating winged ants, and when these insects are on the water nearly every trout in the river will feed on the surface with abandon. As autumn approaches, ants hatched in their underground colonies sprout wings. All at once, over a period of a few days, these insects fly off to mate and cross-pollinate with ants from other colonies. For some unknown reason, the dying ants are attracted to water and other shiny surfaces, much like mayfly spinners. There is no predicting this opportunity, but experienced fly fishers can feel it in the air, usually on warm, still, moist, soft September afternoons. I often leave my office for the day, smell the air, and know that when I reach my car the hood will be covered with two or three different types of flying ants. Dinner and any other social obligations will have to wait a few days.

I know it’s hard to compete with the pleasures of raking leaves or installing storm windows, but you should really put aside a day or two for fall trout fishing. To most fly fishers, trout fishing in the fall is much like reading last week’s Sunday Times on Saturday—some interesting stuff, but it’s mostly over. Streams are vacant, except for roving bands of mergansers, and in places where you feel like you had to take a ticket in June you’ll have the water to yourself, with no looking over your shoulder for intruders every few minutes….


Pic of the Day: A Sea-Run Brown from Tierra del Fuego

Tyler might need a hand holding this one up

It’s rare to have a calm day when fishing for sea-run browns in Tierra del Fuego, but it does happen. This fish came on one of those days when the wind died and I was able to watch the wake of the fish as she followed my fly across the pool. It was definitely one of my favorite memories from fishing in Patagonia.