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Swing the Fly

Breaking the Rules of Trout Spey – Photo Essay

I’m a firm believer in testing the rules – they were meant to be broken – or otherwise wouldn’t have been put in place. Swinging for trout became a way for me to scratch the steelhead itch in the off season, and what started as a way to stay connected to swinging flies has become […]

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Spey 101

Building a basic understanding of Spey casting, including techniques, equipment, terminology, and history. All Spey 101 content is free to view for non-members. Learn and Enjoy!

Conservation

Brought to you by Patagonia logo

Passing on healthy rivers and fish populations to the next generation is a responsibility all swung fly anglers must be committed to. Keep tabs here on the latest news from our conservation partners and learn how you can help.

  • Point of Engagement: Part 3
    Click here to read the first article in Daniel’s series, “The Point of Engagement: Part 1" Click here to read the second article in Daniel's…
  • Point of Engagement: Part 2
    A long time ago, someone told me every piece of river should be treated like it’s someone’s favorite place in the entire world, because it…
  • Hurricane Ian Recovery with Costa
    Editor's Note: Be sure to pay attention to #3, #FliesforIan, with our close buddy Josh Mills — a way to tie or bid on steelhead…
  • The Point of Engagement: Part I
    “In 2021, being a dedicated wild steelhead angler means fishing through a paradox. While the enthusiasm for chasing these beautiful, powerful fish is at an…

Fly Tying

  • Mojo Sculpin
    The Mojo Sculpin earned its name and a permanent place in the box the past couple seasons, turning the trick on early spring pre-spawn rainbows…
  • Fly of the Month: Skwala (part 2)
    Prior to the writings of G.E.M Skues emphasizing the importance of the nymph, most of the old English wetflies and Yorkshire spiders were dressed to…
  • Fly of the Month: Skwala
    In the West, skwala stoneflies signal the beginning of the year’s parade of water-born insects and are a real opportunity for hatch-matching while there is…
  • Homemade Shanks with Jeff Mishler
    There are many commercially made shanks available, but customizing mine by cutting the shank to the right length proved to be a huge benefit when…

Atlantic Salmon

  • Episode 66 – David Bishop
    https://www.spreaker.com/user/11272357/episode-066 I got the chance to speak with David Bishop this week. Listen in as we discuss fishing at two-years-old, the beauty of casting, working…
  • The Last Salmon
    I sometimes feel as if Angler #1 (Dry Fly Guy) is perched on my left shoulder and Angler #2 (Bottom Ranger) sits on my right…
  • Terminal Thinking
    Terminal thinking seems especially prevalent as we contemplate the changes to our lives in a post-COVID-19 world. It’s a tough time to be a swinger…
  • A Handful of Flies from the Kola Peninsula: Part I
    The Belousiha River Lodge is a small fishing camp on Russia’s Kola Peninsula.

Great Lakes

  • Adding Movement to the Swung Fly
    Controlling fly speed and depth through casting angle and line manipulation typically provides the presentation enhancements that result in success.
  • Spey Casting Class with Rick Kustich & Topher Browne!
    Don't miss this one of a kind opportunity to improve your casting with Rick and Topher!
  • Outfitters North
    "It's great to see the fly fishing community putting more of a focus on us as Great Lakes steelheaders and designing these products for the…
  • Sink-Tip Leaders
    How long should the distance be between the end of the sinking tip or sinking leader and the fly?

International

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  • An Adventure in Argentina
    Southern Patagonia is known for its windy days.
  • The P.T. Slow Swing
    So simple and so effective, I cannot say how often it‘s saved my day, from my rivers at home, to along the classic rivers in…
  • The Green Machine and the Rio Grande
    Last January, Michael and I finally stood on the banks of the Rio Grande in Tierra del Fuego. Like always, we booked on a relatively…
  • Skjern Å: A Real Life Fairy Tale
    Like the ugly duckling from Hans Christian Andersen’s famous fairy tale, there is a hint of metaphor in my small story about a “ditch” that,…

Spey Casting


Trout Spey

  • Swinging for Grayling
    Casting a light skagit head made the fishing methodical – swinging the riffles and dropping my fly into seams produced a dozen or so fish,…
  • Adding Movement to the Swung Fly
    Controlling fly speed and depth through casting angle and line manipulation typically provides the presentation enhancements that result in success.
  • Pick Your Water
    Our guide felt that anglers are more successful if they stick to one type of water and fish it well instead of trying to fish…
  • Hatches: Spotted Sedge
    Spotted sedge (Hydropsyche), with at least 25 sub-species in the West, as well as Midwestern and Eastern counterparts (all very similar), could be considered one…

West Coast