Capt. Bob’s Blog

News, viewpoints, techniques, and tips from Capt. Bob


Posted by on 7:27 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Through the years, we’ve experimented with various wader combinations to achieve the warmest and most comfortable results. Are 5mm neoprene waders over heavy pants the answer? Or are breathable waders over layered poly-fleece pants the warmest. Personally, I find that breathable waders with insulated boot feet over poly-fleece longjohns and poly-fleece pants are the warmest and most comfortable. Neoprene does not breathe. Therefore moisture builds up next to your skin and begins to chill you and rob your body heat. The poly-fleece/breathable wader combination uses hydrophobic poly-fleece that wicks the moisture away from your body and the breathable waders allow that moisture to escape.      I would appreciate any feedback on this issue. What’s your...

read more


Posted by on 8:05 pm in Blog | 0 comments

It can be done. Cast upstream 135 degrees with a floating fly for a dry fly presentation (#1). As it comes down, create some tension and skate the fly (#2-skating presentation). As it passes downstream, pull the fly under for a dead drift presentation (#3). As it proceeds downstream, swing it for a (#4) swung-fly presentation. Finally, when it’s on the dangle, start stripping it in for (#5), a stripped fly presentation. Can anyone think of #6???

read more


Posted by on 1:32 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Every line acts differently on the same Spey rod because of the line’s weight and design. Every sink tip alters the cast as does the resistance of every fly. To get the most out of each cast, experiment with the length of the fly line or running line  that extends beyond the tip of your fly rod. Try this experiment with a Skagit shooting head: Extend 6 inches of running line beyond the tip then make a cast. Now extend 12 inches and make another cast. Gradually extend the running line in 6 inch increments to determine the most effective length. Also, try this in reverse. Pull in the line until the end of the Skagit head is just outside the tip top and make a cast. Next, pull a couple of inches of fly line inside the tip. Next cast, pull in a couple more inches of fly line, etc. Now you will know what makes the best cast. Every time you change tips, determine this for the new tip. If you put on a new fly, make the appropriate adjustment, especially with large water-logged Intruders, Bunnies and marabou flies.   HAPPY...

read more


Posted by on 6:54 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Finally, we’re getting the rain we need and, guess what? The guys who have been praying for rain are now complaining that the Rivers are “chocolate milk”. We tend to forget that fish see a lot more than we do. If we have 2 ft. of visibility, they can see two or three times further than that. Plus they have other senses that enable them to know what’s going on around them. If I had a choice between low and clear or high and dirty, I’d choose high and dirty. Can’t tell you how many times we’ve  had successful days fishing the near-shore edges of dirty water. Use a big dark fly, slow it down and fish near...

read more


Posted by on 8:25 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Amongst the various controversial techniques used to stimulate stale Steelhead in low water, “stoning” is a common one. Jim Teeny explains this well in some of his videos. I accidentally stumbled onto a technique that suited me better. I would send my Labrador Retriever into the River and wake up those dozing fish. The dog had fun, I had fun and I think the Steelhead got a charge out of it, too! There’s nothing worse than dying of boredom. Ask an old...

read more


Posted by on 9:13 pm in Blog | 3 comments

You’re on the River swinging flies and come to a run with a deep, swift pool. None of the flies you’re carrying will get to the depth you want. What do you do? Carry a variety in worm weights, those little lead heads with a hole through the middle. Slip one on your leader, attach your fly and you have an instant weighted fly! Plus you can easily change weights, from 1/16 oz to 1/4 oz. Simple, quick and...

read more


Posted by on 2:38 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Sure have run into a lot of Steelheaders who are way too serious. This is a magnificent passion and should be pursued with joy  and wonder. Something that has always helped us in this department was experimenting with ridiculous flies. We’d agree to tie a crazy fly and fish it for a day, a week , a month and compare results. It’s really fun and challenging and you’ll learn a lot, too.      Out of this exercise came some great discoveries. One of my all-time favorites is the MINIMALIST. A silver hook, sparse black bucktail (in the round) and red thread head. Try it!                                          The Genessee River, Rochester NY.This is where all Great Lakes Steelhead started over 120 years...

read more


Posted by on 11:41 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Just got some comments on my recent blog, “RIVER ETIQUETTE”. Lots of frustration and pessimism  in the form of “nothing we can do will make any difference”. I certainly understand that reaction but it’s totally wrong. We may not be able to dramatically change the politics, or the minds and bad habits of many fishermen, or polluting by major industries, but you shouldn’t be thinking that way anyway. It will only lead to cynicism and a feeling of frustration and impotence. Focus your energies on the people you meet and the Rivers you fish. If you can positively affect either one, only one time, you’ve made more of a difference than the frustrated dreamer who feels it’s all or nothing and, consequently, does nothing.   A great thinker once observed: If good people do nothing, just imagine how bad things could really get but choose the battlefields you’re willing to die on. Don’t waste your feelings and energy on impossible missions. Focus on things you can change. Focus on your own back yard.         HAPPY NEW...

read more


Posted by on 1:08 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Having fished lots of places over the years, I’m still disturbed by the poor behavior I constantly observe by adult men while fishing. I’m not only talking about one man’s rudeness to another but rather about man’s consistent rudeness toward Nature, ie. the fish, the Rivers and the environment. To see grown men snagging and ripping across the backs of our beautiful fish or killing fish they don’t intend to eat, is bad enough. To watch them throw their garbage down like irresponsible little boys is sickening. To watch them discard their mono fishing line on the banks or into the Rivers is sickening. Look around you. It’s disgusting! So…..what can be done about this chronic problem? First realize that most of these guys were raised as slobs. If you were to look into their bedrooms, you’d see dirty underwear, candy wrappers and empty food containers all over the place. So, they need potty training just like a baby. How to do this? Encourage the officials involved with our fish and wildlife to pay more attention to this. Instead of enacting trick laws to generate money, like emergency closures or confusing rules, enforce a program  that can help the fish and not piss off fishermen. Establish a littering hotline that responds quickly and encourage fishermen to use it. Encourage the fish-counters to call immediately if they see this happen. Encourage guides, outfitters, tackle shops, local restaurants, surrounding towns, etc. to be part of this. Offer rewards, incentives, plaques, points, etc. for helping. Give littering a more important name so the public sees it for what it is, not just some harmless gum wrapper being tossed out of a car window. Call it ENVIRONMENTAL TERRORISM or ENVIRONMENTAL POISONING. The punishment for violators should be time on the Rivers spent picking up litter, just like the road gangs you see along highways. We don’t need to ruin a guy’s life for littering, just make him undo some of it and maybe learn the true damage it does. Just like other rehabilitation programs, make him sit through a video showing the destructive nature of this kind of environmental poisoning.      WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT? Because our fisheries are in deep trouble and more of us must be involved in some kind of solution and littering is part of the problem because it’s poison and results in dead fish! Just like snagging, killing over the limit, clearcutting that allows sediment to suffocate streamlife and fertilizers washing into the water.      So many fisherman I talk to seem to have a pet peeve regarding the increasingly poor fishing. They focus on one thing and rag on it like a broken record. Guys, don’t be fools! It’s now many things working together that’s killing our fish. But if you want to focus on only one of the causes, that’s OK as long as you try to do something about it. Too bad, but Wild Steelhead in Washington are on their way out. You can passively wave bye-bye or try to help...

read more


Posted by on 1:27 pm in Blog | 0 comments

We were sitting around the campfire the other night swapping lies, and the topic of getting winter Steelhead flies to sink deep came up. Over the years, we tried lots of experiments, even skin diving in Rivers to observe the action of our flies. Take the usual winter fly, with it’s dense marabou and led eyes and watch it’s rate of sing as it drifts in the current. Now take a sparsely-tied fly and watch it’s rate of sink. Make your own decision. Sometimes a sparsely-tied fly does the job quicker, with less hangups and more animation. One of my favorite winter flies consists of an oversized silver Alec Jackson hook with a low-water style fly on it. The shine of the hook eliminates the need for flash material and the sparse, low water style eliminates a lot of the water resistance of a heavy, densely-tied fly. Another reason for constant experimentation and keen observation. Fishing is not only a passion but also a science where there’s always something more to...

read more