Q&A: School of Trout founder Todd Tanner

18 questions on all things fly fishing
Photo: Tim Romano

Some anglers know Todd Tanner as the author of hundreds of fly fishing stories, essays and columns.  Others know him as a serious conservationist and the President of Conservation Hawks.  Still others know him as the founder of the School of Trout—the sport's preeminent instructional program which harnesses the fly fishing prowess of an impressive roster of presenters and instructors including folks like Tom Rosenbauer, John Juracek, Kirk Deeter, Craig Matthews, Bob Wh

5 tarpon flies for spring

Chasing the silver king this spring? Here are some fly picks.
Photo: Chris Hunt

It’s that time of year in southern Florida and throughout much of the Caribbean — big migratory tarpon are in near-shore waters and they’re prime targets for 10-weight-wielding fly anglers.

But the juveniles are active, too — fish up to 20 pounds are moving through Everglades canals and mangrove creeks all over the tropics. For saltwater anglers who’ve tasted the tarpon Kool-Aid, it’s the best time of the year.

Panning for gold

The joys of fly fishing for panfish
Photo: George Daniel

The trouble with spring in much of the eastern U.S. is the abundance of fishing options. In central Pennsylvania, I have several weeks of pre-spawn musky fishing, trout fishing is in full swing with ideal water conditions and hatching insects, and there is also the option to fish local lakes and ponds for panfish. With comfortable weather, mountainsides turning green, flowers starting to blossom, and fishing conditions starting to reach their peak—I can’t think of a better place to live than the northeast during spring.

Review: Simms RiverKit wader tote

A look at a new wader transport and storage option from Simms
Photo: Spencer Durrant

For years, I used to leave my waders clipped to an I-bolt in the bed of my pickup (so they wouldn’t fly away). That’s a convenient way to store waders, but sitting in direct sunlight for days on end will quickly cause some serious UV damage. I’d leave my boots in the pickup, too, and they often fared the worst from this bad decision. Take it from me — most companies don’t consider leaving your gear in the truck bed for all of summer “normal wear and tear,” so they won’t warranty them. It’s almost like we’re supposed to take care of our gear…

Tips for fishing this year's epic runoff

Don't let heavy — even unusually heavy — spring flows keep you on the sidelines
Photo: Alex Knull.

Spring runoff in the Rockies and in many other parts of the country promises to be epic this year—some areas may not see perfectly fishable flows until mid-July. Nobody's complaining, mind you. A big winter will fill depleted reservoirs and buy some time for our imperiled trout.

But fishing on many rivers, particularly those that aren't tailwaters, is going to be tough until we get over the snowmelt hump. Even so, patient and crafty fly fishers can find trout in high,dirty water if they employ the proper techniques.