Sorry guys. Long time, no post. Everybody’s been unhappily sick, and when the munchkins get sick together and spend more than a week at home sans childcare — while the ailing parental units sleep about as well as you would in a front-line foxhole — things fall by the wayside.

Like the Trout Underground.

Even now I’m behind the curve on the career front, where I’m supposed to be writing an annual report (which pays a lot better than a TU blog post) and a handful of pieces for another client.

In other words, I’m screwed, and don’t expect much here until I’ve unscrewed myself. (Screwdriver donations accepted.)

For now, here’s the video parade:

From Nymphs To Bugs

Ian and Charity Rutter are enjoying the early spring hatches in the Smokies, and shot this refreshingly non-fish-porn video of a Blue Quill hatching:

Spring is starting to show up in a lot of places not named “the mountains of Northern California,” where I’ve got several feet of snow on the ground outside my office window. If this year is like the last several, we won’t see an end to the snow until April or May.

Accordingly, Ian and Charity should show a little more care when posting pictures of big fish caught during hatches lest they receive a ticking package.

I’d suggest posting using a simple disclaimer like “Look at this big brown caught on a dry fly during the springtime Blue Quill hatch on the Little River, though we’re aware — and sincerely sorry — that some of our friends aren’t yet experiencing spring and may find this post offensive, so we won’t say any more. Please don’t mailbomb us.


Swinging has become the “purist” technique for spey fishing, but people forget swinging a wet fly works pretty damn well for trout (and light trout rods) too.

I swing the Upper Sac when I see the odd caddis coming off (also works during the BWO hatch), yet I suspect it’s a technique that generates more discussion than actual use.

Orvis’ Tom Rosenbauer posted a short video about swinging wet flies that should help novice swingers get a handle on the technique:

See All Orvis Learning Center Fly Fishing Video Lessons

In fact, I’m feeling so guilty for the lack of posts that I’m going to disclose **A Formerly Secret Small Stream Technique That You Maybe Haven’t Heard About This Week**.

When the dry fly just isn’t cutting it on a small stream, I’ll sometimes tie on a simple soft-hackle dry fly.

Small streams are difficult to nymph because the depth varies so radically; a six-inch gravel bar can fall off into a two-foot run, which is bisected by a couple of barely submerged laydowns. The run ends suddenly in a logjam.

A soft hackle submerges, but it doesn’t sink like a weighted nymph, and it’s far less likely to snag on laydowns, especially if you’re fishing it downstream — you simply tighten up on the line, and the soft hackle tends to rise right over the top of any obstacles.

And thus my guilt is abated.

OK, Fish Porn

I run damned little fish porn on the Underground, but this short (trailer-length really) clip from Keith Brauneis (who also crafted the McCloud “Enough is Enough” video) is about the Dean — a river I’ve never fished but do wonder about:

See you trying to catch up, Tom Chandler.