Tom Rosenbauer

Fly Fisher/Fly Tier/Author

Tom Rosenbauer has been with the Orvis Company since 1976, and while there has been a fishing school instructor, copywriter, public relations director, merchandise manager, and was editor of The Orvis News for 10 years. He is currently their chief marketing enthusiast, which is what they call people when they don’t know what else to do with them. As merchandise manager, web merchandiser, and catalog director, the titles under his direction have won numerous Gold Medals in the Multichannel Merchant Awards.

Tom was awarded Fly Rod & Reel’s “Angler of the Year Award” for 2011 for his educational efforts through his books, magazine articles, and podcasts.

Listen to Tom Rosenbauer's Shows...

Fly Fishing Small Streams

Tom Rosenbauer has mastered the strategies and techniques necessary to be productive on small streams. Listen in to learn his secrets.

Hatch Strategies

Tom Rosenbauer has been with Orvis for over 30 years and has shared his knowledge across many topics. One of the most studied yet intimidating aspects of fly fishing for trout is an understanding of insect hatches. Tom will enlighten us on entomology and also how to approach trout, how to find where they feed, and how to present the fly so it is accepted as natural food without hesitation. Join us and learn some new techniques to catch more fish.

Just a few of the questions asked and answered during the interview:

  • What do you need to know to be successful when fishing a hatch?
  • What is the best way to seine the water?
  • What if you don't get any insects in your seine?
  • What’s the best way to find fish feeding on a hatch?
  • How do you identify the insect that is hatching?
  • How to you fish the different stages of a hatch?
  • What do you do if you have multiple hatches at the same time?
  • How important is it to match the hatch with your patterns?
  • Do you prefer to fish a single fly or use a dry dropper setup?
  • Do you find that smaller fish are the ones rising first at the beginning of a hatch?
  • How do you target the bigger fish in hatches?
  • How does the change in climate vary the color of hatching flies?
  • What has been the most challenging hatch to match & have reasonable consistent success?

Finding Trout

Tom, has worked in many capacities at Orvis from retail clerk to lead enthusiast and what’s always been true no matter what his position is that he’s a teacher. Tom has shared more about fly fishing than probably any other person in the sport. We are fortunate to have him again on the show to talk about finding trout. Join us on this show to learn about where to find trout in runs,. pocket water, riffles, and places you never thought to look.

Just a few of the questions asked and answered during the interview:

  • How did you start out on your fly fishing journey?
  • How do trout feed?
  • How far will a brown trout move in a typical day?
  • What are the prime currents to fish?
  • What cast do you use to avoid drag?
  • What temperatures are optimal for feeding trout?
  • How do you approach a new stream?
  • When is the best time to fish riffles?
  • What are the prime holding areas in runs?
  • What type of hydro cusion to trout prefer?
  • Where do fish hold in a pool or flat water?
  • What is the best way to fish pocket water?
  • When trout are not rising what tactics do you use to find fish?
  • What matters most fly size, color or presentation?

Tom has been a fly fisher for 50 years, and was a commercial fly tier by age 14. He has fished extensively across North America and has also fished on Christmas Island, the Bahamas, Belize, in Kamchatka, Chile, and on the fabled English chalk streams. He is credited with bringing Bead-Head flies to North America, and is the inventor of the Big Eye hook, Magnetic Net Retriever, and tungsten beads for fly tying. He has about 20 fly fishing books in print, including The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide, Reading Trout Streams, Prospecting for Trout, Casting Illusions, Fly-Fishing in America, Approach and Presentation, Trout Foods and Their Imitations; Nymphing Techniques; Leaders, Knots, and Tippets, The Orvis Guide to Dry-Fly Techniques, The Orvis Fly Fishing Encyclopedia, and The Orvis Fly-Tying Guide, which won a 2001 National Outdoor Book Award. His collaboration with photographer Andy Anderson, Salt, also won a National Outdoor Book Award in 2014. He has also been published in Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, Catalog Age, Fly Fisherman, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Sporting Classics, Fly Rod & Reel, Audubon, Men’s Journal, and others. His latest book, Fly Fishing for Trout—The Next Level, was published in November of 2016. Tom is the writer and narrator of “The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide Podcast,” one of the top outdoor podcasts on iTunes.

He lives with his wife and son in southern Vermont on the banks of his favorite trout stream.


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