RD's Rugged Fishing Tips

If you’ve ever seen my previous fishing show, “Officially Rugged with RD,” you already know that it was a comedy show. Nothing more nothing less. It’s not a “how-to” type program in the slightest sense of the word. In other words, you aren’t going to learn a goddam thing about fishing while watching me on TV and this concept was done by design. With the risk of sounding like a bit of a dick, that doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m doing…

When I was travelling between 2000 and 2009 taping shows, I fished a lot. It seems I was always in a float plane or a boat somewhere in Canada. And, I always learn from others, so here is your chance to learn from others, that being me… no charge. Just send me a pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving…

Some of these tips are pretty basic, but if you’re fairly new to fishing I think you’ll learn some good stuff here. I’ll be adding several each month, but here’s a few to start.
If you have a tip or two you’d like to share, email it to me and we’ll put it up on the site. Thanks in advance!

Time to Get Down!

Lake Superior salmon and trout... rugged

“Lake Superior salmon and trout… rugged!” That’s right… it’s time to get down, down deep. Down to where the lake trout are! I hope, I mean I REALLY hope that when I said “time to get down,” you weren’t picturing me dressed in a John Travolta disco outfit from the 70s on the dance floor “getting down,” because I don’t do that kind of thing. Unrugged. One time when I do “get down,” is from my treestand a few minutes [Read More]

Explore, Scout, Recon, Snoop…

Explore, Scout, Recon, Snoop…

“Do NOT go on an unguided fly-in fishing trip without one of these!  Okay, I’ll repeat that and I’ll even put the friggin’ thing in red… Do NOT go on an unguided fly-in fishing trip without one of these! “ No, not Snoop Dog, for christ-sake! Snoop around… as in, snoop around the lake. Do some exploring, some scouting, some recon and some snooping. My favourite fly-in fishing trip is to an outpost camp, where you are dropped off, on your [Read More]

Make It Bigger!

Make It Bigger

“Like my 3 pound walleye?” No, you jerk, I’m not taking about your “dude digit.” There is nothing you can do to make that thing bigger… I’m talking about the fish you just caught. Hold it out and it becomes… bigger. That walleye is now 3 pounds. It mysteriously grew from about a pound a half to 3 pounds. There you see? I’m not just the world’s number one Rugged Dude. I’m also smart as hell! Only one problem though… [Read More]



“Northern pike have wicked teeth and they like big meals!” If you have little to no experience fishing for northern pike, especially, those big bastards we have up in Canada, here is your warning – these fish have teeth like sharks. Okay, that might be a bit of a stretch, but not by much. They do have teeth like an alligator though and that’s why we frost-bitten Canadian boys call them “Gators.” In the picture, you see another fish – [Read More]

Don’t Be Afraid To Go BIG!

Dont Be Afraid To Go BIG

“Small fish often go after big baits!” I am always amazed at the size of the fish I catch with big baits… I’ll use big crankbaits and spoons if I’m trying to catch especially large fish like big northern pike, for example. Sure I catch big fish, but what really amazes me, is the smaller fish that go after these big plastic meals. If you’re not having a lot of luck catching fish with regular sized baits, try something different [Read More]

Almost a Guarantee

Almost a Guarantee

“Find fast water, find fish!” If you’re new to walleye fishing and not really sure where to find fish, there are many variables. In the warm summer months, I’d go to the main lake basin and scout some of the islands and rocky reefs out from shore. That’ll usually pay off for you. But, there is one thing that I can all but guarantee: If you’re fishing anywhere from mid-May until late June, go to the rivers where there is [Read More]

Something a Little Different

Something a Little Different

“Don’t worry about the veggie thing… you’ll still be rugged!” I guess it’s safe to say that the standard-issue shore lunch comes with fried fish (duh!), fried potatoes, canned beans or maybe even a can of corn. This is my favourite and it’s probably yours too, if you’ve had a shore lunch or two in your day. But, hey, try something a little different, especially if you’re guiding a group and you’re making a shore lunch five or six days [Read More]

Be Ready With That Camera!

Be Ready With That Camera

“Hold the fish properly and if it’s a big fish, support its back” Working as a fishing guide means you’ll be taking a lot of photos for your guests. Digital cameras are so handy… you can take a million pictures and if there are some you don’t like, get rid of them. Keep in mind that the pictures you take for your guests will be very important to them. Make sure the shot is a good one, meaning, you can [Read More]

Wading Staff

Wading Staff

I do a fair amount of walking through and across creeks and streams every year. And, I can recall a few times when I was young and crazy that I ended up going for a swim. Luckily, I’m still here to tell you about it. These days I always use a wading staff when I’m in the water, especially if it’s a cold, fast moving stream like we find during steelhead season. Sure, you can buy a fancy wading staff [Read More]

Easier Hook Removal

Easier Hook Removal

If you fish with a lot of artificial lures like I do, you’ll have a bunch of crankbaits, top-waters and spoons in your tackle box that have two or sometimes even three treble hooks on them. If you catch a fish and its mouth is closed tightly on all three hooks of one treble hook, you have a problem. And, so does the fish. In this scenario, the only way to get the treble hook out of the fish’s mouth [Read More]