Archive for August 7th, 2011

07
Aug
11

Fly Fishing: Streamer Presentations

Streamer Presentation Techniques

The reality on many streams and lakes is that ‘baitfish’ imitations account for many large fish. Probably, in many instances, streamers account for more trophy fish than the traditional fly  patterns. That said, many anglers don’t have a streamer pattern in their boxes or forget where they are. So, a good over view of how to fish a streamer, particularly on a river is in order. There is more to it than the wet fly swing/strip it back presentation. I have an assortment of Muddler’s, Spruce Flies and, of course, Woolly Buggers in my streamer box. Do I fish them enough…nope.

07
Aug
11

Fly Fishing: Nostalgia Can be A Bummer

“Starting this summer, bull trout of different life stages will be reintroduced into historic bull trout habitat in the upper Clackamas River above the confluence with the Collawash River, within the Mt. Hood National Forest. Donor stock comes from a healthy bull trout population in the Metolius River. The project is expected to include additional fish transfers annually for at least seven and possibly up to 15 years. The goal is to reestablish a self-sustaining population of 300-500 spawning adult bull trout within 20 years.”

Metolius R. Bull Trout to Travel to Upper Clackamas River

One of the laments of fly fishers, or fishers in general, is the decline of a fish population or body of water. On a global scale we talk the theoretical, impersonal when it comes to declining fish population in the oceans. But, when it is a piece of water we have a history with it becomes personal. When the decline comes, when it is realized, the memories become nostalgic to the point of bittersweet. There is nothing there to renew the memory, to reconnect to the past. This happens in much of life, of course, but fly fishing was and is my escape from life and when it is altered things can get askew. There are enough reckonings in life.

In 1960, Lenny and I were driven up the Clackamas River by his dad in an old DeSoto. When we reached the North Fork Reservoir the pavement ended and a narrow dirt road commenced, winding upward into the wilderness. Lenny’s dad took us to a place far beyond where the pavement ended. Lenny and I caught many large (to us) trout that day and yes we killed them all. I have been drawn to the upper reaches of this drainage ever sense…in particular the Collawash River and the Bull of the Woods Wilderness area. In the years that have passed, the fishing has progressively diminished.

Typical Little Aggressor

I long ago stopped killing fish. I see few other fishers. Wild trout seem almost non-existent. The hatches seem adequate or at least equal to other watersheds that support trout. Yet, in these wild, upper reaches the reality has changed. There are few fish. What a shame. Perhaps the Bull Trout project will brighten someone else’s future. If they allow fishing. Many waters are closed to trout fishing to protect the Bull Trout that remain. Great. So, the reality is more people focus on put and take stretches of rivers or lakes and/or the truly remarkable waters draw ever more attention.  

Clackamas-Collawash R.

Clackamas R. Bull Trout tagging 2011 Poster, old Ripplebrook R.S. (SwittersB)

07
Aug
11

Fly Fishing: Wicked Knots & Leaders

”Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”

Fly Line-Butt Section Connection (Kind of....)

When you buy a fly line and have it put on the reel, at the shop, insist on the shop employee attaching a butt section of 18″ not 6″.  Not with a loop, without! Learn the Surgeon’s Knot or Blood Knot and attach your nice, new tapered leader to the butt section via one of those two knots. From there repair your own leader by replacing lost sections with sections of progressively smaller mono. Carry these small spools of mono, in various sizes to repair the last half of your leader (depending upon the type of fish you are chasing) I usually have larger diameter spools of mono back at the rig should disaster strike and I have to rebuild the leader from scratch. Do not keep buying new leaders every time you break off 3′ of tippet/leader. This is your choice, your money, but over the long haul you save some money and develop the knot tying skills to avoid the disaster above.

There are previous posts here on SwittersB re leader construction and formulas. The ‘net has lots of information re formulas of so much (a % usually) of this X and then that amount of a different, smaller X. Study up on leader construction. May I admit to never having adopted the X concept? I have a basic memorization of X = # line size. I was a gear guy as well as a fly fisher for years. Leaders were built with so many inches of 10#, 8#, 6#, 4# mono. The fly fishing industry feels compelled to continue with the X diameter system and for you to memorize certain X diameters are equal to certain fly sizes etc. Whatever. If you chase trout, or whatever you pursue, have a good idea of the approximate pound strength of your mono related to the X factor. From there your finger tips will sense the approximate thickness (X or #) you have broken off at, on the leader, (my fingers feel the line is about 6# or 4X) and I am going to rebuild the leader/tippet with a section of 4# or 5X to maintain a taper and proper turnover. If my fly is of the miniscule variety then I will factor in a section of 6X as well, and so on. You should have the 3-4 spools you need with you on the water. If you travel ultra light, you may only carry a couple of spools.

Everything About Leaders at GFF…Excellent Resource

Nail Knot, Nipper, Hook Eye Poker

The above knot does not lend itself to proper, quiet presentations. It gets hung up on the guides as you pull your line through to string the rod. Hell, it looks terrible! I infrequently tie this knot myself, so I am by no means as adept as the kids that spool an re-spool lines all day and tie on new butt sections in a shop. There is a handy tool, I have had for years, and use four or so times a year (usually for some one else’s mess) is the ‘nail knot’ tyer device. Sometimes this comes with a nipper and a stylus to poke through hook eyes that have been glued shut. A handy little gizmo, it is well worth the initial expense. Of course, if you want to use a nail/needle then have at it. ‘Tie Fast Nail Knot’ is an excellent little tool as well and used by shops all the time.      Tie Fast Knot Tyer by DPruitt

'Tie Fast' gizmo

It you are going to deceive the fish, then no tangled webs…learn your knots and use them! These gizmo’s will help….if you practice.




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