A fly fishing technical posting about terminology in leader/tippet sizes. I’m always willing to share most, some…a few of my foibles. Either I am anal retentive or suffering from some degree of ADD or a combination. I have never cared enough to memorize the chart that tells one what approximate pound test matches what X number for leader constuction. Maybe it started when I read the disclaimer that different manufacturers had different diameters hence the charts were approximations. Well, hell, why bother. Well, you have to bother because the industry seems to care about the traditional X numbers for some reason (I was one of the slow ones sitting in the back of the classroom). So, because apparently I need to know more than 8x is cobweb and x1 is for steelhead, I am including a few charts for a Spring refresher. I spend a lot of time in the 4-6# range…no, the 5x-3x range.
The simple bead headed patterns fished as nymphs, flymphs or emergers are simple to tie and to fish on streams and lakes. Whether you tie them or find them in the shop/store/on-line, give them a try.
I tied the below pattern with a slightly over sized bead for greater density in pocket water settings. I plan on dredging through likely holding water for Searun Cutts and ‘bows real soon. Pattern: Size 14 barbless hook, copper bead, peacock abdomen/thorax, Starling feather wing/hackle, black 8/0 thread.
This pattern would fit comfortably on a dime…to give you an idea of scale (for the non-fly fisher amongst you)
This coming year, I intend to Spruce things up more. To start, while searching the depths of streams, rivers and lakes, I intend to use the Spruce fly and other streamer/baitfish patterns more than I have. Of course, the Woolly Bugger complies with this intention to some degree, but even then I don’t use it as a baitfish imitation (in my mind’s eye).
This is not an advocacy piece. It seems many fly fishers often use streamer/baitfish patterns. I seem to have some how never fully committed to their use. I have tied sculpin patterns, Muddler Minnows, Spruce flies, Matuka’s and assorted concoctions of rabbit and such for Bass. But, they are always a side experiment.
I suppose if I was searching for Brown’s I would more often use such patterns. But I don’t come across Brown Trout that much. But, the biggest Trout I have ever caught (13#, Central Oregon lake, 1995) came to a Spruce Fly. I have made this commitment several times over the years, but somehow fail to follow through.
Don’t try to figure out the photo. I am not sure why my son staged the fly with an old silver bracelet. But, there’s the Spruce Fly he tied.
Small streams and their quiet, often abandoned secrets. Beautiful little fish that live in pockets and pools. Canopies of trees, rocky shores, tree roots and grassy banks. Colored pebbles and reflections of nature. Little hiding places, intimate escapes, places to contemplate and discover.
Montana Fly Fishing Magazine is a newly released e-zine that features FF Valhalla area guides and authors that will pull out the ‘usual’ visuals and words that inspire and motivate. Liked the Winter fishing scenes too.
I particularly enjoyed the photography of Ryan Brewer, the guy holding the beautiful Brown on the front cover. Check it out…
He might be making a move on April Vokey’s image status from the testosterone side of the grip and grin equation. Nice first outing…
Several times a year, I find myself up logging roads toward upper drainages/tributaries of big rivers. I string up the 9′ to 9’6″ rod and set forth weaving my way, this way and that way, through the trees toward the waters edge. Once on the water, I scout the canopy and other over hanging growth to not only avoid hanging up the fly + tippet, but also to avoid smacking the rod tip.
The confines of a small stream quickly reveal the tangled web we weave when at first we use too big a stick on a small stream. Recently, I was privileged to review some DVD’s by Ed Herbst and in those DVD’s I noticed he was wielding short rods on narrow streams. He moved with ease, in stealth mode, and waved the little wand to delicately present his flies.
Now, this initially contradicts my impulse toward bigger waters, longer rods and more power. I have those rods and love them. But, those small streams are another enviro that beg the small stick. So, I invested in a couple Loomis rods, both 3 weights and shorter (7′ and 8′). For the last few years, I have used a 3 wt. (9′ St. Croix Legend) more and have handled some substantial trout on the 3 wt. These shorter rods have a softer, medium action and will most probably meet few fish beyond 14″….more like 6″ to 10″. If I do connect to a larger fish, it will be an epic story.
These are not rods for big rivers and big fish, which to my thinking would be potentially irresponsible if I am seeking a humane catch and release. These are sticks for little streams, the intimate confines and small flies. I am excited to use these on those private little escapes. Some of my best life time memories while fly fishing were on small streams.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be
satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”