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.
I pointed to this new book a few weeks back. I obtained a copy and it is an excellent book. Beyond the basics, the book pays attention to the mental planning and presentation for the Stillwater Fly Fisher. I highly recommend the book and of course it has inspired me to start my planning for the months ahead until I can launch the vessel and enjoy the chase. Effective Stillwater Fly Fishing
I recently had a friend remark about reading my blog, but not understanding a portion. I enquired about the confusion. It was a very simple concept. I had not elaborated with more specificity because I just assumed it was so obvious. But, that was a mistake on my part. The basics of fly fishing, like riding a bike, seem so simple, so natural that we (I) forget the beginner’s learning process…from the very beginning. This blog has always been steered toward two things: info for the beginner and visual/mental stimulation for the active fisher that wants, needs, craves to be out there, but because of real life, just can’t make it out there anytime soon.
Many people are out and about this time of year fishing, camping, picnicking, celebrating their family and friends. I notice my blog numbers drastically drop each weekend and surge back up on weekdays. You are out enjoying life or perhaps like me out taking care of real life obligations and duties that prohibit outdoor/recreational visits.
So, periodically I will share links that provide a refresher of basics about how to tie flies or rig up for fly fishing presentations. So, here are a few simple pieces about rigging/fishing small nymphs that will act as a how to helper for beginners: (an Orvis piece) (a Hubpages piece).
There are obvious practical reasons to learn to cast with your off hand. A few years back, because of injuries and degeneration, I had to have my right wrist fully fused. A titanium bar was inserted from the back of my middle finger/upper knuckle, up my forearm and screwed in along with the wrist bone being replaced with hip bone and then fused. May I just say that it is a very painful surgery/recovery if you consider it. That said, years later, my right hand is slowly suffering loss of sensations and swelling/pain in the knuckles.
A full day of casting (maybe catching) eventually makes the right hand give out. I have learned to ease this gradual decline by casting with my left hand/arm. I have never progressed beyond a single haul, but I can get the line out via roll casts and normal casts. The right hand is able to do the normal line retrieval. Because my reel is still set up for left hand cranking, if I do hook a fish I still have to revert to bringing the fish in with the normal right hand holding the rod while the left hand cranks the reel or strips. But, that occasional casting with the left hand helps. It also helps when the lay of the land necessitates a different casting presentation.
Also, there are theories that doing endeavors with your off hand, arm, foot etc. actually may improve your performance afterwards with your dominant side. I recall my son’s venture into throwing the javelin. He had smaller practice javelins/darts and he was encouraged to also practice throwing with his off hand and practice his footwork to support that off hand approach-throw. It seemed to work…for whatever reasons. The same seems to work by casting with your off hand.
Not only do you expand your tactical possibilities, but you may well improve your strong side casting abilities. Worth a try.
Two Styles of Intermediate Clear lines. The Cortland Camo is my recommendation. ‘Clear’ lines have come a long ways in the last 15 years.
Rather than reinventing the wheel, I am pointing the way to apiece by Denny Rickards. It is actually his site promoting the sale of various fly lines. In the promotion of the varied lines is a lot of good information that will benefit the stillwater fly fisher that has not quite sorted out the presentation part yet and still only carries a floating line. You would be well served to primarily use a ‘clear’ Intermediate as your primary line and from there consider the floater and perhaps a faster sinking line (less used). I do not promote any sales on this blog. I just believe Rickards does present excellent information about presentation, which is often as important or more important than fly selection. Rickards also had several informative books out on the market that worth a read if you are learning the basics of stillwater fly fishing.
If I had a buck for every time I’ve cautioned…. Well maybe not that many times, but it is important to your stillwater presentation to keep the tip of your rod down toward the surface. Less slack is imparted to the fly line (above, there is a fair amount of slack to take up in a strip set or by swing the rod to the side to set the hook) if the tip is down to, or even in the surface (Intermediate /Sinking lines).
If you cannot pick out your fly in the distance, then focus on where the line enters the water and watch for the line’s bow or sag to tighten or jerk away. On smoother waters you can see ripples or pulses jolt out from the sides of the fly line indicating a take. All this is easier to maintain if you just ‘keep your tip down!’ Geeze that lake looks inviting about now.
New Moon & Full Moon...Is it important to your fishing?
I have enjoyed some magical fishing by moonlight. Actually, by the last light of the day and as darkness fell my son and I worked our way back to our put in point. The fishing was phenomenal while the moon light bathed the lake’s calm surface. Well not totally calm because the Kamloops trout (oops) were working hard. Was that memorable moment because of the moon? I have always linked the two but really only guessed.
For many of us that is enough to plan our next outings around a full moon. We even spread the word and perhaps others think…’hey why not….maybe…’. So I offer up a piece that is perhaps right up the alley of the frequent angler looking for an edge. It may be too complicated for some or add veracity to already held beliefs. LUNAR PHASES & ANGLING
Being more of a once in a Blue Moon Angler of late, I will tuck this info away by narrowing it down to the key points and see if my outings verify it in the years to come. I don't fish enough to keep a log. But, lunar and barometer considerations are worth charting or at least noting. SwittersB
“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.”