Posts Tagged ‘Fly Fishing Tools

20
Dec
11

Caddis Fly Shop: Christmas (Happy New Year List)

Only a few days left to buy that special someone, something for the holidays. Chris at the Caddis Fly Shop (Eugene, Oregon) has some economical gift suggestions.  Remember that walking into a fly shop can be a bit daunting, so a few helpful suggestions, on a list, helps the shopper. Otherwise, you may receive that gift that wears thin by….no! tell me you didn’t! 

26
Oct
11

The Fish Hook: Ranking In History

The staple of our sport…the hook. Quickly we cover it up with all manner of adornments. Well, a group, via Forbes, has poured through various inventions and tools of mankind and come up with their version of a ranking of the worth of tools. Read more here….

17
Oct
11

Fly Fishing: Albright Knot Use

THE ALBRIGHT KNOT ANIMATED  

The Albright Knot is versatile knot, that fly fishers can use to attach the reel’s backing to the fly line. It can be used to join two sections of mono that vary more  than usual in diameter. I have seen it used to join the tip of the fly line to the butt section of a leader instead of the usual nail knot (this was for salmon/steelhead W/F lines…keep it small and tag ends trimmed nicely). A slightly different Albright Knot version…

28
Aug
11

Fly Fishing: Know Your Valves

If you go buy a float tube or pontoon boat, be certain you buy a pump that matches the valve on your particular vessel. The are two common types of valves. The pump you may already own, may need an adaptor to fit the valve type of your new tube/’toon.

I have owned a K-Pump for several years and love the product. I always used it for the Buck’s Bags South Fork pontoon boat (Halkey Roberts Valve) I have owned, it seems forever. Recently, I picked up a Cumberland float tube, for an addition to my tube fleet. I was in the outdoors and went to inflate the tube and low and behold, the K-Pump did not fit the tube (Boston Valve). I rigged something up, because I had a hodge podge of adaptors and duct tape, and was able to inflate the tube, but it was a chore. When I got home, I reached the K-Pump staff and they explained they did in deed have an adaptor for my K-Pump so that I could easily inflate Halkey Roberts or Boston Valves. Great company!!! Do a little checking before your purchase/and or assume your K-Pump (or any pump) automatically  fits all valves.

Now a leaking valve is an entirely different subject all together.

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.

28
Jul
11

Fly Tying: Tippet Spool Tenders (Hair Ties)

Hair Ties Used for Tippet Tenders (SwittersB)

If you have ladies in your life with longer hair, you no doubt come across these little gems everywhere. On the floor, in beds, counter tops…they seem to be everywhere except in their hair. Well, as they inadvertently discard them, you should gather them and use them to wrap around tippet spools as the original rubber bands break. They work nicely on the Maxima size spools and even the smaller, more prevalent tippet spools.

26
Jul
11

Fly Tying & Fishing: Open Eye Hooks

The Gateway Hook Company unveiled their product about a year ago. I haven’t yet come across this open eyed hook in the shops I frequent. The concept is evident: no threading the eye of a hook, particularly a small hook. You or someone ties the flies on a Gateway No Tie Hook. A loop is constructed on the end of your tippet and cinched down around the open eyed hook. A blocking nub is at the end of the hook’s open wire eye to prevent the loop from sliding off. I will leave to your imagination/assessment as to what is saved or avoided with the product.  Gateway No Tie Hook Loop Knot Tutorials

07
Jul
11

Fly Fishing: Gravel Guards (Simple Protection)

Putting on gravel guard. SwittersB

The elastic gravel guard (in this case Simms) is an inexpensive investment in protecting your stocking foot waders. The guard fits tight over the top of the wading boot and keeps a lot of gravel and grit out of the boot to cut abrasion against the neoprene stocking feet. You adjust the tension. One end has a velcro strip which provides strong closure. I have used these for years and find them a great investment. Although they are not really necessary, I use them when fly fishing lakes as well. Some stocking foot waders have a built in gravel guard that does an adequate job of filtering out gravel. 

Gravel guard in wrapped and the velcro grip provides a nice seal. SwittersB

 

06
Jun
11

Reel Problems: Clink and Grind..Eek!

Taking a Break at River's Edge (SwittersB~PP)

More often than not, you are fly fishing and suffer a tangle of your rigging. The tangle has to be re-rigged and the problem is at the tip of the rod or leader. The angler sets the rod down reel first and often onto a hard surface (rocks). Aside from the cosmetic damage of abrasion to the reel, there is a bigger problem that can cause serious damage to your reel: the reel hits the surface with enough force (it does not take much force) to bend the outer rim of the reel’s spool and crimp that inner slot that fits against an inserted flange that helps stabilize the spool to the reel housing. What results is either a reel that will not turn or turns with an intermittent grinding.

This is a very hard ding to fix and most people don’t have the machinist capabilities to return the reel to normal. Given the price of reels and spare spools, you might want to pause and look where you are about to set that reel down. You will hopefully avoid the grit, abrasion and dings that cause serious damage to your reel.

Reel apart exposing spools inner rim and reel housing (Loudog Pic~My Text added) SwittersB

 

19
May
11

Fly Fishing & Stomach Pumps

Stomach Pump

Personally, I think stomach pumps should be the last thing any self respecting fly shop or on line fly fishing resource should offer to the fly fisher. Oh, the sampling can be most enlightening, but more often than not (no I don’t have any statistical data) I would imagine the device is misused and causes harm to the fish.

Stomach Pump Sampling (Brian Chan)

I mean just look at that stillwater sampling of mega chironomids, damsel fly and mayfly nymphs. How much easier now to tie on the correct size and color of an imitation. But, seriously, you want it that easy? While potentially doing harm to the fish? I will say this is one thing (the only thing probably) in which, I think Brian Chan errors. A fishery biologist, such as he, knows how to use a simple, crude device as a stomach pump and has a theoretical need to study food samples from fish and the health of a lake or river. The rest of us can study up and forgo the pump. I don’t believe I have seen a presentation by Mr. Chan in which the pump is not presented and demonstrated at least on lakes. He takes great care to use cradles to land fish and is obviously respectful of the fish. Others, I am not so sure of.   

Is there available written data on the hatches/aquatic life of the body of water you intend to fish? What patterns imitate those food sources? Where are they likely living, emerging, drifting, etc. in that lake or river? At what time of day do they provide the best food source for the fish? What months are they best available? What do other fly fishers tell you? What techniques are you seeing successfully used and where on the body of water?  

When you get to this body of water, what do you see? Are there visible hatches? Are birds feeding above the water? How are the rise forms of the fish (sub surface slashes, porpoising, sips, engulfing wallops, airborne projectiles)? What do you see on the water’s surface, nearby vegetation, on the rocks? What is possibly protruding from the fish’s mouth you are about to release.

Stomach pumps may provide that extra reassurance of what to use, but given the probable harm you will cause (if catching and releasing), forgo the pump and use your brain and power of observation more often. Unless you are Brian Chan and/or a fishery’s biologist?





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