Posts Tagged ‘How To’s

16
May
16

Fly Fishing: Tippet (X Size to Pound Size)

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.

15
Jun
15

Beginning Fly tying tutorial…

by Tim Rolston at The Fishing Gene Blog.……is a nice introduction to fly tying. Tim provides a great deal of informative how to’s on not just fly tying, but fly fishing as well from his home base in South Africa. If you have been considering fly tying please take a look at Tim’s excellent site. If you already fly fish, but don’t tie your own flies, you must consider tying your own creations to fully enhance your fishing experience…nothing like catching fish with your own creations!

fly box-sunshine-SwittersB-fly tying

03
Mar
12

Making Fish Hooks: Old & Older

I don’t really know how fish hooks are made beyond some concoction of steel and carbon and creating a wire that is pulled through some confined hole etc. etc. I do know some individual hooks are more pleasing to the eye than others. 

This heavy wire nymph, pupa, scud, egg style hook has become quite popular in the past ten years or so. There are different variations that open up the gape, or have a lighter wire for emergers.

But, hooks have been around a very long time and history shows people survived off the fish meat while traversing land masses and the oceans.

The Making of Fish Hooks, 1870 in Victorian Passage

“Readers of the foregoing description can hardly fail to notice the extreme simplicity of most or all of the processes; and it seems strange that in such an age as ours there should be little improvement in the mode of production, as compared with the fireside practice of amateurs two hundred years ago.”  1870 more 

I could tie on this hook all day. Don't know why, I certainly have a few other favorites, but this one in aesthetically more pleasing to me.

There was a time when the Mustad 3906B was the perfect go to nymph hook. It still is a stout, perfectly shaped hook.

15
Aug
11

Outdoors Skills: Fire Starting (Cell Phone Battery)

Cell Phone Battery-Brillo Pad Fire Starter Technique

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: 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.

07
Jul
11

Fly Tying & Fishing: Hello Butterfingers!

With the finger dexterity of a guy that has had his fingers broken by debt collecting mobsters, I stood mid stream last week pulling out one of my fly boxes. Where were those wets I had tied. I selected a fly and then like a lightening bolt the most elementary, most obvious thought popped into my brain….’what if you, right now, dropped that open fly box into the water’  Eek! I thought. Not just at the loss but at how careless I had been. Hundreds of flies, untold hours of tying last Winter. In loose compartments. What the hell did I have all that work in one spot; such enormous redundancy too. Like how many green Caddis pupa’s do I need to have with me? 20? Really? For a few hours fishing. So obviously careless.

As a beginner, or someone that should know better, size up what you are going to need for an outting, an afternoon/evening of fishing let’s say. This does require the effort of studying up. Or going over prepared. But, even then. NEVER take all your flies out onto the water. Take an assortment, a selection of most probables with a few long shot patterns. One box of a few nymphs, emergers, duns, streamers etc. Replenish the box or two boxes prior to each outing and reduce the chances of a catastrophic loss should you dump the open box into the drink. Lordy me!

Also, pick fly boxes with this in mind: opening them while in the water; rod under arm; wind and rain; fingers frozen; mosquito drilling away…so that you can replace a fly you just removed from your tippet and select a new one. How hard is it to open/close (the ones above are not the easiest to open/close. Do the flies fit loosely in a small compartment like above? This is a problem because the fly you select is often attracted to 3 others in the little cube hence extra manipulations over the water. You get the point. Take a good selection of flies with you but not the whole frigging enchilada!

       




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