Posts Tagged ‘Power Bait


Every Day in May Bloggers Challenge: Hatching is More Than Matching


Well, I guess the obvious must be written about ‘hatching’ and how it relates to fly fishing and fly tying. I imagine you understand the other possibilities…one of which I had never read about (hatching while drawing) and also in writing…

“Betsy said all this, and, at the same time, from her good-humored, shrewd glance, Anna felt that she partly guessed her plight, and was hatching something for her benefit”. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy 

Did you know that closely spaced lines in drawing are used to create shape, depth and texture…it’s called Hatching.

No, hatching in my world is not about hen’s eggs, hatching plots and plans or certainly about drawings. It is confined to fly fishing. “What’s hatching?” or “what’s coming off” (the water’s surface) or simply “what are they eating?” is all about solving the momentary or future, on the water, puzzle in order to fool a fish with a fly. It is part of a greater puzzle that gives enjoyment to the endeavor. 

It’s why fly fishing is one of the more, dare I say it, intellectual efforts in fishing. Let’s see Earl “will I have to think harder if I have to choose my favorite color of Power Bait…or whether to use Red Wigglers or ‘crawlers’ or whether that is Blue Winged Olive, PMD or PED”.

Personally, I have always been partial to Rainbow.

No offense intended boys. Just sit right back down in that folding chair and sip your Pabst Blue Ribbon. Remember my previous post? I have fished all manner of ways….so, I can ruminate about such questions.

Learning a little about entomology’s cycles of life in a stream or lake and what comes of it to feed the fish is enjoyable. It adds some structure to solving the puzzle. You think, you observe, you plan (this can be reading, tying your own flies or selecting the flies at a shop or ordering them online…I strongly recommend taking classes and tying your own).

Truly fly tying is the icing on the cake. You learn to tie flies to mimic the food sources that fish eat. What could be better? Artistic meets Creative meets Thinker. The created fly is presented to the fish to ‘match’ the hatching (whew…I finally got back to the word!) insects that are coming to life and energizing those secretive, hiding fish.

Whether the hatch is a ‘blizzard’ hatch (in your mouth, in your ears, up your nose, inside your sunglasses type) or the infrequent, short lived 15 minute blurb you better be watching for and ready for…you have to study, plan, observe and react to it. At least you should if you want to derive the most enjoyment from fly fishing.

Tomorrow’s Every Day in May Topic is: Grinning & Laughing


Fly Fishing: Loop to Loop or Knots?

Much of your beginning time in fly fishing will be looking for ‘the best way’ to do some aspect of the sport. You will study and also, hopefully, meet other fly fishers in clubs, shops and on the water that share their ideas of ‘the best way’ to do something. As you will come to see, there are pro’s and con’s of those best ways. Little, if anything, is the best way. In the end, you will experiment, probably waste money and be a bit confused until you arrive at your best way. It can take a season or years depending upon how often you fish.

 One of those ‘best ways’ thing is how you connect the leader’s butt section to your fly line. For a good many years I used those braided, nylon loop attachments that fit over the tip of the fly line. From there the loop end of a leader’s butt section was connected loop to loop. I probably fished that way 20+ years and it worked fine for most of my river fishing. As I fished more and more on lakes, that connection method fell into disfavor for me. The loop rarely came off the end of the fly line in a straight lie; it curved. Consequently, the leader had this odd bend/curve to it.

Probably of no import, it bugged me and I changed to nail knotting a ‘permanent’ butt section of 35# mono, say about 24 inches (some shops will nail knot on an 8″ piece of butt section..that is not near enough). I then do not use a loop at the end of that butt section. I take the butt/thicker end of the leader (tapered or built) and use either a surgeon’s knot or blood knot to connect the two sections (no loops).

As I said, I nail knot a heavy piece of mono directly to the fly line. Some shops will make this piece about 4-8" long and with a loop. If you go loop to loop fine. I don't so my butt section is 18-24' long and I blood knot/surgeon's knot the butt of my leader to the heavy mono coming off my fly line. Just so you know your options in building a tapered, strong leader to present your fly. A little dab of a UV Wader Repair gel over the knot is a nice touch too...not too much though.

So, you have a couple options to try out: Loop to loop connections or nail knot/surgeon/blood knots. My suggestions: if you build leaders and repair purchased tapered leaders then learn your knots (you should know the basic knots to connect tippet to leader any way regardless of how you connect things farther up at the fly line/butt section) and use the nail knot (butt section to fly line). If you are the type that likes to throw down money on tapered leaders and do little to build leaders or repair leaders then go with the loop to loop. Undo the loops and throw on your knewly purchased tapered leader (I am not again using the occasional purchased tapered leader).

Just an example of ‘the best way to do something’ options that have differing tastes, opinions, perhaps results. This covers hundreds of decisions you will encounter. You could get your lawn chair, sit on your keister and decide what color of Power Bait’s working best this afternoon.

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