Posts Tagged ‘Presentation


Stillwater Presentations: ‘Keep your tip down’

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.


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.


Beginning Fly Casting: Take a Lesson

Casting with Cushion Under Arm

“Some teach no movement in the wrist, or no movement in the elbow or no movement in the shoulder. Some teach the old method of holding a book pinned between the elbow and the body so as not to drop the book. Some use an analogy of pulling a light chain down to turn on a light. There are all types of devises and theories that were created in the past in an attempt to restrict the movement of those three joints in one way or another.

In establishing the certification program the Federation of Fly Fishers is attempting to standardize and improve casting instruction across the country. During this process a study in fly casting is emerging that is gradually clarifying the most important basics and how they can best be taught. This process is ongoing.

One fact that is becoming increasing clear is that each of us have unique body mechanics which must be taken into account.”  Floyd Dean…FFF Master Fly Casting

Fly Fish Louisiana

For the better part of my fly fishing life, I taught myself. No, that isn’t really true. I didn’t really teach myself. I adjusted. I tried to present a fly to a target and attempted to adjust the stroke to get it, the fly, there. I had no idea how my casting stroke looked. I tried to make sure I didn’t catch grass or trees behind me and out front, I wanted to land the fly ahead of the fish and entice a take. That was it.

Years later, at a shop, I stood looking at a rod in the shop. I did the usual tip shake. I looked at the handle and judged how it felt in my hand. I looked at the color…nice. All you really need to fork out a tidy sum? Not really. The shop owner said let’s string it up and have you cast it out in the parking lot. Well, I resisted as it was akin to taking a car for a test drive. Pressure to buy…just looking…thank you.

Well, there I stood in the parking lot with rod in hand and I proceeded to cast. My the rod loaded so sweet and I snapped that piece of yarn out there easily. Then it started…the casting critique. Hmmm? I was defensive at first. I didn’t need any stinking critique, thank you.

Fly Fish Louisiana

But, the shop owner, an accomplished guide, could immediately see my faults (tailing loop) and started the process of teaching me drift and a softer forward stroke…. It was my first impromptu lesson. Since then, I have had others, especially with a two hander. I don’t mind now. But, my bad habits are pretty well established. I study more on line now. But, wouldn’t it have been nice, way back, to have had lessons?

So, I advise you to take classes. Several. Be patient as each instructor pushes you, and your stroke, this way and that and learn the basics, the basics that always apply regardless of your (or the instructor’s) personal quirks. Take a lesson..take more than one.

Also, when you take on the effort to teach others, make sure you know what you are teaching. Your prior lesson(s) will help you impart the correct advice. Encourage the newbie to attend fly casting instruction events (FFF sponsored usually) and/or visit their local shop.


Fly Tying & Fishing Instruction

I was stuck in beautiful Eugene, Oregon and ended up in a Borders book store. There were, surprisingly, a scant dozen or so books of fishing. Surprising because Eugene sets amongst several excellent fishing venues within minutes of town.

I came upon a nice book by John Barr entitled Barr Flies. It is a glossy, large sized book with great visuals and a bit spendy. I liked the S-B-S tutorials on several nymph patterns and  I bought the book. I couldn’t fish, so I perused the Barr book and planned my tying to incorporate some of Barr’s patterns.

Another excellent book is Rick Hafele’s Nymph Fishing Rivers & Streams. Hafele provides a gazillion interesting facts about insects that trout eat and how to fish them.


Fly Fishing: Sticky Mud = Tippet Weight

Explained at Field & Stream “Stuff That Works” by Deeter


Bone Yard Fly Gear Decals

In interesting assortment of edgy decals for the FFer wishing to make a not so subtle statement…… other stuff too……



Spey Casting: Followup Homework

I spent the better part of the day on the Sandy River fishing for steelhead. No pulls, but I had a good day. I found a very nice drift. I fished reasonably well and had the luxury of no one pushing me downstream. I got to practice, visualize (remember the post re Mike Kinney and his excellent word pictures?) and correct. At the end of the day, maybe two thirds of the casts really laid out nicely, but my attitude was such that there was no pressure, just a relaxed time on the water with beautiful conditions.

Snap T, or was it a Snap C?

But, I decided to do some followup studying when I got home and try to figure out why my Snap T’s or Z’ C’s petered out and caused my fly to unerringly wrap around the end of my rod. I need visuals. I came across a site by Alastair Gowans @ LetsFlyFish. It has some nice basic visuals re some of the Skagit casts as well as other types of fly fishing casts. I also need to pull out Ed Wards Skagit Master DVD and review while today’s fishing is fresh on the mind. I am building the imprint. Got home for last half of the Super Bowl and then it started pouring outside. The day was perfect. (Ok, upon further review, I am not bringing my rod back down river after the snap, but rather stopping as shown in pic, which leaves it open to tangles)


Stillwater Fly Fishing: Slip Bobbers and Flies

Slip Bobbers: I have written a couple of times about this technique, I first saw on a BC TV production with Brian Chan. If you query slip bobber in the search box you can find those additional posts. Today, I wanted to point to a nice piece by ‘Doc’ Monteith at Fly Fishing Central that has some specific visuals of not only the slip bobber rig but of the fly set up as well.

One thing I have adopted long ago for working the horizontal presentation was the non-slip loop knot. But, Monteith advocates it for vertical presentations as well. I find the larger loop and hooking capabilities interesting. I would hesitate to impart too much available movement in a vertical presentation, yet Monteith says it has improved his hookups. Worth a try for sure....

“Whether using one fly or a multi-fly rig, presenting your flies is important and the knots you choose to use can impact your success. For years I tied my chironomids using an improved clinch knot to the eye of the fly, then a couple years ago I started using a non-slip loop knot. This change in presentation has increased my catch rates substantially and I now only use the clinch knot in specific situations. The non-slip loop knot is not only strong but because it doesn’t synch up to the eye of the fly, it leaves the fly moving freely and more naturally in the water. I’ve found the size of the loop does not appear to affect catch rates…..”   (more to read)


Fly Fishing: Rip Presentation..What Is This?

I was perusing Bish & Fish and saw a reference to ‘rip’ fly fishing in his article about what time of day to fish for trout. I thought maybe I knew what it was, but decided to research it. Well, everyone appears to know what this means except me. Little if any explanation on the net. But, that name is still catchy for many: Rip Tide Charters, Riptide Tackle, Riptide Anglers, Rip Tide Fly Rods, Rip Tide Reels, Riptide Magazine…..what the hell is a rip tide or rip as it relates to fly fishing. I picture a strong outgoing tide with an undertow, one you don’t venture into at the coast. But, beyond that….hmm? So, I queried the original source for all this..Bish & Fish. I queried his search box and came up with some leads.

In this instance, I think it is when an inlet stream or river enters a lake, as opposed to a river meeting the ocean? I assume a ‘rip’ is a ‘riptide’? No? Well, I still don’t really know. Presentation, structure, contour, holding water, feed. All about that, but something new to learn for sure. Interesting.

“Rips occur wherever current flows over an area where the depth changes rapidly. For example, rips can be created by shoals, ledges, reefs, rock piles and even wrecks. Basically anything that disrupts the contour of the surrounding bottom can lead to rip formation. On the surface, a rip is identified by a distinct line of choppy water known as a rip line. The force of all the water flowing over the reef or shoal pushes against the surface creating the line of chop.”  New Britain Herald

“These rips are formed by current flowing over a raised section of rocky bottom, also called a reef by some fishermen. Careful boat-handling is often required around reefs and ledges, since many are studded with enormous, boat-eating boulders. As with a shoal rip, the shallower water of the ledge or reef creates a stronger current and a choppy rip line. Sometimes a big ledge will contain several rip lines formed by rocky sections that rise up higher than the surrounding ledge structure. It’s these “high spots” that often offer the best fishing.”  Reel-Time

“Most fishermen who fish river and stream mouths make a beeline for the centre of the rip, cast out and retrieve up the rip. Many catch fish using this method, but it is my observation that the fishermen who catch the most, and biggest fish, do not fish in the main rip where the river enters the lake….In the diagram hereabouts I have attempted to illustrate the dynamics of a typical rip. The diagram is not to scale, but designed to show how most rips develop, and the prime positions to fish.”  Oh, back to the original source…Bish & Fish...why did I wander off?

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