Posts Tagged ‘Spey Lines

07
Oct
11

Fly Fishing: Prep & Common Sense

Lately my life, like many of yours, has been consistently diverse and problematic. I learned yesterday that a pesky upper back issue requires surgery, and soon. Persistent pain indicated something was not right.

Well geese! Surgery? I will miss out on fishing after surgery. I thought I better get in a little fishing while I could. Silvers, late Summer Steelhead and a few Chinook were pushing up the river. Out I went. I would don my waders and try the two hander. I hadn’t had any chance to use it since last Winter.

I was pretty much alone. Maybe a half dozen anglers, mostly gear guys, & a few ladies, lined the bank. Salmon were breaking the surface. Mischievous Jack's jumped into the air, no doubt avoiding an aggravated mature male. The clouds hung low and only the faintest sprinkles hit my lens.

When I put on my waders and packed away the needed tools and prepared the rod, I felt pretty relaxed. I walked to the river’s edge and felt energized and care free. I had very nice conversations with some fellow fly fishers and lit my briar. What an afternoon…yes, indeed.

The crossover, lifting the line up and back. Pivoting with the bottom hand (not the top...an impulse I may always fight given how infrequently I get out)

There was a hint above: my spey rod hand not been used since last Winter. The Skagit line and 15′ cheater were still on the reel. I gave no consideration to the balancing of the line to the water’s depth etc. I stood out there attempting to get the hang of it all and frankly I sucked. I did not have the proper line on…where was that Scandi…oh, back up at the truck. Too impatient to re-rig or study in advance and re-rig.

I could not get the proper movements down and soon felt this odd sensation in my upper back. Next lesson: passion for fishing…the obsessive drive once on or near the water is a force we praise and cherish. But, sometimes common sense suffers. What a bozo! I had just, this day, received word from the Ortho Surgeon about the need for surgery….he explained why. Definitive…no nonsense advice to ‘take it easy’.

Nope…hear I am on the river needing to wet a line because I could foresee it being a cold day in hell…or December before I fish again. And, by then I will be cold, further out of shape and struggling….yes better to get out there now!

Soon the pain intruded each time I lifted the rod to raise the line and recast. Eventually, I was making a sound like a tennis player who yells each time they hit the ball. I looked about to see if anyone was looking at me. I think they were if only for the crap casting.

I thought perhaps a fish would grab this pink little morsel, plus it was easier to cast. The larger pink Intruder pattern was just that much extra wind resistant calamity upon the water's surface. SwittersB

Eventually, I did the unthinkable. I decided to leave the water at the prime time for the salmon bite. My gut wrenched. My brain quaked. My damn spine was ready to explode. I considered getting the single hander rigged and slinging some egg pattern beneath a strike indicator. Hello!!!

All those considerations went by the wayside as I felt nausea and broke out into a cold sweat. I hiked up the embankment and made it back to my truck. It took all I had to break down the rod. I put it in back with out putting it into its case. I struggled to get into my truck. I didn’t take off the waders. I knew I couldn’t. It was a long drive home. Terrible pain. My guardian angel guided me to safety this evening.

So, as obvious as it appears: balance your gear to the waters at hand. Be prepared. And, recognize fishing’s OCD vs. Common Sense (Risk Avoidance) Dynamic. I am writing this today, slightly medicated….I hope it makes sense. 

 

08
May
11

Fly Fishing: Hemostat Triple Twist~Grab Tag & Pull

h/t to John Newbury from FB re this knot tying technique: The Hemostat Knot.  This might be particularly helpful when the finger tips are frozen, or for general use.


For the beginning fly tier, you would be well served to practice your tying techniques while tying a limited scope of patterns. The temptation is to tie every pattern in that book and more that come to mind. Tie this and tie that. If you were limited to just tying as a past time with no opportunity to fish your creations, then tie hither and yon, but otherwise I would stay toward basic nymphs, dries, emergers, streamers and flymphs/wets (or, the basic patterns for the species you chase….it could be a variety of streamers only for a predatory species). This way there is a practical benefit to your targeted tying.


Flymphs: this style of ‘wet’ fly is worth a study on your part and worth a lot of tying. Selection of hackle and style of body are the two key considerations. Sparse patterns for almost dry fly presentations have/had their place. But, buggier dubbing and softer hackling offer a great deal of animation and life. A flymph can fish from the bottom up to the top with the correct presentations: Leisenring Lift.


A couple presentation considerations: study spey (two hander) casts and research their applicability to a single hander. Jean Paul from Roughfisher mentioned this the other day and it true. Line handling with bigger flies or more staged presentations can be easier by moving line, dumping it and then rolling it out into a zone. Research this. Also, for the stream fishing angler chasing primarily trout there is a tendency toward only using a floating line and rarely a sink tip. I use five lines for stillwater but severely limit myself on rivers when chasing trout. (I carry multiple spey line heads). But, a readers comment about using sinking lines and manipulating the fly up through pools and rapids reminded me of watching an old timer fish streamers with a clear, intermediate line to fish streamers on a river (something I would normally only use on a lake). 

08
Mar
11

Fly Fishing: Tying for Chrome

Accomplished fly fisher, Larry Tamiyasu of Portland, Oregon, travels far and wide fly fishing for a variety of fish species. He is an accomplished tier and like most of us, anticipates success with his own creations.

Preparing by Larry Tamiyasu (SwittersB)

And, more often than not, he and his fishing partners are successful where ever they wet at line.

Successful Fly Pattern by Larry Tamiyasu (SwittersB)

Thanks Larry for sharing. He and his buds have already booked their digs for next October. Anticipation……………….

 

06
Feb
11

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’s..er 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)


09
Jan
11

Spey Fly Fishing: Managing Loops & Why’s

The why’s of my drawn out dalliance with a spey rod go back some 15 years. Years ago, I won a raffle prize, a guided trip on the Deschutes R. to fish for Steelhead. Oddly, there was not a single handed rod in the drift boat. All very long two handers. That was an awkward day. The guide scouted the bank from above for holding fish and left my son, Kelly, and I to flail away. This was the days of long line spey lines. No running line.

But, despite many awkward roll casts, I could still see the fly going out into a zone that only dangerous wading and exceptional casting would have afforded me. I felt the possibilities. Yet, I didn’t mess with it again, preferring the single handed rod for swinging or  nymphing. It worked just fine.

Years later, there was a bargain on a telephone pole length spey rod at a shop. It was suggested I should grab it and just have it in case I got immersed in the new wave of spey fishing. I did, a heavy 10 wt. with a Rio Windcutter set up and multiple heads. Again, I tried it and again out there by myself, it kind of worked but again, I ventured back toward the tried and true single hander…..but, this time in my life there was a difference. My shoulders were failing. My hips/lower back were riddled with arthritis and nerve damage. My casting stroke and wading were becoming more painful and tentative.

So, a few years back, I purchased a mid-level set up: Echo spey rod and Lamson reel. Not the top of the line set up my son, Tony, has. But, it is much more of a delight to manage than my old, lumbering spey rod from years ago. It is now much easier on my my body. No, I am not much better than before in casting. But, I have an incentive to reduce pain, wade safely, reach a reasonable distance. I have never felt compelled to cast long distances with a single hander, nor will I with a spey rod. I just want to be smooth and on target like I am with the single hander. I like the new challenges and it feels easier and I like the sense of rhythm. Now, that’s out of the way as to the why’s…. how about something re line management…management of the loops.

A Long Unattended Loop of Running Line

The  stripped in running line always drifts down stream in a long loop. The drag upon that loop is resistance that hinders the running line zipping up the guides with the casting stroke. So, how to manage that running line. I have tried  multiple coils pinched in the top hand and the bottom hand. It works ok. The torque of the casts sometimes causes the slippery running line to separate away from my grasp against the upper grip. I do need to better manage this if I want to reach reasonable distances. Here are a few suggestions on how to better manage running line loops.

Deneki Fly Fishing has a visual to study. I need to better understand the turning of the hand.        

Spey Pages has some ideas as well and references Deneki as well.

Salmon River Spey suggests the multiple loops gathered in descending sizes.

07
Jan
11

Fly Fishing: Primer for Skagits & Sink Tips

This is an extensive primer on adding sink tips to your Skagit line. I particularly liked the part about those past generations of tangled sink tips (with permanent ink markings as to density) in leader wallets (or some scuffed up zip lock bag) in a gear bag. Now I have to sort through all those sink tips in those two leader wallet my kid dumped into the gear bag long ago.

STEELHEAD BUM:

“Many folks have sink-tips from older generation Spey lines like Rio’s Windcutter or Airflo’s Delta Spey.  Usually, they’re completely tangled up in some old shooting head wallet.  They live in our gear bag but never get used.  Guides love it when you ask if you can use them, especially when you have no clue what they are or where they came from.” (Rusty Hook)




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