Sunday, May 22, 2016

What flies do I need

It's hard for a new fisher to get started with what flies they should acquire and fish.  It may be helpful to remember a few simple rules -

1. For the most part, fish aren't all that smart.

2. Fish take flies for at least two reasons -
    a. It looks good to eat
    b. It acts good to eat

Alot of folks focus on 2a.  They tend to carry alot of different fly patterns,  If one fly doesn't work, try another.

Some folks focus on 2b.  They carry very few patterns.  The patterns they carry are very generic, the flies look like alot of things.  They believe it's not so much the pattern you are fishing, it's how you fish it. If one presentation doesn't work, they try another (dead drift, skate, twitch, swing, dapple, float it, sink it etc)

Both schools of though work (primarily because of rule #1)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Monday, March 21, 2016

Fly Selection- as explained though a bag of Doritos

Very good article -


 You’re hungry and thinking some chinese food sounds pretty good.  While waiting on the chinese food to get delivered, someone shows up at your house with a bag of Doritos, opens them up and sets them on the table in front of you. Are you going to eat a few?

Yep!   Fish can't pass up the chance to snack on a few chips either.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Keep it simple

I was recently corresponding with a friend who told me that he thinks he is over thinking fishing with a fixed length line system. 

I told him the best advice I can give you --

Forget about power stroke, flex rating, grain weights, etc, etc, etc..... 
Think -  A stick, a string, a fly.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Which line?

Your loving spouse just gave you a nice, brand new tenkara rod for the holidays.  The first question you are probably asking yourself – What kind of main line do I need to start fishing?

The good news/bad news is tenkara rods tend to be pretty versatile in being able to cast and fish a wide variety of line types and sizes. Ask 25 anglers what their favorite line is, and you'll end up with 30 different options.  It’s not surprising when you think about it; you are using a relatively long rod to cast a relatively short line. 

First fork in the road - furled or single strand line (there are also some hybrids).  From a simplistic perspective; if you tend to mostly fish dead drift, single strand is probably the way to go. If provides a much smaller cross section, hence less drag. Less drag, better dead drift.  The converse, if you prefer a more active presentation (skate, swing, skitter, twitch, etc) a furled line is probably a better option.  With a larger cross section, it is easier to use things like the current and the wind to manipulate your fly.

If you decide to go single strand, you are much better off fishing fluorocarbon, rather than monofilament. Fluoro tends to be both denser and stiffer for a given diameter, so it tends to cast better than mono.

I will say a good furled line pretty much casts itself; they are very pleasant to fish.

When it comes to talking about the string stuff, a key point is to make sure you consciously make the tippet the weakest link in the chain. It's a must when fishing a fixed length line set up in order to prevent damage to the rod.  Fishing a light tippet may cost you a big fish or two, unfortunately that’s one of the few downsides to fishing a fixed length line set up.

The best advice I can give you, pick an option and fish it for a bit.   You'll soon find out what you like (or don't like) and you'll be able to zero in on the right solution for the way you like to fish.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

KISS, I guess

Someone recently posted the following request in a fly fishing forum   --

I only spin fish right now but I want to try to get into the art of fly fishing but have no idea where to start.   What I'm looking for is suggestions on a rod and reel and advice on flies. As stated, I have never fly fished before. All the help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Here is an excerpt from one of the replies –

A 9' 5wt will be a bit more of an all around rod. You will be able to handle some larger fish and also be able to throw streamers. As a spin fisherman, streamers will come naturally. High sticking a fast seam with nymphs will be easier with the 9' rod, as will fishing an indicator if that is your thing. You will simply be able to fish a lot more water with the longer rod. Working on a drag free drift will likely be easier as well with the 9' rod.

Skills to google search and practice up on:
Dead Drift
Upstream Casting
Double haul casting
shooting line
roll casting
High sticking
Tight line nymphing
Czech nymphing
Indicator fishing
Dry-dropper rigs
pocket fishing
line management

Leader advice:

-7.5' 3x leader, and spools of 3-6x tippet. 5x tippet will probably work best for the fish you described.
-A tin of assorted split shot to get nymphs deeper
-floatant for dry flies

Have fun, I tried to keep it simple, but there is a ton of info to fully engage oneself.

I assume there will be a follow up reply to lay out what the new fellow should work on in week 2.

In some ways, I’m very glad I learned to fly fish before there was such a thing as the internet.  Granted, there are a lot of complexities if one is interested in pursuing them; but let’s face it, fly fishing is neither rocket science or brain surgery.  I’ve never been able to understand why folks want to make it sound so complicated and mysterious.

Folk who want to get started are most likely interested because they picture an individual standing knee high in a stream, casting a dry fly to a rising trout.  They decide to give it a go, asks a friend to take them out fishing, and with the best of intentions the friend hands them a rod outfitted with a strike indicator and split shot.

Granted I may be biased, but it seems to me that giving a beginning a fixed length line set up, and letting them go at would provide a much more positive first experience.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

There is a season

There is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to build up, a time to break down.

A fixed length line system is the epitome of simplicity.  A stick, a string and a fly.  A perfect way to get someone fly fishing and catching fish with a minimum of time spent learning the intricacies of casting while managing long lengths of line.
What I find most interesting is it seems like for every beginner who is smiling ear to ear as a result of catching their first fish, there is a seasoned veteran who is also astream smiling ear to ear while fishing this very basic set up.   These well aged fishers for the most part have long since lost count of how many hours they have spent fishing and how many fish they have caught or lost.  They have spent multiple decades amassing large quantities of high quality tackle, yet they choose to leave it all at home and fish with only enough equipment to fill one hand and a shirt pocket.
One reason might be that everyone enjoys catching fish.  In many circumstance, there might not be a more effective way to catch large numbers of fish than by fishing tenkara.  On the other hand, to many of us old timers, the catching part of fishing has become much less important.  It’s replaced with the simple pleasure of standing knee high in a sparkling stream, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.
Maybe it a momentary return to childhood,  I know it is for me.  My earliest fishing memories revolve around catching small pan fish using a willow branch for a rod, and a fly I tied up using a piece of kitchen sponge and some rubber bands.  Back then, I didn’t need an expensive rod (or any actual rod for that matter),  a reel or a vest full of flies to spend endless hours wondering what might next grab my hook.
I find myself needing and even wanting a whole lot less stuff as I get older.  Simplicity has a certain allure.  Time spent doing worthwhile things has become much more important to me than the urge to entertain myself by buying things.  I find generally I’m just as happy, if not  actually happier, with less stuff.  It seems like that has carried over into my time spent fishing.

I'm not really sure I totally understand it, but I know I'm not alone.  I've talked to enough other old geezers to be convinced there is something to it.  The one thing I do know, it feels good to be out there and find myself unconciously smiling like a little boy.