Some of you might remember how my last “tips” post went, so lets cross our fingers this go around….
If you’re a beginner fly tier you are using too much dubbing. I did…Steve did…we all did. Next time you pull dubbing out to wrap around a hook, take half of what you pulled out and set it aside. Then take half of what you have left, and make another small pile. The itsy bitsy, teensy weensy bit of dubbing you have left is what you will actually need. This principal works for most of the fibers you have on your tying desk, by the by. Enjoy your wednesday.
Here are some tips that may seem obvious to a lot of you, but we aren’t doing this for you…so shut up. We often take for granted that there are always new people to the sport milling around and things we do out of muscle memory often draw blank vacant looks from those amongst the uninitiated. So here’s a few tips for you newbs so you don’t look like such newbs next time you’re out on the water.
- Tuck your pants into your socks when you put on waders. This will keep your pant legs from riding up. Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many people I see reaching down their wader legs rooting around like they have a bad case of crabs.
- When storing your rod on the water, hook your fly to an eye high up on the rod and then loop your line around the reel. This will keep your leader to line knot out of your tip-top guide and will also save you from asking me to pull the knot out of the guide for you. I will say no.
- When tying on a dropper, it is way easier to tie the improved cinch knot around your finger than the point fly. When you try to tie that knot around the point fly you usually wind up pushing the knot off the bend of the point fly hook. Also, you look stupid. Tie the thing around your finger, slip the loop onto the point fly, tighten, trim, fish…in that order.
- If you’re not catching fish change something. The fly, the weight, the depth, something. Change something.
Now you have no excuses, go out there and look like a pro.
We’re not all fart jokes and girlish giggles here at SCOF, and most of us have more than a few days on the water. We do a regular stratergizing piece in each issue of the mag, but why should it stop there? So, without further delay let’s start the knowledge droppin’.
I am by no means a FFF casting instructor, but as a guide I see a lot of bad casting. I’m not talking about the beginner whose whipping the air like it stole something, but I’m talking about really bad intermediate casting from folks who have the tools to create good loops but for some reason can’t seem to get out of their own way to do it. If your cast is great up to 30 or 40 feet but then seems to breakdown into a disheveled shell of you short cast, I can almost guarantee you that you’re either muscling up, taking entirely way too many false casts or both.
It is human nature to apply more muscle to make things go farther…throw a ball…swing a bat…try to pee on that car 30 feet away (yes that is a muscle…ever heard of male kagels?). Unfortunately in casting a fly rod human nature only works against you. Ever see Joan Wulff cast the whole line? She is not in any danger of anyone accusing her of juicing. The reality of the mechanics of the fly cast is, the longer the distance that you need to cast, the longer the stops on your back and froward cast need to last in order to allow more line to straighten. I promise if you use the same amount of force in you 20 foot cast as you do on your 40 foot cast, but just wait longer for your loops to unfold you will be able to starighten the line out with minimal effort. If you don’t believe me check out Joan.
The second thing I see more than anything else is intermediate casters that are in love with their own false cast. I was once told that flies in the air don’t catch fish, and it kind of stuck. It’s simple math, the more time your flies spend in the air the less fish you catch…it’s just that simple. False casting also exponentially increases the chance of tangling your rig with each roundtrip flight your flies take. The last thing to consider about the sheer amount of false casts you might be making is that in saltwater situations shots are fleeting, and the fish don’t wait around for you to execute the 6th false cast in your routine. You’ll catch more fish by picking it up and putting it down. Most folks would be way better casters if they eliminated 80% of their false casts (and 90% would be even better).
Don’t Be THAT Guy
Hopefully somebody finds this helpful, but if not we will get back to the regularly scheduled fart jokes soon…no worries.
The fact is, when trout are keyed in on Caddis dries a dead drift presentation may not be your best bet. If you’re not getting strikes off the dead drift try skittering your Caddis at the end of the drift. To properly skitter a Caddis just do your best morning after a bender impersonation and give your rod hand a case of the tremors right when the Caddis starts to swing at the end of the drift. Think Nick Nolte tremors, not Gary Busey tremors here…less is more. This also works great when you’re fishing an emerger behind the dry.
I wanted to use this title in the mag for the “Stratergizing” section but thought it might be a little much, but for the blog it seems just about right. I realized this morning that I am guilty of too often tickling the funny bone, and not often enough giving the old brain a tickle, so the idea of Just the Tip Wednesdays was born. From now till eternity we will use the middle of the week to share some of our limited knowledge about the technical aspects of fishing in the South in the form of a tip. Now I know it’s hard to believe, but I actually am a full-time fly fishing guide who spends close to two hundred days on the water guiding, scouting, and some days just playing grab ass with fish. So here we go folks…Just the Tip….
When streamer fishing for trout or any other species try using a non slip loop knot to give your flies more action. By adding the loop into the system your streamers will swim with more motion than if they were tied with a knot that bound them to the end of the leader like an improved cinch knot.
Wow, that felt good, I haven’t been that serious in years…so welcome to Just The Tip Wednesdays…we hope you come back.