Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Managing line

Just a little tip when using mono shooting lines. As Paul added before, using Skagit heads requires stripping and handling some sort of shooting line. I was introduced to mono shooting line this past spring while the Skagiteers were in town. Shoots like crazy, and I am hoping it helps with icing this winter. I have high hopes. Love it.

One tricky thing with mono shooting line is that sometimes it can slip while casting. This can and will happen when you apply too much power on the casting stroke, that's for sure. But it also just happens sometimes. One thing I do to limit this annoyance is to pinch it against a rubber band placed on the cork. I just wrap the rubber band on and slide it to where I hold the rod while casting with my upper hand. Whether you hold your loops of the line with your thumb(preferred) or trigger finger, pushing against a rubber band helps with mono shooting lines. I am still in the experimental phase but so far so good! Used it in the rain yesterday and it worked well when wet. We'll see come winter and freezing temps!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Gettin' Ready

Get your flies ready to swim! Now that the nights are getting cooler, days shorter and the rain is coming down, better have your gear prepped. This means FLIES FLIES FLIES. I have a good start as you can see. Still playing with some new combos to find that magic fly, even though the purple and blue leech is stellar on any trib all year long....

I am a big fan of rabbit, marabou, slim hackles and Rhea in my flies. In fact, one of those materials is always attached to the end of my line. They move so sweetly in the water-on their own or in combination with each other. Plus they have great movement in various water types. Fast, froggy, doesn't matter these materials move. Add some lead eyes and you have a wiggly, diving, jigging streamer that fishes deep and slow.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Cut Shank Flies

Begin by cutting a hook to the length you want the BODY of your fly to be. On longer patterns, I will bend the hook out straight and cut to length. I use Partridge salmon hooks in 3/0 as they are heavy irons and are over 2" when bent all the way out. This gives me a good variety of length choices.

Next cut a short section of maxima, I like the 20lb brown for my loops.

Now tie a small loop with that short piece of mono, leaving enough room on the shank for the junction tubing. I like to prop it up with the thread or even a wire tag. This helps me find it when rigging the fly.

Then tie your fly, whatever pattern you wish. Now it's time to rig the fly! For the junction tubing, I use 14 or 16 gauge copper wire coating. This can be bought at most any hardware store. Comes in black and red. Cut the wire at about 6". Then with pliers strip out the copper wire inside, and viola! You have junction tubing and more copper wire for ribbing than you will ever use. Any junction tubing matched to the hook shank diameter will work though. Just make sure it's nice and snug so it doesn't come undone while casting. In colder months, the tubing will shrink a bit so beware come November, December and on!

To rig the fly. Thread your tippet thru the hook eye, along the top of the fly, thru the mono loop and then thru the junction tubing. Next tie on the hook to the tippet. I use a simple improved cinch knot or non slip mono loop. Pull the hook tight into the tubing.

Next just snug up the tubing onto the shank and you are ready to fish! This positions the hook in the back 1/3 of the fly-just where I want it for those short nippers. Most of the time when a fish is hooked the fly will slide up the leader and away from teeth. I have been fishing some flies for 2 seasons because they take less abuse this way.

Finished fly rigged and ready to fish. I do my rigging stream side as it gives me time to sit and take everything in before I start the hunt.....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August=Carp time...


August is a good time to prep for the beginning of Salmon/Steelhead season. Check and double check all gear, backing, lines. Maybe tie some flies. They will be here soon, probably the first scouts will show up in the DSR sometime during the last 2 weeks of August. I always see a few small pods early every morning beginning the 3rd week. Get ready for the clownfest, neoprene's, 50lb test line, shark rods that serve double duty for Salmon, and as always-members of the deep wading association!

Now a quick note about something that is as big as a Salmon, pulls just as hard-possibly harder, and is tough to take on a fly-CARP! Yeah, I know what your thinking. What? Carp? No way. WAY. Using two hand overhead casting techniques sight fishing to actively feeding moster carp in the Finger Lakes is way too much fun. They are big (ranging from 15-40+lbs on average), super spooky and plentiful. Carp will actually flip over rocks with their noses and suck in the nymphs or crayfish as they scurry away. This is why when a carp is feeding there is a prominent "mud line" around or behind them. Something I love to see in otherwise crystal clear water (thanks to the zebra mussels). Landed my first 2 of the summer this past weekend. I use a 10' 7/8 wt Diamondback single hander that I converted to a double hander by adding a few inches of cork to the top grip and milling a 3.5" piece of black walnut as a bottom handle. Works great and also will be my small stream double hander (custom chopped a 15' 340 grain skagit head for it). For two hand overhead casting I really like the Rio Outbound lines. I've gone to the Outbound Short (30ft) in a 10wt-435 grains for carp. Add 12' of straight 10 lb Maxima Ultragreen, a small lead eyed bugger or crayfish imitation, and off you go. ALWAYS tie carp flies so they ride hook point up. This allows me to drag that fly literally along the bottom, like a crayfish.
So....if you ever have the chance, give carp a try sometime. Preferably in a lake setting, shallow water, to actively feeding fish. Just make sure not to land your fly within 3' or so of the fish since this will guarantee a spooked carp as your fly hits the water. Take one look at the colors of this carp and you will see why they are also referred to as Golden Bones.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010