Monthly Archives: November 2017

Cabin Fever Reliever

Guest Blogger: Jim Murphy, Neenah WI, long-time J Stockard customer and avid fly tyer

The season had ended several weeks ago and I was already starting to fight off the early symptoms of the dreaded “shanty shakes” and of fly rod withdrawal. The rods had been wiped down, the lines cleaned and the reels were spotless. Using the old alcohol spray trick I discovered several pinhole leaks and one fairly obvious leak in a four-year-old pair of waders. Some well-placed Goop was applied and I was hoping to get yet one more year’s wear before retiring yet another pair.

It was a little early to start the annual tying regime. I had already surveyed my fly boxes and had a pretty good idea of which old faithfuls I would have to replace. I had also seen several patterns in various magazines and online that seemed to be calling my name and begging to be tied. Probably cleverly designed to catch more fishermen than fish. more…

Rattle Their Cage

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

The Lateral Line is a system of sense organs found in aquatic vertebrates, used to detect movement, vibration, and pressure gradients in the surrounding water. The fish we routinely target have and depend on their lateral lines to detect and find food. Many flies, especially streamers and top water patterns, are specifically designed to “push or disturb water” in a way that most probably stimulates a fish’s lateral line. The Muddler Minnow, Dahlberg Diver or any fly with a large, stiff head pushes or displaces water when retrieved. That displacement is detectable by a fish’s lateral line. more…

Swing Low – Part 2

Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller, OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller & more to come

Part I described how I came to wetfly swinging and the main methods I tend to use. Part II will discuss more applications and benefits of this fine fly fishing style, as well as a few features that have stood the test of time.

Wetfly swinging offers numerous advantages. You can fish the head of a run more easily when you’re fishing it downstream of where you stand. Deeper runs invariably sit just below riffles and rapids, and so they so often start with a prominent drop-off. Trying to get to that fish-rich drop-off from downstream can be difficult because the water can be too deep for too far to let you reach it from below. And brushy shorelines make from-the-side fishing a pain. In these cases, swinging wetflies from above is an ideal tactic–plenty of back-cast room…very enjoyable.

In truth wetfly fishing is a lot like streamer fishing–just more delicate. The motion is simply scaled to the size of prey the fly tries to imitate. Swimming insects won’t go upstream against a strong current, but otherwise the techniques are alike. In truth, I’ve learned what I know about streamer fishing from wetfly use, not the other way around. And I’ve even tied up tiny fish-imitating streamers and fished them successfully just like I would a wetfly. Streamer fishing is very often (maybe most often?) done with a sinking line, whereas personally I nearly always use a floating line for wetflies, the better to accomplish the “rise to the surface” at the end of the swing. But of course it depends on how deep the water is, and at what depth the fish are likely to be lurking. more…