Tag Archives: fly fishing tips

Indicator-less-ness…ism…and Stiffing Fish

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

There was a time when the strength of a tippet was traded off to gain invisibility. The thicker the business end of a leader, the more it was feared it would alert fish to its presence. With the advent of latest technology fishing lines and fluorocarbon in particular, that trade-off has somewhat diminished in importance. Anglers still opt for fine tippets, but the reason is more one of allowing a wet fly or nymph to move naturally in subtle micro-currents. We’re logically less concerned about invisibility and more focused on the perfect drift. Even some of the wariest and most particular fish species, such as steelhead, are routinely pursued using 1x tippets, and sometimes even thicker.

Being drift-conscious, we still seek limp material…and we also keep an eye on abrasion resistance. But there are intentionally stiffer monos and fluorocarbons out there, often aimed at saltwater fishing (and themselves highly abrasion resistant)…and they offer us fresh-water-ers an interesting option. Let me explain:

I nearly always fish downstream — I break with the reigning wisdom. Why? I like to swing wet flies. The tight line when I get a strike telegraphs the impulse back to me, and it’s an addictive thing. I’ll cast above myself in the flow but generally only to give the fly time to sink. More often than not my cast is just roughly across, and as it swings below me I “work” the fly to coax strikes, eventually bringing it back up toward myself in short slow strips, in the seam between the downstream laminar flow and some near-side slack eddy. I’ll position myself directly ABOVE the water I intend to fish, rather than below, and work the pool below the riffle thoroughly, in progressive arcs with a little change in line length each iteration.

It’s a good (and old-time) way to fish, and I love it, but one unfortunate fallout of doing it so often is that my abilities to detect a strike when my fly is drifting down from upstream of me have degraded over the years. I just rarely do it, and since I watch the line instead of using bobbers, my upstream subtle strike detection skills have slowly suffered. more…

Cycles of the Stream: Late Summer Trout

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

It’s August 27th as I type this…but it could just as easily be September 14th…or July 10th. It’s a hot day, and as I gather my fly gear and consider the fly I’ll tie on first, I’m tempted to say, “This is still the middle of summer. It’s hot. I need sunscreen, I need an ice-cold water bottle…summertime.”

Ahhh, but it’s not, and the trout know it. Days are detectably shorter, nights are longer. Water levels have consistently dropped and water temperature has already begun to do the same. The bugs know it too, and their autumn behavior has already kicked in. Nymphs and terrestrials are far larger than they were six weeks ago, and hatches are of the late season variety. Browns get ready for their big square dance, and in anadromous water, finned behemoths return from the sea. Shadows lengthen; even the sun’s declination is lower in the sky.

The telltale signs of “end of days” are evident to anyone and anything that cares…and trout care very much. more…

Nymphing Subtleties: Part 2

Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Woodbury MN

In Part 1 of this series, we began looking at using a two-fly set-up where the lead fly is a dry fly of your choice with a dropper to a bead head nymph. We looked at how the types of dries, the dropper length and diameter, and the size and type of bead head influence how deep the nymph will run. In the second part, we will look at how the style of the fly influences the depth and how one can adjust the different variables to consistently tick the bottom. When you get all that right, this can be a very productive style of fishing.

Style of fly. I have found that color and type of fly often doesn’t make a big difference as long as you get the nymph down to the right depth. However, there are days where color or style can be important so don’t be shy about switching nymph styles if the bite is slow. The bigger issue is how fast do you want the nymph to fall and how deep do you need to be to get fish. This is where the style of the nymph plays a huge role. For faster sink rates and deeper water, I prefer using Copper John nymphs. They drop like a rock (especially when you drop your last one accidentally into the water). I use these in deeper or faster water. If you find that you are snagging too much with a Copper John you can either downsize one size or switch to a fly style that has a slower sink rate. For these situations I like Prince and Pheasant Tail nymphs. When I am facing shallower or slower water and I want a slower sink rate, I reach for my Hare’s Ear patterns in various colors. They sink the slowest as the fuzzy body style produces drag that reduces the sink rate. more…