Tag Archives: fly line

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…

Stick It Where The Sun Shines

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

Figure 1: Loops

We’ve all acquired fly line or sink tip material that lacks end loops, or have blown through such a loop for one reason or another–either by putting too much pressure on a snag, or having a small-diameter leader cut through the loop material, or any of a number of ways to blow one out. Or we’ve attempted to tune our cast by modifying the taper of a given line by cutting off some of the line on the end, and now we need a new loop. Or we’ve sought to resurrect portions of a worn out line by using lengths of it as floating or sinking tip material, and each section needs loops. Or we’ve bought lines that have loops so small we can barely get the knot of a perfection loop through them. Or we’ve caught the belly of a good line on volcanic rock and damaged it to the point that we’d like to splice or loop-to-loop it back together.The point is that we’ve all had reason to want to add a loop to a line, or to repair a loop, or to otherwise join two line portions together. We could go old-school–nail-knots and bits of heavier mono–and that can be very strong…but once the ease of an integral line-loop is tasted, many of us prefer that cleaner-flex-profile configuration. We could tie perfection loops and coat the knots with goo, but those knots get big and our tip guides stay small. We could buy those after-market add-on loops, but one is never sure how well they’ll hold, and they introduce an anomaly in the line (as far as floating and degree of stiffness go), and they’re not necessarily an installable solution while on the stream. We could use epoxy to make a loop and suffer an overnight wait and a stiff section of line where it’s applied. We could trust superglue, equally stiff, but when it flexes the bond may break. We could follow those convoluted thirteen-step advice videos that would have us applying an open flame to the plastic coating of the line and melting ourselves a loop, subsequently to wonder whether we’d heated it too much or too little and how much it will really now hold. more…

Amen to That

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

It began not at all according to plan. My alarm didn’t go off, and that was a big deal because it meant I’d likely not be the first one on the stream and not get my favorite bend, my favorite riffle. Shivering through a cold shower without giving the water in the pipes time to transition from solid to liquid, I sought to make up for lost minutes. Then the truck wouldn’t start either because I’d left the dome light on all night, and I had to jump it, which wasted more time. Fog and an unbelievably slow double-semi on the narrow approach road pretty much iced it: I was late. Then finally arriving to find that most of my fly boxes and tippet spools were still snoozing at home left no doubt…the Fly Fishing god–or The Great Trout, if you envision imaginary deities that way–had it in for me this morning.

Setting up, dropping the line backward through the guides four times in my haste, and hunting fruitlessly for my jacket which didn’t appear to be on hand either, I wondered what I’d done to deserve this. Had I been bragging? Oh, yeah, I had…I’d boasted repeatedly at work about how I’d finally “figured this stream out.” I’d set my plans around some master theory that I was certain would make for a big morning. Maybe that hadn’t been such a good idea…pride goeth before the dunking, after all. Quickly I reset my attitude from “sure to catch big ones left and right” to “sure to catch just a couple of big ones.” That oughta do it, right? That oughta be enough. more…