July 24, 2012

Fishing in stained….

Fishing in stained to muddy water conditions can be challenging, let me take a few minutes to give you a few pointers that will help save the day. When most folks get to a stream or river that has been blown by heavy rains and has the look of your morning coffee with two creams,  they decide to move to better clearer water, why? This type of fishing, once you understand how to fish it, can be very rewarding. When you walk to the stream or river bank in clear water you feel confident that you know where the fish are based on foam lines, current seams and mostly seeing the fish working and feeding. Now when you walk up to the same waters and it is muddy, you have to rely on your intuition and fishing skills to help you catch fish that day. The competition fly fishing teams have to fish what water they are given on that particular day so why can’t the rest of us. See the muddy water and what can come from not going to find clearer water.

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The first thing to do is you will need to step up the sizes of your fly choices, going from size 14 to 20 nymphs up to size 2 to 8″s. There are differing thoughts on color choices so why not try a double nymph rig with two completely different color combinations. Yes you will be nymphing in these conditions, there usually just isn’t a dry fly bite. I would use a black or brown nymph and then the other with some variegated color that has a bright yellow in it. The style of nymph depends on the bug life in the waters you fish. Some great examples would be bead head Copper Johns, Stonefly’s, Prince’s, Pheasant Tails, even many of the Czech nymph designs from the competition fishing world.

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Second, make sure these flies have lots of weight in or on them. The flies need to be on or as close to the bottom as possible. Thats where these fish will be during these conditions. I tie my own flies and uses many wraps of .025 and .030 lead in the bodies to get the flies down quick. Those that purchase flies will need to get the tungsten beaded flies to help in this aspect. I personally don’t prefer to use some type of split shot to get the flies down. This seems to create a hang up spot on the leader.

Third, learn to fish without a floating strike indicator, the current on the surface is usually different from the current down where the fish are and the forces of current acting against a strike indicator can actually be putting drag on your flies hanging under it. Using just your leader and keeping the flies at various depths using the rod in a high sticking method (refer back to last weeks blog) will give your flies the proper float because the thin leader material isn’t as influenced by the upper water column currents. To help see these fluorocarbon leaders we use in these nymphing rigs, we put a sighter (differing colored section) at the top or middle connection of the leader to assist in detecting the bite.

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I hope this weeks tips and tactics will give you a day of fishing instead of a ride to find clearer water or just going back home. The fish are there and willing to be caught you just need to try add some new methods and thinking to your fishing styles.

Until next week, may you have many tightlines and heavy nets.

February 5, 2012

Matching fly line to weight of flies

My good friend Mr. Bob Clouser and the folks at Temple Fork Outfitters have put together a chart to help you understand what fly lines to use compared to the weight of the flies you will be throwing. This has been very helpful in matching the various techniques we sue in guiding, making the rigs we use very easy and accurate to cast. Hope this helps you understand how to rig your current rods, but also to help you with any additional rods you might be considering to purchase for new ways to fish.

CHART

We must understand that a fly line is used to move weight forward to the end of the cast, whether it be a hook, small dry fly or a heavy weighted streamer or nymph.
Fly lines are measured in weight by grains and this grain weight is used to move weight forward. For example; a 5 weight fly line weighing 140 grains is not capable of pulling the same weight thru the cast as a 210 grain 8 weight does. There are many variables to consider while casting such as wide open loops, chuck and duck, over powering or lobbing.
This chart is designed upon the ease of the cast plus normal tight loops that will cut the wind with ease. An oval back cast along with the use of the body is a must when casting weighted flies.

We will start with a 5 weight fly line, anything under that is specially designed to cast small light flies and is not suited for any type of weighted fly.

Lead Eye Weights most suitable for these line weights.
Line Ounce of weight
5 weight = 1/120, 1/80, 1/50
6 weight = 1/120, 1/80, 1/50
7 weight = 1/120, 1/80, 1/50
8 weight = 1/120, 1,80, 1/50, 1/30
9 weight = 1/120, 1/80, 1/50, 1/30, 1/24
10 weight =1/120, 1/80, 1/50, 1/30, 1/24

The above listing of course is not written in stone but if the formula is followed, long easy casts can be made. In many instances a heavier eye weight than listed can be used but it will test the caster and the capability of the rod and line.

Note” The above suggestion for choosing the right weight a fly line can move forward with ease has it variations of course, most variations comes with the style of casting being used. The most proficient style developed by Lefty Kreh where the body is involved in the cast will make casting weight more efficient.
Bob Clouser

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December 7, 2009

Ducks Unlimited Day at Charlotte Orvis Store

This coming Thursday, December 10th, I will be at the new Orvis Store in south Charlotte. This will be their Ducks Unlimited Day. I have been invited to bring the wood drift boat and have a display in the store on this Day. Please take a moment of your day and stop by.

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