Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Tools Of The Take

When I first started fly fishing the challenge to get a take was a big deal.  I am now working hard to see and understand what a perfect connection from reel to fly is and to also understand why.  This may sound simple but the total number of options can be substantial.  Getting them all right takes careful consideration.

My opinion is that the correct presentation is the number one factor in getting a fish to act in it's natural state and strike the fly.  Your ability to understand a perfect presentation for a particular situation should not be hindered by your equipment choices.

The Rod
Hi, my name is William and I am a fly rod addict.  I have a neat and concise collection that I have not been afraid to sell from time to time.  Some rods I have regretted loosing and some not so much, but I am always trying to use the best tool that will present my fly correctly.  That means owning and using what you believe is true.

I use switch rods about 75% of the time as they give me the most versatile assortment of possibilities.  It is easy to carry multiple lines and reels and spools and flies but carrying two or more rods is impossible without making a long walk back to the car.  The only disadvantage to the switch is in dry fly fishing for trout.  Today with all the modern rod building techniques making a solid choice gets harder.  Rod builders are making very precise formulas that determine the way their rods function.  The only way to understand what style will work best for you would be the write down where and how you like to fish.  Don't skip any details.  Give this information to each of the rod companies that you are interested in making a purchase.  In talking with them you will receive a real education and have the information necessary to narrow down your choice.

The Reel
In my opinion, the reel is the most important piece of fly fishing equipment you can own.  It is not just a storage device, although the style of the reel is important to the style of line that needs to be stored.  A reel is a centrifugal device that needs to have an ultra smooth start and finish.  This is accomplished by incorporating sealed bearings that will turn without effort with a brake that does not stick.  Your reel will be tested on that first large fish that takes a light tippet.

The Line
The number of line choices is dramatic and completely dependent on the style of fishing and the fish you are after.  Learning about all the types of lines is possible by reading every top quality line manufacturers website.  There is enough information there to make even the most knowledgeable angler confused.  Learn as much as possible and you will be able to make some clear and important observations.  Your local high quality fly shop will be the key to choosing correct lines for each use.  Again, have your list ready so you can cover every aspect of where and what.  How is determined by the rod choice and your casting skills.  Many anglers today are using single hand rods with two hand casting strokes.  Customizing your line to have the proper weight distribution is necessary.

The key to a proper line is the ability to make a presentation in the way the fish want it to be.

The Leader
Guide Rick Gray Checks My Leader
Using a correct leader is a learned experience.  You not only must consider the diameter but the length of each segment.  Every fish as well as form of presentation and size of fly needs to have a different leader structure.  I will use different leader materials depending on what angling I am doing.  Trout and Atlantic salmon are in the same genome but not in relation to equipment and certainly not in the composition of leader material.  Today I mostly use a copolymer for trout, mono for salmon and fluorocarbon for the salt.  Learning and practicing the knots that have the highest strength percentage is critical.

The Fly
On any given day and any given location any fly could work.  Now, saying that puts me in the ranks of a total fool who does not have respect for what the great angling masters would say.   I have hooked Atlantic salmon on big Marabou flies that on the first cast hit the surface in a pile and taken the moment it hit the water.  I have also hooked salmon when I have removed all the materials except the body.  Trout can be the same way sometimes.

The best way to learn what will work is to ask and see.  Very few successful anglers are so anti social and secretive that they will not be willing to share.  Don't be shy, and when someone hooks a fish simply excuse yourself and ask what just happened.  "May I see it?  Nice fish, will get you a long way.  I have no problem asking or sharing.

If you are a fly tier, one of the best ways that I have used to learn is to purchase one of a pattern that I think will work.  I make sure that I have the exact materials and tie a few for the next time out.  Flies are so inexpensive in relation to the time to build correctly and materials cost that buying one should not be an issue.

So, there you have some thoughts with so many variations that it would take a book to cover a portion of each topic.  Just think about each thing as needed.  Do some homework and ask a lot of questions.  I own rods, reels, lines, leaders and flies that will never see the water.  This is part of the process toward getting it right.


1 comment:

Rick said...

Wow, another great article. I wanted to thank you as I have learned an immense amount of information from your blog. Only being into the fly fishing sport for well over a year now, I have acquired a huge amount of knowledge from your blog. I would agree that trial and error is a big part of the sport but with fisherman out there like you, you can really cut to the chase by taking in all the advice that your mind can comprehend on the different subjects of fly fishing. Keep up the good advice, it has all been helpful.