Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dark Light Shallow Deep Bright Dull Heavy Light Slow Fast Cold Hot........................................ In Relation To Trout, Salmon and Steelhead

Most of us will fish all day without the slightest consideration of the reasons we fish the fly we do.  "It sure worked yesterday" might be the best rational that we come up with.  Could yesterday have been a perfect match for that fly that was used at the end of the day that offered just the right light in a depth of water with just the right weight to have the fly traveling at the correct speed in the perfect color and contrast that matches the situation?  Take a deep breath..........

Each and every angling day can be broken into very small segments where perfect may only happen but a few times.  My contention is that the more we are willing to have those perfect moments the greater the possibility for a connection.

Dark Light
Each complete fishing day consists of the same start to finish.  It's like the "Hippy Dippy Weatherman" routine of the late comedian George Carlin.  "Darkness will turn to light and later in the day it will get dark again".  Given the fact that a Salmonoid has the ability to see white and black in total darkness and blue as the first and last other color you can have a good opening and closing just by utilizing this information.  There are 24 different hues that will be available through the day.  With the highest visible color being blue followed by reds and orange and concluding in green you will have a basis of choice.  By also taking into consideration the use of these colors as fluorescence you can enhance what a fish can see by changing the spectrum waves and how they pass through and are absorbed by the clarity or increase in tannin in the water.  Every water body has a different clarity.
Shallow Deep
During your day you will encounter water at different depths.  Because water has the natural ability to absorb and defuse light, the amount of light will be determined by the depth that it can penetrate the location you are fishing.
Bright Dull
Bright sunshine offers us the greatest array of colors the fish can see.  This is when the end range spectrum can be effective.  Contrast has the greatest effect.  When the day is dull the available colors that will be seen are more in the dawn day to dusk cycle.  A bit of flash can be just what is needed to be noticed.
Heavy Light
Simply said we pick the weights, length of leader, weight of fly and size of fly that matches the moment.
Slow Fast
For me the speed  that my presentation is traveling can have the greatest effect on getting a reaction.  I want my fly moving at the speed the fish want and seeking this piece to the puzzle can be the most difficult of all.  Moving at the speed of the water is a good place to start.
Cold Hot
Take the temperature of the water when you arrive.  Take it again each hour.  If you have a warming trend, even in a quarter of a degree increments you can know that the fish will make short movement to your fly.  Remember that on days that are sunny with snow on the ground the rising air temperatures can cause the water to get colder.  The other end of the range into very warm conditions will also limit the activity of our quarry.  They will seek cooler and shadier locations to spend the day with lower light availability.

In all of the above you will find the basic pieces toward seeking the goal.  Give some thought during a day on the water to these physical characteristics might be beneficial.  The one constant is contrast.  Do we put a red dot on a chartreuse egg because it looks like blood?  Or is it the contrast that enables the chartreuse so visible from the background?   There is little contrast between red and orange and a great difference between pink and black.  Enhancing the go to color with a strong second choice is a very important factor.  Incorporating the properties of iridescence, as can be seen in peacock hurl and many synthetics will also give added sparkle.   What puzzle lies before us can be analyzed and what can be analyzed may be answered and what can be answered makes us better anglers.  


Monday, November 14, 2011

The Copper Cap

This was yesterday's hot fly for fishing for Rainbows.  I fished it dead drift nympy style with 6x on a medium sink 7 foot PolyLeader.  I found it to work best in the faster water.  You can also change color of the body and head to black, brown, tan or olive.
Hook-Any Curved 18-22
Body-Red 70 Denier Thread
Rib-7X Clear Mono
Thorax-Brown SLF With Copper Accent
Wing Case-Copper Mylar
Head-Red 70 Denier 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Getting To The Bottom Of It With Poly Leaders

This past week I traveled to a beautiful  river in New York State.  The regulations on this river are that no added weight, indicators or weighted flies are legal.  You may use sinking line so long as it is not a lead core type.  This is heaven for the two hand caster and I plan to return as much as possible.

The fishing is done mostly by swinging flies with single hand, switch and two hand rods between 9' and 12'6".  Six seems to be the go to weight.  In order to have the correct presentation you must vary the depth and speed of your fly according to river flow and depth of pool.  The fish will take swung flies but you must  get them down toward the bottom a bit.

The Salmon range from a few to twelve pounds.  There are also Steelhead and large Brown Trout available so the opportunities are as wide a range as the flies in your pocket.  The best flies we found for swinging had somber Bronze Malard wings with gold bodies.  I'm sure that under different conditions it would be something else.

Having the correct depth was made easy with the incorporation of using PolyLeaders connected loop to loop at the end of a modified switch style line.  I think the closet thing that is commercially available would be the Royal Wulff Ambush line.  A short head line that will make crisp yet decent length casts while standing close to the bank and under trees and bush.  In shallow locations, a hover poly could be used, and in deeper faster runs changing to a 6.1ips sinking and longer poly could be changed over in a matter of a few minutes.   Just keep the tippet on as you change and you are all set.  The other variable will be the length of your tippet.  Typically I ran the tippet at about three feet.  If I wanted to ride a little higher, I just added another foot or so with a Double Surgeon's Knot.

This is a great system that turned over larger size flies with ease and made overhead, switch and Skagit style casting easy.  They also cast very well with single hand rods and offer an added push of distance and line speed.  The AirFlo company was the first to make these tapered specialized sinking leaders and created them for improved casting accuracy as well as sinking.  I first started using these PolyLeaders while fishing the River Tay in Scotland about eight years ago.  No one fished without one.  They were not in any store that I could find in the States at that time.  Now every major line company and fly shop has a well stocked supply.

Another application and reason to carry PolyLeaders would be for the angler who wants to make sure that all bases are covered when nymph fishing.  As you have your fly line ended with a small loop you can high stick with or without an indicator and weight and then change over to a poly in a very fast time.  I often fish one set up at the top of a pool a different rig for the deeper middle and am willing to change for the tail out.  It is always optimal in only one perfect style at that moment and the challenge is to get it right as much as possible.

There are some anglers who confuse these new style leaders with sinking heads that are clunky and do not cast well on single handed rods.  They will get you down to the bottom when made from T-7 to T-14 and should be used as a line extension and not a leader.  Longer length tapered mono leaders or knotted tapered leaders should be attached to the end of these sections.  I use them as cheaters with Skagit lines when I need to go down deep and fast.  Cheaters are used to make sure that the length of your fly line head is always the same so your casting stroke can be constant.  But that's a topic to itself and for another time.

Weather you are a nymph fisher with weights and indicators or a swinger of streamers you can make your set up do both with the same rod, reel, spool and line by the use of PolyLeaders.  This is very inexpensive to give a try and will add an extra piece to the puzzle.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fly Tying Tip #123

I have a fond appreciation for tying Atlantic Salmon flies for fishing or for fun.  One thing that is present on most is the symmetrical look that an up curved tail will give.  The idea is that you will have the tip of the tail touch the tip of the topping.  The easiest way to do this is to pre select the tail and the topping and soak them in warm water.  Then have a collection of bottles in different diameters to lay the feathers on and let them dry.  Make sure they will match by holding the feather on the bare hook.  Lay in the tail and crimp bend the topping exactly where it must sit at the head of the fly.