Transporting Fly Rods Safely

today’s great tips and tricks comes to us from Brad Harris via FlyLife.

as we’d seen previously in Understanding how fly rods break“so, why do rods break ? it can be through improper use under load or by banging it with a fly (vulgarly referred to as ‘Clousering’). another reason i suspect and something i rarely hear about, because nobody wants to admit it… is a lot of anglers damage their rods when they’re not even fishing or casting. bings and bangs during transport, throwing them down (yes, throwing them down… ), the ever-present beer and it’s consequent mind-numbing and slipping and sliding effects and who knows what else, must account for a lot of “huh ?! WTF happened ?” reactions when they’re using them for real later on. in a sense, they’re recreating a ‘Clousering’ without even having the fun of casting ! “

in Brad’s well explained and thought out Racking It For The Road article, we’ll see several options with their respective pros and cons on how to avoid at least some of life’s misery with as bonus, a simple, effective, practical, inexpensive DIY option featured in the image below which particularly caught my eye. click on the pick to access the complete article, and safe travels !

 

rodrack DIY

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks- Analysing Trout Rise Forms

a real gem from Alan Bulmer at Active Angling New Zealand for your trout-hunting pleasure. Alan proposes that rise form recognition is ‘a lost skill’ and even if it isn’t completely lost, it’s a subject that’s rarely touched upon in contemporary fly fishing literature whether that be in print, on the net or among anglers themselves.
in a roundabout way, the average fly fisher will see a rise or rings and assume that the fish is feeding on or in the surface film and instantly tie on a dry fly or emerger but the keen observer will notice that there’s a lot more to it than that.
as we’ve previously seen in How fish eat, and how Alan astutely points out at the end of his piece, “The peculiarities of a rise form are not easy to observe. Often it cannot be said with certainty what fly has been taken; the rings of each pattern proceed so rapidly outwards that the pattern is always in a state of change”, as with most things in life, there are no absolutes and there’s always countless, unavoidable variables but the more we know, the better we can react to that knowledge and simply get better at what we do while feeling a bit more fulfilled.
all this hopefully inciting to spend more time observing and not just randomly looking, this article’s subject is about trout but the same principles with a few variations of course can be applied to other insect-eating fish.

here’s a few morsels to wet your appetite:

“There is one chapter in particular which is fascinating and that is a sixteen page treatise on analysing rise forms. This chapter summarises much of what had been learned through observation by the masters*, GEM Skues, Harding, Lamond and Taverner himself. These fly fishermen pioneered the sport and their observational and analytical skills were legendary. This book was published in their hey day so it must have been cutting edge at the time.
bulge rise
Back in the day analysing trout rise forms was considered a necessary skill for dry fly and nymph fishermen. Those skilled in the art could look at a surface disturbance, characterise it as bulging, humping, tailing, sucking, sipping, slashing, pyramid, kidney, head and tail, porpoise roll or spotted ring and accurately determine what the trout was feeding on and where in the water column it was feeding. In some cases they even counted the number of tiny bubbles appearing within the ring formed as the trout rose to determine what fly to use. This is a skill which I fear may no longer be in the repertoire of most anglers.”

rise-table

click on either image for the complete article. this is really-really good stuff, enjoy !

* note how there’s absolutely no mention of the redundant Halford

Salmon ears, Sound and vibration in water, Fish Communication and Noisy noises

and a whole bunch of other really cool/interesting/thought-provoking/andjustplaingoodreading fishy-science facts from MCX Fisher via buddy Pete Tyjas’ always great Eat Sleep Fish ezine.

even if the only image in the article appears to be a cod,

codsalmon
based on Atlantic salmon research, MCX goes a stretch further on explaining and going into great detail (and be sure to follow the adjoing links !*) on, eh, there’s no way i can add any more info on this subject so here’s a few excerpts:
“The underwater sound environment is entirely different to that in which we live in air. Accordingly, when thinking about the underwater world we have to dump our experience and preconceptions. Simply, salmon don’t ‘hear’ like us, because they don’t have ears”

“The key features of sound in water are that it:
– Is about 800 times more intense than in air, because the water is incompressible and therefore a much more efficient transmitter. In addition the surface layer reflects sound back into the water.
-Travels far further than in air: relatively minor events are detectable at ranges measured in kilometres, but the level of background noise is relatively very high because it is drawn from a much wider area.
-Goes about 4.4 times faster.
-Is influenced by the composition of the water.”

So much, so interesting, but what is its relevance to the angler?
If certain frequencies can stimulate a salmon to attack oceanic prey, can we exploit this in fresh water? In thinking about this it helps to grasp what 300 Hz sounds like in air : for comparison Middle C is 261 Hz. It is certainly much higher than the dull thrum of commonplace line vibration in fast water, which is in the range 10-30 Hz.”

and lastly,
“The moment you step into a pool the salmon’s formidable sensors will detect your activity, even if you have felt soles and a light step. However, they don’t know it’s you or what you’re doing, because in evolutionary terms humans haven’t been angling long enough to achieve any genetic impact on salmon. Unlike the calls of whales, seals and other fish, salmon anglers’ noises aren’t in the salmon signal library. Certainly they wouldn’t be able to connect the crunch of your studs on the gravel and the clink of your wading staff on the rocks with the drama of being caught, except perhaps if they’d been caught shortly before by another heavy-footed fisherman.”

but there’s a gazillion more fascinating things to read on this noisy subject and to do so simply click the cod ! enjoy !


* and one of those happens to be a really geeky but eversocool Beeps, Chirps and Noise channel on youtube where i found this little brown noise treat ! (yeah, that’s sounds a little idon’tknowwhat but don’t be afraid, you won’t have to go clean up after listening to it… )

“Brown noise is noise with a power spectral density inversely proportional to the frequency squared. It decreases in power by 6 dB per octave or 20 dB per decade. The sound of brown noise mimics a waterfall or heavy rainfall.”

the Smoooothest fly line/leader connection there is- a Step by Step

by buddy, expert rod builder, fellow Barrio proteam member and one of the best trout fishers i’ve had the pleasure to meet, Sandy Nelson.

Dave Whitlock‘s superglued leader-to-fly line connection isn’t anything new but reviving significant tips and tricks and their variations is always good for several reasons:
– firstly, it allows us to give proper credit to the originator of the concept.
– variations of a technique often improve over time. through the use of the knot tool, today’s sbs is easier and faster than the original and a fine example of creative thinking.
– lastly, it allows the people who aren’t aware of this technique to discover an extremely effective alternative connection to the standard loop-to-loop, Nail knot or Needle Nail knot.

like the title of this article suggests, this is the smoothest leader/line connection there is. the connection point flows in and out of the rod’s tip ring extremely easily, as if the two elements where one.
this is a more than big bonus for anyone using leaders that are longer than the rod’s length and avoids any connection hangups in situations say, if a fish decides to take off again when we are trying to get it into the net.

as often mentioned, many anglers question the strength of this connection but trying is believing. test it out on an old line at home and pull as much as you want, the finer and/or tippet part of the leader will always break first.
i’ve heard of and read many cases where this connection worked perfectly for hard-pulling fish such as bonefish or salmon and that seems more than enough for most anglers with the exception of those seeking big-game fish.

thanks again Sandy for sharing this with us,  enjoy !


All the tools needed: A C&F Knot tool*, snips, superglue, sandpaper, leader and fly line.
Sandy Nelson leader connection sbs1

Stick the needle into the tip of the fly line a 1/2″ – 13mm.
Sandy Nelson leader connection sbs2

Feed tippet-end of leader into knot tool.
Sandy Nelson leader connection sbs3

Pull leader right through until loop hits fly line.
Sandy Nelson leader connection sbs4

Rough up the 1/2-3/4″ of the end of the leader.
Sandy Nelson leader connection sbs5

Brush roughed up part with super glue and pull into end of flyline until all roughed up portion is covered.
Sandy Nelson leader connection sbs6

Snip loop off flush with the flyline and wipe excess super glue over the cut and the joint and then hold straight with a little pressure for 30secs to a min. for the superglue to set.
Sandy Nelson leader connection sbs7

Once it is set it should look like this, and you should have only removed about this much of the leader.
Sandy Nelson leader connection sbs8

 

* the essential part of the C&F tool is nothing more than a fancy-handled sewing machine needle that can be found in any sewing shop or even supermarkets at a fraction of the cost.
sewingmachine needlesyou can make your own and have diameter options by simply glueing the needle butt inside an appropriately sized tube.
these needles tend to come in packs so you can have several for yourself or better yet, make a special gift for your friends.

the Perfection Loop knot- Again and again and again and again

the Perfection loop knot has been featured here on TLC more than once. we’ve seen the basic knot and two versions of how to use it as a free-swinging tippet-to-fly junction. one would think that that more-than-enough covers the subject but, Tim Flagler via MidCurrent once again found not only a better way to show us how to tie this standard every angler should know but what really caught my attention is the forth ‘again‘ of this posts’s title: the tippet-to-fly knot that starts at 3:56 in the clip below.

what sets this one apart are the clear and simple techniques used to finely adjust the loop’s size, it’s really a no-brainer that’s super-easy to get right every time and no-braining and getting things right every time allow us to think of more important things while out on the water. things such as chocolate, coffee and maybe even focusing more on why we went there in the first place, to (try to) catch fish. enjoy !

Fly Fishing Knots- The Japanese Figure 8 knot

by Keiichiro Iwai via varivastv
although some might, most won’t understand a single word of today’s knot tutorial but with clear and concise visuals i can’t see that being an issue. heck, it even makes the experience a bit exotic and yet another great example of how our activity is greatly appreciated and taught around the world.

the figure of 8 knot in itself is widely recognised and used as a stopper knot in any rope activity. it doesn’t slip or roll, its the kind of knot you can trust your life with. now, those who study knots know that not all knots are compatible between ropes and fishing monofilaments but this one is.

used as an alternative to the Blood knot, Uni-to-Uni or double/triple Surgeon’s to join two pieces of same or different diameter monofilaments, the 8 has the advantage of being much easier to tie than the Blood or Uni, specially in difficult-to-see situations and doesn’t twist the material itself within the knot as much as the Surgeon’s does (i really don’t like that). the joined pieces are also straighter than the Surgeon’s. (a big no-no imo)

figure 8 knotthe 8 knot is smaller than the others. i’ve found there’s no risks in trimming the tag ends flush. both points help to not collect as much debris that might be on or in the water, something that can be a royal pain at times.

you can tie it as Keiichiro does in the video by giving the formed loop a half twist (at 0:56) or by running the doubled strands around the loop like here-
fig8 1-2-3 knot

whichever way is fine and equally effective, just be sure to have the figure-8 shape before tightening up the knot before seating it.
a helpful tip is to wet the joined strands with saliva prior to forming the knot. this sticks them together and makes the whole process easier.
also, be sure to seat the knot well by pulling on all four strands or it’ll leave un-tightened gaps inside the knot.

revolutionary knot ? most definitely not but one well worth having in your bag of tricks. give it a try. enjoy !

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks- Adjusting the Loop size of a Perfection Knot

as a recap and to start off, here’s a reprint of an article on how to construct a Perfection Loop from a while back.

Tying the Perfection Loop

this loop is ‘perfect’ for loop-to-loop line-to-leader or leader-to-leader connections for anything but the biggest of fish. super easy to tie, the loop stays in line with the standing end of the monofilament and not ‘kinked’ to the side as with a Double or Triple Surgeon’s Knot. to be honest, i’m not sure it really makes any difference in leader/fly presentation to the fish but it does because i believe it does. offset kinks look messy !

i really like this video by Jim Thielemann. rarely found on any step-by-steps or diagrams is the trick we find here of passing the line around the thumb to create the second loop. this keeps the whole knot visible with the loops separated as opposed to pinching the ensemble together and then trying to pull the second loop through the first to finalize/tighten the knot. this also makes for a better control of the size of the final loop.

______________________________________________

now, for today’s great tip. mostly intended as a strong, quick and easy connection point between the tapered part of the leader and its tippet giving us the advantage of not having to continuously reduce the tapered part’s length as we change tippet, we’ll be creating the Perfection Loop exactly as in the video above but this time we’ll see how to easily reduce the final loop’s size, something that’s rather hard to do when using the ‘standard’ method.
we’ll notice that he uses a headphone jack plug to determine the loop size and to give us a bigger visual understanding of how to do this however, getting a very-very small loop size is the goal so, a largish sewing needle or safety pin helps get  the correct size. an added bonus is these pins are tapered and smooth and this helps slide the loop off.

alexisdepuis‘s video is in frog but don’t fret, the visuals are very clear. what we’ll want to pay special attention to is how the loop size is reduced/adjusted by pulling on the tag end before later seating the knot completely by pulling the standing line, just as in the ‘standard’ version. as with any knot, be sure to lube it up with gooey saliva before pulling anything tight and seating. in this case it would need to be applied before pulling the tag end.
to conclude, a common way of terminating the loop when doing this at home is to add a very small drop of glue and letting it completely dry before adding tippet. that’s not really a necessity but it can augment the ‘confidence factor’.
finally, these teeny-tiny loops aren’t appropriate for a loop-to-loop connection, we simply tie the tippet to the loop with our favourite knot as if it where a hook eye. enjoy !

deep-throat sunday

nothing’s better than having a good breakfast before heading out for a hard day’s fishing. bon appétit !

How to properly crush hook barbs: Part Two

we’ve recently seen the how-to video and today, sent in by friend Alan Bithell is a detailed explanation why it’s way better to crush barbs with the pliers inline with the hook point rather than across. thanks Alan !

De Barbing

for more of Alan’s goodies previously contributed to TLC so far click here enjoy !

Presentation Fly Casts- Getting more action out of your flies through line control

by Phil Monahan via Orvis News

its been a loooooong time since i’ve read an article with so much insightful, out of the box, and all around great line/fly control tips. woW !

i had to include this in TLC’s Presentation Casts category because P-casts are about different manners to present our flies fly but ! the lazy caster needn’t worry, apart from rolls and a reach cast that every single fly angler should know anyway, these tips aren’t really about casting in itself but more about controlling and affecting a fly’s movement after delivery through simple but well thought-out mends.
mostly intended for sunken nymphs and streamers we’ll also see that certain floating flies can really benefit from these techniques as well. as noted, we’ll maybe first think of skittering caddis but lets also add mice, frogs, terrestrial insects and even slithering snake imitations and other whatnot critters to the list.
worth noting as well is, since the casting part is reduced to a minimum, all of these methods will be a great asset in low light and dark situations whether your using a single or double-handed rod.

Fly-Fishing-Streamer-Illustration

“But once you’ve learned to use line mends to render your drifts lifeless, it’s time to think about using these same concepts to give patterns life—to activate the presentation. Rather than counteracting the effects of current on your line, you can instead use this tension to make a streamer dart erratically without pulling it out of a good lie, make a nymph rise in the water column, or work flies into spaces that you could never cast to. Using the current and your line to work the fly means you can keep it in the strike zone longer, fishing slower, or make multiple presentations within the same drift.” and that’s just for starters…

be sure to click the image for the complete article that’s sure to open a few eyes and help think out of the box.
this stuff’s the Shiz, enjoy !

Invisible Stripping

or, the ‘basketless stripping basket’  by Joe Mahler

some nice and simple line-management tips from Joe are on the menu today and these just might reduce a lot of swelling: the kind of mind-bloating-swelling exasperation we sometimes get when the line gets bunched up and catches the rod guides on the final delivery shoot or simply gets caught on the ground, grass, boat, bushes, shoe laces, rocks, vest (add your favourite anything because if it simply exists, it exists to catch our lines while we’re casting… )

another more-than-nifty use of Joe’s method is on rivers where retrieved line gets sucked downstream by the current which isn’t as bad as the list above but its still a pain.

anyhow, its all good but be sure to give this a little practice at home before the big trip so’s to avoid dextrous confusion whilst fishing. enjoy !

Tying the Perfection Loop knot with a Fly – part 2

we’d already seen this same knot demonstrated by my buddy Scott Loudon two and a half years ago but since this newer video just came out i thought a little refresher wouldn’t hurt.
having used it quasi-exclusively when using a loop knot since seeing Scott’s tutorial, i’ll not go into breaking strain figures as i’ve no idea and don’t really care… but i haven’t had a single knot failure since.
no, i haven’t caught any monstrously huge fresh or saltwater fish in that period but i have caught quite a number of nice sized trout (50-60cm) on very fine 6-7-8X tippet. we know the knot was originally adapted to fish big saltwater fish on big tippets so, if it holds equally well on the finest hook eye diameters and mono then it’s a real universal knot.
besides, most of us know how to tie the Perfection Loop so in actuality, there isn’t anything to learn. give it a try !

as noted on the first post’s comments (Scotty’s link above)- “if instead of grabbing the fly and standing line in the last step, you pull on the tag of the tippet, you will get a much smaller loop.”
as long as it isn’t the tag leg that’s being used to permanently seat the knot (just use that to make the loop smaller and seat it normally) that’s spot on but isn’t as far as i can tell of any real importance when attaching big flies for predator fish but on the other hand, a real bonus when using this knot for smaller, typical ‘trout-type’ flies such as dries, wets and nymphs.
yes, a free-swinging fly isn’t just about allowing the fly to jiggle more when its being pulled but also the hinge effect of an open loop knot on smaller flies means a little less leader-induced drag when we’re trying to achieve drag-free drifts. a nice little bonus.

Don’t wade, you idiot !

calc_dsc_4634-384

“OK, I’m provoking, and I know it… but the idea of not wading straight into the water might need some exaggeration to knock in to some anglers’ thick skulls. Not yours of course, but the other clowns who stomp into the water and spook every fish within close distance before they even lay out their first cast.”

haha ! in what’s one of the better fishing tips there is, Martin Joergensen not only knocks a few skulls and just one of them is the reminder that spooking fish before even fishing for them is well, stupid…
very complete and filled with oh-so-much common sense, the only thing i can think to add is all the negative sounds/vibrations we make when wading. fish are still susceptible to these when we stay on the side of the water but they’re greatly diminished.
as a last bonus, it’s pretty rare that an angler falls into the water from the bank whereas falling in when wading is a daily affair for a lot of us…

“I don’t know how many times I have heard this advice on a stream when fishing a dry fly: cast as close as you can to the opposite bank. If you don’t catch the grass or the bushes over there once in a while, you’re not close enough! For some reason the fish seem to be holding under the opposite bank in every stream in the world.
Same thing when fishing for salmon. You gear up to be able to cover the whole stream, and unless you are fishing a large river it’s certainly possible to cast across to the opposite bank and cover the whole width of many streams.
But why on earth are the fish holding under the bank across from where you got in the water? Well, they aren’t… or weren’t until you stepped into the water. The fish are of course all over the stream – on your side, in the middle and close to the opposite bank.
So why would you choose to fish for those over there rather than the ones right under your nose? Well, it beats me!”

and there’s a lot more to it. click the pic for the complete article on The Global FlyFisher. enjoy ! (and stay a little drier)

an easy indicator hight adjustment system

ok, those thingamathingies aren’t my thing…

thingamastoppersbut ! this trick is as ingenious, simple, quick and cheap as it gets. if we abstract the thingy for a moment and look for other potential uses, the fly line stopper, single, double, triple (and eventually in different colours to be effective in varied light conditions) in itself can be used as an adjustable sighter/indicator for Euro or sight nymphing or even as a take indicator for dry flies when there’s a lot of natural flies on the water and we’re not so sure if we’re tracking our own imitation or a natural.
i’ve been using the same nail-knot method with fluo-coloured nylons such as Amnesia red for years to be able to track parts of long leaders in complex currents and can see how the fly line trick will make tracking easier as it should stay on or closer to the surface, specially once floatant is applied. for sure something to try out.

pretty much all of us have old fly lines hanging around so this is a really good way to recycle them.
as for the nail-knot tool, i almost always have one on me but it’s not a necessity as it can very easily be done by hand with Gary Borger’s ‘Nail-Less Nail Knot’.
note that these hold on better on level lengths of line than on taped ones. have fun experimenting !

drying off flies with a rubber band

funny how this old trick is old-hat in some parts of the world and unheard of in others. this great tip’s for the latter.
simple and inexpensive as can be, all you need is a rubber band or two to dry off a water soaked dry fly in just a few seconds and that’s it, no paper towels, drying patch or dumb chemicals.
image002 and here’s how to do it. the video’s in spanish but if you don’t understand a word it’s ok, there really isn’t all that much to understand.
great for any material, this is a real bonus for cdc flies. no more of this ‘once and away‘ stuff !
– a single or double rubber band is attached to your vest-chest-pack-shirt-whatever
– if the fly just caught a fish clean it well in the water to remove any residual fish slime
– place the hook at the end of the band
– hold the leader 20 or so cm from the fly and just hold the band and tippet tight without excessive pulling
– pluck the band several times till all the water flies off (the guy in the video goes a little ‘excessive’ here, most of the time 3-4-5 plucks does the trick)
– resume fishing
– simples !

side note- rubber bands usually don’t last long when exposed to uv rays so you might wanna add a spare in your kit.

here’s a fancified band made of silicone with a wire snap at one end so it easily holds the smallest of flies. shrink tube ends keep it slim and out of the way.
(i know, i can’t help it… )
dry fly rubber band m.fauvet:tlc
EDIT-  Michael from Berlin asked for a bit more info on how to make the D-Lux ‘Pimp my Rubber’ Drying Band (and it just got a fancy name at the same time !), here’s a few close-ups, materials list and a brief description on how to put it together.

rubber band 2
– the band itself is a high-heat tolerant silicone band found in the cooking department at a local shop. why anyone would want to cook food with a rubber band is beyond me but the gadget-freak within me screamed “buy it ! its bound to be good for something fly fishing related !”
once again, this isn’t really necessary because standard household rubber bands work very well and they basically cost nothing. lets just say the gadget-freak told me to do it…

– a small snap used to quickly attach lures for spin/baitcast fishing is what holds the hook. the reason i added this is since the silicone band is relatively thick, very small flies wouldn’t go around the band easily. this clip in turn makes the devise suitable for flies of all sizes from the biggest to size 32. with the latter, we’ll want to take it easy on the plucking considering the breaking strength of tippets used for tiny flies.

– a small cut length of shrink tube fitted over covers the bottom and ‘snaggy’ part of the clip but its mostly there to squash down the end of the band to take up less overall space as the band forms a full-size ‘O’ without the ends being pinched. a quick little pass under a lighter flame does the trick.

– put another little piece of shrink tube at the other end, heat it and add an attachment clip of your choice and you’re ready for some fly plucking !
rubber band 1

How to sharpen hooks

excellent ! dear old Krusty says it all and there’s absolutely nothing i can add except: this is THE way to do it. enjoy !

if you don’t understand the ‘pup tent’ shape, its a triangle. once combined with the inverted pup tent (base to base) it gives us this profile when we look at the hook point straight on: a tilted square. this is the shape we want.
hookpoint shape

(i know, the drawing ***** but i hope you’ll get the point… )

Barbie’s Wedding (Tippet) Ring

by Tim Flagler (and Barbie) via MidCurrent

too cool not to share, Tim’s advise is spot on with all the fine tips and tricks on how to rig these rings properly and without loosing them in the process !
many a time i’ve heard the recommendation of storing the rings on a small safety pin. please blindly accept that this is the last thing you want to do !
these pins are weak, open up when tightening the knot and all the unused rings spring out at the speed of sound never to be found again. (specially if this is done outdoors) this makes one feel really dumb and feeling really dumb is not good.
most tippet ring suppliers don’t supply a snap as seen in the video but they’re really cheap, can be found in the lure section (ughhh…) in tackle shops and the extra snaps from the pack can be used to secure various thingies in your vest or chest pack.

i’ve been using these rings for years now because they add a bit more versatility, reliability and visibility to my rigs. in other words, it makes changing, adapting and replacing much easier. it’s not like the ‘conventional’ method of directly joining mono to mono is of any problem, but i find myself being ‘less lazy’ when it comes to changing rigs with the rings than with mono-to-mono and this has without a doubt brought more fish to the net.
not mentioned in the video is they can also be used for multi-fly rigs. you can simply add on the dropper tippet forming a ‘T’ or better yet, as the Tangle-Free Duncan Dropper (highly recommended !) tangle-free-dropper-tlc-6-4-13
as a side note and as in a lot of other equipment, be sure to have a good look at the rings before purchase as they are not all created equal. they shouldn’t have a rough or marked surface, nor should the weld be visible because scratchy surfaces scratch mono when tied on and scratch again later during use. not good. we don’t accept scratchy from hook eyes and the same should go here. you might want to bring a pocket loupe to the store…

13 Ways to Peace.

or

13 Habits of Unaccomplished Anglers

by Kirk Werner/Unaccomplished Angler via Deneki Outdoors

it’s not every day we get such awe-inspiring tips on how to have a better day on the water. this is the voice of experience, humility and wisdom at its best.

Count your knots. During the course of a day your leader/tippet will amass a considerable number of “wind knots.” First of all it’s important to note one thing: There are critics who will refer to these as “casting knots” in an attempt to place blame not on the wind, but on the caster. Poppy-cock, I say. When the Unaccomplished Angler goes a-fishin’ the wind will blow. There will result multiple wind knots. Count them. There’ll be more knots than fish. At the end of the day the angler with the most wind knots wins.

Let the fish eat someone else’s fly. The Unaccomplished Angler is the consummate conservationist. By being way too slow—or in many cases premature—on the hook set, they inevitably catch far fewer fish than their compadres. There’s nothing wrong with that as it leaves the fish for the skilled anglers who deserve their just reward. Relax and take comfort in the knowledge that your buddies and the fish appreciate your inabilities.

When in doubt, fish on. Unaccomplished Anglers don’t allow themselves be distracted by things they cannot change, such as but not limited to tailing loops and fouled hooks. As an example, when stripping an articulated streamer through a weed bed, the several inches of vegetation that become affixed to the hook are a good thing. Not only does it serve to increase the profile of the fly, additionally weeds are an important part of a fish’s life. What angler hasn’t observed small baitfish scurrying about the water collecting weeds for their nests? Big fish chase these diminutive weed gatherers because why? Because they want their weed.

there’s ten more gems and all you have to do to study them is click HERE. if you too want to be as Unaccomplished as it gets, be sure to visit Kirk’s site regularly.
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a new Twist on Twists.

or, how to very easily untwist your fly line by Zack Dalton of Rio via Gink and Gasoline

oh, so simple and oh, so easy and oh so, feck, why didn’t i think of that ?!

Zack’s demonstration is so good there’s nothing to add there. i do however want to expand a bit more as to why fly lines twist. there’s 3 reasons brought up in the video, let’s take a closer look at them.

1-  i need to be honest, point 1: ‘fly size/wind resistance to the fly’ doesn’t make a lot of sense. this would require such an amazingly unbalanced fly/leader/fly line combination and repeatedly casting it that it’s really hard to imagine happening in real. sure, twisting does indeed happen with certain flies but it’s the leader that becomes twisted and tangles first, looking something like a messy bird’s nest. it’s pretty safe to say the angler, getting absolutely nowhere with this and seeing this mess would stop and untangle long before the lighter, thinner and flexible balled-up twisted leader would work it’s way back and have any effect on the heavier, thicker, and stiffer fly line.

– Zack’s reason 2 is connected to and is in sequence to reason 3 so we’ll come to that later.

2- reason ‘3’ (hmmm, this is starting to get confusing… )  is the big one and it has to do with casting in different planes. casting in different planes means that the fly line isn’t being cast perfectly straight over the rod tip in both back and forward casts. casting over the rod tip doesn’t necessarily mean a purely vertical overhead cast either, the casting plane can be at any angle. if one casts perfectly over the rod tip, fly line twists don’t happen.
an easily understood example of casting in different planes in the aerial cast family is the Elliptic, Oval or falsely-known-as Belgium cast. the back-cast is performed to the side and the front cast is done by casting overhead. the very same principle applies to the roll-cast/spey family because you can’t successfully cast these with the D-loop directly below the rod, the anchor needs to be to the side.

so, what happens is the line gets a half or so twist with every false or complete casting cycle and the half twists in the line that we’ll find between the stripping guide and reel start to add up quickly and this brings us to reason 2.

3- if we cast to the reel at every delivery (the line goes tight from its tip end all the way to the reel, there’s often a little ‘bump’ feeling) the line gets the chance to completely untwist before it lands on the water. the twist gets pulled out while in the air. there isn’t this ‘inert’ length of line between the line hand or pile on the water/ground/stripping basket/whatever and the reel.
if we have too much line out of the reel for that specific fishing distance, the twists remain coiled up between the rod’s stripping guide and the reel and those twists continue to increase in numbers as the casting goes and if we attempt to shoot line, the twists catch on the first thing they can. usually it’s the stripping guide of the rod but it could be anything anywhere around the line’s path and of course the cast is screwed up and if you’re lucky you might even get a ‘wind’ knot from recoil !

note- it might seem like i’m saying that since it leads to a problem, casting out of plane is wrong. it most definitely isn’t. it’s a basic part of most casting styles and it’s a very safe bet to state that 99% of casters do not cast their lines exactly over the rod tip, myself included. once again, i simply wanted to explain the causes.
line twist at one point or another is simply inevitable and just a part of fly fishing/casting but thanks to great tips like Zack’s, at least one of our problems just got a whole lot easier to live with.

drying off

by Takashi Kuwahara

false casting drawingreminds me of something my fishing mentor repeated several hundred times when i was a kid:
“You may think you’re fishin’ but that fly aint fishin’ if it aint in the water”

which also leads to this tip: if you need to dry off a fly by false casting, do this away from the fish to keep the flying line, its reflections and shadows away from their view. off the shoulder, side casting, whatever it takes, there’s almost always space somewhere around you to do this. when you feel the job is done switch back to the original casting plane and present. bingo !

the Blood Knot: a new twist on an old twist

it’s not really a new twist as i found this on Gary Borger‘s site years back but this not-so-well-known knot’s particularities common to almost every knot are well worth bringing back up.
what we’ll typically see in knot diagrams, animated diagrams and videos is that a given number of turns of the tag end should be used to form the knot.

that’s all fine and well but that doesn’t mean that the line diameter used in the demonstration is the same diameter as what we’ll be using ourselves in a given situation.

since we normally don’t want our knots to slip, when tying them we need to keep in mind that a thinner diameter line needs more turns to not slip and inversely, the breaking strain tolerance of bigger diameter lines can actually be diminished by too many turns. without having any measuring tools to ‘scientifically’ turn those last statements into facts, it’s pretty easy to test this out yourself at home.
to sum it up, my guess and personal conclusion is the thinner line needs more surface contact area and the thicker material can suffer from not seating properly due to it’s inherent stiffness compared to thinner lines. that last part may or may not be correct but what i’m certain of is with thicker lines, the more turns we use, the more visible and proportionately bigger gaps there are in the knot and that’s not good.

another point that relates to the stuff above, and in our  case of the standard Blood knot, is that the typical demonstration of this knot says to use five turns on both sides and that too is all fine and well but it still doesn’t take into account mono diameter and also, that we’re usually joining two pieces of mono that have different diameters.

bloodknot
while that standard knot may hold without failing with mono diameter jump ups or downs of one size (ex: 4x to 5x), the connection that has already been weakened by doing so will start to really suffer if we increase diameter difference when connecting a two size difference as 4x to 6x and even worse if we connect 4x to 7x.
ok, the 7x example is quite extreme and of little practical use (and of course weak) but that example is to give you an idea that the standard knot would give an asymmetric final knot if tied as per equal turn instructions.

now, as a brilliant and simple solution to remedy the nasties above, Gary devised the 5/7 Blood knot seen here. it’s still the same knot in it’s basic construction but the thinner materials gets two extra turns resulting in a better grip. it doesn’t slip and the knot becomes symmetric again and regains all of it’s efficiency where it really matters: in the ‘real world’ of fishing.

5-7-Blood-Knot0031

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