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.