a Griffith’s Gnat variant

here’s a seriously interesting emerger offshoot of the infamous G-Gnat.
created by Blue Ribbon Flies and demonstrated by Tim Flagler at MidCurrent, this little bug should do the do and do it well anywhere there’s teeny-tiny midges coming off and dancing about the surface. this one’s in size 20 but the basic idea in various tones and sizes to match your local bugs are sure to raise some trouty interest.
maybe its just me as it took me a little while to figure out the G-Gnat component in this pattern but fly names are fly names and its always good to respectfully attach a variant to its original, and said component happens to be: a very volume-reduced few turns of grizzly hackle over a short peacock herl thorax. those few turns are good enough for me and i’m positive, more than enough for a hungry fish. enjoy !

Fly Tying- Tim’s Double T

by Tim Flagler via MidCurrent

here’s a nifty wee bug sure to unsettle more than a few for more than a few reasons.
firstly, it looks like a dry fly but it isn’t, it’s a wet.

flies with sprouting wings tend to always be associated with in-or-on the surface patterns but anyone, and i guess that’s most of us, have caught fish with a dry fly when it was drowned and just like it’s often very productive to apply floatant to a wet fly and fish it in the surface, the opposite holds true as well. it’s not like either example is a secret but these not-so-conventional methods are very often game-changers, specially when we haven’t sussed out the necessary tactic of the moment or when the fish aren’t really in the mood to play. this tells us a couple of things, at least one of them is fact.

a) bugs don’t always make it through the surface film, or they’re born handicapped, or they got injured during the hatching stage by waterfalls or something, or they got exhausted and couldn’t break through, or maybe Hydra hit it with one of its goofy heads as it was thrashing about or, or, or…
whichever the reason, they’re doomed to helplessly tumble downstream and they’re an easy meal for any subsurface creature that likes to eat bugs.
b) it also subjectively proves that fish aren’t half as selective as some numpties might state since the fish are eating what should be on top of the water, beneath it.

part 2 of the unsettling bit is this fly’s size but for most fishers, that’s more of a mental block than one of visual capabilities. the thing with creating flies this size is they couldn’t be simpler to tie, not only because they require so little materials but mainly because there’s no need for details we tend to find important on larger patterns. this bug has tails, a thread abdomen, some whatever soft fluff as a wing (my preference goes for the tip part of the fluffy part at the base of feathers or even marabou) and a spittle of dubbing. furthermore, it doesn’t need to be all fancy and neat because its a drowned and undevelopped bug.  right ?

how are they fished ? upstream, across, downstream on their own or on a dropper just as you would with any other dry or wet. i like to fish them in teams of two, the point fly tied to a 50 or so cm dropper off the bend of the first fly’s hook bend with two slightly different colour patterns and/or sizes. ’nuff said, get you some and let us know how they did for you. enjoy !

River Streamer Fishing 101

excellent article here from Marshall Cutchin at MidCurrent with tons of very good tips from very good anglers for the river angler wanting to include streamer fishing to their bag of tricks.

streamer 101 MidCurrenta short extract from Kelly Galloup-
“First remember that line control is everything in all fly fishing and especially with streamers. Start close, streamer fishing is not hucking a fly as far as you can and hoping for a fish. You have to learn to control your fly and move the fly with your rod. So start close, say thirty feet max and then watch your fly. You should be moving your fly in small 6 inch movements with slight pauses between each six inch pulse. Cast across stream and always have a tight line. Don’t worry about getting the fly deep, most fish are less than 3 feet of water, if the fly is moving properly the fish will come and get it. Cast across stream and always keep the fly moving back across stream, do not allow the fly to swing tail first down stream. In other words this is not a wet fly swing with a bigger fly, you look for likely hold areas and then stalk and cast that area keeping the moving across the current. Make the fish come and get the fly by its erratic movements.”

click the back of the happy oarsman’s head for the complete article. enjoy !

Fly Fishing tips and tricks- Repairing fly line coatings

some super-nice advice from Phil Monahan and Ted Leeson via MidCurrent

“Leeson recommends using adhesive to bond the exposed ends of the coating together and to the (undamaged) core. This is ultimately a temporary fix because the adhesive will eventually buckle, crack, or fail because of the constant bending and stretching that a fly line undergoes. However, if you only have to perform this operation a few times a year, it might be worth it.”phil monahan linerepair midcurrent
“1- Wash and dry the damaged area thoroughly.
2- Gently fold the fly line, so that the cut in the line widens, exposing the core.
3- Using the tip of a toothpick, apply a small amount of adhesive to the gap between the coating ends. Make sure some adhesive gets on both ends, as well as on the core.
4- Straighten the line to close the gap.”
and the article goes on and on including really solid methods to repair not just cracks but also areas of a line where the coating is missing over a larger area by using heat-shrink tubes, the always amusing fire element and even lightbulbs !

as for my own contribution to this subject i’ll start with a cracked coating experience that happened several years ago.
just as in the pic above, one day i noticed a crack on the running line just behind the line’s head on one of my ‘land-only’ practice lines. figuring that since its a form of plastic a little glue to fill the gap definitely wouldn’t hurt to extend this line’s life, at least for a little while. since all coatings are flexible it seemed pretty daft to use something like standard super-glue that becomes hard and inflexible when dried so i did an initial test with UV resin, Loon’s somethingorother i believe. once cured this resin remained flexible.

that’s all pretty straightforward but here’s where this little story becomes a bit more interesting and actually counters the “This is ultimately a temporary fix because the adhesive will eventually buckle, crack, or fail because of the constant bending and stretching that a fly line undergoes” quote above.
at the time i lived in a cabin in the woods. although there was a bit of lawn, most of it was impractical for fly casting so the main practice venue was the driveway and this driveway was covered with sharp gravel, the kind of stuff that loves to eat and wear down fly lines. i expected the UV ‘patch’ to come off quite quickly but after two more years of just about daily practice the line itself of course wore out completely but the tiny glue bump was still there doing its job. i’m still amazed how this half a drop worked so well.

call me cheap, an anti-consumerism eco-freak or whatever you want but i really don’t like throwing things away unless they’re completely worn out or don’t perform their function, specially when a quick solution is so efficient. something to think about if or when this happens to you.

enough babble, click the image for the complete article. enjoy !

Fly Fishing and Sex

First-Ever Fly Fishing Sex Survey by Scott Bowen via MidCurrent “In the first study of its kind, the Federal Institute of Human Sexuality and Sexual Health (FIHSSH) surveyed 2 million American fly fishers about their sex lives, in a search for data about the potential impact of fly fishing on human sexual behavior.” masters-and-johnson_640 when it comes to fly fishing with all the sexy thises and sexy thats branded about freely, it’s hard at times to really know what’s up. for the complete the lowdown you’ll have to click HERE but in the meantime here’s a few choice morsels.
“1. How satisfied are you with your sex life?
2. How often do you engage in sexual activity with a partner?
3. What would you change about your sex life?
4. What is your main fly-fishing endeavor?”

“Nationwide, more fly-fishing hours are spent angling for trout, but the dry-fly group and general trout ranked sixth and fifth respectively in overall sexual satisfaction and frequency. “Hardcore dry-fly fishers also often wish their partner would embrace, or at least accept, a fetish for tweed.” “A fly box full of bass bugs is indicative of a slower-paced sex life, with bass fly fishers scoring a 3 in sexual satisfaction, and indicating monthly sex frequency, on average. We have a theory about that,” Dr. Dangerfield says. “Hot weather. You’ve got people fly fishing for bass across the South, and it’s just too humid to get it on, you know?”
as for those who get it the most, you’ll have to visit the page. enjoy !
ps- we’ll notice that nymphing isn’t even mentioned. i wonder why…
pps- even if this was posted on April 1st, i still believe its true. (specially the nympher part)

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…

“Brown Trout”

by Dan Sharley via MidCurrent

%22Brown Trout%22 Dan Sharley - MidCurrent

be sure to visit MidCurrent for a weekly selection of fine fly fishing art and great articles on everything fly fishing.
better yet, subscribe to receive free weekly email updates. enjoy !

“Do not blindly accept statements about 95 and 98 percent knots. Even if a claim is the product of rigorous testing, it indicates what a knot can achieve rather than what it will always achieve.”

Art Scheck via MidCurrent

or in other words, take your time, inspect and test. it’s well worth the extra seconds.

knot1_opt

for a selection of recommended knots that suit our fly fishing needs click on the mess above.

Worms, Salmon Eggs, Marshmallows, Erin and S’mores

by Erin Block via MidCurrent

It’s about tying nice flies…
FlyDesigner-1 by Erin Block

but maybe s’more than fly tying, it’s about love.
the love of doing something oneself, of giving it ‘that special touch’, of adding a bit of your personality; what some may refer to as ‘soul’ to everything you do to make every moment, your moment. of not doing good but of doing nice.
personally, i’ll add an extra layer of chocolate to my S’mores so the marshmallow goo is completely surrounded by the good stuff. after the tenth or so i might keep the same inner configuration and work on the crust volume by adding another layer of chocolate on top (and bottom) of each cracker and then add another cracker top and bottom as crust.
a sandwich within a sandwich…

’nuff said. here’s Erin’s top cracker-
“Once upon a time, in a world not as very far away as we like to think, we had to tie our own flies. Just like we had to grow our own food and build our own homes. And we did these things, and they were hardy and served us well. There was no online ordering, no fly shop bin of options, no grocery store or butcher. You did it yourself because you had to. And sometimes life still requires of us that we take up the slack and drive like we know where we’re going—there will be time for looking at the map when you’re lost.  As I often feel, discouraged, sitting at my tying desk.”

and here’s the bottom one-
“One of the things that sticks with me is not the catching, not the fish.  Rather, it’s watching a new fly tied the night before swim lucidly through a backcountry lake, never ceasing to make me feel like a kid again, surprised by the fact that it works. Casting out I do it again, but only for myself, not for the trout. Because it’s not about not half-assing it.  It’s about tying nice flies.”

CrumplerCricket2 by Erin Block

if you liked the crunchy parts, click either pick for the soft, delicious, creamy filling.
enjoy !

Fly Casting- Joan and her Sponge

by Joan Wulff produced by Jeffrey Pill | Miracle Productions via MidCurrent

here’s one of the better tips a fly fisher/caster can have.
the ‘death grip’, a constant tightening of the hand throughout the casting cycle not only leads to pains which can vary from discomfort all the way  up to tendonitis but is one of the best ways to be a sucky and inefficient caster.

leaving the pain aspect away, what happens if we grip the rod handle too tightly throughout the stroke is:
– as discussed in the  Poetry, Grace, Fluidity and the State of Relaxed Butt article, tightened muscle and tendon groups don’t move freely directly resulting in harsh, imprecise movements, the total opposite of what we want.
– if we don’t relax the hand at the end of the stroke (the ‘stop’) we’ll accentuate counter-flex both in amplitude and duration. (counter-flex is the boing-boinging of the rod) counter-flex is normal and inevitable but we want to reduce it to a minimum because it creates waves in the rod leg of the loop and waves are slack and slack is no good for the simple reason that slack means less than optimal control of the line.
Lasse Karlsson’s video below illustrates the damping effect caused by loosening the grip perfectly.

relaxing the grip is one of those complex coordination movements a caster must acquire to be a consistent, accurate and successful fisher and like anything that has to do with fly casting, should be practiced well. Joan’s video explains and shows a great way to practice this, enjoy !

click the image to access the video’s page.
Joan Wulff Hand Tension - MidCurrent 23-1-13
thanks again to MidCurrent for sharing these gems !

A. K. Best’s Casting Techniques

via MidCurrent

” IT USUALLY TAKES ME three or four casts to finally put the fly over the fish where I’d like it to land. But I’m a believer in presenting the first few casts to a spot that will be at least a foot or two to my side of the fish. If the fish is really hungry, it’ll often charge over to grab the fly. If it doesn’t, I can gradually work the fly in closer to the fish’s holding spot and get better floats as I adjust the angle of my casting arm and the power of the cast for more dramatic left hooks. “

no “I’ll just fling it out haphazardly and see what happens” -type fishing here.
this is strategy and it’s trout hunting.

from thoughts on fly presentation-

to retrieval techniques-

there’s a wealth of information and food for thought for any angler wanting to have more fun on the water and increase their fish catches.

click either pic to access the full article. enjoy !