Archive for January 2013

Long line nymphing work……..   4 comments

Hidy, Ho good neighbors.  Sitting here watching Braveheart and trying to get over whatever bug is kickin’ my tail.  Hit me like a ton of bricks while on the water yesterday.  Thankfully, I feel a bit better than then.

As promised, I am going to give you a link to a video dealing with long-line mending.  I apologize beforehand for the audio.  I used a tripod and camera in the river, and picked up a lot of water sound.  Surprisingly, the times I viewed the video, I got used to it, and was able to fine tune the sound.  You should too.

Couple of tips on mending:

  • You can only mend what line you can take off the water.
  • Mend to produce a drag free drift, I don’t care how you get drag free, just get there quickly with as little wasted line left as possible.
  • Don’t try to over do it, move your feet closer before you try to over extend the drift and your capabilities.
  • Learn specialty casts (reach, tuck, etc) to minimize mending.
  • Learn to mend vertically.
  • Mend like you’re mad at it……

View the video at:  http://youtu.be/xtGOBORMFU4

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 Have a great week.  Fear No Water!
 
Duane

So lost without you……   2 comments

I had the opportunity to visit quite a bit with Eric Stoup from Pennsylvania.  Eric is a guide, author and speaker of  high order.  Eric and I spent a lot of time discussing nymphing techniques.  He nymph fly fishes without an indicator.   During our discussions I decided I would give his methods a try. 

I always have felt that the more versatile a fly fisher you can be the better.  So, armed with a leader that Eric designs and builds himself, a picture in my mind of how to rig bugs and weight, and a 9′ 5weight TFO, I hit the river. 

Right away I realized how helpful an indicator is. So lost without it.  I caught fish, some by accident, others on purpose, but an indicator for tailwater fish is a great tool.  Tailwater fish have a tendency to take bugs gently.  It was hard to detect a strike.  I’m not saying Eric’s methods don’t work, on the contrary they do, but I’d have to log in many more hours to feel proficient.  Funny, that’s the way I learned to nymph.

I think that the simple fact that I worked on that method for a half day, I became a better fly fisher.  I had to really tighten up the drift, had to “feel” the fish, and had to be more attentive to everything. I certainly employ it again sometime, and I can envision it being a go-to method of nymphing on a few waters I fish like Clear Creek and the Middle Fork.  It’s fun.

Eric’s method works.  To learn how to employ it you can buy a copy of his first book, Common Sense Fly Fishing: 7 Simple Lessons to Catch More Trout.

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Pictured is a Cuttbow I picked up nymphing sans indicator.  I “felt” this fish eat.

Stay tuned- next week I will post a video on long line mending.

Fear No Water!

Duane

Posted January 21, 2013 by flyfishersplaybook in Uncategorized

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All dimensions.   2 comments

Hidy ho, good neighbors.  I had a great conversation with two fly fishers in the fly shop yesterday.  Both had read my book, but wanted further clarification on the dimensions of the nymph drift. 

I used to only think about the “horizonatal mend” during the drift.  The mend that allows you to place line above, below, or a combination of both, of your fly line to get a drag free drift.  By the way, I don’t like to use the term “dead drift”, I want those bugs to look “alive”, real.  So, to achieve a “live” drift, the angler must either take line off the water, and/or mend the line to allow for minmal drag on the flies.  Drag, simply put, happens when your flies are forced to go too fast or too slow and look unnatural to the fish.

Mastering the horizontal mend comes with time and attention to detail.  As you become proficient you become to “see” the bugs in your mind’s eye.  Don’t call me crazy, it’s true.  You begin to have experience and expertise that allows you the chance to know exactly where your bugs are in the drift.  However, and this is a big however, if you don’t realize the need for a vertical dimension within the drift, you will never really master the nymph drift.

If you took a cross section of the river and studied the dynamics of water speeds you would notice that the surface speed of the water is travelling roughly twice as fast as the water at your feet (grade).  If you look at the diagram you will see what the forces are doing to your leader sub-surface.  Yup, it’s creating drag.  So, you could have your weight dialed in perfectly, but STILL be getting ugly drag on your bugs.  The longer the drift, the more vertical drag you add to the drift.  That’s why I employ the “pause mend”.

The pause mend is just that.  Somewhere in mid drift, all you need to do is pause the indicator for just an instant.  You will immediately see a difference in the drift.  What happens is the paused indicator allows the leader to catch up to the drift, and you simply “release” it to finish the drift.  Once you have it you will not only start picking off more fish, but you will become better at all facets of nymphing, especially sight nymphing.  It’ in the Fly Fishers Playbook, it should be in yours!

vertical drag2

Fear No Water!

Duane

Sight Feeshing Revisted   Leave a comment

I have already talked up sight fishing, but I continually harp on it because I think it’s the pinnacle of nymphing.  It incorporates all of the facets, and bundles them up into a few  (maybe one) good presentation(s).

Sight fishing allows your predatory nature to ooze.  You can’t deny the instinct, it’s there.  Some have a bit more mature instinct than others, but it’s there and it can be nurtured.  Once you start walking the banks, while noting the sun and shadows, hunting for a solitary big fish, you’re well on your way to becoming an apex nymping predator!

I filmed a short blurb last week on the South Platte.  Unfortunately, I didn’t set the shot up right so it’s not youtube worthy.  I’ll post a link so you can view it later, but please allow me to list a few things to watch for in the video.

  • Notice how I am set up
  • Notice where I cast (distance and angle)
  • Watch the set

The set-up is critical.  Watch the sun angle, water depth and “chop”, and fish activity.  The choppier the water, the better chance I have to get close to the fish, depth plays a role here too.  Deeper water means easier fish to stalk, but it also means tougher sight nymping control.  Experience is key.  Why fish activity?  The more active the fish, the less movement I can get away with, but I can get away with a poorer presentation.  In other words, more active fish feed in a wider area, but tend to spook easier.  The less active the fish (like the fish in the video) are easier to sneak up on, but your presentation has to be near perfect because inactive fish aren’t likely to move far side to side to eat.  

I usually walk the elevated portions of banks to spot fish.  After I spot one, I’ll reference a landmark, then sneak downstream to the waters edge.  At this point I’ll strip out the line I think I’ll need, make any adjustments, and begin the stealthy stalk upstream with a low flat flyrod and line trailing downstream. Now, when I’m set, I’ll pick a spot upstream of the fish, and lay it in there.  The distance I cast above the fish is determined (mostly) by water depth, water speed, my bugs weight, and the depth of the fish.  Experience will teach you exactly where you need to cast if you use the same nymphing set-up to the point you know it well.  Remember, you can move the flies to the desired line, depth, and speed if you happen to miss your mark.  Go practice on a submerged rock.  Really. 

Fish to the fish.  Usually, I see the fish eat.  Look for side to side motion or “cotton”.  “Cotton” is what you see when the fish opens it’s mouth to eat.  Look at how I keep the fly rod tip downstream of the indicator.  This helps me see what going on and reduces the time it takes to set on movement.  This short of a drift doesn’t call for a mend, just high stick it.  Keep your indicator in your peripheral view.  When you watch the video, you’ll see it stop.

That’s enough for now.  Here’s the link, I put it on the Flies and Lies Facebook.  http://www.facebook.com/#!/Flies.and.Lies

Sight nymphing is great!  Fear No Water,

Duane

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Here’s the fish that is in the video……

Posted January 7, 2013 by flyfishersplaybook in Uncategorized

Happy New Year!   2 comments

Hey folks,

Here’s to 2013, may all your wishes come true.

I got to spend a bit of time on the river last week.  Filmed two of the best guides on the South Platte River, Jeremy Hyatt and Jesse Bertsch.  What a treat.  Not only are they good friends and colleagues, these guys can flat out fish.  Have to admit that I used their skills to define many key components of  The Fly Fisher’s Playbook, but hey, that’s what friends are for! 

To view about a three minute video clip, got to http://youtu.be/a1GYsG-zhlk

Keys to look for include, body position, roll cast presentations, the speed of the indicators, fly rod positioning, the set, and anything else you can skim from the video. 

Hey, I’m going to be signing books at the Denver Fly Fishing Show this weekend.  Here’s my schedule that I’m in the Authors Booth:

Friday, Jan 6th @ 11:00am

Saturday, Jan 7th @ 9:00 am

Sunday, Jan 8th @ 2:00pm

Stop by and say “hey”.  Fear No Water,  Duane

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Posted January 2, 2013 by flyfishersplaybook in Uncategorized