Odds 'n' Sods of Information and Opinion

Fishing technique

Prospecting with conventional tackle

There's a very nice run that I like t fish that always holds bass in summer, but the pickings have always been slim in steelhead season. It has all of the characteristics of a great steelhead spot, yet it has produced very little.
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Two Weeks in Cape Cod

Or as it should be know as, "Two Weeks of the Long Wind".

In 2015 I had brought one spinning rod as in previous years, wind had ruined some days. I wanted at least one spinning rod backup that would allow me to continue fishing despite the wind. I had so much fun with it that after the trip I went out and bought more.
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Heavy tip and light fly vs. light tip and heavy fly

I have been using Airflo FLO sinktips lately and they made me think about something I usually do instinctively and that is the process of matching fly, leader and sinktip to the fishing situation. In this case it was a matter of deciding on a heavy tip and light, slow sink fly vs. light tip and heavy, fast sink fly. Read More...

Long leaders and deep swings

Any of you who have read Jock Scott’s or Bill McMillan’s works will have some familiarity with fishing deep using nothing more than a fly tied on a big hook and a long leader. It’s worth taking another look at these techniques as they can be very rewarding, especially when applied to intermediate lines.

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Appreciating sheephead

Recently went fishing on my buddy’s boat, trying for Lake Erie smallmouth and ended up with four very nice sheepshead, all by accident. One was probably around three lbs. while the others were around five.

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Leader Design

When I’m reading about leader questions on various forums and magazines, I’m often struck by how little thought has gone into the fishing aspect of the design as it seems that everyone is concerned primarily with turnover. A lot of the discussion sees to be centred around finding a leader formula and once they have it, they’re off to the races, but no single leader formula can encapsulate all fishing situations. Read More...

Avoiding the Mismatch

Having everything working together can make such a difference. There is a direct relationship between rod length and line weight, line head length and taper, leader length, thickness, and size of fly. It will be next to impossible to consistently cast well, a big, heavy wet sock of a fly using a long thin leader, light, finely tapered line, and a short, light rod. Read More...

Sample Comprehensive Setups

Here are some examples of how I put together the line, leader construction, fly type, and casting angle into one, comprehensive system where no part ever works against another. My leader decisions are always intertwined with the fishing situation and have to work with every other component of the system, so I don't have any hard and fast formulas. Read More...

The Importance of Calibrating Your System

I always start building my system from the fish back to the reel. It’s based on the presentation I want to achieve to reach the fish, then the fly design needed for that presentation, working back through leader, then head, running line, and finally rod and reel. All aspects have to work together and have to be based on a clear vision of the desired presentation. Read More...

Building a Comprehensive System

One consistent problem I see when watching others fish with two-handed rods -- the failure of the anglers to ensure that all components of the system are working together. Usually this results in an out-of-position fly and reduced chances of taking a fish. Read More...

Fishing Full Sinkers

In most of the typical steelhead water we fish, the angler should select a full sink head based on the sink rate needed for the bottom current speeds, not the top ones. Normally this means selecting a full sink head that seems too slow for the job: for instance, an S1/2 where the top currents might seem to suggest an S3/4. Read More...

Lifting and Casting Full Sinkers

While casting full sinkers is not a problem, the lift however, can be an adventure to the uninitiated. Sometimes there's no choice but to roll cast up a deeply sunk line, but in most cases, a few techniques will get the job done quite easily.

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Full sinkers vs. Sinktips

Any sinktip angler tying to transition to using full sinking shooting heads, will probably have some issues trying to figure out which head will work in what situation. The decision making and the fishing of sinktips is an easier proposition, in comparison to full sinkers. Read More...

Managing full sinker depth

Simply moving the rod tip can have a significant effect on depth control. When casting short, a high rod tip position can keep the fly running shallow, but when it crosses into deeper water, dropping the tip will sink the head and fly very quickly. The sink rate takes some getting used to, as changes in rod tip position can make for large depth changes, especially when fishing a short line. Read More...

Full sinker control

We're familiar with mending sinktip systems to control depth and speed, Full sinkers obviously have limited opportunity for mending, so it's understandable that those who rely on mending sinktip systems to get the fly down, assume that the lack of mending a full sinker means lack of control. Not true. Mending can be accomplished via air mends, reach mends, or a water mend just as the head lands. Once the head is in the water, presentation and depth control are maintained through rod tip position, the distance cast, casting angle and line tension.
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Fishing full sinking lines and shooting heads

Not many people fish full sinking shooting heads, yet they can be quite valuable when flows are high, the current is fast or the water very cold. A lot of what is written below can also be applied to intermediate Skagit setups.
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Leaders on sinkers

It’s a simple thing, but I’m surprised more people don’t use the technique - putting long leaders on sinking lines. As long as the fly sinks as fast or faster than the sinking line, then the leader can be any length you like. Read More...

Swymphing

Swymphing is the art of dead drifting a fly on a tight line, then swinging it out at the end, all without the aid of splitshot and bobbers. Read More...