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Backing Barrel

Fly Fishing Strategies Tips/Tactics

Fly Fishing Strategies: Sighters — Seven Separate Tools

on
April 5, 2018
Sighters are game changers. A visible sighter allows you to stop guessing where your fly might be and know where it is instead. By having a visual reference at a fixed point on your leader, you can track the movements of that leader, in relation to the currents, and have a very good idea of what your flies are doing under the water — or on the surface.

Not only do I build a sighter into my nymph and streamer leaders, I also add small, subtle sighters into my dry fly leaders. As my friend, Jimmi Ray, says, “Why wouldn’t you?” Sighters, however, are a staple in tight line and euro nymphing leaders, and in the Mono Rig.

I absolutely believe in the effectiveness of long mono leaders for nearly every underwater presentation to river trout, but here's one major drawback: without the fly line, there’s nothing to look at. A sighter gives that visual back, better than ever.

Tips/Tactics

It’s a Suspender — Not Just an Indicator

on
February 1, 2018

This August, 2016 Troutbitten article is retooled and revisited here.
Bobber, cork, foam, yarn, dry fly. Those are my categories, but who cares? If you’ve been fly fishing and nymphing…

Tips/Tactics

A Slidable Dry Dropper System

on
June 21, 2017

A friend of mine once described a truly slidable, easily movable, dry dropper as the Holy Grail of fly fishing. I suppose it depends on where your goals and…

Tips/Tactics

Tight Line Nymphing | Where Should the Sighter Be?

on
May 31, 2017

What’s the sighter for? Ahhh, well that short length of colored line changes everything, doesn’t it?

The twenty-inch chunk of vivid monofilament, tied in just before the leader’s tippet section,…

Tips/Tactics

Tight Line Nymphing with an Indicator — A Mono Rig Variant

on
February 14, 2017
I dislike arbitrary limits. Placing restrictions on tackle and techniques, when they inhibit my ability to adapt to the fishing conditions, makes no sense to me. I’m bound by no set of rules other than my own. And my philosophy is — Do what works.

I guess that’s why I’ve grown into this fishing system. Most of the time I use what I refer to as the Mono Rig. It’s a very long leader that substitutes for fly line, and I’ve written about it extensively on Troutbitten. Tight line and euro nymphing principles are at the heart of the Mono Rig, but there are multiple variations that deviate from those standard setups. Sometimes I use split shot rather than weighted flies. Sometimes I add suspenders to the rig. I even throw large, articulated streamers and strip aggressively with the Mono Rig. All of this works on the basic principle of substituting #20 monofilament for fly line.

Tight line nymphing is my default approach on most rivers. I like the control, the contact and the immediacy of strike detection. But sometimes adding a suspender (an indicator that suspends weight) just works better.

Often, I add a dry fly to my tight line nymphing rig. "The Duo" (European fishermen’s term for dry/dropper) is widely popular because it’s a deadly variation of the standard tight line approach. But dry/dropper rigs have their issues. And choosing a Thingamabobber or a Dorsey Yarn Indicator for the suspender not only solves those issues but also includes extra benefits.

This isn’t about which method is better. Invariably, the answer to such questions in fishing is, “It depends.” Everything has its place. This is about how to use tight line principles with a suspender rig. I hate arbitrary limits. Do what works.