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DIY

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Let’s talk about tippet — Three questions about the end of the line in a fly fishing rig

on
October 26, 2018
I’ve had old timers tell me that leader and tippet technology is the biggest advancement in fly fishing over the last half-century. Within my own twenty-five years of fly fishing, I’ve seen fly shop wall space grow to include tippet spools of nylon and fluorocarbon in all X sizes (sometimes in half sizes too), with most manufacturers offering multiple options for stiffness and breaking strength in each diameter.

It’s all gotten a little complicated, I suppose, and my friends at TCO tell me that fielding confused questions about tippet is a daily chore. So let’s answer three important questions about tippet. What type? (Nylon vs Fluorocarbon.) What size? (How thick of a diameter is best?) And how long should your tippet section be?

Note: this article is not intended to be a comprehensive write-up for all things tippet. Google search will supply you with that. Instead, I’ll give you a real world, stream-level account of what works for me and the Troutbitten guys.

Tips/Tactics

Fly Fishers — How to Wet Wade

on
July 4, 2018
Did you know that breathable waders only breath when they’re underwater? Fun fact, right? The permeable membranes can only pass water vapor while submersed. Not such a big deal when you aren’t producing much water vapor (evaporating sweat), but it’s a messy, clammy situation when the mercury climbs and the water drops. Amiright?

As modern life becomes more automated, more air conditioned and less labor intensive, it seems that our general tolerance for being uncomfortable has suffered. So baking yourself crispy in a plastic suit with suspenders is pretty much out. Fair enough, but there’s no need to hang up the fly rod for the summer either.

What to do, then? Wet wade

Tips/Tactics

DIY — Put Your Wet Boots Here

on
May 16, 2018
When my wading boots dry out I know it's been too long since I've fished. Thankfully, they're usually wet, so I like to have a good place to store them. Here's an effective way to transport wet wading boots without draining creek water where you don't want it.

I use a drawer from a plastic storage bin that I bought for $12 at Wal Mart a decade ago. That's a small price to pay to keep my wife happy (enough) when I turn family visits into fishing trips by bringing fishing gear along.  She doesn't want creek juice leaking onto the carpets of the van.  Yes, we have a mini van. No, I won't try to defend it.  Let's move on . . .

Fifty Tips Tips/Tactics

Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #36 — Dry flies and flotation — Building in some buoyancy and preserving it

on
April 2, 2018
Hatch season is just around the corner. On some rivers we’ve already experienced good fishing over eager trout rising to delicate Blue Winged Olives. And somewhere in the distance, a chorus grows louder — the Grannoms are coming, the Grannoms are coming.

Oh sure, there are midge fishing opportunities around here all winter long. (I know a local guy who travels in shorts and picks his spots from the banks with no-see-um dry flies all winter long). But for most of us, the winter season is a subsurface fishing affair — we bottom bounce nymphs and strip streamers for eligible trout. And after four months of all that, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t get excited about a good dry fly opportunity. In fact, show me a legit chance to fish dries for active fish, and I’ll take it any day of the year.

And now, on the precipice of all the major hatches, right before mayflies, caddis, midges and stones start bumping into each other, we prepare at our vises. We tie flies, and we dream. We pack our gear and envision the surface slash, the gulp, the dimple and the ring of the rise. So it helps to consider for a moment — what keeps a dry fly floating on the surface in the first place?

Tips/Tactics

Polish Yer Beads — Rejuvenate a fly’s tarnished bead or conehead

on
January 2, 2018

Dull metalheads mess with my confidence. I fish with copper, gold or silver beadheads and coneheads because they’re shiny. And when picking out my next fly, I avoid ones…