Today's article is a Remix from 2016. It's one of the most important pieces on Troutbitten. You can find it here: Fly Fishing Strategies: Tags and Trailers Enjoy the day. Domenick Swentosky T R O U T B I T T E N firstname.lastname@example.org [the_ad...
For the last five years, I’ve written Troutbitten articles that describe a tight line fly fishing system called the Mono Rig. The details of the system and how it fishes are laid out across nearly fifty entries on Troutbitten. If read consecutively and in total, a...
All long term anglers find a set of files to believe in. We attach a confidence to these patterns that carries over from the moment we form the knot to the hook eye. We fish better with these flies. We make them work. With more focus, we refine each drift with our...
Put the nymphs on the bottom. I heard it from everyone I talked with and everything I read, so that’s what I did. I added weight to get the nymphs down — to touch the river bottom with my flies. And on most days, the experience was something between frustrating and...
Most of my weekday mornings start somewhere in a gravel or dirt space that’s large enough for a couple of cars. Surrounded by hemlocks, ferns and flowing water, it’s a privilege to guide the wild trout rivers that I’ve loved and fished for much of my life. Most...
On a first drift through the lane, you may very well set on anything. But maybe that line hesitation was just the flies ticking the top of a rock. Good. Now you know.
Don’t set on anything. And don’t wait for a sixth sense to kick in and grant you the superpower of sensing trout takes. Instead, pick a lane and learn it. Use the nymph as a probe to draw a mental map of a specific lane. Refine the drift. And all the while, set on anything unusual.Let’s break it down real quick . . .
My first experience with modern sighter material was an opaque line from a Czech company. I paid more in shipping than I paid for the line, and I waited a couple weeks, wondering if the package would ever arrive.
It did. And I immediately noticed how different it was. The material was extremely limp when compared to the same diameter of the Gold Stren and Amnesia that I favored. And at the tying desk, where I’d opened the package and inspected the line, I loved how visible the new bi-color was — it was opaque, not translucent. So I was eager to fish with the new line, assuming it would become my new favorite sighter material.
It didn’t. Instead, just a few casts in, I realized what I’d given up by using the new material — turnover.
For better or worse, modern sighter material is all quite similar in design to that first line I bought from the Czechs. It’s opaque (great). And it’s limp (great only sometimes.) . . .
How do you know when to set the hook? Should you set on any twitch, pause or hesitation of the line and sighter? Yeah, sometimes. If the trout eats the nymph fast and hard, those twitches and pauses are unmistakable. Aggressive takes are obvious, but most eats on a nymph are subtle. And the angler has a choice: set on anything, or make guesses about every twitch, pause and hesitation. It’s a rough life. But there’s a third option too . . .
The check set is a very short and powerful hook set that moves the nymph just a few inches. Drift, drift, bump, check set. Nope, not a trout. Then let the nymph fall back into the drift and watch for the next take.
That sounds much easier than it really is. And in fact, the check set simply does not work under some conditions. But in the right situation, it’s a deadly tactic. Let’s get to that . . .
Thinner butt sections sag less. But the thinner they are, the more they lose that fly-line-style performance. And sometimes, that matters a great deal.
All of this is part of the the joy in being a fly fisher. There are hundreds of ways to make things work. And because every angler brings a unique set of goals and conditions, that’s why there are so many solutions . . .
Here is part two of a short Troutbitten series answering frequently asked questions about the Mono rig.
What rods and reels are a good choice? Why choose one over another? How do we cast these long leaders anyway? Are there certain crucial techniques to use for gaining accuracy and distance? What about sighters? And can we use split shot in addition to weighted flies?