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...
** This is Part Two of a short Troutbitten series about contact, feel and sight while tight line nymphing. This all reads a lot better if you first visit Part One (Strike Detection is Visual). Also be sure to find Part Three (Contact Can Be Felt at the Rod Tip) ** --...
** This is Part One of a short Troutbitten series about contact, feel and sight while tight line nymphing. Be sure to find Part Two (How Much of this is Feel?) and Part Three (Contact Can Be Felt at the Rod Tip) ** Smith arose from his halfway crouch and took a step...
There’s a sweet spot to every drift. For each swing of a wet fly, strip of a streamer or drift of a dry, there’s a range — a distance — where the fly looks its best. This is the moment where the fur and feathers tied to a hook are most convincing or most natural. It’s...
A simple piece of colored monofilament might be the most important element in a tight line nymphing rig. The sighter, placed just above the tippet section of the leader, shows us everything about the drift. When fished well, a Mono Rig or a euro nymphing setup provides the angler with amazing control over the course of the flies. So it’s important to use it to our advantage.
Reading the sighter is an unending education. Like so many interesting pursuits in life, tight lining is something you can refine to no end.
Everything we read from the sighter follows from first gaining contact. Learning to make that contact happen, and learning to see whether we are in touch with the flies, is the primary skill. Everything else follows from there.
In a future article, I’ll break down all the elements of reading a sighter, but for now, let’s focus on just one important aspect — keeping the sighter stable . . .
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.) . . .
New to tight lining? Then staring at the bright piece of colored line is a good place to start. But as soon as you gain some skills for reading the angle and speed of the sighter, when you can quickly gauge contact with your nymphs by glancing at the sag of the sighter, then it’s time to look ahead. Get to the next level.
. . . We do everything possible to improve the visibility of the sighter section in our leaders. We leave tag ends, add backing barrels and use super-bright opaque colored material. Good anglers also learn to fish from the best angles for visibility — usually with the sun or brightest light at their backs. So it’s easy to be mesmerized by those colors. And I think most nymph fishers catch themselves staring at the sighter too often, missing all the other available signals.
. . . What are those signals? Most of them are beyond the sighter — past the last visible piece of yellow, red, orange, etc. and into the water . . .
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?
During our lunch, I asked George when and why he chooses to float the sighter.
We then talked about a mistaken perception about floating the sighter. An angler may think he’s able to suspend a heavier fly with a greased sighter, just because it doesn’t sink under the surface. But the sighter may simply not be in touch with the flies. It’s an easy mistake to make.
The advantages of a Tenkara presentation are not exclusive or unique to Tenkara itself, and in fact, the same benefits are achieved just as well — and often better — with a long fly rod and (gasp) a reel.
I bought a Tenkara rod for my young boys a few years ago, because the longer a rod is, the more control the boys have over a drift. And the lighter a rod is, the easier it is for their small arms to cast. Long and light Tenkara rods flex easily, allowing them to load with minimal effort. That’s great for both kids and adults.
I’ve used the boys’ Tenkara rod extensively — long enough to understand exactly what I don’t like about Tenkara and to understand that a fisherman can achieve the same things with a standard, long leader (long Mono Rig) setup.