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Hidy Ho Good neighbors,

Just like spring is for love, winter is for improvement.  Of course I’m talking about fly fishing, winter is a great time for improving your skills.  This winter I’m working on my photography and videoing skills.  I have a ways to go, but it’s neat to research, seek out those that have the skills I want to develop, and utilize the cool lighting winter presents.  Alan Peak and I went fishing over a month ago, because I needed additional pictures for the upcoming book.  It’s easy to see the difference between his photos and mine, but I’m learning.

I really need to learn how to edit my videos.  All of my videos are one-shot, no edit jobbies.  The ability to edit would greatly enhance the quality.  Heck, I just realized the other day while video taping a clip for an upcoming presentation that my camera has a setting that actually mutes out wind and flowing water sounds.  Geez.

Speaking of presentations, I am presenting at this years Fly Fishing Show in Denver the 3rd,4th, and 5th of January.  I’ll be presenting about mastering technical waters, specifically the South Platte River.  Shows are Friday @ 3 room C, Saturday @ 3 room A, and Sunday @ 3 room B. I’ll also be in the Authors Booth signing books Friday @ 5, Saturday @ 4 and Sunday @ 1:30.  Hope to see you there!

I’ve been encouraging several fly anglers to work on their streamer fishing skills.  I basically began my fly fishing swinging streamers and wet flies.  Caught a lot of fish as a kid using those 2 methods.  I like nothing more than to work a stream from the middle out, downstream, ripping streamers.  Great way to “pre-fish” waters I’ve never been on, and a great way to hook some big fish.  Just a simple quarter downstream approach will garner you plenty of action, but you will learn cross-stream, upstream, and downstream techniques too.

You learn to “feel” where the streamer is in the columns and seams and this helps you give or take line.  You learn to mend line to sink the streamer, speed it up, impart darting movements, and prepare for the swing stage.  I believe really learning to streamer fish will enhance ALL of your fly fishing skills because it’s all about feel and line/rod management.

Shorten up those leaders to about 5 feet, with about a 2x leader diameter tied to the streamer.  I use a duncan loop for the knot, because it allows for a bit more streamer movement.  In most rivers, I’ll stick with my floating line, but I have used intermediate and full sink lines to swing fish meat.  Slow down your casting motion or you could end up wearing a nice streamer.  Or you could learn to spey cast and really get into the essence of streamer fishing.   You’ll learn very quickly as you pick up a few fish that streamer fly fishing can be explosive.  The takes are incredible, like an electric jolt.

Have a Happy New Year, pick something you want to improve, and as always, Fear No Water!



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