Oh, I see……   4 comments

Hidy Ho Good Neighbors!

Wow, been too long since I last posted, but I’ve been a busy dude.  Just spent the last eight to ten weeks cranking out the text for my next book project.  I’m really fired up about this book, and am looking for an on the shelf date of late 2017.  The text is done except for countless edits, but that’s never been the hard part for me.  The hard part is all of the charts, graphs, illustrations and pictures.  Going to rely on some talented friends to help out with all of that.  Speaking of friends, I asked four from around the country, at various stages of their perspective fishing careers to read and edit for flow, content, etc.  I really appreciate their help, and they will have special mention in the book.

First book was out on June of 2011, second came out in December 2014, this one hopefully, in December 2017.  Notice a pattern there?  What it tells me is that it takes me about three years to learn enough new stuff to be able to write another book.  That’s thousands of hours of on the water observations, note taking, and data collection.  I was on the river yesterday and someone shouted to me the river temperature, and I honestly didn’t care.  Oh, I will in a couple of weeks when the Blue Wings start popping, but yesterday was a diversion from the book day, so I simply nodded it off.

I am still amazed at what I glean from simple water time in a relatively short time.  It shows I’m paying attention AND there’s still more to learn!  A lot more!  This next book uses statistical information from hours and hours of dedicated note taking to flesh out the best techniques and flies to use as you progress on your fly fishing journey.  It’s going to be roughly 55,000 words, plenty of illustrations and pictures should round it out.  This years presentation is called Hidden In Plain View, and folks across the country seem to like it.  The presentation mirrors the book as it gets into being able to recognize the obvious and exploit the obscure in fly fishing.  It should have something for every level angler, and covers tactics from mini/skinny, double dry fly, nymphing, and streamer work.  Crazy fun.

So, with all that going on, I haven’t had much time to work on my annual winter technique.  Most that have followed for a while will recall that I pick something to work on every winter during slack times in the season.  This year, I decided to continue what I was working on last winter and last 2 years guiding seasons.  I’ve been working on this covertly, simply because I didn’t feel as if it was ready to unveil.  It’s no mind blasting technique, but I wanted to have the specifics dialed in before telling anyone about it.  In the last three years I have begun to use “sighter” leaders in my suspended or hinged nymph rigs.  A sighter leader allows the angler many benefits, but mostly for this indicator fishing it helps detect very subtle eats, and it gives you a great idea of what your rig is doing sub-surface in relation to your indicator.  It’s a specialized leader I build using various poundages and colors of amnesia and monofilament lines.  A few of the knot tags are left un-trimmed and further the sight capabilities.

Many anglers don’t even realize what is going on sub-surface in regards to the indicator.  We are so dialed into surface mending, that we don’t think about subsurface mending.  We can see what is going on surface wise because of our fly line, but it’s often difficult to discern what is going on below the indicator.  The sighter leader fixes that because it will clue you in as to when your leader turns over the indicator, and where your flies are at pretty much anytime within the drift.  This has been a huge help to many of my clients as they begin to see how a few specialty mends can effect the entire sub-surface drift.    They then can learn and employ a pile, stack, or pause mend with great effectiveness and confidence, because the results are observable through the sighter.

Here’s the formula for one of my leaders, this is all you get til the book comes out!  Try this, I think you’ll like it:

36″- 20 pound Yellow Amnesia

30″ – 14 pound clear Monofilament

24″ – 10 pound Red Amnesia

Connect everything with a blood knot, and if you wish use a tippet ring at the end of the 10 pound red amnesia, it’s a fine idea.  From the tippet ring attach your 16″ of 4x, 5x, or whatever mono or flouro to your first fly. You can place your split shot above the tippet ring to complete your in-line nymph rig.

Upstream sighter leader work. Photo James Durden.

 

 

I was fishing this rig just yesterday and noticed and set on the sighter movement more than a few times.  The indicator never even twitched.  It does take a bit of practice to use the sighter because it forces you to keep the indicator in your peripheral vision and use it as a secondary device.  This just adds to your angling versatility as you begin to fish the entire vicinity around the nymph rig.

Anyway, enough for now.  I’ll be better with more consistent posts.  Til then, get out and fish the sighter.

Fear No Water!

Notice the blood knot tag location…mono to red amnesia line.

4 responses to “Oh, I see……

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  1. Duane,
    I look forward to the book at the end of the year! Question about your leader…you don’t find that the red amnesia above the tippet section spooks fish? I plan on giving your formula a try, but just curious. Thanks!

    • Hey Art,

      That is a great question! I do believe I have seen instances where the red amnesia has spooked fish. This has only happened on gin clear tailwaters and when the last clear tippet section is getting too short from cutting/re-tying/etc. If I keep a legit 18″ of clear mono or flouro after the red sighter, I haven’t seen it happen. I do have a modified sighter for those situations that I’ll use when I know those clear conditions with picky fish are going to be prevalent. I leave the yellow top section as is, cut the next mono section down to 16″, cut the red amnesia down to 16″ and add an additional 8-10 inches to the last clear section. This gives me a legit 7.5″ leader with sighters in tact.
      I ran the original all last week and we caught several nice, big, spooky fish, so it works, but we’re always looking for better right?
      Now on the Eagle, a big, rough freestone, I haven’t noticed any fish being spooked by the leader. Let me know how it goes for you, and keep in touch!

      Duane

  2. Hi Duane,

    Thank you very much for the post and the upcoming book. I’m excited to give it a read.

    Couple questions about your rig: Have you found the rig to work best at any particular water depth (ie: has it been un-necessary in shallower water)? Also, how far away from the fish (especially in clear water like you mention) have you been fishing from and still able see your underwater sighter?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Josh,
      The rig works well in all water depths that you would typically nymph. Deep and shallow alike.
      I don’t have any convincing evidence that fish are actually spooking from the sighted. I have suspected it, but it could have been many other factors. As far as how fish see, there’s a lot of evidence that they see as well as we underwater.
      As an angler your set up and presentation are as important as your drift and set mechanics.
      Thanks, take care.

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