Archive for the ‘#mending’ Tag

Just keep settin’   Leave a comment

Hidy Ho Good Neighbors!

“I probably would’ve set on that”. “I didn’t even see it move”, he replied.  I said automatically, “Yea, we need to keep working on the take recognition”.  All too often, I watch fish after fish eat our offerings and nothing is done on the business side of the fly rod.  Doesn’t matter, it could be an eat on the swing, lift, drift or surface, and nothing happens.

I’m beyond getting frustrated with clients when they don’t recognize a fish eating their offerings; I try instead, to use it as a teaching tool.  Breaking down the missed opportunity right after the fact, seems to more completely reinforce the need and timing of something that should have been set upon, than beating them over the head with it.  And, like magic, once they relax and hook a few, they begin to recognize more eats and set more quickly.

The more you set correctly, the more solid hook-ups you create….

I think most folks, even my experienced clients, that miss fish are usually preoccupied with working on another skill, and/or are overwhelmed with tougher drifts.  The tougher the drift, the more mending, and the more difficult it becomes to babysit the drift.  Many times clients miss takes because they are watching their hands and the fly line to ensure a good drift, and lose focus on the indicator, indicator fly (dry-dropper), or the dry fly on the surface. Sometimes, when working on advanced skills, such as, pause and go mending, folks again lose focus on the take, and miss fish. It’s easy to do.

So, how do you fix this?  What do you do if you are continually missing fish?  Simplify. In this case, simplification takes place in two ways: doing less while perfecting more. Perfect the ability to mend without taking your eyes off of the indicator, sighter leader, dry fly, or indicator fly. As you become more proficient at having both hands work as one, you will begin to do less, work less, and simplify the drift. So, the first simplification is teaching the hands to work together, next skill is to stop out-casting your coverage.

Out-casting your coverage begins when you have too much line out for your skill level.  I believe in healthy management loops below the reel, and large slack mends if your skill level calls for it, but once you feel as if you are continually mending in your drift and can’t keep up, be honest and realize you’ve hit your limit.  No shame in that, just keep working to increase your coverage. Again, simplify.

Don’t out-kick your drift ability coverage.

This sounds basic, but many folks don’t really know how to set once they do recognize an eat.  All sets are not created equal.  Nymph drift sets are a low sweeping motion downstream over the water.  You must set the distance required to actually straighten out the line to pierce the lip. Many folks set quickly enough, but “short-set” and never straighten the line.  The dry fly and dry-dropper set are usually downstream over the downstream shoulder.  Much less force is applied than the nymph set because there’s not as much drag on the rig, and too much force can result in a snap-off.  Be careful to set “against the fish” when setting on a dry fly, striving to set from the fish’s head to its tail. Streamer sets are completed by using your stripping hand to set the hook by pulling the management loop back toward your butt pants pocket as if you’re completing a large streamer strip. Again, these are simple sets, but require a bit of practice.

A few other tidbits: strive to learn to “vicinity set”.  Try to set on any fish flash within the vicinity of your flies.  For example: if you’re running a nymph rig 8 feet from indicator to your last fly, set on any fish flash within four feet of the indicator.  More often than not, if you set on a fish flash within the vicinity of your drift, you’ll move a fish.  If you are sight fishing, and can see the fish, learn to set on fish movement.  If the fish are feeding side-to-side, set when they swing to one side and stop, before returning to their position. Same thing if fish are porpoising, set when they stop, before they go back down to their original position.

The reward after a fine battle.

There’s much more to cover here, and I go into great detail in my next book, Hidden in Plain View.  The book is now in pre-sales, I think you’ll like it. It was recently the number one new fishing book, so I’m pretty pleased with that.  Amazon, Barnes and Noble are offering presale discounts for a short time.

Simplify, simplify, simplify, and Fear No Water!

Duane

Uptream Without Drag   Leave a comment

Hey Folks,

Thought I’d continue with the theme from a couple weeks ago dealing with mending tecniques.  I dug up an old short video dealing with an upstream cast and an upstream mending technique.  This works for nymphing as well as dry fly work.

Being able to effectively pick apart a river while working upstream is invaluable.  I like to work right up the middle of the river picking apart various seams from the inside out.  You can cover, and I mean cover, serious water perfectly once this tecnique is mastered.

I absolutely live for the late afternoon after a full day guide trip when I get to fish my way home.  Typically, I will throw a dry or two on and work as I described above.  Great fun.

The key is to regulate the drift with the fly line loop that forms right under your rod tip.  Strip line too fast and the loop is gone while you “pull” the flies thru the drift.  Strip too slowly and the loop grows too big and the flies are dragged thru the water.  Obviously, the better you control the loop by using the management loop, the more perfect the loop, and the more perfect the drift.  It’s something you have to practice, but you can tell when the drift suffers.

Another thing, after the cast, leave the fly rod in the flat and low position.  All too often I see folks upstream cast, and immediately lift the fly rod tip.  Remember, the mend is the action of stipping in line at the proper speed.

Have fun with it.  See the video at: http://youtu.be/QL4Tf56IF0I

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Fear No Water! 

Duane

Posted February 25, 2013 by duaneredford in Uncategorized

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Long line nymphing work……..   4 comments

Hidy, Ho good neighbors.  Sitting here watching Braveheart and trying to get over whatever bug is kickin’ my tail.  Hit me like a ton of bricks while on the water yesterday.  Thankfully, I feel a bit better than then.

As promised, I am going to give you a link to a video dealing with long-line mending.  I apologize beforehand for the audio.  I used a tripod and camera in the river, and picked up a lot of water sound.  Surprisingly, the times I viewed the video, I got used to it, and was able to fine tune the sound.  You should too.

Couple of tips on mending:

  • You can only mend what line you can take off the water.
  • Mend to produce a drag free drift, I don’t care how you get drag free, just get there quickly with as little wasted line left as possible.
  • Don’t try to over do it, move your feet closer before you try to over extend the drift and your capabilities.
  • Learn specialty casts (reach, tuck, etc) to minimize mending.
  • Learn to mend vertically.
  • Mend like you’re mad at it……

View the video at:  http://youtu.be/xtGOBORMFU4

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 Have a great week.  Fear No Water!
 
Duane

All dimensions.   2 comments

Hidy ho, good neighbors.  I had a great conversation with two fly fishers in the fly shop yesterday.  Both had read my book, but wanted further clarification on the dimensions of the nymph drift. 

I used to only think about the “horizonatal mend” during the drift.  The mend that allows you to place line above, below, or a combination of both, of your fly line to get a drag free drift.  By the way, I don’t like to use the term “dead drift”, I want those bugs to look “alive”, real.  So, to achieve a “live” drift, the angler must either take line off the water, and/or mend the line to allow for minmal drag on the flies.  Drag, simply put, happens when your flies are forced to go too fast or too slow and look unnatural to the fish.

Mastering the horizontal mend comes with time and attention to detail.  As you become proficient you become to “see” the bugs in your mind’s eye.  Don’t call me crazy, it’s true.  You begin to have experience and expertise that allows you the chance to know exactly where your bugs are in the drift.  However, and this is a big however, if you don’t realize the need for a vertical dimension within the drift, you will never really master the nymph drift.

If you took a cross section of the river and studied the dynamics of water speeds you would notice that the surface speed of the water is travelling roughly twice as fast as the water at your feet (grade).  If you look at the diagram you will see what the forces are doing to your leader sub-surface.  Yup, it’s creating drag.  So, you could have your weight dialed in perfectly, but STILL be getting ugly drag on your bugs.  The longer the drift, the more vertical drag you add to the drift.  That’s why I employ the “pause mend”.

The pause mend is just that.  Somewhere in mid drift, all you need to do is pause the indicator for just an instant.  You will immediately see a difference in the drift.  What happens is the paused indicator allows the leader to catch up to the drift, and you simply “release” it to finish the drift.  Once you have it you will not only start picking off more fish, but you will become better at all facets of nymphing, especially sight nymphing.  It’ in the Fly Fishers Playbook, it should be in yours!

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Fear No Water!

Duane

Posted January 14, 2013 by duaneredford in Uncategorized

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