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Third time out...more questions.

Joined:
2009/1/22 21:53
From Cogan Station, PA
Posts: 124
Offline
Not getting out as much as I would like my first flyfishing season, but I'm getting there. Went out for a third time Friday evening with the same guy from work. We fished portions of Lycoming along Rt.14, but it was a struggle again. The guy I fish with is a very experience flyfisherman, but not really familiar with Lycoming. He landed two.

Me on the other hand, early on in the evening, I was getting good distance and good rollover with my tan caddis. However, I my leader was getting short, so I switched over to a 5x since I was planning on dry fly fishing the rest of the evening in clear relatively slower water. I tied on a royal wulff, and with the 5x, the thing kept flopping out in a coil rather than rolling out in a nice straight line. I also couldn't get near the distance I could earlier with the caddis. I switched back over to my tan caddis (14), and was getting a little better distance, but seemed to be hooking my line with my fly more on the backcast, and I still wasn't getting it to roll out like I wanted.

The positive? I hooked my first fish on it, but he shook loose shortly after. It was still rewarding to finally make a hookset.

Any ideas in terms of the issues I was experiencing?

Posted on: 2010/5/25 9:53


Re: Third time out...more questions.
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 8617
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mgh,

It sounds like the Royal Wulff fly you tied on was too big or wind-resistant for the tippet on your leader. The larger and/or more wind resistant the fly, the heavy the tippet is needed to cast the fly.

A general formula for tippet / fly size is as follows:

FLY SIZE / 4 + 1 = TIPPET SIZE

For example:

Fly Size 12 / 4 = 3 +1 = 4x tippet

Fly Size 16 / 4 = 4 +1 = 5x tippet

Fly Size 20 / 4 = 5 +1 = 6x tippet

For in between fly sizes, you can go up or down a tippet size. For wind resistant flies go down to the heavier size tippet.

Also cutting down on the length of the tippet can help. In general, the longer the tippet, the harder it is to turn over the fly. Start with a 2' tippet and add or subtract a little bit from there.

Later as you casting proficiency increases, you may want to cast to get "S" curves in your tippet and leader to get a better drift, but for now, work on laying out your leader, tippet and fly.

Good luck.

Posted on: 2010/5/25 10:29


Re: Third time out...more questions.

Joined:
2009/4/24 16:40
From South Jersey
Posts: 564
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You should try to practice casting and when you do watch your backcast. Also you might want to cast up over your head on the backcast, not back.

Salmo

Posted on: 2010/5/25 14:16


Re: Third time out...more questions.

Joined:
2009/6/17 10:29
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 302
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I am not a trout expert, but my thoughts are for a new fly fisherman that nymphing or stripping/dead drifting a wooly bugger might be a better way to (no pun intended) get your feet wet.

I find it easier to catch fish below the surface than on it especially if you are a newbie. I am sure some may disagree with me, I just find it to be a bit more forgiving.

Posted on: 2010/5/25 15:01
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Re: Third time out...more questions.

Joined:
2008/12/29 13:34
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 671
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Quote:

Pittflyguy wrote:
I am not a trout expert, but my thoughts are for a new fly fisherman that nymphing or stripping/dead drifting a wooly bugger might be a better way to (no pun intended) get your feet wet.

I find it easier to catch fish below the surface than on it especially if you are a newbie. I am sure some may disagree with me, I just find it to be a bit more forgiving.


I've heard that opinion..and i can see that it makes sense, but for some reason I had the opposite experience. I fished only dry flies and caught fish only on dry flies for the first 2 years of my fly fishing. Wasn't until my 3rd year that I caught my first trout under the water.

Just to offer the countering point of view: Fishing dry flies in the beginning is more instructional as it allows you to see your drift more obviously - allows you to see what is going right and wrong. It is more educational to the new fly fisherman as he can see whether his drift is drag free or not, learn about currents, drag, mending, etc and everything is visible. If he starts with nymphing, these things are less obvious and you have the additional dimension of depth, and the additional casting hassles of weight and sometimes indicators to deal with. Much easier to cast well with a dry fly :)

Posted on: 2010/5/25 17:53


Re: Third time out...more questions.

Joined:
2009/1/22 21:53
From Cogan Station, PA
Posts: 124
Offline
Thanks for the help guys. The leaders I have now are a few I purchased a while back from the flystop. They're all 7.5 or 9ft leaders, but I never tie any additional tippet on. So if I have a 7.5ft leader and a 9ft leader, do I tie any of my tippet material to it to additional length? I know I could tell a difference in casting from a trimmed down leader to a brand new 9ft leader (my cast was worse).

I really just need to keep practicing casting I suppose. Watching videos online makes it look a lot easier than it is.

Posted on: 2010/5/26 7:51


Re: Third time out...more questions.
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 8617
Offline
Quote:

mgh-pa wrote:
Thanks for the help guys. The leaders I have now are a few I purchased a while back from the flystop. They're all 7.5 or 9ft leaders, but I never tie any additional tippet on. So if I have a 7.5ft leader and a 9ft leader, do I tie any of my tippet material to it to additional length? I know I could tell a difference in casting from a trimmed down leader to a brand new 9ft leader (my cast was worse).

I really just need to keep practicing casting I suppose. Watching videos online makes it look a lot easier than it is.



If you buy a 9' 5x leader, for example, the tippet (end) tapers down to 5x. After you use it for a while, you shorten it by snipping off the end when changing flies. The tippet end has an increasing larger diameter the shorter it becomes. When you shorten the leader say 12 - 18", tie on a new tippet of 18 - 24" or so. In this case use 5x. The double or triple surgeons knot is probably the easiest knot to tie:

http://www.animatedknots.com/surgeons ... age=LogoGrog.jpg&Website=

Tying on a tippet to your leaders will make them last a long time and assure your tippet is of the diameter you need to turn over your flies.

Posted on: 2010/5/26 8:11


Re: Third time out...more questions.

Joined:
2008/10/8 0:36
From Florida
Posts: 277
Offline
In addition to making your leaders last longer, tying on tippet to the end of your leader can also help you get better drag-free drifts. However, the extra length can also make casting more challenging.

Keep practicing your casting, and you will find yourself being better able to turn over longer leaders. If you can at all, get with a casting instructor, and have him/her look at your cast. They should be able to give you some pointers to improve your form.

Also, I've heard that video taping yourself while practicing can help. While I haven't tried this as yet (I don't own a video cam), it sounds like it might be a good idea.

Good luck, and keep trying

Posted on: 2010/5/26 10:18
_________________
"When one feels the rush of cold water against his waders, and pits his skill against the natural instincts and wariness of the trout, everything else is lost in the sheer joy of the moment."

- Ray Bergman






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