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Little Lehigh, Lehigh County 6/10/09

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2009/1/7 12:19
From Glenmoore PA
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Fished from 5-7 after work. Water color still off, and not much insect activity on top, although there were several large splashes. Got hooked into three and brought 1 to the net using a #14 FBPT, still working on landing trout on light tippet. The third was a 14" rainbow that I fought for what seemed forever, it had enough of me, and broke my line. Looks like sulphers are

Posted on: 2009/6/11 8:11


Re: Little Lehigh, Lehigh County 6/10/09

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From Bozeman
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Why the light tippet in off color water? I'd be using 3x.

Posted on: 2009/6/11 10:17


Re: Little Lehigh, Lehigh County 6/10/09

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It was off color but not too murky, plus wouldnt 3x be a little larger for a #14 fly, im kinda new to this. I would think the thicker tippet would give an unnatural drift with a small fly

Posted on: 2009/6/11 15:04


Re: Little Lehigh, Lehigh County 6/10/09
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I would suggest using as large a tippet as you can. Add length if you feel it might be increasing drag on the fly. I would use 4X on #12 or bigger, 5X for #14, though if I was expecting bigger fish, I'd use 4X or even 3X anyhow.

Posted on: 2009/6/11 15:15
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Re: Little Lehigh, Lehigh County 6/10/09

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In off color conditions, you can usually get away with nymphing with 4x around here. If the water is particularly clear, I will go with 5x. Rarely do I nymph with 6x.

Fishermen around the lehigh valley tend to use very light tippet. This is also common on the tully. I've personally never felt the need to drop below 5x for nymphs, and 6x for dries. I would start with a stronger material, and lighten it up if you feel you should be getting more strikes.

Posted on: 2009/6/11 15:27


Re: Little Lehigh, Lehigh County 6/10/09

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2009/4/23 9:39
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I agree with you guys... fly-fishing is challenging enough, no reason to tilt the odds towards the fish with spider web tippets.

I fish nymphs and wets in tandem a lot (in the Lehigh Valley) and most often use a leader tapering to 4X for the drop fly and then a 5X tippet off of that to the point fly. I'll go 3X - 4X in high and/or off-color water.

6X stays tucked away unless I get talked into Trico's or midges.

Don't worry surveyor06, the trout can see your tippet no matter how small it is... they can pick out the mite crap in the fly crap... hopefully they'll never be smart enough to realize what's standing on the other end.

Posted on: 2009/6/13 15:16
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Re: Little Lehigh, Lehigh County 6/10/09

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Thanks for the tips guys. Ive talked to the guys at the little fly shop alot, and they always say go small, #18 or #20 flys fished on a 7x is the only way to catch fish. Recently though ive been doing well with PT #14 and #16. Im fairly new, so I usally try anything someone suggests, hence the 6x. Funny thing is, from what the llfs guys say, I thought i was fising with tippet too thick. How on earth do you land fish on tippet smaller than 6x, Ive had two large fish on 7x already, both breaking my line. Gonna give the 5x a try tonight. Thanks again

Posted on: 2009/6/15 10:09


Re: Little Lehigh, Lehigh County 6/10/09

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From Bozeman
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Quote:

surveyor06 wrote:
Thanks for the tips guys. Ive talked to the guys at the little fly shop alot, and they always say go small, #18 or #20 flys fished on a 7x is the only way to catch fish. Recently though ive been doing well with PT #14 and #16. Im fairly new, so I usally try anything someone suggests, hence the 6x. Funny thing is, from what the llfs guys say, I thought i was fising with tippet too thick. How on earth do you land fish on tippet smaller than 6x, Ive had two large fish on 7x already, both breaking my line. Gonna give the 5x a try tonight. Thanks again


The guys in that shop know their stuff, but if they said that small flies was the only way, they are full of it. Many of the fish in that stretch are stocked, and will eat accordingly. Big junk flies and generic nymphs work fine there.

As for the light tippet, it is possible to land those fish-- it's just unnecessarily hard.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 10:35


Re: Little Lehigh, Lehigh County 6/10/09

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I’m surprised the LL fly shop didn’t tell you that you needed a #28 Al’s Rat on a 12x Varivas tippet!

Sometimes the trout are keyed in on something small and you do need small and light but the key to the heritage section is these fish get pounded every day and they quickly learn what floats naturally and what doesn’t no matter whether surface or subsurface. The trout will feed in certain drift lanes only taking things that get delivered to them from a certain drift so if your fly isn’t behaving and being delivered to them like the things they are taking, they won’t take it no matter what fly or what sized tippet you are using. That is the key.

Most times there’s no reason to go lower than 6x tippet anywhere and I’ve had many great days using a 4x and 5x tippets with assorted dries in the #10 - #14 range and also larger nymphs – much to the looks of, “yeah…….rrrrrrrrrrightttt” from the folks that frequent the LL fly shop when I tell them what I was using. Unless there’s a heavy hatch, these trout aren’t overly selective to specific insects and I’ve watched these trout take bubbles, fuzz, berries, sticks, feathers, grass, cig butts, etc.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 13:02


Re: Little Lehigh, Lehigh County 6/10/09

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First, a 14 is not a small fly. It's not huge either, about average. A 14 is a tweener between 4x and 5x tippet, with even somewhat cloudy water I'd have 4x on, with brown water 3x. Use as big as you can get away with.

I tried to figure out a proper formula but it doesn't work quite right. Generally 10-16 = 3x to 5x depending on conditions, 18-20 = 5x or 6x, 22-26 = 6x, and I don't fish anything much smaller than a 26, but if you're using a size 30 or something I could see 7x becoming useful. Also on steelhead I try not to go below 3x on any size fly, but I have used 4x before.

I always add length to the tippet before going down in size. As others said, its drag, not the trout's ability to see the line (they see all line, don't fool yourself). While the guys at the fly shop may be knowledgable, they should be ashamed of themselves to recommend such fine tippets. They do the same in TCO here in Reading, and anything thinner than 6x is absolutely ridiculous on the Tully even in trico time.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 13:31


Re: Little Lehigh, Lehigh County 6/10/09

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I suspect that fly shops beat the light tippet drum as a mechanism to drive up business. This goes beyond the fact that people will usually not have such fine tippets, thus buy some at the shop.

I'm pretty sure that campaigning for the usage of super light tippets makes a waterway into a bit of a destination. "I heard the LLH was so tough that you had to use 10x tippet!".. etc. I can't blame them for trying, but yeah... it's BS. The LLH is more difficult than the tully, IMO, but neither one is overly tough in any way (except for the one aspect that they don't mention- pressure). They certainly don't require super long or fine leaders.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 13:37


Re: Little Lehigh, Lehigh County 6/10/09

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Quote:
I'm pretty sure that campaigning for the usage of super light tippets makes a waterway into a bit of a destination. "I heard the LLH was so tough that you had to use 10x tippet!".. etc. I can't blame them for trying, but yeah... it's BS.


I think that there’s a lot of truth in that statement.

A common quip you’ll hear in the Valley is, “Use as light a tippet a you can” when it should be completely the opposite. And using too light a tippet is a common mistake for new-comers to the sport because of these myths.

Besides the difficulties in quickly landing trout on light tippets, it can have a negative affect on casting (inability to turn the fly over) and consequently your presentation… 7X may sound thin, but not when there are coils of it lying on the water all around your fly.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 13:50
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Re: Little Lehigh, Lehigh County 6/10/09

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You’ve got to match tippet size to hook size. Too many people try and cast a #12 Adams on a 7x tippet and all they get is a twisted mess that floats like crap.

A good rule of thumb is hook size divided by 3 equals tippet size (#12 hook / 3 = 4x tippet). However, if using fully hackled flies with large wings go with a heavier and longer tippet because a lighter tippet doesn’t have the strength to keep a fully dressed dry fly from spinning and turning your tippet into a tangled and twisted mess. As Pcray and Jayl say, longer tippets will help.

I think the problem is light tippets get used as a crutch rather than working on technique. No one really wants to admit that the reason they aren’t having success is because they can’t present the fly right – it is much easier to blame lack of success on the damn trout and the fact that the tippet is just too big! (I know, I used to do this and about 5 years ago I stopped carrying anything finer than 6x and my catch rates have drastically increased.) The other factor is there is the romantic image that everyone loves to believe about needing long casts using fine tippets and small flies to catch the largest and most selective trout. You hook into a 14”+ wild trout on anything smaller than 6x and more often than not you’ll be lucky if you manage to keep him on for more than 2 seconds let alone actually land him. And if you’re using a fast action rod, most fast action rods have trouble protecting a 5x tippet so forget about protecting anything smaller.

Posted on: 2009/6/15 14:42


Re: Little Lehigh, Lehigh County 6/10/09

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From Lehigh Valley
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7x inspires a level of sullen anger in me when I'm expected to tie it into knots.

I only use it to tie wee little Al's Rats to the hind end of much larger flies.

Is it any surprise I bought it at the LLFS? :)

Posted on: 2009/6/15 15:57
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Re: Little Lehigh, Lehigh County 6/10/09

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rule no.! use at least a three foot tippet[shock absorber]
"You hook into a 14”+ wild trout on anything smaller than 6x and more often than not you’ll be lucky if you manage to keep him on for more than 2 seconds let alone actually land him"
a one pound fish on a three pound tippet?
handline it-lol

Posted on: 2009/6/15 15:59
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