Another question from a newbie.

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Kringle, Jul 17, 2002.

  1. Kringle

    Kringle New Member

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    Here's a couple of questions for all of you out there. I,(like some other newbies out there) have yet to catch a fish on a fly. I was out on the upper Green tonite and everything seemed great. There was definitely a hatch on. I couldn't name the hatch, but what I was using looked close to me. I got a few nibbles but no fish.
    Question #1 I seemed to be breaking off my flys while casting as compared to when I lose them in trees. Is this because my casting is off and my loops are too tight?
    #2 I was using a 5wt leader 9ft. without a tippet. Would this make a difference? Should you always use a tippet? If so should it be the same weight as the leader?
    #3 If you find a nice hole on the river is it better to approach from upriver or downriver? I realize sometimes you are limited, but if you had to choose which one would be better.
    I'll be heading to the Snoqualmie next week so my luck might change. Any suggestions on which fork has the most open access for those of us who still need a relatively treeless space for a back cast. Thanks in advance for the help! Kringle
     
  2. Greg Moore

    Greg Moore New Member

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    Breaking off flies while casting is caused by changing direction too quickly, like cracking a whip. You pop them off as there is too much of a strain on the leader or tippet. Slow down the change of direction. Allow the line to straighten out on the backcast before starting the forward cast.

    Tippet size, in my opinion, can vary one size down (i.e., you can tie on 6x tippet to 5 x leader) and not have a problem with the knot not holding. From what I've read about the Snoqualmie is the fish aren't harrassed too much so they shouldn't be leader shy. Sometimes you'll need a longer leader when the fish get spooked by reflection off the leader. Tie on 24" of 6x to your 9' 5x leader. Then add another 12" of 7x tippet to the 6x tippet. This will give you a 12' leader.

    Upriver, downriver? What are fishing with? Nymphs, dry flys, wet flys? Fishing for trout or steelhead? I think it doesn't really matter! Sometimes when on foot (wading no boat to get around) the place where you can get into the river will dictate how you approach a hole / riffle. Dead drifts with drys are the most important thing when putting the fly in front of the fish. Nymphing will work either way but casting upstream will require a better feel for the take as it is real easy to have some slack in your line.

    Just my opinions. Others my differ. Experiment on your own as trial and error is sometimes the best teacher. What works best for someone else may not work for you.

    I've never fished the Snoqualmie so you're on your own with which fork offers more room for the backcast.

    Good luck!


    Greg
     
  3. Randy Knapp

    Randy Knapp Active Member

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    You can prevent those break-offs by making sure your forward cast excelerates slowly at first to allow the line to straighten without the whip crack described above. Devide your hook size by 4 to get the ideal tippet. You will not have to go below 3x or 4x on any local streams and I have found one rarely needs to go below 4x or 5x tippet even on clear spooky-fish waters. I recently got back from the Missouri fishing big spooky trout with size 20 and 18 flies and still didn't go below 5x. Opening your loop a little may also help you with break-offs and making sure your fly doesn't drop to the rocks behind you will also help.

    Randy
     
  4. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I might be old---but I'm good.

    There is lots of room on all three forks. If you are a newbie and are breaking off hooks then maybe on your back cast you are coming back to far and you line is hitting the rocks behind you. When I first started I had that problem. Thats why they say 10 to 2. If you go 9 to 3 you are sure to break them off. Just a thought. Jim
     
  5. ray helaers

    ray helaers New Member

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    I think the snap-offs got covered; re-lax. A brand-new, store-bought 5x leader tapers all the way to 5x, with a "tippit" section built in. As you tie on new flies, cut out wind-knots, etc, you'll not only shorten the leader, you'll move "up" the taper, getting into thicker line, and you'll have to tie in a new tippit section. Who knows how these things taper (I don't use store bought leaders; I've gone into my crackpot theories on that score before), but I would assume the original tippit section is 20-24" long, so by the time the leader is shortening below 7.5-8', you should be considering tying in a new tippit section. You could replace it with 5x, or probably even 6x if you wanted (bloodknots don't tie together well if the diameter of the two lines you're trying to join are very far apart; surgeons knots are way more forgiving on that score). As was suggested earlier, you could lengthen you're new leader by adding some 5x or 6x tippit to it. (But if you want my advise, 12' is too much leader for a beginner, and I have no idea what anybody needs 7x for. Again: relax.)

    Under no circumstances should you tie 3x or 4x tippit to the end of a 5x leader (unless you trim the leader back to the thicker part of the taper). A fly leader has to continually taper to the end so it will turn over flies efficiently. If you tie in thicker line after thin, particularly toward the end, the leader will close and tangle on the cast. You don't need that kind of trouble. Of course the suggestion to use a slightly heavier (maybe even slightly shorter) leader is a good one, and will help you get over some of those early casting humps. A well placed cast with a 4x tippit will probably get you more takes than broken off flies or tangled casts with a 5x or 6x tippit, no matter how spooky the fish.

    Downstream? Upstream? That debate is as old as flyfishing my friend (or at least as old as dry-fly fishing). At one time it was considered more challenging, and "sporting," to cast upstream at rising fish. It is often easier to get a good drift if you're fishing downstream, and the cast doesn't have to be as accurate to keep from "lining" and spooking the fish. Those are the pretty good reasons why pretty much all of us have abandoned those rather quaint victorian notions of "sport" and generally cast downstream if we can. Of course, if you're upstream of the fish, he's looking right at you, and that's not all that good, is it? So you sort of gotta play it by ear. On shorter casts, I might prefer to be slightly downstream and across. It depends on currents too. If the water between you and the fish is slower than the water the fish is laying in, an upstream cast will make a better drift. Just remember on an upstream cast not to overshoot; you don't want the flyline to float over the fish, spooking him before he gets a chance to see your fly.
     
  6. Chris 5W

    Chris 5W New Member

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    Ray, being a newbie myself, I've learned a few things out of necesity.I have a kid on the way and can't aford finacially the amount flies I seemed to be loosing all the time in the trees, on rocks on land and under water.You can cast all day long with fields behind you but evetually you have to where the fish are, ie; canyons/woods/everywhere a person like you can't cast.
    I fish with a friend from work and I like it because he gives up all the good holes because he can't cast that well
    Rent some corny videos and spend some time getting a bomb-proof cast that will work anywhere. Be it a long dead drift or not line spooking a fish upstream or nimphing into a far seam. Those videos gave me insight to styles that I can actually utilize into any situation and make my whole fishing experience a more confident and enjoable one. as for your tippets, I always buy the premade liters/tippets then tie on one size smaller tippet about 24" and not try to make a federal case about the finer points of fishing.
    Just thought I would put my two cents in about thing that work great for me p.s. get the newest of the corny ones and watch alot and often, I get my rentals from the Greased Line in Vancouver ,Wa
    Good fishing to you
     
  7. Rick16

    Rick16 New Member

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    Im such a NewB I dont even know what the Tippit is. Any help?
     
  8. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    It's just the last section of line between your fly and your leader.
     
  9. Randy Knapp

    Randy Knapp Active Member

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    The tippet is the last bit of leader that actually attaches to your fly. Store bought leaders are tapered from a heavy end that goes toward your fly line to a small end that goes to the fly. The last 2 ft or so of leader is the same diameter given in thousands of an inch and/or designated by an "X" number. 0X is neutral at .011 inch. A 5X leader would be .006 inch (note you just subtract the X number from 11). You can build your own tapered leader by knotting together various sizes of tippet material. For example a traditional tapered leader using the 60-20-20 formula (60% base, 20% graduation, 20% tippet might look like this using Maxima leader material.

    25lb .020 12" (this section attached to your fly line with a nail
    knot at one end and a perfection loop in the other)
    20lb .017 20" (this section also has a perfection loop in one end
    so that it can be joined to the one foot of 25lb that
    remains permanently attached to your fly line. This
    loop system allows you to change leaders without
    having to cut off the end of your fly line each time)
    15lb .015 20"
    12lb .013 20"
    10lb .012 12"
    8lb .010 6" (1X)
    6lb .009 6" (2X)
    4lb .007 24" (4X)

    This is just one example. Every newbie should get a copy of the late Sheridan Anderson's CURTIS CREEK MANIFESTO. It is the simplest and best primer on small stream fly fishing and will be a great starting point for you. It is available at all fly shops and many book stores.

    If you are fishing a sink tip your leader might look like this:

    25lb .020 12"
    20lb .017 8"
    15lb .015 6"
    8lb .010 24"

    or maybe simpler at:

    25lb .020 12"
    15lb .015 12"
    8lb .010 24"

    Hope this helps.

    Randy
     

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