Tiger 'skie tying discussion

dustinchromers

Active Member
I for one really appreciate you adding in little tidbits like this. I feel like I have things "mostly" dialed with my fly design, but you've been doing this far longer than me, so things like "suspended pause without sinking" are pure gold. The devil is always in the details....thanks for providing many of those details.

No problem. It was these small details that increased my success exponentially. As you know they will follow a garbage truck if it's in their area but converting them to a strike is a bit more detailed and nuanced. You could likely have a book dedicated to just fly design and reading the fish. They have a subtle body language that tells you how to move the fly. For instance a wide swerving swimming action while compelling is not a likely biting fish. I will normally move on after one presentation from these fish. A tail only torpedo type swimming action is a player especially if it's moving at a good clip. I will spend time trying to entice these fish. If two fish are on the fly I've never had success. I'll attempt to split them and fish for them one at a time. This is easier with a second angler. Tigers should be looked at more like cats than fish. They have a distinct and subtle temperament that can be read if you know the signals. A cats tail and eyes are a big indicator of mood and what is going to happen next. A musky's tail, body attitude, fins, and swimming motion are all tells as to how they are going to behave and approach a fly. They are discerning, eat seldom but large meals, and can go on the sleep between meals. I'm sure you've seen the sleeping musky. Nothing moves them. There is a spectrum of activity between sleeping and kamikaze. If a fish is in the more active mood on the spectrum they will eat reliably provided the fly is presented in an effective compelling manner. For me that manner is neutrally suspending, even and wide swimming, and life-like with a pulsating twitch at the slightest motion. You cannot strip fast enough to play keep away from a musky who has made the decision to eat. The pause just ensures they don't miss.

On the note of reading fish. I normally fish very clear water. Good eyewear is essential. Seeing the fish isn't good enough. Seeing the various parts of the fish and how they are postured is critical. Just observing the shape of a fish and if it's closing or trailing off is not enough to be really successful. In the end fishing for Tigers comes down to an economic investment in time. You want to ask but eliminate fishing after fish that are low probability strikes. You want to maximise time fishing for fish and in places that fish are actively ready to eat. Fishing after sighted fish for long lengths of time is an inefficient venture. Yes you will convert some. You will maximise strikes though by understanding when and where and to which fish to devote effort. Revisiting interested but dour fish at sun rise, sun set, moon rise, and moon set can be a game changer. Knowing exactly when these celestial events take place and making sure your fly is in front of a fish at that time is a big advantage. Even if that fish was complacent an hour earlier.
 
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dustinchromers

Active Member
Ditto-ski. Haven't fished tigers yet, but DC's illuminating cat and mouse post immediately brought to mind several frustrating roosterfish encounters from last year... just sped up 20X.

I've fished roosters some. There are many parallels. In fact my successful rooster flies have many of not all the same attributes of my musky flies. I think roosters are more keyed into an eye than musky but the lightening fast strip with an abrupt stop has gotten me roosters when the standard high speed deal didn't work. Roosters unlike musky will get stupid in the presence of competition for food. Musky seem to avoid conflict with other musky. Perhaps they know the cost of conflict is harmful and there's no reason to fight for abundant food. Roosters seem to take an active interest in whatever the other rooster is chasing down.
 

Dr. Magill

Active Member
I checked out that Optimus Swine pattern. That dude can pack a ton of shit on that hook. Looks looks like the head is flattened for side to side action
 

Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Supporter
I checked out that Optimus Swine pattern. That dude can pack a ton of shit on that hook. Looks looks like the head is flattened for side to side action

He says that it's because of the foam in the middle of it. I'm inclined to agree, but I don't know why (he even says that he doesn't know exactly why). I've tied a few of my standard bucktail, feather, flash flies and even with the slightest of twitches, they're full on side profile. I need to order one of those and deconstruct it. But yeah, he does pack a ton of bucktail in them...overkill IMO for our tigers where that massive size really isn't completely necessary (I have waaaaay more successful eats on the smaller 7-8" stuff than the larger 10"+--although, I still love fishing my larger flies).
 

Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Supporter
No problem. It was these small details that increased my success exponentially. As you know they will follow a garbage truck if it's in their area but converting them to a strike is a bit more detailed and nuanced. You could likely have a book dedicated to just fly design and reading the fish. They have a subtle body language that tells you how to move the fly. For instance a wide swerving swimming action while compelling is not a likely biting fish. I will normally move on after one presentation from these fish. A tail only torpedo type swimming action is a player especially if it's moving at a good clip. I will spend time trying to entice these fish. If two fish are on the fly I've never had success. I'll attempt to split them and fish for them one at a time. This is easier with a second angler. Tigers should be looked at more like cats than fish. They have a distinct and subtle temperament that can be read if you know the signals. A cats tail and eyes are a big indicator of mood and what is going to happen next. A musky's tail, body attitude, fins, and swimming motion are all tells as to how they are going to behave and approach a fly. They are discerning, eat seldom but large meals, and can go on the sleep between meals. I'm sure you've seen the sleeping musky. Nothing moves them. There is a spectrum of activity between sleeping and kamikaze. If a fish is in the more active mood on the spectrum they will eat reliably provided the fly is presented in an effective compelling manner. For me that manner is neutrally suspending, even and wide swimming, and life-like with a pulsating twitch at the slightest motion. You cannot strip fast enough to play keep away from a musky who has made the decision to eat. The pause just ensures they don't miss.

On the note of reading fish. I normally fish very clear water. Good eyewear is essential. Seeing the fish isn't good enough. Seeing the various parts of the fish and how they are postured is critical. Just observing the shape of a fish and if it's closing or trailing off is not enough to be really successful. In the end fishing for Tigers comes down to an economic investment in time. You want to ask but eliminate fishing after fish that are low probability strikes. You want to maximise time fishing for fish and in places that fish are actively ready to eat. Fishing after sighted fish for long lengths of time is an inefficient venture. Yes you will convert some. You will maximise strikes though by understanding when and where and to which fish to devote effort. Revisiting interested but dour fish at sun rise, sun set, moon rise, and moon set can be a game changer. Knowing exactly when these celestial events take place and making sure your fly is in front of a fish at that time is a big advantage. Even if that fish was complacent an hour earlier.


Loads of good information in here.

I'm curious if you get many fish on a the 8 at the boat? I pick up a few here and there, but for the most part, they'll peel off, unless they're completely locked in.

It's funny, the other day I had just boated one, and was working a weed bed and one that I hadn't seen before, peeled up vertically right under the boat, then peeled off once he was within about 5-6'. I firmly believe that if he was a littler further out, he would have smashed it. So yeah, good eyewear and a good line of sight are critical.

Plus, there is the downside of fishing out of the craft I prefer to fish out of (Commander) is that I'm not standing so sometimes by the time I pick up the fish, it's a little too late. There are things I've started doing in the middle of each retrieve to help alleviate this (various pauses, stops and starts) that do work to some degree, but there's really no substitute for standing for that better line of sight. That said, I'm not changing anytime soon (even though I do have a kayak that I could stand in). I just love fishing out of that boat so much and I'm willing to accept the fact that I might cost me a fish or two. Hell, if I could figure out a good way to carry my big net on my float tube, I might go that route.
 

dustinchromers

Active Member
Loads of good information in here.

I'm curious if you get many fish on a the 8 at the boat? I pick up a few here and there, but for the most part, they'll peel off, unless they're completely locked in.

It's funny, the other day I had just boated one, and was working a weed bed and one that I hadn't seen before, peeled up vertically right under the boat, then peeled off once he was within about 5-6'. I firmly believe that if he was a littler further out, he would have smashed it. So yeah, good eyewear and a good line of sight are critical.

Plus, there is the downside of fishing out of the craft I prefer to fish out of (Commander) is that I'm not standing so sometimes by the time I pick up the fish, it's a little too late. There are things I've started doing in the middle of each retrieve to help alleviate this (various pauses, stops and starts) that do work to some degree, but there's really no substitute for standing for that better line of sight. That said, I'm not changing anytime soon (even though I do have a kayak that I could stand in). I just love fishing out of that boat so much and I'm willing to accept the fact that I might cost me a fish or two. Hell, if I could figure out a good way to carry my big net on my float tube, I might go that route.

I'm gloriously unsuccessful with the 8. I've been scolded by gear guys that it works very well and that I should keep trying but I'm likely not doing something right cause they look at it but don't bite. I firmly believe seeing is key. I stand on a platform or boat seat to find and track fish. I get as high as I can "in more ways than one" to enhance my musky visual acuity. A fish sighted further away can be enticed for a longer distance. This ups your odds. If I see two or more fish I try to fish them in a way that splits them up and allows me a one on one shot at each of them. There are a couple key things that I look for in sighted undisturbed fish. One, height in the water column. Fish near the surface are typically better biting. Two, direction they are facing. I never place a fly or line behind a musky, they spook. I won't cast until I have determined the direction they are facing. Good eyewear and a vantage point is key on this. Third, is the distance. I like to have more than thirty feet to present to them. I will back off if they are too close. The last often goes for fish that haven't followed yet. Obviously if one closes in and they are there in front of you present to them again no matter the distance. I have three rods rigged at all times ready to fire. A fly change via rod change can be the key much of the time.
 

Dr. Magill

Active Member
Hi fellas - what's a good knot or two to use with the heavy leader materials? I'm finding my standard ones don't seem to want to play nice with the thicker stuff. I've never really used much heavier than 15#
 

Speyrod GB

Active Member
Knot sure if you are attaching leader to tippet, fly, or fly line. I used loops to attach my 20 lb Maxima to my wire bite leader with a loop to loop connection. I also used a loop to loop connection to my fluorocarbon furled leader. I used an open loop knot to attach the fly to the wire bite leader. 2 turns on the wire bite leader.

If I was making a leader, I would use a double surgeon knot. I have used them on all types of leader. Easy to tie and they hold well.

I also used to pre-tie several flies so I could swap them out quickly with the loop connections. I only have on 10 wt......for now.
 

Speyrod GB

Active Member
Tie a loop in the bite wire
How does the wire connect on the other end??

The pics are not the greatest, but I hope they help.

Fly
IMG_1744.jpg

Non slip loop knot.

Leader end
IMG_1745.jpg

I folded the bite wire over and bound it with fly tying thread. Super glue over the top. I have not had one come undone. You could do the same thing by tying a nail knot or two on the wire leader. I do the same thing to put new loops at the end of my fly lines when the factory loop wears out. Hope this helps.
 

Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Supporter
I've always gone with just a perfection loop for my general loops (go loop to loop from leader to bite) and then a 3-4 turn non-slip mono loop for the fly. But I've been playing around with clips (the fastach ones that don't weigh as much as a swivel so as to not pull the fly down more than the line), but it still makes me nervous using more pieces in the system. The nice thing about the clips that I've been playing around with is that changing flies is super easy (that's also what makes me nervous about them). Oh, I've also started using the Rio bite wire and it knots really really well, but I don't have enough time with it to really tell how well it's going to last long term.
 

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