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I've been hitting the So. Fork of the Snoq all week, fishing high up the river. Caught a 11" bow on a parachute Thursday night and a 10" brookie this afternoon. I had more fun stalkin' and catchin' these guys with my 1 wt. than I've had catchin' a 20" bow on the Yak. Am I crazy? Should I be having so much fun pickin' these guys out of the 6-8" pedestrian residents?
 

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Yes to fun, no to crazy. Try the tribs also. It is amazing how many people bypass the area to fish the Yak and the bigger fish really are not worth the extra effort and expense IMHO.

Randy
 

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Fish till ya drop.
Then suck it up
and fish the evening hatch.

You cannot be "Armed with a 1wt"......You are UNARMED with a 1wt.

Happy to see others beginning to match gear to trout size...makes all the difference in level of sport obtained.

1wt.=small trout
2-3wt.=medium & large trout
4wt.=Monster trout
5-6wt.=Steelhead & Salmon

Well, maybe not on the 5-6 weight?? Any comments anyone?

The newer high modulus graphite rods should make for a whole new
evaluation of rod weight selection though.
 

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where have you caught the most fish on the sf? What are some tributaries in the system that produce fish. i have been up there a few times but havent seen a fish. thanks.
by the way , i finally caught my first wild trout on my fly rod, on the teanway
 

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That sounds like fun. However, I'm concerned about using super light rods and lines and tippets and .... to land bigger fish. What do you think about added stress to the fish and an increased post-catch mortality in the name of a little extra sport? I'm not trying to be devil's advocate or anything, I'd love to get my hands on this little #2 G Loomis I've been eyeing for a while but I had an experience in Yellowstone while working there that sort of made me change my mind. I was fishing on a lake with a #4 and I hooked into a 5-6lb Brown. I thought it was a monster laketrout at first as it just dogged around for about 20 minutes. I finally got it in after a good 30min fight but it was in a sorry state. I revived it and it finally swam off very slowly and wobbly. But I still have thoughts about it (my biggest resident trout ever) and wonder if that poor old buck pulled through.
It's probably even more important to consider when fishing in westside rivers where a huge proportion of the 'trout' people take are coho and steelhead parr. Just a thought. What do you think?
Jack
 

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I have found that it is not so much the rod as the tippet that dictates the fight. If I'm using 5x on my three weight (a very light 3) I can put as much pressure on the fish as that tippet will bear. Using a bigger rod will not help any, in fact I find a heavier rod detrimental because it does not absorb the shock as well as a lighter rod.

I've caught a couple rainbows and cuts in the 5lb. class on my three weight and I would say in no case did the fight take longer than 10 min.
 

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I will have to say I definitely agree with Jack on the fish mortality subject. Also, as for this subject, I believe a rod's action has a lot to do with matching the tippet. Other things to consider is what size fly are you using? How big is the water you are fishing? There are so many variables to consider! In certain applications, you need a rod with back bone in order to "punch the fly" out on your casts. This is very evident in windy conditions such as Montanna, Wyoming, etc. If fishing from a drift boat, you need a faster action rod with some back bone so you can pick your fly up quick and make another cast. Try casting a Hex mayfly imitation (2-2.5inches in length) 40 to 50ft with a 3wt! I guess all I'm trying to say is that everything depends a numerous amount of variables. Tight lines... Matt
 

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I've said it before but the big variables are tippet size, fly size, and flow. You can't easily cast a size 2 conehead bugger on anything less than a 6wt and you better be using 0X tippet (10lb Maxima). Neither can you pull much of a fish against the current with a light rod. Conversely, an 8 wt fast action rod will snap 3x tippet on the hook set. You could put 8lb Maxima on a one or two weight and just keep the rod angle at45 degrees or below and pull a big fish all over a lake. My lightest rod is a 5wt medium action bamboo and my heaviest is an 8wt medium action glass rod. I rarely go below 4X for most trout (5X on spring creek/tailwater trout if I have to go down to size 20) and 8lb on steelhead and salmon. I prefer Maxima Chameleon tippet but will use 5X flourocarbon on those spooky big spring creek/ tailwater trout. I've never had to fight a trout, steelhead, or salmon for more than 20 minutes (usually under 10) and that includes fish up to 20lb (chum), 15lb (steelhead on a 6wt), 6lb (dolly on a 5wt). I use to own a 6 1/2 foot glass 4wt (broke it in a fall) and landed 2 small (24" and 25")hatchery hens in less than 15 minutes each but I was using 8lb Maxima UltraGreen tippet and got behind the fish so they had to work against the flow and me. I have not found fish to be leader shy but they are presentation shy. Light tippets are only needed to maintain drag free drifts and allow flies to sink easier but this can be offset but using flourocarbon and duncan loops.

My two cents.

Randy
 

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The Chameleon is the stiffer brown stuff. It is highly abrasion resistant and does not spook fish. The stiffer tippet can create drag quicker but I like it and think it is highly underated.

Randy
 

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since we are on leeders and such, i usually use the standard mono knotless type, but i am curious about the advantages of hand tied. also maxima vs mono or a combination of both. why do you guys use them? jer
 

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Fish till ya drop.
Then suck it up
and fish the evening hatch.

I had many of the same concerns JackChinook when I got my 2wt. and began using it widely chironomiding trout on trophy waters here and in Canada. I figured it might end up being my "small trout rod".

What I found was that for all trout including 9-10# Lahontins I could put on heavy duty pressure and land nearly all with similar speed to the 4 to 7 weights fishing next to me.
The main difference I saw was needing to let a real HOT fish run farther than the others on the first run, loosing a few fish to weeds.

That being said, I do not fish with this rod as water temperatures rise above 65. In fact I rarely fish with any rod when temps are up that high prefering to head for colder Canadian waters.
But I know in hot water, a 5-7 weight could bring in a large fiesty rainbow somewhat faster than I could on my 2 wt. thus forstalling added stress.
Use em with discretion and don't fish highly stressed fish and you'll be OK though.
 

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When fishing dries I typically use the mono knotless type as well, but when fishing nymphs, streamers, and wets, I tie my own with Maxima or Flourocarbon, or a combo of both. The thing to remember about Flouro is it doesn't float well (it would need to be "greased" for dries) and it has very little stretch (something to remember for hook sets.) The awesome thing about it is it's light refracting capabilities, making it almost invisible when in the water.
The biggest reason I tie my own sub-surface leaders is the money factor. I can make my own leaders for a fraction of what I would pay for the factory knotless system, plus I can customize the taper for the fishing application. Hopefully this helps and I'm sure there are others with ideas and their "method to the madness!" Tight lines...Matt
 

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Ditto for Randy's comments and the comments on the leader/tippet strength.

I would add that for most trout fishing I don't think that it is that detrimental to use lighter rods, same for smaller salmon with short fast fights (silvers and pinks), and will usually fish lighter rods.

However Kings and chums are a different ball game. I think that fishing for these fish with too light of a rod lessens the fun, and can make the fight to bring them into shore more of a pain than anything else.

One example, I hooked and was eventually fortunate to land and release a ~20lb fresh sping king on an 8 weight, and was greatly undergunned. I know the tricks for turning large fish, and have caught lots of salmon and steelhead on the fly, but this fish on only an eight weight could not be persuaded to budge. I almost gave up and broke the fish off, but was eventually able to turn it's head and land it.

Another time, I hooked a mint bright king in the Rogue River estuary and spent an hour, and a half mile row down the river in my pram to get it under control and into the net.

In both cases, it would have been much better for the fish and for me, if I had used a 9+ weight with a lot of backbone.
 

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I have hooked a springer king once and the size 10 muddler pulled free (I was fishing for cutts). I saw the fish but could do nothing with it on my 5wt. I would probably go for a 10wt if I was fishing for kings. I have landed fresh black mouth in the salt on my 8wt but they were under 25 inches and boy did they fight. I have a 7wt bamboo rod that I usually use in the winter in fresh water but I choose my water and don't fish heavy flows nor flies bigger than size 2 and usually 4's or under. I am usually targeting dollies in the Sauk and Skagit but occasionally will get steelhead or salmon or whitefish if I add a beadhead dropper. I will add that my biggest steelhead have all been on a size 10 beadhead which is why I usually fish 8lb Maxima 1X tippet in anadromous waters in summer and winter.

I use all kinds of leaders including furled but tie my own also. The biggest drawback to knotted leaders is that they pick up debris and can really make some tangles out of multible fly rigs if the wind is blowing. The good thing is you can make all kinds of variations for different conditions like 5' or 6' leaders for dry flies on small streams. I also tie a perfection loop in the end of my store bought leader after 2 or 3 fly changes and then loop on sections of tippet as needed. A leader can last a long time that way. I get those little snack resealable baggies and put a dozen or so pre-looped sections of 2 1/2' to 3' tippet sections coiled up with a piece of white cardboard stating the tippet size and kind. I do this for various tippets from 10lb down to 3lb 5x. When the tippet gets down under a foot, I just loop on another. It saves time and my wife loves it because she just doesn't fish enough to tie the knots easily. This also allows you the opportunity of using different kinds of leader material because the loops are the joining factor not a knot. Tying a hard material to a softer material can cause knot slippage and failure but I don't seem to have the same problem when they are looped together.

Randy
 

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Your trick of storing leaders and tippets rolled around a piece of cardboard reminds me on our old grad school trick many years ago of storing tippets and steelhead rigs around folded computer punch cards. How many of you remember that old trick? Now you can't find a punch card except in a technology museum.

Maybe I should package some up and sell them out of a booth at the Sportsman Show, along with the little packages of tensel from the after-Christmas sale at Fred Meyer.
 
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