Junior Tips 2016>>
Wow, another year is coming to an end and I've learned much more than just calculus and chemistry. Although I could probably write some extensive papers on those subjects too but I doubt you guys/gals would be interested in that. Here are this years Junior Tips for 2016. I hope they can help, even if you're over the age of 65.
Buy in Person
The flies you tie are only as good as the materials you use. When I’m planning a trip or just going through my boxes getting ready to restock I make a list of all the materials I need. But nothing is more frustrating than going online and ordering a full box of tying supplies only to receive mediocre materials. Crappy schlappen or beads one size too small can ruin a trip before it even begins. So whenever possible, always, I repeat, always buy materials in person. Be picky, each bag of material may cost the same amount but they aren’t all worth the same amount. Some patterns require crinkly, shaggy bucktail while others need long, slick, and straight bucktail. Open every single package if you need to. When you buy in person you dictate the type and quality of supplies you buy. It’s your money, and your fishing trip; don’t let bad materials get in the way of a moment to remember
Strip Strike Hookset
This past summer I learned the strip strike hook set that seems to be used for everything short of trout now. I was fishing the Lowcountry and I had a shot at a small redfish early in the day when I pulled a classic rookie move. I trout hookset on a fish less than ten yards in front of me and the heavy lead eyes of the fly missed my guides head by less than six inches.
“Yeah, that’s not gonna work” he told me incredibly mild tempered for someone who was so nearly concussed.
Back home I began to utilize the strip strike hookset on a variety of species. It worked great on bass, bluegill, gar, and carp. In fact I recommend utilizing a strip strike hookset whenever fishing for anything short of trout or when fishing under an indicator. A strip set keeps excellent tension on the line when first hooking up and is great for fish with more downward facing mouths like redfish or (more my pace) carp. Furthermore, when stripping some form of streamer, using a strip strike hookset means that if you miss the first take your fly is still there giving the fish another chance to hit it.
I know you’ve read it, heard it, even dreamed about it but practicing your casting is every bit as important as any other aspect of fly fishing. Think about the sheer number of different casts for different situations you’ve made up to this point. Now think about the number of different shots you’ve been unable to capitalize on because of a poor cast. We’ve all been there, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, it just means you’ve fished enough to screw up some. At least that’s the way I like to look at it.
When practicing your cast do it on days you would consider less than ideal conditions to be fishing in. Practice when it’s steaming hot, freezing cold, and when there are winds just short of an F-3 tornado. Don’t just practice standard casts at different distances. Practice leads, backhand casts, side arm casts, and roll casts (to name a few). You’ll use them all on the water so you might as well practice them all off the water. Most importantly always practice with a fly tied on. Casting with no fly is often much easier and adjusting to a big, heavy streamer on the water doesn’t help anything.
I like to call this form of fishing: “The art of getting your arm tired without even casting.” The idea behind high sticking is getting the most drag free drift possible. Typically a mend works just fine but there are certain areas in rivers and creeks that mending alone doesn’t help. For example extremely fast and swirling water will pull your line under causing extreme problems with your drift. To stop drag or unnatural drifts hold your rod tip high over the water so that the majority of your line is in the air, not on the surface of the water. Sometimes pulling your line nearly completely off the water is required to successfully fish some turbulent water. But a sore arm can be more than worth it.
You’re probably thinking “wow, that’s a weird title for this section,” and you’d be right. But there is some merit to it. I hate it when my stripped out line gets entangled on something ruining an important cast or a good one. More times than not if this does happen it almost always seems to be your shoelaces. Personally if I’m fishing in a boat I like to fish barefoot or in flip flops (unless it’s just too cold). When walking banks for carp or just fishing some fun farm ponds I always tuck my shoelaces in. It is surprisingly frustrating when your shoe laces do trip you up…………see what I did there.