I am always reading something useful, watch a useful video or learning from someone.This sport is constantly changing and becoming more complex and vast. That there is always more to learn on and at the tying bench. Here are five slightly advanced fly tying and fishing tips I've learned in the past year that could help you catch more fish.
-Tying Successful Articulated Flies
Articulation nation is the name of the game in a lot of fly fishing and fly tying right now and tying articulated flies that not only look good but catch fish is key. Many times when someone is just starting to tie articulated streamers and such they make some seemingly small mistakes that are actually big ones. The first is that a lot of people tie the back hook in much too far behind the front hook of the fly. This allows for the back hook to occasionally come forward and get caught around the front hook during casting. No fly will work balled up like that, it’s important to keep the back hook trailing the front enough to add movement but not to much to hinder presentation. A second common mistake is that to weak of a connector material (line or cord used to connect the front hook to the back hook) is used. This is a mistake that should never be made because it could cause your back fly to spin and twist unnaturally in the water plus a large enough fish could easily break the back fly off leaving nothing but the head of a streamer, no fish, and a bad temper. Another important point to remember when tying the back fly to the front is to always double the cord back over itself and tie it in multiple times with a healthy serving of super glue. If not, there is a risk the cord could slip out from underneath the thread wraps causing you to loose the fish and the back end of your streamer. Of course always remember to add plenty of super glue during all tying stages to insure that the last thing to come off the fly is the fly.
-Better Understanding of Carp Fishing
Carp fishing as we all know has exploded onto the fly fishing scene within the last few years and has become a popular sport for many across the country. It is a very complex form of fishing compared to most warm-water quarries. Usually fished using sight fishing tactics it offers an accompanying change of pace for many that don’t usually fish that way. And the change brings a challenge any true fly fisherman is always seeking. I hit the carp fishing platform pretty hard this past summer and fall, compiling some tips that may help carp fisherman of all skill levels bring more fish to hand. I will admit as I am still fairly intro level to carp fishing some may be fairly rudimentary but others may be quite helpful as well. First, the rudimentary ones: move slowly and keep your eyes open at all times, there is nothing more frustrating than walking a bank you assume has no fish on it and spooking a shallow loner. Be quiet and move softly, even shifting your weight can spook fish. Always look before casting, basically make sure you know which way the fish is facing before you cast, putting a beautiful loop in the perfect spot doesn’t work if the fish is facing the other direction. Always carry micro dry flies with you (sizes 24-18), I’ve often times walked past carp sucking at algae, scum, or something microscopic on the surface with nothing to throw at them. The best tip I can give you is to never give up on carp, they can be as frustrating as you can imagine, infuriating beyond compare, but as rewarding as anything.
If you haven’t looked into negative weight and tying with negative weight it is quite an interesting topic. Regular weight obviously makes the fly sink using materials such as lead eyes, bead chain, lead wire, and beads. Negative weight, as you’ve probably guessed by now, is the opposite. It utilizes more buoyant materials, not to make the fly float, but to fall at different and slower rates. This is particularly useful in sight fishing flies. Whether you’re flats fishing, carp fishing, or just sight fishing for trout the key is to put your fly in exactly the right spot at exactly the right time. Using negative weight to counter positive (regular) weight allows you to change sink rates on certain flies. Most negative weight is added using materials such as deer hair, cdc, elk hair, or foam. These are usually tied in at the tail end of a fly. This slows the drop of a fly and keeps the hook point riding up. The slow more manageable fall helps to present the fly in the correct level of the water column more often and for a long period of time. This gives a fish a better look at the fly and a better chance of him eating it and you catching him.
Big fish are caught at night and even though it can be quite a chore to get out at night you’re often times well compensated for your trouble. I encourage anyone hunting big fish to take a trip at night to the river. For me it’s often a fun and mystical experience. When you hook into a fish at night you never really know what you’ve got until it's in your net and imaginations can run as wild as the fish. But to do night fishing right you need to follow some fundamental rules that will make the experience enjoyable, not a headache. First, always fish somewhere with plenty of space for your back-cast. Untangling a fly from a tree limb is a pain in the daylight, imagine it at night. Second, always rig up where you have light before heading to the stream. Third, throw big flies, you’re not fishing at night to catch little fish, go big or go home. I prefer to throw black, brown, or olive sculpin or leach patterns. Sometimes I like something with a slight chartreuse or pink accent to it. Fourth, change your retrieve before your fly. When night fishing with big flies it takes changing where you cast and how you retrieve your fly to get a hit. Often times you’re fishing for that one bite, that one chance at the big fish. Which brings us to the final most important rule, patients, the ability to slog cast after cast, hanging in there for that one opportunity.
-Making Simple Homemade Leaders
If you’re like me and you like to take short trips after school or work to fun ponds and local water then you may know that you can go through some expensive leaders quickly for nothing more than a few local fish. I find it far better to make simple homemade leaders that cost you very little but work essentially just as good. Of course the leaders are different depending on the fish being fished for and the water being fished at. For bluegill and crappie fishing I like to use a three piece leader (2.5ft 12lb - 2.5ft 10lb - 2.5ft 8lb) with my seven and a half foot three weight rod and a four piece leader (2.5ft 15lb - 2.5ft 12lb - 2.5ft 10lb - 2ft 8lb) with my nine foot rod. Both leaders end with eight pound line. For larger fish such as bass, catfish, and carp I like to use a simple three piece leader (3ft 20lb - 3ft 17lb - 3ft 15lb) no matter the size of the rod. I always use fluorocarbon for my tippet piece unless I’m exclusively fishing on top, then I use monofilament because it floats. I make all knots with a blood knot and I usually try to have four leaders ready at all times. They’re very easy and quick to make. I see no point in buying and using expensive manufactured leaders for such short runs just to wet a line, try these easy leaders to help cut back on your expenses.