Easy Way to Dry Fishing Hooks and Flies

by Tony Bishop on January 18, 2006

Those little packets that seem to come in all pill bottles, and a myriad other products, contain a desiccant, moisture absorbing beads. Usually known by the name “Silica-Gel”, these little packets are ideal for drying used hooks and flies, and keeping them dry.

Placing one in your fly box will help stop fly-hooks rusting, and fur and feather detiorating. I have a small, lidded box with two or three packets of Silica-Gel inside, into which I drop wet flies. By the time I get home the flies are dry and ready to go back into their fly-box.

And once safe and secure, I add a couple of the gel packs to ensure the flies in my fly boxes do not rust.

I also have a small lidded box for my used salt-water hooks. A couple of Silica-Gel packets in the box stops salt-water doing any mischief.

Used Silica-Gel packets can be ‘refreshed and renewed’ by ‘cooking’ them in a microwave for ten or twenty seconds. If you need more Silica-Gel, good places to try are, camera stores, garden supplies, dried flower supplies, and local pharmacy.

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Yellowtail Kingfish attracted by pink balloons

by Tony Bishop on January 6, 2006

yellowtail kingfishThis next tip has no scientific basis that I know of. But what I do know, and my view is shared by more than a few good and great fishermen, is that using pink balloons to hold up a live bait seems to attract more yellowtail  kingfish to the bait.

When using a balloon as a live bait float remember to tie the balloon off to the rod end of the swivel. If you tie it off to the bait end you can almost guarantee leader line twist and tangles

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Why Do Fish Run When Hooked?

by Tony Bishop on January 6, 2006

Fishing around kelp and weed can be a truly frustrating fishing experience. Seems each fish hooked, bolts for the weed and rocks and soon there is a bust-off.

Apart from swearing loudly which in my experience has not changed the chosen course of any fish I have ever had on my line, or going up to stand-up big-game-fishing gear, what can we do?

Once hooked, fish feel the pressure from the tight line, and bolt in panic, away from the pressure. So, if you take away the tight line pressure, what will the fish do? Stop running?

This technique works often enough to be worth a try when fishing near foul ground. Especially if fish are continually running into the foul and breaking you off. But, and it is a big but, you need to be very aware of your drag settings, and the drag system must be good.

It is best to try backing off the drag when using a lever drag. Lever drags are much more precise, and you have the advantage of being able to return your fish-fighting drag very accurately. Star drags are by their nature very imprecise, and if you alter the drag during a fight it is damn near impossible to return to your fighting-drag setting.

Once the fish stops running it is time to gently, oh so gently, ease up on the drag and begin to lead, not pull, the fish up and away from the rough stuff.

If the fish bolts again, back off on the drag and start all over again. Once you feel you have the fish far enough away from the trouble spots and into mid-water it is time to get into full-on action, but in the early stages, be patient.

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what is the true right bank of a river

by Tony Bishop on December 21, 2005

The following is not going to change the face of fishing, but it is a question I get asked very regularly.

Which side of a river or stream is the right side?

The right bank or side is always on the right side of the direction in which the water is flowing ie facing downstream, and the left bank is always the left hand side facing downsteam.

This is usually called the ‘true’ right bank or true left bank. True river sides are not just used in fishing, all outdoors activties use the same appellation to avoid confusion.

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Fly Casting: Start Slow, Finish Fast, Stop Dead

by Tony Bishop on December 19, 2005

You would think that after 50 years flicking a fly rod I would be able to cast properly, every time – unfortunately it is not so.

Sure, despite the fact that I am self-taught, I can get my fly out pretty near where I want it most times, but too often when I really need to get it to where it needs to land I duff it up and watch the fish I was aiming to catch dart off where ever fish go when spooked.

I can most times get enough distance, but when the situation calls for an extra 3 or 4 metres I can almost guarantee the line wraps around my head, or collapses in a series of rings in front of me.

Then I got a bit of inspiration from Tiger Woods, when I read that this truly gifted golfer has spent much of the previous year re-building his swing. Good enough for Tiger I thought, good enough for me – so I grabbed a mate who is a very good caster, and club instructor, and we settled in to some rebuilding of my casting stroke.

My friend hit on my problem almost immediately when I fired off a demo cast. “Too fast, too slow”, he observed.

What was he on about? Find out in my new article.

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New Method to Remove Line Twist On Land

by Tony Bishop on October 31, 2005

Line-twist is a real pain, but it is easy to get rid of if you are on a boat or have a river nearby. But if you are on land it can be really difficult to get rid of. But I have just stumbled across a method that works well on land – go here.

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Fly Fishing How-to: A Mending Primer

by Tony Bishop on October 2, 2005

Another excellent article from midcurrent.com covering the art of mending a fly-line to ensure flies are placed in front of fish.

The article makes a point that I enthusiastically agree with, learning to cast does not mean that you have learned how to fly-fish. Until an angler learns how to mend a line, the best casting technique in the world will be of little use.

The article is not just a worthwhile read for a novice, old fishing farts like me willl learn something too.

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New Article on Catch and Release Dogma

by Tony Bishop on September 24, 2005

A bit of a rave on one of the more prevalent bits of dogma that pop-up too often in fly-fishing.

Some Catch and Release dogmatists act like C&R is an absolute truth – I have news for them, there is only one absolute truth and that is there is no absolute truth.

Read my views on catch and release dogma, how I agree with C&R in principle, but not in all waters, all the time.

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Introduction to ‘Czech Nymphing’

by Tony Bishop on September 10, 2005

There is one nymph fishing technique that is highly effective but little used outside Europe. This technique has become known as Czech nymphing. Using this technique has placed Czech and Polish anglers right up amongst the top performers in World Fly Fishing Championships. It is a great technique to use in roily or turbulent water.

So what makes it so effective? – read the new article up on my site.

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The Last Link – wet a knot or not

by Tony Bishop on September 4, 2005

A very good article, actually a chapter from the book Fly Fish Betterby Art Scheck, on knots. Scheck describes some of the myths surrounding tying good knots, and covers the primary differences between most of the most-used knots, and when they should be used.

The chapter is very detailed in approach, and is a very worthwhile read. There is however something I take issue with in the chapter. Art Scheck goes in to all sorts of detail about knots and does many tests. But he states that knots must be moistened before tightening, and offers no evidence to support this claim – is he perpetuating a myth? Here is my view, from my bookFishing Even Smarter

To Wet The Knot Or Not?

One of the more enduring myths, sadly perpetuated in the fishing books, magazines and videos – still being published – is the ‘wet your knot’ myth.

When mono lines were first introduced, they were thick and stiff, for their breaking strain. The line surface was, by today’s standards, very rough. The stiffness and thickness of the line made pulling the loops of the knot up tight correctly difficult. Pulling up a knot built up friction and hence heat. Heat is a line killer. It reduces line strength markedly. Saliva proved to be an ideal lubricant.

Modern lines are more supple, and thinner for similar breaking strains. They form into knots much more easily. The surface of the line is very smooth, and has very little friction quotient. It is because modern lines are thinner and more supple, that you should not wet your knot.

The best method of tying a knot is to tie the knot carefully, ensuring there are no hidden line cross-overs. Then pull the knot up slowly but firmly, allowing the twists to form up properly. If you wet the knot there is a distinct danger of forming what is called a ‘liar knot’. A liar knot is a knot that has not formed properly. Saliva allows the twists and turns to slide over themselves. Deep within the knot a piece of line has crossed over another piece. This will act like a scythe when the knot is jerked tight.

An end to the ‘wet or not’ dilemma may be at hand. There is a rapidly expanding range of knot glues coming onto the market. These glues lubricate and coat the line within the knot, and then sets, to produce a knot that achieves very near 100% of the line breaking strain.

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