fly fishing how-to

Tippet Rings: Use Them

I have been a big fan of tippet rings for 5 or more years now for fly fishing. To see all the reasons why you should use tippet rings head over to the excellent Hatch Magazine site and get the full story.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly fishing, fly fishing gear, fly fishing how-to, fly fishing tips

Trout Dying To Get a Good Photo

We all should know the rules for releasing a trout with the best chance of survival, but there is one rule that is almost never included in articles about successful releasing.

So, you have landed the fish as quickly as possible to limit capture stress and you are about to pick up the fish and a get a few ‘grip and grin’ shots before release.

But, grip and grin, can all too often turn into grip and kill, and it is all down to where you grip, and how you grip, the trout that can determine its survival.

Link corrected – Read the full story and see the grip and kill photos.

The worst example of ‘grip and kill’ in these shots – almost certain lethal damage to heart, liver and gills. Photo of worst grip and kill grip
Posted by Tony Bishop in environment and conservation, fly fishing, fly fishing how-to, trout information

Catching Big Brown Trout in New Zealand

When does chasing big brown trout become an obsession?

I try to get down to the Taupo region on the central North island of New Zealand in March. As autumn starts to bite, brown trout move into the rivers and streams from Lake Taupo to head upstream to spawn. It is usually a reasonably sedate meander, not like the mad dash of pods of rainbows that tend to move up somewhat later.

Usually rivers and streams in March are low and clear, but this does not seem to deter brown trout. Mostly they move at night, spending the day hugging the bottom of deeper water, or tucked in under overhanging, undercut banks. Some hold deep in the branches of fallen trees – untouchable.

This year things were different. A vicious drought affecting the North Island and beyond turned the land from the famed New Zealand green to a drab lifeless brown. Driving down from Auckland I had never seen the countryside so devoid of grass. The sun literally sucking the life out of the land and waterways.

When I reached the Tauranga-Taupo River (TT), I could see the effect of the drought. The river was now a creek, very low and clear. Despite this Steve Yerex, guide and operator of the Keruru Lodge, where I regularly stay, was reasonably upbeat. Browns were in the river in some numbers he reported over the phone, but he suggested that it might take some high level of skill and more than a big helping of luck to pry one or two out of the TT.

Steve was going to be away for a couple of days raft fishing down the Mohaka River, leaving me on my own at the lodge – I liked that.

Arriving late afternoon, I decided to wander a little way downstream with my Tenkara rod and see if I could annoy a few small rainbows which by now were moving downstream to the lake. Over the next hour and a bit, more than a score of fish around 6 to 10 inches were plucked from the shallow runs. Great fun.

Next morning and now in serious fish-hunting mode I headed slowly upstream, peering intently into every pool and undercut bank. The browns were there. Some brutes among them too. Serious brutes. Brutes that have tempted and tormented me for too many years to recall.

Full Story here

Posted by Tony Bishop in Fresh water how-to, my fishing trips, New Zealand Fishing

New Fly-Fishing Book: ‘What Trout Want –The Educated Trout and Other Myths’

Quite simply this is the best book I have read on fly-fishing, and I have well over 100 books on fly-fishing in my bookcases. This simplified approach to catching trout, without the baggage of myth, pseudo-science, and self-serving BS is something I have tried to preach in my own books and articles – just wish I could write it half as well.

I don’t care where in the world you fly-fish for trout, read it and become a better fly-fisher.

whattroutwant

“In What Trout Want, Bob Wyatt busts one of fly-fishing’s biggest myths -selectivity- and teaches readers how to:

  • Simplify fly pattern design
  • Reduce the number of patterns needed
  • Improve presentation and stealth
  • Catch pressured trout

Catching trout simplified 

  • A brilliantly written and well-crafted exposé fly fishing’s greatest myths–selectivity, matching the hatch, pressured fish, fish feeling pain, precise imitations, drag-free drifts
  • Recipes for the author’s tried-and-true patterns
  • Practical, down-to-earth suggestions for catching fish”
Posted by Tony Bishop in fly fishing, fly fishing how-to, trout information

Quick and easy way to check or change your fly

Tim Rajeff, master caster shows a simple way to check or change a fly without stripping in the fly-line. Safety tip: don’t try and catch the fly, grab the leader and of course always wear glasses as you do every time you fly-fish.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly fishing how-to, Fresh water how-to

Get Down and Get Ugly: Chris Dore’s Creeper Fly

dorecreeper

 

Chris Dore is one of New Zealand’s top guides; specialising in the south of the South Island of New Zealand. He has a a very refreshing attitude to fishing and fly tying – and ‘keep it simple’ seems to be his watch-word. But making things simple requires a lot of knowledge and experience – Chris has a heap of both.

Chris ties these ugly brutes for early season headwaters on size 6 to 10 long shank hooks ( I think I will use Tiemco 200R to give a slight bend). The rest you can pretty much work out for yourself.

Wrap some lead (or substitute) around the hook, tie in a bunch of black hair or fur for a tail, tie in copper (or gold?) wire, and some black flexi-body or any stretchy sheet, dub up to 2/3 with hares ear, then some black dubbing, for thorax and head. Pull the back over the fly and tie down at the head. (Quick tip: before you cut off the back, pull the excess back towards the tail and throw in a few ‘locking turns’ to really secure the back). Follow with the wire to form segments, and tie off at the head, whip finish and give it a dab or two of head cement. Simple. Quick. Done.

I suggested adding some wriggly rubber legs – Chris said he used to, but now does not bother because the fly is just as effective naked. Simplicity again.

Chris describes the fly as his ‘get noticed fly’, to fish in edge waters and boulder runs. Go easy on the lead, you want the fly to move through where heavier flies would snag.

That is about. I will be tying up a bunch of Creepers and Glister Nymphs for a trip to the central North island in early October, as Spring gets into full swing here.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly fishing, fly tying, Fresh water how-to, New Zealand Fishing

Tenkara and European nymphing, a link?

Tenkara fishing is getting a lot of press, but the link to an ancient Japanese method to ‘modern’ techniques is very interesting.

Tenkara and European nymphing – where the old becomes new.

Sometimes it happens that some apparently disconnected events come together to open a door to something new. A case in point.

First apparently disconnected event.

I had been reading a lot about the Japanese Tenkara style fishing, and had bought a Tenkara rod and used it a few times, with some success. It is fun!

Then a few months on I was reading an UK fly-fishing magazine. Two articles in the same edition of that magazine, apparently disconnected, except that both were about fly-fishing, melded together to open a door neither author knew tenkarafly1existed.

The first article by a well known fly-fishing author and fly-tyer, was taking someone to task about his notion that wet flies tied with hackles pointing forward over the eye of the hook were ‘invented’ about 25 years ago. Not so wrote our eminent author, they were invented about 50 years ago in the Clydeside area, in the UK.

Both these gentlemen were only about 2000 years out. Japanese ‘Tenkara’ fishermen have been using wet and dry flies with hackles tied forward for around that many years.

O.K. So a marginally interesting, piscatorial and historical matter cleared up.

However this historical fact becomes more interesting when melded with the second article, on the ‘European’ fishing style.

Read on..

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly fishing, fly fishing gear, fly fishing how-to

Trout Spotting Tip

I was doing some work on my site and came across this little tip in my free to read trout fishing book ‘Fishing Smarter for Trout’ in the chapter on spotting trout.

I was guiding an American client who was a very accomplished angler. We had a successful morning spotting and then fishing to spotted fish. Over the morning I noticed that every time we took a break for one reason or another, he would face away from the direction of the sun and remove his sunglasses for several minutes. In fact I also began to notice that often when we approached a possible lie he would take off his glasses for a few moments and put them back on as we began to search for a fish.

I questioned him about this and he theorised that over time our eyes adjust to take account of the different light characteristics reaching them, because of the sunglasses. He believed that by removing sunglasses regularly, the heightened ability to detect contrast when you first put on Polaroid’s was re-stimulated.

Now, I do not know if there is any scientific basis for his theory, but I tried it. It worked, and still works for me.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly fishing how-to

Fly Fishing Answers, Learning the Double Haul – on MidCurrent

This tip on how to get the double-haul timing right to achieve longer fly-fishing casts is so simple, and so effective, (I have tried it), you must give it a go. See it here.

While you are there make sure you read Tom Rosenbauer’s article on the double haul, and take a look at Joan Wulff’s video on hauling it is nearly definitive.

Posted by Tony Bishop in Fishing Videos, fly fishing how-to

Fly-rod ‘actions’ – what do they mean?

I guess one of the more confusing elements of fly-fishing is the hotchpotch of terms used to describe the “actions” of fly-rods. Hopefully I can dispel some of this confusion and help making a decision on what fly-rod to buy easier.How rods bend

Pared right down to basics, the term ‘action’ describes the way a rod bends. But don’t all rods bend the same way I hear you mutter? Well no, they don’t. It would all be very easy if rods bent in one constant arc from butt to tip (parabolic), but most don’t.

They don’t bend in a constant arc because a rod is tapered from butt to tip – the thin section of the rod near the tip bends much more than the thicker mid-section of the rod, which bends more than the butt section. Rod makers are able to control the ‘action’ of a rod, the way it bends and flexes, by making adjustments to the way the building material is laid-up.

A fly-rod has to perform two main functions, cast a fly-line and help land a fish once it is hooked. The casting action of the rod is the prime function, and should be seen as being way more important in freshwater trout fishing than its ability to help land fish… See the full article here
Posted by Tony Bishop in fly fishing gear