fly fishing tips

Streamer Fishing for Trout – 5 Techniques

From Deneki Outdoors a good run-down on five streamer fishing techniques that target bigger fish. A really worthwhile read.

“… However, we’ve found that most anglers fish streamer patterns using only one technique before giving up on the streamer and reaching back for the nymphs. Every day, every river, and every run is different, and successful anglers know that changing up retrieves is key in fooling more trout. Here are 5 ways to fish a streamer more effectively…”

Full story Here

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

Why Does No-one Bow to a Trout Anymore?

I recently noticed I was losing more hooked fish by way of broken leaders or hooks pulling out. Why? I checked the leader material I used and found no problem. Still tough as old boots and broke just over the line weight. No answers there.

Maybe it had something to do with today’s ultra fast-action rods? Rods I mostly used over the last ten years.

I think I am on to something. Here is why.

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

Nymphing: Get Even More Hook-ups

Hatch Magazine has a nice little article on allowing the nymph to swing at the end of a drift before picking it up for a re-cast. It is a tactic I have used for many years and have had great success with it.

“…The beginner nymph fisherman dutifully focuses on drag, drifting the fly through the water as long as he or she can prevent drag from setting in by mending the line, following the fly with the rod tip and so on. Once that battle is lost, and the fly starts to drag, most anglers will immediately lift the rod and recast. Instead, try this: once drag sets in, let the fly continue to drift downstream while stopping the line, allowing it to come tight. The nymph will swing around…”

Really worthwhile read.

Last second thought: Using nymphs with soft hackles (flymphs) or rubber legs  makes this technique even more successful.

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

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

Swinging wets and nymphs in streams and small rivers

This is one of my favourite forms of fly fishing, especially on streams or small rivers. When ‘traditional’ dry fly or nymphing is just not getting the job done, swinging a wet fly often gets results.

In fact, unless there is a rise on,  I usually start out wet fly fishing. To me sitting on a bank waiting for a rise to kick in is a waste of very precious fishing time.

See the new and full story here

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

Fly casting can often be improved by slowing down and casting easier

Very good article on casting technique on Gink & Gasoline site:

Read the title of this post and try to live by it. It’s my attempt in “one sentence”, to help fly anglers quickly improve their fly casting, and it’s made me twice fly caster and fisherman I am today. There’s lots more to fly casting than slowing down and casting easier, but if anglers focus on doing both together, they often will find that it can greatly improve their overall technique and control. Ask any professional sports athlete how they maximize their performance and potential, and almost all will reply with excellent technique. It’s no different in fly casting. If you want your fly casting to reach its full potential, you have to first build a strong foundation of fly casting mechanics and principles that you can consistently live by on the water. I’ve found personally that when I take the time to slow down and cast the fly rod with less power, it’s much easier for me to focus on the most important element of my fly casting, my technique… [read full article] (Link fixed)

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

Seeking Perfection in Fly-Fishing? Forget it!

Nice little piece in MidCurrent by kirk Deeter in his Fly Fishing Jazz column:

“… For both the angler and the jazz artist, no matter what they do, and how they play, there is always room for improvement.  Always something they wish they could re-do differently.  Something they wish they could have anticipated or imagined better… perhaps played with more effect when they had their chance to do so.

That’s not to say, however, that the jazz artist, nor the fly angler, cannot or should not ever be satisfied.  But there is a distinct difference between satisfaction and perfection.”

Good to have lurking in the very back of your mind when you are having one of those days when nothing goes how you want it to. Full article here.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly fishing, fly fishing tips

Distance Schmistance.

One of the South Island of New Zealand’s best known guides, Chris Dore, offers some sound advice about getting more distance, and the benefits of being able to do so. This is especially true in New Zealand where casting in a wind is a very common requirement.

“I tire of hearing people bagging distance casting. "its not needed here in NZ" and most commonly "all my fish are caught within a few rod lengths" are common justifications.

Well mate, that’s because you can only cast a few rod lengths. And how do you go in windy conditions? You don’t? I wonder why…”

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly fishing, fly fishing how-to, fly fishing tips, New Zealand Fishing

10 best ways to break your fly-rod

Over the fifty and more years I have been fishing and sometime guiding I have seen some truly inventive ways of breaking a rod, here are ten of the most common:piontloading

1. Hold the rod tip up to near vertical with the line running down parallel to the rod while trying to net a fish over three or more pounds – it’s called ‘Point Loading”.

2. While walking in to the river, hold the rod with the tip lower than horizontal to the ground – when you trip the rod turns into a javelin, and a four piece into a many more piece.

3. When your fly is snagged, heave back on the rod, with the rod tip behind your head – it’s called Point Loading’, again.

4. When pulling the leader and fly-line out to get ready to cast, pull the line near -parallel to the rod, yes, it’s “Point Loading” again.

5. Lay the rod on the ground, anywhere, anytime, taking a photo, changing a fly, eating a sandwich, staining the bank – you just have to know, you, or your about-to-be ex-friend is going to stand on it. Most effective in long grass.

6. Fail to make sure the rod joints (spigots) are firmly seated. Best outcome, the joint separates – annoying at worst. Worst outcome, the shortened overlap of the joint area breaks – heart break at best.

7. Forgetting to check if the motel has a ceiling fan while you gear up for fishing tomorrow has lead to many a long morose trip home.

8. Strongish breeze, open vehicle door, fly-rod in immediate vicinity – say no more.

9. Hook-up on the blackberries on the back cast again – rod rage – say no more, again.

10. Most spectacular fly-rod demolition? Two words – helicopter blades!

Would love to hear about your rod-breaking experiences.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly fishing, fly fishing gear, fly fishing tips

A magnetic little tip for finding fumbled flies

There are in this fishing world of ours thousands of hints, tricks, and tips to make things easier or more effective. Most of us I guess read them, say to ourselves, ‘now that is a good idea, I must use that’ – and promptly forget around 99% of them!

Well a couple of months ago I read a tip in a UK fly-fishing magazine that was simplicity in itself, designed to solve a problem that affects us all, sometime or other.

So there I was on a nice piece of water, catching a few nice trout on a new fly I was trialling, till one a bit better than my skills took it away. So I opened my fly box and the other one of the two I tied fell into the grass at my feet. Do you think I could find it – no chance.

Now back to that tip that drifted out of my memory when I was not looking. Simply tie a small  but powerful magnet onto a length of string, and when you drop a fly ‘troll’ the magnet around the area where the fly fell. Beautiful – but forgotten. So no magnet, not string, no fly. Bugger.

OK, so just when I needed it, the magnet on a string tip snuck back into my memory. But as I said no magnet, no string. But I finally thought, my landing net is tied to a magnet, that connects to another magnet attached to the loop  behind my neck.  I detached my net and slowly ‘trolled’ the magnet through the grass at my feet, and a fly attached itself. Actually not my fly but a well trampled previously dropped specimen by someone as clumsy as me.

I can report that I did find my fly – but also have to report that despite the fact it’s brother caught a number of fish, the ‘lost’ fly failed to live up to the promise of the former. Still I did manage to cement the magnet tip into my brain cells, and at my age that is a good capture in itself.

Postscript:  If you tie flies, the magnet on a string tip has another use. When you drop a hook on the floor, as you do, especially a carpet covered floor, and more especially the dropped hook is small, a magnet on a string finds the little blighter quickly.

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