• Fly Fishing (10)

What Is Fly Fishing?

by Fred
Categories: Fly Fishing
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Published on: March 30, 2011

Fly fishing may seem like a great and easy-going hobby but it is actually a difficult sport that requires a true love for fishing and a sharp mind to understand all the instructions and the use of the equipment for fly fishing. It is different from ordinary fishing where you have a rod and a bait and then you can throw it anywhere and just wait for the fish to catch it.

The art of fly fishing can be passed on from one generation to another. For those who were not lucky enough to have uncles or fathers who left them a fly fishing legacy, then knowing the basics would be more than helpful in starting the sport.

Unknown to some people, there are fishing waters that have been designated solely for fly fishing.  Fly fishing is both an art and a sport which makes use of a fly rod. Fly fishing has become such a hit among sportsmen and fishing enthusiasts that a variety of fly fishing products have become available in the market

Fly fishing has in fact become an industry that has turned the fly fishing pastime into a million dollar business. As it is, short fly fishing courses are already available for those who want to learn the sport in a few days or weeks.

Getting the right equipment for fly fishing is very important if you want to succeed in the sport. There are fly reels that are expensive but can they really make you successful in your casting?  Reels can cost as much as thousands of dollars depending on their brands and made. A fly reel is actually the thing that holds the fly line and winds it back and forth.

Once you get the hang of fly fishing basics, then you can go on your very first fly fishing trip as a professional, meaning you have undergone proper training. The first thing you need to do is to check your equipment, and make sure that your fly reels are working properly.

It is also important to get your fly fishing license ahead in order to avoid long queues in fly fishing shops. Be prepared before going on a fly fishing adventure which means you must monitor river and weather conditions. First timers would want to feel the excitement of fly fishing opening day but if you have been there, then it is better to skip it and focus on the other days that could be more productive.

Top 20 Bass Fishing Tips

by Fred
Categories: Fly Fishing
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Published on: March 30, 2011

Before heading out to catch some bass, take a look at these 20 important bass fishing tips.

1. Fish slowly, providing better action and enabling the fish to have ample eye contact.

2. When the bite seems to slow down, you should slow also down. Work methodically until you find the fish.

3. Always be aware of your weather forecast. Wind, storms, and lightening kill. Safety comes first.

4. If wet feet bother you on rainy days, try a pair of GORE-TEX sox. They are waterproof and can be worn in any shoe or boot.

5. Be alert and watchful. Fish give away their presence 90% of the time through baitfish fleeing; surface action; or vegetation movement.

6.Always look in a bass’ mouth before releasing it. Most of the time, when fighting a lure in his jaw, a bass will try to throw up whatever is in his stomach. You may be able to determine what prey the fish are actively feeding on and choose a lure/presentation to duplicate it.

7.Set the hook on a fish by feel rather than by sight.

8. Regularly check your knot for weakness and hook for sharpness.

9. Bass are not that smart. A swivel does not affect the action of a lure in a negative way and fish don’t really care about it. Use one anytime there is the potential for line twist.

10. If you are using small hooks, don’t jerk hard on the hookset; just tighten up the slack with the rod and reel faster.

11. Check your line just above the lure frequently when fishing crankbaits around rocks, gravel, stumps, and other hard obstructions. They can quickly fray your line.

12. Bass normally respond best to an erratic retrieve and a lot of motion. Keep that lure in front of the fish as long as you can.

13. Hold your rod tip down and to the side for better feel, keeping the angle between rod and line at around 90 degrees.

14. Black buzz baits seem to produce more strikes than bright colors.

15. Since the bass’s metabolism is high, use large crankbaits in warm and hot weather. Switch to smaller baits when the water is cooler.

16. Use a wire cross-locking snap when fishing crank plugs. It allows you to change lures quickly and enables the bait to vibrate more freely.

17. If you notice feeding fish and baitfish movement, the predators are actively after the prey. Switch to a fast moving crankbait and burn it through the area of activity.

18. Protect your eyes with a good pair of plastic polarized sunglasses. They will protect you from the sun’s rays and also provide a shield against a snagged slip sinker or lure flying back when pulled loose.

19. Keep baits fresh and airtight with a food vacuum sealer. You can also store hooks and other terminal tackle this way.

20. Store small quantities of hooks with a few grains of rice and they will never rust.

Using these tips will help you increase your bass catch!

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Fisherman’s Record Keeping System

Learn to Read the Water

by Fred
Categories: Fly Fishing
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Published on: March 30, 2011

Fish will behave differently depending on certain water conditions that change depending on what season it is.  This includes the temperature of the water, what the weather is like, and the volume of the water.  If you want to become a successful fly fisher you’ll have to learn how to read the waters where you’re fishing.

Some of the things that you’ll discover as you learn to read the water are (1) during non-feeding periods, fish can still be encouraged to strike if they are in a deep pocket of water, and (2) when fish are feeding they are usually found in the shoreline of runs of pools and in moderate water pockets.

Water chemistry plays a big part in the health of fish, the location where they are found, and how successful you are at catching the big one.  One of the most important aspects of water chemistry is pH.  In scientific terms pH can be defined as: the negative log molar concentration of hydronium ions in the water.  In simple language pH is the measure of the acidity or basicity in the water.

pH is typically measured on a scale of 1 to 14.  A pH of 7 is considered to be neutral.  pH totals of less than 7 are acidic while a measure of over 7 is considered basic.

Most fish are able to tolerate a wide range of pH in the waters where they live.  This is because they have the ability to regulate their internal levels of pH.  This is accomplished by the fish constantly adjusting the ratio of bases and acids within their systems.  They make these adjustments by expelling any excess acids in the urine and also by controlling their breathing.

The faster a fish breathes the faster carbon dioxide leaves the blood, thus raising the level of pH in the blood.  However, most fish are eventually tired out by this constant regulating of their system.  If the fish lives for too long in an environment that is too acidic or too basic it will become unable to manage its own system chemistry.  When this happens the fish will stop feeding and eventually die.

6 Fly Fishing Tips

by Fred
Categories: Fly Fishing
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Published on: March 30, 2011

Tip #1:  Cleaning your Fly Line

Keeping your fly line is essential to the performance of your fly fishing.  Dirt will get on your line from algae that are found in the waters where you fish.  Over time the dirt will get on your line and this can caused your line to become stripped down.  You抣l know when your fly line is too dirty because it won’t float as well nor will it slide smoothly through the rod guides.

Cleaning your fly line is easy:  use a cleaning pad that you can buy at most angling stores.  Or you can also wash the fly line with a few drops of a mild soap (avoid detergents).  Just rub the line gently with a damp cloth.

Tip #2:  Storing your Fly Line

Your reel is the safest place for you to have your line.  The only thing that you need to make sure of is that your line isn’t exposed to chemicals, high heats, direct sunlight, or solvents.  There will be times when your line has been stored for a while and it will coil.  If this occurs you need to stretch it slowly; it will soon start to give and you can use it safely once again.

Tip #3:  Types of Fly Lines

Most of the lines that you’ll use for fly fishing will be made of nylon monofilament.  However, other lines are becoming just as popular such as lines that are (1) braided, (2) co-filament, or (3) fused.  No matter what type of line you buy make sure that it’s a “premium” line.  Premium lines are more durable and even than cheaper lines.  You’ll want to match the fishing line that you buy to the following criteria and conditions:

  • Strength:  Strength is measured in the pounds of force that is needed to break the line.  You’ll find that most lines will break at higher weights than they are sold at.
  • Resistance to Abrasion:  When you’re fishing in areas where there are a lot of brush or rocks you’ll want to use a line that won’t break easily when it is constantly rubbed.
  • Line Diameter:  The diameter of the line will affect the way the line is cast as well as how deep your lure will run.  Diameter also has an affect on the visibility and stretching of the line.  The thinner a line is the harder it will be for the bass to see it.  Thinner lines will also give some bait, such as grubs, a more realistic flowing action.  The one good thing about lines with a thicker diameter is that they are better able to withstand abrasion.
  • Stretch Lines:  Stretch lines won’t break as easily when they are being pulled by a fish.  They are beneficial in letting you detect strikes as well as help you in setting hooks.
  • Line Stiffness:  The stiffness of the line is related to its stretch.  The stiffer the line is the harder it will be to cast.  The advantage to having a stiff line is that is more sensitive than flexible lines.
  • Line visibility:  In clear water it’s important that your line is as invisible to the fish as possible.  However, you’ll want to have a line that is highly visible when your fishing lures are on a subtle strike, such as worms, grubs, and jigs.  This is so that you can easily detect any movement on the line that may indicate a fish is biting.

Tip #4:  Pinching your Hooks

Take some time to pinch the barbs on the ends of your hooks.  This will prevent fewer scratches.  And keep in mind that a hook that is barbless is easier to remove that one that is barbed.

Tip #5:  Lures  by the Experts

Following is a list of lures that are often recommended by the expert fly fishers that you one day want to match in skill:

  • Spinnerbaits:  Spinnerbaits are one of the most versatile of all fly fishing baits.  This is because they can be used almost any time of the year in any type of weather or water condition.  You抣l also be able to use spinnerbaits in any type of cover.
  • Crankbaits:  Many professional fly fishers use crankbaits because they behave much as bird dogs when it comes to hunting for fish.  This type of lure is great in deeper waters since it can dive deep.  You’ll want to use a rod that is between 6.5 and 7 feet if you want to use crankbait.
  • Tube jigs: Tube jigs are great when you’re fishing in clear water where the fish are inactive. These jigs have been designed to be used as drop bait.  The tube jig is used most often in water that is ten feet or deeper.
  • Vibrating lures:  Vibrating lures are made of metal or plastic.  They produce a tight vibration when they are pulled back in.  This type of bait will sink fast and are best used in deeper waters.
  • Jigging spoons: Jigging lures are called structure lures and are used most often by experienced fly fishers.  These lures work very well in deep water when you are fishing for suspended bass.  The jigging spoon is ideal when you’re dealing with fish that are inactive due to water temperatures that are too hot or too cold.

Tip #6:  Using Dry Flies in the Afternoon

If you抮e fly fishing in the afternoon you抣l want to use dry flies.  The main reason for this is that the sun will be warming the water and the air.  And this means that you抣l see hatches of little black flies.  This is a great time to do some dry fly fishing since you can present a fly that is similar to an adult insect

Fly Fishing School

by Fred
Categories: Fly Fishing
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Published on: March 30, 2011

When you are learning how to do something new, it is always helpful to get some instruction.  There are schools all over the country that teach people how to fly fish, and they can be a wonderful way to learn fly fishing from people who are experts in the field.

One of the most popular fly fishing schools is provided by the Orvis company who manufactures various fly fishing gear.  They offer these schools in various locations throughout the country, usually in the springtime.  The Orvis school will teach you proper casting techniques, tying the best knots, how to choose your gear and tackle, and much more!

Outdoor classes are held by The Fly Fishing School in various locations throughout the United States and Canada.  This school goes to some of the most popular fly fishing spots and shows anglers the proper ways to enjoy the sport.  This school is a very effective way for beginners to learn the fundamentals of fly fishing and is a great refresher course for more experienced anglers.

The Fly Fishing School also offers a self study course available for purchase.  These courses come in book form as well as compact disc.  You can even take the course online is that is more convenient for you.

When you choose a fly fishing school, you will get the benefit of experienced instructors who are eager to share their knowledge with you.  They will guide you step by step through the process of tying your line, how to hold the rod, and being able to make the most effective casts.  Many schools will also teach you where to look for the best fish as well as what bait to use for certain species.

Other fly fishing schools will teach you how to become a fly fishing guide for other people.  If you have a love of the outdoors and a love of fly fishing as a sport, becoming a guide could be a great career move for you.  You can learn along with your students and teach them what you know helping them become better anglers themselves.

Schools vary in price with the Orvis school running around $400 for two days of classes.  Of course, you’ll have to worry about your own transportation and lodging when you get to the location of your class.  Many people think this is a small investment when considering the amount of information and expertise you will be getting.

Fly fishing schools are great places to learn about this sport you are coming to love.  When you employ the advice of experts, you will be well on your way to learning more about the sport of fly fishing.  Of course, practice is the best teacher, but you sure have to start somewhere.

Tying Flies for Fly Fishing

by Fred
Categories: Fly Fishing
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Published on: March 30, 2011

One of the most enjoyable parts of fly fishing could be tying your own flies. While they are readily available for sale pre-made in many stores, when you take the time to tie your own, you can make the flies look even more realistic than those you can buy in a store.

Fly tying isn’t as difficult as it might first seem. You need to have some basic tools such as a fly vice, scissors, pliers, and thread. The equipment you use can make all the difference in quality work and shoddy work. The goal is to make your flies look as identical to a fish’s food source as is humanly possible.

You can find supplies for tying in various places. Besides the vice, scissors, and pliers, you will want to have on hand the following items:

  • Hooks of various shapes and sizes
    Different colors and gauges of thread
    Fur from animals such as mink or fox
    Feathers from pheasants and peacocks
    Craft cement

Precision is the key to accurate fly tying. You should start out with a picture of the fly you are trying to replicate. You can find pictures of may flies, caddis flies, and other natural food sources in many places on the Internet. Once you have a picture, just get materials that will mimic the look and try to duplicate it.

Start out by wrapping thread around your hook and then add fur and feathers as you go securely tying them to the hook. As you go, you will continue to add materials until you achieve the look you are going for. Of course, there’s a little more to it than that, but that is the general idea.

You can take classes on how to tie your own flies and you can even find instructional videos online. When you start taking an interest in fly fishing, it’s best to stick with the pre-made flies, but as you gain more experience, you will want to start experimenting around with different lures to bring the fish to your line.

Tying your own flies can be a great way to bring you more and more into the fly fishing experience. It certainly isn’t for everyone as you need to have a lot of patience when you are tying flies. It doesn’t always come easy, but once you learn the basic techniques, you will probably find a new hobby that gives you some great joy!

Fly Fishing Supplies

by Fred
Categories: Fly Fishing
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Published on: March 30, 2011

Besides the obvious supplies of rods and reels, there are really a lot of other supplies you should have in your fly fishing arsenal. It can make the difference between a great fishing trip and a so-so fishing trip when you have a variety of products at your disposal. So what types of supplies will you need to have on hand?

To begin with, you should have an ample supply of flies. When you are out on a river or stream, you will want to match the food source that is readily available to the fish. They are much more likely to bite when they recognize their normal food as opposed to anything else. When you have several flies available, you can adapt depending on what types of insects you see on your particular stretch of water.

You will also want to have a supply of different lines that you can use. Different lines are adaptable to different types of weather as well as different types of casting. If you have some particularly windy weather, you will want to change your line to adapt to the conditions and make your casting more productive.

Apparel is part of the fly fishing experience, and you’ll want to get the right supplies that will best match your situation. Vests, for example, are almost necessary for the avid fly fisherman. Fly fishing vests come with lots of pockets for you to hold your supplies in and have easy access to them at the same time.

Where can you get your fly fishing supplies? The outlets are everywhere. You can start with your local sporting goods store to find different brands and suggestions for various supplies. If you have a local specialty fishing store, these can be excellent places to get your fly fishing supplies. The people in these stores are also very knowledgeable in the sport and they can make suggestions as to what you should be carrying with you.

The Internet is probably the widest and most diverse place to shop for your fly fishing supplies. You have literally thousands of places that sell equipment for fly fishermen including fly tying supplies, various pre-made flies, lines, and apparel. Just do a quick search on your favorite search engine for fly fishing supplies and be amazed at the amount of resources that are at your fingertips!

Be creative when looking for fly fishing supplies. Ask other fly fishermen, talk online, and utilize the resources of fly fishing organizations. Once you begin amassing your supplies, you’ll be surprised at how addictive it can be!

Fly Fishing for Bass

by Fred
Categories: Fly Fishing
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Published on: March 30, 2011

When you mention fly fishing to people, many times they think you are fishing exclusively for trout. However, there are some amazing spots you can fly fish for trophy sized bass as well. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass abound in rivers and lakes, so why not try your hand fly fishing for bass?

Many experienced fly fishermen report that bass fly fishing can be extremely challenging as well as extremely satisfying. Bass have larger mouths than trout, so your choice of lures is much more diverse. They strike hard and fight strong, so when you are fly fishing for bass, expect to be exhilarated by the fight in these guys!

Experts suggest that you use a 6-7 weight rod, but if you are especially experienced, you can use a 4-5 weight rod. If you choose the smaller rod, you may have trouble casting the larger flies, so be aware of that. You can use a floating or a sinking line with a weight forward taper. You should have a 7 ½ to 9 foot leader tapered down to a 10 pound test.

Most bass are opportunistic feeders and will bite at anything. In general, however, flies for bass fishing are usually larger and influence a bigger bite. Try big muddler minnows, clousy minnows, wooly buggers, poppers, leech patterns, and crayfish patterns. Size 8 or 10 would be a little on the small side while size 2 or 1/0 would be a little too large, so opt for something in between.

Largemouth bass live in shallow water habitats among reeds, water lilies, and other vegetation naturally found in the water. They are adapted to warm waters in the 80 degree range and are seldom found deeper than twenty feet down. They prefer clear waters with little or no current. They stay fairly active year-round, but tend to stay near the bottom in the winter months.

Great bass fly fishing can be found in various locations throughout the United States. In the northeastern United States, try the rivers and streams in the Adirondack Mountains such as the Mohawk or Black Rivers. There are also some prized bass in the Great Lakes region. Southern Ontario in Canada can also provide some great opportunities to catch trophy sized bass.

Bass fly fishing can be a great experience for both the beginning fly fisherman as well as those with a little more experience. Fly fishing for bass requires a little bit of finesse and some tenacity when they bite. Stay with the fish and pull a whopper out of the water you can be proud of!

Fly Fishing Equipment

by Fred
Categories: Fly Fishing
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Published on: March 30, 2011

Just as with any other sport, the equipment you use when fly fishing can be very important. There are various types of equipment that you need when you undertake fly fishing, and be prepared because some of it can get quite expensive!

Of course, you’ll need a rod and reel. What type of rod you choose depends on the type of fish you will be angling for. Fly rods are ranked according to their net weight capabilities (nwt). The nwt number will tell you what type of fish you will be able to catch. Fish that weigh 8 pounds will require at least an 8 nwt rod, etc. The larger the nwt number, the larger fish you can catch.

Some rods are multi-rated (e.g. 7-9 nwt). These rods are good to use because they can accommodate a variety of fish, but multi-rated rods tend to be less flexible than single rated rods.

Rods are made of fiberglass, graphite, or bamboo. Fiberglass rods are durable and less expensive. Fiberglass rods are best for beginning fly fishermen because they can be used in a variety of situations. Graphite rods are lighter and will give you more fighting weight when it comes to landing a fish. Bamboo rods can be expensive, but they are extremely strong and are suited to a more laid-back casting style.

Your fly line will need to match the nwt of your rod. If you have an 8 nwt rod, you’ll need to use an 8 nwt line. It is acceptable to go one or two sizes above or below your rod weight (i.e. 9 nwt or 7 nwt). Buy line that is strong and durable. Some lines are specially designed for freshwater, saltwater, etc.

You will also need to have a durable net that you can carry with you. After the fish has lost its will to fight, a good net is used to scoop them out of the water. This can be a big part of your fly fishing equipment because without a good net, you won’t be able to get your fish out of the water!

Having the right fly fishing equipment is important for both the beginner as well as the experienced angler. As you get better and better at the sport, you will begin to see how important having good equipment can be. You can always upgrade, so it’s good to start out small and work your way up to the more expensive stuff. Your fly fishing equipment can make a world of difference between landing that big fish or catching an ordinary one.

Fly Fishing Reels

by Fred
Categories: Fly Fishing
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Published on: March 30, 2011

Your fly fishing reel can be as important as your fly fishing rod. At one time, many people thought of the fly fishing reel as just storage for your line, but it has evolved into so much more. The reel can make a big difference in being able to drag in your fish or failing to do so.

Most fly fishing reels are made of aluminum. When using, the fisherman strips line off the reel with one hand while casting with the other. He (or she) then retrieves the slack line by winding it back up on the reel. The type of reel you use depends on the fish you are trying to catch. Some reels are better suited for larger fish as well as more demanding conditions while on the water.

Your fly fishing reel should have a solid handle that is easy to manipulate. Some reels come with double handles – one on each end of the spinner – that makes it much easier to grab hold of and wind up. Which one you choose is up to you!

The spool holds the fishing line. Attached to the spool on the outside is a small weight called a counter balance. This assures that the reel spins smooth and true without any interference from the rod or the angler. Many spools have exposed rims. This actually serves a very useful purpose when you are struggling with a fish. You can cup your hand on the outside of the room so you can play with the fish and save your tackle if you are using light flies.

The drag on a fly fishing reel creates pressure and prevents the line from free spooling or back lashing. You can have a click drag on your reel which are springs that put pressure against a gear stopping it from moving. These reels are noisy, though, so keep that in mind. Disc drags are either pads or gears that have calipers like brakes on a car. As the pressure on the gear increases, the pad clamps down stopping the drag.

The reel clamps to your fly rod with a “seat” that clamps down on the handle with “feet”. All reels are made to the same standard so the seats that are on fly fishing rods with handle all fly fishing reels. So, basically, you can pick out your rod and then choose the reel you want and not have to worry if it will fit your rod.

Choosing your fly fishing reel depends a lot on what type of fishing you will be doing. If fishing for large game fish, you will want one that can handle the pressure of the weight of the fish. If you are just fishing for trout and bass, you will want a standard reel that will make bringing your fish in just a little bit easier.

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