Category Archives: Fly Lines

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Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report End of November

10645084 313692815489917 6116931814364876703 n 525x349 Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report End of November

Platform courtesy

Most anglers have their favourite platforms or would like an opportunity to fish the current ‘hotspots’ and it’s difficult to know the best way to reach a compromise, especially when some platforms are fishing particularly well. For the next few weeks, to be fair and courteous to all please move off a platform after you have taken/released four fish and return only if no one else wants to fish that particular platform, and we’ll see how that works.

No bags/tackle to be left on platforms

Continuing the theme of courtesy, if you leave a platform eg to come up to the lodge for a cup of tea, please do not leave any items on or around the platform.   There is plenty of room between platforms to leave tackle if you don’t wish to bring it up to the lodge during a break, but remember that all items are left at your own risk.

Bag checking

All bags/tackle boxes will be checked on every visit as I have realised recently that not to check everyone’s makes it difficult to check anyone’s, and I am sure you appreciate the dilemma. Please also remember not to return to the car park at any time without calling at the lodge first, so that I can frisk you en route!   Calling at the lodge is also very important as I need to be sure that everyone is accounted for.

How’s it fishing this week?

Firstly, I must have had a senior moment last week as I forgot to include Mike James’s catch in last week’s report: Mike took four cracking rainbows home for various family members. One fish was taken on a humungus and intermediate line and three on a small black daddy , floating line.

The east wind persisted until Sunday, when it couldn’t quite make its mind up, switching between east and west, interspersed with periods of flat calm on a very warm and bright day which saw many anglers leaving with empty nets. Those few who caught had to work very hard, with the late afternoon brining success to Luke Thomas, who took one and released three on a bloodworm and a floating line. John Turner on his first visit this season took one on a goldhead damsel with a floating line, while Alastair Denness took one on a black buzzer and a floating line, estimating that the fish were about three feet down.   Christian Jones on his second visit this week took a superb rainbow weighing 5lb 10oz, another Troutmasters entry, taken on a white nomad and a floating line, releasing another on a pink blob.

Exmoor Stock delivery

While Sunday was extremely difficult the previous days had been mixed in terms of fish taken and returned. After a slowish day on Wednesday with the lake quite calm and only the occasional light east wind, about half took fish. The delivery of 50 cracking rainbows (from 2.25 – 3lbs) from Exmoor Fisheries livened up proceedings with the majority of anglers on Thursday, Friday and Saturday taking and returning fish.

Over two visits Ken Bowring took 2 and released 19 on a bloodworm and a cats whisker and a red legged daddy, on a full floating line as well as an intermediate line, entering a 5lb 12oz rainbow for Troutmasters. Also over two visits Roger Martyn took two and released 11 on a bloodworm, a black gnat and a cats whisker. Ted Lyons took four on a bloodworm and intermediate while Craig Bowles took one and released four on a mini-cat, with a diawl bach on a dropper and intermediate line,  three rainbows in front of the lodge and two on the far bank.

Gareth West also entered Troutmasters with a 4lb 6oz rainbow taken on a black and green fritz and a floating line. Mike Porteous took one on a cat and intermediate, Colin Cox, Terry Griffiths and Roger Andrews each took one on a bloodworm, floating line; Keith Higgins took one and released one on a damsel and intermediate off the main island platform; Dave Eckett took one on a cats whisker floating line; Dave Smith took one and release 1 on a damsel and a cats whisker, sink-tip line; Garry Collins took one on a daddy and a floating line.

Tony Hemming took one and released one on a diawl bach floating line; John Hefferman took three on an orange goldhead floating line; Garry Wharton took one and released 5 on a yellowhead damsel and three on a jungle cock diawl bach; Russell Barry took one and release two on a green nomad and a diawl bach; Mike Mckeown took two in the main bay and released one on a tadpole.

Plenty of fish were moving on Saturday, which turned out to be a lovely mild and quite sunny day especially late in the afternoon. The east wind blowing towards the lodge is not the best direction for good fishing at Cwm Hedd, but it pushed the food and the fish to the front of the lake where those confident enough to fish into the wind had considerable success. A range of flies and fly lines were used including a few new to me, such as the zobble and zulu, employed by John Belcher and Wales international Sally Ann Iles. Sal took two and released two on the zobble, fishing off the man island as well as behind it. John took one when he fished the zobble dry, while his pheasant tail zulu brought him another.

Regular Rob Collier and son Tom had a great few hours: Rob took one and released 3 on a cats whisker and a black fritz intermediate line, while Tom took one and released eight on a mini cat, and a black montana with a floating line. Most were brought to the bank on the main island, but Rob also took two of his in the bay where he stream enter the lake.

Paul Elsworthy took one and released two on a cats whisker ghost-tip line, while friend Alan Powell took one and released three on a green cats whisker and a midge tip line.Huw Davies and Chris Jones found the near bank in front of the lodge and the far side of the island productive, with Huw taking one and releasing four on a hopper with a floating line and a damsel and intermediate line. On his first visit, Christian Jones (from Aberdare) took one and released three on a pink blob and a floating line.

Competitions and events

Boxing Day comp: £20 (NB pre entry required – enter at the lodge)

8am- 4pm, arrive any time before 11am.Entry includes bacon roll, tea/coffee/cake.   Release up to ten fish and take one out of the ten. The four anglers with the heaviest fish will each win a Cwm Hedd day ticket (one prize per entry).

Coaching event – Wales Teams fundraiser

The event is for anglers of all abilities from complete beginners through to experienced anglers. Book a session with one of Wales international anglers: adults £15 per hour, juniors £10 per hour, with all proceeds going towards funding various Welsh angling teams who really need our support. There will also be fly tying in the lodge and instruction for beginners on how to set up a rod, tie a fly on etc (no charge for activities in the lodge).

Cwm Hedd vouchers

Cwm Hedd day ticket vouchers are available for purchase from the lodge

Tel: 01633 896854 (lodge during opening hours); 07813 143 034 (any time/day before 6pm)

Lots of pics on facebook https://www.facebook.com/cwmheddlakes

Airflo Kelly Golloup Fly Lines

Who is Kelly Galloup?

Kelly’s deep affection for fly fishing began at age 13, started guiding at 16, and currently owns/operates the legendary Galloup’s Slide Inn on the banks of the Madison river. Author of multiple books, host of several TV and DVD productions, and with over 50 streamer patterns in commercial production worldwide, Kelly has spent much of his career helping others become more productive on the water.

Kelly’s unique (and productive) method of targeting aggressive, carnivorous trout changed the way many of us fish for these bronze beasts. Over the course of his career Kelly has refined tactics and gear to improve his chances of bringing these burly toads to hand. One thing’s for sure: nothing beats experience. To be successful, you’ve got to have the right gear. Whelp, you’re in luck…

Here’s what Kelly has to say:

The decision for me to move to Airflo was  a simple one. My fishing is NOT casual. It’s an intense hunt got the biggest bad-ass predator that swims, and I want the very best product and technology in everything I use. Simply put, that’s why Airflo delivers.

The performance and durability of these fly lines are superior to any other manufactures in the industry. That’s what i demand from the products I fish; especially the products i put my name on.

When you use one of these line you’ll know it will perform the way I intended, and rigorously tested by people who fish… not by a guy in a lab coat KG.

Airflo were pleased to announce that Kelly is an active part of their Pro Staff team with his unrivaled experience and knowledge on catching large fish, Kelly’s the guy to help ‘flo develop a new range of fly lines for the river angler.

KG nymph/indicator fly line

From Day one, KG wanted a good Nymph and Indicator line, a line that needs to be able to form efficient loops that can straighten out heavy flies and large indicators. The new Kelly Galloup Nymph/Indicator fly line has a larger tip diameter and a more aggressive front taper to handle even the heaviest junk.

Even with a good cast, many struggle mending the line and controlling the drift. But, Airflo’s Super Dri technology has allowed us to develop a fly line with an extending rear taper, which allows us as anglers to lift more line from moving water to help mend better than any line we have ever made.

With the original low stretch power core you will be able to stick fish at distance and with our ridged surface, the line wont slip out of your hand while doing so.

View here: Kelly Galloup Nymph Indicator Fly Line


Technology
kg nymph indicator Airflo Kelly Golloup Fly Lines

KG Streamer Float fly line

A fly line designed to cast anything in your fly box. The taper specification is described as ‘Powerful Taper that casts the other half of the chicken!’ which implies, the aggressive taper helps turn over heavy and wind resistant flies at any distance. Not sure you can cast it… then you’ve found your fly line.

View here: Kelly Galloup Streamer Float Fly Line


Technology
kg nymph indicator Airflo Kelly Golloup Fly Lines

KG Streamer Max Long fly line

A sinking line that’s designed to get your flies int he zone, and keep them there whilst aggressively stripping. This lines smooth transition from full sink to intermediate running line keeps you in direct contact when working the fly.

View here: Kelly Galloup Streamer Max Long Fly Line


Technology
streamer max Airflo Kelly Golloup Fly Lines

Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Lake on Fire

cwmhedd Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Lake on Fire

How’s it fishing?

Overall another outstanding week for fishing at Cwm Hedd, with the mild weather but cool water temperature conducive to some excellent fishing, particularly on Wednesday and Thursday where conditions were near perfect. With all anglers required to take the first rainbow, the Exmoor fisheries stock is turning over rapidly and the excellent condition of the hard fighting rainbows is maintained, as can be seen from the numerous images posted on facebook in the last few weeks.   Another hundred rainbows are on order for this week.

Continue reading

Reflections on A Fly Line

rene harrop elite fly line5 525x349 Reflections on A Fly Line

Rene Harrop Streamer Caught Brown Trout

For nearly a decade I have enjoyed a position on the Airflo Pro Staff. Through that period I have gained tremendous respect and appreciation for the unsurpassed array of specialty fly lines that go far beyond anything I could have imagined before joining this esteemed group of remarkably talented anglers.

Like most in the sport, I enjoy many types of fly fishing. In my experience, the value of individual fly lines designed to specifically accommodate the widely diverse requirements of trout fishing’s many facets cannot be overstated, and I take full advantage of any line intended for an exclusive purpose.

As a trout fisherman living on the Henry’s Fork, however, my assigned duty has been to assist in the development of a line designated especially for refined presentation of dry flies and mostly small nymphs to large, selective, and wary trout. To this end, I am pleased and proud to have been a part in the arrival of the Airflo Super Dri Elite Trout Line. With all the requirements of the demanding Henry’s Fork covered, this line has gained the approval of some of the world’s most discriminating practitioners, and the number is growing daily.
While accomplishing the objective of creating what I consider to be a specialized line for precise presentation of mostly smaller flies on challenging water, what also has emerged is a quality of performance that may be even more important.

rene harrop elite fly line1 525x351 Reflections on A Fly Line

Trout Caught During Salmon Fly Hatch

Efficient testing of the Elite meant applying the new line in a variety of conditions and seasonal demands that by necessity could not be limited to my favorite type of fishing.
Fishing big dry flies and heavy nymphs from a drift boat on fast, bumpy water during a Salmon Fly hatch is vastly different than a delicate cast on slow, clear currents. Exchanging a 4 weight Elite for a 6 weight was all that was needed to comfortably handle the burly business of a different game.

I used the same 6 weight Elite for fishing my favorite still waters like Henry’s and Hebgen Lake when a floating line became appropriate, and the results were remarkably satisfying.
In late fall when cold weather testing became necessary, the 6 weight Elite was again put into action while fishing streamers in low water for big brown trout on the lower Henry’s Fork. Again, performance was far better than adequate and I never felt limited when fishing this line.

rene harrop elite fly line2 525x349 Reflections on A Fly Line

Rene Harrop 3 Weight Airflo Super Dri Elite

I found a 3 weight Elite to be perfect for the Fire Hole and other smaller waters in the Yellowstone region including several spring creeks.

Other examples could be easily used to demonstrate the amazing versatility of the Airflo Elite. It is difficult to imagine an angler who would not appreciate what is truly an all-around trout line.

rene harrop elite fly line3 525x349 Reflections on A Fly Line

Using the Super Dri Elite on Still-water improves accuracy

Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 18/06/14

10402564 246039588921907 1347979740758432661 n 525x393 Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 18/06/14

Weed cutting at Cwm Hedd

With the weather still against the angler throughout the height of the day, it seems the fish have dropped deeper and a full sinking line is proving most useful. Getting your flies down and below the direct sunlight is key when fishing through the day and the fish are probably holding three or four feet down in the sunlight. The best fishing time has been in the early morning and late evening, so for this week Cwm Hedd will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6am – 9.45+pm.  You might find me asleep in the lodge, especially by Sunday.

Fishing until dark is still the ideal time to get the best sport, the last hour of the day is proving fruitful as caenis and buzzers start to return to the water, bringing the fish to the surface once the sun drops below the trees. Try a shipman’s buzzer tweaked across the surface to get most takes.

Top anglers this week were regulars Roger Michael and Keith Cox, who each took one; Roger released a further 6 on a black shipman’s buzzer, while Keith released another four on a cat and a black and green tadpole.  It was great to see Vern Thomas, Matthew Passmore and Clive Sedgebeer from the Fly Fishing in Wales group, who took five fish between them, with Vern taking two and releasing another 3. Clive used a buzzer and a floating line; Matthew found success with an orange blob and an Airflo Sixth Sense Di 3, landing two of his three fish haul within just a few casts once he’d dropped deeper. Vern took his first fish on a cat then 2 on an orange blob, again on a sinking line,  as well as taking a detour up a tree to retrieve a fly he was rewarded by finding someone else’s fly too, abandoned by someone less intrepid!

Regular John Belcher continues his run of success, taking 3 again this week on a light brown buzzer, a blue shrimp and a stonefly on a floating line, demonstrating the necessity to persevere and try out various flies and tactics.

A big thanks to those who have helped to pull out weed lately (see picture above) and keep the majority of the lake fishable, although work on the shallow side of the lake (wading area side) is ongoing.   Blue dye (Dyofix) is being added to the water on Wednesday evening to interrupt photosynthesis and suppress the weed without causing any harm at all.  For more information on this see http://www.dyofix.co.uk/dyofix-how-does-it-work.html  By Friday when the lake has acquired a blue tint we can all pretend we’re on holiday in the Med instead of a few miles from Newport.  Plenty of room for sun loungers.

Tag fish

The £200 tag fish prize is still evading anglers – £1 entry.  The rainbow has a distinctive blue dye mark on its underside, so don’t forget to check!

Fishery Information

Cwm Hedd fly fishing lakes

Bassaleg Newport NP10 8RW; 5 minutes from J 28 M4

www.cwmhedd.co.uk  https://www.facebook.com/cwmheddlakes

Open Wed/Thurs 7am-5pm last admission 3pm; Fri/Sat/Sun 6am -9.45 pm:  last admission 6pm. Tel 07813 143 034 anytime, or lodge:  01633 896854 during fly fishing opening hours.

Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 08/06/14

The mix of rain and sun over the week has helped to keep the water temperature down, but the sunny days when they arrive inevitably make fishing conditions more challenging.  Cwm Hedd is fully stocked, and anglers report seeing plenty of fish moving.  Those out to catch fish rather than contemplate the view need to give careful thought to the best fishing time of day and the weather.

The late evening opening til 9.15pm  on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays paid off for John Belcher on Sunday, when John took 3 and returned 4 on a small pale brown buzzer and a floating line tweaked now and again.  John took two on two consecutive casts earlier in the evening taking another one and releasing four as the sun went down and the fish rose all over the lake. Steve Hemmings, on a fast glass intermediate, was one of the anglers who braved the mid- week rain  reporting plenty of offers, taking his two fish (4 and a half pound total weight) on a small olive damsel and a white cat’s whisker with an indigo flash.  New visitor to Cwm Hedd, Matthew Evans, also took his three fish on a white cat’s whisker  and an intermediate fly line, while a diawl bach delivered a smashing 3 and a half pound rainbow to regular Roger Martyn.

Throughout the week conditions have been more than testing with high, bright sunshine sending the fish into deeper water. Kieron Jenkins took advantage one evening to launch his float tube and fish into the deeper water at the centre of the lake, landing two resident rainbow trout – one caught on camera – which were feeding hard on caenis (yes, the fisherman’s curse!). Kieron’s float tube video and blog can be seen here:

Kieron’s tip when targeting caenis feeders is to try and attract the attention to your flies, there can literally be hundreds of caenis on the surface and without any temptation the fish will happily ignore your offerings and keep feeding hard! Kieron used a shuttle cock buzzers with a pearl butt which he gently tweaked in front of rising fish to cause an aggravated reaction.

Tag fish

The £200 tag fish prize is still up for grabs – £1 entry.  The rainbow has a distinctive blue dye mark on its underside, so angler need to remember to check before releasing any fish!

Fishery Information

Bassaleg Newport NP10 8RW

5 minutes from J 28 M4

www.cwmhedd.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/cwmheddlakes

Open Wed/Thurs 7am-5pm last admission 3pm; Fri/Sat/Sun 7am -9.15 pm:  last admission 6pm.

Tel 07813 143 034 anytime, or lodge:  01633 896854 during fly fishing opening hours, although I may be out on the lake, so please ring my mobile if no reply at the lodge.

Thin Water and the Super Dri Elite Trout Taper

IMG 0305 525x349 Thin Water and the Super Dri Elite Trout Taper

Entering the second full year of fishing the Airflo Elite Trout line, I had come to believe there was little more to discover with regard to conditions that would challenge the performance of this remarkable new taper. That idea changed rather abruptly when fishing one of my favorite stretches of the Henry’s Fork that opened about a week ago.

Low water typifies the condition of the river just prior to release of water for irrigation purposes from Island Park Reservoir. This year, however, I found the level to be ankle deep rather than knee deep on the shallow side of a broad flat where big rainbows leave the security of depth to feed precariously over an open gravel bottom.

With currents not yet corrupted by aquatic vegetation, the surface was mirror smooth and the difficulty was not one of managing a complicated drift but rather to avoid spooking the fish with a coarse delivery of the fly. The mixture of midges, small mayfly spinners, and a few spent caddis was sparse in number, and the trout showed no favoritism as they cruised the placid flow. This opportunistic feeding pattern placed stronger emphasis on precise accuracy rather than finding an exact imitation that the trout would find acceptable.

By preference, I would have chosen to present the little caddis I had selected from a downstream position. Working from behind the fish usually provides a better opportunity to shorten the required casting distance, but there are times when this approach is not practical. On this late spring morning, an upstream stalk would place a low angled sun at my back creating warning line shadow that even the 20 foot leader could not cancel.

Any approach from upstream would certainly be detected by a wary trout long before I could get into reasonable casting range. Even working in from the side would necessitate 40 feet of fly line and the full length of the long leader to avoid spooking an alert surface feeder, but this is the route I chose to begin the engagement.

Inching my way to a position 60 feet from a sizeable pair of impressive heads was a ten minute test of patience and discipline, but this effort paid off. A test cast deliberately placed well away from the trout’s position told me the distance needed and how current would influence the drift of the fly. Knowing that everything would have to be perfect with regard to both angler and tackle, I powered the 4 weight toward the nearest rise with a reach cast right, and waited.

IMG 0228 525x349 Thin Water and the Super Dri Elite Trout Taper

A good drift of more than 6” went untouched as the next rise appeared several feet upstream and slightly beyond the first. With no bottom cover to provide protection from overhead danger, it was clear that the trout would not relax into a fixed position, and there would be no pattern to the feeding activity. Fortunately, both fish seemed reluctant to leave a 15 foot feeding perimeter, which made it a game of successfully guessing where the nervous trout might next appear and getting the fly to that location as quickly as possible.

Perhaps 20 minutes and more than a dozen fruitless attempts had passed before everything finally came together and I tightened against the weight of a well-conditioned 20 inch hen. In little more than 12 inches of water, the fight was one of enragement rather than power as the shiny surface was shredded by the panicked trout. Successfully retraining the prize from charging into deeper water on the far side was no small accomplishment with a 6X tippet, and she slipped into my net after a spirited 5 minute battle.

IMG 0248 525x349 Thin Water and the Super Dri Elite Trout Taper

IMG 0281 525x349 Thin Water and the Super Dri Elite Trout Taper

As calm returned to the scene, I didn’t have long to wait before the companion fish reappeared a little upstream and slightly closer to my side of the river. Only about a dozen careful steps were required to bring myself into position to begin round 2.

The game remained the same on the second fish with carefully placed casts that again began to accumulate as the feeding window began to close. With noon approaching and the sun in a higher position, I was able to spot what appeared to be the twin of the earlier fish as she finned only inches beneath the surface. It had been several minutes since I had seen a rise but the cast was true and the dry fly disappeared on the first pass.

A power run directly across stream and a tall leap gave quick freedom to another splendid Henry’s Fork rainbow, but there was no sense of disappointment as I retrieved the line and 50 feet of backing.

Because I live on the river, I would return on the following day and there will be many more at this early point in the year. I am a lucky man.

Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 18/05/14

IMG 0060 Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 18/05/14

A beautiful Cwm Hedd rainbow caught on a cat’s whisker

How is Cwm Hedd fishing?

The roller coaster weather in the last few week has made it all the fun of the fair for anglers, who have rummaged through fly boxes and more obscure places in the quest to find flies to tempt the fickle rainbows. The soaring temperatures on the weekend mainly brought out the sun cream and hats (plus a mellow rendition of Summertime drifted across the lake at one point), but on Friday it was a damsel, cat, black buzzer, a bloodworm, an orange lure and a bucket load of experience that brought top anglers of the week Ken Bowring and Roger Martyn 19 rainbows between them:  Ken on an intermediate line and Roger alternating an intermediate with a floating fly line.

Other top anglers of the week were Colin Cox and Dave Eckett, Colin taking two and releasing 5 on a bloodworm and Dave taking one and releasing 5, also on a bloodworm; Paul West and Lee Ashcroft each took one and released four, Paul on a gold buzzer and floating line, Lee on a hare’s ear, diawl bach and a tadpole on a mini tip fly line. Paul Elsworthy and Alan Powell each took one and released three and one respectively on a bloodworm and mini montana, each angler on a floating line. John Belcher took 3 over two visits and released one on a spider and floating line, then a cat and intermediate line. Keith Cox took one and released one on an intermediate line and a black and green tadpole. Early morning or evening fishing is advisable, or a bit of both with a long siesta at the lodge in between!

£200 tag fish still for the taking

Still evading capture is the wily £200 tag fish, the £1 entry is going to make one angler very happy any time soon.  Still, while the tag fish is still out there the donation that will be going to Velindre Cancer Centre is growing and is now over £100

Poppy fish: British Legion Competition 16th November 2014. £30 entry fee plus sponsorship. Nearly a quarter of the places have already been taken, so early entry is very important if you don’t want to miss out. Cash prizes totalling £215.00. Entry forms available at Cwm Hedd lodge or download at  http://counties.britishlegion.org.uk/counties/wales/events

___

Open Wed/Thurs 7am-5pm, last admission 2pm; Extended hours for bank holiday weekend: Fri/Sat/Sun, plus bank holiday Monday 26th May 7am -9.15 pm:  last admission 5pm

I’m considering being open Thursday evening this week (in the words of Joan Armatrading ‘I’m open to persuasion’):  ring me on Thursday afternoon to check, or let me know beforehand if you definitely want to fish that evening.

If early anglers have left by the last admission times then the gates will be closed, so don’t be late or it will make you very grumpy when you can’t fish!

Tel 07813 143 034 or lodge during fly fishing opening hours:  01633 896854

Or visit the website : http://www.cwmhedd.co.uk/ 

4 Fantastic fishing mutations

In the geeky world of robotics, there’s something seriously fishy going on.

From soft bodied remote controlled fish to bionic muscles made from fishing line, fish and fishing are inspiring some truly astounding developments in science and technology.

It’s a case of fish and chips – but not as we know it.

1. Fly line muscles

Robot arm 4 Fantastic fishing mutations

Image source: Arm Wrestling
100 times stronger than human muscles

Who would have thought the humble fishing line could be transformed into robotic muscles with superhuman strength? Well, that’s just what scientists at the University of Texas have achieved.

The muscles are made by twisting bundles of monofilament fibres and metal coated sewing thread to resemble a highly wound rubber band. When heat is applied either by chemical reaction or electrical current, the bundle contracts with incredible power.

In fact the ‘muscles’ are 100 times more powerful than the same weight of human muscle. To put that in perspective, it’s the same amount of force as that generated by a jet engine.

Applications for the muscles are myriad and include powering prosthetic limbs, opening and closing greenhouse windows, and even textiles that react to body temperature to allow more air to circulate the body. Not bad for a fly line!

2. Robot fish

We know that fish are a great design – brains at the front, soft body behind. It’s great for swimming and the tail is super flexible – ideal for escaping predators. Now researchers have designed and built a robot fish that swims just like the real thing. The ‘head’ contains the electrics and the ‘tail’ is made from soft silicon.

Gas released from inbuilt canisters through tubes in the tail, enables it to flex in exactly the same way as a real fish. The robot is controlled by wi fi signals transmitted through the water, and just in case it’s mistaken for a tasty snack by a hungry predator, the robot is programmed to perform the same escape manoeuvre as as a real fish in the same time. And how fast is that? 100 milliseconds. Amazing.

3. Pollution hunting

Shoal 4 Fantastic fishing mutations

Image source: Paul Terry
Project SHOAL is fighting pollution

Robot fish are much more than just clever toys, they’re helping scientists protect real fish and other marine life. Pollution monitoring in ports is time consuming and expensive. Divers have to collect samples manually, then send them to a lab for analysis. Often by the time results are ready it’s too late, contaminants have already spread.

But two years ago, all that changed. Scientists working on project, SHOAL, designed a free swimming fish robot that could collect and analyse information, beaming the results to scientists on shore in real time.

By mimicking the way real fish swim, the robots are more efficient and compared to propeller driven underwater vehicles, they’re more manoeuverable and far less likely to get trapped by weed and other underwater debris.

4. Jellyfish shredder


(Skip to 1 minute 10 seconds to see the shredding in action)

Thanks to rising sea temperatures and overfishing, jellyfish populations worldwide are booming. Jellyfish swarms outcompete other marine creatures for food, break fishing nets and clog nuclear reactor coolant intakes – not to mention the harm their stings can cause humans.

But now Korean scientists have come up with an answer to the problem, new self propelled robots that hunt in packs. The smart devices communicate with each other to corral jelly swarms, then pulverise them using sharp bladed propellers.

And boy can they shred some jelly. Each machine can liquify nearly a tonne of marine stingers every hour. Now that’s got to sting!

A Double Taper Fly Line

Fall Streamers A Double Taper Fly Line

Fall Streamers

These days, it is the rare individual who does not bring a lasting ambition to cast a long line when he first picks up a fly rod. As a tool designed specifically for this purpose, a weight forward line is generally the first choice of a beginner, and many will never try anything different.

Like anyone else, I appreciate the ease in which a weight forward taper can be applied in situations where a long, straight line cast is the foremost objective. This especially applies to still water fishing where a floating line is not subject to the same factors found on moving water.

With a lifelong fondness for fishing dry flies on the predominantly larger rivers of the Rocky Mountain west, my preference lies in a much different line configuration when compared to the popular weight forward taper.

On moving water, inducing a natural presentation of an artificial is often almost equally dependent upon casting and mending. With maximum control both in the air and on the water as requirements more important than easily attained distance, my choice is a double taper floating line.

Even on big waters, I try to wade within 30 feet of a feeding trout. At this range and anything less, the performance of a weight forward and double taper line are essentially equal. It is beyond this distance that I begin to struggle with line control when fishing a weight forward taper.

Aerial Mend A Double Taper Fly Line

Aerial Mend

Unlike a weight forward, there is no hinge point with a double taper because the weight of the line is distributed throughout its length rather than being concentrated in the first 30 feet.  With consistent flex and contact with the rod tip, a double taper permits superior line control while also making it easier to regulate the velocity of fly delivery. And while there are exceptions, shooting slack line into the cast is not something I generally apply when presenting a dry fly. Additionally, I find it difficult if not impossible to make certain casts that rely on controlled line speed or consistent response to the rod tip when fishing a weight forward beyond 30 feet. Curve casting, aerial mending, and a long reach cast are much more easily accomplished with a double taper.

Reach Cast Left A Double Taper Fly Line

Reach Cast Left

Precise mending techniques are vital to managing the drift once the fly is on the water. With the thinner running line in the guides, it is virtually impossible to reposition the heavier front portion of a weight forward taper as a means of overcoming problematic currents that can disrupt a natural drift by causing the fly to drag.

Refined nymphing methods involving submerged flies in moving water can require precise casting and deft mending techniques that are quite similar to fishing a floating imitation. Whether maintaining a natural drift or inducing controlled action to the fly, it is not unusual to experience some difficulty when fishing beyond 30 feet with a weight forward line. For the same reasons that apply to dry fly fishing, I generally prefer a double taper when presenting a subsurface pattern to a big, nymphing trout in moving water.

Upstream Mend A Double Taper Fly Line

Upstream Mend

In keeping with the example of old time steel-headers prior to the popularity of two handed fly casting, I rely on a double taper floating line for spring and fall streamer fishing for trout when the water is low and often quite cold.

Swimming the fly mostly with the current or on a slow, pulsating swing often involves long, looping mends that may require some serious roll casting to execute correctly. And while a long cast on big water may require significantly more effort, I find 60-70 feet to be a reasonable distance for a 6 or 7 wt. double taper. Again, as in other situations discussed herein, I value line control above ease in gaining distance for low water streamer fishing where presenting the fly means considerably more than simply stripping it quickly through the water.

I have many highly accomplished friends and acquaintances who will stick with a weight forward line for virtually all of their trout fishing, and many will disagree with my comments and personal opinion regarding a double taper. This I accept without argument because fly tackle performance is an entirely individual matter, and I would never try to convince anyone that my way is best.

In general, I believe a double taper to be a specialized line best suited for refined presentation of dry flies on moving water.  But failing to understand its versatility is a common oversight by many who might benefit by simply giving it a try.            

Curve Cast A Double Taper Fly Line

Curve Cast