Tag Archives: fishing tackle

Low Water and Light Fishing Tackle

Big Trout Small Fly 525x349 Low Water and Light Fishing Tackle

Like the weather, a river is changed by the seasons. In October the Henry’s Fork flows are at about 25% of peak summer levels and the resulting changes in the fishery are multiple. This essentially applies to the slow water sections beginning at Last Chance Run and extending through Harriman to the water below Pine Haven.

This is mostly wadeable water even when downstream agricultural demands push release of water from Island Park Reservoir to 1,000 cfs and above. Storing water for the coming year begins in early Fall when flows are reduced to around 300 cfs and often lower. Responding to a rather radical and abrupt change in their environment, trout begin to concentrate in winter habitat that features greater security in terms of water depth and structure. What this means is that even though big trout may be found feeding in surprisingly thin flows of a foot or even less, they are seldom far from the sanctuary of deeper water. Awareness of this behavior will assist a visiting angler who might deal with finding fish when previously occupied water becomes seasonably devoid of opportunity.

While low water provides advantages in access and wading comfort fall fishing produces complications that are not nearly as pronounced at other times of the year.

Aquatic vegetation, a necessity in the welfare of trout and insects, grows densely in the higher flows of summer. Losing a good fish in the weed becomes an increasingly familiar disappointment as the season progresses.

Thin Water Trout 525x349 Low Water and Light Fishing Tackle

In the fall, vast expanses of exposed vegetation reduce the amount of open water in some sections and the tendrils are always close enough to the surface to disrupt the current and complicate fly presentation.

With only minor exception, fall hatches are small in physical size but their numbers can be astounding. Mahogany Duns in size 16 or 18 are a bonus through mid-October; otherwise you will be dealing with Baetis and midges if dry fly fishing is your objective. A size 18 is at the large end of the scale, and they range much smaller.

A high quality tippet of 6X or 7X is needed to accommodate imitations that probably average size 22. And while futility with regard to landing a big fish may instantly come to mind, bringing a 20 inch trout to net is not impossible even with such a delicate connection.

Upstream Connection 525x349 Low Water and Light Fishing Tackle

As a matter of practicality, tackle adjustments based on seasonal requirements will determine a particular rod, fishing reels, and fly line to accommodate the extensive variety of opportunity available during a year of fishing in Henry’s Fork country.

Fishing streamers and other large subsurface flies on still and moving water will call for a 7 weight to handle a long cast and truly big trout. I like a 6 weight for float fishing or wading during Salmon Fly time and the Golden Stone hatch. Both insects require patterns as large as size 4, and most are quite air resistant. The size 10 and 12 Green, Brown, and Gray Drakes are best handled by a 5 weight, especially when making a long cast to cruising trout on the flats of the Ranch. A 9 foot 4 weight is the rod I carry on most days when a fly larger than size 14 is not likely to be necessary and a cast beyond 50 feet is a rarity. Fishing the small dries and nymphs that typify fishing the shallow flows of October is, for me, best accomplished with a 3 weight rod.

Low, clear water, tiny flies, and easily alarmed trout combine for some of the most challenging fishing of the year, especially when weed altered currents enter the picture. In a game of enhanced precision and delicacy, the light weight and small diameter of a 3 weight line permit a more subtle and controlled presentation that will put the fly where it needs to be and with a reduced tendency to alert a wary trout.

Relying upon stealth to minimize casting distance, I rely primarily on a crisp action, 8 foot 3 weight rod for fishing the small hatches of fall. A lighter line and shorter rod can be efficiently coupled with a 12 foot leader, which is considerably shorter than what I would typically use with a heavier line and longer rod.

Keeping the distance to a target fish at 30 feet or less plays strongly into the accuracy of the cast and management of the drift. And of course, seeing a small fly is entirely dependent upon fishing at relatively close range.

An upstream cast from behind the fish is the most efficient method of approaching shy trout in thin water. Quite often, however, surface feeding trout are found tucked tightly against the bank, edge of an exposed weed bed or other locations where a different presentation angle is called for. A reach or curve cast from the side in these situations is less likely to disturb the fish than approaching from upstream where you will be far more likely to come into a trout’s window of vision before ever getting within reasonable casting range.

Controlling a big rampaging rainbow is never an easy proposition, regardless of the tackle being employed. However, a lighter action fishing rod will do a better job of cushioning a fine tippet and precarious connection to a miniature hook. A smooth functioning fly reel with a reliable, adjustable drag system is also an asset when playing large trout on very light tackle. Firm, relentless pressure can quickly tire a trout but you must concentrate on its every move and be prepared to release line the instant forceful movement away from you is indicated. And while luck is likely to ultimately determine the outcome, elevated skill in the techniques of playing and landing big trout can result in a very satisfying accomplishment.

Fishing small flies on light tackle is a fitting end to the dry fly season where thin, gentle currents and big, wary trout combine to demand our best. We are carried into the long winter by those fresh memories of crisp, fall days and rising trout. And as fly fishers, we survive until spring largely on the strength of those memories.

Low Water Rainbow 525x349 Low Water and Light Fishing Tackle

Filming the new Airflo Fly Fishing DVD

camera Filming the new Airflo Fly Fishing DVD

When it comes to fishing, there’s nothing better than breaking out your rods and reels, stringing your desired fly line through the eyes of your favourite rod and casting out into the unknown… But, for many anglers that are stuck for time, they turn to the Internet, or in our case, fly fishing DVDs.

For those of you who struggle to get out on a regular basis we’ve been filming the new Airflo/Trout Fisherman DVD on the prestigious Bristol Water fisheries, Blagdon and Chew Water – The birth place of fly fishing some would say.

Iain Barr, Chris Ogborne and Airflo’s director Gareth Jones get together to film the new Airflo fly fishing DVD which will be available Spring 2015 FREE with Trout Fisherman. With Chris’s knowledge, Iain’s competition pedigree and Gareth’s enthusiasm for fly fishing, this DVD will be one to look out for.

Gar fish Filming the new Airflo Fly Fishing DVD

Both Gareth and Chris go through the ins and outs of bank fishing while Iain gives you the lowdown on reservoir fishing from the boat.

All three anglers talk about their experiences when bank fishing, giving you confidence in their ability and showing you exactly how they would approach the bank:

– Where to start at the lake
– What fly lines and fly fishing tackle to use for best presentation and distance
– Technical fishing clothing and luggage

Iain and Gareth are both extremely good, confident lake anglers, both competing at World level with Iain a previous World Champion, and Gareth lucky enough to get 3rd. Boat fishing is their THING:

– Where to start when boat fishing
– What fly lines to use for covering fish quickly and methods
– Technical fishing clothing and accessories

iain fish Filming the new Airflo Fly Fishing DVD

This new Airflo DVD is packed full of great techniques which you could put into practice on any lake in the country… and be successful.

Iain, Gareth and Chris give their top 10 lake fishing tips, with tips ranging from what colour flies to use when the fish go off to what knot to use to get the best movement and gain attraction.

The DVD isn’t just about fishing either, it features a whole selection of the new Airflo fly fishing tackle, featuring the new FlyDri luggage range, a new range of fly rods and a massive selection of accessories – More about that when the DVD comes out.

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary Late August 2014

bass and eel littelstone Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary Late August 2014

Don’t you just love this drop in temperature, strong wind and a rough sea – Lots of anglers are rubbing their hands together at the prospect of autumn arriving and an improvement in the shore sea angling. It is though a time to bite the bullet and get out there in some uncomfortable conditions with an onshore wind and sea invariably the time to fish most venues. After the calm sunshine of summer a blustery rain swept beach can be difficult, BUT like all things it eventually becomes the norm and we all get back into winter mode. Time for the heavier fishing gear and time to break out those 7oz fixed wire grip leads, bait clips and the more powerful beachcaster rods. There is no doubt that from September onwards shore fishing is not for whimps with wands, it’s a time when casting distance and keeping a lead where it lands is very important. But it’s also a time when lots of novices catch their biggest ever bass with the species picking up a short cast big bait and so let’s start there and look at the prospects for a giant bass.

Big bass are usually solitary because the rest of their shoal have been caught or died. But there are enough still around to ensure that some lucky angler will nail a lunker in the next month or two. Luck plays a big part because bass are caught really close to the sea edge and rarely at long range. So the early winter cod angler fishing a giant bait in the edge is the one with the best odds of catching a big bass and that’s the novice. Few experienced cod anglers will deliberately fish a big bait close in for cod and so the novice with his inadequate cast is the most likely to get that lunker bass. That is unless you deliberately target a big bass by fishing close in. AND the best way to do that is with a live bait. Pick a calm, dark night and a steep deep beach venue and hook on a small pout and fish it in the first twenty for the waters edge. Keep the noise and light flashing to a minimum and you may catch a big bass. Often at this time of year the bass arrive on a venue because anglers are returning small fish or gutting mackerel etc. This especially as dusk and darkness arrives.

A favourite way to target bass is to slide a short trace down the main line of a rod cast out with a lip or tail hooked pouting on a strong 3/0 so that it floats in the edge.

Lots of anglers will now be thinking about cod and this summer many regions have seen an improvement in codling stocks. The trouble is that this has happened before with lots of codling in August, but by October they have gone. Fish over the size limit are easy prey for the gill nets and trawlers and it’s these that decimate the codling shoals. The bigger cod are very thin on the ground and usually don’t show until November and December.

Another fact of autumn, its better described as the start of winter, is that waterproofs and shelters return to the sea fishing tackle essentials. Options include the full Hurricane shelter which is ideal for those contemplating a marathon beach session over the complete tide, or a brolly which is a more portable shelter and is especially suited to the mixed weather of this time of year. I prefer the umbrella for the beaches in early autumn, the cheaper Hardware umbrella is ideal, especially where lots of moving with the tide is required, take a luggage strap and strap it to your tackle box, even better to your seat harness. The cheaper green brolly is lighter and more compact and can be erected quickly. OK it’s not the full Monty of the shelter but it’s great for a short session or the occasional shower. Once the weather deteriorates, then I switch to the TF Gear Force 8 brolly which is a bespoke sea angling umbrella like no other. OK others also have wings to widen the protection area, but the Force 8 has a removable cover, tough non metal frame and pockets for the shingle etc to hold it down.

Waterproof wise I prefer the full jacket and bib and brace suit – it goes without saying that being able to take the jacket off helps control temperature when the sun comes out and that the full sallopettes trousers not only keep you warm but clean!

Make no mistake in a few weeks your will need that protective clothing and shelter – we have been spoilt for weather this summer and the winter could well bring some shocks!

Having recently switched to fixed spool reels and braid main line I have to say what a revelation that has been. Bites are bolder, fish pull more and my sea fishing is more enjoyable. For years I tried braid on a multiplier, but it just does not work, but micro braid on a fixed spool reel is another ball game and I recommend those of you out there thinking about a switch to braid, go ahead but only with a fixed spool reel.

Codling and eel from the pier at Dover Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary Late August 2014

Tight lines,

Alan Yates

The Hardcore Boilie Air Dry Bag

Drying your boilies – whether you’re on the bank or at home – has never been easier with this boilie air dry bag. 

The TF Gear boilie air dry bag gives your bait complete circulation to dry out. With its easy dry mesh construction this ingenious piece of fishing tackle can be handle-hung or stood on its base to get the very best ventilation. Once your boilies have dried off, the large or standard TF Gear boilie air dry bag will continue to keep them fresh, firm and always in peak condition.

View the TF Gear Boilie Air Dry bag here

boiliebag The Hardcore Boilie Air Dry Bag

Job Vacancy at Fishtec!

jobvacancy Job Vacancy at Fishtec!

Fishtec Sales Advisers needed

If you live within a commuting distance of our Brecon HQ, and you are a keep angler there may be a role for you in the Fishtec team!

In this fast paced role you will process postal, internet and telephone orders for a wide variety of fishing tackle. Key elements of the role are helping customers with product advise queries through telephone sales, customer service aftercare, and processing internet and postal orders orders.

Candidate Profile

  • Excellent communication skills both written and oral.
  • Excellent organisation skills.
  • Energetic and results orientated.
  • Able to work under own initiative.
  • Enthusiastic, ambitious and self-motivated.
  • Effective written and oral communication skill.
  • Previous experience working in a call centre a distinct advantage.

Please send a CV to customerservice@fishtec.co.uk

http://www.bvg-airflo.co.uk/bvg-airflo-vacancies.cfm 

Airflo Switch Black Reel Impresses at Chirk

Blog 3 Airflo Switch Black Reel Impresses at Chirk

“Tom slips a lovely bow into the net in no time!”

After a few dismal competition performances I decided to really get bet to basics in my fishing, I was totally over complicating things chopping and changing every five minutes and I was spending more time faffing out of the water than I was actually fishing.

With this in my mind I decided to venture out to a few small Stillwater fisheries situated around the North West. One of the venues I visited was a stunning fishery called Chirk Trout Fishery nestled in the heart of the north wales valleys close to Llangollen and the Welsh Dee. The fishery itself consists of two fly fishing lakes, a bait pool and also fishing rights on the river Ceiriog that runs through the fishery. One of the reasons I chose this venue was the vast variety of trout the fishery stocked. In both lakes there are Rainbow, Brown, Golden, Blue, Tiger and American brook trout all reared on site. Not a bad variety hey? The lakes are around an acre and a half in size, gin clear, with a maximum depth of 12ft. The fishery is renowned for its prolific dry fly sport, and on my arrival it didn’t fail to disappoint with fish rising everywhere. The weather was perfect with a light breeze and clear skies, so back to basics I went and dry fly fishing was the tactic for the day.

I was adamant to not over complicate things so I went for a one rod set up. I chose the 10’ Sage XP 7# a fantastic rod and great for dry fly fishing. I was also trying out the new Airflo Switch Black Cassette Reel, this reel is fantastic and truly stunning to look at. It accommodates all my lines perfectly and is very light when casting, it’s a fantastic addition to any competition angler, as the unique cassette spool is extremely easy to change lines, and save a lot of time in doing so. Now it was time for my line choice. One thing I was noticing was that a lot of the fish were rising right in the centre of the lake, and for a lot of people they would be out of casting range I had a secret weapon, the new 40+ Expert floating line now with super dri technology. This would be the difference of me catching or blanking. Not only does this line fly out but the presentation and ability to hook up at long range would inevitably help me have a fantastic days sport.

After tackling up and a short walk I started fishing on the left hand side of the main fly lake, casting straight into the wind. I had the beautiful river Ceiriog running behind me and plenty of fish rising in front of me. After just watching the water I was able to pick out a few fish that were rising confidently.

I was fishing 9ft of 6lb Airflo Sightfree G3 to my first dropper then 6ft to the point fly, on my dropper I had a big rubber legged Daddy long legs and on the point I was using a JC Diawl Bach. I would be using the daddy as a sight indicator throughout the day, but was confident that it would take fish too and I wasn’t disappointed. I cast out straight into the wind which was effortless with the 40+ line and let everything settle. After ten seconds I began to slow figure of eight, barely moving the line just staying in touch letting the wind push the line and flies towards me. There was a swirl at the daddy but no take, then the daddy shot under the water and I struck. Fish on!! The first fish of the day was a stunning 1lb rainbow trout and after an acrobatic fight the fish slid over the net with the JC Diawl Back firmly set in its top lip. I carried on fishing this method and took 6 fish within 20 minutes.

IMG 9915 Copy Airflo Switch Black Reel Impresses at Chirk

It then went quiet so I decided to change the point fly to a small immature damsel. The daddy was still acting as a sight indicator and was still attracting a lot of fish. If the fish didn’t take the daddy or got spooked it wasn’t long before the daddy shot under, as the trout had homed in on the point fly. After an hour of fishing I was on 15 stunning fully finned rainbow trout. The fishing was on fire, with trout hammering the daddy and the damsel. After 3 hours of unbelievable fishing I called it a day. The light was beginning to fade and I was overwhelmed with what can only be described as a red letter day. A short late afternoon dry fly session was exactly what I needed to restore my confidence and understand that complicating things is not necessary. I kept the same tactic throughout the day only changing the point fly when it went quiet and it worked unbelievably well, with me finishing on 28 trout returned. The fish weren’t massive but they were fantastic fighters and stunning to look at. A huge advantage was without doubt the 40+ line as a couple of anglers blanked as the fish were out of casting distance but for me casting this line was effortless and the presentation was perfect.

It was an incredible short fishing session at a truly picturesque fishery. Keeping my fishing tackle to a minimum paid off, and persistence and patience helped land a lot of fish. The main reason I was catching was that I was constantly fishing. It sounds so silly but not spending time on the bank out of the water chopping and changing helped me land a hell of a lot of fish. Something so simple but extremely effective helped contribute to a real red letter days fishing the dries and nymphs.

Airflo Sniper Budget Fly Reel

The Airflo Sniper Fly Reel is an incredible reel at a budget price point.

If you’re putting a fly fishing outfit together with a limited budget, you need not look further than the Airflo Sniper fly reel. At just £29.99 with a FREE Velocity fly line.

The Sniper reel has been designed by top anglers here at Fishtec, to offer fishermen on a tight budget a quality, lightweight fly reel. Boasting great looks and a superb build quality featuring a lightweight frame, the Sniper fly reel can hold up to 100 meters of 20lb backing along with a full 30 yard fly line due to a generous large arbor.

 

Sea Trout Fishing Tackle Setup

 

P1010298 525x346 Sea Trout Fishing Tackle Setup

Sea trout are funny things, they tend to make human beings obsessive and with the sea trout season nearly upon us, I for one are one of those who are obsessed and cant wait to be back out on the river. It’s hard graft early on in the season as there are not so many fish around, the weather is usually a bit groggy but going through a pool at night, waiting for the first heart stopping take of the season cannot be beaten.

Unfortunately I haven’t picked up a fly fishing rod in months. It’s been a very long winter with some terrible weather and Im hopefully that it will settle down soon. To keep me somewhat sane through the closed season, I’ve dug out my fishing equipment and started to get everything in order.

I like to use two fly rods at night, with my favourite being the Airlite from the Airflo range. For the past three seasons or so I’ve been using these almost religiously and find these rods will do everything I want them too. The two I use are, 10ft 7/8 weight, and the 9ft 6′ 7/8 weight. Each rod allows me to cast well and in tight spaces. Both are kitted out with Airflo V-lite 7/9 fly reels, loaded with a set of Forty Plus Lines – slow intermediate, fast intermediate, and a DI3. I find this set up ideal and the 40+ lines cover everything that I need them to, whether it’s a short cast or long cast at night, or for finding the right depth while fishing through a pool.

My preferred leader for night fishing is either Maxima ultragreen in 12lb, or Airflo sightfree extreme in 15lb. I started using the sightfree extreme last season and found it to be very strong, especially when you hook the odd tree on the opposite bank!

Flies wise, I would normally use tubes between 1 and 2 inch including a few large singles at the beginning of the season, and as the season progresses the fish become more active and a surface lure, depending on weather conditions, can produce some decent action. I’ve had some good fishing as early as the second week of April on a surface lure, so it’s worth mixing your tactics up a bit. Generally though, I would use two tubes, or a tube and a big single on the dropper as we start the new season.

I like to use a headlamp with a red and white light. The red light is great for using close to the water, and doesn’t effect your night vision as much as the white light. In my fishing bag I usually have a spare jumper in case it get’s a bit chilly, a couple of 5ft Airflo polyleaders fast or extra fast  if I need to get the fly down a bit deeper, a spare headlamp and something to drink.

I’m looking forward to getting out on the river and tightlines to all for 2014!

The First Rise By Rene’ Harrop

Rise The First Rise By Rene’ Harrop

The First Trout Rise of 2014 – Bonnie Harrop Photos

For a fly fisher, surviving winter at high elevation is usually an arduous and inconsistent process. Snow and bitter cold temperatures can dominate the weather for months at a time and a visit to the river is often times only to watch through the months of December, January, and February.

With ice and cold winds as limiting factors, finding a window of opportunity for even a few hours of deep water nymphing or streamer fishing can be rare if human comfort assumes a role in determining whether to fish or stay indoors. Gradually, however, the daytime hours lengthen and subzero temperatures eventually become a casualty of the calendar. And as an ice bound river begins to regain its flowing character, there comes a glimmer of expectation for the first true sign of an eventual spring.

Although the timing of conditions suitable for dry fly fishing can vary from year to year, the sight of the first rise of a new season is always something to savor. And while the source of surface interest among trout in late winter is invariably of a size that dictates keen refinement in all aspects of fishing tackle and skill, nothing in the entire year is more welcome than the humble midge.

While chironomids on local still waters and elsewhere can be realistically imitated on a hook as large as size 12, the term midge is an appropriate description when they are found on moving water. Seldom larger than size 20, midges are available to trout in the Henry’s Fork and most other streams throughout the year. However, they are never more important than in cold weather conditions and are often the only hatch to be found during the longest season of the trout states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

Because of a craving for dry fly fishing after a long absence, I watch for conditions that promote surface availability of the tiny insects. Air temperatures that exceed the freezing point by 6 to 8 degrees will usually stimulate late winter and early spring emergence, and overcast skies are often a positive factor in tempting wary trout to the surface. Temperatures below 50ᵒ seem to hold the adults on the surface, and this increases the potential for finding rising trout.

Trout feed more efficiently in slower currents when floating midges are the target, but gently riffled water should not be ignored. Seeing the miniature dry flies is completely dependent upon fishing as close to a surface feeder as possible, regardless of the water type. A cast beyond 30 feet will likely put a size 22 out of view, at which time you will be required to set the hook when a rise appears in the area where you think the fly is located.

By necessity, midge patterns must be of relatively simple design, as is the case with all exceptionally small imitations. Because of its unique flotational properties, CDC works well for midge patterns that must be supported on the surface with a minimal amount of material. My favorite floating patterns also incorporate a sparse application of hackle, and stripped goose biots are a regular feature as well.

While my midge box contains an extensive assortment of patterns representing all phases of the life cycle, three distinct floating imitations have demonstrated reliable productivity on waters as distant as Japan. And I fear little shame in admitting that their favored status is also based on the relative ease in which they can be seen on the water.

CDC Biot Midge Adult 

CDC Biot Midge Adult The First Rise By Rene’ Harrop

CDC Biot Midge Adult – Bonnie Harrop Photos

This pattern rides fairly high on the water and parallel to the surface in a manner that represents a fully emerged midge adult.

Hook: TMC 100 BL size 18-24
Thread: Gray 8/0
Abdomen: Canada Goose Biot or Stripped Peacock Herl
Wing: Sparse Lt. Dun CDC
Thorax: Gray Dubbing
Hackle: 1-3 turns of Grizzly

 CDC Hanging Midge

CDC Hanging Midge The First Rise By Rene’ Harrop

CDC Hanging Midge – Bonnie Harrop Photos

This easy to see midge pattern rides partially submerged with only the wing and hackle showing above the surface.

Hook: TMC 100 BL size 18-24
Thread: Gray 8/0
Body: Canada Goose Biot or Peacock Herl
Thorax: Gray Dubbing
Wing: White CDC
Hackle:  1-3 turns of Grizzly

CDC Cluster Midge

CDC Cluster Midge The First Rise By Rene’ Harrop

CDC Cluster Midge – Bonnie Harrop Photos

In a way, this pattern allows a bit of cheating on the usually very small midge patterns by imitating a cluster of mating insects that often swarm together on the surface.

Hook: TMC 100 BL size 14-20
Thread: Gray 8/0
Body: Peacock Herl
Hackle: Grizzly palmered
Wing: Sparse White CDC

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