Tag Archives: fly lines

Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report – How’s it fishing?

cwmhedd2 Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report   Hows it fishing?

How’s it fishing?

Cwm Hedd continues to fish extremely well indeed, with 55 anglers taking advantage of the good weather conditions this week in between the not so fine days and the Wales v Australia rugby international (but we won’t say any more about the latter other than you should have come fishing instead!)

Stock Management

More Exmoor fisheries stock are being delivered this week, so there will be many many extra fish for the competition as well as for day anglers.

Ten out of ten!

There were very few blanks over the week, with a number of regular anglers as well as those new to Cwm Hedd reaching their limit on catch and release, such as Ken Bowring and Roger Martyn, Kieron Jenkins, Rob Collier, Tom Collier, Jason Williams, Adam Taylor, Andrew Lewis (see videos of Andrew on our Facebook page), Bill Williams and Matthew Russell. Matthew’s son Callum is a very good young angler: on his second visit Callum again took one rainbow, this time returning four on an orange blob.

Hot spots

The far side of the main island, the bay and of course the far bank opposite the lodge have fished very well and are the most popular fishing spots, with the wading area also holding plenty of fish. Anglers have also had success on the tip of the main island and the platforms along the island bank. It seems at the moment that anywhere is worth a shot, so make hay while the sun shines!

Flies and Fly Lines

A variety of flies have been working very well such as damsel, cats whisker, black and green tadpole, black and green fritz, white fritz, orange blob, bloodworm, fluff cat, black and white nomad, nymphs, brown/orange/red /black daddy – all the fun of the fair in fact. Mainly intermediate fly lines have been used this week because of the cooler weather although plenty of success on floating lines in varying weather conditions.

cwmhedd11 Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report   Hows it fishing?

The latest installment in Linda’s fly fishing adventures I happily confess to be a fair weather angler (and very much a novice). Late on Wednesday afternoon when the sun was shining and barely a breath of wind on the lake I decided it would be a good time to practise my casting, so armed with my lovely Airflo Delta Classic rod given to me by Ken Bowring I decided to join Roger Martyn and Terry Griffiths over on the other side of the main island (I’m definitely not at the stage where I can be let loose on my own).

The fly I had on was red with lots of legs “I think an apps bloodworm). We will never know unless someone catches the rainbow that quickly took it and hared off across the water. I shrieked of course, but I did remember to get the rod tip up and let the line out (intermediate). Roger probably being kind, but assures me that I was doing a half tidy job of playing the fish, which was extremely strong and looked to be quite big. It obviously knew that a bungling amateur was in control though, as it turned over and snapped my line, waving bye bye with a sarcastic flip of it’s tail.

Not to be defeated, Roger and Terry sorted out another fly for me, this time a black rubber-legged daddy, and sorted out my leader too, which had snapped at a knot (school girl error). By now plenty of fish were rising for some front row entertainment. I was so excited as there were lots of knocks and taps, so any attempt at style had gone out of the window. I lost one fish, but then another finally took pity on me, taking the fly and allowing me to bring it to the bank (with instruction from Roger and Terry of course). Hurrah! The rainbow looked to be about two and a half pounds, but the photo of it in the net and under the water made it look more the size of a minnow! Anyway, I am very grateful to it, and to Roger and Terry, it made my day!

Boxing Day

I have decided to open on Boxing Day for you to try out all those lovely fly fishing presents you will no doubt be receiving! Details in next week’s newsletter.

New faces

Nice to see Josh Williams back at Cwm Hedd with his six friends from Quakers yard. Josh fished Cwm Hedd as a young angler, returning yesterday to take one and release two on a white montana and a white cat on a floating line. Friends Daniel Andrews, Gavin Gwynne, James Hawley, Chris Thomas, Ashley Richards and Adam Taylor had a great day, taking 5 fish and returning 23 between them.

It was also a pleasure to meet Jason Williams and Ken Roberts who ventured up to Cwm Hedd on one of the quietest days of the week when the weather turned out to be far better than the forecast. I hadn’t heard of a fluff cat before, but it definitely worked for Jason and Ken, each taking two and returning 14 rainbows between them, both on intermediate lines. Regular Ken Pascoe had a good day too taking one and returning 8, as did Roy Western the day before and Lee Ashcroft the day before that!

poppyfish Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report   Hows it fishing?

Poppy fish: British Legion Competition 16th November 2014.

Less than a week to go – a few places left so call at the lodge from Wednesday this week to enter: there may be a couple of places left on the day but I can’t guarantee it.

Aside from the cash prizes the winner will have a glass trophy to keep, plus a fabulous leaping trout sculpture crafted by John Belcher (Earthbound Ceramics) to be returned next year (so one taken one returned!). The life-size ceramic sculpture, which has been very generously donated by John, is of a two and a half pound rainbow caught by him at Cwm Hedd, so is very special indeed. I’ve seen a photograph of work in progress and it is absolutely stunning – keep an eye on our facebook page this week for a photo of the finished work.

Thank you also to those who have generously donated towards the raffle so far, including anglers Mike James, Jim Mckay, Kieron Jenkins and Roger Martyn. All prizes gratefully received!

The lodge will be open to all from 10am, where tea/coffee and cakes will be available for purchase via donation, with profit going to the British Legion. Any contribution to the raffle or cake table will be gratefully received.

Comp entry: £30 in advance (three fish ticket), plus sponsorship: sponsor money to be brought on the day. Free bacon roll, tea/coffee on arrival for competitors. Cash prizes totalling £215.00. Entry forms at the lodge or on www.cwmhedd.co.uk or download at   http://counties.britishlegion.org.uk/counties/wales/events

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

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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

Fishtec/Celtic League Match 2014 Results

celtic league match winners 525x277 Fishtec/Celtic League Match 2014 Results

Nymphomaniacs – League winners 2014

For the past 8 years, many Welsh anglers have been competing in what’s called the Celtic League match, a competition devised by competition anglers to get us out on the water more often, different times of the year, and fishing with anglers of all abilities. One of the best ways of anglers learning to ropes of competitive angling.

The competition is based on a catch and release basis, with your fourth fish being timed and your total catch verified by your boat partner. In previous years some competitions were being won with over 30 fish a day!

Chew Valley has been a great venue for the past two years with many quality trout being taken all throughout the year on a range of methods, fly lines and flies – A great top of the water venue if you’re looking for some nymph or dry fly fishing.

The last comp of the year was held last Sunday with favorable conditions for most of the day. A misty start saw many anglers head to Villace Bay and Woodford bank, a popular area for both boat and bank anglers and some five boats headed north towards the Dam. By 11am the mist had lifted and a slightly chilly northerly breeze had arrived, the fishing was good for the first two hours until the chill put a dampener on fly hatches, towards the end of the day there was a slight rise in temperature and the fish switched on somewhat, giving anglers a chance to get a last fish or two!

The results were as tight as always and many were keen to know the outcome. In such a competition where your final scores are dependent on each angler of the teams performance, positions can change drastically. A blank will give an angler maximum points, a disaster if the team is just a few points ahead or behind another.

As main sponsors, Airflo, gave an impressive goody bag to each angler who fished the league throughout the year, fishing reels as prizes for the first three teams, a fly rod for individual and a free fly line for each heat winner and runner up.

Teams

1st – Nymphomanicas
2nd – Team Cwmbran
3rd – Harvey Angling Margam

Individual

1st – Mark Thomas, Harvey Angling Margam

Full results aren’t available as yet, but will be uploaded when posted.

 

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.

Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 22/06/14

10416991 250065331852666 813865144776162512 n Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 22/06/14

Cwm Hedd fly fishing report week ending 22nd June – I caught my first rainbow!

As much as we are all generally enjoying the lazy hazy days of summer, day anglers have struggled to catch in the intense sun and heat. Most instead took advantage of the late evening opening on Friday Saturday and Sunday at Cwm Hedd, fishing til sunset and beyond.

Result!

I am delighted to report that on a glorious mid summer’s eve, as the sun dipped towards the horizon, a good dose of beginner’s luck saw me getting a passable cast out and hooking my first rainbow. The site of this surprising and unexpected feat (at 9.10pm) was a platform behind the main island, where a number of rainbows had been rising. I’d like to think I targeted the fish, as I had been attempting to do this with others (probably frightening several away in the process). The truth is that I was so excited by the whole event that my mind has gone completely blank, although I yelled loudly enough when I hooked it to bring John Belcher, Derek Mills and his grandson Jacob running to help with instructions as to how to bring it in without mucking it all up and losing it (many thanks). Derek was ready with the net and John filmed the event unfolding. Later it transpired that the lense cap was still on, so no photographic evidence of my fish-catching debut sorry! With the fish in the net and mission accomplished I asked John to release the fish for me as I was so grateful for its selfless act, the Airflo fly fishing tackle I recently purchased from Fishtec also performed brilliantly.

Thanks also to Sal, who a week or so ago had given me a red bloodworm with an assurance that it would catch me a fish, as indeed it has on its second outing, on a floating line Derek, Jacob, and John had already taken fish so we were a very happy band returning to the lodge. Mike James who had to leave just before the excitement had also taken a fish on an App’s bloodworm, a fly that had brought him 3 fish earlier in the week and others in previous weeks.

Ken Bowring was the top angler of the week, taking 2 and returning 3 on a fast intermediate fly line with a white lure. On his first visit to Cwm Hedd, Terry O’Connor took 2 and released 1 on a diawl bach and a floating line. John Belcher’s evening visits have each brought him fish, on a light brown buzzer, blue shrimp and a stonefly, floating line.

Tip top fish

The fish are still in excellent condition and fighting well; there is an abundance of blue and olive damsels emerging, with floating lines, damsels, buzzers and diawl bachs recommended in the evening; sinking lines and plenty of perseverance recommended in the day.

The Med comes to Cwm Hedd ( ice cream is now available in the lodge)

Weed is under control on the lake, following the introduction of the eco-friendly blue dye (‘Dyofix C Special’) which has turned the lake water a Mediterranean blue and is hard at work suppressing further growth. The platforms in front of the lodge running left around the bay and the main island around to the far bank have been cleared and are all fishable and we can now pull unwanted previous growth out in the shallower areas at a more leisurely place due to the dye. There is a crested grebe nesting off the small island so we’ve had to leave the weed there for the time being so as not to disturb the nest.

Tag fish
Taggy the tag fish is still there, so the £200 tag fish prize is still up for grabs. £1 entry. If no one catches the tag fish by the end of June half the prize money will be put towards raffle prizes for the British Legion comp in November and half towards the Christmas raffle prizes (sounds a bit weird to mention Christmas in June!)

Open Wed/Thurs 7am-5pm last admission 3pm; Fri/Sat/Sun 6 am -9.45 pm: last admission 6pm ( but ring if you definitely want to come but can’t make it by 6).

Evening ticket £13.50 Fri/Sat/Sun available from 5.45pm

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

Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 18/06/14

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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.

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.

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