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AdirmanSeptember 1st, 2011, 6:31 pm
Monticello, NY

Posts: 504

I rarely even have to worry about as the fish I normally take are in the cookie cutter 9-12" range!!

WbranchSeptember 1st, 2011, 9:07 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733

I edited my initial post to soften the tone and provide more definition regarding my approach to tippet sizing.

Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
OldredbarnSeptember 1st, 2011, 10:30 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
It is nice to see we can all play well together and no "time out" needed to be called...:)

Kurt...You said some interesting things there from the guides point of view...Besides being kind to the fish a guide would prefer that if a yahoo is lucky enough to hook a photograph worthy trout it is nice to know there is a chance of actually getting that photo opp. ASAP. 5X helps out a tad in this regard.

A guide friend of mine likes to say "cameras kill trout". I floated with him once and I caught a beautiful Brookie, maybe my biggest Au Sable brook prior to another one a few years back. I was excited and was telling Rusty about it the next day in the shop. Rusty asked, "Did you get a photograph?" When I answered no his reply was,"I'd fire my guide." He had a smirk on his face because the three of us had known each other for many, many years and he was just poking fun...He knew that the two of us had admired the fish, burnt him in to our memories, and saw to it ASAP that he was back in the river swimning under his own steam.

I think it is important that an angler who intends to release a fish after that fish was nice enough to tug on his line, should understand it would be nice to know, that the fish will live to play another day. Yes playing a fish properly is "a fine art".

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
EntomanSeptember 2nd, 2011, 1:08 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
A guide friend of mine likes to say "cameras kill trout".

Absolutely Spence! I'm so glad you brought it up! I've been meaning to for some time. Picture running your ass off to the point of exhaustion from a grizzly bear, but in the end he catches you. He doesn't kill you, though. No, instead he fondles you roughly and as you are still struggling for breath he sticks your head in a barrel of water. The meaner the bear, the longer he keeps you, but he doesn't kill you outright - he just fusses around for awhile, handling you very roughly. When he's finished, he flops your unconscious body on the ground and leaves to go about his business... Now you are in the wilderness with no help, no ER, and no fishing buddy to administer CPR. What are your chances?

Now before the animal rights folks think I'm in support of their propaganda to anthropomorphize animals, trout don't have the brain structure to experience pain the we way we understand it (imagine pulling with all your might away from pressure with a hook in your jaw), nor do they experience emotions like fear or anxiety. But they do experience physiological stress in a similar way and we all have a responsibility as stewards for future generations to handle fish and game responsibly.

There, I've said it and will get off my soap box now. My apologies for preaching to the choir.



"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
EntomanSeptember 2nd, 2011, 1:47 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Hi Matt,

On the Missouri, which I know intimately and have caught hundreds of 18" - 22" browns and rainbows (and a handful of 23" - 24")I usually never go above, or below, 5X flourocarbon. Once in a blue moon for a particularly difficult fish or fish that are very leader shy I will go to a piece of 6X about 36" long. If one plays his fish effectively and is not showboating most any river trout can be in the net in under eight minutes.

Being on intimate terms with the same water as well, you clearly know of which you speak.


"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
SayfuSeptember 2nd, 2011, 9:07 am
Posts: 560
In our flyfishing schools we teach the 3 times formula. Take the tippet "X" factor times 3 and it puts you in the ballgame for what size hook you should be using...some use a 4 times formula. So a 2x tippet on an #8 and #10, and a #18 hook would match up with a 6x tippet. Then you let the situation dictate. I go a tippet bigger in choppy water often going fly first as an example thinking I will have no problem, and a flat water situation may dictate a tippet size smaller. Fish tend to attack streamers not concerned about tippet size, so a larger tippet can be used than the formula suggests...just puts you in the ball game. I took a newbie on the bank streamer fishing one time, and had to give him a streamer since he forgot his streamer box. The guy goes below me where I can barely see him, and I hear him yell early on. I bust through the brush, and the guy says, "Darn, I had a good sized brown on, and he busted me off." I asked what size tippet he used, and he says 4x, and the streamer was a good sized streamer...not good.
WbranchSeptember 2nd, 2011, 9:20 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
I agree with Sayfu 100% about his take on tippet size for streamers. The 5% I'm not fishing dry flies for trout I'm throwing large streamers in the #2 - #1/0 sizes and never fish tippet lighter than 1X. Often I will be using 0X. In stained water I use a sink tip line and just one 18" long piece of 0X for my leader. Trout do not examine streamer patterns if they are going to eat it. They see it a distance before they strike and they home in on it radiply and stike it.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
OldredbarnSeptember 2nd, 2011, 10:41 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
I don't know Matt...I'm still mad and jealous as hell of you retiree's being able to run off to Alaska at the drop of a hat! I'm not hip enough, don't belong to Facebook, to see your photos!

Now what's wrong with this picture? Wbranch actually has a Facebook account!? Say what!? I better get with it, eh...I'm ever slipping further behind the times...;)


I had the chance to fish the Hex this season and actually had one of the "New School" (read youngsters in their 30's now) show me the rig that they use for Hex and I gave him a reel and told him to "fix me up"! From my permanent butt there was basically a hand tied 7.5" Maxima leader and the "tippet", if you can call it tippet, was 1x...Matt, I have been working this in as my streamer rig to see how it goes with the smallies here soon...I'll keep you posted...

Actually mister I'm very happy you made it up to Alaska and no doubt "got it done" up there!
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
WbranchSeptember 2nd, 2011, 4:11 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
Spence and anyone else who would like to see my Alaska pictures,

I went to the FB privacy page and thought I changed the feature to "Everyone" regarding picture viewing but a couple of people are still not able to view them so I guess I didn't do it correctly. If anyone wants to see them and has a FB account just ask to be my "Friend" and I'll confirm it and you can view Alaska and all of my albums.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
SayfuSeptember 9th, 2011, 8:40 am
Posts: 560Anyone ever see how your tippets attitude is in the water where it joins the fly? (when fishing a dry fly) I like it to be under the water up to the point where it joins the fly. Sometimes I see it humped up above the water for the last 3-4", or so before it is tied to the fly. That produces a shadow maybe, or more of a sparkle to the tippet than when it is subsurface...I think.?

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