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LittleJMarch 28th, 2008, 9:00 pm
Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251
I 've been lurking the ffp board lately and a topic came up that kind of surprised me. The debate was on weighting a fly and whether or not you lose versatility when doing so. I personally try to build as much weight into a fly as possible. With the exceptions of last summers Record low flows I rarely encounter a problem catching bottom, and 99% of the time i'm adding shot anyway. My general nymphing philosophy is pretty simple, add weight until I lose a fly or no longer can cast well. If the latter occurs that usually means go home before you drown. I guess I was surprised because i've never once heard anyone accused of or say you(I)'ve been overweighting your(my) nymph rigs. I'm interested to see some opinions over here.
AndygMarch 29th, 2008, 4:20 am
Eastern Sussex co., NJ

Posts: 13
I weight some of my nymphs but don't weight others. I like to flat-line nymph long, shallow glides and riffles and extra weight usually isn't necessary under normal flows. The heavier hooks and wire ribbing usually do the trick, especially when using more than one fly and a light leader. Sometimes I'll use a rig having one weighted fly just to keep everything drifting deeper.

I try to get away from using shot whenever possible. It's fine for close-in nymphing but I don't like casting it any distance. Besides, nine times out of ten it's usually the shot that gets caught on the bottom, not the fly.

Just an opinion; it works for me.
MartinlfMarch 29th, 2008, 5:07 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Jeff, I'm one to tie nymphs of different weights then try to remember what's what. I recently bought some little tungsten beads and tied some baetis nymphs that feel like tiny anvils. I fished one the next day and promptly caught fish, so I'll be using them again. One of my most productive flies is much like a floating nymph, a klinkhamer style parachute with a thorax the color of the emerging dun. LaFonatine, I believe, said most of the action is on the bottom and near or on the surface. There are exceptions, of course, and that's what God created soft hackles for. And unweighted nymphs, I suppose.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3March 29th, 2008, 6:13 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
I'm with Louis - different weights for different applications. Relying on split-shot is OK in many circumstances (and I usually fish with shot), but sometimes it's impractical and the fly itself must be weighted.


P.S. By the way, Louis, while we're talking about weighted nymphs, did you get the little package I sent you?
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
JADMarch 29th, 2008, 7:41 am
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
Hi Guys
Ive been following the same posts, I have to laugh. For years I have been using heavy nymphs for the bottom fly and I have been putting red & orange thread on the head to mark the weighted flies. I invented the hot spot and never got the credit.( kidding of coarse ) Their has been a lot of work put into Short Line Nymphing method, which has changed the way a lot of guys fish.

Fish like a predator


They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cockís wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
MartinlfMarch 29th, 2008, 5:24 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Sure did, Shawn, check PM. Thank you!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
LittleJMarch 30th, 2008, 12:22 pm
Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251
It appears there isn't much controversy in weighting flys, which is what I figured. As I said before, the post on the other board surprised me and I was curious if the feelings toward not weighting your flys were more widespread. I still use shot because I rarely can build enough weight into a fly to get it where I need it. Mainly this time of year when the waters pushing, and a surf casting rig with 4 oz pyramids and 25lb mono would work best. But when possible I'll do without chucking lead.
MartinlfApril 2nd, 2008, 2:43 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Jeff, I've been following that thread on the other board as well, and have decided to try some heavily weighted flies instead of shot for a while, fishing 1-2 droppers up from it I can see a number of advantages, perhaps the best of which would be that one would be in better touch with all flies most of the time. I tried fishing with split shot on the point one day, in a rig Kelly Galloup had described, and it worked well. Why not replace the shot with a big ugly Walt's Worm with a lot of weight bulit in?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
SofthackleApril 2nd, 2008, 7:28 pm
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Interesting! I am not aware of what was said on the other board, but I am aware that some fly fishermen condemn the use of weight on a fly. Why? I don't know. I will say that, for me, weighted flies seem to be more effective under spring-like conditions, when the water is colder and faster. Later, as the water warms, some, the weight seems unnecessary. As many know on this board, I'm a wingless wet fly man, mostly. I do fish dry, too, but I find the wingless wets are more versatile, later in the year, fished on unweighted hooks. I rely on the hook itself for weight, using heavy wire hooks to get flies deeper. I generally use standard wire hooks for most of my wets and find I can get them deeper by allowing more sink time, or use them closer to the surface giving less sink time. How the rod is manipulated also affects fly depth. For in surface fishing I often tie some on dry fly hooks. To each his own.

"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders:
WbranchApril 4th, 2008, 9:26 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733

I wish I had some confidence in soft hackle flies. I've tied many of them over the years yet don't believe I've ever caught a trout on one. Usually when I tie one on it is more of a "Oh what the heck" kind of attempt and after a couple of casts just clip it off and put it back in the fly box. This year though for the Grannom and Apple Caddis I've tied up some suggested patterns and want to really give them a shot.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
MartinlfApril 4th, 2008, 3:17 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Matt, my experiences were the same until one day on a small tailwater, when caddis were coming off and I couldn't get a rising fish to take a look at anything I had. I almost gave up and left, but instead sat down, ate lunch, then tied a small beadhead Walt's Worm on point and a partridge and orange soft hackle on a dropper and cast to one of the trout that had so recently scorned by CDC caddis. He chased down the soft hackle before my eyes, and that began a glorious afternoon that slowly turned into a very satisfying evening. Fish had moved up into a riffle to feed and I caught fish after fish, almost all good solid 12" wild browns, with a few bigger and a few smaller. The action was continuous and fish took both flies. I've never had a day like that again, but I do fish soft hackles off and on, and at times nothing else works. I wish I knew more about fishing them and had more confidence in my technique, but that day made me a true believer.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
MartinlfApril 5th, 2008, 8:31 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Jeff, I got some good tips from Loren and spent a few hours today fishing semi-Czech style, with no shot just the weight of the flies. Landed a good number of fish for the short time I was out. It feels very different at times. Not something I'll use all the time, I think, but it certainly has its place. Check your PM for more.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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