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> > New things I learned this season

JADOctober 19th, 2008, 7:27 am
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
Hello fellow Troutnuters.

The board has been rather slow as of late ,so I thought I or WE might discuss things that we learner this season. I for one, am a older cuss but not to old to learn new things. I don't know if this will fly but I will start this off.

1. To dub so lightly that the thread color shows through Dub and tie my flies very sparse

2. To take two pairs of waders and wading shoes when I make trips to Central Pa..

3. To use lighter tippit when I fish wet flies and soft Hackles this season.

4. Learned about Coq DE Leon tailing feather,and different ways to apply them to fly patterns.

5. To smooth off the hump(crimping barb) from my streamer hook with a grinder,now I do most hook sizes 14 and over.(I think it helps penetration with lighter tippit material.

6. Thanks to Gonzo-I now tie my Compara Duns with Poly or Zelon, I think they float better.

I"M sure I missed some ,if any one replies I"m sure I will remember others:).


AKA Caddisman1

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cocks wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
LittleJOctober 19th, 2008, 2:46 pm
Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251
things I learned this season,hmmm.

For starters I learned that I really enjoy tossing huge dry flys to huge trout on 1x tippett. I also learned that it can really screw you up when the next dry fly you fish is a trico.

I also learned that czech style nymphing is not quite as situational as some people like to believe, and in fact can be quite effective in a variety of situations.

third which stems partly from the second, I do prefer weighting my nymphs over split shot, and hot spots work.

last to take a bit of johns' 1st point on tying sparse flies. When i'd start to go through a slump simplicity usually pulled me out of it.


TroutnutOctober 19th, 2008, 7:14 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
Believe it or not, I didn't even catch a trout this year... though I missed hits from a few little rainbows on the Gulkana. I caught probably 100 grayling, but that's not a lot, and they're not exactly a fish that forces you to hone your skills as a fly fisherman.

I did learn a lot about juvenile Chinook salmon, at least in one river. And I learned a lot of interesting techniques for studying fish that I'll be able to eventually apply to angling questions, especially if I end up with enough money for some really top-notch underwater camera and video gear someday. is going to get a lot cooler someday...
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
JADOctober 20th, 2008, 2:12 am
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
Hi Jason
(I did learn a lot about juvenile Chinook salmon, at least in one river. And I learned a lot of interesting techniques for studying fish that I'll be able to eventually apply to angling questions, especially if I end up with enough money for some really top-notch underwater camera and video gear someday. )
Jason you should start a post about above ,I at least and I'm sure others would be interested.
I thought Grayling were hard to catch- Question--- whats the difference between a Grayling and a White fish in Montana?


They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cocks wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
SofthackleOctober 20th, 2008, 3:50 pm
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Hi All,

I continue to learn even though I've been doing this over 45 years, now.

1.) I learned a few new techniques for tying soft-hackles. Always more than one way to accomplish the same job.

2.) I've picked up a few new materials for these flies, too like Japanese Quail and English Red Grouse. I also started to tie a few with Pearsall's Silk. This was something different, although I use to tie with real silk years ago.

3.) I learned about leader rings and how they can be used for constructing leaders with droppers. One leader ring between the last section of leader and the tippet section will also assist in using a leader a lot longer because you tie the tippet to the ring rather than the previous section.

"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:
CaseyPOctober 20th, 2008, 6:36 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
fly fishing and baseball share a totally deceptive simplicity; that's why they can both be lifelong pursuits. they both also reward close and patient attention. this year i:

learned to roll cast--at last.

learned how seductive great big dries on big strong leaders can be. (now to attempt a tarpon!)

learned to actually catch a fish with a trico.

began to learn how to see fish in the water--hint: they're not always on the bottom.

learned that a new stadium does not guarantee the quality of baseball played therein.

wait 'til next year!
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
MartinlfOctober 21st, 2008, 8:38 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
What a wonderful topic, and great responses so far. I learned just how meaningful it is to have a fishing buddy or two who gets you, and who puts up with you. I kind of knew about this before, but a couple of Troutnuts drove the point home this year with their generosity. It was a good season for me, my best ever. Part of that was due to tips from friends, and part from the luck of being in the right place at the right time. I used weighted nymphs for the first time, and they seem work best for me most of the time. Cicadamania was an entirely new experience, and if nothing else it showed me how many big fish are in the J. if you can just persuade them. Thanks to all who shared their expertise and friendship; you know who you are. I'm really locked into work right now, but I look forward to our trips next season.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
JOHNWOctober 22nd, 2008, 7:39 am
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
Here is my .02$ (although given the current economic mess it's probably worth much less)

1 Just because a horse goes lame you don't have to "put it down", but it does mean someone has a long walk back to camp through grizzly country.

2 Situations where one big fly can carry you through a week of intense fishing are to be savored.

3 When #2 occurs in country that is 60 miles from the nearest road or requires several hours on horse back it is even sweeter.

4 Weighted nymphs will now occupy 90% of my nymph boxes

5 Helping someone else learn to catch fish is the epitome of this passion we call fly fishing and trumps anything else I did in terms of fishing

6 Even very well known trout streams can harbour a few secrets (thanks for sharing one of them Louis ;))

"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Aaron7_8October 26th, 2008, 12:58 pm
Helena Montana

Posts: 115
Things that I learned in my first full season.

1. Put a hook in your strike indicator.
2. Don't be afraid to ask "silly" questions as I have found the only silly one are the ones left un-asked.
3. Try something new everytime out.
4. Don't give up when it get difficult.
Wetfly1October 27th, 2008, 7:27 am
Johnstown, Pa

Posts: 11
Some of the things I learned this season.

(1) I experienced fly fishing for smallmouth bass on the Susquehanna River. WOW what a blast. Have to do that more often.

(2) To relize what it takes to produce a flyfishing video. Lots of trips and time on the water and also lots and lots of bloopers.

(3) To keep an open mind about fly patterns. Sometimes all you have to do is just tweek them a little.

(4) Meeting a lot of very nice people out there willing to share information with you.

(5) FULFILLMENT: Being a guide teaching clients what I've learned over the years. And seeing them hooking up.
LeakywadersOctober 27th, 2008, 6:58 pm
New England

Posts: 43
I realized that I knew everything in 1975, when I graduated from college, and now my favorite expression is "I don't know."

My grandaughter (4 years old) taught me how to cast a LOT better by keeping me company during casting practice (neither of us has an attention span over 15 minutes, but she insists we practice EVERY day).

Gor Tex increases your fishing time 100%.
Drag free??? If the fly didn't drag, I wouldn't know where it was!!
GONZOOctober 28th, 2008, 1:42 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Nice thread, John. I'm glad that the synthetic Comparaduns are working well for you. I love them--easier to tie, better colors, more durable, more visible, float better/longer (less filling, tastes great!). :)

Although it's not really something that I learned this season, I'll add that I find myself using wet flies much more often than I did 10 or 15 years ago. My preference in flies is mostly a situational thing: I tend to favor dries for the eager little trout in tiny tribs and headwaters, and I prefer nymphs on larger, more "technical" streams. Those general tendencies haven't changed much over the years, but I do find myself turning to wet flies (in both situations) more and more.

The little waters are usually not very demanding from a fly selection standpoint (they are mostly an approach and casting challenge), but pressure has had its influence even on some of these streams. I find that I get more refusals to dries than was ever the case 20 years ago. Wet flies are a handy option, and often turn up bigger fish that resist the dry. This was driven home on a number of memorable occasions this season, and is particularly true in the larger, deeper holes.

On the larger waters where hatches and hatch-matching tend to be much more significant, wet flies can be great ways to imitate caddis pupae (soft hackles) and egg-laying caddis adults (winged wets). I also find that I use wet flies more often than ever before during mayfly hatches. Some mayflies have well-established reasons for wet-fly imitation (like the underwater emergence of Quill Gordons), but I've had great success using wet flies to imitate many "surface" emergers as well. I think that emergence can be a fairly flexible thing, and many species that are typically pictured as emerging on the surface (perhaps just because those are easier photos to take) may also escape the nymphal shuck before reaching the surface. Even wet-fly imitations of spinners can be effective at times--for underwater egg-layers like some baetids, or just for imitating drowned spinners.

Anyway, it's good to hear from you, John. I envy your ability to be on the water so much this seaon. That all went to hell for me this summer when gas prices went through the roof!

TrowpaNovember 9th, 2008, 6:19 pm
Eastern PA

Posts: 31
Ok - been almost 2 years since i've been on here - so what have i learned?

1)Winter has become my absolute favorite time to fish for trout. Mostly this is due to value i place on the relaxation / therapeutic benefits of fly fishing.

2)The longer i spend in the stream observing, the more i realize i have been missing.

3) I have been continually surprised by both how tolerant fish can be of my presence and by how spooky they can be depending on circumstance.

4) When on a small creek, and I carefully, slowly and stealthily approach a wary fish - when i carefully choose the right fly, finally get that !@## 7x tippet tied in the setting sun, plan out my strategy for presentation.....if there is one single lonely branch hanging down in my casting lane, I am 110% likely going to wrap my fly around it.
HntrfishmanNovember 15th, 2008, 7:59 pm
hemet CA.

Posts: 4
I've learned a few things in the past year.Im not a fly fisherman YET so bear with me.I found that copper works incredibly well for trout,I make my own colorado spinners out of pounded pennies,the pre-1982 are made of 98-100% copper and are easiest to work with as aposed to the newer copper coated zinc.I also realized,(and forgive me for saying) that bass fishing is also an awsome way to spend a day on the water especialy when you start out trout fishing, and a monster large mouth inhales the trout your reelin in! ; ) light tackle makes it that much more fun! last but not least, central oregan is the shiznit for fly fishing,that state is incredible!!! bend oregon here I come.
HUNTER FISHMAN:when the going gets tough,the tough go fishing.
GONZONovember 15th, 2008, 8:24 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Hi Josh,

I'm sure that your copper "penny spinners" are very effective. Some of the deadliest trout anglers I've ever known used homemade spinners and little else. As for the bass, it's no secret that many of us enjoy fishing for them, too. Welcome.
MartinlfNovember 16th, 2008, 6:16 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
I'll second Gonzo's welcome and assurance that bass fishing is a topic many of us are not averse to. My last fishing trip (a while back) was in pursuit of bass, and I had the gall to post up a report here. You'll find it in the Fishing Reports section. Let me warn you of one thing, though. Making spinners can lead to tying flies. Take it from one who knows from experience. Tight lines!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
FalsiflyNovember 16th, 2008, 11:39 am
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 661
#1 In an attempt to increase business, my time spent on the water suffered dearly. Ill be damned if I do that again.

#2 When priorities become askew time spent on the water will restore proper order.

#3 When money becomes a determining factor in planning a lengthy fishing trip remember #2

#4 When the economy is on the skids and money is tight increased spending on fly fishing is a proper investment.

#5 All fly fishing knowledge garnered in the past may prove worthless today.

#6 The best trout fishing of my life was spent with my son.

When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
HntrfishmanNovember 16th, 2008, 2:44 pm
hemet CA.

Posts: 4
thanks for your warm welcome guys,im enjoying your web page and finding that fly fishing,along with photography,above and below the surface will soon be in my top 10 hobbies.when I found this web site I was just looking for some insight on fishing the wind and had not known that this was all about fly fishing.where I live in california no one fly fishes cus theres no place to,other than multi-species lakes that get trashed on a regular basis.I live in southern you can imagine where it all comes from.If you ever have a choice to come to southern california PASS! it is no place for those who like to enjoy the outdoors.I spend more time picking up trash than fishing.To get back on subject,those are some awsome pictures you guys have posted.award winning! I have a few good ones to post,but computers arent my thing and normaly cant figure out stuff like that. well as I venture into a new chapter of my life of fishing,you will hear from me periodicly,& I look forward to learning more about fly fishing from you guys.
HUNTER FISHMAN:when the going gets tough,the tough go fishing.
McjamesNovember 18th, 2008, 12:12 pm
Cortland Manor, NY

Posts: 139
I spent last winter tying some Gonzo-inspired articulated nymphs (golden stone/hendrickson/march brown)(OK, OK, perlidae/ephemerella subvaria/maccaffertium vicarium). It was pretty ugly at times... the "discard" pile was large... the ratio of flies that made into the vest vs. made it into the trash was probably about 1:5... but the flies really do work! The only problem is, pretty much all the streams I fish fit the description of "pressured water", and now I will always feel unprepared if I dont have a supply of these patterns... so I guess more torture at the tying bench this winter...
I am haunted by waters
GONZONovember 18th, 2008, 3:41 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Ha! Sorry about that, James. With practice, discards will drop to none, and tying time will be much less. However, the more difficult flies do have some built-in restraints against overuse--and that is probably a good thing. :)

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