Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

> > Split Shot and big indicators, Page 2

AdirmanSeptember 10th, 2010, 3:11 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 505
What kinda indicator you using? Dries work ok, but I really like using those new (well, not that new but new to me!)bubble indicators!
LastchanceSeptember 10th, 2010, 7:53 am
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
I like to catch fish and I enjoy the variety of manners in which to accomplish this. I fish nymphs because about 80% of the trout feed underneath. I fish dry flies for that 20% of the time that fish are feeding on bugs on top. I also enjoy this method. I'm going to practice swinging wet flies next year. While nymphing I use enough split shot to get my flies down to where the fish are. Fish don't always feed with their noses down in the rocks so it pays to fish up in the water column at times. Another consideration is bug drift that can be anywhere from the stream floor to near the top. Knowing what insects there are in the particular stream you are fishing helps you make that determination. My goal is to catch fish. If they're eating nymphs, then that's where I'm looking. If I see them rising I then get out my dry flies. There is no right or wrong way and, to me, they're all enjoyable. If people like fishing live bait, spinners, etc. that's their business. If they consider me an elitist because I fish with feathers then that's fine with me. I'm a hell of a nice guy that doesn't judge people because of the way they fish.
PaulRobertsSeptember 25th, 2010, 8:33 pm

Posts: 1776
Man! It's been quite a couple weeks for me. The Four Mile Forest Fire nearly took my entire neighborhood! I'm back in my house, dealing with smoke damage and helping neighbors rebuild. Anyway... back to things I'd much rather be doing...

I know what you mean about the ungainly manner in which nymphs are sometimes presented. But there are times when it's a necessary evil. I have no qualms, nor any aesthetic issues with split-shot nymphing. But there's a point -when a spinning rod would work SO much better -that I do just that, or go find different water/conditions.

I also fish leadcore spliced into leaders for downstreaming,and this I love. It is fly-casting and fly-fishing as you can and need to mend to position the fly to do the most good. This requires oval casting and it works just fine. I do the same when I want to throw shot any distance. If I can though I fish as close to the indicator as I can. And there's plenty of casting technique involved in getting a rig to do what is required. Nymphing requires control akin to dry fly fishing, including current reading, positioning, and casting. I love it as much as fishing dries. But again, there are limits to what "fly tackle" can handle well.

There's a FF stretch of the Salmon River on Lake Ontario where anglers, to meet the regs, went to running line for "fly-line" and fished long leaders and lots of weight. This was really a comparatively inefficient drift fishing rig, and I never bought in.
To each their own. I know what does it for me. I'm not afraid to break out specializes spinning tackle for nymphing either. For me it's all about what the trout are doing -I'm fascinated and completely captivated. I've been fishing and hunting for long enough now that I've left the "shoulds" and judgments behind and go to observe and learn.
MotroutSeptember 25th, 2010, 9:07 pm
Posts: 319
I'm the one who brought this topic up, and I regret having done so. Snobbery has no place in this sport, and if someone enjoys nymph fishing with a lot of weight and a big indicator, then that should be considered a respectable way to fish. I've even done a bit of it myself lately when water conditions demanded it, so I guess I'm guilty of both snobbery and hypocrisy here. But the lesson has been learned.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
AdirmanSeptember 26th, 2010, 4:41 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 505
When would you gentlemen consider "optimal conditions" on trout water for fishing heavy w/ your nymphs? Could you please describe water depth, speed, weather and/or any other conditions in which you would feel it is necessary to throw on the weight? Also, when would it instead be preferable to switch to sink tip and/or full sinking flyline instead of adding weight? Is there ever a situation where you would use BOTH weight and full-sinking line?

Thanks so much,

PaulRobertsSeptember 26th, 2010, 5:41 am

Posts: 1776
Motrout, I didn't read "snobbery" into what you were getting at -but the topic does raise the issue. You spoke well and I agree -it's probably universally agreed -that adding weight to the end of a fly rig tkaes away some of that grace we love.

Choosing limits on your pursuits (as in fly-fishing, traditional archery, etc...) for aesthetic and challenge reasons can be easily misconstrued as "snobbery". It isn't, or at least doesn't have to be.
Shawnny3September 26th, 2010, 5:51 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Nice post, Motrout. I applaud your humility and willingness to learn. I wish I had more of that.

Snobbery has no place in this sport

The reality is that there IS a lot of snobbery (and reverse snobbery, which is the same in that it still demonstrates disdain for someone else's tactics) in fishing in general and flyfishing in particular. I don't think we ought to be apologetic for how we prefer to fish, because most of us would probably be doing it differently if we found some other way more pleasurable than what we currently do. But we also don't need to hold others in contempt for the way they prefer to fish, and we ought always to remain open to learning new techniques, even if they're likely not to be something we would use ourselves. The only best way to fish is the method that allows a fisherman to catch a fish on every cast, and that hasn't been invented yet. If it ever is invented, I for one will immediately find the sport uninteresting and give it up, or resort to more imperfect tactics to make things interesting again. Fortunately, this sport is so difficult and complex that I don't think that day will ever come, for anybody (not holding a stick of dynamite).

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
PaulRobertsSeptember 26th, 2010, 6:00 am

Posts: 1776
Conditions would be depth (I've found an effective limit for split-shot nymphing with fly tackle for me to be around 6feet), current speed, and esp water density (due to temperature). Oh...also, split-shot nymphing is MUCH more effective and graceful with heavier fly lines: a 5wt is probably an ideal all around summer line and I go to a 6wt in winter. I do plenty of nymphing with a 4wt too though, but I'm limited in terms of weight -and weight increments are important and slight.

Weight is for getting a fly down, keeping it there, and providing some tension for detection. It's for bucking current and density mostly. Sometimes you need more!

I experimented with full sink lines for a while and then gave them up (for moving water). I left sink-tips behind too, for something better IMO -leadcore sections spliced into the leader. The leader, weight, and fly is the business end, the fly-line gets it where it needs to go. They should be separate IMO. Leadcore is for 6wt rods up. I use it for downstream presentations -streamer/wet fly fishing- for both resident and lake-run trout. It's VERY effective and fun to do. I've used it drift fishing too -but found shot to be better for up and across. Fishing a streamer directly across, with leadcore is very effective and can really trigger strikes.
Shawnny3September 26th, 2010, 6:40 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Paul - Water density? You can't mean the actual density of the fluid, can you? I think its fluctuation within the temperature ranges fishermen encounter is quite negligible. Perhaps I misunderstand.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
AdirmanSeptember 26th, 2010, 7:09 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 505
Do you spool your entire reel w/ that leadcore or is it just attached to the front , kinda like those sink-tip line leaders you can buy?
PaulRobertsSeptember 26th, 2010, 9:11 am

Posts: 1776
Water density changes with temperature amazingly. I was hip to the need to go finer in tippets in cold water (which people often assume has to do with fish spookiness), but it wasn't until I stood at the confluence of the East and West branches of the Delaware that I got to see and feel the differences side by side. The EB was on my right and was in the low 70sF -I could see smallmouth's to my right. The WB on my left was 48F (they were running a lot of water from the dam). Cold water was pushing on my left leg and warm was at my right leg. The physical difference was amazing. I played with it for some time, splashing water into the air from both sides. The warm water was light and spattered in the air into little droplets. The cold water did not spatter but threw in syrupy chunks by comparison. I was astonished.

A length of line, however thin, is GREATLY affected by water as it presses over the total length exposed. it's the biggest bugger in fishing. The day we can get rid of that line tethered to our flies...well... the game is over.

The main tackle difference for me between summer and winter is (for nymphing): a 4wt and say 4X leader in summer and a 6wt and 5X leader in winter. The greater line weight is due to shot weight requirements. Greater shot weights require larger indicators too.

Adirman, No I use a floating line - a level or worn out anything will do. Leadcore roll casts nicely so a supershort say 'Rocket taper" might not be ideal. And yes I use leadcore sections (3-4ft) loop to looped between a level .015 butt and a short 3ft two part tippet.
Shawnny3September 26th, 2010, 11:04 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Interesting observation, Paul. I have to think, though, that whatever you observed was not due to density. The density of water changes from 1.000 g/mL at 4-C (the way the gram was defined in the metric system to begin with) to 0.998 g/mL at 20-C. Those are at the lower and upper ends of the temps we typically fish (40-F to 70-F), respectively.

Now, water's vapor pressure does change more significantly over that temperature range (from 6.1 mmHg to 17.5 mmHg), which might be a better indicator of how much tension there is between the molecules at those temps (vapor pressure, for those who don't know, measures how much pressure a liquid exerts on its surroundings, which means it is inversely related to how well the molecules are sticking together as their kinetic energy increases with temperature). Surface tension, meanwhile, drops from about 7.49 N/m to about 7.28 N/m over that same temperature range, a small but perhaps noticeable change. I'm sure there are other measures in fluid mechanics (the difference in the way the water shears around a boundary such as flyline at different temps, for example) that might be more useful to a flyfisherman, but I don't know what they are. Anyone here have a degree in fluid mechanics?

Water temp has a large effect on many things, but density is not one of them (its density changes by only 3% from melting to boiling point). It's possible that something of significance to the drift of a fishing line changes significantly with temperature, or perhaps other factors between the two water sources you were comparing caused you to observe effects in the water that seem more compelling on an anecdotal level than on a scientifically measurable one, but I'm almost certain that density has little to do with it. That said, regardless of what to call the effect, if it matters in terms of the drift of the line in the water, then it matters.

I'd love to hear what some of the more experienced fisherman than I have to say about this.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
PaulRobertsSeptember 26th, 2010, 11:26 am

Posts: 1776
I don't know the values and will have to take the 3% at your word. BTW boiling to freezing is not what we'd look at. It would be to 39F.

I was told by a professor a while back that "density" changes in water impact how erosive water is seasonally. But I never saw any research on it. And maybe, apparently, he was using the wrong term.

As I remember it, the 70F water could be atomized, the cold water was like syrup. Should be an easy enough thing to experiment with. I think I'll play with it some.

If not density, then ...viscosity? From a table I found it looks as though there is a 25% change in viscosity from low 70s to high 40s. I wonder if that's what I saw.
Shawnny3September 26th, 2010, 11:57 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Viscosity would probably be getting a lot closer to explaining what you observed, Paul. From what I just looked up, it changes from about 1.5 Pa-s to about 1.0 Pa-s over the temperature range we typically fish, which I would think represents a substantial enough difference that a human could easily detect it with his hands. I'm sure there are other measures as well, but they would probably be correlated pretty closely to viscosity. Good call.

I've never thought about how water temps influence my drift. I will now.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
AdirmanSeptember 27th, 2010, 1:25 pm
Monticello, NY

Posts: 505
Perhaps it has something to do w/ the dissolved oxygen levels being greater in water at lower temps? DO concentration has an inverse relationship to water temp and maybe w/ more DO present, it does affect the density and/or viscosity of the water. Remember this: in a river/stream, etc., its not just water molecules; there's plenty of other stuff in there making it an aqueous system. Considering this, the river water is truly a mixture and so it may have different, albeit slight, density/viscosity diffs that become more obvious with majot temp differences. Just a thought!!

Quick Reply

You have to be logged in to post on the forum. It's this easy:
Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.

Related Discussions

TitleRepliesLast Reply
Re: new
In General Discussion by Greenwolly
1Aug 14, 2009
by Flytyer0423
Re: Does indicator affect leader size?
In Fly Tying by Gt2003
5Apr 13, 2019
by Adirman
Re: Need advice
In General Discussion by Hueste
5Mar 14, 2007
by The_Sib
Re: Looking for a leader formula...
In Gear Talk by OldHasBeen
6Jul 8, 2020
by Wbranch
Re: Deep water trout and insects.
In General Discussion by Crooketarow
1Jul 9, 2009
by Mike56
Re: Proud Father Moment!
In the Photography Board by Pryal74
6Apr 26, 2012
by Youngfish
Re: I need to know a few things.
In Beginner Help by Vunderkind
5Nov 4, 2012
by Cutbow
Re: Atlantics...
In General Discussion by Pryal74
7Nov 13, 2014
by Wbranch
Re: I'll trade you TWO fly lines(or flies, or whatever for one Fly line!
In Gear Talk by Nijimasu
2May 17, 2018
by Subway
Re: Tippet affecting Energy Transfer?
In Gear Talk by FisherOfMen
6Apr 28, 2015
by Cptenn94