While at this years Trout Festival I had the opportunity to visit with Bob Shanks who is the author of Around the Next Bend. Bob is a working encyclopedia when it comes to fly fishing. What intrigues me about this guy is his simplicity to the sport. He fishes with fly rods and reels that are priced far below the top of the line equipment. A lot of his accessories such as line, nets, waders, and smaller items are all bought at bargain prices. The title of this post Unconventional Fly Fishing Techniques certainly applies to Bob. He shared a few of those techniques with all of us last Saturday.
1. He never uses a knot or loop to connect his leader to his fly line. Bob’s technique is dipping ¾” of his fly line into fingernail polish remover to remove the coating on the fly line to make it more flexible---next you would insert a tiny pin and onto a larger pin into the end of the fly line to open it wide enough to insert your leader butt end which is cut at an angle into the ¾” fly line end with the leader end being coated with super glue. Squeeze the fly/leader lines together for at least 30 seconds and you have a knotless fly line leader connection that will stand the test of a 5 lb. brown. I actually tried to pull the prototype apart Bob provided for all of us at the Festival and no one broke it apart. Your line travels through your guides much faster when using this type connection. I will be trying this technique.
2. Clean your fly line with any detergent and warm water at least every other fishing trip. This will enable the line to flow through the guides much easier. It will also make for a smoother line pick-up from the water surface. Cleaner fly will increase the life of the line.
3. Wear hip waders, not only for the added comfort in the summer months, but hip waders are cheaper than chest waders. One seldom wears in water waist deep.
4. Seldom make 30 ft. cast, to a target, instead merely wade the extra 10 ft. to place your fly at 20 ft. instead. You are much more accurate at 20 ft. as oppose to 30 ft.
His presentation ended with a handout asking one question; which trout species would you rather pursue a brown or rainbow and tell why? There were some interesting answers given and discussed. I will end this post by asking the same question---Which trout species would you rather pursue a brown or rainbow and tell why?