Sunday, November 10, 2013

Unconventional Fly Fishing Techniques


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?  

16 comments:

Atlas said...

Very interesting read. I am very very intrigued by #1. I hope once you try this technique you can craft a post showing how you do this, as a visual would be nice.

I already do #2 but not as frequently as he notes, perhaps I should do this more often.

And to answer your question: I would rather catch a brown. I know my answer may be silly and I will admit this upfront haha, but at least I am being honest. For me a Brown A.) less frequently encountered i.e.. there is a sense of elusiveness/rarity at least in the waters around me B.) Browns again around here at least reach far greater size C.) They also tend to be wild vs stocked fish. I admit all these as highly subjective and I would be the last person to ever turn my nose up at any fish or trout for that matter, but on a preference scale I would put a brown ahead.

Brk Trt said...

Mr. Shanks subscribes to my thoughts exactly.
What no brook trout?

Kevin Frank said...

Between a brown and a rainbow I'd say browns. In wild water browns are smarter fish. Maybe that's just my excuse for not catching that many.

Bill Trussell said...

Al
I will try the leader/fly line technique and post it soon. I have only landed a few browns, not our tailrace, but on the Caney in Tennessee; but those l have landed seem to possess more fight. Thanks for sharing

Bill Trussell said...

Alan
Sorry to say he only mentioned rainbows and browns in his presentation. Thanks for sharing

Bill Trussell said...

Kevin
The smaller brown and stronger, especially in the wild--I am guessing here???? thanks for the comment

David Knapp said...

Interesting tips there Bill. My personal preference is brown trout and especially chasing the large specimens. I think this is because of the difficulty and because I enjoy the hunt when I'm stalking larger fish. Small fish are pretty easy to catch, and I enjoy the challenge presented by large wary brown trout.

J. said...

I really enjoyed this post. Great tips for me since I am a beginner. As for me, at this point I would rather go for a brown since I have yet to catch one!!

Mel Moore (Pond Stalker) said...

Sorry, Bill, almost missed reading this post. I just want too add that I like Mr. Shanks perspective about not needing high end gear price wise to fly fish with. Common sense with his points of view, too.

On the question, there was once a blogger called the "Rainbow Chaser". Obviously, he would have chosen his preference of a Rainbow over the Brown. Big, strong, power running Rainbows are a rush! Will agree that stalking big Brown Trout is the making of many great fly fishers!

Nick D said...

Those are some interesting pointers. I'm with him on a couple and sorta in the other camp with a couple of others.

Bill Trussell said...

David
After seeing that monster brown you landed a few weeks back; I am not surprised you favor the brown trout. Thanks for sharing

Bill Trussell said...

Mel
"Rainbow Chaser" is a sure give away as to your choice; I too am with Bob on bargain shopping when it comes to fly fishing equipment. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

Nick
The line tip I admit I don't follow. I find cleaning my line twice a year is a plus for me. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

J
Glad you got some good info. from the post; I have learned a lot about fly fishing reading blogs. Thanks for the comment

Howard said...

You kept me so busy with other things that I almost missed this. Interesting to say the least. I believe that my older gear is as good if not better than anything out there now. I sort of agree with how he attaches the leader to line. I used a nail knot, cut it short and add a drop of super glue. It's faster. I like to fish for whatever is in the water. Not picky in the least.

Bill Trussell said...

Howard
I am going to give the leader/fly line technique a try and let you guys know how it works. Thanks for the comment