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|Posted on October 24, 2017 at 11:25 AM||comments (0)|
While we really like fishing the swung fly, and try to focus on spey techniques when possible, there are simply sometimes when conditions or the preferences of people fishing with us mean fishing an indicator rig. When we do fish an indy rig, more often than not at the end of the line you might see a little thing we refer to as "the item"- a colorful plastic bead pegged in place above a hook. I first started fishing a bead in Alaska in 2008 and quickly saw just how useful it would be back on my home streams. Over the years, I've tweaked my rig a bit so I can change things out (the hook or bead) without cutting my line. Here's my bead rig:
Step 1: What you need is your bead, tippet (already tied onto your leader), a hook ( for steelhead or lake run browns I prefer size 2 or 4 octopus hooks- bigger for beads 12mm or more, smaller for smaller beads, while if I'm fishing stream trout a 4 or 6) and a toothpick.
Step 2: Slide the bead onto your tippet, then tie a figure 8 loop in the end of your tippet. The loop will be what holds the hook on the end and should be about 1 1/2 - 2 inches. Why I like a loop is because I can then trade out hooks and even beads without cutting the line. Simply unloop the hook and pull the toothpick stopper from the bead and it will slide over the knot.Here is how to tie a figure 8 loop:
Make a loop in the tippet first:
Wrap the loop around both the tag end and main part of the tippet twice:
Pull the single loop through the double loop formed in the line:
Pull the knot tight:
Step 3: Use the toothpick to "peg" the bead. Push it in then snap off the sharp point. This will keep the bead from slipping down below the figure 8 knot. Later if you need to change the bead, poke the sharp end of a toothpick down the other side of the bead to push out the little piece of the toothpick that is broken off and it will pass over the figure 8 knot.
Peg the bead:
Snap off the toothpick:
There will be a piece stuck in the bead that holds it in place:
Slide the pegged bead down to the figure 8 knot to hold it in place:
Step 4: Pass the loop through the eye of a hook, wrap it over the shank, and secure it to the tippet:
Step 5: Bead up fish:
Notes: The rig above is tied with an ungodly large hook and 30 pound high viz big game leader. That is not my normal setup but was done so it would show up better in pics. I usually use 8-10 pound clear fluoro and a size 4 hook. Please do not fish a 3/0 saltwater hook with a bead.
Though again, not our preferred way of fishing, but an incredibly effective method that has its uses as conditions or the preferences of others dictate.
|Posted on October 16, 2017 at 1:05 PM||comments (1)|
|Posted on November 8, 2016 at 3:00 PM||comments (0)|
Good fish handling: keeping a fish wet and slightly upright for a nice pic. If the fish kicks, it'll swim away unharmed.
Everyone talks about this topic. But it seems like every time I go out, I see people mishandling fish. So gonna beat a dead horse anyways. It is really important that we handle our fish in as safe and careful a manner as possible. Especially when fishing smaller systems, where a fish can be caught several times over the season. While catch and release mortality remains low, mortality from catch and release can almost always be attributed to improper fish handling tactics. So here are a few tips:
1. Use a landing net or tail a fish in knee deep water when possible. Beaching a fish can result in the fish flopping around and injuring itself, especially hitting its head. A study on steelhead in BC found that almost all mortality from catch and release when fly fishing occurs when the fish thrashes in the shallows and hits its head. The fish would swim away strongly, but the radio trackers would find it washed up dead later. So be careful. If you do need to beach a fish, look for a spot with a sandy or pea-gravel substrate and no large rocks if possible.
2. It's okay to take pictures. Everyone loves a good fish pic. But make sure you minimize the amount of time the fish spends out of the water. Remember, they are gassed. They just struggled as if their life depended on it and exerted a ton of energy. They need to be sucking down some water to recharge. Having the fish out of water for long periods of time increases the risk of mortality. If you want a nice pic holding the fish up, have your buddy get ready for the shot, then just quickly lift the fish. Shoot to have the fish back in the water in a couple seconds. Keeping the fish in the water is another option, that really adds a nice aspect to the shot.
3. Spend the time the fish needs to be revived. It's actually nice to cradle such a beautiful fish and spend time with it in the water. That's what the whole experience is supposed to be about. It's not just for the pic or the fight. You caught the fish, now you need to spend however much time the fish needs to be properly revived. They'll let you know when they're ready, and will kick away strong.
4. And for the love of God, keep your hands out of the gillplate. Lately, I've seen this a lot more than I can remember: FLY ANGLERS lifting a fish by the gillplate. And judging by their technique, gear, and general appearance, these are anglers who should know better. There have been some pics going around the web showing off BIG fish this year, and one way anglers are holding them is with the gillplate-tail grip. This may look good in a photo, but it hurts the fish. The oils and salt on your hands harms the gills and the angle of lift causes the head of the fish to arch upward, straining the neck and back. None of these things are good things. Is it going to kill every fish? Probably not. Can it hurt them? It sure can.
Poor fish handling can cause death after release. We found this guy in a catch and release stretch where bait can't be used. Careless fish handling is likely to blame for mortality.
Final thoughs- have fun out there and be nice to our finned friends. They really are super cool animals, and it's a privilege to fish for them. If you see someone carelessly handling a fish, it's always a good thing to give them a few pointers for the future. We were all noobs once. But it shouldn't be anything to start an argument about. Some people just don't give a shit, and that's sad. But the people that do are generally greatly acceptive and appreciative of pointers.
|Posted on October 21, 2016 at 11:35 AM||comments (0)|