Saturday, May 21, 2011

In such a rush..............

I wanted to get out fishing so badly that I may have overlooked (or misunderstood) some basics that I needed to learn and I better learn them before I get further into this adventure.

For example, I was told that to set the hook I should pull on the line. According to the book I am still reading (LL Bean's Fly-Fishing Handbook), that is correct while using large flies (sizes 6 to 5/0); however, it says that if you are using small flies (sizes 18 to 8), then you set the hook moving the rod tip up and back quickly. If I remember correctly, then that is what I recall seeing others doing (i.e. setting the hook by moving the rod up and back quickly) while I was fly-fishing. I think that my method of pulling the line was the major reason for all the misses last weekend.

The other basic I need to learn is hook size. I realize that this will be fairly straightforward but if you asked me right now what size hook I use I would not be able to honestly answer you.

I am sure there are other basic things that I don't know and will stumble upon as time passes but these are the two glaring things right now. I can only use the excuse "that I am new to fly-fishing" for so long before it becomes a lie.

I guess not only should I be watching the water but I should be watching the more experienced fly-fishers I see in my travels.


  1. Mac, if you live to be one hundred, every day on the water will be an adventure and hopefully a learning experience. What size fly you use one day won't work the next. One day your favorite pool will produce fish after fish, the next will make you think the water is sterile. As the old say goes, that's why they call it fishing and not catching. As far as setting the hook, go with what you've learned; a sharp raising of the rod under most circumstances will do the trick.

  2. Being fairly new to fly fishing myself, I definitely agree with that last sentence of yours --- I have learned so much just watching the more experienced fishermen...not even talking to them or asking questions. Just, watching...

    Great post, it echoed with me very loudly. Cheers!

  3. I hear you Howard. I have to keep reminding myself of that and follow Lou Holtz's acronym of W.I.N. (What is Important Now). Thanks for the confirmation about the hook set. I am going to practice that starting tomorrow morning.

    Erin......thanks for the kind words. Sometimes it is just like in class: people are thinking the same thing and then someone raises their hand and asks the same question we had. It helps knowing that you aren't the only one thinking or feeling something. Thanks for stopping by.

    Also, if you or Howard have a favorite fly, then please vote on my new poll. I am using it as an information gathering device to help me in my adventures.

  4. Ed,
    With small trout flies it seems to me that setting the hook is little more than raising the rod and removing the slack. Once the rod is up you are in a good position to fight the fish. There is not need to hit them that hard because the hooks are so small they penetrate easily. I smash down the barbs on my hooks so I am sure that helps too (also nice when you jab them into your finger or clothes.)

  5. Ed,
    I had to vote other on your poll. I fish something called a soft hackled wooly is very similar to a wooly bugger but smaller and much more fuzzy. I think that is why it is so effective. It is very versital you can fish it like a nymph or a streamer. Upstream or downstream. My favorite size is a size 14.


  6. Hi Mike.....I thought you left the state :)

    Thanks for confirming the hook set. The person who told me about using the line to set the hook may have misunderstood my question. I now realize I was using to much force.

    After the Bruins game I will fix the barbs.


  7. Thanks Mike.

    I will be on the look out for that fly.

  8. I am still here. It has been a slow fishing season for me. Slow meaning I have been twice...ugh

    There is only one place I know of you can buy those flies...and it is from the originator...

    However I have never bought any from him. I tie my own. I can give you one to try sometime.

    That is the next addicting part of this hobby. Tying...I can see the new blog starting soon ;)

  9. Mike...I checked that fly out on his website. Is it as productive as he states?

    You are right about fly tying being in my future. This winter will be the maiden voyage of that trip.

    Maybe we can hit the Swift River one of these weekends and I can get to use one of those soft hackled wooly worms.

  10. The twitch will work, but it will evolve. If you watch people, they all set the hook a bit differently. Holding the line low (around your belt buckle) in one hand and lifting the rod high (hand about shoulder height) will give you a little play if you hook a really big fish and it's fast enough for those subtle strikes. As far as hook wire, go look at hooks in the fly tying stuff. Just get to know the sizes and shapes. That way when you flip rocks or watch the hatch coming off the water you can guesstimate. I hope that helps a bit.

    I'm with cofisher on this one. You don't ever stop learning, and when you think you do, the fish start changing gears.

  11. Ed,
    That guy claims to use it a lot. He has some very specific techniques. He had a book called fishing active nymphs. I haven't figured out all his methods....but the fly does work well for my methods.....I would say 75% of my fish come on that fly. That could be because I don't experiment enough....but I have a lot of confidence in it....and in fishing confidence matters.

    I would like to get to the Swift looks to be keeping me from fishing this next week....we shall see.

  12. Mike...why can't employers just send us our checks so we can go fishing?

    Hey BCFN...I went fly-fishing this morning and practiced a lot since there were no fish around. I'll get there and I have to be more patient. As the old saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day. Thanks.