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OTC_MN  
#1 Posted : Monday, March 27, 2017 7:48:54 AM(UTC)
OTC_MN
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 3/18/2016(UTC)
Posts: 197
Location: St Paul MN

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Was my b-day yesterday, and the BOSS and kid were gone visiting my father-in-law, who just got out of the hospital. So I figured a day trout fishing would be a pretty good birthday present to myself. ThumpUp

Fished a couple different branches of the Whitewater, and one feeder creek. Had a pretty good day, lots of rainbows for some reason, which surprised me a little. With the cloud cover I thought the browns would be more sporty than they were.

Caught most of them on nymphs - jujubeatis, BWO Barr's emergers, and probably the majority of them on an Iron Lotus tied on a jig hook. There was a sporadic hatch of BWOs, and I did get a couple fish on dries, although I didn't spend a ton of time trying.

What was interesting... I decided to spend the whole day using a Euro nymph rig. I've been messing around with it for a while but never really dedicated a whole trip to doing it. Probably more fish there to be had than I actually caught, but I spent a lot of time rerigging trying out different leader setups to see what I liked.

A few observations on what I learned yesterday:

- I've done some Euro style stuff on spring creeks, but it's a lot tougher to short line on slick, clear water for sure. Just tough to get close enough without spooking fish, even with a long rod. Especially if the bottom's soft and you're kicking up silt every step. I need to look into some of the French style long distance nymphing with colored mono as an indicator. I did hit one slick stretch yesterday and did some of this, greasing the leader from the indicator up so it floated. Definitely worked, but the leader I had tied on at the time really wasn't right for casting very far. But it's definitely something I need to try, because I'm convinced it'll work.

- On the other hand, on a freestone stream like the WW, shortline nymphing with a sighter tied into the leader seems really effective. It was pretty amazing how much control I had over where my flies were. I caught some fish I know for sure I would not have caught if I'd been using a strike indicator. There was one spot where there was a chute between two boulders with fairly deep water and 3 or 4 different current seams between me and it, and with the shortline setup I could tuck cast to get my nymphs down then lead them through the chute bumping bottom, and since the only thing in the water was the sighter and 5x tippet, there was no drag, no mending... Caught two rainbows and a brown without moving my feet, and I'd have had a tough time getting a decent drift with an indicator crossing a bunch of different current speeds.

- It's very efficient when it comes to covering water. Sometimes in pocket water your drift is only 3 or 4 feet, then it's a little oval cast and you're back in the water again. Also, hardly any tangles, which I at least tend to get with an indicator rig if I get careless with a cast.

- Something I was always aware of, but watching current speed where my flies were relative to what the surface looked like was a real eye opener. Holding the sighter vertical and letting the flies bump along the bottom at the speed the current was moving where the flies were, there were times when it looked like my flies were moving half the speed of the surface current. With nothing but a 5x tippet in the water, there's almost no drag, so your flies really walked along the bottom.

- Amazing how tactile fishing this way is. I could feel a size 16 bead head bumping along the bottom, and felt a lot of the fish hit. It was a riot. A couple of the rainbows in fast water really smacked it.

- Also amazing how many fish you can catch almost at your feet in fast water. You do end up wading a little more aggressively doing this, and some of the fish were at pretty close quarters, which is fun.

- Nymphs tied on jig hooks are a definite plus. They snag up way, way less often.

Anyhow... Very, very fun day yesterday. Learned a lot, which always makes me happy.

Couple fish from yesterday:

3 or 4 this size yesterday - @ 16-17"
UserPostedImage

Not that big, but the colors...
UserPostedImage
"Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish."
- Roderick Haig-Brown
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William Schlafer  
#2 Posted : Monday, March 27, 2017 9:46:24 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,130
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

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Nice healthy looking Rainbows. When they get larger, they tend to be aggressive feeders and are more fun to catch than cookie-cutter sized Browns.

I stopped using strike indicators a few years back. More hassle than they're worth with tangles and constantly adjusting them for depth. And then the Trout would start hitting the indicator instead of the fly, just to taunt me. This season I've been using a furled leader with a indicator section of orange line, which seems to be working fine for nymphing.

Running a small bead head fly through shallow riffles is always fun. Funny how many fisherman will only jump from hole to hole passing up the shallower water. The Trout are there, and the takes are obvious and aggressive.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
s.t.fanatic  
#3 Posted : Monday, March 27, 2017 12:02:00 PM(UTC)
s.t.fanatic
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 3/24/2010(UTC)
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I caught several nice sized bows in the main branch myself yesterday.
OTC_MN  
#4 Posted : Monday, March 27, 2017 8:20:04 PM(UTC)
OTC_MN
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 3/18/2016(UTC)
Posts: 197
Location: St Paul MN

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Was thanked: 22 time(s) in 15 post(s)
William Schlafer wrote:
Nice healthy looking Rainbows. When they get larger, they tend to be aggressive feeders and are more fun to catch than cookie-cutter sized Browns.

I stopped using strike indicators a few years back. More hassle than they're worth with tangles and constantly adjusting them for depth. And then the Trout would start hitting the indicator instead of the fly, just to taunt me. This season I've been using a furled leader with a indicator section of orange line, which seems to be working fine for nymphing.

Running a small bead head fly through shallow riffles is always fun. Funny how many fisherman will only jump from hole to hole passing up the shallower water. The Trout are there, and the takes are obvious and aggressive.


-Bill


The few guys I know that have tried furled leaders rave about them. Maybe that's next on my list of things to play with.

So with the furled leader, are you greasing it to float it at all, or just tight lining? FWIW, I've been using the Rio bi-color indicator line as my sighter, and it's super easy to see. Started out with some tangerine Cortland mono I had laying around and it was ok, but not nearly as easy to see as the bi-color stuff.

Agree on the riffles. I always make a drift or two. If they're there, they're there to eat...
"Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish."
- Roderick Haig-Brown
William Schlafer  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, March 28, 2017 10:27:43 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,130
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 49 times
Was thanked: 81 time(s) in 68 post(s)
OTC_MN wrote:
So with the furled leader, are you greasing it to float it at all, or just tight lining? FWIW, I've been using the Rio bi-color indicator line as my sighter, and it's super easy to see. Started out with some tangerine Cortland mono I had laying around and it was ok, but not nearly as easy to see as the bi-color stuff.


I bought several Cutthroat Leaders over the winter, a couple for nymphing and one for dry flies. All have tippet rings and a sighter installed. Haven't had a chance to use the dry fly one just yet, but soon. I primarily tight line nymph, so don't really need to apply floatant to the leader. But I probably will with the dry fly.

Biggest issue I've found in using furled leaders is keeping the tippet short enough. Too much tippet and you really have to fight to get the fly to turn over and lay out properly. I bought 68" furled leaders, but next time I think I'll go with the shorter 50" versions so I can run longer tippets.

Due to my crappy casting technique, I still get wind knots in the leader. But they're easy to undo with a needle to get the knot unstuck.

With the cost of standard leaders shooting up, furled leaders with tippet is the way to go. With a little care you can get an entire season out of one furled leader.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
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