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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

Dorsal view of a Skwala (Perlodidae) (Large Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This Skwala nymph still has a couple months left to go before hatching, but it's still a good representative of its species, which was extremely abundant in my sample for a stonefly of this size. It's obvious why the Yakima is known for its Skwala hatch.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Vunderkind
Sonoma, CA

Posts: 2
Vunderkind on Nov 2, 2012November 2nd, 2012, 10:35 am EDT
Hi,

Who in the world will read this long long post :-(

I need to know what a "tippet" is, and what a Leader is.
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Is my double taper yellow flyline a good choice for flyfishing? Someone told me I need a weight-forward line. Yet I can shoot this line 40 to 50 feet, and it completely straightens out a foot or so above the water then settles down, and when the leader lands it does not straighten out all the way, but the end's last 20 to 30 inches or so come down in a small heap, and the fly drops onto ther center of the floating loops. If I chop the leader back to six pounds or so, the fly behaves better, but the fish won't hit it.

The tapered leader is 9 ft long, about 20-30 lb at it's rear, and tapers to about 3 lb. at the very tip. I Just bought a couple of Frog Hair tapered leaders which are two pound test at the very end.
-----------------------------
I used to flyfish with the gear my father left to me. I became good at it, but dropped out when I had to replace leaders (are leaders called Tippets?).

I do not know how to match the rod to the line, nor how to match the line to the tapered leaders, nor how to match the fly to the end of the leader. I've ended up with an 8 foot flyrod, and line that is tapered down at each end, and a tapered leader which stops the fly just above the spot I'm aiming for, lowers the last foot or 18 inches of tapered leader straight down to the water and the fly lands on top of a small pile of loops.

The specs are worn off of the flyrod, which I consider to be medium light, at 8 feet long.

I plan to fish for the ultra-wary wild trout in their no-take preserve at Putah Creek, California.

I want to thank anyone who responds to all or to any part of this question,

Roger
Cutbow
Cutbow's profile picture
Post Falls, Idaho

Posts: 38
Cutbow on Nov 2, 2012November 2nd, 2012, 11:04 am EDT
Hi Roger,
1. You dont "need" a weight forward line although many beginners report that a weight forward line is easier to cast then a double taper
2. A tippet is the end of a tapered leader that attaches to the fly. The diameter of the tippet is to correspond with the weight of the fly as well as it's resistence to air in flight. The higher the "X" number the smaller the diameter of the tippet. So a 6X tippet is between 3-4 lbs test in strength. Also you need to buy spools of tippet to tie at the end of your tappered leader. This allows you to change flies while out fishing multiple times.
3. The reason for your tippet not falling in a stright line when casting can be many fold. It may be a missmatch of tippet size to fly size. It may also be casting habits in need of review.
4. To match a fly line to a rod you must know what numerical "weight" the rod is. Rods are manufactured from 0-1 weight all the way to 15 weight and likewise for fly lines. So a 5 weight rod will take to 5 weight line to correspond.
5. It looks to me you have a leader that matches up to any trout weight fly line

John
"Once you catch your first fish on a fly you won't care about any other kind of fishing!"
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Nov 2, 2012November 2nd, 2012, 11:06 am EDT
The specs are worn off of the flyrod, which I consider to be medium light, at 8 feet long.


You will probably get several resposes to your inquiry from others here.

Each rod is generally matched to a fly line...Your rod has a weight i.e. 4, 5, 6 weight etc. You purchase a line for it of the same weight. So, if your rod is a 5 weight, you need a 5 weight line. Double Taper is fine. The idea here is that normally on smaller streams you only use the front end of the line. Once it is worn you can turn the line around and use the opposite end...

If the weight marking is worn off you will need to experiment...Maybe take it to a fly shop or club and try different lines until the correct weight is discovered...Then you will be able to match line with the rod. This could be causing some of your casting problems with the collapsing leader etc.

It never hurts to take lessons...All of us, no matter how long we have fished are learning new wrinkles to the casting puzzle.

A leader is attached to the end of your fly line and they are sold as 4x, 5x, 6x etc...This means that the end of the fly leader can be matched to the fly size you are using. The old general rule is called, "the rule of 3" and you just divide the hook size by 3 and the terminal end of your fly line should match, give or take...A size 12 hook equals a size 4x terminal end for your leader or tippet. (12 divided by 3= 4x)

Tippet is extra leader material that you can knot to the end of the leader to make adjustments as you switch flies or need to repair the leader...

I'll leave it at that for now..."Permanent butts" vs "looped ends" etc I'll leave to the "new-schoolers" here...:)

Spence

Sorry John...We were at the answer at the same time. :)
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
GldstrmSam
GldstrmSam's profile picture
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212
GldstrmSam on Nov 2, 2012November 2nd, 2012, 1:52 pm EDT
I was told at Sportsman's Warehouse that it is fine to use fly line that is one number larger or smaller than the weight on the rod e.g. if I have a 4wt I can use 3wt or 5wt line. Is that true?
There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus
Vunderkind
Sonoma, CA

Posts: 2
Vunderkind on Nov 2, 2012November 2nd, 2012, 3:36 pm EDT
I found a flyfishing expert at a good tackle shop, in a nearby town. He gives free lessons on Saturdays at 9:00 AM. Those guys told me that the difficulty I'm having could be any one of several things. I'll be there. I'll let you know if I find out anything interesting.
Thank you all for your replies!

Roger
Cutbow
Cutbow's profile picture
Post Falls, Idaho

Posts: 38
Cutbow on Nov 4, 2012November 4th, 2012, 2:12 pm EST
GldstrmSam,

No thats not really true to say it is "fine," but it can be done in a pinch. If you mismatch your line weight and rod it will make casting more difficult.

Some rod manufacturers build rods that have such a fast action that they feel, to some, like you need to go to a heavier line then marked on the rod. The problem with that is people are, in effect, slowing down the action of the rod by using a heavier line and despite how it may feel to some, they're not improving their rod performance at all. Why not just get a slower action rod if one doesn't like a fast action? They're cheaper anyway.

John

Spence - No problemo buddy :)

"Once you catch your first fish on a fly you won't care about any other kind of fishing!"

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