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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.

Lateral view of a Clostoeca disjuncta (Limnephilidae) (Northern Caddisfly) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This one was surprisingly straightforward to identify. The lack of a sclerite at the base of the lateral hump narrows the field quite a bit, and the other options followed fairly obvious characteristics to Clostoeca, which only has one species, Clostoeca disjuncta.
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.

Roguerat
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Posts: 456
Roguerat on Jun 6, 2018June 6th, 2018, 7:45 am EDT
Due to terminal curiosity I've done some research and fabrication of the above mentioned leaders. I ran across an article in AA detailing LONG leaders of 18-24' or so, for spooky trout and, using the formulas given, tied some which work OK. These things are long, no mistaking that, and a cast that's nearly half leader and the tip of a WF line took some getting used to.
I'm also curious about the George Harvey 'slack' leader types and wonder if any TN's have used or are familiar with these. The premise is that a slack leader lands 'piled up' which gives the fly time to drift naturally before current pulls the leader and fly into an unnatural velocity.
I've done furled leaders (love/hate on these...when they work they're great but don't get them into a tree or whatever), segmented/tied leaders of Maxima and other mono's, and knotless types.
Anyway, I sort of hope this sparks some discussion since I tend to have problems with knotless, tapered leaders due to them curling up and defying attempts to straighten them by any known means.

tight lines,

Roguerat

'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
TimCat
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Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
TimCat on Jun 6, 2018June 6th, 2018, 12:38 pm EDT
I've experimented with tying my own leaders. One of my concoctions was a ~16 ft leader that started off with 30lb test line that made its way to 5x tippet. I think I used 5 different pieces tied with Albright knots at the 2 pieces at the butt section and blood knots on down. I could turn hoppers over easily with my old fiberglass 6 weight (rip ... trunk door mishap). I can't remember the exact formula but I think it started off with 30lb-2ft, 20lb-2ft, and 8lb-3-4ft. It was basically a super-long butt section that made the leader work. I had good days on those for sure, but I never really felt the need to keep tying them, especially because I rarely fish streams that require casts of more than 30ft.

I think there's definitely some merit to the slack method, but I've never personally tried it (other than pile casts). I've heard/read of some brits tying like 10ft of tippet on to their leaders for fishing on Stillwater, but they're probably mainly using soft hackles and nymphs, so it's kinda like always doing a pile cast essentially. I personally wouldn't even try piling a bunch of leader on the water for dries on the strand I fish, but maybe that could work really well on riffles and choppy water.

How's it working out for you so far?
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jun 6, 2018June 6th, 2018, 1:06 pm EDT
My rivers are too small for anything that long! As Brandon said above, a good long thick butt section is going to be key in energy transfer down the leader to the tippet. I think a really long tippet section would be horrible to cast, especially with anything involving weight. For my trout waters, I rarely go much over 9 feet, and typically use 3x unless it's bright and sunny in late summer, then I'll put on 4X and maybe even 5x for someplace like the Pine River.

I think for loooong casts on big waters though a long leader might work out OK, when you are already booming a lot of line out there so there's enough power to extend the leader. For really large, picky fish feeding on tiny flies, this might be the ticket. Better have a good drag, though, that's a LOT of leader hanging out there to be frayed and nicked on the rocks, etc. - not to mention many knots - so you better play them carefully!

Tight lines, guys, whatever you do! I got my line tightened pretty hard today, see my post...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Roguerat
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Posts: 456
Roguerat on Jun 7, 2018June 7th, 2018, 12:45 am EDT
I worked up the super long leaders to fish the Muskegon R, where often a long(er) cast is needed to reach risers nearer midstream. There could be any number of cross-currents and ebbs/flows in the water between me and the fish which would make for a crazy drift so the longer leader/longer tippet was an experiment to allow longer drift before things got pulled out of shape. A quick flick to mend upstream and dropping the rod tip will create the Pile cast Brandon mentions.

On the Rogue and smaller water- 40-50' across at best- I stick with the normal leader and tippet combinations.

Brandon- when conditions are OK they work pretty well. Any cross winds and things can fall apart since the cast goes wherever the wind wants to take it. Double-hauls and sidearm casting (under the wind) are pretty iffy too. The Mo' gets plenty of thermals as it is and casting can be a challenge.

Tight lines, all

Roguerat

"Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
TimCat
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Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
TimCat on Jun 7, 2018June 7th, 2018, 4:42 am EDT
Yeah rogue, I could see that definitely benefiting for long casts across different current speeds. Probably pretty tough to make a 50 ft wiggle cast!
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
Idryfly
Posts: 7
Idryfly on Jun 9, 2018June 9th, 2018, 12:25 am EDT
Ive been focusing on the Upper Delaware so far this season and as my name implies I pretty much am only interested in targeting rising fish with dries/emergers. My leader set up is generally a tapered mono leader cut a bit back with a tippet ring and 5 to 6 feet of 6x fluoro. My leaders generally run between 13 to 16 feet.....and it has served me very well so far. I also cast mostly down and across and also stop the rod abruptly....putting a slight shock which drops the fly and tippet down with slack in it. as an fyi....cortland's new ultra premium fluoro is unbelievable......i used to be a trouthunter guy but now will buy nothing but Cortland......having landed quite a few pigs i thought would break me off....yet no knot or tippet failure yet this season.
Roguerat
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Posts: 456
Roguerat on Jun 9, 2018June 9th, 2018, 6:16 am EDT
Still on this leader thing, a rainy afternoon and researching tapers and lengths...curiosity run amok, I guess...
And I ran across something called the Uni Body Leader- 4 feet of butt material and 1 foot of 'taper,' then a ring and stepped down to a 4' level length of 1/2/3X, another ring then the tippet. Gary Borger has this formula on his website and I'm curious if any TN's have used one of these leaders.

Roguerat

'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jun 9, 2018June 9th, 2018, 6:59 am EDT
Rogue, I think I played around with Borger leaders long, long ago. Gary is brilliant, so I don't doubt his leaders work. Idryfly, I use a similar leader on the Delaware, but have been using Stroft GTM monofilament for tippet. It's incredibly strong, and performs well for me.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Bwoklink
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Missouri

Posts: 3
Bwoklink on Dec 11, 2018December 11th, 2018, 11:25 am EST
Rogue,

I’m a big fan of Borger’s ideas specifically those found in “fishing the film”. That being said, I don’t love his take on leader construction. I’ve tried several variations of his 3 piece formula and just can’t seem to get it to perform as well as I would like. It could be my casting style, but I’ve become convinced that a minimum of 5 segments (including the tippet end) is needed to truly build a leader that behaves for me. I’m sure this has already been mentioned, but if you google “global fly fisher leader calc”, you can find leader information that can keep a nerdy brain busy for hours on end. (I prefer a slight variation of the sweitzer 5 pc). Hope this helps

BwoKlink
Roguerat
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Dec 11, 2018December 11th, 2018, 8:58 pm EST
Travis,

I've also had mixed results with the 3-step leader, turnover can be iffy dependent on my cast (I guess).

Leader Calc is a great resource and I downloaded it some years ago; I've used it for peg-placement dimensions to create furled leaders (lots of variations to play with) as well as knotted-segment leaders...all good stuff.

tight lines,

Roguerat

'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
Wbranch
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York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Dec 12, 2018December 12th, 2018, 10:07 am EST
Do you leader gurus really think it means squat about what leader formula you develop and how it relates to your success on the stream?

I buy Rio 9' or 12' nylon leaders and blood knot on a fluorocarbon tippet 36" long and catch a heck of a lot of trout.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Dec 13, 2018December 13th, 2018, 1:59 am EST
Matt, it appears Idryfly and I also use the same general sort of set up that you use. Do you prefer the 9' or the 12' for the Delaware? I've been using a Rio 9' 4X lately, then adding 2-3' of 5X or 6X tippet. It seems to work most of the time. What kind of fluoro are you using? Idryfly's comment above on Cortland intrigued me, as I haven't used Cortland tippet in years. I'm liking Stroft GTM these days, but it's mono, not fluoro. Do you think the fluorocarbon is necessary? I seem to go back and forth on using it, but don't like the fact that is never breaks down if left up in a tree etc. And it's damn expensive. And not as strong as the Stroft as far as I can tell. So . . .
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Wbranch
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York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Dec 15, 2018December 15th, 2018, 5:41 am EST
Hello Louis,

Matt, it appears Idryfly and I also use the same general sort of set up that you use. Do you prefer the 9' or the 12' for the Delaware? Typically I use the 9' with a 3' tippet for the Delaware and the 12' with a 3' tippet for the Missouri. I've been using a Rio 9' 4X lately, then adding 2-3' of 5X or 6X tippet. It seems to work most of the time. What kind of fluoro are you using? I use both Rio and Orvis Mirage. A friend of mine is in the Orvis Pro Guide program and I can get the 100 meter spool for $20. Idryfly's comment above on Cortland intrigued me, as I haven't used Cortland tippet in years. I'm liking Stroft GTM these days, but it's mono, not fluoro. Do you think the fluorocarbon is necessary? No, because my Montana partner is a very skilled fly fisher and catches many big trout on the Delaware and the Missouri and never uses fluorocarbon. I still use it because it is almost invisible and I need all the help I can get. I seem to go back and forth on using it, but don't like the fact that is never breaks down if left up in a tree etc. And it's damn expensive. And not as strong as the Stroft as far as I can tell. So . . .
I think Mirage 6X is 3.7# and 5X is 5.5#. Plenty strong enough to land any trout I will be catching as long as I don't break off when setting the hook. I didn't break off a single trout in 2018.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Dec 15, 2018December 15th, 2018, 1:31 pm EST
Thanks, Matt. I always study your responses carefully, and have learned a lot from them over the years. Tight lines, and Merry Christmas.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Roguerat
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Posts: 456
Roguerat on Dec 16, 2018December 16th, 2018, 7:51 am EST
Ditto on Louis' observation, and I've learned to 'read between the lines' on Matt's posts...I've gleaned a lot of knowledge from a sometimes cantankerous, often seemingly irascible, SENIOR fly fisher and will say 'thank you' to Matt's sharing a lifetime of experience with other, less seasoned FF's.

I've always been a tinkerer and thinker of the 'what if'breed and yes, I get geeked about leader formulas and all...but that's what makes fly fishing a personalized pursuit.

I've got friends who will go on for hours (seems like it, anyway) about the latest nymph pattern and others who use the highest-end rods and reels ONLY...I've jokingly been told "you shouldn't even get in this boat with your rod and reel because I'd be embarrassed to be seen with you" and on and on.

in the end we all love to fly fish- similarities, differences, likes and dislikes, but we love our sport. That says it all.

Enough pontificating, I'm gonna' tie some Hendricksons with a tweaked 'pink' dubbing that just came out of the coffee grinder.

Tight lines, all fly fishers, and a Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year

Roguerat

'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe



Wbranch
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York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Dec 16, 2018December 16th, 2018, 11:16 am EST
Roguerat,

in the end we all love to fly fish- similarities, differences, likes and dislikes, but we love our sport. That says it all.



Via la difference!!

and I've learned to 'read between the lines' on Matt's posts...I've gleaned a lot of knowledge from a sometimes cantankerous, often seemingly irascible, Yes SENIOR Soon it will be very SENIOR fly fisher and will say 'thank you' to Matt's sharing a lifetime of experience with other, less seasoned FF's.Thank you for your kind words. I really enjoy sharing decades of fly fishing minutiae with fellow TroutNut's


I recently responded to a post on a PS fly fishing forum where a young fellow is seeking a mentor. I met up with him today and we had a nice chat and I loaned him a first edition Joe Brooks "Trout Fishing". Great book on all the fundamentals and it covers pretty much everything it would take anyone to become a good enough fly fisher so one's interest is piqued enough to start reading other books and exploring various concepts of fly fishing on their own.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Dec 19, 2018December 19th, 2018, 11:03 am EST
I like Matt's approach with one small difference: I start with a 30' or so heavy butt of Maxima and then attach 7.5' 3x leaders and add tippet from there. Used to make my own; too much good stuff on the market today to bother.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Dec 19, 2018December 19th, 2018, 12:53 pm EST
TNEAL wrote;

I start with a 30' or so heavy butt


Wow, 30' of Maxima heavy butt then a leader and tippet. Hmm, with a leader that long you hardly ever get to use the fly line.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Dec 20, 2018December 20th, 2018, 1:21 am EST
probably 30"....
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Dec 20, 2018December 20th, 2018, 1:24 am EST
I knew it was a typo but you know me.....a perennial ball breaker.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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