Thursday, 24 September 2009

Chucking fluff

Sitting in front of my vise creating new patterns, combining different materials, is all part of the intense buzz I get from fly-fishing for snotrockets. In fact, I’d go as far as to say, that pike on the fly for me is a total obsession, & I’m never really happy until I’ve caught my next one, especially if its with a new fly I’ve tied and never used before.

I know many of you out there probably look at some off the flies I’ve tied and think, “ Fuck me! That’s got to be like chucking a soggy tampon”, and yes, in hindsight some do weigh a fraction more than say a plain baitfish pattern tied with either EP Fibers or Flash n slinky but I learned a long time ago one doesn’t need to cast flies 25-30m (80 or 100 feet) all the time to get the best out of my fishing.

This brings me back to the beginning of the season with my new found friends from the States.
Both were excellent casters of a fly, yet were so hell bend on trying to chuck their flies 80-100 ft all the time that I often found them both looking quite drained once the fly had hit the water, especially after a couple of hours on the water. Chucking flies that far opens you up to all kinds of problems. The further away the fly is when the pike strikes at it makes it much harder for you to set the hook due to so much slack from hook point to reel, and secondly fly lines have a considerable amount of stretch in them, combine this with the 1st issue and your chances of a hook up are greatly reduced. It was also one the things I brought up that second morning with them. I’d noticed that the extra exertion they were putting into their casting was greatly affecting their concentration level which in turn was affecting their hook up percentages. They agreed to try shorter casts to around 15-20m (50-65 ft)….and well, the results showed for themselves.

The 3rd day saw them casting shorter distances all day and I also noticed that they’d stopped yakking to one another like they had the 1st evening. Both were more focused than the previous 2 days, which reaped rewards as they ended the day with 33 pike between the two of them.

Unlike fly-fishing for Bone or Permit where precision long casts of 80-90 ft are needed majority of the time, the opposite can be said about chucking large wads of fluff to mike the pike. In fact I’d go as far as to say that casting should figure last on any pike fly-fisherman’s agenda. Everything should be focused on the retrieval and presentation of that fly. Mixing different speeds with short tugs of your line combining them with slight jerks of your rod either up or down or sideways is what will catch you fish….not the 35m cast!


Unknown said...

I mostly agree Simon, the distance is the least important unless u just need to hit that special sweet spot near the reeds that surely will hold a fish.

Especially when fly fishing from the float tube i find the distance less important. U can always just kick a few times with ur fins and there u have it a nice 30 m cast ;)

But even though we definitely dont have the sick amount of pike that ur waters hold it still makes a big difference how u retrieve the fly and if u're awake and alert. Which at days can be hard when u kinda loose the faith in the fly or method due to no strikes in long periods.

The last few years i've found that the stops and breaks during retrieves are some of the most important periods of the cast as the pike will often strike or nip the fly at that point.

All about the grab said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you Jeppe. When I find I'm drifting off and concentration levels are dropping I always take a time out though. Stop and take in my surroundings for a few minutes re asses things.