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Fly fishing

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by lefty, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Henry Carter

    Henry Carter Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Like lefty said, get out on the water and watch video's etc of casting. Casting on lawn is good but is really nothing like being on the water. I must admit I learnt a hell of a lot while out fishing and stop to watch other guys casting that at the time knew a lot more than I did. Biggest two things for me that improved my casting was stopping at 1pm on the back cast (was going way too far back letting the line dip) and pausing more on each cast to let the line curl out straight. Everything else, including mending I've learnt myself. Sometimes it's very frustrating and sometimes it's magic. As long as you are having fun is all that counts.
     
  2. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    Lawn casting is fine, but as CW says has zero to do with casting on water. Every piece of water is different than the last and requires a unique approach. When you approach a new piece of water you have to take the time to A) figure out where the fish are; and B) decide how best to get to them.

    If you do want to practice on grass take an old leader and tie a loop at the end. Put a screwdriver through the loop and push the screwdriver into the ground. Pull out 30' or so and step back until there a slight tension on the line and practice roll casting. The tension replicates a water load on the line.


    Some nice old reels.


    Museum Pieces: The Development of the Fly Reel in the 19th Century



    [​IMG]
    The age of this reel is unknown, but it shows basic features we still use today. all photos by American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont.

    Modern Choices
    Nowadays, fly fishermen have dozens of options of reel styles, many of which feature effective drag systems to help fight fish. Originally, however, the reel was simply a place to hold and dry your silk-gut fly line. Even the click-and-pawl mechanism was originally designed to stop the reel from over-running, not as a true drag meant to put pressure on a fish or protect tippets. Before drag, designers were more fixated on a faster retrieve and created multiplier reels. However, these were mostly so heavy and bulky that they went out of fashion.




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    Unknown Origin
    This spike-mount reel is a mysterious design of great age. Possibly Irish in origin, it continued to be made into the 1880s. Instead of the conventional reel foot, there is a spike on the base of the reel that would fit through a hole in the rod butt. The reel is then fastened by a wing nut that threads up the spike until the reel is firmly in place. Whether it was better to mount the reel above or below the rod was the subject of much debate.




    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    The First Travel Reel?
    The folding crank style is believed to have originated with the March 20, 1843 patent of James Jones, a London tackle manufacturer. This type of reel had the advantage of being more compact and streamlined when the handle was folded, thus making it easier to transport or store. However, it could also malfunction and fold at inopportune moments, such as when the angler was playing a fish.




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    The Birdcage
    William Billinghurst (1807-1880) was a well known gunsmith from Rochester, New York who won a patent for a side-mount reel built of wire and castings in 1859. This is now considered to be the first American fly reel. He later nickel-plated the reels for sales appeal. The unique appearance of these reels has prompted some to refer to them as “birdcage reels.”




    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    Do-It-Yourself Model
    This is a homemade side-mount reel, made of nickel-silver (an alloy of nickel, zinc, and copper) with numerous perforations and attractive floral cutouts. In addition to reducing weight, the ventilation helped air dry the horsehair or silk lines in use at the time. Keeping these lines dry made them cast better and improved their longevity.




    [​IMG]



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    Reel as Art
    This attractive Birmingham reel, featuring bas relief angling scenes on the plates, was commercially produced in at least two sizes, both as a crank-handle reel and as a revolving plate reel. It appears to be a Victorian-era British product. However, the design was reproduced in Germany during the 1970s, and it is now difficult to differentiate the original reels from the reproductions.




    [​IMG]



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    Custom Clamp
    An extraordinarily fine New York ball-handle reel. Single-action versions of the reel are not common, but they were better fly reels, since this handle style is less tangle-prone than the offset handle of a multiplier. This was perhaps a custom piece, since the machined construction of the clamp-mount fitting is also unusual and of superior quality.



    lefty
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  3. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Nice set of photos, Lefty.

    Never heard of the trick with the screwdriver. wish I'd known of it 30 years ago, I could cast pretty good overhand but never could roll cast worth a dern until I started (recently) spey casting. And it was a chore to learn at my age but a good roll cast is the foundation spey casting.

    BTW, Ed Ward talks about making a "grass leader" by tying up a leader with blood knots that are clipped to leave 1/2" or so of protruding tags on each knot. This is supposed to replicate water tension as well.

    But truth to tell, especially for sustained anchor casting it is near-as-nevermind worthless at replicating water tension...might be better for touch and go, I don't know.

    Water casting is always the best way to practice esp. for spey casting where water tension is what loads the rod.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  4. mikeman

    mikeman Senior member

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    As others have said, practice, practice, practice. Also, if you have a Orvis store in the area, you may want to check with them. I took a FREE class from them, which went over basic casting, and to be honest, it was really helpful. Its called something like "Fly Fishing 101", and then they also have a 201 where they take you on the water (okay, a pond). Regardless, its worth checking out.

    I also took a free fly tying class there which went over basics.
     
  5. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    Grass casting is worth it only if you can't get to water.

    I learned the basics on casting ponds and was reasonably okay. Then I got to a river and found myself faced with 20 different casting problems that made all my practice pretty much useless. The easiest cast is a downriver load and a plop upriver. Mend once and you should get a good enough drift to fool a fish. That cast (mastered across both sides of the body) is used more than any other.

    lefty
     
  6. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    There's a Fly shop about 100yds from my house and they do grass casting in the lot near us... seems to always be novices (what do I know) and people trying out gear.
     
  7. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    The Orvis store on 5th Ave uses the outdoor foyer of the bank next door to them for casting lessons. My nephew is visiting me next week and I'm going to take him into Central Park for a lesson with his new rod.

    You do what you have to.

    lefty
     
  8. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    BTW - thanks for the pics above. I don't fish or hunt or... but I have a true appreciation for that level of handwork and craftsmanship.
     
  9. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    If you're learning to cast a single handed rod, and esp. if you need work on stopping at 11 and 1, or timing a double haul, lawn work is fine. With a SH rod most of the line load is generated in the air, above the rod tip, and in front or behind you.

    It's a different mechanic when casting a 2H rod.

    That said, it's always better to cast over water. Nothing replicates the feel of water drag on a line like water.
     
  10. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    Losing rod; getting snake.

    [​IMG]

    lefty
     
    2 people like this.
  11. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Lefty,

    What a great set of photos. How did that come about?

    What did you mean "losing rod"
     
  12. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    No need for rod with a pet fishing snake.

    Shots from Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center. I used to stumble upon a lot of rattlers in the Sierras including one who slithered across my boot as I was casting.

    lefty
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  13. Henry Carter

    Henry Carter Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Saw an interesting photo yesterday of a rainbow cut open and gutted that had turned the tables, who had eaten a small eastern brown snake (one of our natives and one of the deadliest in the world)!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The snakes here are something you need to be very careful about, I think we have something like 9 out of the 10 deadliest species. Especially in summer now it's nice and hot.
     
  14. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    I may have this wrong but isn't everything in Aus trying to kill you - jellyfish, snakes, stonefish, spiders, vegemite - whereas NZ has no poisonous animals?

    lefty
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  15. Henry Carter

    Henry Carter Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Pretty much yeah. Vegemite rocks though. But yeah no snakes in NZ, there was at one time I believe, like before the ice age.
     
  16. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    Ted Williams fishing for Atlantic Salmon on the Miramichi in New Brunswick. Narrated by famed NFL Films voice, John Facenda.


    lefty
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  17. jpeirpont

    jpeirpont Senior member

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    I love this thread, thanks to all who are posting in it. I have no started fly fishing yet but look forward to getting into it. I go fishing on a boat in Cape Cod in the summer and grew up fresh water fishing and even hunting occasionally. Someone on Twitter linked the complete anglers video to me, I am loving it, I have the book and another of Proseks I enjoy alot..[VIDEO][/VIDEO]
     
  18. jpeirpont

    jpeirpont Senior member

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    I love this thread, thanks to all who are posting in it. I have no started fly fishing yet but look forward to getting into it. I go fishing on a boat in Cape Cod in the summer and grew up fresh water fishing and even hunting occasionally. Someone on Twitter linked the complete anglers video to me, I am loving it, I have the book and another of Proseks I enjoy alot..[VIDEO][/VIDEO]
     
  19. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    Sorry, jp - it's all over for fly fishing.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/n...an-urban-haven-for-anglers.html?emc=eta1&_r=0

    lefty
     
  20. Henry Carter

    Henry Carter Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    [​IMG]

    Had what will be my last trip away too far from home for a good few months on the weekend as we have our first baby due in 3 weeks. We went up to a place called Jindabyne in the snowy mountains for an overnight trip camping in the tent. Fishing was frustrating being the middle of summer and a really hot stretch so the levels are very low and clear i.e lots of spooky fish. Anyway on arrival at the river we came straight upon a tiger snake slithering around the bank (they are only Australia's 3rd most deadly species) hoping it wouldn't be a sign of things to come, and it wasn't. We saw all sorts of wildlife including the snake, hawks, eagles, rabbits, wombats, 2 deer crossing the river 50m upstream and of course plenty of fish.

    Only landed a couple of fish the whole time, dropped a couple more and missed about 8 takes in a day and a half. Was a great weekend anyway, wish we had more fish in the net but what do you do. I'll hopefully get another trip in for the spawning run in May but in the mean time it's local streams and lakes i'll have to stick to. Above is a pic from the stream.
     

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