Long Leaders and Fine Tippets

Myth 26 Fly Fishing Western Wyoming

Long Leaders and Fine Tippets are a Must

The idea that fish are “leader shy” is very misleading. Fish can see any leader we use – including 8X! If you can see it, so can fish – and much more easily. The reason we often need a fine tippet is that the less the diameter the less it will influence the movement of the fly, thus creating a more natural drift. In addition, a long, fine tippet will softly deliver the fly. However, a fine tippet is not always the answer. Certainly, with swinging flies, a fine tippet is often unnecessary – and will result in more break offs.

By fishing downstream when presenting flies to spooky fish we can achieve a good drift with a heavier tippet. My rule is to always use the heaviest tippet I can get away with. That will depend on the nature of the fly, water conditions, and the size of the fish we are targeting. Leaders are difficult, if not impossible, to mend. The normally stated reasons for long leaders are three. One, to achieve a drag free drift, secondly, to prevent spooking fish with the fly line, and third, to gently present the fly. By fishing them downstream, most problems are solved. I personally seldom fish with a leader more than 8’ long, I have much more control of the fly. Try and make a curve cast or a reach mend, especially in the wind, with a 12’ leader tapered to 6x tippet. Accuracy is virtually nonexistent.

My rule is to always use the shortest possible leader I can get away with. This is not to say that upstream presentations and/or long leaders and fine tippets don’t have a place in your bag of tactics. What I am trying to say is that it is often advantageous to break your normal routine and learn new techniques. You will definitely catch more fish! If you are interested in learning how to fish down-stream effectively with a short leader, book a few days with us next summer. You’ll learn a ton and you’ll catch a bunch of fish in the process!

We’ll be back in January, but feel free to contact us in the meantime! [ emailmazz@yahoo.com ], and keep up with us on FaceBook at  Fly Fishing Western Wyoming. https://www.facebook.com/Fly-Fishing-Western-Wyoming-134800270406627/

October Fishing Report 

The season is coming to a close and what a great season it has been!! 85 days guided, 263 total clients, and hundreds of big fish and new skills mastered. Barbara and I would like to thank all of you who visited. We genuinely enjoyed your company and friendship! For those of you who didn’t make it out here this year, we’re looking forward to seeing you in 2018, or whenever you can come. We enjoy the memories from all of your visits!

We are already booking next summer and we have a few dates we won’t be booking. Dayle will be in Mongolia from August 30th to September 13th, and we will be doing some videotaping from about August 5th to the 15th. We’ll be doing a fishing series of videos on rigging, fly selection, reading water, presentation casts, and much more.

This winter Dayle will be completing his YouTube casting series, and so we look forward to your viewership at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSrBeg4fBy_us6Hq7JY3CmA

Our normal guiding fees will remain virtually unchanged with possible modest changes to those packages that include hotel and transportation. Hotel costs have risen 25% in the last 2 years. We will be taking November and December off from producing this newsletter and our Myth series. We’ll start again in January. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding fishing in general, or booking specifically, please contact us at emailmazz@yahoo.com.

November Fishing Report

The Smiths Fork is very cold; 39° water temps in the morning with a “warm-up” to 44° by later in the day – assuming there is some solar radiation. The fish are there, but you need to fish your streamers slowly and your dry flies without drag. On our last trip, we missed two really big Bonnevilles and netted a nice brown. We landed a dozen or so other fish from 8” to 14”.

We’ve floated the Green River 3 times in the last two weeks and the fishing has been mixed. Some days are pretty good and some days not so good. The Green is a place to throw streamers and take a chance on a truly big fish. (30” plus) Great scenery, wildlife, and solitude are normal. We observed three moose on our last trip. On a normal day plan on 6-10 fish with one over 16”, and most between 10” and 14”. Using sow bugs, small streamers, and nymphs will always produce.

The Hams Fork is fishing well with streamers, scuds, small baetis/BWO  and midges. The water is clear and at good levels for October. It is open until November 1st, and well worth the trip. We are catching lots of fish from 17” to 19” with a few up to 25”. We’ve had lots of cold mornings and some snow, so plan on layers!

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