Back in the swing of things [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Back in the swing of things


flyfisha1
09-16-2003, 05:23 PM
Well, after a lengthy hiatus from visiting the boards and doing any fishing, I'm happy to say that I'm back and doing both. Got divorced in July (no, not because the ex thought I had too many fly rods, which of course we all know is impossible... right Striblue?), moved job and location to the Bronx (yes, that's right). I'm slowly getting everything settled in and actually spent the last two weekends on the Jersey shore (LBI) chasing bluefish. Only one taker, but one's better than none. One great aspect of being back in the Northeast (grew up in South Jersey) is that I can finally get to meet all of the guys that I've spoken to on the forum, and hopefully we can wet a line at some point. Looking forward to the Fall migration at Montauk, I can tell you that! Also, it's nice to be back in an area where the trout fishing is actually enjoyable. So I'm in New York... great food, back among my friends and family, and have access to the entire Northeastern seaboard. It's great to be back up here!

juro
09-16-2003, 05:25 PM
Welcome back!

striblue
09-16-2003, 06:18 PM
Yes...Welcome back and here is a picture to help you get back in the swing of things...

mikez
09-16-2003, 09:21 PM
Welcome back!
You had me worried there for awhile. You kinda disappeared in the middle of a PM and I haven't seen nor heard anything since.

Maybe you should consider a Rhode Trip! If we get a break between storms, the south coast of RI is gonna explode in bass and blues within the next few weeks.

Hmmm, now that I think about it, the south Jersey shore has some pretty good action in November, doesn't it?...

steelheadmike
09-17-2003, 09:35 AM
Welcome Back! ... I'm not far from the Boogie Down so give me a hollar if you want to head out. Have boat will travel.

John Desjardins
09-17-2003, 09:43 AM
Welcome back Chris, I'd been wondering what happened to you.

DFix
09-17-2003, 11:33 AM
Hi Chris. I didn't have any real worries. Welcome back.

flyfisha1
09-17-2003, 10:18 PM
Hi Guys
Thanks for your responses and kind words, I appreciate it! Not to worry, we'll be "hooking up" for fish at some point; as soon as I get everything situated with the big move I'll be able to spend more time pursuing our finned-friends. Hopefully I'll be able to hit the shores and streams of Long Island in the next few weeks, then I'm looking at fishing the area up around the Delaware water gap.

On a related note, over the Winter I'll be building a rod for general saltwater use, and I'd like to get the details ironed out now for the kind gift-giver that will be supplying the materials. I'll be fishing from shore nearly 100% of the time, going for all of our in-shore gamefish. I typically fish patterns tied on size 2/0 or smaller, and want something that won't tire my arm excessively from casting alone. So my question is, 8-wt., 9-wt., or 10-wt.? My preliminary desire is for the 8-wt., though some more experienced guys might say it's not strong enough to subdue fish quickly. Let me also say that most of the fish I catch are less than 15-lbs., so I question whether a heavier outfit than an 8-wt. is truly needed. Additionally, I plan to hit the Salmon River in future for steelhead, and would like the rod to be useful for that fishery, also. Your thoughts, please.

Also, has anyone looked into the new TFO series of rods with Lefty's name on them?

FishHawk
09-18-2003, 06:14 AM
Lefty take a look at the Sage 10' for 8 wt XP rod. I build all of my rods and this one looks like a good choice . I am leaning in this direction. It will handle a 9 wt line without a problem. The 10 foot length has many advantages for fishing the surf and flats. For a reel seat REC is the best. Hope this helps.
FishHawk:D

FishHawk
09-18-2003, 06:19 AM
Sorry Chris called you Lefty. Had Lefty on the brain. The TFO rods are good for the money. FishHawk

2HandTheSalt
09-18-2003, 10:44 AM
Originally posted by flyfisha1
Hi Guys
Thanks for your responses and kind words, I appreciate it! Not to worry, we'll be "hooking up" for fish at some point; as soon as I get everything situated with the big move I'll be able to spend more time pursuing our finned-friends. Hopefully I'll be able to hit the shores and streams of Long Island in the next few weeks, then I'm looking at fishing the area up around the Delaware water gap.

On a related note, over the Winter I'll be building a rod for general saltwater use, and I'd like to get the details ironed out now for the kind gift-giver that will be supplying the materials. I'll be fishing from shore nearly 100% of the time, going for all of our in-shore gamefish. I typically fish patterns tied on size 2/0 or smaller, and want something that won't tire my arm excessively from casting alone. So my question is, 8-wt., 9-wt., or 10-wt.? My preliminary desire is for the 8-wt., though some more experienced guys might say it's not strong enough to subdue fish quickly. Let me also say that most of the fish I catch are less than 15-lbs., so I question whether a heavier outfit than an 8-wt. is truly needed. Additionally, I plan to hit the Salmon River in future for steelhead, and would like the rod to be useful for that fishery, also. Your thoughts, please.

Also, has anyone looked into the new TFO series of rods with Lefty's name on them?

Just my personal opinions:

I believe that your line-weight should be dictated by your maximum fly size, tempered with the size and strength of the fish you are pursuing.

I personally prefer a 9-weight for flies to 2/0, finding most of them a bit much for an 8-weight, but others may disagree.

IMHO A 10' one-handed fly rod is about the worst recommendation you could make for someone who wants a rod that can be cast all day without tiring. Have you ever cast one of those things? Even most pro tournament casters will tell you that it is extremely difficult to cast a one-hander of much more than 9'6" in length.

I agree that there are distinct advantages to longer rods int eh surf, but would recommend that if you think you want a really long one-hander, that you give one a good workout for several hous before making such a commitment.

Lastly, I have the Lefty Kreh TiCr Temple Fork rods in 8,9 & 10-weight. They are here on Cape Cod and available for anyone that would like to try them. There might be an answer for you there as the 8-weight will easily handle an eight or nine-weight line. You could use an eight for smaller flies on the flats, or switch to a number nine for bigger flies.

Plus, the rod is so inexpensive, you can afford some extra lines.

mikez
09-18-2003, 11:05 AM
IMO, the blanks they have out today are so light but robust, I'd lean toward a larger rather than smaller size. If you're on the water undergunned [wind, fly size, fish size] you're SOL. If your rod is maybe one size bigger than you thought you'd need, well, your arm will strengthen up mighty fast with regular use.

You can't beat spending a day at a show casting various rods and lines. Some good shops will take you out in the parking lot, but they rarely have as wide a selection. Once you get a feel for the different blanks [don't go by size rating alone, they vary] and get the specs, you can choose from there.

Caveat: This from the guy who only owns one saltwater rod, the same Sage I got close to 15 years ago [been replaced by Sage once]. Which brings up another point; do blanks come with lifetime warrenties? Almost all reputable brands of rods do these days, you might consider if the few bucks you save is worth passing up that all important warrenty. But I don't know, maybe blanks do have it?

FishHawk
09-18-2003, 05:55 PM
Well Chris . I guess I gave you some bad advice about the 10" rod. I have a 9 6" for 9 wt Sage RPl and have no trouble casting it all day. I thought the 10" rod would work much better. As I posted above I was leaning towards the 10" rod. Will have to rethink this one. FishHawk

juro
09-18-2003, 10:01 PM
IMHO... and opinions are like you-know-whats we all have one... :devil:

What tires out the caster is a rod that does not do the work for you. Stiff rods require that the user does the work to push the line around because the rod does not deflect and recoil on his behalf. Soft rods become too loaded to deliver the power into the loop of the cast in either direction. Both are more work than necessary.

The best rods have just enough give and just enough punch when you drive them hard, and some power in reserve for when you need a little extra. A good rod is only as good as the line you choose, and when you have a match you should be able to ease off your power stroke and it will feel like it's casting itself just on timing alone for full fishing distances. For me the discontinued RPLXi was such a rod.

Consider a headwind situation. It seems the first thing people do is cast harder and whip the rod faster to get the fly into the wind. The whipping sound of the line becomes louder, yet the fly does not seem to travel far. I've found that when the caster uses a very stiff rod it becomes harder to get the line into the wind - because the line's dynamic characteristics of rolling energy from the load in the blank into the line progressively forward in the form of a loop are over-driven and too turbulent to get the job done. The power is shocked into the line, not smoothly and wholly transferred into it.

I have cast more successfully in strong headwinds by easing off and focusing on whether the rod loads fully or not, and by trying to transfer every bit of the bend in the rod into a tighter loop than by trying to force it thru the wind with arm strength.

Likewise, a rod and line that promotes a smooth and fully loaded rhythm of bending and straightening lets an angler cast all day without fatigue.

For striper flyfishing I believe the 9wt is the best all around. An 8wt is better for steelhead because you are not dealing with ocean conditions and there is more finesse involved with fishing rivers. Line management is critical in steelheading but you'll hardly ever use a mend in striper fishing. If you forced me to suggest one rod on the spot I would recommend the Sage VPS 9' 6" 8wt for a great steelhead rod that can do general purpose striper fishing in estuaries and calmer conditions if you care more about your steelhead trips, the old RPLXi 9ft 9wt if you care more about your striper trips. You can find them cheap right now.

If you really want to experience low-impact flyfishing with even lines to 12wt, try a two-handed flyrod. With a little practice, I can now cast a 12wt all day with less fatigue than if I were fishing a 7wt. You bet I can throw some huge flies, and it's pleasant and fun to cast with two hands especially in surf conditions on the beach.

Here's why:

- the "beach style cast" that these rods are designed to make involves only one backcast and reaches approx 100-120 feet per cast within 3-4 seconds so you're spending very little time casting and lots of time fishing.

- a crosswind does not require that you cast backwards, just reach over the other shoulder and drive the line with two hands for distance using one backcast, approx 90-100 feet for me now after a little practice. We are talking HOWLING cross wind conditons as well, the kind that sends most flyrodders home. This is a huge advantage for me as a flats hunter because I never have to turn my head from the fish to cast far enough to reach them.

- even when stripping a one-handed retrieve, the armpit can hold the lower handle to take the weight off the wrist thru the day. Two-handed strip no problem at all and the reel stays over the basket.

- fighting big fish is done with the lower handle braced lengthwise against the forearm or the butt rested on the hip so the wrist does not get trashed, plus the rods are far more powerful than single handers despite requiring less effort thru the day. They call those little single hand mini-butts fighting butts? Let me show you a real fighting butt! :devil:

Whats the downside to two-handers? Not much with respect to the benefits, but it does take a little practice to reap the rewards. Although it's fundamentally the same thing as single handed casting, putting both hands to the task feels different at first and you must acquire the skills to harness all that power to go where you need it. Not nearly as much of a learning curve as spey casting though!

.02

flyfisha1
09-18-2003, 11:02 PM
Thanks for all of the feedback. I had at one time considered building an 8-wt. 10' rod, however it was one-handed. I like the idea of being able to fish in adverse conditions and toss copious lengths of line in normal ones (with practice, of course). So, Juro, I'd still like to build the rod, rather than buy it, as it's a good Winter project. I have no idea at the present time if I'm going to be using the rod more for salmon/steelhead or the in-shore marine fishery, so the issue of 8-wt. vs. 9-wt. is kind of tough to nail down. I think that I'd like to go with an 8-wt. stick if for nothing more than having more sport when I chase the freshwater fish. So all of this taken into consideration, can you, or some of the other guys with two-hander experience, recommend a good blank?

Paxton
09-19-2003, 07:43 AM
OK Juro......you made me curious......I have a sage 9'6' RPLXI rod, what line have you found to be the best match for the rod? I presently use SA intermediate (surf) and it performs significantly better than the Wonderline I used last year. Regarding Temple Fork rods.....I tried the 9wt....if I had tried it before I bought an Orvis 9wt 3 years ago, I never would have bought the Orvis! In my opinion, the TF is at least 90% as good as the Sage for far less price. By the way.....my California daughter (and fishing buddy) has in fact relocated to Massachusetts:D

juro
09-19-2003, 12:50 PM
Lucky guy - you have a heck of a season ahead but watch out I think it won't be long before you're getting your butt kicked by her out there ;)

Single handed rods are least specific of all, then two-handed overhand rods, then spey casting rods in that order. For a well-designed rod like the Rxpli, provided you work well with a rod that flexes distinctly and recoils distinctly as it will, then there is a wide range of line choices. Unless the line is too light, heavy, short or long I really haven't found a line that wouldn't fish well on mine although it is a 9ft 9wt 3-pc version, not a 9'6". I am however always searching for better lines.

As you know, you need two lines to cover the coast: a stealthy flats line and a rip-slicing sinking head. My rod / stroke likes a 300-325 grain head for the sinking solution and they simply don't make the line I want for the flats.

Based on durability and performance, the Rio 26' DC 300 grain might be a good choice but I have only tried the 350 which is a touch heavy for my 9x9 RPLXi. I would try the 300 grain if you can get your hands on it. I have a prototype 350 grain "deep sea" line that has outlasted several other lines over the years and it's still 100% functional. It looks like hell, but that's my fault, so I retired it so people don't think I am not paying attention :p

The stealth line I want is a clear intermediate head that takes a nail knot to butt and has a highly visible intermediate running line behind it. I would like the head to have the approximate grains and length of the short sinking heads so that changing spools doesn't mean changing the casting stroke for the day for my clients. I've been talking to line companies about this and it's possible that we'll see something like that in the future.

In the meantime, there are many common taper / single color intermediates that are great. I like the Rio striper line which has a great taper for striper flies, Wulff clear intermediate 30' line is a very nice line I use a lot and I hear the new Little Tunny line is a great line too but my line budget is blown out for the season so I won't be testing that between now and winter anyway. I use the 444 Big Game clear and it's been a good line although the head is too long and light in front and it's a big change to cast from the most common sinking heads if coming from rip to flat, etc.

I look for these factors when deciding:

Fishing ability
Casting performance
Re-casting performance (like color change)
Durability (finish, cracking, years of service, etc.)
Ability to nail knot without a loop
Feeling in the hands (stripers are all about stripping)
Price

When you think about how many times a gear guy changes his monofilament in 4 years, a fly line is kinda cheap and much better for the environment!

Good luck w/ your choice.

Paxton
09-19-2003, 03:29 PM
Thanks for the info Juro......complete and textbook as usual:) I would love to have my daughter kick my butt any day on the flats. I get more fun seeing her catch them, than catching them myself. Hopefully we will get a chance to do some flats fishing in the next 3 weeks.....I know surf is better....but neither one of us seems suited for it......hopefully you will scare a few to the flats for us:hehe:

juro
09-19-2003, 03:50 PM
There was very little in the way of flats fishing as we know it going on, but if you were on your toes a chance or two would pop up in the shallows during the late flood, and bait traps were forming during peak current in and around the bars, shoals, channels, and humps.

This time of year on the flats is a sobering reality check, the fish are not "playing here no more" for the most part with vast shoals of bait moving off the back beaches and the call of the wild urging them to move around. Again, the only consistency on the flats now is when shoals of bait move into the refuge waters, a few were still grubbing but they are the exception not the rule.

If you want to stay inside the key is knowing where the bunker shoals moving around with the peak tide flow end up in an entrapment scenario with favorable levels for the fish to round them up. Happens every year on the flats, Paine's as well. Fun, but greatly variable and you have to find them.

If the surf wasn't so out of control I would have fished the beach all day with the two-hander. You're always a strip away from a migrating monster when you fish the surf in fall!

Paxton
09-19-2003, 05:55 PM
Well Juro, with that painful flats senario, I guess that I will have to give the surf another try. I just hate casting out and have line at my feet in 5 seconds:( Obviously I am very inexperienced with the required techniques of surf fishing. I cast out after an in-coming wave(with fast sinking line) and try to strip immediately....but at my feet it is. Jim, at the "Lower Forty" fly shop in Worc.....suggested I try a popper in the surf with intermediate line......may give that a try as well.....who knows???
Will give it another try, and if someone more experienced is out there.....I'll just stop, watch and learn :)

juro
09-19-2003, 07:17 PM
Flyfishing the surf is very tide dependent, and spot dependent. Some days the surf is FAC and you can fish it hard, but those days are rare indeed.

Lately, the large cloud-like schools of pea bunker, groups of silversides, sand eels are thick along the coast. When they make landfall and the birds are whirling and diving within a cast, you're going to hook up.

When fishing the surf, casting distance counts because you get more flytime in the water. Many fish also move just beyond the breakers when they migrate, making the chance of finding some large fish better if you can reach past the waveline.

Even while some fish are on their migratory push longshore, other fish feed actively right in the washline and are easy to hook up on flies when it's mild enough to allow it. Wednesday was not one of these days. Overall more fish are focused on shoreline feeding during off hours and at night, but fall fish seem to be more active through the day as this is the highest period of growth for stripers (pre-spawn / migration) and daylight isn't necessarily a handicap. It's certainly safer.

Look for areas where a large bar juts out and creates corners, or a bar parrallel to shore breaks the large waves and creates a channel between with horizontal flow. Fish will push into shoreline structure if there is an ocean-facing channel during an incoming tide every time.

Slow down the retrieve, basically send strong jolts into the line but don't move it very far in terms of distance. There is a whole lotta shakin goin on down there in the slop, and the more you let the fish think about it the more likely you are to hook up.

Often there is an inlet nearby where you can get minimal wave disturbance and find fish stationed in the sandy 'humps' under the strong current feeding on the baitfish that drift by. The Rip trip, big girl, honey hole - are all examples of this kind of presentation and it's deadly. No waves to worry about either, a super way to catch big bass in fall.

I am utterly convinced that two-handed overhead casting flyrods (beach rods) are profoundly better suited to the task of fishing surf, period.

They cast further (with practice) without false casting. This means you can stand back further and get past the breakers, and have a long presentation. This is safer, more comfortable, and you catch more fish.

They only require one backcast. This means you spend a very little amount of time casting and a whole lotta time fishing.

They lift the running line over breakers easier, what I call "surfing" the running line over breakers to prevent inshore push from the break. BTW this is much more effective when the cast was long to start with.

They handle heavy lines like nothing. A 12wt line is really no more work than a 9wt line once you get acquainted with the beach cast and the other hand you got on the rod.

They handle huge fish much easier than with a single hander for the same or bigger fish. The rod itself is beefier, and the fighting handle can be rested against the forearm, planted on the hip, or held in the other hand while moving a fish.

One of the biggest advantages is the ability to cast across the body. Because there are two hands involved, a hard wind from the rod side doesn't require that you turn around. With a little practice, you can throw the backcast behind you from the other side and throw the loop like a pointed frisbee easily. This means you never have to turn your back to the breaking waves or the busting fish. I especially like this with the all-arounder (10'9' 9/10wt) on the flats because you never have to stop tracking a fish on the flats to cast to it when the wind is on the wrong side.

Sure these casts take practice, and I am sure most of the diehard striper community would rather fight than switch, but after 8 years of playing and the last several months of hardcore testing I am totally convinced it's easier and more suited to the task at hand when the conditions call for it.

I recall back in the preForum days that my brother (eye surgeon) and I discussed eye safety for flyfishermen. He had some patients whose injuries would turn your stomach inside out. I went onto the sites around at the time and preached backward casting in crosswind. I was laughed off the BB. Back then you would be hard pressed to see someone casting backward in a cross wind, instead you heard a lot of WHACK! WHACK!

Now, you're hard pressed to see someone NOT casting backward in a crosswind, but it took a long time for people to come around. The moral is, there are new ways to skin an old cat, and just like everyone had to learn to cast backward those who learn how to handle the beach rod will benefit from all it has to offer.

BTW - in the shorter, lighter model (all'rounder) I could hardly tell I was fishing a two-hander when stripping the line to retrieve the fly thru the day. It is not a great single-handed rod though, kind of like trying to cast a surf spin-rod with one hand, no one does it. With a good fish on (better than 15 pounds) you can feel a significant difference in the ease of handling the fish even with 100 yards of backing out in the rip. You don't get that sense of desperation. :p I find it to be a fun rod on the flats as well, particularly when the wind is coming from the bad side.

Lines matter a lot, with any rod. When you are fishing the flats, a longer belly line will allow for more roll casting, spey casting, and other fast re-delivery tricks. The problem is when you have to strip all the way to the leader, you'll then need to roll all that head back out to make the next cast. With a long belly line, you will need to leave a long belly out there to avoid this. A color change is really beneficial.

I thought about this and although there are some primo opportunities for shortlining fish on the flats, on a day with good conditions the vast majority of shots are at a good distance and the further away you are the more likely the hookup. So on bluebird days, I will take advantage of the two-handed casting tricks like snake rolls and snap-t's. When visibility is poor and you are not likely to see fish until the last minute, go with a short quick loading line like the one you'd use out in the surf.

Anyway, sorry to run away with the post! :rolleyes:

Paxton
09-19-2003, 08:19 PM
OK.........I'm going to do it....fish the surf.Think I'll keep all your posts and start the book you should be writing! Will probably go either Wed/Thurs/Friday pending weather. Going to take a chance on the Lighthouse lot and walk my way up the outside. Was lucky last year and didn't get ticketed by parking in the 2nd row......hopefully the Police Gods will be with me :D

bonefishmon
09-19-2003, 09:09 PM
I broke down and bought the rod you have last week when it went on sale. I have been throwing a Cortland 444 Clear SL intermediate rocket 9wt. line. I like the way it loads the rod and casts. Have not caught anything over 28" on the 9.6 RPLXi yet to see how it handles large fish. Good luck in the surf. Let me know when you are going and perhaps we'll hook up again. Remember J bouy? Hard to beat! Best day for me this year. Think we can top it?

Phil

juro
09-19-2003, 10:36 PM
I certainly didn't mean to encourage fishing the surf until it settles down... but from the lighthouse you will have an inlet rip (which is where I caught the first big girl) followed by a long stretch with an outer bar that breaks the surf so you don't need to get beat up. If the bait runs the inside gauntlet you will be in fat city. I like this spot on the incoming, but you'll have the outgoing this weekend until afternoon.

Depending on wind direction, you can cross over if the surf is too high and you will be close to the shuttle drop area on the inside. Once again if you find the bunker shoals moving go to where they will be cornered and wait for the fish to come on the attack.

Good luck, I'd stay away from the surf unless it miraculously settles down.

juro
09-19-2003, 11:43 PM
Surf looks iffy thru the weekend... http://www.srh.noaa.gov/data/forecasts/MAZ022.php?warncounty=MAC001&city=Chatham

NrthFrk16
09-20-2003, 12:26 AM
Originally posted by juro
The stealth line I want is a clear intermediate head that takes a nail knot to butt and has a highly visible intermediate running line behind it. I would like the head to have the approximate grains and length of the short sinking heads so that changing spools doesn't mean changing the casting stroke for the day for my clients. I've been talking to line companies about this and it's possible that we'll see something like that in the future.


Juro-
Let me know the grains you are looking for and I could easily build up a line for 'ya!

SA makes an intermediate running line that is a bright aqua blueish color (very similar to the Rio running line on their DC Striper heads ecept the SA is much more oqaque).

And then all I need is the grain weight you are looking for so that I know which Aqualux head to use.

...then splice the head into the running line (which I have done many times before-monocore to braided core) and you are good to go! :)

Paxton
09-20-2003, 08:14 AM
Phil, I remember that day at J Buoy well.....everytime I go, someone says......you should have been here yesterday.....we had a "yesterday" that day! Tides are favorable W/T/F.....will probably go Wed or Thurs pending weather(wind primarily)......I will PM or email you. Will probably go the day before and stay over in a motel. Fish the afternoon and then a full day. Found a great place to stay (motel) and cheap. Keep in touch.
Ron

juro
09-20-2003, 11:11 AM
Surf warning relieved, expected to settle down through the course of the weekend...

http://www.thebeachcomber.com/beach/beachcam.htm (refresh for updates)