Skunk is off the Atlantis [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Skunk is off the Atlantis

Dble Haul
08-13-2004, 08:30 AM
Well, since it looked like my in-laws will be arriving Saturday night as opposed to Sunday morning, my fishing plans had a last minute change. I took the opportunity to grab the Atlantis and head down to a well known sandbar on the coast and try to actually intercept a few fish.

Harbor blues were breaking here and there with intensity, but on the ocean side the wind was a steady 20 mph in my face. The rod performed well enough for the short time that I've been using it, but my maximum distance was in the neighborhood of 80 feet (a far cry from the 120 feet I reached the other night). I'm sure some of this was due to me trying to overpower the rod again, feeling in the back of my mind that it was necessary to do so into such a headwind.

As luck would have it, the majority of fish swung back around behind the bar as the tide flooded, and the last hour of daylight provided some good action. The wind subsided, and what was left of it was now squarely on my back. I settled down and was easily hitting the 120 foot mark again, which was necessary when some of the blues were that far away. A silver banger was all that I needed to call the fish to dinner. For such a big rod, I was pleasantly surprised at how much those 3 to 5 pound bluefish could still show off their stuff during the fight. But I also felt that I could really put the screws to a bigger fish if I needed to. I left about a half hour after dark.

Peanut bunker are pretty much everywhere on the CT coast right now. Some of the schools were so thick that they looked like a dark carpet across sections of the bottom. I'm hoping that this is a sign of good things to come this fall.

08-13-2004, 09:30 AM
Congrats Mark!

I am not surprised the blues gave you a tussle, in spey terms the rod is only an 8/9 (line throwing power) which translates to AFTMA in the 11/12wt range depending on the line and preference for load. It's tight action makes it feel like it's going to overpower small fish but since it flexes through medium fish are still fun... and BIG fish are handled appropriately :cool:

Throwing a banger 80ft into a headwind isn't too shabby but if anything is pushing the line back it's loop size and overall line speed. Next time we get together I will show you what I've been working on to increase line speed and reduce loop size. Casting into strong headwinds has been dramatically improved as a result of these adustments for me.

Other than casting method sometimes switching to a high-density head offers more grains in a skinnier package - which means high line speed and less air resistance in your favor. The airflo 35ft DI7 has become a staple for me, but again one must be careful not to try to turn all that grainage over with a lot of running line hanging over or a massive hinge will result. I have a tendency to shoot too much into the backcast so am working to (a) control my wild willies or (b) devise a splice-on segment to let me shoot a feel-good amount of line into the backcast while stout enough to turn the back taper of the head over.

To summarize, you can conquer headwinds if you control the loop size and line speed with a powerful acceleration and compact stoppage of the rod, and/or use the thinnest most dense line available to increase energy and reduce air resistance.

Thanks for the bunker report... can't wait until they reach the cape!

Dble Haul
08-13-2004, 09:53 AM
I am very much aware of what I was doing wrong in the headwind. I had the powerful acceleration, but didn't have the abrupt stop. In my subconcious effort to power the rod, I was really opening up that loop! Something to work on. Interestingly enough, my increased distance on the back side of the bar probably had more to do with me relaxing and just letting things happen. There was no inner need to power through any wind.

Yeah, 80 feet into a headwind with a banger isn't bad. But it's not good enough when the fish are 100 feet out. :rolleyes: Overall though, I'm pleased with the Orvis 12 wt shooting head system.

As always, thanks for the tips. And keep an eye out for those peanut bunker. :)

08-14-2004, 09:42 AM
Are you guys saying that it's good/ok to do a very small shoot (1-2feet) when using the airflo heads on the atlantis?

I'm not a casting instructor, but i concur with this from launching shooting heads on my bigger spey rods in the surf.


08-14-2004, 07:02 PM
Joe -

If the head is matched perfectly in grains and length there is no need for any shoot on the back cast to get ample shoot on the forward cast. However, shooting line into the backcast ensures (a) maximum stroke length (b) maximum grain weighting and (c) can result in a tighter loop... that is if the length shot back is not too long.

If enough running line is shot into the backcast, the thin stuff will not be able to turn over the thick stuff and a massive hinge effect will result. You will know it when you see it. The same effect occurs when you let out all of your fly line on a trout rod, say a 3wt fiberglass rod, lay all that line on the grass and try to pick up and false cast that whole line with it several times. Energy will not transfer. If you strip to the head, things go pretty well.

For the Atlantis and a 35 ft Airflo head using any of the thin running lines that's about 5ft max. With a thicker running line you could reduce the hinge dramatically but reduce the shooting ability. Hence the 'red zone' section I talked about in another thread.

Our single-handed habits are hard to break, I am used to shooting a lot of line back there on the last cast and it's been hard to kick the habit. The cast goes much further without any excess overhang.