: Anyone try clear fly lines?
12-01-2005, 10:36 AM
Last week on the provo river, I cast to some fish that I thought were far out there, only to see my fly line cross over and spook a previously unseen fish.
There are a couple of fly line makers out there making clear fly lines, or at least a clear tip to the fly line. I was was just wondering if anyone had casted a clear fly line, or knew their pros and cons.
For one, I wonder if the advantage of being able to see your own fly line outwieghs the possiblity of spooking a fish.
What do you think everyone?
12-01-2005, 11:10 AM
You must have been on the Lower Provo huh? There are only a few places where I have consistenly had fish spook by seeing my fly line-the lower Provo, Silver Creek, the Missouri and the RR on the Henry's Fork come to mind. All these places are high traffic spots where I think the fish make the connection that the thin thing moving above them means trouble. However, alot of the time, I had the feeling that they spooked because I was stripping the line in or moving the line unaturally against the current.
I do agree that the color of the fly line can make a difference, but I don't know if it has as big of an impact as the fly line manufacturers would have us believe. I've thrown the "new zealand grey" on the Henry's Fork and Silver Creek and felt like it did make a difference. SA makes a totally clear fly line that is an intermediate type I sink that I have fished in lakes and the sloughs of Silver Creek and enjoyed good results with-I really like how the SA clear line handles and felt that it did make a difference in not spooking fish. I've kind of gotten away from fishing different color lines in the last few years and concentrate more on better spotting the fish and covering them with my leader only, but I know that's not always possible. Hope this input helps, and good luck.
12-01-2005, 11:19 AM
I agree with Geordie on this one. I don't think the color of the line makes a huge difference. I think it matters a lot more if the line is swinging across the current unnaturally and presents a weird shadow. I look at it this way: Rivers naturally carry a lot of crap in them, much of it floating, so fish get used to seeing things float by them. It's only the things that don't fit in that really spook them.
12-01-2005, 04:26 PM
Yes I was on the lower provo, where the browns get really spooky from pressure.
Of course, the best plan is technique, to spot the fish and not cast over them. But sometimes it happens.
Most of the time it probably doesn't make a difference. but if i were to buy a new flyline, why wouldn't I buy clear?
I am not sure if they are as strong, or cast as well, as other fly lines. Then there is the issue of whether they work too well, and you can lose sight of your own fly line. Like when times I am spotting a fish while stripping in, I take my eye off the line to find the fish, then look back. So those three questions are unknown to me.
12-01-2005, 04:32 PM
I use clear lines in salt water for flats fishing, and in that situation it definitely makes a difference. But for fishing dry flies to trout, I would think that the disadvantage of not being able to see your line well for mending would outweigh any benefit of stealth.
12-01-2005, 05:01 PM
I use clear lines in salt water for flats fishing, and in that situation it definitely makes a difference.
Yeah, I use camo lines for striper fishing, but I think the camo stops the fish from seeing the fly too since they don't seem to bite very often... ;)
But for fishing dry flies to trout, I would think that the disadvantage of not being able to see your line well for mending would outweigh any benefit of stealth.
I definitely agree, but I think it's even more important for fishing nymphs. You really need to key on the line to make sure the nymph is drifting naturally.
12-01-2005, 07:08 PM
I definitely feel a clear fly line, at least in salt water, is an advantage, as proven while I fished, side by side, with a buddy who used a non clear line. I caught many more fish than he; actually, he caught none on that beach at all, even though standing right next to me. I use only clear lines in the salt, period. Why taKe the chance, anyway? If the line is available in "clear", why choose a color?
Intermediate lines in clear will make a much bigger impact on spooking fish than floating lines. Something down in the column with the fish will call for a different set of characteristics than something in the film.
In my experience the best floating line is the one that floats a few inches off the surface of the water, mends without a ripple and is clear so it does not cast a shadow onto the flat or create surface wake when stripped. :D
I wish! Problems I've had with with floating line are almost all drag or shadow related, other than sinking inadvertently which is becoming rare. For instance I've had bonefish run screaming from the long wake left by my floating line at slack midday tide.
Conversely I've caught wary stripers all day on a brightly lit flat using a heavy black sinktip when the fish were coming head on and I could avoid clotheslining them.
With a floater I'd bet a well placed drag free presentation makes the color of a floating line not really matter all that much, but I could be wrong. There are those execption like the situations named above (Provo etc).
Another problem I do have with floating bright colored lines is when fishing a sinktip. The tip pulls a portion of the floating line down into the column and fish dont like it. On the Beginner Hole on the Kalama swinging such a line through the pod of fish is like watching Moses part the sea, where the wise angler fishes a very long leader on a floater.
I have been meaning to try a clear floater I have for stealthier sinktips but it doesn't seem to be a good candidate for cutting and looping - not sure what the core is but it's not a braid. It would call for a stealhy loop connector or a blind splice.
12-05-2005, 06:46 PM
I agree with whats being said and to answer your question, I would rather see the fly line on trout streams so I can better control the drift of the line and avoid the aforementioned unnatural movements and ripple patterns. If your still concerned with the color, give the new zealand grey a shot- you can still see the line well but it supposedly blends into the surroundings better from a fisheyes perspective. I have noticed a slight difference in spooking ratios in some spots using the new zealand grey color. Or I might have been more sober at that moment in time than in others. Who remembers?
I recently went to the Bahamas and threw a Rio fly line with an intermediate type I sinking tip that I really loved. The tip is 15' and is clear, while the rest of the line is tan in color. I only fished it for one day but it cut through the wind a lot easier and gave me some extra confidence about not spooking the fish. Especially when my high quality casts slapped a cruising bonefish or two on the dome. I thought the comments about fishing clear lines in the salt were very insightful and I can definitely see bigger advantages in the salt with a clear line where its not as crucial to see your fly line or get a precise "drift".
Spent all morning surfing the net for the camo lines but couldn't find them. Where dey at!!? :hihi:
12-05-2005, 09:37 PM
Cortland makes camo fly lines, intermediate I believe.
12-18-2005, 07:44 PM
here's a thought, if you havent spooked the fish by overcasting him, would you have seen the fish at all?