LEADERS AND TIPPETS - Eye of the Guide - Jul 30, 2012
LEADERS AND TIPPETS
Many fly fishers are going to read these words and be upset, because much of what I have to say goes against much of the writing and conventional wisdom of the day. I would just ask that you read, digest and consider the conclusion I will present. These methods, practices and understandings have stood me in good stead over an angling career that has spanned more than fifty years. These are also the methods I teach at fly fishing clinics and on guided fishing trips for the past thirty five years, and these practices have been proven to be effective time and time again. These methods did not spring full blown into being; they were developed over time and by learning from others, including those that I was instructing.
Some sections of freestone rivers ...
... are as soft and clear as spring creeks and stillwater. In the pic below, just before run off ramped up this year, the water inside the hard current was a large, very clear, very slow moving back eddy, with depth to maybe 10' ( my best guess ) at the time.
Using the same thread furled leader with 3-4' of 4x tippet fishing an FEB skwala, I caught this 16-17" cutt after the fly had waffled around on the chop for many, many seconds.
Just a couple days ago, in post run off conditions, I used the same set up fishing an FEB golden stone on this very deep, crystal clear run in the soft water nearest the bank. The first step off the bank where I caught him was into at least 8' of water.
Same result - from way down deep with the leader clearly in view all the way -
So to answer your question, Joni - with a question - is this all that different than fishing stillwater ??
I fish a lot of crystal clear, very soft, almost still water. The results above are typical. Would it work on Hegben or one of the Paradise Valley spring creeks ?? It's easy to say "no." But maybe the answer is "yes" for those who will get away from habits and prejudices and give it a go. Maybe becoming aware of one of the big liabilities ( stiff butt and mid sections ) of tapered mono leaders and the benefits of very supple thread leaders will move some people in a new direction.
P.S. The one time I fished DePuy Spring Creek in Paradise Valley, under difficult early April conditions, I used the same basic set up with very small midge and BWO patterns and caught fishies - not a lot and not very big, but then not all fishies are.
Oh yeah - I fished that famous Kelly's NoTellum spring creek down in SE Idaho that reportedly has all those monster Ph.D. fishies in it. There are some monsters in there. I only managed to catch 16-18" browns and cutts fishing thread furled leaders with short 4X tippets and simple stuff like parachute PMDs and Lawson's Halfback ( PMD ) emergers. Does that count ??