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Thread: The 'Invisible' Micro-Drag

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayatwork View Post
    Finer tippet = less visible
    Longer leader = more distance between fly and fly-line.
    Read about George Harvey's experiment that led George Harvey to design the George Harvey leader.

    Here is a quotation from Harvey's Techniques of Trout Fishing and Fly Tying, revised edition, pages 20-21:

    "I made my way to the head of a flat pool I knew held a good population of trout. I sat down upon the bank and started a chum line of [Japanese] beetles. It wasn't long until I had about a dozen trout taking every beetle that floated down. Now I took twenty-inch pieces of hard nylon of all sizes I had with me and inserted the end of the nylon into some of the beetles and sent them down the chum line. Since there was no drag on the nylon, the browns picked off most all of the beetles that were attached to the nylon.

    This was not my idea. I had read of a similar experiment conducted by John Crowe and I wanted to check it for myself. Let me tell you, I was really impressed. Most of what we read today and what most fly fishermen believe is that the fine terminal part of the leader is more invisible and that this is the reason for using fine tippets. In fact many articles have been written that recommend that the size of the terminal tippet should be determined by the size of the fly one is using. This experiment blasts that theory because the stream-bred browns did not refuse a live beetle on the free-floating and drag-free pieces of nylon is sizes up to .015."


    A shorter description of this experiment can be found in _George
    Harvey: Memories, Patterns ands Tactics_, as told to Daniel L.
    Shields, p. 71.

    In rare circumstances a leader can spook fish by casting a shadow and reflections (from the depressed meniscus of a floating leader) on the stream bottom in very clear and shallow water. But this is a very specific situation that does not apply in 99%+ of fisheries.

    In regards to the length of the leader, you can lengthen the leader using the same length of the same tippet without lengthening the tippet itself. You do this by lengthening the butt section. You will find that this rarely reduces the rate of fly refusal. In fact, using a shorter overall leader but a more flexible leader design of a furled leader will suffice. A proficient caster does not land the fly line in the window of the trout.

    Finally, the proof of the pudding as far as micro drag is concerned is to NOT change any part of the leader or tippet but to change the cast itself. A parachute cast/mend done from upstream of the fish will catch the is demonstrating that micro drag was the cause.

    http://fishfliesandwater.com/2010/02...-aka-reach-up/

    The downstream parachute cast/mend is the solution to this problem.

    Position yourself up and slightly across from the feeding fish. Then make a parachute cast down and across and the feeding lane. The fly lands upstream of the fish. Skate the fly into the proper feeding lane, and then drop the rod tip to "feed" the fly to the fish in rhythm with his rise. Trying to remove all drag with a slack line, being highly accurate, and timing the fly for a rhythmical feeder is nearly impossible when casting from below the fish.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIqvVH5hpDU
    Last edited by Silver Creek; 05-01-2013 at 10:29 PM.
    Regards,

    Silver

    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

  2. #12
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    On still water with no current or drag whatsoever, I have gone from consistent refusals to consistent takes by only changing the size of my tippet. That may not be the case most of the time, but it proves to MY satisfaction that tippet size can have an effect besides drag.

    I'm not completely discounting micro-drag, but I see nothing posted here that proves or disproves micro-drag as major factor in fishing success.

  3. #13
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    Still water is a different situation. The fish has a long time to inspect the fly from very close up with essentially no energy expenditure for additional time spent. Nor does the fish have to constantly adjust it's position to keep the fly in the Snell's window.

    To do that in a river would take the fish further a way from it's holding spot, and would require more energy to swim back upstream its "lie". So fish must make quicker decisions in flowing water. Otherwise, they waste energy.
    Last edited by Silver Creek; 05-02-2013 at 01:33 AM.
    Regards,

    Silver

    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

  4. #14
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    Silver wrote about 'still water': "The fish has a long time to inspect the fly from very close up with essentially no energy expenditure for additional time spent."
    Exactly! That's why this so-called 'micro drag' is a bunch of b.s. If on still water the fish has the time to perform a complete inspection of the insect(real or imitation), then the logic would be that on moving water the fish has, based on: the speed of the water, the current, the wind, and anything else that effects its vision and how fast the target is out of range, very little time and must react quickly if not immediately upon seeing the target. Therefore 'micro drag', which has been described as invisible, means nothing insofar as the fishes reaction. Not talking about a drag with a wake, although some flies fished like that have been proven 'killers'. Then again, it's as good as an excuse as many. And you're perfectly entitled to your opinion.

  5. #15
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    Micro drag is invisible to us because of the fishing conditions at that time. It is not invisible to the fish.

    Fish strike a fly for various reasons. The two major types of feeding are opportunistic feeding and selective feeding. They are not the same. Nor is there alway consistency within a pod of fish. Population dynamics indicate diversity. Just like some fish may be feeding on emergers and others on duns within a close proximity to each other, some fish may be feeding very selectively and others may be less selective and even opportunistic.

    A swinging fly is likely an opportunistic reaction strike because the movement suggest life. Inanimate objects cannot move. So motion can suggest life. To say this contradicts that drag is a deterrent to selective feeding misses that crucial difference.

    When the a fish is selective and the food item does not move, the lack of drag/movement does not match the hatch. Will this put off all fish all the time? Probably not. But this does not mean it does not put off some fish or in a selective population almost all the fish.

    When the population sample is large, the attribute and behaviors of a population approximate a bell curve distribution. The attributes can be widely dispersed as in the case of a wide standard deviation (blue) or more clustered with a narrower standard deviation (pink).



    If selectivity is graphed on the horizontal axis with the right side of the graph being more selective, as selectivity develops, the standard deviations tightens and the median (center) of the graph moves to the right. Blue to pink on the graph below.



    So the behavior of a single fish is just that. It is a single sample. When several fish act the same way, it is a trend. So when a fish refuses we try various strategies to see why the fish refused. If the fish takes when we change strategy, we have evidence as to why the fish refused. But if we cannot catch the fish, we need to fall back on our experience and apply that reasoning.

    For example, early in my fly fishing years, I was fishing a chocolate spinner fall on the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone Park. I knew that they were taking chocolate spinners because of the rise forms and the spinners in the air and in the water. Yet I could not catch as single fish. I went to a longer tippet without any success. It was dark and with a chocolate spinner, I could see any dragging of my fly.

    The next day I was in Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone. I mentioned my problem to John Juracek, who owns BRF with Craig Mathews. He asked where I was fishing. John said he was in the identical place fishing a chocolate spinner. He asked what my tippet was and I was using 5X because of the size of the fish. He said that he was using 6X and that he needed 6 X to get a drag free float.

    That was my introduction to micro drag, drag that I could not see because of the fly and the low light conditions. The fish are looking up into a brighter sky and can easily see the fly silhouetted against the sky. I was looking down at the dark water trying to see a dark fly so I could not see the drag. That is the definition of micro drag. It is not invisible drag. It is drag that the angler cannot see because of distance or light conditions but that the fish can see because they are closer to the fly and looking up at the fly silhouetted against the sky.

    If it was daylight and the fly a parachute, I would have noticed the drag but the conditions and the spinner in the film made the drag invisible to me. It is the same amount of drag but in one case it is visible and the other cast it is invisible. It is NOT the actual magnitude of drag that defines "micro" drag. It is that the drag is not observable under the conditions at that time. It is micro as in "less" than observable.
    Regards,

    Silver

    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

  6. #16
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    Silver,

    Again you write something where you contradict your own opinion and support the basic premise of this thread:
    "The next day I was in Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone. I mentioned my problem to John Juracek, who owns BRF with Craig Mathews. He asked where I was fishing. John said he was in the identical place fishing a chocolate spinner. He asked what my tippet was and I was using 5X because of the size of the fish. He said that he was using 6X and that he needed 6 X to get a drag free float".
    Mr. Juracek used the phrase "drag free float". I take that to mean that he was able to visually see that he was able to create a cast and presentation that resulted in a drag free float by adjusting his terminal tackle, especially the tippet. Thereafter he and apparently you did better then you had been doing and you give credit to the micro drag drift that you were unable to see. "That was my introduction to micro drag, drag that I could not see because of the fly and the low light conditions. The fish are looking up into a brighter sky and can easily see the fly silhouetted against the sky. I was looking down at the dark water trying to see a dark fly so I could not see the drag. That is the definition of micro drag. It is not invisible drag. It is drag that the angler cannot see because of distance or light conditions but that the fish can see because they are closer to the fly and looking up at the fly silhouetted against the sky." Perhaps Mr. Juracek, when he spoke of drag free float, simply meant one that could not be seen by him. Because if he could see drag with 5x and so could the fish, and then he went to the 6x and could no longer see the drag and neither could the fish, at what point did the tippet become 'invisible' to him and then to the fish?
    Oh, and I can tell you plenty of anecdotal stories/observations where people were fishing close enough to have conversations without yelling, fishing similar or the same flies and yet with different weight terminal tackle. It was not unusual for the person using the heavier tippet to catch fish at a greater rate then the person using lighter weight tippet. Sometimes the reverse happened.
    So again I say, by all means go for drag free drifts. But 'invisible micro drag' is just an illusion.

  7. #17
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    Mr. Juracek told me he did not see the fly dragging either with the 5X tippet so he used the 6Xr tippet to correct for the drag.

    Think of all the specialty casts and mends there are. The reach mend, the parachute cast, S cast, curve cast, curve mend, pile cast, puddle cast, tuck cast, etc. They all have one purpose. To reduce drag.

    When we have the right fly (I know that is a big if), I believe the number one reason for refusal is drag. I believe a fish that is inches away from a floating fly can see drag that we cannot see from 30 feet.

    The readers can decide what is the more reasonable. That fish are able to detect drag that we cannot or that we can always detect drag regardless of the conditions.
    Last edited by Silver Creek; 05-02-2013 at 04:00 PM.
    Regards,

    Silver

    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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