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10 months in review as a fly fisherman


Jonn Graham
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In August, it will be officially one year since I first picked up the fly rod. It has been a very exciting 10 months up til now. I have learned a ton and have lots more to learn. Luckily, I have been pretty successful when it comes to smallies on the fly. Have not caught a monster yet, but numerous 16 inchers. When the topwater season is allowed to start, I am sure the big boys will come.

 

In addition, the last 10 months has seen my tie countless flies. I tie almost every night for at least an hour or two. Most of the smallies I have caught have come on my flies, which I find very, very rewarding. I am amazed how helpful other fly anglers have been. I have been able to tie some really neat and effective flies when tutored by the fellows who invented the fly or perfected it. After 10 months, here are a few things I have come to rely on:

 

1. Rio's Clouser line is outstanding!!

2. My favorite smallie rod is my Redington Predator 6 weight

3. My 8 weight rod, while useful, tires me out quickly

4. When I am a patient caster, I am pretty good. When I get in a hurry............I am terrible.

5 The following flies have been productive for me during the first 10 months:

 

Clouser minnow

Sparkle Minnow (no shocker there)

Menominnee Mud Bug (my #1 bottom fly)

Blockhead popper

Murdich Minnow (my #1 got-to fly - I have caught more smallies on this fly than any other)

Bart-o-Minnow

 

That is all I can think of for now. Back to the vise....................I am tying some Mini Murdich Minnows.

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Jonn,

 

I am following your evolution with interest since my story is similar. We came into the game and easy way. You already knew the fish and its habits. You were already tying. I assume you knew your knots. I admit that adding fly casting to your resume took some work. But just think what it is like for someone trying to pick up everything all at once.

 

Next, bait casting! Make Eric proud.

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You will be using weighted line and fishing deep canyon reservoir for suspended Smallies. You have evolved in your fishing into a specialty type fishing with finer points and more care given to presentation and imitation of the forage. You are at a point where Greg R. was 25 years ago I bet. Just a baby learning how to walk.

 

Oh, and Happy Fathers Day I hope it is an enjoyable day for you.

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Mike:

 

I already know how to use a baitcaster, though not as good as Eric. He is a casting maestro when it comes to casting equipment. You are right, starting from scratch with the fly rod would be tough. The fact that I know where the fish are has helped my success with the fly rod immensely. In addition, all the great fly fishermen here in the alliance has been a big help.

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john, you've come a long way in 10 months!! I'll get some of my newest stuff out to you to field test, those articulated minnow I came up with has had alot of success with some of my friends. I'm gonna be improving it this weekend and I dont want to give away my secret just yet, but when I get them tied up I'll post the pics for everyone to see. and by the way all my spinning gear has dust on them and I couldnt tell you the last time I picked up a baitcaster. all I have done this year is fly fish and have been doing very well!! my hex wiggler has been outstanding on the K-3 smallies. my dad and I have been going every weekend.

 

Joe

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Joe:

 

Glad you have been having good luck. I would be having even better success if I could get some decent, stable water levels. I have your crawbug in my "rotation". I must admit, I need to fish more with your flies. They are just so awesome I am afraid to throw them. I will have to change that. Stay tuned and I will get you some reports with those flies you sent me a while back.

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Guys- when submitting fly patterns, please feel free to use the Member Submissions forum.

The last posting there got well over 700 views, and many threads over 1,000!

 

You guys have some incredible patterns- please share them there.

 

Oh, and CONGRATS Jonn!

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Congrats Jonn on your success with the long-rod! Your 8-weight will become much more valuable as the waters warm & surface action picks up. Trying to cast large poppers & hair bugs with a 6 is a real pain, as the line doesn't have enough weight to it to pull the big, wind-resistant flies thru the air.

 

The double-haul is a "must-learn" technique that will alleviate the sore casting arm syndrome. It's a lot like rubbing your tummy & patting your head at first, but quickly becomes second nature. I'm not sure I could cast without hauling now. Just takes patience & practice, and I can cast my 8-weight all day with no problems.

 

I've slowly gotten away from buying the expensive lines for a lot of my fishing, but one that I will never give up is the Rio Clouser! You're right, it is absolutely indispensable for bass fishing!

 

Brian

 

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Brian

Re your 6wt comments try a 7wt line especially for bigger flies.A good 6 rod teamed with a 7 line and a good dubl haul technique will readily cast those flies to 60+'with no more than 1 and often no false casts if line is shot on the pickup backest.With apologies to the rod mfrs I learned many years ago that it was easier to distance cast by lining up at least 1 wt and do so regardless of the rod wt.The xtra wt helps in wind as well.

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The "up lining" thing has intrigued me. Guys like Holschlag, Ron, and many others are in favor of this. Then other great fly fisherman like Greg C. and Craig Riendau cautined me against it. From what I was told, a faster action rod can be up -lined much easier than a moderate fast action rod. Apparently, some rods work great with the next line size up, while other rods should not be uplined??? Very confusing. My rods are moderate fast for the most part. I have not up-lined yet, but I wonder if it would benefit me? I can cast plenty far with my five, six, and eight weight rods. I must say I have not encountered any BIG winds of yet.

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I favor uplining regardless of rod wt or action. As an example I 1st tried a 2wt line on my 6.5' 2wt Orvis One Ounce Superfine rod which is composed of 1st generation slow action graphite.It didn't cast worth a damn in still conditions let alone in wind.It cast much better when I tried a Sci Anglers 4wt and even better with a Wulff Triangle Taper 5wt!Orvis' max distance recommendation for that rod is 50' under ideal conditions. With a 2wt line that is a stretch but with a heavier line and again a good dubl haul 60' is easily reached and 70+ is attainable.By the way a good way to know how far you're actually casting is to magic mark the line at a given length and add the leader length to determine the cast's total distance.Regarding wind it becomes a problem to one extent or another requiring an adjustment of the cast once it exceeds about 12 mph and certainly at 15 + which happens frequently around here.Of course smaller streams are less affected than lakes or big rivers like the Kank or the Fox.

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I must say I have not encountered any BIG winds of yet.

 

Jonn

 

I usually run into a wind issue nearly every time I head "north" (such as the Menominee if its still in your plans). My 8 weight has helped in this regard, especially since I like to throw big wind resistant flies and I'm not as proficient with my lighter weight setup yet, certainly not as good as the ISA's more experienced bassbuggers. The Murdich Minnow should be a cinch to cast with the 8 weight and it works well on the Menominee. I definitely think casting for distance is a big factor up there as well, especially if you're going to float.

 

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The "up lining" thing has intrigued me. Guys like Holschlag, Ron, and many others are in favor of this. Then other great fly fisherman like Greg C. and Craig Riendau cautined me against it. From what I was told, a faster action rod can be up -lined much easier than a moderate fast action rod. Apparently, some rods work great with the next line size up, while other rods should not be uplined??? Very confusing. My rods are moderate fast for the most part. I have not up-lined yet, but I wonder if it would benefit me? I can cast plenty far with my five, six, and eight weight rods. I must say I have not encountered any BIG winds of yet.

 

Jonn,

 

IMHO, uplining is one of those cocktail hour topics right up there with how many square feet your house is. (Do you count the basement family room?) You know, "My 6 weight rod is bigger than yours because I upline to a 7 wt line." :lol: Craig is on target telling us to use the tackle as designed before compensating for the odd conditions. KISS

 

On the other hand, lines are cheaper than rods. It is your $ and your hour on the water. Personally I would rather not spend a lot of time testing a theory. If the rod don't fit your style, changing lines aint gonna help. IMHO

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My 6wt. is a Sage DS-2, which is rated as a medium-fast action by Sage, but I put it more in the medium action category. I have uplined with a 7wt. line & the thing turns into a noodle, so it doesn't work with that particular rod very well. On the other hand, I have a fast 6wt. that I bought at the Sportsman's Warehouse store in Reno, Nevada and it works well being uplined with a 7wt. line. It is a store-brand rod which I think is made by Lamiglass, but it has single-foot guides which I don't care for, so I don't use it very often. I save it for fishing out of drift boats on large rivers.

 

The whole uplining thing is a debate that has gone on ever since they came out with graphite rods. It boils down to a matter of rod action & personal taste.

 

I usually fish my 6 early in the season with weighted flies, and then, usually mid to late June I start using the 8 with top-water stuff, and by July all I'm using is the 8. It's what works for me with the rods I have & my casting style.

 

Brian

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john, fish those flies!! there is plenty more where those came from!! my dad and I have been doing good this year. we would like to see better water too, its been tough. we didnt even bother last weekend, it was fathers day anyway. wait until you see some of my latest ideas from the vice. with all this rain killing our jobs I've been off alot. so I have alot of time on my hands to come up with new stuff. I'll try to get some pics togather and send them to you

 

Joe

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Mike:

 

I have experienced the exact opposite concerning the 8 weight rod. It wears me out!!! I enjoy the five and six weight much more. I will take the 8 weight up north, but my Redington Predator 6 weight throws wind resistant flies with ease. That is what the rod is designed to do and it does. Now, on my streams a fifty foot cast is plenty. Up on the Menominne, maybe I will need a little more distance. If so, I will turn to the 8 weight.

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Up on the Menominne, maybe I will need a little more distance. If so, I will turn to the 8 weight.

 

You should be okay as long as you're not trying to keep up with three spinfishermen!

 

I used my 5 weight up there last fall and it was a blast. However it was very calm and I was throwing Clousers, which were pretty easy to cast though interesting to control at times. Most of the time the 8 weight is more practical for me.

 

Have you figured out how to comfortably carry around two setups yet? Also, are you wearing a vest or using your lanyards more? I need to scale down for the summer. I was sweltering in my vest last trip.

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