Saturday, March 18, 2017

Why Throw 80 When All You Need is 40....aka Less is More

Theres very few things that feel as satisfying to a fly angler than picking 25 feet of line up off the water, snapping it back quickly to load up the rod and then double hauling 70 feet of tight looped heaven onto the water.  You feel pretty good and marvel at your self taught mastery of the fly cast.  That "ya my guide just saw me shoot that shit" feeling overwhelms you and you are enraptured by the sheer magnitude of your awesomeness and angling prowess.

Meanwhile 3 fish have fed inches off the bank within 40 feet of the boat  and your guide is building yet more callous on his hands as he tries to put the brakes on at 10,000 cfs with a downstream wind that aided in that 70 footer  you lorded over while screaming "fish feeding a 3 o clock 30 feet from the boat!" 

At this point you realize you can't pick up line quick enough to get at that fish unless your guide can somehow reverse the currents of the river, which he seemingly does.  It's your day and you see a chance so you figure what the fuck despite the fact you're not ready.   You pick up the remains of the fly line which is now a coiled loose mess on the water, make a hail mary load and send the tangled mess straight into the back of the boat where your patient and focussed fishing partner is about to lay that perfect 30 foot shot down tight to the bank to jaw snag that large trout doing pushups.

It's at this point you realize the guide's given up on you and your long bomb casts a long time ago and  is not actually guiding you into that fish.  It's also at this point that you notice both guide and companion looking at you with disgust as a tangle ala Charlotte's Web is wrapped around both of them and it's off to the other side of the river to unravel the results of your greatness.

We see this time and time again as guides and there's reasonable explanation for it.  One it feels good to shoot line quick and far and two it's nice to give your boat partner in the back some room to work.  In reality most of your work is going to get done within 40 feet, especially when your fishing from a drift boat.  Save that distance stuff for the salt and get down to the subtlety of a shorter length cast that will enable you to pick apart the structure on the bank or in myriad mid river seam collections.  In the end you will hook up with more fish.

Tim Rajeff has some great analogies and videos on this that I thought I would include below.  Some fodder for the upcoming season.   I encourage all of you to have a look and listen and join the growing population of trout anglers who are dropping their hyper fast action 5 weights for some mid flex, medium fast line managers that are more suitable for most fishing applications.  We will be carrying Echo Rods in the boat this year for the first time if you want to test them out.  They're  great rods with great engineering and make a lot of sense, especially for the price and the line matching.

Look forward to rowing all of you this season.  Runoff is likely this year due to good snow pack in the East Kootenay so hold off on early bookings in the Elk Valley.  The Columbia will be on in June and early July as usual for the massive caddis hatch and is where we'll be early season.  Squidbeak Fly Co. is alive and well and had a very successful winter campaign in SE ASIA.  Lots of new flies to take for a swim.