South Shore Fly

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Everything posted by South Shore Fly

  1. An update on the F3W 7ten, as I go quiet when I’m fishing. Have caught 4 stripers, 3 over 20” and one good slot size since I’ve been fishing this reel. Two spools rigged with Airflo cold water one in intermediate, one floating. Perfectly balances my rods, and works as expected. To some, calling these value reels implies lower quality, but that’s hardly the case with Danielsson. Noticed the price for this model increased by $25 since I bought it a couple months ago. Love having insurance of 2 9wt rods and 2 reels, and calling this reel a backup is inaccurate as it’s the first one I reach for currently. Getting up to the South Shore of MA early was a good move, as the stripers have been here in numbers so far. I’m hoping to test the drag on this reel soon.
  2. When fishing trout or most anything else in fresh water, a vest is fine and all I need for full day's fishing. Pockets accepting fly boxes with dries, nymphs, wets, streamers enable you to access what you need packed small and easily accessed.
  3. Simple answer for me: While I love to fish flies, I enjoy the journey, and casting leads me to proficiency better than any other element of fly fishing. I can learn about everything else, but the physical element of casting is something I can do with water or not, and I enjoy casting, making course corrections, and experiencing improvements along the way. Of course, none of us ever has to deal with correcting bad habits after an active fly fishing season no matter how proficient . . . . .
  4. Thread keeps getting better . . .
  5. And . . . his rod tip must be lower, it's starting too high. ETA: In the first group of pics.
  6. Much I can relate to in these recent musings. I have a Sage ZXL in a 5 weight, and it's one of the sweeter rods I own. I've brought it on several fishing trips to MT, WY, ID and locally. I also have a Zenith 6 weight in my stable which is quite nice. My favorite trout rod is a Winston LT 8'3" 4 weight. Initially, I was very skeptical of a shorter, 5-piece rod until I had an opportunity to try one on the Gunpowder River in MD back about 20 years ago. Spigot ferrules make it feel like a one-piece. That one experience seared it into my mind. I never forgot how easily it handled and when Winston announced they were discontinuing the LT, a fly shop near me had that same model at a reduced price. I've caught browns, cutthroats, and rainbows on this rod and always look forward to fishing it. Great for travel. Checking today's prices for used LTs, if you can find one, it's been a good investment and one that I'll never sell.
  7. For the past couple seasons, I've been messing with Fish Skulls for stripers and other NE salt species. I've been tying them with bucktail, zonker strips, synthetic fibers (EP, SF, etc.). After watching the following video of Mark Sedotti, it occurred to me that these streamers fished with fish skulls might benefit from weight balancing in two ways: 1) getting the fly to sink faster and uniformly when wanting to fish deeper and 2) an improved cast particularly when a fly is tied with mass of material, which is the primary purpose of the Sedotti Slammer. Here's the video where Mark adds keels with lead wire: What I'd like to do with the fish skulls is to weight them to strip close to the bottom by flipping the skull to ride hook up to encourage a faster sink rate, avoid snags, and maybe a achieve more balanced cast by adding some weight opposite the hook side of the shank. While Mark is tying his slammer to ride hook down, I'm thinking you could control whether it's hook up or hook down depending on where the keel is tied. Anybody try this with fish skulls or other weights? The whole idea of using weight on the fly for improved casting balance intrigues me, but it also may result in better depth control and stripping action while I try to get down to where the fish are. I'm experimenting now with using a combination of weighted wires along the shank that weigh slightly less than the fish skull at the eye of the hook, as I'd like to be able to get a rising and sinking motion while stripping. What are your thoughts?
  8. Exactly. I don't want to spend time at the vise tying larger (over 6") flies unless I know I can get them where they need to go. This season, I'll test some smaller flies with masses of fibers, bucktail, and feathers with some weight added to counteract the mass. When I prove that it improves my range, I'll start tying bigger flies over the coming winter. But we all know the feeling when we've got fish feasting on big pogies or bunker and wish we had some flies equal to that size.
  9. Weight-balance flies. Posted in the Fly Tying Forum that I was experimenting with them. A large, heavily dressed fly acts like a sail. Weight is used to counteract the negative effect of the mass to make it move better with the fly line. I'm still experimenting starting with smaller flies (not 13") and working up to larger flies. Gunnar is right in that it takes some trial and error to get it right, so I'm weighing the lead I'm attaching to each fly, record it, cast and adjust. Thread keeps getting better, and casting well in all conditions is the focus.
  10. Ditto as well in a full sink for my 9wts. Works well.
  11. Fishing SH, only. No wax, tape or oil??? anywhere salt or fresh, and after making some beautiful casts of rod tips over the years, I check all joined pieces often. Usually, that takes care of it. Never had this problem with my S glass rod.
  12. Upon closer examination, that looks exactly like an Adobe Bass. Very prolific since early 2000s.
  13. Those look good, and I like the sparse ties.
  14. That's my primary reason for going fishing . . .
  15. Aaahh, the differences of our lands and customs. We've discussed this before, and while we have much in common, it's the differences that make our interactions enjoyable. As we typically tip to recognize good quality services in the USA, I quickly learned during my first visit to London many years ago when I almost got thrown out of a pub after trying to tip. Never made that insulting gesture again.
  16. Good points. I'd add Bob's Bangers along with the Gurglers and a simple blonde-type pattern tied with sand eel colors or a brighter version using chartreuse or yellow. You can crank out many of these if you're tying your own. When stripers are hungry, you don't need precision in matching bait. Good fishing.
  17. As a customer who desires to fish, I want the day to be simple (fishing is the goal) without complications. If a guide can make that happen, is there to support the customer, and to deliver an active day of fishing, I tip as a percentage of the stated price. If the guide mails it in and acts like the value is simply being out there, my tip is adjusted accordingly. The Alaska trip described by Bigfish is not out of the ordinary. If you agree with tipping, figure it as a percentage of the price for each person and adjust according to your experience and to the efforts of the guide. You don't need to worry about a guide's costs, for if they are a successful guide and know their stuff, they'll price accordingly. When I'm in familiar areas and waters, I fish without a guide, and Alaska is a place where you can do both. However, If you're there on limited time, finding a good guide is preferred. A couple of us fished the Talkeetna with a guide several years ago around the summer solstice in late June for King Salmon. It was a half-day trip, but extended into a full-day trip because the fishing was slow. Hey, it happens even in Alaska. I hooked up with one king and it broke off. Slow day, but the guide was focused and kept us out there for more than 10 hours (didn't have to worry about lack of daylight!) to get us fish. When we decided to throw in the towel, he insisted on charging us for a half day regardless. He did everything to put us on fish, kept us safe and comfortable, and went above and beyond. The corresponding tip was a reward for his efforts. While catching fish is nice, it doesn't always happen, so I factor the experience and the guide's knowledge, efforts to put us on fish, and the overall experience accordingly. Good luck, sounds like it will be a great time.
  18. Good stuff here. Casting on a field is helpful but nothing like casting over water. Being mindful of that and preparing for the variables like wind and water movement (waves, current) is essential to understand and identify when these conditions cause a cast to deteriorate. The hard stop is what I've been working on along with straight line forward and back. Also, the wrist snapped in the correct positions and at the correct times can help the stop in these conditions as well. I'm now using this thread as a guide for practice.
  19. For what it's worth, Orvis has 3 sizes of sling packs that are corrosion resistant and hang on the left shoulder (good for right-handers when casting). I'm a minimalist and use the mini sling when I'm fishing on the beach, flats or marsh/salt ponds. I can pack the flies I need for several hours, a spare reel spool, tippet material, and it has connectors on the front strap for hanging pliers/nippers, etc. When I'm fishing with a stripping basket, it does not interfere at all even when I push the basket to my left hip when I'm landing a fish or clearing the hook.
  20. Drew - Yes, I relate to your #1 and while I am in denial about all this, I'm doing things to prolong my time at being an effective fly fisher. If you can't cast competently, you can't fly fish. I'll check out the "Thrower's Ten." Thanks for the suggestion. JRT - excellent post with much I can relate to. I notice that with me, bad habits can creep in mostly when I'm fishing from a boat, flats or on land in rough conditions. In those situations I'm more aware of my balance, as it tends to diminish with age, so I try to improve it in the off-season. I noticed last year when fishing in the bay or on the ocean during rough conditions, I would get knocked around and attempt to salvage the cast by powering through, which resulted in one or both of two things: screwing up my timing with the forward cast and/or overpowering the cast, which would result in a lousy cast either way. The good thing is that I was aware of what I was doing and could fix it. I'm now practicing with my 9 weights exactly what you said with short, relaxed casting, no hauling, then when I do haul, it's still relaxed, as I'm letting the rods do the work. Casting with and against the wind including side casts and Belgian casts and working on accuracy. Yesterday was a good day for casting here in NoVA, windy, but not overpowering, so I worked on all of the above to achieve good loop formation. When I introduced hauling, I could hit any distance. I practice casting on an artificial turf soccer field where I can use the field markings to gauge how casts stay in line and for short and long distance accuracy. I noticed about 50' away, there were a couple insects (bumble bee size), one attempting to dig in the turf and the other hovering about 6 inches above. Great targets, so I squared up, pinned the line against the handle, just focused on the targets, relied on the feel of rod loading without watching my backcast, and smacked them over and over with my yarn fly. Great casting drill, and it forced me to use tiny targets with good results. Using the rod and line weights I use on the salt should get me prepared.
  21. Nice! Looks like fun. They're active around Northern VA (Potomac), which is where I am at the moment. Those rods and line weights make sense for how you're using them. Not fishing the shad this season, too much to do, as I'm getting ready to make my annual migration back to the "old country" in the South Shore of MA in early May to catch the early striper migration. I need to rethink this for next season, as those shad are starting to call to me.
  22. That's what I'm looking to do as well with the hook point riding up. It does require getting the correct balance. As mentioned, I'm experimenting with Fish Skulls at the hook eye with some straight lengths of lead wire tied to the shank behind as a keel to get a slower, uniform, level sink rather than a jig up-and-down motion from the eye of the hook, nose of the fly. The added benefit is that if the fly is truly weight balanced with added weight neutralizing material mass, it could benefit casting as well. I'd like to reach the fish feeding closer to the bottom without getting hung up on the rocks and weeds that serve as hiding places for bait. I'm also messing with lighter materials that can still provide some visual bulk using EP Fibers. They don't soak up water resulting in no additional weight.
  23. I have an Airflo ridged line in a 4 weight and it doesn't make noise, easy to handle and casts well. But we're talking a 4 wt in this case.
  24. Agree. I looked at these excellent boots and came to a similar conclusion. I wouldn't use them for wading, but the standard boots (not hot RAT) are an excellent seasonal boot from November to March in my neck of the woods. Wish I could get the earlier prices, as supplies for my popular size in 11.5 regular have disappeared, and if available, prices have spiked.
  25. From their earliest availability, I have avoided textured lines for all types of fly fishing. Some have told me I'm missing out, some have called me wise. I don't care to find out, as I have enough invested in lines already, and several that work very well.