The Ramblings of a Fly Fisherman

Casting a Streamer

Since I posted these last few articles about woolly buggers, I have had a few of my fly fishing buddies ask me about the details involved with casting streamers. It really isn’t very hard at all. In fact, you can pretty much get away with all kinds of casts and retrieves when it comes to fishing these types of patterns.

Streams – I like to cast short and toward the opposite bank allowing the flow to swing the streamer into the center of the creek hopefully through an eddy or pool. Often this approach will yield a strike as the fly straightens out the line down-stream of your position. Go ahead and slightly jig the fly as the water is carrying it to its final position as this will simulate a wounded bait fish.

Ponds – You will really need to experiment with depth here. I have had strikes just below the surface while other trips only seemed to yield activity at the very bottom of the pond. In these situations, I like to carry two different types of line, a floating line and an intermediate sinking line. In both cases, be sure to extend your leaders past 9 feet, I sometimes use 12 and I always use fluorocarbon in these situations. Once you have reached the depth that you wish to fish, play around with various retrieves (slow and fast) and see which one entices the fish to bite.

In either one of these instances, the streamer selection will also be very important. If you happen to notice lots of minnows in the water, a streamer with flash and a faster retrieve may be just what the doctor ordered. However, if you happen to see crayfish bouncing through the silt, selecting an orange or brown pattern and jigging it right off the bottom may prove to be best.

Fly Tying Injuries

Well, I have my first tying injury! I was attempting to create my own version of the egg-sucking leech and managed to pierce my thumb while pulling back the hackle in order to tie in the orange dubbing that I selected for the head. That’s right, my hand slipped and I sank the barb into my thumb nearly to the bend of the hook. The only thing that stopped it was the vise itself. OUCH!

I hope you guys like this one! I spilled some blood during its creation.

Fun with Buggers

I have already gotten a few calls from various fly fishing friends and family members requesting that I send a few of these guys their way before spring.  No problem guys, some are on their way.  Another great gift idea and so close to the holidays!  Thanks for the excellent instruction Charlie!
A few small variations...

The Woolly Bugger

There will not be many fly fishermen around that have not tried or at least heard of the Woolly Bugger. There are limitless variations of this pattern. The one pictured here is just my first attempt at its tying introduction featured in Charlie Craven’s book; I started tying them this weekend. As far as my experience with this pattern, the only thing that I can really say is that I have probably not fished it enough. There have been many occasions in which I was striking out with both dry flies and nymphs, but when I switched to a bugger, everything changed. It is certainly an effective weapon. Don’t let yourself be caught out on the rivers here in Colorado without at least a few of these in your fly box! In fact, I would carry them everywhere.

The Woolly Bugger

Summing Up Knots

I have been offering links to instructional videos regarding different knots that can be used in fly fishing. However, I have stumbled across a site that does an excellent job at summing up these knots in a very simple way making them easy to learn and properly apply to the sport. It features 10 knots, all of which I have used myself for various applications. Check it out!