Dynamic Strike Indicator – Jake Darling

First of all, I want to give a big thanks to Tom Tkacs for giving us a very interesting program. It was information that challenged us and gave us much to mull over.

The info came from Jake Darling, a Unicoi Outfitters guide, and it involved a “new” way to nymph fish, the drop shot. I think this technique came from our “Bass Pro” spin fishermen. If I completely understood Jake, he takes straight 35 lb. mono and uses it as a leader. He ties a slim beauty knot  smaller mono down to the first nymph. He ties the first nymph in and then ties a smaller mono to the first nymph eye (important). He then ties the lower nymph into that mono. He then ties a pretty small mono to the eye of the lower nymph and puts a split shot on that.

Slim Beauty Knot is required to tie thick 35# test to smaller line

He uses a yarn Dave Whitlock strike indicator that has a small piece of old fly line nail knotted to either side of the indicator, and he slides that up or down to adjust to the depth.  The shot is tied to the end of the rig with no knot below it (so that if the shot gets hung, it will fall off without loosing the rest of the rig.)

WhitlockTelStrike3

The positives of this system are fewer flies lost since the shot is the lowest item on the rig (Jake said his clients only lost 4 flies last year). He also said you can get the flies lower in the water column and a better drift. Interesting.

There seems to me to be some short-comings to this rig. First if you are in an area where all you do is nymph, it would be perfect. Or if you were in a drift boat where two fly rods are easy to carry, you could have one for nymphing and one for dry fly action. But if you are a wade fisherman or can only carry one rod, you run into a problem. Say you are nymphing, and the dries start to go crazy, the only way to easily switch is to cut off the whole rig (35 lb. mono does not make a good dry fly leader), then put on a dry fly leader and re-rig. Also, there are a lot of knots in the Darling nymph rig and for those of you who are knot impaired (like Copperhead), it could be a challenge.

I have modified his rig and found that it seems to work pretty good. I went to Buford Dam, used a regular 8′ 4x leader and tied the nymphs and split shot just like Jake instructed and the thing worked pretty good.  I used 6 lb. fluoro to the lower nymph and 7x to the split shot. Pretty easy casting and no tangles. On thing I did change was to use an insta-set strike indicator. It allowed me to put the strike indicator where I wanted on my leader (and I tie my own leaders, which means knots) and not kink my leader. You can also set it to indicate your drift and when to mend and it can be set up for 90 degree nymphing. Insta-set indicator info is on-line. Now, if you want to change the rig out for dries, just cut the flies off, add some 5x tippet and there you are.

I enjoyed the modified drop shot method and will use it in the future. I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on this fishing technique.

JD

 

Fly Fishing Check List

FLY FISHING GEAR CHECKLIST

Instructions:  Please place an “X” or a “√” in the blank.  If not applicable, please write “NA” in the blank.

____ Fishing license/permit

____ Fly rod & storage case

____ Fly reel

____ Fly vest, chest pack, or lanyard

____ Leader(s)

____ Tippet(s)

____ Nippers

____ Forceps

____ Split shot

____ Floatant

____ Strike Indicators

____ Zingers

____ Knot Tying Tool

____ Proper assortment of flies

____ Fly boxes

____ Landing net (with magnetic retractor)

____ Waders

____ Wading belt

____ Wading staff

____ Wading boots

____ Boot guards

____ Bungee cords for the boot guards

____ Cap/hat (regular cap, thermal cap, cap with neck shades, etc., according to the weather)

____ Polarized sunglasses (including a glasses strap)

____ Buff

____ Gloves

____ Stringer

____ Measuring “tape”

____ Weight scale

____ Digital camera

____ Thermometer for measuring water temperature

____ Insect repellent (preferably deet-free repellent to minimize chemical degradation of fly line)

____ Sunscreen/sunblock, when necessary (SPF of at least 15, may want to go higher)

____ Proper fishing shirt and pants/shorts (depends on the season and/or weather)

____ Plastic sandwich bags (for protecting fishing license, electronic car keys, and cell phone)

____ Dry bags for clothing/gear

____ Complete change of clothes

____ Lunch

____ Bottled water, soda, juice, etc.

____ Beer

____ More Beer

The Drug Store: A Fisherman’s Account

AFFC member Clyde Buchanan recently published a novel that includes a lot about fishing. The Drug Store: A Fisherman’s Account is based on his experience working in his father’s drug store.  His fishing mentor also worked in the old-time drug store located in Eastern North Carolina.  It is fiction as to characters, names, dates, places etc. but is written as a memoir of a teenage boy coming of age in the 1960’s. This is not about fly-fishing but about how one kid learned life lessons from learning to fish.

Here are links to the ebook (it hasn’t been published in hard copy):

the-drug-store-cover011314test

Sierra Exif JPEG

Louisiana Red Fish Trip – Bayou Beatdown

Freshly back from a Cajun redfish adventure resembling more of a Bayou Beatdown than a victory over our piscatorial prey, Big Bill Kessler, Colonel Rob Kissel, Gordon Middleton and Doug Brady almost cried “uncle”, uncle Boudreau that is.

Venturing out of our back door at Camp Drum in Port Sulphur, or driving down to launch at Venice, we were like all anglers at the beginning of each day, stoked, confident and ready to slay.    However, for the most part when the days were done, we were left to nurse our bruised egos with adult beverages, and wonder at what had just happened.

What causes a hooked fish to come unbuttoned, or incites one to charge a fly 4 feet away, while another ignores the same fly 4 inches away?   Why do we insist on pulling the fly out of the fish’s mouth, or use a trout set versus line set.  What happened to our casting skill, and what has happened to our eyesight, and how do we keep confusing 9 o’clockwith 3 o’clock, and what the heck is a goat rodeo anyway?

These wily reds were full of trickeration.   They drifted up and down in the water column, ( more often the color of yoohoo than gin)  allowing us only the narrowest window of opportunity to place a fly on their noses before they disappeared, while managing the movement of the wind and boat.

Now you see them now you don’t.

Oh, to be sure there was plenty of user error, but the 15 foot back cast to a vanishing fish moving one direction, boat and wind moving two other directions, is tougher than it sounds.

Fortunately the fellowship, food and fun, (thank you Abita and Kettle One) helped make up for the slender fish count.

Captains’ Nick Sassic, and Scott MacCalla, once again did a noble job of getting us to big fish, but they could not cast for us, nor coax the fish to bite, nor fight the fish for us.
Certain things beyond the rod, are squarely in the angler’s hand, while other things, such as weather, habits of Cajun redfish, and luck, are in no earthly hands at all.

And before you think we were completely ruined, take a gander at the beauties below.
There were indeed moments of fishing bliss, with greedy charging reds, mighty runs, screaming reels, big grins and trophy catches.

Rob Kissel
Rob Kissel
Louisiana-Red-Fish-2013-2
Doug Brady
Louisiana-Red-Fish-2013-3
Gordon Middleton

When all is said and done, this adventure will join the pantheon of fishing trips in our four memories, grow fonder over time, and be remembered not for the errant casts and missed hook sets, but the entirety of the experience.  Selective memory is a good thing indeed, and next year on the Bayou already tempts us with opportunity and the promise of epic fish and great fellowship.

The big G and I are in, who wants to join us?

Louisiana-Red-Fish-2013-4

Montana Road Trip

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JD, Ed, Eric, and Rob go to Montana

Months before the departure

The first question is how to get there from Atlanta, where to fish, then where to stay…

Aug 3 leave Atlanta, stay around Kansas City
Aug 4 stay around ?Wyoming? ? South Dakota?
Aug 5 arrive Big Horn, stay in Cottonwood Campground
Aug 9 depart for Dillion, stay KOA in Dillon
Aug 13th depart for Rock Creek, stay at Ekstrom’s

%%

Montana Road trip

This was close enough…

Eric's camper

Part 1-the Big Horn

This August Ed Chamberain, Eric Davies, Rob Kissel, and I headed to Montana. Our first stop was the Big Horn, reported to the the best river in Montana, maybe the West. Our experience with the Big Horn did not damage these reports.

The first day we both had guides on the river. We wanted to have a good dry fly day (like Uncle Miltie and I did last year) but it was not to be. The cool summer had cooled the water and caused the dry fly action to be delayed. The water temps from the dam was around 43. It may have slowed the dry fly action but the nymph action was great. Ed and got numbers in the 40’s and I think Eric and Rob got even more.

%

Ed with a nice fish

Fish on!

The next day Eric and Rob decided to wade fish and they had a really good day with around 13 each, with several on a dry. Ed and I had a guide trip and unfortunately the guide decided to experiment with us. We went on a jet boat ride on the lower river in search of dry fly action. We saw little dry fly action and in fact, it was pretty slow all day-especially for the Big Horn.

The last day Ed and decided to rent a drift boat. We managed to make it down the river but I do think Ed would have caught more fish with an experienced boatman. We did get 25 or so each with a nice 19 inch bow on a dry and a big 22 inch bow on a nymph. The guys who did really well was Eric and Rob. They caught so many on a nymph they told the guide they wanted to use a hopper. The guide was not too excited about the use of a hopper but he finally agreed. Bam, Rob gets a nice fish. Then double bam, both Eric and Rob get a 20 inch brown on a dry. What a day.

Again, in my opinion, the Big Horn is the best river in the Montana, maybe in the West.

Ed in front of the dam
BEAR

Seldom seen bear on the Big Horn

Back at Home…
We had to miss our club meetings and unfortunately left a few good friends back at home.  A few of our club members also decided to join us.

Uncle Miltie

Uncle Miltie missing his friends at a club meeting

Part 2-Dillon
After having a great three days on the Big Horn, we were excited about going to Dillon, Montana. Dillon is in SW Montana and is centrally located to several very good fishing rivers-the Jefferson, the Ruby, the Big Hole, and the Beaverhead. Dillon was also located just outside of Twin Bridges, Mt, the home of Winston fly rods. We stopped in just before closing time and had a great time looking at the historical pictures, items, merchandise, and testing rods. Ed cast a sweet B2t (by the way, that rod is going on close-out) that got him thinking. Rob got a date on one of his rods and Eric, Rob, and I got some Winston hats. All in all, the Winston factory was a great stop.

On the way to Dillon we saw several up-rooted trees. Seems they had a “micro burst” that had did damage to several buildings and trees in the Twin Bridges area. I guess wind does damage to places outside the South.

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Due to the lower water and high water temps we were only able to fish the Beaverhead and the Big Hole. The Beaverhead is reported to hold the biggest brown trout in Montana and probably the West, but you could not have proved it by us. We had a tough time with the Beaverhead. A few fish caught, but mostly frustration and lots of removal of moss from the fly.

We did have a Nascar sighting while in Dillon. “Nascar” Bob Chambliss and Tom Gage had flown to Montana to do some fly fishing. We did hear from Nascar now and then but had little physical contact except for one day we did eat breakfast with Nascar and Tom. We did hear from Nascar that he was chased by an 8 ft. rattlesnake on the Beaverhead, well, make that 6 ft., well, make that 5 ½ ft. Nascar and Tom did pretty good though fishing at the corral.

Bob Chambless
Beaverhead at the corral
Beaverhead at the corral

Not everything was a loss; We met a couple in the KOA in Dillon. The man’s name was Seth Simpson and he and his wife were on tour to pottery shows and between shows he was getting in some fly fishing. His method was to go out at dust and throw a leech. He had pretty good success and pulled in a 24-25 brown, much bigger than we saw.

Rob liked Seth’s pottery so much that he brought a vase. You can see his work at www.arcataartisans.com/artists/seth_simpson/ 707-601-2535 We enjoyed talking with Seth and his wife at the campground, and maybe we felt a little jealous.

The Big Hole

The next river we fished was the Big Hole. The Big Hole is a very beautiful river, but areas of it were shut down at 2pm because of the high temps. The section we fished was open all day and we had a pretty good day. I finished with around 15 with a couple of nice fish on a dry. I even caught a few “whitefish”-more on that later. Rob told me a story about seeing a big fish, making a tough cast, and having the fish hit and be landed. It wasn’t so much about catching the fish, but the excitement of doing several things correctly and winding up with the fish is wonderful.

The next day we headed back to the Big Hole and we caught plenty of fish, but they just happened to be mostly whitefish. For example, Ed found a hole and I thought he was killing them. He was doing great but mostly they were whitefish. For those of you who don’t know about whitefish, they are a native species that are considered a “trash” fish. They do grow large and fight hard but are not as valued as trout.

Working a seam

Ed catching whitefish on the Big Hole

I think the Big Hole is the whitefish capital of Montana. We had some unusual weather in Dillon. Almost every afternoon a storm would come up with lightning, rain, and in one instance, hail. Although Dillon is a wonderful area, I won’t be going back unless it is a normal water year. This is the 2nd year of a Winter drought in the Dillon area.

Ed in front of the dam
Tom joined us for breakfast

We did have some of Uncle Miltie’s steering wheel sized breakfasts in Dillon.  I high recommend the Long Horn Saloon-if the cook shows up on time. Well, on the last stop of the trip.  Tom recommends a Mexican bus on wheels for lunch.

Great lunch

We also enjoyed an ice cream parlor near the university, but the recommended steak house was only good for the scenery and not the food.

Decorations in a steak house in Missoula
Entire town came out for ice cream

Trip Pictures

Home » Montana Road Trip » 2013 » 2013-Aug
Bob Chambless
Bob Chambless
Nascar on the Beaverhead
Beaverhead at the corral
Beaverhead at the corral
Looking Upstream on the Beaver. This stretch fished very well while wading. Called the Corral
Beaverhead at the corral
Beaverhead at the corral
Looking downstream from the corral. Bob is working a seam against the opposite bank. There was a strong current near the bank, but wading out got you into smoother water so you could fish the seams.
Big Hole
Big Hole
Rob Kissell on the Big Hole
Clarke's Fork
Clarke's Fork
Nascar bringing one in on the Clark's Fork just below where the Big Hole enters. Rowing is club member Danny who now lives in Missoula
Decorations in a steak house in Missoula
Decorations in a steak house in Missoula
We went to a steak house outside of Missoula. Scenery was great but the steaks were all either over cooked or under cooked. Not a great experience.
Entire town came out for ice cream
Entire town came out for ice cream
Downtown Missoula had this ice cream shop that you would think they were giving it away
winery in Missoula
winery in Missoula
Hills outside of Missoula. Great winery in town worth visiting
Bob Chambless
Bob Chambless
Probably on the Beaver
Great lunch
Great lunch
A local favorite for Mexican food. Great restaurant in down town Dillon worth stopping at
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IMG_5723.JPG
Heading up to the blow down on the big hole
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upstream on the big hole
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If you look carefully, you see Rob being stealth against the rocks. Rob knew how to get fish in clear water!
Eric Davies
Eric Davies
Eric Davies working a seam using nymphs
JD, Ed, Eric, Rob
JD, Ed, Eric, Rob
the guys ready to break up camp at the KOA. This is an outstanding place with an even more outstanding restaurant!
Heading up the road on Rock Creek
Heading up the road on Rock Creek
Pretty tame....
JD hamming it up
JD hamming it up
JD... he may have set the hook... but you never know!
BEAR
BEAR
That small black spot on the ridge is the bear
Ed with a nice fish
Ed with a nice fish
Ed in front of the dam
Ed in front of the dam
Ed working a hole
Ed working a hole
Working a seam
Working a seam
Fish on!
Fish on!
Ed had a pretty good day.
Uncle Miltie in Colorado
Uncle Miltie in Colorado
Uncle Miltie in Colorado
Uncle Miltie in Colorado
Lookin' for a ride...
Uncle Miltie
Uncle Miltie
Uncle Miltie did not join us for the Montana trip having gone fishing with Dave Peacock earlier. He later joined JD in Colorado. Pretty sad picture waiting for his friends to show up at the club meeting!
Montana Road trip
Montana Road trip
Trip looked something like this...
The star of our stay at Rock Creek
The star of our stay at Rock Creek
The restaurant at Rock Creek has a fantastic chef serving 5 star meals. Our waitress was one of the most pleasant individuals you would ever want to meet. (and is a damn good fly fisherman!)
Tom joined us for breakfast
Tom joined us for breakfast
Eric's camper
Eric's camper
Packed up and ready to start the long trek home to Atlanta

A Most Excellent Fisherman

1st sequence he catches half a dozen fish in one strike.

2nd sequence he plunges talons into deep water right to the bottom to
grab his prey.

3rd sequence he captures a big old fat fish that looks as if it weighs
more than he does!

This is incredible to watch (best viewed in full screen mode)…enjoy!
A most excellent fisherman

GoPro Fishing

Had a minute to check emails on the road stopping at a Barnes & Noble (nearly finished current read with days to go plus all week next week vacationing with Katie at the Crater of Diamonds!).  Saw the latest Midcurrent.  I am never interested in all their topics, but I scan them for articles of potential interest.

I will admit to generally passing over video references.  I am not big into watching films of someone doing what I WISH I were doing instead of reading about or watching it.  But with my latest acquisition of the GoPro…so I can, you know, take videos knowing that everyone else in the flyfishing world wants to see mine, of course…I backed up and decided to take a look at the flyfishing film techniques article.

I figured I would look through it to see if there were any videography tips I could incorporate to make my first efforts more creditable.  I should have known when I opened it and read the by line of Hank Patterson that I should skip it and get back on the road.  But the guy is just too funny.  I had to watch it.  If there isn’t one already, I am considering starting the “Crazy Reese” Fan Club.  These guys crack me up.

Tyson Reed

Midcurrent Hank Patterson on Fly Fishing 101

Atlanta Fly Fishing Club Mentor Program

The Atlanta Fly Fishing Club Mentoring Program was started by JD Forrester, a long time member of the club with the purpose of introducing new members to veteran members while also providing fly fishing expertise on local rivers like the Chattahoochee River. Our club is all about education and camaraderie and each of these new members are paired with a mentor that they can reach out to for advice in the future.

Members of the Atlanta Fly Fishing Club got together March 2nd at Paces Mill along the Chattahoochee River for a mentoring day.   Even though the weather was cold and cloudy with snow flurries we had an excellent turn out for our Mentor Day on the Hooch. Thanks to JD Forrester for organizing a great day.

AFFC Mentor Day - The Crew!

Members of the Atlanta Fly Fishing Club taken while at a February 2013 mentoring day. The club runs educational events for new members of the club to introduce them to new members while also providing fly fishing expertise on local rives like the Chattahoochee River

Following is his account:

“We were greeted with cold temps and spitting snow, but that did not keep the intrepid AFFC mentors and mentees from meeting. I think the session was a success with many things being learned and even some fish were caught.

AFFC Mentor Day

Jim and Linda Harrington in perfect camouflage gear. Who is the guy in the white hat?

I want to thank John Jenkins, Jimbo Jim McKean, Steve Miller, Jim Harrington, Linda Harrington, Ken Louko, David Nixon, Tom Shillock, Holly Shikano, and Terry Shikano for being great mentees. A special thanks to Dwight Thomas, Eric Davies, Ed Chamberlain, Milton Sams, Tyson Reed, Mike Williams and Bob Hansell for being great mentors!”

JD Forrester

AFFC Mentor Day

AFFC Mentor Day

Steven Miller watching Eric Davies.

AFFC Mentor Day

AFFC Mentor Day

AFFC Mentor Day

Jimbo Jim McKean rigging up as Tyson “Muley” Reed looks on.

AFFC Mentor Day

Uncle Miltie Sams (mentor?) being taught spey casting by Ken Louko.

AFFC Mentor Day

Ed Chamberlain working on casting with Holly Shikano, and Linda and Jim Harrington.

The Inching Foot:: A Case of Ignoring Safety

Andrew A. Cox, Associate Newsletter Editor

Many anglers pursing this sport realize that fishing and other outdoor activities have a certain element of danger. Some anglers take great care in anticipating potential sources of danger; others pursue the sport with little foresight and may find themselves in potentially dangerous if not life threatening situations. The angler should take extra precautions when engaging in such activities. It is important to be observant of your surroundings, not take risks, and plan ahead.

I was reminded of the importance of safety many years ago as a young man when I almost drowned while trout fishing in the Chattahoochee River, north of Atlanta, Georgia. During this time period, I was working in the Georgia public schools and had extended time during the summer months to fish on weekdays when waters were less crowded. I was fishing downstream from the Jones Bridge area of the Chattahoochee River, beyond the sound of sirens at Lake Lanier’s Buford Dam warning of water releases from the dam. I neglected to obtain the day’s generation schedule from the Corps of Engineers at Buford Dam.

Though fishing with a friend on this particular trip, he was fishing another section of the Chattahoochee River. Over the course of the day’s fishing, I waded to some small islands and gravel bars located in the middle of the river. Getting to these gravel bars, I had waded across the gentle current of the river’s main channel with water being above my ankle but below the knee. I had laid a small waist tackle bag on the gravel bar while fishing the bar’s riffles. After a period of time, I observed the tackle bag beginning to float downstream. Retrieving the floating bag, I noticed that the river’s current had increased considerably in velocity. I returned to where I had entered the river and attempted to cross the river’s main channel on the Fulton County side. However, by this time, the water was now rapidly rising over my waist. If I had picked up my foot to walk across the main current, I likely would have been swept downstream, filling my waders with extremely cold water. Instead, I slowly inched my foot along through the gravel and small rocks on the river’s bottom to the river’s bank. When finally reaching the bank, the water was up to my chest and rapidly rising towards my shoulders. Over the course of my return crossing of the river, several tackle items were swept away by the torrent that was now the Chattahoochee’s current.

As a result of this frightening experience, I learned many lessons in preparing to fish not only a tail-water river but other types of waters. I began to use a wading belt to prevent water from entering the top of my waders, fishing with a partner, being alert for rising water, and making contacts to determine the water release schedule.

The angler can develop a safety plan and attempt to anticipate potential problems. One can search the internet or make telephone contacts to obtain information regarding generation schedules as well as figuring out when high water would reach the angler’s location on the water.
Having available and programming a cellular telephone with various emergency telephone numbers would be invaluable. Inform others of your fishing location and time schedule as a means to prepare for an emergency situation.

The Atlanta Fly Fishing Club is advocating for Project River Rising. This project along with other advance preparations can be the difference between life and death for the angler.