Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Debunking Conventional Wisdom - The Leader Myth And Leader Shy Trout
Let's look back to this past May. I saw this guy net a brown as I got there and asked what he was using. "a size 14 caddis emerger". Good enough. Then he goes about a half hour without a fish and then asks me if I have any 7x TIPPET. I asked "what for?" He said that he believed that the trout had become "leader shy". I said that I didn't have any 7x (we were on the Millers for Christ sake) and we DON"T need that). We continued to catch trout on 5X! He caught none.
Back cast 5 years ago when I met this young guy on the EB. He said that he was using a size 12 stimulator on 7X!! Why? "Because the water is so clear". The time frame between these events is full of the same excuse.
Lefty Kreh is credited with the statement:"there is more bullshit in fly fishing than in a Texas cattle yard". This is an example of it!!
Point 1 - leaders are matched to the size of the fly that you are using, not the clarity or depth of the water that you are fishing!
Point 2- If leaders are fished behind a SUNKEN FLY then the leader visibility is a moot point. Modern leaders, if they are below the surface, are practically invisible especially the fluoro variety. Mono has made great strides to reduce light refraction over the past decade to where it's almost a "no decision" between mono and fluoro. (Note: my sources are not retail outlets which have another agenda)
Point 3 - Our "leader spooked trout" are not the the cause of "heavy" leaders but THE CAUSE OF BAD PRESENTATION. "Lining" trout (dumping your fly line on top of the fish) or slapping your fly down on the water are some of the causes. You see this when fishing dry flies for rising trout.
"Conventional Wisdom" and it's goofy step brother "Common Sense" say that the clearer the water and the spookier the trout equals tiny tippets. Tying larger flies to tiny tippetts mean more lost flies and longer battles to bring a trout to the net. That last statement is especially true if you are not into harming trout. Find a "fly to tippet chart" and stay with it.
If you think that I'm working on impractical theory then absorb this fact: I do a good amount of Tenkara fishing on the Swift and instruct even more clients on this technique. We ALL hook into MANY trout while using the occasional size 14 but mostly size 16 through 20 AND they are ALL HOOKED ON 5X!!!!! The funny thing is that we are fishing next to people who are fishing for the same trout but would NEVER fish a size 18 on a 5X. Go figure!!!
Lefty Kreh, George Harvey and Charlie Brooks, among others, questioned this "conventional wisdom" and found that it came up lacking. Don't blame the equipment. Maybe blame yourself.
Note: The Swift Trout are wising up.
Posted by Millers River Flyfisher at 8:20 PM
Labels: Fly Fishing Instruction, guided fly fishing trips on the Swift River, guided fly fishing trips on th East Branch of the Westfield River, Guided fly fishing trips on the Miller River