Friday, July 22, 2011

Avoiding Weeds and Fishing the Lower

The lower dropped back down a little today and is clearing rapidly. Fishing was ok today but thought it should have been better. Had a grandfather/grandson from here in town that I get to fish with a few days every year. Always enjoy it as it reminds me of the more important things in life like spending time with family. They enjoy fishing together and I enjoy getting to spend some time with them being happy on a river. I am really glad that I'm not 16 though!

The fishing. My guess is that at 3000 cfs it is still a little high to have the time to really get your flies down to them in the buckets. Put more weight on and then it's tough to fish the shallow dilemmas are stressful! Floating weeds are getting worse in the afternoon now...little more and more everyday.

The weeds and floating grass always give folks a lot of issues which usually results in not covering much water with any efficacy. There are a couple of ways to approach the floating grass and weeds. You can complain about it; but that really doesn't do much good. You can tell me about it, that usually doesn't do much good. You can bring your flies in and pick them off, that usually doesn't do much good. You can bring them in and have me pick them off...that really doesn't do any good and the chances of me hitting a gravel bar, weedbed, or rock goes way up. So...what to do?

Make casts which generate enough line speed so that your flies don't hit the water until you're ready to put them down and fish. Once they are in the water, mend very little and try not to get much drag and don't swing your flies or let them just hang off the boat when re-setting. When I'm fishing in lots of grass or weeds, I get in the habit of "cleaning my flies" every cast. I do this by letting my flies fall on the forward cast and then slap/rip them on the water as I make my backcast ( this usually works well for the floating grass on the Madison). Another technique is to strip the line into near the end of the fly line and make a vertical loop with a lot of line speed so that you slap the water on each rotation. The key is to be aggressive with the casting and it will usually allow you to fish more and spend less time trying to deal with 40 feet of line lying loose in the boat while picking some strands of crap of your fly.

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