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Tips of the week!

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  • Tips of the week!

    I am going to start posting some tips on this thread. They will be simple tips that may help you catch a few more fish! Even though I named the thread "tips of the week", I may post more or less than weekly.

    12/25/14 I get ask many times about knots. Several clients even tell me that they have the least number of hooks that untie or unwrap of any guide service they have ever used.

    Knots are very important and must be tied correctly to perform correctly. Here are the knots I use for a fly rod set up:

    Dacron Backing to Reel - Arbor Knot
    Fly Line to Backing - Nail or Tube Knot
    Perfection Loop to Fly Line - Needle Knot
    Tippet to Leader - Triple Surgeon's or Blood Knot
    Fly to Tippet/Leader - Duncan Loop Knot

    - Arbor Knot is a very easy tie. It is used to attach the Dacron Backing to the Reel.

    - Nail or Tube Knot is used to attach the Fly Line to the Backing. This knot is a little more difficult and easier completed at home.

    - Needle Knot is a slim version of the nail knot. If you fly line does not have a welded or bonded loop then tie a 6 to 8 inch piece of 20 lb test mono with a perfection loop to the fly line using this slim knot. It will not hang up like the nail knot in your snake guides. Works best on 4 wt and up fly lines.

    - Triple Surgeon's Knot is an outstanding knot to use to add tippet to your leader. It works best with different diameters. The Blood Knot is a little more difficult to tie than the Surgeon's Knot but holds better with the same size diameter lines.

    - Duncan Loop Knot is an outstanding knot used for tying those flies onto your leader/tippet. Always moisten the knot before pulling tight. By leaving the knot off of the eye of the hook, you allow the fly to react to any current therefore making it look more life-like. It also slips on a hard hook set which is an advantage to the angler in preventing a break off.

    Now, how do we tie these knots? Look them up on

    11/20/14 Better way to approach as a fishing method:

    #1 Approach water and fish in lanes...means to make a cast and drift then repeat by casting one to two feet beside the original cast and repeat. Do this until you cover the entire width of the water. Move upstream to the top end of your first covering of the water and repeat the casting/drifting covering across the width of the water. I have to assume these drifts are drag free with good presentations.

    #2 After covering the width and moving up say three times, in theory, you actually covered a lot of water if your casting distance averaged around 30 feet per cast. Odds are very high you missed a fish or two in most streams.

    #3 If no fish, begin adding weight to get your fly down (assuming your dropper is long enough to get to the bottom). If using an indicator, make sure the length is correct so your fly can get to the bottom. Continue casting and adding weight until you either catch a fish or start catching the bottom continually.

    #4 If still no fish, start changing flies. Use naturals and downsize your flies to match the size of what is actually in the stream (sizes 14-22 and the color you choose can be important). If you're tossing a size 8 brown stone and the stream only has size 16-18 black stones...what are the fish eating???

    #5 Give them a buffet...means have two or three different flies and size of flies as droppers seperated by 6-8" between each fly (if stream regs allow).

    #6 After moving upstream and fishing for say 100 yards, if still no fish, something is not right with what you are doing, setup, etc. Rethink your process and evaluate how you are casting, drifting, depth, adding weight, flies (start checking rocks and woody debris to see what insects are actually in the stream).

    Some days can be tough on the water even if it is a DH stream or wild stream. This is why they call it fishing and not catching. I'm on the water constantly (200 days a year or more). I have had very rewarding days on the water with only 3 fish caught just as much as when it is 40-50 fish in a day. It all depends on how you take it in and what you learn from it.

    11/15/14 We experienced some icing of the rod guides yesterday. Simply add some chapstick to the guides to help prevent icing.

    10/13/14 Having a hard time tying your fly onto your leader/tippet. Try cutting your tippet at a 45 degree angle. This normally helps thread the tippet through the eye easier.

    10/06/14 Are you lining fish? This time of year can be tough with no or little rain and water levels dropping to the lowest point of the year.

    Few things to try: increase leader length, use a needle knot, perfection loop, trimming, downsize tippet/flies and check fly knots.

    Truth be told is a short leader is much easier to deal with. Long leaders over 9 feet can make things a little harder for the average angler like getting line out, a good roll over of the fly, problems when landing a fish, etc. But, a long leader say 10-12 feet may prevent lining a fish. Most are spooky right now and many are stacked in the deeper parts of a stream. A 12 foot leader may allow you to present your fly past the trout without the fly line being seen.

    Many anglers use a trusty nail knot for their loop connection. Using a long leader with a nail knot can cause problems when trying to land a large fish. This is due to the nail knot coming into the snake guides. If the fish makes a run with the knot in, there is a good chance of it catching and you having a break off. Convert all nail knot loop connections to the needle knot. This allows the tag to the loop to come out of the center of the fly line and not from the side (catching point).

    Another problem is the connection loop itself. Make sure to tie your connection loop using a perfection loop knot. It is a simple tie and makes a much smaller knot than if using a big doubled up tag with the overhand knot. Large knots like this can cause the same problem as the nail knot with catching on a snake guide.

    Trim all tags closely where the fly line and leader have the opportunity to come into the rod guides.

    Many aquatic insects are small this time of year. Downsize your leader or tippet to 5X-6X and drop those fly sizes as well (16-20). Just remember to play those fish, especially on a big one.

    Lastly, check those fly knots often. I do not know how many times over the years I have redone a fly knot. This is especially true after netting a large fish. Not redoing a fly knot after landing a big one is a sure fire way of losing the next one plus your fly. One other tip that I do not recommend but works very well is biting the tag off with your teeth. This flares the tag and it will not come back through the wraps. If you do this, be extra careful due to the hook and biting the tag will eventually wear your teeth!

    8/13/14 When fishing a fast run, be sure to drift the seam line between the fast and slow current on both sides of it. This is the area where many times a feeding trout is looking to pick off a stuck insect whether in the upper or lower water column.

    8/09/14 Where are the fish in the water column? Fish a dry first, add a dropper with enough length to get down to at least the half way point, add a second dropper with enough length so the fly ticks the bottom. If you do not get any takes, begin to add weight. If your fly never ticks the bottom you are not covering the entire water column. And you may be missing some fish.

    6/28/14 Ever wonder what is the best way to match your fly to leader for proper turnover? Simply divide your fly size by 3, i.e. size 12 fly divided 3 is 4 or 4X...

    6/28/14 Ever miss those fish rising to your dry? Give the trout an opportunity to take the fly by thinking one thousand one before setting the hook. Quick hook sets using a dry will often take the fly away before the trout can exhale the water and close it's mouth. Another example of when to set a dry is to wait until you see the trout's back with it's head turned down in the water...

    6/25/14 As summer draws on in and our waters start getting low, downsize those flies! Our hatch sizes become smaller in the southern Appalachias during this time of year. Only throw big stuff early in the morning or late in the evening. Remember, big fish eat small flies too! We're catch'em on 16-20s...

    6/23/14 Looking for one of those high-end coolers that will keep ice for days?
    Check out Canyon Outfitters. We have been using the 25 pounder. It does work! I personally think it is as solid as the Yeti but about $100 less out of your that is some cool cash! Check them out at

    6/20/14 Go with barbless hooks or pinch down your barbs. This normally leads to a deeper hook set, easier unhooking, and a lot less handling and stress on the fish! Just keep a tight line...
    Last edited by Reel'em In; 12-25-14, 08:39 AM.
    Fish Hard! You Can Rest An Eternity.

    A North Georgia Fly Fishing Outfitter

  • #2
    Nice reel em in. Great info. You are generous with your info. The spirit of NGTO. Fishing is not a secret. Speak up. Jump in other members..
    This is just one of those times when I look at the numbers. Currently 150 Lurkers and 50 members. Some lurkers are lurkers and they are selfish. Lurkers sign up and become part of the NGTO family. We will not embarrass you. WE have some serious talent that will spend time with you on the stream. Otherwise if you are a lurker and you know your stuff, shame on you. NGTO needs mentors otherwise stop looking at our webstite . How great is that???? We have RScooter, Fishbreath, Dredger, GB & Reel em in send them a pm. I'm off to the Ice Cream Parlor Later
    Last edited by Remoh; 08-14-14, 02:30 AM.


    • #3
      Thank you for sharing. These are excellent tips. Of course I develop temporary amnesia when I'm on the water and it all comes back just in time for the ride home. Same thing happens when I walk into a Home Depot.
      “There’s a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot.” - Steven Wright


      • #4
        Originally posted by Fishtrated View Post
        Thank you for sharing. These are excellent tips. Of course I develop temporary amnesia when I'm on the water and it all comes back just in time for the ride home. Same thing happens when I walk into a Home Depot.
        Hahaha. The same thing used to happen to me when Blockbuster was around. I'd have a dozen movies in my mind that I wanted to see while I was at the house. But, as soon as I walked in the door at Blockbuster, every single one of those titles magically left my memory. I wouldn't remember a single one. I'd just walk around aimlessly looking at walls and walls of movies, but never finding anything interesting.
        I'm so old I remember when men wore tattoos and women wore earrings.
        -Lefty Kreh


        • #5
          Just added 12/25/14. Check out our new tips for KNOTS!
          Fish Hard! You Can Rest An Eternity.

          A North Georgia Fly Fishing Outfitter