Fall Edition

Fall Edition
Fall Edition

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Frenchman's Lake Fly Fishing Report 10/19/2017

Much better weather in the last week with glassy conditions has allowed for some incredible sight fishing opportunities. There are many more fish in the northern part of the lake and it seems much of the population is ganged up there. Most of the trout are in the upper water column with many of them right on the bank in skinny water, you’ll also find the rainbows in deeper open water rising in the middle of the day. Areas with flats and weeds are the most productive when fishing the shoreline. 

Water temps are 52 to 54. Light hatches of blood midges, a much smaller creamy midge, and a few callibaetis are out. Shorter leaders and heavier tippets will work now as the trout are on the fall grab, their greed in fattening up for winter is their downfall, and an advantage for fly anglers looking for a bent rod. Big buggers and wiggle tails in fiery brown and rust, sheep creek specials, Hare’s Ears, and Flashback Pheasant tails have been the most productive. 

Mornings have been really cold, but as of late the days are nice and warm if the north wind does not howl. I would rate the fishing as damn good, and if you want a great stillwater experience, you better get up to the lake as soon as possible

I did another video shoot with Greg Stevens of Photoflight Productions at Frenchman's lake for a upcoming promotional piece for my website. Greg and his assistant, Greg Garrison, do some amazing work! Check out Greg's website at http://www.photoflightproductions.com/ I highly recommend Photoflight Productions and would encourage you to hire them out for any drone work, mapping, or other related needs.

See you on the water...

North Fork Yuba River Fly Fishing Report 10/19/2017

The upper watershed is blazing away with fall color right now, and it’s quite impressive. There is no need to get out early as water temps are very cold right now, 48 degrees in the morning rising to 55 by the late afternoon. You’ll want to fish from 12pm to early evening. 

There are good numbers of the October caddis flying around. They love sunny sections of the river and are most active in the afternoon. The wild rainbows have been keying in on them while they oviposit in the tail outs of major plunge pools and runs. Short line high sticking an adult pattern and bouncing it off and on the surface will get the trout’s attention, and a grab. Keep in mind the big bug lives a long time and will be present until the area gets a few days of a hard freeze.

Orange Stimis, parachute Adams, and the Purple Haze are great choices for dry flies right now. Time is running out on the North Fork Yuba River and those spectacular fall colors, it’s now or never.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Chico Area Fly Fishers Presentation 10/12/2017

This coming Thursday the 12th, I will be speaking at the Chico Area Fly Fishers. It's always great to present to the first fly fishing club I ever belonged to, for me, it's a sort of home coming. The Chico club is rich with history and many members of the club have went on to legendary status as anglers, guides, conservationist, rod makers, and an important part of the fly fishing industry in some form or another. It's a special club.

My new PowerPoint program was especially created for numerous fly clubs looking for a more technical program on fishing the dry fly. It's been receiving rave reviews all over the state from numerous fly clubs and trade shows. “Mastering the Dry Fly” entails a brief history of the dry fly and the pioneering anglers who were involved from the beginning. You'll learn about simple to complex presentations, understanding rise forms, approaching water structure, tips & tricks, and my favorite patterns for eager to educated trout. Beautiful images and new detailed animated slides provide the audience with clear and concise information for future endeavors on the water while matching the hatch. This will be a program you do not want to miss! 

I will tying flies before the meeting at 6:30 pm, and presenting my PowerPoint program shortly after the regular meeting which starts at 7:30 pm. This event will take place at the California Park Pavilion located at 2526 California Park Drive, Chico, Ca. Guests are welcome and the presentation is free to the public. I hope to see you there!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Frenchman's Lake Fly Fishing Report 10/9/2017

It’s been a wild week at Frenchman’s Lake with wind events that made fishing much like being on board a crab boat from “Deadliest Catch”. The north wind made its presence known last week and yesterday with wind chill in the teens, so cold it cuts right to the bone. Frenchman’s Lake is much more open and prone to getting hammered by north and east winds, there are simply very little areas to hide in. Water temperatures have been as low as 54 and as high as 58 depending on wind and air temperatures. The trout are still somewhat scattered but there are less in the southern lake and more in the northern lake, and most are in the upper most water column. If you are not recording marked fish on your electronics it’s a good bet that the majority of the fish are near the surface, and that’s why you are not marking them. 

There is way more fish in 1 to 3 feet of water than last week, and fishing off the bank has really picked up. The fishing has been pretty good when the weather cooperates. We’ve had some stellar days with fish cruising the shallow flats sipping callibaetis, it does not get any better than that. The most effective fly of late has been a simple non leaded pheasant tail presented on a floating line, no need for an intermediate line. Fishing pressure has increased on some days, and on other days it is very quiet. Fall colors will be peaking this week in eastern Plumas County, time to load up the vehicle and make a run to the hills. See you out there.

Little Last Chance Creek Canyon

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Northern Sierra Fly Fishing Report 10/5/2017

Frenchman's Lake - The past few days has been really tough and slow, a unusual characteristic of this lake, but true. Big winds with rollers and whitecaps dotted the lake on Tuesday making conditions unfishable. It was ugly. On Wednesday it was very slow and mimicked the last few days of some seasonal change. More fish are migrating to the north end of the lake from the south, and typical of this time of year, the trout are way up in the water column despite the depth. Water temperatures are now at 55 degrees. Great game in the skinny water at first light,but you need some serous game. Look before you present, and make a game plan, it's a wise choice. My guest today reminded me it's all about the experience and good times, and not the catching. When it's slow it hurts me more than them. On the other hand, for those that get the true meaning of the "experience" truly understand life at its greatest platform. The above picture says it all, a glorious warming trend after a morning in the low teens, fall colors, the warm Autumn sun, and quality time with a dude wiser than you. It's the way it should be, the way it was 30 years ago before the competitive internet "Look at me" social media way of life. I get it, that's for sure. Same standard techniques and flies as always for fall apply, just need the fish to really get on the fall bite. It'll happen soon enough. Be patient.

Lake Davis - Last Monday was not so good with only slivers of a shining light, first light had risers in the shallows for about an hour then gone. Marked a lot of fish in the old creek channels, but no takes. Those fish marked have to be bass. Observations this summer walking the shoreline revealed so many juvenile bass that it boggles the mind. What has happened to our pristine blue ribbon stillwater? Miss management form DF&W says it all, and for now, they ruined the most beautiful lake in all of northern California lake. Thanks.

The Little Truckee River - is fishing well despite the large numbers of anglers. Last week I counted 33 vehicles from the top lot to the outlet. Lots of pressure, but unique in the realm, you can find your own space - Do not despair. TBS; Tiny Black Shit with a worm for indicator rigs is the producer. Lot of aquatics out, October caddis, BWO's, Mahogany duns, midges, hoppers, and more caddis like the smaller false October caddis. Water levels are a good flow at 169 cubes. Show respect, good stream etiquette, ask first, and be a true river steward.

Bobcat prints linking the shoreline at Lake Davis

Friday, September 29, 2017

Frenchman's Lake Update 9/29/2017

Cold mornings and beautifully warm afternoons for the past week, it's that time of year when an angler is bundled up in the morning and peeling layers as the day plays out. Water temperatures are running 57 in the morning climbing to 60 degrees by late afternoon. Fish are still scattered throughout the entire lake adjusting to the water temperature changes from a very hot summer. One must cover a lot of water to rack up the numbers right now. Fishing has been slow for some, and better for others. My guest C&R 14 fish yesterday using a verity of different techniques. The big surprise was how many smaller fish came to the net in the 12" range, a product from a recent plant of Eagle Lake rainbows. For such a small sized trout they fight quite aggressively, and remind me of the rainbows of the Lower Yuba River. That's an Eagle Lake rainbow for you. Lots of fly anglers on the lake both in tubes and roaming the shore, plus bait anglers, and trollers.

Big flies are producing like Jay Fair stripping flies in a size 8, callibaetis nymphs, and krystal buggers in all the standard fall colors. Stripping seems to be the most effective technique right now, much better than the indo rig. There are dry fly opportunities in the early afternoon with callibaetis duns, and smaller midges with a black body emerging. Stomach samples from yesterday were packed with the same smaller chironomids, a few juvenile damsels, and callibaetis. There are some areas where sight fishing from the bank in 1 to 3 feet of water exists. Fishing will increasingly get better in the weeks to come as water temperatures drop, hopefully the bigger bullies will show up and push the smaller fish off the feeding beds. I have a very limited amount of days open for October, but more in November if the region does not get hit hard with cold snowy weather, only time will tell. See you on the high desert lake...

Emerging Midge Pupa

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Northern Sierra Fly Fishing Report 9/24/2017

The land of extremes, northern California as we know it, is all that. The way the weather has turned in the last week is not surprising, but more of a shock to my body’s comfort zone. 2 to 6 inches of snow fell in the upper elevations including the surrounding mountains of eastern Plumas County, providing a surreal backdrop for the start of the autumn equinox. When weather changes quickly as it did, Mother Nature’s critters respond, their behaviors change, as does their eating habits. Large flocks of American Coot and game birds have taken refuge on the stillwaters with a new home for the fall season. The trout are already on the “all you can eat” plan, beefing up the fat reserves for the long winter ahead. There’s no going back now, and the second season has begun. Already at Frenchman’s Lake, and Lake Davis, the water temperatures have dropped significantly to the high 50’s. Last Thursday it was 26 degrees in the morning with a cold breeze from the north, and being on a wide open Sierra stillwater, there’s nowhere to hide. One just has to deal with it and take the pain. It was actually quite refreshing, it’s kind of nice to bundle up again and not sweat your ass off.

I’ve been focusing most my efforts at Frenchman’s, the fish are scattered, but are definitely in the upper water column adjusting to the quickly changing water temperatures. This also means they are already starting to spend a longer time in the skinny water, soon it will be all day and the sun will not drive them to deeper water. The shallows actually provide a more comfortable zone for them to feed in when the main body of the lake’s water temperatures are very cold. The last brood of Callibaetis mayflies are hatching in small numbers, and a few smaller creamy colored midges are also dimpling the surface as they emerge. Damsel nymphs are always in the system, and as an aquatic insect that has a two year life cycle underwater, you’ll find first year nymphs swimming among the weed piles this fall. These nymphs are about a half an inch long, but have the same profile as a full mature adult damsel before the spring emergence. Fall rainbows will consume everything and anything, and why bigger flies get their attention, the greed to feed is uncontrollable.

Buggers and wiggle tails in fiery brown, dark olive and burnt orange are staples for this time of year, or you can even go bigger with a Jay Fair stripping fly in the same colors. Stripping flies has out shined the indo rig as of late, it’s that time of year when the trout key in on moving food items, and zero in on them. Every week will get better until the end of October, my guests and I have had plenty of insane days on the water around Halloween. If you want fewer but bigger fish to 27” go to Lake Davis, or if you want more fish, yet smaller in size and girth, go to Frenchman’s. I plan on spending my time at both lakes, and all the while comparing notes.

The North Fork Yuba River is still producing, but there is no need to be on the water until the middle of the day. This morning the water temperatures in the upper watershed were 48 degrees, and good consistent action did not commence until the sun was on the water. My guest and I found quite a few trout in slower to still side water that you could easily call “frog water”. They were sunning themselves and taking leftovers off the surface. It was really cool to watch, and also to stalk them. 

We only saw hatches of very small midges, and an occasional October Caddis fluttering in the sun’s rays. I saw way more shucks then flyers. Orange Stimulators, ants, and Flashback Pheasant Tails were the preferred flies for the wild rainbows. 

The tussock moth caterpillars were out floating the currents from boulder to boulder, if you have ever wondered why the Renegade dry fly tied in matching colors is so effective on the NFYR, this is why. It’s an old school pattern that most do not use any more, but maybe it’s time to stock your box with a few of them for the fall months. Fishing pressure was pretty much nonexistent, but I was amazed how many regular people are still camping as the campgrounds were close to full on this weekend. My last bit of advice is to fish the NFYR where the sun shines from 11am to 4pm. Look for the pumpkin bugs ovipositing, and enjoy the show. See you out there in the spectacular northern Sierra…

One Headed Rabbitbrush, Ericameria parryi var. monocephala surrounds the landscape of Frenchman's Lake giving the last crop of Sierra butterflies and bees the needed energy for the Autumn season.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Lower Yuba River Fishing Conditions & Update 9/19/2017

I’ve been on the Lower Yuba River for the last three days operating pontoon workshops and tours, the observations and real time experienced at the current flow of 1,035 cubes is eye opening. The “Newba” River, as coined by Jordan Romney is all that, and it is especially apparent at the lower flows. So much material has moved in that it boggles the mind. Many tail outs of runs are very shallow at this time. The main deep holes are still there, but have filled in to a degree at the head of them. The deep slot at “Clay Banks” upstream of Hammon Grove has filled in, but just upstream the high winter flows has created a new section of these banks, and now the deep slot is positioned there. 

The drift itself is relatively the same course, but also much different. Navigating in some sections is easier, and more technical in others. For example the rapid just upstream of “The Aquarium” is a swift short chute that leads into a large boulder, and has little room for error, a missed paddling stroke or line choice could be bad.

The Sycamore Ranch take out is filled in with material to the point that a drift boat operator will have to drag the boat through a shallow portion of Dry Creek before reaching the concrete boat ramp. Some operators have backed their trailers over the park’s grass and down the embankment to the slough that connects to the main stem of the river. This is frowned upon by Yuba County Parks and Recreation as it is eroding the bank and unlawful. I expect them to block this area off in the very near future to deter others from doing so.

The fishery itself has changed from the high flows as well. At this time only smaller resident rainbows 8 to 12” are being caught, and I’ve yet to see any large specimens throughout the system. Those smaller rainbows are also fairly skinny due to the limited amount of food available to them. In our aquatic samplings we found immature Golden stones, Skwala stones, baetis, and March brown mayflies. The most prolific bug out of all the samplings was the Rhyacophila free living caddis, this is the only bug we found that was in a mature state. 

There was evidence of shucks from the stub wing stonefly (Claassenia sabulosa), but not in big numbers. At least a few made it to become adults and perpetuate the species. Our guests did best with hopper dropper rigs trailing a small baetis nymph, and swinging caddis emerger patterns. Standard bobber rigs also caught a few fish as well. 

In the last 3 days on the river from Parks Bar down to Sycamore Ranch only two salmon were observed. I spoke with a biologist from the National Marine and Fisheries Service yesterday and the laser counter at Daguerre dam had only counted 8 salmon that had passed through so far. It’s not looking good for the salmon populations at this time. Coming off a drought has had its effects, and in those years, the eggs that were deposited into the gravel did not survive due to dam operators cutting back the flows during spawing time, and leaving the redds high and dry. It amazes me that the Department of Fish and Wildlife has not closed off the interior rivers this year to the harvesting of the salmon and depleting an already fragile resource. If the salmon show up in bigger numbers on the Lower Yuba River, this may bring some bigger populations of rainbows upstream with them as they anticipate the egg drop. Only time will tell, so keep your fingers crossed. 

In other news, Lance Gray of Lance Gray & Co, and Baiocchi's Troutfitters had another successful two days of pontoon workshops. This is the most comprehensive drifting workshop you'll find in all of California. Everything is covered from safety, paddling techniques, equipment, and inside knowledge from experienced oarsman. Be sure to look for upcoming announcements for new 2018 dates.

The last week of Summer is coming to a close, and fall type weather is already upon us. A glorious time of year, the Autumn season is one to be cherished. It's short and sweet, so make the most of it!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Truckee River Fly Fishing Update 9/13/2017

I’ve been roaming back and forth from the Truckee area to the North Fork Yuba River for the past few months, and now it's time to concentrate my guiding over to the Truckee River and Little Truckee River area for Fall. I really can't wait to be on the Northern Sierra stillwaters as well in a week or two when the water temperatures come down a little more. The Truckee River is in transitional state with cooler nights and the days becoming milder. I hope we have seen the last of the hot weather. Hatches have increased slightly with pseudocloeons (tiny bwo’s), a larger bwo, caddis, with the waning of the Stub Wing stoneflies (summer stones). October caddis are almost done pupating in their sealed off cases and ready to go once the arc of the sun gets a little lower, and temperatures drop both in the air and water. There are lots of smaller fish in the system ranging from 9 to 2” and are eating dry dropper rigs. These trout are about 2 years old and it amazes me that we have a large population right now because that means that even during the drought, their parents were able to pull off a very productive spawn. Look for these fish to get a whole lot bigger in the next few years.

Tight lining has been the most effective method as always, but the brown trout are starting to move around and that means good streamer fishing is just around the corner. Sculpin patterns, crayfish, and baby rainbows will entice if properly presented. Overall fishing is picking up and will continue to get better as the weeks march on.

In other news, myself and other board members of Trout Unlimited Truckee chapter 103 had an outreach meeting for our next restoration project on “The Loop” upstream of Horner’s Corner. Though attendance was light, we were pleased that anglers who cared or wanted to comment showed up.

The project is slated for fall of 2018, and with the addition of the “J” and “W” weirs, it will create scouring which will deepen the featureless shallow area, and create new natural spawning gravel. The weirs also create habitat for not only larger trout, but also young of the year. The same type of restoration was done on the private water of the San Francisco Fly Casting Club last summer and even after this winter’s huge flows through the Glenshire stretch, every boulder was still standing. The weirs for the most part did their job. If you would like donate, volunteer your time, or get involved with the Trout Unlimited Truckee Chapter103, contact Sierra-Cascades Field Coordinator Sam Sadillo at the Truckee office – 530.587.7110. See you on the water…

Trout Unlimited Truckee Chapter 103 "The Loop" Restoration and Habitat Project

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Simms G3 Guide Vest Product Reveiw

I'm from the old school of fly fishing where using a vest was the norm, I grew up with them, and all of them have served me well. Today's world offers so many different options for carrying the essentials for fly fishing. I sometimes use a sling pack when minimal gear is required and I'm fishing solo. To be honest, I'm still not use to it, it feels foreign to me. As a 20 year veteran guide I carry it all when I'm out with my guests on the water, I'm fully stocked and prepared for any breakdown or equipment needs that may arise. I'm often teased that I carry too much, but in reality my job is no different than being a sherpa on big Himalayan peak, I must be ready to deliver the goods at any cost so we can reach the summit no matter the situation.

I just retired my Simms Guide vest so a friend who recently had his vest stolen could benefit. I've use it for 10 years with an average of 250 days on the water. That's over 2,500 days. The only damage to the vest was from the effects of UV rays from our friend the sun. The outer material of top individual pockets on the back rotted away, as well as the collar. That's it. Every zippered pocket, or velcro pocket is still working like it's new. The retractors are still functional with no cracks in the coiled vinyl. No tears or rips of the outer material after years of abuse. I'm really hard on gear, mostly because I venture where the wild things are, way off the beaten path. The Simms guide vest has proven to be bomb proof.

So with a new Simms G3 vest to switch over to, I'd like to list the great functions it provides, afterall its proven track record speaks volumes, and I need to look no further for my fly fishing on stream storage needs.

This multitasking superhero outperforms them all, with more than 20 intuitively placed pockets that maintain everything from flies and fly boxes to split-shot, licenses, cell phones, spools, leaders, and more always at the ready. Its breathable, padded collar and stretch fabric shoulders help disperse the load, while keeping you cool and comfortable during high-exertion days on the water.

  • 22 pockets: 4 patent-pending molded foam pockets on chest front, 6 bellowed pockets, 2 Thermolaminated zippered pockets, 2 vertical/4 horizontal interior pockets, 2 large horizontal pockets, 1 split back pocket, 1 bellowed back cargo pocket.
  • 100% non-corrosive zippers and sliders.
  • 2 patented built-in retractors with magnetic docking station.
  • Breathable padded collar & stretch fabric shoulders.
  • 100% Nylon woven fabric with DuPont™ Teflon® finish and 100% polyester mesh lining.
  • Approximate weight: 25 oz.

  • The little parts all add up for the complete package - zippers, metal buttons and snaps, and Nylon buckles - all earn the YKK® brand. The big difference begins with their obsession to ensure that every individual component renders maximum value to the finished whole. That commitment instills quality and value into every product. Simms utilizes fasteners built to withstand the harshest environments and YKK® provides the best solutions to meet those needs. All Simms outerwear features nylon YKK® zippers to minimize corrosion and provide high performing, durable wear.

    Also included is the durable DuPont™ Teflon® water and stain-repellent, for superior comfort and performance in all weather conditions that range from balmy to abysmal.

    My personal rating of this product is a 10, there is no other vest finer than the Simms G3 Guide Vest. Visit your authorized Simms dealer to check it out. You will not be disappointed.

    "The Umpire Run" on the Little Truckee River. Photo by Frank Pisciotta of Thy Rod & Staff Guide Service

    Saturday, September 2, 2017

    High Stick / Tight Line Leaders and Thoughts

    A recent blog post fueled my fire when it comes to High Sticking or Tight Lining, don't even mention the name Euro nymphing to me, I'm not buying it. Sure, they have their own way of rigging, but the actual presentation goes back long before the white man appeared on the rivers of Northern California. It was the native American Wintu women who created weighted flies while employing a short line technique for trout. Born out of necessity in northern California, this productive nymphing technique was passed on, and fly anglers Joe Kimsey and Ted Fay popularized it for the mainstream, while adding more flies to the rig creating the "Christmas Tree". My father learned it as well in his late teens, and perfected the technique years later. When I came onto the scene in the early 70's it was passed down to me. That's the only way of nymphing we knew, there was no indicators, and certainly not the High Stick leaders we use today.

    The blog post I read stated "I’ve seen some wacky tight line rigs this summer that people have come up with from the internet, or on their own. While they work, most of them don’t work well here". My family's Tight Line rig of the 70's and 80's consisted of a short piece of florescent orange Amnesia (the sighter) off the fly line, with a 7.5 foot tapered leader to 3x, with one heavy fly. Additional split shot was added depending on the water conditions. Doesn't get much simpler than that. That rig caught many trout on the Truckee, Pit, McCloud, Trinity, NF Feather, MF Feather, WB Feather, Upper Sacramento, and Deer creek. It also worked well on the low flow section of the Feather, and the Mad for steelhead. If a guide tells you there is only one way to do something, doubt them. There is 10 different ways to achieve the same principal, it just comes down to your personal preference.

    Fly fishing and the techniques we use are always evolving. Progression is a beautiful thing. With newer products available, more and more rigs are rising to the surface and going viral. Many of these leader systems are created just to create hype, or give an angler some recognition. Some rigs work better than others because of the mechanics involved. Explained below is the Tight Line leader I use, and I don't mind sharing, after all, you're only halfway to success without experience on the water.

    I start with 2.5 feet of 40 pound stiff mono, size .024. I will often go with a longer length of the butt material depending on the size of my rod. This is the backbone of the leader system which aids in making a good load and lob presentation for a near vertical entry. I make a perfection loop on one end, this will be attached to your floating fly line. I always cut a little more leader material to account for the added length the knots will take up.

    Next, I clip off 12" of RIO's 11 pound Two Tone Indicator high-viz tippet material for the next section, "The Sighter", which will give you the clues of any odd or irregular movements of the leader while making a drift. This will indicate a strike, or the bottom. Because of it's small diameter, and contrasting colors, it will pick up the slightest of variances within the rig. I like the main color to be chartreuse with the ends in hot pink.

    The 2.5 feet of 40 pound mono is spliced to the 12" of Sighter tippet. Joining two sizes of mono that are vastly different in size can be difficult unless one uses the opposing barrel/nail knot splice. This is an extremely strong knot because the two nail knots butt up against each other. These knots will not fail, only the tensile strength of the mono will. 

    One must use the Tie-Fast nail knot tool to achieve the opposing nail knot, with practice it becomes easy to tie. First the Sighter tippet is nail knotted around the 40 pound with 5 turns, do not tighten down all the way yet. Flip the leader around, now nail knot the 40 pound around the Sighter tippet, again, do not tighten down all the way. Moisten between the two nail knots and pull the 40 pound mono, and the Sighter tippet so that the nail knots come together. Now take your forceps and grab the short tag of the 40 pound, and with your hand grab the long end of the 40 pound and set the knot. Do the same with the sighter section. There will be a micro gap between the knots, so grab both ends of the 40 pound and Sighter tippet, and pull until the nail knots are butted up against each other for the final time. No connection is stronger for large freshwater fish.

    Cut off 5.5 feet of 10 pound fluorocarbon tippet, or if your quarry is bigger with additional heavy flows, you can use 15 pound. By using a blood knot or double surgeons knot, tie the floro onto the Sighter section.

    At the end of the 5.5 foot section of floro, tie on a #14 swivel. Weight is added as needed on the upside of the swivel towards the fly line. The weight will never slide down to your flies, the swivel prevents this from happening. 

    Add 10 inches of 1 to 4x floro from the swivel down to your first fly, which will be about 8 inches after you have tied your knots. Keep in mind that tippet size will be determined by the size of the fly, flow, size of fish, and water clarity. Go heavier than lighter when in doubt, you can always downsize, but you can't bring back that trophy trout once you've broke it off.

    Off the eye of the first fly, I tie in a 16" piece of floro tippet using the appropriate size depending on the conditions to a big heavy fly, like my "Madison Magic Stone" I developed for the Madison River in 1998. That's the complete High Stick/Tight Line rig from fly line to your bottom fly. Total length about 10 feet or a little more. It may not be as simple as the rigs we used back in the day, but it is very effective on ANY freestone river in the west.

    Rigging for fly fishing depends on your own personal needs, ease of operation, and what gives you the most confidence. Feel free to tweak any leader formula, fly recipe, or whatever. In the end it's your call...

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