(excerpt from July/August 2017 issue)
“Learning how to fly cast properly and practicing regularly will catch you more fish and save you money in lost flies.” “Streamers often take the most time [to tie] and therefore I put more effort into their retrieval, but again my time and money (like everyone else’s) is limited so I try to avoid losing any fly.
Most nymphs and drys take two to five minutes to tie, and every one I lose is that many minutes I’m not spending time with my family or spending personal time on the stream,” George Daniel said.
Shultzy’s Swingin’ D 2.0
REAR HOOK: Partridge Attittude Extra, size 2, or Ahrex NS172 Curved Gammarus, size4.
THREAD: UTC Ultra Thread 140
FLASH: Opal Hedron Flashabou Mirage and Lateral Scale.
TAIL: Saddle hackles tied Deceiver style.
BODY: Chocklett’s Filler Flash and two magnum hen saddle hackles.
CAP FEATHER: Mallard flank.
SHANK 1: 10 mm Fish-Skull Articulated Fish-Spine.
BODY 2: Chocklett’s Filler Flash and two or three magnum hen saddle feathers.
SHANK 2: 15 mm Fish-Skull Articulated Fish-Spine.
BODY 3: Chocklett’s Filler Flash and two magnum hen saddle feathers.
CONNECTION: 30-pound RIO Powerflex Wire Bite.
FRONT HOOK: Gamakatsu 48412, size 2/0, or Ahrex PR330 Aberdeen Predator, size 2/0.
KEEL: .025 inch lead wire wrapped around the hook bend and secured with Loon UV Knot Sense (optional).
BUMP: XL (20 mm) Frizzle Chenille.
ABDOMEN: Chocklett’s Filler Flash and three magnum saddle feathers.
BODY 4: Chocklett’s Filler Flash and three magnum hen saddle feathers wrapped over rattle.
RATTLE: 5 mm glass rattle.
BODY 5: Chocklett’s Filler Flash wrapped over and through rattle.
FLASH: Hedron Flashabou.
ACCENT: One grizzly hackle tip on each side.
THROAT: Cascade Crest Mirror Wrap.
HEAD: Small Rainy’s Diver Head or small Cascade Crest Diver Head (color of choice).
To help preserve that family time, Daniel suggests adopting fluorocarbon, but not for the typical reasons: “I use fluorocarbon not because it’s less visible, but because of abrasion resistance. Although it’s more expensive, anglers will lose [fewer] flies because their leader/tippet frays less.”
So instead of unnecessary postureruining tying sessions, retrieve a few more flies and save your precious time for chasing your kids or dogs around the yard. You’ll help preserve the environment while you’re at it.
To streamer pros, like Corey Haselhuhn and the crew at Schultz Outfitters, lost flies are a rare but occasional occurrence. According to Haselhuhn, “Fish get lost, but flies get saved. We go back for most flies, in trees, underwater, or stuck on rocks. We only give up flies if they’re stuck high in a tree or if they’re bitten clean off by pike.”
For more food for thought, Mike Schultz’s Swingin’ D is an innovative streamer pattern that incorporates a foam head on an articulated streamer body. When fished on a sinking-tip line, you can pull it underwater to accentuate its baitfishlike action, and when a log gets in the way, the angler can stop stripping and the fly will float to the surface where you can yank it over the obstacle and avoid costly hang-ups. The takeaway is that understanding the form and function of your fly can go a long way to keeping it attached to your line.
If we each make a personal goal to lose one or two fewer flies per outing by fishing better tippet, using the right fly for a given situation, and accept a few blown holes, we can collectively make a reduction in the number of flies (and tippet and split shot) abandoned in our treasured rivers and streams each year.