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Tips & Trivia

Flyfishing Tips

Weigh your catch with a tape measure, knots and lines, catch and release for the future, the Beaufort wind scale, and fishing dry and wet flies.

WEIGH YOUR CATCH WITH A TAPE MEASURE
LENGTH
Tip of nose to notch at the center of tail.
G
I
R
T
H

10" 12" 14" 16" 18" 20" 22" 24" 26" 28" 30"
8" .08 1.0 1.1 1.3 1.4 1.6 1.8 1.9 2.1 2.2 2.4
10" 1.3 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.3 2.5 2.8 3.0 3.3 3.5 3.8
12" 1.8 2.2 2.5 2.9 3.2 3.6 4.0 4.3 4.7 5.0 5.4
14" 2.5 2.9 3.4 3.9 4.4 4.9 5.4 5.9 6.4 6.9 7.4
16" 3.2 3.8 4.5 5.1 5.8 6.4 7.0 7.7 8.3 9.0 9.6
18" 4.1 4.9 5.7 6.5 7.3 8.1 8.9 9.7 10.5 11.3 12.2
20" 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 11.0 12.0 13.0 14.0 15.0

EXAMPLE: A fish 20" long and 14" around (at its thickest part) weighs 4.9 pounds.

American Fishing Manufacturers Association Fly Line Standards
Line Size Weight of 1st. 30' (grains) Acceptable weight range
1 60 54-66
2 80 74-86
3 100 94-106
4 120 114-126
5 140 134-146
6 160 152-168
7 185 177-193
8 210 202-218
9 240 230-250
10 280 270-290
11 330 318-342
12 380 368-392

KNOTS AND LINES

  1. Loop knots will allow you fly to move more naturally than clinch type knots.
  2. Wet your knots with saliva before drawing them up. Slippery knots will cinch up harder and won't produce line damaging heat.
  3. Replace all monofilament every season.
  4. Store monofilament in a cool, dry, dark place (the freezer is excellent). UV rapidly destroys lines.
  5. You only need to know how to tie the UNI KNOT and the SURGEON'S KNOT. There are better knots for specific purposes, but these two will do just fine for most applications.

CATCH AND RELEASE FOR THE FUTURE

  1. Play your fish quickly.
  2. "Land" fish in water as deep as fish is long. Avoid plastic nets, they scrape off protective slime.
  3. Grasp fish at base of tail (a wet cloth may help). Keep fingers out of its gills and don't squeeze!
  4. Quickly measure length and girth (keep fish in the water).
  5. Revive fish by facing it into gentle current or gently swish it to and fro to force water through gills.
  6. Release fish only after it strongly swims from your grasp.
  7. TOTAL time out of water shouldn't exceed 15 seconds.

FISHING DRY FLIES

  1. Dab dry flies with floatant paste or oil.
  2. Dry a damp fly by making one or two false casts.
  3. Shake soggy flies in a desiccant powder like Loon's Dry Kote. Never put oil or paste on a soggy fly. . . you'll only seal in the wetness.
  4. Don't be too quick to dry your fly. Very often a fly meant to be fished drywill actually catch more fish when it sinks!

 

FISHING WET FLIES

  1. Get your fly on the bottom; if you're not losing flies or catching moss, you're not deep enough.
  2. Tie a small piece of bright yarn a foot or so from the fly so it's easy to follow (you won't scare fish).
  3. Keep your leader almost taught so you can detect the most subtle grab.
  4. Most grabs occur at the end of the drift just as the fly swings upward make "blind" strikes at this point.

Beaufort Wind Scale (with help from Cutter)

Force Wind
(Knots)
Wind
(MPH)
WMO
Classification
Appearance of Wind Effects
Water Land
0 < 1 <1 Calm Sea surface smooth and mirror-like Calm, smoke rises vertically
1 1-3 1-3 Light Air Scaly ripples, no foam crests Smoke drift indicates wind direction, still wind vanes
2 4-6 4-7 Light Breeze Small wavelets, crests glassy, no breaking Wind felt on face, leaves rustle, vanes begin to move
3 7-10 8-12 Gentle Breeze Large wavelets, crests begin to break, scattered whitecaps. >Limit of controlled fly fishing from a small boat. Leaves and small twigs constantly moving, light flags extended
4 11-16 13-18 Moderate Breeze Small waves 1-4 ft. becoming longer, numerous whitecaps. >Difficult to maneuver float tube Dust, leaves, and loose paper lifted, small tree branches move
5 17-21 19-24 Fresh Breeze >Small craft advisories usually go into effect. Moderate waves 4-8 ft taking longer form, many whitecaps, some spray. >Challenging flycasting. Small trees in leaf begin to sway
6 22-27 25-31 Strong Breeze Larger waves 8-13 ft, whitecaps common, more spray Larger tree branches moving, whistling in wires
7 28-33 32-28 Near Gale Sea heaps up, waves 13-20 ft, white foam streaks off breakers Whole trees moving, resistance felt walking against wind
8 34-40 39-46 Gale >Gale warnings in effect. Moderately high (13-20 ft) waves of greater length, edges of crests begin to break into spindrift, foam blown in streaks Whole trees in motion, resistance felt walking against wind
9 41-47 47-54 Strong Gale High waves (20 ft), sea begins to roll, dense streaks of foam, spray may reduce visibility Slight structural damage occurs, shakes blow off roofs
10 48-55 55-63 Storm >Storm warnings in effect. Very high waves (20-30 ft) with overhanging crests, sea white with densely blown foam, heavy rolling, lowered visibility Trees broken or uprooted, "considerable structural damage"
11 56-63 64-72 Violent Storm Exceptionally high (30-45 ft) waves, foam patches cover sea, visibility more reduced  
12 64+ 73+ Hurricane >Hurricane warnings in effect. Air filled with foam, waves over 45 ft, sea completely white with driving spray, visibility greatly reduced. >Flycasting difficult but not impossible.