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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 09-18-2011, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Light tippet or not...

There is a section in "The River Why" where Gus hooks a King Salmon on 8X and plays the fish throughout it's night time upstream journey. The fish becomes used to the slight pull as well as the presence of the angler. Early the next morning the fish stops to rest for the day. Gus then slowly eases forward and eventually touches the salmon's side. He then breaks the 8X tippet.
Fiction, of course, but don't we all wish for not only the skill to do this, but also to feel the connection with the fish told in this story?

Unless I am fishing in very heavy water, or for trout larger than 24", I rarely use anything but 6X tippet as I feel my skill level is adequate to quickly land fish on 6X tippet. Of course this has taken me over 50 years to develop.
I never use 7 or 8X as I do not have that delicate a touch and neither do the 5wt rods I use.
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: Light tippet or not...

For trout I almost always use 6X for dries unless the water is very heavy, and in that case I go to 5X. I use 6X for midges and nymphs also, but go to 4X for streamers. I have landed many trout to 4+ pounds with the 6X, but I have to say I had the trout of a lifetime (about 30" rainbow) break off my 6X tippet. I never had a chance!
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:36 AM
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Default Re: Light tippet or not...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigdog2421 View Post
I feel my skill level is adequate to quickly land fish on 6X tippet. Of course this has taken me over 50 years to develop.
I never use 7 or 8X as I do not have that delicate a touch and neither do the 5wt rods I use.
The skills I've gained in over 50 years of fly fishing and 20+ of the later years fly fishing from 2 to 7 days a week, not just on vacation, allow me to land some nice fish on 7X tippet. The gin-clear, slow waters of my favorite tailwater dictate fine tippet. The very first part of the battle is getting the fish to bite. Fish in this tailwater laugh at thick rope tied to the fly. It helps too that I use reels with drags that are very smoth and consistant and rods with the power down low to help muscle the fish but the perfect tip for protecting light tippet.
Knowing that the tippet needed for a hook up on the leader is always on the edge of being too light is half the fun and dictates that just wenching them in won't work.
For places other than that tailrace and sometimes spring creeks I use beefier tippet.
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: Light tippet or not...

Trout is the species I know the LEAST about. I don't get to fish them often and more accessible fish seem to steal my precious free time. I will weigh in with some of my "conventional" fishing wisdom though. The sink rate between 20 and 30lb test mono is tremendous. Many times, especially when fishing live bait most fishermen will assume that Striped Bass are line shy because I'm catching them on 20lb and they're not on 30lb. My bait is swimming deeper than theirs because thinner diameter mono sinks faster. I'm sure it's true that in some waters a 7X is absolutely necessary to catch a Trout but it may be a depth issue more than a visability issue. Just my 2 cents.
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