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Old 11-09-2012, 09:13 AM
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Default Where did my line go?

AARGHHH!
What didn't take off down stream is wraped around my legs.

How do you control your line when retrieving?
For me, and probably many others, fishing is about more than just the little fella with the fins. I enjoy getting out of the house, The gear, getting on the water, chatting with the deer I pass along the trail (even with the dirty looks they give me), navigating the water on foot and finding new ways to fool Mr. Fin into taking my fly.
I know there are ways to do it better, I just need to find what they are. This weeks focus is on line control for me. My biggest problem is what to do with the line as I retrieve it. Especially when fishing up stream, all that extra line goes everywhere as I pull it in to remove slack from the drifting line. Some of it is wrapped around my legs while the rest of it is trailing off down stream with the current. This makes casting even more difficult. I'm bad enough as it is, the current just makes that more apparent (sounds like "...than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.).
I tried, for a while, making loops and hanging them off of the little finger of my line hand. The tangles from this method were actually worse than the current taking the line down stream. So I abandoned that. Then I tried mending more often so that I didn't have to recast the line out as often. The current proved too fast for me, I'm not good enough "yet" to keep up.
Fishing down stream is where I've seen the most action. Since I can cast and allow it to drift down and across things are much cleaner and look much more natural. I still end up recasting now and then with line in the water since I pull it in a little at a time. So even down stream I'm fighting the friction of the water against my slack.

It is probable that my entire style is incorrect, I will definitely take advise on that. But assuming that it is not, what do you do with your line as you retrieve it without the reel? Loops on the wrist? stripping basket?

Yikes, I'm kinda long winded
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: Where did my line go?

How much line do you have out? On rivers I let the line go downstream, generally, and don't have problems as long as there aren't things in the river or hanging off me (like a net) that the line can tangle around. But I usually don't have that much line out to get tangled.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: Where did my line go?

Sometimes the mess can be caused by having far more line stripped off of the reel than you need. Fishing upstream I throw the stripped line downstream to the side that won't wrap the line around me.
Fishing downstream where you put the free line should be intuitive.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:16 AM
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Default Re: Where did my line go?

Years ago there was an old magazine ad, I think it was for Powell fly rods, where the gentleman in the photo had loops of line in his mouth preparing for the cast. That ad really hit home to me on the importance line management.
You really have to think about it. It's not something you do unconsciously.
When to coil, when to drop a loop, how large the loops need to be (progressively smaller)....
It's important and it's not easy
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: Where did my line go?

Think of it this way.

1. After a cast, all the line should be out of the guides with no extra line on the water.

2. You should retrieve line only through the useable drift. Whether you are fishing dries or nymphing, there is only a relatively short section of the drift that is drag free. This is the functional portion of the drift. At the end of the drift, pick up and recast; do not continue to pull in extra line.

A 10 foot long drift with a dry fly is a long time for the fly to be floating drag free. Most drifts are shorter than that, so if you have a lot of line at your feet, you probably should pick up and recast more often.

When you are fishing still waters with a streamer you would retrieve a lot of line but in moving water, you would fish much shorter sections and there is no need to retrieve all or most of the line. This is one of the advantages of fly fishing. Unlike spin fishing, we can pickup and recast without retrieving all the line. We can hit the best spots on a river without retrieving the fly back to us through less productive water.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:25 AM
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Default Re: Where did my line go?

One of the most productive spots in the river I fish is fairly narrow. 15 to 20 feet across. So when I fish up stream I am casting perhaps 30 feet. I try to let it drift past all the overhangs and downed trees in the water until it gets back to me. At that point I will have 10 feet or so of line out. So when I go to cast again I'm fighting the friction on around 20 feet of line in the water behind me. For example: One of my favorites is sinking a Wholly Bugger to the bottom and letting him drift down stream. I'll get hits around 30% of the time. (I haven't been out much since the temperature dropped over the last 2-3 weekends, so I haven't yet adapted any style to the changing weather.)
One stretch is just down from a bend in the river, so I can't cast from upstream since the trees come right up to the waters edge. If i want to fish this section I have to do it from down stream.
My biggest problem (In my head) may be that I don't know any fly fishermen and I fish alone so I can't see how anyone else does it. I am one of those people. I can expand on many things, but I generally want a visual example to use as a starting point.

I have been trying to keep as much distance as possible. So I will, at times, cast farther and pull line to move the fly around and/or "mimick" life. I'm wondering if I should move "myself" around the river more so that I can have less slack in the water. It is not clear water so I start to wonder if the fish see me that much anyway.

---------- Post added at 11:25 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:23 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
Think of it this way.

1. After a cast, all the line should be out of the guides with no extra line on the water.

2. You should retrieve line only through the useable drift. Whether you are fishing dries or nymphing, there is only a relatively short section of the drift that is drag free. This is the functional portion of the drift. At the end of the drift, pick up and recast; do not continue to pull in extra line.

A 10 foot long drift with a dry fly is a long time for the fly to be floating drag free. Most drifts are shorter than that, so if you have a lot of line at your feet, you probably should pick up and recast more often.

When you are fishing still waters with a streamer you would retrieve a lot of line but in moving water, you would fish much shorter sections and there is no need to retrieve all or most of the line. This is one of the advantages of fly fishing. Unlike spin fishing, we can pickup and recast without retrieving all the line. We can hit the best spots on a river without retrieving the fly back to us through less productive water.
Ah, this helps describe the answers to some of my questions. I lost track of it as i was typing my response. i should probably find a way to reduce the weight to line issues. My presentations tend to be more on the side of a crashing bridge than a landing angel. That forces me to think that I should leave it drift longer to reach the fish that weren't crushed by the bridge. They aren't all bridge collapses, it just feels that way at times.
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: Where did my line go?

they do make a "stripping basket" for holding all your slack line.
Cabela's: William Joseph Retractable Stripping Basket
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: Where did my line go?

Hello,

When I have to strip in the line during up stream fishing, I hold the loops (aprox. 50" each loop) with my little finger and my ring finger of my left hand. I avoid to let the line flow downstream in a big loop, because this could be dangerous if a bigger fish takes line and could swim through that loop in the worst case. Then you are in real trouble
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: Where did my line go?

When I think about it, I put loops in my hand. But, sometime it is just downstream, which is only a problem when it gets wrapped around me and the bigger fish runs on me.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: Where did my line go?

I would also put the loops in my left (non rod) hand.

After the cast, put the fly line under the index (trigger) finger of your rod hand and strip line in from behind that finger.

The key is to use big loops and not the small loops. The more loops, the more chance of tangling. So as each loop reaches almost down to the water, place the line around the finders of your left hand and start another loop.

When you need to recast, feed (allow the line to slip from between your fingers) line from each loop and let the loops straighten as needed from your left hand. Always keep the loops in your left hand. Do not drop loops but feed the line from your left hand until the loops are all gone.

You can practice this technique on grass.
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