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Old 07-01-2009, 09:40 AM
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Default Tying fly on tippet???

Just got back from a trip to Wier Pond; Bishop Creek. They are between 8,500' and 9,500'. The guy I'm with says altitude will affect ones vision (probably making me feel better). We are in waist deep water at sun up (fairly dark with mountain shadows). I'm fairly new to fly fishing, but had no idea that I was such a fumble bum. I couldn't see well enough to get my flies tied on the tippet. I did a search to get info but just found the thread on holding your rod while changing flies. That was another problem I kept fighting so glad that I found that thread. Any good tips on tying-on/changing flies in near dark or bad lighting or other adverse conditions?
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: Tying fly on tippet???

Hi Jimmy,

Welcome to the club. It only gets worse as you get older. There are some things that will help. Here are some that come to mind.

1. If you don't have prescription glasses in your Polaroids you might want to think about getting them. Get them with bifocals with the bifocal low on the lens. You don't want them up as high on the lens as you do normal glasses. Of course you wouldn't have on your polaroids in the dark.

2. If you already wear prescription glasses then consider one of the magnifiers that clip on you hat brim. I use these a lot. You need a brim like on a baseball cap.

Flip-Up Opticaid
Click the image to open in full size.

3. Then there is the paste on magnifiers that you apply to your glasses. I have never used these. The ones in the photo are too high for my taste. They will interfere with your waling and looking down at the trail. However, I think you can trim them to size.

Optx 20/20
Click the image to open in full size.

4. To help with the light there are headlamps with diode lights. These will burn for a long time and give enough light to tie on flies. When you are done switch the light off. The Petzl is a great light with three light levels. The brightest light will help you get to the fishing spot in the dark.

Petzl Tikka XP Head Lamp
Click the image to open in full size.

5. Then there are little lamps with a flexible goose neck that you put in your vest pocket. The goose neck sticks out and gives light to tie on a fly. Not as good as the head lamp for walking in the dark, There is also small flash lights that take one AAA battery. This are very compact and give good light for walking. When you want to tie on a fly you hold the flash light in your mouth. This works surprisingly good. Then there is the small light that has the bulb and battery that are wired together. One brand was called the "Cricket." You place it between your teeth and when you applied pressure with your teeth the light turns on. Or you could squeeze it between your thumb and finger and it would light. This was a throw away light when the battery died.

There is also a magnifier that hangs from a cord around your neck. The magnifier lays flat on your chest. If I remember right it also had a light. When you wanted to tie on a fly you turned the magnifier 90 degrees to your chest. So when you looked down you could see through the magnifier. This works great but it is too bulky for my taste.

Frank
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Tying fly on tippet???

Jimmie: I think the guy you were with was just making you feel better. I live at 7,200 ft and have never noticed any real changes with vision when fishing at higher altitudes. Frank is right on with his recommendations, glasses and some sort of light works wonders. At my age and eye sight I can't tie flies on even in bright light let alone late afternoon early evening without reading glasses.

Larry
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: Tying fly on tippet???

To tag onto what Frank said, I use a clip on LED light that clips to the bill of my hat (I wear a baseball hat most of the time). I use this light if I plan to fish in the later evening. I originally bought it to use when I set up my treestand in the wee hours of the morning.

Can't speak to what Frank said about glasses, thankfully.

As far as holding the rod when you tie or such, it depends:

If I am wet wading, I put it in my arm pit. Sometimes, if I'm in a pair of shorts with the cargo pocket on the lower leg, I put the reel end in that then just hold the upper section in my armpit and reach around the rod to do my tying/whatever.

If I'm in hip waders, I just insert the reel end inside the waders like a holster.

Not that I've done this, but I'd try: If I was in full waders, I'd put a small metal clip attached to the waders. I'd attach the clip to the hook holder on the rod and let it hang.

Any way you can get both hands free....
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:38 AM
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Default Re: Tying fly on tippet???

Yeah....my eyes aren't what they used to be. I use those generic magnifying glasses on a croakie, available in drug stores etc, 2x I think.

I wear prescription glasses normally with bifocals, but found the distortion when looking down while wading to be a problem, so have prescription polarized sunglasses just for for distance.

One thing you might want to try are the "fly threaders" from C&F. They're great if you use small flies and work like a bobbin threader for tying (which you could also use, but might be harder to hang onto on-stream). They come in different sizes for different sized flies, but get the smallest you're likely to use if you just get one.

Fly Threaders - C&F Fly Threader Sets - C&F Design

You can also buy fly boxes with them as well as inserts (to fit C & F boxes if you already have them)
Threader Box - C&F Fly Boxes - C&F Design

Most fly shops carry them, or shop around to get the best price.

mark
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Tying fly on tippet???

A tie-fast tool may make it easier for you. Once you know how to use it, you can almost tie on a fly with your eyes closed.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: Tying fly on tippet???

I your havin' problems seein' because of the light conditions, hold the fly up to the sky and thred your tippet that way. THe sky is always weree the most light is, so even late into the evenin' this 'ill work. Although I have noticed that higher elevations do tend to make ones eyes water. Therefore yor frieend may be correct.
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:27 AM
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Default Re: Tying fly on tippet???

Thank you everyone. Some really good knowledge you gave and I really appreciate it. I need one of each but at a minimum start with a light and some type of magnification. I just hate bifocals but like your idea of the real small bifocal Frank. My Optomotrist is a fly fisher so he should be able to pull it off.
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Old 07-02-2009, 05:35 AM
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Default Re: Tying fly on tippet???

My two bits...

I just go those sunglasses with 1.5 built in as a bi-focal. It is clear and works great in low light. only $21 at Bass-Pro

Also as far as light. I use what Frank suggested in headlamp. And the last time I did this I tied the fly and caught a fish in the dark without really seeing the take.

And of course.. Ditto's to age. I ask my eye doc. If I can see better closer without my glasses is my vision getting better... Answer: "No we call that Bi-focals" :%)
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Old 07-02-2009, 07:25 AM
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Default Re: Tying fly on tippet???

Getting old is a *****..lol Fishing at night it gets tough tying on a new fly. I was fishing the other night and had a Hex spinner fall and a hatch going at the same time. IF one pattern doesn't work you have to find what they're taking; but we all know this... I have trouble getting the tag end of my tippet back through the loops on my ICK; One retie took me almost 10 minutes, which is very frustrating when the fish are going strong. As I was driving back to camp my buddy was complaining about how much harder it's getting to tye flies on at night; he's even considering quitting the night fishing. I thought about it and it hit me, loops... I went back tied a Hex leader and put a loop on the end like you use to attach the leader to the fly line. Took a selection of various Hex patterns and tied short leaders to them using 3x; and tied a loop to the other end. Went and gave it a try, easy on and off, and it cast like it was tied directly to the leader. See if it works for you...

Dan
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