Curious about a few things related to small flies and old eyes
One, to use the small flies, you obviously have to using some smaller size tippets, 6x, 7x to even thread them on, which leads me to the question of what happens when you hook a bigger trout 5 or 6 lbs. How do you play him so he does not snaps off your 2 lb tippet?
Second question, my eyes are not what they used to be, and I have a real hard time seing well enough to thread tippet into size 18 or 20 flies. If you have a similar issue, how do you resolve it?
Make sure you have your drag set properly and hope for the best. You can actually put a fair amount of pressure on, so long as there's no sudden yank on the line. I've caught some very nice trout on even a 2 wt. with 8x tippet, but I was lucky in that, in those instances, the trout were hooked in relatively open water. If there had been obstructions nearby and I had to turn them, I doubt that I would have landed them.
As far as the small flies, old eyes problem: I just use reading glasses. Yes, they're a pain, but I don't change flies so often that it's unbearable. I have a pair of flip-down magnifiers that attach to your hat but I haven't given them a fair shot yet.
funny you should mention the flip downs, I just bought a pair that hook to my prescription sun glasses. My wife bought me a pair of maui jim prescripts, and they are great for the water, but not so good for tying on flies.
Been thinking about getting a pair of prescripts, with a little extra strong bifocal built in, my company vision plan allows me to get new frames and glass this year, and I just got new ones in November for my everydays.
My "old eyes" get worse at dusk and other low light situations. I bought a pair of Smith Action presciption sunglasses with yellow lenses and extra strong bifocals (somewhere between 2x and 2.5x).
So here's the deal: I've been fishing for a while, I'm getting tired, and the sun's just gone down. All of a sudden the fish start gulping something that's definitely not on the end of my fly line.
I put my regular polarized sunglesses away (too dark for them anyway), put on the polarized yellow lenses (so I see better), and the extra strength bifocals enable me to to hold the tippet and fly about a foot from my face in sharp focus. Yes, they cost $200+, but for me they're worth it.
We're all in the same boat. We all come 'ere and we don't know why. We all go in our turn and we don't know where. If you are a bit better off, be thankful. And if you don't get into trouble an' make a fool of yourself, well, be thankful for that,'cos you easily might.--J.B.Priestley
On tippet, you'd be surprised how small of a fly you can get 6x into the eye of, provided its not blocked by head cement.
You'd also be surprised how much pressure you can put on 6x tippet with a fly rod without breaking it. Try this: with a 6x leader tied on to your normal trout rod, tie on a fly, hook it to a fence post/tree/etc, walk 30' away and keep pulling back and putting an increasing bend in the rod until the tippet snaps. I'll bet when you feel how hard you can pull on it, you'll react with "Whoa!......REALLY?.....Wow!" (Tip gained from Al Troth via Amazon.com: Wisdom of the Guides: Rocky Mountain Trout Guides Talk Fly Fishing: Paul Arnold: Books )
2) I use the flip down mags on my hat brim and love em. But, you must be cautious to flip them back up after use when fishing in the sun. If you leave them half down, you can burn a hole in your nose if the sun hit it just right.........not that I would admit to experiencing this, but be careful.
I attached some photos from an old post on the same subject.. You can get a pair of those Electronic Mini-Grabbers like the one in red for larger flies, say down to 18 - 20 or you can get an old ball point pen, put a piece of wire forming a loop in the ink tube & crimp it tightly. When you click the pen the loop comes out & when you release it, it retracts & grabs the fly. You can almost tie on a 28 with gloves on using this. I also have one of those C & F boxes with the threaders in it & I'll pre-load Tiny Flies If I think about it. I always have some basic midges & tiny BWO's strung on them... I've also seen nippers with those threaders on them.
As for the eyes I have flip focals that clamp on my hat brim & use them during the day but at night I put a hat light on the brim, So I use a pair of drugstore magnifiers I carry hanging around my neck on a lanyard. I just bend out the temple pieces to fit over my glasses. With all that said sometimes I get it on the first try & sometimes I'm cursing up a storm. There is not much worse than rushing a knot having it slip out when your testing it or when a fish takes it so I try to slow up & calm down.....
Thaks for all the suggestions, the ball point pen thing looks kewl, might have to mcgyver me one of those things. Cliff, I'll give it a shot, I usually fish with 5x or 4lb flouro, not sure how the size of the flouro compares with the 6x or 7x, but I think I will check it out. My biggest problem as noted, is being able to see that tiny hole in those little flies....
I did get a pair of flipdowns that clip to my sunglasses for my birthday, so gonna try those, also, like I said, I may go see the eye doc and have them build me up a pair of yellow lens bifocals (extra strong), with my vision plan I think I can get these for under a 100 bucks.
thanks for all the tips, I will have to try fishing some smaller tippets, if the flouro is not small enough