Please contact me if you're wanting a Superfine glass rod, customized just for you.
Orvis put their Superfine glass fly rods on the market a year or so ago & they have been been met with fantastic reviews. That's great, but you & I can do even better!! Why not get a new Superfine, but finished out, custom just for you? I can make your rod on these nice blanks, so the rod will cast to it's fullest capabilities & look just how you want it to. You know, we're not limited to the cosmetics that Orvis has chosen for these rods. You can have one that will be unique to you, in the grip shape, wrap colors, reel seat, etc that will stand apart form the others.
Please contact me if you're wanting a Superfine glass rod, customized just for you.
Folks, it ain't nothin' but hot outside here in PA right now. So I thought it only appropriate to re-post this article I published a couple years ago, all about fly fishing at night.......
In order to beat the summer heat some anglers come out at night. Trout are like people in the temperatures they like, in that they don't care for extremes. Too hot or too cold & trout will slow down into a hypnotic state until conditions improve or they die.
In the heat of summer many trout will be relatively inactive during the hottest hours of the day. If you're trying to catch them, you obviously stand a better chance if the trout are feeding. During the hottest times of the year trout tend to feed more in the wee hours of the morning, like say from 2 or 3 am & on until after sunrise until maybe 8 or 10 am in the morning, depending on conditions.
Another reason to consider fly fishing at night is because once a trout reaches a certain size, maybe 22" & up, they stop eating as many insects because bugs don't provide enough nourishment to keep them going. Instead, these big lunkers turn into predators & eat thinks like other fish, baby ducks, mice, & anything else of substantial size in the water. They are hunters & they do their best hunting at night. A really big hatch will still bring them out in the daylight - even if to eat the smaller fish who are distracted by the hatch. Usually though, these big monsters rule the night in the stream.
So if you want to have more action & improve your chances of catching the biggest trout in the stream, then night time is the right time in the hot summer for fly fishing. To that end, you might want to give it some thought before you march out into the dark oblivion, fly rod in hand.
-Know the stream you'll be fishing & know it well. This is not only to improve your odds of catching a fish, but for your safety. It's good to know where all the rocks, logs, & pot holes are when you're walking or wading in the dark.
-Take someone with you or tell someone where you'll be. You wouldn't be the first angler to get stuck in the stream at night. Mud & quicksand are real dangers to take seriously.
-Take a flashlight with you, but use it as little as possible. You'll see your surroundings better when your eyes get adjusted to the darkness. Constant use of a flashlight will not only spook the fish, it will never let your eyes fully adjust to the darkness.
-Make sure night fishing is legal where you're going. On many special regulation waters it isn't.
I can tell you from my own personal experience that the biggest tugs I've ever felt on my rod & line along a trout stream have happened at night in the pre-dawn hours, usually from 3 to 5 am. It was that thrill that kept me coming back at night, although it can wreck havoc with your schedule. I just hit the coffee pot a little harder than normal in the afternoons. You can be almost guaranteed to have the stream all to your self at those hours, too. Because of all these reasons fly fishing in the middle of the night can be fun, dangerous, & addictive.
Here is a video featuring Tim Rajeff, a former world champion fly caster. Not only do we get to see him casting, but also instructing others in how to do it, too. He's a great teacher, in my opinion.
The coolest thing in this video which might help your casting &/or to teach others, is the trick he shows with the wet paint brush as a learning aid. Fantastic!!
I'm going to go outside in the yard right now with a paint brush & a bucket of water!!
I'm starting a new subject here where I'll share some quick & short random thoughts I sometimes have about fly rods, fly fishing, & all things related that will appear from time to time here......
The lower & the clearer the water you're fishing, the longer & thinner your leader needs to be. This is especially true for the tippet, too. However, a leader that's too long & very thin is harder to control when casting. If you're going to be catching large fish in shallow, clear water this can present a problem. You must compromise with the thinnest diameter leader that will still allow you to fight & land the big ones.
If you go down to a lighter fly line weight you can shorten your leader length - sometimes by as much as half the total length. The thinner fly line creates a lot less disturbance on the water's surface when you cast.
I want to talk briefly about some common sense things we can to prevent the heat of summer damaging our fly rods.
In regards to fly rods one of the biggest mistakes most anglers make is storing their rods in the wrong place or leaving their rods in a hot car. This is a big 'no-no' as the intense heat that will build up in these places is no good for fly rods. One of the first things that usually happens is the glue bond between the metal parts & the rod becomes compromised. Ever have a reel seat end cap or a set of metal ferrules come off the rod for no reason? You may, or may not notice it right away, either. It could happen months later, on a colder day when the failure takes place. The heat has softened the glue or epoxy & the bond was damaged.
Varnish is another rod element that can be damaged by exposure to excessive heat. What happens is the air gets so hot that it actually softens the varnish slightly. If the rod is being stored in it's bag, the surface texture of the material can be slightly imprinted (for lack of a better term) into the varnish. We see this a lot on the varnish over the thread wraps. The varnish is no longer smooth & clear as glass, but has little bumps & ridges in it from where the bag touched the varnish in the heat. In very extreme cases the varnish can even sag a little on the wraps.
Give some thought to where you store your fly rods. It might be easy & convenient to keep them in the rafters in the garage when not in use, or in a storage unit you rent near by, but all these places can get extremely hot. Also beware of keeping your fly rod in a hot, parked car all day long. Leaving a fly rod in a parked car in the summer sun is one of the most common reasons a rod suffers heat damage. It's easy to do, but resist the urge to keep the rod in the car all day long in the summer heat as the damage can happen pretty quickly.
So, please don't keep your fly rod in a hot car for extended periods of time. I've known anglers who have taken their rods to work with them in the morning, planing on a trip to the stream after work, only to find their ferrules coming off the rod, or other problems when they went to rig up. If you can, take your rod into work with you. If you work in a hot environment, like a factory or shop, etc, then find a safe, cool place to store your rod for the day. This is good practice for not only bamboo rods, but fiberglass & graphite rods as well.
No, you don't have to worry about your rod in a hot car for short periods of time - like a trip into the store or while you're getting a bite to eat in a restaurant. Most fly rods don't need to be kept in a special chamber - they're not priceless artifacts - but there is a limit to how much heat they can take. Just use a little thought & common sense & you'll be fine.
In the heat of the summer, we fly anglers can turn our attention from trout to the warm water fish like bass, crappie, etc. They can be great fun to catch on a fly rod, in fact maybe some of the best fishing you'll have all season.
One of the funnest ways to fish for bass, bluegill, & other warm water fish is on top with a popper. Unlike a dry fly, where you want your presentation to be drag-free, the key to a popper's success is the motion you give it. As their name implies, you need to give them a "pop" on the water to attract the fish from both the noise & the movement.
There are many ways to fish a popper & you should experiment. Different retrieves on different days in different places will work at different times. How's that for a definitive statement?!!?...but it's true. There are some general guidelines to go by when fishing poppers but you'll have to let the fish decide what they want on any given day. That's what makes it so fun & challenging. Just like trout fishing, you have a mystery to solve if you want to consistently tie into good smallmouth bass & other warm water fish.
Below is a short video showing you how to do a couple types of retrieves with the poppers. Fishing with poppers is more intricate than just tossing it out there & ripping it back in. There's reasons for what good popper anglers do. Just a few points:
1.) There are many different types of poppers: cupped face, flat faced, bullet shaped, etc. Each one will move on & through the water differently & there's a time & place to use each one. Plus, how you hold the rod, where you use each one, etc will all be different. You don't fish a flat faced popper the same way you would a bullet shaped one.
For example, in the video the presenter is using a frog popper, but that doesn't look like frog water to me. I'm sure he would have gone into that had he had the time & his focus was on the retrieve anyway, but it goes to my point that popper fishing isn't just mindless fishing.
2.) As a general rule, the deeper the water, the louder the "pop" needs to be....but not always. Sometimes you need a slow retrieve, other times you need a quick & loud one. It all depends on the conditions.
3.) The key to popper fishing, just as in all fly fishing, is to imitate a living source of food for the fish. Sure, you might catch a few fish by just chucking your popper out there & popping it, but careful selection of the popper, choosing the right approach, & forming a plan before you cast - just as in trout fishing - will lead to catching warm water fish more consistently.
As the summer continues we'll talk in more detail here about the different aspects of warm water fly fishing. Personally, I love going after smallmouth bass, crappies, & big bluegill with a fly rod. They're a blast to catch & they can be very challenging fish to figure out. If you haven't given warm water fly fishing a try, you are certainly missing out on some of the best fishing & biggest fun you're going to have all year on the stream.
The Pliant Rod
News from the shop of Chris Lantzy, Custom Rod Maker along with industry news, profiles of interesting characters, reviews, history, & whatever else strikes our fancy. Your comments & feedback are welcome. Please email me your thoughts.
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