Small water, long rod, long leader

Small water, long rod, long leader
A nasty buzz worm!

After a bit of work, the latter half of today was spent on the water with a good friend.  Today we opted to hit some smaller water than our usual haunts just to mix it up a bit.  After distancing ourselves from one of the resident venomous snakes (they give me the chills) we rigged our rods and conversed about what to tie on.  My friend was rigging a 10 foot 4 weight, I assembled a 10 foot 2 weight prototype that I've been putting some miles on.  I opted to use the same long leader (18 feet) I'd fished a few days earlier on a bigger river and attached a single nymph to it.  My fishing partner started with a hopper and a tungsten dropper, also on a long leader.   Both rigs worked quite well and each of us cycled through nymph, dry/dropper and single dry tactics before the days end.


This waterway currently has around 70 CFS in it with an average width of 20 feet.  On this piece of water, most anglers I see use a 7 to 8 foot 3 or 4 weight rod with a 6 to 7.5 foot leader.  Before I discovered how efficient long rods were, I too used a shorter rod and leader system.  Since learning how to utilize a 10 foot rod to my advantage I rarely fish leaders shorter than 9 feet.  With less fly line and leader butt on the water I can reduce the surface area of my rig's footprint on the water and drastically improve presentation by eliminating drag.


Fishing today was quite good.  As we put away our gear I asked my friend if he had fished any of his 7 to 8 foot rods lately.  He replied with a laughing "no" and explained that the last time he fished a short rod he was frustrated with the lack of control, and increased drag created by the fly line and leader butt on the water.  When he explained why he didn't like the short system I realized I'd really had an effect on his rigging which had also effected his catch rate.  Although many rigs and techniques take fish, often the little things we do (or don't do) are the difference between a 5 fish day and a 35 fish day.

In small water conventional wisdom tells us to use short tackle.  The next time you hit your favorite piece of small water heaven, opt for a rod and leader system a bit longer than you'd usually fish.  As you acclimate to the casting and maneuvering of the long system I think you'll find it very advantageous.  If not, at least you were fishing ;)[gallery]


Recommended for You

Fly Tying

Tying the Strong Arm Merkin

David W. Skok - July 09, 2019

Here are step-by-step instructions for tying the Strong Arm Merkin fly.

United States

Saving the Chattahoochee River

Ross Purnell - April 23, 2019

How an Atlanta craft brewery is helping to save Georgia's most important trout stream.

News

2019 Most Endangered Rivers

Fly Fisherman - April 16, 2019

American Rivers today released its annual list of America's Most Endangered Rivers,...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Beadhead Hare's-ear Nymph

Learn to tie one of the word's most versatile and productive fly patterns.

Adding Bass Popper Legs

Bass maniac Ben Romans showcases his balsa wood poppers and demonstrates how to add rubber legs to hard, durable, bass bugs.

Basics: Rods

Fly rods are available in a variety of weights and lengths designed to be teamed up with the right reel and fly line.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Worldwide

5 Best Trout Fishing Spots in the World

Ross Purnell, Editor

Fly-Fisherman Editor Ross Purnell shares his top five best trout fishing destinations in the...

Gear

Top Drift Boats of 2019

John Fedorka - April 02, 2019

Drift boats help you search through miles of river quickly and effectively. Here's the top...

How-To

Picking the Perfect Fly-Fishing Leader

George Daniel - January 22, 2018

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most...

See More Stories

More Fly Fishing

Salmon

Targeting Chile's Chinook Salmon on a Fly

Ken Morrish - February 09, 2018

Today, Chile's Chinook salmon (also called king salmon) returns are among the world's most...

Trout

Occupying the Skeena

Steven Hawley - July 25, 2018

Relinquish claims to ancestral land and waters situated at the mouth of the Skeena River, so...

Bass

Miramichi Striped Bass are Moving Farther North

John Field

Miramichi Striped Bass are moving farther north due to changing ocean conditions.

See More Fly Fishing

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×