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A week with Way Yin (aka Bubba)

Moderator: Paul Arden

Bubba
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:25 am

Re: A week with Way Yin (aka Bubba)

#11

Post by Bubba » Sun Oct 17, 2021 9:36 pm

Bendix, I think you have asked the proverbial “$64,000 question”. I can only speak to the rivers I’ve had the most experience on. Over the last 20 years, winter-spring steelhead returns on the rivers North of Seattle (e.g. Skagit, Sauk, Stilliguamish, Skykomish) have cratered. The Nooksack, which used to have the second highest run of steelhead next to the Cowlitz, is closed most years now.

Through a non-profit I founded for SOF members affected by PTS, one of the programs was intensive week-long steelhead fly fishing expeditions on the Deschutes. Long gone are the banner years of 2000-2001; the last couple of years prior to COVID, the runs reduced sharply, and the last few years have been beyond dismal. This year - for the first time - they have closed the entire river to steelhead fishing.

I’m no expert on fisheries management or biology. I’ve tried to read as many scientific articles as I can get my hands on, but the studies and data appear disparate. Much hand-wringing has gone into local habitat concerns, including, water temps and levels (the Deschutes itself is a tail water fishery, and anadromous fish must also navigate several hydroelectric dams on their journey up the Columbia River), flora, fauna, agricultural run-off, and the impacts of hatchery programs, etc. In Washington State, forestry practices, riparian buffers (or the lack of them), dairy farming, and logging clearly have had impacts (directly and indirectly) on progressive silting of spawning areas. The impact of First Nations netting of fish and the Bolt Decision is always mentioned. Downstream morbidity and mortality for smolt navigating hydroelectric turbines and predation must be a factor. Mortality due to bycatch (i.e. steelhead hooked by salmon fishers) is another factor difficult to quantify. However, I think the picture has to be bigger. If the actual numbers of returning fish is high, or at least above a certain threshold (which it has been at least since the dams were built in the 1930s-1960s), the local factors impeding sustainability are exceeded by numbers of brood stock. If returning numbers are low, local factors no doubt have a disproportional influence on sustainability.

What I think is the big mystery must be what’s happening in the ocean. While its convenient to blame us (humans) for causing rapid climate change, what are the specific factors? Are state run commercial fishing vessels harvesting a whole river’s worth of steelhead as by catch? Are the populations of forage fish collapsing? If so, why?

I read a study on the decades long project to return native breeding populations of Atlantic Salmon to rivers in Maine. After great efforts to restore breeding habitat to several rivers, a fantastic run of fish returned about 10 years ago. Sadly, returns over subsequent years were sparse, nearly as low as before the habitat restoration and dam removals. The study looked at a laundry list of factors to see if any correlations could be drawn; the only finding was that salmon returns correlated with Alewife numbers, but no causation could be inferred. Can anyone on the Board help with this?

Bubba
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Re: A week with Way Yin (aka Bubba)

#12

Post by Bubba » Sun Oct 17, 2021 9:54 pm

Hey Paul,

Agreed that the number of Spey casts, all variations on a theme - all getting cute names - kinda got out of control. But I think the main innovations and their inventors deserve credit. I don’t know who invented the switch cast or the double Spey, but mechanically I would argue they form the basis of all the other Spey casts we have.

I think it’s interesting that the Circle C started with John Farrar, who saw someone at a fly show truncating a backcast so the loop unfurled in front of the caster so that you could just grab the fly (slick trick, unless you miss). He adapted this to create an upstream anchor Spey cast (the original snap-T). I think Dec Hogan opened up the “snap” movement into a lazy “C”, which certainly facilitated getting a bunch of lead core out of the water, and gave rise to the Circle cast.

In my mind I think of Simon Gawesworth as the inventor the snake roll as a formalized Spey cast.

For these “water anchor” casts (double Spey, Circle Cast, myriad other variations) I would think it’s not the anchor that loads the rod, but water tension on the line that provides a point/region of resistance against which one can create momentum in the body of the fly line in a different direction (i.e. velocity vector) to then load the rod?

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Re: A week with Way Yin (aka Bubba)

#13

Post by Paul Arden » Mon Oct 18, 2021 5:24 am

How can we save the fish when we can’t even save ourselves comes to mind. I remember watching a fishing program in the UK when I was a kid. The program was made in the 60’s and they were complaining about overpopulation and urbanisation being a huge problem then! That’s not surprising perhaps because in their lifetimes the human population more than doubled. In most of our lifetimes, since then, it’s more than doubled again! We are rapidly going from “those crazy people forecasting the end of the world” to “it’s too big a problem to fix” and “lots of species have become extinct, so what if we are another of them?”

It’s going to take a complete change in how we live. Fortunately I do meet young people who want to make the change (which is just as well really). Wearing a condom maybe?

Yep I also think of Simon as coming up with the Snake Roll. And I agree the anchor stabilises the D-loop.I also practise making all the Spey Casts fully aerielised. I don’t know about with the DHD but with the Single Hander it’s much cleaner! With aerielised snaps in particular the tension in the line often makes the anchor obsolete and you can just turn the V into a “way-point”.

So go on then, let’s hear about the rock band :cool:

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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Bendix
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:23 pm
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Re: A week with Way Yin (aka Bubba)

#14

Post by Bendix » Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:26 am

Hi again

Thank you for your answer. You definitely shed some more light on the issues, than I have seen others do.

/Bendix

Viking Lars
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Re: A week with Way Yin (aka Bubba)

#15

Post by Viking Lars » Tue Oct 19, 2021 3:20 pm

Hi Way,
So nice to see you back here! It really has been a very long time. We used to shoot quite a few emails back and forth, years ago.'
It really is sad to read about the steelhead situation, and unfortunately, it's the same for atlantic salmon in most of the world. Except of course for Denmark, where the populations are getting better by the year (although still supported by hatchery programmes).

Lars

Bubba
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Re: A week with Way Yin (aka Bubba)

#16

Post by Bubba » Wed Oct 20, 2021 12:11 am

Hello Tom,

I haven’t been ignoring your post. It’s got me to thinking about putting the transition to words. The short version:

Progressively bring your overhead cast off to the side.
When you get to about 10 o’clock off to the side, invert your loop so the moving leg is under the static leg. Make your forward casts at about 10 o’clock off vertical. You are now doing a planet cast/Belgian cast/“underhand” backcast.
Progressively open up your “upside down” backcast loop so the end of the moving leg touches the water next to you…
Make your forward cast. Now you are switch casting, and have made the transition from overhead to the simplest of “live line” Spey casts!

The long version… I’m finding it difficult without referring to figures, but I’ll try using three dimensional ordinates. I’m guessing this explanation will be clear as mud, but here goes:

Let’s consider an ideal (for a traditional overhead cast anyway) two-dimensional world of x and y ordinates. Our fly rods, being tapered springs, will naturally direct the vector component of our line momentum slightly distal to the center loading point of the rod. This gives us a loop that – for all intensive purposes – travels at about the level of the rod tip if we view things from the front or rear of the caster (of course in real life, we get the rod tip out of the way of the incoming loop!).

Temporarily disavowing the compensations for gravity and wind that a good caster makes, we can feel free to alter the two-dimensional x-y plane of the cast in either direction away from vertical (as viewed from the front or rear of the caster), introducing a z axis. If we are looking at the caster front on, and vertical is at 12 o’clock, we can cast in any two-dimensional plane from about 8 o’clock to 4 o’clock - limited past 4 or 8 o’clock by the length of the rod, of course.

So, on the backcast, lets consider the fly line as it approaches the end of loop turn over. The two dimensions of momentum (x and y) reduce to a single dimension (x only, heading away towards the rear of the caster). The subsequent forward cast can now be in a different z axis and – as long as x and y are referenced to the new z axis – casting efficiency will be unaffected. So, viewing the caster from the front, he can make a backcast in the 9 o’clock plane, and make a forward cast in the 11 o’clock plane, make another backcast (lets say it’s Paul, who can quickly switch mid cast to using his left hand 😁) in the 4 o’clock plane, and a forward cast in the 1 o’clock plane. The forward or rearward loop will continue to form on the same plane defined by the butt of the rod (we’re still living without gravity here).

Now, let’s introduce gravity back into our casting model. Let’s say Paul is making backcasts in the 9 o’clock plane, and his forward casts in the 11 o’clock plane. Actually very clever of him, especially if he’s on a flats boat in the Keys and it’s windy, because he can keep his backcast low and mostly out of the wind, but still maximize his body mechanics on the forward cast, while simultaneously not causing his guide on the poling platform to fear for his life. Since Paul would relish the opportunity to take the superhuman 120 foot tarpon shot, he’s carrying a whole lot of line. If he ignores gravity, his backcast will likely fall into the water at some point, and we can’t use that video 😆!

To compensate for gravity affecting his backcast, he may start his backcast in our 9 o’clock frame of z reference, but it will likely end closer to 10 o’clock. This effectively induces another plane of force on our rod - instead of just loading and unloading in it’s starting x and y plane, there is now a z component – torque moment if you will – imposed during the backcast. So now, instead of the loop unrolling in the same plane as the rod (from butt to tip), the loop assumes a slightly more complicated shape relative to our little x, y and z world. Relative to the pull of gravity, the loop’s moving (upper/turnover) leg might actually be lower than the stationary leg. Relative to the plane of Paul’s cast, the loop may be any angle relative to our original two-dimensional plane.

Whew! Too many words so far. Bear with me! Back to Paul…

The torque moment Paul is now imparting to his backcast to compensate for gravity pulling his line into the water is not dissimilar to what you would do to throw a hook cast or a skip cast, imparting an orthogonal component to your original casting plane by inducing a torque moment on the rod near the conclusion of the active loading phase of the cast. But unlike a hook cast, imparting a torque moment earlier during the cast will change the momentum vector of the loop thus formed. (After this last cast, Paul of course hooks the 140 lb ‘poon after an epic toilet bowl take, so we’ll leave him to get dragged around the basin for the next 30-45 minutes.)

So, now we can induce a separate component to our casts by inducing torque to the rod during the cast. We can now control the moving leg of the loop to be closer (or further away) from the Earth’s core than the static leg of the loop. The plane of the loop now can be independent from the plane of the cast (as defined by butt to middle of the rod). If we focus on creating casts where the moving leg is closer to Earth’s core than the static leg, we can now manipulate our knowledge of rod tip path during the casting stroke to manipulate the shape of the loop.

Let’s say we are making our backcasts in the original 10 o’clock frame of reference. Purposefully, we can adjust the degree (and placement) of toque-moment acceleration during our backcast to progressively open our “upside-down” loop. If we open our loop enough, there will come a point where the end of the traveling leg of the loop come in contact with the water. At this very moment, the momentum of the line will still be fully realized heading backwards, and the full mass of line is now available to us to apply force against to change of direction forward. This is the simplest of “live line” Spey casts - a “Switch” cast, or Single Spey without a change of direction. (“Switch” is not the paradox it seems - the original Spey casts were made before the use of reels using a horse (i.e. horse and buggy) switch with line and fly attached to the end (Tenkara is far from new, Issak Walton wrote about it!).

There are a couple of constraints now imposed by our “upside down open loop, torquey, end of line touching the water” backcast. Because the momentum vector of the backcast is now frozen in a particular plane (about 10 o’clock in this example, as viewed from the front), for maximum efficiency, our forward cast must also be made in this plane. Further, on first pass, one might assume there any forward cast is going to be less efficient, since the entire mass of line is actually not available to load the forward cast (because of our purposeful open loop, the velocity vector of our backcast is not perfectly opposite the direction of the forward cast, and only about half of our loop has rearward velocity, therefore the momentum (mass * velocity) of the backcast is constrained. This is somewhat offset (but not completely) by the transient friction of the end of our line on the water (the “anchor” or “grip” if you will). Thus, a well executed overhead backcast (where all the mass * velocity is available) will always be superior in terms of maximum dynamic/mechanical efficiency. (I’m simplifying here)

Additionally, the length of line we carry coupled with the angle off vertical in the backcast has a significant impact on available efficiency. Since it is really only the bottom leg of the upside down loop that has rearward velocity, and thus only the bottom leg’s mass can be used to load the rod on the forward cast, the shorter the bottom leg, the less efficient the cast. Imagine the bottom leg of a wide “C” compared to a narrow “<”. So, we don’t really want to strive for the classic “D” loop in Spey casting, more desirable is the flattest “>” (upside down Sexyloop”?) we can manage. For a shorter fixed length of line, the closer to vertical our backcast plane, the wider the loop, and therefore the less efficient our cast. So, for short lines, (e.g. Scandi heads, Skagit heads), a greater off vertical plane angle leads to tighter “>” backcasts. When one is carrying lots of line, more vertical works. (Watching Scott McKenzie cast for the first time was transcendental. His backcasts looked like a 60 foot long paperclip, the whole thing no higher than about 6’ off the water and a backcast loop tighter than my best forward casts.)

Back to the “torquey” bit. Mechanically, it turns out that having two hands on a rod makes this easier (we have more leverage on a rod, especially a long one).

Well, that’s a short novel!

Bubba
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Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:25 am

Re: A week with Way Yin (aka Bubba)

#17

Post by Bubba » Wed Oct 20, 2021 12:12 am

Lars! Thank you!

What are the Danes doing better than the rest of us?

Bubba
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Re: A week with Way Yin (aka Bubba)

#18

Post by Bubba » Wed Oct 20, 2021 12:17 am

Re: Rock and Roll

Been having a blast building classic tube amps and fiddling with some “new” designs. So much to learn! Good news is I haven’t burned the garage down or set fire to myself.

New band is fun. We were all tired of being in bands where we had to play stuff we didn’t like. So, the new band only plays stuff we like…. Bluesbreaker era Clapton, SRV, Jimi, a bunch of Chili Peppers, Skynyrd, some Metallica, a little Pearl Jam, and some outlaw country. We may suck, but we have fun doing it. Louder is better!

Tom Benson
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Re: A week with Way Yin (aka Bubba)

#19

Post by Tom Benson » Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:36 am

Hi Way.....
that's a very clear exposition to me ; I was hoping that was chapter 1 , rather than end of Novel ! Will spend some time reading .
Keep up the good work ..........thank you
Tom

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Paul Arden
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Re: A week with Way Yin (aka Bubba)

#20

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Oct 21, 2021 2:52 pm

Well I’m pleased I hooked the Tarpon, Way, I was getting worried there for a while :D Got any recordings? I’d love to have a listen!! Now that we are back I touch again – thanks to Tom!! – you really must plan a trip over here. It’s one of the few fisheries where you won’t catch anything if you can’t cast… and we’d have a blast :cool:

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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