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quite presentation

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Phil Blackmar
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quite presentation

#1

Post by Phil Blackmar » Sun May 09, 2021 1:01 pm

I've been using a medium weighted clouser in practice to work on tracking and a softer landing cast for shallow sight fishing. Some observations:

1. Paul-the grip is still the nuts. If I can wait for the butt to feel like it starts to pull away from the palm of my hand before zipping it then I get a very nice high speed tight loop. On release I try to feel like I screw the rod tip a little clockwise. It probably just straightens my tracking because it straightens my layout nicely. It also tightens the loop more.

2. I've been experimenting with an overhead cast where I make a small move left and up with the rod tip at the end of the cast. The result is a sort of tailing loop where the fly comes from under the "bottom" line but to the outside so it doesn't tangle. Done well, it's a small loop, fairly accurate and the fly lands very softly.

3.a. In a horizontal plane, I have mentioned a cast I like to throw where I make a half circle down and back at release and the fly plops up and over very softly without kicking to the side. It's a very cool cast but only good for relatively shorter shots.

3.b. In the same horizontal plane, I am experimenting with taking the rod tip slightly "under and up" on release so the loop is a little upside down. Done well, it's a pretty tight loop, also lands very softly and can be thrown a little farther than the cast in 3a.

Anyone care to share observations or other thoughts on achieving soft landings for sight fishing in the salt? Thanks

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Graeme H
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Re: quite presentation

#2

Post by Graeme H » Sun May 09, 2021 2:02 pm

If you can keep the fly close to the water so that it has less distance to fall in the first place, it's easier to get a soft landing.

Jason Borger, in his book "Single-Handed Fly Casting" describes a great method of making this cast over long distances. Page 141 shows a technique I use to keep tension in the rod leg and really get that fly out a long way with very little effort. The distance I can reach is certainly far enough for sight casting.

Cheers,
Graeme
FFi CCI

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Paul Arden
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Re: quite presentation

#3

Post by Paul Arden » Sun May 09, 2021 6:24 pm

Hi Phil,

1 excellent!!

I agree with all the rest. I also concur with Graeme; casting low to the water is the way to go. I would also incline the trajectory slightly as well, which means an even lower backcast. Also when checking the shoot, start slowing it down earlier to get rid of any kick. One final thought on turnover is to “give” with the rod, this helps take all the power out.

Then I would start to look at leaders and fly design. Line weights and profile. All the fun stuff! :)

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

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Chess
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Re: quite presentation

#4

Post by Chess » Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:39 pm

Hi Phil,
Just catching up with this site and read with extreme interest your post. I have the same goal presently of soft landings and sight fishing to spooky fish. Actually, only one particular fish at this stage, the black bream. They grow to 45-50cm, probably 50 years old at that length, very wary & cunning and they fight well. By my reckoning, if I can perfect a system to fool them regularly it should take my fly fishing generally into new realms of achievement. Bream are a structure loving creature in estuaries and absolutely love oyster leases. But in the warmer, summer months, break cover and hunt shrimp and baitfish in, sometimes extremely shallow, clear water. Rod and line 'flash & splash', plus fly "plopping" spooks them rather easily. Yet, with a spin rod with gossamer like 2lb braid & 2lb leader they can be observed to show interest and even "hunt" a well presented small soft plastic if presented with stealth & the breeze on your back riffling the water's surface.
How to translate that to a fly rod has become a quest, if not developing into an obsession. It's relatively easier to cast into the snags or deeper water to catch bream, but that's not the point. Nothing in my mind replaces the thrill of seeing bream go about their business & chasing them in the shallows in the predawn twilight. It truly is a, "quest in the mist."
I have put a lot of time so far into developing leaders, especially extra long ones and it is a work in progress with a promising outlook. However, I'm tracking with you on accepting that learning specific casting techniques is just as important, probably more so, and there is fly type, weight etc to add into the mix. It's a whole integrated system.
It hit me like the bonus of finding a forgotten bunch of cash in a coat pocket that perfecting a horizontal cast, rod tip low to the water is a 3 aces hand dealt first up. I'll be practicing what you suggest. Thanks!

Mangrove Cuckoo
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Re: quite presentation

#5

Post by Mangrove Cuckoo » Sat Jun 19, 2021 3:48 am

HI Phil...

My first question is why are you using a Clouser in shallow water? There are other flies that sink quickly but land much softer. You might have to lead the fish by a few more feet, but that just makes it easier to not spook the fish.

But otherwise I feel your pain. My favorite sight fishing is for snook in shallows. Unlike bones or redfish (or even Permit), Snook have their eyes looking up and they never tail. Fish that tail are easy in comparison, cuz when their tails are up, their heads are down. No such luck with snook.

So, for me, its is only horizontal rod planes. Your idea for reaching the rod tip away from the fly leg is a good idea, and so is the last one where you get the fly to flip up and stall. I use both of those commonly.

But, my main suggestion is to rethink your goal of creating a tight loop. What has worked the best for me is to go for somewhat less than a tight loop. Almost all of my failed casts were due to the legs either touching or tangling until I just gave up on the idea of trying to form a tight loop.

A horizontal wider loop is much like opening a vertical one... you just move (instead of dropping) the rod tip away from the fly leg more. You still direct the fly leg right where you want the fly to go. For me, I just had to lay off that last quick turnover at the end.

It is hard for me to describe, but I feel the size of the loop is related to where the rod is bent when you lay off the acceleration. Now that I don't strive for very tight loops, when trying for a quiet presentation, it had become actually quite easy... and no tails, tangles or tucks.
"Technique is the proof of your seriousness"

Wallace Stevens

Mangrove Cuckoo
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Re: quite presentation

#6

Post by Mangrove Cuckoo » Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:02 pm

Sorry... forgot the flies...

Are you familiar with Tim Borksi's "Bonefish Slider"? Sort of the same idea, but much quieter when landing.

Or... all kinds of Sliders but tied with synthetics and where the dumbbell eyes are replaced with lead wire wrapped on the shank: quick sink, soft landing, and looks like more food.
"Technique is the proof of your seriousness"

Wallace Stevens

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Paul Arden
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Re: quite presentation

#7

Post by Paul Arden » Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:22 pm

I’m not – but after your dislocated popper fly I would love to hear more :D Totally annihilated Ladyfish, running off the back of a scaled down Snakehead pattern!

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

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Chess
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Re: quite presentation

#8

Post by Chess » Sat Jun 19, 2021 11:10 pm

Mangrove Cuckoo, I have no idea of snook fishing, except what I've read, but they are tough fish to fool from what I understand. With your experience in opening the loop in the horizontal plane, what sort of distance are you attaining or is there an ideal range for snook? Plus, out of interest what rod wt & leader length? In my shallow water fishing I use a minimally weighted shrimp pattern in #10 -12, not very bulky, it's the slow, fluttering sink is more important imo for the bream I chase, stripping is less effective and often spooks them. They seem to hit more so on the drop, or pick the fly up (tied hook up, sometimes with a small stinger hook) stationary or nipping at it on the bottom after inspection, hence stripping at that time often causes a rejection. Moody fish, the bream, it can be intense and frustrating sometimes. Cheers...

Mangrove Cuckoo
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Re: quite presentation

#9

Post by Mangrove Cuckoo » Sun Jun 20, 2021 3:12 am

Paul,

Tim Borski is an artist (as in painting) that lives in the Florida Keys. He is also a fly tier and avid saltwater angler. HIs Bonefish Slider is pretty much a standard pattern for flats fishing in these parts. If you Google it, I'm sure it will show up as it has been adopted by major fly suppliers like Umpqua and/or some others. He has a book on patterns I believe. HIs art works are commonly the grand prize at prestigious Keys fly tournaments... they are fly fishing related and quite eye catching.

Chess,

I use whatever rod/line combo the conditions call for. I prefer a particular 7wt rod with a clear floating line, but things have been so calm of late I resorted to a 5.5 combo (NRX 6 rod and 5 wt line)... so I call it a 5.5 :)

(I would prefer to use my HT6, but...)

For snook in shallow water it is all about presentation. They can see a clear flyline in the air long before it comes near them, and any sound of the fly landing will put them on guard. It is absolutely imperative that they come upon the fly naturally. The old idea of casting past them then stripping to imitate a fleeing baitfish is normally a disaster.

I stalk them from a canoe, so my casts are usually 40 - 60 feet, since I cannot see them much further away.

Bream sound like fun. How big do they get? Snook get real big, but the backcountry ones are usually less than 10#... which is plenty big on 5 to 7 wt rods to make you question your sanity!
"Technique is the proof of your seriousness"

Wallace Stevens

Chess
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Re: quite presentation

#10

Post by Chess » Sun Jun 20, 2021 5:08 am

Thanks Mangrove, that's put snook into perspective as a fish and yeah, reckon a big one would definitely give you a good run for your money!
Bream are a schooling fish and grow to about 20" long and probably 8+lbs (ish) but that's a BIG (rare) one! About 12" is pretty average and anything bigger is regarded as a "good fish." There's a few species of them and they basically inhabit all states of Australia, they are a very common estuary fish. I think just about every kid that fishes here catches them, they take bait readily, especially the smaller ones. A big, 'however' enters when you target them on fly. Almost unheard of 10 years ago.
When they enter the shallows in summer, knee deep or less, they are a different fish completely, highly spooky and wily. They are not easy but doable on fly in the snags, around structure, oyster leases or drop offs into deeper water etc where they feel safer but are remarkably harder or near impossible sometimes when they break cover chasing shrimp or baitfish in the shallows. Bream on fly is still a pioneer pursuit but flies and procedures are becoming more & more well known and are being slowly accepted as standard methods. I imagine one day there will be fly tournaments for them.
Often there's lots & lots of casts between fish even though you know they are there. I use between 4 - 7wt but in the shallows a 15+' leader is essential. Peculiar thing fish wise, is that I've witnessed really clever soft plastic anglers get them with 2lb braid & a short 2lb fluro leader in the shallows. What I've observed is that when their 2" plastic unweighted bug hits the water or lands on the bank and is then pulled across the surface for a 1-2' or so and let drop, multiple bream often zero in on it. I think it's imitating a fleeing shrimp, but to do anything else other than leave the lure alone seems to spook them when they do that, they just tighten up the slack and cock the wrist and the bream hook themselves as they run off with the lure. They are a fun but a challenging fish on fly. They can sure test your patience as they can be moodier than trout.
Oh, in those same shallows after shrimp & baitfish by ambush are flathead. Nick named lizards as they resemble the shape and look prehistoric. They are predators extreme, grow to over a meter long, broad flat heads covered with line cutting razor sharp points and a mean set of dentures. One "chomp" is generally all you feel with a bream rig and your fly is gone. I always have an 8wt rigged with 8/16lb leader and a 6" 40lb bite tippet on the 8lb. Any baitfish pattern fly going around a 2/0 hook will generally do. Flathead are a fine table fish and where you get one, there are nearly always others in the vicinity.

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