Sunday, March 12, 2017

Barbless

I've been tying a lot of flies lately. It's a good way to have some quiet time and think through things when I can't be on the water. I also listen to the Orvis Podcast with Tom Rosenbauer  while tying, it's a really good way to learn a bunch about fly fishing and I highly recommend it. One thing that really got me re-thinking the way I do things was Tom really pushing barbless hooks. I've smashed the barb down from time to time, but I've never been too concerned with it. Which is surprising considering how many times I've hooked myself! I'm sure it won't make up for all my iniquities, but I've made a resolution to smash the barb on all my flies for the next little while to see if my catch rates go down. 

 The past few tying sessions have been dedicated to filling my nymph box. With our house on the market (we've already had one offer!) I'm not sure if there will be much time to tie in the coming months. Which means I'm going to need lots of Hare's Ears, Prince Nymphs, and Pheasant tails in all the variations I like to fish. 


When I was told about a last minute showing of the house for Saturday afternoon I took it as a sign to stop tying and go check on one of the local streams. Upon arrival I spotted a couple of fish rising inconsistently. There were quite a few midges around, but with the infrequent rises I figured it had to be the few Blue Winged Olives that the fish were after. It was at this point I realized that my dry box hadn't made the drive with me! I made due with an Orange Asher I happened to have in my drying patch, and while it wasn't what they really wanted I managed to start the day off with a fish caught on a dry fly. 

Unfortunately, not many fish were willing to eat a fly they didn't really want. So as I made my way to the next hole I switched out the Asher for a Tri-Colored Nymph under an indicator and picked up a few small browns right away. 


Working my way upstream there were more fish to be had with the nymph rig, but whenever I spotted a rising fish I switched back to the Asher to give it a shot. I managed one more on a dry, but most fish came on the Tri-Colored. The best fish, the prettiest fish, and the last fish of the day came just before dark and was my only Cutthroat of the day. I'm so glad there are Cutts in this stream! They are always a treat to catch and break up the usual browns. The Utah Division of Natural Resources should be commended for their efforts to restore these native fish back where they belong.


I did lose a few fish, but no more than usual and not one that I could honestly say was a result of my smashed barb. Maybe this won't be so bad...

Hope you're as lucky,

Kidder

Bead Head Hare's Ear

Baby Damsel

Tri-Colored Nymph