Why Fly Fishing Is So Addictive, Explained

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I often wonder why I am so captivated by the sport of fly fishing. Why after 30+ years I’m still called to the water as though I just began my journey. Is it a bug that we catch (pun intended)–some kind of virus? Is it about the various techniques, sciences and the offering of continuous learning that calls us to the water? The answer–I believe–is YES to all of it. In the following short article, I intend to suggest–as opposed to diagnose–the bug that has captivated all of us fly casters alike.

Number one: There’s the art of fly casting. There are literally an infinite number of different casts. They each were created to tackle a different obstacle. As far as I know, there is no end in sight for the creative fly caster to invent a new iteration of a cast. Then you add the unique element of the individual fly caster and all of a sudden there’s a signature variant of each cast. Honestly, at the end of the day, it’s not about the type of cast. It’s about learning how to properly load your rod in the appropriate manner for the particular environment that you’re fishing within. If you can manipulate your rod for the various scenarios that you encounter across your fishing day so that you can appropriately present the fly to the fish in such a manner that you can get him (or her) to eat–you’ve got a strong handle (pun intended) on things.

Number two: There are a litany of sciences involved. Whether it be streamology, entomology, meteorology, geology, and/or biology. We, as fly fisherman have our work cut out for us. There’s no shortage of learning. There are an infinite number of scenarios required to be addressed. Luckily, on each given day–you only have to deal with the questions that are appropriate for the relative surroundings at the time of fishing. How do you properly address a blanket hatch on an overcast day? How do you effectively fish the midday doledrums in the scorching sun? How do you efficiently cast a fly line to a slow-moving eddy on the other side of fast moving water? Why is the midge so effective in the winter? How do you get a Tarpon to eat during a daisy chain?

Number three: There’s the whole fishing sport component where hand-eye coordination comes into play. Where knowing a thing or two about how to fight a fish, remove a hook from its mouth, and properly release it really make a difference. That being said, the single most important element is the absolute love and respect for the fish themselves.

And…just when you think you have it figured out–the fish don’t cooperate. It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been fly fishing. There is no fly caster who’s immune to ‘the skunk.’ It’s the element that keeps us coming back for more. Not because we want to continue to get ‘skunked,’ on the contrary, we do it to prove to ourselves that the previous ‘skunking’ was an isolated incident as opposed to a regular occurrence.

This sport is not easy and that’s why we love it so much. It truly provides for a life-long journey of learning.

Brad Haymaker is one of the co-founders of ANT FLY FISHING. He is a father, a brother, a husband, a son and a friend. A medical device and design professional, and a devoted student of fly fishing. Check us out: www.antflyfishing.com

 

Skeetering the Elk Hair Caddis

I want to take a moment to discuss a tactic for attracting trout during midsummer conditions when the fish require an extra bit of coaxing. The tactic is referred to as skeetering, and works best when imitating an egg-laying caddis. Ideally, this is recommended during a hatch when the fish are already engaged in targeting a particular species of bug. Then, when presented with the alternative offering of an egg laying caddis dancing across the trout’s field of vision. The circumstance is simply too enticing for them (the trout) to deny. That’s when the strike is induced, and boy, it is quite the strike. The strike is such that it represents a unique opportunity for the trout. Not only do they get to sample the tasty morsel that is the caddis fly, but even more enticing is the caviar tethered to its hindquarters.

In this quick, three-step process. I intend to teach you how to engage trout with the skeeter:

1. Find a feeding fish.
It’s important to find a fish that is already feeding, and is holding in a particular stretch of water.

2. Cast above and beyond the spot from which the trout is feeding.
If you know exactly where a fish is feeding. Then, simply cast above the location of the fish by a few feet and beyond it by about a foot and a half. (NOTE: The amount at which you lead the trout will vary with the speed of the water.)

3. Make the caddis fly dance across the water in front of the feeding fish.
At precisely the time where the fly would meet the trout’s kill zone. Make the fly dance across the top of the water by raising your rod tip and lightly trembling the line (by twitching the rod) while slowly stripping. This will cause the fly to skip and hop across the water. This action can make even the most calmly feeding fish turn in to a frenzied killer.

What tools are required to execute a successful skeeter to midsummer trout:
• ANT Fire Rod, 5 WT, Fast Action — www.antflyfishing.com
• 5 Weight Floating Fly Line
• 5X Leader and Tippet
• Elk Hair Caddis, Size 16 or 18 (are my preferred sizes)
• Fly Floatant

NOTE: The above tactic is best executed in environments where caddis flies exist.

The Fire ANT Rod

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The Fire ANT Rod

The Fire ANT Rod truly is a thing of beauty. The culmination of two years worth of research and development. What we set out to do was to create products that we and our friends would LOVE to fish with. That was our mantra–create greatness.

We worked tirelessly to find the best technologies available. By leveraging a helix core high modulus carbon. We can provide a lighter product and a transfer of energy unlike any other. The performance of the rod is highlighted by technology that dampens vibration — which allows for the transfer of more focused energy, quicker. Thus, providing the ability to cast farther without putting as much force into the cast. The end result is more response, more distance, more precision, and more strength. Think of it as the optimum casting experience.

One thing that we continue to hear over and over again is how broad the sweet spot is, and how apparent the load is. Another beautiful by-product of the space-age carbon is that it can throw a fly line farther than any 5-weight I have ever thrown, bar-none. Thus, this rod — especially for a 5-weight — makes it uniquely qualified to throw the big fly.

Give it a try while Series 1 quantities last.