Dry fly fishing. Fluorocarbon best in bright conditions.

Cap'n Fishy

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Certainly if you want to catch big wild brownies on hard fished water then fluoro is the way forward. Yes it is harder to use but there are times it is the only way you will catch. It requires restraint and accuracy, you can't just chuck a fly out and wait for a fish to come and eat it, you have to cast to the feeding path of a fish. I've fished with Gareth on a water like that and we both used the same thing, 6x frog hair fluoro tippets off nylon tapered leaders. Treat the leader to float and the tippet to sink. For rainbows and most wild trout in most conditions use nylon it won't really matter but there are times where fluoro is absolutely vital to success.
Interesting. So, what is the vital property of the fluoro tippet? Visibility? It's clear there are days when fluoro lights up like a neon sign - see the video clip upthread. And then there is the fact it is dreadful stuff to get to cut through the surface film in fine diameters. My rejection of fluoro for stillwater dries has not been for the want of giving it a good try these past 30 years!... and I am fishing lochs for wild brownies and wary, grown-on rainbows...

Col
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I honestly do get your point on this Col, it is very visible, and can't remember if it was you or someone else who posted the vid last time around (presume you given you were there). Surely though to at least some extent, is that if the fish cared that much it wouldn't have a fly in it's mouth, so why should we care so much?
For sure. I refer you to loxie's post #17...

What I am sure about is that there are days when it matters whether you are on fluoro or nylon...

Two anglers, sharing a boat. Both pulling wets. One is catching. The other feels like he is fishing without flies on. The one who is not catching gets the same line on as his successful partner. Still having a 'mare. He gets the same flies on as his partner. Still nothing. He checks the cadence of his boat-partner's retrieve rate and matches his arm pulls. Nada! Finally, they compare leader materials. Turns out one is on fluoro and one is on nylon. The one who is blanking changes to his successful partner's material, and Bingo! That's been it. Now they are both catching fish. However, for every time the winning material has been fluoro, I have seen an instance of it needing to be nylon to catch.

If it had been tactics like swinging buzzers it would be easy to attribute it to the different sink rates of the 2 materials, but stripping wets on intermediates, it's less likely to make such a night-and-day difference... I think.. but can't be sure of course. I think it is a light thing. As seen, there are times that fluoro lights up like a neon sign - but maybe when that fish took the fly, the light was coming the other way and the fluoro was invisible to it???

What I am always searching for is the "when to use nylon and when to use fluoro" formula.

Col
 

loxie

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Interesting. So, what is the vital property of the fluoro tippet? Visibility? It's clear there are days when fluoro lights up like a neon sign - see the video clip upthread. And then there is the fact it is dreadful stuff to get to cut through the surface film in fine diameters. My rejection of fluoro for stillwater dries has not been for the want of giving it a good try these past 30 years!... and I am fishing lochs for wild brownies and wary, grown-on rainbows...

Col

I'm not sure to be honest, but there are definitely times when only very light fluoro tippets will catch. I carry both fluoro and copolymer frog hair and I have been unable to get a bite on the nylon but can on the fluoro. I don't disagree about the bright weather either, but I find nothing works then! My guess is that on the wariest trout visibility of the leader can make all the difference. I've yet to find a warier trout than a big Corrib one and that's where I do virtually all my Stillwater dry fly fishing. I also think you are right about too much casting but our approach, and the guys I fish with are all better than me by a margin, tends to be stalking feeding fish, usually from the bank as boats will often spook the big ones. One cast is often all you get, too close and you spook the fish, too far and you risk drag, although a 6x or 7x leader avoids the worst of it. There are days where I might only make 15 or 20 casts all day. My good mate once made 2 casts in a day, he was mainly guiding me, but caught a 5.5lb and a 4lber. Needed the boat to chase both!
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I'm not sure to be honest, but there are definitely times when only very light fluoro tippets will catch. I carry both fluoro and copolymer frog hair and I have been unable to get a bite on the nylon but can on the fluoro. I don't disagree about the bright weather either, but I find nothing works then! My guess is that on the wariest trout visibility of the leader can make all the difference. I've yet to find a warier trout than a big Corrib one and that's where I do virtually all my Stillwater dry fly fishing. I also think you are right about too much casting but our approach, and the guys I fish with are all better than me by a margin, tends to be stalking feeding fish, usually from the bank as boats will often spook the big ones. One cast is often all you get, too close and you spook the fish, too far and you risk drag, although a 6x or 7x leader avoids the worst of it. There are days where I might only make 15 or 20 casts all day. My good mate once made 2 casts in a day, he was mainly guiding me, but caught a 5.5lb and a 4lber. Needed the boat to chase both!
Aye, you are describing a set of circumstances different to the ones described in Gareth Jones' article and different again to the way I am fishing...

There are so many permutations involved!

... and then someone inevitably comes along with: "Just use Maxima!" 🤪

🤭

Col
 

tierradelfuego

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For sure. I refer you to loxie's post #17...

What I am sure about is that there are days when it matters whether you are on fluoro or nylon...

Two anglers, sharing a boat. Both pulling wets. One is catching. The other feels like he is fishing without flies on. The one who is not catching gets the same line on as his successful partner. Still having a 'mare. He gets the same flies on as his partner. Still nothing. He checks the cadence of his boat-partner's retrieve rate and matches his arm pulls. Nada! Finally, they compare leader materials. Turns out one is on fluoro and one is on nylon. The one who is blanking changes to his successful partner's material, and Bingo! That's been it. Now they are both catching fish. However, for every time the winning material has been fluoro, I have seen an instance of it needing to be nylon to catch.

If it had been tactics like swinging buzzers it would be easy to attribute it to the different sink rates of the 2 materials, but stripping wets on intermediates, it's less likely to make such a night-and-day difference... I think.. but can't be sure of course. I think it is a light thing. As seen, there are times that fluoro lights up like a neon sign - but maybe when that fish took the fly, the light was coming the other way and the fluoro was invisible to it???

What I am always searching for is the "when to use nylon and when to use fluoro" formula.

Col
Yes that makes sense, and not my fishing "genre" so I have little to no concept of the importance, was just an observation.
 

mackiia1

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I was fishing on Corrib one day with a friend - Mayfly time.
We started about 11am and by 2 pm I had caught several fish , lost a few and had rose quite a few others. My mate had absolutely nothing .
Over lunch we were discussing the set ups - we were using the same Mayfly patterns and were both fishing 5X Fluorocarbon tippet. Only difference was that mine was Riverge and his was Frog Hair.
The two casts looked identical until I held both up to the sky together . The difference was amazing .
Whatever the light was that day , my tippet blended into the light , but his had a distinct shine.
I gave him some Riverge and he tied up a new cast. He was into a fish on the first drift after lunch - he had a good afternoon and caught several fish.
Coincidence - maybe , maybe not ???

I know several very good Corrib anglers who use Fluorocarbon for all their dry fly fishing - but they use very low diameter tippets - 6X and 7X. Size 18 and 20 flies at times.

Their secret ? Unreal eyesight, soft rods and more importantly , soft hands.
I wish I was like them.:unsure::)
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Over lunch we were discussing the set ups - we were using the same Mayfly patterns and were both fishing 5X Fluorocarbon tippet. Only difference was that mine was Riverge and his was Frog Hair.
The two casts looked identical until I held both up to the sky together . The difference was amazing .
Whatever the light was that day , my tippet blended into the light , but his had a distinct shine.
I gave him some Riverge and he tied up a new cast. He was into a fish on the first drift after lunch - he had a good afternoon and caught several fish.
Coincidence - maybe , maybe not ???
I'm a believer that these things are all to do with light. But light is a variable, so the results with different materials are variable. I think it's important not to make any hard and fast rules... such as: "Always use fluoro when it's sunny", or "Never use fluoro when it's sunny". :whistle:

Col
 

Zugbug

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G5 and G4 are no longer available, Airflo say they are out of production permanently. I also liked G5 but am now using Grandmax 7.5lb though I don’t leave the dries on the water long enough for them to be drowned, 9.5lb is fine on the Lake in a wave.
 

mackiia1

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I'm a believer that these things are all to do with light. But light is a variable, so the results with different materials are variable. I think it's important not to make any hard and fast rules... such as: "Always use fluoro when it's sunny", or "Never use fluoro when it's sunny". :whistle:

Col
Exactly Col - thats why I said 'whatever the light was THAT day'
I admit I prefer Fluorocarbon for dries on the Loughs , but we are usually fishing for trout up feeding hard , usually moving at a fairly quick pace . It,s a case of spotting the fish , putting the flies in front of them and they are on them in a few seconds.
I do however use Nylon ( see, i didn't say copolymer ;))in a big wave.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I don’t leave the dries on the water long enough for them to be drowned.
I'm interested in input from folk who practice this. What's your reasoning behind that tactic? Is it because you feel you need to whip them away before they are drowned (in which case why not use nylon so you don't need to whip them away?) or is it because you feel there is no reason to leave them on the water for more than a few seconds (in which case, why do you feel that is the case?)?

Col
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Exactly Col - thats why I said 'whatever the light was THAT day'
I admit I prefer Fluorocarbon for dries on the Loughs , but we are usually fishing for trout up feeding hard , usually moving at a fairly quick pace . It,s a case of spotting the fish , putting the flies in front of them and they are on them in a few seconds.
I do however use Nylon ( see, i didn't say copolymer ;))in a big wave.
For sure - I was referring back to the article in question and the conclusion being always to default to fluorocarbon when it's sunny.

If you are fishing as you describe, and providing you can get the fluoro to cut through the surface, then fine. Most days I am out it is a mix of covering the rise of a moving fish, prospecting for out-the-blues, and spotting one coming along the margins that needs the trap set for it to find... maybe in 30 seconds from now...

And for that mixed approach, fuoro is nae use - you have to be able to sit a fly for a minute if need be at odd times. And always, it's a case of keeping the casting to the bare minimum. So, while you sit and wait for a fish, if your flies are sitting on the surface you are fishing, and might pull an OTB, but if they have sunk into the mud and weed on the bottom, then not so much. ;)

Col
 

Zugbug

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On a drifting boat 15 to 20 seconds I find is long enough for the flies to draw in/up a fish and then fan cast covering water and fish. Some of it is laziness that I’ll fish 3 dries on my normal set up rather than change the leader. If anything I’ll just shorten the distance to the top dropper and when I do change the leader to 2 dries it’s still flouro. I only go out with the one rod set up and to be honest now survive my fishing with only fluorocarbon, it’s years since I carried anything else.
By the way in no way am i advocating how I fish dries but I manage ok.
 

taffy1

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"Nothing in angling can be cast in stone." Forgot who made this statement, does stand true to most things though. Current conditions, prevailing weather & many other factors can contribute to making fishing a lottery at times. Adds to the pleasure of working out the best set-up to overcome that particular predicament.
 

mackiia1

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, and providing you can get the fluoro to cut through the surface,

Col
We rarely get flat calms on Corrib :) so cutting through the film is seldom an issue.
The only time we get consistent flat calms is when Caenis fishing at dawn in June. Thats a bit like your 'setting the trap' . The low diameter 7X tippets we use then are not heavy enough to drown the small flies. It's only the last 12 inches of the cast that we use the 7X and only one fly. The rest of the leader is greased up Nylon.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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We rarely get flat calms on Corrib :) so cutting through the film is seldom an issue.
As ever, it's all horses for courses. This is the sort of day we are looking for for dry fly...



Note the natty 'curve cast' there. ;)

Col
 

mackiia1

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Interesting. So, what is the vital property of the fluoro tippet? Visibility? It's clear there are days when fluoro lights up like a neon sign - see the video clip upthread. And then there is the fact it is dreadful stuff to get to cut through the surface film in fine diameters. My rejection of fluoro for stillwater dries has not been for the want of giving it a good try these past 30 years!... and I am fishing lochs for wild brownies and wary, grown-on rainbows...

Col
It's simply the set up what I was shown by the Guide who first took me out Caenis fishing.
He swears by this set up and catches lots and lots of fish this way - as do a lot of his clients, some of whom are excellent anglers.
It's a case of , if its good enough for them , it's good enough for me.
I must try it some morning with a Nylon tippet just to see if there's any difference , but to be honest Col, we never have much of an issue with the Fluoro.
 
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