Thursday, June 18, 2015

Skittering Caddis.... Talk About Fun.

Stripping Caddis...  Sometimes it simply works.
We were lucky enough to catch an hour or so of a great caddis hatch.  Many fish were brought to the net with textbook presentations / drifts  and hook sets.   We were fishing a tailerater that is know for holding selective fish. The was a blast while it was going full steam.   Talk about loads of fun.   Then the hatch slows just as fast as it began.   After yet another long drift down a great looking run, I begin to strip line in getting ready to make another cast.  While I was striping in line bang, big brown hits my caddis. "there hitting skating caddis" I yell.  After a quick release of a healthy brown, I cast again.   This time, I drop the fly in front of a large rock, rather then go for a drag free drift, I lift the rod and skate the fly across the seam.  Two large fish bolt from the depths to attack my fly.  Now this is fun.

Between the two of us, we brought  multiple fish to the net using this skating technique.   We even had a double.   After another 30 minutes of constant action, things begin to slow.  Fish were still rising, although the takes being very subtle.  I tie on a small midge pattern, size 22.  I cast angling upriver and start a slow strip back at me.  Maybe the second cast, fish on.  We have yet another 30 minutes of non-stop action.  This hatch lasted until dark.   As we both crossed the river, climbed the bank, we were still discussing the crazy skating caddis hatch.  It’s always fun to catch a fish on the dry, but a skating dry… that’s just crazy fun. 
All Fish were brought to hand using a Cutthroat 76" Ultimate Dry Fly Furled Leader.  I used the shorb loop tippet end, my buddy was using the tippet ring.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Furled Leader Floatant

We at Cutthroat Leaders have tested many types of Furled leader  floatants.  From Beeswax, to Hydrostop, to scotch guard and everything in between.  We have been sent floatants from all over the globe. Many guys stating that their floatant is the best, etc.   We are always open to try new products, but for now, we have settled on two different leader floatants.  I like the Cutthroat Leader Otter Butter Floatant if you are the type of fly fisher to apply leader floatant before you hit the water.  I normally apply before I leave my house or sometimes the night before.  If you do this, the leaders will float all day and then some.  

If you are the type that waits until you are riverside, I like the Leader Floatant by Loon Outdoors.  This floatant can be applied to a wet leader, although it works better when applied to a dry leader.

Cutthroat Leader Otter Butter is safe for Bamboo Rods. 
Cutthroat Leader Otter Butter Floatant (1.5 oz metal tin) with chamois pad to application.  

leader floatant link
Cutthroat Leader Otter Butter Floatant (.25 oz plastic container) with chamois pad to application. 

leader floatant link

Cutthroat Leader Floatant by Loon Outdoors.  

leader floatant link

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cutthroat Leader Testimonial...

We gets lots of testimonials about our  Furled leaders, typically Mondays are big days for us receiving customer emails, from fishers spending time on the water over the weekend.  Being on the receiving end of such emails is always nice...

Dear Cutthroat, 

I just wanted to take the time and thank you for producing such incredible products. I have tried regular leaders and even furled mono leaders and nothing compares to your product! My rod has never felt more powerful but yet so soft on its presentation. My expectations were high for your products after I watched your videos but I was blown away after actually trying them on the water. Thank you guys so much! 

Big Rainbow landed on a Cutthroat Hi-Vis Nymph Leader.  

The guide below, Natalie Sharp from Sharper Bites (Georgia) swear by our Hi-Vis Nymph leader.  She puts her clients onto big fish often...  Below is just a sample.  

Just add tippet to get to the depth of the fish.  These leaders land softly (do not spook fish).  They are great with smaller flies.  

Monday, June 15, 2015

Fly Fishing Idaho Mountains... Cutthroat Trout, BullTrout, Salmon

Spent three days in the Idaho Mountains with my son chasing Cutthroat Trout.  What an awesome trip.   

On the long ride in, We passed an old mining town that still has an old dredge from the early 1900’s in tack and open as a mining museum.  This made the drive in even more exciting. 
As we began our decent into the valley we would be fishing, the skinny water that made up the headwaters of our river system seemed extremely small and slow. 

With each passing mile, the river began to take shape into the body of water that I had remembered.   Even from the vehicle, one could pick out rocks and eddys that you knew held hungry trout. 

We finally reached camp, set up the tent fast as could be and made our way to the river.   This trip was for my son to catch trout,  I did pack a rod, but my intent was to help him get into fish.  After only a few minutes on the water,  I soon realized that my aid was not needed nearly as much as I suspected it may be.  Camden consistently dropped his fly in the best holding water.  It was not long before he had his first fish of the trip, a decent sized Cutthroat.
We moved down river and actually ran into a couple of young guys fishing….  It is rare to see others on these waters as we are so far out.   After a brief meet & greet, we moved into water they just left.  Second cast into great looking water, a large cutthroat came up for his dry and refused at the very last minute.  I told Camden about the “Dry / Dropper” rig.  We tied on a small emerger, first drift through the same water, Big Cutty tight on the line.  This was a great lesson for Cam to learn.   A quick fly change or a subtle change of casting locating can make all the difference in connecting on a missed fish.

Nighttime came quick and we spent a great evening eating steak and beans cooked over the open flames.  I am often impressed with just how good food taste while eating riverside….  With evening, the rain came, but this did not damping our mood.  We climbed into our bags and drifted off to sleep, morning would come quick. 

We awoke to cold wet ground and an early morning fog….  Putting wet/cold boots and wading socks on this early in the morning was a wake-up call for my son.   Because the sun had not yet peeked above the ridgeline, I decided to keep Cam out of the water until the temps raised a bit.  This means, I would have to put him on my back and cross the slow moving current to get into the best casting locations.  I am thankful this backpacking my son did not need to last long as the sun finally came out in all of her glory.  We caught fish at every hole we stopped at.   Some stops, we netted 5-6 fish, other stops we worked for only one hookup and then left.  There we spawning Salmon in the river system with us.  Every once in a while, we would scare a salmon in the shallows and he/she would make her presence known.  These encounters created great teachable moments of salmon and their amazing life cycle. 
After moving down river a few miles to one of my favorite fishing holes, we were both exhausted.   Between my son and myself, I think we landed approx. 12 fish from this one spot.  Even a few small bull trout were netted. 

I was and still am amazed at my sons eagerness and no quit attitude.  While hiking back to camp, he was dragging.  He was simply exhausted.  Did I push him too much, I  felt horrible.  I decided I would carry him out on my shoulders for a bit.     After only about ¼ mile I stopped to look into the river below us.  We are now approx.. 50 feet above the river, but I could see a Huge Bull Trout moving downriver in the shallows.    I just about dropped my son off my shoulders.  He could not see the fish as his glasses were not polarized.  I quickly removed my sun-glasses and put them on him…  He screamed in excitement.  Dad, you have to go after him.   After surveying the decent down into the river and setting my son on a perch high above the river bottom to watch the hunt unfold before his eyes, I slowly moved towards to direction of the water.   I had been packing my 7 wt rod and very large articulated streamers for this very fish.  I knew they lived in these waters, but before today, had yet to see such a large Bull Trout.   I finally reach casting distance to where I think the fish is held.  I actually left my son with my polarized glasses so he could watch the excitement from above.  I allowed the large white streamer to swing down infront of a large down tree.  I would make a couple of cast and then move a few feet across the river and swing the fly again.  If the bull was hanging out in these waters, he was sure to hit my fly.  I would make a couple of cast and then look up at my son sitting on a log.  I felt bad about leaving him (only 50 feet away), but the pull of that Bull had me throwing more cast’s.   This was a fish of a life time and my son was here to possibly share in the excitement.  After many more cast’s and a few changes of position, I made the difficult call and decided it was time to continue on with our hike back to camp.  I literally had the battle going on in my mind (good angel and bad angel on each shoulder).  {bad} You will never see another bull trout like this in your lifetime…, {good} your son is tired and has been such a trooper, you owe him.   {bad}, just one more cast, what harm could one more cast do?  {good}, you now know where he lives, just make the 4 hour trip here next week.  I finally decide to hike up to my son.  He is bummed I did not hook the fish, but glad to be heading back to camp.  This fish invigorated him.  He had a new zest in the step, no more sitting on dad’s shoulders.
Another great dinner, and night in the tent and we awoke to the river being high and muddy.  Last night the mountains received more rain, we did not get any, but the higher elevations sure did.  We had to pack up camp and more to new water.   Image below is of Dagger Falls on the Middlefork of the Salmon River.  Just a bit off color…

We finally found some clear water; we spent the day casting dry fly’s to small trout.   It was a blast.  My son was dropping his fly inches from the grassy banks.  Each cast brought a strike.  Not big fish, but colorful is an understatement.   The day ended with a long car ride home.  All in All, a great fishing trip full of fond memories. 

Leaders used were our 50” dry fly leader on my sons rod (short 7’-6” 4wt TFO). With 4X tippet for the bigger fly’s.  I was throwing our 76” Ultimate Dry Fly leader with loop end for dry’s, and our 36” Streamer leader for throwing the big articulated stuff.  These leaders make casting big nasty fly’s a breeze.  

Czech Leaders, "High Sticking Leaders" Cutthroat Furled Leaders

With the river being high, I decided to do a little Czech Nymphing. (high sticking).  Look what I found hanging at the bottom of one or my favorite runs on some local water.  The big boys cannot resist a fly that is fished right in front of their nose.  Give High sticking a try.

You need a leader system that sinks fast.  Our Czech leader has a thread furled sighter/indicator and then transitions to a braided material.  This braid is ultra strong, but better yet, very thin so it cuts through the water column quickly. 

Fat Rainbow caught on a Cutthroat Furled Czech Leader. 

Fly Fisher is to simply add tippet, fly, more tippet and another fly.  Heavy flies work best.  This is NOT a tapered leader, meaning it does not "false cast" well, but for lobbing up river as you do with high sticking, this leader is great and we have a growing following among high stick fly fishers. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Streamer Leaders.... for throwing BIG articulated flies...

Some fly fishers love to throw Big Nasty Flies.  These flies are often a nightmare to cast because of the weight and wind resistance.  Our Big Bug and Streamer Furled Leaders fix all of that.  No More Chuck and duck fishing.    The idea is that the leader adds weight / mass to end of fly line.  Kind of like a shooting head, without needing a whole new line just for streamers.  Check them out, you will not be disappointed.  The streamer leaders come with a small micro swivel to eliminate line twist.