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.

Friday, June 12, 2015

How to use a furled leader

We at Cutthroat Leaders created the video below to better explain some of the benefits of using Thread Furled leaders.

We have much info on our site, as well as always being only an email or a phone call away.  If you have questions, we are more than happy to answer them. 

Furled Leaders
How to use a furled leader.
Attaching a fly to a furled leader
Dry Fly Fishing with a Furled leaders

We handcraft furled leaders for every type of fly fishing.  From dropping size 28's using a light 1 weight rods to throwing huge articulated streamers with an 8 weight.  Furled leaders not only last a very long time, they work better than standard tapered leaders.  

No they do not Spook Fish...!

Only fly fishers that have never used a furled leader believe they spook fish...

Salmon Flies on Furled Leaders

Salmon Flies on Cutthroat Furled Leaders....  Great day on the water.
We were fishing just outside the Frank Church Wilderness area in Idaho.  Great fishing with great scenery.

When you get river side and see large salmon flies flopping around in the water, you know the day will be a good one...  

First of three fish brought to hand were all Brook Trout.

I do not often get to fish for Brookies, so it was a great change of pace.  These fish hammered the Stonefly imitations with such aggressiveness.  To say it was a fun time, is a true understatement.

We end the day with many Brookies, Cutthroat, Rainbow and even a  few whitefish brought to the net.

The hatch was crazy impressive.


Nice looking Brookie, not huge, but they sure were pretty.

We went to this river to catch Big Old Cutthroats.  I did have one monster on the line, but you know the story, he spit the hook...  But we did get a good look at him...  beautiful fish.  The pic below is of his little brother.

This being the first big hiking / fishing trip of the season, I sit typing on the keyboard and my lower back and legs know that I put in a full day on the water.  Left the house at 5:00 am and returned at 1:00 the following morning.  That's dedication. 

Tips:  When throwing large dry flies such as Salmon flies, up-sizing your leader will make a huge difference in your casting.  Meaning, if you fish a 5 or 6 weight rod, use a 7-8 wt furled leader. This will allow you do drop your fly within inches of your target. 

Furled Leaders used were:  76" Ultimate Dry Fly Leader with Loop end.  We also used our Streamer Leader for tossing big streamers to fish down deep.  These new Streamer Leaders make turning over big heavy flies a breeze.  Eliminate the old " Chuck & Duck"....

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cutthroat Leader Coupon.  Save money on your favorite fly fishing furled leaders

Share with your fly fishing buddies. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

We often asked about the process of attaching Loop 2 Loop knots.  What might seem simple for seasoned fly fishers, can sometimes be the cause of questions for new anglers.  Remember, we were all beginners at one time or another.

Our Furled Leaders, come with a Loop on the "Butt Section" Fly Line end.  Because most new fly lines have welded loops, the diagram below should help most of you.

If you do not have a welded loop on your fly line, you can use the extender or the nail-knot system below.  Only thread furled leaders can be nail-knoted,  A furled Nylon or furled Fluorocarbon leader will be too thick to nail-knot.

Casting dry flies to Big Brown Trout.

Hunting / Sight Casting to BIG Browns….   Fun!

I was lucky enough to be on our local water yesterday.  For a couple of hours, the light was just perfect for sight casting from land.  Slowly walking along the bank looking for Big Hungry trout, getting into position, making that “one” perfect cast and landing a large fish, does it get any better.

This type of fishing has it all.  The bad news, typically, one cast is all you get under these conditions, the good news, the cast’s are “short”, typically less than 30’-0’.  This helps because the river banks are full of brush and tangle causing obstructions.    When a fish is spotted, your first goal is to get into casting position.  Depending on the fish’s, location, this can be more difficult than it sounds.  As noted, you typically have one cast only.  Meaning, you need to go from fly in hand, to a couple of false cast’s, (fly & line in the air only) to dropping the fly in the path you think the fish will travel.  We have all had one of those days that you could do no wrong.  (trust me, I have had plenty of days that I could do no right)….  This day was one of the good ones.  Spot, a fish, sneak into position, make the cast, land the fish, walk 30’-0” down river, do it again…  this was Fun.   I was throwing size 18-20 no hackle BWO.  These no hackle fly’s have become a true favorite of mine.  The fly literally gets better looking with each fish caught.  I did not keep count of how many fish were netted, but it was well above a 20 fish day…  not the norm.   I used only three fly’s all day long.  Two no hackle BWO’s and one streamer for the times fishing slowed down. The reason I so like the no hackle flys is that they are small, lite and have a realistic profile.  There were many times the fly landed right in front of the fishes head…  I mean inches away.  Rather than spook the fish, the fly was simply sucked into the feeding fish’s mouth.   This type of fishing typically requires a longer leader / tippet section.  I was using our 76” Ultimate dry flyleader.  On the shorb  loop end, I had approx. 5’-6’ of 5x tippet.  Then I attached Trout hunter 5.5X Fluoro to the 5x.  This length was approx.-2’-3’ long.  This means my overall leader / tippet length was 13’-15’ long.  The reason this was needed is that these fish were suspended in the top of the water column.  Any surface disturbance would cause the fish to bolt.  (keep in mind I was throwing smaller fly’s).   After hours of spot & stalk fishing, the light changed and the spotting of fish was not as easy.  I got back into the water and simply went back to casting to rising trout…  If you fish enough, you will eventually have one of those days that will be remembered for years to come, this was one of those days.

One of the fish landed was a very old brown.  He was 24” long, but this fish was skinny and it gums were receding to expose big gnarly teeth.  He swam away OK, but I think his end of days is fast approaching.  

All fish were landed using the Ultimate Dry Fly Leader

Monday, June 8, 2015

Ultimate Dry fly leader. Best Dry Fly Leader system

What is the best way to set up my Ultimate Dry Fly Furled Leader...?

At Cutthroat Leader Co, We are asked daily by new customers how they should set their leader system up.  With regards to knots / tippet / size/ etc.  The image below shows one of my favorite  / simple methods.  Although we sell about 80% of our leaders with the Tippet Rings, I personally prefer the loop.  Reason being, the loop is a little stronger.   I know of many well known & respected fly fishers that choose the ring, simply because of how easy it is. 

9'-0" and greater rod length:     76" Ultimate Dry Fly Leader

7'-6" - 8'-6" rod length:                 68" Multi-Purpose

6'-6" - 7'-6" rod length               50" Shorty Dry Leader

Off of this system, you can throw tiny size 22's or large hopper/dropper patterns.  

Big Fish caught on Cutthroat Furled Leaders... Happy customers

Some Happy Customer Pics:
We receive pics daily from customers all over the country and beyond.  
Here are a few of them.

Ultimate Dry Fly Leader Used.  Australia

Ultimate Dry Fly leader Used, Silver Creek Idaho

Big Bug Leader used.  Idaho

Friday, June 5, 2015

     One of our youngest customers....  I love this pic.

Hi-Vis Nymph Leader used above...

One of our Better Traveled customers.  He is lucky enough to fish all over the world...

Reinforced Dry Fly leader Used.

New to fly fishing, Tips on Dry Fly Fishing

New Fly Fishers….  Adjust your position.

One of the most common mistakes I see from young / new Fly fishers is that they stay in the same general area of the river.   If they approach the river “River Left”, they often stay there, the same side of the river.  Even in waters that wading across is not that difficult, these fishers cast and re-cast to the same rising fish.  The famous Einstein Quote comes to mind “"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results “If they simply moved down,  up or across stream and made a cast, from a different angle they might be surprised.  I was fishing yesterday with a new fisherman.  He could cast well and has experience landing some great fish.  But…..
A fish would rise, he would make the cast and the fish would refuse.  He then, made a second, third, fourth, etc , etc.  He would then look into his fly box for a fly change.  I would recommend him to move down river, and more to the center to eliminate the cross current drag. Again, a  Fish rises, and him listening to my suggestions goes out the window.  He immediately throws another cast from the same spot to the same fish getting the SAME results…..  No take.  Finally after almost having to demand that he moves, downriver a bit, his second cast (SAME FLY) gets him the goods.  A truly nice brown trout.

Keep this in mind next time you are on the water.  Rather than tying a new fly one, spend a couple of minutes to safely adjust your position…  You might just be surprised. 

Cutthroat Furled Leader Happy Customer Pics...
Kent with a great Oregon Brown. 
Dry Fly leader used.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

How to Nymph Fish, Best indicator systems

Our Hi-Vis Nymph Leader can be fished a couple of different ways.  Below how to use it as an indicator.  Simply apply leader floatant paste to the colored section.   If fishing very heavy flies, you can also attach a standard indicator to the colored section of the leader for extra buoyancy

Below how to use it as an sighter.  This method is similar to high sticking, but teh tapered leader allows to actually cast the fly up river, rather than simply lobbing it.

                                                              Hi-Vis Nymph Leader

                                                       BROWN   DRAKE   HATCH
                                                                     by Mike Morin

I finally made it to Brown Drake hatch on Silver Creek Idaho. Being my first time fishing this epic hatch, I had some questions.  As we pulled along side the creek, there were trucks parked everywhere.  We approached the first group of guys we came too and started chatting.  These guys gave great info, on areas to fish, what time the hatch was expected, how the fishing has been the two previous nights, etc.  A great group of fishers.

We decided to fish just up river of the first bridge past Picabo Fly Shop. Being my first time catching the Drake Hatch, I was first impressed with the number of fly fishers that were already there. Trucks lined up and down the road. And it was early in the day, about 2:00. As we were arriving, other fishers were leaving for a late lunch/early dinner. They all planned to arrive around 6:00. We walked this stretch of river checking things out before the hatch arrived… I was able to pick up a couple of fish, nothing of any size, but it was fun.

As fishers started showing up, we staked our claim. Truck after truck pulled up and multiple fishers climbed out. Everyone one was very friendly and filled with anticipation of a great night. The previous night had a great hatch, and tonight was looking good as well. Warm temps and low wind. 

If not familier with Silver Creek, the water is Clear, slow and shallow… As we stood looking into the water and seeing not one decent fish, we questioned if this stretch of water actually held any good size fish at all. Typically when walking the banks, you will spook a fish or two, but not today. The only fish we actually saw were the ones we had caught previously. I spoke with a couple of local guys that fish the drake hatch often… Their take was that so many fishers were on the bank last night and in the morning that most of the fish were hanging tight to the grassy bottom in the center of the creek. It was about 15 minutes after the hatch really got going strong that the creek came alive with fish. There were pods of big fish feeding ferociously everywhere. We were within earshot of at least 25-35 anglers. Not one hoot / holler or any indication of a fish on the line for a long time. 

After many casts into this feeding frenzy, I got a hook-up… short lived as the fish spit the hook almost as fast as he hit it. This got my blood pumping even more. I switched to a one size smaller Brown Drake Dry… I put a little extra wiggle in this cast giving me a 10’ perfect drift. You know when you make a great cast and this was it. (I had many not so great cast up to this moment), but this one was a good one. Anticipation was high as my fly drifted into a pod of feeding trout. Fish on. I did not yell and hoot, but my fishing buddies knew I had one on. Now, imagine the spectator wave at a sporting stadium. That is what occured Creekside. Fellow fishers discussing the hook up. Because of the low wind, and quite evening, you could hear the conversations from a great distance away. I could hear, fellow fishers yelling, “fish down river”, “is that you Bob, nope, not me”, What fly… etc, etc. 
As the hatch died down and fishers began making their way back to the trucks, the words “Humbling experience” was uttered more than a few times. I only brought two fish the net that evening, but it turns out, I was luckier than most. Being my first time, I was excited to simply be a part of this whole experience of which I have heard / read about for years.

While back at the truck, each and every fisher would stop to discuss their experience. Many seasoned Brown Drake Fishers commented on the lack of fish brought to hand this evening. No one had any definitive reasons, but I did hear many comment that the size of this Year’s Brown drake naturals were smaller than most of the fly’s in their box. I know the two fish I did catch were on the smallest Brown Drake pattern I had.

Even if I did not land a fish, my experience would have been a positive one. Amazing weather, Lots of bugs, a great group of fellow fly fishers . The lack of wind, warm temps, scenery and the sounds of all the birds made for a great evening on the water. I will be returning to this stretch of water in very near future. 

Leader used was an Ultimate Dry Fly Leader with 4X tippet  stepped down to 5X.
Ultimate Dry Fly Leader