Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cutthroat Furled Leader and New Zealand Strike Indicator is a winning combination.

I often fish with buddies or guys in the fly fishing industry of sorts.  Fishing in a group is so different than fishing solo.   As luck would have it, I had a break in my schedule, so I planned a quick trip to some local water to chase big browns.  When one fishes often enough, they will eventually have one of those amazing days on the water that we as fly fishers consider to be “Epic”. 

Arriving in the blackness of early morning, I got all geared up with that blanket of stillness and quite that only comes in the very early morning hours while in the wilderness.  No crickets, no bird songs, just the distant sound of water following its course down river.  I turn on the headlamp which makes stepping around sagebrush and boulders to reach the river’s edge a bit more forgiving.  After finding a spot riverside to sit, I wait until the sun peeks above the ridge.  Not able to see, I focus my attention to the subtle sounds that surround me.  Do I actually hear fish rising, or is that just my mind playing fish tricks on me…?

First light comes and I make my way into the shallow waters.  I move slow, very slow, as the darkness will still not allow me to see or track my fly for some time.  When the sunlight finally reached the waters that held my attention, I begin to hunt for heads.  My set-up is a short 7’-6” Bamboo 4wt.  I have WF fly line, a 50” Cutthroat Furled Leader and my 4x tippet stepped down to 5x.  The over-all tippet length is approx.. 6’-0”.  The fly of choice is size 22 Trico Spinner.  Approx. 16” above my fly, I have a very small orange New Zealand Strike Indicator.   The first couple of hours, I had the spot all to myself.  Lots of small Trico’s being sipped by big hungry trout.   I actually fished the same pool of water all morning.  The run was approx.. 75’ long and 8’-0” wide.  I first pulled fish from the upper section of the run and then made my way down with longer drifts and more fish.  Once I got to the end of the run (that I could reach from this position) I simply started fishing the upper section again.  I was able to hook, net and land fish after fish from this hole. 

This system of thread furled leader, the strike indicator and a small fly is absolutely deadly.  The furled leader lays down so gently / quietly and allows for unparralled mending for drag free drifts.  The strike indicator lands more gently then the fly, therefor there is absolutely no surface disturbance. 
As mentioned, I was fishing very heavily pressured trout on a very busy section of water.  My leader, tippet, indicator and fly drifted over the heads of these trout time and time again without putting the feeding fish down.  Casting was not fast and furious as I had to clean my fly of moss on just about every cast.  But taking the time/effort to clean my fly, dry my fly and achieve a proper drift paid off very often.  No I did not hook a fish on every drift, but it almost felt as if I did. 

This is my favorite type of fishing.  Spot, stalk, cast and catch.  If you fish small flies to finicky trout, you really should give this system a try.  Many fly fishes believe you need long (12-14’) clear leaders and tippets to hook large pressured trout.  That is so not the case, what you need is perfect Presentation, great drifts and a quite delivery method.  When those items come together, you have a truly winning combination.  

Link below.

Dry Fly leader:

New Zealand Strike Indicator System:

Mike Morin

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