Monday, February 2, 2009

Time for a break

We had about four inches (100mm) of snow in Carlisle this morning and there was no way that I was getting to my job in the country, so I took the dog for a walk along the Eden to get a few photos and to let him have a run in the snow.
He was like an excited little kid - running all over the place.

We got caught in a few heavy snow showers, but it was beautiful down by the river and great to be out.

I guess when all this snow melts the river will be up again, but that will be nothing fresh, it's been up most weekends so far this year due to either rain or snow and I haven't been out since the beginning of the month.
I usually have a break in February so that I look forward to the trout season more, but I'd decided to bring it forward this year as I have plenty to do to prepare the the new season - flies to tie, leaders to make.
I've always liked making my own leaders, it gives me the option of different tapers for different applications - to aid leader turnover when using the dry fly or the nymph, or if it's calm or windy. Different lengths for different situations - longer for a large river or on the flats, shorter for small streams or fast turbulent water where more control is required which is not always possible with longer leaders.
I made my first tapered leaders some time around the mid 80's and they were based on Charles Ritz's formulas in his book 'A Fly Fishers Life', and this was where I first came across the 'Perfection loop' which I still use today for all my loop to loop leader connections.
Looking back at this excellent book I can't remember why I stopped using Ritz's leaders, I'll have to make some up again and have a play with them, most of my leaders today are based on George Harvey's formula's which are a mix of stiff and soft nylon, and that could be the reason that I changed - the stiffer Ritz leader is very accurate, lays out straight even in the wind and maybe I may have thought at the time, a touch severe for the dry fly where the Harvey leader with it's softer tippet lays out in soft curves giving a better presentation of the dry fly.
I think, maybe it's time I tried the Ritz leader again, I like the the sound of it and there are other ways of avoiding drag with the various presentation casts that we have at our disposal.

No matter which formula you follow, most are based on the 60/20/20 rule advocated by Ritz which is 60% strength or butt section, 20% taper and 20% tippet although I have heard of double taper leaders which are 40/20/40 but have never tried them, for anyone interested in making their own leaders is worth a look.


Matthew Eastham said...

That's a very interesting link Geoff. I'd like to have a go at making my own leaders up as up til now, I've always relied on knotless tapered ones butchered about a bit!

Nice photos. I'd prefer them with no snow and a few primroses in flower though!


Tar Heel Fly Fishing said...

Great pictures of the snow adjacent to the Eden. We just received 4 inches over here in Charlotte, North Carolina in the states. A big snowstorm for me means grabbing the fly rod and heading to the river.

flyfishertc said...

Not sure about loop to loop connections. Think the cast hinges.

2 weeks to go to the trout season on the Welsh Dee and I am way behind on the prep! Always the same!

Geoff Johnston said...

I find loop to loop fine as long as the transition between sections is not too great, haven't had any noticeable hinging issues.

Good look and tight lines for the new season