More Browns…This Time on the Owyhee River

On our trip back from Utah last week, Mary Ann and I couldn’t resist stopping on the Owyhee River for a couple of hours to fish.  It was a blustery, overcast day but we knew the fish were there.  Mary Ann fished her 7′  9″  4 wt Signature Series Bamboo rod, and I choose my 9′  0″  3 wt Bamboo EuroNymphing rod.  There was no visible surface activity, but we knew from previous trips, the big Owyhee River browns usually like small midges and baetis nymphs.  An Olive #20 Baetis nymph fished towards the bottom proved to be a good fly choice for the afternoon, and we got into a handful of very nice fish in the 16″ to 22″ range.  Here are a few photos from our afternoon:

#20 Olive Baetis Nymph

Mary Ann putting a good bend in her 4 wt bamboo rod

A beautiful Owyhee River Brown for Mary Ann.

I’m fighting a very nice Brown on my 3 wt bamboo.

Here is one of my nice fish for the day.

Browns on the Green River in Utah!

Mary Ann and I just got back from a week in Utah where we attended the Wasatch Intermountain Fly Fishing Show, and fortunately, we were able to get a little fishing in also.  We spent a day on the Green River with Brett Renard of Western Rivers Flyfisher Guides.  Brett is a great guide, extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and upbeat about our fly fishing day.  And, to top that off, we caught some very nice browns that were rising to the BWO hatch.  I fished an 8′  0″  6 wt Signature Series Bamboo Rod and Mary Ann fished her 8′  0″  6 wt FreeStone Series Bamboo Rod that she built last year. I had only heard about the Green River, but what a beautiful sight.  Crystal clear water flowing through beautiful deep canyon cliffs.  Here are a couple of photos from our day.

Here we are on the Green River.

The Green River.

A nice brown that Mary Ann caught.

Having Some Fun.

Fishing the Metolius River with a new Bamboo Rod.

Occasionally, I find the time to build a new rod for myself.  I recently completed an 8′  0″  5 wt medium progressive action rod for me, and Mary Ann and I got out on the Metolius River for 2 hours for some casting…and possibly catching!  I took my new rod, and she took our her new 7′  9″  4 wt that she just finished building. Her rod was a mate to mine, just a little shorter and lighter.
Winter fishing on the Metolius River can be slow sometimes, and although there were a few mayflies coming off, we only managed a couple of smaller rainbows. But the rods were amazing to cast, perfect actions for the Metolius River and small dry flies.  Here are a few photos:

Getting ready to hit the Metolius River with our new rods.

A nice tight loop for Mary Ann.

A colorful little 9″ rainbow that took my #18 Purple Comparadun dry fly.

Trying Out a New Bamboo Rod on the Crooked River

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve been out fishing….been real busy in the shop with rod building.  Mary Ann just finished building her second bamboo rod, a beautiful 7′  9″  4 wt Progressive Medium-Action rod.  What a great taper…casts dries like a dream.  She cast dry flies hard for a few hours while I took out my 9′  0″  3 wt Czech Nymphing rod with #20 zebra nymphs and Bead Head Pheasant Tail Nymphs.  I picked up several fish on nymphs, but there was nothing hatching and she was fishless on dries.  But, she eventually went over to small nymphs, and her new rod handled them great.  And….she got several fish to the net.  As her first fish on her new rod she picked up a nice 13” whitefish.  After that, several feisty rainbows. Here are a few photos from our day.

Here we are on the Crooked River this past week.

A nice little rainbow that took my #20 black Zebra Midge.

Mary Ann putting a bend on her new 7′ 9″ 4 wt rod.

Mary Ann with her first fish on her new rod.

 

Should I use a DT or a WF line on my bamboo fly rod?

I get this question a lot.  And, there are a lot of misperceptions/beliefs about the differences between the two types of lines.  I often hear “A DT line casts better on a bamboo fly rod”, or “I use a DT 4 or a WF 5 on my bamboo fly rods”, or “I just don’t like DT lines so I always use WF lines.  So, let’s look at line construction for a bit.  Below are the line profiles for the popular Corland 444 Peach fly line taken from the Cortland WEB site:

Cortland 444 Peach Line Profiles

You’ll notice that the Level Tip and the Front Taper are the same on both kinds of lines.  It’s only until you get to the end of the body on the WF line that things change and you get into the back taper and running line.  So, if you’re casting either line and do not have more than 34 ft. of line (the length of the Level Tip + the Front Taper + the Body on the WF line) past the rod tip, the two lines will cast the same.  In this instance, both lines have the same profile and weigh the same…so they’ll cast the same.  If you have more than 34 ft. of line past the rod tip, then the WF line will start to have problems because the small diameter running line will not transmit energy through the fly line effectively.  The DT line will continue to cast well.  That said, with any longer casts, the WF line will shoot easier because the smaller diameter will move through the guides on your rod better.

I’ve looked at a lot of similar profiles of lines from a number of different line manufactures.  Those manufactures that make specific lines in both WF and DT, the front profiles are the same.  However, we’re now seeing some manufactures coming out with special DT lines (not available in WF) with front head profiles specifically designed for delicate presentations, and these lines might be desirable for bamboo fly rods.  And, DT lines have the added advantage of being able to turn around on your reel and use both ends, allowing you to get longer life out of your fly line.

Most of us don’t have good enough casting strokes to carry a huge amount of line past the rod tip at still get great presentations…I certainly don’t.  And, I find that most of my fishing is done from 10 ft. to 30 ft. in front of me.  If you consider 34 ft. of fly line + a 9 ft. leader + the length of your fly rod, that covers most fishing conditions where we actually fish.  Bottom line…use the line that you like on your bamboo fly rods.  There aren’t huge differences between DT and WF lines for most fishing conditions.

If you want to know more, noted casting expert, Bruce Richards, has written some great articles on the subject of fly lines.  Check out this article at:   http://www.sexyloops.com/articles/wfvsdt.shtml.