Fish weight formula
Spey casting problem
Custom fly lines
Tube fly information
Salmon and steelhead fishing in cold water
Spey cast inswing
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Last season I began using 3/4 inch aluminium tubes (purchased, not
home made.) I hooked more fish than in a normal year so I continued
to use them. The problem is that I am losing the tube after about
an hours casting, on two occasions last season I actually unfortunately
broke in the fish when tightening into them. At first I thought
I may have been cracking them off on the back cast, but I always
wait to feel the fly straighten out before the forward cast. On
one occasion this week I lost the tube to find that the cast was
badly frayed and the tube again gone. Last season I was using Maxima
12lb. breaking strain and this season I have started to use Tynex
12lb but the problem still persists. After all my fly fishing experience
it is so frustrating, on normal flies I don't have a problem, even
when I have fished Waddingtons in the past this has never happened.
There are various reasons for
snapping off flies during casting, the first of which is bad timing.
In this case that does not appear to be the problem and the reason
could be simpler, perhaps there are sharp edges on the tube fly
itself and the movement induced by casting is abrading the leader.
It is important to ensure that all tube flies are lined with polyethylene
or a like material. Using leader that is too light or too soft or
too long would exacerbate the problem but you have taken care of
that aspect. Normally I use a minimum diameter of 0.35mm leader
of overall length less than 8 feet for spring size tube flies.
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I just got back from a trip to the Sustut River in BC. The subject
of calculating the weight of a fish came up. In camp they were using
a formula 1.33 x length in inches x girth in inches x girth in inches
divided by 800 to give the wt in lbs. The weights didn't look quite
right to me, so I looked it up on the internet. Many sites give
a formula of length x girth x girth which seems way off. At least
compared to the length minus 20 rule which I have used in the past.
I would be interested to know the formulas used on your web site
since all of them give a calculation which at least appears closer
to what I would have estimated.
Answer: All fish are not
built the same way, some are fat and some are slim. To take account
of this several volumetric based formulae have been developed over
the years. Girth is measured at the anterior (front) edge of the
dorsal fin. "The Fisherman's Vade Mecum" by G W Maunsell
contains a formula to derive weight from length and girth measurements.
Weight (lbs) = (4/3 x L) x Gˆ2/1000 (L &
G in inches)
Thanks to Dr Andrew Gowans's research data from the Tay
I obtained measurements and weights from 875 fresh Tay salmon and
was able to test the accuracy this formula. Generally speaking the
weights were underestimated by it and so we produced a new formula
statistically corrected to minimise the error. Probably the difference
arises because the old formula was based on fish that had been dead
for a time or were not exactly fresh run. After death fish can loose
weight at a rate of 2% per six hours. More than 80% of fish weights
are predicted within 5% of the actual weight of the fish by the
Gowans formula Weight (Kg) = 41.4 x L x Gˆ2 (L
& G in metres).
To save calculating weight from this formula,
you can enter the length and girth in the Fish
o'meter on this site and it will do the hard work for you.
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I have a problem with my single Spey cast. On the forward cast the
last part of the loop collides with the body of the fly line and
kills the cast. Up until that point all appears to be going well,
the loop forms well above the water and the line shoots out nicely.
Thank you in advance.
you mean that the end of the line or the leader tangles as the line
straightens - like a tailing loop on an overhead cast? I can think
of a couple of things that might cause that. The first is that the
forward cast is being made at a "closing" angle to the
D loop. I which case make sure that you place the anchor and the
D loop parallel to the direction of the intended forward cast or
to test the theory make the slightly more downstream to open the
loop. The other less likely cause is that you are making the forward
cast too sharply. A Spey cast is like every other cast, the longer
and smoother you can make that final acceleration to a positive
stop the straighter the outgoing loop will be.
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I have 2 questions about fishing 45' of sinking line attached to running
1. I was taught to mend the sinking portion (tip/leader) parallel
to the current, allow it to sink, then fish out the cast. Usually
this means casting at 90 degrees to the current, putting a big mend
in, to position the sinking portion & mending the floating portion
as necessary to delay the swing until the line has sunk & is now
down at about 45 degrees. With 45' of sinking line + running line,
mending would appear difficult. Do you aim for a 45 degree cast with
a straight line & just let it fish?
2. Where do you find 45' of sinking line? Are
full sinking DT or level lines still available in GB, so you can
cut them up to make such a line? 30' heads are about it here.
Answer: With a custom made sinking
line as discussed you can make the cast and keep the rod tip high
to allow more line to be fed out to get the sinking line down to
a suitable depth. You may also walk downstream for a couple of paces
to achieve slack for that purpose.
Full length sinking lines are certainly available
in the UK and many of them come from the USA so it should be possible
to obtain them in USA. Cortland and Scientific Anglers certainly
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Ally, It's pretty hard on this side of the pond to get any information
(patterns etc.) on tube flies. Are there any books or videos on
the subject available in the UK?
Answer: Books on
tube flies! Japanese writer Ken Sawada has an excellent book called
Tube and Waddington Fly Dressing but I hardly think that you'll
need a book for tubes. What size and weights of tubes do you want
to make? We make them from Polyethylene tube sometimes over sleeved
with aluminium, brass or copper for weight. Non sterile PORTEX tube
can be bought for surgical suppliers (or scrounged from a doctor).
The best stuff stretches to a smaller diameter when pulled and turns
over at the ends when gently heated with a lighter. So you can line
metal tube bought from the model shop once its cut to length. Loop
tackle do a series of wine bottle shaped heavy brass tubes for tying
the temple dog types with arctic fox hair. We usually use bucktail
for winging and it's usually tied all round. The best way to hold
the hook in place on big tubes is with Hellerman Sleeves - used
in the electronics industry to protect wires I believe. They are
real rubber and can stand the cold water. Silicon rubber (usually
sold for the job) is useless. To fix the tube to the vice use a
darning needle of the correct diameter and shove the tube onto it.
and steelhead fishing in cold water
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For cold water/winter fishing what line system have you found to
be the best with the Spey rod? I have been using sinking leaders,
weighted flies & tips in various lengths looped to the front
of a floating line. They all seem to work reasonably well, but I'm
never quite sure which is fishing most efficiently. The tips seem
to be the most work to cast, but I'm not completely convinced that
they are doing a better job than the leaders. I'd be very interested
in your experiences.
Answer: I use a comfortable length
of sinking line attached to a floating running line or mono shooting
line. Normally that means at least 3 feet of line per foot of rod
length. With this I can cast much more easily. Sinking tips work
better on the end of intermediate or sink tip lines than they do
on floaters anyway but a floating line has the advantage of drifting
round the swing faster - something that is useful on some pools.
I use all weights of flies. In slow currents there may be an advantage
in using a light plastic tube fly with a sinking line because it
hovers and moves better in the soft flows. For Atlantic salmon the
rule of thumb is that we fish deep until about 48 deg F. In practice
it also depends on the strength of flow and I would not hesitate
to fish a fast sinking line to reach them at any temperature. We
don't have the high temperature differentials between air and water
that you might have and a sink tip or intermediate line will work
here until the fly catches bottom! In fact it's almost a case of
considering when we would risk using a floater! Heavy flies are
not the easiest to deal with on a floating line - you may have noticed.
With a short strong leader and a sinking line the balance is much
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Why exactly do you drift the rod and line to the inside on the Single
Spey (from the left bank water going right to left) then back outside
before turning and casting back out to the river.
To produce a controlled belly
of line in the air that will suddenly flip from the inside (as you
made it) to the outside and carry the whole belly that forms the
D loop with it cleanly upstream. You can make the cast without it,
but its harder to turn the D loop efficiently. In bad cases the
line may come across your body rather than go out and round upstream.