While there are many techniques to improve your fishing, these Seven Secrets will get you on your way to a more successful fishing experience. One of the most important secrets is Scent Control. If the fish know you are there, your chances of success are diminished. You’ll also want to pay close attention to prepping your leader and properly weighting your casting bubble. Retrieving techniques are also very important…if you want to catch some fish! And, we close out with a quick discussion of the best rods, reels, lines and leaders.
1. Scent Control
- Fish have a very keen sense of smell. It has been proven that salmon, returning to their spawning grounds, do so by detecting the smell of where they were hatched.
- Be very careful with suntan lotion, bug spray, or fuel. If you get these, or like substances, on your hands you must wash it off. A standard practice of mine, before I tie on a fly, is to rinse my hands in water without using soap.
- Did you know that saliva masks human scent? I always spit on my flies before I use them. Gross, but very effective.
- After I catch my first fish, I gently rub my fly along the side of it.
- Another trick is to place a small piece of garlic in your fly box if you can stand the smell.
- Crushing a few natural insects on the fly is another effective method of scenting the fly.
2. Leader Prep
- The tapered leader comes coiled in the Fly & Bubble Casting Rig package. After is it uncoiled, it must be straightened by carefully pulling the length of it through your hand or piece of leather. Be careful not to cut yourself by gripping the leader too tight or pulling too fast.
- If your leader is not straight, you will miss most of the fish strikes. The reason for this is because the “memory” of the leader creates slack, preventing you from detecting the movement of the fly at the critical moment of the strike. The importance of a straight leader cannot be overstated.
3. Weighting the Casting Bubble
- If you wish to fish on the surface, fill the bubble ¾ full of water. To fish under the surface, fill the bubble completely full.
- To fish in deep, or very fast water, put BB-size split shot directly in the bubble through the stopper hole. I have fished with up to eight (8) pieces of shot in my bubble, and yes, BB-sized shot will fit through the hole.
4. Retrieving Techniques
- Presentation, presentation, presentation. This is the key to catching fish! The Universal Fly™ is a large streamer, which represents a minnow. To catch large predatory fish, you must move the fly! I achieve this by using a water-filled bubble with split shot (see Secret #3) and violently jerking, or whipping, my rod during the retrieve. Most fishermen will jerk the rod, and then reel in the slack. You must learn to reel while you are jerking to achieve as much speed as possible. The mindset is this: try to keep the fly away from the fish. It is impossible to move a fly through the water faster than a fish can swim.
- It is important to keep your rod tip down and jerk or whip in a line parallel to the ground. If you jerk up, as in jig fishing, you will bring the fly to the surface. I’ve said to many fishermen, “If no one is laughing at you, you’re probably not jerking hard enough!”
- Experiment with the rhythm and speed until you find what the fish want.
- If you are fishing with a dry fly or nymph, reel slowly. However, I have caught many fish on nymphs by jerking like a madman!
5. Rod Types
- Use a medium action, 6-1/2 to 7 foot spinning rod.
- Graphite rods are best for strength, but are usually a bit more expensive. Check out eBay, Buy.com or Amazon Marketplace for the best prices.
6. Reel Types
- All casting reels will work. The ideal reel is an open-face spinning reel with a minimum retrieve ratio of 5:1 (5 spool winds to 1 crank turn).
- Fish with the fastest reel you can buy. Remember, you can always slow down if you need to.
7. Line/Leader Types
- I fish with “Tectan Premium Plus”. This line has a small diameter and virtually no memory. Trust me, I’ve tried them all. This is, by far, the best line for this type of fishing.
- Tapered leaders work best, because they minimize tangles. I use a 7-1/2 foot, 3x leader. Sometimes it is helpful to tie a smaller tippet on the end of the leader for line-shy fish. You can also increase the distance from the bubble to the fly this way.
Now you know the “Seven Secrets”. Go catch some monsters!
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