Tippet Rings: Use Them

Unless you like wasting money, you should probably be using tippet rings
That is magnified. Big time.

Unless you're fishing for what would traditionally be considered big game species, you should be using tippet rings. It doesn't matter whether you're fishing machine-made extruded leaders, furled leaders or hand tie your own. Tippet rings have their place in all of these scenarios.

In an earlier featured entitled Tip: Stop Wasting Money on Leaders, we detailed how we feel machine-made tapered leaders are one of the biggest money pits a fly fisherman encounters. Adding tippet rings to the tips found in that article take the whole picture to the next level of practicality and good sense.

A shot of the Florida Keys from the International Space Station.

Studies that endeavor to estimate the values of a particular fishery aren't rare. They form the basis for a number of planning and policy decisions, many of which pit conservation against development. And these studies often produce big numbers, as they calculate the cumulative values of immense commercial fishing operations, sport fishing and tourism, and more. When numbers for these diverse fisheries reach into the hundreds of millions or even billions, as was the case with the recent results of a study on the value of Bristol Bay, Alaska's fishery, most people aren't overly shocked. However, when a virtually purely recreational fishery like that of the Florida Keys bonefish, tarpon and permit flats is deemed to be worth over $400 million each year, it serves to turn some heads.

According to the study, which was commissioned by the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, the recreational sport fishery that surrounds the bonefish, tarpon and permit of the Florida Keys generates an estimated $427 million annually. The study considered the multiplier effects of angler expenditures, the wages and salaries generated by angler spending, the jobs created, and the federal and state taxes resulting from flats fishing expenditures. Data was collected through surveys of licensed resident and non-resident anglers and flats fishing guides.

Mountain brook trout love a parachute adams.

Newcomers to the sport of fly fishing can feel overwhelmed and lost at times. The challenges faced by the novice fly fisherman can be significant and the lack of positive feedback from successfully enticing a fish to take your imitation can make the prospect of learning the ropes a daunting one. Especially here in the eastern United States where the fish populations are lower and pressure is higher, more selective, more "educated" fish can make the task facing the unexperienced fisherman seem, at times, impossible.

Take for example my experience last week on the West Branch of the Delaware River, albeit one of the most technical and difficult rivers to fish anywhere in the United States. After a day of nothing much at all except prospecting with nymphs and streamers under sunny skies and through low, gin clear water, fish began to rise readily after the sun dipped below the horizon and a number of bugs appeared on the river. With at least a dozen fish to target from my spot in the river, surely success was about to be had, no? No. With no less than 6 different bugs on the water and in various life stages, the next hour was spent blowing through patterns and rigs and all to no avail. Walking off the river in the dark and straddling a boulder in the process, led to a pathetic, helpless slide into the water and a pair of filled up waders.

Even in seemingly messy high water conditions, trout can often be found in predictable places.

For many fisherman, big rains that lead to high water are a reason to stay home. After all, why venture out to your local stream or river when it's "blown out". Off color water, churning rapids, water up in the trees. Surely this is no time to catch fish.

Those who have put in hours on the river during times of high water know the above to be false. They also hope that the majority of anglers go on thinking it is true. High water days are often lonely days on the river, much to the delight of those who have become adept at fishing during such conditions.

Fly Fishing the Brood II Cicada Hatch

During the next 4-6 weeks, fly fishermen in the eastern United States -- from North Carolina and north to Connecticut and New York -- may be able to enjoy something that their western brethren find relatively commonplace, but is rarely experienced on eastern waters: throwing big bugs to voracious trout that aren’t the least bit picky about pattern or presentation.

This year marks the year of the emergence of the Magicicadas, also known as the 17-year or Brood II cicadas. These periodical cicadas, the longest living insects in North America, will emerge in massive numbers throughout the eastern United States with concentrations in some areas approaching 1.5 million insects per acre.

These insects, who have been living underground since 1996, will emerge when the average soil temperature reaches 64 degrees. As their wings harden after emergence, they will take flight to the trees where they will pursue a mate. After mating, these insects will fall to the ground, littering meadows, forest floors and rivers and streams. Unsuspecting trout will quickly key on this bounty of protein, gorging themselves on these readily available bugs.