What distance should I be looking to achieve?

A long line nymphing strike, Pliva style.

That above is a common question in fly fishing forums. So common that, in fact, it is the title of a thread I read recently. And the most usual reply to that question goes along these lines: “Most fish are taken within 35 feet.”

But, what happens when the fish are active 20+ meters away? Do you pack all gear and get back home?

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Exploración

Sorpresas que se encuentran por casualidad

Plop! La gran trucha vuelve la cabeza de inmediato y se dirige hacia mi pequeña ninfa; sin prisa pero con evidente determinación. Un destello blanquecino de la boca señala el instante en el que el pez se detiene donde —intuyo— se encuentra mi imitación. Al templar la línea activo un mecanismo que, al instante, pone al pez a hacer acrobacias a un par de metros sobre el agua. Tras el salpicón, de inmediato siento que ya no hay nada tirando al otro lado de la línea. Sin embargo sonrío. Las dudas sobre nuestra elección, a puro ojo, de este diminuto spring creek —no más que una corta y delgadísima línea en el mapa— ya se han disipado.

South Island. New Zealand. 2019

Boring? Are you kidding?

It happened again yesterday. While having a wine with some friends it was mentioned that I like fishing, and even travel far away to practice it.

—Fishing? —said somebody—. It is so boring!

When people hear the word “fishing” what invariably comes to their mind is some guy sitting at the sea shore, listening to some football match in the radio while waiting for hours for any sign of life in the rod planted in front of him.
Trying to explain that the fly fishing approach is exactly the opposite, is normally a waste of time.

What I will do from now on is to keep in my phone this video I shot of my mate Álvaro G. Santillán, to prove that fly fishing can be truly spectacular. Amazing job by an outstanding fisher.
Will it succeed in showing all those laypersons that in fly fishing there is no time to get bored?



A Relaxing Activity?

The hard fighter that ran upstream

It was a week ago that we got back home from our fishing trip to New Zealand. Time to browse through thousands of pictures, delete a lot of them and keep the good ones, while savouring the memories that each photo brings back. Also time to reply some emails, messages and phone calls. A question is prevalent: how is the fishing over there?

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New Zealand on my Mind

Visiting New Zealand is in the dreams of every fly fisher. Traveling there for the first time doesn’t relieve the itch. In fact, you can’t wait to get back!

Not an easy feat, to be honest, as money and spare time are hurdles difficult to overcome.

But, when more than a year ago I received an invitation from Chris Dore for some fishing in the South Island, I decided that it was time to jump those hurdles. So almost two years after my first trip to the sight-fishing paradise, I was there again.


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Secret Desire

“If you ask fly fishing guides what is the one thing that they would like their clients to be able to do better in order to catch more fish, the answer is not that they could tie better flies, tie better knots or owned better equipment. It is resoundingly that they should cast better.
If you ask fly casting instructors what is the one thing that they wish that their clients would do better, the answer is not that they read more books, watch more videos or even that they have more lessons (although that can help!). It is that they practice more.”

Paul Arden

A Big Asset

“This is something that brings a lot of people into our sport these days. They were surfing, they were sailors, they were doing this and that, and this and that, but still they come here and say:

—You know what my problem is? I was surfing in blablabla and was still thinking about my business. I hope to get rid of this in fly fishing.

And this is certainly true, this is one of the big assets of our sport.
Because we have a very technical aspect: casting. It’s impossible to make a difficult cast and think about your work back home. It’s just impossible. Good thing.”

Jean-Pierre Vollrath



Yes, It Is About Fishing

Does she fish or just cast (beautifully)? It would be interesting to see if all that technical casting ability also amounted to catching ability.

I read the comment above in a forum the other day. It is in reference to Maxine McCormick’s amazing casting prowess —Maxine is a 14 year old girl with several world records in fly casting under her belt!!

Maxine

I have heard that argument many times before around here. In my view it misses the point because the question that matters is:

If my technical ability were as good as that of Maxine, would it improve my catching ability and my overall enjoyment of fly fishing?

And the answer is YES, ABSOLUTELY!!!

Grayling and The Laws of Optics

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Pliva’s golden grayling. Photo by Zeljko Prpic.

The date is approaching. Another trip to river Pliva is at sight.

Frustrating and absorbing in equal parts, Pliva offers some of the most challenging sight nymphing you can find anywhere. Even blind fishing with tungsten beaded nymphs is pretty special.

There is a particular stretch with big grayling up to 55/56 centimeters long —maybe more; I don’t know for sure, as seeing them and catching them are very different things, and I haven’t managed to catch one of the really big guys yet—,  that you often see actively feeding suspended like floating in thin air at depths up to three meters.

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