Ad­vice squad

TF’s panel of ex­perts an­swer your ques­tions on leader length, furled lead­ers and clear wa­ter tac­tics

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Contents - Ian Cle­ments

QWhat would you say is a ‘stan­dard’ leader length for fish­ing on a still­wa­ter? How many drop­pers would you sug­gest and what should the spac­ing be be­tween the fi­nal drop­per and the point fly? NICK HART REPLIES: I reckon it would be pos­si­ble to fill an en­tire book with all the dif­fer­ent leader con­fig­u­ra­tions avail­able! Thank­fully, lead­ers can be sim­pli­fied so that more time is spent fish­ing rather than ty­ing knots or, worse still, sort­ing out tan­gles. A good stan­dard leader length is 12 to 14 feet with flies equally spaced. For ex­am­ple, a sim­ple leader of seven feet to the first fly (drop­per) fol­lowed by a fur­ther seven feet to the point fly has served me well in a va­ri­ety of sit­u­a­tions. Within a day of cast­ing tu­ition many of my clients are com­fort­able with this leader length. Pop­u­lar tac­tics such as the wash­ing-line or swing­ing Buzzers will work with this set-up, or try an at­trac­tor of some kind on the point and an im­i­ta­tive fly in the drop­per po­si­tion. If you feel your cast­ing is up to pre­sent­ing a three-fly team then a tried and tested length is 15 feet with equal five-foot spac­ings be­tween each fly. How­ever, with prac­tice it is pos­si­ble to up this to six or even seven foot spac­ings re­sult­ing in an 18 to 21-foot leader. These lengths can pro­duce a lot of fish, es­pe­cially if they are wised-up res­i­den­tial spec­i­mens; how­ever, a long net will be re­quired to land trout which have taken the point fly! Avoid us­ing very long lead­ers in windy con­di­tions and be care­ful when choos­ing leader ma­te­rial. Su­per-fine di­am­e­ters can lead to more takes but also tan­gle much eas­ier, es­pe­cially when us­ing a team of flies. Tried and tested leader ma­te­ri­als for nymph and lure fish­ing in­clude Rio Flu­o­roflex and Air­flo G5 fluoro­car­bon. Short­en­ing the leader in windy con­di­tions is ad­vis­able and it might even be worth re­duc­ing the num­ber of flies. A sin­gle pat­tern pre­sented reg­u­larly on a 10-foot leader is go­ing to catch far more fish than some­thing of 14 feet that has be­come tan­gled ev­ery other cast. A very sim­ple way to achieve great leader turnover is to opt for a knot­less ta­pered leader of seven to nine feet and add a sec­tion of tip­pet to in­crease length. Try this with a copoly­mer leader to achieve ac­cu­racy when cast­ing dries.

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