Wednesday, 31 July 2013

All the Gear...Some Idea

It’s funny, whenever I buy new fishing gear I'm always quite nervous when I first use it.  Whether is because the majority of kit we buy is expensive and I don’t want it to be a waste of money!

Anyway, I recently got hold of a new Airflo Super-Dri line.  I had to wait longer than I hoped due but now I have it and it’s loaded onto my reel.

I went for the Elite line, WF5 in Lichen Green.  I choose this colour because of its understatedness, not sure that is even a word but you get the picture!  If felt it would be best when covering spooky WBT (especially given the waters around me are so low and clear at the moment).  Although highly visible, the line isn’t bright and that appealed to me.  I choose the WF5 to go with my Streamtec Nantec 4/5 wt, which I use on the river and also the Stillwater if needed.

Over the last few weeks it appears every man and his dog has reviewed these lines.  Therefore im not going to go into too much detail on the manufacturing but how it feels and how it fishes:

However for anyone who wants to know here (in blue to make it easier for you to skip) are the specifications and marketing spiel from Airflo  - :

Introducing the new Airflo super-DRI series, the Highest Floating and Slickest Fly Line Available!

Material advances from the science technicians at Airflo have given us the leg up in the floating fly line market. Once you feel, cast and fish one of the new super-DRI lines there's no going back.

Super-DRI Features & Benefits
  • Ultimate high floating PVC Free material
  • Repels water better than any other material
  • Repels dirt and surface scum with a vengeance
  • Slides through the guides better, adding distance to every cast
  • Permanently part of the line, not a coating that leaches out - migration is only good for birds!
  • Easily lifts off the waters surface, less disturbance adding stealth to every fishing situation
  • Easy mending capabilities due to higher floating, adding length to drag free drifts
  • Looped at both ends for easy leader changes
  • Ridged for greater shoot ability and less tangles
  • Power Core for ultra low stretch, extreme feel, and solid hook set

Zone Technology

With new production technology come new designs. Zone technology allows us to use a different material configuration in every part of a fly line. Imagine a line that has a super high floating tip zone, a supple belly zone that throws loops that are exceptionally tight. A haul zone strategically placed that incorporates harder material with less compression making double hauling effortless and extreme durability in a high wear area. And finally a slightly harder but friction free running line zone to make shooting and managing line more efficient. Also a colour change for quick zone reference. This future technology is available now on Airflo's new super-DRI series of fly lines.

The Elite features our go to trout taper, the extremely popular impact taper. A modest front taper and standard head length, this line will do it all, great for all aspects of trout fishing, boat or bank, river, lake or small water. Available in three ideal colours, Lichen Green in WF 2-7, Sunrise Yellow in WF 3-7 and Lichen Green/Sunrise Yellow in a DT 3-6.

Now that’s been covered the big question is; ‘is it any good?’

Well, in a word, Yes.

The first thing I noticed was the extra distance I immediately put on my casts with very little effort.  The line simply glided through my rod rings – for me, this is a good thing!

Observing the line as it drifted down river and I was amazed as to high the line actually sat on the water.  Rather than some of the lines I’ve used in the past, the line sat on top rather than in the surface film.  Because of this I found it so easy to lift off the water and re-cast to a rising fish.  There was very little disturbance on the top and hardly any drag/friction from the line pulling through the water.

The big test would be catching a fish!  I saw a fish rising; I cast over it, initially without luck.  I waited to see if the fish rose again and sure enough it did.  I cast over it and there was a take.  This is what impressed me most about the line, no sooner had the fish rose and I had struck into it the line was out of the water and I was hooked up.  I'm never one for believing ‘the hype’ but this was quite noticeable.  The fish (Grayling - pic below), wasn’t massive but any means, but the take had registered as soon as I struck.  I read somewhere about the line that ‘You'll know when a fish breathes anywhere near your fly’ and to be honest I can understand the comment even if its rather tongue in check!

Wye Grayling

With positives, there must also be negatives.  Given that these are the ‘Highest Floating Lines Available’ this is also where my only negative can be found.  Fishing a dry fly when there was a strong down river wind, saw  the line drift just a bit too fast (despite putting a mend in the line).  With a strong upriver wind, the line almost didn't drift at all.  Now I can’t see these negatives being a deal breaker and they are honestly the only flaws I’ve found so far.

Lets not be na├»ve here, these lines aren’t going to transform from an average angler into a great angler but I genuinely feel you will see a better hook up rate and fewer missed takes.  With my previously line I'm convinced it was because it was holding almost under the water that I couldn’t strike into the fish effectively.   Who knows, that increase in hook ups may well turn you into a great angler!

Overall I would highly recommend the lines, well this one at least.  Admittedly I have only tried the Elite, which is described as the 'go-to' trout line.  However, the technology looks solid and if Airflo have done such a good job with this then im sure the other lines are up to standard.  I am hoping to pick up and Xceed line soon so I will put a piece together for that too.

Airflo have been producing very technically advanced lines for years and with the Super-Dri they appear to have really raised their game with the floating lines.  Stubourness aside, they should even impress some of the older generation who experienced some of the less desirable floating lines made by Airflo in the 90's!

So now im set.  All the gear and no idea I hear you cry!  Who cares when the scenery is so nice?

Until next time…

Monday, 1 July 2013

What a Difference a Week Makes

So you go out fishing with much expectation, but you blank.  This happened to me last week, which was surprising given the conditions - warm weather, some cloud cover, river clear and level good.

What was the problem? Hard to say but it may have been the rain over the previous weekend, river did seem slightly colder and that must have been enough to slow the fish down. There was an abundance for fly life from Sedges to Olives but the fish weren't turned onto them. Even fishing a nymph proved fruitless!

But as the title suggests, it hasn't all been like that recently.

The week before, I was fortunate enough to have an afternoon free and went down the lower end of the clubs waters (Wye) on a nice glide above the 'Fly Run'. I managed to take a couple of fish on the top but observing the water there were lots of fish turning in the top of the water so I decided to tie on an extra length of flurocarbon to the bend of my dry hook and attach a nymph - fishing the duo, New Zeland style (possibly my favourite fishing method).

To start with I used a small size 16 Gold Head PTN. This is where the action really took off. In the next hour I took 8 fish, some small some over 1lb and all from the same place that I blanked recently.
I also visited this (sometimes) productive spot over the weekend when the wind and rain arrived and took 4 good size Grayling, again on a nymph - this time a pink body with red ribbing and a Silver Bead.

Brownie on the dry

Brownie on the nymph

Salmon Parr

Best of the day - Grayling of 1lb+

Grayling with the pink fly in its top lip
Yes fishing can be frustrating at times but just being out in the peace and quiet is often enough to relax the mind.  I took a break from the lashing wind and rain and found shelter under a couple of trees. As the wind subsided and rain eased I sat there watching as a gorgeous Kingfisher took flight along the far bank, up and down the river several times before disappearing back into the bank. To be honest I enjoyed seeing the Kingfisher more than catching the fish that day!

One thing I was told when I first started fishing again was:
Its called Fishing, if you caught a fish every time it would be called Catching.

A very simple statement but how true it is. Everyone loves to catch fish, it's why we fish. However, some people get hung up on catching and being better than everyone else (something which has resulted in a lot of discussion recently about Competition fishing - something I hope to talk about again). When these anglers realise there is much more pleasure to be taken from fishing than hooking a 6" 'monster', I think they will really see the benefits.

Until next time...