Leaders For Summertime Spring Creeks

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Field Notes From Fall River Guide Art Teter

Conditions dictate how we approach a given fishing scenario. Summertime is a season where conditions change dramatically. With that being the case one thing that needs to change is your leader composition. What am I talking about? The shorter leaders that you could get a way with earlier in the season (spring or winter), now become a liability! I’m wrting to day to give the reader of this post some solid sumertime advice: Undertanding leader length is ofetne more important than understanding fly selection.

For example, on Fall River it is totally impossible to fish to short leader. Spring creeks like Fall River, and shallow to medium depth still waters require longer leaders. The longer your leader the better! Also, the longer the taper the better. Currently as we move into mid summer, I am fishing my guests ,on the swing, leaders up to 16’ to 18’ feetin length. As we approach late summer and early fall, I will extended my leaders out to 20 feet.  Sounds crazy, but the presense of a fly line has a negative retun on fly presentation. The fish tedn to adapt to our presentations as the season ensues, so in oreder to achive some thing unique, a longer leader is more often than note a game changer.

Use 25 to 31 inches plus of tippet. More is okay. It depends on the size of tippet. Keep in mind, longer the tippet the more stretch you will get and fewer brake-offs due to angler error. Try adding a some soft led to the tippet knot. The soft led will help keep the fly lined up in the water column and infron of the fish.

Too much leader you say?

That long of a leader is for fishing not for making pretty casts. Besides when you are swinging you can straighten it out once it is on the water.

For you indicator anglers: start out with 12 feet of leader not counting your tippet. In the event you have to put your indicator clear up to your fly line in order achieve the depth you are trying to reach, you need a longer leader. The plan here is to keep the fly line as far away from the fish as possible.

How do you keep the weeds off of your leader?  Don’t cast into the weeds!  Trust that the fish will come to your fly.

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