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Leader Craft
Mike Huffman
Fine-tune your leader for a better presentation.
Mike Huffman

It's no secret that keeping your submerged flies tracking at the right depth and speed is the most critical element in your presentation. Nonetheless, only a small percentage of anglers really utilize their full range of split shot sizes, let alone make frequent changes to their rigs.

If you are content to fish the same rig all day, despite changes in depth and water speed, you are likely leaving a lot of fish untouched. There are a multitude of options available to today's fly fisher that can be used in combination to fine-tune your leader. Consider the following:

  • Fluorocarbon tippet of a same diameter sinks more quickly than nylon.
  • Tungsten beads used for fly tying can be threaded onto the leader as an alternative to split shot.
  • There are now non-toxic weighting options that mimic little pieces of twig or stream gravel. (Stix and Stonz)
  • Soft tungsten putty is re-usable.
  • Fish do see strike indicators. Use the subtlest color and size you can get away with. 
  • Yarn indicators in colors like grey or brown are surprisingly visible.

Take a few minutes to double-check and tweak your rig before each new run. This discipline not only pays off in more fish, but will help you learn to better read each piece of water you fish.                      

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