Stack Mends Fly Flotant & Cleaning Fish

Stack Mends Fly Flotant & Cleaning Fish

Can you explain a "stack mend" to me? When? How? A stack mend is used to create a pile, or stack, of line to facilitate a drag-free drift, typically on

Can you explain a "stack mend" to me? When? How?
A stack mend is used to create a pile, or stack, of line to facilitate a drag-free drift, typically on a downstream-and-across presentation that crosses multiple current seams. In its simplest form, the angler is feeding line directly downstream from his position. The key is to have line already stripped off the reel, so you can feed that line downstream by simply shaking the rod tip vertically to maintain a dead drift.

When you need to reach a driftline downstream-and-across from you, use "mini" roll casts to throw slack horizontally into the line to maintain a dead drift. Being able to feed line and manage the rod tip movement takes a bit of practice, but it is a technique that is well worth your effort to learn.

Stack mending is particularly effective on spring creeks. Watching a master of this technique in action on such a stream will quickly make you a believer.
-Buzz Bryson

When applying fly flotant to a dry fly, do you put it on the whole fly, including the hackle and wings, or just the body?
There isn't a single answer to this question as it depends on the type of fly and the type of flotant you are using. For standard hackled dry flies, I coat the bodies, hackles and tail, as these are the parts that support the fly. I don't worry about wings, as they typically extend above the water's surface, but again, I don't particularly worry if I get some on them. A thick paste-type flotant, though, will mat down the wings on most patterns, so I'd try to avoid getting too much on them. Lastly, I apply the flotant to my fingers first and then put it on the fly-globing flotant directly onto the fly creates a mini-Valdez spill when it hits water.
-Buzz Bryson

I'm embarrassed to ask this, but I am more embarrassed that I don't know: How do you clean a trout?
Take a small knife, insert it into the trout's vent (anus), and run the blade up to the head. Keep the blade running just deep enough to cut through the skin and muscle, without disturbing the internal organs. Pull out everything inside (intestines, stomach, etc); the gills are pretty well attached and require an extra tug. Use your thumbnail and scrape out the kidney (the dark band of material at the top of the body cavity). At your option, leave the head on or take it off. Rinse well, and it's ready to cook. Oh yes, trout have scales but they're very small, so there's no need to scrape them off. Do leave the skin on while cooking the fish; it helps to keep the moisture in. And please, don't overcook.
-Buzz Bryson

When fishing a pond or lake from a canoe, what is the best (safest) way to rig up an anchor?

There's a couple things to think about here: First, wind is about the only force that will push a canoe around in still water, so a heavy anchor is unnecessary. Second, the proper place to attach an anchor line is to the bow-either through the bow handle or a U-bolt if present. Third, two anchors (one off the bow, and one off the stern) will prevent the canoe from spinning around a single anchor point in the breeze.

To make an anchor start with a sash weight, or a similar smooth object (even a dumbbell weight would work fine) in the three- to five-pound class, and add 15 feet of 1/4-inch-diameter rope and you have yourself an anchor. And one last word on the subject of canoes and anchors: Anchoring a canoe in fast water or heavy current is a recipe for disaster. On a river, you are better off beaching the boat and fishing from shore.
-Buzz Bryson

I like using a floating line and fishing dry flies, but I don't want to miss out on catching fish. Is a sinking line of some sort really going to catch me a lot more fish in a trout stream? If not, where do they help out? Will weighted flies or split-shot work just as well?
Trout do most of their feeding subsurface, so it makes sense to fish there. Adding weight to your terminal tackle-by incorporating a beadhead nymph or by attaching split-shot to the leader-will allow you to fish deeper in the water column, even with a floating line. At some point, though, such a setup becomes ungainly to cast-chuck-and-duck in the extreme. And that's where some form of sinking line really helps: Your casting can return to its relatively smooth form, but the fly will still get down. The choice among a short sink-tip, a longer sinking head or a sinking line depends on the size and depth of the water you want to fish. The deeper and larger the water, the longer the sinking portion of line you'll use. For lake and saltwater use, you want either a full-sinking line or one with a long sinking head. For rivers, short sink-tip lines are appropriate.

There are a number of interchangeable shooting-head line systems out there for the angler who wants maximum versatility at minimum cost. These systems consist of a variety of heads attached to a thin running line-braided nylon or mono-filament-and will work for any depth of water that a fly rod is capable of covering, and do it far more cheaply than a full set of individual lines.
-Buzz Bryson