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Author Topic: Bobbers...  (Read 18117 times)
riveraddict
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« on: July 31, 2012, 05:52:41 PM »

   Bobbers... I've picked on bobber fishing in the past - mostly amongst friends and always having to do with their use for steelhead - because it is just a "fun" subject to debate. However, my true feelings on the subject (which I posted on Speypages many years ago) actually have more to do with the anglers behind the bobber and where they choose to use them than with the actual methodology. My opinion, in a nutshell, is that bobber fishing FROM A BOAT for steelhead, in places where there is a fair chance to swing them up, is a great waste of the steelhead's most exemplary characteristic - their "chase" instinct.
   But, that opinion is not a total condemnation of bobbers, nor does it preclude me from using bobbers... I have used them occasionally when fishing situations where other approaches of angling such as swinging just didn't seem very viable. But, the fact is, my West Coast environs just didn't produce on a regular basis, a demand for bobber implementation, therefore because of that unfamiliarity-through-lack-of-use circumstance, I have displayed a bit of prejudice against using them personally.
   However, now that I've accrued more than just a bit of time fishing in the Midwest, I am finding the bobber to be more than just an incidentally used piece of equipment. And, this increased use is not solely for an increase in fishing effectiveness, because if effectiveness was the primary goal, then a spinning outfit would be the logical answer. No, instead the bobber has increased my fishing enjoyment, mostly by saving me from the misery of having to tie on a new friggen fly after every 2nd or 3rd presentation due to snagging up on irregularly shaped, rough textured rocks that rarely, and I do mean RARELY, give back the fly! So, I guess my point is that "walking a mile in another man's shoes" sure can do a lot to sway one's perspective on things!
                    
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 10:50:17 PM by riveraddict » Logged

Rick J
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2012, 08:03:18 PM »

I have never been against those that bobber fish just because it is a method I do not particularly want to do. There is no question that it can be highly effective on cetain waters. I do take exception to those that will camp on a section of water or just stand there and force feed a fish until it opens up.

I think the big problem and one reason there is such highly explsoive differences of opinions is the two techniques do not particulary work on the same piece of water - a bobber guy only fishes a single seam on each cast so needs to complete multiple casts before stepping down which can really piss off the swing guy above him who wants to make a cast and take 3 steps down!!!

But I expect there are other species and types of fishing where this also may be a highly effective method. I just have never felt that a long 2 hander was a big benefit for indicator fishing - where I have done it for trout fishing - I prefer a long single hander as I feel it is easier to stack mend using a single hander and a standard weight forward line
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riveraddict
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2012, 11:20:24 PM »

Rick,
   I would add that fishing a bobber with a Skagit line in significant current would seem to be a losing proposition also because the thickness of the line is also not very conducive to stack mending. However, in situations of slow current a DH and Skagit line can be a workable system for fishing a bobber "at distance" by picking the correct angle of cast. And, that is my current situation... barely moving water with abruptly variable depth changes from 6" to 2' deep and a "sticky" rock bottom. The fish lay shallow because the viz is only about a foot (you can't even spot a 10# carp laying in 18"), yet due to the shallowness of the water, the fish become quite alert to your presence if you wade too closely via the disturbance of the water caused by wading. So, the criterion is to "swing" a fly at near-bottom level, using casting distances of 40' to 60', in snail-pace current. Suspending a weighted fly below a bobber seems to be the only viable approach. 
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skagit mist
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2012, 04:54:19 AM »

TIME OUT!!! For everyone here, including those that fish them. They're called 'FLOATS', and the technique is called 'FLOAT FISHING'. Coming from north of the 49th... Just saying. They help you catch steelhead in pieces of water that you would shake your head at. Very excited to use the new Go-Pro this coming winter.

Back to the subject.... a weird one to have on a fly fishing forum.
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Northwest winters make steelhead chrome that much brighter

riveraddict
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2012, 07:44:04 AM »

SM,
   Point  taken... I suppose that technically a "bobber" is that red and white plastic orb that I soaked worms under for bluegills when I was a kid. The term "float" is a much more accurate description of the object as "floating" the fly over obstructions at a specified depth is its primary function and indicating strikes is secondary. As for "flyfishing", the identifying characteristics of the sport that have distinguished it from other forms of sportfishing has been for the longest time, "the casting of a fly via the weight of the line". Since I am using "objects" that are universally recognized as flies - stonefly nymphs, buggers, and Clousers - and casting them through the weight of the line - flycasting - in my opinion, its qualification as being flyfishing are pretty much solid. And, to be clear about the casting, I am talking about reasonably predictable and repeatable SA casts that have obvious, nicely formed loops (not laser-tight, but also not barn door wide), out to distances of 60 some-odd feet on a "true" 4 weight rod. To achieve that type of distance consistently with that light an outfit should demonstrate pretty well that the casting is most definitely not "flop" casting or "lobbing", but rather bona fide "fly" casting. To be completely "transparent" about the situation, the "floats" I'm using are not the standard store-bought variety... they are instead home-made, aerodynamically shaped creations that display noticeably better casting dynamics than commercial versions.           
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skagit mist
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2012, 11:02:10 AM »

The only store bought ones that have worked for me were the Thill ones. Everything else flies through the air like a cardboard box.
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Northwest winters make steelhead chrome that much brighter

MJC
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2012, 12:32:04 PM »

My problem with indicator fishing and fishermen has never been with the method. The method is not widely used here except on the South Fork of the Clearwater @ Kooskia, ID.

The worst examples of bad manners, little to no angling ethics, fishing on the redds, and disrespect for the resource I have ever witnessed in a pretty long life I have seen up there and it was by "bobber" fishermen in every instance.

I have certainly witnessed bad manners and disrespect for the resource by swingers as well but not nearly to the degree I've seen it with the "bobber" group, thus bobber fishing leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I do know a very few anglers that use indicators on the Clearwater mainstem in the Spring and they do very well. They also act like ethical anglers, and I have never had a problem with that fishing method.

A skagit line does turn over the "junk" very well.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 12:44:26 PM by MJC » Logged

Bill_I
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2012, 11:31:46 AM »

Better served via Center Pin rods and reels, noodle rods,etc. and other from which it came and attempts to mimic, than any fly/spey rod.

Brought to the table via fly fishing guides whom insist on stating,advertising they are "flyfishing" rather than switching to the better tool...............and they know it.

I spey cast, swim/swing flies and fish with, side by side, most the day,  with be-freinded via Steelhead fishing c-pinners a few days each season.  Typically when fishing alone and I run into one doing the same ,  I have befriended.  They fish their way and I fish mine.  Typically,  me casting- swinging , moving faster and them coming behind  precision fishing.  If I get a short take non follow up,  I note the area to my fellow angler coming behind with his float.  The old one-two......

For me,  although legal it's boring fishing bobbers/floats and can have stream conservation issue's on popular waters.   I have seen a wave of very avid c-pinners give it up altogether in favor of spey/swing.  What I don't like are the "fakes/closet fly piners - bobber fisherman" whom act, preech as if differant via their fly rod and actually condem the c-pinners which they obviously imitate............hypocrite........ comes to mine.   I swing with c-pinners I have known for years,decades.  The ones I do C & R only and although a bit greedy are good sports conservation wise.  They also know if there was a vote today to make illegal all bobbers,floats on certain popular , naturally producing Steelhead rivers and Trout tailwaters I would be first in line to vote against.  BTW- those avid c - pincers carry and drift flies too both, nymphs and yarn/egg along with buggers , ESL to besides sacks, mini foo's etc.

In short my view - if you want to fish bobbers floats than get the right tool.......and it's not a fly rod and WF-F or spey tapered line period.   Ditto with 25 grain "jig" flies.........     Just ditch the nuisance floating fly lines for either floats or jigs and take the proper tool.  I like casting and fishing jigs on occasion for river smallies, walleye etc.  As a kid in Jr. High School thats how I made some cash,  tying up bucktail jigs for the local bait and tackle shops.  I have always admired good jig fisherman. 

The reality is a lot of this boloney comes from guides - fly fishing guides - wanting to put bends in less capable clients rods and not being willing themselves to offer state anything but "fly-fishing" service........as if purist at or something.  I see very few if any gear & fly service guides ever attempt such boloney .......they just grab the proper tool,rod.
 
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G_Smolt
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2012, 04:34:23 PM »

Almost all of my "personal time" fishing (and ALL of my guiding) for spring steelhead in AK is bobbercator fishing. Most of it is done with switch rods, and most of it isn't spey-family casting, but rather simple roll casting.

This isn't borne out of lust for fish numbers, but rather the necessity of fishing heavy weights into small, short pockets that can't be swung nearly as effectively - logjam backs, thicket holes, rootwads and the like. You CAN encourage the "chase" nature of wild fish by hanging your offering way up in the water column and have them move to get it, rather than dragging through the pocket and running the risk of "harpooning" a fish. While it lacks the electric jolt of the tight-line take, seeing your bobbercator violently disappear in a tiny pocket is still pretty cool.
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riveraddict
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2012, 05:52:39 PM »

   The fishable depth of my local flow is 12" to 24". The 12" to 24" depths are caused by very abrupt potholes that are lined with irregularly shaped, rough surfaced rocks that eat flies like there's no tomorrow and of completely random location. In between these potholes, the water may be as shallow as 6". The current in these areas is from non-existent, to almost walking speed. Water visibility is never more than 2' and more often is 12" to 18". The fish - bass, pike, carp - are not keyed into surface presentations, nor are they very keen on chasing anything that swings. What they want is something drifting straight downriver, at their level, and "twitching" (no-go for dead drifted offerings). So, swing a surface fly if your happy catching one 6" bass for the day or perhaps nothing. Swing a subsurface fly, whether weighted on long leader or on a short sinktip for a few more fish and have LOTS of fun losing/unsnagging your fly on just about every presentation. OR, put on a bobber and weighted fly, set the depth at 12", "skid/slide" the rig through the shallow stuff, then "mend to drop" when over a pothole and ENJOY the catching of 3, 4, 5, 6, maybe even a dozen bass from 6" to 14", maybe a pike or two, maybe even a 5-10 pound carp. Not everyone is blessed with the circumstances for enjoyable swinging. Sometimes, if one wants to continue participating in flyfishing, it's going to require tactics beyond "traditional" or "classic".
   As an addendum, I think that some of the negative opinions regarding bobbers, or for that matter weighted flies in flyfishing, comes from individuals that can't figure out how to make the casting of these items an enjoyable process. That would be their loss due to a lack of imagination...             
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yuhina
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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2012, 07:31:05 PM »

Almost all of my "personal time" fishing (and ALL of my guiding) for spring steelhead in AK is bobbercator fishing. Most of it is done with switch rods, and most of it isn't spey-family casting, but rather simple roll casting.

This isn't borne out of lust for fish numbers, but rather the necessity of fishing heavy weights into small, short pockets that can't be swung nearly as effectively - logjam backs, thicket holes, rootwads and the like. You CAN encourage the "chase" nature of wild fish by hanging your offering way up in the water column and have them move to get it, rather than dragging through the pocket and running the risk of "harpooning" a fish. While it lacks the electric jolt of the tight-line take, seeing your bobbercator violently disappear in a tiny pocket is still pretty cool.
Nice story! Mark.
Thanks!!
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yuhina
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« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2012, 07:35:03 PM »

   As an addendum, I think that some of the negative opinions regarding bobbers, or for that matter weighted flies in flyfishing, comes from individuals that can't figure out how to make the casting of these items an enjoyable process. That would be their loss due to a lack of imagination...             

Two thumbs up! Ed,
Can't express better than you!!

Mark
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riveraddict
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« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2012, 09:27:31 PM »

   Just to be clear here, I can see problems with definitions of "flyfishing" when bobber rigs are loaded up so heavily with lead that the act of flycasting then becomes questionable. But, employing a bobber doesn't stipulate that loads of lead must be used. That would be especially true when using rods longer than the standard singlehanders. One of the very often stated advantages of doublehanders is their superior line control - basically meaning mendability - due to longer length. That superior line control can certainly be used for sinking a fly while using less weight!     
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yuhina
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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2012, 10:14:29 PM »

For those considered themselves "purist" (dry line only, dry fly, unweight fly etc...) . I ,actually, have a lot of respects for their single choice. However, for those who enjoy bobber fishing, sinktips or weighted fly approaches working around various fishing conditions. I also enjoy learning those fishing tactics. What make spey fishing fun,to me, is really centered on the versatility and line control as Ed stated. You can design a particular method and strategy and still hook a fish, and that's fun. As a hunter, knowing my game, my game plan and work around various environments to conquer my trophy. Isn't this is the spirit of hunting/fishing?
You know what really tick those "purists" off?! That is tell them that some of us also fish long line, dry line and unweighted fly when condition is asked!  Overall, It's all about fun, about the angling satisfaction!
« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 10:20:34 PM by yuhina » Logged


Rick J
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« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2012, 10:18:31 AM »

when fishing a single hander during  damsel migrations, the damsels often are just a few inches below the surface - hard to keep you fly within this depth range - to acheive this, I have often gone to a very tiny piece of cork within 3 to 6 inches of the fly - you can't even really see it in the water, but it does suspsend the fly in the right zone - so certainly there are opportuinites for floats without weight - rather than using them to detect stirkes they are highly effective as a suspension device as others have said and in no way can you say this is not flyfishing
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