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McFly Angler - Episode 2 - Fly Fishing The San Juan River

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If you haven't ever fly fished the quality waters on the San Juan River in New Mexico, you are missing out. Trout are everywhere, and its difficult not to hook a few. The problem there though is that your best bet for hooking trout is with small midges in the 28-32 size verity. Also you need to use really light tippet like 6x. Flourocarbon is best. Because the river is fished quite heavily, the trout come accustom to knowing what is a fly, and what is not, so you need to fish really light. These are not small trout, and therefor its difficult to bring them in. The small hooks rip out of their mouths, and the light tippet snaps when you put any pressure on the fish. Fighting a large trout can take you 10-20 minutes before getting it in, and by that time you have lots of chances to loose them.

The rod I was using is a TFO Lefty Kreh Professional Series II which is a bit more moderate action then the last rod I was using. However it didnt seem to help much with bringing the larger sized trout in on these tiny nymphs. I tried very hard not to put much pressure on the fish when fighting, however I still lost them.
The reel I was using is a Sage 2250, and the line was Rio Mainstream WF5F, a simple $40 fly line. You don't need much more then the mainstream line on this river due to not having to cast very far to often.
I hooked 4 good sized trout, and one was well over 20". In fact, the one I lost due to it wrapping around "big rock" was easily 22-24". I just could not put enough pressure on him to steer him clear of the rock.

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I can't really describe midge fishing and the hook setting technique much more than I already did after your last video but you aren't doing it yet.

 

I can't speak for what happened at the net, couldn't see well enough.

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I can't really describe midge fishing and the hook setting technique much more than I already did after your last video but you aren't doing it yet.

 

I can't speak for what happened at the net, couldn't see well enough.

Yes you did explain... but habits are hard to break. I did good though 2 days ago though and landed 2 fish. I did actually set the hook better.

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Btw, this video was filmed 2 weeks ago, my next video coming out in 2 weeks was filmed just this week. Sorry for the delay, some things recommended might not get in the following video as it takes so long to edit these... I'm usually 2 weeks behind on the videos.

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Btw, this video was filmed 2 weeks ago, my next video coming out in 2 weeks was filmed just this week. Sorry for the delay, some things recommended might not get in the following video as it takes so long to edit these... I'm usually 2 weeks behind on the videos.

Cool videos though, I'm enjoying them ! Glad you had some success too. And what i'm saying is not picking but just observation.

 

It's a slip setting of the hook, set it with basically a twitch of the rod tip and let the foot or two of line you have in a loop slip out the guides. The fish basically doesn't know he is hooked till the tension starts to come back on. Works great once you get it down, then at least you have the fish solidly on.

 

How is the flex in the tip of that rod ? I think Anglers Roost might have the 3-4 wt blank I'm looking for that we were speaking about in PM, moderate action tip flex iM6 blank. I might give them a jingle when he is back from his hospital visit. I also need to build my wife a 9ft 5 wt ( she was sure to remind me LOL). I'm leaning towards iM6 for her too, She has never owned a fast rod ever. I wish I could score her a Sage Graphite II blank, she has that in a 9ft 6 wt and a 7'6" 4 wt and does great with them. I don't think anyone today makes a blank like the Graphite II, it's like a tamed down Sage RPL if you can imagine that ?

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It is interesting to see someone in video, you get much more perspective of personality than you get from posting in forums.

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It is interesting to see someone in video, you get much more perspective of personality than you get from posting in forums.

I hope that improves my personality... haha. I know some people think bad of me here occasionally...

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Btw, this video was filmed 2 weeks ago, my next video coming out in 2 weeks was filmed just this week. Sorry for the delay, some things recommended might not get in the following video as it takes so long to edit these... I'm usually 2 weeks behind on the videos.

Cool videos though, I'm enjoying them ! Glad you had some success too. And what i'm saying is not picking but just observation.

 

It's a slip setting of the hook, set it with basically a twitch of the rod tip and let the foot or two of line you have in a loop slip out the guides. The fish basically doesn't know he is hooked till the tension starts to come back on. Works great once you get it down, then at least you have the fish solidly on.

 

How is the flex in the tip of that rod ? I think Anglers Roost might have the 3-4 wt blank I'm looking for that we were speaking about in PM, moderate action tip flex iM6 blank. I might give them a jingle when he is back from his hospital visit. I also need to build my wife a 9ft 5 wt ( she was sure to remind me LOL). I'm leaning towards iM6 for her too, She has never owned a fast rod ever. I wish I could score her a Sage Graphite II blank, she has that in a 9ft 6 wt and a 7'6" 4 wt and does great with them. I don't think anyone today makes a blank like the Graphite II, it's like a tamed down Sage RPL if you can imagine that ?

Oh no I know your not picking, I appreciate your help honestly. Anything to help me land fish. I think we should all video ourselves fish, it will help us see what is wrong with our cast, and what we do wrong through the fight. I have learned a lot from this honestly... kinda like golfers video their swing you know?

 

Yeah I never fished the sage graphite II... but I'm sure it's great. These newer fast action rods are good for some things, but not great all around rods. You want to huck a 5lb fly 100ft to Australia (or America if your in Australia) then great... but if you want to keep a flipping fish on when fishing a midge, forget about it. Lol

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Mac, do you ever fish the run between the "BIG ROCK" and the rock you show in the video? That looks like great water to nymph, at least it looked that way when you were walking in the video.

Starting at the BIG ROCK HOLE at 2:15 in your video. At least that's what they refer to on the Duranglers website map.

I'd nymph that run down and back a few times, changing up my flies as needed to find what might be the ticket.

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Mac, do you ever fish the run between the "BIG ROCK" and the rock you show in the video? That looks like great water to nymph, at least it looked that way when you were walking in the video.

Starting at the BIG ROCK HOLE at 2:15 in your video. At least that's what they refer to on the Duranglers website map.

I'd nymph that run down and back a few times, changing up my flies as needed to find what might be the ticket.

 

That is the run I was fishing in the video. It seems like I don't move when filming, but I do move quite a bit. Just I have a 15-20 minute video to cram in all 4-7 hours of a fishing day so I don't show everything. Also, when filming I don't move around as much... I usually will fish just north of the rock, then fish south about 40-50 yards until there are a bit of rapids. I usually will midge up and down that area all day. Then try towards the end of the day (while coming in) to look for fish in the braids, like shown in this video. So yeah, I usually start just north of Big Rock, then make my way in...

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I think in the faster stretches you will have to nix the midges, you can't hold a fish in the slower runs set up as you are. I'd be inclined to hike in with two rigs, one rigged for real true midge fishing , the other a streamer , wet fly, nymph rig. Sometimes those bigger fish like a big morsel too ya know. I've had big fish take a few patterns that seem to work in most places I've tried them. Course I don't know your river but I'd almost bet money ( no I'm not a betting man) that one of the woolly buggers I tie would get a fish there eventually. It's weighted, it's dark, it's ugly and it works in cold weather, generally on 2x or 3x tippet. You gotta dredge em deep though this time of year ( not that I know your river mind you but in some respects fishing is fishing).

 

I'm just thinking out loud incidentally.

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I think in the faster stretches you will have to nix the midges, you can't hold a fish in the slower runs set up as you are. I'd be inclined to hike in with two rigs, one rigged for real true midge fishing , the other a streamer , wet fly, nymph rig. Sometimes those bigger fish like a big morsel too ya know. I've had big fish take a few patterns that seem to work in most places I've tried them. Course I don't know your river but I'd almost bet money ( no I'm not a betting man) that one of the woolly buggers I tie would get a fish there eventually. It's weighted, it's dark, it's ugly and it works in cold weather, generally on 2x or 3x tippet. You gotta dredge em deep though this time of year ( not that I know your river mind you but in some respects fishing is fishing).

 

I'm just thinking out loud incidentally.

I agree with everything above. To truly fish deep (which I do need to this time of year for the larger fish) I need a sinking line. I also need to pickup a 3wt as well (like we discussed). However all of this requires some money, and well even a little amount (with those cheap rods you recommended) and a discount sinking line, is still too much for me right now. Pretty broke. Maybe in another month or two I can save up for that. If I had my way, and unlimited funds. I would get a syndicate 10' 3wt rod for midge fishing, and a Sage One, 9.5' 5wt for chucking streamers. Get new fly line for both (a sink tip for the sage, and a good nymphing line for the syndicate). However we are talking well over $1000 for all that.

 

Even if I go cheap (like we discussed)... And build my own... With the blank, and all the components, and then getting a sinking line we are still talking probably $150+. I have like nothing as we speak. HAHAHA

 

In time, in time...

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I think in the faster stretches you will have to nix the midges, you can't hold a fish in the slower runs set up as you are. I'd be inclined to hike in with two rigs, one rigged for real true midge fishing , the other a streamer , wet fly, nymph rig. Sometimes those bigger fish like a big morsel too ya know. I've had big fish take a few patterns that seem to work in most places I've tried them. Course I don't know your river but I'd almost bet money ( no I'm not a betting man) that one of the woolly buggers I tie would get a fish there eventually. It's weighted, it's dark, it's ugly and it works in cold weather, generally on 2x or 3x tippet. You gotta dredge em deep though this time of year ( not that I know your river mind you but in some respects fishing is fishing).

 

I'm just thinking out loud incidentally.

I agree with everything above. To truly fish deep (which I do need to this time of year for the larger fish) I need a sinking line. I also need to pickup a 3wt as well (like we discussed). However all of this requires some money, and well even a little amount (with those cheap rods you recommended) and a discount sinking line, is still too much for me right now. Pretty broke. Maybe in another month or two I can save up for that. If I had my way, and unlimited funds. I would get a syndicate 10' 3wt rod for midge fishing, and a Sage One, 9.5' 5wt for chucking streamers. Get new fly line for both (a sink tip for the sage, and a good nymphing line for the syndicate). However we are talking well over $1000 for all that.

 

Even if I go cheap (like we discussed)... And build my own... With the blank, and all the components, and then getting a sinking line we are still talking probably $150+. I have like nothing as we speak. HAHAHA

 

In time, in time...

 

Well, you have that fairly stiff 5 wt and you surely know how to tie flies. I admit I use sink tip line with my special wooptedo bugger that gets fish everywhere I use it when run deep, but a cone head and weighted shank on 2 x tippet on that 5 wt should be cast-able and get you down at least decent in some of those runs. Or if money is tight just go for a Cabela sink tip line for the one rod and continue to use the other TFO for midges for now. Maybe ?

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