Here’s a handy little tip for those of you who like swinging flies with shooting heads – using single or double-handed rods.
The setup: a few times during your typical fishing day, you’re going to need to mess with your leader or fly in the middle of a run. Maybe you snag a little stick. Maybe you throw a tailing loop and need to check that you don’t have a ‘wind knot’. Maybe you miss a fish and just want to make sure your hook is sharp and not fouled.
Regardless, if you’re fishing a shooting head you probably have some running line that you’re managing during this whole process. Holding loops of running line while you’re messing with your leader can get a little sketchy. Things tangle a bunch. You don’ t have enough fingers to manage it all. You can lose valuable fishing time during this process and the frustration level can build.
It’s tip time, courtesy of Tom Larimer. When you’re using a shooting head and you need to check your fly or leader, try the following steps:
- Strip your fly close enough in that you can grab it. Just let your running line dangle.
- Deal with your fly/leader/wind knot.
- Hang your fly on the stripping guide. Now it’s out of the way.
- Strip your running line in using your line management strategy of choice.
- Unhook your fly from the stripping guide and toss it down below you.
- Continue fishing in frustration-free bliss!