Cri’tter’y – Western Alaskan adj. Shaky, unsure. Often enlightening. Always effective.
Now that Skagitmaster 2’s Scott Howell virtually gave the anadromous world ‘permission’ to get all crazy Bassmaster with our flies when playing the weight game, we thought it was time to go public with the whole bullet weight thing, as well—but for a little different reason than Scott’s.
Disclaimer: We know this is not ‘traditional’ swung fly angling. We also know a 720-grain, 27’ shooting head and15 feet of T-17 behind a seven-foot leader and a ungodly heavy, 6” fly never probably existed in the turn-of-the-century Scotland either, so please, it’s all about having fun!
In Western Alaska and BC, conditions and fish moods can vary. Not only do river flows fluctuate but so, too, do the light levels, water clarity and the position of fish in the water column from run to run. All that considered, it can really pay to be versatile with the amount of weight on your flies, and that’s where bullet weights shine.
Many of our guests prefer to tie and fish their own bugs—understandable, given tying your own flies and catching fish on them is often a deeply personal part of the angling experience. Problem is, when you’ve tied a few dozen gorgeous Intruders with giant dumbbell eyes and the run in front of you calls for a light tip and a very lightly weighted fly through the soft inside, your whole beautiful arsenal just got a whole lot less relevant. Likewise, if your flies are all lightly weighted and the fish are stacked deep on a hard seam, those flies won’t be in the game until later in the swing—well away from the fish you’re targeting.
Those two reasons alone are the beauty of bullet weights and an unweighted fly program designed around them – you’re not committing your fly to any one sink rate and you can vary the weight to match the run in front of you, all day long.
We told you this was crittery, so stay tuned for part two next week!