Flash and Wiggle

by Terry Farmer
(Albuquerque)

I tried the new .4g Daiwa Fly Spoons this afternoon. Can't remember ever fishing with a spoon, much less with a fixed line rod. They work!! Tied on a silver spoon with a no slip loop knot. Cast my TB 40 and proceeded to walk around our local C&R pond. Got a nice 14" rainbow on in about 10 minutes. All that flash and wiggle has got to be pretty hard for any fish to ignore. These tiny spoons definitely earned a spot in my fly box. Thanks Chris!

Comments for Flash and Wiggle

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Dec 15, 2017
Two Firsts?
by: Les Albjerg

Terry - Maybe I need that second cup of coffee, but as I read your post, am I to understand your first fixed line experience was with spoons! Way to go dude! Learn non-traditional fixed line fishing to start with! The TenkaraBum 40 will spoil you! I am really looking forward to tangling with a river smallmouth bass next spring or summer with mine.

Dec 15, 2017
Have another cup!
by: Chris Stewart

Terry has been fixed line fishing for years. I am sure he meant first time with spoons, (and first time with a spoon ON A FIXED LINE ROD) not first time with fixed line!

Dec 15, 2017
Coffee
by: Terry Farmer

Yes, Chris interpreted my nebulous post correctly. Maybe I'm the one that needed another cup before I started writing!

Dec 15, 2017
Rio Grande Cutthroats
by: Les Albjerg

Terry - After my second cup of coffee, I remembered you are the guy who caught the nice Rio Grande Cutts. It is the only major Cutt missing from my species list! I was drooling.

Dec 15, 2017
SPOONS!
by: Herb S.

Way to go Terry! It’s really exciting to make a discovery, and I don’t blame you for "nebulosity". It was exciting reading about your enlightenment. Yes spoons work and the more you fish with them and learn more they are an amazing tool. Next you need to try larger sizes on an ultralight or, better yet, on an extra ultralight spinning outfit. Spinning, will give you more options on retrieves and handling. But I’m not knocking fixed line and am excited myself to dig out my tiny spoons and try them on my longest keiryu rods next spring.
Happy fishing,
Herb

Dec 16, 2017
rivers too
by: Bill Piatek

Terry, worked pretty well on the Jemez and Pecos this year too.

Dec 16, 2017
Retrieve?
by: Charlie@HockeyBias.com

How do you retrieve a spoon with a Tenkara rod? ... I'm excited to do so next summer! Thanks!

Dec 17, 2017
Retrieve
by: Chris Stewart

Either sweep the rod to the side or lift the rod tip. Either action will cause the spoon to move and when it moves it flutters. I generally pull to the side because the .4g spoons are so light they may just slide along the surface if you raise the rod tip.

Also, you can fish downstream and let the spoon hang in current seams beside rocks or alongside eddies or undercut banks.

Dec 17, 2017
Retrieve Redux
by: Alan Luecke

When you first try a spoon keep it shallow and close so you can see the action. A surprisingly slow retrieve will generate a rapid flutter from the spoon. With this as your baseline try faster retrieves as well as a stop and start action to let it flutter and fall. Come Spring I'm looking forward to experimenting with faster, more aggressive retrieves for bass and bluegill.

Dec 17, 2017
Slow is better
by: Chris Stewart

In general, I think a slow retrieve is better than a fast retrieve. If you retrieve too fast the spoon will just spin (and twist your line). With a slower retreive it will wobble more than spin, and when it does spin it won't always spin in the same direction.

I've only used them for bluegills twice, but the bluegills those days clearly preferred a very slow retrieve.

Of the few bass I have caught with them, almost half hit it on the drop immediately after the spoon hit the water.

Dec 17, 2017
Lots to learn!
by: Les Albjerg

I have only caught trout with my spoons so far. The best action has been working pools in two of my favorite creeks. I have found working the seams between the pools and eddies mimicking a minnow caught in the current and trying to escape to calmer waters lead to great fish fights! I have also had several strikes fishing the riffles using a tight-line dead drift. I have dredged several nice trout out of deep pools slowly fishing the spoon as deep as possible through the pool.

Like so many other things with fixed line fishing, there is a lot of experimenting to be done. It leads to a lot of fun in my book! One technique I have discovered is if you have a trout following the spoon, change the angle of the retrieve and speed, it often induces a strike. With a long rod, it is much easier that with my spinning set-up. Trying to think like a fish, that the spoon is a little fish trying to get away seems to help. I am excited to do more experimenting.

Dec 17, 2017
Twiddling
by: Herb S.

Chris is on to something - the spoon's drop and flutter. A.J. McClane, in an article "The Fish Jumped Over A Spoon" (reprinted in "The Complete McClane 1975) describes a technique he calls "twiddling".

When the lure hits the water let it sink and flutter down. Instead of retrieving, jerk the rod up and to one side and let the spoon wobble back down. Then yank the rod up on the other side and so on until the spoon is close to the rod tip. The only time line is taken in is the reduce slack. The idea is to keep the lure rising (as in Leisenring Lift) which also draws strikes and falling to keep it fluttering.

Of course this is with a spinning rod or baitcasting rod, but folks, it really works! I've done it for years fishing upstream with tiny spoons on 2# line and with heavier outfits and lures. I seldom just cast and retrieve in moving water when spoon fishing. This works in salt water, by the way, when surf fishing.

How this works with fixed line I can't say, but intend to find out next spring. I'm guessing contact with the spoon can be maintained (the line needn't be tight, just not too slack whatever that is) by drawing the rod back until it's vertical or thereabouts. After all, fixed line doesn't involve long retrieves anyway.

Please report if you try this!

Happy fishing,
Herb

Dec 17, 2017
Always learning
by: Terry Farmer

I appreciate all the discussion and spoon tips. I certainly plan on trying them all. Concerning the floating spoon comment earlier, I was quite surprised when I first witnessed this phenomena. The tiny spoon seemed to defy the laws of physics. It showed me that finesse is the key to controlling the spoon’s action. It’s certainly not a "chuck and drag" thing. I look forward to leaning the intricacies of this style of fishing. Thanks again for all the insights and tips!

Jan 05, 2018
Twiddling
by: Alex Argyros

Interesting concept, Herb. Could you tell me if you fish upstream, across stream, or downstream when you're twiddling for trout in moving water?

And, do you find the colors of spoons matter that much. I will order some from Chris soon, and, with no experience in the art, I have no idea what colors to buy.

Thanks,
Alex

Jan 05, 2018
Twiddling Redux
by: Herb S.

Alex, twiddling if I understand McClane correctly, is mostly an upstream method and that’s the way I’ve mostly done it. Fishing down and across entails releasing slack the moment the spoon lands to give it a chance to sink, then drawing the rod back and "following" the lure down as it sinks to maintain contact and detect strikes. When it reaches the end of the drift then raise the rod, release slack and begin again. It’s kind of the reverse of fishing up.

When fishing upstream current speed and spoon weight are factors to consider. Faster currents require heavier spoons; a very light spoon won’t sink fast enough in high velocity streams to make the method work properly.

Since most of the trout streams that I fish in Michigan are flies only I admit to mostly twiddling for bass and panfish. The streams they’re found in are relatively slow and even flowing, just right for two pound test line and inch-long spoons. The last time I fished that light two pike, they looked to be in the two foot range, followed the spoon almost to the rod tip. Talk about cheap thrills! They just drifted down eyeballing the spoon and nonchalantly turned back upstream when they saw me.

By the way, Chris’s observation about bluegill liking slow moving lures is right on. In my experience bluegills generally prefer a slow drifting fly or lure. Sometimes they’ll hit a fairly rapid retrieve or jigging action, but dead drift or very slight jigging works better most (but not all) of the time. When twiddling I think the sudden fast rise of the spoon is an attention- getter for bluegills and they hit it on the flutter down. Bass, including rock bass, tend to follow the spoon up and will hit it then as well as when sinking.

A.J. McClane wrote that he found copper or brass to be the best colors, and I’ve found they work very well and start with these. It seems they work most of the time. Sometimes other colors are better. Fish, being the persnickety critters they are, are the ones to "ask" while fishing. No doubt water color and clarity have something to do with it, so it’s a good idea to carry several versions. Check out Karl Klavon’s blog under 2017 Highlights and 2018 Goals – highly interesting! I hope this helps.

Happy fishing,
Herb

Jan 18, 2018
Spoon techniques
by: Charlie

Many thanks for all of the suggestions! They will give me some confidence this spring when I give them a shot.

Charlie Phelps

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