Special Spring Day at Sportsman Park

5-10-17 by Rich Lewis

I made a solo trip to Sportsman Park Wednesday May 10th, 2017. I arrived at 11:30 AM. There were several RV’s parked in the lot; yet no one was fishing. The temps were warm-high 70’s/low 80’s, the winds light and the water clarity was very good. Since the water was calm and clear, I could see trout just about everywhere I looked. There were surface feeders to big dark shadows lurking in deeper water.

I began fishing a bead head nymph with a small dropper wet fly behind it. I started catching fish immediately. These were eager smaller trout and were fun to catch. I then hooked a few nicer trout and one of them stole my dropper fly. The evidence of the curly cue tag end of the dropper line-told me that my knot had failed at the fly. I re-tied, but this time putting on a small Size #16 ant pattern with small rubber legs. I was standing right in the middle of the northern shoreline in pond #1 near the bubbler. I looked down and three feet from shore in front of the weed bed several trout were milling around. I then noticed a sizable hook-beaked trout estimated to be 5 lbs. swim right into that shallow pocket of water. I flipped the ant pattern to it and I was amazed to see it eat it and turn. I set the hook and the big boy took off down the pond like a freight train. My drag was screaming and I was palming the reel to slow it down. It wasn’t working though and soon all 70 feet of my 4 wt. fly line was off the reel and I was into the backing just like that! I should have run along one of the shorelines to follow but instead held my ground. It was all happening so fast. Oops. The line went pop and the huge trout was gone. As it turns out-the line came in with only the bead head nymph and without the dropper line. That knot tied to the bend of the nymph hook had failed. The large trout took the 12” dropper line and ant fly to the depths. Lesson learned to use best practices and tie a 7-turn improved clinch knot and make sure it seats correctly.

Off to an interesting fishing session I’d say! I tied on another Ant-this time without the bead head nymph ahead of it. I caught quite a few trout with the ant pattern. It was very special to be all alone on the pond-especially in these great mild conditions.  Every once and a while a thermal/dust devil would blow by and it would be windy for 5 minutes. But it always calmed back down and the surface of the pond returned to flat and clear. As I walked around the pond and fished, I could clearly see the trout in the water near the edge and also saw them breaking the surface in the middle of the pond. I noticed that the bigger trout, and I saw at least half a dozen that I estimate to be over 5 pounds, swam along the banks and made routine circles around the pond. I’d seen “cruisers” before in many waters-but had not been able to observe them like this day in Sportsman Park pond. I continued to catch trout everywhere around the pond.

By now all the RVs had departed and the bubbler had stopped. The pond was totally quiet and calm. The only noises heard were from the large birds that were roosting and yapping down in the second pond area. I switched to a heavily hackled wooly worm caterpillar type dry fly thinking that it would be fun to catch fish on the surface. The fish were active on the surface but would not take this medium sized dry fly. They must have been eating emerging midges. I soaked the dry fly until it would sink and then allowed it to slowly sink deep and drift. In the calm, clear water I could often watch this fly under water. Boom. It would get slammed very hard. The fish that would hit it were aggressive and sizable 14”-15” trout. The takers were powerful leapers and jumpers. Often the trout took the fly deep in their mouths. They really wanted this buggy fly. I was surprised at how hard they hit this particular fly.

I was continually amazed at seeing these very large trout cruising the shoreline. They were going round and round the pond a few feet from shore. Again, being alone and with no other fishermen there to disrupt the natural flow of things, I observed many large fishes. No wind, clear water and the bubbler being off made for a great view into the water. Of course I was wearing wrap-a-round polarized sunglasses. These enable you to see underwater especially well, and this eyewear is a must for angling. I saw several huge, dark green grass carp up to three feet long wafting around in there, as well as the hundred or so bright orange Koi goldfish floating around in schools. I even caught sunfish occasionally. I noticed a few large Bass that appeared to be guarding nests at the south end of the pond. A very interesting day at the pond for sure.

I switched to very light colored Mayfly nymph size #10 tied using polar bear underfur. It was a new pattern for me and I wanted to test it. It began to produce fish immediately. These fish were sizable-but not like the giants that I kept seeing cruising the shoreline. These wise old trout were not interested in my flies and I’m sure they saw me too. I was able to see the Mayfly Nymph down deep with the bright sunshine overhead. I could see the trout come up, inspect and sometime take it-sometimes not. A little strip of the line made enough movement to get them to usually strike. Sometimes several trout would compete and blitz the fly. There were times I would catch three trout in three casts. Great fun!

Suddenly I noticed a huge rainbow trout swimming the shoreline. This trout had to be at least 8 pounds! It was thick across the shoulders with a massive head. It was swimming along the shoreline towards me. I could not believe my eyes! This monster trout had a 10” trout sideways in its mouth. It just slowly wagged on by carrying its meal. Wish I would have had my camera out-as I have never seen a trout do this before. I know that large trout become mainly carnivorous-and this sighting made a believer out of me. Makes me think that to catch some of these larger trout you might have luck throwing very large imitation minnow flies to them at dusk or dawn.

I had not until this day known that there were so many large trout in this pond. Guessing that these big boys are holdovers from the annual Rotary Club Fishing Derby plantings over the years. Then too, maybe NDOW snuck a few large ones in there too?  The biggest trout I landed this fine day was 16 inches. Most were not the smaller planter size fish. I caught and released at least 20 trout in the 2 ½ hours that I fished even though I was not really counting.  Of course I missed quite a lot of them, or had them on the line for a short time before losing them. It was a special learning day for me at Sportsman Pond. Losing a big fish is something that you never forget: this is the fifth time I’ve had my clock cleaned like this. It keeps me coming back to the water. Seeing all the large trout in the pond was an eye opener. Fishing in perfect conditions and enjoying the solitude was such a reward too. Try to sneak out there mid-week and enjoy this resource. Good luck.

NCFF-Spring 2016

[h3]“Getting Started Again-Thoughts and Reflections on the Upcoming Fishing Season”[/h3]
[h5]By R. A. Lewis NCFF member[/h5]


Now that the ice is off the local waters we are all thinking about wetting lines again. In between the late winter/spring storms, there just might be some favorable windows of decent weather that will allow us to get out and fish again soon. It has been a rather wet winter here in Central Nevada and the ponds, streams and reservoirs are filling up again! This is great news and more water helps our naturally reproducing fish a bunch. It may, however, take several years for the fish populations to recover from the effects of our multi-year drought. No one knows if the drought is over. The rising water levels and increased flows will help the put-and-take stocked fisheries too; by moderating the water temperatures over the hot Nevada summer season. Let’s think about what we need to do in the coming months.

Flyfishing and fishing in general is a wonder sport. It gets you out into the wide open spaces, on the water and can be satisfying in many ways. You might choose to fish with family and friends. Some prefer the solitude of solo angling. You can put food on the table and/or mark your achievements by catch and release fishing too. Counting the number of fish caught, and measuring the size of the fish we land can be a rewarding competition among fishing friends and family. As responsible sportsmen we are bound by the laws and regulations of the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW). It’s time to get your 2016-2017 license and re-read the regulations. Buy the trout stamp and consider a second rod stamp. Note: June 11, 2016 is Nevada’s free fishing day.


[h3]How will you approach the sport this year – keep them for the table or let them go free?[/h3]

1) Keeping fish: There is nothing wrong with taking a limit of trout for the table. You are responsible to keep your catch from spoiling. The very best way to insure non-spoilage is to dispatch the fish immediately and ice them down. Fish spoil quickly hanging on a stringer. If you intend to keep a limit-then take a separate ice chest just for the purpose of keeping your fish fresh. Gutting your catch and storing these fish on ice will make those meals memorable. Try not to let the fish sit in the ice slush. Instead-drain off the water from the melting ice often in order to keep the fish cold on top of the ice. Follow the laws on take and possession limits, carry out your trash and be familiar with the laws and regulations on the specific water that you are fishing. The harvest limits vary by species and waters. Be responsible-and please teach your children well.


2) Catch and Release: Many flyfishers elect to Catch & Release. Many feel that this practice is the only way to go; since they are not harming nor taking the fish from the fishery. However, considering the varied studies on the topic, C & R anglers kill between 5-20% of the fish they catch and release! Many of them don’t realize this. So who is impacting the fishery more; an angler who takes a limit of 5 fish and then goes home, or the trout bum who C&R’s 50 fish in a long day-unwittingly killing five fish through post catch and release mortality? It becomes a push doesn’t it? Fishing is a blood sport and there is no way around that. If you want to catch and release, then it is your responsibility to do all you can to ensure the likelihood of the fish surviving the ordeal of being caught. Also-if you injure a fish-you should keep it for the table.


Guidelines for catch and release-

The following C&R considerations are commonly accepted as best practices:

1) Minimize angling duration (the time a fish is played and handled before hook removal). Although we have all done it, don’t play a fish until it is exhausted. That is a sure way to kill it. An exhausted fish will take 4 hours to recover or it might just die after a battle. See how fast you can land and release your fish. It becomes a win-win situation.

2) Minimize air exposure (15-20 sec) by removing hooks with the fish in water and photographing fish quickly. A fish kept out of the water for even 30-60 seconds may be adversely affected and die. Even if it swims away, that fish may die afterwards if it has been mishandled. Air time kills fish. It is best to use forceps to remove the hook while the fish stays in the water. Respect the fish as it is a living creature. Don’t take pictures of the fish held at arm’s length to make it look bigger. It is a phony practice in my opinion. If you need a “grip and grin” photo-then take the time to pose that image of the fish in the water or in a rubber net. If you must have the photo, then time the shot so the photographer snaps the photo as you lift the fish from the water and then instantly dunk it. You’ll know when you’ve done this correctly when the picture shows the water dripping from the fish.

3) Use barbless hooks and artificial lures/flies. Using barbless hooks, or hooks with mini-barbs allows you to unhook the fish faster and to minimize the damage to the mouth of the fish. It is easy and fast to pinch down the barb of a hook using hemostats or flat billed fishing pliers. Better yet-do this at home before you set out to your fishing hole.

4) Use rubber nets void of knots that protect fish scales and mucous. Keep your hands off the fish if possible. Hoisting the fish vertically to snap a picture is a sure way to injure the fish. In a vertical position a fish’s organs are unsupported and can get damaged just by the force of gravity. Therefore, keep the fish on its side-netted or not-and quickly get that hook removed. The object is to minimize stress and have the fish swimming again as quickly as possible.

5) Avoid angling during extremes in water temperature. When the late summer temps hit 100F and water temps approach 70+ degrees, it is time to sit by the swamp cooler and watch your favorite fishing shows on TV and tie flies.  Give the fish a break until fall. Fish, especially Trout get super stressed trying to survive in warm water. Signs of stress include a change to a dull color and lack of fight. These stressed fish won’t taste good or provide much sport and likely not survive catch and release.


The above information should give us all food for thought. Be sure to check your gear. Be sure to have the correct gear for the water you are fishing. It’s fun to plan ahead for a fishing trip. Be sure to get your annual license. You can buy them at retailers and online here: http://www.ndow.org/

NCFF Second Pond-Fly Fishing Area

[frame style=”modern” image_path=”http://nevadaflyfish.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/ponds.jpg” link_to_page=”” target=”” description=”” float=”left” lightbox=”http://nevadaflyfish.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/ponds.jpg” lightbox_group=”1″ size=”three_col_large”] [h3]Tonopah’s Sportsman Park ponds complex -The South Pond or the “2nd Pond” is shown to the right in image .[/h3]



[frame style=”modern” image_path=”http://nevadaflyfish.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/pond2.jpg” link_to_page=”” target=”” description=”” float=”left” lightbox=”http://nevadaflyfish.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/pond2.jpg” lightbox_group=”1″ size=”three_col_large”] In early 2015 NCFF petitioned the Tonopah City Manager and the local Rotary Club to dedicate the Sportsman Park “second pond” for use as a fly fishing pond. As a result, NCFF club members have initiated the development of pond #2 for fly fishing. NCFF commissioned local sign maker Steve Carpenter to carve a NCFF sign for the second pond. NCFF President Mark Madsen and members Rich Lewis, Hep Klem and Don Kaminski installed the sizable sign at the 2nd pond in May of 2015.


[frame style=”modern” image_path=”http://nevadaflyfish.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/pond-fish.jpg” link_to_page=”” target=”” description=”” float=”left” lightbox=”http://nevadaflyfish.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/pond-fish.jpg” lightbox_group=”1″ size=”three_col_large”] Thanks to NCFF member Lance Jergensen-Rebel Malting Co. of Reno, NV made a $1000.00 donationfor stocking trout into pond #2. Prior to the 2015 Rotary Club Annual Father’s Day Fishing Derby, trout were brought in from a Northern Nevada hatchery to Sportsman Park and both ponds were stocked. Around thirty fat rainbow trout were stocked in the fly fishing pond.

This past fall these fish were still in the second pond and growing to a really nice size. The size of these planted trout are now approaching 3 pounds and 20 inches. The weeds growing in the 2nd pond make it challenging to fish. Hopefully the club can have more removed by the crew this year. They are catchable if you carefully approach the open holes in the weed beds.

NCFF would like to maintain the 2nd pond as a fly fishing pond and encourages catch and release. Thanks

NCFF-Hot Fly Report for Spring 2016 by Rich Lewis

Here are a few flies that have been developed and fished to great success all over the globe. Try them in our local waters; as they work great! If you want to tie them yourselves, these are easy to search up on the internet. Try a google search for the written pattern instructions. Also-even better-search for these fly patterns in the YouTube search window for the video ‘How-To” tying instructions. Links Provided below. Many variations are effective. Alternately, you can usually find these patterns for purchase at most major fly shops or by searching by the fly name on-line. And don’t forget to ask a NCFF members for help on these.

Dry Flies/Emergers

1) CDC & Elk – by Hans Weilenmann (Caddis Fly)

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iXWIS9dprM

2) Once and Away– by Hans van Klinken (Emerger Fly)

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAmtbK7uNwc


1) Balanced Leech – By Phil Rowley (Leech or Damsel fly)

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_6sn7ooL80

2) Wakeling Swallow-By Jim Wakeling (Damsel Fly) 2 Versions

  1. A) Link: http://www.truckeeriverflyfishers.org/Images/Menu/trf_swallow.jpg
  2. B) Link: http://www.truckeeriverflyfishers.org/Images/Menu/swallow1.JPG

Wet Flies

1) Partridge & Orange– by Hans Weilenmann (Soft hackle Fly-North Country Spider style)

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuK61AFV0NU

2) Diawl-Bach (Little Devil) by Andrew Davies (Classic Welsh Wet Fly)

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it2xYxlrXow


1) Ant Acid-By Kelly Galloup (Small high floating Ant pattern)

Link:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uuYX-cKqio

2) Bob Hopper by Walter Wiese ( Micro Foam Hopper Fly)

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaRtUhdBh90

3) Charlie Boy Hopper- by Charlie Craven (Full-size Foam & Hair Hopper Fly)

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_NOLw_sOrc

NCFF Field Report-by Rich Lewis

A few weeks ago, Bob Perchetti, his Grandson Gabe (NCFF’s youngest member at 11 Years Old), Mark Madsen and myself headed out to fly fish after a breakfast at the Station House. It was a cold blustery spring day in Round Mountain. When we arrived at Hadley Pond, we were only anglers on their. It seemed more like a winter day with that cold north wind.
Gabe was brandishing his brand new Redington 5 WT combo, which had been a Christmas present from his Grandpa Bob. He was so anxious to give it a try. I was rigged and ready to fish and was first in the water. Using a nymph pattern called “RL’s Orange Bead Head Nymph”, I quickly caught a released a hefty Brown Trout. It was a beautiful specimen and I had Mark come up from his truck to savor its splendor.
Gabe was in need of some basic training and I put down my rod and helped him rig his new outfit. After tying on a “Price Nymph”, we walked together down to the SE corner of the pond where I positioned Gabe on a grass covered point. I gave Gabe some ground instruction followed by a 10 minute lesson in Roll Casting.
Now Gabe is an accomplished spin fisherman and has no problems catching and landing fish on his own using bait and lures. He gets the job done in handsome style-always. He’s amazing young angler. Yet the fly rod was different and he openly accepted tips and tricks on his new 5 WT. Gabe caught on quickly and was soon safely roll casting in the wind a good 25-30 feet on his own from that grassy point. I left him with the command to keep it going and catch a nice trout!
I walked back up to the table under the shade canopy and joined Bob and Mark who were now rigged and fishing the North end of the pond. Bob was hauling in fish already and Mark was hot on the trail casting his new hot fly the “Green Dane”. It wasn’t long before Mark’s beautiful Redington Vapen Red 4 WT. rod was arched under the pressure of a nice Rainbow too.
I then heard Gabe calling for the South end. He waved me down there. When I arrived, it was obvious that Gabe was into a decent fish. Awesome. Turns out that Gabe had a Trout come out from under the bank and slam his fly on the retrieve. With a little encouragement, Gabe landed a fat 16-inch Brown Trout. It was Gabe’s first fish on a fly rod and a really decent catch at that. I assisted in removing the hook as he had a handful with the 9 foot rod and the fresh caught Brown. Gabe fairly released him to fight another day. What an honor to see him make this catch!
How about that? Our youngest member @ 11 years old caught a sixteen-inch Brown Trout on his first session with a fly rod. An outstanding performance by both Gabe and that strong Brown Trout. Gabe continued to perfect the roll cast and was laying down 40 foot casts like a pro. We all enjoyed this fine April spring outing. It will stand in our memories.

NCFF Meeting Notes Feb. 18th, 2015

Location: Tonopah Brewing Company. Thanks goes out to our host, Master Brewer and fellow club member Lance Jergensen.

The Club held a general membership meeting which was headed up by Mark Madsen. Mark covered club business and then did a presentation on “Winter Fishing” tips and tricks. 10 members were on hand including two new members:

1) Todd Tanner –IGFA World Line Class Record holder (83LB King Salmon on 10# tippet)-using a Spey (two-handed) Fly Rod. (See photo on our gallery page) Todd is an avid fly angler and hails now from Smoky Valley where his family has roots. Todd took ownership of the NCFF fly tying kit for the next six weeks. If you want to try your hand at tying next round, the club kit has instruction manuals and plenty of materials: plus the Dyna-King tying vise. Tying your own flies is a rewarding activity; especially when you land a fish on a personally tied fly!

2) Hep Klemm– He’s a long time local who prefers fly casting using a traditional fiberglass fly rod. These sexy glass rods are in vogue again. Hep is a lively addition to NCFF’s ranks.

Mark reminded everyone about the NCFF play day at Sportsman Park Feb. 28th, 2015 @ 10:00 am. All members, families and guests are welcomed. Please give us a head-count ASAP so that enough lunch will be on-hand. OK? Thanks. Stay tuned for alternate locations if the weather turns sour. (Cancelled due to winter weather.)

Claudia Lewis gave a treasury report. The club is in the black with $235.00 in the till after expenses. Everyone’s 2015 dues are paid up except for one member.

Teresa Madsen is keeping our club website and Face Book page up to date: http://www.nevadaflyfish.com

Rich Lewis addressed the political aspects of the club.

1) He covering the proposed cleaning up of the second pond at Sportsman Park for fly fishing. We are working with Rotary and City of Tonopah to make this happen. Todd Tanner offered a gold dredge to remove weeds from the pond if we get the OK.

2) A discussion was held on the proposed reparation of Basset and Comings lakes; in coordination with NDOW’s Heath Korel- an NDOW’s Elko office Fisheries Biologist. Many of you met Heath at the last NCFF club meeting. In Early march NDOW will have a public comment period for their restoration proposal to the US Department of Wildlife. It is important for the club to support this initiative; since when implemented, it will restore Comins Lake into a banner trophy trout fishery once again.

3) We have renewed interest from the Nevada Dept. of Tourism to help promote fly fishing in Central Nevada to tourists. There should be a permanent pointer on Travel Nevada’s website soon. Their Content Director Sydney Martinez will be attending an NCFF event this spring and will write a feature on the club and fly fishing our area. That is exciting!

Part #2 of Three- Gear Series! Rod, Reel & Line Choices for Fly Fishing Central Nevada

[h4]Part Two – Choosing Your Fly Reels.[/h4]

Do you actually need a fly reel to catch a small trout? Not really. You can catch trout up to 15” safely with a cane pole or Japanese-style Tenkara telescopic rod, a “string” the length of your pole and a fly. Fishing with a “pole” can be rewarding and a bunch of fun too. However, a “pole” won’t cover all of our bases here. Most of us will want to use a fly reel, fly line and fly rod combination outfit. Choosing a reel can seem like a daunting task. I’ll try to make it a simple choice for you.

[h4]What is a fly reel?[/h4]

Fly reels are very different from spinning and casting reels. A fly reel, in most cases, is merely a line holding devise. You don’t cast the line from a fly reel like you do from the other types of reels. Rather, the fly reel holds the fly line until you strip-off the length of line that you want to cast. Then you bring the fish to hand using your fingers to draw the fly line and fish back to you. There is some technique involved, but basically you hand-line the fish. When you are done casting and catching fish, you simply store the line by winding it back onto the reel. Therefore, the fly reel is not as important as your fly rod in most cases; especially when you’re after smaller fish like stocked “planter” trout. Any simple, inexpensive fly reel will get that job done; as long as it is sized to hold the line and balances well on your fly rod.

The above chart outlines fly gear pairings for various fish species.

If you are using a bigger fly rod, say a 6 or 7 weight, and are expecting to get into a larger fish, then stepping up to a more sophisticated reel makes sense. These upscale reels have a drag system which allows you to “play” the fish on the reel and use the reel’s drag to wear-down a feisty fish without breaking a light mono leader. We need, therefore, to match the gear to our budget and also to the type of fish we are angling for.

Fly Reel Sizes

For our purposes here in Central Nevada, reels of choice include a 3-4 weight, 5/6 weight and for Pyramid lake a 7/8 or even a 9/10 weight reel. Reel sizes match fly rod sizes. So if you have a 5 Weight fly rod, then get a 5/6 reel etc.

Fly Reel Drag Systems

Traditional fly reels have no drag systems. Instead, you control a running fish by putting pressure on the reel’s revolving spool with a finger or your palm. These are “click paw” reels. I use them on lightweight fly rods; such as 3 and 4 weight outfits for small trout and pan fish. That’s all you need in a fly reel to catch smaller fish.

Disk Drag Reels: Reel technology has progressed over the past few decades. You can now get a sophisticated machined aluminum disk drag reel for a fair price. However; keep in mind that the more you pay for a disk drag reel, the smoother the drag on it will be. A very smooth drag system allows you land fish using lightweight mono tippet (leaders)-such as using 2 LB. test for spooky trout in clear water. I don’t recommend buying cheap, off-brand disk drag reels. You get what you pay for. Invest in a decent disk drag reels for your 5 through 9 weight rods and you are all set. “Buy Once-Cry Once”, as they say. The last thing you’ll want is a malfunctioning, jerky, sticking disk drag on a fly reel when a good sized fish has been hooked. It could mean a broken leader and a lost fish. Good disk drag reels have infinite adjustability to accommodate various tippet strength.

The “Click” Sound

Most fly reels make a clicking noise as they rotate-both forwards and backwards. Some reels make more sound than others. There is nothing like the sound of a hot fish peeling line from a reel with a good clicker! It is a hearty ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ and sure gets your attention. It also lets everyone within hearing range know that you have a “Fish-On”. Both Click Paw and Disk Drag reels can emanate great sounds. It is a personal choice. Many anglers seek out reels with loud clicks. They even have “screaming reel” ring tones for cell phones! The sound does not affect a reel’s function. The click can be thought of as “ear candy”. I enjoy a good clicker.

[frame style=”modern” image_path=”http://nevadaflyfish.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Fly-Reels-1280×1005.jpg” link_to_page=”” target=”” description=”” float=”” lightbox=”http://nevadaflyfish.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Fly-Reels-1280×1005.jpg” lightbox_group=”” size=”two_col_large”]

Reel Cost

You get what you pay for. Click paw reels go from $25 to $300.00. The difference is materials, brand and longevity. Disk drag reels go from $69.00 to $900.00 and higher. Again; brand, design, extra smooth drag systems, exotic materials, and custom finishes can demand a hefty price tag that some find hard to resist. I contend that there is no reason to spend over $250 MSRP to get a solid, serviceable disk drag reel for our needs. Deals abound on-line and through club group buys. Find a reel in a size and color you like and look for a smooth drag (if choosing a disk drag-type reel) in a top brand so that parts are available as well as customer support. Warranties vary. The best reels have spools that spin true without wobble, and have very small gaps between the reel frame and the spool. Pick up a spare spool and get essentially two reels for less cost. Oftentimes, fly anglers will fish both a floating and sinking fly line depending on conditions. The spare spools make sense in that regard. You simply keep the “other” type line on the spare spool and carry it with you in a vest pocket . You then simply pop off the main spool and swap it with the spare. This change-out only takes a moment. Save the funds you’d spend on a second reel for other essential gear.

Reel Materials

Materials for fly reels vary widely. Fly Reel materials from  the cheapest to the most expensive materials are:

Injected Plastic, Carbon Fiber, or nylon- filled plastics, cast metals, and machined aluminum (bar stock).

Right or Left hand wind?

Reels can be purchased in both left and right hand wind configurations. If you are right handed and cast the rod with your right hand, then usually you’ll want your reel to be left hand wind for convenience. This keeps you from having to switch the rod into your left hand when you need to reel in line. However; in the case of using larger rods and reels, it will make sense to have the reel configured in left-hand-wind. After hooking a large fish, you transfer the rod to you left hand and use your dominant hand to reel-in line tactfully. Some reels come with an internal bearing that is reversible to allow either right or left-hand set-up. Some reels have to be ordered in the configuration you want. Be advised! Which is best for you? I personally like to set up my reels as follows:

1) I cast right handed. For fly outfits 3 weight to 6 weight, I prefer left hand wind.

2) For bigger 7 weight outfits and up to 15 weight, I set them up for dominant hand wind (Right hand in my case). This way when you have to wind super-fast to take up slack-you have your best hand doing the work. During an hour long fight with a big fish, you’ll want to put your best “hand” forward for sure.

Knuckle Busters

Lastly-consider fly reels to be knuckle busters. How’s that again? Almost all fly reels made today do not incorporate an “anti-reverse” design. There is a small handle on the side of the reel’s spool that allows you to crank the reel and wind on the line. If you happen to hook a sizable fish, you must let go of the handle and let the spool spin as line goes out. This prevents the leader (tippet) from breaking. This applies to both click paw and disk drag reels. This means that if you try to grab the handle while it spins, your knuckles and fingers will get impacted by the handle as it spins in a blur. A large hot fish can spin a reel at very high RPMs. Ouch! So there is a little bit of a learning curve in keeping your hands out of a rotating fly reel when a fish makes a long run. Timing is everything here. It’s all a part of our wonderful sport of fly fishing.


Coming Next…

Part Three –“Choosing Your Fly lines, Leaders and Tippets”

Floating, Intermediate Sink & fast sinking lines give us even more choices and abilities……..


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NCFF October Meeting Notes



[h4]We had our second general club meeting Wednesday night at the new Tonopah Brewing Co.[/h4]
Our newest member, Lance Jergensen, just happens to be the brew-master at the Tonopah Brewing Co. Lance invited NCFF to use the place as the “NCFF Club House”. He is a gracious host indeed. Lance is also an accomplished fly angler.

At Wednesday’s meeting Lance J. offered and donated pitchers of beer to NCFF Members (fresh brewed Red Ale) that wanted to have a taste. Food: We had the option of buying BBQ from their extensive menu. We set-up chairs and tables among the vats and kettles inside the brewery-instead of being seated in the restaurant. It was a great atmosphere and a fun meeting.

NCFF picked up 5 new members and that now raises the NCFF roster to 16 members. Four gals and 12 guys strong (one Junior): NCFF is an optimistic group. Guessing that 5 have fly fished and the others need to/want to  learn. . So far. The club is now making plans for some outings and events in the upcoming months.

What really blew me away last eve was when a gracious member announced that he is going to pick-up a 10 passenger van for the club! All he wants in return is help on maintenance and keeping it on the road. Wow. We can sure have some great group outings with that vehicle. Then inspired by this donation, another member, donated his small john boat to the club too! Additionally, Mark Madsen will make his 4 man raft available for the member’s use. Double wow. I have a  personal pram, and a kayak to share as well. So all of the sudden we have a small fleet to work with. Any member wanting to get out on the water will have a chance to do so.

Another member, Jack W., is a master BBQ’er and has a trailer mounted BBQ Pit and says he cooks for up to 500! So Jack will be cooking BBQ for us at our first fund raiser. We want to team-up with the Rotary and have a fly fishing event at the annual Rotary Father’s Day fishing derby. If we can raise the funds at the BBQ,  NCFF wants to clean out a second pond at sportsman’s park (NCFF Work Party)  and pay to have trout dumped in for the derby, W can have a Fly Fishing- only derby in that pond with entry fees and prizes etc.That would be in conjunction with the bait-chucker’s derby which has been going for 44 years in pond #1 Ponds are 12 miles from Tonopah.

Additionally-NCFF was able to purchase a Dyna-King entry-level fly tying vise from a hefty donation of $250.00 from a sponsor at the Nevada Test site. We will loan out this vise to beginners in order to get them started. A member named Rick took it away to learn to tye. Get in on the draw at the next meeting for your turn on the Dyna-King vise.

We also now have NCFF art work in place at the local t shirt shop. You can have any garment or item made of fabric embossed with our logo. I ordered a LS tee with pocket and I think the total price will be $18. One guy had a ball cap made and it was around $8.00 So the biz doing this is very reasonable on prices. You can even bring in your own garment and have the vinyl NCFF artwork/logos pressed on-for less than $6. Neat! Any color combo you desire too.
[h4]Special Membership Note:[/h4]  Annual dues are $10 and for those charter members joining in 2014 the dues for 2015 will be only $5. Starting 2016-everyone is even and the dues will be nominally $10 annually from there on out  JR members are $5 per year.


Rich Lewis-NCFF Member

Three Part Gear Series! Rod, Reel & Line Choices for Fly Fishing Central Nevada


[h4]Part One – Choosing Your Rods[/h4]

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The Central Nevada region covers vast tracts of high desert lands. The elevations of our fishing spots can range from 3000 feet all the way up to 10,000 feet. Throughout this arena are waters holding a surprising variety of interesting game fish species.

Challenges abound for the dedicated Central Nevada Fly Fisher. Fishing every “fishable” spot in Central Nevada is a worthy challenge indeed! Many, many road miles, lots of casting and Great-Big-Smiles are the order of the day!






Our quarry can include 3 inch long Sunfish at Sportsman’s Pond     –     Or up to 44-inch long Northern Pike at Cumins Lake.

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[/one_half_last]Rainbow Trout

However, Trout are the most commonly sought after fish in our state.






[h5]Question: Will one fly rod, reel and line be fine for most Trout fishing in central Nevada?[/h5]

[h5]Answer: Sure.[/h5] The gold standard American-Style fly rod is a 9 foot long rod in a 5 weight Line Category. A “9-foot Five” will get you going in nearly all our Central Nevada waters. Throw a weight forward #5 floating fly line on an economical reel & you’ll have a blast with a 5-weight rod-even on a budget. A 5-weight rod is a great 1st choice for Ab Initio fly fisher. You can fish all around our state with a 5 weight outfit.

[h4]Going beyond the basics.[/h4]

Once you’ve made the decision to explore more than “Trout” fishing on-the-fly in Central Nevada, the list of available game fish species begs that we make further rod, reel, line, leader, and fly choices.

For example, Redington’s Vapen Red 4-piece Fly Rod models guide, shown at left in the following chart, lists eight different line weight models. This range of rods, which is typical of all fly rod brands, more than covers every aspect of our fly fishing needs here in Central Nevada.

[h5]Four, Six and Eight-The tools you’ll want to have in your Kit.[/h5]

Sorry. There is no “One Rod” or “One Fly’ solution when choosing a fly rod outfit that will be effective on all Central Nevada waters & species. A key to us being successful anglers here in Central Nevada is being as versatile as practical. Fly choice, and then presentation is what fly fishing successes is all about. Heck maybe it’s the other way around; and presentation is first. Either way-here is my take on the rod choices that I feel comfortable with for Central Nevada fly fishers. Some may argue these choices. “It’s just Fishin’-I’ll say”. Then let us then consider line weight, rod lengths, and the waters that we’ll be fishing. Lastly, we’ll take into account the fish species sought after, and also consider, somewhat, our fly lines and fly patterns used in this pursuit. These factors ultimately dictate our rod choices.


[frame style=”modern” image_path=”http://nevadaflyfish.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/fishing-gear.jpg” link_to_page=”” target=”” description=”” float=”left” lightbox=”” lightbox_group=”” size=”two_col_large”][h4]Rod Line Weights:[/h4] Useful fly line weights for Central Nevada Fly fishers range from 4 weights to 10 Wt. rods. Fly size is matched to the fish size you are after. The ole’ adage is: big fish=big flies. Simple. However, there is the odd exception, interestingly, such as when an angler hunts 20 LB Brown Trout with a size #18 Midge pattern with a 5-weight rod on the Truckee River. This is not the norm. Yet on the other hand, you simply cannot effectively throw a 10-inch long weighted Pike Fly tied on a 2/0 hook using a 4 weight creek-rod. Nor can you properly present a size #20 dry fly using a 14 weight, 7 foot Shark Rod.

Reality is that you can throw a midge & indicator to a feeding trout with any rod up to a 9 weight. Therefore, different fishing situations demand different approaches and gear really. I think that “gear choice” is part of the enjoyment of this sport. In some ways it defines an angler. Sometimes we need to generalize in order to make our rod & reel choices easier.

I’ll go through the different rod weights and their utility. Making a sound choice is not as confusing as it might first appear.



The most popular fly rod sold is the “8’6”-9’, 5- WT”. It is the iconic & quintessential American Fly Rod. You can’t go wrong having this rod in the arsenal. You will get plenty of use out of a good fast-action 5 weight. If you can have only one rod, then this is the rod for you! It won’t cast huge flies to Bass and Pike, rather you’ll be a Trout and panfish.

Waters: Fish a 5 WT. on Streams, ponds, reservoirs, small rivers, & lakes: anywhere that there is a chance of catching a larger fish; such as a 5-LB Brown!

Rod Length: 81/2 feet to 9 feet

Species: All trout (except Mackinaw), Pan Fish, Small Bass



The 6 weight rods are stouter and often have a fighting butt. This rod butt extension can be placed on your hip to increase leverage and allow you to land a larger fish quickly. I think of six-weights as specialty rods for aggressive fish like Large Mouth Bass and when fishing heavy lines in lakes for mid to large-sized Trout. A 6-Wt. insures the ability to shoot heavier lines in high winds, throw larger flies & also helps you deal with swift currents.

Waters: A Six is a great rod to use on windy days on big water; and a great all around “Bass Rod” size rod for larger ponds.

Rod length: 8-10 feet. A 9 ft. long rod is the most common 6 weight. Choose the length based upon your intended use. Choose a longer 6-weight if fishing from a belly boat-for example: in order to get a longer back cast when sitting low on the surface of the water. 10 footers are common for this application.

Species: Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass; Walleye, larger Trout, smaller “schoolie-sized” Stripers & Lake Perch. A 6-weight makes a great Carp rod too!




A seven weight is not really all that practical for fly fishing Central Nevada. Yet a seven weight rod is really fun to cast and fish with! Utilize a high modulus, fast action, 10-foot, seven weight rod with a sinking line for up-sized Lahontan Cutthroats or even Channel Cats. Having a 7-weight in your arsenal is just fun. Trolling flies in lakes is fair game and a beefy 7-weight fits in nicely for that. Consider a longer 11-foot 7 Wt. Switch Rod for even more versatility. However, a 7-weight rod is certainly not “required gear” to fish in our area.

Waters: Lakes, fast rivers, beaches, deep ponds, when fishing weighted flies on sinking lines.

Rod length: 8 ½-11 feet. Choose a shorter 7 weight to dredge deep lakes from boats using metal-core shooting heads. Choose a longer rod for casting from lake shores.

Species: Larger Trout, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Carp, Walleye & Catfish, Stripers, Wipers.


10-12-14 Weights.

Maybe, just maybe you could use a 10 Wt. when pitching huge-12” flies on a fat bellied floating flyline to 40” Pike and 12# LMB. Nice dream! Nothing in Nevada really requires the use of these behemoth rigs! Well….that is, unless you are fishing for Ichthyosaurs near Gabbs!


8 & 9 – Weights

These larger line-weight rods get the call when presenting to large fish! Heavy lines, heavy fly rods and fly reels require more physical strength and finesse to cast too. These heavyweights demand advanced casting skills. Learning the “Double-Haul” cast is essential to mastering a heavy weight fly rod set-up. Proper casting fundamentals along with casting practice will insure enjoyment of these larger outfits. “Chuck & Duck” is hard work; yet nothing beats having the perfect matched big fly rod outfit when a big fish is on the line.

Waters: Fish this range of rods on Tahoe, Pyramid, and Cave lakes. Pull a big rod out when busting trophy-sized LMB at the Ruby Marshes. The 8 weight is called for when targeting Northern Pike at Comins Lake. A 10-foot 8-weight might just be the perfect Pyramid Lake Cutthroat Trout shore rod.

Rod Length: 7.5 foot to 11-foot long fly rods are choices for big fish when throwing large flies in heavy winds is the call. I’ll recommend a 9 footer.

Species: These heavy weight rods are used for busting big Central Nevada LM Bass, Pyramid Lake Cutthroat Trout, battling Northern Pike and Tahoe’s larger Lake, Brown and Rainbow Trout.

[callout1]My Personal Rod recommendations:[/callout1]

My 3 cents:
You’ll need 3-4 fly rods to cover the bases in Central Nevada. Include a 4 weight, 6 weight, 8 weight and maybe a 10 weight rod in your quiver just to be sure. The 10 Weight is only really a consideration if you are gunning for record book Pike.

Multi-Piece Rods are the most practical. If traveling by air, a 4-piece, 9 foot rod packs away nicely in your carry-on luggage; and that consideration alone drives the fly rod market. Three and two piece rods are also available and are a good choice.

That said, one piece rods are the best casting and the lightest rods made. They have become popular with a lot of guides in the past few years. The guides are able to carry them in/on their 4X 4’s for their clients. These cumbersome, one-piece rods are rather impractical to transport at 8-10 feet in length. A 1-Piece is the ultimate fly rod casting experience if you can swing it! It’s not a bad project to consider either-building a 1-piece fly rod.

Brands/Prices: Today’s market is chocked full of fabulous fly gear at amazing values. A larger price tag usually denotes higher quality appointments, such as line guides, line guide wrapping, the real seats, grade of cork (if used) and the way that it is packaged. Some will be in a sack and others in a sack within a protective tube. Fly Rod Combo outfits (Rod/Reel/Line) range from $150.00 to $1500.00 depending on your budget taste and needs.


Fly Rod Warranty: Fly fishing’s big name brands have some of the best warranty polices you’ll find in the sporting goods industry. Many brands still offer free replacement of broken fly rods-no questions asked. Note: I have broken a few myself and had good outcomes. You’ll be required to pay pay a small service fee and ship it back to the factory. You’ll have a new rod headed your way. It’s comforting to have these full coverage warranties after you have paid a handsome price for a nice fly rod.


Coming Next –

Part Two- “Choosing Your Fly Reel”

Once the rod has been chosen, you’ll need a reel for it……….


Part Three –“Choosing Your Fly lines, Leaders and Tippets”

Floating, Intermediate Sink & fast sinking lines give us even more choices and abilities……..