Orvis Fly Fishing
Do I Need To Do Anything Else When I Change From A Big Fly To A Small Fly?
Once you get dialed in for the day and have the right leader, tippet and fly set up, it's rare that you'll need to really change flies and tippets much in a day of fishing. For all those other times when you have to try fly after fly to see what the fish want, there may be some other things to consider changing before tying on a new bug. The size of the fly is one large determining factor when choosing tippet size.
For Big flies
For larger sized flies, you will need larger tippets to help turn them over. Always make sure you have the right sized tippet for your fly. You never want to have to squeeze a tippet through an eye of a hook. Make sure there is ample room in the eye of the hook. You may create a pinch point and heighten the possibility of a break off at the hook eye if you try to squeeze a thick tippet into a small hook eye.
For Small flies
Smaller flies require smaller tippets for almost the same reasons that bigger flies require thicker tippets. Flies with hook sizes from #16-#22 have their own physical requirements that demand a more supple leader and tippet combination. You may not be able to change flies from a #6 or #8 to a #22 and use the exact same tippet size.
When going from Big to Small
Always reevaluate the tippet size you're using when going from big fly to small fly. Before bombing out cast after cast, ask yourself:
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then it's time to size down the tippet. Sometimes it will only take going down one tippet size in order to get the right formula for the day. For the sake of not exhausting fish when fighting them, it's always good to use the thickest and strongest tippet possible. This way you do not unintentionally harm fish by over fighting them. Trout are especially prone to harm when they exhaust themselves in a fight so it's our duty as anglers to fish responsibly.
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