Yesterday A buddy of mine and I fished the Pequest river near the hatchery. The snow is still pretty deep up there and now very slushy. It makes for tough walking along the bank but its worth it considering how good the fishing can be. As is the case most all winter we had to fish very small nymphs. When using size 20 flies I like to tie into my leader Rios,shock gum. Its a rubber band like material that is about 26 thousands of an inch thick, so I tie it up leader just off the first section. This way when you hook a solid three pound trout it cant pull the fly free so easily. Its hard to tie in though however I find a uni knot works for me also a surgeons knot will work as well but the stuff is so stretchy and soft it is a challenge to get to stay tied, and you MUST cover your knots with Loons knot sense. Its so good to have in place cause it holds onto those doosey fish that we all want to catch. Last year I caught a solid 25 1/2 inch female rainbow on it right here on the Pequest that went almost 6lbs I was using 4x and if I did not use it she would have pulled the tiny pheasant tail (20) fly she took.We started off right near the lot and my buddy hooked a good rainbow within mins It poped off after a few mins of play and he fished on,.. A little while later he hooked and played another @ about 17 inches and that fish shook the hook at his feet. He then said to me "alright, give me some of that stuff " I tied it into his leader and he then went downstream where about a half hour afterwards I could hear him hollering "Hey Paul" I go stompin through the snow down there to find him tight-lined to an 18 Inch male rainbow that had to go 3lbs he played it into the net and that fish only had the fly in its upper jaw at the very outside edge of its mouth. If he had not used the shock gum I think it would likely have pulled free like the other trout he had hooked as he was on 5x fluorocarbon tippet. Many guys say you HAVE to go to 6x at least with flies that small and some use 7x. I find this is not true, Not true at all! I fish stone flies on 3x and they are often size 16. I drift them through some slow pools and I have caught many good fish that way. However fluorocarbon has almost NO STRETCH. so trout can pull flies right out as the size 20 hooks have a very small purchase when set. We fished for a couple of more hours and landed almost all the fish we both hooked. I think that if more guys used Shock gum they would also have a better catch rate. Like I always say,"when it comes to big fish",... "SHOULDA,COULDA,WOULDA" is a terrible thing to have to say!
Laying in bed thinking "maybe i shoulda this or coulda that is so unsettling. My pillow however is very soft!