Fly Fishing Traditions

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Kingfisher Drift Boat Build - Painting the Hull

Now that I've got the boat upside down, all prepped and masked I'm ready to start painting the hull. I'm using a one part paint. It is a polyurethane enamel. It will provide a hard protective coating and with super high gloss and has very good color retention and is durable. The paint was manufactured by Blue Marine. I decided on their Super White Color.

I'm using "Blue WaterMarine Paint", which is a one part polyurethane enamel. 
The color is 'Super White'

The first step is to get everything I'll need to get the job done. Here's the list;
  • Blue Water Marine Paint, Super White
  • Half gallon plastic container
  • Stir stick
  • Toluene for thinning - 1 ounce per quart. 5-10%
  • 1 pint plastic measuring cup
  • Excellent quality brush with soft tips
  • 6" foam roller and frame
  • Disposable paint tray
  • Clean Rags
  • Tack Cloth
The first order of business was to re-vacuum the areas to be painted. I then used the two rag method and wiped down the surface with Acetone. Once wiped down, I used a tack cloth to do the final cleanup of the surfaces to remove any remaining dust particles.

Next I opened the quart can of paint and pour it into the half gallon plastic container. Measure 1 ounce of Toluene into the small pint plastic measuring cup and pour it into the larger container with the paint. Use the stir stick and stir for 10 minutes. Yeah, really 10 minutes.

Next set up the roller pan, roller frame and foam roller.Get the kind that have rounded edges at the ends. Get your paint brush.

Time for Painting

The method for applying the paint is referred  to as "Rolling and Tipping". the paint will be applied with the "Roller" and then "Tipped" with the brush. I'm right handed so I decided to work from right to left. I will be brushing left to right, which is opposite to the way I'm working. This is important. When you are "Tip" the paint you always want to go from the dry area back onto the painted area.

The boat will take two coats with a hand sanding to 320 grit between coats.

Here's how the first coat is done.

  • The fist thing to do is to load the roller with paint and then roll it repeatedly on the roller pan to have a loaded foam roller but not overloaded. I count to at least ten strokes each time I load or reload the foam roller. 
  • Starting at the transom and working to the left I roll out the paint working to the left with vertical stokes. Press hard on the roller to squeeze out all the paint. If you don't the paint will go on too thick. I work to the left until I am loosing coverage with the paint.
  • I then work the roller horizontally to spread the paint out evenly to the left. 
  • I finish this application with a vertical roll at the left edge to create a straight vertical line. You will end up with a vertical line with dry  surface on the left of the line and paint on the right.
  • One roller load covers an area about 24"tall by about 1 foot wide.
  • The paint will have lots of air bubbles in it and should be a thin even coating. 
  • Put the roller down in the tray and stat brushing from left to right. Start at the top and brush horizontally.
  • Place the brush on the dry portion of the vertical line on the left and brush to the right with a light touch. 
  • Lift the tips off the paint at the end of each stroke. Feather the paint out.
  • Continue the same method from top to bottom using horizontal passes.
  • Start back at the top and repeat.
  • That's it. Repeat the same steps all the way around the boat, move quickly and efficiently and keep a wet edge.

Prepping for the second coat

Once the paint had dried thoroughly, which was about 48 hours in my case as it was getting below 50 degrees in my shop at night, I hand sanded the surface with 220 grit sandpaper with a sanding pad. I then used a 320 grit Scotchbrite pad and hit the surface once more. 

I then vacuumed the surface and finished up with a tack cloth.

Just repeat the same process as the first coat.


I'm really happy with the paint job. It's not perfect like a spray finish but it has that hand made look to it. A few brush marks here and there but I think a job well done.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Casting Around the Clock

It’s time to add some presentation casts to your arsenal. The three casts that are the basis of good presentations are the "Wiggle Cast", the "Reach Cast" and the combination of the two, the "Wiggle Reach Cast". We can use these presentation casts to start “Fishing around the Clock”. This is a descriptive term for the ability to present the fly from any angle to a fish in moving water.

Right now on the Lower Yuba River we are starting to get decent hatches of PMD’s. Most of the time you’ll be presenting PMD duns and emergers on water that is at least somewhat smooth. This requires delicate rods, light lines and long leaders. A 5 weight is a good all around choice. Extend your leader to 12 to 15 feet long which includes tippet at least 2 to 4 feet long. Use delicate tippets like 5x. Use a "Duncan Loop" or an "Open Mono Loop Knot" to attach your flies. I like throwing "Double Dries, using a dun pattern and trailing an emerger about 18" or 20" behind. If the fish are really spooky I clip off the trailer.

You will need to present your flies without alarming your prey. You don’t want the fish to scatter from your line, leader and fly sailing over their heads and smacking down onto the water in their cone of vision. To be successful you must put the fly right onto the trout’s feeding lane without alarming them. How do we solve this problem? This is where putting "Fishing around the Clock" really pays off.

The Clock

Think of your position in relation to the trout you are stalking as a position around the clock with the trout in the center (See Illustration Above). You will be somewhere around the outside of the circle at a moderate casting range. Not too close, not too far. There is probably a best place to make your presentation. Your position is critical. The type of presentation cast you will need to make will differ from what position around the clock you are stationed.

Presenting from Downstream

If you‘re in the downward third of the clock 4:00, 5:00, 7:00 & 8 o’clock, you will be making your cast to the trout up and across stream. This will require an slight upstream, “Reach Cast” or more advanced casts, the “Positive or Negative Curve Cast”. We'll get to the Curve Casts at a later time. Using either of these casts will enable the trout to see the fly first, with the leader just seconds after it has decided to take your fly. This is the plan anyway. A word of caution, the downstream position is the hardest to accomplish a delicate presentation over selectively rising trout.

If you’re positioned in the 6 o’clock position this is even harder. You will need to present the fly in such a way that the leader attached to the fly doesn’t land right on the trout's head. As described above, it’s like throwing a small rock on the trout’s head, no good. You need to use a big “Reach Mend” to have the leader angling towards the bank which will enable the fly to be presented first.

Presenting From Directly Across

When you find yourself in a position to present your fly from directly across from the trout, this would be from the 3:00 or the 9:00 position you will want to add the “Reach Cast”. Aim your cast directly at the place you want the fly to land, ideally two to four feet upstream from the trout. As the straight line cast is delivered and starts to unfold towards the target, tip the rod over in the upstream direction and "reach" upstream. This is really an “Aerial Reach Mend”. When the fly lands, follow the drift with the rod tip.  This will keep the fly from dragging and the fly will enter the trout’s window ahead of the leader and line.

Presenting From Upstream

When presenting your fly to trout feeding on mayfly duns and emergers, probably the best position to take on smooth water conditions, is at an angle upstream from the trout. This would be from 1:00, 2:00, 10:00 and 11 o’clock. It definitely works best when you’re off to the side a bit. This is where the “Wiggle Cast” really excels. Aim about two to four feet upstream from the feeding fish. As you deliver the cast wiggle or wobble the rod tip back and forth horizontally as the line lays out. This will result in the line landing on the water in a series of serpentine curves. As the fly floats downstream toward the trout, the curves will feed out for a frag free drift.

Once you've mastered the "Wiggle Cast" you can add the "Reach Wiggle" which is doing both. This works especially well if you have heavier currents between you and the targeted trout. To execute the Reach Wiggle Cast you deliver the forward cast as normal, as the forward cast is furling out toward the target, tip the rod upstream for the reach mend and at the same time add the horizontal wobbles of the tip to add wiggles to the line. This may take a little time to get down, but it is worth the practice.

If the trout refuses the fly on either of these presentation casts, tip your rod toward the side or the bank after it has passed the trout. Let the current swing the fly well away from the trout before you pick up to cast again.

Presenting From Directly Upstream

When presenting the fly from directly upstream from the 12:00 position you typically only get one chance. If the fly is refused the leader and then the line follows and you can’t lift them off the water without spooking the run. You really want to avoid this presentation if possible. If you can't move more to the side and this is your only play, you can use the wiggle cast from this position.

The “Puddle Cast” is more accurate then the Wiggle cast and you may want to try it. The “Puddle Cast” is executed by throwing a high inclining cast on the forward stroke and then immediately dropping the rod tip. This will result in killing the forward momentum of the forward cast and cause it to puddle down to the water in a series of “S” shaped curves. Again if possible, it is best used from the 12:30 to 1:00 or the 11:00 to 11:30 position and only from the 12:00 position if absolutely necessary.

Learn the different presentation casts are when and where to use them and you’ll soon be catching those difficult trout.