Hand Line Fly Fishing:

Fishing with a bubble or float is an old technique. I’m sure most of us have used this method with live baits to catch a variety of fish. It also works well with flies and other floating lures to catch trout.

My handline of choice is Streamlines Tideland which weighs 2.4 oz. I cut the rubber handle off mine (saving an ounce). It now weighs 1.5 oz (43 grams). You can easily cast over 20 metres accurately. It is as good as most spinning rods, better where there are overhanging branches, as you can cast underarm. It is ideal for getting a trout dinner out of small wooded alpine streams. I could trim its weight some more by cutting off the corner with the angle grinder and smoothing the finish. I might get it down to a functional 1 oz (or 30 grams), yet still have a superlative casting hand line.

Below are typical rigs taken from Martin Joergensen’s and Will Rietveld’s articles below.

The technique is simplicity itself. Cast and slowly retrieve. The splash of the bubble hitting the water attracts the fish’s attention which is then directed at the fly tied to the invisible line. When it strikes you need only set the hook, reel it in, prepare it and eat it. More detailed tips in the articles below.

‘The Streamlines handline has landed trout in the Sierra Nevada mountains, bass in low land lakes, and up to six pound snook in Costa Rica. The Tidelands model is an inexpensive lifetime tool, ideal for backpackers, kayakers, or as a part of any complete survival kit. Casting handline has been used for decades in Costa Rica as the primary tool of ocean shore-line fishermen who must live on what they catch. Streamlines has evolved this tool, combining improved design with modern materials. It casts far and accurately, limited only by the skill of the fisherman. This go anywhere, fish anytime tool is patented and molded of plastic strengthened with 40% fiberglass reinforcing. It is overmolded with a rubber Santoprene handle.’ http://www.moontrail.com/accessrs/a-misc/handline.html US$ 17.90

You could even do it with my 4 gram fishing hand lines below:

2015-09-23 13.43.23 comp

Some great articles on the technique (and related matters):

 Fishing a bubble: Martin Joergensen: http://globalflyfisher.com/fish-better/fishing-a-bubble

 Spin Fishing Using The Fly And Bubble Method: Mike: http://fishingmyway.com/uncategorized/spin-fishing-using-the-fly-and-bubble-method

 A Simple, Minimalist, and Ultralight Approach to Catching, Cleaning, and Cooking a Backcountry Fish Dinner By Will Rietveld: http://ultralightinsights.blogspot.com.au/2017/02/a-simple-minimalist-and-ultralight.html


 Ultralight Tic Tac Fishing Kit: Rik Christensen: http://blog.gossamergear.com/how-light-is-your-fishing-tackle

 For an ultralight hiker/fisherman I think Will Rietveld’s method of cooking trout takes some beating (particularly if you were using twigs in the Caldera Cone). However, I have also been experimenting with various dry ingredients to make up a tasty fish chowder. Continental French Onion Soup is probably already a standby with you (though it takes a five minute simmer). A packet contains about 8 teaspoons full which makes four cups, so you can make them individually. Added to the (filleted) fish, it makes a tasty broth. You can thicken it (as I have mentioned before) with some Continental Deb mashed potato. A little milk powder will add to the chowdery effect. Some ‘Surprise’ peas might also help. I know you don’t have to add pepper or curry powder to everything (so my wife, Della says) but these can add some zest to the overall effect. Enjoy.

See Also:

The Ultralight Fisherman

This is the 30 gram rig I have come up with. Works a treat:







Other Posts:









First Published: May 7, 2017

Hits: 2620


10 thoughts on “Hand Line Fly Fishing:”

  1. I caught now 2 bass, 3 trout and one crappie on this exact same rig (same handline and a bubble) on and olive or black wooly bugger. 4 fisherman with rod and reel skunked on night crawler worms, I got 3 fish in 30 minutes.

    1. Well done Stu. Glad you found it worked. I have found it was worth carrying the 30 grams for many years. Once you have 200 grams of fish for tea its worth is well proven. Much lighter than dehydrated food and much tastier. Cheers, Steve.

      1. Cool! I have one of those streamlines but I thought a 3 foot leader would be too short. You catch fish on that? Just double checking. Lol

          1. Depends on what you’re going to catch, I always use the new Dyneema line as it is also great for tent/clothing repairs. I think it is better to have a stronger line as you may be bait fishing some time near the sea and catch a barracuda or a seven-gilled shark. Even a 25 kg line can be thrown 30-40 yards with this rig.

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