The Dirks Wiggler from the Caddis Fly Shop
I was in Eugene the other day and stopped by the Caddis Fly Shop to pick up a few flies, some of which fell under the category of fishing large but casting easy. The Dirks Wiggler carries a pretty big silhouette, dumbbell eyes and wigley parts (rubber and flash) Its not as big as an Intruder or Jumbo Critter but it fishes pretty big and is pretty forgiving to cast.
I seem to have a habit of defaulting to a big fly, the bigger the better, with dumbbell eye’s, the bigger the better, a sink tip big enough to turn the big fly over, and a Skagit head big enough to turn over the sink tip and the big fly. I like Skagit heads alright but I prefer something a little lighter such as my beloved Rio Scandi Short Versitip. I’ve heard the Rio Scandi Short Versitip is basically a Rio Skagit Flight Body with tips. But I personally don’t know. I do know if you underline a Skagit head about 100 grains lighter give or take than recommended by Rio you end up with a pretty zippy shooting head for casting moderate tips, or a floating tip, and medium to small sized flies, Scandi style, or really any style.
I recently did and experiment using a medium sized Moal leech and a pretty big bullet weight, because I wanted to see if I could make a decent touch and go cast with the heavy Skagit head, sink tip and fly. Low and behold it flew pretty well. As a matter of fact I found it easier to touch and go cast than to Skagit cast.
Except for the enjoyment of the challenge or casting a fly heavier than I would ever fish with, at least 99% of the time, I could not wait to end the experiment and begin to play with a few new flies, to me, to find something I enjoyed casting. I think my thought process was, well, I’m using this heavy Skagit head, I should be able to cast about any fly. But my experience with really big flies is that they just don’t cast all that easy period, at least for me.
The funny thing is, I’ve had pretty good luck with my home made Marabou flies, tied in the round with palmered marabou and tinsel, unweighted, either with a stinger hook or on the shank of a medium gauge hook. So I’ll probably just end up tying that style again, a few with very small dumbbell eyes on stingers for winter flies and shanks for summer, Marabou spider style and call it good. In the mean time I’m experimenting with a few factory flies that are supposed to cast easy and fish large.
First up to bat is the Dirks Wiggler. I tried it on my Beulah Classic 7/8 with a 500 grain Rio Skagit Short and 10′ of t14. I’ll have to admit it cast best with this setup although I think there are better suited Skagit heads these days. The Skagit head handled it easy and would easily handle bigger flies, but for me, that’s about a perfect size to comfortably cast.
I also used the same rod and cast the #8 Rio Scandi short body with a 10′ t8 MOW tip and a few feet of straight mono tippet material. It flew pretty good but was a little trickier. I probably wouldn’t fish it this way, I still prefer a fly a tad smaller.
A couple things I realized watching the video, 1, rod noise. But I left it in. Kinda sounded cool in super slow motion even though its verboten, 2, No “soak” time on the Perry Pokes. I’ll do better next time.
For grins I tried the fly on a CND GPS line with 12′ of the equivalent of t11, one of Airflo’s older CC tips. It was a handful for my casting abilities. The tip wasn’t the issue, I’m sure it would fish fine with a smaller fly. The medium dumbbell eyes made it quite a challenge, a fun challenge, but for enjoyable fishing and consistent casting a smaller, lightly weighted or non weighted fly would be much more to my liking.
Anyway, this is just a fun experiment for my personal curiosity. I understand that people have been doing these things for a long time and with much greater efficiency and expertise. I realize I am not making history here, I’m just your local, friendly madman across the water making a video with which to critique my own casting and satisfy my own curiosity. I enjoy cranking the youtube settings up to 1o80/60 and watching the line fly in slow motion. I hope the videos will inspirit you to practice or try a few experiments on your own if you don’t already.
By the way, Dirks Wiggler definitely falls into the category of casting easy and fishing large.