September 7, 2012

Long Furled Lines for Large Dries

After fishing small streams over the past few outings I decided to hit some water that is known to have large trout. I always try to venture to this spot this time of year because if the day is right and the fish are on you can catch some pretty nice Yellowstone cutthroats.  To get the big boys you have to offer something that will entice them to come out from their hiding places -- streamers or hoppers.

The water in this mountain river is slow and very clear. Stealth is an absolute. One misplaced stumble and the fish are sent flying. I have fished this water in past years with western gear but just the line hitting the water can put the fish down.

The water

Today, the sky was overcast; that was good -- fewer shadows. There was no wind in the earlier part of the day but it came up when some afternoon storms skirted the area -- that makes the flies harder to cast.  To get the fish's attention I chose a #4 yellow-brown foam hopper. To get such a large fly to hit its target I went with the 13 foot Hirame and a 18 foot furled mono line from Streamside Leaders.

The fly

The line

This furled line can easily throw such a large fly without any issues at all -- even with 6+ feet of tippet. Since the line itself is 18 feet, with a 6 foot tapered (0X-2X-4X-5X) fluorocarbon tippet the total line length comes in at 24 feet. The Hirame throws this line straight and turns the big fly over really well. For a while I was even fishing a hopper-dropper setup with a Beadhead Prince nymph dropper 8 inches off the hopper. Even with that extra length and weight, the line would turn over. I was impressed. Of course, because this line is heavy I could not keep all the line off the water as with a level line, but I could keep more than half off. That really helped prevent drag from the complex currents.

I didn't catch a lot of fish today but those that I caught were worth it. One fish was over 18 inches! The Hirame handled it perfectly.

If you want a line that can turn over some seriously large flies, I'd recommend the Streamside Leaders furled mono line. I have three of them in 13, 15 and 18 foot lengths and they all perform perfectly!


  1. Wow!! Those are some big cutthroats!! Great pictures.

    1. Thanks Ashley. Yes, they are nice fish, some of the prettiest this side of the divide. They are my passion -- although I wouldn't pass up catching Westslope cutthroats from Montana!


    2. Hey Tom, where can I get my hands on a yellow-brown foam hopper?

      Thanks for your help.


    3. Hi Syd,

      They are easy to tie yourself since they are just foam with rubber legs. If you don't yet tie flies, then ask a friend or your local fly shop to tie you up some. A good place to get the materials for a foam hopper is at

      I tie my own and have done so for years. I find that the simple patterns work just as well as the more complex, but are much easier to tie.


    4. Thank you! Is it the same story with the Grumpy Frumpy?

    5. Yes, sort of. It is a more complex fly to tie but still manageable for most tiers. You can, however, get them from some sources such as It's a great attractor fly. It really brings them up out of the deep!