Giving the fly action on the swing. - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Giving the fly action on the swing.

I am curious how many of you swinging flies for trout are doing a tight line swing vs giving it some kind of action. I come from Steelhead and I am now in the trout land. Swinging is a lot of fun and trout hit on a tight line swing now and then but I am wondering if action would improve the results. If you guys are giving it a twitch, strip or jig what is your technique?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 12:01 PM
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I just tried streamer fishing for trout last spring. Did not do it a lot, but I did have some success with the added movement. Also had some hook ups with straight swing. I think the key is to experiment and let the fish tell you what they want.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 12:21 PM
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Figure 8 the rod tip as it swings. Works we in flatter water.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 01:02 PM
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It depends. I've never had much luck streamer fishing for trout on the Deschutes; for a variety of reasons, all unknown to me, streamers--twitched or otherwise--seem not to be an especially productive method for trout on the D. But a lightly twitched sparkle pupa during a particular stage of a caddis hatch can be deadly. Same goes for the salmon fly patterns.

But there's nothing like experimenting to prove my streamer lore wrong. I remember reading somewhere that the late, great Gary LaFontaigne spent an entire season in Montana fishing nothing but muddlers. He did it b/c he realized that he'd never fished muddlers much, and consequently didn't catch much with muddlers, so he had this idea that muddlers weren't much in Montana. To break himself of his own conventional wisdom, he made himself fish muddlers and muddlers only. You can guess the rest.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 02:27 PM
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I do A LOT of swinging for trout. both soft hackles and streamers. I will step down the run just like for steelhead. Give it a cast, let it swing, cast again, Twitch the running line in your line hand. Take a step down and repeat.

Change the twitches up until you find something that works. twitch it fast, sporadic, consistent, slow...etc. Just keep trying different things until you find what works. Most of the time the trout will key in on a certain "retrieve". Sometimes the dead swing is the ticket. Sometimes the consistent twitch is the ticket. Just play around and find what works.

Sometimes, I'll do a dead swing through the run and get a bump. Cast again to the exact same spot and twitch the fly through the same exact spot. Most of the time, that gets me a solid hookup.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Sheepdog8404 View Post
I do A LOT of swinging for trout. both soft hackles and streamers. I will step down the run just like for steelhead. Give it a cast, let it swing, cast again, Twitch the running line in your line hand. Take a step down and repeat.

Change the twitches up until you find something that works. twitch it fast, sporadic, consistent, slow...etc. Just keep trying different things until you find what works. Most of the time the trout will key in on a certain "retrieve". Sometimes the dead swing is the ticket. Sometimes the consistent twitch is the ticket. Just play around and find what works.

Sometimes, I'll do a dead swing through the run and get a bump. Cast again to the exact same spot and twitch the fly through the same exact spot. Most of the time, that gets me a solid hookup.
Sometimes I'll just pull and let out about 6" to a foot of line through the swing, like a see saw effect. Just let the current take the line back out pulsing it. Sometimes it's deadly.

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Last edited by KilgoreT; 11-08-2016 at 10:56 AM.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 10:37 AM
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There's an old saying..........

...that fits here:

"I'd rather be lucky than good"

Keep up with the variables, and keep us posted!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 03:11 PM
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I am an "action" fella when swinging for trout, and not little twitches but more of a yank, sometimes moving the fly 2 or 3 feet at a time in one sharp burst.

This has worked for me from AK to MT and in a LOT of trout water in between, everything from spring smolt season to fall flesh to winter sculpins. Throw it out there and start pumping the rod back and forth - or as one of my fishing partners says, "give it the old In n Out". Near the end of a swing I will pause and let the hangdown form up (sometimes up to half a minute), then give the rod a few jerks before retrieve / recast - this often elicits violent takes from fish that have sighted the fly and tracked it during the flat portion of the swing.

In some situations I will pull and drop instead of yanking, imparting a slow, smooth motion backwards followed by a fast "shove" of the rod forward to create slack - this acts to suddenly stop the fly and cause a slight drop both down and back, and can be pretty effective in triggering strikes.

I fish flies with a lot of movement built into them so as to take advantage of the imparted action, and most of the flies I fish for trout are representative of food of some sort, be it sculpins, minnows, smolt, even flesh - I think that the action of a fleeing meal is definitely a trigger for feeding fish.

YMMV.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 03:38 PM
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Downstream mend and leading the fly with my rod tip is all I do in slow water but I know local guides in cold temps encouraging working the fly at the dangle for FEW MINUTES. I may give few first strips in slowly before next cast but I dont recall taking a fish doing that.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 05:36 PM
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I fish for trout 95 % of the year and 95 % of that time I swing for them using tight line swing with small intruder style flies and bunny leaches it's a great method on my home river .
I will add action to the fly at the end of my swing I pump the rod a couple times then make a few short fast strips then strip in to the shooting head and make another cast and work my way down the run this way .
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 01:41 AM
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As far as skated flies go I don't add a motion until the I get to the hang down then depending my attention I will pump a few times. With wet flies I'll lift the rod every often to replicate a bug moving to the surface. Certainly during specific times I get results moving the fly but overall tight line swings seem to work best for me.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 04:43 AM
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it depends from what you imitating.
sculpins , which are important ingredients in trout food chain, swim in erratic motion. sort of sine wave trajectory (in vertical plane)


it can be simulated by twitching using rod tip, or short strips , then pause (dropping rod tip and let streamer sink to the bottom)
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 04:46 AM
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I ALWAYS twitch while swinging regardless of target species. I think I definitely get more strikes with imparted motion. Just my 2.25 cents...
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
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it depends from what you imitating.
sculpins , which are important ingredients in trout food chain, swim in erratic motion. sort of sine wave trajectory (in vertical plane)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfNJzCRTAIo

it can be simulated by twitching using rod tip, or short strips , then pause (dropping rod tip and let streamer sink to the bottom)

Ummm, those aren't sculpins, they're gobies. You might think they're functionally the same, but most stream-dwelling sculpins won't routinely come off the bottom and/or hover in the water column like that.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 03:39 PM
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instead of stepping down the run before or after the cast, I will start stepping down during the swing while stripping in erratically. this keeps the fly broadside and never pulling it upstream (as long as your stepping fast enough) at any point I want I can finish with a straight swing. I use this more than any other method when fishing streamers for trout provided the wading is not too sketchy. I use plenty of other methods, but if i'm actually retrieving the fly this one seems to get the most love.

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