I mainly swing buggers and soft hackle in various colors.
I too have been getting a ton of short strikes on my buggers so i started tying them with stinger hooks, I've only used them one evening, felt a bunch of short strikes but no hookups (how is that even possible?)... I guess I'll need to keep experimenting. Have you noticed a significant difference, are you still getting short strikes, i feel i m doing some very wrong here.
Also during the middle of the afternoon when its sunny do you guys still swing flies? I mainly swing flies in the evening in the riffles but thought about putting on an intermediate head, heavy sink tip and trying to entice the fish deep in the water column. Anyone have any experience swinging flies deep (4'-5')?
fenix84, trout often attack a fly differently than a steelhead. The short strikes could be several behaviors such as a territorial bump. I've even observed a large predatory brown trout attack a fly to presumably kill or stun it and circle back to eat it. So I've developed a few techniques that help me hook these seemingly difficult fish.
Pay close attention to when a strike occurs. Did it occur immediately after the fly landed? Did it occur as the fly turns and begins it's journey across the river? Did it occur on the hang down? Consistently getting a short strike on a similar part of the swing may offer a clue. Experiment with different retrieves. "Jig it" or "take and give back" etc...
Even try holding a loop and when you feel a strike drop the loop. This often helps when the fish is bumping the fly but not biting it. If you have partner, spend some time just observing his fly as it comes across the water. I'm currently writing about several of these techniques on my blog: pureskagit.net. Stay tuned. I hope this helps.
Tight Lines, Mike