Flies and presentation - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-06-2000, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Originator: Cousin JackDate: 4/6/2000 5:39 AM

Based on what I have read and the discussions I have had with good steelhead fisherman (not to mention my own experience), I have come to the general consensus that the fly pattern is irrelevant, it's the presentation that counts (perhaps size and sparcity of the dressing counts?)!  But there seems to be no real consensus about the correct presentation.  Some seem to think the the slowest possible presentation is the best, but to do this the fly is inevitably tail-on to the fish.  Others seem to think that a broadside view is the best but to do this necessitates speeding up the fly, or does it (can we get a side-on presentation at the slowest possible speed and, if so, how)?  The ideal presentation to Jock Scott (i.e, Wood) is a leaf drifting in the current.  

I'd be interested in the views of this group on the relative importance of pattern, size, dressing and presentation and, particularly regarding the latter (because I think this is the crux), what is the best persentation?

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-09-2000, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Originator: bubbaDate: 4/9/2000 7:40 AM
flies and presentation... a topic which will always engender a lively and spirited conversation. dead drifted presentations (e.g. indicator fishing) can be absolutely deadly (i just finished a week of fishing with rich culver, of flywater adventures in juneau, ak) who indicator fishes at a level which borders on supernatural. i exclusively fished a swing technique with a sinking tip. over five days of fishing HARD, we touched 10 fish (i touched 7, rich 3) on the sauk (days), sky (one day), and stilli (three days), lnading only one (the worst spate of fishing i have ever experienced, and especially hard for rich, since he is used ot landing 30-40 steelhead per day in alaska). the only fish brought to hand was by rich, on a traditional swing.

i think the dead drifted strike indicator is perhaps the most efficient way to fish certain situations (e.g. many of the upper an dmiddle stilli runs, fishing to seen fish), but doesn't cover nearly as much water as the swing (blind fishing, bigger water).

regarding the swing, i very much believe that size, shilouette, and color (light or dard), coupled with movement (e.g. action) are more important than any particular pattern. i think that most experienced (and successful) steelheaders would agree that it doesn't matter what you fish, but it matters how you fish it. lets face it, steelhead will eat a spin and glo, and the gear guys outfish us 3-5:1.

if you are swinging a fly slowly across the fish (e.g. alexander grant; the classic quarter down and across), pick a fly which will have lots of wiggly action as seen end on to the fish (e.g. marabous in soft water, speys in medium water, and hairwings or combos in faster water. with the greased line technique of a.h.e. wood, presenting the fly sideways to the fish is paramount, but to do this with a sink tip takes quite a bit of line control skill. it's a lot easier when you can see what your fly is doing, and you can cheat with surface or subsurface flies by riffle hitching them.

with winter and spring fish, the most important thing is to drive the fly by the fishes nose LOW and SLOW, focusing on size and shilouette. different folks feel differently about light day dark fly/ dark day light fly vs. the opposite.

if there was one great way, we'd all be doing it, and there wouldn't be any discussion. if there was one great fly, we'd all be using it.

fish only perfect casts with a sink tip; remember you can't see what the fly is doing; if you have a big old loop in the tip, the fly will whip around on the swing, going anything but low and slow, and will definitely hang up on the rocks more often.

good luck!

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