Success with a dry line in the winter - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Success with a dry line in the winter

First, this forum and it’s members are a wealth of information. If it weren’t for the numerous messages exchanged as well as the countless old threads that I’ve read through this fish would not have happened. I’ve been fishing a dry line since the 8th of December. Some days I would bring another rod with a sink tip setup but for the most part I wanted to fish with only a long mono leader. There have been days where it seemed like I was insane for trying it when everyone around was catching fish. I wanted to hook a Great Lakes fish without the use of a tip.

I had a small window of time this morning to get some fishing in before the weather turned and made driving difficult. While drinking coffee I quickly tied up a Picasse variant based off the recommendations of Mike. I’ve enjoyed the process of dressing a fly with only a long mono leader is to be used. I’ve tied countless patterns that were simply overdressed and wouldn’t swim the way I wanted. This pattern was tied very sparse and I threw in copper tinsel for a bit of flash.

When I was walking to the run that I usually fish I couldn’t help but notice there were no fresh tracks in the snow. It was very windy with freezing rain but I remained optimistic and hoped that my casting skills with a gaelforce 54 would be able to get my fly where it needed to be. Sure enough, my first pass through I was grabbed by this hen. My dry line fish had finally come to hand. Thanks to all for the information provided, this was by far the most rewarding fish that I’ve ever caught after seeing the looks of so many people that didn’t think it was possible. Now on to dry flies......
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 05:32 PM
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YES, YES, YES .... BRAVO !!!!

You are now officially a member of the GL's Tipless Club !! Well done laddie
The Picasse comes through again !!! That flea is killer and looks great lodged in the yap of that hen

I'm very happy for you my friend


Mike

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GR8LAKES FLYER View Post
YES, YES, YES .... BRAVO !!!!

You are now officially a member of the GL's Tipless Club !! Well done laddie <img src="http://www.speypages.com/speyclave/images/smilies/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smokin" class="inlineimg" /><img src="http://www.speypages.com/speyclave/images/smilies/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smokin" class="inlineimg" />
The Picasse comes through again !!! That flea is killer and looks great lodged in the yap of that hen <img src="http://www.speypages.com/speyclave/images/smilies/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smokin" class="inlineimg" />

I'm very happy for you my friend <img src="http://www.speypages.com/speyclave/images/smilies/smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smilie" class="inlineimg" />


Mike
Thanks Mike! This fish is just as much yours as mine, very grateful for all the advice!
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 05:51 PM
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Well that's cool, I'm glad I could help a little
That fly is very nicely tied in my books ... and I think that hen's book as well
It must have sunk like a rock on that McNeese iron. A great use of materials and selection I will add !!

Tell me, was it raining or drizzling as you worked your way through the run ??


Mike
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GR8LAKES FLYER View Post
Well that's cool, I'm glad I could help a little <img src="http://www.speypages.com/speyclave/images/smilies/smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smilie" class="inlineimg" />
That fly is very nicely tied in my books ... and I think that hen's book as well <img src="http://www.speypages.com/speyclave/images/smilies/hihi.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Hihi" class="inlineimg" />
It must have sunk like a rock on that McNeese iron. A great use of materials and selection I will add !!

Tell me, was it raining or drizzling as you worked your way through the run ??


Mike
Raining the entire time
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 06:03 PM
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* jealous *

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 07:07 PM
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Raining the entire time
I go back in my notes and see that yellow, or "shades" of yellow is the number one producer for me when it rains, regardless of time of day or if overcast or one of those sun showers are happening.


Mike
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Raining the entire time
I go back in my notes and see that yellow, or "shades" of yellow is the number one producer for me when it rains, regardless of time of day or if overcast or one of those sun showers are happening.


Mike
Hmmmm interesting and good to know. The only reason I added yellow was because I had an olive over yellow buck tail and first tied in olive but liked the idea of yellow on top of that. Turned out to be a lucky guess that I’ll now tie more of.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 08:38 PM
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Congratulations, that is quite the feat! I have been playing with the same idea for a while now; but I was gonna play it safe, wait for some warmer water. Hearing this gives me a little more confidence in trying it earlier than I planned, congrats again!
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Tight lines!
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 10:08 PM
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Well done, a very challenging task indeed!

Tight lines! B K Paige
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Wishin I was fishin the Sauk!!!
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 11:12 PM
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Congrats on being rewarded on what is a very humbling path! Just out of interest, what water temps are you dealing with in the GL tribes this time of year?

Interesting that you mentioned adding copper - Iíve been on a copper kick the last 3 months. Iíll be trying another copper tipped pattern tomorrow morning on my home water, on which my steelhead card shows 12 hours since 1-1-20 and exactly one brief head shake to show for it. Iím jealous as well.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 12:01 AM
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My goodness she's a beauty, what blushing cheeks!
Well done and good fortune!
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 12:35 AM
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Awesome, congrats! It is a satisfying experience to hook a winter steelhead on a fly that is swung on a dry line. I continue my winter dry line quest with skated flies, often followed by passes with a winter's hope. I have raised and missed one winter steelhead to a surface fly thus far for the season. The pursuit continues!

Todd


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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by steeliesncarp View Post
Congrats on being rewarded on what is a very humbling path! Just out of interest, what water temps are you dealing with in the GL tribes this time of year?

Interesting that you mentioned adding copper - I’ve been on a copper kick the last 3 months. I’ll be trying another copper tipped pattern tomorrow morning on my home water, on which my steelhead card shows 12 hours since 1-1-20 and exactly one brief head shake to show for it. I’m jealous as well.
I usually take a temperature when I get to the water. I had 35 degrees that AM
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 808steelheader View Post
Awesome, congrats! It is a satisfying experience to hook a winter steelhead on a fly that is swung on a dry line. I continue my winter dry line quest with skated flies, often followed by passes with a winter's hope. I have raised and missed one winter steelhead to a surface fly thus far for the season. The pursuit continues!

Todd
Todd,

Your resolve with the dry fly is inspiring to say the least. After landing and releasing this fish I sat down to savor the moment and my first thought was to tie on a dry for the rest of the time spent fishing. I had numerous people recommending that I would never be fishing deep enough to take a fish without weight or a tip but I continued on the journey. Even more say the dry fly can’t be done. I don’t believe this as I hear plenty of stories of fish rising to floats being reeled back in. Once I was able to focus on enjoying casting my line (I’ve been practicing the incline lift quite a bit) and not defining success on the day by the number of fish encountered the stress of “needing” to catch a fish went away. I had a lot more conversations with other anglers, sat down, looked around and took more pictures, cheered on the success of others and generally just enjoyed fishing a whole lot more. I think spending some time with a surface bug will be very enjoyable now and conditions can only improve from here on out.
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