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I want to expand my armamentarium to enable me to get down deeper in the flows of the Dean and Skeena rivers. I read about some of you using the Bigboy which is described as a shooting head of 24' length and the Dredger interchangeable tip system which is available 150,200,300,400,500,600 gr. The Tungston Dredger is a 30' shooting head available in 550,700,850,1000,1150 gr. I own the Rio Windcutter 8/9/10 with interchangeable tips that came with the type 3 and type 6 sink tips. It's my guess that the Bigboy or the Tungston Dredger would be attached to the body of the Windcutter to shoot the running line. I use the Windcutter on a 10wt. 15' Diamondback
and a 9wt. 14' Winston.
What should I invest in?
 

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ahhh yesss....

I always thought someone would ask this. I am fond of Rio lines, that is all I use. I feel that these lines are the best ones for the applications and they are super slick too. Now to your question. I asked Simon Gawesworth a similiar question a month or two ago. It regarded the big boy tips, the sink tip compensator, and the Tungsten Dredger as well. I wasn't sure if a shooting head would be ideal, or if I needed a tip/head and how far to cut it back. It isi all about what you plan to do and water depth you are fishing. Shooting heads are amazing to shoot line, and are ideal in situations where you pick line up and recast. For "true"
spey fishing, where you don't pick up line, they aren't used that often. If you plan on shooting, go with the head, you can add tips off that if you want. I would get the 24' dredger and cut back your windcutter a little. Also, check out the T-14, it is a tungesten line that can be cut to length to customize your own shooting heads/sink tips. I use this often, it sinks 14" per second. It is perfect with the sink tip compesator.

Hope I helped.
 

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heavy sink tip solutions

I have fished the Dean a lot.I think you will be doing yourself a disservice to fish such a great river in that method.those fish are very agressive!!!!!I use a 10ft airflo sink tip that weighs 100grs or I use a floating line with a skatter.the same can be said for the Skeena depending on the time of the season and the river. the main Skeena and the Bulkley and Morice fish are very aggressive . most people fih the Bulkley and Morice with floatig linesearly in the season depending on water clarity and volume.Beau
 

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when i fish the dean I use the bigboy 300 and 400 most of the time when the flows are up and the river is dirty. The tungsten dredgers are overkill you will spend more time in the rocks.
 

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I can't comment on the Dean,but the Skeena EATS lead and sinking tips!The rocks are sharp and nasty so you can always expect to snag up a few times and lose a tip or two.That being said,find yourself the best casting system,whichever that may be and use that for most of your fishing,BUT take an extra 2 or 3 heads(preferably some cheaper,self made heads with loops) in case of break offs.I lost several heads last year around Ferry Island and was glad I had some spares along.

We went around the end of July last year and the river was still quite high.It dropped steadily over the next 2 weeks and the amount of lead and flyline heads that became visible in the now shallower water was mind blowing.
 

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Jerry, can't speak to fishing the Canadian Rivers but

it sounds like the folks above know their stuff in that department.

However, that said I use the RIO Big Boys (400, 500 and 600 grain heads) for spring king fishing here on the Rogue. The 400 and 500 grain works well off a cut back 10-11-12 windcutter and will shoot a considerable distance. The 600 grain max's out the WC so there I've found it easier to take a 12 or 13 wt DT (regular length fly line) and cut off the tip and loop to loop with the 600 grain head.

This gives the 'running line' enough grains to "launch" the Big Boy and pull the DT line out the guides. Pretty it isn't, effective it is. I also suspect that a line like a cut back MidSpey would also work as well, if not better due to the (relatively speaking) shorter head and longer running line. Main difference would be in the one set up's mending ability vs. the others.
fae
 

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Jere,

I think Beau is right on with this, these are are summer rivers with aggressive surface oriented fish. When the water conditions are even remotely clear enough the floating line is the way to go. Otherwise, I would fish the poly-leaders - type III or IV and would only go to real tips in a IV - VI in extreme conditions.
 

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Jere -- don't dredge the Dean!

Jere,
Listen to Beau. He has the Dean dialed and does not dredge. Let the agressive fish come to your fly.

I fish the Dean below the falls and have observed successful single-handed rod fishermen commonly use a Teeny or Rio 200 grain 24-foot sink tip line for the majority of fishing. A few will use a 300 grain 24-foot sink tip line. Single-handed rod fishermen I observed using shooting heads employ type IV to type VI heads.

Converting the above to spey line sink tip performance, per Simon Gawesworth of Rio, the equivalent sink rate of a Teeny/Rio 200 grain 24-foot sink tip on a single-handed rod is a Rio WindCutter with the fifteen foot Type 6 in the Tip 1 position.

For the last three years on the Dean I used a Rio WindCutter or MidSpey with a Type 6 tip in the Tip 1 position. This gave similar sink performance to a T200 and fished well.

You should be aware that Rio offers several sink rate options between the 15-foot Type 6 Tip 1 and the BigBoy 24-foot 300 to 500 grain tips.

Those options are:
• Type 8 fifteen foot Tip 1
• Tip 2 Compensator in Tip 2 position + Type 6 15-foot Tip 1.
• Tip 2 Compensator in Tip 2 position + Type 8 15-foot Tip 1. This is rated the same sink rate as a BigBoy 400 in slower water, I believe. See Rio's catalog for correct information.
• Rio's T14 sinking line sold in spools. This line compares to the sink rate of lead core and while relatively new, has many enthusiastic fans. Cut the length you need to get the grain weight that suits your line. Grain weight of T14 is 14 grains per foot.

Bottom line however for the Dean is dredging offers no benefit. And be sure to have a floating line with you.

Good luck!
 

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Lighter than air....

Jere, Hey you sound like a nice fellow so I will tell you of the little I know of Skeena and Dean! They are scenic wonders that should be at least purloined to others and hidden from the rest. If you must fish in the waters of either River do so as light as possible. I would advise that you use a Dry Line all the time, this will help in several ways. I will not be so boring as to point too the obvious reasons (tradition , ethics,restraint, Roderick Haig Brown etc.) But would be remiss if I neglected to impart a simple story of my own in passing.
My friend, who I will refer to as the Irish and I, were on the Victoria Run on the Dean it was before the "Restrictions" so it was awhile back. Most anglers of the time were basking in the relative obscscurity of there surroundings and the scarcity of other anglers. Odd though it may sound, this was my impression.
There were folks of great, and less expectations around the campsites and many were of the illusions of the few, but reality must be the regulator of the results, and so it go's. I was fishing with a sinkingtip fly line and a beadedhead "Boss" fly that whistled as it sailed past your head because of its adornments. My "Fly" had barely smashed the surface of the water when a "Mint bright summer run steelhead" grabbed the fly as it hit the surface of the river.
I personaly have never fished sunken fly on the Dean since that day and I have been on the Dean many days since and have not regretted any of my fishing expierences.
As to the Skeena I am not literate enough to list the reasons to not bother with a sunken fly on that river system. Suffice to say that if there is one place that angler and fish can come together let it be someplace where the mountains are shorter and there are no lads other than Irish about.
Cinco de Mayo
Moonlight
 

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I've fished the Skeena system a fair bit the last few years and seem to get my share. I can't recall even taking my sink-tip wallet out of the truck. When the water gets colored you need a tip even less because the fish move into softer shallower water that would be impossible to fish with a "big boy". The only exception might be the Kispiox if it's getting really pounded, which scares most fish into heavier, deeper flows.

Haven't fished the Dean for 20 years, but I know I wouldn't go to all the trouble of getting there just to chuck a tip around.

Poul
 

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This is a great thread. I've only been to BC once (last year) and the water was so high and dirty that if you didn't fish a heavy tip and fly you were not going to get anything. This was a common problem across the entire Skeena system last season, and although I'm sure there were times when the water cleared and dropped enough in certain rivers to fish a floating line, the tips were the only way to go much of the time. There were a bunch of Atlantic salmon guys in the camp I visited who brought floating lines and small flies; they were mostly skunked and ended up borrowing my backup sinktip lines.

I found that the Rio type 8 tips worked great for me on both a 8-9-10 windcutter and a 9-10-11 windcutter. There was real difference for me between the type 8 and the type 6 tips; if you have older Rio lines that did not come with the type 8's then they are well worth the $20 investment. I have fished with a Big Boy, and I think they work OK with the same lines if you are smart about the grains. But, I spent a lot more time playing with rocks and a lot less time playing with fish, so I stick with the type 8 if the type 6 won't cut it. I found the big boys were most helpful in spots where there was a good seam directly next to some really heavy current, but I got a much shorter swing because the tip would hang up once it got past the seam. I've never tried the sinktip compensator thing that Rio is now selling; I would be curious to know if people like it or not.

I've never fished the Dean so I can't claim any knowledge of that river, although I am going there for the first time this year and can't wait to fish it.

Circlespey
 
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