Spey Pages banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I often read how swinging flies is one of the least effective ways of catching steelhead. It seems most would agree that fishing gear or even beads/eggs under an indicator is much more effective and that guys who swing flies are giving up numbers of fish in order to feel that tight line grab with a fly rod. I am relatively new to steelhead fishing (2 seasons) and my only experience has been swinging flies with a two handed rod. That said, I have watched gear guys and nymph fisherman fish around me and I seem to have as much or more success than most of them. I do focus on fishing rivers that are known to have good swing water and most of my fishing has been for summer steelhead (I'm sure that makes a difference). The "start short and slowly work out line until your at a good distance, then step and repeat through a run" seems to me to be a good way to ensure you are covering all the water. I'm not doubting what I've heard about the effectiveness of other methods over swinging flies (you hear it enough it must be true), but is swinging flies really as ineffective as we're led to believe?

Jake
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
The odds between swinging flies and other methods are somewhat evened out in the summer as steelhead are more aggressive and higher in the water column. In cold water however, when steelhead nestle down low in slots and around structure, it is easier to dead drift a nymph or egg pattern right in front of them. For myself, and many other fly swingers I presume, it's more about mastering the casts and presentation than sheer numbers of fish or the aggressiveness of the grab.

I'm sure you'll get more eloquent and informative responses that I'm looking forward to reading as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Eggs win over swung flies like 8:1 for winter steelhead. Not sure about summer steelhead, but like uo_p said, there is probably somewhat of an evening out since they are more aggressive and will farther travel distance bite the ol' burnt chicken.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,277 Posts
It will boil down to HOW you want to do it. I still spend plenty of time fishing sink tips and weighted tube flys but Im moving toward dry line fishing and skaters and such as thats where I feel I want to be and how I want to spend my time on the river. The older I get the reward is more valuable for doing it my way versus just putting up numbers. If I am floating a fly during the cold weather months the fish that comes up for it is the player Im looking for and it doesn't have to be a big fish it just needs to be THAT fish that will take the fly in the way Im presenting it. Thats the fish I want to catch. The answer to your question is in post number three.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
679 Posts
I have set out for days afloat with both a float and a d/handed fly rod, both for variety and to make best use of the opportunities that present themselves - I consider each equally sporting. There have been times when the fly has scored over the float (non bait or bead) in answer to the original question.

The 'how I want to do it', is choosing the appropriate method, tackle and approach which both pleases the soul and gives a reasonable chance of catching a fish, for that's what angling is, I see little point otherwise. If I succeed then all is well with the world, if I don't, I will not mind.

'Ever seen a guy swinging spoons for steelhead😏🤯'

I do. With a bamboo rod of my own making coupled with a vintage reel and an old ABU Toby- a small, light and thin spoon (small single barbless Siwash hook) spinning down at the end of a tight line.

This is an old and traditional method of angling- Hardy's produced an extensive range of rods, reel and 'baits' in the 1920's and 30's for salmon fishing. The Silex reel would be positioned low down the handle of a long rod and the light bait (artificial lure) cast directly off the reel across the current and allowed to spin and swing down at the end of that tight line, to be retrieved at the end and re-cast.

Here are two early Hardy Silex reels, one from the late 1800's and the other 1910 or so, the intricate internal regulators can be seen which aided in casting direct from the drum as mentioned. Each was assembled/ finished by Walter Dingley as can be seen by the internal stamp 'D' and would have taken a day and a half to put together from parts from the stores, he designed the casting mechanism while at Hardy's. Some still use Silex reels today on their d/handed fly rods.

Malcolm
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Swinging flies looks much cooler than chucking gear or throwing nymphs under an indicator.
Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
There are plenty of ways to fish, each of us just needs to sort out what the object of our fishing is.
That object might change from day to day, or it might evolve over time.
From what I‘ve heard, there is no good reason for a steelhead to take a swung fly.
Jed
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
807 Posts
I have set out for days afloat with both a float and a d/handed fly rod, both for variety and to make best use of the opportunities that present themselves - I consider each equally sporting. There have been times when the fly has scored over the float (non bait or bead) in answer to the original question.

The 'how I want to do it', is choosing the appropriate method, tackle and approach which both pleases the soul and gives a reasonable chance of catching a fish, for that's what angling is, I see little point otherwise. If I succeed then all is well with the world, if I don't, I will not mind.

'Ever seen a guy swinging spoons for steelhead😏🤯'

I do. With a bamboo rod of my own making coupled with a vintage reel and an old ABU Toby- a small, light and thin spoon spinning down at the end of a tight line.

This is an old and traditional method of angling- Hardy's produced an extensive range of rods, reel and 'baits' in the 1920's and 30's for salmon fishing. The Silex reel would be positioned low down the handle of a long rod and the light bait (artificial lure) cast directly off the reel across the current and allowed to spin and swing down at the end of that tight line, to be retrieved at the end and re-cast.

Here are two early Hardy Silex reels, one from the late 1800's and the other 1910 or so, the intricate internal regulators can be seen which aided in casting direct from the drum as mentioned. Each was assembled/ finished by Walter Dingley as can be seen by the internal stamp 'D' and would have taken a day and a half to put together from parts from the stores, he designed the casting mechanism while at Hardy's. Some still use Silex reels today on their d/handed fly rods.

Malcolm
Very nice Malcolm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,112 Posts
I often read how swinging flies is one of the least effective ways of catching steelhead. It seems most would agree that fishing gear or even beads/eggs under an indicator is much more effective and that guys who swing flies are giving up numbers of fish in order to feel that tight line grab with a fly rod. I am relatively new to steelhead fishing (2 seasons) and my only experience has been swinging flies with a two handed rod. That said, I have watched gear guys and nymph fisherman fish around me and I seem to have as much or more success than most of them. I do focus on fishing rivers that are known to have good swing water and most of my fishing has been for summer steelhead (I'm sure that makes a difference). The "start short and slowly work out line until your at a good distance, then step and repeat through a run" seems to me to be a good way to ensure you are covering all the water. I'm not doubting what I've heard about the effectiveness of other methods over swinging flies (you hear it enough it must be true), but is swinging flies really as ineffective as we're led to believe?

Jake
Hey, if you’re catching enough fish swinging flies why ask why? Unless you actually prefer the idea of watching a bobber, why question what is working; as long as it’s serving your interests, count yourself lucky and cast away...
JB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
I talk about this topic endlessly with my fishing buddies. At the conclusion of this past season I made this very scientific graph to illustrate the difference. The “vortex of suck” is what we call that hopeless feeling that every decision you make while fishing will prevent you from hooking a steelhead and your confidence drops to zero percent. In the end I prefer swinging because it’s enjoyable.

374665
 

·
Registered
RL Winston, Loop Classic, Hardy Perfect
Joined
·
867 Posts
I talk about this topic endlessly with my fishing buddies. At the conclusion of this past season I made this very scientific graph to illustrate the difference. The “vortex of suck” is what we call that hopeless feeling that every decision you make while fishing will prevent you from hooking a steelhead and your confidence drops to zero percent. In the end I prefer swinging because it’s enjoyable.

View attachment 374665
This is a very nice graph.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Fishing Atlantis with floatinglines is fly fishing, fishing with sink tips and weighted flies is much different. Swinging flies in 3-4 feet of water is highly effective, in some cases more or just as effective as gear. I fish both. I have fished behind gear chuckers and caught fish. And vice versa. If there are active fish in the run, any method will work, in deeper colder water, gear will do better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
I'm currently in the Vortex of Suckatude. Now that I know what it is...I can get the f out of it. Good one Blake.
When a buddy falls victim to the vortex my advice is always the same: "let the steelhead come to you. have an extra cup of coffee. sit by the river and don't fish. take your time. slow down." it rarely results in fish hooked, but always results in a good day on the river :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,212 Posts
I often read how swinging flies is one of the least effective ways of catching steelhead. It seems most would agree that fishing gear or even beads/eggs under an indicator is much more effective and that guys who swing flies are giving up numbers of fish in order to feel that tight line grab with a fly rod. I am relatively new to steelhead fishing (2 seasons) and my only experience has been swinging flies with a two handed rod. That said, I have watched gear guys and nymph fisherman fish around me and I seem to have as much or more success than most of them. I do focus on fishing rivers that are known to have good swing water and most of my fishing has been for summer steelhead (I'm sure that makes a difference). The "start short and slowly work out line until your at a good distance, then step and repeat through a run" seems to me to be a good way to ensure you are covering all the water. I'm not doubting what I've heard about the effectiveness of other methods over swinging flies (you hear it enough it must be true), but is swinging flies really as ineffective as we're led to believe?

Jake
Swinging flies is not ineffective - just different than conventional gear methods and different than nymphing. Not all nymphing is done under an indicator or "bobber." Maybe some guys confuse actual bobbers in their fly gear for indicators at one point and are now turn off on it???
Anyhow, nymphing presentations are generally more focussed lower in the water column, closer to were the fish hold, where swinging-fly presentations are very effective in covering a wider extend or range of water. We are not likely to see an angler covering a wide run or pool. No, he/she is more likely set-up at deeper/narrower ( faster) chutes.

Your thoughts...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I talk about this topic endlessly with my fishing buddies. At the conclusion of this past season I made this very scientific graph to illustrate the difference. The “vortex of suck” is what we call that hopeless feeling that every decision you make while fishing will prevent you from hooking a steelhead and your confidence drops to zero percent. In the end I prefer swinging because it’s enjoyable.

View attachment 374665
This is pretty special :D
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top