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fliflicker
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I have been rediscovering a local river that's about 15 minutes from my home. The river is almost completely deserted most of the time but it has a very healthy population of small trout. Unfortunately when the salmon start to show, the place turns into an all out war zone but for the last several weeks I have had it to myself. I picked up a new Redington Hydrogen 11' 3" 3wt. and have really been enjoying swinging flies for these little guys. I find the tug is the drug even if its a 10" trout. I figured now that the crowds are starting to pick up I would do some tying and go for some sea run cuts when it starts to die down.
Anyway, what are some of your favorite flies to swing for resident and sea run cutties on the West side? Streamers, soft hackles, wets?
 

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Almost anything can work on small trout, including even some things that were originally intended to dead drift. But if I had no prior experience in an area, and was only allowed to take only one fly, it would probably be a Bird's Nest for me.
 

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I've had consistent luck with soft hackles swung just below the surface or on a very slow sink tip or intermediate tip.


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peacock and partridge soft hackle

I like casting soft hackles on scandi-ish line with 10' trout polyleader.

I also like muddler minnows on skagit head with 10' light MOW tip.
 

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I began swinging flies for trout and noticed many short strikes on streamers. So I began using flies w stinger hooks. Now a few years later, I've come full circle. Micro Intruders can and will illicit aggressive strikes. I'll choose any streamer over a soft hackle any day.


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I would take some unweighted soft hackles like the above mentioned PT and Hares Ear patterns. Also, try a couple weighted soft hackles like Mercer's Swing Caddis. Then have a handful of light streamers like some Sculpins, Buggers and maybe even some fry patterns. If you can turn them over on that rod, pick up 3 different densities of 10' Trout Poly/Versa leaders with 4-8lb tippet depending on the size and pattern. I typically will fish a floating or intermediate Poly when I have an unweighted pattern like the Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail, Hares Ear or Fox's Poopah to keep the fly in or just under the film. I'll fish an Intermediate or fast sinking (3.9ips) poly when I'm swinging the weighted patterns like a Swing Caddis, Nitro Caddis or some other form of a weighted buggy soft hackle if the fish want a deeper/slower presentation. If fishing streamers like sculpins, buggers or small crayfish patterns, I'll use a fast sinking (3.9ips) or an Extra Super Fast Sinking (6.1ips) poly leader to keep the fly near the bottom. There's no need to buy every poly leader in the line up, I think there are 6 or 7 different densities. You can get away with the 3 I've listed and just quarter father upstream or down respectively to fill the gap in sink rates. That will pretty much allow you to fish the entire water column in just about any run you find. Hope that helps you out!
 

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For me, hands down partridge and yellow size 8, 10, 12. For the body yellow floss. I leave plenty of hook shank stopping well before the bend. Couple turns of partridge hackle. Sparse is key. Nothing fancy. Go to for me
 

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AJS Reels
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S C Flyfisher; that's a cool caddis tie, no fancy materials required either! Thanks for posting ;);
 

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Stimulator
I just did a little backpacking jaunt around some OP streams and fished a teeny bit. Real tight quarters and pocket water, my initial attempts were dead drifting a stimulator which yielded nothing. One of the spots didn't allow me to get into position to dead drift so I skated the fly through and got a fish after the fly sunk below the surface. That kept producing so I decided I'd probably do even better swinging something a hair deeper so I tied on a bead head soft hackle and proceeded to catch nothing. Once I switched back to the stimulator I started catching fish again. If it ain't broke...
 

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I mainly swing buggers and soft hackle in various colors.

I began swinging flies for trout and noticed many short strikes on streamers. So I began using flies w stinger hooks. Now a few years later, I've come full circle. Micro Intruders can and will illicit aggressive strikes. I'll choose any streamer over a soft hackle any day.

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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')?
 

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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
 
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