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Coednakedspey
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168 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Was just wondering on what you consider your primetime fishing position for both sensitivity and comfort. I find after I make a cast out there, I make a mend upstream to straighten out my fly for the hang down (and then slow swing later on) but I then position my two hander so that the butt end is in my right armpit, I have my right hand with my middle two fingers on the spool/rim and the line in between the pinky and the next finger (I reel left). This way I can set the hook when needed because I can stop the spool, and I can also feel subltle bites with my pinky finger brushed up against the line. I point the rod about 5-10 degrees up from the parallel (to the water surface), and raise it more if I'm fishing a faster section of river to keep more line off of the water.

Any comments, tips, perspectives?
 

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96 Posts
I keep the rod in my right hand and put the heel of the rod on my hip about belt high. I find it comfortable and easy to control and I must say, when raising from this position, the "Iron" is set if there is anything to set it against.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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5,375 Posts
Hi Scott!

I'm usually pretty lazy about this. I tend to just find the balance point of the combined rod/reel/line length and fish out a cast with the arm slightly bent so that the rod is @ hip high or so, depending on water depth. Once I get my drift set up I usually lead the fly, particularly during the last 1/2 of the drift, with just enough tension to keep the fly somewhat broadside to the fish as it comes across. I also hold a loop of line between my index finger and the reel. In tricky currents I'll be more active and do whatever it takes to make the line do what I want--sometimes this means a very high rod position to defeat line drag. Most of the time when I hook a steelhead I'm pretty sleepy so I usually don't get much of a chance to set up--they're either on or gone.
 

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Coednakedspey
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168 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
What are you dreaming about when you're sleeping Dana?...

Dana, and Moonlight, Thanks for the reply.

Dana,
If you recall the river I was raving about to you in a recent email, I am imagining confidence water helps to keep you awake. I too am guilty of this sometimes (sleepin), or just not paying attention, or reflecting on something, etc, but I can say that the river I was on, every run I was on had 100 percent confidence water. Something about the fact that a fish could be sitting anywhere in it. Also the extremely technical casts involved with minimal backcast room compared to most rivers forced me to pay attention to my gear and what I was doing. Not like the Sleeper Snap C's I'll do sometimes in other situations which are pretty easy to be consistent with on other more open rivers. I guess technique is up to the individual, i was just wondering if anyone had any tips, or ideas, or if there was anything I could do better...
What helps us not sleep on the river? what keeps you awake? LOL

Scott
 

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chrome-magnon man
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5,375 Posts
You know, I think sometimes I do better when I'm less focused than when I'm super sharp.

I find I don't think too much about what I'm doing out there anymore. Kush and I talked about this last fall at the Martini Bar one evening after a particularly good day on the water. I used to worry myself to death about every little detail when I was new to steelheading. I remember for the longest time I was trying to understand the perfect drift, to figure out how you would know that your fly was behaving properly. Steelheading was stressful! Then after a long time I caught a few fish and started to gain a little confidence, and then I started to catch a few more. These days I sometimes catch fish, and sometimes don't, but I have a sense now of when my fly is fishing well--there's a certain tension on the line and feel of the overall experience that gives me confidence in a run. Apart from all the stuff you read in the magazines certainly in steelheading more than any other fly fishing I've done experience is critical. I found I had to put in my time. Steelhead don't give you a lot of feedback. You could be doing everything right and not catch a thing, which would give a newcomer the wrong message.

A few years ago I talked with Harry Lemire on the Thompson. The gentleman represents the very pinnacle of mastery in our sport, and he still spoke a lot about luck. He said that you could take a person who had never cast a fly for steelhead, put them on the water and they could catch the biggest fish in the river.

I read somewhere once that on the salmon rivers there is a saying:

"Keep your fly in the water and be of good cheer!"

I know that's something I could do better!
 

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Coednakedspey
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168 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Darn...

Dana,
Read your post....

True, True, True, and more True.

It can be stressful, and I too find that when I'm just relaxed and whatever that I have done better (at least so far) then than when I'm all tense and worried about what is happening with my fly, the perfect drift, doing things totally consistently, etc.

Take this case in point in example. I was fishing the two hander above my buddy on the Vedder one afternoon. I was fishing one of my favourite flies that swims quite well (Starlite Leech) and he was drift fishing a Spin n Glo on his drift rod. I was above him fishing down to his position making jokes about how he was glued to a rock while I was fishing and covering a bit of water. He then starts making jokes to me about chucking feathers (obviously friendly jokes he's my fishing buddy) and then lets me know that I can fish in front of him and fish down below him while he changes up his offering. Well just as I'm walking past him, fly in water, dangling, swimming, and drifting downstream, and I turn my head towards him to make a bit of another joke to him about drift fishing and some kind of stereotype, Whamo, a fish hits and takes off. Now up to this point I was telling my buddy about how awesome Steelhead takes can be on the two hander, and fly rod, and he saw the whole thing happen right in front of him for the first time. I managed to play the fish for a good fight (I lost the fish after about a minute), but the take was sure awesome! He was a bit choked though as at the time I essentially took the fish from water he would have covered, but it goes to prove that fishing should be fun stress relieving, and not a cause of stress.

Scott
 

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Hooked on Salmon
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161 Posts
Another interesting little topic......

I have been sitting here at the architect office with a two foot ruler trying to analyze how my "position"is. (I am alone here today, so no need for worries of colleagues calling the ward...)

Even if I am ambidexterous in my casting, I always fish my casts out with the right hand on the upper grip. By keeping that hand in the same position as when casting I never need to shift the grip which is good for quick mends. (Yes - I crank with the left hand)

Imagine that the rod is a bit top heavy, then the forward tilt is stopped by leaning the reel-seat against the area just in front of the elbow. With the butt free, rather than stuck in the tommy, one can alter the angle in any direction just by pointing the underarm. A moderate mend often can be done by just rotating the underarm. For serious mends, or a new cast, the butt finds the left hand by just turning the wrist up.

As I strip line in through most of the swing, my left hand is held rather close to the right one - basically on a line between it and my feet. (the line is checked by the right hand's thumb and indexfinger meaning that the rodgrip pretty much is a matter of the lower three fingers and the thumbs "ball")

When a fish takes all I do is to clamp the line tight with the right hand, raise the rod slowly and start to retrieve/palm. No way I would give my strongest and most sensitive hand up for shifting the grip for a right hand retrieve!!

Sorry if this became tedious - guess we Swedes live a tad to close to our German neightbors....:hehe:

Per
 

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114 Posts
Hi Scott: I`m with you on this question of rested rod position however I put the rod a little further back so the reel is under my armpit .That gives some control of the spool. I hold the right hand at the top of the upper grip as suggested by Per this gives relaxed balance and allows one to sweep the rod to mend line. I hold the line between the finger and thumb of my left hand (left hand Reel) I can pull line off the spool for slack to mend with or strip line or strip to set the hook.
While the lighter graphite rods dont require much resting the older greenheart were so heavy that unless you found a comfortable balanced position they would tire you out in short order. As far as I know the position I described is fairly standard for gillies on the spey R
 
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