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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All
I recived my copy of, The Art of Angling Journal in the mail on friday.Volume 1, Issue 3, Paul Schmookkler and Ingrid Sils publication,
What a great mag, well worth checking out. In this issue there is an article, Gentlemen and the Sunk Line, by Topher Browne, well writen, history as well as some techniques.
This got me thinking.
Since most of us fish swung flies, I would like to pick your brains on what your thoughts are when fishing this way. Some questions to get started.
Do you cast 45% and why?
Do you cast more towards a 90% and why?
Do you mend?
How many times do you mend and why?
Do you use sink tips, full sinks, or floaters with long leaders if so what determens thier use?
Do you use weighted flies why?
Unwieghted flies why?
Deep runs with lots of bolders, how would you fish them as not to hang up?
Clear runs with slots and troffs would you make mend just prior to each slot?
Runs with variable curent speeds?
Please feel free to add more.
I'm sure a lot of these questions have been asked before, but I don't know if they been asked in this manner.
I'm on my last week of a 5 week holiday, I've fished with a number of different friends ( single hands and spey guy's). It's been interesting to watch how each of us fish the same water but use different techniques. Your thought's.
Thanks Rick
 

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Rick,

Thanks for the heads up on that journal never heard of it before will check it out. When I have more time will respond to your questions from my perspective. You must be asking about the angle of the cast with the 45% and 90% right ?

BTW, I have been a sinking line/tip fly fisher for most of my 43 years, wish I could change my screen name to "Dredger" some times.:hehe:

Hal
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi All
I wrote the above early this morning, just before leaving to go Steelheading for the day, I was meeting two other spey roders so was in a bit of a hurry. I didn't edit it , the spelling and grammar sucks. Sorry !!
 

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Great questions: will try to insert "my" answers.

Since most of us fish swung flies, I would like to pick your brains on what your thoughts are when fishing this way. Some questions to get started.
Do you cast 45% and why?
75% at an angle, although doubt it's at 45, probably more like 60-70% then a HUGE upstream mend to get the floating part of the line above the sinking portion.
Do you cast more towards a 90% and why?
Will do this the rest of the time if the river speed is pretty slow; back to the mend thing again. "Fast current" and me don't make this work too well. Almost impossible to keep the line going down "head first."

Do you mend?
Always, and to the degree that it takes/maintains a head/fly moving ahead of the floating portion of my line.
How many times do you mend and why?
As above.

Do you use sink tips, full sinks, or floaters with long leaders if so what determens thier use?
Have not used a full sinking line for years as mending with them is beyond me. Regular tips (15' and RIO Big Boys) in heavier water or the Airflo sinking leaders is shallower/slower water.

Do you use weighted flies why?
Almost 100% of the time. Main exception would be low summer water where the 'sinking portion' of my line would be enough ... or I'm hanging up on the bottom.

Unwieghted flies why?
Will use these with the 'sinking leaders,' or tips if the water is under 3' deep in the run. On the Rogue it's fish the very bottom or don't even bother. With lower water (upper Rogue only running at 900 cfs) much of the work will be a dry line and very long leader. However, some of the very best holding water is the faster stuff where fish get cover. So deeper and faster = back to a sink tip or Airflo sinking leader to get down/stay down.

Deep runs with lots of bolders, how would you fish them as not to hang up?
If I've got a choice, here I'll stick to a floating line and ultra long leader and wted flys.

Clear runs with slots and troffs would you make mend just prior to each slot?
If I'm fishing 'slots,' I'll be mending like crazy to keep the line speed as slow as possible without 'jurking' the leader/fly(s) out of the water.

Runs with variable curent speeds?
This is where the long rod and the ability to either 'high stick,' or flip 'stack mends' really pays off.

fae
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Fred and PM
I knew I could count on you guys. As for my 45% and 90% comment, this is what ( my fishing buddies and I) call casting directly across stream 90% or down and across 45% as well as everything in between. Some of the guy's I fish with mend like crazy, others not at all. Yet they all seem to catch fish. It's interesting to see what people do, and how they work a run with this type of fishing. I fished with two other Spey'rs today, since they were my guess I fished last through the run. I made the point of telling them that (once I have a workable amount of line out) I would make a cast then step down stream, this was new to them. Most of the places they fish, you pick a spot and cast till the cows come home.
I sure hope we get some input to this post.
Thanks Rick
 

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I primarily fish floating lines, I might add a 10ft airflo superfast sinking leader in the winter. I Only use weighted flies in the winter.

Generally I cast across stream slightly down from 90 and mend, then slip some line. My mend is usually large but should not move the fly. Sometimes I lift the latter half of the line and adjust for little current pulls. Usually if I think I need another mend I can get away with just lifting and moving the rod tip toward the bank this does not disturb the fly or move alot of line and puts the mend in.

I do the cast and step on long constant speed runs. Although I do another cast from the same stopping point. I do a cast a traditional 45 deg. cast and swing. That way I get a deep dead drift and a swing covering the same water. Always moving.
 

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Speyladdie
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sunk line

Hey Tricky Ricky.
What happened to the invite to go fishing??:(
Neil.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Rick,

Like Fred, I usualy cast at 60-70% and make a huge mend upstream 90% of the time. If the water is slow enough, I will cast 90% and then make an upstream mend, again 90% of the time with a cross stream cast like this. However, there are places that I will make a dowstream mend in order to speed up the fly as it comes across stream. Only do this is summer/fall though.

Mends are made as needed to keep the fly moving first down the run/hole. The esception is noted above in some water when summer fishing to mend to get the fly moving faster across stream.

Never use weighted flies on the 2-hander, don't like the way they cast. I use various density sink tips to get the fly down, from type 2 tips in the summer to an 11 ft tip of 700 gr, Deep Water Express in winter. Different size rods are also used in summer and winter because heavier lines sink faster than lighter ones, that's why I use an 11 weight rod in winter. Also, a long leader, 15 ft or longer with a floating line and fairly slow current (like in holes and tailouts) will allow a low-water feather wing, spey fly, or Irish Shrimp style fly to sink further than you think.
 

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Indicators Anonymous
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I think this is an excellent thread because in my honest opinion, very little literature has delved in the steelhead presentation...

Every book talks about the downstream swing, the greased line presentation etc. etc. but I have yet to really see anything written on the steelhead swing in depth.

Maybe that is why we all aproach the water differntly, angle casts at differnt angle, mend more or less etc. etc.

And I am always curious as to how each on of us approachs and fishes the water because threads like these provide myself and others with so much better insight then any book ever has.

I have watched some very good fisherman who make their cast at 45 degrees and look up to the sky and watch the sun move across the horizon...

...now if I only that would work for me. :devil:
 

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As much as I would love to fish floating lines more, the reality of steelhead in cold rivers intrudes, so I'm fishing sinktips nearly 90% of the time. My normal and optimum setup is a 15-foot sinktip (sometimes of dual sizes and densities), a 4-5-foot leader, and an unweighted fly. I am forced to dredge lead 10-15% of the time, and I carry my weighted and unweighted flies in a separate pair of Perrine swing-leaf boxes. (I use gray thread bands on the weighed fly heads.)
Usually I cast close to 90 degrees/straight out, but like most of us, I'll cast more downstream if my fly is grabbing bottom too frequently. Casting straight across lets the fly cover a little more water in its swing, and I've experienced a few strikes the instant the fly touched the water. I usually make one big upstream mend (it's more efficient if done while the forward loop is still in the air), and one or two of diminishing vigor as the fly swings through even currents. For troughs, buckets, backeddies, etc., I mend as seems called for.
I've long followed the practice of side-stepping downstream during the downstream swing, as it gives the fly a little more time and distance to sink.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi All
This is great, lets hear from guys like Dana and Kush. Nrthfrk16
Your right most of what we know is from the Atlantic guys. Next to Trey Combs books, there isn't much out there for Steelheaders

How many of you lead the fly with the rod tip and if so why?
Does anyone strip after the fly is on the dangle. Told a friend that I do this, two days later he told me how he hit a fish doing just that. He hadn't done this before !!

Split shot on your leader, anyone?

Neil; I'm with a T.U. group today doing a river walk, but plan on fishing every day except Sat. this week. Call me after 8:00 pm.

Thanks everyone
Rick
 

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Rick,

My initial bible on this was "Greased Line Fishing for Salmon (and Steelhead" by Jock Scott with comments from Bill Mcmillan in is in paperback and still avialable. Great book for sunk fly presentations.

Also some of Lee Wulffs books have good write ups on salmon and steelhead. Mainly atlantic salmon though.

Will be back to this thread as soon as work allows me, probably later this week.

Hal
 

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Great thread Rick.

While I use the 45% cast for summer fishing, I rarely rely on it for winter fishing with a sunk line. Rare exceptions to this are when fishing shallow tailouts with good structure. In this instance, I will decrease both my angle and my mend to save changing tips for just a few casts.

Most of my casts are near 90 followed with an immediate upstream mend. The size of the mend depends on the conditions: speed, depth, tip, etc. As for mid-swing mends, I am a firm believer that most anglers mend too much throughout the swing. I try to limit my mends and usually will only make minor adjustments to control for eddies and currrent seams. Not quite the stare at the path of the sun that Ryan mentioned but close.

For winter fishing I prefer either a long or mid-bellied line cutback and looped to sinktips. Tips range from a type III 15' Rio to 17' of 550 gr. DWE. I will probably pick up the new Type VIII Rio as well. The most often used tips are a 15' Type VI Rio or the Type VII Airflo on my 8 and 9 weights and a 12' DWE on my 10.

I shy away from weighted flies as I feel they don't let the fly swing as freely as I prefer. One exception to this is the bead chain eyes on my Scampi but these are more for a bit of flash than for weight.

sinktip
 

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Your right most of what we know is from the Atlantic guys. Next to Trey Combs books, there isn't much out there for Steelheaders
Huge "ROGER THAT!" to that. McMillian has some fairly good stuff out in print but Troy still wrote the "new testament" on fly rodding for Steelhead.

How many of you lead the fly with the rod tip and if so why?

I always lead my line with the rod tip once the line is at/below a 45 degree angle. I'll 'thread' the running line between the middle three fingers and almost without exception my first indication of a "take" is the line tightening up. Only two things will cause that: a hange-up or a hook up; and it's a 5%-95% which it will be. With the rod tip low to the water and leading the line it's just a beach direction light swing to set the hook.


Does anyone strip after the fly is on the dangle.

I've done that on several occations without result so usually don't. However, AND A BIG 'BUT!!' with lower/slower water conditions I'll frequently keep flipping out mends in the bottom part of the swing to slow the fly's swing and actually swing it back out into the current (try that with a single hander). This 'trick' has hooked a lot of fish as the fly is moving back and froth in water 15-30 foot from the beach.

Split shot on your leader, anyone?

Only a couple of times, spin on lead fairly frequently as you can tune/re-tune your sink rate (especially at the end of a swing). Couple of guys do use split shot frequently in the winter with dry lines-long leaders when the water is gin clear. (Which is usually the case from Medford up to the dam. Takes a heck of a rain storm (very unusual) to knock out the upper Rogue. If it does you just confine your fishing to the water above Big Butte Creek. To get colour in the water above this point, don't worry about fishing ... start collecting the animals two by two.

Silly sounding statement but we have a heck of a lot less rainfall than most would suspect. Medford's average is a tick over 19" per year as the 'valley' from Ashland to Grants Pass is actually an elongated bar- bell shaped valley rimmed on by three mountain ranges. Snow up the gazanga in the mountain areas but they suck much of the moisture out of the storms that come through the area.

Below 2000 feet we'll get "cute snow" two or three times per year and that's about it.
:hehe:
 

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Indicators Anonymous
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My two cents are what follows and please take them with a grain of salt! :D

I will not even mention my use of indicators because I do believe that it gets blown out of proportion...they are limited to the month of May, June and July, in general.

The angle of my cast obvisouly reflects the water depth and river current BUT if I walk up to a piece of water and will not be able to keep excellent control over my line with a 90 degree cast, I cast more down and across and mend heavily on the swing.

The reason being is that I have found if you can not make a LARGE initial mend on a 90 degree cast you are screwed on the swing. If you make a 90 degree cast and not get your tip and a major portion swung around paralell to the current, you will never be able to slow down your fly.

In those cases, I will go to a heavier tip, denser fly, shorter leader or a combination of the above to get me down fast and quarter my cast much further downstream so that my intial mend will bring me paralell to the current.

In faster and/or deeper water it is common to see me feed alot of line into the swing...it is a habit that was evolved my use of direct drive reels while chucking gear...began doing that a couple years ago and my numbers have gone way up. I will also step down during a drift to achieve a deeper depth as well.

In slower water I do lead the fly and in froggy water I will even pull the fly though...at times I will swing my body around and almost be facing the back that was just moment earlier behind me.

I am a firm believer in close-up softer water...people that wade out to their wastes first thing drive me crazy in most situations!!! :mad:

I do not fish the hang-down or the strip as often as I should...to be honest, it is a method that I just forget to utilize. This weekend I was a fishing a river and a freind was above me...next thing I know, I hear him hollar "Did you see that!??!" "What??" "I made one strip and this large mouth appeared just downstream of my fly!!!..and it was not a trout!!"

One presentation that I really need to work on is holding my fly in a slot or against a far bank...it just takes time and when I am fishing this sort of water, I am always playing with mends and casting angles and rod angles to try to better my presentation.

On a side note...a method that I very curious in really experimenting with is fishing a greased line presentation but with a sunk-line. We all know broadside presentations are deadly...can not imagine how much more effective bringing the whole fly in view to a fish would be in the colder water of winter instead of just the butt-end in alot of cases. This is a technique that has revieved very little press and has proven effective for me on certain rivers and in certain pieces of water. It is only condusive in certain types of water and I have noticed that casting angles, mends and line tension all play very very important roles in presenting the fish a presentation they want.

Time will see what this method brings...wish me luck! :hehe:
 

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Ryan, cooool question! Never even occured to me.

"On a side note...a method that I very curious in really experimenting with is fishing a greased line presentation but with a sunk-line. We all know broadside presentations are deadly...can not imagine how much more effective bringing the whole fly in view to a fish would be in the colder water of winter instead of just the butt-end in alot of cases. "
Sparky

I've never done it (or even thought of it!) but has anyone used a riffling hitch on a sunk fly? Do it with surface flys, but below water??? Sound like it could be an outstanding presentation ... if it actually worked, subsurface.
fae
 

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If you do a search on the steelhead site, you should come up with a discussion between Kush and myself from a long, long time ago.

The only problem I see with grease lining for winter fish is the tendency for this method to speed up the presentation when in most cases, the slower the better.
 

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Fred,

I don't. I know that it was early on in the life of the forum and before I had ever met Kush. I actually was thinking about searching for it myself as there was some good discussion of fishing a swung fly under tension included in the thread.

If I find it, I will let you know.

st
 

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swung fly

fred, when i fish my 10ft sink tips[which is all i fish] i always cast at 90 degrees[ straight out from my body] put one mend to set the angle and try to present sideways as long as i can while managing the speed.in summer i even present side view longer because the speed actually helps.
2 nd topic; doesnt a hitched fly actually present the fly butt first to the fish?
beau
 
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