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Getting Down...

  • 60-90 degree cross stream cast & mend line

    Votes: 102 22.0%
  • Sink tip on floating line

    Votes: 158 34.1%
  • dredger/T-14 or equivalent tips on floating line +/- compensator

    Votes: 104 22.4%
  • Sinking fly line

    Votes: 44 9.5%
  • Weighted fly - lead eyes, leadbody, beadhead, bottle tube

    Votes: 90 19.4%
  • Added bead/lead shot to leader

    Votes: 15 3.2%
  • All of above at different times

    Votes: 172 37.1%
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Released to spawn
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For any given river situation (all seasons), with fish holding in deeper water, and with your preferred fly pattern and size, what is your preferred/1st choice method for getting down to possible taking fish (steelhead, Atlantics or sea-run browns)?
 

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really depends on the water I am fishing - deeper smooth wide runs where the fish holding areas are not all that defined I generally prefer fishing tips (could be T-14) and maybe weighted flies on the swing. Smaller water and slots I often prefer floating lines and long leaders and high sticking a weighted fly and if necessary (and legal) added weight (without indicator) though short fast sinking tips can work well here also. So I picked the all catagory
 

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Fish should come up for the Fly

Fishing to steelhead at "their" level is unsporting:mad: , you might actually even get a grab if you did this. The steelhead should have to come to the surface. Infact, I am designing a new, more sporting, rig to keep my fly 4" above the water. I had to get rid of the hook to do this, but I don't think that will matter too much.

If I were to try to hook steehead, I might get slimy or drop my giant cigar from my mouth. Indeed, if one were to actually try to hook a fish,I can even fore see a potential self soiling, at the shock of actually hooking a steelhead.

No, my friends, I believe you will all find that it is better to make it as challenging as possible for a steelhead to grab the fly, so that we can smoke our "stogies" and wear our fedoras in peace, and look stylish in our fly fishing outfits that will remain clean and slime free. Because two-handed fishing is about being stylish and fishing drylines, even when...no, especially when it means catching no fish.

P.S. WTF was I thinking, Sink-tips and weighted flies rock!
 

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If it works...

I like using weight (within reason) flies, so that I know that they are the deepest running part of my setup. Also I think a weighted fly, such as leach with dumb-bell eyes, will move up and down as current fluctuates, not just side to side. I also use tip and T-14, and twist ons, etc. If a fish chases my fly down and grabs it, awesome.
 

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JD
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What's important

Is to fish the way you enjoy fishing. Using whatever method(s) you choose, or choose not, to use. For whatever (your) reasons. Period! However,,,there may be times when one just has to throw in the towel and go home.:eek:
 

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Fly down, Rod up

Despite my earlier insanity, I believe in getting down when things get hard.

I want get my fly down. I want to keep my rod up and use the tip to get my leech working. Just the tip though, I don't want to get too deep. To liven things up I will pump the rod occasionally, or I may lower my rod and try to get deeper. Then it's just waiting for a good pull.
 

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Interesting result above.

Only three folks noted the full use of a sinking line, although more may (occational) be in the 'all of the above.' Suspect the 'three votes' are all from Europe/UK; any one from this side of the Pond use a full/intermed-sink spey line with any frequency?

(Side bar: On the Rogue with flows of [+/-] 2,000 cfs to 2,500 cfs I'll use a 75' IG intermediate sink. From 2,500 to 3,000 cfs the full sink. Flows above that "require" about 2 oz of lead to even find the river bottom.:rolleyes: )
 

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Speyngineer
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I voted for "Sinking line", as I am using sinking shooting heads (9 to 13m in length) for getting down. Not full length speylines, though they will be tested next season.
 

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May I ask?

Lohi said:
I voted for "Sinking line", as I am using sinking shooting heads (9 to 13m in length) for getting down. Not full length speylines, though they will be tested next season.
Which ones, and are these just the heads and running line behind? Ask as I've never tried just a sinking head that wasn't attached to a 'floater' for casting same.
Fred
 

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Getting Down

Hi Everyone,

As far as the pole goes it is a couple of the items listed. One is I normally use a change a tip line and depending on the tip I have on, the angle I cast it at depends on the speed of the water. Alot of the time its trial and error, start at 45 to 60 degrees and if your not hooking bottom and your not hooking fish, increase the angle you fish at and throw a mend into the mix to see if you can get the fly down.

Oh, and as far as weighted flys go we are not allowed to use them in our area for salmon.

Alan (salmonguy)
 

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That Guy in PEI.....
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I voted for a sink tip on a floating line and the last few years i have been trying not to use it until i absolutely have to. Here is a question for you T-14 with weighted fly guys. Just how many fish do you foul hook in the run of a season:confused: I am not being arrogant,, because i do use tips sometimes,, or am i trying to call anyone out,,, it's just i know the game and when using that much weight to scour the bottom its a given the fish will likely get it in the ass just about as often as the mouth,,,:eek: ,,,you know what i mean:hihi: . It's more likely to happen fishing blind in heavy flows as it would be sight fishing in medium to slow runs/pools. Also,, does the foul hooking ratio go up in the winter due to lethargic fish??
Salmon Chaser
 

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Salmon Chaser,you ''don't know the game"............

...............in the Great Lakes. I have never,ever foul- hooked a steelhead. The last two winters we have been faced with high flows,we fish 20' of T14,and we aren't "scouring the bottom". Very seldom come close to the bottom. I'm not talking about chuck and duck,hardware or whatever,only swinging flies. We don't sight fish for them,that usually means spawning fish....and we don't fish for them. If we are getting down 3' I'd be surprized,that leaves us 3' to 5' off the bottom. So we don't hook them in the ass,the belly,the dorsal,whatever,you know what I mean?:hihi:
 

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Salmon Chaser,
Your water must be very different from what I see in Michigan. First, as Spey Machine mentions, T-14 doesn't necessarily have you dragging bottom. Second, dragging bottom puts you below the fish. Third, fish move out of the way of lines and flies they aren't interested in unless they are spawning, when they should be left alone. I've never fouled a fish on the swing either, but have seen guys do it. They were using floating lines, long leaders and split shot to get their flies on the bottom in front of spawners, and using extra long tippet between weight and fly. You're way more likely to foul a fish with split shot and mono on your fly line than a sink-tip.

Steelhead will move to a fly in 33 degree water, and are not lethargic. Please share your experience that makes you think sink tips make for fouled fish.
 

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That Guy in PEI.....
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Carl.
T-14 on most of the salmon rivers i have fished,, or know of would indeed "drag the bottom" and would greatly increase the chance of lining or fouling a fish. During high water tips with a sink rate of about 3ips are sufficient although some times a heavier tip is used,, though not necessarily needed. As for lethargy in salmon? They do definately slow down as temps cool,, especially the last two to three weeks of October and a low and slow approach is needed. The difference here,, and i guess what i meant by my last question was do steelhead tend to get fouled more often through the winter months(steelheaders can fish all winter,,, atlantic salmon guys cant) because of the low temps and lethargic state?
I have foul hooked 5 fish in the last 15 years and three of them were fish that came and missed a wet fly on a floater. I have also used tips almost exclusivly for the first 10 years of that period. I too see ALOT of fish foul hooked by sink-tips and part of it is the fisherman,,, but when you get down to the fishes level,,, sometimes bad things happen!
As i said,, iam not calling out anyone or saying anyone is wrong for using them although i seem to have touched a nerve somewhere. It seemed a question that the heavy tips and weighted flies would certainly run into a fish a little more often than not.
I see the effects of sink tips on my home rivers and i see it all too often on the Margaree in the fall. There is a misconception with visiting anglers that you need the heaviest tip you have to get to the bottom to catch fish. This is wrong and the fish pay a heavy toll for this mentality. Talk to local guides and local fishermaen and they will come just short of calling you a poacher to your face just for having a tip on. It gets worse when another fish gets foul hooked by one,,, your lucky not to get knuckled!!! They are fed up with it.
Carl, you said its more likely to foul a fish with split shot,,, probably true as Atlantic Salmon were protected from weighted flies many years ago,, but isnt tungsten dumbbell eyes just a fancy name for split shot?
Not the way i intented this thread to go so i guess i'll just put my back to the wall and get ready:saevilw:
Salmon Chaser
 

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I fish steelhead so it's not an issue. back when I dredged for salmon I foul hooked a lot of fish before I learned the difference betwen a grab and a tail or fin. But as you said dredging in a salmon hole will foul hook fish. But PNW salmon don't readily rise to flies on the surface. Never heard of it.
 

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..............never fished tungsten eyes,but again,if you're 4 to 6'off the bottom,in 32 to 34 degree water,it's not going to make much difference. The difference is the diameter of fly line vs. 8 lb. mono,the guys chuck and ducking can be on the bottom in almost any flow. Not so with a fly line. I have no experience with Atlantic salmon,but Pacific salmon can be foul-hooked easily. Steelhead,on the other hand,will move. I don't fish for spawning steelhead,so they may be more susceptible.
 

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I've foul hooked the odd Fall King in shallow water riffles (probably sitting on a spawing bed), but can't recall ever having that happen with a Steelhead regardless of the water depth/flow.
 

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never snagged a steelie

chinook are just so big it happens,,i was using what i call a combo tip,,wetcell front taper spliced to a DT with sections of LC13 as nec.,that and an `otis bug' when necesary mid leader,,maybe a twist on or two,then a steehead fly on point,and i never once ever snagged a steelhead,couple salmon did take me jogging last fall but they werent the target species:rolleyes: ,the thing about fishing here on this river in summer is,they hold deep,i'm talking steelhead,,, waters clear,they move early and late hold in deep pools from the sun or ideally broken water with some depth,,,if ya can't go deep go home that's what they say!,,i had a full sinker DT and i have to hand it to those that prefer them,they get down but seem like a ton of work to me,i like the fat DT line because i can cover a run quickly,it flaots high while i walk,no heavy feel on the tip of the rod and of course no taper to worry about,,,i think DT's will come back around,as sinktip dt's and be reborn,,,i love em!
 

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hahaha!

ya just have to love that t-14:chuckle: ,,,pitching a chunk of that on a DT11 via an 18ft'r with an otis bug midleader and a steelie fly a trailin' behind:whoa: ,,,,BOY!,,GRACEFUL= LASER SHARP or even ARTFUL does not qualify:hihi: in fact i flat cleared the area of any other anglers beavers herrons and of course steelhead:Eyecrazy: the `i'll take it' cast does come to mind:rolleyes: but i had fun today working the coils out of the line for the first time this year and that's what counts! having fun wit it,get down honey!:saevilw:
 
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