Spey Pages banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
275 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am curious how many of you swinging flies for trout are doing a tight line swing vs giving it some kind of action. I come from Steelhead and I am now in the trout land. Swinging is a lot of fun and trout hit on a tight line swing now and then but I am wondering if action would improve the results. If you guys are giving it a twitch, strip or jig what is your technique?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
717 Posts
It depends. I've never had much luck streamer fishing for trout on the Deschutes; for a variety of reasons, all unknown to me, streamers--twitched or otherwise--seem not to be an especially productive method for trout on the D. But a lightly twitched sparkle pupa during a particular stage of a caddis hatch can be deadly. Same goes for the salmon fly patterns.

But there's nothing like experimenting to prove my streamer lore wrong. I remember reading somewhere that the late, great Gary LaFontaigne spent an entire season in Montana fishing nothing but muddlers. He did it b/c he realized that he'd never fished muddlers much, and consequently didn't catch much with muddlers, so he had this idea that muddlers weren't much in Montana. To break himself of his own conventional wisdom, he made himself fish muddlers and muddlers only. You can guess the rest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
I do A LOT of swinging for trout. both soft hackles and streamers. I will step down the run just like for steelhead. Give it a cast, let it swing, cast again, Twitch the running line in your line hand. Take a step down and repeat.

Change the twitches up until you find something that works. twitch it fast, sporadic, consistent, slow...etc. Just keep trying different things until you find what works. Most of the time the trout will key in on a certain "retrieve". Sometimes the dead swing is the ticket. Sometimes the consistent twitch is the ticket. Just play around and find what works.

Sometimes, I'll do a dead swing through the run and get a bump. Cast again to the exact same spot and twitch the fly through the same exact spot. Most of the time, that gets me a solid hookup.
 

·
It's gonna happen.
Joined
·
380 Posts
I do A LOT of swinging for trout. both soft hackles and streamers. I will step down the run just like for steelhead. Give it a cast, let it swing, cast again, Twitch the running line in your line hand. Take a step down and repeat.

Change the twitches up until you find something that works. twitch it fast, sporadic, consistent, slow...etc. Just keep trying different things until you find what works. Most of the time the trout will key in on a certain "retrieve". Sometimes the dead swing is the ticket. Sometimes the consistent twitch is the ticket. Just play around and find what works.

Sometimes, I'll do a dead swing through the run and get a bump. Cast again to the exact same spot and twitch the fly through the same exact spot. Most of the time, that gets me a solid hookup.
Sometimes I'll just pull and let out about 6" to a foot of line through the swing, like a see saw effect. Just let the current take the line back out pulsing it. Sometimes it's deadly.
 

·
fly fisher 'til it's over
Joined
·
1,129 Posts
There's an old saying..........

...that fits here:

"I'd rather be lucky than good"

Keep up with the variables, and keep us posted!
 
  • Like
Reactions: jimlucey

·
Recreational User
Joined
·
214 Posts
I am an "action" fella when swinging for trout, and not little twitches but more of a yank, sometimes moving the fly 2 or 3 feet at a time in one sharp burst.

This has worked for me from AK to MT and in a LOT of trout water in between, everything from spring smolt season to fall flesh to winter sculpins. Throw it out there and start pumping the rod back and forth - or as one of my fishing partners says, "give it the old In n Out". Near the end of a swing I will pause and let the hangdown form up (sometimes up to half a minute), then give the rod a few jerks before retrieve / recast - this often elicits violent takes from fish that have sighted the fly and tracked it during the flat portion of the swing.

In some situations I will pull and drop instead of yanking, imparting a slow, smooth motion backwards followed by a fast "shove" of the rod forward to create slack - this acts to suddenly stop the fly and cause a slight drop both down and back, and can be pretty effective in triggering strikes.

I fish flies with a lot of movement built into them so as to take advantage of the imparted action, and most of the flies I fish for trout are representative of food of some sort, be it sculpins, minnows, smolt, even flesh - I think that the action of a fleeing meal is definitely a trigger for feeding fish.

YMMV.

Mark
 

·
Dom
Joined
·
3,115 Posts
Downstream mend and leading the fly with my rod tip is all I do in slow water but I know local guides in cold temps encouraging working the fly at the dangle for FEW MINUTES. I may give few first strips in slowly before next cast but I dont recall taking a fish doing that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
I fish for trout 95 % of the year and 95 % of that time I swing for them using tight line swing with small intruder style flies and bunny leaches it's a great method on my home river .
I will add action to the fly at the end of my swing I pump the rod a couple times then make a few short fast strips then strip in to the shooting head and make another cast and work my way down the run this way .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
As far as skated flies go I don't add a motion until the I get to the hang down then depending my attention I will pump a few times. With wet flies I'll lift the rod every often to replicate a bug moving to the surface. Certainly during specific times I get results moving the fly but overall tight line swings seem to work best for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
it depends from what you imitating.
sculpins , which are important ingredients in trout food chain, swim in erratic motion. sort of sine wave trajectory (in vertical plane)


it can be simulated by twitching using rod tip, or short strips , then pause (dropping rod tip and let streamer sink to the bottom)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
872 Posts
I ALWAYS twitch while swinging regardless of target species. I think I definitely get more strikes with imparted motion. Just my 2.25 cents...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
it depends from what you imitating.
sculpins , which are important ingredients in trout food chain, swim in erratic motion. sort of sine wave trajectory (in vertical plane)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfNJzCRTAIo

it can be simulated by twitching using rod tip, or short strips , then pause (dropping rod tip and let streamer sink to the bottom)

Ummm, those aren't sculpins, they're gobies. You might think they're functionally the same, but most stream-dwelling sculpins won't routinely come off the bottom and/or hover in the water column like that.
 

·
registered text offender
Joined
·
1,332 Posts
instead of stepping down the run before or after the cast, I will start stepping down during the swing while stripping in erratically. this keeps the fly broadside and never pulling it upstream (as long as your stepping fast enough) at any point I want I can finish with a straight swing. I use this more than any other method when fishing streamers for trout provided the wading is not too sketchy. I use plenty of other methods, but if i'm actually retrieving the fly this one seems to get the most love.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,516 Posts
As far as trout go, I did have an an experience on the Missouri getting no attention on the swing, but when I tried pulsing during the swing, not just on the hang down, using 6” pulls with a release suddenly I started getting a lot of takes. I was using a micro-minnow fly and I bet the strips, and especially the releases made it look like a distressed fry, so perhaps such easy pickings that the Trout were willing to be distracted from their feeding program for the day. Maybe on the pure swing it just looked like a healthy if somewhat out of place fry, and the trout might tend to think, “maybe I can catch it, maybe not ... but naw, I’ll just inhale a couple dozen spinners later and I’ll be good”. Imagine this said in a kind of stoner, couch-potato voice. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
391 Posts
If I step during the swing, I don't keep the rod perfectly still so I guess that imparts some action as a side effect. On occasion I will lift and drop the rod tip while at the dangle. Sometimes I stand still throughout the swing and step before my next cast.

Just depends what the fish want that day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
I've been pretty happy with just the traditional swing to this point. I do like to step down during the swing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: raspberry-patch

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
I have been swinging streamer patterns for trout before my uncle got us in to Spey casting and I would always get rainbows on the end of the swing on the lift. Light weighted gold bead and gold ribbed (cone for bigger sizes) black wooly buggers with a 9’ leader and a WF floating line has worked well for me on the rivers back where I grew up. In the deep bends, a dead drift swing with a Carey Special was my back up secret weapon when they were not biting and it worked awesome!!!! Definitely try that pattern on a swing where you fish. It is a really over looked pattern these days and really easy to tie. The Tiger Trout liked a twitch technique with no mending and would attack any streamer that was speeding up away from them. This was targeting the Tiger Trout on the opposite banks of the rivers. These are small rivers that are less than 30 yards across where I fish on them and they get pretty deep in the middle. If I was swinging on a bigger river like the Deerfield or the Swift River then I would twitch the line during the swing. Have fun out there!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
As far as trout go, I did have an an experience on the Missouri getting no attention on the swing, but when I tried pulsing during the swing, not just on the hang down, using 6” pulls with a release suddenly I started getting a lot of takes. I was using a micro-minnow fly and I bet the strips, and especially the releases made it look like a distressed fry, so perhaps such easy pickings that the Trout were willing to be distracted from their feeding program for the day. Maybe on the pure swing it just looked like a healthy if somewhat out of place fry, and the trout might tend to think, “maybe I can catch it, maybe not ... but naw, I’ll just inhale a couple dozen spinners later and I’ll be good”. Imagine this said in a kind of stoner, couch-potato voice. :)
I'm pretty much treating the spey rod like a big streamer rod here in Montana. I strip back in from a cast, pausing to get depth when I want it, mending when appropriate, using really heavy tips depending on the water and structure especially when looking for big browns which is what I'm typically doing.
The Yellowstone is great for that especially in the spring and late summer/fall when the flows are down and some of the big fish are out in the middle of deep runs with structure/bed rock formations etc. Those fish don't get harassed much by the streamer crowd who typically hammer the banks.

The reason I quoted you is because on the Mo the hook up ratio can be dramatically increased by giving the fly some motion. Sometimes it's the difference between catching a few all day to catching 20+.
Of course it all depends on how you want to fish, there are so many fish in the Mo that if people want to swing for them like steelhead they will find a few and sometimes a lot but you can pretty much guarantee significantly more hook-ups by giving the fly some serious motion, even in the dead of winter.
You can also find walleye in some of the deeper runs if you get down. I've pulled out some nice ones that all ended up in the frying pan.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top