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Steelherder
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
a simple concise explanation of how to properly tell the right side to riffle hitch off of the fly.

Is river right/left used to describe the flow as you are standing on the bank looking at the river or are you standing in the river looking downstream and the river is on the right or left. I hope that makes sense.

When riffle hitching are you basicaly supposed to have the tippet coming off of the far side of the fly or near side (in relation to the bank you are fishing from)

Thanks much to all who answer.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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River right/left is determined by facing downstream. Threrefore, river right is the bank on your right side and river left is on your left side as you face downstream. This is important for determining what spey cast you should be using to avoid hooking yourself if the wind is blowing up or downstream. For example, you are on river right and the wind is blowing upstream, a double spey or snake roll will likely result in the fly being blown into your body as it is cast; however, a single spey, snap-T/circle-C will keep the fly away from your body.

The position of a riffle hitch on the fly is really up to you. Lee Wulff advocated putting the hitch on the near side of the fly, while Art Lee advocates putting it on the far (opposite) side. Wulff's method gets the fly riffling and hitching a bit more wildly than Lee's. There are also some folks who put their hitch on the bottom so they can fish either side of the river and have the fly behave the same way. The bottom line, put the hitch on the near side, far side, or bottom as you perfer, they all work.
 

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Wulffs method seems to produce a bigger wake as it pushes more water. hitched under the shank puts the fly on its side in most cases and produces a larger profile to the fish. As Russ said all methods work just a matter of what your looking for.
 

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I don't think Art Lee advocates what is mentioned above. What he did say in his small treatise on the riffle hitch was : Hold the fly with the eye pointing UPstream, then place the riffle hitch on SAME side of the fly as the angler. On river right the hitch wound be positioned on the left side of the fly(facing upstream) and on river left the hitch would be positioned on the right side of the fly(facing upstream). Art Lee, "Tying and Fishing the Riffling Hitch", Human Kinetics, 1998, pp. 16-17.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Clyd,

And doing this positions the hitch exactly on the far side of the hook, just like I said.

Lee says to point the fly upstream and place the hitch on the side facing you (which is the same as on the side of the fly facing the bank behind you). Thus, the fly is turned around 180 degrees from the way it will be when fished down and across.

Wulff says to point the fly downstream and put the hitch on the side of the hook facing you, this puts the hitch on the near side of the hook as the fly is fished down and across.
 

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Ho Flytyer---OK. But unless you know how the fly is oriented as to where the eye of the fly is to stream flow, it is difficult to know what one is saying. That's the problem I obviously had with your original post. Semantics. Thanks for the clarity.
 

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Clyde,

My fault for not being specific enough for someone to read what I had said initially and then have him know that near and far side of hook were in relation to the fly point downtream.

Keith,

The answer is yes, many fish are hooked and caught on hitched flies. In fact, when I hitch a fly, I always expect to hook fish on the resultant sputtering fly.
 

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hook ups

As it was explained to me (and I always have to think this trough because it seems opposite to logic) you want to face the river and hold the fly with eye upstream and place the hitch with the line coming off of the bank side. The fly then appears to be swimming out to mid-stream as it is swinging toward shore. This is important because as a fish follows and then takes the fly he will "always" (in current anyway) turn down stream in an attempt to return to his ly in the most energy efficient manner. By turning down stream with the fly facing toward mid stream he is fairly hooked in the corner of the jaw versus an iffy hookup in the snout. Credit John Farrar. Hope I got that right.
 

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hookups revised

Belay that.
As I'm re-thinking this for the upteenth time (have to find that sketch) I think it's the other way around, ie line coming off of the far side of hook preferably at or below level. Pretty sure I got the fish's role correct tho.
 

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darn it

Think I had it right first time. Fly presents better view as well. W/line coming off of top half of fly.
 

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Davel,

You are saying the same thing that Art Lee says in his book on the riffle hitch. However, the Lee Wulff method of placing the hitch on the near side when the fly is facing downstream (or if the fly is facing upstream, the far side gets the hitch-producing the exact same thing) produces a more visible and active wake.

The real difference is that Wulff's method has the hook bend pointing downstream and Lee's (or Farrar's since it is the same) method has the hook bend pointing upstream. I know Art Lee claims a better hooking percentage and hooking angle with his way of hitching; however, in practice I have found little or no difference.

And if you want the fly riding highest, put the hitch on the bottom, a location neither Lee nor Wulff like because the fly rides more vertically and thus presents less of a profile to the fish.
 
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