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I am wondering about the ability of holding hooked fish with a riffle hitched dry fly. My concern is in regards to the angle of pull of the line in relation to the point of the hook. Is the riffle hitch's action on the fly skating across the water worth the potential reduction in fish holding ability due to the angle of pull once the fish has taken the fly?

As a new steelhead dry fly skatin' addict I am very interested in experienced anglers commenting on this concern. Thanks.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Thats a good question. I riffle hitch often and sometimes the fly is chewed up by the tippet after a fish tightens it up hard during the battle indicating some off angle pressure but if you hold the fly by the line at that point the angle is pretty straight and I don't recall losing more fish with riffled flies than unriffled, would be interesting to keep a count on a river with lots of fish.

One could always use fly design instead... waller wakers, bombers, foam, etc.

I fish my sedge muddler a lot and all it takes is tension on a dry line with some current and that thing is making a vee, no hitch.

Hope to take some statistics on this soon :)
 

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Pullin' Thread
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I haven't noticed any difference between hitched and unhitched flies regarding hooking of fish. However, the only dry I use a riffle hitch on is the Bomber, which I tie with a small space between the body and the wing to facilitate hitching. I use a hitch quite often with low-water featherwings that are tie 1/2 to 3/4 shank length. These low-water wets fished wtih a hitch stay in the film and move and sputter with an action that has to be seen to believe. A hitch on a low-water wet also keep the fly swimming on its side so the fish sees the complete silouette of the fly, wing, hackle, body, and tail while it is doing its sputtering and swimming in the film.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Well I saw Mr. Gator in action last Sun and he wasn't needing any help waking that Bomber. :whoa: :whoa:
 

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If skating flies are something that interest you. You should really give this fly a try. It is tied by Ron Grantham, who lives in BC. Ron is also a very accomplished cane rod builder. I am posting a link to his fly pattern here, so hopefully this doesnt violate sponsor rules....its only the fly.

This is an incredible concept when you think about how the fly rides in the surface...its like a kite on a string.....the leader pulling from a point back of the fly head...........You should see the fish this thing brings up.

Go ahead try it.....betcha cant tie just one....hehehe

http://members.shaw.ca/pisces45/sedge.htm

Jake
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Norseman,

I know that you posted this to help folks; however, I must point out that this fly is nothing more than Harry Lemire's Grease Liner without tail and hackle (before someone asks, Harry does tie and fish some of his without hackle). The only things Mr. Grantham did (does?) differently than Harry is tie it on a regular shank trout hook and use the mono to make the hook shank longer so the fly rides correctly and leave the tail off. Harry ties his on low-water salmon hooks in sizes from #2 to #8 and his favorite colors are black and burnt orange.

Another fly that is nearly identical to Mr. Grantham's is the Buckly Mouse, which is often tied without a body and has not tail (although one can add pearl or gold Krystal Flash or Flashabot as a short tail is he so desires). Agin the only real difference is the Buckly Mouse is tied on a low-water salmon hook.

It is far easier to tie these types of flies on the longer shank low-water salmon hooks than spend all that time putting the heavy mono extension on a standard trout hook. True a fly tied with the heavy mono extension on a standard trout hook will sputter like a hitched fly because the eye of the hook (which is where the leader is tied) is behind the wing stub. However, it is very easy to put a hitch on a Grease Liner or Buckly Mouse for the same effect.
 

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After landing the first fishcut off and retie your fly on. Have felt that the angles at which the tippet comes off the throat of the fly puts a lot of strain on the material there. Often use a Bulkey Mouse, easy to tie and fishes swell.
My other question is how do you set your system up to fish waking flies? Refering to rod angle, how you apply pressure on them and how big a shock loop you carry.
Leroy.......................
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Hey Speyrd...

Did you have a worthwhile trip?
 

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flytyer said:
Norseman,

I know that you posted this to help folks; however, I must point out that this fly is nothing more than Harry Lemire's Grease Liner without tail and hackle (before someone asks, Harry does tie and fish some of his without hackle). The only things Mr. Grantham did (does?) differently than Harry is tie it on a regular shank trout hook and use the mono to make the hook shank longer so the fly rides correctly and leave the tail off. Harry ties his on low-water salmon hooks in sizes from #2 to #8 and his favorite colors are black and burnt orange.

Another fly that is nearly identical to Mr. Grantham's is the Buckly Mouse, which is often tied without a body and has not tail (although one can add pearl or gold Krystal Flash or Flashabot as a short tail is he so desires). Agin the only real difference is the Buckly Mouse is tied on a low-water salmon hook.

It is far easier to tie these types of flies on the longer shank low-water salmon hooks than spend all that time putting the heavy mono extension on a standard trout hook. True a fly tied with the heavy mono extension on a standard trout hook will sputter like a hitched fly because the eye of the hook (which is where the leader is tied) is behind the wing stub. However, it is very easy to put a hitch on a Grease Liner or Buckly Mouse for the same effect.


Flytyer.....I would disagree with the comment that the only difference is the piece of mono added to " make the hook shank longer so it rides correctly"

The point of the mono is to EXTEND the wing stub out beyond the hook eye, allowing the fly to ride nose up like a kite would with its string tied back from the point of the kite.

I admire Mr Lemire very much as he is the one person responsible for me getting into my first summer run fish on his pattern many years ago on the Coquihalla River in BC.

But you are right..all I did post for was to show others yet another great fly, not to argue the origin of the fly.
 

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Riff. hitch... does it hold?

You betcha. Otherwise it wouldn't have been around as long as it has. All kidding aside, depending upon where you have the leader coming off (side or bottom) you can change the action/presentation of the fly at will (floater OR a sunk fly).

In the 50 some years I've been using these (low/slow water and wakers) I can't think of a single instance where the leader has broken off at the 'hitch.' Well ... skip a large fish on the end of the line.
:hihi:
 

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Flytyer,

I have to agree with Norseman here. While Harry's Greaseliner was clearly the inspiration for the Grantham Sedge to write this pattern off as a copy is grossly unfair. Ron's "little extension" is a brilliant innovation that makes the fly positively dance - and because of the extension - it does not require a riffle hitch!

Our entire PNW tradition of steelhead flies is one based on innovation, which in turn is as often as not based on earlier innovation. Art Lingren's newest book is all about that process. He documents not only the flies of BC, but their pedigree as well. That is, what were the inspirations and or roots of the pattern. Art recognizes that very little is brand new and that the past is the key to the future
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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What a great way to put the tippet directly on the fly eye and it's also indifferent to left or right bank. I am going to tie up a few of them as variations of the sedge muddler pattern I normally like to riffle for fall steelheading.

The way I see it, it is a compliment to Mr.Lemire's fly -or- should I say "complement".

Good stuff.
 

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Has anyone used a sequin slid onto on their tippet to cause the fly to skate? I've never tried this but have read about it and like the idea of not needing to change my hitch to fish the next run from the opposite river bank.

I haven't ever had a leader fail at the hitch and I haven't noticed any difference in the hooking or holding performance of flies rigged with a hitch. As said above though, it sure can mangle the head of a fly. I have noticed that my leader sure seems to wear and deform at the hitch and have always trimmed and changed my knot after a fish or (much more common) a lot of casting.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Kush,

I was simply pointing out that Grantham's Sedge is a derivative of Lemire's, as is the Buckley Mouse, and that if you hitch the Grease Liner, it behaves in the same manner as Grantham's Sedge while being faster to tie. Nothing more and nothing less.

Norseman,

You are correct, I mis-spoke when I said the mono extension only made the hook longer when its real purpose is to have the fly dart and swim as if it were hitched without needing to put a hitch on the fly.
 

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hitched flies

I have hitched flies for years on the Deschutes, but I will carry a few of these Sedges to the river with me this week.

Its very interesting to me how flies evolve. The thoughts that each tier brings to the table. and their variations always intrigue me. I have tied my greased liners with the hair sticking past the front of the hook for a long time, but I like this idea.

I will be trying it in a combination of black and purple. I will tie both black body purple wing. And purple body black wing. For me black has been the best color in any skater. This year I am adding purple in some way to all my skaters. I dont know that it will make a difference but i`m giving it a try.

Skilly
 

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Kush....you are right about Art Lingren's new book " Contemporary Fly Patterns of BC. In correspondance with him he asked that each fly submitted have some history of its evolution. I provided three flies that will be featured in his new book, which should be out this spring. Each one of those flies is my own rendition of someone elses idea. The changes made to each of the patterns are my own ideas applied to make the fly fish better for me on a particular body of water or application. I would not take credit for any of them, as there is just too much influence from other tiers to call it original.

I agree that there are very few flies today that are truely original in every way. We take what we know, and as all fly tiers do, we try to either improve it, add our own personal touch of refinement for our own particular circumstances, or tie it with a different twist for whatever reason.

Flytyer. no offence taken.......after all the greaseliner....really is nothing more that an elk hair caddis tied without the palmered hackle on a larger hook....isn't it ?....nudge nudge ...wink wink

Enough said.......try the fly you will love the way it fishes

Jake ( Paul Jacobsen )
 

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Jake,

I too have three flies going into Art's book, two of which are my variations on the venerable GP (the Raging Prawn and Voodoo Child) and the Boob Tube which may be new to steelheading as a waker, but has its roots in the deadly British trout dredger - the Boobie - combined with guess what... yup - the Elk Hair Caddis! Is it a new pattern? I think so, but it is really just a large elk hair caddis with boobs, tied on a tube. Not much is new, but it can be combined with ideas and used in ways not thought of before - it is all good.

It is interesting how patterns evolve. The Boob Tube is a good example. I first read about the Boobie in a British magazine, there was a brief mention that it had originally been designed as a floater, but had evolved into leech-type pattern fished with Hi-D lines on 2' leaders. It was so deadly that many British lakes were banning their use. I tied some for trout (which are deadly), but the one reference to it originally being a floater got me to thinking about it as a waker for steelhead.

I at first combined it with the bomber-style body - it waked like hell, but I have always found the spinning and clipping of the deer-hair bomber more of a pain than I liked. So I decided to try the Bulkley Mouse type wing and no body - as Russ pointed out the Bulkley Mouse is a variation of the Greaseliner which is a variation of the Elk Hair Caddis. This combo did what I wanted - wake like crazy - but really easy to tie.

The fly was still tied on a regular hook. The tube came about after reading in another British magazine about a method of waking a tube. A small hole is put in the underside of the tube and the line is run in through that. This cocks the tube upward and the angle will wake even a wet fly tube! This tube rigging, combined with the Boobies foam "eyes" and the flare and deer hair floatation of the Bulkley Mouse/Greaseliner/Elk Hair Caddis made for a killer waker that steelhead seem to like.

None of these ideas are mine, but I like to think that I concieved of putting them all together in a novel way. Therefore, I consider the Boob Tube "my fly" - at least until somebody comes up with new variations of their own.
 

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I saw that you had put a hole in the tube just back from where one would normally thread the leader....this is much the same principle that Ron Grantham uses on his fly......so what did I do.....took it another step further. I enjoy tying on tubes, so I decided to tie the Grantham sedge and used your idea of hot needle to put a hole about 5/16ths of an inch back from the front end of the tube.....and you have a Grantham Sedge tied a la tube. Go another step and use a hot needle in the side of the tube back from the head and you have a riffle hitched tube without having to use a riffle hitch


See....just how a pattern evolves....I take Ron's fly, your idea of the leader hole in a tube and combine the two and voila.......a Gratham's Tube sedge.

That's exactly what makes fly tying such a GREAT a life long hobby......a skill we never stop learning about, a hobby that we will never know it all. And a hobby that a 12 year old kid can come along and teach us older guys a new trick....I LOVE IT.

I look forward to Art's new book it should prove to be a great conglomoration of skilled tiers.

I was also told by Art that HARRY LEMIRE is going to be the only American featured in a BC patterns book because of the years and years of contribution to fly fishing in BC. I have not met Harry, but when I do I am going to shake his hand for the greased liner.....it put 7 chrome Coquihalla fish on the beach one magical morning for me, many years ago.

I understand that he is a true gentleman and a pleasure to share a campfire with
 

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Kush and Jake,

It is very good to hear the Lingren is going to put a brief history of how the fly was developed or derived in his new book, this is how I think it should be since we all borrow ideas from each other to add to a fly, or have an idea for a variation of an existing fly. Even the Macedonian's used dry flies way back in the Roman Empire era to catch trout.

Regarding the history of the Grease LIner and Al Troth's Elk Hair Caddis, as far as anyone (including both Lemire and Troth-both of whom are very fine gentlemen who I feel priviledged to have met and spoken to many times) has been able to tell, the Grease Liner and the Elk Hair Caddis were developed independently and at the same time in order to solve the asame basic problem: How to keep a caddis imitation floating with a slight wake. Lemire's to imitate the October Caddis and Troth's to imitate Hydropsyche caddis.

Troth has said that the Elk Hair Caddis was derived from an old Pennsylvania fly called the Henryville Caddis. The Henryville Caddis has a floss body, palmered hackle, and duck quill wings. Troth has said that he simply changed the body to dubbing and the wing to elk hair for better floatation and allowed the front stub of the wings to stick up instead of cutting it off so that it waked without drowning.

Lemire has said that the Grease Liner was derived from a nonedescipt black caddis imitation he found scrunched in his fly box one October day on the Wenatchee River that had its collar hackle matted down ( his decription of the fly sounds like it was one of Leonard Wright's Skittering Caddis that had a dubbed body, an oversized hackle collar and a deer hair wing tied with the stub covered with thread). When he tied it on during a fishless day, he got a fish within a few casts and then set about improving this fly. He added the tail for better floatation of the large fly, kept the dubbed body, kept the hackle but changed it to soft hen or Chinese cock hackle, and tied the wing with the stub sticking up and uncut to improve how it waked.

It is very clear to me that what Lemire and Troth did are the same type of things that Grantham and the two of you have done to allow one to fish a fly with the erractic movement of a hitched dry without the need to add a hitch to the fly.
 
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