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What is everyone's opinion on using Skagit heads for trout on medium size rivers, say in the 40-60' wide range.

Do You think the nature of Skagit casting severely limits one's chances when targeting stream trout in relatively calm water, due to the surface disturbance/noise of the cast. Is the presentation delicate enough for stream trout? Most of the rivers I fish don't have a lot of rapids, and feature slow flows. Tons of logjams and other timber though.

I'm on the verge of getting a one hander :eek: I can handle being somewhat handicapped by the big stick, but am starting to blame my poor fishing on the cast rather than the fact I am a terrible fisherman.

Help!
 

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I don't seem to have much trouble with the Skagit's I like to use them for practice . with that being said with me liking the water born casting I find the AIRFLO rage to be a good one for trout.
 

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Unless you're awfully close to the fish then I doubt the water disturbance caused by water born anchors is a problem but the head landing on the water could possibly be a problem. It's tough to say without seeing it first hand. Are you fishing on/near the surface or fishing deep? I only use skagit heads when I want to chuck junk and get deep. If that's not how you're fishing you might try a scandi head or one of the Nextcast lines. They'll land with less disturbance on the water and if you're wanting to use a two hander for the fun factor this might keep you in the game.

Otherwise, a SH rod is always an option and in many cases a better tool.
 

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It's an interesting proposition for sure. Skagit casting came about the need for big flies with lead eyes in the big burly glacial melt of the Skagit River. Skagit heads have become nearly synonymous with NW streams anytime, year-round for several reasons. I think it has become the easy, quick way of stacking the odds with the spey cast and maximizing chances of hook-ups on the angler's side. Beyond that - Why would an angler choose the skagit-head set up outside of those parameters?
 

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I'm using a 300grain skagit head with. Sink tip on my trout rods with great success. This year we have had little rain so the fish are mostly in deep pools some of which are long or riffles. I use snap t and snake roll mostly. My tippit is between 2-8feet after the sink tip.

I've been a scandi only caster until this summer and what a treat! Now I enjoy the, both equally for different purposes.
 

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Skagit style casting in general is not "too Intrusive for trout"....but beyond that, I think you have to adjust your presentation as well as size of rod, line, tip and leader to the conditions of the river and the general disposition of the trout.

Case in point: https://youtu.be/tC_pzl_PKig

You can add delicacy and stealth to a floating-tip skagit system by lengthening your leader, as demonstrated in the OPST video above. of course, being further away from the holding area you're targeting and considering environmental conditions, sun/shadows, etc is important too, as it would be for any angling strategy.

With these things in mind, another important consideration is the responsiveness of the particular river's trout to a swung fly presentation and then your expectations related to that.

When using streamers for trout, adding a trailing nymph can be an effective way to catch more fish - if that's what you're into.

Here are a few relevant links:

http://www.larimeroutfitters.com/content/choosing-right-spey-rod-trout-fishing

http://www.larimeroutfitters.com/content/spey-fishing-trout-colorado

http://www.larimeroutfitters.com/content/spey-fishing-trout-montana-style

The Skagit Master Forum has a ton of information related to this topic also.

-Matt
 

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it's only a question...

I'll try answering.

A skagit head can be loud and intrusive by nature - it's meant to deliver the junk to depth. In calm water it's heading to bottom and hanging up. Skagit casting is a specialized form of spey casting. Yes it is, and very specialized. To apply the style in any other manner means modifying the cast and the terminal set-up.
 

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By the time you have a 10 ft tip and 3-5 ft leader they don't seem to care, at least the ones down stream from your line. If you start at the top of a run and they don't take your fly the first or second time they see it, who cares if they spook as you work your way down?

I've caught a few fish on my trout spey, with a chuncky casy and big line. When they're hungry they'll sure eat
 

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That's what I love about this sport. For every hard and fast rule, you can often find an exception or a contradictory bit of advice.
When I started single handed casting for trout the "truths" included :
- lift the line gently from the water, the smallest amount of spray or disturbance will spook the fish.
- make your leader and tippet as long as possible, at least one and a half times the length of the rod. You'll never catch a fish with a short leader. 15-20 foot leaders are recommended by some NZ guides.
- the shadow of the line passing over a fish will always spook it.
Now according to this advice, skagit style fishing with a head and short leader should never work, but it does as many will attest.
:)
 

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Its like everything in life(fishing). There are no such thing as a hard and fast rule because there always exceptions.

Can you catch fish Skagit casting? Sure you can and there are situations where its probably effective.

Just as there are situations where more traditional style of trout fishing will be more effective.

Can trout be spooked by Skagit casting? Of course they can.

The bottom line is this. Those "hard and fast rules" are not really hard and fast but they do have a sound basis!
 

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That's what I love about this sport. For every hard and fast rule, you can often find an exception or a contradictory bit of advice.
When I started single handed casting for trout the "truths" included :
- lift the line gently from the water, the smallest amount of spray or disturbance will spook the fish.
- make your leader and tippet as long as possible, at least one and a half times the length of the rod. You'll never catch a fish with a short leader. 15-20 foot leaders are recommended by some NZ guides.
- the shadow of the line passing over a fish will always spook it.
Now according to this advice, skagit style fishing with a head and short leader should never work, but it does as many will attest.
:)
When we leave the tip off and use about 1,5 times rod length leader a Skagit belly becomes just fine for (pure Göran Andersson style) Underhand casting.

IMO after static Roll casting the Underhand casting is easiest "style" and definitely easier than classic long line Spey, Skagit, Scandi or Overhead casting because of very slow pace and because long and thin mono leader behaves rationally when anchor is set. Single Spey which is not easy with heavy Skagit line is very easy with light Underhand line and all SA casts can be used as well when done using low force.

Although longish front taper makes line loop better and presentation more delicate it is not necessary so you can begin using your Skagit belly only. Of course accuracy and presentation is not as good as when overhead single hand casting but the long leader presentation is softer than what Skagit line has- Only fly size cannot be as big as with Skagit system and fishing deep needs some weight to fly.

Esa
 

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Well said all. A really enjoyable group here

What tippet are you using for trout? My usual is 4x. If I'm using #4 or larger flies I'll go to 3x
 

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Well said all. A really enjoyable group here

What tippet are you using for trout? My usual is 4x. If I'm using #4 or larger flies I'll go to 3x
Totally depends on the water I am fishing. But since most of my trout fishing is on stillwaters for big fish my go to tippet is 3X fluorobarbon. Now in a couple of hours I am headed over to fish Silver Creek. I will start with 5X and hope like hell I don't have to go down anymore! :chuckle:
 

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Totally depends on the water I am fishing. But since most of my trout fishing is on stillwaters for big fish my go to tippet is 3X fluorobarbon. Now in a couple of hours I am headed over to fish Silver Creek. I will start with 5X and hope like hell I don't have to go down anymore! :chuckle:

Bastard! :)

Have a great time. It's pouring here. My only day free. Yak some pictures if you can, I'll live vicariously through you. I might just go out and throw some lines even though the water looks like coffee . . .
 

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Well said all. A really enjoyable group here

What tippet are you using for trout? My usual is 4x. If I'm using #4 or larger flies I'll go to 3x
If I'm swinging skagit style for trout I use maxima 8lb. Turns over flies well and if you are really presenting the fly downstream or slightly broadside, the fish wont see it as they'll be too busy looking at your fly.
 

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When we leave the tip off and use about 1,5 times rod length leader a Skagit belly becomes just fine for (pure Göran Andersson style) Underhand casting.

IMO after static Roll casting the Underhand casting is easiest "style" and definitely easier than classic long line Spey, Skagit, Scandi or Overhead casting because of very slow pace and because long and thin mono leader behaves rationally when anchor is set. Single Spey which is not easy with heavy Skagit line is very easy with light Underhand line and all SA casts can be used as well when done using low force.

Although longish front taper makes line loop better and presentation more delicate it is not necessary so you can begin using your Skagit belly only. Of course accuracy and presentation is not as good as when overhead single hand casting but the long leader presentation is softer than what Skagit line has- Only fly size cannot be as big as with Skagit system and fishing deep needs some weight to fly.

Esa
Good stuff. thanks Bender.
And re tippet size, it is river and location dependant but I'll usually start with 4x or 3x. that seems to cover most situations where I fish.
Kym
 

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In my opinion questions of this type are difficult and controversial to answer because they are intrinsically ill-posed. There are a half-dozen different ways to rig a skagit system, and how the fish respond depends on water depth, clarity, speed, where and on what they are feeding, how much pressure they get, what size fish, how many fish there are, and what species. Way too many variables to try to formulate any useful rule. ifsteve and kymg make a similar point earlier in the thread.

Having said that, if you think there is too much "splat", probably, there is too much "splat". Gut feel may be a better check than board advice. So why feel wedded to a skagit system if you are uncertain about it? Switch out to something you aren't second-guessing. One thing I absolutely guarantee, having doubts about your equipment will result in less effective fishing.
 

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spooked fish or not?

It depends on how spooky the trout are; its all about conditioning the fish.

If the trout learn to associate a fly line landing on the water with pain, strange creatures (flies) in the water that sting them, large shadows that hang over them threateningly etc., then the Skagit casting is going to have have a negative effect.

We've seen Great Lakes steelhead that bolt the moment a roe bag lands on the water.
 
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