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Autumn: The Skagit at Howard Miller Steelhead Park was thick with pink salmon. Two companions and I worked them with spey rods and floating lines. They hooked fish every few casts, while I fished for an hour without a touch! Finally, I asked the question. Seems that they had lead wraps on their long leaders, which were getting their flies down a little deeper to where the salmon were. I did same, and started catching my share.
As we all know, there are many different approaches to getting a fly down and keeping it there...and knowing that it's where we want it to be. Hooking the bottom is self-explanatory. But if your fly is swinging with no snags (except in the inshore shallows at the end of its drift), how deep is it traveling, really?
I use the usual assortment of sink tips, and I don't propose to reinvent the wheel. I'd been thinking lately about one water type: fairly slow-moving water under about five feet, with broad, uncomplicated current, such as pool tailouts, and sometimes the entire drift; particularly in clear, bright conditions. How to be certain that the fly is deep enough without repeatedly snagging bottom?
Most of us are familiar with "slime lines" of clear mono, and intermediate-to-slow-sinking density. I bought a Cortland 333HT (half the price of some others) in WF9I. The front and rear tapers were both 12.5', and the belly length was 14' 8". This let me make two sink-tips of 25' and 15'.
Yesterday, under a bright sky, the Skagit was high but clear above the Baker River. I tried the 25' tip off a DT11F belly through the slower parts of the Mixer. The water was still too fast for this density, but I got a feel for how it handles. The tip picked up, cast, and took an initial mend almost as well as the 15' tips I'm accustomed to. The tip was commendably "stealthy" more than a rod-length away.
Clear mono tips are often included with today's multi-tip fly line systems. Have any of you had revealing results with them, or experimented with something similar to mine?
 

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Mac,
I've used the clear intermediate tips with success on cold water steelhead in conditions like you described - slower uniform flow with relatively little turbulence. In such cold-water conditions where a type III tip is too much (and since I don't much like to fish a fly of sufficient weight to get down enough to the fish) - an intermediate or type II fills the bill. In fact I took a fish yesterday under exactly these conditions with my type II tip.

I've also noticed that tips I've made from an SA type II (green) head sink slower than the rio intermediate of the same line weight.

Pescaphile
 

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Indicators Anonymous
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Remember, that the Rio AquaLux that comes in the multi-tip systems is NOT an intermediate sink.

It is actually a type II.

I have talked with some people who use it with good sucess for Greased Line fishing. :)
 
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