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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Which of the following swings do you like the best? Why? Does it make a difference winter vs. summer run?



I personally catch most of my fish on #1 swings. #3 swings seem useless to me since the fly typically is racing cross (or even down) current too fast. #2 is the controversial one in my mind. It seems that it would be best for winter runs and cold water because the swing should be slowest, but I don't catch fish doing it. Possibly because of the non-broadside presentation.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
steelhead

I should have also added that I'm asking the question about western steelhead. Though Atlantic Salmon responses would be interesting too.
 

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In the context of atlantic salmon, I think all three have their place. It very much depends on the conditions, and in particular the speed of current.

In most conditions with a floating line I'd use 1. As you suggest, 2 is good in cold water, when you want to slow the fly down. I might also use it in very fast water, or where there is fast water close to you and fish lying beyond it. I don't mind about non-broadside presentation. 3 is what you get when backing up a pool. This method can be effective on slowish water, where it can add a bit of life to the fly, or when you have a pool full of resident fish that have seen everything presented conventionally and a fly suddenly whizzing past their noses can sometimes provoke a take.
 

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For Atlantic Salmon

I would back up Gardener; it pays to use all three depending on the conditions. #2 is probably the classic floating line presentation, but in reality #1 usually works best.

To present the fly deep and slow across the fish in cold water, I would be trying to use #2.

In faster water, by trying to achieve #2 you would probably present the fly more akin to #1.

As Gardner stated, #3 helps to get the fly moving in the slower pools, or to attract the attention of uninterested fish that have seen it all before. Very often, our grilse(1 sea winter salmon) find #3 more appealling than the other two.

Always assess water conditions and use the most appropriate method of presenting the fly. If that fails to provoke a take, try the other methods.
 

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Just another thought.

I have often found if I can't get a take with #1 and #2 on a floating line, in what would appear to be good floating line conditions, I will switch to and intermediate and #3 presentation. Don't know why, but it often works, especially on smaller spate rivers.
 

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My winter/spring approach is a combination of all 3. For the most part of the swing it is #1, but this swing is only the pentultimate step of a 4 part process.

After the cast I give a fairly hard mend. This creates the slack that sets the depth of the drift, it also tends to turn the fly downstream - #2. Occasionally fish take in this "dead drift" phase - it is like you cast it into their mouth - very cool.

As the line begins to tighten and the fly begins to swing the fly while not whipping around as in #3, it is "jumping to lfe" and is a point when takes often occur.

Once the slack is gone and the fly begins its swing I lead it into the bank a la #1. One addition I add at the end of the swing, is something I picked up from Mike Kinney. As the fly nears the beach the current is often at its slowest - therefore the swing slows markedly and your sinktip and/or fly begins to drag - or it just sits there and doesn't swing any further. This is also a place many takes occur , whether the fish or following or just sitting there. Mike decides how close to the beach he wants his fly to swim and moves his rod tip upstream in a line with that. This has the effect of speeding up the last little bit of the swing - it is a mini-version of #3 - a tiny crack the whip. It creates a little movement, but I think what it really does is speed the swing and cause the fly and tip to rise as it enters the critical beach area. This is one of the reason's that Ed Ward's short T-14 tips are so effective, they allow excellent depth control on the swing - especially at the beach.

As for summer/fall fishing with dry lines it stick pretty much with with #1. I do however fish a river with some pretty aggressive fish that like a hard swing so I start by cast almost 90 degrees to the shore and don't mend too much. This creates a hard swing similar to 3# without trying for the crack the whip. I will also use the "Kinney trick" at the beach with good success.
 

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kush said:
pentultimate
QUOTE]


Dang Kush,

Bustin out some vocabulary on us :saeek: :smokin:

Never thought I would browse this site to better my understanding of the English language, but heck, if it works.....

As far as the above comments I would pretty much agree with what everyone has said on the matter as far as steelhead go. One thing I can add is that when swinging trout, they really seem to like the #3 approach, especially with streamers both on tips and floating lines. When I started swinging trout, I tried to emulate steelhead tactics (basically #1 and #2) or just tried to keep the line straight to the fly and keep the swing at a constant speed. I was surprised to find that the fish often really like a fly cast nearly straight across stream which then swims in an arc, often quite fast. I thought this approach would spook fish with sink tips as the tip goes racing by their faces, but it doesn't seem to. This presentation has the advantage to keeping the fly at a more constant depth (and deeper) and swimming broadside away from the fish. It often results in crushing grabs by pissed off brownies. That is a good thing..... :D
 
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