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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i cast a sage one 7116 switch with an airflo skagit switch 450g. the rod is a cannon and suits me well. im a taller guy and really like throwing 12' sink tips instead of the usual 10 footers. the skagit head is only 19' and the extra 2 feet on my sinktip allows me to sustain my anchor quite nicely.

that said, i fish primarily the salmon river in pulaski, NY and after a long weekend swinging in low water (400cfs or so), i think i was getting too deep. i fished 12' of t8 and unweighted intruders/speys. lost a lot of flies, snagged quite a bit, and didnt have a tug all weekend.

the water is very clear at the SR and the fish get pounded. I am starting to rethink my strategy of deep and slow and plan to hit the white water and transitional water on my next trip.

looking for opinions on how to accomplish this while keeping my anchor. imows? mows? cheaters+short T tips? floating leader + weighted flies? hopefully some GL anglers will chime in. i was hoping to get some advice before i spend a bunch of money on pre-cut tips. i did have a versileader on hand this weekend and just didnt like the way it turned over with my setup..it was way better suited for lighter presentations/scandi casting.

attached a nice pano of one of my favorite swingin' spots on the river (midriver 2a area)

Thanks
Don

 

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For lower water conditions a skagit head will always be "clunky." Pressured fish and modest depth... I would personally go with an Airflo Rage head with a polyleader/versileader tip. (or competitors equivalents)

Better presentation (less line splash) and the almost ten feet of additional head means less running line to deal with too.

Looking at the picture, a Rage with slow sinking poly tip would be money. Will also bet you find your rod will cast that head far with little effort!
 

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Rage

I also would second the airflo rage head. I just got home from the salmon river and fished a rage pretty much the whole time. Anything under 600cfs tends to be hard to fish with a skagit. If you want to stay with the skagit go with mow tips where you can shorten up your sink tip lengths. You got lots of options. The salmon won't be good for swinging till all the salmon guys are out of the river.

Andrew
 

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Nice panoramic shot of the Compactor Pool! :)

This is my system for the Salmon River. It might not work for you but is a starting point you can work from:

Airflo Skagit Compact Head system for the Salmon River - 10/2014

*** Use as light a sink-tip as possible for the prevailing conditions. You don't want to be dragging the bottom and losing flies. The Salmon River is a very shallow river!

Salmon River fishing distances are a lot closer in than on west coast rivers. I like to stick with a consistent length such as 10’. This length in polyleaders, MOW tips or sections of “T material” will give a similar amount of line stick and have a similar feel when casting.

Tippets: A longer tippet of around 5 ft. with a weighted fly allows the use of a lighter sink-tip for a given water flow/temperature condition. Some anglers say it results in a better presentation with more hook-ups. I use 12lb. Maxima ultragreen.


185-285cfs flow: I use a Airflo Rage Compact for floating line presentation in surface or near surface work with small to medium size flies.

Airflo Skagit Compact
350 cfs flow: 10’ Floating MOW tip with 1.5ips Intermediate sink polyleader

350 –500 cfs flow: 2.5’ MOW tip - or 2.6 ips slow sink polyleader

750 cfs flow: 5’ MOW tip - or 3.9 ips medium sink polyleader

1000 cfs flow: 7.5’ MOW tip - or 10 ft. of T-8

above 1000 cfs flow: 10’ tip of T-11
 

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I'm sure I'm going to get criticised for this but since I fish the Salmon River all the time with a spey rod I thought I would chime in.

I use either a 12' 7/8 ARE UHM or 13' ARE im6 rod with either a skagit line (I prefer a full line rather than just a head) or a 7wt Speydicator line. Looped onto that I use a 12 - 18" piece of T11 or T14 with loops on both ends (home made, welded) and then a leader with about 3' of 30# Berkley Big Game, 3' of 17# Berkley Trilene, 4' of 12# Berkley Vanish. All blood knotted together with a double surgeon loop to attach the 30# to the T14 loop. Finally to get everything down to where I want it I go with a combination of weighted or unweighted fly (I like big woolley buggers tied on traditional salmon hooks) and a small amount of split shot above the 17#-12# blood knot. I cast slightly up stream for a short dead drift into a long swing timed to plow through the productive part of the hole. If I feel the bottom, I remove some of the shot or go with an unweighted fly.

I use the same rig in the winter for steelhead except I normally change up the fly until I find something they like. Always start out with the buggers (in lots of different colors).


Quinn
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@Fish Tech, i think we are more or less on the same page. your skagit recommendations is exactly what i was figuring.

do you like the MOWs over the poly leaders? The polys are tapered, no? I've used Versileaders and don't really like how easy the anchor pulls due to the taper. what are your thoughts?

also thank you everyone else. this site rules

Nice panoramic shot of the Compactor Pool! :)

This is my system for the Salmon River. It might not work for you but is a starting point you can work from:

Airflo Skagit Compact Head system for the Salmon River - 10/2014

*** Use as light a sink-tip as possible for the prevailing conditions. You don't want to be dragging the bottom and losing flies. The Salmon River is a very shallow river!

Salmon River fishing distances are a lot closer in than on west coast rivers. I like to stick with a consistent length such as 10’. This length in polyleaders, MOW tips or sections of “T material” will give a similar amount of line stick and have a similar feel when casting.

Tippets: A longer tippet of around 5 ft. with a weighted fly allows the use of a lighter sink-tip for a given water flow/temperature condition. Some anglers say it results in a better presentation with more hook-ups. I use 12lb. Maxima ultragreen.


185-285cfs flow: I use a Airflo Rage Compact for floating line presentation in surface or near surface work with small to medium size flies.

Airflo Skagit Compact
350 cfs flow: 10’ Floating MOW tip with 1.5ips Intermediate sink polyleader

350 –500 cfs flow: 2.5’ MOW tip - or 2.6 ips slow sink polyleader

750 cfs flow: 5’ MOW tip - or 3.9 ips medium sink polyleader

1000 cfs flow: 7.5’ MOW tip - or 10 ft. of T-8

above 1000 cfs flow: 10’ tip of T-11
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@qcanfield, interesting approach. When i started doing this, i fished similarly in the sense that i used a ton of leader off my sink. I ended up lining a lot of fish toward to the end of my swing once things straightened out.

I'm sure I'm going to get criticised for this but since I fish the Salmon River all the time with a spey rod I thought I would chime in.

I use either a 12' 7/8 ARE UHM or 13' ARE im6 rod with either a skagit line (I prefer a full line rather than just a head) or a 7wt Speydicator line. Looped onto that I use a 12 - 18" piece of T11 or T14 with loops on both ends (home made, welded) and then a leader with about 3' of 30# Berkley Big Game, 3' of 17# Berkley Trilene, 4' of 12# Berkley Vanish. All blood knotted together with a double surgeon loop to attach the 30# to the T14 loop. Finally to get everything down to where I want it I go with a combination of weighted or unweighted fly (I like big woolley buggers tied on traditional salmon hooks) and a small amount of split shot above the 17#-12# blood knot. I cast slightly up stream for a short dead drift into a long swing timed to plow through the productive part of the hole. If I feel the bottom, I remove some of the shot or go with an unweighted fly.

I use the same rig in the winter for steelhead except I normally change up the fly until I find something they like. Always start out with the buggers (in lots of different colors).


Quinn
 

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sneelhead, thanks for handing me some more rope! :)

During the salmon season I take the approach that all salmon are foul hooked. Even those in the mouth. I have seen exceptions but very few (I landed two coho last week that clearly attacked the fly. Felt the solid strike hooked in the roof of the mouth at the nose not in the corner of the mouth like normal). With that realization in mind then I am really there to land the fish since the hooking part is 95% or more by chance. I am totally ok with "lining" them. I don't intentionally foul hook any fish and most that I land are "foul hooked" in the mouth. When the fish really stack up like they did for the last couple of years preceding this one I usually drop down to a very small fly.
I really have not had any issues in the winter unless I happen into a large pod of steelhead hunkered down in the dead of winter. When that happens I shorted everything up.

Normally you use a short tippet at the end of the sink tip to pull the fly down in the water. The split shot/weighted fly solves that with the long leader

Quinn
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
totally agree with you. we took 2 coho this past weekend as well. they cracked the hell out of our big bright intruders in pineville. good stuff :)


During the salmon season I take the approach that all salmon are foul hooked. Even those in the mouth. I have seen exceptions but very few (I landed two coho last week that clearly attacked the fly. Felt the solid strike hooked in the roof of the mouth at the nose not in the corner of the mouth like normal). With that realization in mind then I am really there to land the fish since the hooking part is 95% or more by chance. I am totally ok with "lining" them. I don't intentionally foul hook any fish and most that I land are "foul hooked" in the mouth. When the fish really stack up like they did for the last couple of years preceding this one I usually drop down to a very small fly.
I really have not had any issues in the winter unless I happen into a large pod of steelhead hunkered down in the dead of winter. When that happens I shorted everything up.

Normally you use a short tippet at the end of the sink tip to pull the fly down in the water. The split shot/weighted fly solves that with the long leader

Quinn
 

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sneelhead: "do you like the MOWs over the poly leaders? The polys are tapered, no?"

I generally use the MOW tips in the early fall when the water temp. is above 45 degrees. This is when the steelhead are in the fast riffles and pocket water. The MOW tips seem to work better for swinging the fly through this type of water.

In late November through the winter when water temps. are 40 degrees and lower the steelhead will be found in the slower sections of pools and runs. This is when I use the 10ft. sinking poly leaders (slow or medium sink rate) or a 10ft. piece of T-8 or T-11 depending on the cfs flow rate.

The polyleaders are tapered and come in 14ft. lengths if 10ft. is too short for you.
 
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