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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On the recommendation of someone who catches a lot of steelhead and west coast salmon, I just bought this book.

It is a small book and after you throw out all of the tour guide stuff and the over worn kudos to his well known friends. There are about 12 pages of good illustrations on how to tie the 2-3 turn Clinch Knot to attach the tippet to the fly. Then there are to me so fairly complicated illustrations on how to tie the half hitch to fish river right or left.

I tied up a few salmon flies and went to our local river which had been loaded with Salmon until yesterday. No salmon, yesterday, but a lot of stripers nosing around the water at the end of the day. Several touched the fly or surfaced around it. Of course I had no Striper flies tied up and with me. This is really unusual for these Stripers. Normally the only strikes you get are just off the bottom the river with tips and a small leader.

The following questions are posed for those who use the Rifling hitch:

1. What type of steelhead flies work best and what type of leaders do you use and length of the leaders?

2. Do you use the riffling hitch for sinking flies?

3. Has anyone used this hitch with river stripers? They were really interested yesterday, but in this river they key in on green, green and brown or green/white or green/brown/white flies. So while they were interested, no real commitments.

4. With my 7141 would my new Grand Spey Floater be the best line or would my Mid Spey 7/8 with the floating tip be better?

5. Any other advice or secrets that you experts care to offer re using the Riffling Hitch with the big rods?

Thanks as usual.
 

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Grandpa Spey,

Any floating line or tip will work with a riffle hitch.

I use it on steelhead dries to make them wake and wobble like a little motor boat without someone at the tiller as the flies come accross current. The GrandSpey and other long belly lines allow you to control the progress accross stream to a higher degree than the shorter belly ones and that is why I ususlly use a long-belly line when riffle hitching.

I also use low-water featherwing wets quite often with a riffle hitch. The hitch keeps the swimming very erratically in the film and produce rather smashing strikes at time.

A riffle hitched elk hair caddis is a deadly technique during a caddis egg-laying flight when trout fishing. I learned this on Montana's Missouri River back in 1981.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
flytyer

Thanks as usual for your suggestions.

I just ordered Rio's Grand Spey 7/8 for my 7141. Simon loaned me one to test, and got me addicted to it. The line control with the Grand Speys is incredible as you note.

I will try the caddis with the riffling hitch with Bob Meiser's new 5/6 switch rod during the caddis hatches on Putah Creek. It is a smaller stream in the winter, and that should be a great combination.
 

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I have not much, but some, experience with RH for Atlantic salmon, mostly in Iceland (where a lot of Art's experiences are from), and a little bit here in Norway.

RH was first designed by Lee Wullf to get wet flies up and skate in the surface, as far as I understand.

Despite I use a double hander for all my other salmon fishing, I like to use a onehanded rod for the RH, and keep the rod tip up to control fly speed across current.

For Atlantics, the big thing lately is to use small 0,5 - 1 inch sparsely dressed plastic tube flies for RH - by making a hole for the leader just behind the head. These simple tubes or a small ordinary salmon wet fly size 6 - 12 with extra space behind the fly head is what is used here for RH. For atlantic salmon the RH seem to work best if you avois a too big wave from the riffling fly. Nice and smooth not too fast not too splashy is the right way. And the RH works best on slightly broken water, not dead smooth glides.
 

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Norwegian,

Lee Wulff did not invent the riffle hitch. It was invented by salmon guides in Eastern Canada who were given gut eyed flies by the English dudes, and many of the gut eyes were fraying, had nicks, etc. or had a damaged gut eye of one form or another. To be able to use the flies, the guides simple put a couple of hitches on the fly with the tippet (or what was known as the cast at that time).

Lee Wulff saw this and found it was called the "Portland Hitch", named after Portland Creek in the Labrador. Lee liked what he saw the hitch did to the fly as it was fished and so he began using it and popularizing it in his writings. Wulff was also very careful to give credit for the riffle hitch to the guides of Portland Creek in his writings.
 
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