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Member FRSCA
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I was trying to rise some GL steelies to wakers (wallers) today. I seem to have a hard time keeping them on the surface. Should I treat them with some sort of floatant, or is there a mending technique I am missing out on?
 

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Jamey your best bet is to hitch your fly and try lifting your rod tip .
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Waller Wakers nearly float themselves if you keep them under tension from upstream. Lose the tension, and they may sink unless treated with floatant.

I always treat them with paste floatant (any brand will do) before making a first cast after tying one on. I do the same with Bombers and Wag's Wakers too.

However, if you keep them under tension from upstream, a Waller Waker will float, and float, and float will it darts and moves around on the surface. Another thing I found with them is riffle hitches ruin their action because their action and floatability come from the wings and face of the body biting into the water surface, which causes the Waller Waker to plane on its long moose throat while it rocks and rolls from side to side.
 

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Waking flies is all about having the proper angle during the swing..

for the best surface presentation you want to cast well downstream and at an angle so that the fly lands and is imediatly brought under tension and during the entire swing the line is straight to the fly. As soon as any belly form the line will go slack and the fly may very well sink. This seems backwards but that's how it works AVOID BELLY LIKE THE PLAGUE!!

This may mean that you have to make a 100 foot cast to a spot you could easily reach with a 50 foot cast, it's all in the angle...

a couple other things a riffle hitch works well to keep flies up too it doesn't seem to matter too much how the hitch is tied on it seems to vary widely depending on the individual fly.

Also keep your rod tip high to that when the fish does take you can drop the rod tip. like most fish when a steelhead comes to the surface it does not grab ahold of the fly, it flares it's gills and sucks the fly in. This it cannot do against a tight line so be prepared to drop the rod tip then you can some tight on the fish after you feel the fish on. DO NOT SET THE HOOK on the strike you'll pull it away 9 out of 10 times.

lastly it is very very common for fish to rise multiple times, it you raise a steelhead to a waker, put that fly back in their strike zone ASAP!! The fish is excited, has it's hackles up and will likely murder it if you get it back in there...
 

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swing'n Lemmings
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foam

Take off the T-14 :D
Just kidding. try a a lighter hook and sometimes I will make an underbody out of Foam. it adds a little bulk but it seems to help. that mouse pattern you saw in my box had a foam underbody
Rambo
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Dumb question time

Can somebody explain the riffle hitch. I have messed with it, but can't seem to get it so I trust it.
 

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A picture is worth a thousand words...

leesferry.com/rifflehitch.htm

Generally I don't use the "improved turle knot" as the text suggests but rather the improved clinch knot.

Another resource is Tying and Fishing the Riffle Hitch by Art Lee.

One of my concerns regarding the riffle hitch is the direction of pull in relation to the hook point and getting the point to stick on the take. Know lots of guys are successful in landing fish on hitched flies but it seems my hook to land ratio is much lower on hitched flies. Hence, my search continues for a fly that will fish like it is hitched but isn't...

Chris
 

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Riffled wet vs. riffled skater

A couple of things to add to the above. On wet flies I riffle as in Gator's link but with skating flies I like the half hitch to come off on the bottom of the fly. Examples would tie a half hitch behind the head of any fly with a large head like a Bulkley Mouse or Muddler or behind the forward slanting wing of a bomber. There is no need to grease these flies as the angle of the tippet coming off the bottom of the head forces the head above the water when under tension and keeps the fly skating.

All my dry flies (Humpy's, Wulff's, etc) I dip in Scotchguard after tying and let dry before putting in my box and then grease them before I fish them. I tie these on with a Duncan Loop/Uni Knot and leave the loop open slightly open so that the fly can move around independent of the tippet.

99 percent of my topwater fishing is with skated flies, maybe because they are easy to keep on top and to see.

As far as landing the fish, Rob's comments on dropping the rod, or as I refer to it, "feeding the fish" is key. Some people like to count "one one thousand two one thousand" and then tighten. I like to drop the rod tip until I feel the fish or repeat my dry fly mantra which goes something like "Oh my God it's a fish-don't strike you idiot" or if I am north of the border the appropriate phrase is "God save the Queen".

My 2 cents.
 

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another word on Bombers, use for the wing the stiff curly part of the calf tail , tie it in long then trim it to length. using the straight limp stuff just won't cut it.. this is how commercialy tied bombers are tied and they all suck.. properly ties bombers will stay up poor ones won't. I use an improved clinch knot and simply tie 2 or three half hitched in behind the wing. I have noticed no difference in effectivness by changing where the line comes off the fly. If they are tied right they'll fkate either way.
 

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years ago,Bill McMillan told me he started tying all his wakers on down eye hooks,and using an upsidedown turl knot to attach the fly instead of a riffle hitch. It makes the leader come off the fly from straight under the throat of the fly. It keeps the fly running true,creates a nice bobble to the fly, and you do not have to change the knot when you change sides of the river. I have been using it for many years. It works great. I think Mr. McMillan was shown this by a guy by the name of Garou (sp?), at the Grand Ronde. It works well with any deer hair waker,or Muddler. I use the (anywhere) Mouse In various colours,or the Moose turd. It does not work with regular wets . I still use the riffle hitch on them if I want them to wake. You should re-tie the knot if you land a fish. It will weaken the knot. I have landed fish to sixteen pounds on this knot and have complete faith in it. I do not even bother greasing deer hair flies ,with floatant.They will stay up on there own with this leader angle. good luck with the waker this summer. It is my fav. way to fish for steelhead.
 

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Buddler,

Very cool! Could you please give a quick explaination of what you mean by upside down turle? I would like to give it a try.

Thanks,

Greg
 
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