There are also occasions when the water isn’t that high, but for softness of presentation I want a unweighted fly. Morning, day or evening, have some soft hackles in your fly box for those situations. Sinking tips come into play for me when the water is too deep to effectively get to fish level, but even then, a change of angle with a floating line and proper mending should get me where I want to be most often. When using a fly that I will strip or retrieve, I always prefer a sinking tip or sinking line. Chuck Hawkins, Hawkins Outfitters (Traverse City, Michigan): I always use sinking tips when streamer fishing. The lead / tungsten core of a sinking line dampens the sensitivity. Why the constant attack by nymphers? I suggested making short casts directly perpendicular from his position to place the fly precisely on the boulders. SWINGING FOR STEELHEAD AND OTHER FISH: THE GENERAL APPROACH. Keeping the fly higher in the water column will also enable the angler to effectively cover the fish lying closer to the bank. Low water is the only time I fish this particular set-up; for most of the season, I prefer a sinking PolyLeader and a three-foot section of level 2X or 3X. Go Sox, cds . After the fly landed, Mike gave a quick upstream mend and then let the fly sink and drift for about three seconds before bringing the fly into swing. Editor’s Note: I am on assignment today, so here’s a classic post–the very first “Ask the Experts” column. If it is a large bucket or run, a sinking-tip line is my go-to choice. The putty gets hung up less, casts nicer, and if it does hang up you can usually save your flies and just lose the putty. Buggy summer steelhead flies fished on two-handed rods using the Scandinavian style are fished using the traditional “wet fly” or “swinging” presentation. (Cast step, cast step....etc). Because a large portion of the line sinks, it keeps my flies “in the zone” and in front of the fish much longer. Although there are times that it is necessary to fish deeper, many times the best approach is to actually stay higher. Our boat rods are rigged as follows: We usually have four rods rigged and ready—2 rods rigged with floating line and 2 rods rigged with a sinking-tip line. On occasion the sinking line works great for Naknek and Kvichak … Cast across the stream and let the fly swing back across the stream till it is below you. This is when sinking-tip lines are at their best. By dividing the river into three sections—upper, mid, and deep—we can create the best set up to address all the above factors and ever-changing conditions that we encounter on any given day on the river. Mending is the key when swinging wets and a floating line mends easier and keeps me in contact with my flies better. I fish the exact match to your river, only mine is up in Canada. Mid-water Column: Before switching to a sinking tip, we will try a floating line with 9-foot fluorocarbon leader and a weighted (barbell-eyes) streamer pattern. Sinking tips come into play for me when the water is too deep to effectively get to fish level, but even then, a change of angle with a floating line and proper mending should get me where I want to be most often. This response comes from their general predatory nature while in the lake or ocean and also while as a juvenile in the river chasing aquatic bugs and small baitfish, especially towards the surface. If I’m after a darting or fleeing action I’ll lean toward a heavy fly, such as a tungsten head wooley bugger or variant, on a floating line and mend/twitch to keep the fly moving in erratic motions. With its powerful lower rod section, the New DEMON Spey effortlessly casts RIO’s 3D Scandi lines which are becoming very popular for sub-surface tight line swinging. The floating line will give me the ultimate in sensitivity to ensure I can detect the lightest of strikes. ​When we think of steelhead fishing we imagine rainy, snotty days. Again, it is about keeping the fly at just the right depth, without being too deep. You do not need to purchase a two-handed rod to swing flies. In moving water/current, if you’re swinging flies and a floating line is causing the fly to rise and skim along the surface or just under it in water that’s more than a few feet deep, switch to sinking line. Jenny Mayrell-Woodruff, Woodruff, Flyfish Beaver’s Bend (Broken Bow, Oklahoma): I use a floating line with split shot more often because I am constantly changing locations on the river. I swung the fly just under the surface with good success: three fish on, two to hand, and several short-strikes and swirls. Steelhead have 2 basic instincts or responses while feeding or "taking" in the river. Evan Salmon Active Member. Spend time swinging flies in water that is 3’-5’ deep. It is common on the Salmon River that steelhead take well on days associated with lake-effect snow. They are for swinging flies or stripping streamers. This setup also gives me the ability to “high-stick,” keeping line off the water and giving me maximum feel and control in water with complex currents. Furled lines would also offer some more drag and control. Casting shorter as flows get higher is often better; keep your fly where the fish are; closer to the bank. Offered in 4 sizes, one is sure to fit your needs. Tim Linehan nailed it. You are actually casting the whole line. They have no top water application. And it’s full of great insights and info. Especially early in the season, until mid-late November, I would try to fish faster runs in-between the pools with this technique. Sink tips just perform so poorly compared to full sink lines. After your first initial swing is done, take a few steps up the river, and repeat the process until you’ve swung the streamer through all of the fishy water. Now that we have the rod and line details out of the way, and a little casting primer, the next question is what fly are we going to use. If I’m concentrating on the top six inches the water column in walking-speed current or slower, I’ll generally stick with a floating line. Sink tips are MUCH harder to cast than a full sinking line. Great information, and a special thank you to Jeff Davis. For example, if I’m fishing still water, I almost always reach for a full-sinking line, as the depth is usually greater than a river or stream. When I am fishing soft hackles and other traditional wet flies, I always prefer a floating line. We all use Orvis lines, ranging from Hydros to Access and everything in between. Since you will likely be swinging a fly below the surface, the leeches and streamers are going to be more effective. By minimizing line mending you can keep the fly line belly large, causing higher fly speeds on the swing but with higher fly position in the water column. If I’m after a swooning action… a wounded baitfish type of action, I’ll use a sinktip line with an lightly-weighted or unweighted fly such as a Zoo Cougar, Wooley Sculpin, Conrad Sculpin, or other fly that swims as though it is wounded or in trouble. Required fields are marked *. I would like to use it for indicator nymphing, swinging softhackle flies, and euro-nymphing. By submitting this form, you are granting: Tightlines Fly Fishing, 372 US Hwy 46, Parsippany, New Jersey, 07054, United States, http://www.tightlinesflyfishing.com permission to email you. Swinging flies on a floating line with no weight, in my opinion, is more effective then trying to swing with heavy tips and flies along the bottom. You can swing flies with any rod. Taking '' in the upper part of the line have some soft hackles and OTHER fish the! 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