Steelhead:Nymphing or Swinging

Ringlee

Doesn't care how you fish Moderator
#16
While your post title is nymphing or swinging, I would call the lob more of a bonedogging technigue. Just dragging your rig behind the boat. I have seen it on the Kenai.

This is why others call fly fisherman elitists. Are they having fun? Leave it at that...
 

chadk

Be the guide...
#19
Fly fishing tradition often meant bonking native steelhead and frying pans full of wild trout.

If they had the PVC lines, Sink Tips, graphite rods, etc - I'm sure they would have welcomed all of it.

It all boils down to human nature. You don't like it when someone does something different than you do. Or if they think or value something differently than you do. I bet many of those 'legends' of old would think you are nuts.

Fishing means something personal to each one of us. For some it has deep spiritual aspects, others deep traditional aspects, others its food on the table, others its sharing good times with friends, etc etc etc.

But go ahead and be paranoid of anyone who has a different perspective than you and challenges your opinions and values related to fishing.....
 
#20
My angle on this isn't fly-fishing or not, it is WHAT MAKES SENSE.

I have caught plenty of native steelhead on the fly and still get a HUGE thrill out of it, but it isn't like it used to be for me. The fly rod is no longer the most important aspect for me and I will GLADLY pick up a spinning rod and a float.

To those who want to try something new and have A LOT OF FUN when fishing rivers that are hugely difficult to swing flies (there are a lot of steelhead streams in WA that fit this description especially on the OP) just get this setup:

A short spinning rod rated to 14pound test. Short is good for the overhanging branches and things that can mess up small stream with steelhead.

Get a matching spinning reel with a GOOD drag and load it with 20# braided line.

Buy a float called the "Steelhead Stalker" or a clone of it. This float basically has a long pin the hangs vertically below it which acts as a keel, this means you don't need a lot of weight to keep it vertical like you do with foam floats which suck by comparison IMO. These floats are made of balsa wood and use rubber bands to attach it to the line. Attach float to braid.

Below float attch a swivel and below that a couple feet of leader to you jig.

Next, go buy some jig hooks like you would use for bass and tie up some jigs just like you would tie up flies. Tie them however you like, this is the same as fly fishing.

Now go fish it and see how much fun it is; how much more water you can cover; how much better you can sneak around.

While fishing, keep telling yourself, "It doesn't matter what I am using to fish as long as I am having a good time."

I will bet you will have a GREAT TIME, especially when you hook a steelhead on your own jig pattern.

This setup will out nymph ANY fly rig and it JUST MAKES MORE SENSE IMO. Casting is like butter unlike with a fly rod.

If I am EVER fishing a river that I can swing and cover water effectively, which is most of the time, I use a fly.

If I am ever fishing the kind of water where high sticking and weighted flies are imortant, I just grab my little spinning outfit and box of custom jigs.

Catching steelhead on the fly is rewarding and feels great but to think that a steelhead caught in the manner described above is a lesser catch is just downright STUPID.

In summary, to me it just makes no sense to lob a big float, a bunch of lead, and a weighted fly on a fly rod all day when you can cover WAY more water, WAY more effectively, with a nice little spinning outfit like the one above.

My 2 cents.

P.S. Another PLUS; a short 14# rated spinning rod (the kind for ripping bass out of brush) will land a steelhead WAY WAY faster than any fly rod I know of.
 

Ryan Buccola

I ain't broke but brother I am badly bent
#21
This is a great topic! There is no better take down than the tug on the swing...If you want to nymph...nymph, But there is no comparison to inital grab. "the tug is the drug"
 

chadk

Be the guide...
#23
Better than the tug is the surface take. But any take that results in a solid head shake followed by a few crazy jumps and line screaming runs will get my blood flowing - i'm not going to hang my head in shame if I acheived that in a way someone else thinks is 'lowly'...
 
#25
I nymph and swing and enjoy both. If you don't like to nymph, that's fine. Others do so don't give them crap about it. Just treat other people with respect and acknowledge that everyone is different. Save your ranting for the people who are hurting the resource.
 
#26
I nymph and swing and enjoy both. If you don't like to nymph, that's fine. Others do so don't give them crap about it. Just treat other people with respect and acknowledge that everyone is different. Save your ranting for the people who are hurting the resource.
I don't think that is the argument being made here.

It isn't about a judgement, it is about what makes sense.

When you are "nymphing" with a "strike indicator" and a bunch of lead, you might as well be using a spinning rod and a float and cover 10X the water, 10X better at 10X easier.

And if you like to tie.....than tie up your own jigs.

Those are my thoughts anyway.

Spinning rods are a lot of fun and a great change of pace from a fly rod for me. I grab my spinner maybe 1 out of 10 days on the river and really enjoy it.

Although I def. don't hook as many fish on the spinning rod; I suspect this is because I haven't payed my dues.
 
#27
I don't think that is the argument being made here.

It isn't about a judgement, it is about what makes sense.
We don't fly fish for Steelhead because it "makes sense". We do it because we enjoy using the fly rod, the cast, the challenge, or whatever. If we just did "what makes sense", we would fish the most effective way possible, which would be using gear rods with various methods. In fact, most of my family and friends think I don't make any sense when I tell them I love to stand in a freezing river for 8 hours casting and hoping for a single fish! ;)
 

Jergens

AKA Joe Willauer
#28
I don't think that is the argument being made here.

It isn't about a judgement, it is about what makes sense.

When you are "nymphing" with a "strike indicator" and a bunch of lead, you might as well be using a spinning rod and a float and cover 10X the water, 10X better at 10X easier.

And if you like to tie.....than tie up your own jigs.

Those are my thoughts anyway.

Spinning rods are a lot of fun and a great change of pace from a fly rod for me. I grab my spinner maybe 1 out of 10 days on the river and really enjoy it.

Although I def. don't hook as many fish on the spinning rod; I suspect this is because I haven't payed my dues.
This may be true from the bank simply because you can not cast as far with a fly rod and bobber compared to conventional tackle, but get in a boat and a fly rod is an equally effective tool, particularly if you have a good oarsman, although it is not the oarsman doing all of the work. it takes skill to throw a indicator rig under a bush, into a slot, while moving, mending it, all the while reading the water that is coming up. It is also very relative to what river your fishing, like nymphing the skagit from a moving boat doesnt make much sense, to me atleast. have yo ufished from a moving boat before jbueler?
 

Jmills81

The Dude Abides
#30
It could be me, but what i am hearing here is also a thought that nymphing is easy

if you dont have your shit together, doesnt matter what your doing, you're not going to catch fish

i watch plenty of dudes fish via nymphing and they dont have the touch and the mending ability, the stacking of the line to make a dead drift happen to actually be rewarded with a take

It took me long enough to figure out correct nymphing tactics....then i caught fish