Skating/waking a dry success rate

Luke77

I hope she likes whitefish
#1
Lets be honest now guys and gals...how often do you actually attempt this and of those times, how often have you been successful. I know that CERTAIN times and places, it can be more productive, but I have not seen or been there. I know guys that have caught lots of steelhead on dries, but I'm not one of them. I've dedicated trips to this and still no luck. So, lets talk real success rates.

Oh, and I also have to say, there is nothing like watching a fish tail walk up a shallow still section of water and casting a skater to it. That's biggest adrenaline dump shy or jumping out of a plane with no chute and a pterodactyl in hot pursuit.
 
#3
Only a few times and places I'll try. But when I do it, and LEAVE IT ON... Success is better than one would think. It works, sometimes better than anything else at that time. It's a matter of confidence.
 

Freestone

Not to be confused with freestoneangler
#4
I actually have caught as many summer runs on the dead drift as while it was actually skating. So I cover the water like this: first, dead drift. Then, cast up and over and dead drift into a small swing/skate. Then, if no action, I do a traditional skate.

This past March, I hooked one on a sz 14 Parachute Adams dead drifted in a foam line to an actively feeding steelhead so be sure to try dead drifting too!
 

g_smolt

Recreational User
#6
I fish skaters quite a bit for fall fish. I fish them with confidence, I fish them fast, and I do very well on them. In the last few years I have gone from "Bullshit, these things don't work" to "This is my go-to method". The blow-up to hook-up to landed ratio definitely goes down when fishing on top, but who really cares if you don't land a fish that you made come up 5 or 6 times to take a swipe at a skated fly? You already got the best from them, leave it and find another that wants to play.
 

1morecast

Active Member
#7
I agree with g. I measure succcess on how many fish I can actually get to move to a skater. The guys who are saying they are hooking fish on dead drifted flies are gods!
 
G

golfman65

Guest
#8
very cool reply g_smolt I know a guy who's gone almost exclusively to the dry and skated dry and does well enough that I'm not sure if he fishes any other way anymore for summer steel ?
( I also think it helps that he's had enough experience and a couple thousand steelhead to get there)

I have found that I am slowly progressing to a dryline for winter runs and skating bugs about 30-40% in the summer...I almost there but not quite..

My problem is I'm still a whore and find It very hard when I'm only getting out once a week or on my one week off trip to not be so fired up about catching fish that I don't give it as much of a chance...Odd as the one day I did soley skate a fly on a certain river up north, I rose one pretty quick and hooked another later that day....I was convinced that the next day with a tip and wet I would slay them...instead I only hooked one fish all day and that was at the last spot I stopped...I called that fish my "Last hope" fish...
 
#10
Actively feeding steelhead in the foam line? Forget about a steelhead on a dry, thats crazy talk.
I`ve seen steelhead sipping green drakes off the surface on one of the Skeena tribs . My buddy hooked and landed one on an emerger pattern , this year I hope to get one on a dead drifted dry .
 

g_smolt

Recreational User
#12
I will take "vis is good" from that - some of my best skating days have been 44°-48° water temps, and last year I think I got 1 wild fish to every 3 hatchery fish while skating. I WILL say that you are more apt to get a wild fish as a repeat player (I got one to come up 10 different times to 3 different skated flies over a 25 minute period last year before I finally pinned him), but that old, oft-repeated bullshit about hatchery fish not coming to the surface just isn't true.

If there is any wisdom I might have to impart for folks wanting to fish skaters successfully, it would be the following:

1) Don't be afraid to fish "non-traditional" water with surface flies.
2) Don't be afraid of the small (sz 12 - 14) skaters.
3) Fish every cast from BEFORE it lands to the moment you recast.
4) Don't mend so damn much.
 

skyrise

Active Member
#13
only place/time it has worked for me is where there is very low angler activity. my own theory is that steelhead will become more and more active if left alone for long periods. course good luck finding that these days. agree that wild fish are much more prone to go up for a bug than hatchery slugs.
 

Jmills81

The Dude Abides
#14
I fish skaters quite a bit for fall fish. I fish them with confidence, I fish them fast, and I do very well on them. In the last few years I have gone from "Bullshit, these things don't work" to "This is my go-to method". The blow-up to hook-up to landed ratio definitely goes down when fishing on top, but who really cares if you don't land a fish that you made come up 5 or 6 times to take a swipe at a skated fly? You already got the best from them, leave it and find another that wants to play.
Remember last year on the ronde? Booooom shacka lacka
 

LBC

nymphing beads with a spey pole.
#15
Ive stuck a bunch on the dry. its my favorite way to fish. I agree w/ G don't be afraid of the smaller skaters! Contrary to popular belief, you don't always have to be able to wakeboard behind it. and experiement with different speeds in good holding water. I too have had fish come up and inhale a dead drifted 3" hunk of foam. It will happen just keep trying different tactics.
 
Likes: JS