Dry Line Steelhead

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Andrew Lawrence, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Andrew Lawrence

    Andrew Lawrence Active Member

    I spent a good portion of the day swinging a heavy fly on a set up consisting of a floating head and a 12 foot long leader. Anyhow, the river gods rewarded me with my first steelhead of 2013.

    Attached Files:

  2. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    That is pretty much awesome.

    Go Sox,
  3. Derek Day

    Derek Day Rockyday

    Sweet! Pretty fish. I swung a dry line fish on the 30th of last month--and I'm still buzzing from that one.

    So satisfying, can't be beat.
    Eric Tarcha and Andrew Lawrence like this.
  4. formerguide

    formerguide Active Member

    Lovely fish. That's pretty awesome, congrats!

  5. Eric Tarcha

    Eric Tarcha gear whore

    Thats the way you do it man! Dry line, downstream mend and lead the fly...BOOM!
    Christian Brewer likes this.
  6. Christian Brewer

    Christian Brewer Super Slacker

    Nice friggin' work!!! Good on you for reading the conditions and taking the risk of using a floating line.

    I fish long belly floating lines and big iron traditional flies in the winter time quite a bit...it's always very satisfying to know that you really don't need to fish with 15ft of T-whatever and a fly tied with half an ostrich to catch steelhead. I debate this with my fishing buddies all of the time.
  7. Eric Tarcha

    Eric Tarcha gear whore

    it takes balls and a shit load of confidence to spend your winter days fishing that way...I am still trying to get over the hump and dedicate some quality time doing it. RIght now, i will fish that way for a few hours and then throw a tip back on because I am still not fully confident all the time. hooking up a few times helps though. I know some guys that are fishing only drylines this winter and hooking up pretty consistently. I do fish the greased line type swing whether I have a tip on or not though, and that has improved my fly swimming skills immensely.
    Andrew Lawrence likes this.
  8. Chris Bentsen

    Chris Bentsen Member

    Nice job. I agree. I have been using my summer spey setup with a weighted fly late last month and early this month due to the low water level with good success.
  9. Andrew:
    Congratulations! What a beautiful winter native taken on my favorite technique! I love hooking winter steelhead on the dryline swing, keep em' coming. What kind of water were you fishing in?

  10. jsuyes

    jsuyes FFF-CCI

    Beautiful Fish Andrew. Can I ask what rod and line you were using? I'm looking at purchasing a dry line setup.
  11. Andrew Lawrence

    Andrew Lawrence Active Member

    I’m sure there are probably better rods and lines for this type of presentation. However, this is what I have to work with, so it’s what I use.

    Rod and line set up:

    - Rod: Echo2-7124fa-4x (12’ 4”)

    - Line: 480 Grain Airflo Rage Compact Shooting Head

    - Leader: 9 Foot Seaguar fluorocarbon leader tapered down to 12 lb. test. To give it some extra length, I added 3 feet of 40lb. Maxima ultra green to the butt section.
  12. Derek Day

    Derek Day Rockyday

    I'd look into a long rod, 14-15' and long(ish) lines. The 15' 8/9 MKS or Deer Creek equivalent would be great for bigger rivers. My primary winter dryline rod is a 15' 10wt, casts big flies on long lines. That said, I got my last winter dryline fish on my 12'6'' 6wt. I do have a 50' line on that rod though (5/6 windcutter). BIll McMillan uses windcutters on his spey rods too.
    Andrew Lawrence likes this.
  13. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    very cool!!!
    I'm with you, but have only hooked bulls... am not complaining, though I sometimes think I am the Dolly lama...

    Something to be said for standing out in a winter river throwing darts with a dry line and hooking fish!! I've talked about this for awhile but never really followed through... don't know what changed..just felt it was time!!

    Seeing this Andrew just keeps me believing....Thanks!!!
  14. Andrew Lawrence

    Andrew Lawrence Active Member


    The water that I was fishing could be described as a slightly smaller version of what many would consider the classic fly run. The section that I was fishing is located a little ways above the start of the tail out. When the fish grabbed my fly, it had just completed the dead drift portion of the presentation and was starting to rise through the transition water (the seam). So in other words, it was just starting to swim towards the shore. I hope this answers your question?


  15. Cool, yes you did answer my question. I was just curious, I've had grabs like yours too, just as the fly is starting to rise on the swing, seems to trigger a strike response. I've also gotten dryline grabs in the head of a run or pool, on the softer water flowing adjacent to a harder flow, in the gut of a slow pool, in mid run slots, and in various locations in larger gravel bar type runs. I think putting your fly in softer water so it can swing deep helps. I've also gotten grabbed in some relatively slow, flat water (but with good strucure) by simply casting across and letting the fly swing slowly through.

    Thanks for your response,