How far?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by KerryS, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

    Posts: 1,826
    Roy, WA
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    I'd ignore it. It's a half-dead silver. I can't see that far that fast, damn these graduated bifocals.
    maybe take another pass through after I've worked down, in case I'm wrong.
  2. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,836
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +716 / 0
    Kerry -
    A great "what if" question. I suppose it would be not surprise that I would approach the situation a bit differently.

    Assuming it is this time of year I would first mentail note the location of the fish; typcially such a "rolling" fish will be either a holding fish or a traveling fish. I would first assume that it was a holding fish and that its "lie" would likely b several feet upstream of where the fish showed itself. Typically I would be fishing a 24 foot 220 grain head so I would make a slightly upstream cast of about 65 feet make an immediate upstream mend allow the line to sink until it was slightly downstream of me and "fish" the fly streamer style. In my presentation I'm picturing both the location of the fly and the expected holding location. That first cast I would expect my fly to pass 7 feet or so upstream of the fish. I then step down a couple steps, repeating for 5 casts or so - expect the fish to take on the second or 3rd cast.

    If no action I would carefully back out the stream move upstream 100 feet or so or to the dump-in riffle (which every is closer) changing the fly as I go and methodicially fish down through the water repeating the above cast. I'm now assuming the fish was traveling fish though I would make an extra cast ot two at where I thought the fish was holding. I would continue fishing all the way to the tail expecting other moving fish.

    In the above situation I would expect at least one fish. Before leaving the area I would fish the riffle area focusing on teh inner edge of the "choppy water" in that 2 1/2 foot to 5 depths.

    This whole "what if" discussion demostrates 2 of the factors that Iconsdre the most important for success.

    1) understanding the fish and how they behave.

    2) having a systematic and efficient approach to cover the water.

    3) Having the stream craft and line control to understand exactly where and how your fly is behaving.

    tight lines
  3. Sounds like we all need to get out and fish more....
  4. doublespey Steelhead-a-holic

    Posts: 598
    Bothell, WA
    Ratings: +22 / 0
    I think Kerry's designing a Steelhead Speyfishing Video game for when there are no more fish in the rivers to chase. :)

    The game is that you choose a river, then find a good flyfishing run. When you see a roller you have to figure out what fly, sinktip, and cast to use to catch it. Where to stand, etc.

    Not a bad idea!

    Have a happy merry,

  5. Andrew Lawrence Active Member

    Posts: 733
    Renton, WA.
    Ratings: +100 / 0
    Just to make things a little more interesting, the game is going to have instances where, say for example, a jet sled pulls up to the run and the occupants begin side drifting through the water that you are fishing. The pressure is on; you are going to have to get your fly to the fish before the sled either spooks it, or the occupants catch it.
  6. golfman65 Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Don't need to cast...I already ran my net across the an S river question right?
  7. Joe Smolt Member

    Posts: 532
    Bothell, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +9 / 0

    Is this a sincere question or one to challenge folks not to overthink?

    If the goal was simply to put a fly on the nose, I'd put on a floating line with a weighted egg pattern and 9 foot leader. I'd walk about 10-15 feet up river and cast to land the end of the floating line at that 60 ft point positioned upstream of the splash. I'd then walk down river, mending as needed to walk over the splash location. I'd use 9 ft of line assuming I wouldn't get the fly ahead of the line over the whole drift and assume the angle would leave 6 ft of vertical. This is if I wanted to achieve the goal of hitting on the nose, not how I would fish it.

    If swinging, I wouldn't over think it too. My goal would be to make sure the fly was set up to start swinging 65-70 ft out (ie start of swing is 5-10 feet away from the holding location expecting the fly will be at its greatest depth at the start of the swing). I'd select a fly and sink tip that I felt comfortable got to 6 feet at starting swing. Its hard to say from your description because I think some has to be by feel. Waters having the same visual speed some time have different pull and that can raise the fly. I'd use instinct on the feel of the pull and my past experience where I hit bottom. My best guess is a 15 foot type 8 with an unweighted fly. I'd walk up river far enough where I would guestimate the first cast would swing the fly 10 feet in front of the fish and then swing and step at 2 foot intervals until water is covered. You didnt specify how many casts, so I would take advantage of the best feature of swinging and cover the water.

  8. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,764
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,784 / 0
    Joe, serious in the form that we talk about doing some fishing. There are a number of ways to answer, none wrong. I kept my question vague in a lot of ways for a reason. To encourage discussion and an exchange of ideas. Some pretty good comments so far and a few that are, well..........................predictable.
  9. Joe Smolt Member

    Posts: 532
    Bothell, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +9 / 0
    Then I will give my best guess

    I would say that steelheading in its highest form is visualizing in your minds eye where the fly is and whether its movement in the swing is at an enticing speed (pretty slow in winter). Being a nerd by profession, I won't seek to define the geometry which would be my proclivity. I would start higher up in river, visualize/adjust as needed.

    Winter fishing for me is usually a skagit line with 5, 10, 15 ft sink tips and 3 foot leader. If I cast perpendicular to the current and mend upstream, I often notice it takes 10-15 seconds before everything is set up to start the swing. My skagit head is straight at the start of the swing and I imagine the sink tip still being somewhat J-shaped, for a little shorter final path than imagining the line fully extended out and drawing an arc path. With 10-15 second set up, I am hoping my fly starts at about 5 ft in depth. I don't think I want the fly to start the swing right in front of the fish because I can imagine it accelerating upon tightening up. So I want to start the fish swining further out in the river and coming across the fish's path. So setting the cast 5-10 feet further out in the river, setting up to sink for at least 10 seconds with at minimum a type 6, keeping the rod tip high and lowering in the start of the swing so the fly doesn't jump into action with a burst and covering the water through and through. That is what I'd do if seeing a jumping fish as described. I'd probably fish over the area at least twice with two very different flies (never leaving fish to find fish). I'd use an unweighted fly to start. My thought (right or wrong) is that an unweighted fly can be more lively if you can get it down to the needed depth than a heavily weighted fly. Again, when I feel the pressure on the fly, I would decide if I have right sink tip and fly weight on. I can't articulate the decision point for this, only feel.


  10. Matt Burke Active Member

    Posts: 3,655
    Ratings: +69 / 0
    I’m already fishing a shooting head with T-14 and I am sure I would have already swung it past him. I’d look at the water next and if I thought the pocket continued, I would continue down. If a buddy was next through the hole, I’d step out, let him know what color I had thrown to no avail and then ask what color he was going to use. Then I would go above him and wait to go back through picking a fly that was different than my previous or his current selection. I would continue casting as I normally would, casting a distance that covers water without breaking my rod. Consistent and methodical, keeping the fly wet and not drying off 15 feet above my head. If neither of us didn’t get a take, fuck ‘em, move to the next hole. Covering more holes in a day will produce fish more than hanging out in just one.
  11. Sean Beauchamp Hot and Heavy at yer 6

    Posts: 2,145
    Shoreline, WA, U.S.
    Ratings: +514 / 1
    On the S rivers I know my fly spends a lot of time fishing great water devoid of fish. So I've learned to never abandon one after I miss a grab or see one surface or otherwise. After some time observing holding steelhead I've also learned how much an agitated fish moves about within the run. Because there is no way of knowing where that fish is after showing itself I would move back up the pool a considerable distance and fish back through. Several times even, changing tip and fly until I've fully Gapped 'er out. This has been a productive strategy for me. Productive enough I wouldn't feel the time is wasted. At least I know there is a fish.


    This chrome brat from the lower sky was almost the same exact scenario. Saw it roll pretty much straight out from me on the edge of the seam. Walked up, same rig... nothing. Changed tip from 10' type 3 to 10' T14. Light grab 5 or so swings below where I saw splash. Back up.... Different fly. Nothing. Back up.... Back to first fly that got grabbed. Even further down then before.... Light tap.... Tap.... Zzzzz jump...... Jump..... Jump.....

    Gotcha bitch.
  12. Klickrolf Active Member

    Posts: 600
    Klickitat, Washington
    Ratings: +166 / 0
    Finding a fish is certainly the first objective...and you definitely stuck to the first (and most important) objective...think most of us would benefit from that. I've had very poor luck (none that I recall) casting to fish that I have seen rolling. Those that "show" themselves via take are an entirely different matter, once they've shown they are willing to play the odds go way up.

    I'd probably go through once more with a smaller fly fished deeper, only because I saw the fish. If no grabs I'd keep moving hoping to find another.
  13. Jim Darden Active Member

    Posts: 907
    Bellingham, Wa.
    Ratings: +222 / 0
    It's a chum....just keepp fishing
  14. _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

    Posts: 1,936
    Skagit River
    Ratings: +672 / 0
    Kerry, you gotta put the boat exactly where I tell you 'cause the fuse on this stick is only a few inches long...:)
  15. Wayne Kohan fish-ician

    Posts: 1,029
    TriCities, WA
    Ratings: +99 / 0
    I am liking this idea. First you pick a character to be - shiny young CEO type in brand new waders or Jerry Garcia type in patched up waders. You hae to decide which river to fish based on weather reports and flows. You pick the Ronde and head out. You get to the top of Shumaker grade and it is snowing unexpectedly when you get there. You have to get your rig down to the river without slipping off. You get down there and the Portland steelheaders sidedrifting club is set up for the weekend with 75 members all fishing. You find an open run and go to fish, realizing you left your box of favorite speys at home. You make do with what you got, when some otters take up residence in your run. You finally set up camp and realize that your buddy forgot the Crown and cigars. Do you make the drive back up Shumaker in the snow and head for town for Crown and 'gars, or do you stay down in camp hoping for a better day tomorrow, knowing that 75 people will float through tomorrow? Hmmmm. Seems too realistic.

  16. _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

    Posts: 1,936
    Skagit River
    Ratings: +672 / 0
    Chain up your 4x4 all around and head for town. Pick up three cases of whiskey and drop them off at the Portland camp. Those that do make it to the river in the morning will probably be no threat to your success.

    Thank me later...:)
  17. Drifter Active Member

    Posts: 1,635
    Ratings: +648 / 2
    Kerry i liked your situation with this fish - but so many just moved - heck i guess you can just move on every fish and fish it the way you want . That's to easy so kudo's on the mind thought of a tough situation for catching a steelhead on a fly .

    So where is this river that when any steelhead rolls you can get exactly where you want to fish it for your favorite presentation - heck i want to fish that river !
  18. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,535
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,504 / 9
    Well, a fish in that location, relative to me has already refused my fly for many casts. If I'm really feeling the skunk brewing, I'm headed up river a bit, at least 50', maybe as much as Sg at 75' and giving it another whirl. If I think the fish is holding in its relative position, I'm also changing my tip and/or fly because it had not worked yet. I likely will throw something smaller and darker on a heavier tip and see what happens. (Presumed winter fish that rose for some unexplainable reason.)

    Alas, at the end of the run, the skunk probably won.