Indicator fishing for Steelhead, Pro's and Con's

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Whitey, Jun 8, 2003.

  1. crockett

    crockett New Member

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    I think that Bob, Steelheader69, Little Stone and circlespey all have made good points. For what it's worth, here are my thoughts on the subject.

    1. It has always seemed to me that a spinning rod would be much more efficient at throwing an indicator/heavy fly setup than a fly rod. I've never used this approach, but I've watched plenty of gear fishers cast great distances with little effort. You don't see those guys chucking and ducking. Once you add weight to the end of the line, your fly line becomes less important. And when you add an indicator plus a weighted fly, the fly line becomes completely irrelevant. You have to ask yourself what advantages are gained by using a fly rod to deliver this setup?

    2. Whatever happened to the time-honored tradition of high-sticking a weighted bug through pocket water or narrow slots? This seems to be more amenable to the fly rod than indicator fishing although it definitely takes more skill. This would be the way to go on small streams.

    3. Not ALL water is good "fly water" in the traditional sense (and I mean the northwest tradition of swing flies). If you have to resort to nymphing with an indicator, you are probably fishing water that is traditionally thought of as gear water. If you want to fish that water, a spinning rod might be a better way to go or if you can get close to the bucket, high-stick.

    Whatever you do, fish hard and fish well.

    -Crock (of s#$@)
     
  2. sinktip

    sinktip Guest

    No glo-bugs allowed in my boat!!!! :7

    Circlespey is right, there are places where you can't effectively fish a swung fly. In these cases, if you are locked into fishing there, you have to choose between high sticking (an art unto itself) and fishing with a SI.

    I have fished a SI for steelhead and had great success doing so. It didn't take me long though to decide it was not for me. I don't think it wrong, its just not how I want to catch my steelhead.

    My suggestion is as long as it is not harmful to the resource and the regs do not prohibit it, listen to your conscience.
     
  3. troutman101

    troutman101 Member

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    I like the fact that everyone fishes for a different reason. Therefore, different ethics apply. Of course, I would rather fish with really well tied spey flies and swing it to hook a steelhead. This fashion is the most stylish way to hook and land a steelhead. On top of that, I would also love to do it in the brink of summer about 3 days after a good rainfall and high tide but slightly later and above the hatchery so all I catch is fresh, wild and large steelhead with 4 or 5 sea lice still attached. The fly would have a silkworm gut eye and tied as traditional as I can. Ideally a dee, spey or atlantic salmon fly. Maybe with chatterer, indian crow and scarlet ibis. There would be a 6'er of Pike pale ale just downstream from my run so when I am done with the run and land my two or three fish per run I can go back to the top, down a cold one and start all over again.

    I get to have this kind of day about 4 times a year. The rest of the time I do whatever it takes to catch them. This includes a dry/ dropper combo, sight fishing with a bead headed wooly bugger, indicator nymphing a big black stone in fast water, waking flies, dead drifting bombers, swinging deep sculpins, swinging just under the surface, throwing salt over one shoulder, getting a tarot reading or calling the pshychic(sp?) hotline.

    No one says steelheading is easy. On the contrary, some folks fish 20 days a year and never hook anything. I don't want to be one of those people so I fish however I legally can sometimes to hook and land just one in a day.

    I know, you're disappointed. Sorry.
     
  4. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    To each his own when it comes to the methods that people are comfortable with. I flyfish for steelhead at least 100 days a year and as pressure increase on all rivers, I end up fishing areas that the traditional flyfisherman has a more difficult time fishing.
    The assertion that it is better to fish with a spinning rod when "jig and bobber fishing" is looking at things through a pretty small window. With my 8150(2-hander) I can fish smaller rivers with no back cast room and deliver my "bobber" right down the seam and up against all types of structure that you couldn't get to with the traditional swing. At the end of my drift I can face upstream and just switch cast my bobber back up without the need for stripping my line in. Make a big mend to throw my line upstream of my offering and I'm fishing another drift. No stripping=having my "fly" in the water 90% of the time. Try that with a spinning setup. This is not my preferred way to do it but sometimes that is what is called for. These fish are one of the reasons I won't live anywhere else and limiting myself to only one method limits my enjoyment of watching these wonerful creatures swim away after a good QUICK fight.
    Only my $.03
    Dave:beer2
     
  5. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    :beer2 :thumb
     
  6. crockett

    crockett New Member

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    > To each his own when it comes to the methods
    Absolutely!! I wouldn't frown on a guy for throwing an indicator and split shot rig with a spinning rod.

    >I flyfish for steelhead at
    >least 100 days a year
    Good for you man!

    > The assertion that it is better to fish with a
    >spinning rod when "jig and bobber fishing" is looking
    >at things through a pretty small window.
    Not really a small window at all. There is a lot of big water to swing unweighted flies with a spey rod in Washington and British Columbia.

    >live anywhere else and limiting myself to only one
    >method limits
    Surely you don't limit yourself to fly fishing?:D

    Good fishing to you...indicator or not.

    -Crock
     
  7. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry PT, but I can tell you are very limited to actually using traditional gear, or not well made gear. I use a spey too (I have a 9140 I bought specifically for the OP) and with my high speed retrieve I can have my gear in as quick, if not quicker then with my spey and recast in same time. Pretty much each rotation of my handle brings in FEET of line. So, you don't have any delay as said. Plus, with the use of most superlines, they float and can be mended in the stream. Not as easy as a flyline, but can be done. For some, it's not a "narrow" window, it's having a WIDE window. Say it this way, I could do just about any fishing with a flyrod. Could cast light spoons, small plugs, etc. But, I have rods for those occasions. And YES, I have run a plug on my 9' 10wt in a pinch once. It can be done, but I suggest not to. I have a very wide open view on fishing (not fly fishing, but FISHING). I have spey rods, standard fly rods, jig rods, hardware rods, mooching rods, plug rods, and a couple others as well. I specialize the rod to what I want to do with it.

    Plus, when it comes to even the beefier spey rods, you still have an ackward roll when it comes to a preset float and a fly. With my conventional gear, I can use a slider setup on my float, and get a quick pin point cast with very little spread on the gear being thrown (distance from float to lure).

    We can all agree to disagree. But to some of us who actually use a wide variety of gear, we can't be called "narrow" in view if we actually go so far as to specialize our gear.
     
  8. Whitey

    Whitey Active Member

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    I'm glad I started this, a good debate is going on with some of the best in the business. I have never looked down apon the gear chuckers, my dad has been one for over 30 years. bait chuckers with treble hooks?? thats a different story. His favorite(listen up all you gear chucking lurkers), a glo-in-the-dark corkie with a small piece of black yarn on a barbless hook with a slinkey weight. top secret gear thang! hahahaha! I've seen that combo catch him(and release all nats) more fish then I can count. Loves pull'n plugs too. When I started this, I was thinking about steelheading is small waters with a stone under an indicator. Trying to mimic a food source in the river. Not the dink floats with a jig thang, if I wanted to do that, I'd dust off the ugly stick spinnin rod. No way, its too dusty at this point. YT :smokin
     
  9. BOBLAWLESS

    BOBLAWLESS New Member

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    Somehow I keep hearing about this dusty stick business.I wish we could find a way to have a contest about dusty gear because I think I could win. Here's what I will be bringing:
    A Fenwick ugly stick.
    Two or three spinning sticks if I can find them all.
    A nice Fenwick 9ft. casting rod designed for steelhead.
    A beutiful carbon fiber 9ft spinning or casting rod.
    A tuna stick that will handle anything.
    A beefy salmon stick desinged to throw an 8 oz. or better bell sinker out into the middle of a big hole I know on the Skeena River. To brag: best fish was a king over fifty pounds.
    A standard boat rod for trolling three pound weights.
    A Hardy 10ft 10" mooching rod that I'm thinking about dusting off and trying to use it fro a spey rod.
    Two matched Shimano 7 ft. trolling sticks.
    A small gun.
    These are all very dusty and some are neglected with rust, corrosion, mold in evidence, etc.
    Several have a guide or two missing.
    Is there anyone out there for me to worry about? If so, let us know what you've got in your arsenal. No shined up recently used rods permitted.
    Bobx(
     
  10. wet line

    wet line New Member

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    Bob,
    Why do you think you are the only one to have these dusty old treasures?
    I can add to the lot four old fly rods of questionable weights from such great names like western field and two others circa 1950 or so. All bamboo of course.
    A bamboo salmon rod and who knows how old. Looks like a whip to drive oxen or something.
    Three Wright Mc Gills that are for mooching or summer runs, circa mid 50's to early 60's.
    A Berkley summer steel head rod that I won't part with,circa 1968.
    A Conlon trolling rod for salmon in the mid or early 50 era that would be a tough pull from my collection.
    Now do you want to add reels to this also?
    How about some old flies? I have some with a leader attached with a loop.
    We could add some old hardware too. How about some lucky louis and the infamous Seattle Six.
    Gee , I just looked and found two old Conlons, a 6 and a 7 weight.
    I just looked and found some hand made spinners made here in Seattle that are who knows how old.
    If we want to blow off the dust I just may be into this recycle effort and get rid of some of these old tokens. They all represent a piece of the past.
    I will keep them and pass them on. It is a history of what was before us. Sometimes I even go out and use these old relics.
    Lets not give up the old. That is what got us to today. It is in history that we move forward, something that a scholar beat into my head and I now understand. Gee it only took 35 years! Good teachers reach out a long ways!
    I am sure you were a good one and it will come out down the road.
    Dave
    :beer1 :beer2 :beer2
     
  11. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Umm - PT, correct me if I mis-understoond you, but...
    Steelheader, I think PT was actually agreeing with you and referring to those who inisist on only swinging flies in the traditional sense as the ones who are limitting themselves (narrower window of opprotunity). PT was suggesting that having a little flexibilty allows you to work many different types of water. you simply expanded on his point and included gear techniques...
     
  12. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, this is what I saw

    The assertion that it is better to fish with a spinning rod when "jig and bobber fishing" is looking at things through a pretty small window. With my 8150(2-hander) I can fish smaller rivers with no back cast room and deliver my "bobber" right down the seam and up against all types of structure that you couldn't get to with the traditional swing. At the end of my drift I can face upstream and just switch cast my bobber back up without the need for stripping my line in. Make a big mend to throw my line upstream of my offering and I'm fishing another drift. No stripping=having my "fly" in the water 90% of the time. Try that with a spinning setup

    I may have been wrong, so forgive me PT if I did misunderstand you since the internet is so one dimensional. But from what I saw made it the last line summed up that he fealt it was actually better to run a bobber setup on a fly rod. What I was countering that by the time you do your spey/doublespey you are in virtually same timeframe as conventional gear. Plus, you have less drag on line of a standard line, especially using superlines. I can simply hit my direct drive on my baitcaster and feed line, plus using long enough rod that I can do a "somewhat" mend to help add line to the changing currents. If I misunderstood, I apologize, it is what I assumed, and we all know what happens when we assume. ;)
     
  13. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    chadk,

    You might be right that those of us who use the traditional wet fly swing are limiting ourselves to a narrower window of opportunity. But, there are some like me that choose that narrow window on purpose. I have caught salmon and steelhead using just about ever method possible. Including using many commercial fishing methods. Today, I enjoy using the spey rod and the wet fly swing, by choice, almost exclusively.
     
  14. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Those weren't my words - I was repeating\clarifying what PT said... But I don't disagree with him - or steelheader, or you for that matter. To each his own as long as legal and responsible.

    You say you use the swing "almost" exclusively? Why "almost"?

    For me personally, there are too many times I find myself on a stretch of water that just doesn't fish well with a traditional swing approach. Often I'm avoiding the crowds or exploring new waters. So my thought on the subject goes like this: I let the type of water before me determine my tactic\approach\presentation - I don't usually let my tactice\approach\presentation dictate what specific water I look for. Maybe when my kids grow up and I retire will I have that kind of time and patience... Besides, I love the challenge of adapting and finding creative ways to work many types of water under many types of conditions. I have my prefered ways - like catching trout on a dry fly - but if that's not what's working - I'll change my approach - and I'll still be having a blast...
     
  15. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    Chad,

    I say "almost" because I do like to do some dry fly fishing for summer runs and I will wake flies also. But, my preference is the wet fly swing. I enjoy casting the long rod and I like the way a steelhead "hits" a swung fly. This is what I enjoy and I am in no way saying everyone should fish as I do. I only wanted to point out some will limit themselves to a particular style on purpose. As I stated in my other post I have fished using about every method out there and caught fish. Today, fishing isn't necessarily about catching fish for me.

    I wasn't trying to put words in your mouth. Sorry if that was the impression I gave.

    Enjoy

    K
     
  16. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    Let me clarify my earlier post. I just love to catch fish. While swinging a fly in the traditional way would be my preferred method of catching steelhead, sometimes I have to get outside of that box. I am by no means an elitist flyfisherman. I fish in the salt with my downriggers and jig rods. Dunk powerbait(once a year) while my wife and I are camping on Medicare Beach at the Potholes. For Steelhead I would rather fish the fly even if it means limiting my odds to about 25% of what it would be if I used hardware. If I feel my odds are much lower than that with the fly I will break out my drift rod or float rod.
    I wasn't trying to frown on other methods, but, when someone writes that you should just fish with a spinning setup if you want to fish an untrditional method with the fly, then that is where I feel people are seeing things too narrowly. That is also where I think that a great divide is being widened by different sporting groups.
    I grew up drift fishing for steelhead but now flyfish for them 95% of the time. I certainly haven't forgot my roots though. And while I certainly don't like being low holed by a drift guy, or having a boat float past and pull in downstream 20 yards only to drop his anchor and let his plugs out. I also don't like having others who flyfish frown on some of the unorthodox methods that are used in some very specific circumstances.
    While I definitely define myself as being a flyfisherman, there are way too many other ways of doing things that are every bit as acceptable. A little long winded but this is my passion.
    Tight lines everyone, Dave :beer2
     
  17. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks PT for clarifying

    That does help some things up. I have tons of methods at my disposal that I truly use. So I like using the method that is most desirable for said situation. For me, I'm like Kerry. I use my fly rod for either the standard wet fly swing or running dries for steelhead. I only use my fly rods for salmon/steelhead. In fact, I fish trout maybe once a year max. There is always a river that is open for fishing that I want to do (between salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon). For myself, I am what you'd call "narrow minded" when it comes to using certain gear. Myself, bobbers were meant for conventional gear. Most of the SI's I've seen for salmon/steelhead are just that, bobbers. I can understand putting some mucilin on the head of a floating line and a lightly weighted fly on a subsurface swing, but when it comes to huge bobbers and heavily weighted flies, I shy away from them. Have over 20 years flyfishing myself (almost 30 overall) and have fished, and still do, a variety of ways. Still have my old meatline rod up on ceiling. For myself, I have a rod setup for running systems like that (jigs and jigstyle lures) so I use it. I have expanded my arsenal so I don't have to use a couple rods for everything. This way, I can focalize on a certain style of fishing.

    Glad we got that cleared up. Like I said, it's so one dimensional, can't really tell how someone is saying "what they are saying".
     
  18. troutman101

    troutman101 Member

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    Nice collection Bob!!!

    To add to the dust, an old Horracks (sp?) and Ibbotson 7' cane rod needing rewrapping. An aluminium, yup alloy 8' 6 weight flyrod. 10 automatic reels. The old school models. One had the original patent ID# for auto retrieve. A Cabela's plastic reel which worked quite well. An Avid Angler Fly Tying beginners notebook from about 1980.

    Sorry, I don't have any spinning rods left. I've gone strictly flyrod and reel now. I can never go back.:rofl
     
  19. troutman101

    troutman101 Member

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    Oh yeah, and a few Bunyan Bugs!!!!!