size of flies?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by kimosabe, Jul 1, 2007.

  1. I get the impression that spey fishing is about swinging big streamers (probably wrong impression) but I looked at the fly pattern gallery...most are big flies.

    I have been throwing size 2 or 4 streamers...been thinking about smaller flies though

    Do speyfishers nymph or fish small wets (what size?) 5X tippet?

  2. Some nymph with speys. I do it on a small mostly unswingable stream with a small spey rod. You can fish any size fly with a spey rod. You can fish dry lines and sink tips.

    If you are in maine I suspect you are fishing for landlocks in the spring and fall. I always did well with size 6 marabou black ghosts, grey ghosts and smelt patterns on sink tips for fall landlocks in NE NY. In the spring it was more of a floating line show with smelt patterns and grey ghosts fished up top near the mouth of the rivers. Upstream we would resort to fall tactics. Although I have nymphed landlocks, looking back I wouldn't use my time to do it again. Roll the dice and use a size 6-8 hornberg off of a floating line and long leader. Fish it in the surface or riffle hitch it in the spring at river mouths.
    If you are fishing for landlocks, PM me and I have some other tips. They are awesome fish.

  3. I know that the steelhead you describe are much different that the PN steelies that we get. If you can catch a Clearwater buck or hen on 5X, you are leader of all leader's in the Jedi world. I use 10-12lb flouro or Powerflex.

    It is funny that you mentioned about fly size since I have often wondered how much does size matter. I see jetboaters using large 3-5" lures and catch fish after fish versus my size six Partridge of Red. spey fly.

    Landlocks might be more selective on fly size though. I have never chased them.
  4. Obi....I never use 5X for steelies...3X is more likely:)
  5. I would base my fly size decisions on what was commonly being used by the local fishermen, if I could get that info.

    Fishing is about pleasure so you should fish whatever way is most pleasurable to "YOU". If that is using a size 18 bit of fluff on 5X to try and catch 50# fish I would go for it. If it is legal, doesn't damage the resource it, and you want to fish that way it should be fine.

    On the Clearwater here in Idaho no one that I know of nymphs for steelhead. I have known a couple guys that used egg patterns and nymph fished but they switched to swinging hairwings with a spey rod after a year or two. Fly size ranges from #1 to #8 on average with a few of the old timer single hand guys using #10 and #12 doubles. Size #4 and #6 hairwings being the most common here.

    On the South Fork Clearwater (much smaller water) in the spring it is common for guys to use egg patterns and high stick for chrome stacked on the beds. This is the closest thing we have to "combat fishing".

    For "my" fishing on this river, my personal belief is this, "if 8# Maxima won't fit through the eye the fly is to small".
  6. Nice rule of thumb to live by!!! Thanks Poppy!:)

  7. For steelhead I use anything from a size 2 to a size 12, swinging wets, streamers and nymphs. Tippet size from 4 lb to 12 lb depending upon water clarity and if fish are pressured.

    Genreally I am swinging the wet flys/streamers or indie fishing nymphs on small rivers with 12 foot spey rod.

    Don't use the spey much for dry fly fishing. Like the accuracy of a single hand rod better for that.


  8. eh, go big or go home.....:cool: :cool:

    I swing bigger flies in the summer, winter, fall, hell all year round. I've only hooked a couple fish with the smaller hairwing flies. My flies have lots of "strike triggers" built into them-flash, movement, color, speed etc..... I want a response from the fish. Size does matter in my book, and the fish I catch, and I'll stop right there.

  9. duplicate
  10. Yep, he started thinking about BIG fish, got all excited and went to bangin on the submit reply link.:cool:
  11. At times I match to size of fly to size of fish. Stillaguamish fish for example are around 5 pounds, I would not use a 1.5 Alec Jackson hook for these fish, instead I would drop down to a size 6 or even an 8. With that being said the next thing I would consider is water conditions; crystal clear water - smaller flies, cloudy or colored water larger fly.
  12. Interesting thread. Looking back, summer and winter fishing, I've hooked the vast majority (Rogue River, and to a certain degree, the Chetco) on flies in size 10 and 12 hooks. Usually using a two fly rig, the first being larger/weighted, the trailer (2'ish foot back) will be a small bead head of some sort (most effective has been the Prince Nymph).

    Leader(s) will be a function of water flow; higher flows, stronger leader, lower flows get lighter leaders. Exception to this will be Spring Kings, there I'm using 15#. Leader combo's are typically 15# to 12#, 12# to 10#, 10# to 8#, 8# to 6 pound for the trailer.
  13. For what ever my opinion is worth I have to disagree with Tallflyguy. I agree that hatchery fish need prodding to react, hence large profile maribous w/ crystal flash. Natives on the other hand, good brood stocks, and Inland fish that have rediscovered their trouty genetics, don't require incentives to play. In fact I think a larger fly can be less affective.
  14. I like the fact that you called that smaller hook in the back a "trailer" hook. I've thought about doing the same, because I'm sure there are many that follow, but don't take the fly. If they follow in a little bit, they might just hook themselves on that little size 12 fly.

    It's ok to disagree, in fact...Everyone...use size 6 hairwing flies on the swing...they work. Do not, I repeat, do not use larger moal leaches, or egg sucking patterns!! Especially in the winter time targeting the nates, use size 8 and 10 hair wing patterns on the swing!!:cool: :cool:
  15. Some of those guys on the South Fork of the Clearwater in Feb, March are fishing sucker spawn flies down to size 14.

    Fred are you swinging your "trout flies" or are you high sticking?

    Tall and Pan, I'll make the "secret fly" this year, a Lady Caroline tied on a 3/0 iron. Then you can both be right.:cool:
  16. Personal preference and confidence again are the main factors involved when choosing a fly. I like TallFly do not have a lot of confidence in hairwing flies. I have caught more fish swinging leech patterns than any other. Then again people laugh at me for swinging caballero eggs patterns as well. Both I know are effective and I have caught many a fish on them. My MOAL leeches are two to three inches with two pieces of flash. There is a lot of movement in them and I find that most if not all takes are very aggresive.

    I do use hairwing patterns, but have little confidence in them. I can count the number of steelhead on one hand that I have caught with them. Cutthroat and salmon are another story though. I find that steelhead that are in fresh water for longer periods of time do acclimate themselves to their surroundings and will take dab patterns like a burlap or spade, hence why dead drifting nymphs or swinging nymphs can be very effective in the summer. Larger flies will pick up the aggressive fish and smaller neutral patterns presented appropriately can take the more lockjaw fish. Finding fish in that appropriate mood is all part of the game. I have caught Eastside fish on both, but do see the point that working a run first with a big fly may put down some fish.
  17. Well I have had the same luck with hair wings over the years, but have had luck with this one I designed four years ago and have a caught some steelhead with it. Give it a try.

    Hook: steelhead up or down eye size 4-10
    Thread: Black
    Over Wing: Black kid goat hair
    Under Wing: Purple kid goat hair, optional a few fibers of dark colored angel hair over the under wing
    Hackle: black or purple hackle collored
    Body: Hairline Krystal Pearl Chennile Purple
    Tag: Gold holographic tinsel
    Tail: Black krystal hair fibers

    Name: Bruiser



  18. high sticking with a spey?

  19. Yes they are. Mostly rods in the 13' range.
  20. I like that fly Black Ghost:thumb:

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