Steelhead:Nymphing or Swinging

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by McQ, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. Ryan Buccola I ain't broke but brother I am badly bent

    Posts: 229
    Bend Oregon
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    This is a great topic! There is no better take down than the tug on the swing...If you want to nymph...nymph, But there is no comparison to inital grab. "the tug is the drug"
  2. Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    Posts: 2,569
    Quesnel, BC
    Ratings: +323 / 0
    You still get the tug tight line stick nymphing if you can mend well.
  3. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    Better than the tug is the surface take. But any take that results in a solid head shake followed by a few crazy jumps and line screaming runs will get my blood flowing - i'm not going to hang my head in shame if I acheived that in a way someone else thinks is 'lowly'...
  4. HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Posts: 2,750
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    EXACTLY.
  5. Diehard aka Justin

    Posts: 866
    Seattle, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    I nymph and swing and enjoy both. If you don't like to nymph, that's fine. Others do so don't give them crap about it. Just treat other people with respect and acknowledge that everyone is different. Save your ranting for the people who are hurting the resource.
  6. HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Posts: 2,750
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    I don't think that is the argument being made here.

    It isn't about a judgement, it is about what makes sense.

    When you are "nymphing" with a "strike indicator" and a bunch of lead, you might as well be using a spinning rod and a float and cover 10X the water, 10X better at 10X easier.

    And if you like to tie.....than tie up your own jigs.

    Those are my thoughts anyway.

    Spinning rods are a lot of fun and a great change of pace from a fly rod for me. I grab my spinner maybe 1 out of 10 days on the river and really enjoy it.

    Although I def. don't hook as many fish on the spinning rod; I suspect this is because I haven't payed my dues.
  7. Diehard aka Justin

    Posts: 866
    Seattle, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    We don't fly fish for Steelhead because it "makes sense". We do it because we enjoy using the fly rod, the cast, the challenge, or whatever. If we just did "what makes sense", we would fish the most effective way possible, which would be using gear rods with various methods. In fact, most of my family and friends think I don't make any sense when I tell them I love to stand in a freezing river for 8 hours casting and hoping for a single fish! ;)
  8. Jergens AKA Joe Willauer

    Posts: 2,141
    Twin Bridges, MT
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    This may be true from the bank simply because you can not cast as far with a fly rod and bobber compared to conventional tackle, but get in a boat and a fly rod is an equally effective tool, particularly if you have a good oarsman, although it is not the oarsman doing all of the work. it takes skill to throw a indicator rig under a bush, into a slot, while moving, mending it, all the while reading the water that is coming up. It is also very relative to what river your fishing, like nymphing the skagit from a moving boat doesnt make much sense, to me atleast. have yo ufished from a moving boat before jbueler?
  9. Kevin J. Burnham Active Member

    Posts: 2,148
    Auburn,Wa.
    Ratings: +141 / 0
    Dam !!! I guess I can't hang with you guys. I nymph sometimes which means I'm not worthy !!!:(:(
  10. Jmills81 The Dude Abides

    Posts: 1,903
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +146 / 0
    It could be me, but what i am hearing here is also a thought that nymphing is easy

    if you dont have your shit together, doesnt matter what your doing, you're not going to catch fish

    i watch plenty of dudes fish via nymphing and they dont have the touch and the mending ability, the stacking of the line to make a dead drift happen to actually be rewarded with a take

    It took me long enough to figure out correct nymphing tactics....then i caught fish
  11. gearhead Active Member

    Posts: 661
    Renton, wa
    Ratings: +45 / 0
    a sub title for this thread may be, how long can you actually kick a dead horse before your foot falls off.
    you have the elitists and purists who love the "art" of fly fishing or in this case swinging. the rythm of a 1-2 count, the pulse of a stream pulling their fly to the prey and the orgasm of that hard tug at the near end of a swing (which will probably never happen).
    then you have nymphos', neither elite nor pure. these guys are rebels with a cause, and its catching fish!
  12. KevenSamuelson Member

    Posts: 55
    The Desert
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    There is a equal amount of skill required for both techniques to be performed well. To be skilled at steelhead nymphing requires a lot of attributes the average angler does not, and may never possess. I believe performing this style of fishing is an art, tradition or not.
  13. djzaro New Member

    Posts: 218
    gone, bs
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I think some of the replies are leading astray. I think it comes down to what's important, catching fish or how you catch them. If someone is using that amount of led I would think it is a waste and you might as well have the gear setup out to maximize your chance since that's all that matters if you are willing to fish a cannonball on a flyrod. Some have said," Who cares, let them fish how they like". I agree, but what would you say when the next thread is about tying egg loops on their flys or using scent on their flys. At what point do you become a wolf in sheeps clothing?
  14. HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Posts: 2,750
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    Hey I NEVER said nymphing was easy!

    I just think it is funny when I see fly guys chucking tons of lead on a fly rod 20 feet and getting a 30 foot drift with hardly a true dead drift.

    I think this is funny because with a float setup you can cover 100 feet easily all with a perfect dead drift.

    I have personally nymphed with a fly rod A LOT for trout in the Montana winters when I lived there and I have caught a few steelhead doing it around here and I know it takes skill.

    I wasn't talking about skill though.

    I was talking about how you can cover SO SO much more water better nymphing with float and spinning rod and how you can tie your own jigs up to make it kind of like fly fishing (stretching things but you know what I mean).

    Just trying to inform some guys of the possibility.

    Anyway, it takes skill to catch a steelhead no matter what you do.

    I also think that in good riffles where a swing is possible, the swing out fishes the dead drift nymph 3:1 or more.

    I actually think the wet fly swing is the most effective method to hook steelhead, as long as the water is condusive to it. This is the only way I can explain myself outfishing my buddy who uses floats exclusively on the Skagit all the time.

    And I have my fly rod and swing 90% of the time so it isn't like I am a float junkie.


    iagreeiagreeiagreeThis is essentially what I am saying, just worded WAY WAY better.

    Do not fear the gear fly junkies......
  15. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,569
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,698 / 0
    If the amount of lead being used to "nymph" for steelhead is 1/8 oz. or more, and an indicator is employed, I think it's an effective arguement that the technique is the functional equivalent of spin fishing with a jig and bobber. It appears that some would say, "so what?" So is it still fly fishing when the only significant difference is the type of guides and reel that are on the rod? Then some would say, "who cares?" Traditionalists, that's who.

    Last June I was in Utah and fished on the Provo and Green Rivers. It was the first time I ever seriously nymphed for trout using a floating line, with split shot and small nymphs on my leader. In hindsight, I think the technique could be made more efficient if not effective by simply substituting the fly rod with a light spinning outfit. Everyone I saw was using a fly rod, and maybe that's just out of tradition. But I would be hard pressed to argue that a fly rod is as good a fit to the purpose as a spinning rod would be.

    So even if nymphing for steelhead takes skill, is there any attribute that makes the fly rod a tool better suited to the function and technique than a spinning rod is? Asked by a guy who has caught steelhead on casting and spinning rods, but who has caught way over 90% of my lifetime steelheaad on the wet fly swing.

    Sg
  16. HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Posts: 2,750
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    Salmo G, you couldn't have said it better.
  17. Dave Hartman is tired of trout

    Posts: 591
    Whitefish, MT
    Ratings: +51 / 0
    I can only speak for myself, but I've never used spinning gear. I simply don't own any spin gear, never have, and don't know how to use it. So I just figure out how to catch fish on the only rods I know how: fly rods. I've just never made a conversion.
    I'm not a snob about it. I don't think one is better than the other. However, I'm not necessarily yearning for my fishing to be any easier. Just because I could use equipment that makes things easier, or more efficient, doesn't mean I want to do it that way.

    So there's the advantage in attributes for me: it's easier because I don't have to learn, and buy, all that new and strange equipment.
    I'd be surprised if there weren't many others in the same boat.
  18. HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Posts: 2,750
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    Yeah, that makes sense.

    Maybe we should get a program going called "Take A Fly Fisher Gear Fishing/ Take A Gear Fisher Fly Fishing"

    Maybe that would bring our fishing communties together under one umbrella.
  19. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0

    Why did you show up ready for nymphing with shot and a flaoting line?
    WHen you realized that you might be able to do the same presentation, or better with a spinning rod (I doubt it, but let's go with it), why didn't you grab a spinning rod and have at it?
  20. Dave Hartman is tired of trout

    Posts: 591
    Whitefish, MT
    Ratings: +51 / 0
    :rofl: We could host a dance! And invite the dudes from gamefishin.com :rofl: