Super clear water: How many steps between swings?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by golfman44, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

    Posts: 1,823
    Skagit River
    Ratings: +570 / 0
    I usually kind of shuffle continuously through the run when I'm fishing. About the only time I stop moving is when I blow a cast or get some kind of tangle or lose a fly and have to re-tie.

    I'm also pretty easy going and malleable enough to fish at whatever pace the guy in front of me is going at - as long as there is a pace...otherwise I may end up hooking your waders. You don't want yer waders hooked now do ya?
  2. Danielocean Steelhead Virgin

    Posts: 1,145
    Ratings: +399 / 0
    I feel really bad because I can remember a few times in the past where others have asked me to speed things up. I guess keeping the pace in mind is more difficult for rookies starting out cause they are so nervous and jittery for there first steelhead. I will be the first to admit that not keeping a good pace was a bad habit but I would like to think I have corrected it now. WW is right. When you have some off casting days it can be easy to be mentally consumed by your casting, and you forget everything else including your pace.
  3. John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

    Posts: 2,099
    Ratings: +150 / 1
    My distance is controlled usually by three things:
    1. Step distance of clarity
    2. If run is a known producer shorter steps or even two casts per step
    3. if the hairs on the back of my neck stand up I slow down. (spidy sense)

    I also will stop and swing in front and behind boulders. In good buckets. Beside wood. I am pretty methodical about fishing runs. I know I may move slower or faster than others, so I will adjust my pace accordingly. With Salmo G I will just let him fish the run in front of me. He is must faster through runs than I am.

    I almost always err on the side of slower through a run.
  4. John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

    Posts: 2,099
    Ratings: +150 / 1

    Don't worry about it. Move at whatever pace makes you feel as if you have covered whatever water you are fishing effectively. If someone wants you to speed up, just step out or let them start in bellow you. Nothing will kill your day more than speeding up for the sake of someone else and watching them pick your pocket.
    DKL likes this.
  5. Darthmonkey Active Member

    Posts: 170
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +110 / 0
    My steps are in the range of a yard. First cast to present the fly broadside with a little speed, make my second cast simultaneously taking two steps to present the fly low and slow. The idea being that if a non-player refuses the first offering and drops down stream, the second offer will hopefully trigger a fight or flight response. That's my theory at least.
  6. bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Posts: 1,902
    Ratings: +458 / 0
    I never worry about the pace , on the waters I fish theres never anybody there. The only thing I worry about is with no witnesses around who will believe me if I catch a steelhead and I don't have a photo of the event?
  7. Flyborg Active Member

    Posts: 2,284
    Kalama, WA
    Ratings: +582 / 0
  8. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,286
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,387 / 0

    Why does it matter if anyone believes you. After all, character is what you do when no one is around to witness.

    Old406Kid likes this.
  9. Klickrolf Active Member

    Posts: 492
    Klickitat, Washington
    Ratings: +95 / 0
    It is how you do it!

    Every run, every step, every cast presents different opportunities. I tend to fish fast but only because I think I know where the fish might be, players let you know quickly. One step here and/or a dozen steps to the next sweet spot. I refuse to catch in-between fish because they are inferior, or at least they aren't eating at the correct pace.
    bennysbuddy likes this.
  10. Jeff Sawyer New to Washington...

    Posts: 403
    Tacoma WA
    Ratings: +174 / 0
    I don't change the number of steps, based on water clarity. Maybe I should, and it's a good question, but I look at it like this.

    Mr/Mrs Steelhead is sitting there, maybe they see that fly swing by 10' away, but thinks that might be tasty but damn it's cold and I'm all bedded down here. Or maybe they're thinking I'm just not that hungry. But that same fly swings by 6" in front of there nose and it pisses them off enough to hit it.

    I could be full of shit, maybe they aren't thinking anything, and I just like taking 2-3 steps.
  11. itsbenlong Member

    Posts: 38
    West Sacramento, CA
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    I know this isn't really regarding steps to take in super clear water. But I like this post and wanted to add to what others were saying. If I have a run to myself, which I usually do, I move through it different than if someone is fishing above me. I probably fish it faster when someone is above me because all I really want to do at that point is leave and find some water to myself. There are just too many variables to decide on steps to take using water clarity only.


    What I wanted to add is, I often but not always work a run like this (Using a spey rod & Skagit shooting heads):

    1. Cast, mend, swing......(I do not always mend, depends on the flow)
    2. Cast, mend, feed line, swing (to allow fly to run deeper and cover more water further down)
    3. Cast, mend, then slowly Step, Step, Step, Swing.......(slow steps to ensure your sink tip and fly stay ahead of your line...(# of steps varies, runs the fly even deeper and positions me in my next spot down steam)

    I have had excellent results with this method!
  12. JesseC Active Member

    Posts: 1,910
    seattle, wa
    Ratings: +669 / 0

    I'm with Sean on this one. Sometimes If I'm bored, I'll just take an extra cast and change the presentation up... I'll start with a slow hunting swing and if that doesn't work I'll cast it out again but not mend and let the fly race across with a couple pops of the rod. I've been surprised more than once that a fast presentation, even in winter, will draw a chase - especially in bombed out water after following 4 guys through a run, with a hothead nymph swung instead of a big fly.
    golfman44 likes this.
  13. Rob Allen Active Member

    Posts: 786
    Vancouver WA
    Ratings: +274 / 0
    I fish the same regardless of the conditions i may use a bigger more visible fly in dirtier water but I fish at the same speed.

    quite frankly my best fishing occurs in the clearest water.