Tactics for Springers on the Spey...

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by JesseC, May 31, 2012.

  1. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

    I thought I'd open a thread to see if anyone is willing to talk shop about fishing for Springers on the Spey rod. What size skagit do you need to turn over a bait diver or 1oz cluster of eggs? ;)

    I've been trying to get one of these guys on the swing this year and have come up short. I had one on with a black/blue intruder but it came unbuttoned just as I got a look at it. Eh, it was probably a steelhead.

    Any tips on what makes these lock jawed fish bite a swung fly?
  2. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Fish at night
  3. Luke77

    Luke77 I hope she likes whitefish

    Nothing...screw those fish!

    But seriously....nothing unless you get them early and fresh.
  4. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

    I prefer small, brighter comet style flies for lower portions of the river or near-salt. Once they get in their tribs, I have the most luck using high-contrast bulky patterns, like Black Moal leeches or bigger marabou patterns, especially once it gets dark. So, what Evan said. Know your water and fish it at night!
    fredaevans and JesseCFowl like this.
  5. McNasty

    McNasty Canyon Lurker

    iv'e been hitting the river near my house with the spey every morning/night for springers about a week now. never caught anything on the spey yet but had one on a minute or two just the other night around 8:30 with a big coneheaded blue prom dress with a black rabbit collar. that was enough to keep me tryin
  6. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Two handed skagit tenkara rod , twenty five feet of 25lbs test level line ,a big red bead & your set
  7. TimDog

    TimDog New Member

    Springs are funny animals, In some rivers like our Dean, lilooet, and Kalum rivers they are extremely aggressive, grabbing flies swung on relatively light tips and flies that are 6in or longer. On other rivers around here they are near impossible to catch. Somebody once told me a theory that Springs that are very aggressive rear in freshwater longer than those in watersheds where they are less aggressive. I know very little about Chinook life cycles but found it to be an interesting idea.
    fredaevans likes this.
  8. Sean Beauchamp

    Sean Beauchamp Hot and Heavy at yer 6

    Springers are extremely sensitive to smell. So far I've decided they prefer camel lights, ranier and occasionally Copenhagen. Hope that helps!
    Marcel and Sgt Bulldogs like this.
  9. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

    Heavy sink tip (assuming water flow(s) here) and odd as it may seem a 4-6 foot leader with a weighted fly off the end. Close to salt, small and red like a Atlantic Salmon pattern called a Flamethrower or Cascade (double hook, if legal works a treat). Further up stream I go to UV chartruse with a black collar.

    All that said, you're odds on fav to actually floss the fish ... as are the Gear Guys. Well, there large plugs and back bounced eggs do work quite well.
  10. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    I trust this advice
  11. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

    Don't know to much about them but hooked up a 40 pounder on a bottom swung muddler minnow once. Shattered an 8 weight single.
  12. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

    Knew I was doing something wrong. I've been spitting grizzly this whole time. Should have known better than to listen to Jason
  13. troutpounder

    troutpounder Active Member

    try red man
  14. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

    Cast, cast, cast no matter what the offering. Bring IcyHot & good whiskey. Good luck, Jesse . . .
    JesseCFowl likes this.
  15. Jeremy Floyd

    Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    Try a different method than swinging.. Mostly you will snag them swinging. Fish without tension on your line, stripping it hard, back to you as your line falls downstream towards you, and using a weighted fly that falls rapidly head first...
  16. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member


    I've watched a tactician dead drift good numbers of them. Amazing to watch.
  17. John Hicks

    John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

    Ed, without seeing it myself this does sound like snagging to me.
  18. Red Shed

    Red Shed "junkyard spey"

    Why not just go steelheading with your worm weight/skagi setup and a big blue/chartreuse Intruder, bunny leech, or marajabou?

    That seems to work as well as anything over here where I'm at.
  19. Achilles

    Achilles Member

    Chinook are very hard to catch on the fly here in Washington. They are very picky eaters and are not as aggressive as summer run steelhead... You have to put it right in front of their face.

    Good luck!
  20. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

    Ditto to what Achilles notes above as far as our Spring Kings go on the Rogue. To hook one (save for plug fishing out of a boat) the odds of you hooking one, without 'flossing' it is slim.

    Fall Kings, here or the Chetco? WHOLE DIFFERENT BALL GAME. Those fellows will readily take a fly. On the Rogue you can't 'legally' fish for them above the "Hog Creek" boat launch (about 5 miles down stream from Grants Pass) but even above that they seem not to have read the fishing regulations.:eek:

    Their free spawn areas are well known and summer runs will collect below to chase the 'extra eggs' that float down stream as they fill up the Redds. Bugger's are very protective of their spawning bed(s) and a fly moving through (even if you're not fishing for them) will frequently get a huge grab. To keep yourself 'legal' limit the leader to 8#, which is more than enough for Steelhead. Hook one, just 'straight line' him and he'll blow off the fly.