To the ear!

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Charles Sullivan, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    Posts: 2,287
    bellingham wa
    Ratings: +539 / 0
    "To the ear!"

    This is one of the sayings I heard on a steelheading trip this year. The saying describes what you do when an atlantic salmon takes a dry fly. The dry fly is fished on a dead drif and the rods are 8 and 9 feet single handers. This is as descibed by a couple of newfies who had camp next door. BTW- if you get a chance to hang out with it.

    With 2-handers and skating dries we generally give to the fish either by bowing, dropping a loop or even having a click drag. Now the one newfie who fished dries all but all the time, said he hooked about 80% of the fish he rose. That is either the first time or when it came back. This was on steelhead, skating flies with the same 8 foot single hander.

    I haven't skated enough fish up to try and use differnt striking methods. However, if all goes perfect next fall I will do it for at least a week. In fact, I am fairly sure I'll give one-handers and bombers a shot too. I'm thinking 8 or 9 ft glass w/a medalist. You know, traditional steelhead gear.

    So what do you all think?
    Short casts and 1-hander = to the ear?
    upstream dead drift= to the ear?
    never to the ear?
    2-hander= never to the ear?

    Has anyone tried a hard strike to set the hook?

    Go Sox,
  2. Klickrolf Active Member

    Posts: 559
    Klickitat, Washington
    Ratings: +138 / 0
    Interesting..."to the ear" must be a hookset.

    I'd say never...well, maybe if the fish is holding in shallow water. If the fish comes up and turns back down let the fish do the set. I've seen lots of vids of salar holding in quite shallow and slow moving water. In that case everthing changes, regardless of rod length. If they're "slurping" the fly i'd go for the ear! Be it a 6 footer or a 16 footer.
  3. Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    Posts: 2,287
    bellingham wa
    Ratings: +539 / 0
    That's right a hook set where your hand goes to the ear.

    It was pretty fun to practice with the accent and the whiskey!

    I think the shorter rods and upstream drag free take have something to do with it, but he did it skating too.

    Go sox,
  4. Brian Thomas Active Member

    Posts: 801
    Kamloops B.C
    Ratings: +120 / 0
    I second that . Newfies are good people . And a LOT of fun .

    "To the ear!" makes as much sense as anything when it comes to hooking steelhead on a dead drifted dry with a single hander - not that I`ve done it , but I came close a couple of times this year . Buck fever set in both times , and I set the hook far too quickly - to nothing !
  5. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,472
    Your City ,State
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    I'd have to be paying closer attention. I don't see this happening anytime soon.

  6. Klickrolf Active Member

    Posts: 559
    Klickitat, Washington
    Ratings: +138 / 0
    If the cast is upstream with a floating presentation, line management will be the problem, more of a problem with a shorter rod. If you high stick it you can't set "to the ear". I doubt rod length has much to do with it, all things being equal. Shorter rods reduce line control at a given distance.
  7. shotgunner Anywhere ~ Anytime

    Posts: 481
    45th Parallel NW Michigan
    Ratings: +23 / 1
    I think it can be looked at as either upstream or downstream presentation, regardless of species. Upstream; fly is dead drift under no tension. Downstream there is always tension [stating the obvious]

    Upstream & dead drift, definetely to the ear. Instantly.

    Klick, your spot on with the line control. Most of the fishing I've done [Salar] find the fish holding close to the bank. Cooler waters from small inlets or spring seeps draw them in. It allows the luxury of a comfortable length controlled cast. My style is focused on impact as primary trigger, dead drifting only brief few seconds following. 4 - 6 count, pick it up and put it back down.. strip, strip, pick-up & re-set. Cover water.

    Lotsa love for the upstream Bomber.. arriving at the top of the run it's a great option to tie on a small wet and simply start back down.
  8. bkerbs Member

    Posts: 188
    Ratings: +22 / 0
    The phrase I was told "Yank to the bank" was my hook setting 101. "To the ear" sounds about the same. To me the idea was to set the hook by keeping your rod as parallel to the water as possible. Dosen't take much for a hookset but I think it's a good habit to have. Rarely do I have to " rip lips" but sometimes it's neccesary.
  9. Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

    Posts: 1,786
    Bellingham Wa.
    Ratings: +316 / 1
  10. Randall Clark Active Member

    Posts: 667
    Ratings: +181 / 0
    DO IT!! although if you're going glass, I've always loved the way my 8' Fenwicks an FF807 or even the 8 1/2'er the FF857. I've found that the glass 9'ers are a bit tiresome by the end of a day (ended up selling off most of my 9' glass rods)...currently all I fish for steelhead for winters and summers are a Steffen Bros. 8 1/2' 7/8wt and a Lamiglas 8' 8wt, both glass. Love 'em both...haven't dabbled enough throwing dries for them yet to know anything about that so I can't help ya there, but I've been fishing nothing but glass for the last couple of years and can't ever seeing myself going back to graphite for steelhead...the fun factor is just too damn high for me to go to dredging the depths 90' out with a two-hander...

    if you're ever in the PDX area and want to borrow an old Fenwick to play around with, let me know.