What is the smallest size fly YOU swing for steelhead.

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by jcalderon, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. jcalderon Member

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    I am starting to tie for the fall swinging season on columbia tribs, and of course I am expecting low clear water that time of year. I am curious to know what is the smallest size of fly you guys swing for steelhead. I have yet to get a fish on the swing, yet I have caught a few nymphing some pretty small stuff.
  2. fredaevans Active Member

    Posts: 3,131
    White City, Oregon, USA.
    Ratings: +126 / 0
    10s consistently, and I have gone as small as a 14.

  3. SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

    Posts: 1,826
    Roy, WA
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    exactly same for me.
    #10 Queen of the Waters,
    #14 Nondescript nymph, been years since I used that for steel.
  4. jcalderon Member

    Posts: 995
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    I got one on a 14 copper john last year, and that is what really made me start questioning the "need" for huge spey style swinging patterns. I have been tying on some Alec Jackson size 8's I believe, and to me, they look real fishy
  5. stewart dee Guest

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    Size #3 or #5 standard wire dressed light.
  6. attack Member

    Posts: 152
    Forks, WA
    Ratings: +18 / 0
    i think their is a big difference between swinging a very small fly and nymphing one as you are trying to get the fish to move to the fly rather than feed from a stationary position... not that it cant be effective but i really dont have confidence in swinging anything below an 8...
  7. Daniel Nelson BAMF

    Posts: 375
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    I have swung flies down to size 14's but normally size 8's and 10's are about as far as i go. The problem i have with going smaller than 8's is picking up smaller trout that are more plentiful and more willing to bite. Kinda gives that false sense of getting a tug only to find out its only a 12"er.
  8. rick matney Active Member

    Posts: 1,301
    Bozeman, Montana
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    size 12 prince nymph with a soft hackel collar.
  9. the central oregonian Member

    Posts: 43
    Terrebonne, Oregon
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    swinging for summers i go down to a size 8....Tiemco 7999 is the weapon of choice for me. I have a mix of flies running from size 2 to 8 for swinging summers...
  10. Brian Thomas Active Member

    Posts: 808
    Kamloops B.C
    Ratings: +122 / 0
    Size 10 Spade`s are as small as I`ll go .
    I prefer 8`s though .
  11. speyday Rod tubes in the overhead compartment

    Posts: 140
    Plainfield, IL
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    This was with a singler hander, but still....

    I have gotten a few swinging sz 14 olive flashback hares ear nymphs to summer and fall run fish that have started to mellow and act more trouty. I wasn't thinking steelhead at the time.
    These were hatchery fish in wisconsin; if that matters. I don't think it does. Oh yeah, and in MI ive gotten a couple of fish on swung, articulated hex nymphs.
  12. fullerfly Calvin Fuller

    Posts: 533
    Sandpoint, ID
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    2.5" give or take.
  13. fullerfly Calvin Fuller

    Posts: 533
    Sandpoint, ID
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    ...nevermind. Just actully measured one. 1.5" ish.
  14. soundflycaster Member

    Posts: 191
    Mossyrock, WA
    Ratings: +11 / 0
    Size 8 with a wider gape.
  15. k2flyfisher its taco time. wheres the sauce?

    Posts: 407
    Portland, OR
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    size 8 cdc soft hackle on an owner ssw or gami octo.
  16. Steelie Mike Active Member

    Posts: 1,600
    Camas, WA
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    YUP #10-12'S work great!
  17. younggun New Member

    Posts: 66
    Vancouver BC
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    size 6, usually a BB or egg sucker.
  18. GR8LAKES FLYER Member

    Posts: 81
    Nottawasaga , ONT.
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    Smallest I would swing is are these Alec Jackson SI #11's :


  19. Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

    Posts: 2,418
    Columbia Basin
    Ratings: +692 / 0
    Gorgeous flies, Flyer! Saw "Queen of the Waters" mentioned earlier . . . now we're talking the years of my youth . . . anybody for a "Wickham's Fancy" or "Major Pitcher?" How about a "Parmachene Belle?" (no clue as to whether that's spelled correctly . . . )
  20. fredaevans Active Member

    Posts: 3,131
    White City, Oregon, USA.
    Ratings: +126 / 0
    Now that is a very nice touch .... a 10 Coin to give a scale. Dang those are well done, especially given the actual size.