Who is actually fishing or fished a dryline for winter steel in the PNW?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by golfman65, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. 808steelheader

    808steelheader Member

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    I have fished the dryline almost exclusively during the winter for the past two years. I've gotten just a small handful of fish using the method but it has been a rewarding and pleasurable way to fish for me. I try to emulate Bill McMillan's description of the technique, having reread his book many times and having it mostly committed it to memory. I have used a full floating CND DT 7/8/9 on a 13'6" Sage two hander, Maxima leader tapered to #10 ultra green, and bead headed MOALs. I do find myself editing water, looking for softer flows whenever possible. I typically make a cross stream or slightly upstream cast, usually make one back mend to allow the fly to sink, then I follow the fly/line and lower the rod to minimize tension on the fly and take my steps downstream during the swing if the bottom structure of the river allow me to do so without falling in. By using this method, I enjoy the ease of casting a floating line and what feels like heightened sense of involvment in actually fishing the fly through the swing. I also fish wakers a bit during warmer periods in the winter season and I raised a couple fish to the top last April.

    Tight lines,
    Todd
     
  2. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    My name is Raul..I am a tip junkie...I broke down and used one today...fished a half day locally and it sucked out...I cracked!!!

    I'm weak.....but will keep trying...Funny what you can make a fly do with some rod maneuvers..that part was cool..but the spot I walked in on had lower water and subsequently was faster...early for steel...and did I already say I was weak? Yup..I am...

    This is going to be an interesting winter...I have no problem trying it with summer runs..but god almighty it's like an addiction not pulling a tip out, even if it is a delta...I feel almost naked out there..

    weird huh?
     
  3. ralfish

    ralfish Active Member

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    the thing about fishing a dry line numbnuts, is you better edit the water...see you can fish whatever or however you want. Buuut that means you need a rod/line caddy so you can change up continuously to fish things appropriately, or you just fish the right kind of water for whatever method....Its fun, all part of the never ending learning curve. I feel guilty tying on a heavy iron, and stacking mends on a 18' leader after using waked bugs all summer....weird. But now I want to see if I can bring them right to the surface on a light iron, no mend stacking, and try to stick with a proper side presentation for the whole swing....during the fry out migration this isn't a problem, as they will take a fry imitation readily but doing it during the cold period before the migration starts will be a challenge....
     
  4. slugthug

    slugthug Member

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  5. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    I think changes in latitude might have something to do with it.

    Sg
     
  6. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Ralf said numbnuts. I think he directed it to Paul. That is so freaking entertaining.
     
  7. Randall Clark

    Randall Clark Active Member

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    ditto on that. and it's always after the water temp reaches a certain temp (it's much lower than one would think). in my little spot, I've had fish attack a heavily weighted marabou fly before it had sunk more more than several inches. I actually tried it last winter, but things just didn't come together....I think it was a little late (only had the former happen with super fresh fish)
     
  8. Jim Kerr

    Jim Kerr Active Member

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    I have raised winters to dry flies, as early as March, and caught many on a dry line and lightly weighted, or unweighted flies in winter all the way from December on through May. Picking the right spot and time is most of the game. Oh, and having some fish around helps a ton also. But it is very doable and the spots are there. OOPs, gotta go...
     
  9. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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    +1 here. If the river flow permits a dry line and long leader that's also what I do. Never have been a 'fan' of full on sink tips; sinking poly leaders is my first choice if I 'just have to' 95% of the time.
     
  10. Crump

    Crump Member

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    For me, the colder the water temps get, the lighter and lighter I seem to go. As fish move into slower water, a heavy tip wont allow me to finish my swing properly so eventually a dry line could be a possibility. Remember a few years ago in December when it was really really cold, a friend and I found some hatchery fish in barely moving, crystal clear water. I fished an intermediate tip and he fished a type 3. We both caught fish, and a dry line would have done the job just fine. In the particular spot, some of the fish were possible to see, so I spent a few hours fishing a skater but didn't have any fish move to the fly. I guess it is a different kind of dry line fishing than we think about for fall fish were we hope they are going to be moving a long way for the fly, but the point I guess, is that you dont have to fish heavy to catch winter fish.
     
  11. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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    +1 to the above.
     
  12. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    what up dog?? how you and k8 doing...mexico?
    long time !!!

    Paul
     
  13. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    What lines are being used and leader set up?
     
  14. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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    Custom cut Scandi's by Steve Godshall (stevegodshall@charter.net) and sinking furled leaders made by 'furl girl' out of Utah. Furled leaders are made (or mostly) out of Kevlar thread so you could drag in a tree with these. They have a small tippet ring on the end so all you have to do is add a few feet of leader and you're good to go. 10-12 pound floro leader and you're 'locked and loaded.'
    Fred
     
  15. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    When I moved here 11 years ago, I found a copy of McMillan's book for a good price, and I went for it. I still have some flies, and some bare hooks up to and including 5/0 partridge M hooks, and I still have the book. I caught few fish. It works. It actually worked better in higher water when the fish are on the beach, than in broad slow runs for me. No indicator take will ever produce the excitement of noticing something "wrong" in the way your line is floating along.
     
  16. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    I'll look up that "furl gurl" fred....that might solve the problem i've noticed..

    DId you stick with it phil or ?
     
  17. Jim Kerr

    Jim Kerr Active Member

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    I run the old Beulah Tonic with about 15 feet of mono leader, just cause that's whats handy.
     
  18. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    I used it when it was high percentage. Spey flies in soft lies against the beach when I was very certain I was first on the water. Mostly "bad fishing" periods when "the fish weren't in" during the winter. I caught fish. I don't recall any fish from the middle of a run. My first three years here I had a ton of time. As time got tighter, and I had to fish more banker's hours and share the water, I went more high percentage, covering as much water as I could with tips.
     
  19. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    Yeah, reading Mc's book the chart on temps is very interesting...I'm going to try it when practical...might stick with it all winter if the temps stay right...my most valuable tool is going to be my thermometer I think...
     
  20. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    While I'm not really comfortable with them ethically, let me know if you want same "heavy irons".
     

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