Anyone else moving away from the skagit system this winter?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by James Waggoner, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. steve s

    steve s Member

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    I use both homemade and store bought skagit systems and don't plan on changing for my winter fishing. The thing that I like about skagit systems compared to full sink head is the ability to get around large rocks/boulders. A full sink will wrap around the boulder, the floating section of the skagit will float over the boulder and the sinktip will swing just on the other side of the boulder. To me, a skagit system is the most efficient while offering the most flexibility to fish deep or shallow water.
     
  2. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Tom B, what length of long leader were you finding effective, did you have to tie them custom yourself? What depths do you think your fly was reaching?

    Steve S, interesting observation about the boulders and the benefit of the floating system. On my winter rod I use a custom scandit or delta, both with appropriate tips. I found myself getting comfortable enough casting them into areas I could not reach before that I would work many boulders from the near side, then far side and a floating line would allow me to mend and/or high stick to get my line to present nicely on the far side of many of those boulders that were exposed on top. I could not catch any fish to save my soul, but I sure felt that I was covering a lot more water in a much better fashion.
     
  3. Sean Beauchamp

    Sean Beauchamp Heavies...

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    Tom i believe the discussion was about swinging flies with spey rods, you can keep the nymphing talk on piscatorial pursuits!
     
  4. James Waggoner

    James Waggoner Active Member

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    Working over the top of boulders is pretty easy with a 13'6" rod... floating or sinking line, the principle is the same you have to hold your line off the water to get around a boulder poking above the surface. On submerged boulders, because the line is density compensated, the fly is the lowest part of the swing, so the potential for wrapping around a boulders is actually not really high, certainly no higher than the belly in 10-12' of t-14. The key, like any line system, full sink or tips, is to get the right density for the situation...and know the limitations of each density...get to know a particular density well enough to know how to manipulate the line, by casting angle, rod positioning and the introduction or elimination of slack.
     
  5. flatheadmatt

    flatheadmatt Member

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    Classic!
     
  6. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    Nope.
     
  7. shotgunner

    shotgunner Anywhere ~ Anytime

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    Both have their place. I like the sunk heads on bigger water. Longer cast, broader swing, not as many belly issues around seams. Very few boulder fields to worry about. I don't know how big / heavy of flies you guys are fishing. A 10/11 PT [approx 570gr] will whack out a 4" tube with body weight & turbo cone pretty nice. I think it's easier to get a nice slooow swim from your fly once you've cut below the surface currents.

    I still prefer a skagit on small / medium water. Short accurate cast and most times it's shallow with a defined deep trough on the outside of bends. Hi-D quick sink is big benefit. To long of sink and your dragging bottom on inside.

    A lot of regional diffs no doubt.
     
  8. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    I'm cutting up my only scandi head and making a home made sink tip line for my switch rod out of it. Compact skagit only on the spey this winter.
     
  9. KEM

    KEM Member

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    I needed a bigger river last weekend using my buddies 6126 Beulah with the Beulah line and it 100% blew away my Deer Creek 5/6 126! Love the skagit lines, but Beulah has it dialed in!
     
  10. Leroy Laviolet

    Leroy Laviolet Aint no nookie like chinookie

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    do'n it 4 the chinookie
    I thought the Skagit system was the only way to catch steelhead on a spey rod ... ?
     
  11. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

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    Skagit lines certainly do all that their champions say. I continue to use them from time to time, but not with regularity, even in winter. Here's why. I fish big rivers for winter steelhead. Oddly enough, I seldom have to deal with really deep or fast water, just classic "steelhead swinging" flows. That means big rods, and will as long as I'm able to manage them. And that in turn means long belly lines. Not floaters, but cut back and looped, with usually 15-foot tips. Such lines aren't the most efficient load lifters, but they can handle Size 1 to 2/0 flies, as long as they're not burdened with lead or tungsten eyes or heads. So I get to enjoy the pleasure of long casts across drifts of all sizes, with little or no line stripping.
     
  12. DocDoc

    DocDoc Member

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    I too am playing with the DDC for colder water swinging. The boulder fields are managed by the system, just like the Skagit. I really like the slower swing you get when you get below the surface a little. Peter Charles has a site on using the scandi system in the Great Lakes. You might want to read some of his thoughts.
    http://ww.hooked4life.ca/glsteelhead/Home.html (add a w)
     
  13. John Hicks

    John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

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    Interesting. I had a conversation with a guy down at the Gorges fly shop this summer. I told him the way I like to fish for winter fish in the rivers "I" fish, is with the old "beer can" Rios. Turns over big (6-7inch) flies with a 15foot section of T-14 where as no other line has for me. I fish rivers with low vis big flows and with big big flies. He told me that the front taper on a line helps turn large flies over. I was a little sceptical of this assumption. I'm not sure if it is the rivers he is fishing and if he did not have a grasp of how large the flies I am using are. I wanted to cry when RIO did away with its old skagit line. When everyone was blowing them out this summer I jumped on as many of them as I could.

    So for me the idea is to poke a large fly with little backcast room and a heavy tip. I will be using my bulky skagit until someone can show me different.
     
  14. TomB

    TomB Active Member

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    re-read my post. I have never nymphed for steelhead. What i was describing was swinging flies off my speyrod with a dryline in the winter...the only difference between my summer and winter presentations is the typical fly size and weight (larger in the winter). No bobber. No splitshot. Taught line after initial mend/ swing setup.

    and to answer your question mumbles, the length of leader varied from about 13 ft to 16 ft depending on the rod i was using (leader at least as long as the rod, and never shorter than 12).
     
  15. William B.

    William B. Member

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    I agree with you John. Besides the front taper doesnt allow me to use my 5ft intermediate cheater and 12ft of T-14 witch matches my 14 foot rod lenth. So I adjusted my casting stroke to the point that it is uncomfortabe and lost some of my confidence witch is even more important. I am going back to the bulky skagit as well.