Anyone else moving away from the skagit system this winter?

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

  1. James Waggoner

    James Waggoner Active Member

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    Doesn't this limit the water you fish to shallowish and/or slow water? In water over 4' with some moderate current once it starts swinging the fly will climb fast and never have a chance to stay down....and if your feeding line to keep it down your just nymphing really.

    ...But if you're catching fish and enjoying yourself, that's what really matters isn't it.
     
  2. William B.

    William B. Member

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    The dry line long leader and weighted fly is a typical summer steelhead tactic that is very effetive in softer flows and clear water.
     
  3. inland

    inland Active Member

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    I prefer a DDC over any floating line/sink tip system, but especially a skagit, unless I am fishing pocket water with exposed or near surface boulders needing serious line control to steer/swim the fly/flure around/through. Or if I am using large feathered jigs (which is fun). I also prefer full sinking line spey line systems (jock monteith or CND make a great line with an inti body and various density tips) over the DDC (but I also prefer longer rods). Fishing the dryline is my favorite however for winter or summer. Use what makes you happy.

    William
     
  4. James Waggoner

    James Waggoner Active Member

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    No offense William, I understand the pricinple just don't really see it happening in six feet of water long enough to entice much of anything in cold water with limited visibility...conditions of winter a lot of the times.

    Is it nymphing as you explained it? No. ...is it fishing like you think it is? I really doubt it. I just can't get my mind around how 16' of mono,with the back bone to turn over a winter size weighted fly, gets down and stays down long enough to be effective in winter conditions. I'm sure there is a lot for me to learn that I'm not considering.

    I'm not bad mouthing this method my any means, I use this method a lot in the summer and yes it is a blast to hook up with.

    BCS Count Downs on gotta go...
     
  5. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    James that is the same set up I used...and thought the same thing...I found that to lift and do a single spey..which is one of the joys of a scandi, mid or longer line...was near impossible with that set up, as a matter of fact I found I had to lift, cast back downstream to get the line out of the water and cast again..talked with what I'd consider a guru of winter steelheading and he said he found the same thing and asked "why cast twice when once is enough"? ....but like I said...I went with it...and your results may be different, so will be interesting to hear..

    The use of a floating line and standard leader..i.e. summer steel fishing..intrigues me more now...I have put some fairly decent sized and weighted flies out with this system...actually did that yesterday and was surprised by it...that said, your in close you had to get more of your line out to cast um half decent..also watched the fly in the water and depth..was fine for shallower and gin clear water...will be using tips when winter comes .. but since nextcast makes just heads now..will carry one for days when I can get away with using it...
     
  6. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Depends on the river system. In high flows with low vis, probably not the first type of fishing to grab. But under low, clear, cold conditions, it does seem like it would work just fine. Personally I know Tom, and what he's saying isn't BS. I plan on using the same technique this winter to see if it won't help my catch rate during those kinds of conditions.
     
  7. James Waggoner

    James Waggoner Active Member

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    James, if conditions dictate I agree and I hope I never implied Tom was full of BS....Tom my apologies if it came across that way.

    James.
     
  8. Sean Beauchamp

    Sean Beauchamp Hot and Heavy at yer 6

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    just pullin your leg boss man, it was too easy! i can think of several stretches on the skagit and skykomish where the floater could easily get the job done. same thing i did a lot this summer on the local ditches and lost enough flies to know with enough slack line drift it gets down juuuust fine. curious what line you toss with this approach.

    i think i saw you on the snatch last weekend. saturday below town. tight lines brah!
     
  9. James Waggoner

    James Waggoner Active Member

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    Golfman, when it is sunk, a single spey is near impossible, definitely gotta go to a double spey or snap T. I'm sure you can agree this system fishes better than it casts...and it fishes very well. With that in mind here are a few tips to perhaps help with your casting frustrations:


    • Keep your leader short (3-4 feet).

    • Keep the fly light, try a tube fly. (Since your depending on the line to get your fly down and not the fly, go lighter...and at this point even smaller. I can't see the benefit in a 4" leach, when you got it low, slow and on their nose.

    • Lighten the head by cutting it back a couple more feet. This should help in two respects, a lighter and shorter head is easier to clear the water.

    You may have already considered these things, either way it's worth giving it another whirl.

    James.
     
  10. TomB

    TomB Active Member

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    guilty as charged....were you one of the guys in a boat?
     
  11. flybill

    flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

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    Can't say that I've intentionally moved away from Skagit lines, but I definitely don't enjoy casting them as much as I used too. Got a 480 Compact Skagit for my Beulah 12'7" and it rocks, but I really, really love my Guideline PowerTaper for it! Want to get an intermediate DDC line setup for it this winter.

    My other main rod and line combo, with be my CND 14'3" Solstice with a CND 7/8 GPS! It casts tips nice enough, at least the type 3 and 6 that I usually use, when you shorten up the amount of line you have out. One other plus, for winter fishing, is that since you have more line out to cast, you don't spend as much time stripping line in or getting your hands wet.. good in other places where stripping takes place, but not on a cold winter morning on a local "S" river!
     
  12. inland

    inland Active Member

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    James W,

    Until you see somebody (maybe you have?) that is really good with the method I have a hard time understanding how you can form any legitimate opinion of what it is/isn't can/can't do. I have fished enough with a true expert (and fished enough on my own) of the method and I can assure you it works in water up to 6' deep. Colored water. Cold water. Much faster water than you think. Done properly your fly is doing exactly what you think it is. This has been confirmed by visual observation from high banks under clear water conditions.

    I am not saying this method will outfish the modern skagit set up with bicycle chain tips. Nor a DDC. Nor full sinking spey lines. It won't. You have to edit the water and hope the fish are within your smaller slice of pie of water coverage. What I will say is nearly every place I fish on the rivers like the Skagit and Sauk with tips I will fish with the dryline. Confidently. But I do know my odds are lower with the dryline most days. But not every day....

    It isn't about catching fish for me. It is about how gratifying it is to catch the fish. Putting a wild winter steelhead to the beach on the dryline (with the deep wet fly swing) is the most gratifying for me in steelhead flyfishing.

    I will say the best conditions are high and colored. You want actively moving fish as close to the banks as possible. Low cold and clear will often find the fish out of range. Speaking in generalities as there are times and places throughout the various temps/turbidity/flow where the dryline will exceed or be extremely futile.

    Full sinkers single spey just fine. Brass tubes and 7" dee monkeys are simple to launch on a DDC with a single. It is all in the lift.

    William
     
  13. James Waggoner

    James Waggoner Active Member

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    William, I agree with most your post, I guess I'm happier with a larger piece of the pie...and yes high and colored is probably my favorite type of water, a situation I would never think to use a full floater and long mono leader. Like you said I've got lots to learn.

    James.
     
  14. Sean Beauchamp

    Sean Beauchamp Hot and Heavy at yer 6

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    i was upfront in the blue raft
     
  15. TomB

    TomB Active Member

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    gotcha...thanks for going around me and leaving me that tailout....ended up not being able to fish it very well unfortunately....the water was up from when i did well there before. hope you guys had a good rest of your day. fishing seemed a bit slow for me probably due to the downward trend in watertemps that started the thursday before. did get one fish to eat a green butt skunk though.