Indicator fishing for Steelhead, Pro's and Con's

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Whitey, Jun 8, 2003.

  1. Muddlerphilia

    Muddlerphilia New Member

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    LOL again Bob

    Holy egalitarianism batman,

    Granted that the chuck and duck thing is out of control on the coastal rivers for steelies, not fishing with SI ever is a little wierd. What happened to common sense and moderation? What about the great SI techniques for chiro fishing? There are days, rivers, and flies that SI is just made for. Just as there are places where it is unnecessary, and others where it is inappropriate.

    I recall watching fish below Flaming Gorge on the Green river where the huge rainbows would follow the fly and taste it while drifting with the fly. You would never see a strike indicator move with those fish. I also have a certain amount of disdain for the large gaudy hanks of colored yarn sold nowadays.

    That said, some days fishing a nymph upstream with a SI is the equivalent of dry fly fishing to me, and the waters are such that the strikes would be indectable without an SI.

    I had some success for steelies last year with a pattern called a toilet seat cover. It is a lightly weighted egg pattern fished upstream with an SI.

    To each his own. Equating chuck and duck with all SI fishing is a little extremist. Rob.
     
  2. pwoens

    pwoens Active Member

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    I teach chuck and duck classes ??

    If you need a lesson in chuck and duck I put on a seminar every third wednesday of every odd month, with the exception of every fourth wednesday. I have mastered the zen of chuck and duck with little or no pain, usually!! You will need to sign a waiver along with a will granting me all your fly gear if something were to happen, and of course 100.00 bucks an hour. :professor

    Never tried the indicator, but then again I havent fished for the steelies in the summer so the water levels and flows I have fished could not sustain a SI??

    ~Patrick ><>
     
  3. circlespey

    circlespey Member

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    Whitey, I swing flies as much as anybody but there are certain holes (and more accurately, streams) where fishing a nymph and indicator is the only way to fish. We are all used to big open drifts around here where you can throw a lot of line and let it swing; but try that on, say the forks of the Necanicum in coastal Oregon where the slots are a foot or two wide and you are just wasting your time, especially in the winter when you need to be on the bottom. On the other side, nymphing on the lower Sky just isn't that productive since you just have to cover more water, so swing away.

    I will also never understand fisherpeople who will gladly use an indicator and a nymph for trout but somehow think that it is a sin when fishing for steelhead.

    So, if you want to fish smaller streams or even the headwaters of larger streams then by all means use an indicator and nymphs (the Hoh way up in the park is good nymph water). Some of the same flies work well here: leeches, buggers, and even (horrors) the dreaded globug. This is mostly useful in the winter when the fish will not move much for a fly.

    Circlespey
     
  4. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    LOL Circlespey

    You're absolutely right. I've noticed that there are die hard trout guys who will use a SI, or a dry as a SI with a nymph swinging below it (normally catch on the nymph) but are apauled at an SI for steelhead. It's funny.

    For myself, I try not to go with too much when I flyfish. I prefer to keep it to a minimum (usually a flybox or two, leader material, clippers, and maybe a spare spool). I have at one time used SI's, won't lie. But got to the point I fealt like I was running jigs at that point, and I already have a rod for that. Just my opinion though. But, if you go on a trip and are only bringing one rod (say a fly), I wouldn't hesitate on bringing some "off the wall" stuff. But I always have tons of gear on hand, so I'm always set. LOL
     
  5. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    LOL Circlespey

    You're absolutely right. I've noticed that there are die hard trout guys who will use a SI, or a dry as a SI with a nymph swinging below it (normally catch on the nymph) but are apauled at an SI for steelhead. It's funny.

    For myself, I try not to go with too much when I flyfish. I prefer to keep it to a minimum (usually a flybox or two, leader material, clippers, and maybe a spare spool). I have at one time used SI's, won't lie. But got to the point I fealt like I was running jigs at that point, and I already have a rod for that. Just my opinion though. But, if you go on a trip and are only bringing one rod (say a fly), I wouldn't hesitate on bringing some "off the wall" stuff. But I always have tons of gear on hand, so I'm always set. LOL
     
  6. crockett

    crockett New Member

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    I think that Bob, Steelheader69, Little Stone and circlespey all have made good points. For what it's worth, here are my thoughts on the subject.

    1. It has always seemed to me that a spinning rod would be much more efficient at throwing an indicator/heavy fly setup than a fly rod. I've never used this approach, but I've watched plenty of gear fishers cast great distances with little effort. You don't see those guys chucking and ducking. Once you add weight to the end of the line, your fly line becomes less important. And when you add an indicator plus a weighted fly, the fly line becomes completely irrelevant. You have to ask yourself what advantages are gained by using a fly rod to deliver this setup?

    2. Whatever happened to the time-honored tradition of high-sticking a weighted bug through pocket water or narrow slots? This seems to be more amenable to the fly rod than indicator fishing although it definitely takes more skill. This would be the way to go on small streams.

    3. Not ALL water is good "fly water" in the traditional sense (and I mean the northwest tradition of swing flies). If you have to resort to nymphing with an indicator, you are probably fishing water that is traditionally thought of as gear water. If you want to fish that water, a spinning rod might be a better way to go or if you can get close to the bucket, high-stick.

    Whatever you do, fish hard and fish well.

    -Crock (of s#$@)
     
  7. sinktip

    sinktip Guest

    No glo-bugs allowed in my boat!!!! :7

    Circlespey is right, there are places where you can't effectively fish a swung fly. In these cases, if you are locked into fishing there, you have to choose between high sticking (an art unto itself) and fishing with a SI.

    I have fished a SI for steelhead and had great success doing so. It didn't take me long though to decide it was not for me. I don't think it wrong, its just not how I want to catch my steelhead.

    My suggestion is as long as it is not harmful to the resource and the regs do not prohibit it, listen to your conscience.
     
  8. troutman101

    troutman101 Member

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    I like the fact that everyone fishes for a different reason. Therefore, different ethics apply. Of course, I would rather fish with really well tied spey flies and swing it to hook a steelhead. This fashion is the most stylish way to hook and land a steelhead. On top of that, I would also love to do it in the brink of summer about 3 days after a good rainfall and high tide but slightly later and above the hatchery so all I catch is fresh, wild and large steelhead with 4 or 5 sea lice still attached. The fly would have a silkworm gut eye and tied as traditional as I can. Ideally a dee, spey or atlantic salmon fly. Maybe with chatterer, indian crow and scarlet ibis. There would be a 6'er of Pike pale ale just downstream from my run so when I am done with the run and land my two or three fish per run I can go back to the top, down a cold one and start all over again.

    I get to have this kind of day about 4 times a year. The rest of the time I do whatever it takes to catch them. This includes a dry/ dropper combo, sight fishing with a bead headed wooly bugger, indicator nymphing a big black stone in fast water, waking flies, dead drifting bombers, swinging deep sculpins, swinging just under the surface, throwing salt over one shoulder, getting a tarot reading or calling the pshychic(sp?) hotline.

    No one says steelheading is easy. On the contrary, some folks fish 20 days a year and never hook anything. I don't want to be one of those people so I fish however I legally can sometimes to hook and land just one in a day.

    I know, you're disappointed. Sorry.
     
  9. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    To each his own when it comes to the methods that people are comfortable with. I flyfish for steelhead at least 100 days a year and as pressure increase on all rivers, I end up fishing areas that the traditional flyfisherman has a more difficult time fishing.
    The assertion that it is better to fish with a spinning rod when "jig and bobber fishing" is looking at things through a pretty small window. With my 8150(2-hander) I can fish smaller rivers with no back cast room and deliver my "bobber" right down the seam and up against all types of structure that you couldn't get to with the traditional swing. At the end of my drift I can face upstream and just switch cast my bobber back up without the need for stripping my line in. Make a big mend to throw my line upstream of my offering and I'm fishing another drift. No stripping=having my "fly" in the water 90% of the time. Try that with a spinning setup. This is not my preferred way to do it but sometimes that is what is called for. These fish are one of the reasons I won't live anywhere else and limiting myself to only one method limits my enjoyment of watching these wonerful creatures swim away after a good QUICK fight.
    Only my $.03
    Dave:beer2
     
  10. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    :beer2 :thumb
     
  11. crockett

    crockett New Member

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    > To each his own when it comes to the methods
    Absolutely!! I wouldn't frown on a guy for throwing an indicator and split shot rig with a spinning rod.

    >I flyfish for steelhead at
    >least 100 days a year
    Good for you man!

    > The assertion that it is better to fish with a
    >spinning rod when "jig and bobber fishing" is looking
    >at things through a pretty small window.
    Not really a small window at all. There is a lot of big water to swing unweighted flies with a spey rod in Washington and British Columbia.

    >live anywhere else and limiting myself to only one
    >method limits
    Surely you don't limit yourself to fly fishing?:D

    Good fishing to you...indicator or not.

    -Crock
     
  12. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry PT, but I can tell you are very limited to actually using traditional gear, or not well made gear. I use a spey too (I have a 9140 I bought specifically for the OP) and with my high speed retrieve I can have my gear in as quick, if not quicker then with my spey and recast in same time. Pretty much each rotation of my handle brings in FEET of line. So, you don't have any delay as said. Plus, with the use of most superlines, they float and can be mended in the stream. Not as easy as a flyline, but can be done. For some, it's not a "narrow" window, it's having a WIDE window. Say it this way, I could do just about any fishing with a flyrod. Could cast light spoons, small plugs, etc. But, I have rods for those occasions. And YES, I have run a plug on my 9' 10wt in a pinch once. It can be done, but I suggest not to. I have a very wide open view on fishing (not fly fishing, but FISHING). I have spey rods, standard fly rods, jig rods, hardware rods, mooching rods, plug rods, and a couple others as well. I specialize the rod to what I want to do with it.

    Plus, when it comes to even the beefier spey rods, you still have an ackward roll when it comes to a preset float and a fly. With my conventional gear, I can use a slider setup on my float, and get a quick pin point cast with very little spread on the gear being thrown (distance from float to lure).

    We can all agree to disagree. But to some of us who actually use a wide variety of gear, we can't be called "narrow" in view if we actually go so far as to specialize our gear.
     
  13. Whitey

    Whitey Active Member

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    I'm glad I started this, a good debate is going on with some of the best in the business. I have never looked down apon the gear chuckers, my dad has been one for over 30 years. bait chuckers with treble hooks?? thats a different story. His favorite(listen up all you gear chucking lurkers), a glo-in-the-dark corkie with a small piece of black yarn on a barbless hook with a slinkey weight. top secret gear thang! hahahaha! I've seen that combo catch him(and release all nats) more fish then I can count. Loves pull'n plugs too. When I started this, I was thinking about steelheading is small waters with a stone under an indicator. Trying to mimic a food source in the river. Not the dink floats with a jig thang, if I wanted to do that, I'd dust off the ugly stick spinnin rod. No way, its too dusty at this point. YT :smokin
     
  14. BOBLAWLESS

    BOBLAWLESS New Member

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    Somehow I keep hearing about this dusty stick business.I wish we could find a way to have a contest about dusty gear because I think I could win. Here's what I will be bringing:
    A Fenwick ugly stick.
    Two or three spinning sticks if I can find them all.
    A nice Fenwick 9ft. casting rod designed for steelhead.
    A beutiful carbon fiber 9ft spinning or casting rod.
    A tuna stick that will handle anything.
    A beefy salmon stick desinged to throw an 8 oz. or better bell sinker out into the middle of a big hole I know on the Skeena River. To brag: best fish was a king over fifty pounds.
    A standard boat rod for trolling three pound weights.
    A Hardy 10ft 10" mooching rod that I'm thinking about dusting off and trying to use it fro a spey rod.
    Two matched Shimano 7 ft. trolling sticks.
    A small gun.
    These are all very dusty and some are neglected with rust, corrosion, mold in evidence, etc.
    Several have a guide or two missing.
    Is there anyone out there for me to worry about? If so, let us know what you've got in your arsenal. No shined up recently used rods permitted.
    Bobx(
     
  15. wet line

    wet line New Member

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    Bob,
    Why do you think you are the only one to have these dusty old treasures?
    I can add to the lot four old fly rods of questionable weights from such great names like western field and two others circa 1950 or so. All bamboo of course.
    A bamboo salmon rod and who knows how old. Looks like a whip to drive oxen or something.
    Three Wright Mc Gills that are for mooching or summer runs, circa mid 50's to early 60's.
    A Berkley summer steel head rod that I won't part with,circa 1968.
    A Conlon trolling rod for salmon in the mid or early 50 era that would be a tough pull from my collection.
    Now do you want to add reels to this also?
    How about some old flies? I have some with a leader attached with a loop.
    We could add some old hardware too. How about some lucky louis and the infamous Seattle Six.
    Gee , I just looked and found two old Conlons, a 6 and a 7 weight.
    I just looked and found some hand made spinners made here in Seattle that are who knows how old.
    If we want to blow off the dust I just may be into this recycle effort and get rid of some of these old tokens. They all represent a piece of the past.
    I will keep them and pass them on. It is a history of what was before us. Sometimes I even go out and use these old relics.
    Lets not give up the old. That is what got us to today. It is in history that we move forward, something that a scholar beat into my head and I now understand. Gee it only took 35 years! Good teachers reach out a long ways!
    I am sure you were a good one and it will come out down the road.
    Dave
    :beer1 :beer2 :beer2