size of flies?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by kimosabe, Jul 1, 2007.

  1. Steelie Mike

    Steelie Mike Active Member

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    I am not sure what you mean by hitting the rivers hard, I do not know anyone that fishes for steelhead as much as I do. Three days last week for me with two fish to hand. I think you forget that waiting like you do on your side of the state, we can fish year round over here. I know you do not want to hear numbers, but lets just say I have landed many this summer alone fishing four different rivers in two different states. All were taken on a swung fly on the spey and all but three we beached. One being a Spring native that was lot when a fellow fisherman grabbed the leader. These fish have been caught on intermediate lines through T-10 tips.

    Yes I have caught a fish on a dry, with a swung fly, with a dry line. If you do not want to believe me, ask Steve Buckner, who was with me at the time. He saw the take while I was looking away. Yes it was on the Wet-side of the state.

    Yes I have fished the grease line method. It works great when swinging nymphs.

    If you would have read my previous responses, you would have read I have caught fish on traditional patterns in the past. I have even caught them on a floater.

    Have I fished many tribs of the Snake, only a couple, but they are not much different than any of the dry side rivers like the John Day, Klick and Deschutes, where I have had moderate success.

    The only person I said was off base was you. I never said hairwings do not work, nor leeches are better. You are finding that yourself, rather I an defending a friend that you are attacking. Someone did not read my first post. I think I am going to go fishing now.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Sigh... it's funny to see this stuff IMO cause the choice of fly has little to do with success. If that *weren't* the case then the gear guys pulling plugs versus drifting corkies would have *significantly* different catch rates. Since they don't why are we debating this? I don't have *personal* experience fishing that river, but based on *reading* about it, it seems to be the case. If this isn't true, if you have specific info I'd rather be informed of it :)

    Also, Inland it does seem to me that you are an accomplish angler but it is out of line for you to call out Mike and TallFlyGuy. Both of those dudes are among the fishiest on the westside, and frankly their success speaks for itself. And I do know for a fact that Mike does hit the dryside, and has reasonable success doing it. This isn't some "mine is bigger than yours" debate, and hopefully this will be the end of it...

    Regardless of all of this crap, I plan on being there sometime this fall. So don't hate on a wetsider, as I need/want all the help I can get when I go over! :)

    -- Cheers
    -- James
     
  3. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    Thanks Poppy, I'll see ya weekend after next.
     
  4. fullerfly

    fullerfly Calvin Fuller

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    I think poppy brings up a great point about the clearwater and fly choice.

    The beginning of my Steelhead career was on the Columbia around Tri-Cities...by the way there are no fish there...I basically learned to fish smaller flies on dry lines and lighter sink tips. Then I went to the westside where I learned that bigger is better...At least for me.

    After returning to the Clearwater I got my ass kicked with that big stuff when fishing with a guide buddy of mine. Once I sized down both fly and line density, I started hooking fish. I know a few very very accomplished anglers that throw "pretty" flies and light tips, less than 90 grains, on the S rivers out west....during the winter, and do very well.

    The real point has been brought up more than once in this thread... It is all about what you are confident doing on the water and as long as you are having fun doing it, then just do it your way.

    cal

    But what the hell do I know anymore, I am way up here in Sandpoint. At least I am not in Bonners Ferry.
     
  5. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Are those folks targeting winter fish? Also which drainages? The skagit which runs nice and clear is a pretty good bet with those tactics. Other rivers like the Bogie and Sol Duc too. But take that act to the Hoh and you're just asking to have your rod handed too you! :) With vis hovering around 18" to 24", if it ain't big, the fish just don't see it :)

    At any rate, lemme know when you get over here. I'd love to chat and show you some "secret" rivers here that a lot of folks don't fish... :) Quid pro quo though! I expect some payback at somepoint! :)
     
  6. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    Quote: FullerFly... "At least I'm not in Bonners Ferry." I take great offense to that:rofl:
     
  7. Coach Duff

    Coach Duff Banned or Parked

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    Let's see, instead of arguing about what a steelhead will hit, how about what won't they hit? We know they will hit Eggs, plugs, yarn, corkies, spoons, sand shrimp, hootchies, spinners, jigs, nightcrawlers, plastic worms, beads, hairwings, comets, dry flies, skaters, the wooley bugger family, ariticulated things, nymphs, Dahlberg Divers, baitfish patterns, streamers, full dressed Atlantic Salmon patterns, glo-bugs, squid patterns, and poppers. I have undoubtedly missed many more. People have witnessed them taking mice, snakes (the impetus for Bob Hull's string leech), and lizards. With that being said, I feel today just as I did when I started to steelhead, that presentation is far more important than fly selection. The warmer the water is the more likely (to a point) they will move their lazy asses to something high in the water column. Those Clearwater fish have traveled what, 800 miles or so? They have reverted big assed trout in both the way they look and act. Now, bring the floater and hairwing with no weight over to the West side in the winter and you'll have plenty of time to sight see but you probably won't hook much. Actually in the fall your chances will increase, but the lazy assed pig hatchery fish we fish over are bottom huggers. And yes, everbody has a second hand story of Bill McMillian or Harry Lemire raising a 16 pound buck in February on the Skagit or whatever river, but we know that is not playing the percentages at all. The same goes for the guy who jumps in and says, "Not true, I hooked and landed an 8 pound hatchery fish on the sky in 8 feet of water with a floater and a skater!" Great, now how many of those have you landed like that? Unless you fish every day or often, a system that works only makes sense. Guys that I know fish once or twice a week and tell me the hundred different ways they hook steelhead on the fly are full of shit to me anyways. Whatever river they fish is full of steel daily for them to hook-up 45 times a year using different methods and fishing 50 times a year. Poppy has dialed in his fishery, and the Tall one and Big Mike have dialed in theirs. Much respect to both. Inland my answers to all of your questions are yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. I went through the whole learning curve. Then it dawned on me that fishless days weren't as fun as I got older. I fish T-14 tips and big assed flies in the winter and tips and floaters with old school hairwings in the summer. If I venture east, I like foaters and long leaders and Floozys in Purpil. I know that setup works in the Clearwater, Ronde and Snake for me. The lines are how I get the flies in front of these magnificant bastards and probably most importantly I have confidence in the systems. The old school hairwings are much respect to my elders who laid down the foundations in our sport. I don't think the steelhead give a shit one way or the other. Tight lines Coach


    PS It's about time for a survey on how many steelhead we actually bring to hand in a season. This year living in Arizona and Hawaii it was one in two days back home in December. T-14 and a big assed articulated black fly. I think it will be interesting how many of our "expert" spey and single handed flyfishers are actually landing less than 12 - 15 fish in a whole year. When I was pounding the rivers three or four days a week that was a good month. I know Steelie Mike and the Tall one are in that ballpark. And I'm a hack, definatley no expert.:beer2:
     
  8. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Did you honestly claim that you catch 12-15 fish a month only going out 3-4 times???? I'm calling BS on this one... 3-4 fish a day in the winter per day is absurd for a single day and ludicris to state that you're doing it consistently.... I love ya coach, but even at the height of hatchery season and *nymphing* the best of the best would be hard pressed to keep that pace. I know for a FACT that Mike is fishy, but he catches that many fish cause he gets out 3 times a *week*, not a month...
     
  9. obiwankanobi

    obiwankanobi Active Member

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    Great quote!!! I simply don't understand why this has become a "hot" topic. Poppy and Tracy are two tride and true Jedi master's that I would gladly want to accompany me on any and all steelhead trips.

    Miyawaki and I had a good conversation in Bellevue on Saturday and I made a floating comment while he was rigging up my new reel, to not fish the hairwings anymore since they obviously don't work. I was totally making a joke and he could tell and he showed me what he has been using for the past 10 days or so to persue steelies (tiny hairwing).

    I agree that there are general rules of thumb, but I have had many of steelhead and salmon slam a #12 EHC on the Selway/Loscha when I lived in the area. I have a large assortment of Spey and Dee flies that I tie, from large to small and love fishing with flies and techniques that span many generations. I could tie on a MOAL leech or a Pick Yer Pocket or some big ugly and probably do just as well, but have to contend with more bulk spey casting.

    Dec Hogan noted that many years ago he was very concerned about putting his fly deep and bumping them in the nose. Now he fishes more liberally and is confident that he will still have the same success.

    About a year and half ago I bought a rod from Poppy, being a native "eastsider" and fished the SF of the Clearwater. Much to my demise, I wasn't bumping a thing. Watching "porkchoppers" catch fish after fish on dyed bait shrimp, I experimented. I put on a heavy dredger, fished the same spey fly and had 13 landed fish that day.

    My steelhead knowledge only spans for less than a decade, but what we all know is that there is not one absolute way, at any given time, on any given river, to catch steelhead. I've worked long stretches of water on the Salmon River, with spey casters above and below me and have walked into holes where the first two guys didn't touch a thing and then I catch a large native chromer and vice versa.

    We have all probably experienced whether it be on the Clearwater, Salmon, Sky, Cow etc., guys that cut chunks of roe yarn and tie it around a trebel, while we are delicately tying a Spey or a Dee fly that spent much time in the vice the night before. You see him get the first strike and then you think to yourself, "Am I making this too hard?"......The only answer I can give myself at that time is that I like to fish the way I do, with the flies that I tie, in the environment that I am in. I love tying on a piece of artwork to the tip of my line and manuver it on the water all day long. If some guy down river caught a steelie on a cone head leech, then well, I don't second guess what I have been doing that morning. I just sip the scotch a little more!!!!!
     
  10. inland

    inland Active Member

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    Justin,

    Your 'entire' gamut of fishing techniques (mine too- but I don't make any claims like 2:1) has been done millions of times over long before we were born. As hard as it may be to swallow nothing (other then the modern sinking line) in the steelhead world was all that innovative as it was borrowed from the Scot's. McMillan's deep wet fly swing is probably the most innovative melding of techniques to be born in the PNW.

    Your use of a sink tip and big flies will work just fine on the CW. As does the use of a floater and in/on/near surface presentations. You won't be outfishing anyone 2:1 and should consider yourself lucky to get one nice B run for every 3-5 days from mid Sept through Oct. Sometime in November the water starts to get cold and then it changes to the favor of big and deep. Not to say small and floating doesn't still work (it does very well) but going down indeed makes a difference.

    James-

    Being fishy isn't about numbers. The absolute best anglers I have ever had the pleasure of meeting all tend to have one thing in common. They have been around the block many times and self limit to the most enjoyable methods. Not default to the most productive way to fish while being limited to the use of 'fly gear'.

    The most egotistical anglers I have ever had the displeasure of meeting are always the same. How to catch more and bigger. "I'd wager you are getting outfished 2:1" type of comments. Another one; "Both of those dudes are among the fishiest on the westside, and frankly their success speaks for itself". What success? That they can catch steelhead? Any who are serious about the sport catch steelhead. Sometimes A LOT. Those anglers who catch as many, or nearly as many as the egos, using their self imposed limitations are successful through knowledge and skill- not totally reliant upon technology.

    Take the sink tips and big flies away from these two and, for the time being, I can all but guarantee they will be like fish out of water. It would be a steep learning curve but they would get there. But something has to remove the training wheels to get past step 'A'. A good angler wouldn't care as they already know how to fish the various methods with somewhat similar consistancy. The great angler has already put the tips away- some of them for good and that includes winter fishing. And they still put a boatload to the beach through total knowledge of the rivers they fish. These are the ones that know exactly where the majority of takers will be- at what times and where they move when the water levels/temps/seasons change. These anglers are the ones that consistantly catch fish when just about nobody is- that is accomplished.

    I don't claim to be accomplished at anything. Nor do I care. The only thing I care about on stream is a good day where I learn at least one new thing. The more experiences and opportunites to learn the better. It has nothing to do with sheer numbers of fish.

    William
     
  11. Coach Duff

    Coach Duff Banned or Parked

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    I wonder if someone else would have written that post if you would have read it so wrong James? It says I used to land 12-15 a month in going out a bare minimum of 12-16 days a month, and in reality I was fishing 20 days or more if water conditions complied. Now if the fishable days were only 9 my 20 trips don't really mean much do they? I always went two to five days in succession, which is key as these fish move constantly. Now to re-interpret the post to you, what I was saying was if you only go out one day a week year round and claim to catch steelhead consistently with many different methods in different water, you have either found the holygrail of westside rivers or you are full of shit. If you can get out 3 to 4 days in succession a week and fish a tried and trued method you have confidence in you can land 12-15 as month. You can also go weeks and months without fish as that is steelheading. Water changes, fish counts change ect ect. I figured those things were givens as you yourself are an accomplished steelheader right? There are no gurarentees in any type of fishing. But I'm preaching to the choir right James? Coach
     
  12. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    nothing here... move along...
     
  13. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    I think the misinterpretation was here in this comment... After reading this, it's clear you mean to type in "week" not month...

    Based on what you stated, you're doing what Mike does, which is get out 3-4 times a week under good conditions. The orignal post stated 3-4 times a month! That would put you in the ball park of 3.5 fish per day... An astounding total no matter *who* you are! :)
     
  14. Coach Duff

    Coach Duff Banned or Parked

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    James, put down the hatchet brother! I was speaking tongue in cheek. I thought you would know that. Get a message, fly to Hawaii, make a cocktail, go steelheading with a floater and hairwing, streak through Fremont butt assed naked, hang a BA to a gear fisherman, run with the bulls, go cliffdiving..........................IT'S OKAY JAMES, ITS FISHING. NO ONE HAS EVER TAKEN THE BEST LOOKING GIRL OUT OF THE CLUB BECAUSE HE CAUGHT STEELHEAD!


    PS I STILL LOVE YA JAMES.:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
     
  15. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Hmmmm.... intent is best provided with context, that's what emoticons were invented for ;) .... I don't have a beef with you Coach, I was just worried we were seeing another revisit of the sharp steelie stuff..... :)