steelhead tactics question

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by DanTennant_22, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. DanTennant_22

    DanTennant_22 chasin' steel

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    Alright, this is something that I have been wondering for a while...When I steelhead fish, I use a floating line with a sink tip and a couple of heavy streamer/marabou type flies. I attach one of those 'pinch on' strike indicators near the connection between my fly line and sink tip. I cast out at an angle upstream to give my flies time to reach the bottom, trying to mend my line, giving my flies a natural type drift as they pass by me. I than let them 'swing' on the bottom 1/3 of the drift and pause for a few seconds as the flies rise to the surface at the end of the drift. some strikes I feel, and some I set the hook because my indicator did something 'funny'. this is a long winded question wondering if I am swinging or nymphing (don't typically use nymphs) while steelhead fishing. thanks for any input. Dan
     
  2. docstash

    docstash Active Member

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    Who cares if you are catching fish. To me it seems to be both nymphing and swinging but not a traditional swing or traditional nymphing. All nymphing it seems has a swing at the end of the drift. I have often used the same style without the indicator/bobber with a sinking tip and cast upstream with stack mends to sink the tip and fly and then very gentle uptream mends 1/2 the line and follow with rod tip all the way to the dangle. If I am dangling (is that a word?) in the last bit of fishable water before it shallows up to much, get slammed by any followers that have to make a decision whether to take or not take. If the dangle is too shallow end up with a refusal usually. Craig
     
  3. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    You are fishing and having fun, right? Don't worry about how some might label it. If it works for you and you have confidence in your approach, then forget about what someone else might call it.
     
  4. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    "If the dangle is too shallow end up with a refusal usually."

    I can't say i've ever had that issue... ;)
     
  5. docstash

    docstash Active Member

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    It only happens with the 42" inseams or greater
    .
     
  6. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    I'm not sure why you're using a strike indicator when swinging, if i'm undersatnding you right- you are swinging right? especially with a sink tip- drop the indicator. Here is my advice on the best way to set up the swing with a sink tip.... Cast upstream, way above your body, than throw a big upstream mend. This gives ample time for the fly to sink into the zone you desire. by the time the line and fly are directly across from you, you should have everything organized. Consider this the prep part of you swing. As the line and fly approach to the point where they are directly out and acroos from you, then you start your swing manipulation. Start with the rod lifted above, or at your head level- parallel with your line. The next phase is to follow your swing in this manner while slowly dropping the rod and tip as the fly swings across the run- at the same time not forcing the fly through the water column or resisiting its natural swing by pulling it back. This is referred to as developing the "touch" this can take a great while to know you are achieving this correct presented swing. Let your fly swing until it is all the way below you "the dangle" let it sit for a second to see if the fish followed. In colder water, let it sit for 20-30 seconds- a lethargic fish can take awhile to follow it. If no take occurs, strip, count to three, strip, count to three, etc... and repeat process. I can't tell you how many people I see cheat them selves out of fish buy not letting the dangel happen. Let the fly swing all the way through.I hope that helps.
     
  7. docstash

    docstash Active Member

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    I fish 52 degree water at its warmest and I agree with Skwala 200% on the dangle, where most people cheat themselves on any followers. I have a friend that will not take that next step out into the river at less than knee deep in one hole we fish so his dangle ends up in 6" of water and the followers have turned back.

    I am not sure that Skwala's cast is not the same cast Andy and Mike make with nymphs, and a big upstream mend on an upstream cast puts the fly facing upstream, and most of the time I want my fly facing across stream giving a profile while I am swinging. Craig
     
  8. DanTennant_22

    DanTennant_22 chasin' steel

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    I have had many discussions with one of my buddies about 'the dangle.' I always pause 5-10 seconds while the fly rides on the surface, and than strip it in to set myself up for the next cast. I have never had this technique provide me with a strike, but I do it anyway. he says that I am wasting time with it, and by the end of the day he has completed 100 or so more casts and thus increased his chances. what do you think? I can see that waiting 1/2 minute at the end of the drift in colder water, as Skwala suggested, might cut into time that your fly is in 'the Zone'. Thanks for the replys..... actual tactic wise I think that I am doing the same motions a Skwala suggested, but have a different perspective of what I am doing, I don't know if that makes sense or not. thanks guys
     
  9. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    Docstash.... I agree the set up above the body in preperation for the swing is much like the nymphing tactic. However, I only do this with sink tips as a way to manipulate the line in order to get the fly into the water column I desire. Everything from across the body and down is pure swing. I find that using this method greatly increases my line control for the swing, rather than waisting a large portion of the arc in getting in touch with the line. Now, when using a floater or intermediate, I always cast directly across or slightly down. It should be mentioned that these are bold generalization since any of this advice is subject to change or contradiction based on the water charactar, current, water temp, and where the fish are holding. As far as the dangle goes..... I have hooked many fish on the dangle and strip especially in water below 40 degrees. I have heard of guys on OP who count to sixty for winter fish and are successful in this manner.
     
  10. cnaka

    cnaka New member

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    The time I wait at the dangle varies mainly by (1) how patient I happen to be feeling at the moment, (2) if someone is behind me. If I'm patient, I'll wait up to five seconds. I tend to like to wait because I've had good luck with steelies following the fly. Note that I've had much poorer luck hooking them though. Every technique I've tried has and hasn't worked: wait for the fish to swim off with the fly, set quickly after feeling the smolt-like pecks, stripping blindly for the next cast and finding a fish at the end. For me, the dangle is the most unpredictable and frustrating / challenging part of the swing. Always more things to learn...
     
  11. docstash

    docstash Active Member

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    Skwala and I use the same tactics it appears. Including different casts with different setups depending on water being fished. Some water I fish will not have a dangle because of depth, but most will and that is where a lot of strikes come from on the "river" I fish all summer and fall. My fly is hardly ever on the surface with a sinking tip on the dangle, maybe just a few inches below, but it is below. Craig
     
  12. docstash

    docstash Active Member

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    cnaka throw a half line mend back into the center of the river and wait for the fly to make the move back into deeper water and then turn around and come back into your bank. Hook ups may not be any better but it changes the timing just enough a lot of times. Or this works for me with both skaters and sunk flies.
     
  13. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    This is pretty disapointing that a thread with real potential for real substance and room for great collaboration of ideas on a very important subject, gets little feedback/participation. Whats up? You guys can post all day long on a thread pertaining to indicators and dead drifting, but nothing on something that calls for real input:confused: I know its the nature of flyfishing forums..... i'm just saying.:hmmm:
     
  14. Keith Hixson

    Keith Hixson Active Member

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    Using a strike indicator at the intersection of the sinking and floating line is probably making it a little easier to detect a hit. I've never done that one, but it does make sense.

    K.
     
  15. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    I've never needed a strike indicator to know a fish has taken on the swing:eek: .... that's the whole point. That makes zero sense.