Step by step: Home made 'indicators.'

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by fredaevans, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    I do remember the part about how we are entering the upswing of a 50 year cycle of ocean survival of anadromous fishes. I have no idea how accurate this is because we haven't been collecting data that long....

    Anyway, that little bit of info is pretty much the only thing keeping me optimistic these days.

    I still hook a good deal of wild steelhead in the Puget Sound area but it is more and more often at the times and places you would least excpect.

    I personally think the crappy sports fishing has to do with the unbelievable increase in fishing pressure in recent years. Same number of wild fish but with 4X the pressure means a lot less takers especially on the fly side. If you aren't lucky enough to show a fresh steel your fly first before bait, lure, other fly et cetera, than you are S.O.L.

    I catch wild steelhead in those quiet places that aren't getting pounded. They swim 10 feet for my fly sometimes. Haven't had any fish like that during the Skagit/Sauk annual cluster#uck ever.

    I used to think the ticket was to cover tons of water with a spey, and it pays off a lot, a good strategy and I love two-handers. However, I am more and more fishing with my machete, my patience and wishing for a 5' 8wt fly rod to hit the market.
     
  2. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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    I feel your pain. I lived in Washington State pre, as well as post, Bolt. Even then we used punch cards to record our catches. I remember the Skagit numbers most vividly ...... from just short of 20,000 sport fish to under 2,000 the first year nets were in the river. Even if folks 'fudged' a lot, there could have been as much as a 90% drop.

    Fred
     
  3. Coach Duff

    Coach Duff Banned or Parked

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    People used to consider fishing the "wet fly" the business of knuckle draggers also Marty. Then there are those that only fish the dry line and thumb their nose at sink tips. Others frown on weighted flies as not being flyfishing. I myself like alot of us, like to catch fish. The more methods you can utilize in varied conditions give you the best shot to catch steelhead, which we all know are becoming harder and harder to find. That's the geat thing about flyfishing. You can interpret it any way you want. Just don't get your feelings hurt when someone tellls you they don't care about your interpretation. I only swing when I spey, because I like it the best. It is pure spey fishing to me. Just the spey casts and the mends and the long, sweet swing. My favorite way to flyfish. I also am usually swinging a big assed piece of T-14 with a weighted fly that looks like a dead poodle. I still feel like I am spey fishing, but the boys on the River Spey probably would piss themselves and call me non-traditional. Each to his own brother, that's what makes flyfishing great. Tight lines Coach Duff
    PS Oh and Buehler, I'll be home in February. Please show me the Puget Sound Rivers you are nailing good numbers of wild fish in at times and places no one knows about. Times and places no one knows about? Not the Oly Penn but the PUGET SOUND? Unknown runs of wild steelhead tucked way back in the hills and not pressured in the PUGET SOUND? And if they are charging 10 feet for that fly, it's good sized water. Steelhead Shangrai-la Part Two is being written as we speak right? Do only you and an unknown flyfisherman from Seattle that you never talk to but run into once in a while know about this place? Barnaby Slough is back?ptyd
     
  4. TallFlyGuy

    TallFlyGuy Adipossessed!

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    Yea Coach! Poodles? It use to be the size of small chickens, now we are up to poodles? Right on!

    I think the boys on the river spey utilized and came up with the "two hander" out of convenience, efficiency, and the ability to catch more fish. Back then, if you handed one guy a skagit line with a 15ft section of t-14 and he hooked up with twice as many fish and the other guys around him...I would venture to say that is what they all would be using. Nowadays, I don't think it would fly, but back then, it might of really taken off.

    Justin


     
  5. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    I am talking about hooking a wild fish in 1 out of 4 trips average so it isn't like crazy good or anything.

    Here is how I do it, I fish areas of rivers nobody fishes. Ones that hold far fewer numbers of wild steelhead than the commercial press releases would suggest you fish if you want to hook up. Sometimes that means I fish higher up meaning more wood and smaller pools so you have to get down in there so a smaller rod helps. Sometimes it means I fish way lower meaning cast a retrieve in near tidal areas. Maybe even side channels everyone think nothing would pass through, there you may find a well rested eager steelie.

    Also, sometimes one pool is so much better in these stretches it ends up being the only thing holding fish for miles, this is a steelhead magnet. For instance, there are low numbers of steelhead in the Skagit above Marblemount, but there are also a few holes that are SO SO much better up there that they usually hold a fish ANY TIME OF THE YEAR. Finding these places is the payoff of fishing waters that "aren't worth fishing".

    This all works because the few steelhead that are in these stretches, may have not seen a single lure or fly and they sometimes are VERY agressive which the way they should be. By moving ten feet, I mean ten feet out from under a pile of wood or something to that effect.

    Seriously, fish hard and cover lots of water where there are no steelhead and you will get suprised in 4 days work I can almost guarantee it. As everyone knows, just about any piece of water connected to the Puget Sound has steelhead in it regardless of what the numbers say, regardless of the time of year.

    My strategy is to just find those low pressure areas and forget the cluster*uck fishing that just leaves me feeling pissed and like I lost a race. These days, where I am fishing more and more is quiet, serene, and pays off with some HARD fishing and covering ground fast.

    I will go to the Skagit just to cast a two-hander but I don't expect what I used to experience ten or more years ago. It is just tooooo crowded for me.
     
  6. Marty

    Marty New Member

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    First, the sinking line is no stranger to the rivers of Scotland and Ireland. I never strung a dry line on my last trip to the Black Water. On my first trip to Scotland I was not guided and had no idea how to catch Atlantic salmon. I went straight into steelhead mode using a dry line and a wet fly. It did not take long and I was into my first fish. After catching my first fish I sat on the bank and watched an older gentleman working the opposite bank. He was using a 16 foot rod with a full sinking line. His line never touched the water while casting and he would only make one false cast. Other than the casting he was working the fly just like I was. Since that time I have fished with a number of the top guides over there and have found the basic presentation to be the same as what is used for steelhead. They swing the fly. Swinging flies is an old world technique, so if you swing flies I guess that makes you old school.

    To say that big flies or fishing big flies is nontraditional is far from the truth. Take a close look at the history of Atlantic salmon flies and you will find that they were fishing poodle size flies long before the introduction of the intruder. A 5/0 was more of a standard.

    The double handed rod was not developed on the Spey, the Spey casting style was.

    TFG – The Skagit line is nothing new to the folks over seas, they have been using shooting heads for quite some time now. Believe it or not the Skagit line is a relatively new development. They are based on some of first home made lines dating back all most two decades but are nothing like the originals. Airflo’s Delta Spey is as close as it gets to the true Skagit line, the only difference is, its not hand spliced.

    My reason for my original post was just to get a dialogue started about the over use of term Spey. Why? I guess I do care about the history of steelheading and hate to see it lost in the vast sea of internet info. It very easy to be a contributor of information and with no checks or balance a lot of the available information is lacking accuracy.

    Ask yourself why you started to fly fish? I am sure there are many different reasons why but I would also say that wanting to catch more fish is not one of them. Fly fishing is old school, yes it has gotten a little techno as far as equipment goes but it is still all about the tradition of casting the fly. Say what you want but if you claim to be a fly fisher, you are a traditionalist. It’s all about the process.

    I will say it again “The technique we choose to use is personal preference and though swinging flies is traditional and the purist form of steelheading it’s what every floats your boat that matters”.
     
  7. Coach Duff

    Coach Duff Banned or Parked

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    From where and who did this "first original Skagit (true Skagit) Line" come from Marty? Just curious to hear you interpretation. And let's not play Devil's advocate or chase our tails in circles this times. Duff
     
  8. Marty

    Marty New Member

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    Good question and I guess that would all depend on what circle you were hanging with 15 to 20 years ago. The first Skagit line I got to cast was connected to Ed Ward’s rod. I built a line using Dec Hogan’s formula to replace the DT I was using. When the Reo and Airflo lines hit the market it was a no brainer and the spliced lines were retired. The so called Skagit lines of today are a fairly new product. They have not been on the market all that long and if take a close look at the lines the idea is the same but they are not even close to the original lines used back in the day. They are thicker, heavier and shorter. Skagit lines were normally made with the tip of a WF 7 and a belly of DT 12. The diameter of the new lines are twice what they were. If you were to break down the delta you would see it specs are closer to the spliced lines of the olden days. To give one person credit for the Skagit line (which is more a system or style) would be impossible. So I guess I can’t answer your question, what I can say is at that time in modern day two handed rod history, every person that owned one was cutting up lines looking for something better, it was not just a Skagit thing.
     
  9. Coach Duff

    Coach Duff Banned or Parked

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    Great answer. I've always kind of thought it was Harry Lemire, Mike Kinney, Ward, Hogan, O'Donnell, and the rest of the Skagit crew (there are many more, if I've ommitted you, I apologize.) As they all played with and built line systems the mass of energy and trailblazing led to the Skagit line. I don't personally think you can attribute it to any one angler, I think it evolved from the group as a whole. If I would point to anyone, I would say Mike Kinney is deserved of more credit than anyone. He was playing with lines much like the Skagit and playing with going heavy on the underhand about 10 years before you picked up that rod of Ed Ward's. It doesn't matter either way, it just adds to the richness of our region and flyfishing. Coach
     
  10. Hal Eckert

    Hal Eckert Active Member

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    Fred taught me well with the Rogue nymphing and spey rod, even there nymph patterns, right Fred ? Nymphing and indie fishing with the spey rod is very effective and is needed for certain conditions when swinging is not effective. Fred recognize that fly below ? Heck thats even a Rogue river fly fishers spey rod in that picture. Really I do not do much indie fishing with the spey only in certain situations.

    :beer2:

    Hal


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  11. Coach Duff

    Coach Duff Banned or Parked

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    Nice fish Big Hal! :beer2:Coach
     
  12. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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    Sweet fish Hal! The flies a bit small to be sure, but an 'SWAG' would suggest a black bodied 'Otis Bug.' And roger that to your other observations.

    Fred
     
  13. Hal Eckert

    Hal Eckert Active Member

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    Fred, correct a variation of the Otis Bug, I call my reverse green butt skunk bug, head is green fluor cactus chennille, then body of black cactus chennille, feelers were orange rubber legs, the silver lady fresh from the big lake liked it at first light, a quick photo as morning light was breaking, and she was on her way up river.

    :thumb:

    Hal
     
  14. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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    I like the sound of that fly combo/construction. Think I'll have to see if I have all the materials 'on board,' or make a quick trip to the local fishing shop.

    Rather surprised to find a 'real' tackle store still left here in Brookings, and one with a rather complete selection of basic fly tyeing materials.

    A good thing ...... except I've already dropped somewhere around $150 bucks there ..... stern e mail from Joan followed.:mad::ray1: