Super clear water: How many steps between swings?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by golfman44, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. CLO

    CLO Future WFF Mod

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    I'm the opposite, I pound the water hard and usually make 5 swings through a good slot (or nymph dead drifts) before moving down a step. A fish won't come across the pool to hit a fly in cold water. Also I don't like blowing through runs if I'm wade fishing and would probably make less swings if I had the luxury of a drift boat. But seriously, screw steelhead I'm trolling for black mouth this weekend.
     
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  2. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Wow! I could actually fish with a fair number of you. Most fishermen I observe appear to be camping while fishing. I've never caught more fish by fishing slowly through a run than by fishing faster. That leads me to believe that if the water is clear enough, a player will strike the first or second time it sees the fly. If it doesn't strike on the second pass, it's not a player, but it might be after 50 or 200 passes, but I ain't hanging around for that.

    Golfman44,

    If I'm not around, you can take 1 step per cast, or less for that matter. I really don't care. But if I'm following you through that pool, I'd appreciate it if you'd 10-step it, or I'll be going around you.

    Sg
     
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  3. Darthmonkey

    Darthmonkey Active Member

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    In clear water, the things I will change is fly, and leader length.
     
  4. TallFlyGuy

    TallFlyGuy Adipossessed!

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    Bingo!

    How big are your steps? I usually try to step down the length of a good sized steelhead. Around 3 feet. IF really low and clear, I still do the same thing, but maybe change up the fly/tip setup. If I'm in unknown water and "hunting" I'll usually go a little farther between swings...say 4.5 feet between casts. Works for me.
     
  5. _WW_

    _WW_ Geriatric Skagit Swinger

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    I usually kind of shuffle continuously through the run when I'm fishing. About the only time I stop moving is when I blow a cast or get some kind of tangle or lose a fly and have to re-tie.

    I'm also pretty easy going and malleable enough to fish at whatever pace the guy in front of me is going at - as long as there is a pace...otherwise I may end up hooking your waders. You don't want yer waders hooked now do ya?
     
  6. DanielOcean

    DanielOcean Active Member

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    I feel really bad because I can remember a few times in the past where others have asked me to speed things up. I guess keeping the pace in mind is more difficult for rookies starting out cause they are so nervous and jittery for there first steelhead. I will be the first to admit that not keeping a good pace was a bad habit but I would like to think I have corrected it now. WW is right. When you have some off casting days it can be easy to be mentally consumed by your casting, and you forget everything else including your pace.
     
  7. John Hicks

    John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

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    My distance is controlled usually by three things:
    1. Step distance of clarity
    2. If run is a known producer shorter steps or even two casts per step
    3. if the hairs on the back of my neck stand up I slow down. (spidy sense)

    I also will stop and swing in front and behind boulders. In good buckets. Beside wood. I am pretty methodical about fishing runs. I know I may move slower or faster than others, so I will adjust my pace accordingly. With Salmo G I will just let him fish the run in front of me. He is must faster through runs than I am.

    I almost always err on the side of slower through a run.
     
  8. John Hicks

    John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

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    Daniel,
    Don't worry about it. Move at whatever pace makes you feel as if you have covered whatever water you are fishing effectively. If someone wants you to speed up, just step out or let them start in bellow you. Nothing will kill your day more than speeding up for the sake of someone else and watching them pick your pocket.
     
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  9. Darthmonkey

    Darthmonkey Active Member

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    My steps are in the range of a yard. First cast to present the fly broadside with a little speed, make my second cast simultaneously taking two steps to present the fly low and slow. The idea being that if a non-player refuses the first offering and drops down stream, the second offer will hopefully trigger a fight or flight response. That's my theory at least.
     
  10. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

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    I never worry about the pace , on the waters I fish theres never anybody there. The only thing I worry about is with no witnesses around who will believe me if I catch a steelhead and I don't have a photo of the event?
     
  11. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

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  12. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Benny,

    Why does it matter if anyone believes you. After all, character is what you do when no one is around to witness.

    Sg
     
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  13. Klickrolf

    Klickrolf Active Member

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    It is how you do it!

    Every run, every step, every cast presents different opportunities. I tend to fish fast but only because I think I know where the fish might be, players let you know quickly. One step here and/or a dozen steps to the next sweet spot. I refuse to catch in-between fish because they are inferior, or at least they aren't eating at the correct pace.
     
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  14. Jeff Sawyer

    Jeff Sawyer Active Member

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    I don't change the number of steps, based on water clarity. Maybe I should, and it's a good question, but I look at it like this.

    Mr/Mrs Steelhead is sitting there, maybe they see that fly swing by 10' away, but thinks that might be tasty but damn it's cold and I'm all bedded down here. Or maybe they're thinking I'm just not that hungry. But that same fly swings by 6" in front of there nose and it pisses them off enough to hit it.

    I could be full of shit, maybe they aren't thinking anything, and I just like taking 2-3 steps.
     
  15. itsbenlong

    itsbenlong Member

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    I know this isn't really regarding steps to take in super clear water. But I like this post and wanted to add to what others were saying. If I have a run to myself, which I usually do, I move through it different than if someone is fishing above me. I probably fish it faster when someone is above me because all I really want to do at that point is leave and find some water to myself. There are just too many variables to decide on steps to take using water clarity only.

    Anyway........

    What I wanted to add is, I often but not always work a run like this (Using a spey rod & Skagit shooting heads):

    1. Cast, mend, swing......(I do not always mend, depends on the flow)
    2. Cast, mend, feed line, swing (to allow fly to run deeper and cover more water further down)
    3. Cast, mend, then slowly Step, Step, Step, Swing.......(slow steps to ensure your sink tip and fly stay ahead of your line...(# of steps varies, runs the fly even deeper and positions me in my next spot down steam)

    I have had excellent results with this method!