The Swang

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Mark Bové, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. Mark Bové

    Mark Bové Chasin tail

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    I have been pondering the last few days about the swing. Mainly my thoughts have turned to line control and presentation. It seems, I have more confidence fishing behind people who dont seem to manipulate their drifts in order to produce a nice swing, one that makes the fly seem alive. The swing really doesnt have to be slow in my book, heck I dont even mend on some swings if the water sets up right. I am really currious how many of you guys enjoy success when simply casting at a 90 degree or higher up stream and tight lining the fly through a distant lie while the fly slowly goes downstream then slowly swings across the current. So how do you swing? Do you change it up for winters? Or is it based purely on the water you fish?
    Mark
     
  2. inland

    inland Active Member

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    Purely on the water being fished. I do better slowing it down for winter fish.

    William
     
  3. doublespey

    doublespey Steelhead-a-holic

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    In summer, I let it swim. Much depends on the nature of the run. In some fast tailouts on an eastern washington river the unhitched wet fly is swinging so fast it's leaving a wake on the surface. The takes on those types of water are electric.

    Lower water temps make me want to hang the fly in front of lethargic fish as long as possible. It might mean back-mending to slow the swing or just using the length of the spey rod to keep a consistent light tension on the fly in slower moving pools (lifting/dropping tip as necessary).
     
  4. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    floating line or sink tip, I almost always cast slightly upstream. I like the ability to prep my swing. It is nice when have water where you don't have to do a thing:) keeping the mellow J is the art.
     
  5. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    What do you mean by this Pan?


    For me it all depends on:

    1. Getting the fly to the bottom and swinging it or swinging it on the top; depending on temps and conditions. I should say though I don't skate a lot, right on the bottom is the norm for me. Skating is for special times and special places where a lot of factors align.

    2. In the winter I do my best to slow the swing and in the summer I do my best to speed up the swing.

    If you need to cast upstream and do super mends or whatever to get the fly down than so be it.

    That is about it.

    The most important thing I see a lot of swinger fisherman not doing is keeping the line near to them off of the slack/slow water. It is popular to just hold the rod straight out, horizontally, low and to the side (least effort/most comfortable) but a lot of times that will mess up your swing. Depending on the water it won't but a lot of runs it does unless you are waded out too deep. I like to swing the fly all the way into the seem between the flow and the slack water and strip it in.

    Unlike most guys I see swinging, I keep the rod tip high most of the time and carefully work the line trying to keep as much of it as I can in the flow and as little as possible in the slack. If you have enough line out with a Skagit type line it will act as a counter weight and you should be able to lift all the running line off the near water and get a very free drift/swing.

    You can also lower the line into the slack to trigger a swing after a free drift/sink. This is useful in the summer a lot of the time to get the fly down and than swing it fast.
     
  6. flybill

    flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

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    One of those "blue lines" in the WA, MT,
    I was always casting at 90 degrees or higher, but after working with Mike Kinney recently and a few others, I agree that you need to consider your angle based on the water you're fishing and and where you want your fly.

    Mike also got me to move down stream, just after I complete my cast when the line is slack and you haven't gotten your fly to swing yet.

    You can hold the rod up high to avoid currents that would affect the line as you get into position and to allow the fly to sink faster. Once the fly starts to swing, I hold the rod tip just above the water.. you guys probably know that.

    If you start at a lower angle, you'll just start the swing sooner and for some water that's what works best.

    I finally got to feel some solid hits on my spey (tap, tap, tap) fishing for dollies, but kept trying to set the hook like a BASS pro! :eek: Now I just have to work on the next step, and have the rivers drop back into shape of course. Can't wait for that, hopefully early next week!

    Bill :cool:
     
  7. Will Atlas

    Will Atlas Guest

    I think a big part of success in fishing the swing is recognizing instinctively how to manipulate the line/fly for a given piece of water. I strive for a moderate paced presentation without a belly in the line. Sink tips usually slow things down a bit for winter. During summer I cast probably 50-60 degrees typically, sometimes as low as 45. In winter I am right around 90 degrees, I take a big mend (or not depending on the water) and let the fly sink and then tighten. I like to count the fly down depending on the sink rate of my tip.
     
  8. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    I have begun to mend less and caught more fish the last few winters. I still have a rather low sample size though so I don't want to read too much into it.
    I used to always try to have the line appear straight but I have found that a slight bend is acceptable and sometimes required.
    Sometimes for winter fish I think none of it makes a differrence. All you really need to do is find a fish in fishable water and it will likely hit.

    Pedrioa for MVP,
    cds
     
  9. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    You are right, you have to get the fly within the range of the fish's vision and reach depending on clarifty and temperature.

    Oh...and nets aren't strung across the river near where you are fishing.
     
  10. hookedonthefly

    hookedonthefly Active Member

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    That's not funny. My buddy and I were fishing the lower Hoh last year. We had worked this gorgeous long run hard and not a damn thing. We got down and rounded the bend, only to find two nets perfectly placed. Thank goodness we had some Maker's to calm our nerves.

    BB soon.

    Ed
     
  11. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    MMMMMMMMMMM... Boundary Bay.

    cds
     
  12. thewaker

    thewaker Tight line takes ain't no fakes!!

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    I think the mellow J Pan speaks of is the idea of a sideways presentation for as long as you can until the line is down below you more, as in the later half of the swing. I have heard it said,"why would you want to tie a 20 dollar fly and only show them the ass end of it?" The slight J is going to present the fly sideways longer, a good thing in a slow winter swing IMHO.

    Mark
     
  13. Mulligan

    Mulligan Stephen Mull

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    Holding all else constant (namely water speed), how does one keep a "slow winter swing" and induce a mellow J? I guess a mellow J wouldn't increase speed all that much, but the more mellow the less of the positive "sideways" effect.

    Must be a fine balance between J--and thus "sideways--and speed.
     
  14. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    Yes, the J is the angle of the swing. Turn that J upside down and you are looking at a good swinging presentaion, as opposed to a straight swing. The misconception of swinging is that any bone head can do it. Yes, anyone can do it, but very few actually know what they're doing. It is amazing the difference between what you think is happening subsurface and what is actually happening. Good swingers actually have control of the swing and are accurate in their understanding of what the fly is doing underwater. Knowing this allows you to make the proper changes to the presentation. Being able to swing with that mellow slight J and move the fly through the water column without forcing it or dead drifting it is very difficult and can only be achieved through experience (the touch).
     
  15. doublespey

    doublespey Steelhead-a-holic

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    If all you had were nets strung below you, that's par for the course!

    I was fishing the lowest run on the Hoh a few years back in mid Feb. We get in at first light and had crossed in the tailout and quietly taken up station on the other side. As we began fishing, a native in a jon boat sets up a net in the riffle below us (where we'd just crossed).

    OK, fine . . . he's got the right to net. But then he runs his boat up into the pool we're fishing and starts banging his oars on the side of his boat to drive the fish back into his net in the riffle below. UNBELIEVABLE!

    We later 'liberated' some wild steelhead caught in nets we discovered further upstream in a somewhat symbolic gesture. ;) Still amazed at what happened.