The Swang

#61
The biggest hurdle in the winter is water temperature. The fish just wont move as far. Depth of your offering is critical, as well as the speed of the swing. You dont have to pounding the stones but it needs to be close.
 
#62
When fishing a sink tip there is a slight curve in your line. That curve is slack. Slack has nothing to do with how a grab is felt :rolleyes:
Curve smurve. It's still under tension. Swinging a floater.... your saying there is no "curve" or no tension? If fishing greased line, It's all slack and mends to present the fly in a horizontal fashion right?
 
#63
TFG,

For somebody that is hung up on 'gaywings'...I guess your ignorance pretty much spells it out. Nothing to do with anybody forcing anything on you. You can either choose to learn more about the fish. And how to fish for them. Or not. It's up to you.

However, why would you extrapolate your limited knowledge to all steelhead? Is that because these are the only fish you think you know? You are aware that these fish in your favorite locales do come up?

Based on my experience it kinda goes like this. Fishing east of the Cascades, July-Oct, I KNOW they actively rise. So why fish deep? Day in and day you aren't gaining an advantage by fishing big and deep. In the heart of the season, on the Snake and it's tribs, the dryline often spins circles around tips. One prime example really drove this point home. I needed a change of pace...8 years ago made an afternoon trip to the lower Ronde. Fished for just over 2 hours I rose 21 different fish and hooked 14. In one run. Everyone of them on a small hairwing. Fishing across from me was a guy throwing a sink tip. Zip, zero, nada. He eventually asked me what I was doing. He went back to the car and replaced his sink tip with a floater and normal Deschutes size fly. He hooked his first three summer steelhead on a fly that day. All in 15 minutes in the same water he had been covering for an hour with a tip. Now I am not saying this one example always applies. There have been times on the lower Ronde where I have followed my untouched dryline with a tip (and largish fly) and hit several fish. But that is the lower Ronde. So we began a test of sorts on the CW. Person (me) following ran a tip just to see. Exactly 3 fish were picked up behind the dryline. All from the same run. It ended up something like 25:3. This was years ago. Maybe the fish have changed. Also I know this isn't anything more then anecdotal.

When I fish your neck of the woods I know it's mostly a skam show. It can't be denied that your favored set-up will outproduce classic dryline surface methods. However the option of fishing the surface always exists provided one is willing to forgo 'numbers'. But not nearly to the handicap you seem to think a dryline is.

William
In all honesty, I admire your passion for the fish William. At least we are getting some participation on this damn board!
 

inland

Active Member
#64
Coach,

What? You lost me. The trick to the dryline (Bill's deep wet fly swing) in winter is to use as little weight as possible (25 grains or less-or a heavy hook and no attached weight) and still get the fly deep enough, long enough, to interest a winter steelhead. Accomplished, as you pointed out, through line manipulation. This IS NOT a dead drift presentation. Once depth is gained the line is kept tight through a very controlled swing. Throwing a starlight leech is a jig. Those big lead eyes take most of the skill out of the method.

Winter fish grabbing on a dryline, using only the hook for weight, with Bill's methods is as cool as it gets. Way more fun, for me, then getting summer fish on a dry. I don't have the patience to always fish this way. Maybe 25% of the time. Nonetheless it has really 'dulled' getting winter fish on a sink tip. Created the internal quandry of always wondering if I could have hooked that fish on a dryline. Now that I get 3 times as many winter steelheading days...my days using sink tips are numbered. I don't care if it 'costs' me 2/3's of my yearly hookups. It's worth it.

Westside summer steelhead rise to flies too. Sorry. They just do. Sure it may 'cost' you some fish. Sometimes a bunch. But in the end you will still get your fish.

William
 
#65
Curve smurve. It's still under tension. Swinging a floater.... your saying there is no "curve" or no tension? If fishing greased line, It's all slack and mends to present the fly in a horizontal fashion right?
First of all who said anything about a greased line. Greased line technique is something used instead of tips to fish a fly at depth. I dont use that technique. Second tension and slack are not the same thing.
 
#66
When fishing a sink tip there is a slight curve in your line. That curve is slack. Slack has nothing to do with how a grab is felt :rolleyes:

Ok, in your first post you say there is a slight curve in your line when using a tip. I'm saying there is also a slight curve in your line when you are fishing a floating line. So a grab will be felt the same way. Are you saying you can fish a floater 100% of the time with no curve and a perfectly straight line?:rolleyes:

Slack has everything to do with how a grab is felt. IF there is slack, then you won't feel anything, because you can't feel anything until the line comes tight.

First of all who said anything about a greased line. Greased line technique is something used instead of tips to fish a fly at depth. I dont use that technique. Second tension and slack are not the same thing.
Yea, I know tension and slack are not the same thing....they are the opposite of each other.
 
#67
The "slack" you are talking about was manipulated by a pile cast with shitloads of slack piled on top of the fly which in turn was a 6-0 Winters Hope designed just for this application. The waters this technique you talk about (Bill McMillans dryline technique in winter) are smaller as the Wahougal and other rivers. I just talked with Kerry Burkheimer at length about this technique and how why and where less than two months ago at his house. Now you are applying general applications to a very specialized and localized technique. I am talking about using mends to sink a weighted fly. As far as west side fish taking a dry, sure they will in the right temps, times and ways. (Fall being your best shot). But to try to compare them to fish that swim for 800 miles in rivers and have to maintain some kind of body weight and strength and mass (and how revert back to trout eating habits and trout behavior, including rising feely to surface presentations) is something I disagree strongly with. Most races of steelhead who travel far in fresh water to reach their spawning waters are far more prone to surface presentations than coastal fish who arrive chrome bright with sea lice dripping off of them. You will never hook as many fish in one month dry fly fishing the west side for steel as you will on the east side. No matter who you are. That's my opinion and thats an opinion from years of fishing for both all the way up to Skeena with every tactic and technique imaginable, except nymphing which I don't do and never will. Of course it's the deadliest, but if I did this just for numbers I'd still be shooting plugs and bait divers.
 
#68
I dont know how I can make it any more clear. I am speaking form personal experience. You have made it very obvious you know very little about fishing a floating line. The technique I use 90% of the time is a tight line, unless I'm fishing pockets. There is no belly, curve, slack, in the line other than very brief moments when making line adjustments during the swing. Unless you only fish runs that the current speed is even from where your fly hits the water to your feet you have slack, belly, curve, with a tip that will absorb some of the feel when a fish grabs. :thumb:
 
#69
Coach, rest assured that steelhead will absolutely clobber surface flies within sniffing distance of saltwater (< 10 miles) ... including flies actively stripped across frog-water pools ... hatchery and wild fish alike.

= joy
 
W

Will Atlas

Guest
#70
fishing is a hobby, its about gaining personal satisfaction from the pursuit of fish. Techniques are ultimately semantics. Imagine if people spent as much time working on behalf of wild fish as they do blowing up their own egos on internet forums. We'd all be alot happier and we'd have a heck of a lot more fish to catch. I don't care if you fish only a dryline, or fish corkies and jigs. As long as you respect the resource, release wild fish and aren't an arrogant ass you are ok by me.

Personally I prefer to fish a dryline swing in water temps above 46-48 degrees. The fish are willing to come a long way to take a dry, or lightly dressed wet under those conditions and personally I find it extremely gratifying and enjoyable. Around the end of october I switch over to tips which I use until the start of July typically. Both techniques are effective, but by the time July rolls around I'm ready to cast and fish a dryline. There are times when I feel strongly that taking a fish on a skated fly is the apex of my own sporting experience, however there is not a single fish in freshwater that can compare to a chrome winter steelhead. I appreciate both and at different times of the find myself yearning for what I cannot have, anticipation is half the fun.

Will
 
#71
Man this thread has me thinking about dry fly fishing again......

Never caught any big steelhead on a dryline but I have only fished the westside with the exception of the Methow.
 

inland

Active Member
#72
Coach,

Um...Bill's methods work brilliantly throughout the winter steelhead's range. It certainly isn't limited to SW Washington. My best friend most certainly is the first to adapt Bill's methods to the modern graphite two hand rod. That alone helped open up the big rivers to the method. This guy is pure magic in motion. The only caveat is you are going to have to further limit your productive water. Some guys relish the challenge. Others don't. Neither are right. Nor wrong.

Day in and day out you aren't going to catch as many summer fish on the westside...because there are only a fraction the fish. Using any swung fly method. I firmly hold this being the biggest difference. High fishing pressure over fewer fish does seem to toughen things up. As does the summer heat. So does the hatchery strain being used. Spring, summer, and fall westside fish come up.

Will,

Your point about chrome winters is a GREAT one. Having to work a wild CW B (multiple riser) is close. But I do agree. A wild winter run is a special treat. Never gets old. The only thing I have found to raise it a notch, for me, is using the dryline. Pure nirvana. Either way I hope everybody finds many of them this year. That our runs will somehow rebound. Even a bit would be nice.

William
 
#73
I dont know how I can make it any more clear. I am speaking form personal experience. You have made it very obvious you know very little about fishing a floating line. The technique I use 90% of the time is a tight line, unless I'm fishing pockets. There is no belly, curve, slack, in the line other than very brief moments when making line adjustments during the swing. Unless you only fish runs that the current speed is even from where your fly hits the water to your feet you have slack, belly, curve, with a tip that will absorb some of the feel when a fish grabs. :thumb:

I'll have to see how you do that. I think it is impossible to fish a perfectly straight line without some sort of curve/"J" in it. Perhaps in the right run, with the right current, but again, I think it would be impossible to do it 90% of the time. We are all fishing tight to the fly once the fly starts to swing. Are you saying by using a tip we are not always tight to the fly, and by using a floater you are always tight to the fly?

Your quote...

Unless you only fish runs that the current speed is even from where your fly hits the water to your feet you have slack, belly, curve, with a tip that will absorb some of the feel when a fish grabs.

Yeah the same thing happens with a floater. Maybe even more cuz the top currents could wreak havoc on the floater.

I can lend you my video of Hazel fishing a floating line and you will see as he swings, there is a curve in his line as well. He calls it the "J" or upside down "J". Something like that. He goes on to say that "curve" or "J" is good to have whether on a tip or a floater. Trying to fish a perfectly straight line without a "J" or curve in it is near impossible all the time.
 
#74
I give up, If your just going to regurgitate things people have said there is no point. Bottom line is you are telling me that my personal experience is wrong based on what you have been told. Your steelheading experience is limited to one technique on very few rivers. But you pipe up like you have it all figured out which is far from the case.
 

inland

Active Member
#75
Justin,

From the top-o-me-head I THINK more winter fish, in general, have a longer 'lag' time once they are hooked before turning to do something. The last summer steelhead I have caught on a sink tip was October of 1999 from the Sustut. Maybe I just don't remember but this 'feel' seems more common with winter runs. The grab is pretty much the same. It's after the grab. Some of this perceived 'lag' might be attributed to 'slack' between the tip and floating section of your line. The tip is often a bit behind the floating section(s). The tip is running in different current speeds. Along with vertical differences- where the floating section might be pulled down before full tension applied. Maybe yes. Maybe no. I know a few guys running full sunk lines. They both report the same takes you get on a dryline while fishing just under the surface. However I have no personal experience (until this coming winter) with full sinkers so I can't really comment beyond second hand. IMO the biggest difference, if any, is how far the fish is moving off it's lie to take your offering. And how quickly it turns. Maybe yes. Maybe no. Dunno. Maybe there is something to the 'slack' idea from the tip running in different current speeds and 'planes'. It's still splitting hairs. Splitting hairs over a split second of something my mind really isn't focused on anyway.

William