Who is actually fishing or fished a dryline for winter steel in the PNW?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by golfman65, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    As I read these posts I realize most of the fish I've hooked in the last three years have been in water that was 4' or less, so there is no reason to believe that I would be putting myself at that much of a disadvantage. My first fly caught steelhead was a greased line presentation and I fished that way for a while( with very limited sucsess), but you got me thinking.

    I enjoyed Bill M's book a lot,and if I knew what I did with it I would re-read it.

    Great fish ralfish
     
  2. Derek Day

    Derek Day Rockyday

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    I've fished a dry line a bit the past few winters. I got a few fish on weighted leeches two seasons ago. Last winter, I got one on a dry line and an un-weighted fly--pretty cool feeling.

    In the february 2009 edition of Flyfishing and Tying Journal John McMillan wrote a great article on dry line vs. sink tips. He fished dry line for four years and a sink tip for the next four. He compared results vis-a-vis temp, current speed, visibility and depth of holding water. For those that haven't read it, it is so incredibly worth your time. Fantastic.
     
  3. Benjy

    Benjy Active Member

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    I'm only fishing for them with my tenkara set up this season so I'm pretty much un-one-up-able when it comes to winter steelhead.
     
  4. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Benjy, for clarification, while fishing with that Tenkara rod (yes, now we both have to have a drink) will you be sporting the cutsom BENJY t-shirt from the "Epic Brown of a Lifetime" fame? If so, there simply is no one upping that killer combination.
     
  5. Rick Sharp

    Rick Sharp Member

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    Not really a dry line per se but I made a 10 floating tip for my airflo skagit compact and thought I'd try it while fishing the klick today with an orange bomber, had a steel hit the bomber half way thru the run. for what that's worth I thought it was pretty cool.
     
  6. 808steelheader

    808steelheader Member

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    I have fished the dryline almost exclusively during the winter for the past two years. I've gotten just a small handful of fish using the method but it has been a rewarding and pleasurable way to fish for me. I try to emulate Bill McMillan's description of the technique, having reread his book many times and having it mostly committed it to memory. I have used a full floating CND DT 7/8/9 on a 13'6" Sage two hander, Maxima leader tapered to #10 ultra green, and bead headed MOALs. I do find myself editing water, looking for softer flows whenever possible. I typically make a cross stream or slightly upstream cast, usually make one back mend to allow the fly to sink, then I follow the fly/line and lower the rod to minimize tension on the fly and take my steps downstream during the swing if the bottom structure of the river allow me to do so without falling in. By using this method, I enjoy the ease of casting a floating line and what feels like heightened sense of involvment in actually fishing the fly through the swing. I also fish wakers a bit during warmer periods in the winter season and I raised a couple fish to the top last April.

    Tight lines,
    Todd
     
  7. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    My name is Raul..I am a tip junkie...I broke down and used one today...fished a half day locally and it sucked out...I cracked!!!

    I'm weak.....but will keep trying...Funny what you can make a fly do with some rod maneuvers..that part was cool..but the spot I walked in on had lower water and subsequently was faster...early for steel...and did I already say I was weak? Yup..I am...

    This is going to be an interesting winter...I have no problem trying it with summer runs..but god almighty it's like an addiction not pulling a tip out, even if it is a delta...I feel almost naked out there..

    weird huh?
     
  8. ralfish

    ralfish Active Member

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    the thing about fishing a dry line numbnuts, is you better edit the water...see you can fish whatever or however you want. Buuut that means you need a rod/line caddy so you can change up continuously to fish things appropriately, or you just fish the right kind of water for whatever method....Its fun, all part of the never ending learning curve. I feel guilty tying on a heavy iron, and stacking mends on a 18' leader after using waked bugs all summer....weird. But now I want to see if I can bring them right to the surface on a light iron, no mend stacking, and try to stick with a proper side presentation for the whole swing....during the fry out migration this isn't a problem, as they will take a fry imitation readily but doing it during the cold period before the migration starts will be a challenge....
     
  9. slugthug

    slugthug Member

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  10. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    I think changes in latitude might have something to do with it.

    Sg
     
  11. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Ralf said numbnuts. I think he directed it to Paul. That is so freaking entertaining.
     
  12. Randall Clark

    Randall Clark Active Member

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    ditto on that. and it's always after the water temp reaches a certain temp (it's much lower than one would think). in my little spot, I've had fish attack a heavily weighted marabou fly before it had sunk more more than several inches. I actually tried it last winter, but things just didn't come together....I think it was a little late (only had the former happen with super fresh fish)
     
  13. Jim Kerr

    Jim Kerr Active Member

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    I have raised winters to dry flies, as early as March, and caught many on a dry line and lightly weighted, or unweighted flies in winter all the way from December on through May. Picking the right spot and time is most of the game. Oh, and having some fish around helps a ton also. But it is very doable and the spots are there. OOPs, gotta go...
     
  14. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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    +1 here. If the river flow permits a dry line and long leader that's also what I do. Never have been a 'fan' of full on sink tips; sinking poly leaders is my first choice if I 'just have to' 95% of the time.
     
  15. Crump

    Crump Member

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    For me, the colder the water temps get, the lighter and lighter I seem to go. As fish move into slower water, a heavy tip wont allow me to finish my swing properly so eventually a dry line could be a possibility. Remember a few years ago in December when it was really really cold, a friend and I found some hatchery fish in barely moving, crystal clear water. I fished an intermediate tip and he fished a type 3. We both caught fish, and a dry line would have done the job just fine. In the particular spot, some of the fish were possible to see, so I spent a few hours fishing a skater but didn't have any fish move to the fly. I guess it is a different kind of dry line fishing than we think about for fall fish were we hope they are going to be moving a long way for the fly, but the point I guess, is that you dont have to fish heavy to catch winter fish.