Who still fishes full sinking lines for steelhead

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by William Wallace, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. William Wallace

    William Wallace Active Member

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    I remember when I started steelheading (mid 70's) all I used was a full sinking SA type 3, green butt skunk, phlueger medilist 1495 and a 8 1/2 7wt fiberglass fly rod. I hooked a lot of fish!

    Now that technology has improved, my steelhead catching has decreased. I have went from 8 1/2' fly rods to 14', high speed HI-D full sinking lines to T8, T11 and T14, sink tip skagit heads, even scandi lines. Well, not as many fish.

    Every time I take a step back and use tackle of the yester year, I hook fish. What is this telling me?

    I met a man a long time ago, his name, Joe batoric, he lived just outside of arlington, right onlong the N.F. Stilly. He had his own technique of fly fishing. Many people did not do what he did. He brought me under his wing and I started even catching more fish than ever.

    In the late 80's, Joe was biulding rods on canadian mooching rod blanks (10'-11') for silver fly fishing fishing in the sound and started to use them for steelhead. He built them with a longer extension in the rear handle to use two hands. The flies he tied, were out of this world. Things I would never thought would have caught a fish in my life, unless you had snagged one. On a regular basis, he landed numerous fish, bigger than I saw others catch. I was crushed years ago when I found out he was found passed away in his home. I went on with technology and everytime I fish, I feel like someone is kicking me in the ass. Is it Joe, saying hey dumb ass what are you doing? Remember what I taught you.

    Is it, there is a place in time for that technique? fish how you feel comfortable? or am I just an old timer that does not like change? For me, I am taking that step back, remembering what some of the pioneer fly fisherman, Joe, Harry lamire, Merlin Stedum and many others taught me. I am going old school....two lines, floating and full sink. Lets see if I still have the old school mojo!!!!
     
  2. sportsman

    sportsman Active Member

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    Nice story and a trip back in time when steelhead gear was simple and effective. It was unusual when 3 or 4 of us would fish the Sky and not bring home at least one fish. I only fish with single handers and have bought, made and maybe wasted $ on the latest and greatest! I just bring my Teeny 200 & 300 and can fish better than 90% of the water.......SA Steelhead taper for the floater. Teeny lines cast great and are reasonably priced, but they sure aren't the flavor of the new millenium!
     
  3. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    His name was spelled Butorac, by the way. I haven't fished a full-sinking line for steelhead in probably forty years. Shortly after I began fly fishing for winter steelhead, the most popular rig became a 30-foot shooting head with heavy monofilament running line; definitely required a stripping basket to keep the tangles down to a reasonable (more or less) degree.
     
  4. flybill

    flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

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    I haven't much yet, but am going to get a Guideline DDC full intermediate setup for next winter! Might even go to a heavier sinking line, but I've borrowed that line and fished a few run with it on the Sky! Nice way to get the line underneath the currents and hopefully present the fly on the swing better!

    I have found myself recently going backwards for older, cooler technology. Old click paw reels and bamboo rods! I even enjoy my first fly rod, a hand me down from my dad, and try to get out and fish it on his birthday and fathers day, since he passed away when I was in high school. Oh yeah, bought a Pleuger Medalist for that setup!

    Retro Bill
     
  5. Han Double

    Han Double Member

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    would it be fair to say that old stuff works so well because you really know it and feel comfortable working it? and the new technology has not yet melded into your comfort zone because when things get tough you go back to what you know has worked best for you in the past?
     
  6. William Wallace

    William Wallace Active Member

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    Yep that was him. Fished with him many times on the Stilly. Our family has property above the Fortson hole (pink trailer above A frame). I remember swinging a full sinking line, line never straight, fly always perpendicular to the fish and really never knew the fish was on untill it seemed like minutes after the pick up. I remember Joe would splice 20' of a 9 or 10wt high peed HI-D shooting line to a level 9wt and that was his sink-tip. Flies were simple, nothing more the tinsil chenille and flashabo or maraboo. Casts were short and controlable. Watched him catch two in high teens and long line release others in the same drift. I know that was fishing of the yester year on the stilly, but he did it on a regular basis. His casting was not what purist would say was great, but he was fishing. I have spent a lot of time on perfecting how I looked and not on how I fished. Casting technique is needed, but if the fly is not in the water, you can't catch fish! and we don't have flying fish in our rivers.

    The days of simple tackle has went to disc drags, AFS, Skagit compact, long belly, which there is nothing wrong with it, but I have talk with my brother and we miss the good old times. I do not fish big rivers where long casts are needed or a long rod is needed for mending. I am a pocket water fisherman. If I can't cast to them, I will cross the river or they are left alone for another day.

    I just want to thank everyone for posting their comments. We each have our on technique and we revert to it, when all else fails. This is what makes us fisherman. Try something new or old. I hope everyone has a great fishing season and I hope to get back to the PNW soon.
     
  7. 1morecast

    1morecast Active Member

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    My largest fish to date (39 inches) came on the 30 ft. fast sinking shooting head with a mono running lline. That was 20 years ago.I still remember 280 grains on a single hand rod all day was a workout, followed by asprin and a couple of beers to wash them down.
     
  8. papafsh

    papafsh Piscatorial predilection

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    I have been fishing a full sink line since November of last year, at that time I happened to find, and buy, a rod, reel, line and case from a local pawnshop.
    The rod is a Lamiglas 9' 2pc 8wt, the reel is a Pflueger Trion 1990. I have no idea what the line is, it was on the reel without any backing when I got it. The price tag said $85.00 but I wound up getting it for $45.00.
    I don't think this outfit was used more than about once, it looked like new. I cleaned it up, put backing on the reel, did a welded loop on the line and went fishing. From November through season end I caught 12 Bull's and 2 nate steelhead on the Sauk ( see pic's in my gallery).
    The full sink line though is what got me into the zone, I believe, and I'll be swinging with it again, you can be sure.
    Already got my money's worth though.

    LB
     
  9. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    Not to be a prick but I think a huge part of it is that back then there were actually fish in some numbers in those rivers...

    Technology moves on but never replaces skill...some of that skill might have been more to do with hooking fish versus getting them to bite..

    Bottom line though is fish what makes you happy and you can't lose...
     
  10. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    William,

    Thanks for bringing up the memory of Joe. I was surprised when I learned he'd passed away. He was a cool, if opinionated, guy. Used to run into him often at Avid Angler.

    Technology has made fishing easier in many respects, but a tool, whether old or new, is only as good as the skill and technique that employs it. Now I have many more fly rods, but I catch fewer fish. It's not the fault of the rod collection though. Or that I use sink tip lines instead of the WF9S that I began with. I have but no longer use an 8 1/2' fiberglass rod that has landed more steelhead than all the other rods that I have combined. There are two important reasons for that however. I fished that rod for 11 straight years, and there were more than just a few steelhead around when I was fishing with it.

    Sg
     
  11. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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