Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by flyfishmt, Nov 10, 2013.
And so are you.....give me a buck and it is yours.
Agree. But here is what I find silly in the whole nymphing vs swing debate: I wonder if the debate was BEADING vs SWINGING, if there would be a different argument. But when you say NYMPHING, this is what I hear:
Note the barbell eyes on the Intruder almost bigger than the whole Lightning Bug, lol!
These nymphs are my most productive steelhead flies with the size 14 being the most productive. But I've caught plenty on sz 16. I rarely run anything bigger than a sz 12-10 on top with a 14-16 on the bottom. I also rarely add shot or additional weight so rather than dragging bottom, they are often dead drifting/free tumbling and the fish move to them. Some of you may thing the hook-up ratio is 100% but I can guarantee you it is not even close, especially when wade fishing. Like any trout, a steelhead will sometimes just sit there and watch it pass by while other times, they move to the fly, inspect it and reject it, but occasionally they eat it.
You may call fishing small nymphs unsporting but from the impact to the fish, what is more unsporting? A fish slowly moving/rising a short distance to check out a nymph thereby using very little of the reserved energy they need to spawn successfully or pissing a steelhead off so badly they give chase to a fast moving swung fly, travelling a relatively large distance to chase it, thereby using up much more of their reserved energy whether or not the fish actually bites the fly? Plus, when a fish inspects or refuses a nymph, it rarely is leaving or loosing its holding spot. But when it follows a spey swung fly across and 100' down the river, it not only has to spend more energy to get 'home' but it may find someone else has moved in. To me, being 'sporting' has as much to do with the impact of the 'chase' on the quarry as it does with the odds of the angler's/hunter's success.
I wonder how much pressure you can put on a fish with a size 16 hook? Guess out east you get mostly smaller fish?
ok so does anyone have had good success with a sink tip and yarnie/egg fly ?
having tried it every year now without any luck i can guess why it does not work in a moving water swing approach. i just cant talk myself out of trying each year though.
any thoughts ?
SEAN! keep a civil tongue on his boots!
No fish around to eat your yarn.
I've swung them for several years in front of my streamers. I use them mainly to micro-adjust the depth of my rear fly and give the rear fly extra action. Normally I don't do great with them--fish don't want to move past the rear fly to get to the front one. And it's not like you see eggs swinging in nature. I don't bother cutting them to look round though, just fold the yarn back on the hook, tie in the middle, throw some white UV dubbing in front and different size tungsten beadheads.
Last year, however, I'd say 50% of the summers I got were on swung yarnies. It was bizzarr-O. This year it was back to business as usual and only hooked a few on the lead fly. I even scented them. I did get one to nail a yarnie on the strip, which I've had happen before with both salmon and steelhead. Hatchery fish are dumb. I'm probably dumber for using anything but bunny leeches to swing with.
Seriously? I thought there was a kind of goofy debate about whether nymphing is or is not flyfishing, but you seem to be taking us in an unexpected direction. So you think swinging is less sporting because you a fish might move a few feet farther to chase a swung fly than it would a dead-drifted nymph, egg or whatever? I don't know if that's even a valid assumption, but if we need to worry that a fish might have to burn a few calories to chase a fly, none of us should be fishing for them in the first place.
Just so you know where I come from personally, I have nymphed for steelhead and almost certainly will so in the future, but nymphing probably represents about 1% of the total hours I've invested in chasing steelhead. I am not against it and use the method for trout fishing all the time. But let's be honest - fishing dead-drifted beads, yarnies, glo bugs, pink worms, jig flies and the like is a way more effective method for catching steelhead - in general - than swinging flies. I'm pretty certain that steelhead guides (other than the guides who are swing only) would confirm that their clients put way more fish in the net nymphing than they do swinging. Every year, how many anglers who have never cast a fly rod catch steelhead on the coast nymphing beads from a boat vs. swinging them up? It does not take much skill to take a steelhead dead-drifting beads, yarnies or whatever under an indicator out of a boat. I'll admit that nymphing on foot is quite a bit harder, but the fact that most of the people who regularly guide the OP, Methow, Klickitat, etc. for steelhead automatically default to fishing their sports out of a boat using the nymphing method is all the evidence I need that it is generally a way more effective method for taking a steelhead than trying to swing one up. If it were easier to catch steelhead on the swing, I doubt guides would have their sports spend much time nymphing. (Why the hell would they beat themselves up rowing people around all day when they could stand on the bank and watch their sports catch fish on the swing?)
This difference in effectiveness is the only part of the "sporting" question that really matters, in my mind. Not only does it make it easier to take steelhead, but it dramatically expands the pool of anglers. (I realize some of them would fish gear if they didn't nymph, but I'm pretty sure that it attracts a significant demographic that wouldn't otherwise be out there fishing for steelhead). It's obvious to me that we're dealing with a limited resource, and I don't care if we're talking wild fish or hatchery; it's still a relatively small number of fish available for exploitation and with wild fish, over-exploitation could be disastrous. So to me, the effectiveness of one method vs. another is a worthy topic of debate when it comes to the "is it sporting?" question. When someone suggests that pounding fish over and over, every day, with dead-drifted beads, yarnies, etc. under split shot and an indicator, in holding water that is often beyond the reach of anglers fishing traditional methods, is more sporting than fishing on the swing, I have to think that person either is a little divorced from reality or has an incredibly different conception of what is sporting than I do. Again, I'm not condemning nymphing (because I'd be a hypocrite if I did), but part of the reason I do it so infrequently is because I recognize that I'm fishing over a limited resource and want to limit my impact short of setting down the rod completely. We should at least be honest that nymphing has a significantly greater impact on the resource than the traditional swing method.
Yes. Glo bug trailer on a swung ESL. Back to the OP topic, Yarnies should work in this scenario as well.
ok so there is an idea, glow bug trailer. will have to try that.
i was thinking ( I know ) of maybe using a small swivel 20 inches up from yarnie so it would move more naturally ?
so i got some things to try this year with the old rags or yarnies -- whatever.
This thread has gone beyond ridiculous. It's actually pretty funny, I remember just a few short years ago when traditional spey guys said that throwing Skagit lines and tips was unethical due to "increasing your odds"...
who cares, I'm going to go fishing tomorrow...
I'll probably swing, using the right tool for the job...
or, I might "nymph"...using the right tool for the job...
On second thought, I might just go swing some beads....or other pattern with an egg in it...
nice and heavily weighted to help get it down right in the fishes face!!!
Nymphing, swinging, blah blah blah. These new Skagit heads are nothing but a crutch for people who can't really handle the long rod and lines that were meant for it. I do like that most call it a 2 hand rod rather than a spey.... Strip, strip, strip, strip, strip, strip, strip, strip, rear back and huck it.
the progression is as follows
14 ft rod and a windcutter
15 foot rod and a windcutter
13 foot rod and an xlt
shoulder and elbow problems
12 foot rod and shooting heads
shoulder and elbow problems
10 ft 8 wt
8'6" bait caster
at least that's my story
Huh... and I did start using an 8'6" baitcaster last year. Though my story would sub a Windcutter for a Delta. I do still love me a Delta, though.