Is this wrong?

SilverFly

Active Member
#1
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To fish a fly rod in a holder next to casting rod running plugs? ;) Wrong or not, its been a couple years since I've gotten out for winter steel so thought I'd post a fishless report.

Had an invite to drift a local river with a gear buddy from work. No steelhead for either of us but I did manage to swing up a sucker from a fishy looking seam further downriver.

I tried my 10wt rigged with a sinking head in the rod holder, mostly as a goofy experiment to see how it fished through plug pulling water. No grabs for either rod but it seemed to fish surprisingly well. Getting down was not a problem, since I had to switch to unweighted flies after donating a couple to the bottom. I've had plenty of grabs on the hang in the past, so I don't see why it wouldn't work. Not counting it as fly fishing by any means, but that won't stop me from running a fly if he wants to drag plugs for spring Chinook in a month or two. At least felt like I was fishing.

Very cold but beautiful day.

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Thankfully we started to thaw out late in the afternoon, not far above the takeout.

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Always good to get out.
 
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Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#5
The color of the reel and probably the line as well are totally wrong unless you're a millennial who has to make sure his equipment always shows up well in photos. But harling a fly is a long and respected tradition in loch fishing in Ireland, so I'm not sure how that would be wrong.

This reminds me of the time I was canoeing down the Sauk River and watching some friends drifting down in another raft. One friend was sitting on the forward raft tube hanging his fly line (with fly) downstream in the water. Not really fishing, not really doing anything other than keeping his fly in the water. Naturally the fly stopped drifting as a huge male steelhead, 25# if it was an ounce, leaped out of the water with that fly in its mouth. It was over almost as soon as it started, but it sure was an attention getter. So you might not have been wasting your time trying it, even if you didn't get bit.
 

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
#6
Looks like a good day to me. You had an opportunity to go out, used flies & a fly rod, and adapted to the circumstances of the opportunity - I say "Good on you!"

As my Dad told me: "Son, Some days you need to pick the fruit where you find the tree."
 

SilverFly

Active Member
#8
Figured I wasn't the first to try this but maybe the first to admit it ;). Although I should thank Salmo for reminding me about the term harling.

And yeah, I totally agree this outfit looks out of place on the river, and would've been surprised if it didn't draw a comment or two. I was thinking offshore colors when I had the rod wrapped in blue and aqua prior to going to Hawaii last summer. Not that I care much about gear "fashion", but I couldn't pass on the matching blue reel when I saw it on sale at STP. Can't even remember where I got the bright green braided running line but it works.

Not much about this trip was a serious effort at chasing steel, although we definitely tried. The main point was to finally get out with a co-worker on my new shift. We've been BS'ing about fishing for the last few months. That part was a success, even if the catching sucked. Plans are already in place for spring/fall chinook, and coho.
 

SilverFly

Active Member
#10
Not a “fishless report.” You caught a sucker. Or so you say. I don’t see any pics of the beast.
Good point. I wouldn't want to belittle the highly under-rated Catostomus transmontanus as worthy fly quarry ;). I avoided unnecessary photo-op delays as to not over stress my worthy opponent. Actually I was pissed because it fooled me into thinking it was a steelhead for a few seconds longer than I'd care to admit!
 
#11
The color of the reel and probably the line as well are totally wrong unless you're a millennial who has to make sure his equipment always shows up well in photos. But harling a fly is a long and respected tradition in loch fishing in Ireland, so I'm not sure how that would be wrong.

This reminds me of the time I was canoeing down the Sauk River and watching some friends drifting down in another raft. One friend was sitting on the forward raft tube hanging his fly line (with fly) downstream in the water. Not really fishing, not really doing anything other than keeping his fly in the water. Naturally the fly stopped drifting as a huge male steelhead, 25# if it was an ounce, leaped out of the water with that fly in its mouth. It was over almost as soon as it started, but it sure was an attention getter. So you might not have been wasting your time trying it, even if you didn't get bit.
I'm a big fan of this color combo...although...I may be biased a bit lol
 
#13
so wrong that it's oh so right!

looks like a helluva nice day out there and hey, you didn't get skunked.
I learned quite a bit about harling one summer while guiding to old Scottish guys on the Kenectock river in Alaska.

I had never tried the method before especially in a jet boat under power with two 15ft rods dangling of the sides. It was pretty fun actually because they knew when to mend and reset and we happily covered miles of river with this method. As it turns out its down right deadly on King salmon fishing 15ft of t-14 and big intruder type flies. The down side is you take up a big portion of river working bank to bank and to a certain degree its possible to have.a very negative effect on other people
fishing. After a week I abandoned the technique but it was pretty fun while it lasted. It certainly was more exciting from my point of view than walking up and down the beach giving casting lessons and waiting for a line to go tight so I could do the 100yrd dash and hopefully land a fish for a client. Granted that part is pretty awsome as well but the harling technique was something else. And no I wouldnt do this on any steelhead rivers I fish. Not from a jet under power. The mending technique keeps the fly swinging in a 50ft path creating an S shape while working down stream or holding in a prime spot for as long as you like. With two rods working its possible to cover 200ft of river bank to bank very slowly and precisely.
 

SilverFly

Active Member
#14
I learned quite a bit about harling one summer while guiding to old Scottish guys on the Kenectock river in Alaska.

I had never tried the method before especially in a jet boat under power with two 15ft rods dangling of the sides. It was pretty fun actually because they knew when to mend and reset and we happily covered miles of river with this method. As it turns out its down right deadly on King salmon fishing 15ft of t-14 and big intruder type flies. The down side is you take up a big portion of river working bank to bank and to a certain degree its possible to have.a very negative effect on other people
fishing. After a week I abandoned the technique but it was pretty fun while it lasted. It certainly was more exciting from my point of view than walking up and down the beach giving casting lessons and waiting for a line to go tight so I could do the 100yrd dash and hopefully land a fish for a client. Granted that part is pretty awsome as well but the harling technique was something else. And no I wouldnt do this on any steelhead rivers I fish. Not from a jet under power. The mending technique keeps the fly swinging in a 50ft path creating an S shape while working down stream or holding in a prime spot for as long as you like. With two rods working its possible to cover 200ft of river bank to bank very slowly and precisely.
That actually sounds like a lot of fun. Maybe not on a busy river though. I did try a bit of mending to the side as described, what I was doing was basically running the fly straight in front of the boat. At least as far as the plug, or much further back. We pretty much had the river to ourselves though, so it wasn't a problem. Wouldn't try that under even moderate fishing pressure though. Then I would just let it run straight out at normal plug pulling distance

The guy on the oars (or tiller) is really the one fishing anyway. If he knows the right slots and seams, the fly will get plenty of chances to get smashed. Hope we have a decent springer season. I'm not sure I can wait to try this on fall kings!
 
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