Salmon Spey multi-line setup…

#1
This is going to be my first year chasing salmon on spey. I have a Sage One 8136-4 and am currently trying to figure out what line setup(s) I need to prep. My local rivers are:
  • Columbia Rock (Island to Wells Dam)
  • Entiat River
  • Wenatchee River
Without getting into what may/may not be open this year (let's assume they are all going to be open at some point), here are my main questions:
  • Since those rivers are 3 different beasts, I assume that a Skagit setup with different heads for each river/situation is probably the best way to go. Also considering I am still new to spey. Am I correct in my assumption here?
  • Running line: can I just get anything? Or do I need something specific.
  • For the shooting heads, it seems I have a min of the following 3 scenarios:
    1. Columbia where fish are a bit further out and 15~ft deep
      • Am I correct in thinking this needs a shooting head with a fast sinking tip? What kind of head? Full float or partial sinking?
    2. Columbia where fish are closer to the shore and in shallower depths
      • Is this the same head as the previous, just minus the sinking tip?
    3. Wenatchee / Entiat where fish are at various depths but smaller water (compared to Columbia)
      • Is this a completely different shooting head from the prior two scenarios or the same?
      • What if I want to attempt dry fly (might take some trips out to rivers where the fish actually hit dries)?
  • How do I figure out grain?
What else am I missing?
 

bk paige

Wishin I was on the Sauk
#2
1 Skagit head with floater mow tip , t11, t14 and t17 in 10'-15' , this will do it all, but not all of it the best

Or

1 Skagit fits(float, intermediate sink3) + t11-/14(will cover both CR scenarios) + 1 scandi head for floating line work

Or all three! As far as grains look at sage web page for line rec's
 

A.A.

Active Member
#3
Just out of curiosity, how often would you use a floating tip or Scandi set up for Salmon? Seems like it would be the least used rig for Salmon. I’ve done very little fly fishing for salmon, but I’d think just a Skagit with T-8 through T-17 tips would be all that’s needed. I haven’t heard of anyone chasing salmon with surface presentations (although I did have a salmon hit a skating nymph while holding the rod between my knees while looking through my fly box. Was on the Feather River in Oroville). My limited experience has been with Chinook. I’d be interested in hearing others experience with this.
 
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cmann886

Active Member
#4
1 Skagit head with floater mow tip , t11, t14 and t17 in 10'-15' , this will do it all, but not all of it the best

Or

1 Skagit fits(float, intermediate sink3) + t11-/14(will cover both CR scenarios) + 1 scandi head for floating line work

Or all three! As far as grains look at sage web page for line rec's
I like bk’s F.I.S.T. /scandi recommendation, but have never caught salmon using a Scandihead, not even my full sink Scandi. That said I have also had my best casting/fishing experiences using Nextcast lines. My guess is for you rod you will be looking at 570-600 grains. Which work well with my 8 wt. Rods.
 
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bk paige

Wishin I was on the Sauk
#5
A.A. -
2 kings, several dozens of coho(1 skater), hundreds of chum and thousands of pinks on a floating lines(a couple dozen on skaters). So yes floating lines work for salmon!
 

A.A.

Active Member
#6
A.A. -
2 kings, several dozens of coho(1 skater), hundreds of chum and thousands of pinks on a floating lines(a couple dozen on skaters). So yes floating lines work for salmon!
That’s awesome! My limited experience is with kings. Sounds like the other species are much more likely to come to the surface. Pretty funny that I got that one king on a skated nymph on accident. Right in the inside of the upper lip like a trout too. Measured 32”, maybe 15-20 lbs? The few others were all fishing deep. Sounds like you’ve been to Alaska once or twice!
 
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