Techniques for Swift Currents

wetswinger

Active Member
I've been fishing a new to me beach, that gets a swift, fast walking speed, current that runs parallel to the beach. I use an intermediate line. I've had a little success but I know that there's fish I'm missing. Casting straight out seems futile as the line is instantly taut whipping the fly inward. My preferred presentation is to use a soft hackle river style. Slightly up-current cast with a big upstream mend allowing the fly and line to sink. As the line tightens allowing it to swing up and around and then stripping in. Can't say I'm satisfied with the results. How do you all fish such conditions?
 

Roger Stephens

Active Member
I've been fishing a new to me beach, that gets a swift, fast walking speed, current that runs parallel to the beach. I use an intermediate line. I've had a little success but I know that there's fish I'm missing. Casting straight out seems futile as the line is instantly taut whipping the fly inward. My preferred presentation is to use a soft hackle river style. Slightly up-current cast with a big upstream mend allowing the fly and line to sink. As the line tightens allowing it to swing up and around and then stripping in. Can't say I'm satisfied with the results. How do you all fish such conditions?
I do the current cast and big up current mend but feed 8 to 10 ft of line. It gets your fly down deeper plus there is slightly less current the deeper fly goes.

I fish top water patterns most of time and use the same technique but throw in a couple of more mends and more line feed out.

Roger
 

wetswinger

Active Member
I do the current cast and big up current mend but feed 8 to 10 ft of line. It gets your fly down deeper plus there is slightly less current the deeper fly goes.

I fish top water patterns most of time and use the same technique but throw in a couple of more mends and more line feed out.

Roger
With floating line you can mend easier don't you think . I get one chance to mend with sinking and the line is gone. I'll try feeding more line. Does a heavier weighted fly help and do you think the fish are down low most times?
 

Stuart_Stringer

Active Member
I use a fast sink line and a weighted fly, cast at an angle downcurrent, feed some slack then start stripping slowly and erratically as the fly swings across. Coho and SRC often hang out right on the transition between fast and slow water.
 

Roger Stephens

Active Member
I use a fast sink line and a weighted fly, cast at an angle downcurrent, feed some slack then start stripping slowly and erratically as the fly swings across. Coho and SRC often hang out right on the transition between fast and slow water.

Agree. Often they are right on the bottom in depression and it is why knowing the bottom structure can be important.

I try to fish for sea-run cutthroat in water that is less than 6 to 8 ft. deep. However, I have had outstanding fishing for very large sea-run cutthroat in strong tidal current 8 to 12 ft. deep when they chasing after sand lance. My boat has a fish finder which gives water depth and use it a lot to anchor the boat in the best position.

Roger
 

Ian Horning

Powerbait Entomologist
My experience with large cutthroat and char in saltwater has always been associated with good current. Heavy currents like you describe often herd in baitfish close to shore such as smelt, surf perch and sand lance... cutthroat in this type of current are feeding or hunting aggressively on so baitfish patterns are a good way to get them to chase. It may be hard to motivate a fired up fish-eating cutty to chase a diminutive soft hackle (don't get me wrong I love fishing these too)..... In this situation, I would try a different fly before worrying about depth. Cutthroat are usually not too picky about depth and will eat flies on the surface readily, although their metabolism may slow a bit as it gets colder. If an intermediate line doesn't get down deep enough to draw strikes, you may need a faster sinking line. Weighted flies will give you a bit more depth as well. But overall I think depth is secondary to fly pattern in terms of drawing strikes unless you're fishing deep water like Roger mentioned.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
Just my opinion, but sometimes the current is just too strong to fish well from the beach.
There are times when a intermediate line will skate up toward the surface regardless of how you mend, etc. That can be a good time to take a break, eat something, change flies or leader etc.
All isn’t lost though as that current will eventually slow to a nice walking pace then it can be game on.
SF
 

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