Further back near the flyline/leader connection? Spend time swinging flies in water that is 3’-5’ deep. As you’ll see from our experts’ answers below, there are many different ways to look at the question, and opinions vary. Your email address will not be published. There are times of high water with extra swift currents when I’ll add some sink putty to the leader instead of shot. The current should be fairly even from bank to bank when you’re starting out (this makes mending line much simpler and less of an issue controlling the swing) and the current should be a moderate speed. I start to focus more on softer currents and tail-outs. After solving the line question, my next question is what flies … When flows are moderate or low the fish may start to spread out across the river, some still flowing the edges, but many favoring the deeper channels and cuts and hiding in faster water, even if it is shallower. if that’s not enough, add split shot a couple inches in front of the fly. Thank you Phil for your time as well, I’d love to hear some experts comment on shooting head vs wf fly lines for the “ocasional” fisherman in salt water (ex: family vacation to the ocean where you want to wet a line in the mornings and evenings in the surf to see whats out there with a handful of clousers and merkins instead of getting a full guided trip targeting bones, trout and/or reds)). SWINGING FOR STEELHEAD AND OTHER FISH: THE GENERAL APPROACH. Set yourself up at the top of a run. If I’m concentrating on the top six inches the water column in walking-speed current or slower, I’ll generally stick with a floating line. Mending is the key when swinging wets and a floating line mends easier and keeps me in contact with my flies better. Easterly winds are often associated with falling pressure and westerly winds are often associated with rising pressure. I like the flexibility of managing the depth with split shot, as well as removing the split shot if I … They are for swinging flies or stripping streamers. Emulating the swimming action of many baitfish and other small fish requires the fly to be down deep, and a specialty sinking-tip line complements this method well. Personally, my boat roads are Orvis Recons because they are great casting, user friendly, and incredibly durable, holding up to long rides in the rod holders and hundreds of days on the water. It is common on the Salmon River that steelhead take well on days associated with lake-effect snow. That was during the summer and water temps were warmer. Stefan Woodruff, Ellensburg Angler (Ellensburg, Washington): When I’m fishing streamers or wet flies, the decision whether to use a sinking-tip line or a floating line with split shot on the leader depends on the type of water I’m fishing. The heavy taper of this line casts sinking leaders and sink tips well while the floating component allows for easy mending when swinging the line. It’s also less of a hassle for me to use rather than adding a bunch of split shot. To clarify, you do not want your flies floating back towards you over the same fish. Especially early in the season, until mid-late November, I would try to fish faster runs in-between the pools with this technique. If it’s significantly higher, I’ll use a sinking tip, if not too high, a floating line is fine. For me, the choice is based on 2 factors: 1) what level of the water column I need to fish. If you were nymphing or dry fly fishing on a floating line, take off the nymph(s) or dry fly and replace it with a wet fly. If needed, I will add a small split shot to help fly get to to the right depth. The heavy fly is my edible weight, and the dropper is my fly du jour or hatch-matcher. Very often, the best way to approach swinging flies is to keep the fly in the upper part of the water column. Rarely, we use floating lines with split-shot when using streamers. I use sinking lines when my plan is to solely throw streamers in deeper water for the whole day. I fish the exact match to your river, only mine is up in Canada. Joe Demalderis, Cross Current Guide Service (Milford, Pennsylvania): With streamers, I’m often banging the banks from a drift boat when the water is higher than normal and/or dirtied up. You do not need to purchase a two-handed rod to swing flies. I would instead, cast and swing the fly with consistent tension and minimize mending. John Herzer, Blackfoot River Outfitters (Missoula, Montana): Around Missoula, we primarily fish from boats, so we rarely use full-sinking lines or even sinking tips longer than ten feet when fishing streamers. As the season gets colder, I don't necessarily change my technique, rather, I change where I apply it. Great information, and a special thank you to Jeff Davis. Swinging flies on a floating line with no weight, in my opinion, is more effective then trying to swing with heavy tips and flies along the bottom. Jenny Mayrell-Woodruff, Woodruff, Flyfish Beaver’s Bend (Broken Bow, Oklahoma): I use a floating line with split shot more often because I am constantly changing locations on the river. He walked back to the top of the run and fished the same water with a floating line and 20’ leader. This allows me to use a shorter leader—between 3 and 4 feet—which helps with accuracy and makes me feel more directly connected to the fish when I set the hook. When I am fishing soft hackles and other traditional wet flies, I always prefer a floating line. Since you will likely be swinging a fly below the surface, the leeches and streamers are going to be more effective. After your first initial swing is done, take a few steps up the river, and repeat the process until you’ve swung the streamer through all of the fishy water. Very well presented info. Copyright 2021, The Orvis Company Inc. Morning, day or evening, have some soft hackles in your fly box for those situations. If you want a near vertical retrieve from your boat, or when drifting out the back of the rip, then the DI7 is the line for you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. You are actually casting the whole line. Experimentation is the only way to figure out the best presentation. If I’m dragging bottom and getting hung up, I will take some off. Over mending causes the tension to come out of the swing and the fly to dead drift in the current. I’m not sure how so many people came to believe this common myth. Because a large portion of the line sinks, it keeps my flies “in the zone” and in front of the fish much longer. E. don't be tricked to fish along the bottom. If you want to slow the fly down try reaching slightly into the swing without taking away the life in the fly. When using a fly that I will strip or retrieve, I always prefer a sinking tip or sinking line. With a full sinking line, the density is the same or very similar in the entire line. Problem is, you need to get your flies in and out of the water quickly. If it is a large bucket or run, a sinking-tip line is my go-to choice. If you find yourself in shallow water, a floating line with no split shot will work well if the fish are hitting your streamer or wet fly. The Salmon River is a relatively shallow river. The average depth where steelhead are lying here is from 12-48 inches of water. Sink tips just perform so poorly compared to full sink lines. That’s not lunchtime. Some things to consider: Choosing the right fly and tip is always on our minds, constantly second guessing when the bite doesn't come. Tim Linehan, Linehan Outfitting Company (Troy, Montana): When fishing streamers and wet flies, I let the situation, mostly water depth and current speed, dictate whether I use a floating or sinking line. Sink tips are MUCH harder to cast than a full sinking line. The traditional way to fish streamers and wet flies, and perhaps most common, is to swing them. Either way, the Bank Shot line is made to order for this. Limited Building 3, Comer Business and Innovation Centre, London, UK, N11 1GN www.neptunedocs.co.uk What a great idea. Sometimes downstream mends (and line stripping) are necessary to help swing flies through slack water areas at the end of pools and runs. Make sure to keep the fly swimming and not slow the fly down with mending. Thanks to Phil and all of the “experts” for taking the time to write this article. Chuck Hawkins, Hawkins Outfitters (Traverse City, Michigan): I always use sinking tips when streamer fishing. The closest good place and time for swinging flies on a floating line are our Valley Rivers in spring (March/April/May with no flooding) and in the Fall (Sept/Oct/Nov) when the Halfpounder Steelhead (12″ to 22″) are in the rivers with warmer water temps and bugs hatching. My personal preference for this method is to add a bit of weight to the line and fish an unweighted flesh fly. Most often this is the water steelhead will be in even if there is no pressure, especially when water temps are warm. Now that we have the rod and line details out of the way, and a little casting primer, the next question is what fly are we going to use. Is simply going for a ride with the floating line and no shot. And westerly winds are often associated with lake-effect snow Guides ( Austin, Texas ) I! More forgiving to novice anglers some off make sure to fit your needs swing taking. N'T think equivalent there of bit of weight to the bank days associated rising... 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