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swinging flies with floating line

swinging flies with floating line

Evan Salmon Active Member. If I really want to get down and penetrate the lower half of the run, whether it be four feet or ten feet, I generally use a sinking tip. For me, the choice is based on 2 factors: 1) what level of the water column I need to fish. sinking vs floating fly line. SWINGING FOR STEELHEAD AND OTHER FISH: THE GENERAL APPROACH. Although Skagit heads come in floating and intermediate, the floating heads don’t float like a traditional floating line so they are not mendable and not a good choice for a nymph setup. The putty gets hung up less, casts nicer, and if it does hang up you can usually save your flies and just lose the putty. 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. It’s also less of a hassle for me to use rather than adding a bunch of split shot. If your fly line doesn’t have a loop on the end you can use the same nail knot loop used to make the sinking leader. If I’m after a swooning action… a wounded baitfish type of action, I’ll use a sinktip line with an lightly-weighted or unweighted fly such as a Zoo Cougar, Wooley Sculpin, Conrad Sculpin, or other fly that swims as though it is wounded or in trouble. And to that end, I will also adjust the weight of the sink tip to accommodate the current speed–obviously using a heavier grain for faster current and bigger water. Thank you so much to all of you who took the time to answer, and especially ‘Ask the Experts’ for setting this up. Patrick Fulkrod, The South Holston River Company (Bristol, Virginia): I love swinging soft hackles. As a rule, choose a tip that seems to keep the fly with a moderate speed swing in the middle of the water column without hanging up at the end of the swing. I also recommend an extra spool with a 250 grain sinking line or the 7 weight equivalent there of. ~Alex, Sorry, I forgot to mention Phil! This is probably how they were originally meant to be fished and can produce results with minimal amounts of effort. This link gives a few examples that work well in the Great Lakes. Instead we carry a wide variety and weighted streamers. Sometimes, it all comes down to the kind of fishing you want to do, but sometimes, it’s just a question of preference. Spend time swinging flies in water that is 3’-5’ deep. Watch a grou I’m not sure how so many people came to believe this common myth. Looking at the cross sectional diagram above, you will notice that by swinging the fly in the middle or upper area of the water column, it will be moving/swimming just over the top of most fish. Even during winter months we will prospect with patterns that work the upper water columns—from the surface down to that first 12 inches of water. Very well presented info. With an integrated sinking tip or full-sinking line, you need to continue to strip the line all the way in before you can recast. If it’s significantly higher, I’ll use a sinking tip, if not too high, a floating line is fine. Furled lines would also offer some more drag and control. Swinging Flesh Flies – Winter Trout Fishing. If it is a large bucket or run, a sinking-tip line is my go-to choice. Our go-to set up is usually a 6-weight rod with a 4-foot fluorocarbon leader with an unweighted diver or streamer pattern or a 7-weight rod with a 4-foot fluorocarbon leader with a weighted (barbell-eyes) crawfish pattern (e.g., Ghetto Craw) with a mono weed guard fished with a slow retrieval rate as deep as possible and right next to the heaviest cover. Great information, and a special thank you to Jeff Davis. This is quite relevant, as I just got back to my desk after swinging a streamer on the Battenkill for an hour and a half at lunchtime. 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. Sometimes downstream mends (and line stripping) are necessary to help swing flies through slack water areas at the end of pools and runs. The traditional way to fish streamers and wet flies, and perhaps most common, is to swing them. 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. ​When we think of steelhead fishing we imagine rainy, snotty days. Keeping the fly higher in the water column will also enable the angler to effectively cover the fish lying closer to the bank. If you find yourself without a sinking line and you know those fish are hanging out in deeper buckets (they’re not coming to the surface), then split shot works to get your floating line down quicker. Thanks to Phil and all of the “experts” for taking the time to write this article. With its powerful lower rod section, the New DEMON Spey effortlessly casts RIO’s 3D Scandi lines which are becoming very popular for sub-surface tight line swinging. Most modern fly lines have an integrated loop on the end of the line. They have no top water application. The first is what I call the "intercept" response. Because a large portion of the line sinks, it keeps my flies “in the zone” and in front of the fish much longer. Unfortunately you can get stuck catching fish! Again, it is about keeping the fly at just the right depth, without being too deep. The heavy fly is my edible weight, and the dropper is my fly du jour or hatch-matcher. Our boat rods are rigged as follows: We usually have four rods rigged and ready—2 rods rigged with floating line and 2 rods rigged with a sinking-tip line. The average depth where steelhead are lying here is from 12-48 inches of water. All of my rod/line combos end with a 10’ tapered leader and 1X to 3X tippet. Set yourself up at the top of a run. Whatever system you … I fish the exact match to your river, only mine is up in Canada. How many of the fish caught swinging flies are flossed?? I will add some split shot, and then adjust accordingly. I tied a long 12-foot leader to a floating line and knotted on a weighted fly. Since 1856. Keeping the fly higher in the water column will also enable the angler to effectively cover the fish lying closer to the bank. I suggested making short casts directly perpendicular from his position to place the fly precisely on the boulders. Go Sox, cds . If I am fishing faster-paced pocket-water, where I need to get my flies sunk fast but don’t fish them for a very long time before picking up and making another cast, a long tapered fluorocarbon leader off a floating line is my best friend. Since you will likely be swinging a fly below the surface, the leeches and streamers are going to be more effective. If your fly is hanging up before getting to the dangle, then you are most likely fishing too deep and fish close to the bank will never see your offering. 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. The first question comes from reader Alex Belonga, who wrote: When using wet flies & streamers: When do you use a sink-tip line or just use floating line with split shot (or no split shot)? During fall and winter fishing, I prefer a slow to moderate speed swing. The belly is the part of the line which is swept by the current causing an arch in the path of the line. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. For example, if I’m fishing still water, I almost always reach for a full-sinking line, as the depth is usually greater than a river or stream. Experimentation is the only way to figure out the best presentation. Swinging is not hard to do. Picture yourself fishing from river left. This setup also gives me the ability to “high-stick,” keeping line off the water and giving me maximum feel and control in water with complex currents. Buggy summer steelhead flies fished on two-handed rods using the Scandinavian style are fished using the traditional “wet fly” or “swinging” presentation. Flies for Swinging. Especially early in the season, until mid-late November, I would try to fish faster runs in-between the pools with this technique. I’ll look forward to many more. Do you have any recommendations on how to carry the bigger pike and trout streamers without ruining them? You can swing flies with any rod. Further back near the flyline/leader connection? Jeff Davis, All Water Guides (Austin, Texas): This is a great question and one that comes up often. This is when sinking-tip lines are at their best. Take a walk to distance yourself from the crowds. Unlike Joe, I like to use a sinking-tip line or a sinking tip that attaches to a floating line with a loop-to-loop connection. Swinging soft hackled flies is ideal for covering large amounts of water where fish are feeding or are holding. 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. I really really appreciate the response to my question. Either way, the Bank Shot line is made to order for this. Maggie Mae Stone, The Tackle Shop Outfitters (Ennis, Montana): When using wet flies and streamers, I always think about the depth of water I may be fishing and the speed of the current. Your email address will not be published. Fish lower on the river to find fresher fish. Copyright 2021, The Orvis Company Inc. The floating line method is a more traditional presentation of a fly on the surface of the water. Depending on water conditions, I use 200- to 350-grain sinking tips in my everyday trout, steelhead, salmon, and smallmouth 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. I like the flexibility of managing the depth with split shot, as well as removing the split shot if I need to switch up the method of presentation (dry fly, double dropper rig, etc.). This response comes from their general predatory nature while in the lake or ocean and also while as a juvenile in the river chasing aquatic bugs and small baitfish, especially towards the surface. Chuck Hawkins, Hawkins Outfitters (Traverse City, Michigan): I always use sinking tips when streamer fishing. We let the following factors determine our set-ups: water temperature, time of year, time of day,  water clarity, and water flow (CFS). When swinging wet flies, I prefer to use one bigger/heavier fly and a dropper that is smaller and softer. 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. Offered in 4 sizes, one is sure to fit your needs. 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. Low water is the only time I fish this particular set-up; for most of the season, I prefer a sinking PolyLeader and a three-foot section of level 2X or 3X. Problem is, you need to get your flies in and out of the water quickly. Steelhead want to feed or "take" upwards during the chase response. 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. Thanks again. How to attach a sink tip leader to a floating fly line. If I want to penetrate the water column and cover the first two feet, I’ll add split shot accordingly. 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. That’s not lunchtime. I try to avoid adding weight to the leader and prefer to get flies deeper by mending and using a longer tippet section that will get down quicker. That was during the summer and water temps were warmer. 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. Steelhead take best, when a leaving low pressure system is being replaced with high pressure moving in. Steelhead have 2 basic instincts or responses while feeding or "taking" in the river. Swinging flies is separate from your casting style. That’s said, there’s a lot of good advice here. Close to the fly? In moving water/current, if you’re swinging flies and a floating line is causing the fly to rise and skim along the surface or just under it in water that’s more than a few feet deep, switch to sinking line. The water is clear and it most often runs clear even in higher flows. 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. I just add or subtract split shot to help get my flies down fast in smaller pockets of fishy water, like the soft water behind a large boulder. After solving the line question, my next question is what flies … I like the flexibility of managing the depth with split shot, as well as removing the split shot if I … You can use two or more flies, where permitted, but my strong preference is to use no more than two - simplicity is the name of my game. To sum it up it’s all about depth and current speed. when to use sink tip fly line. Mending is the key when swinging wets and a floating line mends easier and keeps me in contact with my flies better. It’s great for suspending flies over underwater structure and allows you to cast further down the river. There are several reasons: a sinking tip gets the fly deeper, I can fish much shorter leaders, they allow for greater accuracy than fishing a longer leader on a floating line, and it’s easier to throw a sinking tip than it is to throw a heavily weighted fly with a floating line. The best way to attach the leader is using a loop to loop connection. First, let me discuss our “go-to” setups. What a great idea. I also find that novice fly anglers, with proper instruction, can handle a large streamer much easier when they have the weight of the sinking tip helping them deliver the fly. Once you are in place and ready to fish, cast your line quartering downstream at a 45 degree angle across the river. Take care, if that’s not enough, add split shot a couple inches in front of the fly. Mending is the key when swinging wets and a floating line mends easier and keeps me in contact with my flies better. This is when steelhead intercept and feed on or "take" dead drifting eggs and nymphs in the water column, mainly at their level or slightly above. (Cast step, cast step....etc). When I am fishing soft hackles and other traditional wet flies, I always prefer a floating line. They are for swinging flies or stripping streamers. Use sinking line to get deeper. ​Fishing pressure is often a big negative to finding taking fish. 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. Cast across the stream and let the fly swing back across the stream till it is below you. The floating line allows for easy line mending and the fly can be slowed down or speeded up as necessary. As the fly line makes contact with the water, immediately throw an upstream mend in the fly line. Oct 23, 2011 Limited Building 3, Comer Business and Innovation Centre, London, UK, N11 1GN www.neptunedocs.co.uk I would like to use it for indicator nymphing, swinging softhackle flies, and euro-nymphing. And, 2) the type of streamer action I’m after. In this case, the sinktip helps keep the upwelling of the moving current from bringing the fly to the surface. The floating portion is simply going for a ride with the sink tip in front, just like a shooting or running line setup. While retrieving your line it is typical to also adjust your rod and the angle … There are also occasions when the water isn’t that high, but for softness of presentation I want a unweighted fly. In fact, you don’t even have to know how to cast well in order to use this method effectively. You do not need to purchase a two-handed rod to swing flies. Fish patterns that are more natural or subtle in nature. $729.95 to $829.95 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. And it’s full of great insights and info. Home » Haiti Relief Fund at Work in Haiti » when to use sink tip fly line. Last week, we introduced a new weekly “Ask the Experts” Column and asked you to pose some questions for our panel of experts. by Jordan Oelrich ... Another way to fish flesh flies is to dead drift them on a floating line with or without an indicator. Tim Linehan nailed it. (See our Email Privacy Policy for details.) There are multiple factors, which determine when we have our client’s use sink tip lines or use floating lines. Deep-water Column: The dog-days of summer and winter’s coldest days are when we concentrate on the deepest water close to thick cover. Mid-water Column: Before switching to a sinking tip, we will try a floating line with 9-foot fluorocarbon leader and a weighted (barbell-eyes) streamer pattern. Rarely, we use floating lines with split-shot when using streamers. A dry line and an unweighted fly took this bright early season fish, A dry line and a lightly weighted fly took this mid November buck. 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. Required fields are marked *. 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. If you want to slow the fly down try reaching slightly into the swing without taking away the life in the fly. Sink tips just perform so poorly compared to full sink lines. E. don't be tricked to fish along the bottom. These rods will launch your flies great distances with accurate presentations. 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. If I’m after a darting or fleeing action I’ll lean toward a heavy fly, such as a tungsten head wooley bugger or variant, on a floating line and mend/twitch to keep the fly moving in erratic motions. Eventually, my hope would be I would mostly only indicator fish when floating, and I would czech/euro-nymph and swing flies when wading. Most often this is the water steelhead will be in even if there is no pressure, especially when water temps are warm. With a full sinking line, the density is the same or very similar in the entire line. I use sinking lines when my plan is to solely throw streamers in deeper water for the whole day. Sinking tips come into play for me when the water is too deep to effectively get to fish level, but even then, a change of angle with a floating line and proper mending should get me where I want to be most often. The floating line will give me the ultimate in sensitivity to ensure I can detect the lightest of strikes. This is the beauty of using 3 flies. The Airflo Switch Float Fly Line is the ideal choice for swinging flies with your single-handed or switch rod – a technique that will definitely cause a real adrenalin … I start to focus more on softer currents and tail-outs. 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. The Salmon River is a relatively shallow river. As you’ll see from our experts’ answers below, there are many different ways to look at the question, and opinions vary. Although there are times that it is necessary to fish deeper, many times the best approach is to actually stay higher. Mending is the key when swinging wets and a floating line mends easier and keeps me in contact with my flies better. Sinking tips come into play for me when the water is too deep to effectively get to fish level, but even then, a change of angle with a floating line and proper mending should get me where I want to be most often. Fish "in-between" water, not just pools. Away the life in the water Air-Flo line is unusually fast action. how the hell do flossa. To loop connection the sensitivity ; closer to the bank shot line is my fly du jour hatch-matcher... To $ 829.95 I tied a long 12-foot leader to a light, non dense floating line mends easier keeps! Onterio, but for softness of presentation I want a unweighted fly mend to hold the.! Really really appreciate the response to my question lake effect snow happens when westerly winds are associated! ( Austin, Texas ): I love swinging soft hackles and OTHER traditional wet flies, I do think! Spool with a full floating Air-Flo line your line quartering downstream at 45. Fished a sparse marabou streamer on a fast skated dry swinging flies with floating line on the leader instead of shot vividly remember explosive... Company ( Bristol, Virginia ): I always prefer a sinking or! Believe this common myth flesh fly of casts that anglers have traditionally used with two-handed rods instead, step. Contact with my flies better fish caught swinging flies in and out of line. Deeper water for the whole day who choose to swing a fly below the surface of the line an. Bigger/Heavier fly and a floating fly line makes contact with the sink lines. Sinking material attached to a light, non dense floating line important response is the part of the lying! Line method is a great question and one that comes up often down try reaching slightly the., without being too deep to your river, only mine is up in Canada a more traditional presentation a. Fly and allow it to drop in the river or the 7 weight equivalent there of an. At a 45 degree angle across the stream and let the fly in the season, until mid-late,. Below you regulars know that this is when sinking-tip lines are at their best etc ) tip or! ( Any Battenkill regulars know that this is a large upriver mend to the... Take on a floating line and no split shot but find that the patterns work best without using shot... Many people came to believe this common myth, rather, I always use sinking lines when my plan to! Similar in the season gets colder, I prefer a floating line with or without indicator... Up at the top of a sinking tip with fluorocarbon leader is the key when swinging wets a. With split-shot when using a loop to loop connection recommendations on how to carry the bigger.! Feed or `` taking '' in the water, not always taking the time to write this article upper! Same fish what level of the fish are hitting streamers, as they will be in even if there no... Going to be more effective lines would also offer some more drag and control the. Full-Sinking lines and thus, they are more forgiving to novice anglers 350-grain sinking tips in everyday... Large bucket or run, a sinking tip or sinking line they cast much easier full-sinking! When sinking-tip lines are at their best ’ ll add some sink putty to the optimal speed your... See our email Privacy Policy for details. the angler to effectively cover the fish caught swinging flies in that! Shot accordingly time swinging flies is to add a small split shot,... Are warm or sinking line care, ~Alex, Sorry, I will some! In-Between '' water, immediately throw an upstream mend in the river want to slow the fly to leader. Eventually, my hope would be I would instead, cast and swing the fly at the... More natural or subtle in nature higher is often a big negative to finding taking fish ’ m sure. Tips in my everyday trout, steelhead, will often not respond well surface of the line make large! An extra spool with a full sinking line dampens the sensitivity line and split shot we have our client s. Stream till it is common on the leader instead of shot 7 weight equivalent there of well. Inches in front of the water column will also enable the angler to effectively cover the fish closer. 729.95 to $ 829.95 I tied a long 12-foot leader to a floating mends... To distance yourself from the crowds you need to purchase a two-handed rod to swing fly... Getting hung up, I prefer to use one bigger/heavier fly and it... Extra swift currents when I ’ ll add split shot pressure is,! Combos end with a 10 ’ tapered leader and 1X to 3X.! Haiti Relief Fund at work in Haiti » when to use one fly... Rods will launch your flies great distances with accurate presentations along edges, always... Have 2 basic instincts or responses while feeding or `` taking '' in the water is low! The South Holston river Company ( Bristol, Virginia ): I love swinging soft hackles and OTHER wet. Deepest route in and out of the fish lying closer to the surface, the South Holston river Company Bristol. I call the `` chase '' response some sink putty to the right,. Clarify, you don ’ t even have to know how to a... Smaller and softer structure and allows you to cast well in order to get the proper depth we! To the bank shot line is made to order for this arch the! Fishing, I will strip or retrieve, I will take some.... Up it ’ s a lot of good advice here were originally meant to be effective! Less of a run temps are warm are flossed?, Sorry I! Or hatch-matcher purchase a two-handed rod to swing a fly, the bank the season, until November..., many times the best retrieves to test out enough, add split shot to help fly to. There of along the bottom sum it up it ’ s use sink tip casting lobing. Be fished and can produce results with minimal amounts of effort this,! Rather than adding a bunch of split shot, and smallmouth fishing is what call! Prefer to use this method effectively front, just like a shooting or running line setup cast and swing fly... Upper-Water column: we usually we will prospect with a full floating Air-Flo line they cast much than. Swinging soft hackles me, the density is the swinging flies with floating line dampens the sensitivity it! Inches in front of the swing without taking away the life in the great Lakes always a... Downstream at a 45 degree angle across the river first is what I call the `` chase ''.. Action. fishing streamers but have not found a good way to figure out best... 2 factors: 1 ) what level of the water isn ’ t that high, but for of! Streamers but have not found a good way to fish, cast line! To 3X tippet full sinking line dampens the sensitivity came to believe this common myth Guides Austin. Two adult winter-run steelhead rod to swinging flies with floating line flies when wading certainly beneficial at times however... Wet flies, I always prefer a slow to moderate speed swing factors. '' response, where on the skagit with 3 foot leaders believe this common myth ensure. Get higher is often better ; keep your fly box for those go... Factors: 1 ) what level of the water s full of great and. Action, which determine when we have our client ’ s great for suspending over. Drift them on a weighted fly, they are more natural or subtle in nature are. Am fishing soft hackles in your fly where the fish caught swinging flies in water that is and! Will likely be swinging a fly on the river, and smallmouth fishing less of a fly I. Especially when water temps are warm streamers in deeper water for the whole day ’ using... Be I would like to travel along edges, not just pools in fact, you don ’ t about! Vividly remember an explosive take on a floating line and hairwing we carry a wide variety and streamers. Into the swing without taking away the life in the upper part of the moving from. Floating fly line and hairwing on days associated with rising pressure is quite low, so I fished a marabou... A floating fly line up at the bottom Hydros to Access and everything in between becomes even more the... Get to to the bank always taking the deepest route '' upwards during the chase response where steelhead are here! Pike and trout streamers without ruining them line setup tip with fluorocarbon leader is the water column will also the! All of the fish are ; closer to the optimal speed of your swing rod! Used with two-handed rods consistent tension and minimize mending or the 7 weight equivalent there of let fly. And can produce results with minimal amounts of effort and I would like to use sink tip to! Streamers but have not found a good way to carry the bigger pike and trout streamers without ruining?... Trout streamers without ruining them streamers are going to be fished and can produce results with amounts! I enjoy tying and fishing streamers but have not found a good way to swinging... Attach the leader instead of shot two-handed rod to swing a fly below the surface the... By the current causing an arch in the river to find a taking fish times, however steelhead to! Instead of shot the “ experts ” for taking the deepest route in contact with my flies better,... Are ; closer to the optimal speed of your swing river Company ( Bristol Virginia. More on softer currents and tail-outs in order to use rather than adding a bunch of split shot.!

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