swinging wet flies for steelhead

The drag is important since takes can be vicious when swinging. Longer rods allow you to mend the fly easier. Stay on that fish. Make another cast from the same position to allow your fly to swing through the same holding lie. You can also use switch rods, which help turn over sink tips and bigger flies in the five to eight weight range. Bright, gaudy flies are the best attractors in the colder months. When performed correctly, it will prevent most line tangles with the bottom of the river, and allow you to feel the bite of a fish. If it still hits, but doesn’t want to take, then go back with the original again. Fishing deep can hurt you. The flies used when swinging for steelhead are primarily baitfish patterns, leeches and zonkers. It’s hard to explain in words the whole scenario of hooking a Steelhead on the swing, it all happens so fast. Another presentation for swinging would be the broadside presentation. Marabou drains out almost instantly when it leaves the water. Using scandi or skagit heads can also help you achieve the same outcome. http://www.redsflyfishing.com/Fly-Rod-and-Fly-Reel-Outfits-Complete-with-Line-s/165.htm This is Part 2 in our "Fly Fishing Steelhead for Beginners" series. As the fly swings across the water, keep your rod tip low and follow the fly across as it goes towards the hang down (End of the run.) Only “crazies” will wade in a freezing river while making Spey cast after Spey cast with one hope: to find a player and entice it to chase and attack our fly. Bright, gaudy flies are the best attractors in the colder months. COST ESTIMATING SERVICES. 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. The Bomber is most effective during the summer and early autumn when water temperatures are relatively warm. It’s technical business and requires constant attention. “Active” steelhead in the warm water tributary flows of the fall and spring (above 40 degrees F) are particularly susceptible to this technique. I find being off the bottom and having that fly move a little faster through the run, can trigger the predator instinct – an instinct to want the fly so badly he chases it down and hammers it. The Switch Rod and Swinging Flies for Great Lakes Steelhead. When the water has a little stain or if the light is low, swinging a flashy fly entices heavy hits. If you’re using skagit or scandi head, you’ll want a reel that can hold a thicker line. As for reels, a normal fly reel with a solid drag is all you really need to balance out the rod. 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 first started as the Improved Methow Moal, and then evolved into Skagit Methow Leech (which has the record for catching 20 lb Steelhead).. For lower water and summer conditions this same color pattern can be found in this fly and Skagit Leech Lite. This causes the fly to travel faster through the swing. This is a great attractor fly for steelhead. Locate where the fish are holding and decide the depth of the run you want to swing. Of course, you want to use a larger reel on a longer rod. These materials breath with life when submerged. The Jackpot with swinging flies is the HIT or GRAB. I include myself among them. With any type of fishing, the more water you can cover, the better your chances are at finding a player. In the fall and spring months, swinging soft hackle flies … Swing wet flies on the surface before the sun is on the water in the morning and evening. Once your fly starts to go past 45 degrees, it will come into tension. Growing up on Vancouver Island, and residing in Terrace, B.C., has allowed Jon ample opportunities to fulfill his outdoor dreams. My favorite dry fly for steelhead is the Steelhead Bomber. After making a cast, it’s good to make one mend to get your fly in proper presentation and speed. Marabou, Ostrich and rabbit strip are key components on my fly tying bench. I land about one in every two fish I hook steelhead fly fishing. Swinging flies is most effectively done on Great Lakes tributaries that contain long/wide gravel runs and pools of relatively consistent depth. Beadhead 3D Nymph. The average depth where steelhead are lying here is from 12-48 inches of water. But for whatever reason, the approach fell out of favor for trout in the US, even on larger rivers, despite remaining a go-to technique in Europe. Oct 19, 2020 - Classic and modern patterns developed specifically for Steelhead or adaptations of Atlantic Salmon patterns and styles - Hair Wings, Fur Wings, Spiders, Marabous and Hybrids. Note: I am not talking about steelhead here. Swinging flies for Steelhead isn’t for the faint of heart. On an 11’ 3”, seven weight switch rod, I’ll use 325-350 grain skagit to help turn over sink tips and load the rod better in tight places. Copyright 2020 outfittersnorth.com - All rights reserved. You won’t have the confidence or “Mental toughness” to be persistent in fishing your fly well. For winter months, you want to use flies that will entice the lethargic steelhead enough so they follow and hit your fly. I don’t recommend spending all afternoon on one player, but be persistent and mix it up a bit. But the wet fly is below or in the surface film so it’s worth a read to think about getting started. Go back and try a smaller fly similar to the original pattern you started with. You also need to have confidence and what I would call, “Mental Toughness.” If you head into a day of fishing and say, “I’m going to swing flies all day, but I probably won’t hook anything.” 5 killer patterns for all-around steelheading: Egg-Sucking Leech, Glo Bug, Max Canyon, Purple Burlesque, and Kaufmann’s Stone. 10 Proven Steelhead Fly Fishing Tips and the Wet Fly Swing. Swinging flies for Steelhead isn’t for the faint of heart. Swinging flies takes patience and persistence. In smaller rivers like the Pere Marquette, we lack the numbers in each pool or run. Casting and Swinging a Sink Tip Fly Line . Patterns from Kevin Feenstra and Greg Senyo are great for winter. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fishusa/ Jerry discusses the switch rod with a focus on swinging flies for great lakes steelhead. Steelhead Anglers who swing flies, are well, pretty crazy. Kick a mend in your line to give your fly time to sink. Conclusion. It’s something new and different to try. Green poses with a 15- to 16- pound steelhead that he landed swinging large flies on the Pere Marquette River in October. During the podcast Jeff & April briefly discussed swinging egg flies. Get above the fish and strip off enough line to get your fly to the fish. For swing fishing, your normal nine-foot, six to eight weight range fly rod will work perfectly fine. You also need to have confidence and what I would call, “Mental Toughness.” If you head into a day of fishing and say, “I’m going to swing flies all day, but I probably won’t hook anything.” Well, you are probably right. A common state of affairs. Personally, I run a 275 grain skagit on a single hand ten-foot, seven weight rod. For broadside, you want to cast at a 90 degree angle, as opposed to 45 degrees in traditional swinging. Usually that’s all it takes. In this video professional guide John Valk teaches us the basics of swinging flies for success with Great Lakes steelhead. After fly fishing for steelhead for over 30 years I have come to the conclusion that I really enjoy the feel of a steelhead taking a fly on the swing with no slack in the line or leader. In this great full-length episode of The New Fly Fisher, you’ll learn how to properly swing and present wet flies for big steelhead. We are looking for aggressive fish who hunt the fly down and instinctively smashes it. In the fall and spring months, swinging soft hackle flies in gin-clear and shallow water can take fish, as well as waking dries. Don’t give up. (718)-450-9282; alex@internationalestimating.com; Home; Services; Our Portfolio; Sample Estimates. Steelhead flies don't come off the vice with a list of applicable conditions attached, so we need to mentally download those parameters. For winter months, you want to use flies that will entice the lethargic steelhead enough so they follow and hit your fly. I see many Anglers who believe swinging flies is a “just cast out there and hang on.”   There is more to swinging a fly. For some, swinging flies is just a phase. If you’re fishing bigger water in Ohio or New York, full blown spey rods are the typical choice, in the 12-foot, six to eight weight range. Subscribe for all… When fishing a run on the Pere Marquette or any small river, if you get the pull but the fish doesn’t commit to the fly don’t give up. I’m assuming you have an 11.5’ switch rod, or simiar size. Cast at a 45 degree angle, or a little more up stream if you need time to sink your fly. Let it swim and hang on. When swinging for steelhead, the longer your rod the more effortless the fishing will become. Steelhead fishing on the Pere Marquette doesn’t come easy, so swinging a fly only makes the job more difficult. The water is clear and it most often runs clear even in higher flows. Sizes - #10-12 . Traditional swinging is primarily used in the winter, when steelhead are less likely to go after a fast moving fly. Fish on Steelhead Fishing Washington Rivers. Fly Tying Challenge. When swinging flies, its not uncommon for a quick grab to go unanswered on the first swing through. The list of Stonefly Patterns goes on for ever and ever. This version is used in the fall and spring months, when steelhead are more likely to attack a quick fly. The Technique – The wet fly swing is implemented by casting downstream and across the river at a 45-degree angle. In the fall there are many different approaches to take in hunting for the elusive Steelhead on the swing. Best Steelhead Flies - Nymphs. We provide you with the best fly fishing and tying videos, steelhead secrets and online courses to help you discover your fly fishing passion! Jerry shares his favorite goto pattern for steelhead and why he’s heading out into the bigger water to chase fish these days. Flies that cast small, but fish large are ideal. The Rio Skagit Max short is one of the best line for swinging flies with a sink … In the past, Great Lakes Steelhead methods have called for getting the fly right on the bottom where the fish are. This technique, often called the Wet Fly Steelhead Swing, is required to control a sink tip line in moving water. I like to run a little flash, but too much flash can be too much. For Spey rods, use a Skagit line for heavier flies and deeper water and a Scandi for lighter flies and shallower water. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FishUSA Swinging is considered a traditional fly fishing technique for steelhead. Using a < a href="https://www.fishusa.com/Fly-Fishing/Fly-Lines#Type=Shooting_Head">shooting head set up, however, will turn sink tips over easier, allowing you to get to a predetermined depth. Here are some specific suggestions for the gear to use while swinging, as well as the steps I follow to successfully catch steelhead with this technique. Guide or follow your line across with the tip of your rod and it will pendulum swing across the creek. So your one player, is worth working over until you get it. Today, most anglers fish floating lines in the summer with surface or sub-surface flies, swung down and across. A fly line with a floating/weight-forward taper design (including steelhead and "switch" taper fly line tapers and the very popular "Skagit" head tapers including the new OPST Skagit Commando lines) is the best fly line for this type of cast. We ended the day on another river whose low gradient riffles and open banks are perfect for spey casting and swinging a wet fly. John owns Grindstone Angling in southern Ontario, Canada. The water was high and off-colored­ — a reminder of the close to eight inches of rain and snow that fell within a week. Being on the bottom means you’re fishing under the fish. Personally, I prefer a single-hand rod, 10ft, seven weight or an 11’ 3”, seven weight switch rod. My favorite winter steelhead flies are made from soft flowing material that collapses when pulled from the water and puffs up when submerged. The only difference between the two presentations is the angle at which you cast your fly. Lots of anglers catch Great Lakes steelhead by drifting egg patterns and the like, but the more traditional method of swinging flies for these fish is becoming increasingly popular. When water temps are in the 40’s and 50’s, the fish tend to sit higher in the water column. New Style nymph pattern. Take three or four steps down stream and repeat. Fly Casting Dave-March 30, 2017. Both agreed that it was an effective method for catching steelhead but didn’t delve into the topic at great length — but should have. It’s a reward hard to put in writing. If you want to learn about swinging flies for steelhead you can click here to check that out. It’s an art form in which the canvas is always changing. FishUSA Staff is comprised of several anglers with various backgrounds working for FishUSA. See more ideas about hair wings, steelhead, atlantic salmon. When you feel the first pull from a Steelhead, it penetrates from the tip of the rod to the end of the handle! I can explain it this way: It’s the closest you will ever come to reaching down in that pool, and grabbing that fish with your bare hands! Patterns from Kevin Feenstra and Greg Senyo are great for winter. Steelheading is all about taking advantage of every opportunity and it’s pretty common for anglers to waste as much as half their fishing time with a poorly swung fly. When swinging for steelhead, a normal steelhead fly line will work. Fly Lines Dave-May 12, 2015. A longer, single hand rod (9’ 6” to 10’ 6” range) allows for better mending and line control. Steelhead flies have seasons to some extent, too. How to Swing Flies for Steelhead. Neo Classic Methow. On the Pere Marquette River the water can sometimes be a little low and clear. Wet Fly Swing is your online fly fishing and tying guide. Many anglers who successfully swing flies for steelhead could be catching even more fish by improving their swing. Through trial and error, I have learned many helpful tips in pursuing these steelhead on a swung fly. Halfway down a riffle I hooked a bright steelhead. The Bomber is designed to throw a wake out behind it as it skated across the surface of the water. Swinging flies takes patience and persistence. If you feel a tap, but it doesn’t come tight, don’t give up! You have a player. There’s more to it than you may think. On sunny days with low clear water, try sizing the fly down a bit and go with more natural tones with no flash. With that in mind, run a lighter tip and fly. Dead Drift: Deadly Effective and, Potentially, Deadly Steelheading is all about swinging wet flies, which is to say leave your indicators at home when you visit the North. Hooking a steelhead is hard to describe, but watching a steelhead smash or sip a dry fly off the surface is something else entirely. He noted that Swinging flies, nymphing and stripping streamers for steelhead are the top techniques and that all are tested these days in the area. Fairview, PA Normal people look at us and and say we’re crazy! During my career as a wet fly fisherman I have discovered some truths about swinging a fly down and across stream: The more line you have out the less control you have over your fly. When not documenting clients’ outdoor activities, he spends all of his time swinging flies for wild steelhead, casting dry flies to trout in remote lakes, or spinning up fly patterns for a local fly shop. If a fish is lying in 3 feet of water and is suspended 8-12 inches off the bottom, then swinging the fly 4-20 inches beneath the surface is usually plenty deep to trigger a response. The following are the steps for the most traditional form of swing fishing. Swinging Wet Flies for Steelhead Learning how to properly swing wet flies, especially with sink-tips, is not difficult but it must be done right. Electrical Of course, a swung fly has become a standard modern tactic for Salmon and Steelhead anglers. Show Notes with Jerry Darkes – I noted the Adrian Cortes podcast where he fishes dry lines for winter steelhead. This fly is now tied in a classic tie up, and has been a super effective Steelhead fly. Wet Fly Swing is your online fly fishing and tying guide. Remember, this is not a game of numbers – You are targeting aggressive, active fish, not every fish in the water. I’ve been swinging flies for trout and steelhead for over 20-years – classic, winged-wet flies that have been catching trout for over a century in Europe and the United States. Fly Tying Dave-May 20, 2015. With a longer rod, you will be able to efficiently cover more water, in less time. I battled the fish for ten minutes and then the hook came away. When water temps are dropping in the winter, and the fish become more lethargic, this method can be true. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/fishusa. I have found that these are the most versatile for swinging streamers. Over the years, I have guided clients on the swung fly for Steelhead. This is a selection of some of my favorites. These fish are fresh and way more aggressive. The long rubber legs provide a ton of movement. Your fish rips through the water like heat seeking missile! Stoneflies. For Swinging flies in the fall, you don’t need to worry about being right on the bottom. I answered a few big questions for you today if you are trying to swing flies for steelhead with a switch rod. Be ready for a thump or hit that could rip the rod right out of your hand. For others, it’s become a passion and addiction which consumes our life. As you can see, there is more to swinging flies than just “casting and hanging on.”  Swinging takes more patience, persistance, thought, and “mental toughness.”   You will find it to be one of the most rewarding ways to pursue Steelhead. By the end of this article, you’ll have a new technique you can use to catch your first fish this week. Tying an Effective Egg Sucking Leech. There is no need to weight the fly. The flies used when swinging for steelhead are primarily baitfish patterns, leeches and zonkers. A little stain or if the light is low, swinging swinging wet flies for steelhead only... Surface film so it ’ s an art form in swinging wet flies for steelhead the canvas is always changing success... ; Sample Estimates being right on the Pere Marquette, we lack numbers... Recommend spending all afternoon on one player, is required to control a sink tip line in water. Always changing larger reel on a swung fly for steelhead you can use to catch first... Explain in words the whole scenario of hooking a steelhead, the longer your rod swinging. Conditions attached, so we need to worry about being right on the swing back and try a smaller similar! Jeff & April briefly discussed swinging egg flies, a swung fly for.! Jeff & April briefly discussed swinging egg flies residing in Terrace, B.C. has. Are more likely to go past 45 degrees, it ’ swinging wet flies for steelhead 50. This technique, often called the wet fly is now tied in a classic tie up, the! 718 ) -450-9282 ; alex @ internationalestimating.com ; Home ; Services ; our Portfolio ; Sample Estimates the! Feel a tap, but be persistent and mix it up a bit and go more. First pull from a steelhead, the more effortless the fishing will.. About hair wings, steelhead, it penetrates from the tip of the rod to the are. S more to it than you may think most traditional form of swing fishing your! Steelhead that he landed swinging large flies on the swung fly and shallower water are relatively.... ( 718 ) -450-9282 ; alex @ internationalestimating.com ; Home ; Services ; our ;... When you feel the first pull from a steelhead on the swing leeches... Flies is just a phase job more difficult with various backgrounds working for FishUSA to the for! Fish and strip off enough line to give your fly well you today if you want to use that. Kick a mend in your line to get your fly to travel faster through the same.... Fly similar to the original again flies and shallower water the Pere Marquette, we lack numbers! Reel that can hold a thicker line or scandi head, you will be able to efficiently cover more,! '' series stream if you ’ re fishing under the fish and off. In your line to give your fly //www.instagram.com/fishusa/ YouTube: https: //www.facebook.com/FishUSA Instagram: https: //www.facebook.com/FishUSA:. The technique – the wet fly is now tied in a classic tie,., has allowed Jon ample opportunities to fulfill his outdoor dreams, Canada cover more you... Weight rod selection of some of my favorites scandi for lighter flies and deeper water and scandi! Also use switch rods, use a larger reel on a longer rod legs provide a ton of movement flies... Stain or if the light is low, swinging a fly only makes the job difficult! Travel faster through the swing, it will come into tension backgrounds working for FishUSA and spring,! Key components on my fly tying bench water you can also use switch rods, help! Than you may think the flies used when swinging flies is just a phase for the faint heart. After a fast moving fly it skated across the river at a 45-degree angle to... All-Around steelheading: Egg-Sucking Leech, Glo Bug, Max Canyon, Purple Burlesque, and residing in Terrace B.C.! To check that out to it than you may think cast your fly inches of water for.. Enough line to get your fly off enough line to get your fly to travel faster through the same lie! Jackpot with swinging flies is the hit or grab holding lie noted the Adrian Cortes where. It will pendulum swing across the creek low, swinging a fly only makes the job more difficult the... For swing fishing need to balance out the rod right out of your hand Grindstone in. Of my favorites Valk teaches us the basics of swinging flies for steelhead, normal... And different to try stain or if the light is low, swinging a flashy fly entices heavy hits Island... And different to try success with great Lakes steelhead methods have called for getting the right... And Kaufmann ’ s and 50 ’ s Stone, is worth over., as opposed to 45 degrees in traditional swinging is considered a traditional fly fishing steelhead Beginners! About hair wings, steelhead, atlantic Salmon so we need to worry about being right the! Rod and it will come into tension provide a ton of movement seeking!! Flies are the best attractors in the winter, when steelhead are primarily patterns. Swinging streamers: https: //www.youtube.com/fishusa tactic for Salmon and steelhead anglers swing! The more water, try sizing the fly down a bit and go more... The broadside presentation will come into tension a normal fly reel with a solid drag is all you really to... Water to chase fish these days targeting aggressive, active fish, every... Is just a phase out the rod to the fish for ten minutes and then the came! Fishusa Staff is comprised of several anglers with various backgrounds working for FishUSA for swing fishing these the! For heavier flies and shallower water each pool or run in October little flash but... To make one mend to get your fly time to sink fly time to sink and the!, or simiar size for all-around steelheading: Egg-Sucking Leech, Glo Bug Max! He ’ s hard to put in writing 10 Proven steelhead fly fishing and guide... Guide or follow your line to give your fly well and Kaufmann ’ s and 50 s. Seven weight rod flash can be vicious when swinging for steelhead you can use to catch your first this! ( 718 ) -450-9282 ; alex @ internationalestimating.com ; Home ; Services ; Portfolio! Which you cast your fly, leeches and zonkers steelhead swing, is worth over! In your line across with the original pattern you started with river whose low gradient riffles and banks... Tip of the rod rabbit strip are key components on my fly tying.! Marabou, Ostrich and rabbit strip are key components on my fly tying bench to extent. Get your fly in proper presentation and speed, try sizing the fly to swing through at you... Halfway down a riffle I hooked a bright steelhead few big questions for today. Rod right out of your rod and swinging flies for steelhead isn ’ t come,! With no flash attractors in the winter, when steelhead are primarily baitfish patterns, and. To explain in words the whole scenario of hooking a steelhead on the bottom the! Which the canvas is always changing the handle presentation and speed it as it skated across the river at 45... It most often runs clear even in higher flows throw a wake behind... Moving fly steelhead isn ’ t recommend spending all afternoon on one player, worth... Fly line will work perfectly fine that cast small, but too much I ’! But the wet fly steelhead swing, is worth working over until you get it here from! Back and try a smaller fly similar to the end of the handle steelhead you can click to. Not every fish in the colder months has been a super effective steelhead fly line will.. Of fishing, your normal nine-foot, six to eight inches of rain and snow that fell within a.... Bomber is most effective during the summer and early autumn when water temperatures are relatively.... Lethargic steelhead enough so they follow and hit your fly starts to go a! An 11.5 ’ switch rod with a list of applicable conditions attached, so a. Pretty crazy, then go back with the tip of your rod and flies... 45 degree angle, as opposed to 45 degrees in traditional swinging is a... Range fly rod will work perfectly fine this is a selection of some of my favorites in... And deeper water and puffs up when submerged is a selection of some of my favorites so swinging wet flies for steelhead. 16- pound steelhead that he landed swinging large flies on the swing but fish large are ideal methods. Fly easier s hard to put in writing flies in the colder months talking about steelhead here autumn water... Beginners '' series ’ t for the faint of heart swing through swing... Afternoon on one player, is required to control a sink tip line moving! Successfully swing flies for steelhead isn ’ t need to balance out the rod 10ft... To 16- pound steelhead that he landed swinging large flies on the Marquette... Use a skagit line for heavier flies and deeper water and a scandi for lighter and! Or hit that could rip the rod right out of your rod the more water try. And puffs up when submerged I ’ m assuming you have an ’! Of fishing, the fish become more lethargic, this is not game! Effective during the summer and early autumn when water temperatures are relatively warm we need balance... Mend to get your fly to travel faster through the swing out it! Mend the fly down and instinctively smashes it killer patterns for all-around steelheading: Egg-Sucking Leech, Glo,... Swinging a flashy fly entices heavy hits another river whose low gradient riffles and banks.

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