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. Furled lines would also offer some more drag and control. Make a large upriver mend to hold the fly and allow it to drop in the water column. Mending is the key when swinging wets and a floating line mends easier and keeps me in contact with my flies better. Since you will likely be swinging a fly below the surface, the leeches and streamers are going to be more effective. This is certainly beneficial at times, however steelhead like to travel along edges, not always taking the deepest route. After solving the line question, my next question is what flies … Experimentation is the only way to figure out the best presentation. Honestly how the hell do you floss a fish on a floating line and hairwing. You can usually tell after a couple of casts if the fish are hitting streamers, as they will be very aggressive. 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. Sink tips are MUCH harder to cast than a full sinking line. sinking vs floating fly line. SWINGING FOR STEELHEAD AND OTHER FISH: THE GENERAL APPROACH. How do you flossa fish on the skagit with 3 foot leaders? Sometimes downstream mends (and line stripping) are necessary to help swing flies through slack water areas at the end of pools and runs. Fish patterns that are more natural or subtle in nature. I haven’t used the fly-line type tenkara floating lines that some folks use – but they would work nicely with the swing and would actually give you some more control and options because of the drag on the thicker line compared to a tenkara level line. 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. Depending on water conditions, I use 200- to 350-grain sinking tips in my everyday trout, steelhead, salmon, and smallmouth fishing. While retrieving your line it is typical to also adjust your rod and the angle … 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. Thanks to Phil and all of the “experts” for taking the time to write this article. The floating line method is a more traditional presentation of a fly on the surface of the water. 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. 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. If I want to penetrate the water column and cover the first two feet, I’ll add split shot accordingly. by Jordan Oelrich ... Another way to fish flesh flies is to dead drift them on a floating line with or without an indicator. By submitting this form, you are granting: Tightlines Fly Fishing, 372 US Hwy 46, Parsippany, New Jersey, 07054, United States, http://www.tightlinesflyfishing.com permission to email you. As the season gets colder, I don't necessarily change my technique, rather, I change where I apply it. Go Sox, cds . Rarely, we use floating lines with split-shot when using streamers. Make sure to keep the fly swimming and not slow the fly down with mending. 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. 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. There are times of high water with extra swift currents when I’ll add some sink putty to the leader instead of shot. Sink tips just perform so poorly compared to full sink lines. 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 … Easterly winds are often associated with falling pressure and westerly winds are often associated with rising pressure. Don’t worry about what system you’re using. 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. Why the constant attack by nymphers? 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 also recommend an extra spool with a 250 grain sinking line or the 7 weight equivalent there of. I swung the fly just under the surface with good success: three fish on, two to hand, and several short-strikes and swirls. 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. 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)). Jeff Davis, All Water Guides (Austin, Texas): This is a great question and one that comes up often. Spend time swinging flies in water that is 3’-5’ deep. Under those conditions, a sinking tip with fluorocarbon leader is the ticket. Chuck Hawkins, Hawkins Outfitters (Traverse City, Michigan): I always use sinking tips when streamer fishing. That’s research!!! when to use sink tip fly line. I would instead, cast and swing the fly with consistent tension and minimize mending. It’s also less of a hassle for me to use rather than adding a bunch of split shot. I start to focus more on softer currents and tail-outs. Reteiving – The figure 8 is one of the best retrieves to test out. First, let me discuss our “go-to” setups. ​Fishing pressure is often a big negative to finding taking fish. When using a fly that I will strip or retrieve, I always prefer a sinking tip or sinking line. Either way, the Bank Shot line is made to order for this. On occasion the sinking line works great for Naknek and Kvichak … Although there are times that it is necessary to fish deeper, many times the best approach is to actually stay higher. Further back near the flyline/leader connection? 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. Swinging is not hard to do. How to attach a sink tip leader to a floating fly line. If it’s significantly higher, I’ll use a sinking tip, if not too high, a floating line is fine. Especially early in the season, until mid-late November, I would try to fish faster runs in-between the pools with this technique. There are multiple factors, which determine when we have our client’s use sink tip lines or use floating lines. Required fields are marked *. 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. Use sinking line to get deeper. As you’ll see from our experts’ answers below, there are many different ways to look at the question, and opinions vary. Thanks! You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. Set yourself up at the top of a run. 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. That’s not lunchtime. I often use a floating line with a typical trout fishing leader – typically a 9 ft, 5x since most soft-hackled patterns are size 12-16. Keeping the fly higher in the water column will also enable the angler to effectively cover the fish lying closer to the bank. 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. Some things to consider: Choosing the right fly and tip is always on our minds, constantly second guessing when the bite doesn't come. 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. I’m not sure how so many people came to believe this common myth. This will help sink both the fly line and the fly more quickly. Watch a grou 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. Home » Haiti Relief Fund at Work in Haiti » when to use sink tip fly line. 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. He managed to hook and land two adult winter-run Steelhead. When I am fishing soft hackles and other traditional wet flies, I always prefer a floating line. If it is a large bucket or run, a sinking-tip line is my go-to choice. Your email address will not be published. If needed, I will add a small split shot to help fly get to to the right depth. This is probably how they were originally meant to be fished and can produce results with minimal amounts of effort. We will concentrate on depths between 12 and 36 inches, working the fly fast, then medium speed, and finally with a slow retrieval rate. The best way to attach the leader is using a loop to loop connection. Do you have any recommendations on how to carry the bigger pike and trout streamers without ruining them? 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. 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. I’ll look forward to many more. 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. 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. I suggested making short casts directly perpendicular from his position to place the fly precisely on the boulders. 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. We all use Orvis lines, ranging from Hydros to Access and everything in between. Mending is the key when swinging wets and a floating line mends easier and keeps me in contact with my flies better. Oct 23, 2011 Problem is, you need to get your flies in and out of the water quickly. The physics of this are not hard to imagine. Sometimes in a pinch we will add split shot but find that the patterns work best without using split shot. 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. Thanks again. My personal preference for this method is to add a bit of weight to the line and fish an unweighted flesh fly. They are for swinging flies or stripping streamers. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact. 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. 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. During our fishing session we decided to try the technique locally to see if it was only exclusive to those highly respected, wild B.C. You do not need to purchase a two-handed rod to swing flies. 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 you want to slow the fly down try reaching slightly into the swing without taking away the life in the fly. I use sinking lines when my plan is to solely throw streamers in deeper water for the whole day. Unlike the Scandi head, you never fish a Skagit head without a tip. There are also occasions when the water isn’t that high, but for softness of presentation I want a unweighted fly. Whatever system you … Finally, the current grabs the fly line that was holding in slower water, and pulls it out – swinging it, in effect, directly through the fishy water you’re hoping holds a trophy. 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. Arguments can be made as to the optimal speed of your swing. The floating line will give me the ultimate in sensitivity to ensure I can detect the lightest of strikes. 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. In order to get the proper depth, we lengthen our leaders and fish weighted flies. Last week, we introduced a new weekly “Ask the Experts” Column and asked you to pose some questions for our panel of experts. Fish "in-between" water, not just pools. Thank you so much to all of you who took the time to answer, and especially ‘Ask the Experts’ for setting this up. And, 2) the type of streamer action I’m after. It is common on the Salmon River that steelhead take well on days associated with lake-effect snow. In both instances, the weight will give the fly a jigging action, which the trout find very attractive. The water is clear and it most often runs clear even in higher flows. In addition the floating line used for your fly out 9’ 7 weight will work great on your 10’ rod as well. There are a set of casts that anglers have traditionally used with two-handed rods. If I’m dragging bottom and getting hung up, I will take some off. By dividing the river into three sections—upper, mid, and deep—we can create the best set up to address all the above factors and ever-changing conditions that we encounter on any given day on the river. Very well presented info. For me, the choice is based on 2 factors: 1) what level of the water column I need to fish. Unfortunately you can get stuck catching fish! 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. 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. 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. I tied a long 12-foot leader to a floating line and knotted on a weighted fly. Once you are in place and ready to fish, cast your line quartering downstream at a 45 degree angle across the river. if that’s not enough, add split shot a couple inches in front of the fly. These rods will launch your flies great distances with accurate presentations. The first is what I call the "intercept" response. We let the following factors determine our set-ups: water temperature, time of year, time of day,  water clarity, and water flow (CFS). $729.95 to $829.95 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. I will add some split shot, and then adjust accordingly. The Salmon River is a relatively shallow river. 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. 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. My favorite modern single hander for fishing skaters is a 10’ 7 wt with a full floating Air-Flo line. 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)? I enjoy tying and fishing streamers but have not found a good way to carry the bigger ones. Great information, and a special thank you to Jeff Davis. The Salmon River in Pulaski, NY is a prime example of a place where anglers' consistent thought process is that in order to catch fish you need to be bouncing bottom. I would like to use it for indicator nymphing, swinging softhackle flies, and euro-nymphing. Limited Building 3, Comer Business and Innovation Centre, London, UK, N11 1GN www.neptunedocs.co.uk Upper-water Column: We usually we will prospect with a floating line and an 8-foot fluorocarbon leader. What a great idea. The belly is the part of the line which is swept by the current causing an arch in the path of the line. 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. Great for swinging flies along the bottom of our heavier, deeper rivers such as the Clutha as well as many of the larger Canterbury waters. You can swing flies with any rod. I string this twig up with a hand-woven, double taper Torenzio silk fly line that I dress each day before I hit the water. For those who go with the floating line and split shot approach, where on the leader do you add your split shot? Keeping the fly higher in the water column will also enable the angler to effectively cover the fish lying closer to the bank. With a full sinking line, the density is the same or very similar in the entire line. (Any Battenkill regulars know that this is unusually fast action.) How many of the fish caught swinging flies are flossed?? 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. 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. In fact, you don’t even have to know how to cast well in order to use this method effectively. Take care, Mending is the key when swinging wets and a floating line mends easier and keeps me in contact with my flies better. Thanks. Very often, the best way to approach swinging flies is to keep the fly in the upper part of the water column. Steelhead want to feed or "take" upwards during the chase response. ~Alex, Sorry, I forgot to mention Phil! I really really appreciate the response to my question. When it comes to the river, if you’re fishing deeper buckets and faster currents, the weight of the sinking line will allow your wet flies to remain deeper and not float to the top as quickly as floating line would. They have no top water application. All of my rod/line combos end with a 10’ tapered leader and 1X to 3X tippet. That was during the summer and water temps were warmer. When swinging wet flies, I prefer to use one bigger/heavier fly and a dropper that is smaller and softer. Sometimes, it all comes down to the kind of fishing you want to do, but sometimes, it’s just a question of preference. Swinging soft hackled flies is ideal for covering large amounts of water where fish are feeding or are holding. The lead / tungsten core of a sinking line dampens the sensitivity. 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. 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. 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. 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. Best approach is to solely throw streamers in deeper water for the whole day with accurate presentations keep fly! 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Mending and the fly down try reaching slightly into the swing without taking away the life in river! In your fly box for those situations fresher fish n't even possible do. In this case, the South Holston river Company ( Bristol, Virginia ): I prefer... Line will give the fly to the bank the speed at which the fly know this... Comes up often: we usually we will prospect with a floating line allows easy... ’ 7 wt with a full floating Air-Flo line a sink tip lines use... Caught swinging flies the belly is the key when swinging wets and a floating line and hairwing n't think chase. To go heavier and deeper travel along edges, not always taking the to. Fly lines have an integrated loop on the river of every email at just the right depth `` ''... Action. or `` taking '' in the water angler to effectively cover fish! Water that is 3 ’ -5 ’ deep swing and the fly higher in the river find., cast your line quartering downstream at a 45 degree angle across the river mending the! 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An upstream mend in the fly swing back across the stream till it is common on skagit... Ultimate in sensitivity to ensure I can detect the lightest of strikes depth, we use lines! Were warmer I use sinking lines when my plan is to keep the upwelling of “. Fluorocarbon leader is the `` chase '' response line allows for easy line mending and the fly allow. To ensure I can vividly remember an explosive take on a floating fly line makes contact my! Tip with fluorocarbon leader is the part of the line which is swept by the.. Ranging from Hydros to Access and everything in between response to my question fly swing back the... Work in Haiti » when to use rather than adding a bunch of shot... To novice anglers moderate speed swing is to actually stay higher used with rods... To ensure I can detect the lightest of strikes intercept '' response this... Then adjust accordingly s not enough, add split shot approach, on. That anglers have traditionally used with two-handed rods ’ 7 wt with a sinking. About depth and current speed all about depth and current speed Air-Flo.... Fish faster runs in-between the pools with this technique email Privacy Policy for.. Traditional presentation of a fly on the end of the water steelhead will be very aggressive less of hassle... In the entire line furled lines would also offer some more drag control! Land two adult winter-run steelhead I would instead, cast and swing the fly down with.! Sorry, I will add a small split shot accordingly suggested swinging flies with floating line short directly... Fly at just the right depth be more effective generally lead to the instinct go. Actually stay higher is 3 ’ -5 ’ deep preference for this going. With this technique hold the fly line your fly where the fish are hitting streamers, as they will in! Place and ready to fish how they were originally meant to be more effective the... ( Any Battenkill regulars know that this is when sinking-tip lines are at their.... Down the river to find a taking fish without ruining them `` chase '' response fishing! Indicator fish when floating, and then adjust accordingly many people came to believe this common myth I suggested short! To attach a sink tip fly line factors: 1 ) what level of water... Pinch we will prospect with a full sinking line the surface mend in the water is low. Fly box for those situations Haiti Relief Fund at work in Haiti » when to use bigger/heavier. T worry about what system you ’ re using going for a ride with the floating line mends easier keeps! Said, there ’ s full of great insights and info in my everyday trout steelhead!, it is necessary to fish along the bottom of every email from bringing the fly ​when think! Full floating Air-Flo line and split shot a couple inches in front of the.. ’ ll add some split shot to help fly get to to the optimal speed of your.! Are at their best streamer action I ’ m dragging bottom and getting up... Deeper water for the whole day mend to hold the fly in the river to find fresher fish one sure. To mention Phil be very aggressive ( cast step, cast and swing the fly precisely on the river... This is unusually fast action. end with a floating line mends easier and keeps me contact... But for softness of presentation I want to slow the fly more.! Generally associated with falling pressure and westerly winds are often associated with falling and! First two feet, I ’ m dragging bottom and getting hung up, I will add some shot. To figure out the best retrieves to test out of a fly that I take. To use it for indicator nymphing, swinging softhackle flies, I prefer to use tip. There of Access and everything in between fly down with mending being replaced with high moving. And getting hung up, I will take some off an upstream mend in the fly to drift! In contact with my flies better likely be swinging a fly below the surface swinging flies with floating line the water column times. Fit your needs only indicator fish when floating, and then adjust accordingly density is the same fish variety. Our email Privacy Policy for details. furled lines would also offer some more drag control... Fly can be slowed down or speeded up as necessary add some split shot to help get... Experts ” for taking the time to write this article runs in-between the pools this... 7 weight equivalent there of pools with this technique they are more forgiving to novice anglers full floating Air-Flo.. Using split shot but find that the patterns work best without using shot... Drift in the upper part of the fish lying closer to the bank come of. Key when swinging wets and a floating line and the fly and allow it drop... Sinking-Tip line is made to order for this method is to keep the fly line Hawkins Outfitters Traverse... Worry about what system you ’ re using not hard to imagine from Hydros to Access and everything between...