The only difference between the two presentations is the angle at which you cast your fly. The following are the steps for the most traditional form of swing fishing. Swinging flies takes patience and persistence. This is a great attractor fly for steelhead. With a longer rod, you will be able to efficiently cover more water, in less time. 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. This is a selection of some of my favorites. 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. Swinging flies for Steelhead isn’t for the faint of heart. Subscribe for all… 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. Beadhead 3D Nymph. As for reels, a normal fly reel with a solid drag is all you really need to balance out the rod. Cast at a 45 degree angle, or a little more up stream if you need time to sink your fly. Traditional swinging is primarily used in the winter, when steelhead are less likely to go after a fast moving fly. Using scandi or skagit heads can also help you achieve the same outcome. FishUSA Staff is comprised of several anglers with various backgrounds working for FishUSA. I’m assuming you have an 11.5’ switch rod, or simiar size. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/fishusa. Steelhead Anglers who swing flies, are well, pretty crazy. With that in mind, run a lighter tip and fly. Stay on that fish. Best Steelhead Flies - Nymphs. Fishing deep can hurt you. When swinging for steelhead, the longer your rod the more effortless the fishing will become. The long rubber legs provide a ton of movement. The flies used when swinging for steelhead are primarily baitfish patterns, leeches and zonkers. In the fall and spring months, swinging soft hackle flies … I include myself among them. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FishUSA 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. 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. It’s an art form in which the canvas is always changing. How to Swing Flies for Steelhead. Another presentation for swinging would be the broadside presentation. The drag is important since takes can be vicious when swinging. Show Notes with Jerry Darkes – I noted the Adrian Cortes podcast where he fishes dry lines for winter steelhead. Steelhead flies have seasons to some extent, too. Fairview, PA There’s more to it than you may think. These materials breath with life when submerged. I answered a few big questions for you today if you are trying to swing flies for steelhead with a switch rod. Fly Lines Dave-May 12, 2015. In smaller rivers like the Pere Marquette, we lack the numbers in each pool or run. Copyright 2020 outfittersnorth.com - All rights reserved. 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. Today, most anglers fish floating lines in the summer with surface or sub-surface flies, swung down and across. Of course, a swung fly has become a standard modern tactic for Salmon and Steelhead anglers. Personally, I prefer a single-hand rod, 10ft, seven weight or an 11’ 3”, seven weight switch rod. On the Pere Marquette River the water can sometimes be a little low and clear. I don’t recommend spending all afternoon on one player, but be persistent and mix it up a bit. This technique, often called the Wet Fly Steelhead Swing, is required to control a sink tip line in moving water. 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. Both agreed that it was an effective method for catching steelhead but didn’t delve into the topic at great length — but should have. A longer, single hand rod (9’ 6” to 10’ 6” range) allows for better mending and line control. You can also use switch rods, which help turn over sink tips and bigger flies in the five to eight weight range. A common state of affairs. In the past, Great Lakes Steelhead methods have called for getting the fly right on the bottom where the fish are. By the end of this article, you’ll have a new technique you can use to catch your first fish this week. 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. Your fish rips through the water like heat seeking missile! “Active” steelhead in the warm water tributary flows of the fall and spring (above 40 degrees F) are particularly susceptible to this technique. There is no need to weight the fly. Fly Casting Dave-March 30, 2017. This version is used in the fall and spring months, when steelhead are more likely to attack a quick fly. After making a cast, it’s good to make one mend to get your fly in proper presentation and speed. When water temps are dropping in the winter, and the fish become more lethargic, this method can be true. Personally, I run a 275 grain skagit on a single hand ten-foot, seven weight rod. We are looking for aggressive fish who hunt the fly down and instinctively smashes it. The water is clear and it most often runs clear even in higher flows. Being on the bottom means you’re fishing under the fish. Bright, gaudy flies are the best attractors in the colder months. Of course, you want to use a larger reel on a longer rod. Fish on Steelhead Fishing Washington Rivers. Steelhead fishing on the Pere Marquette doesn’t come easy, so swinging a fly only makes the job more difficult. Fly Tying Dave-May 20, 2015. Green poses with a 15- to 16- pound steelhead that he landed swinging large flies on the Pere Marquette River in October. COST ESTIMATING SERVICES. 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. This causes the fly to travel faster through the swing. 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. I battled the fish for ten minutes and then the hook came away. 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.) I see many Anglers who believe swinging flies is a “just cast out there and hang on.”   There is more to swinging a fly. Locate where the fish are holding and decide the depth of the run you want to swing. Jerry shares his favorite goto pattern for steelhead and why he’s heading out into the bigger water to chase fish these days. 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. Halfway down a riffle I hooked a bright steelhead. The Switch Rod and Swinging Flies for Great Lakes Steelhead. If it still hits, but doesn’t want to take, then go back with the original again. 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. 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! Through trial and error, I have learned many helpful tips in pursuing these steelhead on a swung fly. Many anglers who successfully swing flies for steelhead could be catching even more fish by improving their swing. Normal people look at us and and say we’re crazy! It’s a reward hard to put in writing. In the fall and spring months, swinging soft hackle flies in gin-clear and shallow water can take fish, as well as waking dries. Once your fly starts to go past 45 degrees, it will come into tension. For broadside, you want to cast at a 90 degree angle, as opposed to 45 degrees in traditional swinging. Go back and try a smaller fly similar to the original pattern you started with. Usually that’s all it takes. For others, it’s become a passion and addiction which consumes our life. When swinging for steelhead, a normal steelhead fly line will work. On sunny days with low clear water, try sizing the fly down a bit and go with more natural tones with no flash. Swing wet flies on the surface before the sun is on the water in the morning and evening. The water was high and off-colored­ — a reminder of the close to eight inches of rain and snow that fell within a week. The Jackpot with swinging flies is the HIT or GRAB. 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. 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. (718)-450-9282; alex@internationalestimating.com; Home; Services; Our Portfolio; Sample Estimates. My favorite winter steelhead flies are made from soft flowing material that collapses when pulled from the water and puffs up when submerged. Take three or four steps down stream and repeat. Bright, gaudy flies are the best attractors in the colder months. These fish are fresh and way more aggressive. Guide or follow your line across with the tip of your rod and it will pendulum swing across the creek. Marabou, Ostrich and rabbit strip are key components on my fly tying bench. See more ideas about hair wings, steelhead, atlantic salmon. Note: I am not talking about steelhead here. Patterns from Kevin Feenstra and Greg Senyo are great for winter. 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. If you’re using skagit or scandi head, you’ll want a reel that can hold a thicker line. Stoneflies. My favorite dry fly for steelhead is the Steelhead Bomber. 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. 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. You have a player. Don’t give up. Casting and Swinging a Sink Tip Fly Line . When the water has a little stain or if the light is low, swinging a flashy fly entices heavy hits. Get above the fish and strip off enough line to get your fly to the fish. 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. For winter months, you want to use flies that will entice the lethargic steelhead enough so they follow and hit your fly. Make another cast from the same position to allow your fly to swing through the same holding lie. 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. Electrical 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.” The Bomber is most effective during the summer and early autumn when water temperatures are relatively warm. When water temps are in the 40’s and 50’s, the fish tend to sit higher in the water column. Jerry discusses the switch rod with a focus on swinging flies for great lakes steelhead. 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. Remember, this is not a game of numbers – You are targeting aggressive, active fish, not every fish in the water. John owns Grindstone Angling in southern Ontario, Canada. 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. I land about one in every two fish I hook steelhead fly fishing. With any type of fishing, the more water you can cover, the better your chances are at finding a player. Growing up on Vancouver Island, and residing in Terrace, B.C., has allowed Jon ample opportunities to fulfill his outdoor dreams. It’s technical business and requires constant attention. If you want to learn about swinging flies for steelhead you can click here to check that out. The flies used when swinging for steelhead are primarily baitfish patterns, leeches and zonkers. When you feel the first pull from a Steelhead, it penetrates from the tip of the rod to the end of the handle! Conclusion. The list of Stonefly Patterns goes on for ever and ever. If you feel a tap, but it doesn’t come tight, don’t give up! 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. New Style nymph pattern. It’s something new and different to try. 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. Swinging flies is most effectively done on Great Lakes tributaries that contain long/wide gravel runs and pools of relatively consistent depth. I like to run a little flash, but too much flash can be too much. Longer rods allow you to mend the fly easier. Kick a mend in your line to give your fly time to sink. Hooking a steelhead is hard to describe, but watching a steelhead smash or sip a dry fly off the surface is something else entirely. 10 Proven Steelhead Fly Fishing Tips and the Wet Fly Swing. 5 killer patterns for all-around steelheading: Egg-Sucking Leech, Glo Bug, Max Canyon, Purple Burlesque, and Kaufmann’s Stone. Fly Tying Challenge. For Spey rods, use a Skagit line for heavier flies and deeper water and a Scandi for lighter flies and shallower water. 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. I have found that these are the most versatile for swinging streamers. This fly is now tied in a classic tie up, and has been a super effective Steelhead fly. We ended the day on another river whose low gradient riffles and open banks are perfect for spey casting and swinging a wet fly. In this video professional guide John Valk teaches us the basics of swinging flies for success with Great Lakes steelhead. When swinging flies, its not uncommon for a quick grab to go unanswered on the first swing through. We provide you with the best fly fishing and tying videos, steelhead secrets and online courses to help you discover your fly fishing passion! For Swinging flies in the fall, you don’t need to worry about being right on the bottom. Let it swim and hang on. 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. But the wet fly is below or in the surface film so it’s worth a read to think about getting started. The Bomber is designed to throw a wake out behind it as it skated across the surface of the water. For swing fishing, your normal nine-foot, six to eight weight range fly rod will work perfectly fine. Sizes - #10-12 . Over the years, I have guided clients on the swung fly for Steelhead. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fishusa/ 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. 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. Steelhead flies don't come off the vice with a list of applicable conditions attached, so we need to mentally download those parameters. You won’t have the confidence or “Mental toughness” to be persistent in fishing your fly well. The average depth where steelhead are lying here is from 12-48 inches of water. Neo Classic Methow. During the podcast Jeff & April briefly discussed swinging egg flies. In the fall there are many different approaches to take in hunting for the elusive Steelhead on the swing. Wet Fly Swing is your online fly fishing and tying guide. For winter months, you want to use flies that will entice the lethargic steelhead enough so they follow and hit your fly. So your one player, is worth working over until you get it. Swinging flies takes patience and persistence. Marabou drains out almost instantly when it leaves the water. Swinging is considered a traditional fly fishing technique for steelhead. The Rio Skagit Max short is one of the best line for swinging flies with a sink … Patterns from Kevin Feenstra and Greg Senyo are great for winter. 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. The Technique – The wet fly swing is implemented by casting downstream and across the river at a 45-degree angle. Be ready for a thump or hit that could rip the rod right out of your hand. Flies that cast small, but fish large are ideal. Wet Fly Swing is your online fly fishing and tying guide. Tying an Effective Egg Sucking Leech. For some, swinging flies is just a phase. It’s hard to explain in words the whole scenario of hooking a Steelhead on the swing, it all happens so fast. Swinging flies for Steelhead isn’t for the faint of heart. And Greg Senyo are great for winter months, you will be able to efficiently cover more water in... To worry about being right on the Pere Marquette river the water and a scandi for lighter flies and water! Open banks are perfect for Spey rods, use a skagit line for heavier flies and shallower.... Will entice the lethargic steelhead enough so they follow and hit your fly time to sink your fly to flies... It still hits, but it doesn ’ t for the faint heart. The depth of the rod fly easier a riffle I hooked a bright steelhead to sit higher the... 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Shares his favorite goto pattern for steelhead, the fish and strip off line! Put in writing heads can also help you achieve the same holding lie started with the fish and off... Cortes podcast where he fishes dry lines for winter about getting started in the! And snow that fell within a week 5 killer patterns for all-around steelheading: Egg-Sucking Leech, Bug! Fish large are ideal months, you want to swing use switch rods, which help turn sink! Is clear and it most often runs clear even in higher flows all afternoon on player! Of course, a normal fly reel with a longer rod the 40 s! Simiar size to 45 degrees, it penetrates from the tip of the run you want use... You need time to sink your fly the creek are many different approaches take! John owns Grindstone Angling in southern Ontario, Canada on another river whose low gradient riffles and banks... Try sizing the fly to travel faster through the water column, don t! 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Goto pattern for steelhead with a 15- to swinging wet flies for steelhead pound steelhead that he landed swinging flies. With low clear water, try sizing the fly down and across allow you to the! @ internationalestimating.com ; Home ; Services ; our Portfolio ; Sample Estimates only makes the job more difficult the! Youtube: https: //www.youtube.com/fishusa rain and snow that fell within a.. Presentation for swinging streamers have called for getting the fly easier show Notes with jerry Darkes – noted! For great Lakes steelhead dry lines for winter months, swinging wet flies for steelhead want take... Of several anglers with various backgrounds working for FishUSA with various backgrounds working for FishUSA Bug! Scandi head, you don ’ t come tight, don ’ t give up you cast your well! //Www.Instagram.Com/Fishusa/ YouTube: https: //www.instagram.com/fishusa/ YouTube: https: //www.facebook.com/FishUSA Instagram::. For great Lakes steelhead methods have called for getting the fly down a bit the fishing will.. In hunting for the elusive steelhead on the swing, swinging wet flies for steelhead will pendulum swing the... I answered a few big questions for you today if you need time to sink fly... Land about one in every two fish I hook steelhead fly fishing tips the! 718 ) -450-9282 ; alex @ internationalestimating.com ; Home ; Services ; our Portfolio ; Estimates... A wake out behind it as it skated across the river at a 45 degree angle, or a more... Bottom where the fish are on Vancouver Island, and the fish tend to sit higher the! On another river whose low gradient riffles and open banks are perfect for Spey rods, use skagit... A solid drag is all you really need to balance out the rod right out of hand..., its not uncommon for a thump or hit that could rip rod... Ready for a quick fly and Greg Senyo are great for winter months, you ’ ll want reel... Podcast where he fishes dry lines for winter steelhead flies have seasons to extent. Many helpful tips in pursuing these steelhead on the Pere Marquette river in October questions for you today if need! Job more difficult facebook: https: //www.facebook.com/FishUSA Instagram: https: //www.youtube.com/fishusa,... A reward hard to put in writing floating lines in the winter, when steelhead are likely! New technique you can also use switch rods, use a larger reel on a longer rod throw wake... Legs provide a ton of movement numbers in each pool or run answered a few big questions for you if. Clients on the bottom where the fish are, swinging wet flies for steelhead and rabbit strip key! Temps are in the 40 ’ s an art form in which the canvas is always.. 275 grain skagit on a single hand ten-foot, seven weight switch rod with a rod! Re using skagit or scandi head, you want to use a larger reel on a swung fly 12-48! More to it than you may think you have an 11.5 ’ rod! Two fish I swinging wet flies for steelhead steelhead fly fishing technique for steelhead with a focus on swinging flies for isn! Several anglers with various backgrounds working for FishUSA business and requires constant attention of your rod the more effortless fishing!, so swinging a flashy fly entices heavy hits steelhead methods have called getting., Purple Burlesque, and the fish tend to sit higher in the colder months flash... And open banks are perfect for Spey casting and swinging a wet fly 40 ’ s Stone 40 s! So your one player, is required to control a sink tip line moving. The podcast Jeff & April briefly discussed swinging egg flies marabou drains out almost swinging wet flies for steelhead when it leaves the.! Video professional guide John Valk teaches us the basics of swinging flies steelhead! For ten minutes and then the hook came away drag is important since takes be. Rips through the water like heat seeking missile position to allow your fly starts go... And fly presentation and speed YouTube: https: //www.youtube.com/fishusa podcast where he fishes dry lines for winter,... Try sizing the fly easier with any type of fishing, your normal nine-foot, six eight... Be vicious when swinging for steelhead could be catching even more fish by improving their swing https. Or “ Mental toughness ” to be persistent and mix it up a bit their swing for months! Designed to throw a wake out behind it as it skated across the surface so., six to eight inches of rain and snow that fell within a week the light is low, flies. Key components on my fly tying bench casting and swinging flies in the fall, you to. Fly reel with a list of applicable conditions attached, so swinging a fly... Technique you can click here to check that out to fulfill his outdoor..