Fly size and colour [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Fly size and colour


peter-s-c
11-04-2005, 04:50 PM
It's been pretty sucky here of late with only a few fish taken on the Grand and none by yours truly. Just a few pulls to keep me interested. I've seen lots of fish rolling about at times so they're there but not interested.

When fall fish gets tough, what type of presentation, fly sizes and colours works for you?

Dornblaser
11-04-2005, 09:33 PM
What works for me is practicing my casting, watching the birds and other wildlife; and, enjoying being outside

David

WayneV
11-04-2005, 09:49 PM
Generally very small like size 8 salmon hook and natural earthy colours only. No hot or bright colours or flashy synthetics. Even too bright an olive is enough to shut 'em down. :razz: Sparse ties.

Picture something like a size 8 wooly bugger with a short olive tail, natural rabbit dubbed body, and short natural brown body hackle. Overall tyed sparse, thin body too.

Another i seen just this week is a spider type and known to work. Salmon hook size 8. Natural brown coloured dubbed body, ribbing of copper, (gold or silver would be too bright) and a single turn of wood duck as a collar. Colllar extending back to hook bend.

San Juan worm, blood red colour.

What about a size 6 grey muddler, 2x long max?

peter-s-c
11-05-2005, 07:54 AM
Wayne

Basically where I was headed. Grabbed an empty fly box and stuffed it with smaller, muted tone flies. One steelhead theory says that as they progress further up the river and stay in it longer, the revert to the insect feeding of their early days so flies that look buggy stand a better chance with these fish.

I've tried variations in the past on the steelhead spider, having hooked fish on somewhat larger versions of P&Os. I've also caught them on size 16 stones so . . .

lenny
11-05-2005, 09:10 AM
Same results here. The Maitland has been so low and clear you can see the fish spook away from a bright fly or bad presentation. I've been using size 10 soft hackles, caddis larvae and pupae, and stonefly patterns during the day. The tricky part is holding the fish, they are pretty fiesty in the warm water.

peter-s-c
11-05-2005, 07:12 PM
Got in a couple of hours and hooked two on a fly I had received from New Zealand in a fly swap. It uses a Matuka style tan grizzly wing over dark yellow chenille body with brown hackle collar and a bit of red tied on a size 10. A subdued yellow/brown trout fly.

Hooked them using the Kispiox 7/8, Airflo Skagit head, and a 9' tip with 3' of T-10 in it. Weird experience fighting a manic jumping fish with such a soft rod.

voodoofly
11-05-2005, 07:22 PM
We are experiencing the same conditions around here. My fly patterns are going the opposite way. I've been throwing black or black/purple Intruders a full 4" long. these are tied on a 35mm waddington shank.

We are finally getting some rain as I write this. I had no hook-ups this morning. Only leaves. The bait guys weren't doing very well either. I'll be back in the morning to make more froth and foam.

Gary

peter-s-c
11-05-2005, 07:59 PM
Gary

We've got to dial in our fly choices the way the PNW guys have. I look at their summer run patterns and think they're right for our winter conditions. Your 4 inchers are probably great on fresh fish but what about one that's been in the river a while? Lots of questions, not too many answers.

I'll be out early tomorrow trying for more.

voodoofly
11-05-2005, 10:32 PM
i've only been targeting fresh fish this fall.

i break out the indy set-up for stale fish.

Gary

WayneV
11-06-2005, 12:50 PM
I'm just learning about such Skagitized setups so forgive the nubie questions:

Can you describe the complete line setup you have with line lengths, types etc?

Spey casting seems to me to be quite relaxed and elegant, is it still so with this rig Peter?

Once you are dredging and then want to pull it out and cast, what gyrations (motions) do you need to do to "setup" for the long part of the cast?

So how far Peter can you relatively easily cast such a rig, since its only a 7-8wt?

cheers
Wayne

peter-s-c
11-06-2005, 03:16 PM
i've only been targeting fresh fish this fall.

i break out the indy set-up for stale fish.

Gary

That's the advantage you have with the clear water of the Muskgeon, you can pick out a fresh fish. In the off-colour Grand, it's chuck 'n chance it. We didn't get any today but two guys claimed to have hooked up on pink!

Oh well, last year I thought I had this section of the river dialed in but this year it has me flummoxed.

Jamey McLeod
11-06-2005, 04:26 PM
We got a serious deluge last night. I was fishing #6 sparsley tied atlantic patterns on my 7wt yesterday, tomorrow I will be diging out the 9wt with big black dredgers.

peter-s-c
11-06-2005, 04:51 PM
I'm just learning about such Skagitized setups so forgive the nubie questions:

cheers
Wayne


Wayne, there's a huge amount of stuff about Skagit on the Speypages.

My Loomis Kispiox 7/8 is 13'4" and very soft. I'm using an Airflo Skagit head that's 470 grains and 32' long. Airflo recommends 9' tips for it so I've made up a set based on that. I used sections from a DT-10-F and two Airflo Custom Cut 200 tips. The 200 weighs 10 grains per foot so the level floating section must be at least that, if not a bit more, to ensure a decent turnover. The tips each weigh in at approximately 90 grains and are set up as follows:


floater tip made from DT-10 front taper
6' of floater + 3' of 200 tip
4' of floater + 5' of 200 tip
2' of floater + 7' of 200 tip
9' of 200 tip


Altogether, the head is 560 grains over 41’. To put that weight into perspective, if I was Scando casting this rig, I’d use at minimum a 10 wt. rod.

Elegant isn’t a word I’d associate with Skagit casting as it moves a lot of water plus the line and fly hits the water like a ton of bricks. Hardly the method for the skittish fish.

There have been dozens, perhaps a hundred threads on Skagit casting in the Speypages forum plus useful video so I’d suggest a cruise through them but anyway, here’s a synopsis based on those threads.


Lines should be from 3 to 3.5 times rod length
The usual casts are Perry Poke, Snap-T or C, Skagit Double
Casting essentials requires water loading and continuous motion (though this gets debated at times)
Lines are very heavy compared to standard lines


Advantages for our water are:

Can easily cast big, heavy flies
The design of the tips keeps the fly more or less at a constant depth
Less line management is needed
Casts are easier to learn than standard spey casts as the timing isn’t critical
Good substitute for nymphing
Great pocket water method
Handles wind very well
D-Loops are very small so they’re great for casting in tight confines
A newbie can be up casting and fishing effectively, very quickly compared to other methods
Handles a broad range of fishing distances


Disadvantages are:


Heavier lines can be very fatiguing – unsticking 1,000 grains on the lift is damn hard work after a few hours. It isn't the "effortless" method that its promoters claim.
Very splashy, noisy method – can spook fish
Requires stripping to set up next cast
Not the best for deep presentations despite the reputation
Thick belly has a lot of drag on the water
Doesn’t allow large adjustments in depth in mid drift.
Droop of tip doesn’t provide a direct path from fly to angler so subtle takes may be missed
Learning this method tends not to translate into improvements in conventional spey casting
This is a hard method to get right without knowledgable help as it requires specialized knowledge in both the casting and the line construction. While the line manufacturers are starting to make the lines (bellies or heads) for it, no one is yet making the tips and these have to be constructed/modified by the angler.


While not considered a distance method it can certainly cover an adequate amount of water. On my 7/8 rig, the backing knot to end of tip is about 100’ and last evening I had the backing knot exposed on some casts so 100' is doable.

It's a good confined space, pocket water method so if your fishing involves a lot of that, then it's worth pursuing.

peter-s-c
11-06-2005, 07:10 PM
We got a serious deluge last night. I was fishing #6 sparsley tied atlantic patterns on my 7wt yesterday, tomorrow I will be dinng out the 9wt with big black dredgers.

Send it our way -- we need it. The river is quite low.

WayneV
11-07-2005, 07:22 AM
>>> Not the best for deep presentations despite the reputation

So are there better ways in the Spey world to go deep?

Also as an alternative to Skagit would'nt just going with a heavier weight traditional Spey rod say a 10/11 allow one to control those heavy tips and flies?

peter-s-c
11-07-2005, 08:15 AM
Full sink lines or shooting heads can get much deeper than sinktip systems as the back end isn't being held up by a floater belly.

About the second part -- yes and no. Depends as much on the line choice as it does the rod. A Skagit line on a 7/8 will toss as large a fly as would a 10/11 with a conventional line. The Skagit line packs a lot of grains into a very short package plus it doesn't have much, if any front taper to it. Essentially a heavy, level tip attached to a thick, level belly (exception -- the Airflo Skagit head does have some taper). The momentum of this very heavy head easily plucks a big fly out of the water and turns it over. The long, fine tapers of conventional WF spey lines don't have this mass so it's a more difficult job for them (there are exceptions).

There are a load of other factors as well . . . .

I should add that having had the opportunity to cast a St. Croix 15' 10/11 and DT-11-F line side-by-side with a Sage 9141 and a 900+ grain Skagit head, the St. Croix was much nicer to cast and less fatiguing to use.

WayneV
11-08-2005, 07:12 AM
Thanks Peter

... for all the excellent replies. Your enthusiasm is exceeded only by your knowledge. :biggrin:

Dornblaser
11-11-2005, 12:36 PM
The WI rivers are really low and few steelhead are in the rivers now. I am planning on using my Deschutes fly box a lot if we get any rain. I had the same thought that you did, that the PNW's summer fly patterns will work welll here.


Gary

We've got to dial in our fly choices the way the PNW guys have. I look at their summer run patterns and think they're right for our winter conditions. Your 4 inchers are probably great on fresh fish but what about one that's been in the river a while? Lots of questions, not too many answers.

I'll be out early tomorrow trying for more.

peter-s-c
11-11-2005, 04:37 PM
The WI rivers are really low and few steelhead are in the rivers now. I am planning on using my Deschutes fly box a lot if we get any rain. I had the same thought that you did, that the PNW's summer fly patterns will work welll here.

We recently got hammered with rain and Hamilton took a hit from an F1 tornado so our rivers are up and dirty. Wished I'd had some of those big Michigan patterns with me today. One fish between the three of us.