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Great Lakes Steelhead & Salmon Amazing "Inland ocean" fisheries

Thread: Niagara River, Skagit, and two-handers Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-07-2004 08:51 PM
grouseman The heron will live. I guess the bald eagle and spotted owl should be left alone as well. I burned some seagull feathers the other day and they made some usable spey hackle. The quills were reasonably pliable though short. Made for a good wrap at the head.
12-07-2004 08:17 PM
peter-s-c marabou on the Dirty Harry and Brown Trout Weamer

chickaboo on the steelhead wet

burnt spey hackle on the five oaks

saddle hackle on the flat wing

Just bought some grey burnt spey hackle that'll do a decent imitation of heron so be nice to the heron.
12-07-2004 08:07 PM
JDJones
Spey Hackle

Quote:
Originally Posted by grouseman
"Spey" feathers? I've got a heron that fishes every day from my dock but my wife promised she'd call the DNR if it showed up on my tying desk.
I heard the authorities came knocking on this farmers door one day. Seems they heard he had killed a heron.
Well yeah, says he. I didn't want to kill it. But the darn thing was roosting in the barn. The hens wouldn't lay, the cows wouldn't give any milk. I tried to shoo it out of there, but it just wouldn't leave......So I shot it.
Naturally, the authorities were quite upset. They demanded to see the carcus.
There isn't any carcus replied the farmer.
What do you mean,,,,there is no carcus? What happened to it they asked?
I called some of the neighbors over. We barbequed it and ate it.
They were horrified. How could you eat a heron?
Well,,,after all, it was dead replied the farmer.
Well, uh,,,what exactly does a heron taste like they asked?
Oh, kinda like a cross between a bald eagle and a spotted owl.
12-07-2004 07:45 PM
grouseman What have you been using for your spey hackle. I've been using schlappen and "spey" feathers. I've got a heron that fishes every day from my dock but my wife promised she'd call the DNR if it showed up on my tying desk.
12-07-2004 07:44 PM
grouseman Thanks for your time and interest. I've got materials to tie those. I'll be on the water the next 3 days and give them a try.
12-07-2004 07:35 PM
peter-s-c http://www.mountaincable.net/~pcharles/dirty-harry.jpg

a big, honkin' 4" fly on a 2/0 salmon hook for really dirty water


http://www.mountaincable.net/~pcharl...wingspey-1.jpg

a slow water natural colour spey for clear conditions -- tied on a #5 Daiichi


http://www.mountaincable.net/~pcharles/steelheadwet.jpg

Small #10 or #12 fly best tied with yellow floss and yellow dyed grizzley chickaboo collar


http://www.mountaincable.net/~pcharles/fiveoaks.jpg

small medium current, stained water fly, also on a #5 Daiichi

and the best one

http://www.mountaincable.net/~pcharl...er/weamer.html
12-07-2004 07:20 PM
grouseman Small and bright with yellow: ?buggers, bunny speys, marabou speys?
Natural slow water minnow patterns?
12-07-2004 07:07 PM
peter-s-c Nope, just a big fat, downstream belly and even some stripping at times to speed it up.

I've heard all that go slow advice too but I was fortunate to start fishing for winter steelhead with a two-hander before I had the benefit of learning that what I was doing was "wrong". It's an outgrowth of the C&D mentality that requires you to bounce a glo bug off the fish's nose.

My son had an interesting time one day, fishing a little trib east of Toronto in early spring when things were still cold. Some float rodders had been drifting roe to a pod of fish and hadn't hit one. My son, who like me knew nothing about the "right way", just treated these fish like smallies and began stripping olive buggers past them at a high rate of knots. Withing an hour or so, he and his friend had exhausted his bugger supply as these fish nailed them constantly. The float rodders apparently looked on in disgust at their constantly bent rods.
12-07-2004 06:42 PM
grouseman Have you used a riffle hitch?
I've been successful dreaddrifting woolly buggers down slots with the high stick method you mention. I've used the slap the water fast strip flee minnow tactic through the summer, especially in brown trout waters.. but hadn't thought it would work with steelhead.
It seems all the advice in these waters is to go deep and slow with bouncing or bobber methods from here on until things warm in the spring. That's what I've always done, but am tired of monofilament. Also, bobber fishing, while productive, seems aesthetically displeasing.
12-07-2004 06:35 PM
peter-s-c Or your presentation isn't fast enough to interest the fish.

Try presenting your fly one of two ways, run the fly broadside and fast, like a fleeing minnow by allowing a downstream belly to pull the fly across current. Alternately, make an upstream stack mend then hold the rod tip high and back, lowering it forward as the fly swings -- in effect "dropping" it toward the fish, creating a very slow swing. It is a fallacy to believe that steelhead won't chase fast flies in winter, but they need a few days of more or less constant temps for their metabolism to settle in. It's tough to get fish to chase flies in dropping water temps.

Change up your patterns to match water clarity. I've never been a big fan of big and bright in clear conditions. Go small and somewhat bright (yellow has worked for me) or go natural with good slow water, minnow patterns. Alternately, look at using some of the natural coloured spey flies. I think of big and bright or big and dark as stained or dirty water flies.
12-07-2004 06:25 PM
grouseman With winter fast approaching, I wonder if these "swinging" waters are where to find steelhead. I can see fish in the tailouts but have trouble getting a slow enough presentation to interest the fish. The broad, long pools/holes on the Muskegon seem perfectly suited to swinging flies/streamers. This is where I'm imagining the spey will shine, if I can get enough control on the speed of the swing.
12-07-2004 06:08 PM
peter-s-c
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjyp
You can dump these babies at your feet pick em up and shoot the heck out of them, you can also underhand them. I been doing the skagit dump or the good old double spey with them, nice thing about using the traditional casts is that the D loop is smaller due to head size.

The skagit casts are really slick with this stuff, they don't seem to stick to the water like other lines do.

I'll have to talk to Neil about these. . . .

thanks
12-07-2004 06:08 PM
peter-s-c
Quote:
Originally Posted by grouseman
Enjoying the thread. I just bought my first 2-handed rod and haven't cast it yet so am trying to soak up everything I can. What is the difference in your mind between swinging water and bottom bouncing water and indicator water?
Bottom bouncing water tends to be deep slots with heavy current where the typical fly rig simply can't get down. Indicator water is basically the same sorts of slots only shallower plus seams, current breaks, or any other defining feature that lets you run a fly and bobber down a clearly defined run that will tend to group fish. Depth is the primary difference between the two.

Good swing water tends to be flatter water where the depth is more or less constant over a wider stretch of river. It can include faster water but the depth should be more or less constant. Swinging flies is difficult over an undulating or slotted bottom unless you adapt your rig to allow you to "steer" your fly through these stretches.
12-07-2004 03:31 PM
removed_by_request
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter-s-c
What's the Guideline heads like? I have 45' of Airflo T-7 -- imagine some T-14 on the end of that would be interesting.
You can dump these babies at your feet pick em up and shoot the heck out of them, you can also underhand them. I been doing the skagit dump or the good old double spey with them, nice thing about using the traditional casts is that the D loop is smaller due to head size.

The skagit casts are really slick with this stuff, they don't seem to stick to the water like other lines do.
12-07-2004 02:51 PM
grouseman Enjoying the thread. I just bought my first 2-handed rod and haven't cast it yet so am trying to soak up everything I can. What is the difference in your mind between swinging water and bottom bouncing water and indicator water?
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