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Great Lakes Steelhead & Salmon Amazing "Inland ocean" fisheries

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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-21-2002 04:58 PM
Orvis, Rio and Cortland

Orvis, Rio, and Cortland all seel mini tips. They are specifed in different line weights or classes. Usually one brands class is different from anothers, so I stick to usually one brand. Also, if you are using only two heads, Rio's 15' sink tips with another shorter head(i.e class IV or V mini tip) combined is a great way to go.
08-21-2002 12:40 PM
sleepy weasel
Ladder sink tip

Thanks for the info. I am going to give it a shot. Will let you know how it works for me.
One question What brand sink tips are you able to buy that are 6ft long and come in designated line weights?
08-13-2002 02:05 PM
sorry, mis-interpreted

I didn't know you were a begginer or whatever. I am somewhat new to this too. I practice the casts alot when not on the water usually, and that is why I stressed this. The ladder system I do is unique. I have never seen anyone doing it, and I made it up last winter. I put some ideas together and firgued out how I could get down, yet not snag up or drag bottom and get my patterns to drift naturally. With this ladder rig, you will want a thin diamter running line since it cuts through the water the cleanest. Make sure to get a floating running line, an intermediate line tends to sag and can create a bow. You can also use a floating flyline with a loop, which I prefer to use when I need alot of punch.

Now, you must add the ladder system. I prefer buying the 3ft. and 6ft. sink tips in different sinking rates. You can do it with shooting heads cut into sections, but with pre-made heads, you can buy them as you need them and you will know the sink rate in IPS. I will buy a 6ft. section with a sink rate of 1.5 IPS(often an intermediate line) then a 6ft one with an sink rate of 2-3 IPS, then a 3ft one with a sink rate of 3-5 IPS. The first tip is looped to your flyline(1.5 IPS). You then get a 2' section of 20lb mono or braid and make two loops. Each is looped to another tip. From that loop you have the second head(2-3 IPS) with a section of mono follwoing in the same length. You then will loop your last head on (3-5 IPS). Lastly, tie on your leader, usually 4-6ft from there patterns. I usually run two nymphs or an egg and a nymph combination. Remember to expirement. Oh yeah, to prevent hinging, try to use loops that are smaller or treat them with epoxy or laquer to keep them smooth.

I will use this on my 7/8 wt rod, so this is how I set it up. I use a 7wt. head with the 1.5 IPS. Then a 7wt head with an 2-3 IPS. The lastly I use an 8wt head with a 3-5 IPS. The reason is your shortest head(3' with an 3-5 IPS) will be like the bullet taper that gets you down quickest.

Well hope this helps. I am the only one that I know who does this ladder, and maybe one day it will become popular in the Great Lakes region. Let me know how it works. I will be out on my local rivers(Clinton, Huron, Piegon, and Mill Creek) trying this out. I wonder if anyone will see what I am doing and try to take my idea??? I hope not!:hehe:
08-13-2002 12:20 PM
sleepy weasel

That is not what I meant by the casting comment. Just saying I don't do it that well or technically sound. I have just started with the two handers so I'll learn and get the casts down sometime.

I really like the sound of your stepped down ladder system sink tip. I am definitely going to give it a go. What material do you use to construct it or do you buy several shooting heads and then chop them up? If so do you prefer going a line weight up down or the same for the tips?
sleepy weasel
08-13-2002 10:40 AM

Don't get ne wrong, I am out there to get fish, and not just cast. Many times though, executing different casts allows me to present my flies in a different manor......I hope you know that sleppy weasel.... The St. Croix 7/8 seems like a perfect choice for our rivers here in Michigan. In PA and even in NY, many times you don't need a rod that large. The streams can be small, and many guys fish flies down to #18. Its a sub category of Great Lakes steelheading I feel. In Michigan when you have rivers such as the Muskegon, Manistee, and St. Joe longer casts needed to be executed. These rivers are very large, and need to often be disected into "smaller rivers." You must battle the fish and the current, and sometimes a 7/8 spey may not be enough. Anyways, indicator fishing is fun and effective that is why I do it. I also use sink tips. I have found that using my own rig is best. I call it the ladder system. You use three different sink tips with each having a different sink rate. The first section(one closest to leader and not flyline) has a sink rate of 3 IPS, then the next 2 IPS, then finally one with 1.5 IPS. Each has a section of heavy mono or running line in between. It performs better than a sink tip b/c each section I use a thin diamter running line behind it, and each section sinks faster than the first, creating no bow in your line. This resembles a Density Compensated line, but it allows you to switch heads if needed as conditions dictate. You follow with a leader of about 4-6ft. If I am fishing nymphs, I will use heavier heads to get down and drift bottom. If I am fishing speys, I will use lighter heads to erraticate the action.

I will address this presenetation at my spey school in late November or December. :hehe:
08-13-2002 09:43 AM
sleepy weasel

Your alls fish must be bigger. I wouldn't think twice about sticking the St. Croix 7/8 to a steelie or a king. Maybe you would want more on a large king in the surf but It would still be fun. I have used the rod and found it to be too much for the steelies I am fishing for (mostly the erie tribs in PA and NY). I had to use shock gum sections in my leader to keep from breaking them off with the lighter leaders while indicator fishing.

I agree on the casts and the methods. I am out there to fish not to cast. Just get that stuff out there and then mend till its right. Ususaly a single spey or a sloppy roll cast or if a double spey if current and wind make it nessecary.

I want to get away from indicator fishing but it's just to effective. I started using sink tips last year and was sucsessful at times. What are you using as tips. I have the airflo 5ft and 10ft ones. Sometimes they are not heavy enough to get down in the faster runs and pockets. I am going to get some lc-13 and cut it up into different lenghts and experiment. I believe for the fast sections of the smaller rivers a short section of the lc-13 will do.

As far a flies I use on the swing I have had success on an egg sucking leech, marabou speys, and small wet flys tied with marabou.
08-13-2002 08:43 AM

I know what you mean. I only use the longer casts when fishing the Muskegon, Manistee or St. Joe......

Also, some of the casts I have alterted, and even developed my own cast that is perfect for using the swinging method with speys and streamers.

Best to you as well!
08-12-2002 12:09 PM
pmflyfisher Dan,

I execute only those casts necessary to touch steelhead. To date I have not found it necessary to use all of the different types of casts I have seen mentioned on the spey board.

My motto is to keep it simple and get it down to their level as soon as possible and for the longest time period possible using fast sink tip lines without weighted flies, split shot, or slinkies, etc...

I am not out to impress other anglers with fancy casts, on our small to medium size great likes rivers which are the majority, I don't see the need for long fly casts except on 3 rivers which I do not fish that often.

I bet you know which ones they are ?

Seriously, I am new to spey casting, one year, but have been fly fishing for 42 years.

I will be trying to go to a spey clave to learn more soon.

Actually, right now I am more worried about my golf game.


08-11-2002 08:51 PM

What kind of casts do you execute pmflyfisher with your spey rod? Just wanted to hear some different opinions!
08-10-2002 11:03 AM
pmflyfisher Dan,

Yes on agree on the St Croix 7/8 weight in the surf it is a little light for encounters with the big kings and steelhead, would hate to see it break apart on those long runs. Good steelhead river spey rod though from my spring time experiences with it to date.

Will be looking for the 8/9 weight 13 foot spey rod though.

08-10-2002 10:33 AM

I flyfish the surf with my 13' 8/9 Redington. It is very light and has a fast tip. Plenty of punch and power combined in a easy handling spey rod. When you are casting streamers up to 12" long, you may need some power. This is what I live for, its a different breed of fishing. I have fooled around with the St. Croix 7/8 and found it has a more moderate, slower action. This will help when I am on the river, mending line and with the many casts I practice.(i.e. single spey, double spey, snap t, and reverse snake roll casts) It will be my primary indicator rod. Two friends of mine, Matt Supinski and Jon Kestner(both guides in Michigan) taught me two different ways to indicator fish using a spey rod. Both are different but effective. Spey fishing is becoming popular in our Great Lakes region. If anyone is intersted, check out the post about my spey school I am hosting.
08-10-2002 07:30 AM
pmflyfisher Yes the T&T rods I have heard are nice, but for myself I cannot justify spending over $ 300 for a fly rod. Heck I won't even spend that for a new golf driver let alone a fly rod.

I will be in the market for a spey 8/9 weight though this winter. I like the St Croix 7/8 weight but need something a little heavier for Lake Michigan surf and the king salmon.

The 7/8 weight will be my primary GL steelhead rod.

I guess all of my single handers are in retirement for a while. It hurts to see them not even get out of their cases on fishing trips now after 20 years of use. They are still in great shape.

Guess they will be my sons soon.
08-09-2002 11:48 PM
sleepy weasel
surf casting

I got the orvis 12'6" 7#. I bought it discount 270.00 when orvis discontinued the series. I never realy did like it for the spey casts or roll casting however it worked. It does overhead very well though and seems to be perfect for the great lakes surf. Even though it is listed as mid flex it's very hard and faster than that. I can throw the 35' airflo multiheads a good ways with it. The 9# ones work well. I was using it to throw large flies to spring stripers so it should be even better for great lakes surf.
I broke the thing doing somthing stupid, sent it back to orvis and they gave me a new Trident TLS version of the same rod.

I think the Thomas and Thomas 12' 8# made for shooting heads would be great for surf fishing also but it is realy up there in price.
07-24-2002 11:01 PM
pmflyfisher Dan,

I can see MS having that expensive a rod with his professional guding business but for me I cannot justify it at this time with the amount of spey fishing time I have available each year due to business and family obligations. I feel quilty now having 12 fly rods and usually 1-3 of them are used in any given year.

Guess I will just have to wait for the Porsche of spey rods for a while.

07-24-2002 10:03 PM
If I had the $$

If money grew on trees than I would have a Loomis GL3 11'6" 8wt. Europa Single Hand Spey. Perfect rod for the Great Lakes, and was brought to popularity by Matt Supinski.

Its only $650......
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