We need to be a wee bit less puritanical when the water is 34 degrees and I hope you will excuse me for doing so. By swinging flies I mean that I was using a 7 weight 13 foot two hander and casting with single and double spey style. Casts started slightly up river allowing the fly to sink to the desired fishing point. Slowing down the drift and swing were critical.
Floating Double Taper
5 feet 10 pound Floro
Small Barrel Swivel
3 Feet 4 or 6 pound Floro
If the fly is not weighted then a small amount of weight needs to be added above the swivel. We were picking locations that were not too deep and not too crowded.
We did try soft hackles and some streamer flies and woolies but the ones that worked were nymphs and eggs.
This trip was more in the desire to fish in a style as close to what I have been told is possible in April.
Maybe you can help me understand this type of fishing a bit. It seems to me, and I am by no account a Steelhead expert, that no matter what fly you are casting it is all about food imitation. I can feel that there must be a level of difference between a Lady Caroline and a copper top nymph, but what I cannot understand is the level of sophisticated difference. I would love to hear a passionate Steelhead reasoning.
I plan to go give it a try again in April. I'm trying to find my place in this fishing style and am working very hard to stop being an Atlantic salmon snob....