Scratching the surface... - Fly Fishing Forum
Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum No such thing as rainbow trout, only landlocked steelhead

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  #1  
Old 04-26-2004, 11:05 PM
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Scratching the surface...

This is part two of the sinktip post. When do you all switch to a floater? Is it governed primarily by the calendar, the water temp. or ???

I usually will make the switch within a day or two of the Fourth of July. Usually by then the water temps are in the low 50s. I used to follw the Haig-Brown 55 degree guidance but now feel that once it crosses 50 you are good to go. Once I switch, I likely will not go back to a tip until November or later unless the river is way up and near out.

As my name says, I do enjoy swinging a tip and a sunk fly but after a long winter and spring of throwing the big rods, it is sure nice to toss the seven weight around for a few months with a floater and long leader.
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  #2  
Old 04-26-2004, 11:14 PM
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When I feel like it, weather, water level, pace, etc. A couple of years ago when the rains were late and the rivers low I took a screamer on the EFL swinging a dry line in December on a low water pattern.

andre
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Old 04-26-2004, 11:15 PM
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I usually go the third week of June and do not pay attention to water temps all that much.

For me I feel it depends more on water clarity. All during the summer I will switch to poly leaders if the water is less than 4' of vis.

I also try to figure out what Leland is using since he seems to catch all the available fish in the snoqualmie ever summer.

Just over a month away...

-sean
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Old 04-26-2004, 11:29 PM
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I usually switch in July. It all depends on snowmelt for me.
At the rate the weather an rain is going it may be June 1st.
I never have checked temp.

Kevin
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Old 04-26-2004, 11:29 PM
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ST,

Does that not imply you would have to switch to begin with???

In all honesty I have been messing around with the floater for year round fishing over the past 3 years. After some superb coaching the past couple of springs it's a done deal. No more tips for steelhead under any conditions.

When to start concentrating on fishing near surface to dry? Anytime for summer fish. The village idiot exists.

William
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  #6  
Old 04-27-2004, 09:40 AM
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William,

My apologies for the assumption that anyone needs to switch at any time. I know there are those that fish the floater all season. And also those poor misguided souls that fish a tip all year long.

You are not dead drifting are you for winter fish? (Not that there is anything wrong with it. :hehe: ) If not, could you share your thoughts on keeping a swung sunk fly sunk. Not wanting you to give up techniques just your thoughts on the appeal of it.

I do admire the no tips at all approach but I must admit that I like fishing a tip and all that goes with it. I also really enjoy a floater and its joys but there will always be some attraction to the feel of swimming a tip through a run. It just seems like winter steelheading to me.
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Old 04-27-2004, 11:25 AM
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species/

this is a loaded question for me,,,like ,what about the angle of the sun,,,midday,the summers are low,time to add weight,,,no ONE level is going to suffice for all areas all the time,,this is the reason the `upper Rogue' fishers use a weighted pattern on the leader;the water is colder coming out of the dam,it'll be 42 degrees ,while the mid. will be 60 plus!;metabolism,,versus light conditions,many other factors,,all secret of course
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Old 04-27-2004, 12:30 PM
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God, Sinktip you know how I hate these types of threads.

But I will have to say that the beauty of the sink tip is it fits perfectly with the bleakness of winter steelhead fishing. One must have a strong soul and a sound body to be a winter fisherman. Rain, snow, cold winds, ever present gray skies and knowing that sucsess is not in the few fish taken each year. If you think about it long enough the concept of fishing such a device as a sink tip fits right in in a confortable way with a day on the winter river.

Under certain melodies it is the proper dance step to take. But winter fishers are slowly finding out just because it has been said many times by more famous fishers of the past that the sink tip is a must between November and May that this is not always true.

Winter water temps may not be the factor that we all have come to believe. 38 degrees could mean nothing in the future and visability could be a more deciding factor in one deciding to fish low or floating. And even vis may not be that big of a factor if we have the courage to observe long enough throughout the winter months what is going on the river that one fishes. Is the floating line not utilized enough in Winter? Also is it a falicy that Sound fish do not come to the surface as freely as fish in other worlds? I'm not going to say on any of the above but it will always be the same if we keep believing that we must fish as others have said. I do not mean that the tradition should be broken I am not talking about the evil dead drift on a floating line. But if anyone thinks that R H Brown would roll over in his grave if we swung a floating line in winter I think you would be wrong. And just for the record I would be very happy camper if all of you keep chucking sink tips all winter long especially Sinktip.
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2004, 12:41 PM
beau purvis beau purvis is offline
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"bleakness of winter" personaly,I prefer winter when the goldeneyes and sawbills are serching for chum fry.there are more eagles around looking for scraps of the chum fry parents.There are Elk in the field near concrete.there are more misty, low pressure, mojo days with fewer fishermen. the ones that are out and about seem more real and hardy and committed to the sport.Give me a feb-march day anytime!Beau
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  #10  
Old 04-27-2004, 12:45 PM
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Depends

mostly on the water conditions for me. I actually don't worry much about water temps when using tips/floater. My main concern is water depth vs clarity. I mostly use a tip most of the fall/winter. But have had conditions (in recent years) that warranted a dryline and a slow sinking fly because waters were so low and clear. Even fished some on the surface with success in recent years.

I'm wondering how much Inland fishes the OlyPen? LOL. You must cast WAY upstream with ALOT of mends and a heavily weighted fly (or tied on an oversized hook). I've tried the McMillan method a bit. But not the success as a sinktip on those heavy glacial streams. I know I have a hard enough time getting the fly down on some rivers (Hoh and Duc come to mind) with heavy sinktips. I don't like weighting my flies. As mentioned, I have started trying the McMillan method undertying a larger fly hook to help add to the sinkrate on a floater. Has worked great for summerrun fishing. But didn't work well for winters (didn't get a chance to try it this winter).

Sinktip, if Inland is using McMillan's method, you should see if you can find his book. Think it's steelhead and the dryline (or something like that). Is some very interesting reading. I have a copy, but damned hard to find. I'd loan mine out, but afraid I wouldn't get it back, and looked long and hard to find it. It's not the Jock Scott forward book either.
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  #11  
Old 04-27-2004, 01:33 PM
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Sinktip,

For me, it depends on water flow and clarity whether I use a floater or a sink tip for summer runs. Some years it is the first of June, other years it is mid-July. And it is subject to change if we get a rain heavy enough to color up the river.

Fishing dry or greased line with low-water flies is different still. Water temp is the key for using dries/skaters or low-water wets fished greased line. I've not done well with either of these until the water temp is in the mid-50's. Once the water temp reaches 55-56 degrees, I fish nearly exclusively with skaters or low-water wets greased line style, provided the water is clear.

I use water clarity and flow and water temp for the decision to fish floating or sink tip and for fishing skaters/low-water greased line on all rivers I have fished. The floating line, used as mentioned above, has worked as well for me on our Puget Sound rivers, the Olympic Penisula rivers, the east-side Cascade rivers, and the Southwest WA rivers when the river temp is mid-50's or higher.
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Old 04-27-2004, 02:01 PM
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ST,

I am just a rank beginner with McMillan's dry line method for winter fish. And because of that I am not able to comment on the technicalities. Between his DryLine book and the one large article in Wild Steelhead and Salmon there is enough info to get a good head start. Doug Rose's new OP book has a bunch of the new McMillan flies but did a real poor job of explaining the method. He believes John McMillan is using the dead drift to get his fish, which is entirely incorrect.

William
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  #13  
Old 04-27-2004, 02:01 PM
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SH69,

I have read Bill's book and agree it is a good read. I am less concerned with the mechanics of the floater in winter and more with the aesthetics of it.

Beau,

I agree 100%

OC,

You are welcome to fish a floater anytime you want when we are fishing together. And I will even let you go through first ---- 50% of the time.
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  #14  
Old 04-27-2004, 02:20 PM
Leland Miyawaki Leland Miyawaki is offline
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I took my the tip lines off my reels two weeks ago and they are nicely coiled in a ziplock bag and stored in a drybox way back in the corner of a dark closet. I don't care what the water temp, height or clarity is it's dryline time. So what if I'll be using my heavier wets for awhile? I'll just swing them slowly. Hallelujah dudes, it's summer steelhead time!

Leland.
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  #15  
Old 04-27-2004, 02:42 PM
beau purvis beau purvis is offline
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My first attempt at fly fishing was all the McMillan technique.He was at the greased line in vancouver.I started in the spring tieing winter hopes on heavy hooks.Used a floater and stack mended a dead drift.When the water warmed I switched to steelhead caddis skated. this was all on the east lewis, wind, kalama, wash,toutle.Mark Noble at greased line got me started on that style with all the materials and technique.I have a great picture somewhere in my files of a tremendous E.Fork Lewis springer caught by Pete Tronquet on a stack mended drift.Beau
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