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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been weighting my flies the normal way with weighted thread and bead eyes but I'm thinking about becoming a purist.

So I have discovered that heavily silk flossed bodies provides good weighting and dog hair when weight is very heavy.

Are there other natural ways?
And where can I find dog hair except in Europe?

All help is appreciated.

Angie :)
 

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Sparse ties with heavy wire hooks ride low in the column all by themselves, I was surprised to hang up on a floating line with a long leader using a purple peril style fly tied on a winter hook. In other words, the way the fly is dressed has a big effect on this even when unweighted.

Silk bodies sound good, never heard the dog hair thing though... fox and badger is popular for wings in the atlantic maritimes for hairwings.
 

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I thought this is what sink tips were made for. I don't like heavy wire hooks. I think the heavy wire hinders penetration. I use light wire hooks, mostly Alec Jackson, and if I need the fly down I use a sink tip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Don't get smart with me, Sir! :)

I don't like using such heavy sink tips, shortens my distance, and you know how distance counts on the Skagit.

Hey, just curious what line set up are you using?

One day on the Sauk this year I saw some joker with such a horrible line system that he couldn't even get it out of the water. Or it could of been his castin ability.

I'm using the windcutter with interchangeable tips and I just LOVE IT!
 

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Hey! That joker was me. What gives here? I also use the windcutter. I find that a sink tip doesn't affect my distance. Of course I need to be able to cast for distance before it would have any affect. The key for me is to get the tip up on the surface.
 

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Although there's a lot more stripping involved, you can throw big sink tips using a head configuration. This is a good option for winter fishing, although like I mentioned before you need to pull in a lot of line between casts after a drift on a big river like the Skagit.

Can't have everything, big sinking tips - head, lots of stripping.

Long line Spey casts - lighter tips.

Best time of all - dry line, dry fly. Gotta love summer runs.
 

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Angie (06-27-2001 04:46 p.m.):

One day on the Sauk this year I saw some joker with such a horrible line system that he couldn't even get it out of the water. Or it could of been his castin ability.
Try to antagonize me ALL YOU WANT, I do not care! :)
 

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Angie (06-27-2001 04:46 p.m.):
One day on the Sauk this year I saw some joker with such a horrible line system that he couldn't even get it out of the water. Or it could of been his castin ability.
I have not modified a single post in the history of this discussion board, and I would really appreciate if I didn't have to start now.

It's great having another lady with us on FlyTalk, so let's talk about fishing Angie! Sounds like you take your fishing seriously.

You mentioned saltwater in one of your posts... do you fish the saltchuck for coho as well? (one of my favorite topics). I'll tell you if we had a fishery like that anywhere else in the world it would be the main attraction. I guess there is so much in the PNW that it's highly under-rated. I can't believe how many times I would go to Sekiu or Neah Bay and be the only flyfisherman out there on a kicker boat!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What were you going for at Seiku cohos or those fun rock fish or are they sea bass, all I know is that they are fun, ugly, and taste really good.

I have two saltwater patterns that kick juju...

One is your basic herring fly with a twist (red flash on the breast makes it look wounded) and a jiggy white fly for them bass/rockfish.

What's the largest coho you've gotten trolling them kelp beds? I got a 7 pounder once, what a surprise!

I'm sorry you had to actually edit a post, it seems wherever I post, there is some stalker dude that follows me and says the grossest stuff. I can't believe anyone would do that. Maybe some men are just jealous of a woman fisherman. Who knows? My philosophy?

If it swims and fights, I'm going after it.

Maybe one day I'll find Aquaman.... Hee Hee
 

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I used to fish windcutters until i found out how limited they are in their ability to cast at long distance. A friend of mine is casting an average of 140 feet without shooting any line.. There is no way around it distance comes through skill and proper technique not products and gimics.

As for flies, i can only assume you are talking about winter fishing because there is no reason to use weighted flies in the summer. I recently caught 2 fish from 8 feet of water on the cowlitz both came all the way to the surface to take a fly.

For winter fishing flies can be dressed as stated above on heavy wire hooks such as the partridge M. Also sparce ties can also aid in faining depth tinsle bodies and hackle wings are a great way to go.. Also avoid bucktail or deer hair they are both very bouyant.
 

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Hey Roballen--

Can your buddy actually FISH at 140 feet? I've found that my effective line control in most runs is more like 70 or 80 feet max, so I have yet to see the point of casting huge distances. (Of course that could be a rationalization of my lousy casting). In all seriousness, I think most people can cast farther than they can fish, which may be why some of the most beautiful casters catch fewer fish than guys who keep it close. Maybe the temptation to let it fly is too great when you have amazing casting skills...maybe I will find out when I get those skills...

Skookum
 

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An excellent point. My point was not that casting further translates to more hook ups or that casting extreme distances is a good idea for fishing. 140 feet is very likely farther than anyone ever needs to cast or fish but i know of a couple places where one coule easily fish such casts and control it., My point was that he casts further by his ability and proper technique not by using a shooting head such as the windcutter which is difficult to fish at ranges over 90 feet.. I found that for me the windcutter covered up a lot of casting faults. since i have quit using the wind cutter my casting has improved and i now cast further more easily with a DT than my windcutter. I'd be willing to bet than many people are in the same boat.
 

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the myth of the uncontrollable shooting heads

Okay, I'll wade in...

I agree that longbellied DT or Spey lines are better line control tools for distance casting using conventional line control methods. But don't write off those shooting heads just yet...

I used to believe that you couldn't control heads at distance. I stuck to long-bellied Spey lines and got pretty good at casting them a long way as I believed that casting far with such lines gave me an advantage over others, especially people using heads. Heck, I'm even on record on the other BBs as saying that you need a long-bellied line, you can't control shooting heads etc.

Then I met Derek Brown, Per Stadigh and Dec Hogan. All are superb casters and anglers, all cast in different styles, and all demonstrated to me that you can in fact control those shooting heads quite well out beyond 100ft. To prove the point, Derek threw a full sinking 50ft head across the Thompson's Graveyard Pool a few years back and was able to do pretty much what he wanted with it. Per has written about his methods with 45ft heads and the Scandinavian casting styles on the ISC BB. And Dec chucked a Windcutter over 100ft across the Skagit last August to show me how he controls the drift. No problem.

Briefly, all three used a variation of the method skilled drift fishers use when bottom bouncing: rod tip up, keeping as much line off the water as possible and maintain a direct contact with the head. Once they have the line doing what they want they drop the rod and fish out the cast in the conventional manner. I should note that all advocated seriously examining the need for mending--on many steelhead runs, apart from a reach mend while the line is still in the air and/or an initial mend to straighten everything out, they don't monkey around with the line any more than they have to.

So while I once was a long liner and still enjoy long-bellied Spey lines and picking up and throwing those big casts on the Thompson's giant pools, these days I'm experimenting more with the Underhand method and 35ft - 45ft shooting heads. I'm still learing the techniques, so I can still cast farther with long-bellied lines, but I'm now out over 100ft with the heads and am finding that by employing the line control methods that best suit this line system I'm doing just fine.
 

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Dana,

Interesting perspective on heads. I have followed the debate on ISC and agree that using Per’s method, the Windcutter style lines can be effectively mended well out into the running line. I would also agree that many anglers, myself included, often put too much emphasis on mending through the drift.

For me personally, the decision on heads vs. long bellied lines comes down to one of convenience. I gladly prefer the ability to not strip and shoot on every cast over the extra distance and casting ease that a head offers. If I need to shoot, I still can but especially in winter, it sure is nice not to touch the line.

My .02
Duggan
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Casting the farthest does not increase your chances for fish...

I'm gonna disagree with you on that one Robbie.

Steelhead hold in close to shore no ifs, ands or buts... If they are holding out in the middle of the river they are in a deep bloody pocket that you're gonna need a big heavy fly to get down to them, because I doubt they'll notice a fly skimming the surface OR THEY ARE HOLDING IN A TAIL OUT and that's usually in the spawning beds and you shouldn't be fishing for them there in the first place.

I also wouldn't be calling them interchangeable sink tips on the windcutters shooting heads, I've cast shooting head concotions and they cast a heck of a lot easier.

As for long distance hooking a fish, unless that fish is suicidal you won't have as good a hook up as with a fish closer in. It applies with spoons also. Greater chance of a losing the fish.

As for using weighted flies for summerruns, of course you use them. What about glacier melt? What about deep frog water pools if it's too warm?

And remember Rob, I'm debating with you and when debating one person wins and one person loses, but the fun part is the DEBATE. :)
 

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I prefaced my original post by saying i was referring to summer runs!

water over 8 feet deep is not fly water. Unless your Jim Teeny ( insert slanderous but true remark)

steelhead are willingly move for 8 feet for a fly ( go fish the Umpua)

combine those two facts and you have no need to fish a weighted fly in the summer. I never fish weighted flies summer or winter! As for colored water there is nothing a weighted fly can do that a sink tip can't unless you are nymphing. And we all know how you feel about nymphing and i agree. One of the rivers I fish the most in summer is heavily influenced by glacial run off possibly more than any other river in Washington state. Even in the worst conditions i do not use a weighted fly and have good success.

While what you say about where fish hold in the river may be true on large rivers and winter steelhead. I find it to be completely untrue on smaller rivers and most summer steelhead streams. The winter run I caught on the Sauk 2 years ago took my fly about 100 feet from shore she moved about 7 feet vertically to take the fly which was unweighted and fished on a light sink tip. I had an identicle experience on the Hoh this last Feb.. Aggressive steelhead will move for a fly regardless of the conditions or water clarity. I have also found no difference in hooking to landing ratio between fish hooked at long or short distances.

As we are talking primarily about summer fish the spawning issue is a non issue.

I didn't post my message to debate anything. I just know from my experience and from what i have seen of others that the heavy, short bellied windcutter hides many casting faults.. They become readily apparent when you start to throw a double taper.
The reason that that is important to me is because when i started spey casting i told myself that i was going to learn to do it right. I simply think that often people learn what i call the windcutter chop. Which is fine if thats all someone wants to do but it wont work with a DT or long belly weight forward spey line.

PS. you will not catch many fish on the umpqua if you don't wade above your knees, or on the Deschutes for that matter.
 

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Casting the farthest does not increase your chances for fish...

Angie (07-02-2001 02:00 p.m.):
I'm gonna disagree with you on that one Robbie.

<good stuff snipped...>

And remember Rob, I'm debating with you and when debating one person wins and one person loses, but the fun part is the DEBATE. :)
Yet in debate, there is not always a winner and loser. Sometimes there are two winners. This occurs when the exchange brings something to light from which both can gain.

I can name several pools where 80+ foot casts over 6-8 feet of water fished with dry lines and light flies on light wire hooks produces explosive strikes from summer runs, and the above mentioned Cowlitz is one of these.

I can also name much shallower, skinnier or otherwise surface fly looking water that won't produce a thing unless you're down and dirty.

IMHO there is no general rule that can be applied to every situation, only the fun of untangling the mystery of each and the total sense of accomplishment in the milestone of landing each and every steelhead on a fly.

Hope there are fireworks on your lines this holiday!
 

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"Spey" Lines

I completely agree with Rob about the Windcutter hiding casting faults that later become apparent when you switch to a long-bellied line. I think a similar problem happens when one learns with a long-bellied DT line and then switches to a long-bellied Spey line. Because of the somewhat inefficient design of LBDTs, casters tend to put more muscle into things, especially when attempting extreme distance, and this causes problems with the more efficient LBSLs. I see these things happening all the time at the schools I teach in the spring as anglers switch from line-to-line looking for the perfect set up that will allow them to cast farther with less effort. The inevitable frustration is only lessened when we find a line they are comfortable with (which is usually the one they brought along) and go back to the basics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Windcutters & long distance hooking...

If you think about the physics of long distance hooking and the angle of the hook set, as I've said before, if you have a suicide fish, and most of them wonderful summerruns are, you're not going to get a very strong hook set. And I'd hate to say this on a fly fishing forum, but when fishing spoons the same physics apply.

I'm going to quote one of the members of this board. Kerry... "You can make fly fishin as easy and as hard as you want to." Only being at it for four years now, I'm making it as easy as I can.

When I get bored, like I did with gear going to fly fishin, I'll just switch to dry flies for everything (including winterruns LOL).

That's the beauty of fly fishing and all fishing you can challenge yourself.

As for Windcutters, I wouldn't mind going out and spending some dollars on a new set up. How about pointing me in the direction of a whole new system, please? I'd love to try something different.

As for brute strength in casting, (ever see Scott O'donald cast, what a nightmare) I put no muscle into it at all. It's all in your form and timing. Period.

As for the Deschutes and wading high... I still don't, but I know every pocket on that river, too bad it's too crowded now, I won't even bother with it.
 

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I agree spey casting should when done right take very little physical effort. The best casts i have ever made have all been after relaxing and not forcing it. However forcing it seems a natural response problems with casting but that doesn't make it work.

Angie if you want a new spey outfit for all around fishing I recommend the Burkheimer 9143-3 and an accelerator spey line. probably the 8-9-10. and find an old Hardy Marquis salmon#2.

I think the accellerator is about as good of a compromise as you can find in a production line. A little bit longer that the windcutter but is still easy to cast.

Angie you are right about the Deschutes but don't be discouraged the crowd is really only there for August and September. As soon as hunting season starts the crowds pretty much dissapear and they concentrate on the river upstream of maupin. There are still plenty of fish in the lower river where there are virtually no fishermen. I have caught steelhead clear down at moody as late as december 27th
 
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