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#104107 - 12/10/04 01:00 PM Nymphing for Winter Steel
MaribuMonkey Offline
Parr

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 60
Loc: Portland
Many of us fly fisherman, myself included, have become frustrated with swinging for Winter Steel. Typically for me once the Winter Steel starts running, I start nymphing.

I'm even going to try using slinkies this winter to get the glo bugs down into the fishy zone.

Anyone else follow this pattern of primarily nymphing for winter steel?

MM

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#104109 - 12/10/04 04:53 PM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
headshakes Offline
Parr

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 42
Loc: Wales, UK
try waddington's , they get down and they yummy

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#104110 - 12/10/04 05:20 PM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
KerryS Offline
Juvenille at Sea

Registered: 07/24/01
Posts: 152
Loc: Everett, WA
Quote:
Originally posted by MaribuMonkey:


Anyone else follow this pattern of primarily nymphing for winter steel?

MM
Nope

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#104111 - 12/10/04 08:02 PM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 13144
Monkey,

Back in the days of the VFS (Virtual Fly Shop/Fly Fisherman magazine website) bulletin board, there were discussions between some Great Lakes steelheaders and us westerners about that. Not so much the use of slinkies, but "fly fishing" with conventional fly rods and reels and unconventional monofilament nylon and split shot with nymphs, glo bugs, and other flies for winter steelheading. The debate was whether such gear constituted "fly fishing" or not. My impression, being a provincial life-long PNWer, and accustomed to the old WA fly fishing regulations, was that the gear they were using wasn't fly fishing because they didn't use anything approaching a "conventional" flyline, wherein the weight of the line, rather than the weight of the lure or split shot, was being cast. They insisted, by God, that they were fly fishing, and that my well being would be at risk to argue otherwise if I was streamside in their baliwick.

So much has changed with respect to fly fishing gear, and "conventional" has become a relative term, conditioned by region and sub-culture, that I've decided that anybody who says they're fly fishing, regardless of what they're using, must be fly fishing by some definition.

Seeking a contrarian point of reference, embellished with tradition, I've decided that nobody's fly fishing anymore, unless they're casting a rod made of split cane or greenheart, a reel made in England, a fly line of silk or horsehair, gut leaders, and flies tied only with organic materials - no crystal flash, etc.

So my two-handed, carbon fibre Spey rod, Ross reel, Scientific Anglers fly line, etc. is just a highly evolved spinning outfit.

Sincerely,

Salmo g.

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#104112 - 12/10/04 11:52 PM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
jep98056 Offline
Fry

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 23
Loc: Renton

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#104113 - 12/11/04 01:16 PM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
First Light Offline
Smolt

Registered: 06/03/04
Posts: 95
Yes I have seen it all in 45 years of FF, from the bamboo traditionlists, the mono line, slinky, and nymphing etc.

I guess using a bead head nymph would not be considerd a fly these days neither. That probably eliminates about 98 % of the FF these days from being a FF. LOL

Floating line, flys unweighted and leader with no weight were the only acceptable FF methods when I started, no nymphs just wet flys and dry flys and streamers on floating line no weight of any type.

I wonder what the old timers would say I used to meet on the trout rivers who were the dry fly only anglers 40 years ago ?

laugh

FL

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#104114 - 12/11/04 04:00 PM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
topwater Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 06/28/00
Posts: 452
Loc: Rocky Mountain High
i haven't used slinkies on a fly rod, and i doubt i ever will. all you need is a shot or two to get down.

i prefer swinging, but there's a lot of water that isn't great swing water, especially small creeks. it can be a fun way to fish, and a nice change of pace from swinging (it is a less relaxing way of fishing though).

i wouldn't give up on the swing, but if you find some water that looks fishy, but is gonna be impossible to swing through... break out the glo-bug and indicator and have some fun.

on this note, if nymphing... please take note of others on the river. being a hole hog is not very nice, whether nymphing or swinging.

above all else, if you are having fun and obeying the law... who cares.

chris

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#104115 - 12/27/04 09:56 PM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
South Sound Offline
Fry

Registered: 08/13/04
Posts: 32
Loc: Tacoma
Try Polish Nymphing with a very heavy lead fly and your glo bugs tied up higher.
_________________________
Tight Lines,
Josh

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www.shorestewards.org

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#104116 - 12/28/04 01:45 AM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
Robert Allen3 Offline
Spawner

Registered: 04/23/00
Posts: 762
Loc: vancouver WA USA
Casting a slinkie on a fly rod is an abuse of the rod!! as is excessive splitshot or even too heavy of a fly. Don't complain to the manufacturer when it breaks.

if you wanna use slinkies to drift fish a fly do it with the appropriate rod not a fly rod...

First of all if you need a slinkie you are fishing water that's not fly water..

Second of all if you want to get deep on a dead drift try a sparce pattern on a mustad 7970.. This will get a fly plenty deep, then if you still aren't getting fish it's not because oh how you are fishing!!!

There is a great misunderstanding about winter steelheading, people coming from the trout of even summer steelhead backgrounds seem to think that if they don't have immediate of consistent success that they are doing something wrong.. Fact of the matter is fly fishing for winter steelhead is TOUGH!!! You're not going to get bit very often.. If the frequency of your hookup's is not up to your standards then maybe winter steelhead fly fishing isn't your thing...
Winter steelheading is ALL about perserverence, discipline and even an enthusiasm for an unproductive day. Now i am not saying this to be mean or elietist but if what matters to you is putting fish on the bank then by all means put the fly rod down!!!

no one else will say it so I will.. using a slinkie on a fly rod is not and cannot be considered fly fishing. It's drift fishing end of story, all that said I love drift fishing when done with the appropriate gear...

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#104117 - 12/28/04 08:02 PM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
First Light Offline
Smolt

Registered: 06/03/04
Posts: 95
Have to agree on the slinkie thing on a fly rod since as they say BTDT 20 years ago though.

After 25 years of fly fishing winter steelhead I have come to the conclusion that yes you can touch fish swinging flys on sink tips but in the very cold waters of winter steelhead rivers the fish are basically anchored to the bottom and will usually only move for a fly when it hits them on the noggin and irritates them.

I have now convinced myself that in these conditions that a right angle nymphing set up under an indicator will definitely produce more strikes since the fly is being slowed down by the weight and more natural drift through the rivers currents is obtained along which the steelhead usually align in the current breaks.

I proved it again the last two times out in December under cold water conditions. Started swinging no results after 4 hours changed to right angle nymph indicator set up and started touching fish in the same water.

Maybe its coincident but I am starting to think not and my friends are coming to the same deduction.

My 2 cents FWIW

FL

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#104118 - 12/29/04 01:12 PM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 13144

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#104119 - 12/30/04 02:08 AM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
cupo Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 1060
Loc: north sound

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#104120 - 12/30/04 11:24 AM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
Robert Allen3 Offline
Spawner

Registered: 04/23/00
Posts: 762
Loc: vancouver WA USA
Salmo G

Then by that ligic there is no difference between gear fishing and flyfishing.. Would that be your argument? In which case why even have the word flyfishing?

If you are right then i have caught thousands of winter steelhead while fly fishing. In fact i caught obe day before yesterday on a pink maroubou fly with an 3/16 pz lead head fished under a thrill strile indicator of a 8'6" rod and mono line..

My only point is that there is a difference between flyfishing and gear fishing. Not a difference of ethical value but a difference of the physical nature of the fishing itself. That difference is the cast! In gear fishing it's the weight of the lure of bait or added weights that load the rod and make the cast possible..
In flyfishing it is the line itself that loads the rod and makes the cast possible..
Therefore anytime that they fly or any attatchment is what loads the rod and makes the cast possible one is no longer flyfishing but is gear fishing..

Here is what gets me. people are so anxious to be called flyfishermen that it bothers them to be called otherwise. Yet at the same time they are so frustrated by their attempts to catch fish flyfishing that they insist on usung gear fishint tactics to catch fish yet still insist on being called flyfishermen.. What's up with that? People are either stuck on the idea that they have to catch a fish eery time they go out or they are so inlove with the idea of being called flyfishermen that they get offended when someone tell them they aren't.

Now people can do whatever they want it's no concern to me I just think it's funny that their egos and identities are so wrapped up in it...
now i am talking about people in general not necessarily anyone on this post who are all people i have never met...

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#104121 - 12/30/04 04:48 PM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
KerryS Offline
Juvenille at Sea

Registered: 07/24/01
Posts: 152
Loc: Everett, WA
A sink tip is a hunk of lead that has been elongated to 15 or so feet to facilitate casting with a fly rod.

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#104122 - 12/30/04 05:01 PM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
PhishPhreak Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 06/19/01
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Bend, WA
"Is there really any fundamental difference between your right angle nymphing set up and just running a mono leader off the flyline? That is, how real do you think the right angle is compared to a leader from the end of the line to an indicator and thence to the fly?"

I use a customized corkie to 'right angle' fishing sometimes. Does it make a difference? Depends. The other day I was fishing egg patterns - tiny eggs, very little weight. I was fishing in slack water and on the inside\soft edge of the seam line. You could clearly see the egg 'flies' hanging direcly below the 'indicator'. I could quickly adjust for depth and have confidence that I was in the zone - even when I cast out past where I could actually view the flies. You still have to mend the line as you would when float and jig fishing, but the mending did little to raise the fly out of the zone.

As I began working faster water, the confidence of the depth the flies diminished. In that instace, I took off my indicator and added some split shot to just roll the eggs along the bottom - using line mending techniques to keep the flies down deep.

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#104123 - 12/30/04 09:05 PM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 13144
RA3,

I long ago decided to have no argument. Yes, I do think there is a difference between spin fishing and fly fishing. I've just decided it isn't worth my time to argue about it.

I prefer the feel and rithym of fly casting with a fairly traditional fly line, and I have no quarrel with those who want to cast slinkies and mono. I do want to give some serious effort to the nymphing technique, even if it means using a weighted fly or a split shot, just so that I can be a more well rounded and experienced angler.

I liked Kerry's suggestion that a 15' sinktip is just a long piece of pencil lead. Maybe so, as it contributes to the weight of the line that loads the fly rod. Ah, does anyone really care?

Sincerely,

Salmo g.

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#104124 - 12/30/04 09:13 PM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
Robert Allen3 Offline
Spawner

Registered: 04/23/00
Posts: 762
Loc: vancouver WA USA
Salmo G.. I didn't meant to come across as argumentative.. more like a debate around a campfire:).. I understand that in the grand scheme of things this is a meanigless topic:)

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#104125 - 01/01/05 03:48 PM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
Peter Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 443
Loc: Gig Harbor,WA
I normally don't tell my secrets but guys on this web-site are a little nicer then other fly-websites. So here you go...

I was once told by a Flyfishing Steelhead guru to use a heavy-weighted #4 rubberlegged stone fly-nymph, then tie a dropper of 2' of floro, then add whatever you want on the end. I normally use #18/20 prince nymph,etc.

This rig is DEADLY in any med/slow moving water or pools. Dead drift it as long as you can, then swing toward the end.

Good luck!

Peter <><
_________________________
Matthew 4:19

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#104126 - 01/01/05 05:56 PM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
Nailknot Offline
Smolt

Registered: 01/16/03
Posts: 89
Loc: Seattle
Uhhhhh Peter? Using stones for winter steel is no secret. In fact its quite a popular and old technique (see the Kaufman Stone #4). But thanks for bringing it up- a nice option instead of egg fly.

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#104127 - 01/02/05 11:31 AM Re: Nymphing for Winter Steel
First Light Offline
Smolt

Registered: 06/03/04
Posts: 95
Yes that nymphing technique has been around for over 20 years, myself don't care to use two flys very often, due to all of the snags (sunken logs and trees etc) where I fish. Seems like I am losing more time retying flys on and off with two flys not worth it, losing all that fishing time over the course of a day.

I usually fish with one heavily weighted nymph type fly. Well not all of the time just when I really want to touch some fish.

FL

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