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Discussion Starter #1
I need some info guys!!!! I have fished steelies for a long time, but never with a flyrod....and although I have flyfished lakes and streams for trout (ie: skagit, sumallo, etc.) I've never applied this to steelies. What I want to know is what is a good set up, not a starter set up, but something I would be happy with for years-like my centerpin/sage drift rod. Also what about techniques? Obviously the types of water I fish would be different somewhat from my drift rod right? Any help would be great, I'm assuming I'll have a lot of questions once some replies are put up, so please be patient!
Thx in advance,
Rib :)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ok here's my impression of a good setup....
9 wt rod with fighting butt, reel with interchangeable spools, 1 w/ 10 ft sink tip, the other spool w/ floating line
or would a Spey rod be better????? Anyone have the hindsight that comes with experience and is willing to comment?
 

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Spey and fly fishing are kinda two different worlds for me as I like both. Ideally you want a rod with a fighting butt. The rod of choice I went with is a Sage XP796 (7 weight) as most sages are stiff, so I loaded that with an 8 weight 300 grain 24 foot sink tip Rio line. I put an Islander LX 3.8 on as my reel and is it ever a sweet set up ! This will last me the rest of my life. Lotsa guys say you need all different grain heads and in different lengths but I disagree completely. Just adjust the angle of your presentation to the flow (speed) of the current, in turn determining how quickly you get on bottom, which is where you want to be, especially for winter steelies. A summer run steelie will go 10 feet to take a fly, as they are aggressive and are readily feeding since they will be in the system until the following spring, winter runs however are not as aggressive, USUALLY, so you need to pretty much bump 'em in the nose. The most important thing I can help a guy out with is telling them to wade out until you are about a foot away from that "seam" that all current creates, especially for summer runs because after that fly swings, 50% of your hookups will come after the first strip in to retrive your line, so actually be fishing it when you bring it in, they will follow it and watch it for so long, and then when it "escapes" that predatory instinct kicks in from when they were juveniles. Then you can get into skating hair wings for summers (on a dry line) , which is a whole new story. For that I just purchased an extra spool for my reel, loaded with my line of choice. Hope this helps a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
24 ft sink tip!!!? Holy $$#%#$! Here I was thinking ten foot would be fine :lol: :lol: :lol: When you are talking grain, that's the "weight" of the head/sink tip? Ie: How quickly it sinks right? So you could get a heavier grain/shorter head and mend it like mad up stream couldn't you? whereas with the longer sink tip you could more swing it across the pool.... is that kinda the idea?
Thx,
Rib
 

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oops!
 

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i am no expert at this
but this is my set up and it worked real well for me
I have a 9.5ft 8wt temple fork t i with fighting but(it saved my arms)
and i use a large arbour reel with versa tip and found that as soon as i switched to a faster sinking tip and i got my line in a straight flow at the end of the swing, bang
some times i hit bottom if i mended my line too mutch
I have picked up lots of tips from the guys on the water
Bergler,Fish Finder and some i just chatted to most are keen to help
Good luck Ribwart and maybe we will meet on the river
 

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ribwart Posted: Thursday 06th of April 2006 04
Ok here's my impression of a good setup....
9 wt rod with fighting butt, reel with interchangeable spools, 1 w/ 10 ft sink tip, the other spool w/ floating line
or would a Spey rod be better????? Anyone have the hindsight that comes with experience and is willing to comment
?

A 9 weight rod would do just fine for steelhead and salmon. A rod with a fighting butt is deffinately a good idea. The best option for line and tips would be the Versa Tip system made by Rio. You'll get all the tips needed fishing the flows and different water conditions. By going this route you'll eliminate the need for packing around extra cartridges....
ribwart Posted: Wednesday 05th of April 2006 08
What I want to know is what is a good set up, not a starter set up, but something I would be happy with for years-like my centerpin/sage drift rod. Also what about techniques? Obviously the types of water I fish would be different somewhat from my drift rod right
It all depends how much $$$ you're willing to drop to get a good set up. The types of water you'll want to fish will be a bit different from a drift set up....typically the slower runs of the lower river (Vedder) are better suited for the fly. In the dead of winter it's all about getting the fly down into the lower portion of the water column. Fishing slower runs will help get and keep the fly down where you need it to be longer..In the spring beeing on the bottom isn't a factor as the fish tend to be more aggressive

making the jump from drift fishing to fly fishing for steelhead is more times than not a slow process, as they can be a fish of a thousand casts on the fly..However once you start nailing them on the single hander you won't want to go back...

Finder :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So this versa tip system by rio is that the one where your main flyline stays constant, and you can interchange different grains depending on conditions? I guess in a way like changing a leader for drift fishing, just no tying involved right?


Also, another thing I am wondering is this. For those of you who started flyfishing for steelies recently, and also recently achieved success, what were some of the most significant hurdles while fishing with the new technique? IE: you know how whenever you are trying something new there are always a few epiphanies that lead to success, or problems that you have to overcome? What were some of those that you guys have encountered along the way?
Thx guys,
rib
 

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yep kind'a like that.. and theres no tying invloved..just a loop system.. only you'd be changing the different tips depending on the different situations...The tips them selves are all the same grains depending on what weight line you'll need...So for instance if you buy a 9 weight system for a 9 weight fly rod, then all your 9 weight tips that will come with it would be 129 grains. Type 3, 6, 8, and a clear ghost tip.

One big hurdle that I had to over come when I first started out was, sticking with it. There can be a lot of fishless days before sucsess is acheived for winter runs...that's why spring time is a little more suited for a begginer with more aggresive fish, as opposed to the dead of winter where getting and keeping your fly down is important...
It was very tempting to pick up the drift rod, especially when you see other anglers hammering fish drifting roe, bugs ect... Yes you sometimes give up the numbers swinging flys for steelhead compared to floating roe, but it's well worth it in the end..I'd gladly give up 10 fish on gear for 1 on the fly any day...Sounds crazy, but when you get that fly rod bent on some steel it's all worth it..

Finder :wink:
 

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Yeh Fish Finder is right about sticking with it
I dont take my drift rod out when i want to fly fish :)

The next hurdle is getting the right drift mending your line just enough and not too often
What you want is the fly to be flowing with the water as natural as possible

A good tip i got from Fish Finder was as your drift finishes you need a bit of line loose in your hand to let out so that the fly is not pulled up out of the zone as the line straightens

Then getting the right fly for the type of water,clear water dark fly, dark water bright fly

The right tip to get you down in the zone but not too quick that you are hitting the bottom

Then the right water to fish

yikes i think i am going on too mutch :?
Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thx Britguy, good info fer sure! I can't wait to give it a go....maybe I'll get out there in may, I'm assuming the crowds will be gone at that point....
 

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I purchased a 12'6", 8 wt , LOOP blue off of Bergler and this was a good choice for me. It allows me to fish either fly or gear on the same rod , I can simply switch from my centre pin to fly reel in minutes and both styles fish well on this rod.
I also own a handful of 9 wt nd 8 wt rods, but once you chuck a spey line , going back to the short rod is not as enjoyable and really lacks in post cast line control (compared to a long rod).
Bergler has his Spey day coming and anyone interested in trying it out should attend, trying out different rods and having someone help you cast, will be of huge benefit.
One thing I would like to mention and please try not to be offended, is that all those fish stacked in the canal are causing a bit of a problem. Alot of fisherman are down there catching fish and wile some are biting, many are being flossed, if you are flyfishing down there, please use a light tip and tempt the fish to rise a bit for your fly. Pulling a heavy line through satcked steelhead is NOT okay, no matter if you are fly or gear fishing. Most those fish (90%) are wild fish and I have landed them with up to 6 hooks stuck in there bodies(including some $$$ intruders :lol: ), this is not good. You see, if a fish has it's body cavity pierced by a hook and water can enter it's stomach, all it's eggs are rendered useless by "water hardening", this is a conservation concern and something no responsible angler would be okay with.
Good luck fishing guys and Bent Rods
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thx for the info Ironhead (on the rod), that's a great idea...I just might sell my sage and work something out in a similar manner to your 12'6" loop set up....interesting...
As far as fishing that congregation of fish down at the bridge(no offence taken :) ), I have fished steelies a long time, and not only would I never fish that pool under those conditions, but I for one would never try to drag a line through a group of fish, I'd much rather move on or like you said tempt the fish to move towards my presentation and away from the pack so as not to damage our fish in any way....I'm sure I will apply the same level of concern and responsibility to fishing with a fly as I do when fishing with my centerpin....good advice for all, to be sure. :D
Ironhead, were there any other adjustments you had to make using the spey rod for your pin? I'm fishing a 3113LB with a silex and love the set up, but am willing to compromise somewhat if I feel it will work, I would imagine that 8 wt setup wouldn't be too far off from my LB, bit more of a noodle right?
Great info, thx,
Rib
 

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Hey Ribwart, it really is a great benefit to float fishing and fly fishing to use a longer rod, once you become accustomed to the long stick I think you will enjoy it's float fishing benefits.For starters you can make extremely long drifts with a longer rod and still prevent a belly in your line by mending. Not only this but a long rod absorbs powerful moves by the fish and allows you to land more fish, no more mysterious lost fish , which I believe are the result of the hook pulling through the skin, on a light hook up. I have noticed that while using a longer noodle rod and my spey rod , that I have landed multiple fish that were hanging by a piece of skin, any of my short rods would probably have resulted in a lost fish. Also when you sweep up a long rod on a hookset, I feel the length allows the set to be more poweful, without any added force.
Not to mention I often cast to far away fish holds and can easily high stick my line over any fast water, that can cause a belly and make you lose control of the drift.
The only drawback would be on small tree lined streams, with no casting room, although I use my long rods here as well with no problems.
The only problem I am having is what to do with 15 years worth of 8.5 ft to 11 ft rod collecting.
Guess I'll just have to keep them around as my clients tend to break a few every season :roll: .
The 8 wt Loop rod is probably every bit as stout as your 3113 and I have no problem with the fly rod style guides YET. Getting used to the shorter rod butt can be weird, but I have become used to it now .
I cannot stand carrying 2 rods so this is a great option for me, especially in April and the fall when I may have a good morning and feel like a bit more challenge with the spey line,in the afternoon.
 

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Yeah most guys use 10 or 15 foot heads for sure but I've gone through pools on the Dean behind a guide and 3 clients and hooked 2-3 fish and they hooked none too many times to switch. I was fortunate to learn from a very knowledgeable guy and he told me to stick with that and I did. Now of course if the rivers you fish arent that deep it might be a little bit harder, although I have fished that head in as little as 2 feet of water with success. I just cant stress how important it is to be on bottom, especially for those winters.
Play around and use what you like most, everyone has their preferences.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the info there WW, I'll likely keep several types of tips, including those you've recommended and so the learning process will begin I guess....
 

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Hey IronHead.
Just keep an eye on those snake guides.
They tend to groove with the mono fairly quickly.
This can be fixed up with any of the good quality single foot guides.
In particular check out the Tich thin profile.
These are excellant for the Pin and will work quite well with the fly line.
I have built several flt rods with single foot insert type guides and have been
happy with the result.
 
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