Friday, July 26, 2013

You Know I love to Swing but.......

There are times when the fish just wont move, so you have to take your offering to them. There is no easier way to do this then with a nymph and bobber (oops I meant "indicator") set up. You have to start with a line that has enough forward mass to turn the whole mess over and with enough body that you can mend it for long drifts. On most nymph rigs for the Rogue River you will find a good ole double taper, but I have found that Airflo's Speydicator works better for my switch rods and the Clients find it less fatiguing at the end of the day. Know, I know  what your hard core swingers are thinking, Spedicator blasphemous!  I felt the same way to , but it didn't take long for me to see the benefits in deploying such tactics. First it has opened up the sport to potential future swingers. Once you catch your first steelhead you'll be hooked, and like all of us the natural progression through methods finally ends in the purity of winter fish on the swing, but everyone has to start somewhere, and the more people that love these fish the better they will be taken care of. I no longer look at nymph fishing as the dark side, but rather an introduction to a sport that I love--and after all we aren't throwing worms.
It kinda seems weird feeling like I have to defend nymph steelhead fishing but i think its one of those things in the double handed world that people haven't really sat and thought about it. The advent of the switch rod has brought this form of fishing to a whole different level. with the added length and casting styles we can achieve drifts on seams that seemed impossible years ago. The ease, and lack of false casting' is what led me to outfitting my boat with these miniature spey rods. Even the greenest of clients can become proficient enough to fish well with about 5 minutes of instruction--not to mention water born cast save me ear piercings.
 The way I set up the rig isn't that much different then your average trout rig--just longer and heaver. Speydecatiors come prelooped so all I do is add a but section of 25 lb HARD mono, like Maxim Chameleon due to its abrasion resistance, then add a mid section of 0x fluorocarbon, finishing it off with 2x fluorocarbon for tippet. All sections are cut 40" in order to get 36" sections after knots are ties. I loop both ends of the rear section, one loop for the line to butt connection and another loop that to the forward two sections. This allows me to change the front section out without having to change my indicator position. I can control depth with the pre-tied front section and flies. You have to run heavy line in the rear and check it constantly as casting indicators are hard on it. the forward two sections are linked by a surgeons knot. This setup gives you 9' to your first fly under the indicator--a set up that will fish 90% of the Upper Rogue. If you are in a shallower run just loop on a shorter forward section. I ALWAYS run two flies. the first fly is tied through the eye to the tippet with a improved clinch, and the dropper is tied to the shank with the same knot. Dropper length is something you'll have to play with for your conditions, but 24" is a good place to start. Remember use the lightest line you can get away with so that dropper fly will swim right. One note to point out here, the more slkack you have in your leader system, the longer it takes to indicate a strike, so make your leader match your run. I have picked up fish behind people who probably had strikes in the hole but didnt know it because their leaders were way to long and the fish probably spit the fly way before the indicator took up the slack of the leader to tell the fisherman their fly had stopped. If your having a hard time hooking fish, shorten your leader.

Speydicator works wonders!

What you Need
Keeping it local
Loop to Loop

The Whole Shebang!

Total Blasphemy, well not really. 

This is a highly effective way to catch Steelhead and has introduced many to the sport we love, so the next time your on the river give it a try--if you have some one you want to introduce to fly fishing for Steelhead, give it a shot, and don't worry they will look forward to the day of of that tug only the swing can produce. Nate


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