Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Time High Water -

We are at that time of the year where we have prespawn, spawning and post spawn fish, combined with ice cold run-off from the snow melt makes it a tough time for the angler.  Where do you fish, up high in the river, Mid river or the lower river?  Well that depends on how much run off is coming in from the tribs. If they are blown out you need to be above them. 
  • Choose a couple of proven patterns that you have confidence in.
  • Don't fish one area to long, anchor your line, not your feet.
  • Look for runs that have soft seams, inside of corners or gravel flats (which in low water would be bare ground).
  • Lighten up on your sink tips, you don't need to be dredging the bottom, in high flows the fish feel more secure and will move to well swung fly. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Think Spring

Well Spring is in the air, Last week we had temperatures in the 60's near 70 a couple of day's. Steelhead and Rainbow's have started to spawn in the rivers and creeks and just around the corner we'll be packing away those sink tips we have been throwing all Winter and swinging a dry line.  Some of the best swinging is on the way, who will be the first one to get one on a skated fly??

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

RIO Announces the new M.O.W. Sink Tip System

It has finally happened! With the help of Mike McCune, Scott O'Donnell, and Ed Ward, Rio is introducing unique sink tip system called the M.O.W. (McCune, O'Donnell, Ward). This is a tip system these guys developed over the years and guiding and fishing skagit lines and having to alter tips to meet their demands. I was fortunate enough to learn this tip system a number of years ago from Mike and have been fishing them for a couple of years now. The M.O.W systems consist of 2.5', 5', 7.5', 10', 12' sink tips and a 10' floating tip. For example, the 2.5' tip has 2.5' of T-11/14 integrated to a 7.5' section of floating line. 5' tip is equals lengths of T-11/14 and floating line. This was the 2.5', 5', 7.5', and 10' sink tips are all 10' in length helping to keep a more consistent anchor. This tip system is ideal for switch and spey rods in the 11'-13'9" range and will come in T-8, T-11, and T-14 varieties. Look for the T-11/14 systems to be available by early May and the T-8 by fall. All kits will retail for $149.95 with a leader wallet. These are a must for any two-hand angler.

For more info check out the Spey Pages thread

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sink Tip Rates

This a basic rule of thumb to go by, there are a lot of variables that will change the approximate rates posted below.

Poly Leader Sink Rates -

Floating = 0" ips

Clear Hover = .5" ips

Clear Intermediate = 1.5" ips

Slow Sinking = 2.6" ips

Fast Sinking = 3.9" ips

Extra Fast Sinking = 4.9" ips

Super Extra Fast Sinking = 6.1" ips

"T" Sink Tip Material Sink Rates

T-8 = 7" ips 8 grains per foot

T-11 = 8" ips 11 grains per foot

T-14 = 9" ips, 14 grains per foot

High Water Tips -

So the water on your favorite Steelhead river is high, Here are so tips on how to make a high water event more successful.

Go Fishing - Nobody ever caught a steelhead sitting at home on their couch. Don't give up just because you don't have 3 feet of viability. The fish are still there, just in different places.

Fish At Your Feet - When the river’s low, the best holding water for steelhead is often out in the middle of the river in the main current. When the river is high, they still prefer the same kind of water – only now, that water is often right up against the bank. Fish won't going to fight heavy flows in the middle of the runs when the water is up, so keep your line short and cover the holding water that’s now often 2 to 30 feet in front of you.

Fish Lighter Tips - Contrary to what you may think, you, you generally don't need to be too deep when the water is up. With less clarity and higher flows, steelhead feel safer in shallower, softer water. That means that dredging may put your fly beneath the fish. On the end of that short line that you're casting, fish a lighter sinktip. You may be surprised at what you find in not very much water.

Fish Big Flies - Here’s your chance to break out the Big Intruders you have been tying. Those big profile flies were designed for conditions in which it takes a big fly to get the attention of the fish. Remember darker colors tend to be more visible in dirty water.

Look For Soft Water - You already know that you should mostly be fishing a in close to stay out of the really heavy current. Steelhead like softer water when the level is up, so you should be on the lookout for it at all times. Maybe it’s right up against the bank.