Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stay Committed

Sticking too it

Over the last month I have guided a lot of people new to spey casting and spey fishing. Trying to convert yourself to getting a steelhead on the swing when your fishing buddies are fishing with other techniques and catching all the fish is tough. You need to stick with it and commit yourself; it will all come together in time. You can catch 20 steelhead under a float and a bead, every drop of the float is the same, not one really stands out. You get 10 takes on the swing with a tight line to the fly and you remember every awesome grab, granted swinging flies isn’t a numbers thing but you can very successful even in 33 degree water.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What's In The Vise??

A new feature on Salmon River Spey is "What's In The Vise."  Want to see what were tying?  The good, The Bad and The Very Ugly, from simple "Guide Flies" to more traditional Spey flies.

Rhea Egg Sucking Leech

             Hook: Alec Jackson 3/0 cut 
    Tail: Purple Marabou   
                Hackle: Purple, Palmered        
           Body: Purple SLF Dubbing
Collar: Purple Rhea  
                Feelers: Purple Lady Amherest
        Head: Pink Laser Dubbing

                  You can tie these in wide range of colors.

Skagit Master Volume 2 Featuring Scott Howell

The long awaited Volume 2 is almost out, checkout the new trailer.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Stay shallow, cast further

about as deep as you want to wade

I just want to share an observation regarding line management and wading depth in high water flows. There are a few occasions when wading deep is necessary, like when using long lines. You may have to wade away from the bank unless you want to single spey all day long. I see more and more anglers wading out into the river at least knee to mid thigh immediately upon entering the river! This can not only spook those early fish sitting close to the bank (the easy ones), but also can cause problems with casting. As you wade deeper, you need to adjust some things in the casting stroke because the path of your rod tip is now a little closer to the water. No biggie but needs to be addressed for sure.
With Skagit lines, we obviously have to strip in line and this results in loops of line dangling in the water. Loops of running line in the water mean more resistance on the flight of my skagit head, which in the end equals a sacrifice in distance. So I have discovered that by wading calf deep to just above my knees, far less of my running line sits in the swirly currents below me. I figure this allows me to have an extra loop and a half of running line to shoot. For me this is about 6 strips, or somewhere around 20ft. Yes, I have measure how much line I pull in on each strip! This allows me to judge my casting distance with very good accuracy. SO, I ask you, is wading out an extra 3 feet towards the middle of the river worth 20ft less distance?? Not to me. Now don't get me wrong, there are times when I am belly deep into the river. However this is more for presentation and angles than trying to cast across the river.
So try to stay shallow when you can, I promise you will gain more distance on your cast no matter what type of line system you fish and you may even pick up an extra fish or two.
Better quality video than before:

Untitled from Zack Brooks on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mono Alternative

Product Review: Rio Shooting line

Having used mono shooting line behind my Skagit head for about 6 months now, I can say I love the stuff. I did however run into some coils and twisting recently on a cold morning and it kinda scared me for this winter so I bought some Rio powerflex mono core shooting line. I remember Scott O'Donnell using the stuff back when the Skagiteers were here. I asked him why he doesn't use mono and his reply was: because I want to feel like I'm fly fishing. I got quite a chuckle out of that one. So I figured I'd give it a shot. Well, it's great! It has a 25lb mono core with a thin coating of something that feels like a fly line, with a cold water supple coating to help limit tangles. Overall thickness is that of 40lb mono, REALLY thin-exactly what I want. It is 100 ft long and comes with a nice big loop at the business end.

Having used it on some below freezing mornings I have notices that it does want to coil coming off the spool, but can be fished this way with no issues. However, a quick pull to stretch it out as you pull it off the reel solves this problem pronto. It then becomes a super thin, non tangling shooting line with the advantages of mono but feels like "flyline". I have the thinnest they make in the cold water coating, .024. I will still use my mono shooting line without a doubt, but this stuff gives a nice alternative to those who "want to feel like they're fly fishing".