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"swinging" wet flies...?

Joined:
2011/3/8 19:04
From York, PA
Posts: 369
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I am consistently hearing about the productivity of "swinging" soft hackles...could someone attempt to describe this method of fishing?


weight?
type of water to fish it in?
how deep?
description of the motion itself?
action imparted into the rod during drift?


any help that would increase my repertoire would be appreciated

Posted on: 2011/4/12 21:51


Re: "swinging" wet flies...?

Joined:
2007/4/8 20:43
From SEPA
Posts: 11384
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just like it sounds. cast across the water flow. mend accordingly. when you run out of slack, it just sort of swings across the current, then let them hang.

you'e supposed to watch the line/leader connection on the drift, its a skill. the more you do it, the more you start to notice it, it does work pretty well. swing or dangle they just smash it though. that's fun.

i was doing it just dangled under a dry fly, though, much easier to catch strikes.

Posted on: 2011/4/12 23:11
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Re: "swinging" wet flies...?

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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In my experience, works best during caddis hatches. Can also be effective during/after any major hatch or spinner fall below heavy riffs, where adults are being drowned by undertows.

Generally, I use lots of weight cause you're fishing a tight line and purposely imparting drag. It's also common to employ a "team" of wets, not just one or two but sometimes 4 or 5! It's a very good and easy way to cover water.

In its simplest form, cast about straight out, let swing, let hang below you, step downstream one step, repeat. Sometimes I cast up a bit and let them drift for a few seconds before carrying out the swing, gives you a moment of free drift, and also helps get deep before starting the swing. A lot of the time the strikes come as soon as the line tightens for the swing, just after the drag free part and just as you start to impart some unnatural movement. I'll also lift up and down once or twice at the end if the water below me looks fishy.

Because its a tight line, takes can be like streamer takes, with a sudden bent over rod, which is half the fun of this type of fishing.

Posted on: 2011/4/13 8:39


Re: "swinging" wet flies...?

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2007/4/8 20:43
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The max number of hooks per line is 3 in PA.

The across-and-down swing is best performed by winged wet flies, versus soft hackled flies. You can use either of them, but the current will pin the soft fibers against the hook when you swing and dangle, whereas the wing in a winged wet will maintain some shape.

Posted on: 2011/4/13 8:46
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Re: "swinging" wet flies...?
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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Sipe,
"Swinging" wet flies or nymphs is essentially a technique where you're imitating sub surface insects that swim. As Pcray said, it's often associated with caddis hatches. Really, though, I think it's a good method anytime there are moving bugs underwater (which means much of the spring and fall months).
Anyway, this method is almost always used where there is some current because you need that to impart the action on the fly. Most folks don't use rod action although at the end of the swing (when the fly is downstream) it can help to raise the rod a bit and pull the fly toward the surface. This is called a Lesienring lift. As far as weight goes, I like my caddis pupae and wet flies unweighted and use split shot to vary the weight. I do like the split shot a bit further away from the fly - typically about 15-24" further up the leader from the fly for this type of fishing. Depth can vary but often swimming insects are hit near the surface. Anywhere in the water column can work. I usually start near the surface and add weight to get to fish if they are feeding deeper. If you're a beginner FFer, I don't recommend using more than a couple flies at once. Veteran wet fly guys often use several in tandem but this is inviting tangles. Keep it simple.

Posted on: 2011/4/13 8:52


Re: "swinging" wet flies...?

Joined:
2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
Posts: 6515
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Here's the basic technique.

Step one. on a basic nymphing drift you look at the stream, cast 45 degrees upstream, and finish 45 degrees downstream. When swinging wets you cast directly in front of you.

Step two. Throw a quick mend in (just flip your fly line upstream a bit to reduce too much drag)

Step three. When you hit that 45 degree mark where you typically cast again, just hold onto your line and point your rod to where your fly is in the water. This will eventually put your fly almost directly downstream of you. Let it hang there for a while before re-casting.


that's it. Step three will cause the fly to "swing" across the current and can cause some fantastic strikes. Like Pat said, it can be very productive during caddis hatches (like the upcoming grannoms), or as gfen stated you can put it as a dropper to a dry. Just drift the dry as normal, and do step three after you're done to cause the wet to swing at the end of your drift.

Posted on: 2011/4/13 10:38
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Re: "swinging" wet flies...?

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My contribution is - Leadwing Coachman.
One of my favorite flies on the swing, dead drifted or other.

There has been a dozen times where I had a little line out doing something (other than fishing) and ended up with a fish hitting my coachman in the current. So much for skill, HA!

Posted on: 2011/4/13 10:47
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Re: "swinging" wet flies...?

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My contribution
Swinging wets works far better on rainbows than browns.

Posted on: 2011/4/13 11:28
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Re: "swinging" wet flies...?

Joined:
2011/3/8 19:04
From York, PA
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All great information...thanks for the replies. This is a great forum for a noob to gain some technique...gonna try this a bit this weekend.

thanks,
Matt Sipe

Posted on: 2011/4/13 15:08


Re: "swinging" wet flies...?

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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good stuff, just a few things to add and think about.

Most mayflies swim to the surface as nymphs. The nymph floats along just under the surface film, the dun breaks out of the nymphal shell onto the surface where it floats to dry its wings. No winged insects under water.

Some mayflies and stoneflies crawl to shore and transform there.

These activities leave little activity for traditional winged wet flies to imitate. However, in some places there are an awful lot of adult bugs, and some get caught up in currents and drowned, which can give you wet fly action. Also, in spinner falls, the spinners also get pushed under water often.

But caddis. They sometimes create tailor made wet fly opportunities. They transform from larva to pupa on the bottom. A pupa is essentially an aquatic adult, with wings and all. They become active before emergence and drift along the bottom, and then swim to the surface and emerge. So, there you have it, winged adults rising in the water column, and they're supposedly very good swimmers, too, so imparting some non-current related movement makes sense.

Further, the egg-laying stage is radically different in different species. Some actually enter the water and swim to the bottom and lay their eggs there. Again, a wet fly opportunity. Winged adults entering from above and going down, much like a cast fly landing and sinking.

Others fly along the surface and dip, some fall spent like a mayfly, and others drop them from the air or overhanging vegetation. Caddis can give lots of different types of fishing opportunities.

And then there's those that say, regardless of bug type and activity, trout have the brain the size of a pea and are opportunistic, and that a buggy looking thing underwater looks like food regardless of what the naturals are doing. There's some merit in that.

Posted on: 2011/4/13 16:48


Re: "swinging" wet flies...?

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2010/1/21 17:06
From Southwest, Pa
Posts: 1069
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swing swing swing

Pull some emergers or wets under the surface, strip the heck out of them.. works better than swinging. for me anyway, and much more exciting.

Posted on: 2011/4/13 23:39
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Sure, we can assiduously three-quarter our wets down stream, mend, and wait out each fly swing, which to my way of thinking, anyway, relegates to the angler to role of butler, rather than nemesis.

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Re: "swinging" wet flies...?

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2010/12/19 22:59
From Bozeman, MT
Posts: 29
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It is also important to know when to swing flies. Swinging wets is often very effective during caddis hatches and even during a BWO hatch. Both of these insects have active pupae/nypmhs that do a bit of swimming. The great thing about swinging is there is no need to "set the hook" as the fish will do it for you (or maybe just a bit of a lift of the rod). It is important to still mend when swinging so too much of a belly doesn't form. If you have a large belly the flies will move too fast in the current at the end of the swing.

Posted on: 2011/4/15 14:45
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Re: "swinging" wet flies...?

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2009/2/23 16:32
From Wrightsville
Posts: 274
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First time post.
Dead drifted or swung, I love wets for a different reason. I suck at fly casting.
Take a walk along your favorite stream and picture those places that you just can't get to. Throw upstream and allow your flies to sink. Let them float into the area. Just before they get there, tighten up so that the line line begins to lift.
You can also fish dead drift downstream and I have no idea how to describe it. But it's worked for me a few times.

Posted on: 2011/4/15 22:09


Re: "swinging" wet flies...?

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2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 7742
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It's really a wet fly method developed in the early days of fly-fishing, long before there were things like soft hackles and dry flies. It was how you fished flies.
Cast down and across as the fly sinks and the line is pulled by the current the fly swings (swims) in the current. This is still the preferred method of fishing for Atlantic Salmon. In the fall and winter it is my preferred method of fishing.
In more recent times the method has been adapted by anglers using soft hackle flies and in some cases dries under certain situations.

Posted on: 2011/4/23 15:05
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Re: "swinging" wet flies...?

Joined:
2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
Posts: 1540
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It works well with buggers too and allows you to sometimes get into places that an across the stream cast won't let you stay in for too long. For instance, last week, I fished Kinzua Creek and there was the obvious high water and one hole with a hemlock leaning out over the hole. An upstream cast and drift down the stream simply yielded nothing. However, standing upstream and swinging with up to twenty yards of line out yielded some savage strikes and let me get the fly right in where the fish were lying. I started with about ten yards of line out and let the current swing across, and also through in a bit of a rod tip bob for a little more action. If not strikes, let out another foot or two of line and let it swing some more. Lost a brute of a rainbow this way.

Interestingly enough, I was running about 20:1 rainbows to browns swinging the bugger, but doing about 20:1 browns to rainbow with a minnow. Not sure why...

Posted on: 2011/4/25 19:54



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