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Swinging Flies for Steelhead....

2009/2/4 2:16
From Lower Burrell
Posts: 0
I'd like to learn how to "swing flies" for steelhead this year. I've always just fished for them with a dead drift presentation, but I've been hearing that swinging flies can be a deadly technique.

So how do you do this technique? Is it basically just casting across and downstream and letting your fly "swing" across the current on a tight line over top of where the steelies are holding??

Posted on: 2010/7/20 1:56

Re: Swinging Flies for Steelhead....

2009/9/24 15:02
From Montgomery County
Posts: 38
That's the idea.

Cast across or at an angle downstream from you. You want to keep mending your line upstream as the fly swings below you to "slow the fly down." If you have netflix, check out "steelhead ways" for some tips.

Posted on: 2010/7/20 10:04

Re: Swinging Flies for Steelhead....

2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 404
You want to keep mending your line upstream as the fly swings below you to "slow the fly down."

Right on.

Also, it allows the fly to get deeper and ride at the level the fish are holding. This is good technique any time you're swining streamers whether it be a big steelhead river or a small trout stream.


Posted on: 2010/7/21 21:14

Re: Swinging Flies for Steelhead....

2009/6/27 23:49
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 17
Yea you use mends to adjust to where in the water column you want the fly to be riding in. Deeper presentation, more mending and the opposite is true with a shallow presentation.

I use this technique ALOT when I am moving from pool to pool. It is great for searching for fish. Often you will pick up fish in 6- 10" of water that you had no idea were there.

Posted on: 2010/7/29 18:39
Im a Cane Head

Re: Swinging Flies for Steelhead....

2010/5/7 23:47
Posts: 4
swinging for steel and salmon is by far one of my favorite things to do

swinging a fly will get the most violent and aggressive takes from active fish. there is nothing like that first run and watching all your running line flying off a screaming reel and all you can think about is "i hope my knots hold" lol

in my opinion swinging is alot more fun than dead drifting an egg or nymph. i think everyone should change it up once in awhile and try to get one on the swing

i usually use interchangeable sink tips when i swing, that way i can change the weight and sink rate of my tips and fish each section of the water column thoroughly

depending on the depth of the area you are fishing and where the fish are holding will determine the weight of the fly and sinktip to use, if you need to get your fly down deep then cast straight across the water and as soon as the line hits water throw a big upstream mend and just when the fly is about to swing throw another mend and follow the line with your rod tip throughout the swing. as your fly gets directly downstream of you be ready this is when most of the strikes happen. now that your fly is directly downstream of you give it two or three strips and hold it there for a second if you dont get anything take a step downstream and repeat

hope this helps

Posted on: 2010/8/5 18:52

Re: Swinging Flies for Steelhead....

2009/11/4 22:06
Posts: 0
in a 45* downstream delivery...
mending during the swing is NOT a good idea
you want everything tight and swimming right through the entire swing
the mend will cause unwanted movement of the fly and can turn off fish and will change the angle at which a fish sees your fly
a mend imediatley after delivery is OK, but use a sinktip or weighted fly to get deep

mending during a swing is really only appropriate while presenting a fly to the opposite bank (90* to ~60*)

a good way to learn and see what you fly will do and what you need to do to make it work...
swing a dry line with a foam gurgler
that way everything is up top and you can see what mends do to your fly

get a book... read it... get on the water... read the book again

a good start ... mon-Fishing/dp/0070150591

Posted on: 2010/8/6 13:52

Re: Swinging Flies for Steelhead....

2006/9/10 20:44
From Fayettenam
Posts: 351
It is fun as hell. I do it when site fishing in fast water. Just find your fish and position yourself upstream to get a good 45 cast. Land the fly about a foot in front of the fish and drop that rod tip. Think of it as pissing them off - get a streamer to pass right in front of them.

Let the fly do the work- you will want to set the hook when you see the fly pass in front of them. Wait, they will take it but if you pull the trigger to fast you will foul hook them in the cheek.

Posted on: 2010/8/7 15:45
One man’s plague is a another man’s hatch

Re: Swinging Flies for Steelhead....

2009/3/3 19:40
From girard pa
Posts: 0
Pretty much as other said just cast slightly down stream and mend to slow the fly down and get it deeper. It can be very productive in the faster runs. I usally use this method when fishing streamers a lot of the time i pick fish on the very end of the swing.

Posted on: 2010/8/11 21:34
I would rather be lost in the woods than found in the city

Re: Swinging Flies for Steelhead....

2009/2/6 18:59
From pittsburgh
Posts: 14
so what about casting upstream getting a dead drift then a swing at the end is this wrong? what are your opinions?

Posted on: 2010/8/15 7:01
fly fishing - an addiction in which no one wants an intervention


Re: Swinging Flies for Steelhead....
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 2752

flipnfly wrote:
so what about casting upstream getting a dead drift then a swing at the end is this wrong? what are your opinions?

Good plan Flip. I often dead drift and swing for steelies, trout and bass when searching to find what presentation they are looking for that day or hour (it often changes).

Typically I’ll cast quartering upstream to dead drift, and mend to keep the fly from dragging. The added benefit to DDing is that it allows the fly to get some depth before the swing. When the fly drifts downstream and the line begins to tighten in the current, I allow it to swing across. At this point I can chose to mend upstream to increase the speed of the swing, or mend down to decrease. After the swing, the fly is directly downstream. I usually let it hang in the current for a few seconds and often strip it a couple of times before I pick up and recast.

When/if I get a strike, I take note on what the fly was doing at the time. If all the hits are on the drift, I fish dead drift, the same if my hits are on the swing, I focus on swinging my fly. Fishing four types of presentations (dead-drift, swing, hang and strip) on one cast is a great way to find what presentation the fish are looking for at the time.

Good luck.

Posted on: 2010/8/15 7:43

Re: Swinging Flies for Steelhead....

2010/8/26 0:43
From Ohio
Posts: 0
I almost always cast upstream and dead drift in front of me. It will take a couple times to see if you fly's are getting down to the steelhead. I just wait till I start ticking rocks then adjust to the strike zone from there. Seems like I can always get a better drift though by going upstream first.

Posted on: 2010/8/26 3:11
PA Fishing

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