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Dan Gillen

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Reply with quote  #1 
Help guys, I need some advice. In a few weeks I will be fishing the Clearwater below Orofino. I'll be using bigger flies, as I posted a few weeks ago under "Fly tying". Both of the rods I will be using have long bellied lines. A Sharpes12' foot spliced bamboo and a Hardy 14' Angel. My preferred cast has always been a Single Spey and I can manage it with both hands. I just haven't use these heavy flies before in these winter conditions. I've watched a few of the YouTube videos but most of those guys are using skagit lines. Bruce, your comment about using floating lines with the Snowfly was helpful. Can you elaborate a little more? Any information would be appreciated and I'm thinking this is probably going to be one of those trial / error trips.
Poppy, yes I will be visiting with you when I get there.
Thanks.
Dan Gillen

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JonathanHicks

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Dan,

Just a thought but could you swap over to sink tip or full sinking lines & get by with less heavy flies than you'd need off a floater?

Here in the U.K. I often fish fast cold water using light aluminium tube flies but off faster sinking heads such as a Guideline 3D head in Intermediate/ Sink2/ Sink4 & an extra super fast poly tip. In fast necks of pools I swap the aluminium tube for a brass one - but still in combination with the sinking head & poly tip it doesn't need the biggest heaviest tubes to be used.

This gives a more balanced weight distribution than a very heavy fly off a floater & allows full lines to be used. I used to fish long full sinkers & still have my 68 ft head very fast sinkers to swing off my 16 footers if I'm feeling a bit retro on any day, add the fastest poly & a brass tube & you'll get down OK without the feeling that you're trying to turn an anvil over using a length of cotton thread.

Regards, Jon.
Bruce Kruk

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Reply with quote  #3 
Dan,  all I can really say is have faith in the floater, fish how you would fish early in the year with your floater but look for slower easy water and let that fly swing.  It really is as simple as that.  In the winter I just go to bigger spey patterns, here are some examples.

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Bruce Kruk
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Dan Gillen

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you for your comments. I will use them when I get to the Clearwater. Hopefully I won't freeze my "tush" off. Happy new year.
Dan

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Dan Gillen
Poppy Cummins

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Reply with quote  #5 
Bruce has nailed it for my money.

I don't consider myself to be a very good steelhead fly fisher and I don't fish much in the Winter anymore, but if I was going and was gonna use your 12' grass stick with a floating line I would tie something on a 2061 size 3 or a Gammi T10 6H size 1, find some soft water, maybe give it a gentle down stream mend, and swing it to the bank. When it's cold here and the water is clear something blue and black that wiggles a lot in the soft current will work well.

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Poppy=Red Shed Spey Rod Pimp http://www.redshedflyshop.com FRSCA-Founding Member How you get the line out and fishing is personal preference so as long as it works and is easy no one should care but the caster. MSB
Craig Lannigan

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Reply with quote  #6 
With 45 years of experience on the Clearwater I have observed an interesting mis-conception.
(You have to go deep) (I have to wade deep)
This is just not true. Floating line is all you need in 95% of the time. The trick is to develop the skills to present the fly in different conditions in different ways.
I never mend - - - without a good reason. Winter fishing in water 33-41 degrees usually means you need mend downstream, or sink the fly a little, 1,2, 3, 4 feet. I very rarely fish a heavy weighted fly.
Perhaps a cone head or bead eye, or even a heavier hook, can be used, but for the most part I stay away from a weighted fly.
That being said, during early morning and late afternoon a surface fly can produce a hookup.

And you don't need to wade up to your yen yang. I've watched many fly fishers wade right on top of the fish, moving them away.

The fly does not have to be on the bottom, or even half the depth for a fish to take the fly in cold water.
In fact, not all steelhead hug the bottom. Many will hold at mid-depth.

Picture a run that is 4-6' deep. A fish holding near the bottom will move to a fly above eye level.
I have found steelhead will lie a foot above the bottom will take a fly on the surface. If you are fishing in fast or deep water you are in the wrong place.

Black and blue flies with movement seem to do better, along with green edge brite bodies.

Geoff garland

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Reply with quote  #7 
I find that casting a long belly line with  heavy flies is made much easier when you throw in a quick switch cast before initiating the line lift of the single spey.  This brings the heavy iron up and with the correct timing, goes out like a smaller wet fly.
Peter Roberts

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Reply with quote  #8 
I'm relatively new to swinging flies for steelhead and very new to fishing the Clearwater. I tied up a few flies based on what I read in this forum and i think i'm on the right track. Are these something you guys would swing in the winter on the Clearwater? Any advice is much appreciated and will hopefully help with reducing fly anxiety. 


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Thanks,

Peter

Bruce Kruk

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Reply with quote  #9 
Those would fish for sure!
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Bruce Kruk
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Dan Gillen

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Reply with quote  #10 
Peter,
Nice job and you are "right- on" for color combinations. At least from my point of view!
Dan


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Dan Gillen
Peter Roberts

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Reply with quote  #11 
That's great to hear! Thanks guys. 

Peter 
Loren Irving

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Reply with quote  #12 
Peter, I would swing those patterns just about anywhere.  I am sure they'd work well in BC and the Deschutes.  Nice.
Loren 
Erik Schirmer

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Reply with quote  #13 

As a newbie I have a questions about floating line in winter.  I assume using floating line depends on water level, right? But the main question I have is how long of a leader?  I am sure that depends how deep you are getting with a particular fly, right?


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Poppy Cummins

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Reply with quote  #14 
With a floating line setup on the Clearwater in Idaho many of us use a leader as long as the rod.


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Poppy=Red Shed Spey Rod Pimp http://www.redshedflyshop.com FRSCA-Founding Member How you get the line out and fishing is personal preference so as long as it works and is easy no one should care but the caster. MSB
Graham Hill

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Reply with quote  #15 
My leaders are 12' to 18'...but usually 15' on a 13' rod.
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