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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 10-17-2010, 06:23 PM
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Default Swinging for Steelhead

Hey guys, I have a problem. Here in the Great Lakes Region, swinging for steelhead has become quite popular. I have become swept up in the whirlwind surrounding it. The problem I'm having is the gear for it. You see, as a novice fly fisherman with only one steelhead underneath his belt, would swinging be a good thing to learn? If so, with what fly rod? I want to try and learn it, but I don't want to spend around $1000 on a switch rod with three reels and forty different lines. I want to keep it as simple as possible, yet with still being effective. What would you reccomend: a short spey rod, a switch rod or a single handed rod. Oh, I also want to do both, swinging flies and dead drifting eggs and nymphs. The areas I fish in, it seems a little over neccesary to fish a 13' rod. The biggest creek I fish is the Cattarugus Creek. Thanks for all your help.

PS, does running line float and how do you rig running line?
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Swinging for Steelhead

Hi it's been awhile,

Swinging is not some new thing. It is as old as the wet fly itself and if you own a fly rod, reel, & line you have what you need to fish wet flies. A Spey fly is a wet fly, more a cross between what you would think of as a standard wet fly and a streamer fly. If you refer to any good book on fly fishing that addresses fishing with a wet fly you will find the description of what is known as the 'Wet Fly Swing'. Todays army of 'Swingers' are using the same basic principal as the wet fly swing but many are using a two hand rod in order to make longer casts where limited space for a back cast exists and to cover more water on the swing.

I have been 'Swinging' wet flies & streamers for over 35 years using single hand rods ranging in line weight from #5 to #9 rods in the 9' length. During these years I cannot begin to quote a figure of how many trout, bass, salmon, steelhead, and assorted other species I have caught. If a fellow has the money to spend and the time to dedicate to learning the casting techniques for using a two hand rod I have found them very effective at fishing a wet fly due to the lack of needing a back cast. Otherwise continue to learn how to use wet flies to their greatest effect with the rod you own and don't feel under gunned.

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Old 10-17-2010, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Swinging for Steelhead

I second what Ard said. You can go out and get $$$$ worth of gear, but it's not necessary.

Look at it this way. If you go out and get a spey rod you not only have to learn how to effectively swing the fly but you also need to learn how to effectively cast the spey rod. That sounds like over complicating the situation to me.

Learn to swing with the rod you have first. Then as a reward when you accomplish that, go out and treat yourself to a new spey rod.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Swinging for Steelhead

That's pretty much it Anthony, it sounds old school but you may as well learn to walk before you enter any running contests.

Old school,

Ard
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:24 AM
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Default Re: Swinging for Steelhead

You don't need a switch or a spey rod to swing, no. You can swing with a traditional one hander - I do with my 7 wt. and 8 wt. You can even add a versi-tip to WF Floating line and not have to change to sinking lines - I do. I swing streamers on the GL tribs with this method.
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:25 AM
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Default Re: Swinging for Steelhead

I will second well I guess fourth whats been said already. I'd say 90% of the fishing I do is all streamers and wets and the single hand rod gets it done, plus you can still do spey type casts with a single. Get familiar with the casting aspect then you can transition easier if you decide to go switch/spey. I'll admit the long rods aren't necessary but make fishing wets, big streamers, and heavy tips a breeze!
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