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Old 04-13-2008, 10:10 PM
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Default Chuck and Duck Fishing with weights

Ok so I went out for the first time this weekend. . . Rainny, cold, snaged 4 trees lost the same amout of and flies, broke 2 leaders, my first step in the watter realized brand new neo waiters had a leak. . . .AND I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT!

So, I pull up to the parking lot and a fellow angler was getting out of his car rigging up his flyrod. I introduced myself. He was a super nice guy that showed me the ropes on fishing around here (here being southwest Michigan). He was rigged up for "Chuck and Duck" fishing with a swivel tied at the end of a leader with small bit of line T-ed off the main leader where he hung 2-3 large split shot. The leader was connected to a swivel connected to a tippet with 2 flys attached (one tied with tippet to the hook of the other) both were yarn/ egg patterns. Since we were in tight quarters with thick trees he used a kinda roll cast to send the rig up stream and then the fast watter carried it down while the weight bounced off the gravel.

Question 1: When trying to get egg patters down to the bottom of a fast flowing river/ creek for steelhead, do you guys think it is better to fish with weights like this (chuck and duck) or better to use a sinking line or sink tip line to get the egg patterns down to the bottom allowing for a more traditional cast (in tight quarters roll cast, tower etc)? I tried putting the heavy split shot on and doing the chuck and duck, it was neat to feel the shot bounce off the bottom but it was tough to cast traditionally.

Question 2: how much weight can you add to a fly line before you are no longer casting the line but shooting the weight almost like spin casting?.

My rig 7wt 10ft

Line 7wt

Thanks again for the discussion you guys are a huge help with great opinions!
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Old 04-13-2008, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: Chuck and Duck Fishing with weights

hi robdutk

the split shot system will work better than a full sink or a sink tip because the weights are ever changing depending on depth and velocity of the water

sometimes ill change weight 4 or 5 times without moving my feet if i know the fish are holding in the area---the sinking lines wont give you that flexibility

its never fun to cast
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Old 04-14-2008, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Chuck and Duck Fishing with weights

I agree with Shorthaul, and prefer to use splitt shot.
Casting does get tough and can be a bit dangerous too, conventional casting with a tight loop will often go out the window as it usually turns out to be more of a 'laub cast' with wider loops, depending on how much splitt shot you end up using.

Another cast you can use is the 'Tension cast', using the drag at the end of your drift to help load the rod.
When your line has straightened out below you, point your rod downstream and laub the fly and shot back upstream. It takes a little practice to get the hang of it, but it's safer than trying to cast traditionally.
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Old 04-14-2008, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: Chuck and Duck Fishing with weights

I also live in Michigan, Ada to be exact.
I also have a 10' 7wt steelhead rod, but I gave up
doing "chuck/duck". I tried many different ways of
casting, but could not find one that proved to be
accurate enough for me. I now use a sink tip flyline.
If I want the fly down I use either non-lead on the
hook shank, or a conehead. I have also put on some
split shot, as noted by the other responders to your
thread. Most all the water I fish I have no trouble
getting the fly down. I had also used C/D for my 9'9wt
salmon rod at first, but don't anymore. Everyone has their
own method, so find one that works for you & stick with
that method. Mine continues to produce & so will yours.

Tie One On
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Old 04-14-2008, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: Chuck and Duck Fishing with weights

Hi Rob,

The setup you observed in the parking lot is fairly typical for some Steelheaders. I don't like it. I do use a similar system for eggs but still not may favorite. Here are a few suggestions.

Use a floating fly line. Use a a tapered leader the length you need to get deep enough for the eggs to be on the bottom. The leader and tippet should be at least 1 1/2 times the depth of the water. So for 4' water I would have a 6' leader and tippet to the first egg. In the real world, I would usually not have my leader shorter than 7.5' and most of the time I am fishing a 9' leader unless the water is really shallow or really deep. With real deep water your leader could be 12' or longer. I use a yarn indicator a few inches from the fly line. You don't need a big indicator, just large enough that you can see it. I soak my indicator yarn in HrdroStop over night so I don't have to worry about putting floatant on the yarn. White is a good color for the indicator. I tie the fluro tippet to the end of the leader with a triple surgeon's loop. If the fish are not real big I will use a loop to loop to attach the tippet. I place the split shot above the surgeon's knot so it won't slip down. I don't like multiple split shot. I prefer to use a bigger one if I need more weight. If I use the loop to loop method to fasten the tippet I put the split shot on the tippet loop above the knot.

With eggs I tend to only fish one but if I use two the second one will be 6"' to 8" below the first depending on the swiftness of the water. I tie the second fly/egg from the bend of the first hook. Your eggs should be tyed on extra heavy hooks that will help getting them on the bottom. I like the first fly/egg 18" below the split shot.

The best method to catch a Steelhead is to sight fish. Once you spot a fish you need to get the fly at his level before the fly reaches the fish. How far above (up river) the fish you cast is dependent on the speed and depth of the water. If the fish ignores you presentation you might need to change the weight.

Now on casting weighted flies and leaders. I like a modified Belgium cast where you bring the back cast back at a side angle and then make your forward cast in a more vertical position. What I am trying to do is make the back cast and the forward cast in different planes. This works well for me and is more accurate than making the back and front cast a side-arm cast. Remember that split shot or weighted flies can damage your rod if you hit the rod at casting speed.

I will post again and give my thoughts about sinking lines for Steelhead.

Frank
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:21 AM
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Default Re: Chuck and Duck Fishing with weights

Hello from the northwest lower peninsula of your fine state!

I'm probably not the best source of information on steelhead fishing, since I've never caught one, but I can share some stuff from my experiences. Where I usually fish for steelhead is either close quarters because of the semi-urban location or its guys standing elbow to elbow. In either case I don't find a lot of room to cast a proper fly. I've got a steelhead rod now but until recently I've been using my 9' 9-weight fly rod with a spinning reel on it. I know, that might be one of the worst of the blasphemies. But my only other choice was a 7' spinning rod.

I guess long story short, if you are going to chuck and duck even if you are using a fly, I've never found it useful, easy or safe to use an actual fly cast. So that's my compromise. I usually fish steelhead under a float too, which is another consideration. A fly shop up here has a good amount of information on this technique on its website. I'd post a link, but since I'm new I'm not sure if that's frowned upon or not.
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Old 04-15-2008, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: Chuck and Duck Fishing with weights

Hi Rob,

Here are some thoughts on integrated sink tips. My favorite way to fish for Steelhead and Salmon is with an integrated sink tip line. There are two lines that I find useful.

1. A floating line with the last 10' to 15' of the head that is a sinking line and is part of the fly line. Please don't confuse these with a floating line that you add a section of sinking line onto the end of the fly line. (Orvis and Rio sell these add on sections and I think they are an abomination for river fishing.) This was my prime fly line in Alaska. The tip was mid-rate sinking and worked well with a weighted fly. It is much easier to cast than a leader with split shot if you learn how to pick it up. You use short leaders 4' to 7' and you have to keep in contact with the fly to detect strikes. You don't use an indicator. It is a great line to fish deep pools with little currant by letting the tip sink into the pool. I have caught a ton of big Grayling with this technique. You let it sink, sink, sink, and then a soft lift and you got a fish.

2. The second line is the Tenny "T" Super sink lines. These are 24' sinking shooting heads that has a floating running line integrated onto the head. They are fast sinkers and good for big water.

Casting an integrated sink tip takes a little practice to find a way that works. You have to strip in line until the fly is moving and the sink tip line has moved toward the surface. You can't pick up the sink tip if it is deep into the water. With the sink tip in motion I throw a normal roll cast and if everything is right the line will roll over onto the surface. You then pick up with a normal back cast. I also like to do every thing like I just described but instead of doing a normal roll cast, I do a roll cast throwing the fly line in to the air above the water. Then do your back cast. This roll cast into the air is a handy cast and works very well with a floating line and a weighted fly.

Frank
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Old 04-15-2008, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: Chuck and Duck Fishing with weights

Being a Michigander for 50 years and having fished for steel even back in the days snagging was allowed it's different in Michigan. I found chuck 'n duck sometimes to be the only way to be productive.
The problems in Michigan are the close-quarters you usually find yourself in and the deep holes you have to get right down into. Standard floating or sinking line are so thick they cause drag almost immediately, thus the need for C&D in Michigan.
Thin running lines like Amnesia aren't as influenced by the current as much as standard lines and with the addition of splitshot or slinkies you get down and dirty very quick and stay in the strike zone longer.
This isn't a pretty way to fish but it gets the job done.
As for casting, it is much more like lobbing or 'chuck'ing if you will!
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Old 04-15-2008, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Chuck and Duck Fishing with weights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Whiton View Post
Now on casting weighted flies and leaders. I like a modified Belgium cast where you bring the back cast back at a side angle and then make your forward cast in a more vertical position. What I am trying to do is make the back cast and the forward cast in different planes. This works well for me and is more accurate than making the back and front cast a side-arm cast. Remember that split shot or weighted flies can damage your rod if you hit the rod at casting speed.
Joan Wulff refers to this as an oval cast, and it was the one thing that made
buying her DVD worth $35. It really works well, and is worth looking into.

P.S. I think Joan claims Lee Wulff invented the technique, but that's been debated on other forums.....
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: Chuck and Duck Fishing with weights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
Standard floating or sinking line are so thick they cause drag almost immediately, thus the need for C&D in Michigan.
This isn't a pretty way to fish but it gets the job done.
As for casting, it is much more like lobbing or 'chuck'ing if you will!
I guess that is why not many people fly fish in southwest MI/ Northwest IN and everyone spin fishes...

You know I really want to fly fish and to get better at traditional casting so I think next time I go out I'm not going to worry about the best method for catching the steelhead or the summer run Skamania latter this year. Rather I'm just going to tie on a single fly and go have casting practice. . . If I catch something so be it. . . if I don't well I had fun wading and casting and being outside.
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