Spey Casting Tip Tuesday—Mono Running Lines

Mar 25, 2014   //   by Geoff Schaake   //   Cack Handed, Like Minded Mofos, Mojo  //  Comments Off on Spey Casting Tip Tuesday—Mono Running Lines

Skagit Line Caught Steelhead swinging fliesA bit of research at the beginning of this year and some limited experimentation has completely changed my program for winter swinging.   And what a winter to experiment with for cold weather spey casting.  Last February saw mainly 40 degree days and shelf ice free runs.  This one trapped me in the upper river fishing to stale fish for most of the winter to avoid slush and fully locked up pools.  It’s interesting though, the new techniques came through.

This and this and this  came together to allow me to use a skagit line all winter….not something I usually do in the spring summer and fall either.  I considered myself a scandi guy and I was quite proud.  I even swung further up the long belly line in the winter concluding that if I didn’t have to strip line, the guides wouldn’t get iced up.  I found myself hooking more iceburgs that way than fish.  The longer belly also lost control of the fly more often resulting in a faster swing.  It took some fishless days over the past couple of years to come to these realizations and cut through all the pride.  I mean aren’t skagit lines for deep swings and large flies….things that just aren’t reality in the Salmon River.  Low clear flows and spooky fish seem to scream long-belly/scandi/small flies.  Not so much, as I was to find out.  Using mono running lines and a scagit head on my 12 1/2 foot 6 weight allowed me to cut my “guide-clearing” session in about a third, AND using a shorter skagit head afforded me GREATER control of my fly.  I could now pull ALL the mono OFF the water and WALK the skagit head down and across with a high rod tip.  I still tended to gravitate toward the smaller flies for success but could gain great depth this way with extremely light tips, a 2.6ips Rio Versaleader and keep my presentation delicate.

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