Swinging steelhead continued
I will be fishing tomorrow, and then taking a few days off to get some work on the house done. Had a slow day the other day swinging and then Yesterday we managed to hook two spring Chinook on gear and loose them both. I saw a bunch come in the river the other day, maybe I will spend some mornings bank fishing and try to find them.
Continued from May 11
“O.K”. you say, “but I have caught a lot of steelhead on the swing, and a lot of the time they just SLAM IT”.
First, and this is something I talk with my friends on the river about all the time, its about “pushing a rope” Lets make it real simple, lay a rope across your yard and have a friend hold one end . Now go way out to the other end, lift it up and move it three feet to the right. Of course your friend will feel nothing, nor will he feel anything if you move it left or straight at him. He will only feel the pull if you pull the rope away from him far enough to get all the slack out. “Wait”, you say, “the fly line is in the current, so pulling on the end will cause pressure everywhere” Yes, but how much and how fast? Try this, I do this with clients a lot. Wade out a ways in the river, 60 feet or so, maybe waste deep, and hold the end of the leader, put your hand down in the water a foot or so and have your buddy mend as if he was in the middle of a natural swing. See how far you can move your hand without a noticeable difference at the rod tip. It is a really long way, why should a fish carry a fly that obviously does not taste or feel right that far?
So, this is what almost every “slam”, or “giant pull” bite I have ever seen looked like from the high bank. Fish chases and eats, shakes and rolls a bit, but because of his direction of travel or the angle of the line the angler is unaware, then often after three or four seconds of this the fish takes off running and jerks the line tight. Because you never felt anything before the jerk, you assume the jerk was the bite.
Now, if you are still reading, and I will assume you are, it may be dawning on you that you have just read about two pages of text that really just said “they don’t bite as hard as you think” The next few posts will deal with finding ways to hook more light biters.