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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never tried the spey rod, though I've spent two seasons chasing steel with the single hader.
I was fishing the Vedder yesterday and watched a few spey guys. They were decent casters and were able to hit the far bank at will.
What I noticed was that they were not mending the line at all. To me this means that their fly would be swinging from the start and it would be extremely unlikely that a winter steel would chase their fly.
They were certainly able to flog the water but is this fishing or is this flossing?
 

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were they casting 45 deg downstream or upstream? if you're casting downwards (common to do with spey, using heavy flies and tips...from what I read anyways), you can just let it swing...45 up, I would say that could be flossing if the guys aren't mending...
 

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If the flow is relatively slow, then it's still a good angle to swing. I regularly cast somewhere between 90 and 45 degrees to swing flies for steel and cutties depending on the flow, and I've stopped mending, rather I use a reach cast which achieves the angle change of a mend in a single movement instead of a cast + a mend, so the fly lands directly across from me, but the line lands between 90 and 45 degrees with a slight curve to it.

Is it even possible to floss steel? It's not like one is casting to a school of fish like with salmon, so what would be the point? Seems like the chances of flossing success would be slim to none.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
These guys were swinging almost the entire river. If there was a fish there and it was anywhere near the hook I'm sure they would floss it.
Sure they probability of hooking one is low, but the probability of hooking winter steel on the fly is very low anyways.

My point is really intention. These are apparently very experienced fishers and I'm wondering if they are intentionally doing this or if it is a normal Spey technique.
As an example I stopped fly fishing for chum on the Stave last fall because it was almost impossible not to foul hook or floss them without a dry line and unweighted fly.
Unfortunately they wouldn't rise to this offering.
 

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Really? I was fishing some really fast sections with my single hander and type 6 sink tip in the stave and I didn't have that problem. My advice would be to try to differentiate between their bodies hitting your line and a bite. As soon as I began to discriminate a little more, I had less foul hook ups. A brush up feels like a slow drag vs a hit which would be more rip and tug tug. Just my two cents.
 

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Being new to the spey, but having fished for years with the single handed fly rod, the chances of the spey fishers flossing a steelhead are minimal. If you were fishing on January 1st, on the Vedder
those were probably some folks from Flybc as they were having an impromptu spey fish out on the river. And if you had asked them they would have been more than willing to show you exactly what they
were doing when swinging their flies through the run. The advantage of spey casting is the amount of water you can cover, with the longer rod. The fly then swings through or fans over a wider area giving the opportunity to show your fly to more fish. That is not flossing, anyhow just my two cents on the matter.
 

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It's funny that you mention swinging flies Dfisher; I've just been reading up on the subject for fishing trout in the winter. Most of the writers say it's an excellent way to present your fly to the most number of fish in the smallest amount of time. Because fish don't want to expend too much energy chasing food, swinging puts the fly right on their nose which will often result in an instinctive strike. A few of the writers say it's the only method they use in the winter, regardless of which fly they're using.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Being new to the spey, but having fished for years with the single handed fly rod, the chances of the spey fishers flossing a steelhead are minimal. If you were fishing on January 1st, on the Vedder
those were probably some folks from Flybc as they were having an impromptu spey fish out on the river. And if you had asked them they would have been more than willing to show you exactly what they
were doing when swinging their flies through the run. The advantage of spey casting is the amount of water you can cover, with the longer rod. The fly then swings through or fans over a wider area giving the opportunity to show your fly to more fish. That is not flossing, anyhow just my two cents on the matter.
Swinging the fly may draw a fish that would hit on the hang, but there's no way the fly stays in front of the fish long enough for a real hit. I would say the chances of spey fishers flossing a steelhead are better than catching a steelhead, especially in the colder water of early season.
 

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Swinging the fly may draw a fish that would hit on the hang, but there's no way the fly stays in front of the fish long enough for a real hit. I would say the chances of spey fishers flossing a steelhead are better than catching a steelhead, especially in the colder water of early season.
Read up on the subject before you make that assumption. I've been reading about it all day and really think it has merrits. Most of the outdoor magazines have done an article on it and they all say it's an excellent technique for winter river fishing. The fly doesn't have to stay in front of their nose for long; what you're trying to do is draw that instinctive strike.
 

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Typhoon - when we are swinging a spey alot of the times the fish doesnt even hit until the fly is in the "hang down" which is when the line has fully finished swinging and is now directly downstream from you, we let the cast sit for a few seconds before retrieving in the line for the next cast. Alot of times this is the time when steelhead will hit because they have followed the fly from deeper water into the shallower stuff, more times then not they wont even hit it until you have given the line a couple retrieve pulls. Obviously this would not be flossing/snagging/ long lining. Im not saying that it cant happen im just saying it very unlikely, you can floss just as easily with a single hander because lets be honest here, the fly will never be in the zone until it almost at it 45 degree angle regardless of what fly technique your using.

I would be more then willing to meet you out on the flow and show you how the spey works and its advantages/disadvantages.
 

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Don't forget that you can cover a lot of water in a short period of time using this method as well.
 

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Swinging the fly may draw a fish that would hit on the hang, but there's no way the fly stays in front of the fish long enough for a real hit. I would say the chances of spey fishers flossing a steelhead are better than catching a steelhead, especially in the colder water of early season.
Hey, typhoon have you ever caught a steelhead on a fly? :confused: As said above, you might want to do a little research on the spey fishing before you make those kind of assumptions! There are lots of great books out there showing how to properly fish the fly, one in particular is Dec Hogans "A Passion For Steelhead" has lots on how to properly fish the fly and even gives some illustrations. Actually you are more likely to floss a fish with a single hand than the spey, less line out, sinks faster and stays in the zone longer!! Laws of physics will tell you as soon as your line tightens up in the current, you line/tip/fly will all come up towards the surface, and far out of the zone!! This is why we mend, to try and keep the fly down longer and so it swings as slow as possible, so when a fish sees the fly it has time to react. Yes, winter fish will do this to!!

In order to floss a fish you have to be down on the bottom for a period of time. Just because there is a sink tip on the end of you line, doesn't mean you are always on the bottom. When you are gear fishing, with your float and bobber, how many fish are you going to catch swinging your gear through the current, thats why you free spool, to keep your bait/wool/jig in the zone so the fish can see it! Any method can be used to floss a fish and if someone is buying a spey rod with intentions of flossing fish, then they are in for a surprise!! ;) This topic all sounds all to familiar to me! Infact, this exact topic has come up before on BCFR and it ended badly! :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've never fished with a spey rod so that's exactly why I asked.
I have hooked steel on the single hander and I can guarantee they were not flossed since the bite was shortly after the mend when the fly was dead drifting.
It would seem to me that mending with a spey rod would be more effective since you have more line out and can produce a longer drag free drift, but if you experienced spey fishers say that the no-mend swing is an effective and ethical way to fish then that's good enough for me.
 

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but if you experienced spey fishers say that the no-mend swing is an effective and ethical way to fish then that's good enough for me.
No where did I say that was an effective way to fish steehead! Depending on where you cast, if you dont mend you either, drag the bottom or stay a foot under the surface! Casting up stream is not how you fish for steelhead, loose line, no feel, you know the term, tight lines!! :) Its just like anything, there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. Asking questions on how to do something is great and most members are willing to answer most question. Now when you say, I will use your words, "I would say the chances of spey fishers flossing a steelhead are better than catching a steelhead" this is not going to get you the answer you want unless you are looking for the negative response! Anyways, I hope you get what I am trying to say, cheers.
 

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Interesting topic here Rick, is this about when we bumped into each other on New Years Day? If so I can assure you that flossing was not on my mind as I fished that pool where our paths crossed, as there were probably only a couple fish in there at the most. Flossing steel is generally a useless effort unless the water is super low and the fish are in a trap of some kind then it might be possible I guess.

Before we talked I had fished through the run once with the typical down and across cast mend step/step presentation. No luck. While I was relaxing with a beverage I noticed a fish surfacing right against the far bank in fast deep water so I decided to fish through that area of the pool again. I Tried to get down with big heavy tips and bugs to no avail, so when you wandered up I was trying some casts at different angles with some big mends throw in here and there to get down in a hurrey to that very small window where I envisioned the fish to be sitting (to no avail).

Was good to be out though despite the lack of sucess and it was good to see you out there and to chat for a while :)
 

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I just started spey this last little while but yes, you have a point, IF the run of steel was like the pinks or chums, then flossing is gonna happen. If you run your line low and bouce your fly on the bottom, then yank on the line everytime you feel a bump your snagging or flossing. Swinging is fly fishing in a river. If there's no float then how do you control line? Gear has the advantage of being able to control the fishing lane. Fly has the swing point, the person. You could let out line like crazy to keep the fly in one lane but you loose touch with the fly. So you swing and cover tons of water and keep a tight line to detect takes. But in the end it's really the intent of the angler.
 

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Sorry guys... an excellent line handler, regardless of the equipment, can be a lethal flossin' machine when fish are in tight confined spaces. It happens accidentally as well when trying to make a good presentation under the same circumstances. Easier to find salmon that way than it is steelhead. Just have a look as to the direction of hook penetration. Does the point enter inside the mouth or out? If it's inside the mouth then the fish likely took the fly... but, only the fish will know. If it's outside, I'm leanin' towards the leader catching in the mouth, but, it could have simply missed. Again, you'll need fish confined for this to work. If they can move, steelhead will get out of the way. Some salmon just seem oblivious. I guess, all I'm trying to say is that IF you flog a pool, IS that fish a biter or a flosser? And the only reason to flog water is the knowledge of fish being present... Spey guys don't stand in the same spot and make a hundred casts. Step. Cast. My two cents!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Not you Pat. I watched how you casted (and mended) from upriver where I started.
You've obviously put in some time with the Spey.
 
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