Friday, January 21, 2011

fine tuning the swing - Scott Howell - The man

I want to share some technique here that I got from Mr. Scott Howell. A really great technique to fine tune the sinktip system. Allow the fly still swing in a low speed deep pool and make sure they are "alive" and eager to entice a take from steelhead. I really appreciate Scott's generousity to answer my question. He is the man! Thank you Scott! (Noted: this attached video is NOT from skagitmater2, this is a film from Leland fly TV). check it out more video here!

Hey Scott,

The DVD is awesome! I received the DVD last night and have watched it twice! Great casting and techniques!

I have similar question about using the long leader and weighted fly couple with sinktip. I was wondering what is the function of using sinktip in this situation? Is because to make the flyline has less hinge and form a better angle for control?
I used to fish similar deep slot situation for striper bass (big river) a lot. I use dry or intermediate tip and long leader set up.


Hey Mark,
Thanx for the kind words regarding the DVD.

Good question - let me start by saying that there are certainly scenarios were a heavily weighted fly fished on a floating line with a long leader is sufficient. This could be the case in moderate depth water that is extremely slow. There were a couple tailouts to the tanks I spoke of above that I fished exactly this system. But, when responding to the original question, I envisioned water that had enough speed and depth to require a light tip as well. It doesn't take much current to raise even a large lead eyed fly high into the water column if fished on a floating line. The heavy fly/long leader/sink tip system lets us benefit from the best of both worlds. The fly is able to sink unhindered from the tip an thus immediately fall to the desired depth before the fly begins to swing. Using the tip of your rod to control tension on the line, it is possible to keep the fly deep for a portion of the swing. But at some point, tension will come on the fly and that is when it will start to raise in the water column. This is where the tip comes into play. Different weight tips then control how much lift you ultimately get. In most scenarios that I envisioned KJ was asking about, a light tip of some sort does the trick. Like I said in my last post, to truly dial the system in for each pool, it will take a little fine tuning.

To simplify my method of fine tuning, let me set-up a fairly slow sample pool that is 10 ft deep that gradually slopes up to 3 ft deep where I am standing. This is a scenario that would present the kind of "hang-up" issues KJ wrote of. I would probably start my surveying by fishing a 4ft integrated tip with a large lead eyed fly on a long 10-12 ft leader. First, I want to find a fly weight/leader length combo that allows me to get close to the bottom (without hanging) before my fly starts to swing. Once I find find that magic combination, I then start fine tuning my tip. I obviously want a tip that lets my bug swing thru the entirety of its swing without touching bottom. Being as anal as I am, I usually keep increasing the length/weight of my tip until I find bottom at some point thru my swing. Then, once I know I have found the tip that is just a bit too heavy, it is easy to lighten up a notch and feel confident I'm down at max depth. Two points: 1) this is a simplified scenario for example purposes 2) as an angler gets accustomed to approaching these deep slow water tanks, you get a real sense for the perfect combo without a lot of trial and error (it is not as cumbersome as my example may lead one to believe).

Let me end by saying, I also use this same concept with heavy tips to get down fast and stay down in deep fast slots.

In short , the heavy fly/long leader/tip system lets you get deep immediately and stay at your desired depth thru the swing.

More later if needed to clear things up - I'm dead tired!


Cameron Mortenson said...

Mark...great email exchange. I can not wait to see this film. My copy is in the mail!


Hey Cameron,

Those exchange actually is from a website, Scott is kind enough to answer all sort of questions.

I think you will love the DVD. It makes me want to book a ticket after I watched it... ha... too bad... I am in a steelhead desert!