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Swingin' or Bouncin


bob g
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Hi Everybody,

 

I'm fairly new to the site but I have a question especially for the fly fisherman. I'm thinking of experimenting with some different presentations this year and am wondering if any of you out there have some unique ideas. My go to choice is the cast upstream with a tungsten conehead fly and bounce the bottom. I've read in the Holschag book he is a big advocate for this style, although I could never get into his float recommendation. That always seemed to take a little of the challenge and purity out of it for me. I suppose another popular method is swinging the fly. How about any others? If not any others what would you consider your favorite method for smallies on the fly and why?

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Up down across swing all have their place. Never been a big fan of upstream as it makes you work hard to keep up but there are days when they kill it as it comes downstream. Fish across with a swing & lift & hold it in the current when it is dead downstream wait or pull forward & let back a few times. Some days thats the skunk saver.

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Hi Everybody,

 

I'm fairly new to the site but I have a question especially for the fly fisherman. I'm thinking of experimenting with some different presentations this year and am wondering if any of you out there have some unique ideas. My go to choice is the cast upstream with a tungsten conehead fly and bounce the bottom. I've read in the Holschag book he is a big advocate for this style, although I could never get into his float recommendation. That always seemed to take a little of the challenge and purity out of it for me. I suppose another popular method is swinging the fly. How about any others? If not any others what would you consider your favorite method for smallies on the fly and why?

 

Add one more step. Throw a downstream mend to get the fly going after the dead-drift and finish with a swing, let it hang for any shadower's, and strip back. Watch for the take after the hang down when you start to strip back.

 

Mark

 

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Casting upstream is ok for nymph style fishing using a strike indicator ala Holshag where shorter casts are made but for tightlining I don't like it for the reason John cited and since it also makes getting a good hookset difficult. Cross stream casts with an air mend to get the weighted streamer down before drag sets in is better.Repeatedly flipping a little line out as the fly drifts downstream will help keep the fly down and also extend the drift's length. When stripping the line in for the next cast it helps to be able to hold it coiled in your hand rather than allowing it to fall to the surface where the current wil pull it away from you and also create surface tension making distance casting harder.It does take practice to do this without it often tangling.All that said my favorite method and the most effective in my opinion for big bass is bassbugging once the water reaches and stays in the 50's and above in Spring and Summer until it chills again in Autumn.

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I have to say that in the dead drift or upstream cast I don't seem to have had a problem hooking the fish. They actually seem to hook themselves. They don't usually seem to take the fly very softly. When they bite there's usually no doubt about it. The reason I haven't become as big of a fan of swinging is because to me it seems as though the fly travels to fast. If I were a smallie would I be more tempted to eat something that was just tumbling down the river or go after a minnow that seemed as though it has some energy to make a dash for it. I think thats the reason during the swing alot of guys at the end of the swing leave the fly in place and sometimes strip and let it fall back. In the bounce its that same philosophy as strip and drop back only I can cover much more water and keep the fly closer to the bottom while making it look like an easy target.

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I agree that some of the upstream takes hook themselves but on very clear water watch how many times a bass will suck up the fly & spit it out without you feeling a thing. Even when you see this take you have a hard time setting the hook in time. This is why Holschlag & nymph fishers will use an indicater & set on any change of speed or direction, ups your chances & total catch.

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Personally I think they're all effective (one more than the other) at different times and if you want to be a successful angler more often than not, you should learn to be proficient at ALL of the retrieves. I believe in casters terms they would call many of us "one method Petes". Practise what you don't like and become a more competent angler. What if you can't get into position to make your favorite type of retrieve (swing) but there are definately fish present, would you walk away from them? Learn to be a virtuoso with a fly rod, or in English, play all the notes.

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Unless you are fishing the same river in the same place in the same conditions, you need to be able to use a variety of flies with a different retrieves to be successful. Many times when I'm wade fishing I wade upstream using one set of methods (like casting upstream a la Tim Holshlag's method) and then use different methods (such as casting across and down using sinking leaders) when I fish the same stretch of river as I work my way back downstream. On some days, I get better results working upstream and on other days the downstream approaches work better.

 

I think that one of the biggest challenges of fly fishing is that positioning (where you are fishing from) and presentation is much more important when you are fly fishing than when you are using conventional tackle. If you are fishing with a spinning rod and if you are fishing with soft plastics, you can present your lure from just about anywhere on the river effectively just by adjusting the weight of the lure. If you are fly fishing, you need to be in correct spot to make the right cast to get your fly to your target area,especially if you are fishing deeper water.

 

It just takes some experience to determine what works best in different spots so you need to get out and fish to figure it out.

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Personally I think they're all effective (one more than the other) at different times and if you want to be a successful angler more often than not, you should learn to be proficient at ALL of the retrieves. I believe in casters terms they would call many of us "one method Petes". Practise what you don't like and become a more competent angler. What if you can't get into position to make your favorite type of retrieve (swing) but there are definately fish present, would you walk away from them? Learn to be a virtuoso with a fly rod, or in English, play all the notes.

The scenario Craig presents is about the only one where I'd choose to tightline fish with a straight upstream cast with either a streamer or bassbug.The question raised in this post was which method should be the preferred one.A straight upstream cast requires too much effort trying to strip in line fast enuf to keep pace with the current and will invariably result in more lost fish due to poor hookset on harmouthed fish like bass. And the bigger they are the harder their mouths. The furthest upstream I would choose to cast would be quartering.

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Although I prefer a quartering upstream cast for the ease of fishing , contrary to what some of you think, I catch most of my shoal bass fishing almost dead upstream and into some fast current. I have no trouble detecting strikes and loose very few fish. Been doing it for years and I'm used to it so I do not find it troublesome. My results say it's worth it. Eat some wheaties before you go out!

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Although I prefer a quartering upstream cast for the ease of fishing , contrary to what some of you think, I catch most of my shoal bass fishing almost dead upstream and into some fast current. I have no trouble detecting strikes and loose very few fish. Been doing it for years and I'm used to it so I do not find it troublesome. My results say it's worth it. Eat some wheaties before you go out!

 

I prefer to use my left hand for things other than madly stripping in line in an effort to keep up with fast current cast after cast after cast. I'm a cheerios man myself.

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