View Full Version : split shot
12-02-2006, 08:37 PM
since I've been dry fly fishing most of my ff career, I'm pretty clueless when it comes to some nymphing techniques. today i was fishing a beadhead, and the thing wouldn't sink more than an inch below the surface. so I put some split shot about 8 inches up from the fly like someone told me to do and same thing, wouldn't sink. I was attempting to get this thing down deep into the pools. what should I do? add more split shot? where should the split shot be placed?
12-02-2006, 09:03 PM
I normally use two #6 split shot about 8-12 inches above the fly. Earlier this week I was fishing a beadhead with 4 split shot to try and get deep in a big pool and still wasn't deep enough:o. I am sure that drag was the main culprit along with not using a long enough leader/tippet. If your fly isn't sinking you might be experiencing drag that is keeping it up in the water column, especially if you are using a strike indicator. If you are getting good drifts, all you really need is a beadhead under a strike indicator without extra shot under most conditions. During the winter though, you need to get deep which means extra shot. Learning to fish nymphs is challenging but well worth it in the long run.
12-03-2006, 07:42 PM
thanks for the info. I think the main problem was current not allowing the fly to sink. next time I'll try loading it down with weight.
12-04-2006, 10:23 AM
I don't like to add too much weight, so I go with a sink-tip fly line when I know I will be fishing below the surface all day.
12-04-2006, 11:59 AM
one thing i have found that helps get the nymphs down is replacing the tapered leader with about 5-6 feet of 5x tippet, and then adding about 18 inches of 6x to the end.
12-04-2006, 06:29 PM
Thanks for the post on sinking line. I've got some "intermediate sinking line" that somebody gave me, but I rarely use. I assume you are not using a strike indicator with this, because it would sink.
Are you basically watching the line to see if it jumps at all? When nymphing with a sinking line, how do you detect a strike if you are not "high sticking" with tension already applied to the line?
12-05-2006, 01:41 PM
This might be hard to explain without actually showing someone. Anyway, here is an attempt:
When using a sinking fly line, 99% of the time I do not use a strike indicator (I have seen people use a large strike indicator when the fly line is sinking too fast and they want to keep their fly at a certain depth).
When fishing a stream or river with a good current/flow through a run: I cast up stream and let the current take the fly & flyline down stream and "swing" through the drift/hole. I keep enough tension to be able to detect a strike and then set the hook (because trout/steelhead sometimes just stop the fly--instead of an aggresive bite). You need to be able to set the hook quickly when you know you had a bite or even when your fly fline stops and you are not sure if it was a bite (when in doubt set the hook!). Sometimes it does not hurt to let some line out (for a short time)so your fly gets deeper. You can even cast nearly straight up stream and retrive your line as it approaches.
When fishing a large pool or lake: I make my cast and strip retrive my fly (the slower you go the deeper your fly will be--of course ;)).
You can always detect a strike when you can see them in crystal clear water! ;D
Hope this helps.
12-05-2006, 05:31 PM
Thanks for the reply.
After casting up stream, are you basically pulling in the slack and/or mending as the line comes towards you? If not, it would seem like you would be getting a fair amount of drag, and you wouldn't be able to keep the tension to detect a strike.
Also, once the fly and line get perpendicular to you in the stream, do you just maintain the line so it will swing, or do you let any of your line back out? I would think that it would be tough to let line out, because the line is submerged and tough to mend, again resulting in drag.
What you are describing sounds similar to fishing with big streamers, even with a floating line. Throw it upstream, let it sink, swing it, then get in a retrieve.
12-05-2006, 07:07 PM
I forgot to mention that the rate the fly line sinks is important (the deeper and faster the water, you would want a fly line with a quicker sink rate--you probably all ready knew this :)). It is kind of like fishing with a floating line and nymph.
When facing perpendicular to current flow, cast at about a 45 degree angle up stream. As the line and streamer/nymph sink, you may need to give some slack at first (depending upon water depth, current flow, sink rate of line & fly, etc.). After casting, I know you will get some slack & drag, but when you leave that slack you allow the streamer to reach greater water depths. You can easily get out the slack in the line when you go to set the hook (even if you miss a few or a lot because of slack or slow timing in setting the hook; isn't it better to have a bite than not get one at all? ;)). Remember you are fishing down deep, because that is where the fish are holding and feeding. At this point, I would maintain the line and wait for a bite or a short stop/bump (set the hook!); you can always let out more line or bring some back in depending on where and what depth you want your streamer to go. After you line as swung through the drift (like a pendulum), you can strip retrive the line back (if your fly is not all ready surfing because of the current). Make sure that you fly line is not up against your streamer/nymph. This is one way to fish in a stream or river with a good flow through it.
Like I said hope this explaination helps some, but it is hard to explain. I am happy to help in any way that I can.
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