swinging for steelhead

“Swinging” For Steelhead … How To Present Your Fly

Swinging for Steelhead, do you know how to present your fly to get a response from a big burly Steelie?

This Fly Fishing Tutorial by The New Fly Fisher Ontario; Bill Spicer is your host, and Mike Verheof is Co-host. Mike Verheof is the owner of Fly Fitters Guide Service and can be reached at www.flyfitters.ca



Bill and Mike will be Swinging for Steelhead in Huron County in Southern Ontario at the Maitland River. 

In this Tutorial we will learn about Swinging the fly but also 2 handed casting and fly patterns to use.

Mike will show us a technique that he calls “Swimphing”, … now what is this and how is it done? This is a technique that is done when the water is low and clear, and sink tips just won’t work.

What you are doing is allowing the nymph to swim along the bottom. As it reaches the end you start Swinging it.

Mike uses a 12 to 14 foot leader because he wants the nymph to get to the bottom. The only weight he uses is the beadhead on the nymphs, no other weight, thus the long leader.

Some of the recommended fly patterns would be Hares Ear, Pheasant Tail, Evil Weevils in nymphs. If you want Streamers for Swinging then use Sculpins, Crayfish, or Minnows, and Black or Purple colors work well.

Mike uses a Switch Rod for his Swinging (or Swimphing), it is longer allowing for a longer leader. When choosing a reel for Steelheading make sure it has a large arbor. The large arbor allows for quicker retrieve and a more consistent drag pressure.

Now we have Swinging for Steelies, this is when the water is deeper and you can use a sink tip. Or you can try Swimphing for Steelies using a regular 12 to 14 foot leader when the water is low and clear. This is a great technique that works well for Steelheading.


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