Skip to main content Skip to main content

Sink Flies Faster for Winter Steelheads

Sink Flies Faster for Winter Steelheads
Setting up to throw a lob cast. Notice the extra loop held in the fingers.

Sometimes a matter of inches can make all the difference. In winter steelheading, sinking a fly another foot can mean hooking a fish when the guys in front of you got blanked.

To sink our flies, winter steelhead fly fishermen use sink-tips that range from 2 to 15 feet. When the water calls for it, we add a weighted pattern. And when the run is especially fast or deep, we can slip on a cone weight to the leader. But sometimes even these tackle adjustments leave us short, or shallow as the cause may be.

//www.flyfisherman.com/files/2012/02/IMG_6024.jpg
Setting up to throw a lob cast. Notice the extra loop held in the fingers.

When I want to sink a weighted fly as deep as I can, I change the angle of my cast; instead of casting at a target on the horizon, I aim at a target about 30 degrees above the horizon. This angle change causes the fly to hinge at the end of the cast, then drop fifteen or so feet straight down into the water--where it plummets thanks to the acceleration of the drop AND the lack of tension that exists in a typical straight line cast.

To get even deeper, try making your mends in the first seconds after the cast lands; these mends will be most effective if they don't add any tension to the line. Try retaining a loop in your line during the cast (as the cast tightens and drops, you still have a big loop in your fingers); then release the loop and throw the mend.


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Tying Olsen

Tying Olsen's Blowtorch Nymph Fly

Charlie Craven shows how to tie Olsen's Blowtorch Nymph fly in this step-by-step video guide.

Tying the Problem Child Fly

Tying the Problem Child Fly

In this fly-tying video, learn how the Problem Child fly is made.

Tying the Perdigon Fly

Tying the Perdigon Fly

Charlie Craven shows how to tie the Perdigon Fly, step by step in this video guide.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Fly Fisherman App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Fly Fisherman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Fly Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now