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Swinging Flies – Think 3D!

Posted on June 24 2016

Spey fishing for king salmon at Alaska West.
Ryan thought in 3D.. Photo Bryan Burke.

As many of you are well aware, our Alaska season is in full swing, and in a few short days we’ll be kicking off our season in British Columbia as well. That means we have spey fishing on the mind, and with that, Stuart Foxall presents us with a simple tip on selecting the proper sink tip.

Swinging Flies – Think 3D!

When swinging flies for anadramous fish, don’t look at a run and fish in ‘auto-pilot.’ Instead, do your best to estimate the depth and pace of the water, as well as the line that you think the fish will be traveling in. This will dictate the length of sink tip you will use as well as the proper angle of your cast to get your fly at the required depth as it swings through the run. In other words, think 3D, not 2D!

Often times, the deeper or faster the water – the longer the tip you’ll need, and the more square to the river bank you will need to cast. However, in some instances such as a pinch in the river, deep drop offs, etc, a shorter but heavier sink tip can do wonders to get the fly in the zone quickly through a short window of the swing. On the other hand, in areas with less current or depth (let’s say down in tidewater while the tide is turning), sticking with a shorter, lighter sink tip can make all the difference in keeping the fly from digging too deep, allowing it to swim freely through the run.

The next time you change sink tips, do your best to estimate the bottom structure of the run first.. Think 3D!

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