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Thread: Drift issue? How much weight is too much?

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Default Drift issue? How much weight is too much?

    I spent a bit more time on the russian/kenai fishing from the bank. I did catch a few fish but not nearly what a few others were. I was fishing directly down stream from a few guys with a spinning set up that featured a large chunk of lead and a bead. These guys were killing it. We got to talking and they even gave me and my buddy a few of the beads they were using. So we tied them on hoping for the best but didnt really change the outcome of our fishing. I was using the fly rod and only had on 2 or 3 BB size weights. Could my setup just not be getting down fast enough or staying down long enough? Anyone have any suggestions?
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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    You'll want to be sure that you have enough weight on the get to the bottom fast. "Chuck and Duck"... and don't forget the "Duck" part! You will also want to have as close to a dead drift as possible. A good drift will get you some dollies and a great drift will get you more rainbows...

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan Fly Guy View Post
    You'll want to be sure that you have enough weight on the get to the bottom fast. "Chuck and Duck"... and don't forget the "Duck" part! You will also want to have as close to a dead drift as possible. A good drift will get you some dollies and a great drift will get you more rainbows...
    Yeah my drift was moving kind of quick. When you cast with that much weight should all of the line you have stripped out cast out at once? Ill definitely have to work on the chuck and duck.
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    C6 I was just fishing down there a few days back and did well. I don't really use that much weight. I think I was only using 1 bb up about 18ins from the hook. The speed of the drift is what ever the water is moving. The biggest thing is to mend your line so that the fly line isn't moving it faster than the natural drift. I know that most people think you need to be right on the bottom, but I hook plenty using just a little split shot. It seems to me using a bunch of weight and you won't be getting a natural drift either.

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by power drifter View Post
    C6 I was just fishing down there a few days back and did well. I don't really use that much weight. I think I was only using 1 bb up about 18ins from the hook. The speed of the drift is what ever the water is moving. The biggest thing is to mend your line so that the fly line isn't moving it faster than the natural drift. I know that most people think you need to be right on the bottom, but I hook plenty using just a little split shot. It seems to me using a bunch of weight and you won't be getting a natural drift either.

    I got up to 3 small split shot and it was still moving pretty good. I try to give the line a "flip" right at the beginning of the drift to keep the fly line up stream of the leader. I might just not have been getting into the water where the fish were or my drift may still need work so the presentation is better. There are a lot of factors and fly fishing is pretty tough.
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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good question. I got some advice recently to use one or two 3/0 split shots. Much more than I used in the past. I would suggest experimenting with extreme ranges and compare results. All dependent on water conditions of course.

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    Sounds like a good question. I got some advice recently to use one or two 3/0 split shots. Much more than I used in the past. I would suggest experimenting with extreme ranges and compare results. All dependent on water conditions of course.
    Yeah I think next time I head out Ill take some more split shot and what not and just go crazy with it and see what nets the best results.
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    Are you using a "strike indicator" (also known as a float or bobber)? If so, drift speed is easy to estimate. Just compare the downstream speed of the SI to what ever is floating on the surface - leaves, sticks, water foam - whatever. You can also tell how long it takes your weight to hit the bottom, by the action of the SI - SI will bounce & hesitate in accord with the weight bumpping along the bottom. Depending of current speed, I often lose almost 1/2 of a drift, before split shot start to hit bottom.

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Yeah Im using a strike indicator. I am having the issue you describe by losing half a drift before the strike indicator starts bobbing. I suppose that could be an issue too only getting half a drift at the bottom.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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    There's a tradeoff between your skill at mending, how far upstream you cast, and the amount of weight you need. One of the best I've ever seen used surprisingly little weight and cast almost straight upstream. Without a question he was a master at mending, especially while stripping line to account for the rig drifting right straight back at you. He also went through more shot than anyone I've ever seen. He was adding and subtracting shot all the time depending on the run. This kind of fishing requires some room upstream from you and the freedom to move along the water and try different runs. If it's elbow to elbow, clamp on lotsa lead and do like everyone around you.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Something that has not been addressed yet is leader length. With the water being so high, you might need 12-14 foot of leader to go with your floating line. The longer you can keep the bead in the strike zone the better.
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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    Something that has not been addressed yet is leader length. With the water being so high, you might need 12-14 foot of leader to go with your floating line. The longer you can keep the bead in the strike zone the better.
    The water was around 11.5 ft according to the chart when I went out. I initially started with a 12' leader then went to 10 and 9 as the day went on when I was playing with different stuff.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by c6 batmobile View Post
    The water was around 11.5 ft according to the chart when I went out. I initially started with a 12' leader then went to 10 and 9 as the day went on when I was playing with different stuff.
    You can't forget your line from your bobber isn't striaght down to your bead, think about 11ft of water and 11ft of line....

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    Quote Originally Posted by bowdy15 View Post
    You can't forget your line from your bobber isn't striaght down to your bead, think about 11ft of water and 11ft of line....
    Very true. I took the strike indicator off after a while as well.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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    You're doing all the right stuff. Experiment. Do a little of this and a little of that and you'll find what works best for you for the water speed and depth of the water, (run) and "talent" you have for mending. I often use what I call the "pile technique" where I cast and then place almost a "pile" of line where it enters the water so as to let it drop a bit quicker through the water (depth), then I mend like crazy all the way through my drift.

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Whenever I fish with more experienced friends, I see more fish on their lines than mine. I learn each time of course - how to manipulate weight, indicators, whatever, but have been convinced over the years that most with less experience just miss more takes. I think the advice to try stuff is sound, but especially keep investing time.

    Couple years ago, I got my wife out to camp/ fly fish for her first time. After watching her awhile, I humbly stepped in, showed her how I'd cast/drift, intending to just step quietly out and stay out of her business, when ... on that first cast, I hooked a nice Dolly. It made me look smart, but it was just dumb luck. I think.

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan Fly Guy View Post
    You're doing all the right stuff. Experiment. Do a little of this and a little of that and you'll find what works best for you for the water speed and depth of the water, (run) and "talent" you have for mending. I often use what I call the "pile technique" where I cast and then place almost a "pile" of line where it enters the water so as to let it drop a bit quicker through the water (depth), then I mend like crazy all the way through my drift.
    Im always leery to mend because I know that it can change the presentation. What type of technique are you using to mend? I just sort of dip my pole low and flip the fly line back up stream. Not sure if thats the right way to do it or not.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by c6 batmobile View Post
    Im always leery to mend because I know that it can change the presentation. What type of technique are you using to mend? I just sort of dip my pole low and flip the fly line back up stream. Not sure if thats the right way to do it or not.

    Just hop on YOUTUBE and do a search. There are a ton of resources out there on casting technique, mending, ect.

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    It's all about presentation. 2 BB's worked well for everything in the area for the last couple of weeks using a long leader. Mine may have gotten down to 11 feet at some point but was normally considerably longer. It doesn't take much weight to get to the bottom. Having enough leader and mending properly are the keys to catching more fish IMHO. I can attest to the fact that it definately works.

    Casting lots of leader takes practice.

    Do you tie your own leaders? Carry tippet material to retie when you need to add length?
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