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Thread: Why does Swinging wets works?

  1. #1

    Default Why does Swinging wets works?

    May be a stupid question but why do you think swinging wets downstream works? A fly moving across the creek "swinging" from our fly lines seems like it would be a lot of unnatural movement not to mention completely the opposite direction of a drag free drift.

    Is it just the movement that entices a trout to take?

    curious on your thoughts. I want to get into wet fly fishing this spring and just trying to understand it more

  2. #2
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    great question, I'll be interested in the replies. Nymphs do swim up from the bottom and they will get swept in the current. Google Syl Nemes.... Its a fun way to fish, the strikes are thunderous, prob due to the tight line when fishing this method.....
    "Is a man who's too busy to go fishing a success?" --John Gierach , Death, Taxes, and Leaky Waders


  3. #3
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    I've just been reading the Nemes book also, and he says it's because the fish chase the fly rather than just letting it float into their mouth.

  4. #4

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    I'm a little confused by the question. A fly that is drowned, crippled, or spent and is drifting downstream is moving naturally. Generally, a fly is swung downstream in moderately fast, somewhat broken water. A trout, therefore, doesn't have time to be selective, which is why impressionist fly patterns work. Also, even if there is a little under-the-surface drag, there is no wake as there is when there is surface drag. Many angles believe that it's the wake on the surface that turns trout off. Randy

  5. #5
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    This is my "take" on your question and it is not THE answer but one of many answers. When I fish wets, I cast them upstream and mend the fly line several times so the wet fly will be sinking as it drifts down stream which would represent a dislodged nymph that is caught up in the current. Once the wet fly reaches the end of the drift and your fly line starts to straighten out, it will cause your wet fly to rise which would represent a nymph coming up from the bottom. Both actions will trigger a strike with a lot of the strikes coming towards the end of the drift as the wet fly is coming up.

    Just my thoughts and nothing more....
    Warren
    Fly fishing and fly tying are two things that I do, and when I am doing them, they are the only 2 things I think about. They clear my mind.

  6. #6
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    A "brace" of flies is more effective than a single fly and multiples flies tied on droppers are more effective than the same flies tied in-line. A the end of the swing, the rod is raise and the brace of flies on droppers are danced on the surface to induce takes.

    The key to me is the term "dead" drift which means the fly is inanimate. Something that does not move can be food or not food.

    Movement indicates life and my belief is that the trout interprets the movement as somthing that is living and things that are living indicate things that are food. So the movement attracts the fish's attention. A brace of flies that are moving together, but independently on droppers is more realistic than things that are tied together and move in exactly in line.

    The dancing fly(ies) on the surface imitates struggling insects on the water and this indicates something that is vulnerable.
    Regards,

    Silver

    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the replies, I think I am getting a better understanding. Just to clarify my biggest confusion is the fact that flies casted across and down will be swung on a taunt line. This will move the fly across the creek from the bank and finish the swing straight down stream from you. While naturals do rise up from the bottom I don't think any of them swim across the creek in this manner.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by WarrenP View Post
    This is my "take" on your question and it is not THE answer but one of many answers. When I fish wets, I cast them upstream and mend the fly line several times so the wet fly will be sinking as it drifts down stream which would represent a dislodged nymph that is caught up in the current. Once the wet fly reaches the end of the drift and your fly line starts to straighten out, it will cause your wet fly to rise which would represent a nymph coming up from the bottom. Both actions will trigger a strike with a lot of the strikes coming towards the end of the drift as the wet fly is coming up.

    Just my thoughts and nothing more....
    Warren this presentation makes much more sense to me vs swinging flies.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hook View Post
    Thanks for the replies, I think I am getting a better understanding. Just to clarify my biggest confusion is the fact that flies casted across and down will be swung on a taunt line. This will move the fly across the creek from the bank and finish the swing straight down stream from you. While naturals do rise up from the bottom I don't think any of them swim across the creek in this manner.
    You've pinpointed the reason that an upstream, dead-drift presentation of wets is often more productive than a downstream swing. Even fishing downstream, it's often more productive to use frequent mends to keep the fly going more or less straigt downstream.

    That said, when the swing does work, it's got a couple of things going for. Some nymphs do swim across the stream. Stoneflies emerge on the banks, and they have to get there somehow. I find a hard swing to be the best method to take a lot of fish during a hatch of little brown stones, for example. Iso's are strong swimmers (and often emerge on the bank). A swing works there, too. And as mentioned above, sometimes the trigger is vertical motion, and this is easier to achieve casting downstream. Sometimes the fish a willing to ignore the sideways motion, (especially when there are emerging caddisflies) and sometimes you can minimize that by making fairly long casts more straight down than across and down (i.e. a 30 degree angle to current, rather than a 45.)

    Swinging on a taught line also keeps the fly near the surface, and if you're fishing more than one fly, it's possible to keep the top dropper out of the water. There are times when this seems to be the only thing that works.

    Wets can be fished 360 degrees around you; experiment to see which works best under any given circumstance.
    Bob

  10. #10
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    IMHO the key to swinging wet's down stream is fairly constant mending to minimize that cross current drag. That's worked for me but I really believe Warren gave the best answer - upstream presentation. Google Oliver Edwards, I've seen a couple of his "Essential Skills" videos on utube.

    Cliff

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