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Fly Tying

Frank G. Swarner III

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Posts posted by Frank G. Swarner III

  1. Splitshot is the best way to get down quick and stay down longer during the drift. I have done well with heavy tungsten coneheads on a mono leader and no other weight as well. It really depends on the type of water you are fishing, how fast, how deep, and what presentation the salmon and steelhead want each day. Be prepared to use or try all of the methods you mentioned and you'll be good to go!!

  2. I've only fished it swinging down and across. I'm sure various crayfish patterns would work if bottom bounced though. Ton of them in the river and some are quite large. If your swinging for kings make sure are down pretty deep. They don't like to come up and chase as much as steelhead do. First thing in the morning is probably your best bet to swing flies for salmon before they get too pressured by the crowds.

  3. Weight forward or double taper line is all you need. No need for any specialty high dollar lines. King Salmon can put a whoopin' on fly line when they make a run through rocky areas, over ledges, etc....


    Maximum distance between fly and weight is 4'-0". When I used to go in late september I would have my weight 1ft - 2ft away from the fly for better presentation and control, plus less accidentally snagged salmon. Better drift equals better chance of hooking steelhead and browns that may be around.


    No need for a tapered leader with a sink tip. Just a straight piece of 10lb-15lb tippet for swinging streamers. Don't bother trying to nymph with sinktips, it's a waste of time. Also, don't buy a sink tip line, just get 10ft polyleaders in various sink rates to attach to the end of your fly line.


    Mono leaders can be very simple and don't have to be engineered like trout leaders for turnover. A 3 to 4 piece leader is all you'll need. You might not even need that depending what you like. Many people use a straight piece 20lb or 15lb mainline about 6ft long attached to a spro swivel then a 3-4ft piece of 8lb or 10lb tippet.

  4. TMC 105 size 4 is a great hook to start with for many salmon river patterns and hasn't let me down in 17 years. As far as simple flies to tie for kings, cohos, and steelhead you will be good to go if you load up on these patterns.


    Estaz eggs in chartreuse, orange, and pink

    Comets in the same colors (2x strong streamer hook)

    sucker spawn in the same colors

    black and brown stoneflies

    wooly buggers are always good to have as well (egg sucking leech is an old standby) 2x strong streamer hook


    There are many, many more patterns but if you stick with a few basic patterns like the ones listed above you can focus more on reading water and learning the area you are fishing.


    Presentation is same as high stick nymphing or using indicators.

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