A split shot to fish a sub-surface flymph in fast water?

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A split shot to fish a sub-surface flymph in fast water?

Postby Randyflycaster » Wed May 07, 2014 7:49 am

I'm reading Allen McGee's wonderful book: Tying and Fishing Soft-Hackled Flies. On page 77 he writes:

"When fishing sub-surface in fast water currents you need to use split shot on the leader to slow the fly's drift down.
Otherwise the current water will pull the fly along too fast creating drag and an unnatural looking fly."

I' don't think I understand this. If I don't use a split shot why won't the fly drift at the same speed of the fast
current? I would think that a split shot will slow the fly down so that it moves slower than the current and, therefore,
looks unnatural. Also, won't a split shot pull the fly below the sub-surface, which is where I might want my fly
to drift?

Thanks,

Randy
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Re: A split shot to fish a sub-surface flymph in fast water?

Postby tie2fish » Wed May 07, 2014 8:48 am

I suppose a split shot might have the effect of slowing a fly down, but I've never thought of that being its primary purpose. On those occasions (usually nymphing) when I use a split shot, I do so to get the fly down to a desired depth in the water column, with the size or quantity of shot determining what that depth will be. It has been my experience that unless the fly line is imparting drag, a fly will travel at the same speed as the water it is in, which is the way natural trout food travels. I can only hazard a guess about what conditions McGee is talking about in this paragraph and that might be where it is essentially impossible to eliminate drag by conventional means (i.e., manipulative casting and/or mending) due to multiple intervening currents. Even then, I cannot imagine that the presence of a split shot would serve to slow down the rate of travel very much, and it almost certainly would have the effect of pulling the fly down -- something you may not want.
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Re: A split shot to fish a sub-surface flymph in fast water?

Postby narcodog » Wed May 07, 2014 9:03 am

I think he is saying that by adding the split shot the shot will bounce along the bottom, thus slowing the fly down. Remember you need to fish the fly in the water column where the fish are feeding. Adding more or less weight will do that. Also what water flow you see on the surface is not the same as what is lower in the water column.
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Re: A split shot to fish a sub-surface flymph in fast water?

Postby hankaye » Wed May 07, 2014 9:54 am

Randyflycaster, Howdy;

I also struggle with some of the concepts :? .
So, I had to dig out my copy and see what was the general topic
that was being written about. It's where Mr. Mcgee is introducing
us to his thoughts and ideas about "Fishing Depth", and why it's
important to find and fish at that depth (pg.76).
narcodog wrote:Also what water flow you see on the surface is
not the same as what is lower in the water column.

The above quote is the gist of the concept in a nut shell.
After the intro he describes the how-tos of achieving the depth you
feel you need to be fishing.
Also, his last paragraph (just above the Heading "The Naturals"),
he discusses shallower water and softer currents briefly, perhaps
you can find your answer there.

hank
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Re: A split shot to fish a sub-surface flymph in fast water?

Postby Randyflycaster » Wed May 07, 2014 10:28 am

Thanks folks. I guess by "sub-surface" I assumed he was talking about fishing just below the surface and not near the bottom.
If by "sub-surface" he means near or on the bottom then it all makes sense.

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Re: A split shot to fish a sub-surface flymph in fast water?

Postby redietz » Wed May 07, 2014 9:05 pm

Randyflycaster wrote:Thanks folks. I guess by "sub-surface" I assumed he was talking about fishing just below the surface and not near the bottom.
If by "sub-surface" he means near or on the bottom then it all makes sense.

Randt


I took it to mean that he wants to sink the fly down to the slower current; not necessarily bottom.
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