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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Thoughts on the Dry Line Swing in Winter Part 1

For some that read my blog, you may know that I have been a regular poster on the Speypages forum (since 2008) and my username there is "808steelheader".  The Speypages board is a wonderful place with good helpful discussions about all things spey, steelhead, fly tying and beyond.  There is also a great classifieds section as well (be careful on there!!).

I've made many friends through the Speypages board and maintain contact with other local friends there as well.  Some Speypages friends I actually fish with or have fished with include Keith Tymchuck (moethedog), Adrian Cortes (Fshnazn), Aaron Ostoj (aaronostoj), Terry Robinson (Flyfisher231), Mark.Stangeland (theWaker), Tony Torrence (Riverman), and Randy Clark (Clarkman23).  There are several others who I correspond with regularly on the board or through PMs (private messages) that I have yet to meet in person, but hope to have the pleasure of meeting in person in the future, hopefully on the river.

Speaking of Speypages, it seems that each winter, a thread on the Winter Dry Line Swing gets going and seems to keep going!!  This year I decided to be the troublemaker to get the Winter Dry Line thread started:

If you do a search on Speypages you will also find older threads on Winter Dry Line discussions from prior seasons.  There appears to be a strong interest by many in this subject, judging by the discussions that continue and never seem to get old.  When I started the Winter Dry Line thread on Speypages this year, there were over two pages of discussion within 24 hours.  I absolutely love participating in these discussions.  Some posters are already well versed in the technique, have experienced some success and are as passionate as I am about it.  Some are curious and just dabbling, while others are slowly gaining confidence in the method as they continue to persist with it.  Unfortunately, some folks become offended by Winter Dry Line discussions and feel like Winter Dry Liners are elitists and preaching the best way to fish that others should follow.  But overall, the discussions on Speypages (and actually on other boards as well) about the Winter Dry Line Swing or "Deep Wet Fly Swing" as it was called by Bill McMillan, are good-natured fun, informative, and carry a spirit of camaraderie and generosity in sharing of information and experiences with the method.

I've thought about and wondered of the reasons for the level of interest many have recently taken in the method.  Many folks happily fish sinktips or indicators and do well, so why would someone want to fish a method that requires more self-imposed restraints and typically, sacrifices in numbers of steelhead hooked?  A few reasons come to mind:  Bill McMillan's book Dry Line Steelhead has had a far-reaching and profound influence on many of us and the notion of hooking a winter steelhead on a floating line without the mechanical advantage afforded by a sinktip may have romantic appeal to those looking for a new challenge; some may want to feel like they are utilizing a more "traditional" approach to steelheading;  some may want to feel like they have beat the odds with a method that is overall, a lower percentage proposition; some folks just plain hate casting sinktips, even with modern Skagit systems; and some may even become interested in the method through discussions on internet forums (and blogs...).

Whatever the reasons are, I'm glad for the rising interest in the Winter Dry Line Swing, it gives me more like minded company on line and on the river!!

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