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Ronan's report


Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Happy New Year everyone! I'm feeling better and hoping to start out my 2011 on the FP with something that might help unify rather than polarize the fishing community for a change.

This little film that has been circulating among steelheaders kindof got me thinking. It's a piece pointing out the ridiculousness of one of the laughable dogma debates that goes on among steelhead anglers. Nymphing vs. Swinging.

First, I would like to explain my position by quoting this little film:

"I swing flies for steelhead like you are supposed to."

I am also a "dirty assed nympher".

While the overall steelhead community seems to be oddly polarized buy this debate (not unlike bait vs. fly communities), I just don't see the point in wasting energy on it anymore.

I floated a nice coastal river with some friends last weekend. I had 3 rods rigged - one DH for swinging, one SH for dirty assed nymphing, and one spinning rod for running bobbers and jigs or rubber worms. The guys in the other boat in our group were running egg sacks. We had a great time and effectively covered about every type of fishable water on the river.

Honestly, I like that variety. When I trout fish I like to nymph, swing wets, fish dries, and rip streamers.

At this point, rather than stirring the pot with my words and actions, I actually prefer to encourage anglers that seem set by dogma to one technique or the other to branch out and try to experience new things and different techniques. Different techniques are fun to learn and eventually master. Maybe a new experience will lead to a new perspective. Often in steelheading it is simply a matter of confidence why anglers choose one technique over another.

But to me there is another reason to branch out. The more I know, the better armed I am on the river. Want to more effective with steelhead nymphing techniques? Watch an angler who is skillful with bobber and jigs on spinning or center pinning gear. Better yet, learn how to fish bobbers and jigs and take what you learn back to the flyrod. The most progressive nymphing techniques out here are even looking to the swing techniques for inspiration. The big DH rods and lines that swinging anglers employ gives them the ability to cover massive pieces of water very efficiently and cast heavy wind resistant flies easily. Now we have flylines inspired by Spey casting and swing fishing techniques that make nymphing with DH rods THE choice for achieving long, drag free drifts to cover big water effectively.

So, I'm wondering, who is resigned to a single technique for most of their fishing and why? Similarly, those who prefer to employ multiple techniques, why do you do it? Take it to the board. And please, no name calling.

Take Care and Fish On,
Matt


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