Tight bends, pockets water and Skagit

Tight bends, pockets water and Skagit

Viking Lars | Saturday, 12 May 2018

I'm no huge fan of Skagit lines and Skagit casting (if there is such a thing), but the - let's call in a metod - has some clear advantages and I use a Skagit setup regularly during the salmon/seatrout season. If I can point out one major disadvantage it's that is *very* hard to get a resonable overhead cast with a Skagit setup. The head and fast sinking tip simply turns over too hard, too fast.

 But there's always a compromise, so that's fine by me - nothing does it all (which I'm rather certain the tackle industry is quite happy with). In my fishing, Skagit is for shorter range and pick-pocket style of fishing. I use a Skagit setup when I want to swing a fly deep in pocket water or in tight bends in the river.

When fishing salmon in my "home rivers", Varde and Skjern Rivers, I use a double hander a lot, not all the time, but mostly. However, many of our rivers have some tight bends that may not be the most likely hold for a salmon, but are still worth fishing. And anything worth fishing, is worth fishing properly, right?

So i've begun carrying a singlehander on my back (in a very clear rig I've designed myself - more on that later). The problem is that often the rivers aren't really that wide and when it comes to fishing a tight bend, the DH-rod is simpy too long and the lines ditto. In (or out?) comes the singlehander with a Skagit setup. My clever rig now adjusts to carry the DH-rod, so I can continue downstream.

When you're on the inside of a bend, your own half of the river is usually not interesting to fish. So I concentrate on the far half. With a DH-rod and a full sinking shooting head I could get away with something, but the problem is that the backend of the shooting head hit bottom too soon when on the inside of a sharp bend. I could lift it with the rod, but that sacrifices fishing depth and swing (and swing speed).

With the Skagit stup I can fish deep as all of the sinking tip is in play where it counts, and the floating head keeps it swinging where it matters. The current is usually slower on the inside of a bend and the water much shallower, so I can simply lets the Skagit "hinge" in mid river, essentially allowing to fly to swing primarily in the far half of the river. I hope this makes sense... And with a Skagit setup I can still fish the same flies as one of the good things about Skagit setups is that you can easily cast even large and heavy flies. For this style of fishing, I use a 10' #6 or a 10' #7.

On the #6 I go with 150 or 180 grains and 80 or 120 grain tips. 120 grains tips is pushing it, but it works and they sink really deep. On the #7, I fish 180 or 210 grains and 120 grains tips. I've tried with 160, and it also works, but tey really are just on the heavy side. Many use heavier lines that these on the same rods, but 1 - I like the slightly better presentation (taking presentation from bad to just over acceptable :-), and 2 - I don't need long casts at all.

Since i started carrying the singlehander with me, I've really done much more of this and another benefit is that i generally use the singlehander more whenever it makes sense.

Have a great weekend!


PS - still very scarce on salmon...