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Why Skagit?

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    Posted: 09 Nov 2020 at 6:10pm
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I am struggling to get my head around the sense to use this fly casting method and associated equipment in New Zealand.    Considering its considerable uptake, especially on the Tongariro Rv. such a statement requires a considerate explanation as in the following:
 
1.The one and only purpose for this method is deliver a fly to the depth fish are holding, which in the Tongariro is near the bottom.
 
2. For decades this has been achieved with sinking lines and or sinking shooting heads cast with single hand rods.  
 
3. The only advantage (as I see it) of a Skagit set-up is that it does not need a backcast and therefore can be delivered with minimal back cast clearance.
 
4. Apart from that this method has considerable short comings.
    a.  It is essentially contradictory since it requires a heavy floating    section to deliver a heavy sinking tip and in some cases a weighted fly.
    b.  Not only does the casting set up cause unnecessary water disturbance which is further added by the thick floating portion spooking fish as it swings above them.     This certainly does not help any angler following.
   c.   Whilst this method can also be used with a single handed rod most use a double hander, which combined with the oversized fly line is much heavier to handle than sinking shooting head cast with a single handed rod.
 
So why did this method achieve such a popularity?    The answer in my opinion is a. its US origin (to which we Kiwis are highly susceptible) and b. strong marketing.   
 
The tragedy in all this that in our fixation (the one eyed leading the blind) to go with Skegit we have been largely ignorant that Scandinavian anglers have been casting the full range of sinking shooting heads  (Scandi style) much more elegantly and with minimal disturbance of the fishing water.   
 
This last winter Simon Pengelly and I have been experimenting Scandi (touch and go) casting 200 grain type 6 shooting heads with #6 single handers on the lower Tongariro with no problem right across the widest pools.    No back casting room needed and with minimal fishing water disturbance.   
 
Of course there is always the option of doing a traditional 100' overhead cast if the back ground allows it.
 
Anyone interested in this method should view this video by Klaus Frimor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQpuXosSSCk    
 
He also covers  casting sinking shooting heads.  
 
Cheers
 
Rainbow 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fraser Hocks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2020 at 12:25pm
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Il hand you one of my flys that I use down here in winter and see how you go with a single hander LOL  4 inches of rabbit fur zonker strip on a 6# single hander..... good luck! 

Shooting heads come in sinking and multiple density sinking heads (Skagit and Skandi) and have done so for quite a few years now, so not sure why you think that they are all floating? 

Your only discussion is around about fishing the Tongario only though Rainbow.  That's a very limited area to discuss.  The popularity of the style has boomed due to the larger rivers that have high populations of trout such as the Clutha and Rangitata etc...  Rivers that make the Tongario look like a trickle.Wink 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fraser Hocks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2020 at 12:30pm
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Originally posted by Rainbow Rainbow wrote:

The tragedy in all this that in our fixation (the one eyed leading the blind) to go with Skegit we have been largely ignorant that Scandinavian anglers have been casting the full range of sinking shooting heads  (Scandi style) much more elegantly and with minimal disturbance of the fishing water.   

I think you will find that most people that pick up double handed rods end up fishing both Skagit and Skandi.  Maybe you see people with double handed rods and assume that they are fishing Skagit.   Both options suit different waters.  For example you cant deliver the fly I was talking about in my last post with a long skandi line, however if the situation allows it I typically will fish the longest head I can, as I prefer the casting style.   Skagit is a tool to get big fly's out far and into deep water, both further out and deeper than you can with a single handed rod. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2020 at 6:10pm
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Thanks for the comments, Frazer.     It was in either 1975 or 76 that I spent three days on the Rangitata at Peel Forest.     I fished with a single hand #8 Winston fiberglass rod a 8m lead core shooting head and round and crap memory mono shooting line with a quite large black Hairy Dog wet fly.  Despite these shortcomings  I had no trouble casting this set up across the widest braids.    I also found that the lead core sink rate was more than I needed as it consistently scraped the bottom.     Nevertheless I caught a 24 and 17 lbs salmon on this gear and the only trouble I can remember was the time and distance it took to land both fish.     
With todays tungsten loaded sinking heads, near friction less shooting monos and modern graphite rods huge distance casts and bottom dredging are a breeze.   
My post was solely about casting fast sinking shooting heads to reach fish that hug the bottom irrespective of what river.     As I am fully aware of the difference between the two styles my question is why do you bother with an oversized Skegit outfit if you can cast a sinking shooting head that in much lighter but sinks faster huge distances with a Scandi cast.    As I said before if back casting room is available as it is in most braided salmon rivers I would not bother with a double hander and use a #8-9 single hander, Type 6 or 7 shooing head on a oval mono (i.e.Rio Slik Shooter) shooting line and just fire out 100'+overhead cast with only one back cast.    Such a set up would handle a 4" rabbit fly no trouble.    Again apart from the fact that any of the Spey casts do not need back casting room I see no advantage in either distance or sink rate.    I am also puzzled why we suddenly need huge and heavily weighted flies to catch trout.  
Klaus Frimor uses only a 24' fast sinking head with a short leader to minimise his anchor for his under hand cast.    
 
Cheers
 
Rainbow
 
Ps       "Skagit is a tool to get big fly's out far and into deep water, both further out and deeper than you can with a single handed rod".    Frazer, if you believe that than you obviously have never cast or fished a fast sinking shooting head with a good single hand rod.
    
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Jofly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2020 at 7:01pm
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I haven't had a lot of experience with this but I did have the pleasure of filming people that do know.  The main benefit I found personally is the ease and pleasure of casting although I must say I haven't caught that many fish yet.  I am much better at nymphing. 

Don't know if you have seen these but I will leave them here. You will notice it was only partly filmed on the Tongariro:



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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2020 at 10:48pm
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This isn't that Skegit casting technique does not deliver flies or catch fish, the sole reason for this post is that underhand Scandi style does deliver full sinking shooting heads better, with more refined gear and far less water disturbance as demonstrated by Klaus Frimor in the video.   Isn't that enough to make you think?    
 
My interest in sinking shooting head casting is primarily because I winter fish for spawning run trout, which do not really feed and sit in the slower moving water right on the bottom.   If I lived in the middle of the South Island I would include salmon in the above sentence.    Since back casting room isn't always there I am keen to add Klaus Frimor's style to fish tight settings without changing anything gear wise.   I prefer to use light single hand rods that do both jobs .
 
A 250 grain type 6 or 7 full sinking head cast with whatever hand rod sinks faster and holds deeper throughout  the swing than a same type sinking tip that is held up by a finger thick floating head with combined weight in excess of 500 grain or much more.    Winter wetlining is all about getting a swinging fly down deep and keeping it there using the most logical ( lightest) gear and delivery technique.    It is ones personal choice to do that with a single or double hander.    
And while we are at it.    Neither can I see any sense to use weighted streamers, which are so popular with Skegit practitioners.   I prefer my unweighted streamers to move freely; reacting to every current variation.   To help with this I have lately used  a rod length leader that gives the fly much more freedom to move up and down and in and out.    The reason for this is my belief that a bait fish away from its protective habitat signals its vulnerability to any predator.  
Cheers
Rainbow  
 
My Skagit History
I also got lured into the Skegit thing.    I spent weeks learning to cast the heavy rig with a 12.5' double hander on a flooded gravel pit.    When I was ready I did a trip to the Tonga and let fly on the Lower Bridge Pool.    A Snap T and the following sweep ploughed the water into foam.    The heavy line shot out to the other side and on the swing the thick floater skimmed across the surface on the way back.    Eventually I hooked a 3 pounder that hardly bent the rod.   I fished on for an other hour ploughing the quiet pool into froth but eventually asked myself: " what I am I doing here?"    I put the rod in its tube and since then haven't taken it out again.    That was 5 years ago.  
 
 
   
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fraser Hocks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2020 at 9:08am
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Saw those a while back Johan.   Really well done bro Cool  Your really pulling some class videos together these days! 

We all know far too well that you believe that a single handed rod will cover every style of fishing, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is WRONG Rainbow.  I'm just not quite sure why you want to have a pop at anyone that wishes to broaden their horizons and try different styles?


From your discussion its obvious that you have extremally limited knowledge of double handed fishing so to make judgment calls on it with such sweeping comments shows complete arrogance. 

Where is the troll button lads? Ermm   I wont be commenting again on this thread! 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2020 at 10:04am
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Frazer, you obviously havn't studied Klaus Frimor's clip and what he says about Scandi Spey casting sinking shooting heads.    Nothing to do with double handers.    Your problem not mine.   
 
Cheers
 
Rainbow
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2020 at 12:44pm
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More brain food for those who do not want to fish with a fly line a thick as a garden hose.
 
 
Cheers
 
Rainbow
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As have said previously to get down to bottom hugging fish  I can not see the sense of tying on heavily weighted flies and using heavy sinktips that need to be cast with floating heads as thick and heavy as  a garden hose when all you need is a good old fashioned HD fast sinking shooting head.    Watch my mate Simon effortlessly Spey  casting his 24' Type 6 shooting head  across the Tongariro with his 6weight Sage X rod.

Something to think about!!!!!!

Cheers

Rainbow
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Fraser Hocks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 8:25am
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Christ sakes, its like dealing with a difficult child hey? Disapprove  
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 10:10am
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Fraser this is essentially a technical discussion not an avenue for abuse.

Please stay out of it if you cant intelligently contribute.

Cheers 

Rainbow 
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Originally posted by Rainbow Rainbow wrote:

Fraser this is essentially a technical discussion not an avenue for abuse.

Have you read your own posts, including the title of the thread?  Thumbs Down  Essentially you have thrown abuse at anyone that chooses to use double handed rods, and now claim Im being abusive for calling you out?  Ermm
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Originally posted by Rainbow Rainbow wrote:

 
 
My Skagit History
I also got lured into the Skegit thing.    I spent weeks learning to cast the heavy rig with a 12.5' double hander on a flooded gravel pit.    When I was ready I did a trip to the Tonga and let fly on the Lower Bridge Pool.    A Snap T and the following sweep ploughed the water into foam.    The heavy line shot out to the other side and on the swing the thick floater skimmed across the surface on the way back.    Eventually I hooked a 3 pounder that hardly bent the rod.   I fished on for an other hour ploughing the quiet pool into froth but eventually asked myself: " what I am I doing here?"    I put the rod in its tube and since then haven't taken it out again.    That was 5 years ago.  
 
 
   

So you used the equivalent of taking a 15kg rod to go kahawai fishing and that’s what you base your ‘argument’ on?

With a #2 troutspey rod with 200gn head and short t8 tip I can touch and go (single Spey) cast all day long (as well as deploying pokes, snap T, snap C, double Spey etc), not have to fish massively heavy flies and have fun playing Tonga sized fish. Fish appropriate gear. Your sample size of one rig makes your observations, well unscientific for a start and I can think of more descriptive words also. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 8:49pm
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Let me spell it out again      This thread is all about Spey casting a sinking shooting head without the need of a floating head to provide casting mass.    There is no better way to get down to the fish with minimal disturbance and one rig is all you need.     Is that so hard to understand????????  People have been fishing in this country with full sinking shooting heads since the seventies.    I was one of the first to do so after was given one by a visiting US angler and got shown the double haul by another US angler.  What is new is that a few of us are starting to Spey cast them now when there is lack of back casting room.     Have a good look at the videos you will definitely  learn something new.   

Cheers

Rainbow  
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I can achieve the same, but easier, with a method I love. 
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