Swing the Fly Issue 2.4 Spring 2015 - Page 44

just melt away when covering big water but the anticipation of the next grab fuels one cast after the next.

Level lengths of sinking line are also part of my arsenal. T-7 and T-10 can be used to cover similar depths as a Type 6 or Type 8 tapered tip. Actual depth can then be controlled by the length of the tip with a longer tip capable of reaching deeper into the water column. This type of material can be purchased with manufactured loops ready to use out of the package or in longer lengths that can be cut and used in construction of custom tips by forming loops on both ends. Many anglers in the Great Lakes build their sink-tip selection using this level material and cut different lengths for certain types of water. The only issue with varying the tip length is that it changes the balance for casting. Enter Rio’s MOW tips that utilize a consistent total length but vary the sink section length which effectively controls how deep the fly will fish. Level tips are best handled with a Skagit style head.

I reserve T-14 and T-17 for extreme Great Lakes situations. High water and high gradient call for getting a fly down quickly and this level material is the best way to get it done. Lengths of twelve to fifteen feet can be handled quite easily with a Skagit head. T-14 is a mainstay on my home Niagara as shoreline edges drop off quickly into oblivion. I typically add a weighted fly when using these heavy tips to assure that it sinks at the same rate as the tip. This material in shorter lengths can facilitate controlled swings through pockets and other tight, non-typical potential holding water. Even though I prefer to fish a fly high in the water column when the right conditions exist, there is something mysterious about plying the depths with a heavy tip and weighted fly. The push of the water’s flow against the surface area of a head pulled under by the weight of the tip creates extra drag.

The weight of a fish when it slowly grabs the fly puts an immediate deep and satisfying bend in the rod.