By Brian Trow
Do you find yourself avoiding high dirty water when trying to fish for trout? Have you taken one too many split shot to the temple trying to perfect your chuck and duck technique? You aren’t alone.
Recent high water has anglers making tough choices. Sit inside, which we have done patiently all winter, or face this dirty, cold, high water with a new attitude.
Dirty water and high flow disorients baitfish and gives leery trout the cover they need to comfortably eat in open water. The key to taking advantage of this otherwise unfortunate situation is “getting down” and fishing deep. This can be done by throwing heavy flies or adding split shot, but stripping flies against the current still causes the fly to swim up and out of the strike zone. Fortunately there are plenty of options for getting your flies to the strike zone and keeping it there. Sinking, sink tip, and streamer stripper lines are a great solution for trout fishing the high waters of the early spring.
Short sink tip lines can even be fished in the shallower spring creeks like Mossy Creek. Stripping a streamer against a heavy current with a sink tip will allow the fly to stay deeper rather than going up and down with each strip. They turn over nicely, and can start loading your rod with very little line out. This is nice because typically you will fish short distances when the water is off color and swift. These lines can also be used for preseason smallmouth fishing when water levels are typically high and currents very swift. If you are looking for a more affordable approach to “getting down” than buying a whole new line, the Rio Versi leaders are a great alternative. They simply loop onto your floating line, and create a sink tip. They are offered in different lengths and sink rates.
Streamers are being tied larger, longer, and even with multiple hooks. To allow trout rods to still comfortably cast these bigger flies, many are being tied with lighter materials. Many modern streamers actually float and are designed to be fished with these specific lines to pull them under.
Whether the water is up or you find yourself fishing deeper swifter streams for trout, smallmouth, or other species, sink tip lines, and sink tip systems are an easy casting, efficient alternative to heavy flies or massive amounts of split shot. It sure beats sitting in the house waiting for water levels to drop!
See you on the water!
Rio 15 foot Type 3 Sinking Tip Fly Line
- A series of sinking tip lines specifically built for anglers that like a balanced casting rig. A unique, fatter body section eliminates the “kick” usually associated with casting sink tip lines; while the longer front tapers ensure the line does not dump on the forward cast. The supple floating body section allows anglers to easily mend and control the way the fly fishes, making it ideal for river anglers. Each line has a welded loop on the front end for easy rigging. Sink Rate of 3 inches per second.
Rio 15 foot Type 6 Sinking Tip Fly Line
- A series of sinking tip lines specifically built for anglers that like a balanced casting rig. A unique, fatter body section eliminates the “kick” usually associated with casting sink tip lines; while the longer front tapers ensure the line does not dump on the forward cast. The supple floating body section allows anglers to easily mend and control the way the fly fishes, making it ideal for river anglers. Each line has a welded loop on the front end for easy rigging. Sink rate of 6 inches per second.
Rio Streamer Tip
A series of sinking tip lines specifically built for fly fishers that like to fish streamers out of a boat. A short, heavy head loads rods at close range, allowing anglers to make fast, one-shot casts. An aggressive, powerful front taper casts large conehead muddlers and bunny leech rigs with ease, while a welded loop on the front end allow anglers to change rigs quickly. Built with a supple coldwater coating, this line will not tangle off the reel. Intermediate sink rate 1.5 inches per second. Type 6 sink rate 6 inches per second.