So it's winter time and many of us turn to chasing winter run fish. As we all know, swinging flies is a highly effective way of covering water, and hitting these migrating trout. However some anglers are way more successful than others, and this usually comes down to their superior line control.
These fish aren't often actively hunting food, and you often have to pester them into eating your fly. The longer your fly spends right infront of their nose, down in the zone the more time they have to consider it, and snap at it.
Let's slow down that swing:
1: Consider your casting angle: Casting across stream covers a lot of currents and results in a faster overall swing. Try casting on more of a shallower, downstream angle and swinging back in to avoid many pesky seams, and achieve a more controlled swing.
2: Mend: that's it. Do it.
3: Walk: Walking a few paces downstream as your fly swings will both slow down the swing and keep you more active.
4: Consider a sinking line: Despite being heavier and resisting the current more so than a light, buoyant floater, getting beneath those quicker surface currents with an intermediate, or heavier line will result in a slower, more controlled swing where you remain in total control.
5: Employ a shorter head flyline: Consider a shorter head to present less line to the current. A compact skagit head or similar shooting head set up will lie across fewer troublesome currents than a longer belly line, and with the rod tip held high the thin running line can often be held completely off the water with just the shorter, heavier head touching for a slower, uber controlled drift.
Bonus tip: lead or follow your line with your rod tip rather than point it straight down your line to either speed up, or slow down your swing. Following your line from an upstream angle will slow your swing, whereas leading your line will create a belly and speed up your swing. Both are good depending on the situation.
It's all in the details!
Check out more of Chris' insights over at www.chrisdore.com