Video: How to Swing for Steelhead Like the Pros

Written by: Derek Botchford and Steve Morrow, Epic Waters Angling

Epic Waters Angling and Orvis have teamed up to create a steelheading miniseries. Using the latest Orvis prototypes, the clips are specifically catered to small-stream tactics. After a busy season of guiding, Derek Botchford and Steve Morrow set out to deliver viewers techniques that are designed to elevate the game of steelhead anglers from the west to the Great Lakes.

Some guys are just fishy. They seem to hold the keys to piscine attraction, and it looks like they just pitch their fly out there and hold on. But this is an illusion. These anglers have mastered some of the subtleties of the sport that may not be readily apparent to the average Joe.

A fly rod is a highly specialized tool that requires your constant input to preform its best. Throughout your swing, there are things that you can do that can elevate you to “fishy” status. One of the most important considerations is rod position. During the swing, you can allow your rod to lag behind the line to slow the drift, or even reach way across to keep the fly in a lie longer. Leading the line will do the opposite, speeding up the fly. Remember that the more parallel you head is travelling to the current the less belly will develop.

Another consideration is tension on the line. If you try to dramatically slow a fly by mending or reaching and holding it, you will create tension on the line. Try holding your line still in a frothy shoot, and you’ll see everything rise to the surface. Master anglers achieve a balance between the slowest presentation possible and trying to achieve some additional depth.

See all 15 videos in this series on the
Orvis Fly Fishing Learning Center.

One thought on “Video: How to Swing for Steelhead Like the Pros”

  1. Love your attention to the swing. Some of the best instruction and inspiration I’ve seen. Would love to fish with you guys some day.


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