Tips on Fly Fishing Tips, Part 1

By Mike McCune


My steelhead beginnings were reasonably simple. I started out with a 9 foot 9 weight fiberglass rod, a click and pawl reel, and a Hi-D shooting head bolted on to monofilament shooting line with a clinch knot. Depth was achieved by angle of cast and weight of fly, control of the swing was non-existent as the line and fly were at the mercy of the current. This was cast and chance fishing of the highest order.

As time went by, it became obvious that this system worked well in certain water types and failed miserably in others. Fascinated by the shooting head profiles in Trey Combs 1976 book Steelhead Fly Fishing and Flies I started building my own lines in order to properly fish a wider array of the situations that I encountered. Little did I realize that this would heavily influence my decisions when I first picked up a two handed rod some years later.