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Community Forums › Fishing by Species › Salmon and Steelhead › Jimmy D's Drift Fishing Clinic
Jimmy D's Drift Fishing Clinic
An area to discuss Salmon and Steelhead fishing.
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AdiposeSoup
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Joined: Feb 15, 2005
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Location: Tri-Cities

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 10:12 pm    Post subject: Jimmy D's Drift Fishing Clinic Reply with quote

Hard to believe it's been a year since I reported my successes at Ringold last January. Anybody been out there this year? Am going to make an honest attempt at getting there this weekend and would love to be able to share a success story with you all.


Last edited by AdiposeSoup on Fri Jan 13, 2006 7:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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JimmyD
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Joined: Mar 01, 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:26 am    Post subject: Re: Anybody fish Ringold lately? Reply with quote

Go git 'm Adipose! And please do report back! A little good news might help me get off the couch and out on the river.
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AdiposeSoup
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Anybody fish Ringold lately? Reply with quote

Will let you know how it goes!
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dev88t
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 5:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Anybody fish Ringold lately? Reply with quote

JimmyD you are a drift fishing guy aren't you? I might have to con you to get off the couch one of these days by driving you to the river so you can teach how to drift fish!
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JimmyD
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Anybody fish Ringold lately? Reply with quote

Dev,
Ringold has the best drift fishing water around here. That would be a good
place to get you started on drift fishing.

Something to think about is that in controlled line drift fishing the depth of the bait is controlled with the tension in the line. Having a heavy enough weight so the force of the current on the line drags the weight along the bottom is a mistake. You want to have a weight just heavy enough that you can probe for the bottom by decreasing line tension ( by free spooling a little or dropping your rod tip), and then increase line tension by lifting your rod tip to get the weight off the bottom and swing it smoothly through the drift near the bottom, maybe dropping back down to touch the bottom if you feel the need to check you're still close.

Some people use a slinky just heavy enough that it drags "lightly" along the bottom.

I'd be glad to go up to Ringold with you and get you started.

One of the problems in teaching drift fishing is that the important stuff is hard to see. You can watch a fly fisherman and see what he's doing. But you can't see line tension or what's going on between the drift fisherman's thumb and the reel spool. A couple of drift fishermen can be fishing next to each other, one is an expert and the other is a novice. Watching them it's hard to see much difference.
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dev88t
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 8:44 am    Post subject: Re: Anybody fish Ringold lately? Reply with quote

Thanks for the description JimmyD. Makes a little more sense the way that you wrote it. I have always had the mentality that why try it when I do not even know where to begin, but I think I will give it a try one of these days now. I would definetly take you up for a lesson on the water too. Thanks again, Dev88T
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JimmyD
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:26 am    Post subject: Re: Anybody fish Ringold lately? Reply with quote

If anybody has any questions about drift fishing, I would be glad to attempt an answer.

When I started Steelheading there were only three techniques in common use. Drift fishing, fly fishing, and plunking.

I've done all three but have been a drift fisherman most of my life.
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RAE
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Joined: Mar 29, 2005
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Location: Spokane WA.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Anybody fish Ringold lately? Reply with quote

JimmyD I have been out to the Grande Rounde several times over the past year and would totally agree that it is a great place to learn to drift fish. I also noticed that you mentioned that you should not let the line drag the weight on the bottom, but measure out enough weight to keep you very close but in slight contact with more of a free drift.

I was taught slightly different and would love to come learn a better technique for drift fishing. I was taught to have enough weight on the line so that I have a constant ticking with the bottom. They told me if I'm not losing tackle I'm not doing it right. I was also taught that as the line stops in the current to pull back softly to check for bottom or strike on those light hits where they may have only mouthed it.

Sometimes your lucky and they just take it, but most of the time it is so soft you don't even notice they are there. There are many times where it is frustrating because it is hard to distinguish the bottom from a strike. It sounds as though you would be alot more effective with distinguishing what is a strike as you are not in contact with the bottom so much.

The way you are describing it by just keeping close contact and swinging more freely through the current dropping down the tip every once in awhile to know how far away from the bottom you are in your drift sounds like you would be more effective. I would like to see how you handle your drift with your tension and slack.

I would love to come over to Ringold that is very close to me and get a few tips. When do you think you will be down there again? I live up in Spokane and have been talking with Devt88 about possibly going to the Grande Rounde a little bit later this year to do some drift fishing.

It would be great if we could all hook up for a trip to Ringold, it would be nice to put a few faces with all the great advise. Even more important to make a few new fishing buddies.

RAE
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dev88t
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 6:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Anybody fish Ringold lately? Reply with quote

I would be up for that. I can only make it out on the weekends, unless I know far enough ahead (like a week) that I can take a day off.

Dev88T
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JimmyD
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 10:16 am    Post subject: Re: Anybody fish Ringold lately? Reply with quote

Lord RAE! You live in Spokane and call Ringold close! If I had your youthful attitude I would drive down to the Klickitat for a day's fishing! Back in the day I would leave Seattle at 3 AM on a winter morning to be fishing the mouth of the Salmon on the Queets at first light. But that was a long time ago.

The Grand Rhond is too far for me but it's a famous fly fishing stream. If it's good for fly fishing there should be a ton of good drift fishing water.

You are right. The technique used by most drift fishermen is to let the force of the current on the line drag the weight along the bottom. A common term for drift fishing is "bottom bouncing" and a thousand times I've heard someone say with complete assurance "If you ain't bouncing on the bottom, you ain't fishing!" or " If you ain't losing gear, you ain't fishing."
I would paraphrase that to say " If you're dragging along the the bottom you are fishing out of control."

In what I call "controlled line drift fishing" you strive for complete control of the drift and the presentation. You never achieve the goal of complete control, and you still lose some gear, but that's what keeps it interesting. One of the nice things about drift fishing is that you can keep improving your technique all your life.

I'll try to get back to this and talk about some reasons why controlled line drift fishing is so effective in the next day or so.
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E-mann
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 4:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Anybody fish Ringold lately? Reply with quote

This thread should read, "JimmyD's drift fishing clinic." I'm already looking forward to the next installment. Tons of experience, and he writes really well too.

Thanks,

E-mann

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JimmyD
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Jimmy D's Drift Fishing Clinic Reply with quote

So it’s clinic? I don’t want to work that hard at it but I am willing to give a shot at answering any questions about drift fishing techniques.

For beginning drift fishermen one good place to start would be learn to make a fly fisherman type presentation.

Don’t worry about getting down real deep. As a matter of fact, try not to touch the bottom. Just strive for a controlled smooth medium deep drift up in the water column where you don’t touch the bottom.. But stay in control of your line with your rod tip. Following your line with your rod tip and raising or lowering your rod tip, reeling in or freespooling when necessary, control line tension and direction of pull (from the rod tip) to control depth and get a nice smooth controlled presentation.. Don’t worry about getting deep at first. Just make it swing smoothly down the river and back across to below you. If the lead moves into softer water, lift the rod tip so it swims smoothly up off the rocks, moving as slowly as possible and still not hitting bottom.

Fish it like you would fish a spinner or spoon in drift fishing water, not hitting the bottom..(I don’t do much of that! If I can get a drift, I prefer to drift fish.)

If you are covering a lot of water, you can stay right there with that style of drift fishing and catch fish!

But after you have gained control of the line, you can probe for the bottom and use bottom touch as a sensor to confirm depth. But don’t touch bottom so much that it interferes with making a nice smooth presentation.

I came to drift fishing from a different direction, being in the bottom bouncing out of control lead dragging majority for years. I believe the approach above might take you more directly to a good experience drift fishing.



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driftfish
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Jimmy D's Drift Fishing Clinic Reply with quote

Hey Guys, I've been enjoying the topic. I thought I'd get my two cents worth on the Grande Ronde. It's a fantastic river to drift fish, but the last couple of years, when we had low,cold, clear conditions through the winter, jig and bobber fishing has out fished drifting 3 to 1. My guess is because it does present your offering much more natural. I also believe that when the water is cold, less than 40 degrees, the fish prefer the frogg water in the deep holes whiich are very hard to drift fish. Not a great technique with all the rain and high water we are getting now, but something to remember when water is cold and flows are down and visibility is 6+ feet. When flows are high and muddy, I've had some great days drifting tight to the bank, not more the 15 feet out (sometimes just a couple of feet out).
Has anyone fished the clearwater lately? I'd love a report.

Driftfish
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RAE
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Jimmy D's Drift Fishing Clinic Reply with quote

Wow!! What a bunch of awesome techniques and tips. When I first started visiting this site last year, there seemed to be more focus on where the fish are right now.

I am very pleased to see all of the helpful hints and tips. Being new to Steelhead and Salmon fishing these tips can only make your fishing trip more productive. I have so many new techniques to try out this year. I truly feel we should have a tips and techniques section for this web site it would be truly helpful. Think about all of the experience out there.

You made me laugh out loud when you mentioned that I said Ringold is close. I guess the truth is I am living on the wrong side of the state when it comes to Steelhead and Salmon fishing. The 2 1/2 to 3hr trip that it requires to get to the water seems like a hop and a skip away.

I generally go for 2-3 days when I go. I plan on going to the Grande Rounde the 27th, 28th, and 29th of January for a couple days of relaxation and great fishing. Hopefully I will have some pics to post when I get back.

Devt88 if your interested I will be there for the dates above. I will spend alot of time by the fish hatchery and also right down from Bogans over by the rock wall where the deeper water is. That way I can get a little drift fishing and jig fishing in.

I own a little red Toyota RAV 4 I will be camping out, maybe I'll see ya there sweeeet!!!

RAE
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E-mann
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Joined: Feb 09, 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:25 am    Post subject: Re: Jimmy D's Drift Fishing Clinic Reply with quote

Here's a couple of drift fishing questions I've had over the years. I guess a lot of the "answers" are only opinion, but I'm espeically curious to hear from folks who've been using the method for many years on many different water types:

Level wind or Spinning reel? I hear about the ability to free spool--I can do it with a spinning reel by opening the bail and controling the line with a finger on the spool, but is a level wind definately a better option? It would seem you sacrfice a little casting distance.

Sliding or fixed weight? I've tried both, but I'm such a rookie, I don't really notice a difference.

What is the best type of rigging for tangle-free casting?

Thanks,

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