Odds 'n' Sods of Information and Opinion

On why we should love intermediates

The intermediate fly line just doesn’t get enough love. Salmon and striped bass anglers are all well aware of just how fishy intermediates can be. I think I’ve caught more trout, steelhead, smallmouth and striped bass on intermediates than any other line type despite using other line types more frequently. These days we have the option of using intermediate Skagit heads as well, so regardless of our quarry or our style of fishing, there’s an intermediate line for us.

What is it about intermediates that makes them effective?

When swinging flies, it isn’t about depth as a sinktip can get as deep or deeper, rather it’s about the presentation. Intermediates will run straighter than a sinktip and will run slower. In dirty and cold water, they can be particularly effective as their slow presentation gives the fish a better chance at the fly.

When we’re using them while stripping streamers, they will not cause the fly to rise in the water column when it is stripped hard. Sinktips cause a rise and sink during the stripping motion and when stripped hard will cause the fly to rise up and stay up. Intermediates are not affected nearly as much, helping the fly to stay down.

On a number of occasions I’ve fished the same trout or bass water as sinktip users and have come away with more fish every time. There is no doubt in my mind as to the effectiveness of the intermediate line.