Odds 'n' Sods of Information and Opinion


Swymphing is the art of dead drifting a fly on a tight line, then swinging it out at the end, all without the aid of splitshot and bobbers. My Grey Catt and P&O Variant flies are easily adapted to swymphing as they’re buggy and move well when dead drifted. Choose your flies for the technique, not just any steelhead wet.

The best place for the technique is when we’re working a river and find a small feature that doesn’t lend itself to traditional swinging. As an example, we may have a fish holding hole where water swings around the back of an island and has scoured out a deep slot. Hard to swing, easy to nymph, but we have swinging gear in our hands so what to do? Swymph it.

Cast upstream and then maintain contact with the fly using a high sticking approach, as it dead drifts down and sinks. As it draws level with us, flip the rod low and out over the river to bring the fly under tension. It will lift and start to swing -- usually the point where the fish crush it.

So the next time you see an obvious nymphing run, don’t walk on by, swymph it!