Fly Fishing Tips When to Use a Sinking Line

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Fly Fishing
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Fly Fishing for Beginners
Fly Fishing Beginners
Added Date:
Wednesday, 13 Apr, 2016
Summary
You only need a sinking line when you're fishing a "deep" hole, right? Think again. You can fish a sinking line at almost any depth. Read these tips.
 
Content

I spent years carrying around a variety of sinking lines on spare spools and never ended up using them. I packed them around mostly for lake fishing, but rarely got them out for the river. My home court is the upper Madison River where a "deep" hole is 3 feet at the most. You don't need sinking line to get down 3 feet right?  Wrong. You can fish a sinking line in almost any depth. It is less about depth and more about how a sinking line makes the fly behave. A fly on the end of a sinking line stays flat in the water. On the other hand, stripping streamers on a dry line especially flies with a heavy head tend to go up and down.

Read More How Do I Tie on My Fly

I want my streamer down and dirty a couple of inches off the bottom, running flat just like a live bait fish. I think the best way to accomplish this is the slow swing with an intermediate or full sink depending on the depth of the water. This doesn't mean that sinking lines are always the way to go.

Sometimes we fish the Madison River early in the morning when the fish are still stacked on the banks. In this situation the fly needs to land right next to the bank behind every little rock, bush, log or whatever. Two twitches and one strip and that thing needs to be back in the air and on its way to the next spot. When fishing this aggressive rapid fast moving style, sinking lines are to slow to get out of the water because you have to strip most of the way in to reload and fire. By doing this, you end up missing every other spot and the name of the game is show the fly to as many big fish as possible. So if you're fishing fast staccato style, keep your sinking line in your bag.

Read More Learning to Fly Fish in Montana

 
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5minutes
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Destinations
 (2)
This is a small town with a big heart, a veritable fisherman’s paradise. Located near the fish-filled Madison River, and surrounded by the waters of Ennis Lake, the Ruby River, Hebgen ... moreLake, Quake Lake, Henry’s Lake, the Big Hole River and scores of smaller streams, the town boasts what many consider the best trout fishing in the world. As well known for its wranglers as its anglers, Ennis has succeeded in maintaining the look and feel of its original, gold town roots. Warm and hospitable, the area offers a wide variety of accommodations ranging from simple campsites, rustic motels and gracious hotels, to full-service, luxury resorts. Fly shops are numerous, stocked by local experts ready to advise and assist, while guides can be booked for trips throughout the area.

Boredom is the only thing unavailable in Ennis. Throughout the summer season the city hosts a series of events, including its renowned 4th of July Celebration Parade and a genuine, old-fashioned rodeo. In August, fly-fishing luminaries from around the US, flock to Montana to compete in the Madison Fly Fishing Festival. Athletes also find their way to Ennis to compete in the city’s Madison Trifecta, two shorter races followed by a full Marathon at 9000 feet, the highest elevation run in America. For the true sportsman, October falls in with the annual Hunter’s Feed. What’s caught, typically elk, moose deer, pheasant and bobcat, gets cooked on the streets and served up to hungry spectators.

Flanked by three grand mountain ranges, The Tobacco Root, Gravelly and Madison, Ennis is scenic and entertaining – truly an authentic, fly fisher’s haven.
Fishing Waters
 (5)
The Madison River is arguably one of the best trout fishing rivers in all of southwest Montana, if not the entire world! It’s certainly the most talked over, written up and frequented ... morein the state of Montana – which is considered by some the capital of fly fishing. Anglers will find plenty of great access sites to wade or float along the Madison’s banks and reservoirs (including Hebgen Lake and Ennis Lake). Rainbows, browns, cutthroats, and more abound in this majestic fishing stream.

The Madison begins its course almost twenty miles into Yellowstone National Park. Within the Park, fishing rules apply: no live bait and catch and release only. Once outside the Park the river meanders past working ranches, stately conifer forests and cottonwood lined banks, interrupted by riffles and quiet runs that contain large rainbow and trophy brown trout. Flowing alongside Yellowstone’s West entrance road, the river enters Hebgen Lake, created by Hebgen dam, until it reaches Quake Lake, a bit downstream from the dam. At this point the river is commonly called either the Upper Madison or the Lower Madison, although in fact, they are one and the same.

Upper Madison – Quake Lake to Ennis Lake
Directly below Quake Lake the river roars into 5 long miles of Class V whitewater with steep gradients and large boulders along the way. As the rapids decline, the magic begins. For the next 53 miles, often referred to as the 50 Mile Riffle, the cold river runs north and the fish jump high. Annual runs of spawning trout make their way from Hebgen Lake, rainbows in the spring and browns in the fall. Known the world over for its “hard fighting” trout, it’s not unusual to pull a 25” brown from these upper waters. In deference to the purists and fly-fishing enthusiasts, it’s wading only from Quake Lake to Lyons Bridge. Boats may be used to access the river, but if you’re going to fish, your feet must be on the riverbed. Fortunately, the Hebgen Dam releases water throughout the year, leveling its flows and relieving it of spring runoff issues and summer shrinkage.

Lower Madison – Ennis Lakes to Three Forks
A short section of the river between Ennis Dam and the power station maintains relatively low water levels and provides wonderful opportunities for wading. Past the power station the river regains its muscle and for 7 miles winds through Bear Trap Canyon. Hiking trails offer the only entry, great for those that like to walk and seek the solitude of a designated wilderness area. Floating is permitted but requires a lengthy shuttle and the ability to work through Class III-IV whitewater. Once out of the canyon the river flows in shallow riffles until it reaches Three Forks and joins the Missouri. From Warm Springs to Greycliff, the river is easily accessible for drifters and wading.
Trips
$
1,625
-
$
1,925
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 3 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
5 days
 (1)
Experience the Madison River Like Never Before Learn the best spots on the Madison River with 5 great fishing days with Red Mountain Adventures. Eric Shores, with over 35 years of ... moreexperiencing guiding on the Madison River will take you down a journey of the best places to fish.

The journey starts on the Upper Madison River on a guided float trip covering about 8-11 miles of premier fly fishing water. The following day includes a recipe (location flies, and technique) on a do it yourself wade location near the fly fishing town of Ennis. The third day moves you on to where the Madison River dumps into Ennis Lake for a full float day stalking the giants. The following day provides instructions again for a do it yourself wade day. Location will depend on the hot locations during your visit. The final day is another full day float day on the lower Madison River. All together, you will experience the Madison River like never before by true expert.

Note: The order or location may change based on where the best spots are at the time.
$
385
-
$
525
/ Boat
Capacity:
2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
4 hours - 1 day
The Madison River is our home stream, so we specialize in guiding on this great river. We cater to anglers of all skill levels, from beginner fly fishermen looking to catch that first ... moretrout on a fly, to the seasoned angler seeking a veteran Montana fishing guide who knows these waters like the back of their hand. Our experienced guides will work hard to help you have a first-rate Montana fly fishing experience.
$
1,800
-
$
4,540
/ Angler
Capacity:
2 - 8 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
3 days - 7 days
Destination:
Experience the best of Montana fly fishing with our authentic all-inclusive packages at the T Lazy B Ranch. We fish some of the most famous Montana trout rivers including the Madison ... moreRiver, the Jefferson River, and the Yellowstone River.

Packages include:

3 night/2 day lodging, meals and 2 days of guided fishing

4 night/3 day lodging, meals and 3 days of guided fishing

5 night/4 day lodging, meals and 4 days of guided fishing

6 night/5 day lodging, meals and 5 days of guided fishing

7 night/6 day lodging, meals and 6 days of guided fishing

Pricing assumes double accupancy 
Outfitters
 (1)
Welcome to Southwest Montana's finest fly fishing adventures. Blue ribbon trout water is literally steps away when you visit us in the picturesque town of Ennis, Montana. You may spend ... morethe day on our home river, the world famous Madison or drive to one of our other local rivers such as the Big Hole, Beaverhead, Ruby or the Jefferson. Whether you are a new angler or an old pro we have the expertise and patience to make your time on the water chasing wild trout a success.
Type:
Fishing
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