Head Hunting with Jeff

Swinging For Big Trout with Jeff Rawlins

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Photo by Lisa Rawlins

I had the privilege of swinging for Trout on the Deschutes River last Saturday with my friend, mentor, fishing buddy, and fellow Steelhead junkie Jeff Rawlins. It was a beautiful January day with fairly calm winds and warm temps. Freshly hatched dry flies with Latin names I cant pronounce were landing on our ears as we caught some serious vitamin D rays and a couple fat trout. I took the advice of friends on Speypages and took some beautiful footage doing the best I could to avoid glare.

Jeff had a pretty good tug a few casts in.  Sorry about the music,  I needed something to drown my commentary but couldn’t find any Taylor Swift songs two minutes long.

Fish Skull Skulpins and shooting heads.  These things are heavy.  They are a pain to cast.  But they have produced some huge Trout for Jeff so we decided to do a little side by side comparison test.  He used a Skagit head and I used my beloved Rio Scandi Versitip.  The bottom line is the Skagit head made casting the weighted skull a little easier but the Scandi Short Versitip did a pretty decent job of getting it out there.  Yes, heavier tips might have helped turn these little tanks over. We just we made due with what we had. Timing was a little more critical but we got the job done.  I have cast these same flies using the fabled CND GPS lines, chopped of course because I cant leave well enough alone and “improved” the design by removing the long rear taper of a heavier class line and using it as a short midbelly.  Its actually a pretty sweet shooting head but it was entirely too much work to chuck these heavy skull head patterns with a 32′ belly with a sinktip so I bagged that program and reserved the longer lines for ideal situations.  Of course the other option is to use a lighter fly which I prefer so I ended up fishing a Wooly Bugger. 

We did not catch the huge trout we were after but caught some smaller stuff.



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