Who even fishes a 15' type III anymore, are we in the stone ages? Everyone knows that real steelheaders only fish T-14 right....well maybe sometimes I fish it. No one gives the classic 15' type III its props anymore but the sink tip does work. Especially this time of year when then the water can be pretty low and cold, fish will sit in some of the softest little grease pots on the river. Try swimming a 10 foot piece of T14 into the hangdown there. Some guys I know only ever use type IIIs, but lately I've found my go to tip is 10 ft of T14. It sinks nice, stays down and can be fished at a variety of depths depending on the angle of the cast and the density of the fly.
Still there is a special kind of water. Those 3 foot deep, ambling, easy runs where you only want to get down 20-24 inches anyway and anything heavier hangs up. When the water is very cold, and or very high fish will sit right along the edge of the river and fishing all the way to the hangdown in key. With a type three I just huck and let the fly swim, knowing full well it will make it all the way through without hanging up. When the water is moving that slow the fish are unlikely to be glued to the bottom anyway so getting it down a foot or two is normally just what you need. TBone got his last winterfish on a floating line right in the hangdown sauce, these early winter fish are just that lazy.
Cant exactly blame them though, god the days are short. Even pulling dawn patrol, its lucky if I make it through 5 runs in a day of fishing right now. I hate floating early in the winter cause everytime I fish hard at the start and then realize I'm out of daylight and have to paddle my ass off to make it out before dark. I know its normally a no no, but lately with time being so limited for fishing I've been higrading the runs alot more. Just fishing the real meaty bit and moving on. I figure fishing the fishiest bits of a few more places probably ups the odds a bit more than covering all the water. Its always a shame to do that of course because it doesnt allow you to learn the rest of a run and sometimes they hold surprises. Like little buckets or ledges you dont notice until you've fished it a few times and really felt how the fly swims, or structure you don't really know is there until the water drops and clears. Every year brings new challenges, the water changes, sometimes washing away old reliable pieces of water, sometimes rejuvenating those long ago left for filled in. Pulling the DP again tomorrow with a possibility of meeting up with TBone in the evening. Its been a while since we fished plus the waters come up a bit in the last day and things could be looking pretty cherry tomorrow.