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Fly Lines for Stillwaters Pt. 2

Jan 27, 2021

Demystifying the world of sinking lines for fly fishing in stillwaters...

Okay, in part one we talked floating lines for stillwater fly fishing, but there's one thing about floating lines that makes them slightly easier to understand than sinking lines... they all float! What makes sinking lines a bit more complicated is that it can become a game of splitting hairs. 

Hover - This line doesn't get fished as much as the rest of the ones on this list, but it absolutely has its time and place. This is a great line for fishing shallow water with mayfly nymphs, waterboatmen, shrimp and leeches. A beautiful attribute to this line is that it does not create a wake in the surface film, but sinks slow enough to avoid hooking up on bottom.

Clear Camo - 
A great tool for shallow water, and a spectacular line for fishing both leeches and shrimp in shallow water. This is also a great line for fishing chironomid pupa through deeper water when fish are suspended sporadically throughout the water column.

Seamless Density S1/S3 - 
This is a workhorse line, with a medium sink rate of 3 ips (inches per second). This line fishes great in water that is 8-15 feet deep, with a multitude of patterns and imitations. Blobs, dragons, leeches, scuds, backswimmers, boatmen, caddis pupa, there really aren't a lot of situations this line will not cater to.

Seamless Density S3/S5 - 
Another sinking line that sees a staggering number of game time, and one that carries the quality of diversity. I fish this line with boobies, dragons, leeches, boatmen, the list would go on forever. If it moves in water between 12 and 25 feet deep, I will be imitating it with the S3/S5 line.

Seamless Density S5/S7 - 
This line sinks at an incredible rate, and is a weapon for fishing deep water or buoyant patterns on marl flats. Boobies fished quickly in shallow water with a short leader are a great method in which the S5/S7 shines. Another instance that comes to mind is crawling floating dragonfly nymph patterns close to the bottom, or dangling chironomids vertically in deep water.

Parabolic Sink - 
Even though the goal for fly lines over the past few years has been to eliminate 'belly', there are times when it's not all that bad! Any time you desire the fly to be pulled down in the water column, such as the way water boatmen move, the parabolic sink is a great place to start.

There you have it, a full list of sinking lines for stillwaters! If this interests you, then you're going to love what Phil Rowley and I are going to be releasing next month with Stillwater Academy! Head to to join the waitlist and receive notifications leading up to opening day.



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