Scott Baker-McGarva, our head guide at BC West on the Dean River, checks in today with more tips for your anadromous angling pleasure. Our topic? The Rodney Dangerfield of sinktips – the intermediate.
Intermediate Tips and You
If there is an unused tip in your sink-tip wallet, my money would say it’s an intermediate one. You know, the clear one that came with your multi-tip spey or versi-tip fly line set up?
It’s there for a reason, as intermediate tips have several applications that are often overlooked by anglers.
Sink rates on intermediate tips are generally in the 1.5 IPS (Inches per second) range, and although this sounds quite slow, that really depends on the speed of the water you are fishing.
I find intermediate tips have three distinct uses.
The first is to ‘fish the beach’, and I mean the beach, as in the water at your toes, particularly boulders and riffle type beaches. By using an intermediate tip and a weighted or un-weighted fly, a fisher can easily fish soft edges, riffles and drops-offs close to shore with minimal hang ups and stealth. The clear tip material doesn’t throw a strong shadow and often can be the ticket for spooky fish wary of dark colored lines crashing on the water like a piece of chain. Cohos (silvers) lined up in back eddies are prime candidates for a retrieved streamer and an intermediate tip as well, as one can hover the fly around the typically suspended fish.
My second application is for bright days and clear water, again using its stealthy clear finish to make presentations to otherwise spooky fish.
Finally, I often fish these tips in water with a strong riffle or ‘jiggle’ patch on top. The slow sink rate keeps the fly line and fly just under the wave action of the surface, provide a nice smooth swing without any interference from the surface action.
Since the line itself is clear, leader application can be short, by still retain a strong butt section. I find 6-7 ft leaders best for nice turnover without defeating the 1.5 IPS sink rate of the tip. I would also note that 12ft plus ‘poly’ leaders also suit these purposes, although they don’t pass muster tossing bigger flies as well as standard tips.