My clients know how I love to pursue fish with dry flies. Tossing emergers along a banks to sipping brown trout or swinging skaters over a tailout for steelhead, it’s become my favorite approach for catching fish. Due to several variables, fish don’t always look to the surface for their food despite of how we want to catch them. This is why anglers choose other presentation methods to increase opportunities at catching fish on the fly.



As our gear improves and fly fishing methods get more refined through the years, we’ve discovered that some of our conventional fishing terminal tackle is lending itself nicely in our fly fishing presentation methods. Hard to believe, but it’s been over 30 years ago since bobbers crossed over and became “strike indicators.”  Another great piece of conventional tackle that’s been infiltrating the fly world is a micro swivel. In the size little bit smaller than a dime, a micro swivel can be just what your missing in your rigging equation for your subsurface presentation. I prefer the black anodized options or gunmetal gray as it tends to attract less strikes from curious fish.

Have you ever had your leader bind up and twist up when fishing subsurface? When your rig finishes the dead drift and swings up to the surface of the water downstream of you, it will usually spin until it is picked up and cast back to a drag-free dead drift. By adding a swivel into the lower 4 feet just above your flies and split shot, this will greatly reduce if not eliminate the line twists.

When you’re fishing on lakes using chironomids, a long leader becomes necessary to hang your bugs just off the bottom. On some of the lakes I guide we have leader lengths as long as 15 ft. Having this micro swivel in place allows us to use a quick release indicator that can slide down to the swivel when released during the hook set. This helps the angler land fish easier by bringing the longer leader into the rod tip and the fish closer to hand.

I hope this little tip helps ease your tangles and keeps your flies soaking longer allowing more hook ups!



– Dan Anthon is a Echo Pro Team member and full-time fly fishing guide for Confluence Fly Shop and Deep Canyon Outfitters in Central Oregon. For more information, check out his website or email