Michigan River Fishing Rigging & Tackle

Michigan Chuck & Duck System

  • Move versatile way to present flies to salmon & steelhead.
  • Gets down fast to fish in deep & fast water.
  • Flies Stay in Strike Zone!
  • Easy to learn.

Michigan Indicator Nymping Rig System

  • Flies get natural drift.
  • Strike indicator (bobber)
  • Casting skills needed!
  • Great way to fish shallow water.
  • Exciting way to fish for Michigan Salmon & Steelhead.

Michigan Spey Float System

  • Natural drift, long drift (great for fishing long steelhead runs)
  • Great for bigger rivers such as the Manistee & Muskegon rivers.
  • Fish 3′- 10′ of depth.
  • Flies get natural drift (90 degree nymphing).
  • Strike indicator (bobber)

Michigan Streamer Rig

  • Great hits!
  • Fish stronger tippet.
  • Casting skills needed!
  • Swinging flies for steelhead!
  • Great way cover water and look for aggressive fish!

Fly Fishing Knots

The first thing to understand is there is no single perfect knot for every situation.  Each knot has its benefits and draw backs.  One may be stronger, but may be more difficult to tie. Not all knots work with line of differing thicknesses.  Remember to always lubricate the line before tightening a knot, using water or saliva.  And finally, trim the loose ends close to the knot to prevent the pick up of vegetation by the tag ends.

Research the knots you need and practice to get comfortable with them.  This will pay dividends when fishing.  On a rocking boat or waist deep in water with fish biting all around you is not the time to learn a new knot.

You need a knot to connect the Backing to the Reel (Arbor Knot); the Backing to the Fly Line (Nail Knot); a terminal loop connection for Loop to Loop Fly line to Leader or Loop to Fly (Surgeon’s Loop); a knot to connect line to line (including lines of differing thicknesses), such as when building leaders or replacing tippet material (Surgeon’s Knot); and a terminal tackle connection, such as tippet to a fly. (Eugene Bend Knot)
Lefty Kreh recommends against the Improved Cinch knot.  “I had used it for years, since it was the first knot I learned.  If you are comfortable with the Improved Cinch knot, consider doubling your line and use the doubled end to tie the improved Cinch.  This increases its strength to over 95%.  Saltwater fish are typically stronger than freshwater fish and I noticed that I had more knot failures than I had experiences in the past.  I suggest the Eugene Bend Knot, Trilene Knot or Palomar Knot to connect directly to terminal tackle.  I use a Surgeons Loop to connect to flies that need a loose connection to increase the flies action.”

“To form a loop in the end of my fly line, I prefer to use a heavy mono or Fluorocarbon and tie a nail knot or two around the fly line to form a loop.  I then wrap the nail knots with Fly tying Mono or thread and coat this with UV Knot Sense.  The chinese finger puzzle type loop to loop connectors may be okay for small to moderate trout, but I have heard too many stories about them failing on large Trout and in Saltwater applications. ”

UV Knot Sense is a compound that protects knots and keeps them from slipping, provided they are tied and tightened properly.  It comes in a small tube and is activated by UV light, so apply it in the shade and them expose the knot to the sunlight to get a quick cure of the compound.  If you attempt to apply UV Knot Sense in direct sunlight, it will literally cure as it comes out of the tube and form a thick gel.

Backing Knot to Reel
Shown above is an overhand knot around the backing, with an overhand knot in the end of the backing.  This first overhand knot slips to allow the Backing to grip the reel and allow purchase to pull line in.  The second overhand knot prevents the first from coming undone.  This knot gets tighter the harder you pull on it.

Albright Knot
The Albright Knot is used to join two lines of differing thicknesses, such as building Leaders.
Albright Knot rated at 95 to 100% of line strength

Blood Knot rated at 80 to 85% of line strength
The Blood Knot is used to join two lines of approximately the same diameter. (within 1X of each other)

Eugene Bend Knot at rated close to 100% of line strength
Lefty Kreh recommends the “Eugene Bend Knot” to connect the leader to the fly.  When done correctly, this knot gives off a “Click or Pop”, as the knot becomes fully seating during tightening and provides 100% of the line strength.  To tighten the Eugene Bend Knot: Pull the tag end of the line away from the hook until the knot is snug, but not completely tight.  The knot will slide up the line away from the hook, it is okay.  To set the knot:  Lubricate with water or siliva and pull the standing end of the line until the knot slides down the line to the fly and seats.  This is when you should hear the click or pop, signaling the knot is fully seated.  The Tag end will form a “V” in reference to the standing line.  Clip the tag end short so it will not collect moss and other items.  This knot worked well on tippets up to 12-15 pounds.  At that point it is difficult to fully seat the knot using hard mono lines.

Palomar Knot
Knots that hold the hook and have the line pass through the eye twice, such as the Trilene and Palomar knots are stronger knots, providing almost full line strength.  The Palomar Knot is also useful for tying terminal tackle to Kevlar lines, such as Power Pro.
Palomar Knot rated at 85 to 90% of line strength.

Trilene Knot rated at 85 to 95% of line strength
Another Knot Lefty Kreh recommendations for connecting the fly to the leader is the Trilene Knot.  “This is one of the strongest and easiest knots to attach your tippet to fly.  Since the tippet must pass through the hook twice, it does not work well with small hook eyes.”  This is rarely an issue in saltwater fishing.  Make sure you close it tightly.