Winter Salmon/Steelhead fly?


Active Member
Big question here. Considering the conditions of the rivers these days--and probably into the winter or the next rain--I'm wondering what flies you all use when the rivers are high and/or dirty. They say bright is best at these times, but I'm wondering about specific colors, tinseling, and patterns in general. Also add whether it's a fish deep, dry or just-under fly. Give it up ladies and gentlemen! :THUMBSUP
Big (1/0 isn't too big), full-dressed flies fished deep (sinking tip or weighted fly) off of a 4 to 6 ft very stiff leader. Did I say very stiff - You're gonna need stiff, short leaders to unroll these babies properly. Leeches (esp articulated), spun marabou, etc. and other patterns that have a lot of movement. The Skagit Minnow (an articulated pattern) in purple and/or black is a good prototype.





Your comment on stiff leader got me thinking. For winter fish I tend to prefer a limper leader as I think it gives the fly more action. Granted, if you fish a loop knot as I do, you will have fly action either way but just feel the more the better. For the summer leaders I build, I certainly incorporate stiffer material for everything but the tippet. For 4'-6' sinktip setups though, I have never had any trouble getting them to turn over.

For winter fish I tend to prefer a limper leader as I think it gives the fly more action.
This is the first I've heard of limpness/stiffness being associated with a fly's action in the water. But I am certainly no expert in these things so I don't disagree. In any case, if you can turn over a bunny leech tied on a 1/0 weighted hook while casting a limp leader, you're my hero.

I certainly agree 100% with your strategy of using a loop knot for better action. :THUMBSUP