Steelhead newbie

Jake Bannon

nymphs for steelhead....
Well a newbie to fishing them with flies at least. Anyways Im gonna pick up a new Lamiglas 8wt shortly with a new reel and I was thinking of putting on a full floater. The reason is that if I had a permanant sink tip then that would disable me from being able to nymph things under indicaters. Not being made of money I would buy one attachable Rio sink tip to hopefully suit me for most typical steelhead holding water. All this brings me to the question would a type 6 sink tip be a good choice for wanting to swing flies? I also do all my steelhead fishing on the coast and Oly Penn if that helps at all water wise. Thanks for the help.




A sink tip is nearly a necessity. I use a 12 foot sink tip and also recently purchased a full sinking line for my 8 wt but have not had the chance to use it yet. Not that I am this big steelhead expert, but nearly all the steelhead I have caught so far have been on sink tips, getting the fly down is important. I have caught a few on the floating line. I did purchase the multiple tip line but almost exclusively use the fastest sinking tip on rivers. I use the others sparingly but not for steelhead or on rivers. Get it down as quickly as you can using fast sinking tip and mending techniques would be my advice.

Will Atlas

I think a 15 foot type VI is the most versatile sink tip there is. That being said, I have a type III and a type VIII both of which get a considerable amount of playing time. Not sure how the full float will cast tips. You want my advice, skip the indicators and learn how to fish steelhead for real ;). Really though, just get a shooting head and you shouldnt have any trouble getting a sinktip or an indicator out there.

As far as flies go, I'm an absolute fiend for flies. But in all honesty you could probably get bye fishing only marabous if you wanted. My favorite winter color combos are...
-orange and red
-Red and black
-pink and purple
-blue and purple
-black and blue

If you're out on the coast pretty often you should hit up waters west. Dave Steinbaugh is one of the most knowledgeable steelheaders I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. Pick his brain. Also, PM me if you're headed out to the coast, I'll be out there as much as possible this winter and I'd be glad to show you what little I know.