Fishing for steelhead in the sun....

JesseC

Active Member
#1
I know this isn't a thread about wild vs native vs swinging vs beadazzling vs suing dfw..... so, I hope it's not mistakingly categorized as a troll topic because it's so far off the general topics as of late. This is real.

What tactics do you guys use when fishing for winter steelhead when it's bright and sunny? I know this happens maybe .01% of the time. But, I have to admit, my confidence level drops big time when the sun and glare come out. I honestly would rather fish an off color river given my history of sunny skunkage.

Do you lengthen the leader? Do you start fishing the riffles more? Do you look for the shade? Do you change up the color of your flies to something brighter?

Curious.
 

James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
#2
It depends on water clarity and height for me. If it's low clear and warm (50ish), long leaders, light tips and fine and far off. If it's sunny but with dirty water, same tactics as usual.
 
#3
Screw fishing, its time to crack a corona, light the BBQ and find a nice sandy beach!


OK, maybe I throw on a tip and start fishing faster/deeper water with brighter flies. And crack a corona...
 
#5
You come in here, asking relevant, non-troll questions, and you expect reasoned, informative answers? What, YOU THINK YOU'RE BETTAH THAN ME?

And I switch to smaller flies, but it doesn't matter because I am made of bananas.
I've only caught steelhead on the swing while eating bananas, granted they have all been tiny summer hatchery brats... shit now i'm trolling. With summer runs I go light, long leader and tiny flies.

edit: would employ same tactic on sunny/warm days with winters, granted light leader for me is still 8-10# maxima
 

Pat Lat

Mad Flyentist
#7
Wasn't all this info covered at some class at orvis a while back?;)
I made two solo carcamp trips to the OP this winter, both were super sunny, low flows. if you look at the flows in march they were the calms in between the storms. tried everything up high in the system in the clear water with no luck. Then I found bigger, dirty water, downriver and landed a fish on a smallish black and purple fly. This was my first steelhead so I'm definitely not an expert, but it seemed to make sense.
 

hydrological

beads are NOT flies and snagging is just ghetto
#9
unless its right in their eyes, or the water is really low and clear, i dont think its as bad as some people think. if it is almost straight upstream, i try to fish from the bank that will have them following my swing away from the sun. while i'd rather have the sun behind them, that has gotten me fish at times when i couldnt fish a better run.
 
#12
For me it depends on water clarity and time of day. If the water is off color I fish as usual. If it is clear and in the morning I will look for shade, in the afternoon I'll fish in the sun. Two years ago I was fishing the Bogey in march, it was a warm sunny march day and we were pulling plugs through a deep slow slot ( yes I fish plugs at times). I was on the sticks and the other guys were day dreaming. Right in front of us in full sun was a 7-8# nate with his dorsal out of the water, just laying there, I took a pull on the oars and he bolted. The fish was over deep water laying on the surface soakin up the rays.

In the sun I will go a little smaller and sometimes brighter.
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
#13
I know this isn't a thread about wild vs native vs swinging vs beadazzling vs suing dfw..... so, I hope it's not mistakingly categorized as a troll topic because it's so far off the general topics as of late. This is real.

What tactics do you guys use when fishing for winter steelhead when it's bright and sunny? I know this happens maybe .01% of the time. But, I have to admit, my confidence level drops big time when the sun and glare come out. I honestly would rather fish an off color river given my history of sunny skunkage.

Do you lengthen the leader? Do you start fishing the riffles more? Do you look for the shade? Do you change up the color of your flies to something brighter?

Curious.
there is no need to change anything.. the big reason people catch fewer fish in the sun is because they show up early and leave when the sun gets on the water, furthermore by the time the sun gets on the water all the good water has been fished and the aggressive fish have already been taken.