beginner flies for steelhead

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Tony, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. Tony

    Tony Left handed Gemini.

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    I'm thinking of trying to fish for steelhead this year and I've never done it before so I have no flies and after looking at my pattern books searching the archives and just reading a bunch of books and stuff about it I feel frankly overwelmed by the choices, so if a beginner were to sit down to tie a small starter batch of flies which would be the best ones to start with, I'm not looking for any secret patterns or anything like that, just a good selection of common patterns that would work pretty much anywhere and cover most of the bases.
    tony
     
  2. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    Wooleybuggers are a good one to start with,And maybe a few Purple Perils or a Popcicle or two. A Green Butt Skunk is a local favorite. Go to the home page and look up some of the things that are there. It's not hard,just do a little search or go to the Gallery and look at some of the flies there.

    Jim
     
  3. mike doughty

    mike doughty Honorary Member

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    Egg sucking leeches in black and purples are a good choice to start with and easy to tie.
     
  4. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

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    Here are three simple bucktails with impeccable credentials:

    dark fly: Night Dancer
    medium fly: Purple Peril
    bright fly: Fall Favorite

    You'll expand your selection of flies in time, of course. But any differences between any subsequent additions and these three standards will be more in your mind and eye than in the steelhead's.
     
  5. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast Active Member

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    You don't need anything more than woolly buggers and bunny leeches in a few different colors for winter fishing. Black, purple, and pink would be a good start.
     
  6. Luv2flyfish

    Luv2flyfish Another Flyfisherman

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    Dont forget to pick up a couple black and a couple orange General Practitioners. :thumb:
     
  7. Sageman

    Sageman Member

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    iagree

    :ray1: I'll second the black and purple wooley buggers. Probably the single best steelhead fly there is and you can tie many different variations of it. I don't think the actual pattern is all that important. You just want flies with a lot of moving parts (marabou, rubber legs, hackle, etc.) so it comes alive in the water. What I would focus more on is developing about 4-5 different patterns of your choice that have different profiles. Something big and heavy, like a heavily weighted stonefly nymph, or even a streamer with dumbell eyes or heavily weighted body (matuka, weighted wooley bugger...). Then you want something with a lot of substance to it, maybe a big marabou spider that will catch a lot of current, then a smaller profile streamer like a green butt skunk that is compact... Each of these flies will ride differently in the water column and present a different profile to the fish. The presentation (getting it in the right place at the right time) is much more important than the actual fly.

    I actually have about 5 different variations of a black/purple wooley bugger in my box. My usual searching pattern is simply one tied with a marabou tail, tightly palmered cactus chenille for its body (no hackle, the cactus chenille is enough if wrapped properly), and then the orange head. It is a very simple tie and you can produce a bunch of them relatively quickly. You can add krystal flash, tinsel, hackle, etc. if you want, but I don't think it really matters. Then I tie a traditional one with chenille body and saddle hackle, or better yet schlappen, and then I tie each of these with lead wire wrapped around the hook, and then I tie them again with dumbbell eyes. Just use the general concept of a wooley bugger and tie them using different materials, so they ride differently in the water. I don't think more than 15% of my steelhead flies could be found in a book, or even have a name.

    Just remember, although they do go to school, their brains are smaller than a walnut and they don't know the names of flies, so it doesn't matter. :thumb:
     
  8. Joshw

    Joshw Tamer of Trouts

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    In addition to the above flies, which are all great choices....I would add to the arsenal some standard nymphs (i.e. hare's ear, prince nymph, some copper johns) and some egg flies. Some people don't like to use this stuff but it works and is good for somebody that is starting out!

    Josh
     
  9. Oneweight

    Oneweight Member

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    I wholeheartedly agree with CupoNoodle....keep it simple as fly fishing can get way too complicated if you really try. If I were you I would tie wooley buggers in black and purple or combined....and even more importantly...tie some simple bunny leeches in black, purple, and pink. You can find a million recipes for bunny leeches online but make them simple. Lots of action in the tail and throw some dumbell eyes on....

    good luck
     
  10. Stephen Rice

    Stephen Rice Senior Member

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    I like to use the hairwings the most. I usually go with Skunks and Patricia's on dark days and Winters hope and Skykomish Sunrises on Bright Days. One thing is certain thought always carry Some Bright flies and Some dark flies. I always go by the Old saying Bright Day, Bright fly, Dark day, Dark fly. and it has always worked for me.
     
  11. Randy Knapp

    Randy Knapp Active Member

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    All good but cuponoodle nailed it for simplicity and function.

    Randy
     
  12. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Yup, keep it simple. I love leeches. My favorite and go to is the pink version. (sure if you look enough, you'll see me preach them alot). Plus, the bunny version is super simple to tie. So losing them isn't as "cringing" as others you may fish. You can also toss in some old standbys (green butt skunk, purple peril, polar shrimp) as well. I change up depending on when/where I'm fishing. I do use more marabou patterns on the coast. But the leech is always a consistent producer.
     
  13. Tony

    Tony Left handed Gemini.

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    Thanks for the tips, I'm off to tie some flies, will update on how I did at a later date, hopefully with with news of fish but more than likely just with more questions.
    tony
     
  14. Longs for Cutts

    Longs for Cutts Member

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    If you're really a beginning tyer, tie a bunch of soft hackles in different sizes, with different lengths/amounts of hackle and tail material, and different colored materials, some with eyes and some without, etc.
     
  15. Peter Pancho

    Peter Pancho Active Member

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    rubber legged stonefly nymphs and black or purple head-weighted marabou leeches for me.
    These are the standard for Steelhead. You can go traditional sub-surface flies but leeches are the meat and potatoes and work everytime, even though traditional flies are normally slammed harder than leeches IMO.

    There is no such thing as a beginner steelhead fly, more like the "standard steelhead fly". I guess you would consider a string leech or articulated leech a more technical fly, but basic leeches are the bread and butter, and waaay easier to tie. Good luck!

    Peter <><
     
  16. Tony

    Tony Left handed Gemini.

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    Not a beginning tyer, a beginning wannabe steelhead flyfisher,I've tied and fished flies for the last 11 years or so but I until this year its always been just for trout in lakes, this year I started fishing the salt and decided that maybe instead of just floating around a lake in my tube getting cold I should also try going after steelhead I love the woods and I love to hike and bushwack so it seemed like something I should take up.
    tony
     

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