Fishing for steelhead in the sun....

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by JesseC, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    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.
     
  2. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    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.
     
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  3. Yard Sale

    Yard Sale Active Member

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    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...
     
  4. plaegreid

    plaegreid Saved by the buoyancy of citrus

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    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.
     
  5. jake-e-boy

    jake-e-boy No mas

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    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
     
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  6. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

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    I try to fish shaded water but in the middle of the day often riffles have provided the best results.
     
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  7. Pat Lat

    Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

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    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.
     
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  8. jake-e-boy

    jake-e-boy No mas

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    as a grand master steelheader once told a group of novices (including me), "any color works, long as it is black"
     
  9. hydrological

    hydrological beads are NOT flies and snagging is just ghetto

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    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.
     
  10. danimal

    danimal Inglorious Twohander

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    Same here. I fish the water that everyone passes on "cause there aint no fish in there-why bother"
     
  11. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    I don't like fishing full sun either - particularly for steelhead.
     
  12. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    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.
     
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  13. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

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    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.
     
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  14. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    Lots of good advice and thoughts. Thanks gents.
     
  15. Chawhee

    Chawhee Active Member

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    Smaller with gold and red =)
     
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  16. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

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    We don't have the bright fish on the dry side that you west-siders enjoy but we do experience a lot of bright days. I use longer leaders and bright colors on such days in clear water; I also tend to favor more sparsely-tied patterns.
     
  17. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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    just fish. steelhead are amazing at blowing up any preconceptions of what they will and won't do.

    worst case you'll just be recharging your low NW vitamin D levels.
     
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  18. fishbadger

    fishbadger Member

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    What he said! Winter fish don't give a shit. . .at least the ones I'm lucky enough to find don't. Summers are a different critter though,

    fb
     
  19. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    I like conditions that allow me to fish. Summmer or winter, they can see a fly in clear water. Wild fish bite better in my experience .

    I try to fish for wild fish in water where they can see the fly.

    Results may vary.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  20. Phil Fravel

    Phil Fravel Friendly

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    Dont over think it... work through the run quickly looking for the agressive fish