NFR How do you fish for steelhead in a deep pool w/ a back eddy?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by pinkygonzales, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. pinkygonzales Swingin' for them shiny steel

    Posts: 85
    Portland, OR
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Question for you guys...

    One of my favorite trout haunts happens to also hold steelhead. I saw one cruising through a deep pool this past weekend, and had both my #5 and #8 rods with me, but had no idea how to fish for this guy.

    The problem is that the pool has a big whirlpool current around it. Nearest to the bank, the water is actually moving "upstream." Further out, it's heading in the opposite direction. Also, because the pool is deep, the speed of the current there is fairly slow.

    How the heck to you fish a pool like this? I'm also curious to know if there would be a different method for summer vs. winter steel. With my limited skill, properly skating a fly through there doesn't seem possible, and it doesn't seem a dead drift would draw the aggressive reaction these guys are so well-known for.

    What to do! I would love to hear your advice.
  2. Cruik Active Member

    Posts: 459
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +141 / 0
    Back-troll plugs. Seriously, you could probably spend all day hitting fish in a position like this, but you probably won't get a hook-up. It sort of says something that you say it was cruising; it just never seems like steelhead in areas where they cruise around are prone to strike.
    pinkygonzales likes this.
  3. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +684 / 1
    I have little to no steel experience but there is a large and well known eddy on the Snoqualmie. During the run you'll see dozens of fishermen lined up several hundred yards below, but almost no one fishing the eddy itself. I've never seen a fly fisherman there.
    pinkygonzales likes this.
  4. Irafly Active Member

    Posts: 3,570
    Everett, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +1,018 / 1
    Very, very, very long leader, very very very heavy fly or flies and an indicator. This has only worked two or three times for me but in both cases it seemed that the steel were only there because kings had pushed them out of the water they really wanted to hold in.

    Good luck, it might be worth the challenge of figuring it out, it might not.
  5. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,425
    Duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1,601 / 2
    You'll learn in a few weeks.
  6. pinkygonzales Swingin' for them shiny steel

    Posts: 85
    Portland, OR
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    I like where you're goin' there, Evan. ;-)

    I was thinking that it might be worth just dropping an egg pattern under an indicator and hoping for the best, but let's say I'm just in a "typical" deep pool with no back eddy? If the water is too slow to skate, what are my options there?
  7. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,540
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,626 / 0
    Why did you mark this thread NFR. You are talking about fly fishing. Even if you aren't catching, you are still fishing.
  8. Jim Darden Active Member

    Posts: 885
    Bellingham, Wa.
    Ratings: +214 / 0
    I think irafly nailed's about the only choice but not too productive, or fun. Get up early or wait until dusk and fish up or down from the pool and you will probably find the fish there and ready to take.
  9. pinkygonzales Swingin' for them shiny steel

    Posts: 85
    Portland, OR
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Good question, Old Man! That was actually just a mistake. I'm not even sure what NFR stands for! lol
  10. Andrew Lawrence Active Member

    Posts: 734
    Renton, WA.
    Ratings: +100 / 0
  11. YAMMY Member

    Posts: 157
    Abbotsford B.C. Canada
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    I fish a pool like this and use T-16 tip with only 2 feet of leader-I will fish either the reverse current or the downstream current selectively casting to either-basically nymph the upstream current and mend like hell for the downstream current-tedious but can be productive-takes are difficult to assess on the upstream as i think the deeper current even in the upstream flow is flowing slowly downstream???
    PS I sure haven't caught many fish in this type of water.
  12. PfleugerPhister Active Member

    Posts: 122
    Ratings: +50 / 0
    Perhaps it is the fish in those lies are not in a receptive or positive biting mood, and while that water may hold fish, you are better off finding fish in lies that want to play as opposed to trying to turn a fish on.
    Ed Call and TomB like this.
  13. Josh dead in the water

    Posts: 2,930
    NW Washington
    Ratings: +495 / 2
    Good advice in many areas of life.
    pinkygonzales likes this.
  14. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,360
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,327 / 9
    Regrettably I'm thinking bait caster, pencil lead and cured roe. I might try to work a fly in a spot like this, but not for long. Seems like better water options should exist nearby.
  15. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,540
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,626 / 0
    NFR...............Non Fishing Related. So there you go.
  16. pinkygonzales Swingin' for them shiny steel

    Posts: 85
    Portland, OR
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Thank ya sir!
  17. luv2fly2 Active Member

    Posts: 1,569
    Ratings: +29 / 0
    if you can get it dynamite works well. dont bring your retreiver when doing this. mike w
    PfleugerPhister likes this.
  18. fishbadger Member

    Posts: 196
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    The near-side area of the pool with the eddy is probably not steelhead holding water. If the far side near the head of the pool has a heavy seam, then go fish someplace else with the fly rod, but come back tomorrow with a float rod,