Steelhead 101 for dummies....

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by jami_wa, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. I'm a transplant to WA (don't hate me haha) I know you use streamers for Steelhead for the most part. I'm curious if anyone has caught them on dry flies or nymphs? And if so what kind? Looking at member pictures of Steelheads well....I want to catch one! These fish elude me.....
  2. Jami, there is a little article in on the site that discusses nymphing for steelhead. It is not one of the traditional methods of fishing for them, however it works great for me. Fishing Dry flies is a challenge. I can be done during low light periods of the day during the summer, when the fish are more active and not bogged down by cool temperatures.
    I do not recommend fishing for steelhead. After you catch one, you may get obsessed and forget about our trout friends.
  3. I recomend you stay with trout. Its like a jump from tobacco to heroin.
  4. whats wrong with herion?
  5. Do they even have that stuff in Walla Walla? and what an unusual comparison for a youth to use....:clown:

    Read Andy's (Zen) on front page. Good info. :thumb:
  6. Jami, some call the steelhead the fish of a thousand casts. Read on as mike and rainbow suggested and keep on casting. :)
    Zen, I'd recommend you stay in school and stay off the drugs.;)
  7. You might consider getting a guide. It could shorten the length of time it takes to catch one. You can catch them swinging, nymphing, and with dries (both dead drift and skating). If you want to start a real donnybrook, ask people to share their opinions on swinging vs. nymphing...on second thought, don't. I think most would acknowledge that catching them on dries is the most difficult, but an amazing rush from what I've heard. Catching steelhead is as much about reading water as it is about technique. As previously noted, it's a terrible addiction.

    You are an enigma. You produce lovely pieces of writing w/ impressive vocabulary and then can't spell, "heroin," or did you mean "heroine?":clown:
  8. Imagine trying to get a date with the only girl in an all boys school... Steelhead.

    Jami, in your case, you should flip that around...

  9. Dries can be very effective in the summer time and there are some really good patterns, I like to use the Bomber, steelhead Bee, Waller Walker, Wagoner's Steelhead Skater and the ever popular Greased Liner. Out of those my Favorite is the Bomber, I guess because it was the first dry I used with good success. The Kalama, the Washougal are good rivers for dries and I bet the Klickitat is pretty good to. But like everyone says, once you catch one your going to be hooked like a crack head looking for the next fix. I have gone home serveral days empty handed only to be out there the next day. Good luck and if you stick to it long enough it will pay off !
  10. Catching a steelhead is addictive. Catching one on a dry fly is obsessive!!! I made the mistake of trying to catch one on a dry one time. I found a big ol pod of fish and the conditions were just right. In 7 casts I had 6 strikes. That was 3 years ago and I haven't stopped thinking about that day since.
  11. I have actually heard that it is harder to quit smoking than to quit heroine...
  12. Well I read the article, very helpful. I guess it comes down to this; I love catching trout and out in Montana I have caught some monsters, (even managed to bring them in myself:eek: ), I have something inside me that loves a good challenge. Steelhead are to me that next challenge, preparing my mind with knowledge about them and the techniques on catching them. I need to read in depth about some good knots. And need to get tippit and leader to match thier fight. I have done well thus far with reading water for trout and upon further reading I hope to learn how to read Steelhead water. (I really need to look into when Steelhead will be in the rivers somewhere close enough for a day trip near me). The only thing I'm not sure about yet is if my gear can keep up with this challenge? I have a Sage DS2, 590 Graphite 2, #5 Line, 9'0", 3 1/4 oz. A Ross Reel and I Have no clue what kind of's green. Now, I have no idea what these specs mean, so I am asking those of you who do know, can my gear hold up with Steelhead?

    Rainbow -thankyou for the link to Steelhead Nymphing Strategies by Andy Simon and Mike Davidchik; priceless information! Mike- lol well I won't forget about our trout friends after all they have given me many days of joy. Zen- you crazy guy you; I think you gave me a contact buzz, because I've never had a taste of Steelhead now all of a sudden I do! Big Tuna- I had to laugh about the getting a guide comment.....I would feel so sorry for the guy! Yakima- Are you saying I couldn't get a date in school??? lol jk Stephen- thanks for the Dry patterns, I hear ya on the crack head fix thing....blame Zen lol, flyfis4fun- 3 years???? Geesh what am I getting myself into lol
  13. you will definately need to upgrade your equipment. 7/8 weight rod, reel and line. 9-10 feet. it would be good to either have a multi tip line or an extra spool or 2 for the reel so you can put different types of lines on, floating, various sink rates, etc. i have all the equipment i need for steelies but the damn things still elude me.
  14. I might have had a hand in that article. Anyways I would suggest you pick up a heavier outfit, a 8wt 9-10ft rod should do you well. I don't suggest you start out with a 5 weight. I have taken my share of steelies with smaller rods and I must say I dont prefer it much more to heavier stuff. It can be done but the casting and fishing are not as fun, and during the fight sometimes you can't do much with the fish, which is also bad. Glad you liked the article.

  15. Steelhead is like crack. You do anything you can to go fish, you'll skip work, bail on your significant other, you'll stop sleeping, your entire week will be spent thinking about steelheading. You'll find yourself driving 4 hours in the morning to fish for 8 hours then driving home for 4 more hours. Just gimme that one hookup, cmon just one, that's all I ask. Then you want more and more and more.

    Anyway, it's a lot of fun and a lot of work. You gotta put your fishless time in, learn the rivers, learn the timing. Once you figgure it out and you start to catch fish, boy is it rewarding. Winter steelheading is hard stuff, but that's what makes it so great. Just be prepared for what you're getting into.

    Good luck! I'm sure if you stick with it you'll get a fish or two, or maybe more! :)
  16. I am waiting for Steelhead to hit the black market at this point..ofcourse people will not be able to hide the fact they tried snorting a Steelhead up thier nose....

    Well damn looks like I need new gear eh.....How about that Gear Program huh lol! So, are you saying if by some miracle I got a Steelhead on my line with what gear I have now chances are I don't stand a chance getting it in?
  17. You could summer steelhead with a 5wt. Just be careful.
  18. Jami.

    What you may want to try is to attend the Clearwater Spey Clave in Idaho, and drop in to see Mike ( Poppy) at the Red Shed fly shop in Peck's near Orifino. He will let you try different gear before you buy to make sure it suits your casting style. I would highly recommend Spey fishing the two handed rods for steelhead.....easier on the arms and shoulders with the heavier lines and rods, and you can cover one hell of a lot of water with those 100-130 foot casts.

    Mike is an awesome guy and he can help a lot. At the Clave you will find MORE than enough helping hands and the Clearwater has some very willing fish on the swung fly.

    Sorry forgot the link.

    Here it is.

    The Clave is Sept 23 this year

    Best regards
  19. a 7 or 8wt. is ideal for steelhead in the summer. a 8 or 9 wt. would be best for winter work. a 10' 8 wt. is in my opinion close to the perfect all around steelhead rod. a nice large arbor real and multi-tip line with 200 yards of backing to round it all out.

    a double hander (spey) is another story all together. i've just gotten into spey rods and i'm happy as a clam (why ARE clams so damn happy?). a LOT of advantages to a spey rod. it's hard for me to imagine picking up my single hand rods for steelhead fishing now.

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