Steelhead Challenge

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Sharp Steelie, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. Sharp Steelie Guest

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    Got a great idea for all those Steelie fly fishing fanatics out there - From day one have been honest,
    the numbers are the truth. So here is the challenge:

    Starting next summer - everyone who really wants to
    catch more fish try this.

    Find an area with some fish in it - whether it's just
    a couple or more. Hopefully where you can actually
    see/make out the fish - look for signs (jumping/tailing
    flash etc.)

    Start off with a "Steelhead pattern" lets say a green
    butted skunk - try to put it near the fish and watch
    what happens.

    Next - try a size 6 or smaller sparse but natural
    pattern that immitates either insects in the water
    or a food source from the ocean and watch what
    happens. Heck - use a size 6 or 8 hairs ear nymph!

    Apply all techiques - nymphing/natural drift/swing etc.

    You don't have to take my word for it when you find out
    on your own - I already know what really works and
    will always catch fish - just want to build some
    confidence and faith.

    Oh - try to fish right smack dab in the middle of
    the afternoon - when you can see the fish the best.

    Keep notes.

    Just a couple notes/rules.

    1. Ego's do not apply.
    2. Nobody is better than anybody else.
    3. Be Honest.
    4. Have Fun!

    Make this about having fun - share. Be willing to bet
    some others will catch just as much and more than yours
    truly. Can't wait to here some 10 plus fish days -
    I believe anybody can do it! Oh - try the same thing
    in the winter - you might just be suprised.

    Happy Fishing
  2. Flip The dumb kid

    Posts: 806
    Lk Stevens WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    your on clay, and ya know what, both of us should try it on some of the rivers i have mentioned to you in email. and regarding anohter issue you brought up ( at least i think it was you)

    MAKE NOTE WHEN TALKING ABOUT LOCATIONS<<< i was rooting around the net and found a gear forum that went into detail places and locations talked about on this site, people from this site, and various other things. people who dont post or even flyfish are just using this site as a good source for locales. be very aware of this matter from now on guys, in genral most flyguys seem more concerned with conservation and protecting our rescources than gearies. not saying anything bad about gear fishermen, even i still have the ambauesseder in the closet, but i dont want to see people poaching a fly only with gear because they saw it mentioned here. i dont even know what im trying to say here, im gonna go look in my history for the site, hope i locate it again, ill get on the forum and tell them all that there is a massive run on some river that has never seen a metalhead. keep your eyes peeled!

  3. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,125
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,404 / 0
    If I wanted to be in a contest I would join one of the fishing shows. All I ever do in the summer time is go out and have a good time fishing the High rivers ad streams and I stay away from the bigger river that way also. If I happen to catch something bigger that 20" so be it and if I don't who cares. Besides I didn't know that fishing was going to turn into things like that. Call me a prude but thats the way I feel about fishing.

  4. Nailknot Active Member

    Posts: 1,895
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    Seems like a good time of year to try small nymphs on many rivers (if the flows are low and clear). When winter and late spring and summer off-color flows are happening I wouldn't think small is the best choice, but ya never know. Fishing small/natural is popular for steelhead in other parts of the world and they do well. What do you use for leader/tippet when fishing small nymphs Sharp?

    Be the ball Danny
  5. Swinger Banned or Parked

    Posts: 117
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    Seems alot like Jim Teeny's method. But all Jim ever does is line fish.
  6. greyghost Member

    Posts: 507
    Coastal Rivers, OR
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    I think most guys on this site realize that you can catch more steelhead, especially summer runs, on small natural presentations. I too have fished egg patterns or nymphs and had double digit fish days for hatchery summer runs. I think most steelhead fanatics fish a certain way for the challenge itself. I personally want to catch a steelhead on a dry, so this summer I am mostly going to skate dries. Some guys just like the rhythm of swinging traditional wets (cast, mend, step). It's not that anyone doesn't believe you, your techniques are pretty well utilized, it's just that some people like to employ techniques that aren't really associated with numbers of fish. I'm sure those that have never caught a steelhead and really want to hook into one will appreciate your challenge. One thing that I would add against your experiences is that I always do better in low light conditions for steelhead, and unlike you and Jim Teeny, I never have too much luck with fish that I spot. I just spot the water and the fish will be there.
  7. Flip The dumb kid

    Posts: 806
    Lk Stevens WA
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    hey grey, your goal is the same as mine this summer, i am bound and determined to get some metal on a dry.... especially since i lost on on saturday by pure chance. stilly does very well fishing dries, if ya want to hook up and tag-team them, lmme knw


    ps, want to catch a fish you can see? fish fortson hole in the mornings.... all i have to say to that one is omg. it can be freaky, but fun, but very challenging.
  8. Sharp Steelie Guest

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    Sorry Jim - it's not a contest. Simply put, in my
    opinion a natural fly pattern that immitates a food
    source will catch a lot more fish then a traditional
    Steelhead pattern. I no longer carry a single
    "Traditional Steelhead Pattern" in my fly box and
    haven't for years. Just challenging those who want to -
    to see what works better for them. If I had to choose
    a Green butted skunk or a Hares ear nymph - for me it's
    a very easy choice, I'll take the Hares ear nymph.:thumb
  9. Flip The dumb kid

    Posts: 806
    Lk Stevens WA
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    clay, once you get the flies i sent you look at the little beadhead.. that exact fly got me 2 summers.... i woulda tied you a fresh one but im a little low on beads.
    nice small brownish nymph.. this pattern is my standby anytime i need a fly, lakes or rivers. even accounted for THREE first-cast hookups. the particular one is not very sparse, but hey.. i tied it 4 years ago=)

  10. Sharp Steelie Guest

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    I stick with a 2x and if some salmon are around go with
    a 1x (6 to 7ft with a sink tip line) The last 3 years
    have not sight cast to a single fish - saw salmon.
    Learned how Steelhead behave and react to flies in the
    Astoria Oregon area streams - these were all winter
    run fish. Some of the streams would run clear enough
    in the winter to actually sight cast. Did a lot of
    experimenting to fish that I could see and watched how
    they would react to different types of patterns etc.
    The first fish on a nymph was a winter run. The most
    Steelhead that I personally ever caught in a single day
    were actually winter runs on a Oregon coastal river.
    Was using the passion fly that day. This was back in
    the 80's. Been consistantly catching fish ever
    since. By applying the things learned on winter runs,
    it has been a double bonus on the summer runs simply
    because they are more aggresive. Fly patterns are
    important - If I want to have a multiple fish day and
    had to choose between a Green Butted Skunk and a Hare's
    ear nymph - I'll take the nymph, even in winter. Go
    experiment and find out why.

    happy fishing
  11. Sharp Steelie Guest

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    Had 3 fish hit a fly on top that I can remember - it's a complete adrenaline rush. The largest Steelhead that
    I ever caught - smashed a fly on top (think may have
    already posted that). Had a fish hit a Golden stone
    dry on the Deschutes - had a 5 weight targeting red
    sides and "suprise". My whole intention of posting
    "the challenge" is to help some people catch their
    first fish - or more fish. Personally - I'm always
    experimenting and trying new things. Just figure now is
    the time to focus on really helping some other's get
    into fish.:thumb
  12. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,125
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,404 / 0
    There's nothing better that catching steelhead on dries. I have landed two and have hooked many more. But they've all been on my little secret places. You'd be suprised how many fish are up in the smaller streams off of the big rivers. And with small dries,such as size 14 Humpies,16 red ant,

  13. headstrong1 youngish old guy

    Posts: 369
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    You seem very competitive with fishing SS, I don't think I would enjoy a day on the river with you at all. Relax, breath, chiiilll. Laid back fishers unite!
  14. flasher New Member

    Posts: 99
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    Well after this past year of futile attempts at landing or even hooking up my first Steelie I'm taking Clay's advice and dumping thos big nasty things I've been carrying around. Perhaps I'll even snag a Cutt or two with the Hares Ear.

    Thanks for the tip
  15. Stephen Rice Senior Member

    Posts: 1,479
    Wasilla, Alaska
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    Oh man you are so right on that ! I caught my First summer on a Dry. It was a bomber pattern. Took me by surprise and bout jumped out of my skin seeing that monster head coming out of the water. LOL and I am with you on the smaller streams and out of the way places. Alot more surprises come out those places! besides I don't go fishing to hook the monsters I go to have fun!
    hmm I will have to try that red ant pattern sounds good!
  16. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    I spent a lot of time fishing BH Nymphs, small woolly buggers and streamers, and occassional dries for SRCs this summer on the snoqualmie. I only hooked one confirmed steelhead doing that. But I did catch a much wider variety of fish doing it that way. Several whitefish, plenty of SRCs, that one steelhead, a few 12-15inch 'rainbows' (?), and the small silver salmon in my avator. I don't know why I couldn't find a few more steelhead trying that, but I'll try again next summer. Maybe it was because I was focusing too much on SRC holding water and not enough time in good steelhead water...
  17. Flip The dumb kid

    Posts: 806
    Lk Stevens WA
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    i would reccomend fishing a river with a larger run of summers. fishing bh nymphs we took a total of 22 metals on one individual pattern in 3 months. if your using buggers, keep them SPARSE. big problem i see with a few people who shall not be named **cough** my dad**cough** he was using like 3 full marabou plumes for the tail, and got the occasional fish but not like the luck i had on bh. just keep it natural and sparse!

  18. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    It would be nice to be able to choose my home river based on run size from year to year, but for now, the Snoqualmie it will have to be (and when I target them, I do much better, this last summer I was more interested in learning all I could about the SRCs in the river).
  19. Flip The dumb kid

    Posts: 806
    Lk Stevens WA
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    he does not seem competitive to me, he simple catches fish and is trying to share his knowledge and experience with the rest of us... whats wrong with that?

  20. Stephen Rice Senior Member

    Posts: 1,479
    Wasilla, Alaska
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I have fished with Clay and believe me he is not competitive. He would rather see you hook into a fish than himself. He just loves to fish for Steelehead, I can understand that. I am addicted to them. :smokin